Beyond righteousness

I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! Philippians 3:8‭-‬11

We are studying Philipians in the Wednesday noon bible study class I go to at church. This verse really spoke to me. I have been thinking about this concept for a while since I started my identity in Christ.

I spoke the other day about being truly Free. Being free is really about going deeper with God than just following the rules.

I used to focus a lot on following the rules. On making sure I was doing everything I was told to do. In some ways that is easier, you have a checklist to follow and you just do it. Relationship doesn’t necessarily play a role in that.

As I learned more about my identity in Christ, I realized its bigger than just following rules. Not just being blameless, but truly unlearning what I thought was right and really pursuing to know who God is and once I know truly who he is, I can better know who I am as well. I’m in a good space, but then I saw this verse and realized I still am missing something.

I am missing power. I know the power is there, waiting to be tapped into. I know God has great plans for me. He gave me the tools to do the things he called me to do. The bible says we have power and authority and victory. I’m not talking prosperity gospel stuff, but just genuine power to change the trajectory of our lives with Jesus help. If Christ was raised from the dead and we have the same power. Is there anything we can’t do?

When you look at things this way, I can do all things through Christ takes on a whole new meaning. Philippians 4:13

Joyce Meyer says that a lot of Christians will make it to heaven but they won’t have much fun on the way. The bible says that God wants us to live life to the full. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

The thief has stolen to much from me already. I never knew what I could really do, because I allowed him to take my past circumstances and use them against me, to limit what God could do because I didn’t realize the power I had.

Don’t let the thief take anything else from you. Tap in the power you have. Use it live life abundantly. If you are doing anything other than living life abundantly, you are short changing yourself and not receiving all God has for you.

Free

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. Ephesians 1:7 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/eph.1.7.NLT. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. John 8:36 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/jhn.8.36.NLT I have been studying my identity in Christ and one of the things that we have is freedom. I’ve looked at it literally like free from sin which is true but lately I’ve taken another look at it.

How to get out of your own way

I’m free to be me. I’m free to be the person God made me to be. I’m free from my past, from mistakes, from other people’s opinions, from my own expectations, from having to be perfect. None of it is necessary. I’m free to fail if need be. I’m free from timelines. I’m free from who I used to be, how I used to think, how I used to live. I’m free to go out and live life to the full. I’m not weighed down by anything.

If we can get that in our in head and in our heart, we will go far. We would be able to accomplish anything we went out here to do.

Take this with you as move through out the week. When your own expectations try to stop you, or you feel afraid, remind yourself you are free. Nothing can hold you back but you.

Blameless

One of the first things you see in the post, How to live a blessed life, is about being blameless. What is blameless though? I always thought blameless was never making mistakes or being a perfect Christian. However that’s not true.

Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
Psalms 15:2 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.15.2.NLT

Blameless means no willful sin. Not intentionally going out and acting reckless. Not knowing the right thing to do and deciding to do the wrong thing anyway. It’s about integrity. How you live when nobody is watching.

I would also say blameless is not just about not doing the wrong thing when we know the right thing to do. Its more about when you do the wrong thing you talk to God about it, ask for forgiveness and move on. Shaming yourself and feeling guilty is not being blameless.

Some examples of blameless people in the bible, Noah who got drunk and passed out in his yard. Our guy David from the Psalm we talked about earlier. He slept with a mans wife and then killed him to try and cover it up.

Those guys did bad things but their hearts were always after God. Their intentions were to please God, even if they made some mistakes.

Let’s all try to be a little blameless this week in not only our thoughts but our actions as well.

How to get out of your own way

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT https://bible.com/verse-of-the-day/2ti.1.7/17250

@marcinevin Twitter

When I look at this list I see a lot of things that I have done in the past or still continue to do. Do you see anything that you do?

Do you want to be better disciplined? Ask God to help. He gave self discipline to us as a gift when he gave us the Holy Spirit. Its inside of us waiting to be used, we just have to ask. Everything you need to be great is already within you.

I think all the things on this list boil down to Fear. Fear gets me every time. I’ll have an idea that I like but I will scared that it will fail, that people won’t like it, that its not good enough. God didn’t give us a spirit of fear. He tells us all the time to that he will be with us. If he is with us what do we have to be scared about? I’m sure you see all the time, do it afraid. My girl (in my head) Joyce Meyer, just wrote a book called Do it Afraid. I haven’t read it, but I’m sure its good. lol

That’s how you get out of your own way. Do it anyway. Stop trying to be in control of every moment. Stop thinking of the worst possible outcomes. Start thinking of all the things that could go right. Reward yourself along the way. Don’t stop just because it gets hard. If you get off track, get back on. Its never to late to start over, change your mind, switch it up. Be kind to yourself.

