Episode 31: Giving the Best Gift Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
00:00 / 00:12:49
Giving the Best Gift Podcast Outline
Shame over Gift-Giving
Peter and John’s Gift
There have been quite a few times over the years when I would see someone that’s homeless on the streets and was deeply moved with compassion and empathy for their situation. Majority of the time, when this happened, usually one of two things were going on: either I didn’t have cash on me, or I literally didn’t have the money. I would feel bad inside, then let them know that I wish that I had the money to give, and then say, “God bless”. Then, they would usually nod.
What I said didn’t fill their physical need. However, saying, “God bless” told them that I did care. Sometimes, we see Christians and non-Christians, and we wish that we could help, but for whatever reason, we just can’t. Satan often uses these times as tools to place a stronghold of shame on us. Money isn’t all that we can give others. We also have our time and our talents that we can bless others with. However, once we start the comparison trap, then this reality goes out the door along with everything else.
Peter and John faced the same situation with a man at the gate Beautiful, asking for money from the passersby. They didn’t have money to give him. They had something better: the gift of salvation leading to eternal life:
Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
We thank you for when we have money to help others who are in need. We also thank you for when we don’t have the money, knowing that the best help that we could ever give is the plan of salvation. Please help us to remember this when we encounter certain situations.
It was on a fall morning about six years ago. I remember being extremely out of breath. I had lost track of the time, as usual. And there I was running down the hill and into the big, open field next to my home. I kept thinking to myself, ” I’m not going to make!” I was finally on the same side of the street as the bus stop. But I still had to walk into 7-Eleven to get change to get on the bus. I said to myself, “I can’t run any more! I am so tired.” Then, I decided to give it my all, run into 7-Eleven, and give it my all to make it back to the bus stop.
As I was running into 7-Eleven, the verse kept playing in my head, ”
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
How many of us say the same thing that I did day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year when we are facing insurmountable trials?
“I can’t run any more! I am so tired.”
We all have. When this is happening, we have to remember that God is trying to do the running for us instead of us doing it in our own strength. When we give the race to God, then our legs become lighter and we reach the FINISH LINE like I did that morning when I made it to the bus stop.
Episode 26: The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2 Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
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In case you missed last week’s recording, “The Sin of Cynicism-Part 1”, you can find that here. Today’s recording is Episode 26-The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2.
The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2 Outline
Reflection on Part 1
Dissection of The Older Brother
Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness Part 2. Today’s recording is episode 26: The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2. Just as a quick recap from Part 1, we discussed the fact that Cynicism has several factors that lead up to its brokenness as a state of mind:
Reflection on Part 1
You have experienced a lot of issues with betrayal.
There are historical patterns of things not working out in your
favor, or working out in a way that is undesirable to you.
You get to the point of seeing too much and hearing too much to
think that things will be different.
Most of the people that you trusted let you down.
The few times that you thought things would turn out good, they
turned out bad, and you lost faith in believing that things could be different.
In the case of the two stories that we are
going to look at today, the two biblical characters carried out the sin of
cynicism because of two main reasons:
The historical pattern of character of the authority figures.
The lack of legalism that existed for these authority figures.
The two men that we are going to dissect is Jonah
and the older brother of the prodigal son.
Their reasons for cynicism contradict the normal factors. Cynicism set in with both of these men because of the recognition of the good qualities of the father and God.
Dissection of The Older Brother
Let’s explore the story of the prodigal son first.
The dad was gracious, merciful, slow to anger, kind, forgiving,
accepting, non-judgmental, long-suffering, and compassionate.
the prodigal son returned home penniless, hungry, and exhausted from wild
living, the father could have greeted him with judgment, coldness, and
distance. Instead he accepted his son, welcomed
him with a grateful heart that he was safe and sound, and embraced him for who
fact that he ran to meet him to diffuse being shamed by the community was a
bonus. It showed the son that he was
going to be welcomed. There is nothing
worse than messing up big time, and not knowing what other Christians are going
to say as you reenter the house of God or run into them while you are in
Luke 15 tells us:
But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had
compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight,
and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe,
and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is
found. And they began to be merry.
