Shed Your Old Wineskins!

unleash

Holding on to habits and patterns that no longer serve us keep us bounded to the ordinary. The enemy wants our feet to be cemented in a holding place so that we can’t move forward and do God’s work. Breaking bad habits is difficult because to some degree it’s comfortable to do what you always did even when the results are less than favorable. So much of the discouragement and that unsettled feeling of not living our authentic life originates from the patterns we adopt. We’re unsettled because we’re not pursuing God’s plan for our life. Going against God’s grain leaves us frustrated and feeling like we’re missing something. Internally and spiritually you know there’s something else you should be doing, but you’re habits stop you. This is one of the ways the enemy distracts you from God’s plan. He wants you believe that you can’t change. That you are who you are, and there is nothing you can do about it! These habits are in your DNA. How many times have you heard people say or maybe even yourself, “I can’t help it, that’s just who I am.” That my friend is an excuse that you’ve been conditioned to believe but that good news is you can change your CONDITION!

Be intentional about choosing something different. Adopt habits that honor who you are in God, choose the patterns that take you to the next level God has for your life! When you choose to break the strongholds in your life that are holding you back from God’s best, you will be unstoppable! Unstoppable not in your power, but in God’s power and strength, so that ultimately you can glorify the Lord!

Maybe some of your habits originate from a belief pattern  you had before you knew Christ. You are a new creature in God! Step fully into your identity! No longer do you have to hold onto an old way of life  that doesn’t reflect who you are as a daughter of the King! You can’t expect to do new things when you’re grabbing onto old ways. Scripture tells us you can’t pour wine into old wineskins because it will break and the wine will spill out. What are you trying to pour into your life that doesn’t seem to stick? Are you frustrated because you have a vision, something new that you want to pursue, that’s put on your heart by God, but it keeps falling through? It’s time to change your wineskin!

Think about the habits you need to release. You know what they are, because they haunt you. Every day, every moment, and every year that you are not walking fully in your purpose is because of a choice that you can change.  What have you gained by holding onto unhealthy and unwise habits? The answer is nothing! If anything you lose something every day, the community around you loses something, your family looses something because they are not getting the woman God designed you to be!

Bad habits are like friends who don’t have your best interest at heart. It’s difficult because you’ve grown accustomed to the toxic relationship by making excuses, by refusing to see the hard and ugly truth because you want so badly to hold on, to believe that it’s not that bad. But, it is and it dishonors who you are and soon you become okay with that and you accept the unacceptable. Knowing when to quit is freeing and allows you to stand in your truth and in God’s truth for you.  Stop cheating yourself and others out of God’s extraordinary vision for your life and start living your best life by releasing what doesn’t serve you any longer!

 

The Lord Settled the Matter, But Have You?

Isaiah 1 18

Have you settled the matter of your sin? When we say yes to Jesus Christ as our Savior we have settled the matter. Christ paid for our sin debt in full, dying on the cross for every one of our sins, but the question is do we believe that the matter is settled? Or do we continue to live in bondage, shackled to guilt, and shame never fully resting in the blessed assurance of our redemption through Christ? The enemy stalks us with our sin. When we choose to continuously live in the shadows of our sin it distracts us from God’s work. Sin’s hold on you isn’t by mistake, it is a deliberate part of Satan’s plan to keep you distracted, and doubting your faith, and identity in Christ.

Our mind and spirit are in a battle with the enemy and every day we have to ask ourselves,”Who am I in Christ?” “Am I a new creature?” “Do I believe I am forgiven?” It’s one thing to say I am a child of Christ, it is another thing to live as a child of Christ. Jesus loved us enough and deemed us worthy to save us from death, but we must be willing to accept his grace and his forgiveness. Why is it that so many of us spend years living in shame, beating ourselves up and stuck in the past because we refuse to forgive ourselves for our sins?

Yes, we should repent, confess, turn away from sin, and be remorseful, but repeatedly punishing ourselves is useless. When we refuse to forgive ourselves we are saying that Christ’s forgiveness isn’t enough, that his death on the cross doesn’t cut it. There is absolutely nothing in this world you can ever do that Christ’s grace and forgiveness can’t cover.

You can’t live as a new creation if you’re living with an old mindset. You are divinely designed! God’s plans for you are bigger than your sin. Yes, your sin was like scarlet, red as crimson, but the Lord settled the matter, so let it be settled in your heart, mind, and spirit.

You’re a Boss…But at What Cost?

I spend a fair amount of time in my car shuttling my daughter around, running errands, and rushing off to meetings. Traffic is enough to make me want to jump from a moving car (which would be ugly), so I entertain myself by singing aloud (much to my kid’s chagrin), listening to podcasts and thinking about my to-do list for the day. However, sometimes the greatest form of entertainment comes from the cars around me, especially the license plates! Do you see what people put on their plates? It’s fascinating and gives me a much-needed chuckle when I’m at a stalemate for 20 minutes! I came across one plate that made me pause, it said, ‘IMABOSS.’ It caught my attention because I thought about how being in power and control has a tight and detrimental grip on society. Everyone strives to be a boss! Authority, submission, and dependency are associated with weakness and is frowned upon heavily.
 
