Open Doors

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Lately, I’ve been reminded of a question I asked my Catechism teacher when I was VERY young. She was telling us to listen for God’s voice and to follow it only and not to listen to the voice of the enemy. I asked how we would know the difference, and she said that we would just know. I left feeling scared, confused, and dissatisfied, for in my small mind I was thinking of the simple task of whether or not to open a door!
Her answer did not help me…at the time.

Now, at the age of 43, I realize the importance of that question…and the answer. How will we know the difference?
I’ve found that the only way to have the answer in truth is to STAY IN THE WORD.

The truth is that the only door we even have the opportunity to open is the door to our very own heart, allowing The Lord to come in.
Once that’s done, there are no more doors left for US to open…No…From that point on, He is the Door Opener…if you ask Him to be.

Allowing His Living Word to resonate within you truly gives you the ears to hear Him…drowning out the distracting voice of the enemy.

Doors are opening. Are you ready to listen only to Him? Are you ready for His Holy Spirit to lead you through each door and beyond?

There’s no need to grab for the handle. Jesus already did that.
I hear you, Father, and I thank You for Your beckoning call.

~S. Gable

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Come In

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After a recent bout with food poisoning and being the sickest I can ever remember, this song really resonated with me. This version of the song is just 2 minutes and 10 seconds long. The song is “Come In” by Heather Clark – You can search for an upbeat longer version too that is good, but the simple short and sweet version here is my favorite.

The lyrics to this spontaneous version are on the video link.

I was so sick and I was asking God, What do you want to be for me that you couldn’t be before this happened? (Something I am learning in my study of Brilliant Thinking by Graham Cooke)
I had asked over and over and not really got the answer. It started Sunday night and rolled on into Tuesday before I was getting any better. Tuesday this song shuffled and I put it on repeat as the words “Total Abandonment” kept resonating with me.

So I looked up the definition.

This is the definition of Abandonment-
The self-surrender to an outside influence.
Abandon; careless freedom or ease; surrender to one’s emotions.

Wow! God was getting my attention. As I laid so weak I could barely move with my head in a bucket for hours upon hours to the point of almost dehydration… I was powerless. I could not help but be surrendered to whatever was causing me so much sickness. I then started thinking about how many times we surrender to our emotions? How many times do we surrender to pressures or to outside influences that harm us instead of uplift us? How many times do we fuss and fume when mishaps or disappointments come our way? I know for me, far too many. Our Total Abandonment, like the definition says; self-surrender, but instead of to outside influences, we always need to make sure it is to the Inside Influence. Total Abandonment to The Holy Spirit.

Thankfully we simply just have to “Come In” to His presence. When we do Come In, we experience rest, refreshment, restoration, resolution, peace and healing. Maybe even some great life lessons too if we are open to them.

When we can find the God lessons in ALL of life’s moments, the good and the not so good, we start to live the upgraded restored life that God intended for us. We need to abandon all the hectic stressful stuff and choose to be fully abandoned to Christ. There we find true freedom, not careless freedom. There we find His perfect rest.

Won’t you Come In? Come In to His Presence… Come In to meet the King… Come In with Total Abandonment. He is waiting. XXOO~Michelle Bollom

A Dangerous Trap

 

Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety. ~ Proverbs 29:25

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. ~2 Timothy 1:7

 

Fear n. noun 1. A feeling of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger. 2. A state or condition marked by this feeling. Living in fear. 3. A feeling of disquiet or apprehension. a fear of looking foolish. V. verb 1. To be afraid or frightened of. 2. To be uneasy or apprehensive about. Feared the test results. 3. To be in awe of; revere.

WOW! That first verse really gets me. I love the straight forwardness and simplicity of it. What I love even more is how God used that verse to speak to me in some areas where I was caught in that trap of fearing man. I would not consider myself fearful. My family and I used to love the show Fear Factor. We used to laugh and say we could win as long as we did not have to eat the cockroaches. I also had people call me fearless and brave because I rapped in front of almost 30,000 people with Grammy Winner Mandisa. 

(You can view video proof on About Page at my website http://www.restoredministries.org)

I really felt no fear doing that. I am however, a recovering Approval Addict.  I spent a lot of my life performing to gain approval and did not speak up for myself or rock the boat and pretty much operated in a false self; most of my early life.

The characteristics of a False Self person are: limited ability for love/ intimacy, Needs to be in control, lives in illusions, not in reality. Birthed in fear; very insecure, unable to express needs, and prone to addictions and compulsions. Yep, that described me well. It wasn’t until my life was out of control and I finally surrendered to God and allowed God, The Holy Spirit and His word to transform my life did my True Self began to emerge.

True Self, Characteristics are: Great capacity for love/intimacy Does not need to be in control, gives other people freedom, rooted in God’s truth, identity is in God; trusts in God, lives according to personal values/beliefs and is peaceful. I am pretty much all of those True Self characteristics now thanks to God and Recovery; but I still honestly sometimes have a problem trusting God fully, which when you don’t trust God, you essentially are living in Fear. I didn’t feel fearful about situations or life in general, but God specifically wanted to show me some lessons on Fear of Man and that type of Fear, what I thought was a thing of my past; was indeed still keeping me trapped. He used two situations in the last year to bring that lesson home.

