Thursday, January 26, 2012

What Are You Sowing?

What are you sowing? Are you sowing good seed or bad seed? It is either one or the other.

When you sow good seed into good ground, you produce a good crop. When you sow bad seed into bad ground, you get a bad crop.

It is also like that in our lives. We can either sow good seed or bad seed with our words, our mindsets, our attitudes, our behavior, and our actions.

In either case, it takes time for the harvest to come into our lives. However, we reap what we sow whether good or bad.

My Father confirms it in His word when He says, “A man reaps what he sows.” (Gal 6:7b, NIV)

I know it to be true too. I have seen it in other people and in their lives. I have also experienced it at times myself.

He goes on to say that “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction...” (Gal 6:8a, NIV)

Have you ever sown to please your flesh? I know that I have sown to my flesh before. Unfortunately, I am sure that we all have at one time or another. I can testify now that, for me, it was not a pleasant time either. I was in a really bad, unwise, and unhealthy relationship which also ended very poorly. I definitely reaped an extremely bad harvest from sowing bad seed and being in that awfully destructive relationship. Still, my Father has used that previous relationship as a difficult, learning experience for me.

Have you ever sown to please your Spirit? There have been, at least, a few times that I can recall now which I would say, “Yes! I sowed good seed, and it pleased my Spirit!” It is those times when I have experienced more of the eternal life from obeying the Spirit. Those are the times that I choose to remember more. I believe those are the times that our Father God would have us to remember more as well. Though, we can learn from all of our experiences.

Our Father also talks about reaping the good rewards of sowing to our Spirit.

“…whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” (Gal 6:8b, NIV)

When I have sowed good seed and obeyed my Spirit, I have reaped a good harvest…eternal life...a true peace and calmness within me…in my Spirit.

Of course, we may not always be able to see the good harvest in a person or in their life right away. Sometimes, the harvest takes more time than other times to show up.

However, our Father tells us this, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Gal 6:9, NIV)

Therefore, when we sow the good seed and obey our Spirit, we definitely will reap a good and fruitful harvest in due season. Our Father assures us of it. We can rest in Him knowing that He is always true and faithful to His word. (Num 23:19)

Copyright 2012 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What Are You Feeding?

What are you feeding this very moment?

Are you feeding your God-given spirit? Or…are you feeding your flesh?

In order to feed on something, we must take it into ourselves. We can either take in things physically or spiritually. Therefore, we are either feeding our body or our spirit.

Our bodies are normally thought of or considered as part of our flesh. Of course, it also depends on the way you treat your body…God’s temple. (John 2:21; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

When we feed our bodies or our flesh, we take in the things of this world. Those secular things are carnal. We may spend time feeding our "old nature" into temptation...or choosing to sin against God, ourselves, or other people.

What are some of those "old" ways? Watching television with suggestive or provocative themes, sex, violence, pornography, and/or crime. Listening to secular music with a lot of profanity or suggestive words. Looking at graphic photos including sex or violence on the internet. Reading magazines or books with sex, violence, profanity, or other suggestive material.

Of course, these "old" ways lead to other ways of the "old nature" or the flesh.

"Flesh gives birth to flesh..." (John 3:6a, NIV)

When we feed our spirit, we take in the things of God. Those things are spiritual. With God's word, we are able to feed our "new nature" and our spirit.

Other ways to feed our spirit include attending church services; going to prayer meetings; reading faith-based or Christian books or magazines; listening to positive and/or uplifting faith-based or Christian music; and looking at only wholesome photos on the internet.

Likewise, following the ways of the spirit creates more of the "new nature" ways.

"...but the Spirit gives birth to spirit." (John 3:6b, NIV)

We are always either feeding one or the other. When we are feeding the spirit, we are starving the flesh. When we are feeding the flesh, we are starving the spirit. Therefore, are you feeding your spirit? Or...are you feeding your flesh?

Allow God [through the Holy Spirit] to speak to you personally! Please also listen to Him!

What are you feeding now?

Copyright 2012 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Overcoming Fear

"Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe." (Prov 29:25, NIV)

Lately, I have been thinking more about this particular scripture verse. At this specific time in my life, my Father has been speaking to me more about the topic of ‘fear’. I know that it is not good to live in fear for any reason or for any amount of time. I certainly do not want any part of fear in me or in my life. I know that fear is not of God. How do I know? Well, my Father says so! Not only that, He says it numerous times throughout His Word. Here are just a few of those times.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, NIV)

“For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13, NIV)

But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats ; do not be frightened.” (1 Peter 3:14, NIV)

Therefore, I know that fear normally comes from the enemy who tries to hinder us or prevent us from doing what God wants us to do for Him, His purpose, and His plan. (Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11) More than once, I have been reminded that the word ‘FEAR’ stands for ‘False Evidence Appearing Real’. In addition, fear is the opposite of faith. If we are in fear, then we are not in faith. Fear negates faith!

As a person of faith, I am an overcomer! (Romans 8:37) Therefore, I am determined to overcome any fear. How do I do it? First, I have to continue renewing my mind in my Father’s word. (Romans 12:2) As I am reminded, faith comes by hearing the word of God. (Romans 10:17). It helps to not only read and study His word in order to build up my faith but also to speak out His word and hear His word out loud. That seems simple enough, but now I have to put it into action.

What about you? Will you join me?

Copyright 2012 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Carrying Burdens

"Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2, NIV)

What does that scripture verse mean to you? For awhile, it meant something totally different to me than it does now. Previously, it meant that we are to physically help people out in their time of need. I still believe that we are to be "Jesus" to people. (1 John 4:17) However, it now means to me that we are to "walk" alongside people during their difficult times or hardships. To me, it means to be available to them. Listen to them. Pray with them. Lend a shoulder. Talk with them. Give emotional support. Encourage them.

I do not believe it means that we are to do for people what they can do for themselves. I do not believe it is the way that God intended it either. After all, God does not do for us what we can do for ourselves. He does not do our part. In the same way, we are not to do other people's part. We need to have healthy boundaries with people and set limits with them. We need to empower people to help themselves and rely on God as their source. He alone is anyone's and everyone's only source!

God does use people to help others. From my personal experience, He uses many people along the way to help others during their journey. I do not believe that He wants us to help people to the extent that it will enable them though. To "enable" someone would actually be doing a disservice to them. It would also be a disservice to us as well. It eventually will hurt them and us if they are too dependent on people. It is unhealthy to be only dependent on people. To be co-dependent is definitely an unhealthy way of thinking and relating with people.

People need to totally depend on God and get to the point of being able to stand on their own two feet with God. If a person has the same re-occurring issue [for example: fornication or adultery], it will not help them to step into their current situation and stop it for them that one time. It would be a mistake on our part to do it for them. If they are having a continual problem with the same issue, it will continue until they take the initiative and do something about it. They have to do some internal work on themselves in order to prevent it from re-occurring in their lives.

Instead, we should encourage them to form a new relationship or deeper relationship with God. God needs to be their only source…their internal comforter, healer, director, leader, and guide. In addition, if they need more help, professional counseling may be a great recommendation. First, they have to want to stop the re-occurring harmful behavior. Then, they have to do their part to help themselves. After all, God tells us that each person is responsible for doing their own part.

"...for each one should carry their own load." (Galatians 6:5, NIV)

Copyright 2012 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.