Turning a New Leaf (Part I: Down The Rabbit Hole)

This time the focus shifts to money and greed. You ready? Let’s go!

Memory verse: (Ecclesiastes 4:8, KJV)

There is one alone, and not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.

One of the things I mentioned in the last blog was my desire for fame. I find myself spending a lot of time these days imagining being on stages and performing spoken word for thousands of people, being asked to come and do shows with other poets, people bum rushing each other to buy my books, getting millions of views for my videos and being asked out by several hosts to come on their show…

“Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.” (Eccles. 1:2, KJV)

It has come to my attention that my humility seriously needs some work, because whatever little bit I have I certainly don’t use.

Our gifts and talents don’t belong to us, our life does not belong to us, our bodies, our money—everything we have God gave to us—and guess what? We have to give it back. We don’t get to keep it, you can’t take any of this stuff with you when you leave here. It’s your decision what you do with it, but you will reap what you sow.

If you put nothing back into the bank, don’t expect to have money sitting there waiting on you. In other words…if you put nothing back into the relationship, don’t expect to see your name in the Book of Life, because God is going to say “Depart from Me.”

That being said, yeah I could pursue after my own lusts and the desires of my flesh, but warning comes before destruction and the warning that came to me was that I would never truly find what I was looking for, like thinking a lot of the issues I face wouldn’t be an issue if I just had more money.

I like money…sometimes a little too much. So as I studied over Eccles. 4:8, I saw that my problems ultimately were not going to be resolved by more money.

Just to be clear–money is not the root of all evil; the LOVE of money is:

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (I Tim. 6:10, KJV)

Money is needed, but it can’t take the place of God.

The question God posed to me was, “How many times does Satan have to give you the pretty package all wrapped up with nothing inside before you get it?”

Satan feeds on our vanity, our lusts, and our greed. God has placed a crown of gold on our heads, but we’ll trade it without hesitation for that empty box because we allow Satan to convince us he can give us something better.

The devil is all about false appearances and deception (2 Cor. 11:14) so he knows how to make a good presentation. He’s the biggest con man there is.

“Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you hast, that no man take thy crown.” (Rev. 3:11, KJV)

Satan is coming for your crown, but he doesn’t have to work to steal it from you when you willingly hand it over.

The question I often ask myself, “Is my soul worth giving up for this?”

And I’d have to say no…it’s not. Neither are my wings and robe.

Turning a New Leaf (Part I cont.)

Memory verse: (Ecclesiastes 4:8, KJV)

There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.

In the last post, I mentioned how God will not feed into our lusts,

“God’s not going to give that man to me right now because He would be feeding into my lusts, and God don’t play that.”

We’re going to explore that a little further…

When people hear “lust” they commonly think of it in a sexual aspect, but lust is defined as a “very strong sexual desire (for someone),” OR “a strong desire for something.” So you can lust for someone OR something. I’ve experienced lust on both levels–I struggled with lust for a LONG time and I still deal with it now and then.

Just to help you out–in Matthew 5:27-28, Jesus says, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

Remember we fight a SPIRITUAL battle. It’s more than just a glance or a lingering stare…every time you look at someone and you lust after them, you are committing adultery in your heart with God. Where Satan tends to trip us up is, “What could it hurt to just look? I mean you’re just LOOKING at them…it’s not like you’re sleeping with them!”

Sin comes in small increments. I’m not saying that every time you look at a man or woman you are committing adultery, but from personal experience it always started as a glance here and there, then a stare or two…which led to “harmless” thoughts, that eventually turned into fantasies…

You follow me?

I can honestly say I can look at a good looking man now and not be phased one way or the other.

That doesn’t mean I’m gay, either.

I do have those days every once in awhile where I have to seek Him DILIGENTLY, “Ooo…look at that fine, fine man…boy, I–OOOO LORD! Jesus forgive me! Bad Jacqueline, bad!”

I also remember seeing a car and immediately had a strong desire to get behind the wheel. In some cases I lusted for things I saw in the store, and I heard the devil whisper, “Take it. It’s not like anyone will know…” I didn’t—but it just goes to show you that we can’t take sin lightly.

Again Jesus says in Mark 4:19, KJV “And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.”

Lust will have you compromise your values, integrity, beliefs for something/someone you want SO BAD…only to get it and come to the conclusion you didn’t want it at all. Suddenly that thing you so desperately wanted has lost all it’s luster. It leaves you feeling empty and it became a stronghold for me because whatever seeds of life God was planting in me through His Word was being choked out by my lust.

Lust is a bottomless pit, and the more you feed it the bigger that pit becomes. You are never satisfied, you are always looking for something better, always looking for more…remember how I said I still deal with it?

