Life and Life More Abundantly

Hey ya’ll! Here is a Late Post for a Throwback Thursday.

Have you received what God has already made available through His Son, Jesus? Are you living or just existing?

October Experience
I am so excited to even type this. Last Monday, stage lights of orange, red, purple and blue took their turns illuminating the musicians and artists as they sang and led us into prayer, praise and worship. It was amazing; I got to check “attend Worship/Christian concert” off of my bucket list that I had written solely in my head. Oh, I also met a new friend who too came alone to the Kim Walker-Smith (w/Chris Quilala and Urban Rescue) concert. She shared with me her testimony about beginning her healing journey after losing her husband a year ago. Her quest to do something new or something she hasn’t done in awhile each month was amazing to hear.
And before the concert, I had just attended a Christian Educators’ retreat that weekend. Although I incurred an injury to my face while attempting to play baseball during free time, I still had an amazing time there too with the worship services and sessions on restorative practices, trauma care, ACES Study, and rights as a Christian in the education field. There were loads of knowledge.
Attending both the retreat and concert gave me the opportunity to not only invest in the kingdom of God and support my siblings in Christ but to also challenge my comfort zone, gain knowledge about restoration, and learn more vulnerability. Moreover, I was blessed with the opportunity to experience God’s love.

After the retreat and concert, I was off with my sisters’ in Christ to experience New York and have a little faithcation full of opportunities to elevate my faith and learn to trust God. It sounds like I have been having a great time, doesn’t it?! Yes I have, but before these awesome experiences, I faced some challenges I didn’t think I would survive. Moreover, I have been dealing with something that can rob you of the experiences and joy I was experiencing this month. Had it not been for God showing me the power of His Word, I don’t think I would have had this testimony.

Fear
Fear had been rising in me lately like yeast in bread and I had been dealing with it over the years. I thought I had overcome in it but now realize it has been gripping me like never before. I didn’t realize fear can manifest in many ways and in different stages, and build in different areas of your life. God delivered me from depression but now fear was back and in the form of anxiety and panic attacks. It also appeared in the form of people-pleasing, lack of confidence, and lack of trust in God.

The mind wars, emotionally drainage, the worrying, the trying to keep life perfect as well as busyness were other symptoms of fear. Literally, things would trigger my past fears or create new ones. On the outside, I am looking like I am holding it together and all is well and in the inside I am, on some days, waking up crying and feeling hopeless. But I am a believer of Jesus, a joint heir, a sibling of Jesus, and God is my Father and the Holy Spirit dwells in me. So, why am I walking timidly through life and not fully walking in the freedom of Christ Jesus?

John 10:10
This summer I came across the scripture through my daily devotional reading. I had read it numerous times but this time I heard it! John 10:10

Jesus came that we may have life and that we may have it more abundantly. Now life here isn’t just any old life but the life that only Jesus can bring. It is NOT a life which Jesus becomes a genie in the bottle and wealth is hoarded. It is true life that is equipped with eternal treasures that the world cannot provide. When we accepted Jesus as our savior, it came with His life and a covenant between us and Him. It came with unfailing love, grace, joy, and freedom.

So why haven’t I walked in this fact consistently and received fully what GOD gave me through His Son?
Here are some reasons why:

  • I am listening to what others and the thief says. The devil is the father of lies and I keep listening to what he says about me instead of what God says about me.
  • I am not walking in the authority of Jesus.
  • I didn’t realize how valuable I am to God.
  • I had to begin to develop a grateful attitude.
  • I had to begin living my life in pursuit of God.
  • I have to surrender and come to the end of myself. Every area of my life belongs to Jesus.
  • I had to begin to make God my first priority.
  • I had to begin growing in my love walk.
  • I had to start to intentionally invest in God’s kingdom.
  • It is easy to go hibernate or hide under a rock when wounded, drained, or just need thinking and alone time. I had to remember that life is about relationship and discipleship and I can’t always isolate myself.
  • I had to learn to receive and not just give. I had to even learn to receive from God for myself.
  • I had to learn that life is a process, becoming spiritually mature is a process, and my faith walk is a process.

