Distractions: Something that prevents you from focusing on what’s most important.
Perspective Shift: A New & Improved Understanding
During this time of praying and fasting, I realized something that’s extremely important. I realized that the endless things of life-- entertainment, social media, or even food can be the ultimate distractions. I believe it’s so important to take a break from these distractions and really go deeper with the Lord. I want to provide you with seven ways God has changed my perspective as I stepped away from distractions. Ladies, let’s go deeper in our understanding as we examine where we are and where God wants to take us.
Perspective #1: You Gain a Greater Understanding
There’s something profound when you take the initiative to truly dedicate your life to the Lord. During this 21 days of fasting, I made it my priority to wake up in the early morning and spend time in God’s presence, go deeper in the Word, and worship the one, true living God. It’s not that this wasn’t a priority before --it's that I wanted to go deeper in the Lord's presence, and continue to build my relationship with God. Yes, that’s right, I’m hungry to grow in my relationship with God. And quite honestly, I’ve never been more determined to do so. You see, God began to change my perspective during this fast on what He views to be important. I believe that the Lord wanted me to see His will for my life with even more clarity. Talk about a perspective shift! When you begin to spend time with God, your perspective will begin to change. Suddenly, what you thought was most important, somehow finds its importance to the bottom of the list. Ladies, I am telling you what I know and understand to be true. Today, what are your currently focused on? Is it your status on social media? Whether you have a best friend? Bad doctor's report? Whatever it is, I encourage you to spend time with God and see how He will begin to shift your focus towards His promises.
Perspective #2: Greater Calling
You see, the Bible tells us in 1 John 2:16 “For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.” Quite honestly, it’s easy to fall into the temptation to chase after the world’s riches. But when you remove the distractions of life— unhealthy relationships, expensive shopping trips, other luxuries, television, social media overload, etc., I believe God will begin to show you the true importance of why He’s placed each of us in this world.
Of course, there’s balance to it all. God doesn’t intend for His people to live a life without joy. He just doesn’t want those things to be our sole reason for living, and the only things we seek after. You see, when I began to shift the focus from the number of followers on Instagram to the reason why I am writing to you today, I experienced a new level of freedom. A freedom that cannot be compared or taken away, true freedom. It’s never a bad thing to want to progress in your life, but it can become questionable when all you think about is your success and not about others. I share this with you to encourage you to ask yourself, “What have I been focusing on and putting my time, energy, and attention to? What is my motive? Is this a selfish motive? Or is this to glorify God?”
Perspective #3: Understanding of God’s Promises
Has anyone ever promised you anything? Ever heard someone say, “I promise I will never hurt you” or “I promise to always be there for you?” Did they fulfill their promises, or did you find yourself being disappointed? During this time of seeking God, I began to go deeper in searching for God's promises in His word. I have learned that man can promise many things in our lives. However, we must understand that man can not fulfill promises the way that God can. When God says in His word that healing was intended for you (see Isaiah 53:5), that means that when you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are a child of God—so sickness simply cannot reside in you! There’s literally no question about it. It’s amazing the kind of promises that God freely gives all His people. I’ve learned the importance of putting a high demand on God’s promises for my life. Ladies, you don’t have to accept the overwhelming feeling of heaviness, despair, depression or anything else that’s negatively hindering you from enjoying your life. Did you know that God promises you praise for heaviness? Joy for mourning? Isaiah 61:3 says: “To all who mourn in Israel, he will give you a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair”. I encourage you to trade your sadness for the joy of the Lord!
Perspective # 4: The Heart of a Servant
During this time of praying and fasting, God showed me the importance of having a servant's heart. What do you think it really means to have a heart of a servant? It means to be ready to attend to the needs others. And doing so with a fervent passion. I recall sitting in church and listening to the discussion about the relationship between Elisha and Elijah (2 Kings 2:2-15). I began to gain a deeper understanding of the importance relationships and serving others. God really began to tug on my heart about serving without limitations. You see, it doesn't matter what you feel you're called to do, because God has called us to serve in any capacity. One of my Pastors said a life changing statement: "It's not about the mic, it's about the mop." Many times, we shy away from opportunities that are behind the scenes because we may feel those things are beneath us or not what God has called us to do. But in reality, it's much more than the glitz and glamour. It's about praying for those who need healing. It's about spending time with someone who is mourning, or anything else that pushes you outside of your comfort zone. What would this world look like if we all began to serve others with the love of God?
Perspective #5: Understanding the Source of True Joy
I believe true joy is given to us by God. Yes, there are many sources that can make us feel happy. However, God began to show me that true joy is found in Him. Ladies, where have you been looking to experience joy? You know the Bible tells us that God intended for us to have an abundant life (John 10:10). I honestly believe that this fast helped me to understand this scripture in a new way. Ladies, true joy isn't found in our social status, or whether someone else accepts you. You see when you understand that real joy isn't based upon your accomplishments or other's approval of you, your perspective begins to shift. Personally, I experienced a new level of joy and freedom while fasting and praying. I had an "Aha Moment" where I didn't look to the vanilla bean ice cream for satisfaction. But I looked to God's word and saw that the "Joy of the Lord is my strength!"
Perspective #6: Mountain Moving Faith
When I hear the term "mountain moving faith", I see someone standing before a huge mountain with the faith to move it. The Bible says in Matthew 17:20 "I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move here to there', and it would move. Nothing would be impossible." Wow! Isn't it amazing the impact that our faith can have? Maybe you're believing for a promotion, a joyful life, good health, or a healthy relationship; I encourage you to have faith to believe that the mountain of debt, the depression, the bad doctor's report, the unhealthy communication in marriage can be moved according to your faith! I can sense that some of you have accepted the circumstances of life in a sense that you no longer believe for the best any longer. I encourage you to take a stand and allow God to increase your faith to believe for the impossible. Just by seeking God on a deeper level, it has encouraged me to believe for God to do the impossible in any situation that comes my way! What would happen if you began to believe again?
Perspective #7: Being Confident in God & Trusting His Timing
My routine for preparing for a blog post consists of praying, worshiping, and asking God to show me what He wants me to write about. So I did just that for this blog post, but I waited some time before I actually began to write. Truth is, God had given me the topic for this post but I wasn't confident in what I believed He wanted me to write about. I share this with you to give you a glimpse of my experiences in my everyday life. I believe that God wants you to take a step towards the very thing that He's placed on your heart. It doesn't matter if you don't have all of the answers, what matters is that you take a step. You will see that He will give you more of what you need on your way than what you started with. Why don't you work on that business that God placed on your heart? Or send in your resume for the position that you keep thinking about? What is stopping you from doing so? Many times, it can be that we're simply not confident enough to believe in what God has called us to do. Ladies, I want to push you to be the greatest you that you can be! The only way to do that is for you to begin walking in the direction of where God is calling you.
p.s. Please feel free to leave a comment and share the perspective that resonated with you the most. I always love to hear your thoughts!