Balance – My Experience

Balance

This morning I was pondering balance. Balance in where I place my focus and balance for my walk in the Kingdom.

I don’t spend much time at conferences seeking words and experiences but there was a time that I did. There is no condemnation in that but I decided I didn’t need a new word; I needed more time with God who is the Author of those words. That’s still where I am right now and it’s working out great.

Of course, people still give me prophetic words from time to time but there is a balance in that. I’m not seeking them; God is simply sending them when I need encouragement or direction. He’s cool like that.

And while I don’t do certain things like conferences anymore, I am aware that I can still get caught up in doing other things that can become just as big a distraction or even an idol in my life.

Balance – It’s what I need

I don’t want to spend all my time and energy on only one aspect of who I am called to be. I have spent many years working in “healing and deliverance”. It was all we did and it was all we focused on.  It was my identity. There was no balance there and that can certainly lead to burnout. Thankfully that didn’t happen but there was a danger.

What I do want is to be able to live each and every day to the fullest!  If I am only one-dimensional (doing only a single thing) in my identity or my calling, I will get bored and quit, thinking, what’s the point?

While I know that focus is wonderful and necessary to learn new things or accomplish tasks, it doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be diversity in what we do – our focus or vision shouldn’t become tunnel vision. When a lot of people think of me, they think of food. And yes, I do have a passion for food and even though I bake, I cook, and I post copious amounts of pictures of food, that is only one aspect of me: I also do many other things that feed people that have nothing to do with physical food.

Balance – It’s what I do

I spend time thinking and praying. I spend time writing. I spend time baking and cooking. I spend time conversing with my Etsy clients, and I spend time with friends and family on social media. All of these things are what I do and I love doing them. I have no desire to spend my days praying for people only, counseling only, and baking only, NO. That would be terrible. I want to do it all – and I will! I want to be authentically me in the fullness of my identity in Him because when I am being truly me, I can major on several different things and actually accomplish a lot.

Balance – do you have it?

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I AM the Righteousness of God

 

Righteousness

Paul and I were talking and praying through some things this morning. He had a prayer sheet with a list of things to declare and start your day with – lots of I am statements that he copied from Al Mack’s timeline. Some of these statements got me thinking.

We all have learned that praying the Word back is a great thing to do. Our words have power and when we declare these things out loud, things happen and heaven moves. Paul likes to say, “The Kingdom is voice-activated” and he’s right. Our words do activate the spirit realm around us.

While going through the prayer points and declarations I kept thinking about how much every one of these requires faith and trust if we are to believe them. For example, how can I know I’m a new creation in Christ if I don’t have faith in that if I don’t trust that the Word is true?

Even though I was praying along while Paul was reading these out loud, I kept having more and more thoughts along the lines of how much faith it took to really believe what I was saying. Was it true, did I really believe what I was saying and praying; or was this just a mantra of ritualistic words that I was familiar with? Did I really believe this in my entire being or was this simply head knowledge?

After a few minutes we got to the statement, I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:21) and my thoughts suddenly stopped. I realized that this was true – not just in my head but down in my very being, through and through. I believed it because I have faith in the other things He has said and it takes faith in every step and every statement to come to a place where I could emphatically state these things as truth. They weren’t empty statement or just words on a page.

I began to repeat some of the “I am” statements with the knowledge, with the faith of the truth that they revealed.

I am righteous because I am a doer of the word.

I am a joint-heir with Christ because I am righteous

I am holy because I’m a new creation in Christ. . .

I was realizing, deep inside and not just in my head, that I am these things and whether I’m feeling it or not, I am complete in Him. I lack nothing and I am far from oppression. Fear is simply a lie that I cannot afford to entertain.

Knowing this makes me able to walk in peace and joy no matter what the world throws at me. And, no matter what tragedies and difficulties that are around me I can remain in my identity and be of some use when needed. How in the world can I influence or help anyone if I don’t even know who I am?  I can’t, at least not for the good. And who needs influence if it’s bad? No one!

It comes down to identity. Reading these statements again this morning made me realize that I actually believe them all. My faith has grown and it encompasses all the vastness He says about who I am.

A few years ago, that wasn’t the case. I used to read things like this all the time but, I only read them believing they were wonderful but not actually about me. Today the epiphany was, I am all of these things and the peace I can enter into and not have to ever leave is the fruit of that. Today the truth that has been in my heart finally reached my head! Understanding has arrived.

Time to exhale.

