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“...may our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace.”
-Psalm 144:12

Heart Check

Growing up if I ever decided to get bold with my dad, he would correct me and say "CHECK YO SELF, BEFORE YOU WRECK YO SELF!"
I imagine that God is looking down at me this season, whispering
"Check your heart girl, check your heart...."

Though, He doesn't come in the harsh ways we might have portrayed Him. He is a just God. In this season, He is revealing more and more of how tender my heart and life should be towards myself and His people. He guides me out of the pits that try to swallow me up. He allows me to examine who I am right at this very moment, and I have to confess..... it wasn't that pretty! 

I am in this season of "heart checking" myself 24/7, all day, everyday! The Holy Spirit is sooooo real! I literally have to capture my entire self and shut myself down! *laughing* LITERALLY. So in today's gem, I want to share the heart checks that God has placed in my heart....... 

"IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU!"
Okay, as believers we know that. OR we should. I mean at least I thought I did. WRONG. I am the most selfish human being.... Thank God, Jesus isn't fed up and says, "I'm out, this little girl, only thinks about herself!" RIGHT? Since the fall of man kind, we have been born into a life of sin. A life that has gave us selfish emotions. Being born again in Him, we are giving up all the rights to our life, and to be honest He doesn't need our permission because we already belong to Him. We were made for His desire. Not our own. Yet when we get saved, we still have the audacity to preach from a place of selfishness. I was presented the question while watching a wise preacher; 
"Are you preaching a gospel that benefits His image? OR yours?" Because if we are not carrying the fruits of the spirit, and exemplifing His image, then we just look like people with beliefs and we go to church to honor those beliefs. Doing things for the wrong reasons will always burn you out or reveal your true nature one way or another. God forgive me, if I've ever made Him look like me and not Him in ME! Social media has made some of us look like bullies of a gospel not of LOVE. #HEARTCHECK. My God, did not put His spirit into me, so that I can think the same way, be the same way, and stamp His name on my selfish behavior. The gospel is the restoration back to the image of God in man. He wants to restore all that He first wanted in us.....His image, not our own. 

"STOP LETTING YOUR PAIN GOVERN YOU!" 
When God made Adam and Eve in His image in the garden of Eden...everything was perfect. Everything that God intended for us to be like was PERFECT; was made in His image. Yet the fall of Adam, caused sin to interrupt our perfect being. So we were born into a life of pain, life of struggle, life of sin....and we are having to trace our way back to our original purpose. For so long, I would reason with people on my bad attitude or selfish manifest on life with "well God made me this way...." And so we think that everything about us and our pain and how we love or don't love is because how God made us. We have been taught that......since the fall of man. Everything that we are, has been broken, but we were meant for perfection through His image because that is what God intended. So when we get saved, we still walk around as if we haven't been delivered from the very things that don't represent Him! Your pain has become your story, when it is merely just a piece of your story. Suffering well through seasons can only be done well with Jesus. Yet if we continue to let our pain stop us from moving in the calling that God has given us, then we our just letting our pain govern our life. #HEARTCHECK. You are not your pain, you are not your struggle, you are not the things that people have spoken over you. You are chosen and called out of the darkness and into His light. 

"WORK OUT OF THE OVERFLOW OF MY GRACE.”  
I was birthed from natural born hustlers. *laughing* Joking. Kinda. My work ethic comes from my daddy. So naturally working to make a living is easy. Yet, God was picking apart my ideas of what was important to His kingdom. To be honest, all of it was far more religious than in His image. #HEARTCHECK. We can become like the Pharisees and judge everyone on how hard they are not working, yet lack the very thing Jesus died for us to know.....His image in us! When we work out of an overflow of His grace, people look different. You love different. You speak different. And then people are no longer a burden, but a life worth loving. OH, this is not easy but we are reflecting a man who sees us as a Holy nation, therefore through His grace, I can love.....genuinely. I can forgive, whole heartily. I can walk forward in my calling, with passion. I am learning to work out of an overflow of grace rather than workmanship. For than it becomes more about Him, than me. It's done all in humility. For God resist the proud. Work ethic is good, it's great but if you are working your way to heaven you're doing it all wrong. We have idolized too many things around us and endorsed it with God's name. "Mercy is the provision for the guilty...."  Lord, I am guilty but it is by Your mercy that You found me, and thought of me enough to be a piece of Your kingdom. That is the overflow that I live from. 

"BE JOYFUL!" 
ALWAYS BE JOYFUL. #HEARTCHECK. I mean we won't always be, but I believe there is perspective in this. When you know who you are it becomes easier to find joy in all things. As christians we don't see things from a worldly view. Everything we do and fight with, is in the spirit. God is BIG. He is faithful to save, and faithful to bring again in what is to come! How is your attitude in the middle of your circumstance? God forgive me if I have become a  depressing christian. God forgive me for bringing in a cloud of hopelessness. RIGHT? Because we have been given the spirit of hope and a sound mind, yet we walk around like we lost the battle. Here's a little tip: WE WIN IN THE END! Find joy in Him and enjoy the new life that He has already paid for. Walk in it......joyfully! Always be joyful! Never stop praying! Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. [Thessalonians 5:16-18]  
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This season God is refining my character. Sanding down my hard surfaces. Molding my heart. Shaping my edges. Growing me in His love......For He has made me to love. #HEARTCHECKS, were hard truths. We can be the reason that Jesus is not who He is....did you get that? His love must transform you, out of you. I pray these #HEARTCHECKS, cause you to check yo self before you wreck yo self! 

"Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind:" -Psalm 26:2

the truth in my surrender

an endless devotion...