When You Realize You Are But Dust (Dear God)

Hey y’all I feel like I’m always in an interesting place when I take long breaks and finally decide to post another blog so I’ll just say that this Christian road has been full of bumps, twist and turns but all in all I know that God will complete the work that He began in me. I can say with full confidence that it will not be because of my own might but rather the grace of God that keeps me from quitting on Him and myself. I’ve felt moments where I didn’t understand why God wouldn’t just use somebody else, let me live a normal life and do things that others are able to do without conviction. All my life I’ve felt different and like I couldn’t truly relate to my peers. I’ve been called “too saved”, “Jesus girl”, and “imbalanced”. But although the above statements could make someone feel insignificant, I can’t help but think about all the things that God has literally shielded me from. I can say with confidence that I am 21 years old and have not experienced the heartache of failed relationships, I live a relatively peaceful life, and have broken a lot of generational curses in my family.

When I was younger I was a planner. If you would’ve asked me what I wanted to be throughout the years I would’ve stayed adamant that I was going to be somebody’s doctor in some capacity (hasn’t changed guys, but that’s beside the point.) I would spend endless nights writing lists and making spreadsheets about the colleges I would go to, my plan A, B, and Z for major choices up until I was to be married, I even mapped out what my life would be like as a married woman and the neighborhood I would live in. But I didn’t truly understand that I was only dust until my strategically mapped out plans failed miserably. When I no longer had my pen, paper, and ambitious dreams but rather tears, lack, and despair, that’s when I was formally introduced to something greater than myself, Elohim. God gave me assurance that what I didn’t know, He was all too familiar with and what I didn’t have, He was more than capable of providing for.

So to that person that feels like you aren’t where you envisioned you would be at this age or at this point in your life, know that God still knows the plans that He has for your life despite what seems like a desert place, disaster, or different than the path of those around you. And for those who know what God told you years, months, or days ago, please remember that He is faithful who promised. Now is not the time to give up but continue to build your foundation on Christ the solid rock. Get in your word, don’t forsake the assembly of the saints, and flee from the very appearance of evil.

Catch y’all on the flip side,

Nique ❤

 

 

Godliness with Contentment

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” ( 1 Timothy 6:6)

Do you ever find yourself trapped in comparison? You know, so busy looking at what others are receiving that you forget to thank God for the blessings that you’ve already received.

The word, “contentment”, has been getting a lot of usage in our day and time with the rise of several movements. These include being content with your singleness with the hopes that God will give you your God-ordained husband/wife because you were content enough, being content with lack because if you are content enough God will give you your millions, being content and learning to hold your problems in because God can’t handle your authenticity and would rather you smile through the pain in your quiet times than cast every burden upon him so you can instead receive his peace.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not really sure we truly understand what the word, “contentment”, actually means. According to Webster dictionary, contentment is the quality or state of being satisfied. Satisfaction means that if my situation never changes, I will be okay. Contentment does not mean that I will try my very hardest to reach this mystical contentment with the expectation that God will reward me. Contentment in itself is God’s reward for a life dedicated to him and in full surrender and awe of his power without rival.

So if you ever find yourself exercising righteousness with a discontent heart, envying or comparing yourself to your brother or sister in Christ or out of Christ, or in order to seek God’s hand rather than to seek God’s heart, remember a few things…

1.) First things first, know that just because it looks good doesn’t mean that it has God’s stamp of approval.

  • “Let your heart not envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day.” (Proverbs 23:17)
  • Many times we as Christians find ourselves questioning the lifestyle of surrender that we live because we aren’t “reaping any benefits”. We make statements like, “God, (insert name) has a man of God and she doesn’t even pray or go to church”. We start to envy sinners or men when the standard is Christ. We should strive to have what Christ had and that is close fellowship with the Father and an eternity spent in his presence. When we realize that it is God who affirms us and not the opinions or approval of man then we stop envying how much attention that brother gets from all the women at church or how good that sister can sing the choir solo because we aren’t seeking a vain glory. Besides, every possession is not a blessing. You don’t know how that man treats that sister outside of the Instagram photos they take or the lifestyle your sister in Christ lives outside of church but yet you have put her on a pedestal only meant for God.