The father knew that hitting rock bottom was enough of a consequence for the younger son. He didn’t need to enforce further punishment. He also possessed enough self-acceptance that he didn’t worry about being embarrassed in regard to the reaction of the community.
older son dwelled on his sin of cynicism that is evidenced through dialog that
is filled with scornfulness, bitterness, and resentment. He felt that he had been failed. He didn’t focus on his younger brother’s
condition of going from “lost to found”.
Along with his cynicism, he was filled with self-pity and envy: Luke
15: 28-31 reads: “28 And he was angry, and
would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
29 And he answering said to
his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any
time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make
merry with my friends:
30 But as soon as this thy
son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for
him the fatted calf.
31 And he said unto him, Son,
thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
32 It was meet that we should
make merry and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and
was lost, and is found.
The father tried to get the older son to go
in twice. We are left wondering what
eventually happened. Did he stay outside
and continue to sulk? One thing this
clear about the brother’s dialog is that not only is he resentful, but he is
filled with broken thinking. Two words
suggest broken thinking when resentment is present: “always and never”.
Our dialog goes something like this:
“I always have to clean the house.”
“She always gets to do something special.”
“I never have the opportunity to do anything.”
Nine times out of ten, these statements aren’t
true. If they are true, there is some type
of dynamic that has been setup that needs to change. Or, perhaps, the financial situation has
changed that allows you to do more for the younger child than you were able to
do for the older child. Whatever the
case may be, broken thinking is present.
First-born children tend to be
rule-followers. With that thought in
mind, the older son definitely felt that he was cheated since he was the “rule-follower”. However, one thing about rule followers is
that they can get caught up in being legalistic because they follow the
rules. God is more concerned about our
hearts than checking off boxes to say that we did something.
Let’s explore the story of Jonah.
Jonah was told to go to Nineveh to warn them about
their sin and God’s judgment for their sin if they continued going in the
direction that they were going.
Jonah decided that he knew best,
and so, he skipped out on the trip altogether, and took a boat ride to a
different part of town. God had a fish
to swallow Jonah. And Jonah prayed
inside of the fish for God’s mercy and grace, and the fish released Jonah.
Let’s discuss the character of the authority figure in Jonah’s story.
Jonah’s story, this figure is God. Not surprisingly,
the dad in our first story is actually a representation of God.
are the characteristics of God that Jonah was familiar with?
God was gracious, merciful, slow to anger, kind, forgiving,
accepting, non-judgmental, long-suffering, and compassionate.
In Jonah’s story, Jonah was bitter, resentful, and cynical because
God proved that his heart was all of those characteristics that were just
mentioned. It was okay for God to have
all these attributes when it came to saving him. However, it wasn’t okay for him to possess
them when it came to saving the Ninevites.
God gave Jonah a chance to get it right. He sent him to Nineveh a second time:
Jonah 3 King James Version
3 And the
word of the Lord came
unto Jonah the second time, saying,
2 Arise, go
unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid
3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the
word of theLord. Now Nineveh was
an exceeding great city of three days’ journey.
4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast,
and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from
his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and
sat in ashes.
7 And he caused it to be
proclaimed and published through
Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor
beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:
8 But let
man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let
them turn everyone from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their
9 Who can
tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we
Ninevites didn’t have to suffer consequences because they repented right
4: 10 says:
10 And God
saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the
evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
Like the older brother in the prodigal son story, Jonah was so
angry that he didn’t know what to do with himself. God tried reasoning with him. Unfortunately, Jonah wasn’t haven’t it.
His cynicism showed up in verses 1-2, when he basically said, “See,
this is why I didn’t do what you told me.
I know this is how you would respond.”
Here are his exact words: “But it displeased
Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.
2 And he
prayed unto the Lord, and
said, I pray thee, O Lord,
was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before
unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to
anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.
God told Jonah that the people were lost, just as the father tried to help his older son to understand about the prodigal:
Jonah 4: 7-11, KJV
God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd
that it withered.
8 And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God
prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he
fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die
than to live.
9 And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for
the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.
10 Then said the Lord,
Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither
madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:
11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?
