3 Lessons from Learning to Listen to God

prayer-meditation

Feeling vulnerable, confused and anxious come with the territory of personal uncertainty, particularly in relation to life’s big questions – Who should I marry?  Should I take this job?  Where should I live?  Why am I here?  What’s my life’s purpose?   

We only find the answers when we find our truth.  Our truth is what’s right for us in our particular situation.

While the good advice of others cannot always be discounted, it is really up to each person to find their own truth.

Finding one’s truth can be very tricky.  This is because no one but you really knows what impassions you or what your life’s purpose really is.  Intuitionthe ability to know without conscious reasoning – for most of us, is generally the source of our truth.  Whenever I have come to a crossroads in my life’s journey, I have had to rely on my intuition to take the next step.  Admittedly, this is not easy, but I have learned a few lessons, which I share below –

Lesson #1 – Claim your own power

It takes faith to own your truth, which only you intuitively know.  Intuitively knowing doesn’t always come easily to most of us as we’ve been taught and conditioned to rely on our intellect, logic and reasoning to solve our problems and find the right answers tough questions.  It’s very easy to buy into the good advice of others, without really knowing that what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for us. To follow someone else’s dream is to surrender your own power and deprive yourself of the pleasure and fulfilment of your life’s mission.

As a Christian, I consider intuition to be the quiet voice of God speaking specifically to me and my situation.  In fact the apostle Paul, in his first letter to the church at Corinth speaks about the capacity of the Christian mind to discern and understand spiritual truths.  When we personalize these truths, we gain personal insight and direction.

What I know now is that following my intuition is the best way to claim my power and find true fulfillment in life. 

In my experience, silent meditation opens the mental space for inspiration and the voice of intuition to be heard.  Positive affirmations and mantras support alignment of purpose and intention.  The inner knowing that comes from intuition empowers me to take action in the face of risk and uncertainty.  This requires faith and surrendering the outcome.

On the face of it, it seems ironic to say that claiming one’s power requires faith and the ability to surrender. This is because we often equate power with control.  Faith and surrender require that we relinquish the power to control outcomes.  My experience has taught me that there is power in faith and in surrendering the outcome.

Lesson #2 – The power of faith

Whenever I tried to control the outcome of situations beyond my control, I realized how powerless I made myself become.  I ended up being sick with worry and the effects of anxiety attacks over things like other people’s decision to hire me, extreme weather conditions, election results, etc.

What I know now is that the only power I really have is faith.  

Faith is the courage to say “Thy will be done.” For me, faith lets me know that regardless of the outcome, I’ll be okay.  I’ve come to understand that the Universe is God’s orchestra and that understanding the interplay of events with the benefit of hindsight has reaffirmed my mantra that “All things are working together for good.”

Lesson #3 – The power of surrendering

Having faith for a specific outcome can be very limiting.  In fact, I have been fortunate to learn this lesson the easy way.  The hard way would have been to get what I thought I really wanted only to find out later that I had missed out on enriching opportunities.  With the benefits of initial disappointment and hindsight, I have come to understand that very often, what seems to be the best really isn’t.  Several declined applications to advanced degree programs, made me feel crushed and caused me to question my faith.  Taking a partly paid leave of absence from a job in which I saw no future, opened the door to a scholarship to study abroad for 2 years, a promotion on my return and I eventually had the opportunity to migrate to a country where there was greater scope for professional growth and expansion.

What I know now is that if all things are working together for good, then I leave myself open to limitless possibilities.  

I don’t have to have all the answers, but I do have to know my truth.  Guided by my intuition, if I am clear on my life’s purpose, affirm my intention and have faith, I know that the final outcome will lead me to my highest good.

 

Christ in me, the hope of glory…That’s why glory matters!

www.camilleisaacsmorell.com

 

A New Year & A New You

Happy-New-Year-Images-2016-advance

This is what the Lord says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” —Isaiah 43:16, 18-19 (Read all of Isaiah 43)

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

The year is gone, finished, past. We cannot reclaim it or undo it. We cannot rest on the great distance it has brought us. If tomorrow dawns, it will be another day, a new opportunity, and the time to show our faith in Jesus as Lord. Let’s journey forward, knowing that God already inhabits the future and promises to provide us refreshment on our journey there.

