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Well, if you paid attention to the title of today’s message, then you know that it’s my birthday. Yay! Happy birthday to me and to everyone else celebrating their debut day!
I sat here for a few minutes scrolling through the 12 years of Breaking Bread posts, and I wondered what I had written each year on my birthday. Do you know what I discovered? I haven’t written a post on my birthday since 2014; before that, I hadn’t written one since 2011. And that’s that. Not even one in 2010. Two birthday posts in 12 years. I hope to change that pattern moving forward.
The day I entered this world, I was screaming and crying, wondering where I was and who these strange beings were staring at me. There have been many days since then when I’ve found myself screaming and crying and wondering who these strange beings are around me. This world sure is chaotic, isn’t it? Thank goodness we have God and Jesus by our side.
I want to share my 2014 and 2011 Breaking Bread messages, as they interestingly enough, complement each other, and reflect my mindset today, years later. Through these messages, I see my growth, growing pains, and struggles, and I celebrate where I am, and all that God has brought me through, over, and around. Maybe in reading and hearing this message something will resonate in you, and you will pay it forward by sharing it with others.
To help with today’s special message flow, I’m going to make some tweaks here and there, add a reflection with my current perspective, and combine all three prayers into one at the end. How does that sound? Does it sound complicated? No worries. With God, I’ve got this. Are you ready for a blast from my distant past? Great! Let’s begin with 2014.
Christ has set us free for freedom. Therefore, stand firm and don’t submit to the bondage of slavery again.
—Galatians 5:1 CEB
Today is my birthday, and I have a lot to be grateful for, most importantly, my life and the fact that God has gifted it to me one more day. Without Him, there would be no me and I never ever take that for granted.
The past few weeks have been rough for me as I’ve been battling mortal mind and satan, aka the devil, lucifer, the enemy, “it,” etc. I’m not free, and I know it, I feel it, and at times I feel like I’m being consumed by this presence.
I can tell more by the words I use to express myself and my circumstances. If my speech is sprinkled with or drowned in profanity, then I know I’m losing the fight. I know I’m losing the fight if I go days without posting to my Breaking Bread (and it’s not related to a hiatus).
I don’t like losing. So I’m praying for the strength and courage to fight and to do so with skill, precision, tenacity, passion, focus, and patience. This battle is for my soul.
Think about that for a moment. Every single day the enemy plots its attack against us to turn us away from the light, destroy our hope, and convince us to choose the lies over God. We are fighting for our souls. We are fighting for our freedom. What choice will you make today?
Questions of the Day
1. Do you want to be free?
2. Why do you want to be free?
3. In what areas of your life are you currently struggling and finding yourself in bondage?
4. Can you visualize your life as a free person?
5. Can you tell when you’re under attack?
6. What do you do when you feel like you’re under attack?
7. How would you like to respond to and recover from attacks?
Feel free to share your answers, prayers, comments, and reflections in the comment section below. You can also send me an email at: email@example.com
—Now let’s look at my 2011 birthday post—
You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.
If you work hard, you will reap the rewards of your labor. If you do nothing, you will get nothing. If you have expectations for growth and prosperity yet do nothing to earn them, you are short-sided and will end up empty-handed.
Today is the day I was born many moons ago, and I am grateful for each breath I take, each step I make, each decision made clear, and to be surrounded by love. I receive what I give— good, bad, and indifferent— so I strive to give goodness so that I may receive it in blessings later. I’m another year older, yet I still have big dreams and goals for my life, future, and community. The only person who can get in the way is me, so I must stay prayed up and never let up.
Set a goal with a date, and each day work to achieve that goal. Once you have, move on to the next goal. Every day, do something to better yourself, your family, and your community—eventually, it will pay off, and the dividends can help to better our world. God bless you all!
Today’s Reflection, Looking Back
Today, I look back on those posts, where I was, and what I struggled with. Yes, I definitely was enslaved by the lies I believed about myself and my circumstances. Yes, I’m still staring at some shackles that I struggle with removing. As long as I believe the lies, the shackles will remain. As long as I believe the lies, I will be like the animal who was shackled for so long that when the shackles were removed, it continued to live as though it still had shackles on its foot. Have you heard that story before? It’s heartbreaking. But guess what? So many of us act the same way. We keep living like we still have shackles on our feet. God keeps telling us daily that the shackles are gone and we are free, but we keep living our lives enslaved.
