Moving Into the New

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To all of you who have stopped by my page to like a post, leave a comment, and follow my blog I want to say a BIG THANK YOU! Thank you for the love, support, and encouragement during my new blogging experience. I have enjoyed reading your writing as well and being a part of a community of writers. With the new year upon us and new things on the horizon, I would also like to ask you to consider following me again to my new writing website http://www.BrianaGWhitaker.com. You can find me there where I will continue to blog and promote my book “Wait on God”. Your presence on the new site will be a blessing. Have a happy and prosperous new year full of more blessings than you have room enough to receive!

Your Breakthrough, Your Business!

im-not-gay-no-more-620x400By now everybody has heard Marquis Jones’ story.  He’s the guy who’s deliverance from homosexuality went viral recently.  I have no problem with his deliverance.  Actually, I’m very happy for him and I rejoice with him. However, there were many others who made a mockery of his transformation and ridiculed him for it, which is why he is now suing Twitter for allowing its users to bully him online.  Now, I can’t help but to believe that all of this public humiliation could have been avoided if he had been aware of the spiritual principle shared in Romans 14:22.

“Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth” Romans 14:22 KJV.

The Good News Translation puts it this way, “Keep what you believe about this matter, then, between yourself and God. Happy are those who do not feel guilty when they do something they judge is right!”

Paul was teaching the Roman church about the importance of refraining from activities that will cause other believers to stumble in their walk with God.  More specifically he was talking about eating meat versus not eating meat.  Some believers thought that eating meat was a sin, and some thought that it was perfectly fine to eat.  Paul taught that neither of those things mattered.  What was important was that the work of God be not hindered because of a difference of opinion.

Was he wrong for believing that God had delivered him, even though others may not have?  Of course not.  Was it wrong for him to decree and declare the changes he wanted to see in his life as a result of his deliverance, even though others may not have understood?  Absolutely not.  I do think his declaration would have been better suited for the privacy of his own home, in the privacy of the pastor’s office, or at the very least stated without the amplification of the microphone because quite frankly the vast majority of onlookers were focused on his past shame (and his grammar) and not his present victory or his future success.  In other words, they were focused on what he was delivered from with no regard for the fact that he was now free from it.

So what’s the lesson in all of this for you and me?  Not everybody can handle your testimony.  God does miraculous things for His children that should be shared, but some things are better left between you and God, at least until we are at a point of totally walking in the deliverance we’ve received.  This is for our benefit because the last thing we need is for someone else who doesn’t believe to impose their non-belief on us.

I’m not judgin’.  I’m just saying’.

What about you?  Have you ever shared your beliefs or a resolve change something in your life with others and then been criticized for it?

Girl, Take Your Power Back!

     The other morning while on car duty at work, I had a very interesting conversation with a sixth grade girl.  Usually when dropped off at school this young girl would say good morning and walk right on by me with her book bag rolling behind her.  But this morning was different.  She decided she would stay outside with me while waiting on a particular friend of hers to arrive.  This friend was a sixth grade boy who she said she likes and has liked for years.  She was waiting on him so they could walk in and sit together before school began. 

     I was intrigued by her loyalty to this male “friend,” so I probed a little.  “Does he know you like him?” I asked.

     “Yeah, he knows,” she said proudly.  “The whole school knows by now.”

     “So how does he treat you since he knows?’  “Does he still hang out with you?”

     “Oh he still talks to me, but he has a girlfriend,” she said as an after thought.

     At that point I wanted to tell her, “Gal, get your behind in that building, and leave that boy alone!” but I contained myself and inquired a bit more.

     “So how does it make you feel knowing that he has a girlfriend?” I asked.

     “Umm, it’s okay,” she said shrugging her shoulders.  “I’m just waiting for them to break up.”

     With that, I realized that even from a young age many girls develop unhealthy views of relationships.  Why would she think that it’s okay to throw yourself in the path of someone who doesn’t have her to think about?  Can’t she see how foolish that appears?  Obviously not because she waited and waited for her long-time crush to arrive.

Sadly, she is not the only one.  I think we have all been there a time or two, but praise be to God I received a revelation that set me free.  Ladies, calmly think about this.

     Your happiness has much to do with the decisions you make regarding your relationships.  Make the choice that you will not settle for less than you deserve, which is God’s best.  I do not believe that God’s best involves you playing second fiddle to another woman or being in some man’s back pocket at his disposal.  That’s the devil!  You are worth so much more than that.  If you are the virtuous woman that the Bible speaks of, then your price is far above rubies.  Now what fool is going to carry around a jewel that precious along with his pocket lint?  Just like his jeans, he taking you through the ringer.  It may sound funny, but I’m being real.  