My Prayer…

Lord of all eternity, please help me to learn from my mistakes this past year, but not to dwell on them. Please help me not rest on my accomplishments in this past year, but use them to further your work in me and through me. Please help me not quarrel with those who injured me yesterday, last month, or this past year. Instead, O Father, lead me in your paths and help me see your mighty works this next year. In Jesus’ name and by his power I ask it. Amen.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The source of this post is not known. It is quoted from my daily devotional reading.

Bold Faith: Piety, personal agenda or God’s will?

Jesus’ ministry was marked by His preaching to pious, religious, Jewish people, who, by Biblical accounts, held many prejudiced beliefs about Gentiles.

In St. Mark’s gospel, the story is told of how Jesus honoured the faith of a Syrophonecian woman as she begged Him to cast a demon out of her daughter.

“First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”   [Jews regarded Syrophonecians as dogs.]

“Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”

She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

Jesus spoke in terms to which the Jews could relate.  His play on words was really a challenge to the Jewish disciples who were listening to His conversation with the Syrophonecian woman.  This begs the question – was Jesus indirectly addressing deep-seated prejudice and self-righteous piety that may have been in the hearts of his disciples?

I believe that Jesus was fully aware of the woman’s faith and was prepared to redeem her daughter from the grip of the devil.  But Jesus’ message was clear:  Salvation is not reserved for a few.  It was the Jews’ responsibility to accept Jesus’ teachings and spread the Good News to other nations.

Two dimensions of faith: trust and belief

Faith is the universally acceptable response to the Good News.  Responsive faith has two dimensions – belief and trust – both demonstrated by the Syrophonecian woman’s bold declarations that Jesus could rid her daughter of the demon and her belief that the Good News of salvation was also for the Gentiles.

Recent events have given rise to my own reflection on how declarations of faith can appear to be a veil for self-righteous piety and the promotion of personal agendas.

 

Belief or self-righteous piety?

  • The US Supreme Court’s ruling that makes same-sex marriages legal, has led to an uproar of debates in many Christian communities with quotes from the Bible to justify labelling ‘us’ against ‘them.’

It’s not my intention to make or break the case for same-sex marriage here.  I have a greater concern.  I question if the reaction in some Christian quarters is really about deeply rooted fear of others who are ‘different’?  I also question, if in the heated debates and hubris, have we strayed from the baseline teachings of Jesus – love of God and our neighbours?

The core belief of our Christian faith is love.  Jesus’ death is the greatest manifestation of love, motivated by our need for redemption.   If we agree that all of us are beneficiaries of God’s redemptive love, shouldn’t our faith lead us to embrace diversity as we proclaim the Good News?

Trust in God or a personal agenda?

  • And speaking about proclaiming the Good News, I recently learned that a prosperity preaching televangelist asked his congregation to purchase him a $65M private jet.

The intention to purchase the private jet was “to help empower the ministry to reach the lost and change precious lives around the world.”  Fair enough.  But I am led to question if the televangelist’s trusting faith has more to do with his own agenda, than the big picture of God’s plan when the televangelist declared: “I can dream as long as I want to. I can believe God as long as I want to. If I want to believe God for a $65 million plane, you cannot stop me. You cannot stop me from dreaming.”  I won’t judge the motivations and faith of the televangelist and his followers.  I will say, though, that the messages are mixed.

True faith expresses bold humility

There is much we can learn from Jesus’ encounter with the Syrophonecian woman:

  • Falling at Jesus’ feet was an act of humility, setting the stage for her bold declaration of trust and belief.
  • The woman had a trusting faith as she begged Jesus to heal her daughter.
  • Before receiving Jesus’ confirmation that her daughter was healed, she boldly declared her transcendent belief in God’s universal plan of redemption for all people.

May we, like the Syrophonecian woman, have faith that is marked by bold humility as we declare the Good News and receive the blessing of answered prayers.