As a single parent, it’s normal for me to assume the title of boss. After all, I’m holding it down! I solely manage a household, cook, clean, pay the bills, mow the lawn, work, and do everything in between. Circumstances dictate that I’m in charge, so why is being a boss a bad thing? The issue creeps in when my independence clouds my need for dependence on the Lord. I get so caught up in trying to do all and be all that I forget that I could do nothing without God! When I’m in boss mode I also forget that everything I do should be to the glory of God and not the ego which cries out, “look at me I can do it all on my own, I don’t need anyone, did I prove myself yet?” Being a boss for me stems from pride, fear of failure, and ego. I’m not the boss, God is and I learn this lesson often.

 
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “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.” When you’re the boss it is natural to lean on your own understanding, to trust in yourself to make decisions and plan out the course of your life. You are the authority in your life. For some of us who’ve been the boss for so long, submission and dependency conjure up feelings of helplessness and fear. There’s nothing worse for a boss than to feel a loss of control. The problem with being a boss is that there’s a cost.
Leaning on God is a gift that removes the unnecessary mountain of burdens we place on our shoulders when we want to be the authority. Bosses tend to believe that there way is the best way. They follow their own beat and stay on the path they believe is the right one, missing out on God’s perfect plan for their life. God’s authority is our protection, a shield that often stops us from ourselves! But if we are looking through our boss vision we can’t see God’s bigger vision for our life. When IMABOSS I spend countless sleepless evenings in a state of anxiety. I get caught up in a situation and because I’m super independent, I drive myself to the brink of insanity thinking about a solution, worrying about the next step, holding so tight to the situation that it consumes me. When I submit to God he takes it from me. He releases me, maybe not from the situation, but he unbinds me from the outcome. We can trust that God has it resolved and his grace is sufficient.
 
Being a boss is overrated. Being a child of God is the best position you will ever attain. There is a cost to being the boss, and it is a loss. A loss of God’s blessed assurance that he is in total control of your life and has the details all figured out. Do yourself a favor relinquish the boss title and relish in your title as a daughter of Christ.

When Looking Back Turns Us Into A Pillar of Salt

The quickest way to become an ineffective Christian is to keep looking back and living in the past. Remember Lot’s wife? She was told to not look back, to flee, but the temptation to look back on a city that could no longer serve her turned her into a pillar of salt. She was left unable to move or go forward. Don’t allow yourself to meet the same fate as Lot’s wife! Be the salt of the earth by trusting God and resisting the urge to live a life that you’ve shed. Don’t allow your resistance to change to affect who God created you to become! Check out the newest post at my author site.

https://www.cherewilliams.com/what-i-m-writing/when-looking-back-turns-us-into-a-pillar-of-salt

Is The Media Becoming Our Modern Day Idol Version of the Golden Calf?

Check out my new post at cherewilliams.com

In the very heated climate, we currently live in it’s easy to get sucked into the, “breaking news,” frenzy, but are breaking news and the media become the modern day golden calf idol for Christians?

My New Year’s Resolution…To Smell Good!

dinner party!

I get bored with the same old New Year’s resolutions. You know, save money, lose weight, exercise, get organized, etc. They are all worthy goals and worth pursuing, but this year my goal is to simply smell good. No, I don’t have a hygiene problem, so if you happen to see me, please give me a hug! I promise there is no BO! Yesterday, I was catching up on some sermons from our church since we were away on vacation and my minister spoke of smelling good as Christians, based off of Corinthians 2:14-15,”But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.  For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” This scripture made me pause and reflect upon my own aroma. How often do I give off a pleasing aroma to my family, friends, strangers, neighbors, and church family? I also asked myself how often do I just stink? Or was I inconsistent in the aroma I was giving off to others which is just as bad as stinking!

Very hesitantly I had to admit that sometimes I was stinky. I didn’t mean to be smelly, but there were days that I allowed the stinky flesh to take over instead of allowing the sweet-smelling spirit of Jesus persevere, which is always regrettable. Regardless of any other goals, I hope to pursue, none is really more important than representing the love of Jesus. I want to be held captive by Christ’s triumphal procession and not held captive by my own ego. I realized the opportunities and assignments I missed to spread the pleasing aroma of Christ and how that doesn’t fit with God’s purpose for my life. I’ve spent some time thinking about when I have smelled good as a follower of Jesus and the joy it brought to others and I want more of that! I want others to look at me and see me as different, as a woman who loves Christ, who smells sweet and spreads that aroma in all circumstances.