Jonah and His Rights
Jonah pouted outside of the city underneath the tree just as the
older brother pouted outside of the party celebration that was going on inside
for the prodigal son. Both men felt that
they were right. Both authority figures
tried reasoning with them twice. Both
were caught up in anger, bitterness, resentment, and cynicism. And both missed out on blessings because of
it. But why? They ignored the sovereignty of God. We have all been in both of their shoes. WE know best.
WE know what justice should look like.
WE can play God and have mercy and grace poured out on us, and others
should not. When we don’t adhere to God’s
plans, his timing, and his will, we trade whole faith for broken pieces of bitterness,
resentment, and cynicism every time.
When cynicism becomes our brokenness, it becomes our idol, and we began to scorn God directly and indirectly because of our trials and other peoples’ success. This is how Satan works. If he can get us to lose trust in our faith due to our trials, others’ brokenness, and the hurt and pain of “church hurt”. Then, he has got us.
So, the question is, how do we get out of this sin. Prayer.
Lots of it. Cynicism is spiritual
like all other sin. Getting grounded in
our identity. Getting rid of our broken
thinking. Changed thinking equals
changed talking and changed talking equals changed behavior. Accept that God is sovereign. Pray and ask God to help you to be able to trust
again, knowing that we can’t live in this world without it. It takes time to heal, but it is
possible. Trust God’s sovereignty and
plans for our lives.
I hope that you have enjoyed today’s episode. Thank you for listening, and if today’s episode
has impressed upon your heart, share it with a friend or coworker.
Episode 25: The Sin of Cynicism-Part 1 Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
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Hello everyone! I have a new podcast episode over on the blog. Just in case you missed the last episode, you can find that one here. Today’s podcast episode is entitled, “The Sin of Cynicism-Part 1”. My podcast is now available on YouTube. Click here to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for podcast episodes.
The Sin of Cynicism Podcast Outline
Definition of Cynicism
Factors that Predispose Us for Cynicism
Abuse and Cynicism
Good evening! Welcome to the Healing Our Brokenness Podcast. Today’s recording is Episode 25: “The Sin of Cynicism-Part 1”
Definition of Cynicism
the process of being a scorner, doubter, scoffer, having paranoia, mistrust,
and skepticism about things. Everyone is
cynical at one time or another, however, cynicism becomes a concern when it
gets in the way of life’s joys for us, other people being around us, and it is
labeled as part of our brokenness.
Blessed is the man that
walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor
sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Factors that Predispose Us for Cynicism
several factors that make up the reasons for one adopting cynicism as part of
have experienced a lot of issues with betrayal.
are historical patterns of things not working out in your favor, or working out
in a way that is undesirable to you.
get to the point of seeing too much and hearing too much to think that things
will be different.
of the people that you trusted let you down.
few times that you thought things would turn out good, they turned out bad, and
you lost faith in believing that things could be different.
the case may be, from the outside looking in, it is easy to be judgmental to
something we don’t understand. It is not
a license for us to commit the sin.
However, empathy helps us to understand that the sin of cynicism is just
like having any other sin. It becomes
addictive, spreads like a disease, creates negativity, and begs for more.
After having to deal with a divorce from a toxic individual, I experienced some cynicism creeping in. As a matter of fact, I had someone to mention it to me. It made me become more aware of when I was allowing it to get a foothold.
Abuse and Cynicism
I have also
noticed that when individuals have been abused, and the abuser has run an
all-out smear campaign packed with lies against the victim , and then
brainwashes, and pulls in the victim’s family, it becomes the perfect tool for Satan
to intertwine inside this person as a stronghold, rather than just a phase of
individual starts to believe that no one can be trusted. We know that this isn’t true. However, when we are in pain, we often shake
hands with Satan for all kinds of addictions and coping mechanisms to cover up
We can vacillate
from one end of the spectrum to another.
Either we are too trusting, or we distrust everyone.
a while to gain. When trust is broken
through lies and betrayal, we are left with the thoughts in our minds that
everyone will do the same thing that this person or persons did to us.
our pain and hurt with healing is the hard, but fruitful way out of cynicism. But as with any coping mechanism, what we
have allowed to go on for so long becomes part of our normal and dysfunctional
patterns of behavior.
aren’t happening our way, in our will, and in our timing, we trade whole faith and
God’s promises for broken pieces of cynicism.