Christ in you, the hope of glory.  That’s why glory matters.

www.camilleisaacsmorell.com

@glorymatters

Part 3 : Overcoming obstacles – The limitless potential of the child of God

This is the third in a series of blog posts on The Limitless Potential of the Child of God. In Part 2  I wrote about finding your purpose.   In this, the third and final part of the series, I speak about overcoming obstacles to the fulfilment of your purpose.

A SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE ON FAILURE & SHORTCOMINGS

From my own life experience, there have been times when I have failed tests, made mistakes in my job and I have “fallen short of the glory of God.”  Nonetheless, I can safely say that whatever pain I may have experienced is miniscule in comparison to the spiritual growth, the material prosperity and the new, relevant skills and talents that I have either gained or developed in each situation.  All of this consistently paves th way for me to achieve consecutively higher levels of spiritual consciousness and to live more abundantly.  God has never and will never put me in a situation to make me feel like a failure of feel that I am anything other than who he created me to be.  Everything that happens to me heightens my awareness of God’s purpose for my life and propels me to achieve my highest good.  Paul states that “He (God) who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion” (Philippians 1:6)  So this clearly means that there is always room for improvement and the need for more lessons to be learned, and it also means that there is no limit to my God-given potential.

I want to encourage you to grow in the awareness that every life experience – success or failure, adversity or prosperity – is worth having as long as we can understand that through it we are being propelled to a higher level of spiritual awareness and achievement.  Nothing can be more precious than the knowledge of Christ and the limitless power which is available to those of us who abide in Him.  This truth led Paul to affirm that “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord.” (Philippians 3:8).

MAKING IT HAPPEN

Do not be daunted by apparent failure.  Take what you have learnt from each experience and move on to bigger and better things.  Abandon right now any doubt or disbelief in yourself.  Reject every suspicion that you will always have doubts or that you have limited abilities that prevent you from fulfilling God’s purpose for you here on earth.  You are one with God and endowed with the power of the Holy Spirit.  You are never separate from God.  In Him, you live, move and have your being (Acts 17:28).  Through God’s grace and power, you have access to His limitless supply of power, prosperity and success that God wills for you to have.  As Peter puts it, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3).

Erase every negative thought of lack and limitation and integrate Paul’s words in your thoughts and speech “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).  This means that you can do all that God assigns you to do, not what you want to do that is not in God’s will.  So the statement that there is no limit to your God-given potential, is based on your understanding of God’s specific will and purpose for your life.

DILIGENCE

It is essential for us to realize that we have a duty to put our faith into action through diligent effort.  The diligent application of our talents, skills and abilities results in glory being given to God, and His blessings of spiritual and material prosperity.  In Proverbs 13:4,  we are told that ” He becomes poor who works with a slack and idle hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.”  Diligent and ambitious thoughts and actions lead to prosperity.  Again in Proverbs 21: 5, we are told that “The thoughts of the [steadily] diligent tend only to plenteousness,…”  We must apply as much diligent effort to the pursuit of material things as we do to gaining spiritual understanding and building up our faith as “But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].” (Hebrews 11:6).

It is a fact that those who work hard, achieve success, earn the respect of man and bring glory to God.

“Do you see a man diligent and skillful in his business? He will stand before kings;…”  (Proverbs 22:29)

“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.”  (Matthew 5:16)

Leave a comment.  Visit my website www.camilleisaacsmorell.com

Part 2: Find your purpose: The limitless potential of the child of God

FINDING OUR PURPOSE

This is the second part of a series of blog posts on The Limitless Potential of the Child of God.  In Part 1, I established that we have the divine nature of God and that with the mind of Christ, we can understand what our God-given purpose is on earth.  In Part 2, I will share my thoughts on how to find our purpose.

You will realize that you are not limited in your potential when you find and pursue your God-given purpose on this earth.  Generally speaking, most people find their purpose when they come to an understanding of the events in the past and the present.  Can you see a common thread of God’s direction in your life?  Are there skills which seem to be more intuitive and natural to you?  Is there something that you really love doing?  How has God brought you to love what you do?  Your purpose is usually the thing(s) that you love doing.

