Do what you do in life because of who YOU are, not because of how people respond to you. It is easy to love those who love you back. You resurrect the presence of God within you each time you make the choice to love and respond in kindness in the face of negativity.
Your authentic character expands in the midst of those moments when you love, serve and speak the truth in kindness because of who you are, not because you are feeling mutual love and kindness.
When you choose to show up with love & kindness, as you remain connected to God in the face of uncomfortable encounters, a feeling of deep satisfaction will often wash over you, this is because your soul had its way with you over your flesh.
One of the most freeing prayers you can pray throughout your day is this:
Dear God, grant me the grace to release my desire to be liked so that I will stay grounded in the person you have created me to be on earth: confident; loving; kind; peaceful; inspired; creative and capable of solution based responses free to be me without out worrying about what other people will think.
Stress or inner peace flow directly from your choice to serve your soul or your flesh in this world. How much of your time in a day do you spend worrying about what others think, do and say? OR linger in the past or future? Lean back into your soul where your worth and value remain in tact.
Dear God, I give my soul permission to guide my flesh into all of life today. Grant me the grace to remember that with you all things are possible. You call me to remain, remain, remain, remain in John 15, as the vine remains in the branch. I give you permission today to have your way with me in spite of my wondering mind. Ignite my soul and fill me with IN-Spiritation…so that nothing outside of me disrupts my confidence, love & inner peace.
This verse comes from the Old Testament; it is Samuel’s response to hearing God speak his name. It took three times before Samuel actually responded to God as he thought that Eli, who was the priest taking care of him, was calling him in the middle of the night.
How many times has God spoken to us and we look for other options as to where the guidance is coming from? I have found that God speaks in sound bites, small impactful statements of guidance that rock our world. “Dear God may there be less lag time today than yesterday in my ability to hear and respond to your voice of guidance which says, ‘this is the way, walk in it.”
My first book, Hearing His Whisper, came from several years of Samuel’s prayer: “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” I would put a question before God and listen. Then I would guess what I thought God may say which ultimately opened up my ability to grab the sound bites coming in. At first I questioned them as Samuel did: Why would God speak to me? Is this really His voice or mine? As I increased my confidence in the simple truth that the ONE who calls me into fellowship with Himself if faithful and He will do it. “Less of me more of You, Dear God” because the desire of my heart.
I invite you into the daily practice of Samuel’s prayer: Speak Lord, your servant is listening. Ask, seek, knock and listen for God’s sound bites in life. The quicker you respond the quicker you will find your ability to hear becomes.
“Dear God, where would you have me go today? What do you want me to think and say. I am on your time, not mine, for your purposes, not mine. Fill me up with all that you are so that all that I am this week makes you recognizable on earth.”
“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men.” Gal. 1:10
Step out of the drug of approval today: your need for recognition from others to know that what you do has value. God delights in you. Don’t expect anything today except to be loved and cherished by God.
Thank you that I have the ability to remember that I am not what I do or what I have achieved. Who I am is a constant reality and flows from my identity in you, therefore, UNLESS I CHOOSE to farm out my sense of self worth and value to people, circumstances or situations, I will be free from the roller coaster that exists in the drug of approval.
If I do what I do to be seen by others then what I do becomes diluted by the drug of approval and my authenticity is compromised. I choose this week to do what I do because of who I am, not because of how I want to be perceived.
“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?” Luke 15:4
Do you play the numbers game? How many likes? Shares? Friends? Clients? Responses? Participants in your program? Lecture? Seminar? Workshop? I have. Many times I have felt the ominous serpent of self-doubt slither in the back door of my interior castle as if my work was compromised or less valuable because of the lack of “numbers.” Jesus gives us an invitation in Luke 15:4 to consider the POWER contained in ONE life that is flipped from darkness into light; from confusion into clarity; lost to being found; death to life.
When I consider that I was one life at 17 years old that was flipped into the expansive experience of Jesus, the one life, one death, one gift of Salvation; which has made all the difference in the person I am committed to being today I realize the Power of ONE. Have you ever considered that if you were the only person left on earth, Jesus would have died for you?
If but for one soul; one kind remark; one moment of listening to understand rather than to be heard; one moment of considering the needs of another person over your own desire to be seen, acknowledged, recognized; one act of forgiveness; one moment of positive connection; one choice to stand for good; one choice to speak the truth in love; one choice to listen to the whisper of God over the screams of the world; one act of kindness; word of encouragement; invitation to grow or prune for growth; one moment of silence and shared grief or rejoicing…what a difference we will make in the One day of life we have been blessed with, never underestimate the power of One life that is refreshed because of One Choice to Make God Recognizable in your life today.
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Jesus calls us to come closer each day. He created us with a single source for restoration and strength when we attempt to plug into that which is not HIM we experience energy leaks that produce fears, doubts and worries. Come to me, Jesus says, all of you who are burdened by the demands and distractions in the world and I will give you the true peace, sense of purpose and the internal rest & confidence that you seek. Watch the above video prayerfully and plug into John 15 this week.
