Are You Building Someone Else’s Dream?

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. – Galatians 1:10 (NIV)

Do you ever examine your life and wonder how you got to this point on your journey in this life? Perhaps it feels as though you are entrapped in building someone else’s dream. It may involve your spouse, a family member, boss or even a friend. In this, there is obviously one problem, they’re the one who is reaping the benefits and you’re merely contributing to their gain.

Nevertheless, this scenario typically occurs as a result of unhealthy boundaries on the part of everyone who is involved. The one who’s contributing to the erection of someone else’s dream, typically does so in pursuit of approval and acceptance. The one whose empire is being erected, more times than not, uses manipulation and control to create an illusion of a debt that can never be repaid. Hence, just when you feel as though you’ve served them well, they demand more of your time and attention.

If you find yourself in this situation, it is time to go back to the drawing board with God. There is one primary thing to consider. What is the specific assignment that God is calling you to fulfill? Refrain from allowing your motive to be masked as a desire to fulfill of a good deed. Furthermore, if your daily routine is contrary to what God is calling you to do, it is imperative to come to the realization that this is outright disobedience and it’s time to return God to His rightful place as Lord over your life and schedule.

Prayer

Lord, I come before Your throne with thanksgiving for the reminder that I have been given a unique personalized assignment to fulfill while I’m on this earth. Show me where I’ve allowed a breach in the boundaries that You’ve prompted me to create. Give me the courage to reinstate those boundaries, regardless of the resistance that I might face. May my life pursuit be to hear, “well done good and faithful servant”, as I finish my race on this earth.

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Allowing the Sinful Nature to be the Boss of You?

I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. – Romans 7:15-25 (NLT)

Have you recently experienced a negative consequence for your actions? Perhaps you are still flirting with a behavior that’s not exactly beneficial for you or those around you. It may be something that seems as insignificant as not giving your body the proper care it needs or engaging in a careless act that could prove to be harmful to you or others. Perhaps you’ve ignored the little convicting voice so much so that you no longer view it as being wrong.

Unfortunately, many of us require a negative consequence to get our attention. At which point, the way we respond to the consequence is extremely important. It is imperative that we take ownership of our actions, repent and course correct immediately. We want to refrain from blaming God for allowing the consequence to befall us or ignore the sewing and reaping principle by responding as a mere victim of circumstance.

Fortunately, God loves us enough to periodically administer and or allow consequences to barge into our lives and stop us in our tracks. It may seem painful at the time but even still, He gives His stamp of approval because He knows it is essential for our growth. Otherwise, the sin nature that battles against our spirit would lead us down a self-destructive path or a path that destroys our connection with people and the things around us.

Prayer

Lord, thank You for dying on the cross so that the sin nature of my flesh could be crucified. Thank You for allowing me to experience consequences along my journey in this life so that my flesh will align with the Holy Spirit that you left as a deposit to dwell and guide within me.

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Protective Orders

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Are you waiting on God to deliver you from your current circumstance? Perhaps it feels as though He has placed a restraining order on your life and you’re bound to your present struggle. You may even feel a bit claustrophobic, as though this situation has you boxed in tightly on all sides.

One thing is certain, God’s timetable and ours is typically light years apart, so to speak. Moving ahead of God’s timetable would essentially place us in a danger zone. As we walk outside of His perfect will, there is a possibility that we’ll subject ourselves to issues that we otherwise would not have had to experience.

Rest assured, if God has you boxed in, this is the best place for the time being. It is actually a protective order that He’s placed over your life as He prepares you and everything around you to be conducive as He moves you into the new season. It is imperative that you hold tightly to God’s promises and trust Him through the journey.

Prayer

Lord, despite the stress and strain that I’m experiencing, thank You for keeping me from moving ahead prematurely. Thanks for Your perfect timetable and ability to change my situation as You see fit.

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Take Back Your Life

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. – Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)

stairsDo you find your mind stuck in replay over an injustice that was done to you? Perhaps you would like to move on but the memory seems to be holding you as a prisoner to that time period. Not only is it dominating your thought life but it may also be dominating your conversations and dictating the way you now respond to life. It may have caused you to become cynical and cold whereas, all of your relationships are inadvertently having to pay for what you’ve been through.

Nevertheless, we are not held responsible for the things that are done to us but we are held accountable for our response to it. As you are contemplating ways to make them pay for the wrong they have done, essentially you’re actually the one paying for it. You have become joined to them by an invisible ball and chain. Hence, what we meditate on the longest becomes the strongest force in our lives which sooner than later negatively impacts our mental, spiritual and physical well-being.