With an attitude of self-acceptance, you won’t first consider what others think you should be doing, rather the priority will be to do precisely what feels right for you.  Even if the negative, doubtful reactions of people seem to make sense to you, if you’re seeking God’s perfect will, you will know what is true and right for you.  God in you will empower you to stand firmly in your awareness of your purpose.  You will know that you possess the inherent ability to do what you were put here to do as you will be convinced that there is no limit to your God-given potential.  You will make your dreams – that is, what you are sure of in faith – a reality.  You will think clearly and calmly and act creatively and effectively to make the transformation of that which you see through the eyes of faith come forth in reality.  You cannot do it without faith in God and in the confidence He places in you to do it!

LIMITLESS POTENTIAL

Take courage and liberate yourself from the limiting visions of this physical world.  Connect with the Source of all creation and all power through your  faith. See with the eyes of faith.  Use the mind of Christ within you to gain a deeper understanding of your purpose here on earth and fulfill it.  Paul implores us to “not be conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and acceptable and the perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

Begin rejecting any limiting thoughts that are undermining your faith or telling you that you cannot believe.  You will find that as you see yourself abiding in God, your self-esteem and confidence will never be shaken.  By God’s grace, you are who you are.  You are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26).  You are therefore a clear manifestation of God’s perfect and infinite love.  You are empowered to act lovingly and in all goodness to achieve the unlimited potential which God has placed in you.  With your awareness of this truth, you cannot have a negative image of yourself.  You cannot feel disrespected, denigrated nor rejected by anything or anyone.

Armed with this awareness and conviction, success comes naturally and you live a victorious life in Christ knowing that the Kingdom of God is here on earth for you.

In Part 3, I will speak about overcoming obstacles to the fulfilment of your purpose.

Leave a comment.  Visit my website www.camilleisaacsmorell.com

Part 1: The limitless potential of the child of God

I am burdened that far too many Christians believe that they are limited.  I firmly believe that there is no limit to our God given potential.  The Child of God is a miracle – an expression of God’s supernatural transforming power, embodying miracles waiting to happen – as God continues to manifest his His power and blessings in you and through you.

Limitation is a carnal concept.  When people tell you that you don’t have the ability to achieve and succeed, it is because they are relating to what they see with their natural eyes.  They are describing your abilities and limitations in relation to human limitations, which are very often observed in this physical world.

OUR DIVINE NATURE

Let us affirm that there is no limit to our God-given potential.  We feel limited when we do not see ourselves as being endowed with the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent Spirit of God.  Remember that we are “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).  I am not saying that we are little gods, or ‘Holy Spirit jr.’  But we, being made in the image and likeness of God, are made to reflect His glory.  We can therefore understand spiritual truths, we can know God’s perfect will for our lives and we can achieve material prosperity and love other people, regardless of what may have happened to us in this world.

In the parable of the vine and the branches (John 15: 5-11), Jesus Christ, the Son of God Himself speaks of dwelling in the believer’s life, enabling him/her to bring forth the fruit of spiritual understanding and material blessings provided that the believer is embedded / has a personal relationship with God.  Remember, that “in God, we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).

WE HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST

“We have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).  The mind of Christ is characterised by the ability to mediate and understand the truths of God.  We are told in Psalm 1:2 that the mind of the righteous person delights in meditating on the law of the Lord – that is, all of the truths of God written in the Bible, including the ability of mankind to receive abundantly and limitlessly both spiritually and materially.  Also, remember the spiritually minded person takes a spiritual perspective on past life events (Deuteronomy 32: 7); understands the purpose of chastisement (Deuteronomy 8:5), attributes prosperity to the goodness of God (1 Samuel 12:24) and learns deep lessons from observing God’s creation (Matthew 6: 28 – 29).

With the mind of Christ, we can know what God’s perfect will for our lives is.  We can look back on our past, we can understand what is happening in the present and see God’s clear direction and understand what our purpose on this earth is.  On this basis, I firmly believe that if we have the mind of Christ, we are inspired by God to ask for the things that are in agreement with God’s perfect will for us.  We can visualize in faith whatever we desire to become, without any thought of human limitation and receive it in reality – God willing!  That said, God will enable us and therefore there is no limit to our God-given potential.

In Part 2, I will speak about finding our purpose and using our God-given potential to achieve it.

Leave a comment.  Visit my website www.camilleisaacsmorell.com