Natasha’s Sunday Reflection: If You Like Living in Ignorance Then Don’t Read This

Some of us get caught up in the “flesh” and we’re more concerned with worldly affairs than the matters of the heart.

The flesh is not truthful, honorable, right, or pure.

We can be obsessed with self and because of that we oftentimes miss the big picture and can’t see the lessons before us. We don’t even recognize how toxic our self-righteousness is, especially when we use it to judge and attack others. When we’re walking around consumed by the flesh we’re too blind to see that there’s no truth, honor, righteousness, or purity in our thoughts and actions, because we don’t see that what we do and say is not of God—it is not what Moses or Jesus taught.

It’s our warped approach at getting what we think we deserve.

Jesus was and is concerned with our hearts. He was sent to be a disruptive force, to fulfill the Old Testament prophecy, to divide truth from fiction, and to establish clear lines and expectations—NOT to force anyone to listen and believe. Jesus NEVER judged and damned someone for not following and believing, yet so-called Christians today walk around holier-than-thou judging and condemning people to damnation as though God gave them the power and authority to do so.

God doesn’t need to force you to be truthful, honorable, right and pure—He gives us a choice. He looks at our heart. He knows we are weak and troubled. His grace gives us opportunities to do and be better. Those who choose to be the opposite of the qualities and principles that represent Him, deal with the life hereafter based on that understanding.

So stop trying to be everyone’s judge. Stop playing Jesus and God. You have your own role and responsibilities. You have your own obstacles to overcome and sins to avoid (and atone for). You are not blameless and flawless.

Stop parading around in your self-righteousness trying to force people to convert to your ways, thinking, practices, and religious beliefs. Attacking people for thinking and living differently is not a lesson from Jesus’s teachings. You never read anywhere that Moses dragged his people out of Egypt. Anyone who willingly wanted to leave could come, and anyone who wanted to stay could do so. It was always about choice.

Jesus never forced anyone to believe and follow Him. Never. He never harassed and insulted people for their shortcomings or their sins. Jesus ticked off those in power, the elitists, the zealots, the teachers of the law, the so-called experts. He held them to the standards they claimed to uphold. He revealed their hypocrisy. But even then, He never told them to follow Him or be prepared for hell.

Jesus never attacked, assaulted or killed someone in His name or in God’s. We don’t have one account of Him ever putting His hands on someone in a violent way. Yet look at us, thousands of years later and we think we have the right to do all of these things because we call ourselves Christians.

People parading around with picket signs and banners of judgment, telling complete strangers that they are damned to hell for their beliefs and practices. We see so-called Christians shooting and bombing buildings and people, all in the name of God—when actually that’s just the devil manipulating your weak minds and flesh. The devil is the enemy and it uses your weaknesses against you in hopes of pulling you farther from God, yet convincing you it’s bringing you closer to God. What a wicked game it plays.

The enemy loves to destroy nations, communities and families. Consider how it attacks the family….

Those of you who are married and don’t realize how weak your flesh really is, consider this: do you find yourself nitpicking what your spouse does and says? Do you hold them to outrageously high standards or constantly raise the standards after they reach them? Are you holding grudges, spiteful, and vindictive? Are you constantly badmouthing them to other people? Do you benefit from their contributions to the family and household, yet tell them (and outsiders) that they could do more and better?

That’s you operating out of your flesh. That’s you being the enemy’s pawn in a game you won’t win if you keep giving in to its manipulative ways.

Stop tearing down your spouse for not being perfect in your eyes. Stop comparing your “yard” to someone else’s. Stop comparing your spouse to someone else. Stop holding them to standards that even you don’t meet consistently or at all. No one is perfect. No one can hit that 100% mark each and every time. We all fall short more times than we make it.

If any athlete could make every shot, score every touchdown, win every race then there would be no need for competition, there would be no need for a team.

Your marriage is a team effort.

Each person pulls their weight and then you’re to come together and share the load, pulling together the weight that is too heavy for one to bear.

Don’t attack and judge your spouse for not having the financial, social or physical capabilities that they once had or that you wish they had but they fall short of achieving.

Do you possess all of these abilities and do you consistenly meet those standards?

If not, be silent and supportive. If you do possess all of those abilities then why don’t you do something productive like help pull some of the load so that your spouse isn’t doing all or most of it alone. You want to benefit from being a part of the team, you want the championship ring, but you think it can be accomplished while riding on the bench or pacing the sidelines. There’s no true success in a stagnant environment.

When you look at your spouse and what they do each day, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are they making an effort to protect and provide for your family?
  • What is their heart showing you?