I want to experience as well as walk in the freedom and life Jesus came to give me so that I can fulfill my destiny here on this earth.

Now I am on a mission, to live simply, fruitfully, and purposefully. I want to experience as well as walk in the freedom and life Jesus came to give me so that I can fulfill my destiny here on this earth. That life He was talking about was already provided for and given to me so now it is up to me to claim what became mine through my covenantal relationship with Jesus.

He doesn’t want me or you to be paralyzed in fear, unafraid to seize our destinies, and too comfortable to not step out in faith.

I want to live and let Jesus continue on in His work through me. Life can be tough and life is not perfect. We are not perfect. Life can also be scary from time to time but God did not give me or you a spirit of fear, but that of power, love, and a sound mind. He doesn’t want me or you to be paralyzed in fear, unafraid to seize our destinies, and too comfortable to not step out in faith. He doesn’t want us with neither countenances of despair nor visages of defeat. He want us to realize who we are in Christ Jesus and how valuable we are that He would give His only begotten Son to die for us and give us life and life to the full.

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Faith it Through

This poem/prayer is dedicated to those who may be suffering from anxiety. I understand how hard it grips you and how as a result you feel hopeless. God sees our tears and He can erase all of our fears. Trust Him. 

Mountain of anxiety be lifted up
And thrown into the sea
And Don’t come back with more fear
To terrorize me.

Body, and mind, and spirit too
Believe that God can deliver you
And Be healed by His stripes
Tired of these attacks
I’m losing my strength to fight.
But I’m not turning back

God, hear me and let my tears fall at Your feet
Anchor my faith in You
And let Your healing wells run deep.

You did not give me a spirit of fear,
But of power, love, and a sound mind
You have not left me, nor forsaken me
You are right here.
And every thing will be fine.

So Lord, I praise You even in the valley
I praise You even though it’s hard
I praise You with the queasiness in my belly
I praise You for what I can’t see naturally
I praise You in advance
For complete healing and the unwavering faith stance

That I will have joy in the morning,
I will rest in You,
I will be delivered from all my fears,
I will continue on with hope and a future penned by You,
And I will survive today and continue to faith it through.

In Jesus’ name, amen.
Love,

Tannika

Broken To Unbroken

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Broken (general definition): no longer in one piece or in working order, defeated, beaten, humbled, dishonored…

Brokenness (Biblical definition):  Completely yielded to and humbled before the Lord; have come to the end of self…

Unbroken (general definition): not broken, fractured, or damaged; not interrupted or disturbed; continuous, whole…

I feel a praise coming on; stay with me!

Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lorduntil he comes and showers his righteousness on you. (Hosea 10:12 NIV)

Broken to Unbroken

God doesn’t like to see us heartbroken, worn out, diseased and mangled by life but when trials and tribulations come, He uses those as opportunities to shape us, teach us, and mold us.

In order to be unbroken, you have to have been broken. -Tannika Moore

I have been told I was weak; translation to me was “pathetic”. The sound of this word in reference to me made me angry and left me feeling unable to survive life. I have been told I didn’t have any common sense. I have heard I was stupid; I have been told I was too passive, and the devil helped me to believe I didn’t matter much and wasn’t valuable, and with that I learned to people-please and self-pity. I have experienced betrayal, lies told about me, backstabbing, manipulation, and more. Fear had gripped me in many ways from depression to anxiety and some of its residue is still on me. But God is my deliverer, and He will continue His work on me. I have been through storms and just came out of one. I have come to the realization that life is not void of storms. My pastor says that we are either going through one, coming out of one, or about to go into one. I have whined to God that I didn’t want to die this way (suffering with certain ailments, experiences, or other despairs at these times of whining) because I felt so hopeless. I waited anxiously for storms to end, trying my hardest to fight in my own strength, other times too scared to fight at all.

