Not Meant To Walk Alone| By Jasmine Beard

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War is not an easy task, and believe it or not, we are in a war every day as Christians. The war is not against man, but against the Devil who is scheming and desiring to destroy us at any chance he gets.

I do not say this to scare you, but to give you a true depiction of the enemy’s schemes that are not always visible.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 NIV

You may see his schemes through illnesses, financial hardships, relational problems, the way you view yourself, and the way you view God.

One of the biggest tactics the enemy schemes against me in is in my relationships with others. Ever since I can remember, I have been a chatterbox and always loved meeting new people and making lasting friendships.

I remember right after high school I started attending a new church. Everyone there was super nice and welcoming, but I still felt very alone even though I had made new friendships.

The enemy would whisper lies to me like:

“They don’t really like you.”

“They’re just being nice because they have to.”

And after sometime I started to believe the lies of Satan.

I began leaving church early and just crying about not being loved and wanted. This was all part of Satan’s plan. He loves Christians to be divided and out of fellowship. Our relationship with other believers is pivotal to our walk with God. Without it, we will likely perish spiritually.

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the others can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NLT)

While Satan had plans of destroying me through isolation, God had other plans. A girl named Megan befriended me from my church, and I began going to her small group. Through that time, I recognized that I wasn’t alone. I was actually loved and that Satan was just lying to me.

If you are feeling attacked or like you cannot go on another day, I want to encourage you to remember that we were not meant to run this race alone.

God has made every single one of us with an innate desire to know others and to be known. As people, we must stop fighting each other and start warring together against the schemes of the enemy.

Today, remember that people are not your enemy. Do not be afraid to reach out to others when you need prayer, a helping hand, or just someone to lean on. God has created us for community to ensure that we do not walk or fight this race alone.

 

Miss Know It All| By Jasmine Beard

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“Know it all.”

“Bragging Brat.”

These are just two of the phrases that ran through my mind when I thought of my new friend. I know it sounds harsh, but it was definitely my perception at the time.

I had just started a new school and hoped to meet new people with similar beliefs and interests.

I finally met a friend. She was pretty, appeared happy, and, most importantly, she was a Christian.

Bingo, I found my friend, my person, my bff for life…

But after awhile my new friend, well, she aggravated me.

I would ask God, “why does she talk about herself so much? Why does she act like she has the answers to everything?”

He had a simple response, as He normally does.

He said, “Just love her.”

Needless to say, God’s response baffled me. Love her? What do you mean love her, Jesus? She seems loved enough to me, and according to her, she’s really got it going on.

This is the exact same way we can act towards God. We come into his presence and babble and complain about the precious life He has given us. We think everyone else is the problem, when the real issue is us.

We like to think we have it all together and that we know everything. Thankfully we serve a God that is all knowing and is SO merciful.

In Luke 23:34 (NIV), Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

Instead of holding our behavior over our heads, God chooses to love us, forgive us, and gently point us in the right direction.

You see, “Miss Know It All” and “Miss Has It All” really didn’t have it all or know it all. On the inside, just like all of us, she was a broken girl covering a life riddled with her own insecurities.

I don’t know about you, but that’s a person I can relate to, a person I can sympathize with.

People are hardly what they appear to be on the outside. We often put on a masquerade of what we want others to believe about us, and omit the parts in our lives we don’t want seen.

So, the next time your friend, acquaintance, co-worker, or spouse’s persona is screaming pride, know that they could just be broken inside – just like you, just like all of us.

Instead of being judgmental, simply choose to love them and extend grace to them as Christ has done for you.

“If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love beats all things, believes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:3-7