Mornings Are Better When You Start Them With God

How far can a car go with an empty gas tank? not very far I imagine. 

How can you get to your destination without directions? You can’t, you’ll be lost.

It’s important to begin each day with God because it sets the tone for the day. Starting the day with a heart of gratitude and peace of mind makes a big difference in the entire day. I found that on the days I did not start with God, I would be more irritable, bothered, annoyed, frustrated or hopeless.  This makes sense! Since my guards were down, the enemy was able to work and move things in my life for his enjoyment. He would send distractions my way because he knew that the word of God was not on my mind.

The word of God is food for the soul. You must  fuel in your soul and prepare to take on each day by spending time with God. In order for you to know where you are going you must have direction. Beginning each day with God allows Him to work in your mind to bring clarity and guidance throughout your day. His word is a seed that gets planted in your heart and will fight off any ungodly or self-defeating thoughts that may try to enter your mind. Today, spend time with God in prayer and see how the rest of your day unfolds!

Here is my morning with God! Make sure to subscribe to the YouTube Channel: SmileWithFaith 🙂

Are You Serving God Out of Love or Fear ?

Most religions are fear based. They set up their own rituals, laws and practices. Religion teaches people to form a relationship based on man’s work rather than based on God’s gift, Jesus. These man-made religions define specific behaviors, traits and attitudes one must abide by. If an individual does not meet these standards they are subject to be condemned, shamed or excluded from the group. These fear tactics set by religions have been taught from  generation to generation, passed down blindly.

The blind leading the blind.

Religion has allowed people to live a facade by pretending to be something they are not. These practices have caused individuals to act one way in front of believers but live differently behind closed doors. Religion is founded on fear to ensure that people do not break away from these worldly traditions. They tell you what is acceptable to eat, wear or how to spend your time. Yet, they don’t show you God’s truth and ways. Religion keeps people trapped in a cult mindset.

Here’s the catch . . . God knows the heart.

Do you serve God out of love? Is your worship from the heart?  Do you feel at peace in prayer or remorse in repentance? Are you filled with joy when giving thanks to The Lord?  Are you a cheerful giver? Do you seek God in the midst of trouble or express gratitude when blessings come? Do you have a relationship with Jesus?  If you serve God out of love than the answers to each of these questions will be YES.

Do you serve God out of fear? Do you attend church because you are forced? Do you pray in disbelief ? Do you confess your sins and continue the same sinful behaviors? Are you living with secrets? Do you feel that you would be judged by others? Have you participated in religious practices but don’t really understand why? If you serve God out of fear than the answer to any of these questions would be YES.

The fear of The Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Just as any parent/child relationship there is a healthy dose of fear. Fear of God is knowing who HE is. God is the creator of the Universe. He knew you before you were born. He designed a path of prosperity for your life. His ways are good and perfect. Fearing The Lord is knowing His power and abilities. God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.

Serving God out of fear will produce bad fruit. Repetitive prayer, lack of knowledge or worshipping false idols can stem from serving God out of fear. God doesn’t want us to serve him out of fear, he wants us to serve him from our hearts with genuine intent. The good news is … God still loves you and you have the ability to seek him. In today’s prayer, ask God to reveal to you the ways of which you are serving him. It is never too late to transform your mind and renew your heart. Let’s start serving God out of Love with a foundation of fear! 

IF YOU FAIL UNDER PRESSURE, YOUR STRENGTH IS TOO SMALL

Pressure is a heavy burden. It weighs on your conscious affecting self-esteem, thoughts and behaviors. It can make you feel worthless or unappreciated. It is a lingering feeling that will not seem to go away until you reach the breaking point of giving up. On the contrary, pressure can help build motivation to succeed. After all, diamonds are formed when exposed to extremely high pressure

Pressure has the ability to pull you away or push you towards success. Failure is a result from pressure but victory can also be an outcome. In Proverbs 24:10, the book of wisdom, it reminds us that strength and pressure go hand in hand. If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small. How can you build up your strength in order to avoid failure? First, remember whose you are not who you are. You are a child of God. You have been given power, authority and victory. God has already given you strength to endure, you just have to dig deep and find it. You have the ability to succeed, simply because God is on your side. If God is for us, who can ever be against us? [Romans 8:31].

Failure is never an option for a Believer because it is not written in their will. Although, God’s will for your life is to be successful that does not mean things will come easy. In fact, you may fail the first, second or third time you try to start a business or create an invention but through trial and error, your strength will be built. As the great Cardi B from the Bronx once said, “Knock me down nine times but I get up ten”.

You are not a quitter. You are an achiever.

You are not a failure. You are successful.

You are not weak. You are made strong.

I can go on and on about how God has equipped you with the tools to succeed under pressure, but do you believe it?

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” – James 1:12

Shades of Blue: Lies, Deception and Murder!

Okay . . . So, maybe not murder but the title sure does paint the picture. For the past couple of days I have been binge watching the show ‘Shades of blue” an American drama series starring Jennifer Lopez. The show is about a ‘single mother who runs with a group of dirty cops, taking her cut of the bribes and protection money to give her bright and promising daughter the best life possible and a leg up for a better future’.

In every episode you think there is no way it could get any worse . . . and then it does. After the seasons finale of season 2, I began to trace back to how the characters got to this point. Where did things go wrong? Could lives have been saved? Could families have stayed together? then it hit me . . . the only way things could have changed is if LIES were not planted in the very first episode of the series.