I want to
leave you with some bible verses to help you if the sin of cynicism is a part
of your brokenness:
11 I ask,
then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an
Israelite, a descendant of Abraham,[a] a
member of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected his people whom
he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he
appeals to God against Israel? 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have
demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” 4 But what is God’s reply to
him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the
knee to Baal.” 5 So too at
the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. 6 But if it is by grace, it
is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.
15 We who
are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and
not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good,
to build him up. 3 For Christ
did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who
reproached you fell on me.”4 For whatever was written in former days was
written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the
encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God of endurance
and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in
accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice
glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore welcome one
another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
Thank you for listening to Episode 25 of Healing Our Brokenness: “The Sin of Cynicism-Part 1”. Remember if this podcast is making a difference in your life, recommend a friend for listening. Thanks, and have a beautifully blessed weekend!
The Potter-This poem depicts the awesome work of our Creator, God himself. He is going to keep working on us, if we allow him to be in control instead of us trying to take the reigns. If you didn’t read my last poem, “Refusal to Heal”, you can find that one here.
Saying “No” is easier for some of us than others. However, when we learn how to use this word, it probably means that we are growing in our emotional and mental health, and learning how to set boundaries. Saying “No” doesn’t translate over to being mean to others. As a matter of fact, the inability to say “no” is being unkind to ourselves. We end up running ourselves ragged pleasing everyone else, and then we are joyless ourselves.
We forget that we do not have never-ending amounts of energy. What we don’t say “NO” to today, will say “NO” to us on tomorrow. This is usually when we start saying “No!” It is when God gives us a time-out. Either we can willingly learn the skill, or we are forced to learn it because our physical health ends up taking a plunge.
When we are able to say “No” to some things, we open ourselves up to being able to say “Yes” to others. These are the things that we have been gifted for. These are the things that involve our spouses, life-giving friends, and children. It also invites our “NO” to become someone else’s opportunity to step up and say “yes”. So, then why is it so hard? It is hard because we have been trained to help others by completely sacrificing ourselves in the process. Helping others requires the sacrifice of dying to ourselves. Sometimes we can get too caught up in our own problems and our family’s problems. We forget that there is a whole ‘nother world outside of us.
However, there is a balance. This is where self-awareness and realization of our limitations come in. It is also hard for us to say “No” if we grew up in a family where we were served guilt for exerting boundaries or having feelings of our own. Initially, it will be difficult. However, the more we practice saying it, the more we are free to prioritize what God wants us to do.
So, let’s practice saying “No”, so that God can say “Yes!” to using us as only he can!
Episode 22: Opposition Against Your Calling Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
00:00 / 00:19:19
Opposition Against Your Calling Podcast Outline
The Effects of Our Calling
What Happened to Me in My Calling
Nehemiah and his Calling
Solutions for Opposition
Good afternoon! Welcome to Episode 22 of Healing Our Brokenness. Today’s Episode is entitled, “Opposition Against Your Calling”.
How many of you have been told by God that you were destined for a calling? You went through the steps of walking in that calling until Satan started to shame you with your personal struggles, and what your present reality is, rather than God’s truth. That is what has happened to me as well.
When life’s disappointments begin to scream at us from every direction known to man, we start to second guess what it is that God already promised us. As a matter of fact, when God spoke your calling over your life, the promise was so strong, that you could feel God’s peace over you.
God is not a liar. His word will not return unto him void. However, we are not in charge of the timing. But, because we don’t see God’s promise coming to fruition right away, we allow the enemy to shame us with doubt and negative views of God. We detach ourselves from seeing his provision, faithfulness, and goodness while we wait.
The Effects of Our Calling
When God puts a calling on our lives, it can bring out the best or the worst in people. Some people will cheer you on and confirm the calling that has been spoken to you clearly about. They might even offer to help you with anything that you need to get started. These are usually the ones who will pray for and with you and walk through the entire birthing process that God has placed upon you.
