How to Stop Chasing Waterfalls

HOW TO STOP CHASING WATERFALLS

If you grew up in the 90’s I’m sure the title to today’s podcast automatically reminded you of TLC’s don’t go chasing waterfalls. This has always been one of my favorite songs. It serves as a constant reminder that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. In fact, whenever we allow our emotions to take the lead you can count on disappointment being right around the corner.

Whenever we lay aside the word of God. You are chasing waterfalls aka Satan’s illusion of the “good life.” So many people have fallen into the trap of thinking that fortune, fame, money, drinking and partying are indicators that you have made it. This couldn’t be further from the truth. They are nothing but distractions.

Whenever you set goals, especially material ones, that aren’t set established in glorifying God’s word they aren’t going to come to fruition. The only way your goals will materialize in a satisfying manner is if you daily read and meditate on God’s word.

If you fail to allow God to lead your life then you can expect to experience above average trouble in your life. What I mean by that is in Matt 5:45 God already told us that it rains on the just and unjust. However, if you fail to maintain a good relationship with the Lord, you are unnecessarily increasing your chances of enduring tribulation.

For example, you may go through a season of financial hardship. Instead of exerting forth the effort to apply for jobs and rely on your faith in God to help you get a job you decide to rob a bank. Now I know that’s an extreme example, but you get the point. You allowed your impatience to hinder God from showing you that He is faithful and will bless you with the right job.

Whenever we start to feel restless or during tough times, we need to remember that these are the moments that Satan tries to recruit us to join his team. It is during times of tribulation that determine what type of relationship you truly have with Christ.

Whenever you focus on anything else to solve your problems like money, gaining more education, your connections, etc. demonstrates that you don’t have trust in God to resolve your problems. Now I’m not saying that something is wrong with having any of the above, but when you start placing these things first rather than your affections above like He commands us to do in Col 3:2 then you have a problem. Only a spiritual intervention from Christ can restore order to our spiritual and physical life.

The mere fact that Joshua, David, Job, and other faithful children of God did not allow their troubles to destroy them is evidence that physical problems (tribulation) in and of themselves are not harmful ( Job 23rd Chp; Ps 23rd Chp; 1Sam 30th Chp). Their victorious outcome from their troubles proves that our physical problems are not the real issue.

It’s our lack of faith (trust in God) that’s the real problem (Heb 11:6; Rom 8:7-8). Without faith, God has no way of operating in and throughout our lives, so He can comfort us while He helps us to resolve our issues. Relying on faith is the reason Satan could not succeed in his diabolic plan of destroying people like Job, Joseph, and other faithful children of God.

Their faith protected them from Satan’s fiery darts which are nothing more than lies, deception, and schemes. Through their faith, God was able to take the exact same tribulation that Satan was trying to use against them and cause it to work for their good (Rom 8:28). In other words, God used their tribulation as a tool to strengthen and enlighten them (Job 23:10-12; Ps 105:17-19; Lk 22:31-32).

Their faith and patience (remaining in faith) gave God the opportunity He needed to turn their misfortunes into a magnificent dream of a lifetime, all of which proves that tribulation (physical problems) is not the real issue. Tribulation simply proves to us what kind of faith we possess. In other words, tribulation proves to us the type of relationship we have with God (Rom 8:16-18, 9).

Case in point, two people can face the same problem but one loses everything (Heb 10:38), including his faith in God. On the other hand, the other person has the opposite outcome. His physical problems make him stronger and more faithful. The difference is in their relationship with God (Gal 2:20). The person with the opposite outcome wholeheartedly believes in God’s love for him, His powers, and His promises. Therefore, when trouble came, he relied on his faith (2Cor 5:7; Gal 3:11; Rom 1:17). He put his belief into action by turning to God for help.

In doing so, God turned his problems into a blessing in disguise. In fact, this is exactly what God did for Joseph. Instead of allowing Joseph’s troubles to tear him down, God used Joseph’s problems to prepare him for a brilliant future (Ps 105:17-22; Gn 37th-41st Chps). The confrontation of Joseph and what others went through prove that the best blessing of our life can come through our suffering.

If we calm down and listen to God as Joseph did, God can teach us practical experience that can help us achieve our goals in this world as well as the world to come. Joseph understood this fact and patiently allowed God to teach him from all angles of life (Gn 37th-41st Chps; Heb 13:20-21). God was able to teach Joseph about the culture of the people he was to rule over. Joseph learned their language, their way of life, and their laws.

God taught Joseph how to be a perfect leader. Therefore, Joseph was able to relate to everyone, regardless of their status in life. Through Joseph’s faith and patience, God was able to align Joseph’s character to His. This state of mind helped Joseph to be compassionate toward all people. It also taught him the art of getting by in life through humble means as well as how to handle prosperity. As you can imagine, every aspect of Joseph’s tribulation was used to help prepare him for his God-given promotion of ruler over Egypt (Gn 41:41-44; 42:6).