Photo credit ~ Aaron Burden (https://stocksnap.io/photo/MCC6WG6ZN5)

 

Rest – A Dwelling Place

Micah tuckered out
I was thinking about rest and how it’s the place of my true identity. It’s the place I was created to live in.
When I strive to be something or to prove something, I tend to get my identity from that. That’s not really a conscious thing, but true, nevertheless. If I am constantly condemning myself as not good enough, not there yet or not deserving of the love that God gives me, I will never have peace. Nor will I have true rest.
While I was washing the breakfast dishes the other day, I was thinking about the verse in Hebrews 4:11 about striving to enter into rest. I was thinking that we often miss this, getting caught up in the aspect of “not striving” because it’s a works mentality. Striving to enter into rest is not the same thing as that. Entering into rest is not about approval – works are.
Striving to enter into rest is one of those things that are absolutely worth the fight. If I can keep distractions and other things at bay, the place of rest will allow me to do and accomplish more than I ever could by striving in my own strength.
When in rest, I have peace but I also have a co-laboring partnership with the force of heaven to help me accomplish things. Of course, I don’t even have to accomplish anything if that is my desire.
My identity is that I am who He says I am and what I do or don’t do has no bearing on that. I am already approved by Him so I might as well quit all the striving and simply be who I am, resting in the realization that this process is not always easy but is ALWAYS worth it.

Got Fears?

Light presence

I belong to a writing group on Facebook; several actually. In one of the groups, a writing prompt was given asking us to name five fears we had and write about it. That is the reason for a writing prompt after all.

I saw the post the first day it was posted but didn’t respond or leave any comments because, to be honest, I didn’t want to think about fears or the fact that I might have any. As if!!

Today as I was “scrolling by” I actually felt a response rise up in me as I read the prompt again. I remembered an incident that had happened in the recent past and that lead me to other realizations.

Isn’t that always the case? What you may have been avoiding or at least avoid admitting, is something that needs facing so we can get healed. And as is the case many times, someone else has experienced this same thing. When we have the courage to share and be transparent, it has the potential to bless and encourage many.

What I realized while reading the prompt was that I sometimes have a fear of being found out. What I mean by that is when someone encourages me or blesses me or even compliments me, I sometimes feel like I don’t deserve it. I feel like they don’t really know who I am. There’s a fear that they may find out who I am and be disappointed or repulsed by me. Or they may discover I’m not at all who they thought I was.

Those voices can be so convincing!

Of course, it’s absolutely irrational to listen to lies and base who I am on those things but there is nothing rational about fear! Fear is on the outside and when I listen to its whisperings or agree with the lies it speaks, I have allowed it inside.

Fear will lie to me about my identity every single time. And actually, that’s a really important key to overcoming this. When I’m firmly grounded in who I am, fear can’t touch me.

I know that I know, I am worthy and I am who HE says I am…and how can that be anything but awesome? But fear can somehow make me forget all the things I know and convinces me that I need to fear man, to even crave the approval of man – while at the same time telling me that I’m not worthy of even that approval.

Fear whispers that it is man’s approval we need and perverts any affirmations and encouragement we receive from others. We all need affirmation and encouragement and it’s not the same thing as approval, not at all.

When I was planning the trip to NC to go see Praying Medic on the Sid Roth show I had a really hard time with this fear issue. I kept hearing these whispers in my head saying, “What if they find out you’re not who they thought you were? What if they don’t like you? What if they think you’re a fake?” All these things began to swirl around in my thoughts and at times were almost overwhelming to the point I wanted to cancel the trip.

Fortunately, God is bigger than fear. I began to still myself and hear His still small voice wooing me back from the brink of depression (or whatever it was). He began singing over me and reminding me who I am. It was an intervention just in time. I was then able to pull myself up by my bootstraps and ignore those lies. I was able to confess the truth about myself. And I was able to go to NC and celebrate a great friend being celebrated!

I have since discovered that as long as I’m being authentically me, warts and all, I will be fine. People will love me or even like me according to their own will, not mine. And it was a great lesson to learn, and sometimes, re-learn.

When we are able to walk in our true identities, we can allow others to love us and even like us. And we are also able to love others right where they are. None of us are perfect but another thing I’ve realized is this: We tend to show more love and encouragement to others than we do towards ourselves. That’s really skewed because the scripture tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves and that means if we can’t love and encourage us, how can we do the same to them – we can’t. It’s that simple.

The lesson learned is that if we don’t feel good enough, pretty enough, smart enough or whatever enough, we need to tell those voices to depart. Turn around and listen to what God says about you. Quiet those voices and be still. I promise you, you will hear Him singing over you…right, where you are.

Today, fear is far from me.

If you find that this resonates with you, know that you are an amazing person! Are you perfect? Heck no, who is? But you are loved and needed and you have things to contribute that will be missing if you don’t escape those lies. Freedom to be who you are is your inheritance. Let’s walk in that. Hey, better yet; let’s DANCE in that! Come on, be encouraged, and be awesome!