Focus

Are You Settling For Knock Offs?

A lot of women own knock offs. Whether it’s fake earrings, watches or purses, we buy fake merchandise in order to make it seem as if we own the real thing. And the same can be said when it comes to spiritual things. Check out the revelation God gave me about settling for counterfeit callings and relationships instead of trusting in Christ.

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The Case Of My Ex

This isn’t a post to bash my ex. This is not a post to bash relationships. This is a post to shed light on dark situations we all may face. This is a post to shed light on my story.

I was in a relationship with my ex for about a year and a half. At the time, that was my first “serious” relationship. I was in college and thought my relationship was everything. It was all about me and him as we squeezed God in between where we thought He could fit. Our focus was simidolatryply on each other as we tried to build our relationship around Christ. We were unequally yoked. Also, we were trying to change each other to make our relationship work. For a period of time in our relationship, because our focus was extremely on each other, I would get sick during and after an argument. I literally got sick. I would throw up and I lost weight. I wanted the relationship to work so bad that it made me sick when I thought it might not work out because of x, y, and z.

At the time, my relationship with God was mediocre. I read my Bible because I thought I had to in order to be a “good Christian.” I did not have accountability. In fact, I didn’t even know how crucial having an accountability partner was at the time. When I learned about it, I figured it was important, but I thought my boyfriend and I could manage without it. We were only deceiving ourselves. We were in love, fell in lust, and it was all about us making it work. It didn’t.

Over the years, I’ve truly grown since then. It took some heartbreaks and plenty of mistakes. But God showed me HE is my priority. I think that’s what we can easily miss. God will humble us in order to make us realize anything or anyone we place before Him is an idol.

— “Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love.” Jonah 2:8 ESV

It can be difficult because in this world today being in a relationship and being married are idolized. There’s nothing wrong with being in a relationship that God ordained or a marriage God ordained. There is an issue when it stops there. Being married is NOT the goal of Christianity. It does not stop there. That’s where my issue resided. I look back on my past relationships and being in a relationship and marriage was my idol.

As believers, we have to self-evaluate our motives and our hearts daily.

— “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” 2 Corinthians 13:5 ESV

Question yourself to see what it is that is causing this desire? Ask yourself, “What is it that is distracting me because I have a desire for _________ instead of being content in Christ alone?”

Sometimes the things we struggle to let go of the most are our biggest idols.

 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” 1 Corinthians 10:14 ESV

By Ashley A. Johnson
ashley@areyoushe.com

Photo: IM Creator

Renewed: From Broken To Whole

wholeIt wasn’t until I was broken until I truly realized Christ is the only One Who can complete me.

Although you may be broken and feel as if there is no hope, allow God to mold you and guide you.

He will develop you into the woman He desires you to be.

“But now, O Lord, You are our Father, we are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.” Isaiah 64:8 (NASB)

God bless!

By Ashley A. Johnson
ashley@areyoushe.com

 

Blurred Vision: Refocus Your View

Contacts and glasses are two important tools I need everyday. There is no way I can leave my home without them. I’m nearsighted, (if you can even call it that lol), so I can see objects up close, but not far away.  I’ve been wearing glasses since I was 6 or 7 in the 1st grade and needed them to see clearly ever since.

If I’m at home relaxing without my contacts or glasses, I have to hold objects really close to my face. My vision is a complete blur when I’m not wearing them. I definitely cannot step out of the house or even drive without them. Leaving without glasses or contacts would be dangerous to me, as well as others.

FocusWhen I cannot see, it makes me realize how much I truly appreciate having glasses and contacts. My blurred vision also reminds me how dependent I truly am on them.

Life is the exact same way. Our lives, situations, and our vision can be completely blurred and chaotic. When we lose sight of Who we need and are truly dependent on, our focus is blurred and out of order.

Sometimes when our lives seem out of order, we don’t know how or where it started to get that way. Sometimes we may put all of our time and energy focusing on what’s around us and our view is completely blurred.

How Can You Refocus Your View?

1. Keep your eyes on Christ.

Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’ And He said, ‘Come!’ And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?'” Matthew 14:28-31 NASB

This verse is a clear reminder for us to keep our eyes on Christ. When Jesus was walking on water to meet the disciples out in the sea, Peter wanted to make sure it was Jesus. After Jesus commanded Him to come out of the boat to meet Him, Peter started to walk on water. However, as soon as he took his eyes off of Jesus, He started sinking. Isn’t that just like us? We start looking at the wind (obstacles) around us and become frightened or anxious and we begin to sink. The moment we take our eyes off of Christ, we become susceptible to what the world tells us.

2. Don’t limit Christ.

“‘While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.’ When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes, and said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which is translated, Sent). So he went away and washed, and came back seeing.'” John 9:5-7 NASB

Jesus cannot be limited. Imagine being blind and hearing Jesus spit on the ground, then feeling wet clay touch your face. Imagine that. Can you imagine being in that situation? Maybe thinking, “I’m sure He could have done this another way.” This is a prime example that Jesus can use ANYTHING to heal. Sometimes we limit how God can work. We may be expecting Him to move in our lives in one way, when He’s working things in a way we cannot even possibly think of. He cannot be limited.

3. Follow His Lead.

“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.'” John 8:12 NASB

When the power is out, what’s the first thing you do? For me, I’ll use the flashlight on my phone or try to find a flashlight so I can see. In a world full of darkness, Christ is the One we need to follow. He is the Light of the World. In our darkest situations and our darkest moments when we feel we cannot see, we need to seek Christ. We do not have to walk in darkness. When our vision is blurred due to darkness, we need to cry out to Him. His Name pierces through the darkest situations. Their is Life when following His Lead.

As we continue Striving for His Excellence, let’s remember Who to keep our focus on–Christ. Remember He cannot be limited. In this dark world, allow Him to lead you, and walk in the Light. Keep on striving ladies, refocus your view.

By Ashley A. Johnson
ashley@areyoushe.com

Photo: Unsplash