But then we have the second group of people. This is the group of people who will try to do everything that they can do to discourage you from stepping into what God has already told you is yours. I have had this to happen to me unfortunately. They will spew out everything that they can possibly think of in the area of negativity. There will be subtle hints of how you should do something else. Or hints of your current status not being representative of anything close to your calling. They might make comments about your clothing or physical appearance.
Unfortunately, in my own personal experience, I had all three of the above instances to occur. I noticed there was a pattern that occurred. As I celebrated each small accomplishment, there were suggestions that I should do something else. It took me a while to catch on. What becomes dangerous, and something that we very much must watch out for is when people will use the Holy Spirit to speak into what you are supposed to do, and it is not lining up with what God has told you. God does speak to other people. However, if it is in direct contradiction with what we have been told, we need to be careful. The scriptures tell us to test the spirits.
One thing about negativity is that when it gets into your head, it becomes like a disease. It is easy going in, but not easy getting out. Your mood will shift from one of being upbeat to depression until you start noticing where the source of this negativity is coming from.
What Happened to Me in My Calling
When everything fell apart in my life in 2018, and I started the beginning of my job trials, Satan tried to convince me to stop following the steps of my calling. However, now that I look back, his work was so evident that he decided to have almost every single appliance in my home to break down one after the other. It was unbelievable.
Then, within the last week, as I was coming to a place of acceptance of letting God direct me in my next steps, and on a spiritual high from this “new place”, once again, Satan showed up in trying to prevent me from doing my calling. Out of nowhere, I had major problems with my printer. Then, I narrowed it down to realizing that the issue was just with my laptop.
Then, I thought, “Oh Great!” I found myself getting upset because it took several hours away from productivity for the day. I had already had two days where I couldn’t do as much work since I wasn’t feeling well, and this particular day, I was ready to get things done. However, the printer was not. I came up with a plan to tackle it later and kept going.
What Happened to Me in My Calling- Part 2
And the enemy kept going. I had three blog posts to get done, and two podcast recordings to complete before the week was out, and my blog’s website had a three-part glitch. The technicians fixed two problems and gave me a workaround solution for third fix so that I could get back to working.
The temporary fix caused about six other problems. At this point, I had to pray. I admitted to the Lord that I was really angry at this point. I asked him to help me not to sin in this anger, and to work through the problem. Sometimes we just have to get honest with our feelings. He was already aware of what was going on. The six other problems resolved by this morning, and I am still working in a temporary editor until their developer fixes the bug. But God is good! Satan didn’t totally cripple me from doing what I needed to do. However, there was a lot of frustration along the way.
As Nehemiah and his people tried to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, they faced a lot of opposition. Like with myself, people tried any and everything in order to get Nehemiah to come down from building the wall. Sanballat and his crew even sent a false prophet to Nehemiah to make it seem like the Lord had given orders.
6 When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it—though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates— 2 Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages[a] on the plain of Ono.”
But they were scheming to harm me; 3 so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” 4 Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer.
5 Then, the fifth time, Sanballat sent his aide to me with the same message, and in his hand was an unsealed letter 6 in which was written:
“It is reported among the nations—and Geshem[b] says it is true—that you and the Jews are plotting to revolt, and therefore you are building the wall. Moreover, according to these reports you are about to become their king 7 and have even appointed prophets to make this proclamation about you in Jerusalem: ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now this report will get back to the king; so come, let us meet together.”
8 I sent him this reply: “Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.”
9 They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.”
But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”
Scripture Part 2
10 One day I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was shut in at his home. He said, “Let us meet in the house of God, inside the temple, and let us close the temple doors, because men are coming to kill you—by night they are coming to kill you.”
11 But I said, “Should a man like me run away? Or should someone like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!” 12 I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13 He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me.
14 Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophet Noadiah and how she and the rest of the prophets have been trying to intimidate me. 15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.
Opposition to the Completed Wall
16 When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.
17 Also, in those days the nobles of Judah were sending many letters to Tobiah and replies from Tobiah kept coming to them. 18 For many in Judah were under oath to him, since he was son-in-law to Shekaniah son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berekiah. 19 Moreover, they kept reporting to me his good deeds and then telling him what I said. And Tobiah sent letters to intimidate me.