2.) Read the secret to being content in “any and every circumstance”, Christ is more than enough!

  • “In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:12-13)
  • When you look to Christ as the main source of your strength you are able to learn how to be content. You can’t do anything in your own strength and every day that you are able to live another day, is a blessing. When you change your perspective from “God I don’t have” to “God I thank you that I have”, you realize just how blessed you truly are. Our society has bought into this false security in materialism and we don’t realize that the quantity and quality of the things that we have has nothing to do with our heart’s condition and how pleased the Father is with our lives and the way we choose to live them each day.

3.) All of the things of this world are temporary, focus on those things are permanent treasures, like a Heavenly residence and eternal fellowship with the Master.

  • “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.” (Luke 21:33-34)
  • “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:1-2).

Remember that your life is hidden with Christ in God, that is much greater than any treasure or possession that you can gain on Earth.

Catch y’all on the flipside,

Nique ❤

 

The Power of Sacrifice

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.'”

Matthew 16:24

 If I could assign a theme to the year of 2017 with all of its events up until this month, it would be called The Power of Sacrifice“. As I progress in Christ, slowly but surely, I am learning that true obedience proves present in a believer’s life when God instructs them to do things that they don’t necessarily want to do. I’ve questioned God, inquired about his timing (Why now?), and contemplated doing what I “knew” would make me happy while blatantly ignoring his instructions. But yet, I can’t deny that “the foolishness of God is WISER than men; and the WEAKNESS of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25) and that includes my willpower to do whatever it is that gratifies me and this flesh rather than pleases my Father and prevents grieving the Spirit. Besides, if you love God you will keep His commandments (John 14:16) of old in the Bible and the present things that He may be leading you or directing you to observe or abstain from. 

Are you struggling to give God what He’s asked you to give up?

isnt-measured-by-how-high-you-jump-in-praise-but-12448488

Whether it be time, money, or energy, give it to Him because “…to obey is better than sacrifice.” (1 Samuel 15:22) Furthermore, many of us are in anticipation of God giving us our callings so that we can minister to others and becomefishers of men” but why would God trust you with an assignment to impact the lives of others when you can’t even be obedient to the things he is saying concerning your own life? Far too often we ask God to instruct us on a specific matter, we beg Him in impatience to speak to us. Then some time passes and God gives the instruction and because it isn’t something that we could see ourselves doing or if it is something that we don’t necessarily want to do at all we question him.

Remember to take notes from the disciples’ response to Jesus when he walked up to them and said two simple words, “Follow Me.” He didn’t foreshadow the work that He had planned for them to do and quite frankly wasn’t  really into giving a lot of specifics about the final destination but the Bible says that they left their nets and followed him, immediately left their ships and loved ones to follow him, abandoned all that was familiar to follow the King of Kings and Lord of Lords without question into unfamiliar territory to reach a lost people in need of being found. 

So tell me, are you willing to sacrifice it all for God, no discretion, no hesitation?

Catch y’all on the flip side,

Nique

 

 

Girl You Still Alive?!

Hey y’all, please forgive me for the temporary and unannounced absence. To be honest, I don’t even feel like I was in any condition to write between college demands and spiritual life. I always want to come to you all with the spiritual real and I’d rather wait years to put out good content than just throw something on here to say I wrote a blog post. But anyways…..

My relationship with God has been going so interesting as of late and I felt like this would be something nice and real to share because everyone is a work in progress and it’s nice to know that the person behind the screen or advice is flawed. So here it goes… I’m single and I’m struggling with contentment in Jesus. Now this is not because I  seriously want to be in a relationship but rather because society tells me that I’m a weirdo. I am a 21 year old woman that has never had a boyfriend before and society tells me that it is because of my standards that are too high or because I’m crazy or (y’all not ready for this one!) I fear commitment and vulnerability ( okay low key this one is true. lol). But since I became an official woman according to the law of the land, I’ve been trying to reconcile with the idea of a biological clock and what others may think about me because of my lack of experience in the relationship world.

