Whatever your heart is filled with, your lips will overflow with! You must guard your heart, which means you must be on guard for what you allow your thoughts to think about — which ultimately means you must control your environment. It doesn’t matter how motivated you are or how strong willed you can be, your imagination is stronger than your will and if you allow unclean people, environments and words, to enter into your consciousness, they will remain. That’s why watching horror movies is so bad. It may seem silly or entertaining at the time, but the pictures of what you watch will be held in your subconscious mind. To guard your heart, you must guard your thoughts, and in order to watch your thoughts you MUST consciously choose your friends, what movies you watch, and what environments you enter. “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20) This is most important because we all at some point have our faith tested.
“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
It’s easy to give when you have a surplus of funds; it’s easy to be nice to nice people; it’s equally as easy to be nice to mean people, when you haven’t been the victim of an offense. But what if you are doing what God wants you to do; what if you’re living for Him and living His way, doing the right thing, but then someone does you wrong or steals from you or turns the people that are supposed to be for you, against you, the people that are supposed to love you? When your faith is tested, when what happens to you isn’t fair, when the shady sales guy takes an account from you and gets away with it, and prospers because of it, do you still believe? At one point or another we get tested, in fact the Bible clearly states that we will be tested, but how do we pass the test and remain in faith?
You can’t talk defeat and expect victory ~Tamara
A friend of mine, who I refer to as my “guardian angel”, taught me how to win, and I mean win for Jesus not win to get even or retribution of an injustice because often we can lose sight of what the end goal is. In the movie, “Batman Begins,” my favorite movie of all time, Batman was challenged with a question we can all be faced with, which is the difference between “Justice and Revenge.” Often in our anger we think we want “Justice” which, as Rachel in the movie defines as bringing back harmony, but “Revenge” is what we do to make us feel better. When your faith is tested, when you are the victim of someone else’s bad choices, and you wonder where God is, I’m going to tell you that he is still there and he is still good. Let’s say you are divorced and your spouse cheated on you, and not just once but multiple times and for years. You would be bitter; you would be angry you would feel betrayed at the deepest level wondering “why me?” This is where you will have to make a choice. My guardian angel friend said, it’s been one year since the Ferguson riots and what’s happening one year later? The same thing – riots, anger growing deeper, people getting shot, stores being looted. But what about Charleston, SC? 1- month later, no more camera crews, no more violence, why? Because one boy who lost his mother, who was shot while at church, that boy chose to forgive the shooter. The question remains, where will you be in one year? Still bitter? Still angry? Still plotting plans of revenge in your mind? Will you be Ferguson? Or will you be Charleston?
I’m not justifying what might have been done to you is wrong, in fact whatever you are being tested with, being the victim hurts, you are justified in your anger, but for how long will you allow the mistakes and bad choices of others to keep your blood boiling? You see, winning in the name of Jesus means losing your right to get even, to seek revenge in your heart — to lose the right to pray for harm for that person and to lose the pleasure of basking in joy when eventually they do fall. To win for Jesus you have to forgive. Below is an excerpt from Steve’s Gilliland’s book: “Making a Difference”…
LET THEM WALK” —
“The hardest part of turning the page is concerning people. People who were a part of your past, and when the challenging times materialized, ostensibly they vanished. People you treated like relatives and considered as friends simply walked out of your life to go in a different direction. I would have never predicted that certain people would have walked away from me. The struggle I had was in letting them walk. My counselor, Herb, always said, “don’t try to talk your wife into staying with you, loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to see you, staying attached to you. If she can “walk away” from you let her “walk”. Your destiny will not be tied to anyone who is willing to walk out of your life. The Bible says, “They came out from us that it might be made manifest that they were not for us. For had they been of us, no doubt they would have continued with us.” [1 John 2:19]
Your destiny will not be tied to anyone who is willing to walk out of your life.
It doesn’t mean that they are a bad person; it just means that their part in the story is over. The rough part is the ability to comprehend when a person’s part in your story is over so that you don’t keep trying to revive something that is departed forever. You’ve got to know when it’s over. It took me a long time to acquire the gift of goodbye. I know whatever God means for me to have, He’ll give it to me. And if it takes too much fret and worry I usually don’t need it. The day I officially started turning the page in my life was the day I stopped petitioning people to stay and simply let them go!’
I listen to Joyce Meyer every night and I always wonder, how could she, being abused as a young girl, have the faith that she has? I was so curious as to how she could have such a strong faith even when she prayed to God to have him intervene and have her father stop sexually abusing her. So, I went to her website and submitted that very question? “I want Joyce to tell me in one of her podcasts that I listen to every night, how she can have such a strong faith, when she prayed for God to help her and he didn’t. How can we trust Jesus when, clearly he is going to do what he wants to do.” So, she answered my question! Can you believe it? I would invite you to listen to it, the podcast is Wednesday, August 19th titled “Enjoy your journey-part 2”. In this podcast she addresses how she felt forsaken by God but then what it took for her to trust God ultimately. There is no magic word or line that converts her, but it is in her spirit of looking full-circle of what happened to her, not that one moment in time, but how God didn’t deliver her from the situation but He did bring her through it. And she came out stronger! God can resurrect you out of any awful situation but will you believe? “Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, But counselors of peace have joy”. (Proverbs 12:20)
Turn the page as Steve would say, turn the page on your bitterness, turn the page on your pain, you decide what’s in your story in the next page of your life. Be Charleston, choose to forgive and bask in the joy of God’s Glory which is the manifestation of all of God’s excellences’ …if you will only believe, you will see the glory of God. You must take the high road. No, it’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Riding your bike uphill is hard, riding down is easy. It’s easy to be angry and bitter; it’s hard to forgive but you end up in much better shape.
To get inspired, visit Steve Gilliland’s website for his books and more: http://stevegilliland.com/
To listen to Joyce Meyer’s podcast on overcoming doubt visit here: Joyce Meyer Podcast
Want more inspiration? Read Tamara’s new book Proverbs for Selling