Just like with Nehemiah and myself, Satan will send anybody and anything to stop you from doing what God wants you to do. He will send your kids, your family, your friends, appliance and technology failure, etc. Anything! He will send people to us to have us to waste five hours that could be invested in getting things done. Or better yet, waste five hours surfing on social media, and then for sure you aren’t going to want to do anything afterwards.
Solutions for Opposition
How do we combat the opposition against our calling?
Be aware of patterns of behavior in others in others that cause depression and sadness through the spirit of negativity.
Prepare yourself to do some exchanging of your inner and outer circles.
Know that if at no other time, your calling will be the time when it will be clear if you will have to let some friendships go.
Test the spirit to see if what was prophesied lines up with what God promised you.
Keep yourself prayed up and encouraged in the Lord. There are many times that David had to do that.
Persevere with consistency and give yourself grace along the way.
Be honest with your feelings when opposition comes your way.
Thank you for listening to Healing Our Brokenness: Episode 22: Opposition Against Your Calling. I hope that you have been able to have some takeaways to add to your healing. God bless!
Episode 18: Hearing God’s Voice in the Midst of Chaos Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
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There are a lot of voices that we hear on a daily basis. However, discerning the voice of God becomes the most important one that we need to focus on. Do we know what to look for? Is it the same voice for everyone? These questions and more will be answered in this week’s episode: Hearing God’s Voice in the Midst of Chaos.
How to Know It’s God
How God Speaks to Me
Truths on Hearing God’s Voice
Samuel and the Voice of God
Part #1 Hearing God’s Voice
Good afternoon! Welcome to Valley of Grace’s Healing Our Brokenness Podcast! Today we are on episode 18, entitled, Hearing God’s Voice in the Midst of Chaos. When we think about hearing God, we often associate it with the Ten Commandments movie where God spoke to Moses on the mountain. Sometimes God is just that powerful. However, often hearing God can come in the small, subtle, or least grand ways than we expect.
So, the question
that you all are probably asking is, “Well, if it is small, how will I know?”
We do three
We slow down enough to hear him. If we aren’t slowed down enough, we won’t hear God, or gain clarity on anything else that is going on.
We pray and ask God to help us to become discerning in regard to noticing his voice.
WE look for God to speak to us in themes or patterns. This can be via sermons at church, small groups and bible studies, therapy, or via inner circle advice.
Part #2 Hearing God’s Voice
I have realized
for myself that God speaks to me through my work. Since I read and listen to a lot of blogs,
articles, podcasts, and sermons, God will have them to center around a certain
theme for me to understand that it is something that I need to work on.
speaks to me in dreams to prepare me. I
have heard others say that God doesn’t speak to other people in dreams as in
biblical times. I beg to differ. God knows each and everyone of us by name, the
number of the strands of hair that is on our heads, and the names of all the stars. I believe that God will use whatever means
necessary for us to know that it is him.
A few years
ago, after going through a horrific divorce, I longed to see my dad who I hadn’t
been in contact with for a while. I
searched for him, and unfortunately, came to a dead end. About two weeks later, I had a dream that I
was with him on the bus in Chicago, and he was wearing the leather jacket that
he often wore when I was a kid. I looked
down at his shoes and pants, and I realized that he had the appearance of not
keeping himself up. So, in the dream, I pondered
over asking him if he was homeless, but I was afraid to ask. I woke up, wondering what this all
meant. Less than a week later, my dad
got on the bus that a family friend was driving, and he was able to connect
with my aunt who brought him to my house.
The sight of
him nearly made me fall to the ground.
He had indeed hit hard times and was homeless for a period of nine
months. God has given me a lot of
situations like this to speak to me.
other instances, I thought that it was me being strong-willed/lazy in regard to
something that someone else wanted me to do with them. I am not a strong-willed person. However, I am human, and a sinner. And like all of us broken individuals, there
are things that we know that we should do, but don’t feel like doing, and we fuss
and go on and do it. I thought this was
the case in about three situations, then I realized my whole will had changed because
God was trying to tell me that it is something that I shouldn’t be doing.
