Just Do It!

Just Do It

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Yesterday was the first broadcast of my online radio show “The Butterfly Garden,” which you can listen to here. I was so hesitant about doing it, because for one, it’s really not my thing. I’m an introvert by nature, and I’d much rather just tend to a small group of people, in a small little space, and call it a day. Two, I’m never really 100% sure if I’ve heard from God or not. I mean, sometimes I have a pretty good idea if I’ve heard from Him, but others, it could really go either way. So Wednesday through Friday morning I was actually excited. I was looking forward to sharing the lesson, and I just really wanted to see how God would move. But then, once Friday night came, I started questioning everything! “Did I really hear from God?” “Would anybody tune in to listen?” “Was the lesson that I had planned relevant?” A million and one thoughts were running through my mind, and I really wanted to pull the plug on the entire thing.

After I got myself together, I realized that it was just fear taking over, and that I needed to calm down and regroup. Over the last couple of years, I’ve learned to feed my fears with God’s Word in order to strengthen my faith, and that’s exactly what I did. I started listening to sermons, reciting Scriptures, praying, you name it. In the midst of all of that, I received a notification that the owner of a store that I frequent had committed suicide earlier that day. And aside from the initial shock of the news, I felt convicted and wondered, “What if the thing that God has called me to do could save someone’s life?” I’m not saying that the radio show would have saved his life in particular, but the fact that it could save a life was enough to make me go forward with the broadcast. Was I 100% comfortable with it? No. But I felt 100% commissioned to do it.

Even today, I still don’t know who all God is going to send to listen to the show, and I don’t know how many lives will be changed, if any. But I do know that God would not have placed that task on my heart if at some point it’s not going to impact someone. Whether it’s one month from now, or one year from now, I don’t know. I’m just willing to make myself available to Him, if and when that time comes.

So I don’t know what God has laid on your heart to do that you’re maybe fearful of pursuing because of your own perceived inadequacies, but if God has commanded you, then He will be with you just like Joshua 1:9 says. If God has commanded you, then you’re in the perfect condition for Him to use you. If something has been on your heart to do for years, and you still haven’t done it, make this year your year. Make this the year that you trust God like never before. Be strong, be courageous, and just do it. You never know whose life may be depending on the gift that you hold…

God Loves You!

Live Free!

Arianne

www.ariannemockabee.com

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New Year, New You

mind

Romans 8:5 “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

As we go into the new year, the Lord has laid it on my heart to focus on maturing in our faith and spiritual transformation. This goes far beyond just going to church and merely participating in religious activities. I’m talking about actually allowing God’s Word to transform us and to be reflected in our every day lives. So while you’re making your personal goals, resolutions, etc. for 2014, make sure that spiritual growth is a part of your plans. Whatever bad habits, insecurities, negative attitudes, resistance to change, etc. that you had this year, leave them here, and start the new year off fresh.

We see in Romans 8:5 that your mind has to be set on the things of the Spirit in order for your life to reflect the things the Spirit (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control Galatians 5:22-23). So you can hope and pray that your behavior will change, but unless you are intentional about it, your success rate will probably be very low. If your goal is to minimize gossip for 2014, then you should already have a response set in your mind for when someone brings gossip to you. If your goal is to stop living in sexual sin, then you need to set up guardrails for yourself. Whether it’s cutting off a relationship, setting new rules in your relationship, or banning certain shows from your TV lineup, do whatever it will take to help you succeed. You will also need to continue to support your desire to change with God’s Word. It will be a struggle in the beginning, and maybe ongoing, but if you set your mind on things above, the changes your desire will be made manifest in your life.

Matthew 9:17 says, “Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” It is not enough to simply desire change without changing our minds. If you take your old mindset into the new year, you can pretty much expect a similar outcome at the end of next year. Some people may not be able to be as big of a factor in your life next year as they were this year, especially if they support where you’ve been instead of where you’re going.  Don’t take the same debt mentality into next year if you desire to be more profitable. You have to make up in your mind to let go of whatever it is that’s holding you back, and then act accordingly.

So let’s aim our hearts and minds a little higher in this new year. Let’s truly make Jesus the center of all that we do, and allow our lives to be transformed. Let’s make a better effort at making our thoughts mirror the mind of Christ. If we do that, our actions will soon follow, and we’ll have the fruit to show for it. Greater is available, if you make up in your mind to achieve it. Where will your mind take you in this new year? Out with the old, in with the new!