Focus on that and let the trappings of the “flesh” go. The flesh is not truthful, honorable, right, or pure. The flesh can lead you to what looks good on the outside but is pure rot on the inside. The flesh can lead you away from what could be heaven and lure you to absolute hell. The grass is greener in the other yard because they fertilize, water, cut, and care for the yard. What are you doing to and for your yard? You get what you give!

Love always,
~Natasha

Copyright 2018. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 3.8.16

  

Scripture

…fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and honorable.

Philippians 4:8

Pray

Thank You for this day Father-Mother. Thank You for the experiences that today will bring. I know that there will be challenges, misunderstandings, and frustration. But I also know there will be joy, celebration, and laughter. I accept all that comes my way and I know that through these experiences I only get wiser, stronger, and better. I thank You Father. 

Today I will be cautious of what I subject my mind to–the content I read as well as the content I watch on television and the Internet. I will be mindful of the gossip and the information that I repeat. If these things aren’t good and don’t deserve praise, then please remind me not to consume and share them. Thank You. In Jesus’ name I humbly pray. Amen. 

Reflection

With access to so much news, gossip and drama, we are flooded with both the good and the bad, that we oftentimes don’t realize how toxic our minds have become. 

We’re seeking out pain, fear, heartache, gore, humiliation, and negativity. We want to see people fighting, bloodshed, and horror. But have you ever stopped and asked yourself why?

I’m not sure what draws me in to violent films. I’m not sure why I used to love horror movies. Yes, you read that right…

I used to be a HUGE horror film fan. I enjoyed being scared to the point where I could barely sleep at night, or I would have nightmares about the movies that I watched. I got some twisted rush from this. Every October I spent my 31 nights watching all of the horror movies that would be broadcasted on cable tv. 

But around 2008 things began to change and I no longer took pleasure in my fear. I couldn’t tolerate watching the movies anymore. They began to rock me to my core and the energy was too much to bear. 

What had changed? I had changed. 

In 2008 that’s when I started giving up most of my vices, and I began to really get into the Word. I was attending church regularly and I was forwarding my friend Kenya’s daily scriptures by text message. Now, six years later, I can’t even tolerate to watch a trailer for a horror film or a teaser for a tv show that is based on demons and witchcraft. If I can reach the remote in time, I will mute the sound or change the channel until I think it’s off the screen. My body physically can’t handle it anymore. Imagine that. Once a lover of horror, now I’m physically disturbed by the sights and sounds of these productions. 

The last two films that I watched (ignorantly convinced by my husband’s friend) were in 2012 and 2013, and both times I kept my eyes closed during large chunks of footage and I prayed during the movies and before I went to bed. My husband (who also can’t handle horror films) laughed at me, but oddly enough both times he woke to nightmares while I slept peacefully. 

Once you get closer to God, your core rejects all things that don’t reflect Him. Your essence becomes disturbed by energies not of Him. You physically feel the difference standing in the Light versus standing in darkness. At the same time, you also will find yourself being attacked more by the enemy—more temptation, more chaos and confusion, and more drama. 

It takes work and effort to fill your mind with only things that are good and worthy of praise. It’s easier to fill it with junk, because there’s so much to choose from in the world. If you don’t believe me scan through your radio and tv stations, look on social media and see what topics are trending, look at the local and international newspapers. 

Look at these ugly so-called “reality shows” that expose and promote the darkness that so many people don’t even realize they carry around like baggage; women and men walking around undignified, lacking class and honor, yet having a sense of entitlement to something great and wondrous. 

It’s very easy to get sucked in to the darkness. God gives us the choice to rebuke the darkness or embrace the Light, speak ill of others or lift them up in praise, gossip or squash the rumor, tear down or build up. We all struggle with these things each day. We have choices. 

Today what will you choose to do?

Questions of the Day

1. What would you like to add to today’s prayer and/or reflection?

2. What are your thoughts about today’s message?

3. How many times so far today have you caught yourself being pulled into a negative environment?

4. Consider the number of times that you didn’t realize you were filling your mind of things unworthy of praise; how does that make you feel? 

5. What’s the first genre of music that you listen to when you get up in the morning? What’s the first thing that you watch on tv in the morning or when you get home at night?

Feel free to share your answers, prayers, comments, and reflections in the comment section below. You can also send me an email at: breakingbreadwithnatasha@gmail.com 

Please also feel free to share this post with others. We’re never quite sure who needs to hear and see what, and when! 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 on this blog or send me an email. 

