“Imagine how peaceful we could be if we just did the work.”~TB
Admittedly, I am the consummate procrastinator. As a creative individual, part of my ‘secret sauce’ is the adrenaline of the last-minute deadline that shoots my imaginative process into high gear. I’ve had incredible success with this model. I’ve also had incredible failures too. More to the point, when you procrastinate in all areas of your life, you’re playing with unnecessary fire. As they say, live by the sword, die by the sword.
If you procrastinate long enough or if you’re prone to not doing legitimate work of any kind, you will experience a lot of loss or missed opportunities. One of the not so great things about these experiences is that if you have many that result in a similar ending, you begin to falsely perceive a feedback loop of failure. Even worse, without realizing it, many of us act out this feedback loop subconsciously, resulting in anxiety and a doomsday outlook on certain aspects of life or just life in general.
Our brains work to form correlations so that we can come to certain conclusions more quickly based on past experiences. It’s a survival mechanism. The problem is if you’re falsely wired the incorrect information, it makes getting the correct information more difficult, but, not impossible. Many of us tend to discredit what God does in our lives because He’s not physically present turning water into wine right before us. But, imagine if you quieted the noise, looked within and forged that relationship. You’d see God in a more honest and relational way but in order to get to that place, you have to drop the preconceived notions and behaviors and do the work.
Where would your relationship with God be if you worked as hard as you procrastinated?
Enjoy the reading
1The LORD gave me another message. He said,
2“Do not get married or have children in this place.
3For this is what the LORD says about the children born here in this city and about their mothers and fathers:
4They will die from terrible diseases. No one will mourn for them or bury them, and they will lie scattered on the ground like manure. They will die from war and famine, and their bodies will be food for the vultures and wild animals.”
5This is what the LORD says: “Do not go to funerals to mourn and show sympathy for these people, for I have removed my protection and peace from them. I have taken away my unfailing love and my mercy.
6Both the great and the lowly will die in this land. No one will bury them or mourn for them. Their friends will not cut themselves in sorrow or shave their heads in sadness.
7No one will offer a meal to comfort those who mourn for the dead—not even at the death of a mother or father. No one will send a cup of wine to console them.
8“And do not go to their feasts and parties. Do not eat and drink with them at all.
9For this is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: In your own lifetime, before your very eyes, I will put an end to the happy singing and laughter in this land. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard.
10“When you tell the people all these things, they will ask, ‘Why has the LORD decreed such terrible things against us? What have we done to deserve such treatment? What is our sin against the LORD our God?’
11“Then you will give them the LORD ’s reply: ‘It is because your ancestors were unfaithful to me. They worshiped other gods and served them. They abandoned me and did not obey my word.
12And you are even worse than your ancestors! You stubbornly follow your own evil desires and refuse to listen to me.
13So I will throw you out of this land and send you into a foreign land where you and your ancestors have never been. There you can worship idols day and night—and I will grant you no favors!’
14“But the time is coming,” says the LORD, “when people who are taking an oath will no longer say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who rescued the people of Israel from the land of Egypt.’
15Instead, they will say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the people of Israel back to their own land from the land of the north and from all the countries to which he had exiled them.’ For I will bring them back to this land that I gave their ancestors.
16“But now I am sending for many fishermen who will catch them,” says the LORD . “I am sending for hunters who will hunt them down in the mountains, hills, and caves.
17I am watching them closely, and I see every sin. They cannot hope to hide from me.
18I will double their punishment for all their sins, because they have defiled my land with lifeless images of their detestable gods and have filled my territory with their evil deeds.”
19LORD, you are my strength and fortress, my refuge in the day of trouble! Nations from around the world will come to you and say, “Our ancestors left us a foolish heritage, for they worshiped worthless idols.
20Can people make their own gods? These are not real gods at all!”
21The LORD says, “Now I will show them my power; now I will show them my might. At last they will know and understand that I am the LORD .
“In order for God to use you, you must be tried, tested, and made approved through Holy conditioning.”~TB
Spiritually Out of Shape
God cannot use the spiritually weak. When you don’t pursue a relationship with Christ and when you don’t do your Biblical reading, you are spiritually unhealthy. As babes in Christ, you may aspire to share the Good News, however, without doing the work, you are unable to exert the endurance, steadfastness, and long-suffering required to work for God. Your spiritual arteries are clogged by the fat of your sins and unrefined impure thinking. God cannot use someone who is spiritually fat. You are not capable of running a race because you will fall prey to the fleshly desires of this world. There is still hope for anyone willing to endure the Biblical training required.
