Breaking before the Storm

Breaking before the Storm

One of the biggest strategies of Satan is not that he brings a storm into our lives…but that he wears us down right before the torrent comes. 🌊

He does this by disrupting our focus on God and putting it on ourselves and everything around us. Little things in everyday life that seem to force our attention elsewhere.

Soon, we may be at a point where we forgot to read the Bible in the morning or talk to God or even pray about our day or situation. 🙏

We then act and react on our own judgement, understanding and anxiety/stress as we miss God’s bigger picture.

Stress makes us react faster and demands an answer or solution ASAP. Then our own judgement fails because we are relying upon what we see and our other earthly senses.

Does God not give us peace in the storm? Does He not give us foresight about the “behind the scenes” and everyone’s hearts?

We must remind ourselves that the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy…and he tends to start with the smallest seemingly insignificant things that have a rippling effect that influences how we deal with bigger trials and tribulations.

I continually ask myself that if I’m having a tough day–did I start it with God? Did I pray that morning? Did I talk to Him?

By focusing on God in a day-to-day basis, we will be like the man who built his house upon the rock. The storm came but his was set upon a firm foundation–just like we are with God. (See Matthew 7:24-27) #OnChristthisSolidRockIStand #AllOtherGroundIsSinkingSand

God will Use It

God will Use It

✨Sometimes we keep doing the tasks of what we think is Godly and good instead of asking God himself.✨

It can be an overwhelming path of seeing the needs of the world and wanting to assist in them all. We can get burned out with trying to help everyone and everything and still miss God’s calling for us. ♥️

We each have a unique calling. Some might have the calling to be missionaries across borders—and others have been called to be missionaries in their own backyard.

Do you have a gift for taking care of others?
God will use it.

Do you have a gift with animals?
God will use it.

Do you like doing art?
God will use it.

Do you like helping with kids? Do you have a gift for speaking? Writing? Listening? Photography? Baking? Being a mom? Being a provider? Helping neighbors?

God. Will. Use. It.

P.S. God needs the everyday people in everyday lives to reach everyone…for that person that you just lent a hand to…

-that person you dropped off a meal for…
-that person you reached out to…
-that person you just babysat for…
-that dog or cat you rescued that led you to a new friendship with the new owner…
-that art piece you just finished that touched someone’s soul or made them smile…
-your kids you’ve been devoting your time to and loving them with a big piece of your heart…

You have been doing God’s work in an area that you were specifically called to. ♥️

Rebuking the Storm

Rebuking the Storm

With all that’s going on in our country and world and the depressing news media, I pray and keep receiving the same story imprinted on my heart about Jesus taking a nap in the storm.
.
I don’t know about you, but there are nights where I haven’t been able to sleep due to worrying about the panic that is happening in seemingly high places. 😂💃 #IllCatchUpOnMySleepInHeaven
.
But let’s imagine how the disciples feared for their lives about the storm and undulating lake. I bet some of them even heard stories of being sunk by such storms and I bet their “news media” of the day (aka gossip and word of mouth) told them all the possibilities of drowning and/or dying. Heck, they probably even had the story of Jonah being swallowed by a whale–in the back their minds (there probably weren’t whales in the lake–but fear does funny things to our imagination). 😅 I’m not going to lie–I would’ve been a basket case. I may have even tried shaking Jesus awake. #SonofGodWakeUp #DoYouSeeThis #TheresAStormBro #BeamUsUpToHeaven
.
And yet….Jesus slept through it. Man, I wouldn’t even doubt if he snored.
.
Was Jesus trusting on his own knowledge of boats and sea? Was he listening to the people’s past stories that invoked fear?
.
No, He knew the power of God. He knew God would make a way for Him. He just needed to take a stand and rebuke the wind and waves.
.
“23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” Matthew 8:23-27
.
So, the beauty of this story is that storms will come…but God has a way for us. He has already given us the power through faith and through His Son’s holy name.
.
God’s been telling me to work on my faith muscle instead of my worry one (which can probably bench press 500 lbs of news media). 😅🤣💪
.
How do we build-up our faith?
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17
.
Starting the day in the Word, listening to podcasts about the Word and ending the day with the Word.
.
When that storm comes knocking, may we be filled so much with faith–that fear has no entry. 🧡💪💃 May we have the courage to rebuke the storm and have that smooth sailing of peace and calm.
.
P.S. I like definitions so, I’m going to put this one here.
Rebuke: to reprimand : to reprove sharply or censure formally usually from a position of authority

