Adapting to Change ,
Many people believe that there is nothing new under the sun; although those are simply the words of King Solomon and nothing more. There is something new in each day; there is His grace and there is His mercy. And with that there too is the increase in capacity to love. As everything around us changes; we have choices about how we respond. And when that change is to a heart of love we all benefit.
You see; there is always change. It doesn’t matter in what way; there is. Change is everyday life. How you handle it is completely up to you. You can resist it all you like; and in the end what will it gain you? Change is there. Naomi turned Mara It is up to you to decide what you allow in your heart and how you move in that change; whatever it is. Many are demonstrating that they wish to have no love and no wish for it but rather are choosing unforgiveness, resentment bitterness, pride and more. Let us move to the scripture where it reads plainly: “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” Proverbs 10:12. It is very telling where the hearts of people are and on this day let it be that of love. If you want radical change in your life, your family, your community, your state, your country then you must move with and in a heart turned toward love. Period.
In accepting change, know it can be challenging at various times and it mostly proves so when we look inward and focus on ourselves. There is no freedom in self or self-focus. There never has been nor will there ever be. If there were no person would ever need Jesus.
As we grasp that in order for us to move forward in change in our lives we must seek the real issue and stop focusing on the symptoms of the issue otherwise we will never change for the better. We can no longer stand up to the future focusing on the past that most of were not even alive to experience. We can no longer punish those standing next to us for what they neither were alive for to even be witness to. No. We simply cannot.
What we must do is forgive. We must claim that our love for one another is greater than the hatred we have been breeding. We must stand and say that while the past hurt we forgive it. We must if want to live. We must stand united and say that there is change today and while it may not be the change that everyone wants – it is change. And no change is not easy.
We must forgive those next to us who have walked in hatred and resentment for they know not what they do. We must forgive ourselves for what we have allowed into our hearts that have been the example others have followed. And we must recognize that until we start being the example of love- we can’t expect others to get there. We must recognize that we all have a responsibility as Christians to be obedient to God’s commands which are not minced: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30 These words begin with a heart focus on God and that is where we must turn- and stay; and for the benefit of our lives and for those of our children.
For more about growing in Christ visit www.julieblair.com
Julie Blair went from homeless to hope-filled in Christ. Her tv and radio program Living in Forgiveness airs daily to 3B worldwide.
Image belongs to its owner.
It’s a funny life to live being in ministry without growing up in the church, having no desire to be in church; and not knowing what any of it would be like. My best guess is that God knew if I knew beforehand I would simply have told Him, ‘No thank You. What else do you have in store for m?’ NEXT! I say that with all seriousness as I truly had no idea yet I thank God for His protection that keeps me strong with each passing day.
And so in a conversation with someone recently we talked about how the church changed over the generations- to which was amusing because of my level of ignorance of it all. This man has been in ministry about 60 years so he knows a thing or two. Me; well I grew up Catholic. I never owned a Bible yet went to private Catholic school. Not only this; my adoptive parents did the church renovations and I was an alter girl so needless to say I had my overfill of religion.
I did go years later to a charismatic church and I had never seen anything like it. So many people doing all those weird things; their arms in the air, some running around, and people of every color. I didn’t know what to think to say the least. It was like seeing Vegas I guess for the first time. You just don’t know what to look at first- or if you should look at all. I did go back although never became a member because I didn’t understand why I needed to give them my address. Why did they need to know where I lived? I didn’t get it. That was my level of ignorance that I brought to the table.
Years late and thousands of hours with the Lord I started growing in this thing called ministry. It was life changing; and in ways that I truly did not expect. There are so many things that if I knew I would not be here today. Again; it’s only God’s hand on me that has me here and for that I am grateful. When I look at the Pharisees and what they are about really wasn’t just them back in the day behaving as though they did; it’s no different today. My guess is that we always will be in some form or fashion. In fact you may be one; but we won’t tell. Let’s identify just a few things that Pharisees did then that are still done today. I share these things so that you too can be free to just be you and who God created you to be:
- You hold people to your own higher than the Bible standards. It’s amazing how many people have told me that if you are woman in heels you just can’t love the Lord. I laugh. I didn’t use to. Oh yes; you can’t wear that, say that, do that, eat that, hang around ‘those’ people, go there, live there; read that version of the Bible, and the list goes on. I can tell you brothers and sisters; if you have fallen under this by anyone- rebuke it and run! It will only steal from you as it did me for many years and I certainly do not want you to give way to the bondage it breeds. If you are forcing others to follow only the rules and regulations that others have forced on you; perhaps you are a Pharisee and just haven’t yet been free. It’s time to just be free in Christ. Then read 1 Sam 16:7 , ‘But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” Imagine that.
- You follow man-made traditions more-so than the teachings of Jesus and the Bible. Oh yes you have your traditions and they carry more weight than anything Jesus said. You may be aware of what Jesus said; but what you do and how it was done in the past just means more. Matthew 15:6 identifies it clearly, “…Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.” What man made traditions do you currently follow that aren’t even in the Bible? Do you know? Time to find out! You just may be making life more difficult for yourself trying to keep up. Let it go and just live.