On top of the above, God seems to have taken the training wheels off of our relationship so I am beginning to hear him less and it often feels like the worst thing in the world but I know I have to be steadfast despite if I feel him or not. This is such a different season for me y’all because I don’t trust my ability to take a step that is approved by God, I love instruction and the thought of just taking a chance and walking until he tells me to stop is a little terrifying. But my source of hope and relief is in the scriptures and just the times when I feel him, knowing that my labor is not in vain but has future spiritual gains and souls attached to the simplest of obedient acts.

I just wanted to get that off my chest and I pray you all will bear with me, I plan on doing better about my content and even uploading some bible studies that I have done on things like discipline, spiritual growth and even conversations with God about biblical womanhood.

Catch y’all on the flipside,

❤ Nique

Establishing A Quiet Time With The LORD

Hey Everybody! I know it has been quite some time since I have been on here but I promise that I’ll be back, this college lifestyle is just hard work and takes away any time to do anything but work. But anyways, I’ve been very much into reading the Bible and utilizing it as a literal guide for my life and faith walk. Once I realized that the Bible is better than google and can help answer many of my questions about establishing a rock solid relationship with God and living in general, my perspective about life changed. Today I want to discuss the importance of establishing a quiet time with God or a designated time where you spend time with God free of distractions. Below are a few myths and errors in human reasoning to break and practical suggestions for establishing a quiet time. I hope you all enjoy!

MYTH BREAKING 

  • “God doesn’t care about me, I’m so insignificant!”

           –  Psalm 31:22 (NIV):“In my alarm I said, ‘I am cut off from your sight!’. Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.”

           – Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV): “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.”

             – 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV): “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

     – 1 John 5:14 (NIV): “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”

  • “I’ll always be discontent and unfulfilled, those are just things that will never change!”

  – Psalm 37:25 (NIV): “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.”

         – Luke 11: 9-10 (NIV): “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to who knocks, the door will be opened.”

    –  2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV): “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

  • “God won’t meet me in my quiet times.”

           – Acts 17:27 (NIV): “God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.”

          – James 4:8 (NIV): “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your heart, you double minded.”

  • “Jesus is my co-pilot.”

           – Psalm 37: 23-24 (NIV):“If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”

  • “I can just believe in Jesus, I don’t have to do all this, we have an understanding.”

            – “James 2: 26 (NIV): “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”

PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS FOR ESTABLISHING A QUIET TIME  (I’ll let you all go directly to these scriptures and I trust that you’ll fact check the above scriptures. lol)

1. Pick a Time

          – Psalm 55:17

2. Seclude Yourself (Prayer Closet)

      – Matthew 6:5-6

3. Confession

     – Psalm 32:5

4. Reverence Him (You can also make a playlist)

   – Psalm 100

5. Talk It Up

  – Genesis 18:33

– Psalm 55:22

   * Commune: share one’s intimate thoughts or feelings with someone or something especially when the exchange is on a spiritual level.

6. Wait on the Lord and Actively Listen for Instruction

   – Psalm 40:1

7. It Takes Time

    – Hebrews 5:13-14

   – 1 Timothy 4:8

 

Catch ya’ll on the flip side,

❤ Nique

 

Jesus Is God

“Who is Jesus?”

For most of my life, this question was both a source of doubt and uncertainty in my faith walk. I grew up in church but I never really knew who Jesus was. I was taught he was the Son of God by spiritual leaders, persuaded he was a prophet by my father, and questioned if he was God when I read my bible. This is not a post to instill doubt and further questioning but to give hope and share some of the revelation that God has given to me throughout these last 2 years of coming to know him more. Do you question who Jesus is? Have you been in church all your life but still have not come to know Jesus as the Son of God, your Lord, personal Savior, and most importantly God himself. Please allow me to share with you, from the bible, verses that not only confirm this truth but will help affirm and seal your belief in this truth.

John 1:1

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”

John 1:14

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

Colossians 1:15-16 (Be sure to read Colossians 1:12-14 first)

“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:”

Colossians 1:18-19

“And he is the head of the body, the church who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;”

Colossians 2:8-9

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily”.

Colossians 3:1 (Look up the significance of sitting on the right hand of an authority figure.)

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.”