It is imperative to remember that you are not the sum total of what has happened to you. Your maker has created a unique one of a kind masterpiece as He knit you together in His very own image. Thus, it is beyond time that you take back your life, prior to the time that the first negative occurrence altered your thought process. Visit, nurture and get intimately acquainted with the spiritual, physical and emotional whole being that you once were, prior to that incidence. Rise up in victory and walk in the purpose that God has set before you, in that, the enemy will pay for the wrong that’s been done.

Prayer

Lord, help me to revisit the period in my life prior to the first negative encounter. Heighten my five senses to the point where I can absorb every aspect of that glorious day and allow it to overwrite the negative so that I may take hold of the amazing future that You have in store for me.

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Let Jesus be Your Burden Bearer

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

yokeAre the cares on your heart too heavy to bear? Perhaps you have heard it said that God won’t give you more than you can handle. Even still, it probably feels as though you will be crushed under its weight. Perhaps your scenario looks similar to the juggler who runs from one end of the room to the other to keep plates spinning in fear that if you are a fraction of a second off, the plates will come tumbling down and shatter to pieces.

Nevertheless, 1 Cor. 10:13 which states that He won’t let us be tempted beyond what we can bear is often misquoted as stating that He won’t give us more than we can handle. Contrary to that, at times, God even allows or orchestrates scenarios to allow us to experience more than we can handle which causes us to draw nearer to Him. Otherwise, we would grow arrogant and disregard our need for His headship in our lives. He desires to do every minute of life with us. Our lives were designed with a partnership in mind, not a solo act.

Consequently, being fully dependent on Jesus to help you carry your burdens is not a bad thing. Jesus longs to be harnessed with you in the yoke. The great news is that He doesn’t view the issues that you’re going through as overwhelming or burdensome. In Him, the battle has already been won. Will you take time to lean in closer and allow Him to get into the yoke with you?

Prayer

Lord, thank you for the work that You’ve done on the cross which means that I’m victorious over any struggle that I’m dealing with. I gladly receive the rest for my weary soul that is transferred to me as I give you my burdens and take on Your yoke.

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A Life in Purpose on Purpose

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. – Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV)

purposeDo you have a lingering feeling of discontentment? Perhaps you feel that there is a space within you that is consumed with tornadic activity. Regardless of how hard you try to feed this space with material possessions, accomplishments, relationships, etc., it never seems to be totally and completely appeased. At best, it may slow the wind gust down from 150 to 60 mph.

There is a very logical reason why this whirlwind rages within us. The truth of the matter is that God very thoughtfully and intentionally hand stitched within our DNA our purpose for existence. It is said that we have at least 4,600 trillion strands of DNA that is contained within our earthen vessels. Those strands serve as a magnetic force pulling together in unison toward our purpose.

With that large of an amount of strands of DNA trying to work towards accomplishing God’s divine purpose for our existence, it creates an involuntary response to reject anything that doesn’t align with God’s purpose. Hence, our bodies were designed to cry out if we are not living life in purpose and on purpose.

Prayer

Lord, help me to listen and respond to the cries within the depth of my being that beckons that I fulfill Your awesome purpose and plan for my existence. Also, help me to weed out anything that I am engaging in that is contrary to that divine purpose.

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The Ultimate Business Partner

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. – Proverbs 2:6-11 (NIV)

business-partnerAre you in search of being on top of your game? Perhaps you want to make your mark in history by being the leader in your industry. Odds are, you’re tired of being average and overlooked. Perhaps you have even taken worldly advice by studying the behaviors of those who have proven to be the most successful.

Nevertheless, regardless of arena that you’re trying to lead, Jesus is the ultimate business partner. Studying the behaviors of those with a proven success rate has its place but even still, this only gives input based on what’s worked in the past. Only Jesus has a vantage point based on what will grant you success in the future whereas, things of old are behind us and the new is at hand.

Even still, as we’re in hot pursuit of being a step above the rest, we must examine our motive. If we’re simply trying to gain notoriety and accumulate wealth for ourselves, it will prove to be futile. The most important goal in life is to live out our God-given purpose for existence and to carry it out on purpose. So long as our motive is in alignment with God’s will, He delights in giving us information from His vantage point so that we can succeed.

Prayer

Lord, thank You for being my Ultimate Business Partner who has insight on things to come. I commit to a standing appointment with You every morning before I encounter the people You desire for me to reach and impact. I realize that my skill set is merely a tool that gives me a reason to interact with others so that Your love, mercy and grace can radiate through me and impact their lives, all for Your glory.