If you seek an honest relationship with the Lord and you desire to do well for the Kingdom, you must gird up your loins, and do the Biblical training that is necessary for you to successfully run and complete your race. Make no mistake, this is no easy feat as you will be tried and tested and ultimately broken. But through this pruning, God will pour a new Holy foundation for you to begin to understand how to move and operate in His will. Friends, celebrate in your trials and tests because it means that God is looking to pass the baton to you. Train well and watch His wisdom, strengthen you.
Ready to Run
You will know when God is ready to elevate your assignment because temptation, stress, and anguish no longer bother you. Those things are still there, but you understand that they are the evil banana peels that the devil has laid before you. Avoid them. You willingly put down your sinful ways and you excitedly and wholeheartedly seek the Lord with all of your heart. Friends, when this happens, it is a wonderful feeling to live and breathe the joy and peace that God provides as you begin to run the race that he is set before you. Make no mistake, picking up the cross every day is an intentional and willful endeavor. You cannot be lackadaisical or passive about your assignment. But fortunately, through God’s strength and conditioning through the Word, the trials, and the tests, He has prepared you for your destiny.
Are you ready to go through spiritual conditioning, or are you okay with being spiritually fat?
Enjoy the reading
1The LORD is king! He is robed in majesty. Indeed, the LORD is robed in majesty and armed with strength. The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.
2Your throne, O LORD, has stood from time immemorial. You yourself are from the everlasting past.
3The floods have risen up, O LORD . The floods have roared like thunder; the floods have lifted their pounding waves.
4But mightier than the violent raging of the seas, mightier than the breakers on the shore— the LORD above is mightier than these!
5Your royal laws cannot be changed. Your reign, O LORD, is holy forever and ever.
“Forgiveness is like running a marathon in that you cannot practice for one day and then expect to excel. In order to be successful, you must put in the work, conditioning your mind and heart to achieve desired results” ~Taryn Barnes
I’ll be honest, forgiveness is a tough business. There are times where transgressions can pass you by with a blink of an eye. Then other times, you may find yourself thinking things that you wouldn’t dare tell another living soul. As we progress in our walk with God, we get tested in all aspects and forgiveness can be quite the challenge.
Unpack Your Feelings
I recently had a major struggle in the forgiveness department. On paper, I understood that the chain of events wouldn’t resolve in the way that I would’ve liked, and at the time I had made up my mind to forgive and move on. However, as logical as I am, I forgot to dig a little deeper to unpack the emotional aspects of forgiveness. Though my brain had moved on, I had come to realize that I was still fraught with anger, resentment, rejection, sadness, and other fun feelings.
Let Them Go
Once I targeted the emotional barriers that were tripping me up on my quest for forgiveness, I realized that I had to let them go. Holding on to negative emotions only hinders your progress to grow with God, clouding your mind and judgment. Bottom line, you have to acknowledge those feelings in order for you to let them go.
Practice Makes Perfect
It takes practice to improve the art of forgiveness. Some people take to it naturally, while others have to put in a little extra work, which is perfectly ok. Don’t be afraid to get a training partner, who has run the race of forgiveness a bit longer than you. I often tease my dad about how amazing he is at forgiving people. Like a raincoat in the midst of a crazy storm, allowing transgressions to fall right off. I’m still working on my raincoat, but I try and put in the practice. We all start somewhere, advancing to different levels as we progress. Fortunately, in time, and with proper conditioning, we can extend grace and mercy to our fellow man as God extends it to us.
Question of the day
Are you showing up for your strength and conditioning practices for forgiveness?
Numbers 17 NIV
The Budding of Aaron’s Staff
1The LORD said to Moses, 2“Speak to the Israelites and get twelve staffs from them, one from the leader of each of their ancestral tribes. Write the name of each man on his staff. 3On the staff of Levi write Aaron’s name, for there must be one staff for the head of each ancestral tribe. 4Place them in the tent of meeting in front of the ark of the covenant law, where I meet with you. 5The staff belonging to the man I choose will sprout, and I will rid myself of this constant grumbling against you by the Israelites.” 6So Moses spoke to the Israelites, and their leaders gave him twelve staffs, one for the leader of each of their ancestral tribes, and Aaron’s staff was among them. 7Moses placed the staffs before the LORD in the tent of the covenant law. 8The next day Moses entered the tent and saw that Aaron’s staff, which represented the tribe of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds. 9Then Moses brought out all the staffs from the LORD’s presence to all the Israelites. They looked at them, and each of the leaders took his own staff. 10The LORD said to Moses, “Put back Aaron’s staff in front of the ark of the covenant law, to be kept as a sign to the rebellious. This will put an end to their grumbling against me, so that they will not die.” 11Moses did just as the LORD commanded him. 12The Israelites said to Moses, “We will die! We are lost, we are all lost! 13Anyone who even comes near the tabernacle of the LORD will die. Are we all going to die?”