Philippians 2:5-7

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:”

There are so many more scriptures to discover that further clarify the true identity of Jesus and I encourage you to make this year the year that you walk in truth wherever it may be found. Do not limit him to just the Son of God, a prophet, et cetera for he is all of these things and greater. Seek out knowledge with all diligence, ask the Lord for understanding and wisdom if you lack it in any area of your life, and most importantly study your word, the bible, to show yourself approved by God because faith comes by learning who our hope is.

2 Timothy 3:16

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

Catch y’all on the flip side,

Nique ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living Out Loud

Have you ever just found yourself living out loud those parts of the Bible that you have read in secret? Is the word of God written on your heart so that it has now become a part of your everyday reality? Can you thank God for the trials and tribulations as well as the blessings that you don’t have room to receive? What has God done for you lately besides wake you up this morning?

This week I found myself longing for the presence of the Lord and finding that I felt empty, distant, but expectant. I realize that it is at these moments when I realize that God didn’t abandon me but I simply failed to make time, room, and an effort for him to talk to me. I have far too often allowed myself to get too caught up in my school schedule,extracurricular activities and life in general that I lose sight of the Father and neglect the relationship that I once fought so hard to keep. In this waiting period of few test and trials and an immense feeling of inability to truly be who God has called me to be, I find myself living the Word. On Saturday I read Psalms 63:1-8 because of my Daily Bread devotional and all eight of those verses not only spoke to me but reminded me of my own interactions with the Lord.

Just as the psalmist meditated about the Lord and his works in the 6th verse, I too found myself thinking about the Lord and all the moments we had shared together, all the times that I had called on Him for fellowship and he immediately let his presence fill my room. Oh how I longed to be surrounded by such fellowship as I had experienced at church in his holy sanctuary as in verse two but yet there was this disconnect. I wanted God near, I needed to experience more of Him to keep going, to keep fighting through college, to reach the mark of the higher calling. Lord I need more of you, as much as I can physically handle in this flesh. Bless those who are reading this and need a fresh breath of your presence. Eli, my God, may you restore our hope in you, and return us back to genuine and uninterrupted fellowship at your feet. Father allow us to enter into your throne room to talk to you, gain heavenly insight and be changed by your words forever. In Jesus’ name I do pray, Amen.

Nique ❤

 

 

A Different Place 

Every school year I find myself in this place. This place of isolation and deep thought, separated from the masses but secretly longing for their company. It’s hard because ever since I accepted Christ my life hasn’t been the same. I mean I love the growth, I adore the worship, and living a clean life is drama free but I realize just how much people pull on my sense of worth and belonging. I realize that I look different, talk different and carry myself different than the world’s recommended standard and I know I’m doing the right thing. But my question is why do I care, why do young believers care what our peers in the world think about us? Why do we seek to be in their cliques and attend their events just to discover we are out of place? It’s a serious problem that I don’t love myself enough to be okay alone. It’s even more troubling that I can’t seem to give God my time without seeking to be around other people. I know only He can fill the voids, and hollow spaces in those secret places we don’t talk about; The mind and most importantly the heart. See sometimes Christ in me is just at enmity with Shenique, not the devil, not the flesh, but just little old insecure Nique. Reminds me of why I need him even more. 

Catch ya’ll on the flipside, 

Nique ♡

Guarded Heart Series: Can’t Trust Nobody?!

Hey everybody so just a little reflection before I end this series! I just want to say that God places people in your life for a reason in the form of lessons and/or blessings. Trust is something that has been hard for me in the past but I’m slowly learning to trust those around me, including God. Yes I said it, I’m learning how to trust God! 

I’m trusting that God has my best interests at heart so if he sees fit to place someone in my life, I know it all serves a greater purpose to propelling me into my destiny. When God doesn’t automatically give me the “desires of my heart”, I’m trusting that he has better for me and is sparing me from further disappointment.  I’m trusting that God has not forgotten about me and heard me when I asked him the first time or prayed about the situation the first time. 

I’m trusting that God knows what I can bear so I’m done with praying people out of my life or looking for ways to escape my “problems”. I’m trusting that I can trust the people he had placed in my life and they are a source of advise, comfort, and friendship. A friend once told me to rejoice during the test, be glad in the fact that growth was sure to follow. I’m overjoyed! I feel free from the bonds and chains I placed on my heart, confidence, and emotions trying to ward off scavengers and self filter individuals that didn’t fit the people I wanted in my life. A fortified heart is different from a guarded one in the fact that one is made of flesh. 