I must be doing something right

I must be doing something right

I must be doing something right

By: Nicki Kent, OntheCliffofLife

I must be doing something right
For the enemy to battle me at night

For him to bring-up the many past slights
To make him laugh at me in pure delight

To make my future appear to be a fright
To come at me with fiery darts a flight

To grow fear–that everything will not be all right
To feel the sting of hopelessness and its poisonous bite

But then I remind the evil one–of God–his kryptonite
Who took his legs–making him slither away after his deceptive plight

Walking the narrow path God said to follow by faith and not by sight
Whilst warning there are detours the enemy will coerce you to with all his might

Just remind the enemy of his place and he will disappear into the night
And know he only battles those who must be doing something right

Listening to God about Someone’s Past Hurts

Listening to God about Someone’s Past Hurts

Okay, let us say that you know someone who continues to speak about their hurts of the past…let’s go through some different scenarios…

  1. They could have unforgiveness in their hearts (unfortunately, this is what most modern-day Christians first assume of a person)
  2. Their wounds run deep and need someone to listen and pray with them to help them process and heal.
  3. They are healed and God is having them use their story to help others.
  4. They could be in a new toxic relationship—which makes it easier to talk about past hurts rather than the current one their dealing with.

Now, would we approach each of these circumstances in the same way? No.

From my own experience and studying those around me, I have found that we are so quick to judge on what we think we perceive of a person instead of listening to God through the Holy Spirit. You see, God knows everyone’s backgrounds and hearts…and if we truly judged each other like #1 without listening to God, we may be discouraging someone in way that may make their burden tenfold.

For instance, if we condemn someone by saying that they have unforgiveness in their heart, when it is actually a #2 scenario—where their healing comes in layers and they just need a soft heart to listen and encourage and be there for them—it could really harm a victim in their process of healing.

If we condemn someone who is a #3, we could guilt them into not using their story to help others and be a stumbling block to those other poor souls’ healing. Also, I have found that hurt people heal when helping others overcome what they once went through.

If we condemn #4, they may end-up being like a clam, and close-up about their pain and never truly get help for their current situation that is a reflection of their past.

I cannot emphasize how important it is to speak to God about a person’s hurt, for we truly don’t know what they’re going through…but God does.

Faith without the Life Preserver

Faith without the Life Preserver

God has recently put on my heart the topic of faith…especially the time when He called Peter onto the water.

How many times has God called us to “walk on water” yet our fear makes us want to take a life preserver or even use a paddle board to get to Him?

I don’t know about you, but I have reached for that life preserver a bunch of times before following God’s voice as He calls me onto the depths that will test my faith.

Now, as some of you know, God healed me from a chronic infection in my jawbones from wisdom tooth extractions. This illness caused my whole body to be out of whack—chronic pain, tons of food allergies, dizziness, multiple chemical sensitivity, etc. The blood cultures from my jawbone had every kind of bad bacteria that were off the charts. God healed all of these areas of my life several years ago.

When I was first sick, I could hear God’s voice calling me to trust Him and accept Him as my healer, but I was too afraid. I went to multiple doctors, specialists, etc. in attempts to find the cause and trying to find the remedy (this took years to figure out my jawbone infections).

I did learn a lot down this “illness road”, which even led me to a more holistic/natural life…but there was a big piece missing—the amazing faith that I read continually about in the Bible.

The faith that could heal the blind, call the invalids to walk and the dead to rise.

I was so engrossed with these Biblical stories and often would stay-up late—pouring over the Bible—searching for all the verses of faith.

Then it hit me—I was bringing a life preserver with me whilst attempting to walk forward onto the depths of faith. Also, my focus was on the storm instead of the One who could speak peace to its torrential waves.

I remember the day that I accepted God as my healer and stepped-out in faith–with no doubts. My focus was on Him. I dropped that preserver and discarded that paddle board. All I could see in my vision was God.

