4 comments on “3 Reasons why Temptations are good for You”

3 Reasons why Temptations are good for You

Have you ever gifted someone something that you later on asked to be returned you? Similarly, when we choose to do what we would rather do instead of letting the LORD have His way with us, it’s like we’re asking God to return the words we lifted up to Him in prayer or praise. Are you ever tempted to take back your words long after your passion for God fizzled or are you ever just tempted to live as if Jesus never touched your heart? It’s okay if you say “No, not lately”, but can you at least relate?

This post will not be what you probably expect it to be but I do have a point. I definitely had those moments when Christianity wasn’t my daily lifestyle and even a few instances years later when I finally committed. I had been so confident to say “never again” and sure enough there I’d be wishing I hadn’t made that vow whether it was because it bruised my ego or made me feel unworthy. I hated my temptations. And I can’t remember exactly what tangible thing I gave to a loved one and then took back, but I’m almost positive I’ve done it at least once as well as the fact that I’ve probably been a victim of this unfairness too.

I’ve read from a devotional a few years ago that it doesn’t matter how long a Christian has been on the journey; there will come times of temptation to want to live as one had lived before they gave their life to Christ. Satan’s good at shaking his victims around, and it begins with little nudges that become persistent overtime. HE ONLY BECOMES SUCCESSFUL WHEN YOU CONFIRM BY AGREEING WITH THE MEMORIES OF GOOD FEELINGS HE WILL BE COMFORTING AND REMINDING YOU WITH. HE WILL NUDGE YOU IN AREAS YOU HAVE GROWN STRONG IN BECAUSE IT’S THOSE PARTS OF YOUR LIFE YOU THINK YOU ARE CONFIDENT HE WILL NOT TOUCH. But you are wrong. If you’re only concerned about your weaknesses, he’s got you where he wants you — blind-sighted.

Luke 4:13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

Scary, no? But I’m not afraid. You shouldn’t either. At least not right now. God is the only One whom you must fear. It’s your fear of the LORD that gives you wisdom (Proverbs 9:10), because I believe if you fear anything else, many things will terrify you. I just know that whatever comes my way, I am a better person today than I was then, and it’s because I’ve chosen to make a habit of looking at my temptations a different way.

1 Peter 4:12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

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If you’ve been hating, blaming, or running away and fearing your temptations, then they can absolutely ruin you and your mental health/emotional well-being. It’s time to change our views about them. Let me explain. TEMPTATIONS ARE PART OF A HEALTHY SPIRITUAL WALK. God allows them because they contribute to how He will be disciplining you. Remember the LORD loves so much to correct wrongdoing. What parent’s love comes without discipline and how much more with the Father’s? If you recognize temptations and what its goal is, that means you acknowledge your relationship with Jesus, and so they can actually build you up so long as you respond with the right attitude.

James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;

The right attitude is stepping back and paying close attention to where those temptations could possibly lead you and exactly how the outcome of giving in can mess with your thoughts and feelings later on. There would be no need for a right attitude/response if temptations do not do their part in testing you, and therefore there would be no acknowledgement of victory and moreover, growth, and furthermore, blessings and praises. So yes, God is responsible for allowing this, but He is also the one responsible for rewarding and equipping you with a little bit more confidence and resilience you can put to work the next time you are ever tempted again. But how can you teach yourself not to give in when you forget He’s already equipped you? You must practice by being thankful for them.

Here are 3 reasons to be grateful for your temptations:

  1. THEY BUILD YOUR CHARACTER. They help strengthen your convictions whether you give in or not. They will absolutely strengthen your convictions more than break you if after giving in to those temptations your repentance is genuine and you thanked God for that test/trial, because now you have even more hate for your sins (not temptations), and now you value obedience towards God even more.
  2. THEY ARE NOT SINS. They attack your mind posing as ungodly desires that have not yet become sins. Your awareness is key. The more aware you are that it is only a test/trial, the more successful you will be at remembering to surrender them to God. But the more aware you are of how good it makes you feel, then your tendency to be entertained by them will more likely lead you to commit to the next step, which is sinning.
  3. WITHOUT THEM DISCIPLINE HAS NO VALUE. Think about it, it’s because of where temptations have led us in the past that we choose and want to choose better for ourselves. So the more temptations you have the more God is saying “This is good for you because you will be trained by it”. The LORD’S love comes with much discipline and He sure does love us a lot!

Self-control is ineffective and not long lasting unless there was a specific moment in the temptation when the situation was handed over to God. If He was not acknowledged enough in the struggle, the habit you are trying to control will control you. “Will I choose to take God’s grace for granted or can this growth opportunity really bless me right now?”