It’s okay to trust others and open up to them. Don’t bottle up your emotions, become complacent in your mess and not have accountability buddies and people there to nurse you to health. God is the good physician but just like every good doctor, sometimes he places nurses and assistants in place to tend to you. Trust him, he only wants the best for you! 

Catch ya’ll on the flipside, 

Nique ♡

Guarded Heart Series: Hearts for Sale

So one thing that I definitely want to do on my blog is be transparent with ya’ll. Just a disclaimer, I am neither perfect nor righteous so I make mistakes 24 hours and 7 days a week on all of the 365 days of this awesome year that God has given us. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get done to business!

In this season of my life, I asked God to reveal my innermost parts to me and to show me those things that need to be fixed and have been hindering my ability to progress and mature in the faith. Now let me just say, don’t you sit there and cry your heart out to God to reveal yourself to you and then get mad when what he shows you isn’t exactly what you like. God kept it real with me ya’ll and let me know that sometimes I allow my emotions to get the best of me and lead me to do a lot of irrational decision making. I mean anywhere from allowing unequally yoked vessels to occupy a space too close for comfort to not being able to effectively have a relationship with God because I have now made some new little boy my idol for the month or until he does something to make me upset and ultimately remove the veil of infatuation from my eyes. It happens to the most cautious of us, distractions that are so effective that they leave us in a state of disarray, confusion, and wondering how we can gather our bearings. But we don’t have to stay that way!

Do you find yourself in a constant cycle of attracting the same type of man? Have you ever thought about the possibility that you are projecting something that is actually leading these men to seek after you. After having a talk with my friend, I realized that my tendency to try to affirm people with my words rather it be through a compliment or encouragement and even through a willingness to pray on behalf of others has left me with a lot of guys around me who have low self-esteem. These men need validation from women to clarify not only their self-worth but their worthiness of being liked by the opposite sex. Emotionally they drain you and keep you nearby to fulfill the role of placeholder until they find themselves a little girlfriend and then you are all of a sudden, CUT OFF. What started out as a platonic relationship has left you emotionally drained, feeling used, and wondering how this even happened.

  1. Evaluate the Situation Thoroughly Before Pursing Friendship

We really should be more careful about who we deem our friends. Someone being a chill dude or good conversation is not a good enough reason to occupy a space so close to you. Does the person share the same morals and values as you, do they have the ability to reciprocate your efforts of investing into the friendship, and most of all are they as interested in being your friend as you are in being theirs? A lot of times we wrongly give acquaintances and associates the title of friend or “bestie” because we can hold a conversation or like their “good vibes”.

2. Ask God To Reveal Any Hidden Agendas and the Intentions of this New Friend

We could really save ourselves a lot of people induced hurt if we would just consult the Father about whether or not “so and so” was sent to be a part of your life by Him. I remember reading a quote that said, ” When God wants to build you up, He sends people your way and when the devil wants to break you down, he sends people your way”. So if both your Heavenly Father and the adversary are both sending people don’t you need clarity to discern who is for you and against you. Trust me, it’s some wolves out there that have awesome sheep’s clothing but you need the Lord’s help to locate that zipper to unmask their true identities. So get on your knees and ask the Father believing that He will give you an on time answer ( He is never tardy for the party!)

3. Listen, Respect, and Obey the Lord’s Answer

I can’t tell ya’ll how many times that God has immediately told me to leave “so and so” alone or let me know that He never intended for me and “so and so” to be friends but I let my emotions get in the way of my discernment. It is not being judgemental when you exercise Godly wisdom to stop interacting with an individual. As long as you are not harboring any unforgiveness or bitterness in your heart you can freely walk away from the relationship/friendship and pursue those friendships that God would have you to pursue. Being on a “hi and bye” basis with an ex-friend shows maturity beyond measure, like you don’t have to walk away or have an attitude, be genuinely you and don’t give that person that much power.

Well it’s been awesome being able to have an outlet to voice my concerns, struggles, and victories so I pray that you all would continue to join me on this journey that seems to be full of surprises and lessons to last a lifetime.

Catch ya’ll on the flipside,

Nique ❤