God is not the author of confusion. He never changes. God took care of His children in the Bible and He will take care of us as well provided we stop looking at the waterfalls and focus on strengthening our relationship with Him.

Thanks so much for listening to today’s podcast. My goal is to help you both spiritually and physically. If this podcast has been a blessing to you, please check out my other website starengu.com. I’m confident that my side hustle of helping others to invest in themselves via my online courses can be of help to you.

My courses are geared to teaching people how to create their own website, and promote their endeavor through digital marketing, and so much more. You never know who you may inspire.

See you in the next episode!

Are you ready for war?

Are you ready for war

Waging War by CeCe Winans is one of my favorite songs. Are you tired of the devil stealing from you? Are you ready to fight? Whether you know it or not, being a Christian means that you signed up to fight for God’s army. At some point and time, everyone will face a difficult situation that will test your faith. The assaults that take place throughout our life not accidental. You are not going crazy when it appears that everyone and everything is out to get you. Satan will attempt to wear you down psychologically or physically so that you will surrender. 

Apostle Paul is a perfect example of someone who endured and triumphed over every horrible obstacle Satan placed in his way. Let’s take a look at all the scenarios that could have prevented him from being a soldier in God’s army.

There was a point in Paul’s life where he actually persecuted Christians because he thought he was honoring God. However, when he was on his way to Damascus he quickly realized that he was doing the opposite (Acts 9:4). I’m sure Satan played all sorts of mind games with Paul. Paul could have allowed the guilt of hurting Christians torture his soul. He could have allowed regret to keep him from moving forward in his journey to walk with Christ but he didn’t. In fact, Paul identified and took ownership of his mistake.

He repented of his wrongdoing and immediately made changes to his life. His actions supported his decision that nothing was going to shake his faith in Christ. Apostle Paul was no stranger to pain. He went from being the persecutor to the persecuted. He suffered so much on behalf of Christ. In 2 Corinthians 11:22 to 33 Paul mentions that he was shipwrecked,  beaten, stoned and constantly had people seeking to take his life. Despite all of the psychological and physical circumstances Satan sent to deter him, Paul continued to fight the good fight and earned his crown of righteousness (2 Tim 4:7-8).

My guess is many of us will not be persecuted to Paul’s exent, but our relationship troubles can cause us to feel confused and stressed. Our continual battles with bad habits can make us feel defeated. Our financial problems can make us feel worthless. Despite the severity of problem,  we can obtain peace in the midst of our troubles if we have faith (John 14:27) and bring our burdens to the Lord Psalm 55:22.

If you turn your focus to God you can protect yourself against Satan’s attacks (2Kin 6:16-17; Rom 8:31). We are empowered to win over whatever attack Satan sends our way by reading, meditating and applying God’s word to our life. His Word has the power to change our lives. This is why we are told to turn to God during our challenges because he is our Commander in Chief. He knows all of the tricks that Satan will use to fight against us. However, God has the tools, tips and tricks that will enable you to beat Satan but you won’t be able to access any of this if you refuse to wear your armor (eph 6: 10-20) or don’t have faith in His abilities to heal and lead you to victory (Matt 13:58 and Mark 6:5).

If you want to win the war, you have to be willing to walk by faith (2 Cor 5:7). Listening and obeying our Commander, God, is the only way we can win the war against Satan (Heb 4:16).

Thanks so much for listening to today’s podcast. My goal is to help you both spiritually and physically. If this podcast has been a blessing to you, please check out my other website starengu.com. I’m confident that my side hustle of helping others to invest in themselves via my online courses can be of help to you.

My courses are geared to teaching people how to create their own website, and promote their endeavor through digital marketing,and so much more. You never know who you may inspire.

See you in the next podcast!

 

How do you wait on God?

HOW DO YOU WAIT ON GOD

Patience is a virtue that I never mastered.  If I want to receive all the blessings that God has in store for me, I need to make sure I don’t move ahead of His time. Whenever you move ahead of His time, God has to place His work on hold to discipline you. Otherwise, you won’t be appreciative of the gifts that He has for you.

Discover how you can identify God’s voice so you can gain the patience that you need to live an extraordinary life. 

I would love to hear your comments and thoughts about your struggle with patience.

If you enjoyed today’s podcast I would really appreciate it if you could share or write a review on iTunes or Google Play so other people can discover it as well.

Are You Burying Your Talent?

ARE YOU BURYING YOUR TALENT BLOG

In today’s podcast, I want to discuss what’s referred to as The Parable of Talents. This takes place in Matthew 25:14- 29. There was a man who had three servants. He gave the one servant 5 talents, the second servant 2 talents, and the last servant one talent.