The first lesson He taught me on Fear of Man was on tithing. I have prided myself in being a cheerful giver and for almost 10 years I have followed the Biblical rule of at least 10% is given back to God in your tithe each month. I would increase the amount from time to time so I knew I did not just give 10%. Then God started showing me that I was giving out of pride. Really, God? Pride? God we can never give enough back to you… Really? God you would never asks us to adjust our giving, only to keep increasing it, Right? …Wrong!  God was asking me to review my budget and to lower the amount of my giving so that I could save for a better safeguard for my family in case of emergencies or repairs. I really thought that could not be God speaking or asking anyone to ever lessen their amount of giving so I shared this with my close friend, one of my Iron Sharpens Iron girlies that God likes to use us with each other to help us get some big God Lessons. As we talked about it, I got some clarification, and when I took it to the Lord, I got an even bigger clarification. I looked at our monthly budget and found that I was giving 18.5 % each month. I was not putting anything back for my families safeguarding. The bible instructs us to give 10% and I practice that with my children also. Some think it is harsh to make your child give 10% of all pet sitting, Birthday, or Christmas money they earn back to God, but I know in the 4 years my children have done it, that it has made for much better kids, I just wish I would have started earlier in my life and in theirs. They don’t always have to give to our church in the offering, sometimes they choose a charity, or they like to bless strangers. I think God loves all ways we give back to Him and He honors cheerful giving. So I took this knowledge I had uncovered to my husband. I told Him that this was what God was speaking to me about. He thought it should be a simple decision to lower that amount to ensure that we are paying ourselves also so that we can have a safeguard in case of emergencies and to simply obey God. I wish I could say that I did obey my husband and even God right away, but, No, I dragged my feet and wrestled with God over this decision for six more months because I was fearful our church and pastors would look at us differently if we lowered our tithes. God made it unbearable for me until I finally wanted to Obey God more than be trapped by my Fear of Man. God has blessed that decision so much and I am so happy to have God decide what He would have us give and not what I thought I should because of my pride.

When I thought I had no more problems with fear, the Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart and told me that fear was indeed crippling me. The fear of man, the fear of their reactions, fear of opinions, all were hindering me from stepping into God’s full plans for me. God was asking me to take some great big steps for Him. I was so excited, but not everybody was as excited, encouraging, or happy for me. Many did not understand. Some had strong opinions, some began to distance themselves from me, and it started a wave of unfriending when I started posting on social media what I was doing for God. I wasn’t so much bothered over the unfriending’s and unfollows as I was that out of almost 1000 friends, less than 100 had actually supported me by “liking” my new Ministry Page.

(Yes, Liking a page is showing support for someone in the Social Media world & Yes I break the so called experts rules and solicit likes for my page.  How else can it grow and reach people?)

Well, that nasty fear of man, as God’s word says, is a trap! I found myself fearful of posting what I felt God would have me post, or write what I felt He wanted me to write, I was unsure of what I should do, so most days I did nothing. I had committed to God months before that if He wanted me to step out and trust Him, I will do it. I wanted to be totally obedient to Him, no matter what that looked like. So now after I had declared that and stepped out for God, I was bound by this trap of fear of people’s opinions, counting Likes, unfriending’s, unfollowing’s, comments, lack of comments etc…? I was allowing the enemy to plague me with fear. I had stopped being a warrior for God and became a worrier.  I want to be a warrior, not a worrier.  Was I going to embrace each step that God would give me on this journey and not get bound to the vicious trap of comparison and competing? Guessing and second guessing God? I spent many days and nights taking it all to God. This is what I felt God spoke to me about this 2nd Fear of Man lesson.

The world would be much better off if we would collaborate more and compete less.

God’s garden is big enough for us all. We need each other and God designed us to work together. We all have different gifting’s and abilities and strengths that are needed to advance His Kingdom and share Christ with this dark world. Some people just won’t support you, in life or with Likes. Keep Asking, Keep Seeking, And Keep Knocking. Don’t let the voices in your head and the voices of the crowds of naysayers discourage you to not fully step out for God.Don’t let the fear of people’s reactions keep you from taking action. Trust God. Obey God in the small things and everything. Keep going even when you don’t understand.  Your success is not defined by Likes & Followers, It is defined by God. 

 

I so want my hearts cry to the Lord to reflect what the song Oceans by Hillsong United, says.

 

You call me out upon the waters… The great unknown where feet may fail… And there I find You in the mystery …In oceans deep My faith will stand …Your grace abounds in deepest waters… Your sovereign hand Will be my guide ..Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me …You’ve never failed and You won’t start now ,,So I will call upon Your name And keep my eyes above the waves ..When oceans rise My soul will rest in Your embrace …For I am Yours and You are mine …Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders …Let me walk upon the waters …Wherever You would call me… Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander And my faith will be made stronger …In the presence of my Savior

 

I want to trust God, to rest in His embrace, to answer His call out upon the unknown waters. Where His promises to never leave me or fail me are so believable that I will trust without borders. My faith will be made stronger when I stay in the presence of my Savior.

I want to Trust God so much that there is never any room for Fear.

Here are some amazing affirmations that I choose to keep reminding myself of when I start to let the doubts of others discourage me.

It is not the crowd that calls you but God that calls you. And when you get to heaven you’re not going to have to answer for the crowds you’re only going to have to answer for yourself. Don’t get so hung up on the fear of what people will think that you let it paralyze and keep you from your potential and purpose for the Lord. Not everyone will understand why or how God calls you. It is ok. You don’t have to justify what God has called you to for anyone. You only need to worry about an audience of ONE! The Heavenly Father! If He called you, He will carry you through.

I leave you with this great quote.

Fear of the unknown is a dream killer. It causes people to freeze in time and one day they will wake up and realize that their opportunities have been seized by someone who was willing to look fear in the face and take the leap of faith. ~ Adonis Lenzy                                                                                                                                     

  I hope you are inspired to look fear in the face and take that leap of faith. Don’t let Fear be a dream killer anymore; remember you are fearless in Christ. Step out Big! Be Brave! XXOO ~Michelle Bollom

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