It took a
while to see the pattern. They weren’t
bad things. They were things that I had already
dealt with in my healing. There was
literally a pulling in my chest, and a feeling in my spirit that said, “No! This is not for you.” I was surprised because one time I had
planned to write a certain devotion, and I felt God’s Spirit telling me, “No!”. I decided to write on a different topic that
night: Handpicked by God. As I was riding
in the car the following morning, I received confirmation that I made the right
choice by getting a 3-minute clip on a Bible Teacher’s message. It coincided with the new devotion. The words that came out of her mouth were
almost verbatim to what I had said in my devotion. I choked up with tears. What I thought was simplicity was God
exemplifying that he is a God of order.
God can also
have us to sense things in our spirit that something is wrong when we talk to
people. Their emotions and psychological
dysfunctions can enter our emotional, psychological, and spiritual space. Sometimes it takes a while to figure this out. We are usually able to detect this in
patterns after a while.
A few months
ago, I had the feeling that my confidence had been stripped away. This was due to the trauma and the cycle of
shame that revolved around it. Even if
there were things that I knew how to do, I would get afraid of not being able
to do them. This is indeed a problem
with trauma, where you can forget how to do certain things temporarily at any
point and time. However, it isn’t often
that it happens. And I realized just
recently, that Satan was using this fact to create low confidence in everything
that I did. Right around the time that
revelation hit, I had three different instances of God speaking to me in regard
to this confidence.
one included a conversation with someone that I met who was able to discern
this. The second conversation was from
someone wishing me a happy birthday, and then stating that 2019 would be the year
of confidence for me. The third time was
reading a book, and having a specific chapter speak on self-confidence, the importance
of it, and how to lean into God’s love to get it. For some reason, I had never thought about
praying for confidence.
some Truths that we can meditate on when it comes to Hearing from God in the
Midst of Chaos
Being too busy will miss out on hearing God’s voice.
If we are limited to our way, we will miss out on hearing God’s voice.
The failure to act in obedience in the small window of time that God gives us in emergency situations may hinder us from hearing God’s voice.
When we fail to act on God’s instructions to share what he has placed in our heart with someone else, we miss the opportunity to bless someone.
When we fail to act on God’s instructions to share what he has placed in our heart with someone else, we also miss the opportunity of bringing possible correction or rebuke to that person on an issue that God was already trying to show them.
Part #3 Hearing God’s Voice
Samuel learned to identify God’s voice. And unfortunately, he had some sad news to give to Eli, who had neglected his duties as the person in charge of the temple in 1 Samuel 3:
And the child Samuel
ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in
those days; there
was no open vision.
And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was
laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that
he could not see;
And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where
the ark of God was,
and Samuel was laid down to
That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.
And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am
I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went
and lay down.
And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went
to Eli, and said, Here am
I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down
Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the
LORD yet revealed unto him.
And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and
went to Eli, and said, Here am
I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the
Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if
he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So
Samuel went and lay down in his place.
And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times,
Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.
And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel,
at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.
In that day I will perform against Eli all things
which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an
For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the
iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he
restrained them not.
And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the
iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for
And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the
house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision.
Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered,
Here am I.
And he said, What is
the thing that the
LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it
not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me
of all the things that he said unto thee.
And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he
said, It is
the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.
And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of
his words fall to the ground.
And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of
I have had situations where I felt God speaking to me about sharing with someone in regard to my own person struggles. However, I allowed my own shame, and the worry about other peoples’ perception of me get in the way of obedience. There have been other times that I was more afraid of ugly face crying and losing control in the process of vulnerability rather than the obedience itself. I had to speak truth to myself about this. It is sin. I am calling it what it is. When we know to do good, and we don’t do it, it is flat out sin. I hope that you have enjoyed our episode of Hearing from God in the midst of Chaos. God bless, and until next time.
“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; [but] the LORD [was] not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; [but] the LORD [was] not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; [but] the LORD [was] not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was [so], when Elijah heard [it], that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, [there came] a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:11-13
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you. Psalm 32:8-9
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3