     Don’t let your desire for a man rule over you and control you.  Have the desire because it’s natural, but don’t let it have  you.  Being in that state of mind is sin.  I had to come to this realization as a single woman too.  My deliverance came from the Word of God.  In James 1:14-15 says “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”  Now a lust is simply a desire gone haywire.  So quite naturally and according to divine providence we all have the desire for loving companionship.  It goes with the territory.  But God never intended for the desire to turn to lust–a lust that will make you do just about anything to fulfill itself.  Once that lust has taken root in us, it causes us to sin.  I’m not just speaking of sexual sin, even though that definitely applies.  I’m also speaking of manipulation, lies, deception, and anything else we do to get who we claim is our man.  The Bible clearly defines sin as anything that is not of faith, so if you find yourself calculating the man’s every move and figuring out ways to throw yourself in his path, then you are definitely not trusting in the true and living God.  You are trusting in your own selfish devices.  Now you tell me, if by chance you do catch the man, how can a relationship birthed in sin live and thrive? 

     The great news is what the next two verses in James have to say…”Do not err, my beloved brethren.  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”  In other words, do not mistake God.  He has the good and perfect gift that you need.  He’s not like that man who can’t make up his mind about you–fickle and indecisive.  He is constant, steady, and unchanging. 

Take your power and your dignity back, let the Lord have His way and give Him the reigns of your heart. 

I’m not judgin’.  I’m just sayin’.

Let me know what your thoughts are on this subject.

Moving on from Your Past

Asking if a person can move on from their past is like asking can a person get over an infection.  Why do I say this?  Because like an infection, past experiences can be overcome if dealt with or treated properly.  If left untreated or treated improperly though, it can linger and breed more problems for you in the long run.

Let’s look at the case of a bacterial infection.  When we are diagnosed with some type of infection, the doctor usually prescribes an antibiotic to rid our bodies of it.  With the prescription comes specific instructions such a,s take all of the medication even if you begin to feel better; take for a specific number of days and at specific times of the day; and take before or after meals.  These instructions must be followed for best results to occur.  What ‘s also important to note is that misuse of an antibiotic can develop a resistance, making it harder to treat future infections.

Okay, so how does this relate to a past that keeps haunting you or that people keep throwing in your face?  How you deal with your past is just as important as how you deal with an infection.  You can’t just ignore it as if it never happened or pretend that it is not affecting you when you know deep down that it really is.

Here are some things that may help to free you from the “dis-ease” of your past.

  • Get to the root of the problem.  Don’t just try to deal with the symptoms.  You need to know who and what from your past is the source of your present pain.  Identifying or diagnosing the problem is the first step to healing because then you can begin treatment.  Prayer is a really good tool for investigating these kinds of things.  If you ask, the Holy Spirit will reveal it to you. (John 14:26)
  • Learn to forgive.  If someone from your past is the source of your pain, treat it by giving it a good ol’ dose of forgiveness.  Not only does it set them free from the charge you are holding against them, but it sets you free as well.  Unforgiveness is bondage–not for the unforgiven, but for the unforgiver!  Again, there is help for those who feel that forgiveness is impossible based on the severity of the offense.  This may help–Jesus forgives any and all offenses, great, small, and in between–the ones committed by you and me. (Eph. 4:32)
  • Make peace with yourself.  Once you’ve released the offender(s) through forgiveness, now make peace with yourself.  Yeah, it happened, but do not allow yourself to wallow in the memories of it by meditating on it or talking about it.  This only leads to pity parties, and trust me no one wants to be invited to that gathering.  Do what the Word of God advises, be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom. 12:2).  Let God’s Word change the way you think about the past.  No one said it better than Joseph after all he endured at the hands of his brothers, “You thought evil against me, but God meant it for good. (Gen. 50:20)  He has a way of making all things, not just some things, but all things work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Rom. 8:28)
  • Fight to stay free.  When the urge to resent comes knocking on your door, especially when you are in the presence of the one you’ve forgiven, do all you can to maintain your new position.  Cast down every thought (you will have them) and every evil imagination (they will come) that sets itself up against the true knowledge of God, and lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ. (2 Cor. 10:5)  Additionally, how you deal with your past is how you will deal with your future when it eventually becomes your past. 

Proper use of the steps shared above will help to make your past a thing of the past.  Applied daily and with fervency, this can heal a multitude of hurt and help prevent further injury.

I’m not judgin’. I’m just sayin’. 

Can anyone help extend my metaphor even further?  I welcome your input.

Written by Briana Whitaker

http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu/handouts/antibiotics_qa.html