I Should Not Fear Fear

Then the Holy Spirit reminded me I can’t do anything in my own strength. I am also reminded to surrender and trust God. Just like I used to be in the habit of trying to fight off anxiety attacks, I would try to resist or avoid the storms. But after dealing with my latest storm, I have learned to not always avoid, run, or resist. God did not give us the spirit of fear, but that of power, love, and a sound mind. So, I should not fear fear.

I will face it only with God’s Word and prayer constantly, and with God’s hand in mine because I am His child. I believe Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected by my loving Father, God, so I could have life, a new spirit, and a new eternal destination. The bible says He too took my infirmities and pain with Him to the cross (Isaiah 53:4).

He Was Broken For You and Me

He was broken so I could be put back together again. Life, people (we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but principalities; you know the rest), the enemy may have broken me or tried to break me. But, they will never shatter me undone. They will never dismantle what God has restored and will restore from here on out. They will never defeat my God who has already overcome the world and its prince. The devil sends distractions and tries to add despair to my life’s story, but God uses that which was to break me to remake me. I was broken but now I am unbroken.

As always, I love to give and here are some Tools for your Journey!

How to be unbroken when broken:

  • Allow God to break your heart with what breaks His. (Allow Him to show you what matters; what moves Him; to see people and their needs as well as life from His eyes.)
  • With that said, pray for brokenness (humility, God’s compassion, the fear of God). And don’t do go looking for trouble (trust me issues come as well as offenses), but ask God to give you that humility, God’s compassion, the fear of God through those troubles.
  • With that said, don’t view the storms in your life, either caused by the enemy or our choices and disobedience, as setbacks or permanent despair. Instead, ask God to help you see the storms as chances to experience God’s strength, love, mercy, and wisdom in action when you calm down to trust Him, listen and respond.
  • Pray for humility. Self and pride can keep us in a broken state but God wants to show us how He can transform each of us into something spectacular no matter how much hurt, how many issues, and how much damage have become parts of our identities.
  • Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Proverbs 13:5 KJV)
  • Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Gal 6:9 NIV)
  • Read and meditate upon God’s Word consistently, daily. Read about the issues you are dealing with. God has an answer and encouragement for everything and every season!
  • Seek God more! Be desperate for His presence, intervention, and His Word and wisdom. GotQuestions.org says it perfectly, “There is something about reaching a breaking point that causes us to seek the Lord more sincerely.”
  • That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor 10:12 NIV) For when we are weak, God’s strength can be revealed in us!

Put your shoes on honey, our journeys await,

Tannika

Question:  What have you learned through your broken seasons and did they lead to brokenness? 

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To purchase my books, Wearing Someone Else’s Shoes Ain’t Never Been Me or Setting The Captive Free, click here. Kindle versions also available!

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Trust God and Set The Captive Free!

Fear of _______

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There are all types of fear: fear of death, fear of snakes, fear of heights, fear of clowns, fear of drowning/water, and the list goes on and on. One of my own particular fears is heights, but if it wasn’t for God, my fun experiences and favorite parts of flying—taking off from the runway and landing—I wouldn’t fly at all. After all, flying is associated with heights and a plane can ascend/climb as high as 40,000 feet. Moreover, one fear I have not even begun to half-way embrace is deep water. You won’t catch me venturing in deep water, not just because I can’t swim, but because of my fear of stepping foot in water that is taller than me and seems to have no bottom floor in reach of my feet.

However, the same God who delivered me from depression and some of my previous fears can deliver me from my current ones. One current fear I did not realize was so prevalent, yet incognito, in my life is the Fear of Man. We often don’t hear about this fear unless we are sitting in bible study or reading His Word about all the times God talks about this debilitating, ensnaring fear.

Fear of Man says I care more about what man think than what God thinks. Fear of Man says I am afraid of rejection, hurt, heartbreak, shame, disappointment, and being opposed and disapproved. Fear of Man says my reputation matters more than God’s glory and His Word. Fear of Man can cost you your destiny, can hinder your ability to make sound decisions, or even cause you to be untruthful to yourself, God and others. Fear of Man can destroy your self-esteem and your confidence. It will also weaken your impact with others.