THE LORD IS QUICK TO SHOW HIS FAVOR WHEN YOU SERVE HIM THROUGH OBEDIENCE AT THE TOUGHEST TIMES. WHY? THE LIFE OF HIS SON JESUS INSIDE YOU IS PLEASED WITH THE FREEDOM AND PEACE YOU RECEIVE. HIS JOY IS YOUR STRENGTH (Nehemiah 8:10).

Galatians 5:17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

At the moment of temptation, pay attention to where your heart leans more towards — the desire to glorify God or the desire to glorify your feelings? Remember, Satan nudges by using your feelings. Temptation becomes sin at the moment when the spirit is quenched because the flesh is fulfilled by our participation to commit. PUT YOUR FAITH ABOVE YOUR FEELINGS.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF:

  1. What is something this past week or two that has really challenged my integrity?
  2. If I pay closer attention to any temptations around this, will it help me live with more purpose and passion? How would my life improve if I consistently prayed more about this?
  3. Have I been praying about this and what can I add or say differently in my prayers about this one particular temptation?

PRAY:

Heavenly Father, You’re so good to discipline me using my temptations. Thank you for loving me as I am and I am not even perfect. With Your guidance I know I can always improve. Each temptation is proof to me of your Grace. Forgive me for all the times I have taken your Grace for granted, for focusing on myself and my feelings every time I’ve given in instead of focusing on You. Help me to count it joy that my temptations are chances to humble myself and surrender to You who protects my integrity and my oneness with You. LORD, I ask that You guide me by reminding me of Your presence convicting me to do the right thing as I obey and glorify Your Son when I am faced with temptation again. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

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0 comments on “Signs of Spiritual Maturity”

Signs of Spiritual Maturity

My dad was the substitute for our pastor one Sunday and he asked me for some thoughts on spiritual growth. Here’s a few I came up with…..

  • When you are able to say “Thank You Lord for the struggles” and truly mean it.
  • When you grow concern for others’ spiritual maturity besides your own.
  • When you understand the difference between happiness and joy.
  • When you recognize times you could have surrendered or are able to surrender right then and there during a time you were impulsive or a time you were tempted. You favor the Lord’s discernment even over your common sense.
  • When you realize patience, forgiveness, and compassion are just as important as eating healthy and exercising. Your spiritual health is biblically intertwined with your physical and mental health.
  • When you find yourself talking/praying to God not just about the big decisions in life but also about the smallest details. His wisdom is more important to you than your own understanding.
  • When you receive confidence, peace, and joy by resisting all kinds of temptations instead of feeling dissatisfied, resentful, or vindictive. You see growth opportunities in your daily struggles.
  • When you become generous of the things you are grateful for in life. Even if it’s as simple as joy, you will spread it.
  • When your alone time with God becomes more and more important to you.
  • When you’re able to see God’s blessings towards others who bear good fruit. You are also aware and able to see the blessings that come from God because of your obedience to Him.
  • When you become less sensitive about yourself and more sensitive for others.

Colossians 1:10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,

Ephesian 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,

2 Peter 1:5-6 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;

This list was not made to make anyone compare themselves to other Christians. Everyone is at a different level of spiritual maturity because everyone is responsible for their  own growth. That’s why patience, love, and understanding are some of the most valuable qualities to have. We don’t know how far along some Christians have come, Christian or not. Let us not compare ourselves to them. Let’s not judge them. Let’s pray whether that comparison was out of self pity or pride. Let’s bring whatever that judgement was to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

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0 comments on “A Psalm of Sheela”

A Psalm of Sheela

My heart it aches, I suffer in my youth,

My groans and moans speak for me the truth

But if my grief is caused by Satan’s lies,

What reason have I to cry and cry?

My heart it grows faint within me,

My spirit is far from free

But if my agony should lead me back to Your glory,

Lord, let my restless soul rest in Thee!

 

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

P.S. No worries, I am not depressed. Just felt like writing this for anyone who might be going through something heart wrenching. I’ve been there friend.

 

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0 comments on “FAITH & FOOD (Devotional)”

FAITH & FOOD (Devotional)

Matthew 6:24-34 – ”No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you–you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

DO YOU EVER WORRY ABOUT WHAT YOU SHOULD EAT ON YOUR DIET? I DO. 

Being on the Ketogenic diet, I have to prepare what to eat in advance, otherwise I am more likely to be grab anything available in the fridge. I have yet to master meal prepping. So I try to cut out all temptations. Besides maintaining my weight, some of the reasons I have for being on this popular diet is for mental health benefits. My thoughts are much clearer, I am so much more focused, and although my memory can never be perfect, it has definitely improved.

But I’ll be honest, I do worry about what I should eat. I worry that I’m not doing it right sometimes, I worry if I have enough for the week, I worry if what I make is creative enough, I worry if others are judging because my food choices are different from theirs. I worry about my expenses on food.