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Strategic Partnership

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. – Proverbs 2:6-11 (NIV)

strategicAre you searching for a strategic partner to help you to get to the next level? Perhaps you’re constantly searching for an affluent person who has the right kind of connections who will serve as the game changer for you. Perhaps you are looking to an employer, a well-connected person in the community, the government or a close relation.

Perhaps you have been sifting through a sea of people for so long that You have grown cold to the humanistic interaction with those individuals. After all, you’re in hot pursuit of identifying that strategic partner who will grant you access to a breakthrough, so much so, it’s essentially like speed networking. Once you realize that individual can’t deliver what you’re in need of, you rush to the next one in line.

Nevertheless, an individual may be the pipeline that God uses to transport to you what’s needed for your advancement but God and only God is the Source. He is The Door, the only entry point to gain access. He is our Strategic Partner who has a vantage point like no other. As we humbly approach our Daddy God with praise, thanksgiving and joyful expectation, He will grant us exactly what’s need to carry out His purpose and plan for our existence.

Prayer

Lord, thank You for being my Strategic Partner and Source who has everything I need for advancement in every area of my life. I praise You for the fact that I’m not even called to make things happen in my own strength but to look to You for a strategic plan that in the end, ensures that I fulfill my purpose on this earth and gives You the utmost glory.

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Rules of Engagement

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

prayer-2At times, do you feel like a performer in a circus act? In the world in which we live, people demand to be appeased and wowed in an instant by our intellectual giftedness or our creative ability. It requires that we’re quick with the draw to say or do something crafty or they’re ready to move on to the next act. Whereas, we must quickly prove that our efforts are worthy of their time and attention.

Unfortunately, many of us are so programed to “make something happen” in a fraction of a second that we use that same approach when interacting with God. We tend to rush in to “wow” Him with our intellect and past accomplishments. From there, we flood His altar with our needs and go on to tell Him why we’re so worthy of our request being granted. Then off we go to our next destination, all the while expecting our miracle to be there awaiting us.

Sadly, as we try to superimpose onto God the same strictly devised rules of engagement that the world has dictated to us, we miss out on the amazing intimate relationship that the Lord longs to have with us. We also miss out on the peace that He longs to fill us with, which has the unfathomable ability to supersede any and all performance-based pressures put on us by man.

Prayer

Lord, it is so refreshing to know that Your rules for me to approach You and interact with You is not based on my ability or lack thereof to “wow” You with my words or deeds. Thanks for covering me with a blanket of peace.

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Laser Focused

Then Samuel told Jesse, “Are these all the young men?” He said, “There yet remains the youngest one, and right now he’s tending the sheep.” Samuel told Jesse, “Send someone to get him, for we won’t do anything else until he arrives here.” So he sent and brought him. He had a dark, healthy complexion, with beautiful eyes, and he was handsome. The Lord said, “Get up and anoint him, for this is the one.” – 1 Samuel 16:11-12 (NIV)

eye-fixed-on-jesusAre you waiting on God to move in a mighty way in your life right now? You may be earnestly seeking His guidance, inquiring about what He would have you to do. Perhaps the more you seek out an answer, the noise around you is getting louder. Whereas, the noise may be stemming from the multiple individuals that you’re seeking counsel and even still, others that are giving unwarranted advice.

Truth be told, most advice is filtered through the life experiences of the eyes of the beholder. Many times, that advice suggests that you’re not doing enough to yield a favorable outcome. As they’ve received specific results based on an action they’ve taken, they reason that you should do the same. Polling the masses can be a daunting and confusing task because everyone’s life experience is not exactly the same; although the end result may be similar, the journey to get there is personalized by God.

Sadly, very few people refer you back to God, suggesting that you should stay laser focused and continue to respond based on the last set of instructions received until He gives you a new command. As in David’s case, He did not feel the need to run to the limelight, in fear that he would be overlooked. You see, he was not lost from the sight of God. Even though seven sons were presented as the most likely candidates, the entire assembly had to halt their activity as David was sought out and found carrying out his routine assignment ordained by the Lord. God moved heaven and earth to bring to pass what was earmarked for David alone and will do the same for you.

Prayer

Lord, thank You for reminding me to refrain from running down a rabbit trail as I await a breakthrough. I resolve to see this time, “life in the hallway”, as a joyful time because it is fostering a closer relationship with You.

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