God loves you!

Live free!

Arianne

www.ariannemockabee.com

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Am I Good Enough?!

am-i-good-enough

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

Am I good enough?! A question that I so often ask myself when it comes to fulfilling anything that I believe God has placed on my heart. It is also a question that opens the door to fear and insecurity, which either paralyzes me or chases me away from the task at hand. At times I’ll start to second-guess if I really heard from God. I mean it all sounds good in the beginning, but once the time comes to put the vision into action…well that’s a different story! At some point I’ll start comparing myself to others, or magnifying my weaknesses, which again, creates a welcome mat for fear and insecurity. It is a constant battle that I fight with every step of faith that I take…

But then, I’m reminded of 2 Timothy 1:7, which says that God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear. So if it’s not of God, then it must be the enemy. And of course he doesn’t want you to think that you’re good enough, because then you’ll follow through with the plans that God laid on your heart. Plans that were designed to defeat the enemy, and bring God glory. You didn’t really think it was going to be that easy did you?! The devil isn’t just going to lie down and let you walk off into the sunset of your destiny. He’s going to make you fight for it! And two of the weapons that he uses are fear and insecurity.

Now, let me say this…if you have not planned or sought wise counsel in regards to stepping out on faith, that too can cause fear and insecurity, and rightfully so! It may also cause more burdens in your life than blessings, if you’re not careful. Being faithful, and being foolish are not the same thing. Jesus, a perfect man, had a calling, but even he had to prepare and be prepared by God. So trust me, you must also go through the process of planning, seeking, and testing, if you’re going to complete God’s will for your life. It’s not that you’re not good enough, but God is a God of order, and you must complete His process.

However, in either case, neither person will ever be “good enough” to do what God called them to do. And that’s OK, because God designed it that way. He loves us, wants us to be dependent on Him, and wants to create a lasting relationship with us. He doesn’t need us to be perfect, or the most qualified, He just wants us to be obedient and to trust Him.

When we look at 2 Timothy 1:9 it says, “For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.” Right there you see that God called us according to His plan, and not because of anything that we ever could or could not do. This walk is about grace and faith. Through Christ, we are able to say, “God, I know I’m not good enough, but I trust that You can use me anyway.” So the next time you are faced with fear and insecurity, stare them right in the eyes, and say “I’ve got grace and faith, and that’s good enough for me!”

God loves you!

Live free!

Arianne

Don’t forget to stop by my website www.ariannemockabee.com and check out my first book Destined to Fly: The Pursuit of Purpose, and let’s get connected!

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When God Closes Doors…

Access-Denied

Proverbs 3:5-6 “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.”

Have you ever worked up the nerve to step out on faith, only to find yourself feeling and looking foolish when whatever it was that you were pursuing did not come to pass? You know, that time you finally started that business, stepped out into the dating scene, applied for that scholarship or graduate program, believed God for your healing, applied for that new job or promotion, or saved up for that new car or home, only to be faced with a big “Access Denied” sign, so it would seem. After all, Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart,” and in John 14:14 Jesus tells us, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” So why didn’t God do what He said He would do?

The thing is, God isn’t a genie, and faith isn’t magic. God is not required to give us any and everything that we ask for just because we ask for it. Especially those things that He knows will only end up causing us pain in the long run. God is more concerned about our hearts and our characters, than anything else. A good parent is not going to give a 16 year old kid with no license or previous driving experience keys to a Lamborghini and send them out on the nearest highway just because they asked. Likewise, God may not satisfy all of our desires and needs the very first time we ask for them. However, delays don’t always mean denial, and we have to trust that God knows what’s best for us. I believe that God does give us the desires of our hearts, but He’s going to make sure that we’re prepared to manage whatever it is that we’re asking Him for.

Also, sometimes what we think we want, is not the same as what God knows we need (which is always better!). So don’t miss the element of protection that oftentimes comes in the form of rejection. You may not understand why you didn’t get that job, why the loan fell through, or why that person walked out of your life, but remember that God has already gone before you. He knows where that path will lead you before you take the first step, and will do anything to protect you. So thank God for the closed doors, the “no’s,” the delays, etc. He has your best interest at heart, ALWAYS. Our thoughts and motives are not like His, and we have to fully trust Him. Remember, we have limited vision, God does not.

