The Ugly Truth About Self-reflection

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Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart. Psalm 51:6 AMP

How often have you allowed a few days, weeks, or months to pass before reading the Bible?

How often have you pursued your own desires and the pleasures of this world?

How often do you bring your thoughts under control by the Holy Spirit?

Does your life reflect the will of your Heavenly Father?

I am sure many of you have cringed as you read each question, but I am not here to condemn you but to encourage you to use this moment as a point of self-reflection. There are times in our lives that we have to be honest with ourselves about where we are. We must face the ugly truth and make a choice to move forward.

The Lord longs to help us in our times of need, but we must first surrender ourselves to Him. For us to live a life controlled by the Holy Spirit we must learn to control our thought lives. When our mind has been conditioned through prayer and mediation upon scripture it is not as easy for demonic attacks to succeed against us. We war with our flesh every day, but the point is not to give up. Turn your attention to the Word of God and receive the strength you need to live a spirit-filled life. I have provided a few go-to scriptures that have helped me along the way.

Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now Your word do I keep [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying it]. Psalm 119:67 AMP
Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15 (AMP)

That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time— remember, you’ve been raised from the dead! —into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God. Romans 6:12-14 (MSG)

Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. Philippians 2:13 (AMP)

Father, forgive us for picking up your Word only after our ways fail us. Forgive us for not remaining focused and intent on doing your will. Too often, we get caught up in our everyday routine and lose sight of your will for our lives. Forgive us for giving ourselves over to every thought, craving, and desire, for Your Word says we should not give any part of our body over to sin. Help us Lord to get ourselves back on track fully committed to you and your plans for our lives. Help us to submit to your good will and pleasure. Help us to rely on your Strength and not our own. Help us to surrender our will to yours. We know that you have our best interest at heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Grace and Peace,

 

Mary Pinckney ~ Your Breakthrough Coach

https://linktr.ee/breakthrucoach

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© Mary Pinckney, revised 2018

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Will You Choose To Be Humble?

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It takes so much out of us at times to really allow God to have His way in our lives. I have found that the hardest lessons of discipline is to submit my will to His. Can you identify?  It is not that easy submitting every plan, every desire, every need to Him when you consider yourself strong and independent and yes, even a “know- it -all” at times.  Nope, not easy at all. I want my way often and I want to prove to others that I got this all together.

God is so in tuned to us than we are to ourselves. Not only is He is so aware of our true potential and the greatness He has placed on the inside of us. He is also aware of our imperfections, yet He still calls us His own. He still prompts us to keep moving in the midst of chaos and trials. He directs us to even bigger feats than we can ever imagine because He sees the heart of a champion on the inside of us.  We, on the other hand only see through dim glasses.

As I write this I am reminded of the lyrics to one of my favorite songs right now, He Knows My Name by Francesca Battistelli. Here is a brief portion for you to ponder:

Spent today in a conversation In the mirror face to face with Somebody less than perfect I wouldn’t choose me first if I was looking for a champion In fact I’d understand if You picked everyone before me But that’s just not my story True to who You are You saw my heart And made Something out of nothing

I don’t need my name in lights I’m famous in my Father’s eyes Make no mistake He knows my name I’m not living for applause I’m already so adored It’s all His stage He knows my name

It is so refreshing to know that we are loved, forgiven, freed, and known by our Father, even in the midst of our mess ups trying to get it all right in the eyes of everyone else.

I pray that today, you and I will both choose to be humble before our Lord knowing that He knows more about us than we do ourselves. I pray that we will both take the time to humble ourselves before Him and submit to His plans and purposes for the journey ahead. After all, we should only be living for an audience of one. The One that truly knows our name. The One that wrote the days of our lives in His book, even before the foundation of the world. He knows us better than we know ourselves.

Father, teach us to humble ourselves before you, knowing and recognizing that you always have our best interest at heart. You have predestined us to succeed. You have woven Your plans and thoughts for us into a much bigger picture than we can even begin to fathom. May we submit wholeheartedly to Your plan for our lives and trust you to bring us to our expected end. In Jesus’ name Amen.

Reflections:Take a long hard look at what is driving you this year. What are your underlying motives and intention for accomplishing the goals you have set for yourself?

 

© Mary Pinckney, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop For A Moment

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This last week was a week of refreshing and renewal for me. Normally, going into downtime, I go in with an agenda. The last couple of years, that agenda was to meet my deadline to complete my second devotional.  So, needless to say, all of my time went into finishing and not really enjoying the time away.

This year, I had no plans, no set agenda at all. Much of my day was spent soaking up God’s goodness. I decided to dedicate this year’s downtime to allowing God to work on me. I became the project at hand. And boy was I glad I submitted myself to His graceful hands.