At this time, I entered into a spiritual battle with the enemy—he attempted to make my fear bigger than my faith…but I pushed-on and accepted the healing that God called me to.

I was free. #bestfeelingever

Now, as I continue in this temporary life—this earthly journey to eternity—my faith has been tested even more so.

This made me realize that God wanted me to walk in faith in every aspect of my life…and, to be honest, this was more difficult than walking in faith for my physical healing.

Through the following years after being healed, I have struggled with very toxic people being thrown into my life. I tried to help them with my own resources but then realized that, yet again, this was taking my life preserver to assist them.

God wanted this part of my life too. How to deal with people in a loving way—not relying on my own ability but my capability through Him as He guides me through faith. How to help them and/or when to step-back and let God deal with their hearts in His own way, etc.

…and it doesn’t stop there! 😊

My goal is to become a faith walker in every bit of my life. From continued health, to relationships, to finances, to everything.

Yes, mistakes and hiccups will happen—the times that I focus on the storm instead of Him—but these are the moments that grace comes in and it ends-up being an even better lesson in this journey of life.

Now, I will end this blog post with some of my favorite verses of faith (I hope they help and inspire you on your own journey).

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

“And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:22-24

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

To all the Nice People Out There…

To all the Nice People Out There…

To all the nice people out there…

You know you’ve been raised to be a nice person, when you tend to keep your opinions to yourself due to not wanting controversy or due to the fear of hurting a friend’s feelings or even due to the fear of being shut-down and bullied for your beliefs.

First of all—a friend might believe you agree with them if you don’t state your opinion. This could lead to an unbalanced friendship—and the uncomfortable situation of having to sit and be silent while they continually bring up a topic/dislike/etc. that you disagree with. It creates a wedge rather than a bond, as you would by trusting a friend with your opinion as they trusted you.

Second—there is a gracious way to bring your beliefs forward. Such as the following: “I totally respect you, and I’m grateful that you are comfortable enough with me to share your beliefs and opinions. Although, I do disagree and here’s why…” This will help identify that you are not disrespecting your friend—just giving a different opinion to theirs. This is how iron sharpens iron—for we all have walked different paths and have different difficulties in life that influence our ideas on different subjects and matters—these views can help us both grow.

LastlyIf they put you down and bully you—they are not your friend.

Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times.”

What is love?Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Also, I like to look-up definitions of words that bring a whole other understanding; thus, the definition of the word “friend” via Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary is as follows:

  • one attached to another by affection or esteem
  • one that is not hostile
  • a favored companion

Affection: a feeling of liking and caring for someone or something tender attachment: fondness
Hostile: marked by malevolence having or showing unfriendly feelings : having an intimidating, antagonistic, or offensive nature
Favored: providing preferential treatment
Companion: one that keeps company with another

And here is the best part about being open with your opinions in a kind manner—those who are respectful of them, no matter if they agree or not, prove that they are truly friends. The ones who are bullies and irate—will dislike you and possibly leave and that is totally fine. You and your opinion matter. I truly love the saying, “Those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.”

Stay kind, friends, and remember you can have your opinion and still be nice.

Scoffer

Scoffer

Scoffer
By: Nicole Kent

Your words ring truth but your actions prove lies
Leading those in a round-about—a path they will soon despise

You speak sweet things but cause inner turmoil
Playing Satan’s game—the snake ready to spring from his coil

Why do you drown others with the burden of implied imperfection
Yet pushing those away who try to help you with your own soul’s flawed reflection

You believe the lie that you are never wrong
That God has deemed your path correct—your eternal life’s song

But the God I know would never treat someone that way
Looking at the heart instead of what you put on display

Your path confuses those who wish to know God more
For your words turn lies by the actions never sought—just ignored

You play the victim in your own reality
But many have come to know that this pretentious view is only skin deep

I pray for you and the detrimental path you have chosen
For God didn’t want this for you either—that you wouldn’t be bound to it—frozen

Wake-up, wake-up dear scoffer—oh Pharisee
That there is a wonderful relationship with God that you have feigned to see and believe

The Unfitting Puzzle Piece

The Unfitting Puzzle Piece

F7D2761D-4BD1-45B8-AB2F-8A918E00FC3F

~ We are the body of Christ—of one mind ~

Have you ever felt like you were the puzzle piece that was shoved into the wrong place—never truly fitting in?