Love always,

Natasha

Copyright 2013-2016. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. Prior posts from 2009-2013 are copyrighted under the name Natasha L. Foreman. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com

Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission.(www.Lockman.org)

Scripture taken from the Common English Bible®, CEB® Copyright © 2010, 2011 by Common English Bible.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. The “CEB” and “Common English Bible” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Common. English Bible. Use of either trademark requires the permission of Common English Bible.

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 9.26.13

Yesterday I saw this “Fix Your Mind” message and knew that I had to share it with all of you some time this week, and I knew that the “when” would hit me at the appropriate time. Well today’s the day. I have used the same scripture before, and like the few times in the past I truly think that it’s one of those messages that can’t be repeated enough. I pray that we all fix our minds on God’s plan and purpose for us, fix our minds to act as reflections of God, and expect the best from others. Enjoy today’s post and please share it with others.

Love your sister in Christ,

Natasha

Fix Your Mind

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“Whatever is true, whatever is honest, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is kind, if there is any virtue, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on these things.”

Philippians 4:8, NIV

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
What you think about determines the quality and direction of your life. Naturally, people who think positive, uplifting thoughts have happier, healthier, longer lives. They are less stressed, more vibrant and enjoy better sleep. That’s why the scripture encourages us to think on good things — things that are true, noble and lovely. Some translations say to “fix your mind” on them. When you fix your mind on noble things, you close the door to the negative voices and open your heart to allow God to work in your life.

Choose today to fix your mind on good things. Do whatever you need to in order to keep those good thoughts before you. Write them on note cards and put them in a place where you can see them. Confess God’s promises over your life and declare His blessing on a daily basis. As you fix your mind on the goodness of God, you will rise higher in every area of your life. You will be filled with His peace and victory, and you’ll see every dream and desire in your heart come to pass.

A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father in heaven, I choose to fix my mind on noble things. I choose thoughts of peace and victory. Fill my heart with Your goodness that I may glorify You in everything I do in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen

Copyright 2013. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted.
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Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer and Reflection for 4.23.12

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:8, 9

Pray
Father You do not care for lengthy prayers or repetition of Your name; what You care most about it is our connection with You and that we mean what we say, and say what we mean. You don’t care as much about the religious rituals as You do the spiritual practices and walk.

You care about what’s in our Heart.

Father today I will begin by only focusing on the good in things, in people, and in life. I will not focus on or dwell in the bad, the evil, the wrong, the negative, or the darkness. For if I look more to those things than to what’s inside of each scenario or person that reflects You, then I can’t possibly be convinced that You and Your love can and will conquer all evil.

What I don’t like in another person I probably or most likely also see or have seen in myself. It is not up to me to fix them or try to get them to fix themselves; I am to only reflect Your light so that they then turn to You to be fixed.

Today I will look for Your light in Your children, and believe that this strength I see is strong enough to squash out the darkness that tries to weaken me, them and others. Today I start my journey of looking only for You in Your children, and only You in each scenario.

Thank You Father for touching my heart this morning. Amen.

Pray
We can always find the negative; how many of us seek out the positive? We can always point out our weaknesses and the weaknesses in others, but why don’t we focus more on our and their strengths?

We are quick to walk away from jobs and relationships because of a few things that make us unhappy or dissatisfied, but what about the numerous things that bring us joy and satisfaction?

If we spent more time looking for God in every situation and in every person, and within ourselves, we wouldn’t have 1/4 of the issues we have today; we wouldn’t have divorce at the level it is—not even close–maybe not at all; we wouldn’t have crimes and other negative scenarios.

If we truly put God first, we would only focus on people’s strengths and positives, and on God’s light.

If you make a list of a person’s qualities or the benefits of a job, and list both negative and positive, and the positive outweighs the negative, yet you still don’t want to be in that situation, then maybe it is your undeveloped skills and weaknesses that are overshadowing things and causing the negative outcomes. Then you need to turn it over to God and stop trying to fix things yourself!

Turn to God and focus only on His Light. He will take care of and stomp out the darkness.

That’s what’s wrong with us; that is what has been wrong with us in our past, what is wrong with us currently, and what will be wrong with us in our future if we do not stop what we are doing right now.

We need to stop trying to do His job and only do what He commands us to do and that is to reflect His light, share His love, follow His son, and spread His word. Anything other than these things have nothing to do with us, and everything to do with Him. For those reasons we need to stay in our lane and stop trying to get into His!

Love,

Natasha

Copyright 2012. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. breakingbreadwithnatasha.blogspot.com
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