We’re almost at the end of Q3. This year, someone clearly pushed the fast-forward button. It has flown by so fast.  Hands down, this has been one of the best summers of my life. The crazy thing is I didn’t even leave the city of Chicago. I got a chance to do so many activities I’ve always wanted to do and met some amazing people along the way. This entire year has been an absolute roller coaster ride filled with more highs than lows. 

 

To be quite honest, even my lows weren’t really lows. I’m telling you, those moments when God is silent get me every time. When I don’t see anything changing in my situation, I sometimes get frustrated, disappointed, and impatient. I take His silence as an invitation to help God out, which by the way, always ends up in disaster. However, God is so merciful that when I come to my senses and apologize, He ends up showing me what He was up to during those silent moments. 

 

As I mentioned, this has been the best summer of my life. I thought I had some low points, but it was just that God didn’t answer my prayers the way that I thought they were going to be answered. What I didn’t mention is that while I’ve been thoroughly enjoying myself, I’ve been living out aspects of the persistent widow’s story in Luke 18:1-6.  Despite the obstacles the persistent widow encountered in an attempt to hinder her case, she continued her endeavor to receive justice from a legal system filled with corruption and won. I’m literally in the same situation. You can learn more about my situation in episode 207 How Can We Protect Homeowners From Being Scammed? I know that justice will prevail in my favor, so I’m just enjoying my life until God moves me on to my next adventure.

 

This is so much easier said than done. I’ve had some other “lows” occur along the way this year. However, each one of them gave me the opportunity to see God show up and show out. I can’t wait until it’s all over. What my mom and I have gone through over the past 2 going on 3 years is definitely going to make an amazing movie. I’m not just saying this because I’ve personally experienced it, but others who are aware of the situation often say, “Okay, this is crazy,” or “How have you kept going?” are the typical responses I’ve received.  

 

Again, I’ve had some insane things happen this year. During my difficult circumstances, I made sure to keep the following in mind:

 

  • 1.) Ask yourself, “Is there an unaddressed sin in my life?
  • 2.) “Am I right?”
  • 3.) If you’re not in sin and your perspective is right, “Did you go to God in prayer to ask Him for help?”
  • 4.) Then regardless of how dire a situation may look, you must continue to have the courage to keep fighting so your victory will materialize.

It’s taken me a very long time to realize there is a correlation between my victory materializing and feeling the peace that surpasses all understanding that Jesus says Christians are entitled to possess if they abide in Him (Phil 4:7). The only way to gain this peace is to read and apply God’s word to our lives. Many of us, myself included, don’t realize or forget how vital it is for us to attain the peace that surpasses all understanding. Having this peace affects our behavior. If we don’t have peace, we’re sabotaging our ability to experience success.

 

We will end up behaving like the double-minded man in James 1:6-8.  One of the ways we will do this is by half-heartedly approaching a difficult situation. Many times we rely on our own strengths and resources, which causes us to half-heartedly solve our problems. 

 

Out of ignorance, we have a tendency to half-heartedly perform an action to resolve a situation and then blame God for the failure. That’s not fair. Yet how many of us do this just so we can say we were right? However, deep down, you and I both know that you were not right. Your pride allowed you to set yourself up so that you could lose, giving you the opportunity to complain about why you shouldn’t have done anything at all. You literally set yourself up for defeat. That’s dumb, yet so many of us fall into this trap because we want to stay complacent.

 

That’s why when you encounter an issue, your approach to resolve it should be to shoot all of your arrows. For more on what I mean by shooting all your arrows, check out episode 245. Remember, as Christians, we are fighting from victory, and we have to stay in faith until it materializes. You just need to worry about doing your part, which is to ask God for help, stay in faith, do the steps God asked you to do, and then leave all the consequences to Him.   

 

Even if you encounter negative situations, those are just detours that Satan is using in an attempt to convince you that you lost. It’s up to you not to buy into the deceptions that Satan places before you. The negative situations you encounter are nothing more than detours. Life is very similar to a game. Those delays or detours that you are encountering are nothing more than God allowing all of the players to enter the game. Satan may get in some punches, but the battle isn’t over until God says it’s over.

 

Unfortunately, you will never experience the spiritual victory God has in store for you if you don’t surround yourself with those who can provide you with godly counsel. When you allow yourself to get distracted, you will, without a doubt, leave yourself vulnerable to wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matt 7:15). These are folks who act like they have your best interest at heart, but don’t. They have ulterior motives in which these folks secretly take pleasure in seeing you fail. Many times this is because your success reminds them of their failure, lack of ambition, or some other insane reason that you’re not aware of as to why they harbor ill will towards you.

 

Regardless of what the reason may be, if you listen to the wrong people, you may find yourself unnecessarily wandering in the wilderness, just like the Israelites did for 40 years. In the CliffsNotes version, God told Moses that He was going to give them to the Promised Land called Canaan. Moses sent 12 spies to survey the land. Ten spies came back and said that there were too many obstacles, the other 2 other spies (Joshua and Caleb) said that they could take the land. 

 

Unfortunately, the people ignored Joshua and Caleb and listened to the majority, the 10 spies who doubted God’s promise to them. God punished the Israelites who rebelled against the wise council of Moses, Joshua, and Caleb, by allowing them to wander in the wilderness for 40 years until all those who doubted and rebelled against God died. Despite all of the miracles God had shown them, delivering them from the Egyptians, parting the Red Sea, being fed by manna falling from the sky, and getting water to drink from a rock, the Israelites doubted God’s ability to give them the land that He promised them. 

 

It’s easy for us to scratch our heads in disbelief as to why the Israelites didn’t just trust God. I don’t know about you, but there have been so many times in my life that God miraculously delivered me from various situations. Yet, I allowed my current negative situation to prevent me from remembering all the ways that God previously delivered me from difficult situations. One of the ways we can prevent ourselves from being ungrateful is by keeping a journal of all the ways God answered our prayers. 

 

When we fail to remember all the ways God answered our prayers, our emotions are going to be out of control. This is the last thing you want to occur. Many of the mistakes we make in life are caused by allowing our emotions to control us.  If you keep allowing your emotions to control you, you’re going to lose your ability to hear the warnings that your conscience and loved ones are trying to provide. Fortunately for us, God blessed us with the ability to determine whether our hearing loss is temporary or permanent.

 

If we choose to ignore those warnings, doing so will ultimately affect our health. If you’re living outside of God’s will those negative emotions such as fear, impatience, and anger will take a toll on your body. You’re going to be susceptible to hypertension, digestive diseases, ulcers, skin conditions, and stress. You may not be in a position to eat without discomfort or lessen your desire to exercise. 

 

I’m sure you can see by now that if our mind, body, and soul are not aligned to God, we’re headed for disaster. We must remember that in John 16: 33, God already warned us that we will experience trouble in this world. However, if we stay in faith, He will bring us through our trials. 

 

We can reduce the time it takes to stay in these trials by acknowledging the fact that God has given us all a special set of skills. We just need to keep ourselves sharp by continuing to develop these skills by daily reading God’s word so we can know when, where, and how to execute the skills God gave us. Doing so will enable us to discover the plans God has in store for us so we can experience success.

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What Red Flags Should You Watch Out for as You Progress in Your Career? ⁠ ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/34856/⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