- You seek the opinion of man more-so than the Word of God. Man will always have an opinion; just ask him. (man being Biblically gender identified as man and woman) Just because man has opinion means nothing more than this. The pharisees upheld their own ideas and opinions as the truth though the Lord Jesus was right in front of them speaking Truth but they were so blind they could not see it. The modern day Pharisee will spend more time sharing and seeking man’s ideas and justifying them for purpose of self-righteousness rather than humbling themselves to the Word of God which is Truth. It’s hard to grasp that man’s opinions are just that; opinions. God’s Word is Truth. (and I’m not going to argue that as you can just go to God for that one.)
- The purpose for glorification is about self. Your focus is about you for you and you make sure everyone knows it. When you are about you; others will see it. How much you give, how often and long you fast, how many Psalms you have memorized and the list goes on. Where is your focus will always be identified. I often ask my coaching clients this one question: ‘Are you using your platform to build your audience or your audience to build your platform’? The response says everything. The Pharisees were all about self and making sure everyone knew how great they were and if you are too; then perhaps ask the Lord to reveal new areas of life to you as it will be refreshing to you and everyone around you.
- You feel better knowing you aren’t like ‘that person’. Oh yes it’s everywhere. The moment that you are thankful you aren’t someone else or that your ministry isn’t like that person’s you entered into a level of comparison and judgment. You have just elevated yourself to a status that you really are not at. You are not any better than the person with the larger or smaller ministry. You are no better than the person with the smaller bank account. You are no better than the single man or woman. You simply are not. And the moment you feel better about not being someone else is the moment you aren’t thanking God for who He created you to be and that open door is one that the enemy can taint in more ways than most realize. Wouldn’t it be sad to learn from the Lord that that person you were judging was more Christian than you think you are? Yeah- so don’t even open the door.
- You are offended easily. Oh yes; it’s so funny to read all about the Pharisees who were just fit to be tied. Why on earth; think about this- would so many people be offended by what someone else says that isn’t even to them? It’s like going to a Trump Rally to be offended on purpose and then blaming him for what he is saying. Ummm…. hello. Get a clue. Your offense is your problem and if you are living offended it’s just something to talk to God about. The Pharisees probably would have enjoyed life more if they weren’t so offended and uptight. You being offended is making everything about you and well; it just isn’t. Jesus died on the cross- not you. It’s just life so just get over it and start enjoying yourself.
- You love to argue because you believe you are right. It’s amazing to me how much Christians like or rather; love to argue- and with each other. I had absolutely no idea! I also had no clue entering into this life that Christians love to do it so much to prove themselves right and so blatantly while not grasping the reality that someone doesn’t have to be wrong in order for you to be right. It’s all ok. The Pharisees just loved the argument and for what reason? You arguing louder doesn’t change the content of the argument. You calling other pastors, ministers or anyone else names doesn’t make you right. It just doesn’t. Seriously- what is the fuss about? Ok- so you are right? What does that change? Did you bring someone to Christ? Oh- you didn’t? No you just are right in your own mind for your self-glorification and elevation. Now isn’t that special? The Pharisees are those who just love calling out others who just don’t agree with them and here me clearly Saints- it does no one any good. In fact; it proves what everyone else says! It’s ok to just be you, be wrong and be happy.
In the end it’s really simple. If you are a Christian just focus on the Lord and follow the plan for your life that He has for you. Know that it won’t look like the plan of anyone else because it’s not supposed to. Thank God that He created you for such a time and place as this; that every need you have it met and that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. Know that apart from Him you can do no good thing and that as you take every thought captive while seeking His Kingdom everything in your life will change. And you will be free; simple to be you and live.
Julie Blair went from homeless to hope-filled in Christ. She helps people be delivered and overcome issues in life so they can be free in Christ. Her radio program ‘Living in Forgiveness’ airs daily to 3B worldwide. Watch tonight at 9:30pm on the UANetwork. Check your local listing. For more visit www.julieblair.com
Image belongs to its owner.
It’s funny; well actually sad when I ask people the question of what God or god they are serving. Most just say; “Well-God”; yeah big red truck right? Others say “My pastor says” and still others just look at me with a question of disgust as if I should already know-yet they never ask the question. So I ask you what God are you serving?
You see; you may think you are serving the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob yet does your life reflect it? Or does the Lord come after as in after school, after work, after church, after football; after you fill in the blank.
I thought for so long that I was serving God; I honestly did. I went to church every Sunday. Yep. I sure did. I sat there and I even took notes. Boy was I such a server of the Lord. Yet in all that what did my life actually look like? It reflected the god I truly was serving. And yours does too.