When their boss came back he wanted to see how his servants spent their talents. The first two servants doubled their talents. However, the last servant that was given one talent went and buried his talent. Needless to say, his boss was upset. The boss took this servant’s talent away from him and gave it to the servant that had 10 talents.

In case you haven’t figured it out, this parable is a metaphor for our relationship with God. Now even though the story refers to talent from the sense of money, we can view this today as our natural skills. God blessed everyone on this earth with a talent. Yet, so many people either consciously or subconsciously have chosen to bury their talent due to ignorance, fear or laziness.

Ignorance

If you don’t know what talent you possess then you may be under the impression that you don’t have any. Obviously, this couldn’t be further from the truth but if you don’t believe that you possess valuable skills, you won’t bother to pursue identifying your talent.

Fear

Even if you do identify your talent you may be too afraid to cultivate it for fear of what other people may think. So for example, if you possess the gift of song, you may keep your amazing voice a secret for fear of other criticizing you.

Laziness

Some people don’t even want to learn what skills they possess because that means that they would have to work. They would rather make excuses like the one talent man about why they can’t do something instead of trying to exert the energy to make it happen.

Regardless of what the reason may be, the end result is if you don’t use it you will lose it. God gives everyone the opportunity to hone their talents. However, it’s up to us to put forth the effort to identify our talent. Once we do this we need to work towards determining how to use our talent to glorify God while helping others discover their talent.   

If we bury our talent, we will die emotionally and sometimes physically. We die an emotional death because it hurts when we know we’re capable of doing more but allow ignorance or fear to get in the way. We’ll end up living a life of should of, would of, could ofs.

A soul filled with negativity will eventually start to affect your body. When you keep all that frustration inside it eats away at you. Depending on how you process negativity you may feel depressed, angry, or some other negative emotion that will manifest itself into an ailment. If you’re constantly living your life in fear, you worry a lot. This can have detrimental effects on your stomach, cause you to experience headaches and other undesirable effects on your body.

It has always been my goal to never live a life of regrets which is easier said than ever to do these days. We live in a world where people feel compelled to compare themselves to other people.

Unfortunately, many base their self-worth based on the number of likes, shares, repins or echoes they receive on the content that they have created. There’s nothing wrong with wanting people to appreciate your accomplishments but we have to keep them in perspective.

If our pursuit of worldly recognition causes us to bury our talent due to analysis paralysis or takes away time from improving our relationship with God then that goal is not worth the risk.  As long as your goals are aligned with God’s word those are talents that you need to pursue.

If you find that you have been burying your talents, it’s never too late to resurrect them.

I would love to hear your comments and thoughts about whether you have buried your talents.

If you enjoyed today’s podcast I would really appreciate it if you could share or write a review on iTunes or Google Play so other people can discover it as well.

What Kind of Employee Are You?

WHAT TYPE OF EMPLOYEE ARE YOU

This blog post has been turned into a podcast which can be accessed here.

Is today just another manic Monday? I’m probably dating myself when I say this, but the Bangles Just Another Manic Monday song often pops into my head whenever Monday rolls around.

Anyway, it got me thinking, whether it be for another person or for ourselves we all work for someone. However, many of us, myself included need to be reminded that God is our ultimate boss. When we go out into the world we’re stepping into God’s office. We’re here to do a job.

We’re supposed to be letting our light shine so we can bring others to Christ. The Bible is our employee handbook. All throughout the Bible God’s given us rules and guidelines to abide by like those mentioned in Matthew 6 & 7, Romans 1, Gal 5, Phillipians 4 and countless other scriptures. We’re provided a generous benefits packet which consists of His love and protection provided we follow His rules.

The rules look so simple in the handbook, but we all know obeying them is a totally different story. There are all types of co-workers that we will encounter when we’re in the office.

Our co-workers aka the folks we choose to associate with in everyday life will either help or hinder our quest to impress our boss.

Which got me thinking what kind of co-workers are you associating with when you’re in the office?

The Joker aka Lazy One: Life is one big playground. They literally have no desire to work.  Their goal is to evade as much work as possible. They provide plenty of laughs but offer absolutely no substance.

The Backstabber:  They smile in your face, all the while they want to take your place. Feel free to cue the Ojays Back Stabbers song. Unfortunately, the world is filled with plenty of these folks Matthew 7: 15. 

The Fearful one: Even though the fearful seems innocent they are just as bad as the backstabbers. They will throw you underneath the bus just so they don’t have to go against the crowd.

However, if we’re wearing our armor (Eph 6: 10-18) we will without a doubt be conscious of all of the above as well as positioning ourselves to be the perfect employee.

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