Despite my worries, one truth brings me back to God. And that truth is the main reason I am on this diet. I want to be healthier for God. I am His vessel through whom His wisdom can be heard. And if my mental health suffers, I don’t have the confidence, focus, and right intention for spreading the gospel.

BEING HEALTHY FOR MYSELF SERVES ME AND NOT GOD, BUT BEING HEALTHY FOR GOD SERVES OTHERS AND HIM, AND MY FAITH THEREFORE FLOURISHES. I AM A FIRM BELIEVER THAT WHEN SOMEONE’S WEIGHT LOSS GOALS ARE FOCUSED ON FAITH AND GOD, CONSISTENT SUCCESS IS THE RESULT. 

 

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF:

  • Are my concerns righteous when it comes to food and diet?
  • Is my diet more so pleasing to my palate than to my faith overall?
  • What am I doing differently everyday to integrate my faith and mental wellness?
  • How often do I pray about self-control when it comes to food?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I would not be able to praise You or thank You for the life you have given me if You were not my Creator. Thank you for my heart, my mind, my body, and my soul. Thank You for all the food that you provide this world with, thank You for giving me enough to live off of, for giving me every day as an opportunity to improve my health and well-being. Please forgive me for failing to thank You for Your blessings and for all the times I have not been satisfied when I have so much. Lord, I ask that You give me eyes to see how I can use my creativity and faith to make use of what I already have and help me to count it joy when I am being challenged to give in to my worries, so that I might remember to lift them up to You in prayer. Please help me to be content with what I have and be my self-control when it comes to purchasing only what I need. I want to be healthier for You, so guide me and lead me in this journey. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

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0 comments on “30 Journal Prompts for Loving God, Loving Others, & Loving Yourself (June)”

30 Journal Prompts for Loving God, Loving Others, & Loving Yourself (June)

Need a little love in your heart?

I once heard a brother in church say, “Where there are relationships, there are conflicts.” And if you’re not a Christian, or if you’re a new Christian, a part-time Christian, a Christian returning to faith, or a mature Christian, conflicts are inevitable.  We all have relationships to maintain.

The great thing about conflict is the need for love. And where there is a need for love, there is room for growth. No matter where you are in your spiritual walk, you need to love, love, love!

I came up with these questions you can ask yourself to help you find balance in all your relationships, to help you make reflections, and make sense of where you’re at in your spiritual journey.

I admit I don’t always reply or react the way a proper Christian should, but the desire to be more loving never ceases in my heart. If you’re in the same boat, press that print button and give this activity a shot.

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* IF YOU EVER TAKE TIME TO ANSWER ANY OF THESE DAILY QUESTIONS, I’D LOVE TO KNOW WHAT SOME OF YOUR THOUGHTS WERE. LEAVE ME A MESSAGE.

* IF YOU WOULD LIKE JOURNAL PROMPTS ON A SPECIFIC TOPIC, DON’T HESITATE TO MAKE SUGGESTIONS FOR ME.

* IF YOU ENJOYED THIS & WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE FREE CONTENT LIKE THIS, THE SIGN UP IS A POP-UP WINDOW.

 

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

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5 comments on “Gratitude is a Saving Grace”

Gratitude is a Saving Grace

Ever felt like you were just stuck in the dumps? All you had to do was snap out of it. Easier said than done. But the moment you start praising the Lord, something amazing happens. Your soul begins to feel alive again. Condemnation is just a feeling, it’s a state. But God remains. Unchanged. The good Lord fills you with conviction. Don’t forget you were made for worship. It’s for His glory, but He loves you so much so He created a way for you to be uplifted as well. Praise His name. Gratitude follows.

THE MORE THANKFUL A PERSON IS THE MORE FAITH THEY HAVE IN GOD’S FORGIVENESS. FOR THOSE WHO HAVE A HARD TIME MOVING ON FROM THEIR SIN, WHO DOUBT THAT THEY HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN FOR WHATEVER WRONG THEY’VE DONE, THIS IS A REMINDER THAT GRATITUDE IS EVERYTHING. MAKE IT A HABIT. GRATITUDE GIVES WAY TO LOVE AND LOVE COVERS A MULTITUDE OF SINS (1 PETER 4:8).

Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

1 Corinthians 15:27 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 15:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

NOTE: This will be a future devotional and/or vlog series.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

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4 comments on “UPDATE”

UPDATE

It’s been so long. I know I’ve abandoned my blog. Forgive me. I just edited my About Me too explaining this. I sound redundant. But I’m back. If you care. Or if you don’t I really don’t mind. 🙂 I started this years ago and I just can’t not use it ever again. It’s always nice to have something to call your own. I think I’m finally starting to think more like a mom, even though I don’t have any kids. This is my baby. I need to nurture it. I think God would really like that. He was the one who prompted me to start this anyway. So yes, Im back. I’m alive or at least trying to survive. Life got busy. Reading some of my old posts makes me crack up. I’ve gone and deleted ones that just sound immature. Err. I’m still growing and every year gets better and better. What matters is I keep walking in faith and part of that is keeping up with this blog. I’m so glad 2018 has been great towards me so far. I’m learning to expand in ways I only dreamed in the past. And having this blog will push me to share the Lord’s goodness. I’m grateful. And so should you, for whatever circumstance you might be in, know that it only takes gratitude for the things you already have, because with God all things are possible. While I’ve been gone, on my free time, I would read so much on health because I knew I wasn’t living my best. I’m always led to the cold truth that my relationship with Christ is directly related to my overall wellbeing, and the topic of health has definitely stepped up on my list of values. So I’ve been doing a lot of independent research, specifically concerning women’s health. If you are only following this blog because of the Christian-based content, you might want to unsubscribe. I would just like to warn you that I’m incorporating all things related to diet/weight loss (recipes, tips, and health in general). I will be sharing my weight loss journey in hopes of helping many other women struggling to lose unwanted weight. Lastly, I am a portrait artist who has committed to using my talent not just when I feel like drawing or painting. I’ve been blessed to appreciate detail in everything and with this gift, how can I suppress it? I’ll be posting all my artwork here. Check out my GALLERY. So that’s me for now. I hope you all are doing great this year. And I pray you receive blessings every day. BE BLESSED! 🙂

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

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0 comments on “God’s Will”

God’s Will

Proverbs 3:4-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

I’m learning to trust in God with all my heart all over again. Too often I grow with pride and sometimes I’m so blind thinking I’m still following Him when I’m not. Instead I’m following my emotions. It’s important I stay highly focused on Him, I need to yield every second. His will is for me to discover it no matter how many times it takes. His will will bring me to obey Him.

It’s easier prayed than done, and it truly is a challenge for some not to give in to their human emotions. But if we learn to use negative feelings as triggers to go straight to the Lord in prayer, we can prevent so many regrets, and broken relationships. Falling off the narrow path is the result of leading ourselves based on what we think is better for us. Yet the Lord Almighty loves us so relentlessly that He will not allow us to keep going without His discipline. And whenever we return, He will not allow us to keep going without the strength and faith we asked for.

I believe so many of us get anxious figuring out what God’s will is as if to say there is a general idea/plan He has for each individual, which He does, but I think it’s a big misconception to put the importance on that. He reveals His will every time we obey. In our journey with Christ, every step we surrender we’re brought closer to the Father, making us one with Him. His will may not always make sense at first, but sooner or later we discover a growing peace and acceptance in the most inner part of our being placed by none other than God. His purpose is for me to take His will and make action based on the faith He’s graced me with and the wisdom that has been learned from that. His will won’t bring me somewhere where He is not also present. But to merely acknowledge Him in every situation is not the same as surrendering to His will. A declaration to the Lord saying, “I obey Your will, please help me now to understand what I should do” is an act of faith where He then has our full attention as He urges us to simply walk by it. His will is always good, otherwise He wouldn’t have created you for it, because your purpose in life is for Him alone, where His love and guidance will never abandon you nor forsake you.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF:

  • Is there any problem I had this past week that made me trust my feelings more than God?
  • Can I try better at handing Him my emotions by confessing right then and there and ask for a desire to recognize the times I have the opportunity to pray?
  • What can I do differently tomorrow to remind me that my faith is more important than my feelings?

PRAY:

Heavenly Father, I praise You and thank You for creating me with emotions, for the person that I was then, the person I am now, and the person that You want me to become. Forgive me for the times I have only focused on my needs and desires and the times I have forgotten to depend on Your vision for me. You love me so much not to leave me as I am and so I thank You for disciplining me by using my emotions to teach me lessons. I ask that you help me use them as a way to refocus on You so that I can remember to trust You and Your will for me and not myself or my ways. Help me to understand and make sense of things that I have a hard time accepting and remind me that Your ways are higher. Lord, help me to rely on Your truth when problems confuse me by doing whatever it takes for me to make things less about me and more about You and help me to desire what You desire for me. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

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3 comments on “The Best Version of You is In Christ”

The Best Version of You is In Christ

If you notice that lately things haven't been going your way, God will continually put you in situations until you begin to be convinced that He's trying to get your attention. Why- He wants you to know that He's about o make som (4)

Jesus Christ is your best friend. The more you spend time with Him, the more you become like Him.

Philippians 2:1-11 – So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

NOTE: This will be a devotional and/or vlog series.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

Christian  Health|Fitness  Portrait Art