There were moments that the pruning and the refining became a little harder to take, but I withstood the blows as He showed me myself. I walked away feeling much lighter than I have been in months.  I walked away, refreshed, refueled, reenergized, and most of all knowing that the Master did a major work on the inside of me.

I didn’t realize the disappointments, the highs and the lows, that I had endured throughout the year as I worked to accomplish the goals I set for myself had me numb to the state of my heart. I didn’t realize I was still doing only enough to get by until I surrendered my heart to the Master surgeon. It was then that it all became so clear that I was still running from the enemy in me.

I realized, during my much needed time alone with the Lord, that I had not fully grasped His love for me. I had not fully given my all to Him. I was still working to control the reins of my life. This is a losing battle that none of us will be able to master after giving ownership of our life over to the Lord, yet we still strive at it.

This week, I want to challenge you as the year ends to take some time to reflect on where you are in your relationship with the Lord.

Have you surrendered your all to Him?

Are you still in control of your life?

Stop for a moment before entering the New Year just to listen. You see, it is when we surrender our control that we find total satisfaction in life. No longer will we work to be like everyone else, live our lives in a hurried pace to accomplish one task after another, but we will find ourselves being satisfied with Him and Him alone. He is more than enough.

Lord, we desire to complete the race, the tasks You have set before us even in the area of Holy living. Help us not to get so consumed with winning in other areas of our lives that we neglect the needful part. We trust Your guidance in our lives. Help us to correct any steps that lead us away from You and your purpose for us In Jesus’ name. Amen

Shalom,

Mary

© December 29, 2015

Take Action: Instead of working on new goals or resolutions to complete for the upcoming year, why not relist the ones from previous years and work on finding out what has kept you from completing those goals? What has hindered your progress?

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You may purchase a copy of my latest devotional, Be Attitudes: A Devotional Journey to a Disciplined Life to accompany you on the journey. Books can be purchased at www.vflconsultants.com or Amazon.com.

 

Reflections..

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As I sat this morning, quietly listening to the waves crash upon the shore, I heard the Holy Spirit say “write where you are.”  So here goes, my raw thoughts from this morning…

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It’s morning, as I sit and watch the waves crash upon the shore, I can’t help but reflect on Your goodness. How Your love surrounds us and overshadows us, even when we fail to take notice. How Your blood washed over our dirty, sin filled souls. You cleansed us from all of our guilt and iniquity.

It is times like these I want to just jump in and get wet; just to bask in Your presence until all my fears are gone. I want to dive into the sea of Your love and just be at peace, be at rest.

Life sometimes takes us by surprise, but You are always constant, just like the waves of the sea. You are always present. Your love never fades away. Your love is so refreshing, so breathtaking, it’s so hard to imagine life without it, life without You.

The stillness of this moment makes life so worth living. The birds fly without a care in the world. The sea roars in contentment, in worship, settled into what You created it to be. The sun fades away in the faint distance as the clouds give way to rain.

My heart, so heavy, so free at the same time because only You know how to wash away my pain. You took away what I once held so dear; my worries, my doubts, all my concerns and washed them all away. You reminded me of Your great love for me and how you will always stay.

You are always there, so constant, so consistent like the roaring sea. Why should I fear? Why should I be discouraged? You hold me all so near. You wrap me in the sea of Your love, now I have no fears.

I wade in a little bit deeper just to experience what I have been missing. Fear has kept me at arm’s length, never fully experiencing life’s fullness. Never fully launching out into the deep; the depths of Your love will never harm me.

So today, I give myself freely to You, Your love, Your touch; desiring Your healing Hand to restore every broken part of me. Every tear, every pain, every heartache I have contained, cast it into the sea of forgetfulness right now, I must. Longing to bask fully in who You are, in Your love so true. The sea of Your love has captured me. It stills my soul. It reminds me of Your great love; Your Son, Jesus You sent from above.

I’ll hold on to Your hand as You lead me to new depths in You; never forgetting You are with me, every step. You promised to not leave me, abandon me You won’t. It is the sea of Your love that holds me so close. So near I can taste You yet so far, I pant after You, not wanting to let go. You won’t leave me, no. You won’t ever let me go.

I sit and I watch in awe, in wonder at the works of Your hands. It’s so majestic, yet so refreshing all in the same breath. Your power so quaint yet well-defined with each wave. You have taken me captive. I can’t seem to pull away. So, I will just sit and be overtaken by Your great love. I’m here Lord, I’m here to stay.

Shalom,

Mary

© December 22, 2015