These are the things we have to do if we really want to tap into our greatness. We can’t do it on our own. You can’t stop years of wrong thinking by deciding to just start thinking more positively. We have to ask God to help us. To walk beside us. We need to tell him I’m ready. I’m ready for the challenge, I’m ready for the pain. I’m ready for whatever you want to give me, however you want to stretch me until I’m operating at my best capacity. Until I am doing what you called me to do.

Temple Of Geek fight battle rey lets do this GIF
giphy.com

Prayer

Lord, You died for me to live life to the full. Your children shouldn’t have imposter syndrome we are daughters/sons of a king. Everything I need to be great you equipped me to do. Because you love me. You decided what you wanted me to do before I was born and then put together the entire thing while I was still in my mothers womb. Help me get out of my own way. Help me water the seeds of greatness you already planted inside me. Help me stay steadfast and rely on you, not on me. In Jesus name. Amen


Resources

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/tired-of-self-sabotage-how-to-get-out-of-your-own-way/ https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/10-ways-get-out-your-own-way-and-get-things-done.html https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/living-finesse/202006/how-recognize-and-defuse-self-sabotage

Impostor syndrome

 Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. ‘Imposters’ suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence. They seem unable to internalize their accomplishments, however successful they are in their field. High achieving, highly successful people often suffer, so imposter syndrome doesn’t equate with low self-esteem or a lack of self-confidence. In fact, some researchers have linked it with perfectionism, especially in women and among academics. (Hbr.org)

imposter syndrome

My impostor type is the perfectionist. I have talked before about trying to work on my perfectionism. I didn’t realize that this was a part of impostor syndrome. Honestly, I see myself in quite a few of these examples. 

I came across this verse while I have been studying my identity in Christ. I have been learning who God says I am to combat a lot of things that I have been dealing with in my life. More on that in later posts, but my research and studying has been super helpful.

When I saw this verse, I read it in a few different translations, the best version being in The Message version. Check it out.

We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. 

2 Corinthians 3:4‭-5 NLT 

We couldn’t be more sure of ourselves in this—that you, written by Christ himself for God, are our letter of recommendation. We wouldn’t think of writing this kind of letter about ourselves. Only God can write such a letter. His letter authorizes us to help carry out this new plan of action. The plan wasn’t written out with ink on paper, with pages and pages of legal footnotes, killing your spirit. It’s written with Spirit on spirit, his life on our lives!

2 Corinthians 3:4-6 MSG

 The Lord wrote my letter of recommendation.

Who can best that? Who better knows your skills, abilities, strengths than God? Often times people get positions because of who they know. I have hired people just on the strength of the recommender. How much better is it when God is our recommender? I know it can be scary and we might not feel like we are ready but you are. The Holy Spirit takes us beyond our natural ability. Remember your natural ability is already the bomb. That’s how you got into the room. God is just going to take you to the next level. God feels in the gaps for you. What you don’t have He will supply. You just have to take the first step.

You don’t have to bend over backwards to prove yourself if God is your recommender. Your work speaks for it self. You aren’t an impostor. You earned this!

 Don’t let anyone, not even yourself, talk you out of what God said you could already do. 


Resources

https://www.themuse.com/advice/5-different-types-of-imposter-syndrome-and-5-ways-to-battle-each-one

https://hbr.org/2008/05/overcoming-imposter-syndrome

Watch this video about impostor syndrome. Its only 4 minutes long. 

Progress over perfection

Is fear of failure selfish?

 

Making bible study interesting

When you hear bible study what do you think? Boring, hard, work, school, too difficult. Too much. Where do I start?

too much headache GIF

giphy.com

I used to feel that way about bible study. Some times I still do.

If you have been reading this blog for any period of time you would say, but Dominique you like to read. True. I do. So that helps. I bet you would like to read if it was interesting and didn’t take a long time. Bible study doesn’t have to be like being back in school. It can be as simple as you want it to be. The internet has made it a lot easier to find a method that works for you.

This is what I do. 

Pray. I don’t mean in any overly spiritual sense. Just ask God to show what he wants you to see.

Think. Think about the things you ask God when you pray. Do you ask God to bless you at work? Do you ask God to help you raise your kids? Do you ask God to help you be a better wife, partner, etc? Do you want to know God’s character or promises? You can start there.

Find. You can do this a few different ways. You can look in the bible app and they have a search option where you can type a key word and it will give you all the scriptures in the bible that relate to that word. So when I wanted to know who God is, I type it in the search box.

Tons of scripture popped up. If you’re old schooling it and reading a physical bible, it hopefully has a topic search in the back where you can look up things by subject. If you don’t have a study bible you should get one. Super helpful. They typically have reading plans to help you get started, so you aren’t just opening your bible and trying to land on something that speaks to you. I definitely used to do that. You could also go to Pintrest or Google and somebody has already did the finding for you, you just have to get your verse for the day.