My challenge to you, is that even in the face of rejection, that you would continue to seek God, praise Him, ask Him, and trust Him. He will make sure that you are in the perfect condition to receive all of the great things that He has in store for you. You may encounter a few road blocks, you may have to jump a few hurdles, or dodge a couple of potholes along the way, but know that God is with you. As long as you keep moving in the same direction that He’s leading you, everything will work out just fine. Meditate on Proverbs 3:5-6, and rest in Him!

God loves you!

Live free!

Arianne

Don’t forget to stop by my website www.ariannemockabee.com and check out my first book Destined to Fly: The Pursuit of Purpose, and let’s get connected!

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The Waiting Room

Waiting

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/dra_schwartz

James 1:2-8Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”

Have you ever “felt” abandoned by God? I put the word “felt” in quotation marks because we know that according to Deuteronomy 31:8 that God never leaves nor forsakes us. But somehow, no matter how many times we’ve heard it, read it, or spoken it, our feelings have a way of taking over when we’re in a state of waiting. We begin to question God’s presence, our decisions, our abilities, God’s timing, etc. We’ve been faithful, so why isn’t God moving? We’ve been praying with the right motives, so why haven’t our prayers been answered? It simply doesn’t make sense…

I’ve been feeling like I’m in somewhat of a dry season at the moment in so many areas. Nothing seems to be coming together, and I too have asked many of the questions that I presented above. But God reminded me that in order to get stronger, at some point you have to increase your resistance. Your faith is like a muscle that constantly needs to be worked out and strengthened in order to prepare you for higher level battles. So it may not be that you’re doing anything wrong, but rather that you’re doing everything right! The Lord led me to James 1:2-8 as I sought Him regarding this topic, and He gave me 4 things that will help us endure our waiting season in peace:

1. Turn up your Worship – verse 2 tells us to consider it pure joy that God is strengthening us through the testing of our faith. Instead of questioning God’s presence, we need to focus, and celebrate the fact that He is preparing us for something greater. So if you find yourself worrying, release your inner joy through worship!

2. Let God do the Work – verse 4 tells us to let perseverance finish its work so that we lack nothing. We simply cannot rush God no matter how hard we try. Impatience may cause delays, undesirable damage, or unnecessary stress.We have to trust His timing and know that once our waiting period is over that we will be complete, refined, and better than we were before. Patience is key!

3. Seek Wisdom – verse 5 tells us to seek God for wisdom and He’ll give it to us freely. If we are unsure about why we’re going through what we’re going through, how long we’ll have to go through it, etc. then we must seek God. He holds the blueprint to your life, and you’ll have to go to Him for answers, period.

4. Resist the Wind – verse 6, when we seek God for wisdom, we must believe it as truth. Otherwise we may find ourselves wavering in our faith, growing weary, thinking we can accelerate the process ourselves, and so on and so forth. We cannot let our fleeting emotional winds uproot our faith and trust in God. Let the emotions pass, and commit to standing firm!

Maybe you’re like me and things just don’t seem to be gaining any traction in your life at the moment. You’ve worked hard, you’ve been faithful, you’ve prayed, but things have not paid off quite like you had hoped or in the amount of time that you had hoped. You thought things would get better, but instead, it appears as if they have gotten worse. Know that God is with you, He hasn’t left your side, nor has He forsaken you. In fact, He’s doing a work in you that is intended to make you better, no matter how frustrating or painful it may seem right now. Remember that God loves you and is not out to harm you. Whatever you’re going through is only for your good, and that’s worth celebrating! So be patient and rejoice, greater is coming!

God loves you!

Live free!

Arianne

Don’t forget to stop by my website www.ariannemockabee.com and check out my first book Destined to Fly: The Pursuit of Purpose, and let’s get connected!

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Destined to Fly

book cover

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Around this time last year, I was at a point in my life where I felt like I had come to a plateau in just about every area of my life. My finances, my spirit, my career, and my motivation all seemed to be coasting in neutral. Life was OK, but I just felt like something major was missing. I simply asked God, “Is this it? Is this life really only about going to work, paying bills, and going to church? Was my past so bad that I missed out on the plans and purposes that He had for my life?” The Lord told me no, and began to speak to me in a vision like He typically does. He spoke to me through the image of the butterfly life cycle, and it all started to come together.