The problem with a lie is that it will always come to surface. There is no such thing as ‘covering up’ or ‘hiding’ from the truth. My mother used to always tell me “you can tell me the truth now or I’ll find out next week, next month or in 10 years.” The thought of ‘I’ll rather wait the 10 years than confess’, crossed my mind several times as a teenager but the guilt of lying was too strong and I would always end up confessing. My mother was right, what is done in the dark will eventually come to light.

The problem with lying to others is not about others, it is about you. We think that keeping a secret shows loyalty and sometimes that could be true but mostly we are participating in hiding the truth. Others may not know that you know, but God knows you knew (a little tongue twister there lol). The point is, God knows the truth. For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done? [Proverbs 24:12]. 

Lying is a snowball effect just as in Shades of Blue. One lie begins than another lie is needed to cover up the first lie . . . by the time you know it, you are 20 episodes in and there are just too many lies to keep up with. Relationships are damaged, reputations are destroyed and guilt is hovering over you like a dark cloud stealing your peace of mind. Lying is the language of The Devil, there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies [John 8:44].

As Believers, we are called to live in the will of God. We are given authority and power through the words we speak. We have a responsibility to plant seeds of truth and righteousness by our vocabulary. A lie may seem tempting at the moment and an easy escape but the end path will always lead you down destruction. Satan sends temptation but Jesus gave us a way out. Living under the covenant of grace allows us to be free from lies, deception and all things associated with the enemy. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness [Romans 6:18].

The truth shall set you free . . . 

 

SmileWithFaith’s GIVEAWAY, 3 Winners, 3 Simples Steps, ENTER NOW

Dear Faith Fam,

SmileWithFaith has launched it’s first ever Giveaway and you can be a winner! Follow the instructions in the image below to secure your entry in the contest. The prizes include SmileWithFaith merch and a featured book in the #ReadingWithFaith bookclub. The deadline is approaching fast so make sure to follow, subscribe and post using the hashtag #SmileWithFaith before it is too late. Good Luck to everyone!

p.s

Tag a friend, tell a friend and share with your family. All ages can participate!

Sincerely,

The SmileWithFaith Teamm

Victory Depends On Having Many Advisors

“In order to be wise, one must know that he knows nothing at all.” – wisdom

This is a quote I have been living by for the past couple of years. It reminds me to stay humble. It is confirmation that I do need advisors and people of wisdom in my life. Yes, I am smart and know many things. However, the world is so complex and filled with many things it would be impossible to know ALL things. In fact, if I were to claim that I knew everything, I’d be claiming to be God. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice [Proverbs 12:15].

There is a difference between knowledge and wisdom. One can be knowledgable and have an understanding of science, math or economics. But, wisdom is acquired through personal experiences, testimonies and the grace of God. Wisdom is a spiritual gift that comes from above. One major aspect of receiving wisdom is having wise counsel. The people that surround us are our counsel. These are the folks we seek advice from, learn from and aspire to become. Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed [Proverbs 15:22].

The purpose of having advisors is to provide guidance. But, you must be smart and ensure the members you add to your counsel are bringing wisdom with them. After all, you can have whoever you want in your circle but if they encourage you to do unrighteous things or act on impulse, they will not lead you down the path of victory. Any advisor you have in your life must have a personal relationship with God. How can someone guide you if they lack guidance in their own life? The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction [Proverbs 1:7].

For years, I prayed for Godly friends, mentors and wise counsel. Today, I am grateful to say that my prayers have been answered. Each time I prayed for positive god-fearing people in my life, a new one entered. I am blessed to have mighty prayer warriors and mentors full of wisdom in my life. When I need a word of encouragement or have a question about faith, I can trust that the members of my counsel will lead me down the right path. Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand [Proverbs 19:20-21].


Self-reflection Questions

  1. Do I have a wise counsel?
  2. Who are members of my advisory?
  3. Can I trust my counsel to lead me down a path of victory?
  4. Are their people in my circle that are hindering me rather than helping me?
  5. Is it time for God to remove/add people into my life?
  6. Who can I call when I have a question about the bible?
  7. Do I have friends who can pray for me?

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

Do You Have A Rich or Poor Mindset?

What is the difference between a rich person and a poor person?
It’s not the amount of money in their bank accounts or their ability to make money. It’s not their network or assets. It is not even their family inheritance or environment.
The difference is their mindset.
A rich person will look at something and say ‘What can I do to afford this?” && a poor person will look at something and simply say “I can’t afford this”
Whatever you condition your mind to believe is what you will receive.
If you say “I can’t afford to go on a vacation” or “I can’t start a business because I don’t have enough money”, you are already limiting yourself. If you already said it, that becomes your reality. If you don’t want it to manifest in your life, don’t speak it out of your mouth.
You have the power to speak and declare what you want to manifest within your life.
Start by speaking life and opportunity over your life. God will never give you a vision, you are incapable of fulfilling. Your vision may seem so big and out of reach because God wants you to depend on him for it to come to pass.
How can God work in your life if you can fulfill your visions without needing him?
Everything you are going through now is preparing for you for your next chapter in life. You are currently going through something because of what you prayed for long ago. Life is a process. God is trying to break off the limitations you have set in your mind.
Lean not on your own understanding and keep a rich mindset.
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