I recall listening to a pastor from Inda years ago talk about how America and its people believe they have no idols or others gods and how wrong that actually was. He went on to share the judgmental ways of the Hindus who have many gods and I thought that too was of interest. As I tuned him out I reflected on all the gods that are in America that we don’t realize are gods that are idolized. Look around. Again- look around. Here are some of the fake, false gods that are served daily and all with blinders on:
1- The god of food. If you happen to live in Dallas you are blessed with more than 27k restaurants in Dallas county alone. People eat on their way to eating, on their way to shopping, on their way to the shooting range and then on their way home from it all. Food has never been more of a topic in any of the places I have lived in the US or outside the US as it has been in Dallas. It’s about food and of course to be hip and cool you must be a foodie. So there is your god. Enjoy and add extra sauce.
2- the god of time. Are you ruled by the clock? Every waking moment focused on how you are doing this minute compared to the next all in preparation for that next one. And of course the time put into something just to idolize how much time it took to be that expert and in less time than others because others just weren’t as effective with their time to be able to do what you were in less time. Being ruled by a clock simply means it is what is governing you; and most often not even to your acknowledgement.
3- the god of self- While this should be an obvious one; deception is a funny thing. In today’s current society everything is all about self. Self magazine, self-made millionaire, self-embodiment, self-motivated, self-started, self-image; you get the idea. The god of self has more worshiping and idolizing themselves above all which of course is contrary to the Word of God but hey in a selfie world if you are going to pick a god you may as well be it right?
4- the god of titles– Oh yes the titles! The world just loves titles. Everyone must have a title as your name just isn’t enough. Oh no not for today’s society. The love of titles just separates everyone from the next and aren’t we all so important being able to be identified by our titles? When did your title become the identifying facet of who God created you to be? I don’t remember Jesus or Paul carrying cards around with fancy 15 word titles just to prove their importance do you? Yet the love of the title just in recent times appears to be the identity of most. I even remember listening to a pastor tell some business owners that his wife was to only be called by her title because that who she was. Now how sad is that not only that he thought of his wife as nothing more than a man-made religious title but that he too expected everyone else around him to diminish her as well. All in the name of the title that we don’t even realize carries less value that we the people. Who would you be if your title were removed?
5- the god of sports– There was a day when people went to church on Sunday but that was before sports became the god of many families. The church has such tried to compete while just bring your sport to church day instead of saying something like ‘pick your God’ but that would be too easy and what church wants to lose those tithes and offerings right? So let’s just bring in all in and everyone wins. Make no choice just serve all the gods and do it together. Now in all seriousness we can mock it but it still remains a fact that sports in America and probably in your city is a god for many. How many millions of people plants their behinds in front of a screen to watch men run around with a ball all Sunday? All Saturday? Thursday night? Friday night for the young men? Saturday morning? Saturday afternoon? Monday night? Does it end? Nope. It never will until; well the NFL goes bankrupt but that won’t stop anything because pickleball may just be the next best thing. It does really matter what it is because the fact that it is is what is important. The god of sports steals from the lives of many without even their real acknowledgement. One only need to look at the amount of money spent at the local bar on any given Sunday to see what was stolen. Or as those Olympians what their childhood was like and you’ll find out what god was served. There is always a god of sports lurking and more agents to help you find one if you are in need. Now with anything; it’s not to say sports are all evil it’s the mere statement of it being a god that is what will separate you from the One and Only living God.
6- The god of materialism- The acquisition of stuff has never been as high as it has been in recent years. Prior to credit cards people used cash. How ignorant were they? Now; the average American carries 16k in credit card debt. If you have a 1k credit card balance and pay the monthly amount it will take 10 years to pay it off. But have no worry- that item for the first 20 minutes you owned it was surely awesome! Our society has been duped into thinking that more will be more pleasing when in fact that the ideology will only prove to keep you serving a god of death to your finances. The greatest industry ever in innovation in my opinion is that of the storage industry. How many millions of people pay to store stuff they aren’t using?! The average storage unit cost in America is now $70.00/mo with an annual total of $840 not including any fees. That is just one year except most people don’t pay for just one year. Oh no- it’s more than that. So as a result the god of materialism sucks people into a false idea that more means more and yes it does- more maintenance, more cleaning, more stress, more servant-hood to it all. The US has more shopping acreage across its land than any other country in the entire world. It’s wonderful although at what cost? Are your pursuits of material accumulation keeping you from actually serving the God who can change your life and your bank account in more positive ways than last years Prada?
In the end; what God are you serving? The Bible is pretty clear, ‘This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.’ (Deu 30:19) In that you and your children will live. It’s time to set aside everything else that has been a god and let the One and Only God take the place that is rightly His in your life. Then you will be serving Him above all.
To grow in Christ visit www.julieblair.com
Julie Blair hosts a tv and radio program ‘Living in Forgiveness’ that airs daily to approximately 3B people worldwide. Tune in tonight for a new episode on the UANetwork at 9:30pm CST. Check your local listing.