He reassured me that my past had been forgiven, and revealed to me that I was merely co-existing with His Spirit, but I had not yet allowed Him to transform me. I was still a caterpillar, and He intended for me to become a butterfly. Wow! I had never thought about spiritual growth in that way before. Romans 12:2 tells us to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, and then we can test and approve God’s will. So I needed to get in His Word, get rid of the clutter, renew my mind, allow Him to transform me, and then I would be able to move beyond the plateau in my life. I needed more of Him, period. And I still do!

All too often, it’s so easy for us to get saved and then fall into practicing a religion, instead of developing a relationship with Christ. We get saved, continue doing what we were doing, and simply co-exist with God. But God designed a relationship that will grow us, strengthen us, and transform us to be more like Him. A relationship that creates this comforting dependency, sense of belonging, and access to a bottomless love. A relationship that reveals our purpose beyond the mundane tasks of this world. A relationship that was designed just for us.

After I wrapped my head around the revelation that I received, the unthinkable happened…God instructed me to write a book about it. “Are you talking to me?” I first asked, and then the excuses started to flow…”I’m not qualified to speak on this subject, I’m not an author, I don’t know anything about writing a book or getting it published, What if nobody reads it, I don’t want to put my business out in the street…” and on it went. Finally, after all of my whining, I just surrendered to God and told Him that I would do it as long as He told me what to write. Two and a half months later, the book was finished, and I couldn’t have done it without Him.

I don’t know what you’re going through right now, but if you desire to live beyond the ordinary, to live beyond your past, to grow a deeper relationship with God, to discover your purpose, to be challenged to live at a higher level, then I encourage you to purchase the first book that God has written through me, titled “Destined to Fly: The Pursuit of Purpose.” The book is broken down into four stages: The Egg, The Caterpillar, The Pupa, and The Adult. Each stage will help you identify where you are in your walk with Christ, and challenge you to seek God like never before. You too, will find that there is more to life than just going to work, paying bills, and practicing religion. You will discover that you too, are destined to fly!

God loves you!

Live free!

Arianne

Don’t forget to stop by my website www.ariannemockabee.com and check out my first book Destined to Fly: The Pursuit of Purpose, and let’s get connected!

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Decisions, Decisions…

decision-making

Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

I have a habit of over-analyzing things. If I’m not careful, I can sometimes slip into a “paralysis by analysis” state, where I just do nothing because I’ve stressed so much about the details. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and I hate to fail, so it is very easy for me to become obsessed with any and everything. Naturally, I find myself over-thinking about what it is that God really wants me to do. Am I in the right job? Am I attending the right church? Am I serving in the right ministry? Am I writing the right blog topic? Is this the right business idea? Is this the right guy? And on and on it goes…I want to know who, what, where, when, why, and how before I do it. I would love if everything was black and white, crystal clear, just give it to me straight. As you can see, I am totally obsessed with details! Unfortunately, as I have come to learn, God doesn’t do details. He’s more of a big picture, I’ll drop one bread crumb at a time (after you take a step of faith) to lead you to your destiny kind of Guy, and it drives me absolutely nuts!

So how do we really know if we’re in God’s will? How do we know if the last decision that we made was the “right” one? How will we know if the next decision that we make will be the right one?

Decision doors

When we look at Colossians 3:17 it says that WHATEVER you do, do it ALL in the name of the Lord. So does it really matter what you do, as opposed to why you’re doing it, or who you’re representing while you’re doing it? I could have chosen a different college, major, profession, city to live in, etc., but I didn’t, and God was and is still with me. I believe that God is ready and willing to meet us wherever we are, no matter what path we choose, even if we make a few wrong turns, or go through a few wrong doors along the way. He is the master director, orchestrator, etc., and always has a way of rerouting us if need be.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “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.

If you are like me, and have a tendency of obsessing over the details, seek God, and take a step of faith. We wouldn’t need God if we had all of the answers before we pursued anything in this life. But God longs to keep us close to and dependent on Him. Interestingly enough, He is able to create this intimacy through ambiguity. Even when we aren’t sure what to do, we must remember that God will light the way. When your path seems dark, foggy, and unclear, turn on God’s light by seeking Him, His Word, His will, and His ways. Turn your focus on the Who and the why, and you’ll always end up at the what, exactly when and where you’re supposed to be.

God loves you!

Live free!

Arianne

Don’t forget to stop by my website www.ariannemockabee.com and check out my first book Destined to Fly: The Pursuit of Purpose, and let’s get connected!

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