Well, there’s a chance that you weren’t meant to be there.

Many times, there are people with opinions who speak on what you need to do in life—how to live and especially how to serve (Don’t get me wrong—serving is important but there are many outlets and God has a specific one for you). They do believe that they are helping because they’ve had such amazing experience with what God led them to and through—but there is a chance that God is calling you to something different.

Okay, let’s consider this term, “Body of Christ.” We each have a potential role like the parts in a body—the eyes for seeing what others do not, the much needed listening ears, the voice to speak to millions, the helping hands behind the scenes, the feet that guide us in the right direction, etc. and the head—that should always be Christ’s position—guiding the eyes, the ears, the voice, the helping hands, and the feet to be of one mind.

We all have a purpose and just because it may be different than yours, does not mean it is the wrong path—it might just be different than others. It may be a path so unique that you are paving a way for others with the same unique calling.

The hand needs the wrist and the wrist needs the forearm and the forearm—the elbow. These body parts work together wonderfully…just like the puzzle piece finding the right spot to fit with others of similar calling.

Yes, we all work together in the body of Christ, but I want you to know that if you feel that nudge on your heart from God—calling you elsewhere—pray. There is a chance you’re not in the right spot.

Hey, and let me just say, you are doing great. You got this because God has got you and knows where you’re supposed to be—question is, will you let Him?

Love is…

Love is…

I recently asked God what areas of my life I specifically need to work on and instead of dumping all the “fine tunings” that my imperfect self needs, He led me to the 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NASB

IMG_4757 (2)

Me reading: “Love is patient—”

God: “Stop right there. I want you to break-down this passage and focus on one aspect of love each day. Today, look at your personality towards others. Is there an area that you are lacking patience? Maybe it is with someone who has a trying personality or maybe it is yourself—maybe you need to give yourself time to grow and continue to transform to whom I’ve called you to be.”

Patient: bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint
: not hasty or impetuous
: steadfast despite opposition, difficulty or adversity

Over the next several weeks, I’m going to read through 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and am going to break-down and meditate on each part of what love truly is and should be. Follow along on my Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/onthecliffoflife/

Side Note:

This last weekend, I read these verses with someone I know, and they stated, “In all my life, I have NEVER met a person who has succeeded at all of these testaments of love.”

My response: “Maybe it was meant for us to meditate on before we speak or respond, so that our words would be spoken through the filter of love. Maybe it is something for us to strive for—a goal.”

Their response: “I like the verse, ‘Cease striving and know that I am God.’ So, we shouldn’t be ‘striving.’” (Psalm 46:10 NASB)

My response: “I do believe that we are not to strive to a point of self-condemnation or guilt, but shouldn’t we try to be better than who we were yesterday?” (If God didn’t believe in change, then He wouldn’t have sent His Son to die for us, in the hope that we all would one day come to know Him and be transformed in the forgiveness that He so willingly gives)

Their response: “That is true and a different version of the Bible—the Amplified—translates Psalm 46:10 to ‘Be still and know that I am God.’

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I find it interesting that “strive” has two definitions…

  1. Strive: to devote serious effort or energy; endeavor
  2. Strive: to struggle in opposition; contend

So, the “striving” in Psalm 46:10 is most likely to struggle in opposition. “Cease struggling and know that I am God” or “Cease contending and know that I am God.”

The amplified version says to “be still” and I just had to break-down that word as well.

  • Still: calm, tranquil

“Be calm and know that I am God.”

It is amazing to dive more into the definitions of what we once imagined the true meaning of a word or verse. Where I was considering that we should strive to be better, as in, “devoting serious effort or endeavoring,” the person I was conversing with considered that Psalm 46:10 meant the same thing—which endeavoring and contending are opposite in meaning. #HearIGoAgain

  • Endeavor
    • to work with set purpose
    • to attempt (something, such as the fulfillment of an obligation) by exertion of effort
  • Contend
    • to strive in debate: argue
    • struggle

 

Sources: Word definitions from Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, Bible verses from NASB & AMP