God has been showing me that I am lusting to have a man in my life, so much so that I see a man and consider settling for him because, “I wouldn’t mind being married to him…he’s very attractive, saved…and you know I just GOTTA have me a GOD-FEARING man…I mean he’s KINDA what I wanted, I mean not really, but kinda sorta,” instead of just being patient and waiting for Him to bring him to me. I lust after fame and being noticed for my poetry, working the stage and having crowds come out to see me, counting up the money I’m gonna make as a best selling author, forgetting that the whole point is to reach people’s souls—not their pockets.

That empty space in your life can’t be filled with people and things. It can only be filled by Jesus and Jesus alone. Contentment is something that I confess I am still working on, but I’m learning that not every want is a need. I’m also learning to thank God for everything I have and be grateful instead of complaining and whining about what I don’t have, and pestering Him about my husband, my dream job, and all the other things I find myself lusting after.

I’ll leave with you this, “Stop trying to look for a substitute when God is preparing you for the real thing He plans to give you.”

Turning a New Leaf (Part I of IV)

Hold on to that thought:

“…you are not alone because you have God.”

(Decided to step back, revamp and come back with a better understanding. It makes absolutely no sense for me to take something God has spoken to me about and slap it up on here when I don’t have a clear picture of how to apply it to myself)

So…we’re starting fresh 🙂

Memory Verse: (Ecclesiastes 4:8, KJV)

There is one alone, and not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet there is no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour and bereave my soul of good? This also is vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.

So as I studied this again, the first issue that popped up was my loneliness. I keep seeing all my friends getting married and often I find myself daydreaming about being with my future husband. I wonder what he’ll be like and how he’ll sweep me off my feet…

Then I come down from that cloud and see all my married friends, and immediately I feel alone all over again.

So as I studied over this verse, what God reminds me is that He did not intend for man to be alone (Gen. 2:18-24) Adam didn’t go begging God to give him a wife; God knew that Adam would need a “help meet” (as it’s written in the King James) just for him. Even before Eve got on the scene, Adam was content because he had God.

Which brings up another point: as long as you have God you will NEVER be alone. People will come and go all throughout your life, whether their season has passed and it’s time for you both to part ways or they leave here due to natural causes, but one thing that will always be consistent in your life is God, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” (Heb. 13:5, KJV)

Let’s take a minute to look at the word “Covetousness.” It’s defined as “having or showing a great desire to possess something, typically something belonging to someone else.”

Here God is telling us to be content with what He has given us and know that long as we have Him we don’t need anything else…but how often have we gazed over at the other side of the fence wishing our yard could be that green?

I have a confession to make. I have looked at some guys (single and married) and wondered why I couldn’t have a guy that like. I even asked God if He could give me a man just like the one I was admiring, but He would always tell me that:

1) I had no idea what it took to get, let alone KEEP, a man like that.

2) The man He designed for me is specially tailored to fit me. I won’t have to MAKE it work because anything God has for me IS for me (like a puzzle piece—every puzzle piece has it’s own that it connects to, but two corner pieces will not fit each other, no matter how hard you try to force them to fit) Seeking after someone God didn’t lead you to (MEN) or send to you (LADIES) is out of order because that’s not how God designed it and they can come from the same box but if He didn’t design that piece to fit you, then it’s not going to fit. Period.

3) If I wasn’t content with what I had now, then I certainly wasn’t going to be content with the man of my dreams, because I would always be looking for more or something better, and the neighbor’s grass would always look greener than mine. God told me I needed to be content with what I had and that means taking care of what He’s already given me.

After studying over that first line, He helped me see that I didn’t need a man; I wanted one. And God’s not going to give that man to me right now because He would be feeding into my lusts, and God don’t play that.

God knows you need somebody, but also know that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be in a romantic relationship with a person. You have friendships, family, church family and the most important relationship—with God Himself. Learn to treasure those things and be thankful in your singleness. God has to prepare us for the blessing—would you hand the keys to a ten-year-old? No, you wouldn’t (or at least I HOPE you wouldn’t) because they’re not ready to drive the car yet. They’re just not ready. You make them wait, you teach them how to drive, train them up on the rules of the road and taking precautions on how to be a safe driver so they don’t endanger themselves/others riding with them/other drivers on the road and THEN—when they finally turn of age and show they have the maturity to handle it—you give them keys.

God knows His children, and He knows you VERY well. Be patient, be content and trust that He knows what He’s doing. The Lord wants to give you that special person He has specially for you, but He’ll only give them to you when He knows you are ready to handle it and when you are mature enough to take that responsibility that comes with it. If He gives them to you before it’s time you can end up getting yourself in a wreck and hurting yourself and all parties involved (I know friends that dated guys and when the relationship went bad the families, friends got hurt too)

Be patient and know you are not alone because you have God.