So I must speak the Truth that God speaks over me, declare who I am and to Whom I belong, and watch myself walk away from those shackles. And you, brothers and sisters, must do the same.
Reflecting on my 2011 birthday post, I still believe that we should set goals to achieve God’s dreams in our hearts and minds. But what I’ve learned over the past few years is that we must turn to God to help us set the goals and that we’re to remain focused and disciplined on His path and ways to those goals. We aren’t to have separate objectives. It’s not a prioritization of what God wants us to do alongside a checklist of things we’re trying to pursue. It’s not about having a spiritual list and a worldly list. It’s not us tiptoeing around and saying to ourselves, “let me try and slip in some fleshly temptations without Him noticing.” Umm NOT!
We’re to make God our Captain, CEO, Confidante, and top Advisor. We’re to sit down with Him and ask how He wants us to pursue the dreams He’s placed within us. If you think about your dreams as actually being in the past, something that has already happened, God is showing you the outcome, then consider asking Him, “So how was this made possible? What steps did I take? Who did You have help me along the way?” And then obediently follow those steps and connect with those people. Don’t you find that to be an interesting take on our dreams? Maybe we’d also stress less because we know that God has already seen us in that reality; we just have to listen and obey to embrace it in the present. The only time we miss out is when we try to grab the roadmap and do things our way, or worse, create our own map and try to do things our way. We’re trying to navigate the scenery that He created. We’re trying to dictate to the Creator. How ignorant is that? But there are millions of us doing exactly this; some of you are in your sixties, seventies, eighties, and nineties, still trying to tell God how it needs to be done, and you’re absolutely miserable.
It’s not too late. Time is irrelevant to God. He’s waiting on you to wake up, get it together, and get on His wavelength and plan.
We’re to ask our Heavenly Father to advise us on who and what we need to get to points A, B, C, through Z. We tend to create our separate lists, and then we come crawling to Him, crying like babies when things aren’t going as planned. Well, that’s because those were our plans and not the plans designed with Him. He wants an intimate relationship with you. He wants to have the top spot in your heart, in your life, in all ways and at all times. Let Him in. Let Him do what only He can do. Partner with Him. Walk with Him. Surrender your tendency to try to control everything and everyone instead of just controlling your mouth and wandering mind and allowing God to control everything else.
It’s taken me over 30 adult years to understand this and get to this point, and I’m grateful for God’s patience, understanding, and guidance. I’m excited about this journey and the dreams He’s guiding me to each day. I don’t want to miss out on anything, so I’m working to free myself to benefit fully. I don’t want to live this life or look back at it and have any regrets.
How about you? Will you make excuses because of your age or circumstances? Or will you trust God and follow His ways? Let’s take that first step today!
Father, thank You for this day, a new day of experiences, lessons, and blessings. I don’t want to be shackled to fear, doubt, pride, shame, arrogance or ignorance—mine or someone else’s. I don’t want to get caught in the tangled web of satan. I don’t want to be consumed by limitations. I want to be free, Father. Show me how to do my part each day so that I can break these binds I’ve placed upon myself, and live as You intend.…
Father, thank You for the abundance of blessings. Thank You for my life, my mind, my freedom, and the ability to work. Father, I know You despise laziness, so everyday I actively take part in my life, doing and being more than the last day. Thank You for Your loving care today and always. I come to You and ask for Your guidance. Where would You like me to focus today? Guide me to the people and resources that You desire me to connect with today. Steer me away from the things and people that don’t serve Your purpose. Keep me aligned with the goals and objectives that You want me to meet. I humbly make this request, as Your child, ambassador, and loving partner. Amen.
And with that family, I pray that you are blessed, that you see and embrace your blessings, and that you are a blessing to others.
Please feel free to share this post with others. We’re never quite sure who needs to hear or see something or when is the right time for them to receive it. It would be awesome if whenever you run across a prayer, message, or scripture that moves you, you would kindly share it with the rest of us. You can post it in the comments section on my blog or send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2011, 2014, 2022. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. BreakingBreadWithNatasha.com
Music: Climb by Shane Ivers; Quiescent In Time by Shane Ivers – https://www.silvermansound.com