My prayer is for God to reveal to me when I’m stinking and help me to choose the sweetness of his aroma. In a world that gives us plenty of situations to be downright smelly and I know I have a challenge in front of me. Out of the many goals of New Year’s past, this one means the most. I believe it is kingdom work that is life-changing. If I hope to maximize my God-given time on earth in a way that is pleasing to my Father,  some pretty tough self-examination of my actions are needed, which require me to look at how my life is or isn’t glorifying God and to be consistent and honest with myself and God. If I want to spread the sweet aroma that Corinthians speaks about my life has to be less about me and my desires and more about Christ’s desires for me as his servant. So, I’m looking forward to seeking God more diligently, diving into his Word more intently, and trusting fully in the Holy Spirit and hopefully, I’ll start smelling better every day!

 

God’s Heart For You In Your Sin Sickness…It’s Like Your Momma’s Heart, But Bigger!

When You're Sick That's When God Wants To Draw You Even Closer

Last night my sweet girl had a 101.2 temperature, she was achy and downright miserable. You know what happens to your momma’s heart when your child is sick. Waves of helplessness wash over you and if you could switch bodies to take away their pain you’d do it in a millisecond. After I gave her a dose of medicine, I laid in bed next to her feverish body, hyper-aware of every twitch, murmur, and move she made. That’s what we moms do right? We stick right by our kid’s side. Do you think I cared about getting a good night sleep or catching whatever bug it was she had? Absolutely not! Why? Because I love her with every breath of my body. My heart and will always cause me to reach out and draw her into my arms.

It made me think about when we’re sick and how God reacts to us, specifically, when we’re sin-sick. That type of sick caused by sin. You know what I’m talking about right? When we’re stuck in sin it makes us sick. It could be physically, spiritually or emotionally sick or all three, but it’s bad. The thing about sin is it tricks you. It doesn’t make you sick at first, but soon, you start feeling a little off. Deep down you know what’s happening, but hey sin feels good right? So, that nagging feeling is easy to shrug off, but eventually, that sin infection life spreads causing all kind of havoc. Sin-sickness effects our heart, our mind, and our spirit with unexpected side-effects.

When I’m sin-sick  I tend to pull away from God. Why? Because I’m ashamed, embarrassed, and disappointed in myself. The enemy’s voice is telling me I’m useless, pathetic, weak and will never amount to anything. Sound familiar? It’s a loud voice you can’t miss it because it’s persistent and convincing. Being sin-sick is serious and when we isolate or pull away from God who is our medicine it only gets worse and is prolonged. So why do we do pull away? I believe there are a number of reasons, but I believe the common causes are a few factors:

  • Denial, anger, sadness, and embarrassment that we still fall for sin’s old tricks.
  • Shame that we are not as spiritually mature as we thought we were.
  • We don’t want to face God because we feel like we let him down (as if he doesn’t already know what we  did:)
  • Simply, we aren’t ready to stop the sin because it feels good, it has become a habit, or we feel like we’re in too deep to stop cold turkey.

When God’s child is sin-sick He’s like us mommas in that God tries to pull us closer to Him even when we are pulling away. His desire is to cover us with his incomparable love and heal us from the sin that’s at the core of our illness. When my daughter is sick all I want to do is hold her, it’s an automatic reaction just like getting her well is my top priority. Nothing matters, not my job, my to-do list, my house, nothing but the restoration of her health is on the agenda.That’s how God looks at us when we’re sick. We are God’s priority. He doesn’t want us to remain sin-sick, to suffer in disobedience, or to hide behind a shame that we don’t have to carry.

The Lord wants to see us restored to a place that allows us to glorify Him. So many of us continue to suffer from sin-sickness because the enemy has cornered us in our most vulnerable state. When we fall into sin the enemy has an open door to bombard us with lies. His schemes are easier to carry out because we are spiritually weakened. Sin compromises our strength just like the flu knocks us on our back. It chips away at the spiritual immunity that protects us. Sin is loud and it will do its best to drown out the Holy Spirit.

If you are suffering from some sin-sickness right now, please let God be your refuge. Don’t isolate, run, or allow shame to keep you from accepting your healing. Let him love on you and restore you back to the spiritual health that he always intended for you to live in.  Think about how big your momma’s heart is and how your heart aches when your child is sick. When you’re sick God’s heart is aching for you too and He wants nothing more than to be your healer and to deliver you from the sin infection that is attacking your spirit. God wants you to know you are not your sin, you are his child, uniquely and beautifully created to glorify Him and live a life free of shame and bondage. Don’t allow sin-sickness to draw you away from God, instead allow it pull you closer to his loving arms.

 

 

Scriptures of Gratitude and Thanksgiving to Share With Your Family! Free PDF Downloand!

I am amazed that Thanksgiving is in just a couple of weeks! Gratefulness and gratitude are obviously highlighted during this time of year, but we know that it’s something we should think about every day. I’ve compiled some scriptures that mention thankfulness and gratitude that you can share with your children leading up to Thanksgiving. Hope you enjoy and find gratitude at every moment!

Download (PDF, 2.63MB)