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Pintrest.com livingfreeindeed.com

Write. Once you find a verse or passage that speaks to what you’re looking for, write it down. It can be in the notes app on your phone, but you want to write down what comes to your head or questions you may have so you can refer back to it later. 

Remember this:

The good thing about studying the bible is that it doesn’t have to be done in any specific way. There are tons of methods out there. 

15 minutes is a great place to start. God just wants your time and attention. Reading the bible is good but it just skims the surface. Devotionals are a great place to start if you don’t have a lot of time.

Pray and write, that’s all you have to do, everything else will fall into place.

The more you study the word of God, unlike Algebra, or OChem, the more you will want to study it and learn more. 

Don’t worry I am here to help. I am going to include  in future posts some more bible study methods and tips that will help.


Resources

Good study bibles-Quest, LifeHack, Life Application  

SOAP bible study method

11 Ways to Study the Bible: Methods, Techniques & Tips

 

 

Who is helping you grow? (27)

The godly people in the land are my true heroes! I take pleasure in them!

Psalms 16:3 NLT

https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.16.3.NLT

I came across this the other day and it was a great reminder. Who are the godly people you look up to? I’m not talking about just surrounding yourself with godly friends but actually having people around that help you grow. Do you have a Christian mentor? Do you go to Sunday school or attend a bible study? Who is helping you in your spiritual growth? Do you read books or listen to podcasts that help in your growth?

No person is an island and we all need help. The small group I am in, has changed my life for the better. These women have challenged me, inspired, informed me. They have made me a strong prayer warrior and Christian women. They have encouraged me when I didn’t think I could go forward.

If you are the smartest person you know, then you need a new circle. If you are the only person praying over your life, then you may want to get some new friends.

Who is your enemy? (26)

I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me.

Psalm 41:11 NIV

Who is my enemy? I used to read this literally, that this was talking about a actual enemy doesn’t triumph over me. For a long time I didn’t think it applied to me. I was well liked, it sounds nice but I don’t need this actual piece.

When you start asking questions like who is my enemy then you notice it is saying something deeper. If the world is my enemy then I have some work to do.

How can the world triumph over me? By making me think things of this world are acceptable to God. TV, social media, movies, magazines, etc.

People get mad because the bible doesn’t explicitly say you can’t do certain things. Children need you tell them exactly what they want you to do.God is your parent he wants you to start figuring things out for yourself. He kind of was of literal if you think about it. He said don’t be transformed by the things of this world. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2

James 4:4

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

I deal with this on a daily basis. Trying to not to conform. I don’t always do so well. I don’t want to be a nun. What is the balance? Have you found it? I think the older I get the easier it is, but it is still difficult. The method is easy, closer you are to God easier it is to be like him. The action is what is harder.

Saints walked with Jesus. You can’t cut up when you standing right next to the person who knows your intention. You can’t run or hid from. God he is compassionate. We don’t have to be saints,  he will be with you any situation if you invite him in.

 

 

The best part of waking up (5)

When you wake up in the morning what’s the first thing that comes to mind? I used to think about about my to do lists, what I needed to get done at work or at home. I read a devotional that said the first thing you should be thinking about is thanking God. Not thinking about how the day is going to go or what you have to do but just thanking God for waking you up today.

Image result for first thing in the morning thank God

I am not talking about doing a devotional this is even before you get out of bed. I thought I was doing ok because I got up everything morning and did my devotional but sometimes it would take my brain time to slow down from whatever I was laying in the bed plotting about before I started doing my devotional. This way I am in position to receive the word from God. I am not rushing through my devotional as much and it helps me connect more to the material. This literally takes no time but it changes the entire perspective of my day.

Next time you get out of bed, just thank the Lord for waking you up and for new mercies,then go do your devotional or carry on with your morning routine. See if that makes any differences for you. Let me know how it goes.

Dominique

Job 13:15

Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.
Job 13:15 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/job.13.15.NIV

This is one of my favorite verses. Many times in my life I thought God was slaying. I didn’t understand what he was doing or why. Sometimes the what would come together but the why would remain elusive. The why doesn’t really matter though. I know I am not going through half the things Job went through and God proved himself faithful then.

I like that I will surely defend my ways to his face. God isn’t afraid of confrontation or our feelings. I like that. It shows that he really wants to be our friend and not just our father. He knows what I am thinking anyway so I might as well get it out.

Things tend to always find a way to come together, better than I thought or could have imagined. God is good All the time.Even when we don’t understand, even when don’t like it, he is good. I’m so glad I have this verse as a reminder. It’s never as bad as I think it is. God won’t play me and he won’t play you either.