So with that said, do you too have the Fear of Man?

  • Are you a people-pleaser?
  • Do you straddle the fence? Are you afraid to take sides even though you know one is the truth? Do you rather tell people what they want to hear rather than the truth because you are afraid to anger them?
  • Are you stunting your spiritual growth because you are holding on to the world or afraid of what people might say? You are afraid you will be an outcast in your family or your friends if you continue to grow in your faith?
  • Your answer is always yes and it’s hard to say no even when you should.
  • Do you desire constant praise and approval from others?
  • Do you second guess yourself?
  • Are you timid?
  • Do you have low self-esteem?

Now if you answered yes to all or mostly all of them, or even one of these, you too have the Fear of Man. Actually, most people have dealt with this at one point in their lives or are dealing with this type of fear now.

Now let’s look at the detrimental consequences of letting Fear of Man dominate us. The first king of Israel was a man named Saul who became king at age 30. He reigned over Israel for forty two years. Let’s take a look at how this man lost his kingship and ultimately his life and destiny.

Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord. This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy[a] all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’” So Saul summoned the men and mustered them at Telaim—two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand from Judah. Saul went to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the ravine. Then he said to the Kenites, “Go away, leave the Amalekites so that I do not destroy you along with them; for you showed kindness to all the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites moved away from the Amalekites. Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt. He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves[b] and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.

Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the Lord all that night. Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, “Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal.” When Samuel reached him, Saul said, “The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.” But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?” Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.” “Enough!” Samuel said to Saul. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.” “Tell me,” Saul replied. Samuel said, “Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. And he sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; wage war against them until you have wiped them out.’ Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?”

“But I did obey the Lord,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.” But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them. Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord.” But Samuel said to him, “I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you as king over Israel!” As Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe, and it tore. Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors—to one better than you. He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.”

Saul replied, “I have sinned. But please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord your God.” So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul worshiped the Lord. Then Samuel said, “Bring me Agag king of the Amalekites.” Agag came to him in chains. [c] And he thought, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.” But Samuel said, “As your sword has made women childless, so will your mother be childless among women.” And Samuel put Agag to death before the Lord at Gilgal. Then Samuel left for Ramah, but Saul went up to his home in Gibeah of Saul. Until the day Samuel died, he did not go to see Saul again, though Samuel mourned for him. And the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel. (1Samuel 15)

I suggest you read the entire book of 1 Samuel to get a sense of the whole story about King Saul and King David. Nonetheless, King Saul let the Fear of Man lead him to choose to gratify his own desires, disobey God, and submit to his fears of rejection and opposition from the people. How disheartening to be removed from your job, to have your position given to someone else, and to face disapproval from God?

I am so glad that God has alerted me to this sin that was taking control over me and although I have more surrendering to Him to do and He is leading me to understand the root of the Fear of Man in my life, I am a work in progress and I am learning to fear God. I am learning to please Him more and I am learning to love others as I love myself also because when Fear of Man is more prevalent in my life, the love of God is not.

To come from under the entangling, consuming Fear of Man:

  1. Pray and ask God the root cause of it in your life.
  2. Repent and ask God to purify your heart and renew your mind.
  3. Saturate in the Word of God daily.
  4. Increase in the Fear of the Lord by reading His Word, spending quiet time with the Lord and praising God Almighty, Sovereign Lord.
  5. Learn when to say no at the direction of the Holy Spirit.
  6. Understand that you will never please everyone but one you can please is God as He shows you how.
  7. Trust God’s Word and obey it.
  8. Examine your motives behind the things you do.
  9. Know that you don’t have to be perfect, but have an undivided heart towards God.
  10. It is liberating when you are living for Him and your eyes are fixed on the author and perfecter of our faith!

Till Next Time,

Tannika

TRUST GOD AND SET THE CAPTIVE FREE