Greetings Love Ann Joy family and HAPPY 2017!! I am excited to be alive and well and look forward to you and I both experiencing many victories this year. How was your 2016? Well, mine was a bit challenging.
Sprinkled among my many blessings last year were times of persecution, misunderstanding, set-ups and set-backs. I spent weeks at a time feeling defeated and knocked down. It was an unfamiliar place and space and I WANTED OUT!! So I began to devise a plan to exit my current circumstances and start anew. I was convinced that God wouldn’t want me in a place where I am lied on, lied to, undermined and ridiculed. This couldn’t be His will.
Well after doing a heart, mind and Spirit check, I came to realize that while my situation was uncomfortable, it was right where God wanted me as He “refined” me for my next season in life. I realized that I was trying to define what’s right and just but had not prayed or sought biblical guidance on the matter. But I know I am not the only one. Here are four (4) indicators that you, too, may have abandoned God:
- Heart Check: If the direction you take or choices you make fail to give God the glory then you may have abandoned God. In the haste of today and the worries about tomorrow, we tend to forget that we are here for God’s glory and all that we do should be for Him. Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God (I Corinthians 10:31). So when making decisions on what to do or which direction to go, always check your heart for selfish ambitions. Not our will but God’s!
- Heart Check: If the end results or objective does not yield good fruit then you may have abandoned God. Now more than ever we should check then double check to ensure that the objective and/or end goal of all that we do yields good fruit. God’s word warns us to “walk in the Spirit so that we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish (Galatians 5: 16-18)”. The good fruit …the fruit of the Spirit we seek to yield includes love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Work of the flesh includes repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; jealousy; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; hatred; an impotence to love or be loved; dissension; divided homes and divided lives; selfish ambitions; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. Have you done a heart check? Are your actions or choices the work of the flesh or fruit of the Spirit?
- Mind Check: If you are leaning on your own understanding and not that of God, then you may have abandoned God. Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Proverbs 3:5-8
- Spirit Check: If it seems right to you but God’s word says otherwise, then you may have abandoned God. Proverbs 14:12 reads, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Satan is notorious for deception (mixing truth with lies) so it’s important that we go to God in prayer and refer to His word for His truth on a matter.