Before a healing took place Jesus would often inquire about the time and intensity of their condition. Perhaps to remind us all that healing is not restricted by the longevity or intensity of the condition…when God says, “It is finished”.
As I paused for a moment under this magnificent tree this morning I asked, “So who told you when to bloom and when to remain dormant?” God’s divine intelligence woven throughout all of nature speak to this truth:
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20
There are no challenges in life only situations that invite us to remember our God given ability to come up with creative solutions…and move mountains.
Take it from the bulb in the dark throughout the winter months. If it ever forgot its natural state of being, to bloom in this world, it would have ceased to emerge out of the darkness into the light.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is ETERNAL.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:2
Are you willing to step in the ring with your greatest fear?
Jesus faced two of our greatest fears: death and rejection.
Fr. Robert Barron brings clarity to this face to face encounter Jesus took on for us: “Remember Jesus Himself said that, “No one can plunder the house of a strong man unless a stronger one comes and ties him up.” The strong man is death itself. No one will conquer death until a stronger one comes and ties him up. Jesus is the very strength of God now tying up the strong man of death.”
I remember being in the competition ring in Tae Kwon Do calming my racing heart, fueled by fear, so that I could remember and access the strength of my training outside of the ring. I trained 4 hours a day 6 days a week for the Colorado State Championship. Spiritual training has greater value than physical, what percentage of our time do we put in on a daily basis to expand our training for the spiritual battles we face?
Do you ever have cravings, lust or boast in life? Know that the fuel behind these emotional experiences does not flow from your soul’s connection with God but from outside distractions that cause you to forget that you are a spiritual being having a physical experience.
An unbridled desire to satisfy an unfulfilled emotional state of being or compromised self image will often manifest in the following:
Cravings: an intense yearning for something…a desire…a feeling that comes along with an unsatisfied state.
Lust: a self-absorbed desire for a certain thing, person or experience.
Boasting: to speak with exaggeration about yourself in a prideful manner.
Solution to the above unhealthy antics:
When we forget to spend time daily nurturing our relationship with God, along with the things that we will draw unto ourselves at the sunset of this life, we start to wander out into the world to experience quick hits of satisfaction that leave us empty handed and unsatisfied. This unhealthy cycle causes us to crave more of that which can never fully satisfied: recognition, acknowledgment, status and material things.
Increase your experience with God each day by spending time focused on what you value and love most in life…these are the things that are void of the need to define, own, control or possess (exchange of love, watching a sunset, playing, laughing). Life is created for us to experience and grow in our ability to love and be loved.
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:15-17
How does your relationship with Jesus reflect in your words, thoughts, deeds and actions?
In what specific ways will you commit to showing up today that will make the presence of Jesus love recognizable to those around you?
How specifically am I committed to allowing these attributes of Jesus presence within me to shine forth?: (choose three specific character traits of Jesus that you desire to reflect today, for example: I am committed to shine forth love, patient understanding and gratitude) =>
Tonight before you go to sleep pause and reflect on the ways you allowed Jesus presence within you guide the way you showed up throughout your gift of life.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess. 5:16-18
A Prayer at the Break of Dawn:
Dear God, thank you for the gift of a new day of life to explore growing in the ways of loving and being loved…You, myself and those around me. Once again I release my grip on my need to know why things happen as they do along with my need to know how things will turn out. You are in control and that is enough for me.
I give you full permission to have your way with me in spite of myself, for I have learned on this short journey of life that as I have surrendered all to you, I am never left empty handed. Continue to release the shadows that distract me from living out the purpose for which I was created: to love and beloved.
Protect me from the need to own, control, possess, analyze, interpret, conclude; from attachments, assumptions, expectations and all sense of entitlement along with the antics of comparison, jealousy and envy… for nothing thrives in a state of war. The only thing I am entitled to know is that you love me completely just as I am and that you will never leave me or forsake me, because of this all things are possible for me.
Grant me a spirit of joy and laughter that I may light up from the inside out and may all those who come into this light feel refreshed and inspired. Use my life and my death for the sake of salvation of souls. Use this gift of teaching you have blessed me with to guide people back to themselves as connected to you, so that they may experience their fullest potential of being on earth.
You have revealed to me through my own dark night of the soul experience that you do your greatest work in the eye of the storm, through this knowledge resurrect within me a courage that far outweighs the momentary distractions of fear, doubt and worry. For you have brought about a greater good in spite of the darkness than had my personal trials never occurred. A glimpse into the mystical experience captured within one of your most masterful creations: the beautiful fragrant rose that emerges in the midst of the thorns. You have me, and I have you…I tremble with eager expectation as to the beauty we will create together as I step into another gift of life today.