Humility

I don’t want you all to think I am up here on a high horse, preaching at you. I myself struggle with being humble, I have to check myself often. I hope you all do too, it is so important that we are thinking about our actions and our words throughout our days.

Let’s look at some scriptures that tell us the importance of humility, because the Bible does mention being humble or humility often.

1 Peter 5:5-7 (NKJV) 5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to [your] elders. Yes, all of [you] be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”] 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

This scripture states that we are to submit ourselves, what does that mean? Some
synonyms of submission are complaint, obedient, meek, and yielding.
So this scripture is telling us to be obedient and compliant to our elders and to be humble, because why?

Because it says that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
I want God’s grace, and more importantly I NEED God’s grace. So I am going to do
what He says, I am going to submit to my authority and my peers, I am going to clothe myself in humility, I am going to cast all of my cares on Him because He can care for me better than anyone else.

Micah 6:7-8 (NKJV) 7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, Ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn [for] my transgression, The fruit of my body [for] the sin of my soul? 8 He has shown you, O man, what [is] good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

In this passage, someone is asking what the Lord will be pleased with- will God be pleased with thousands of rams, what about ten thousand rivers of oil, what about if I sacrifice my child for my sins.. but the answer is much more simple than that. It says that the Lord requires you to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him. The Lord requires this of us.

Luke 14:11 (NKJV) “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted”.

This verse is pretty cut and dry, not a lot of room for interpretation. It says that if you
exalt yourself, meaning you think about yourself in a position of greatness, you will be humbled. It says that if you humble yourself, you will be exalted, meaning raised to a position of greatness in God.
I don’t know about you, but I do not want God to have to humble me. Being humbled
hurts. I want to check myself, and humble myself, so that God doesn’t have to.
But you know what, if He has to do it, I would rather be humbled by Jesus, then not be pleasing to Him, and not be with Him for eternity.

Philippians 2:5-8 (NKJV) 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, [and] coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to [the point of] death, even the death of the cross.

When I read this verse, it hit me hard.

I want you guys to really grasp what this verse is explaining to us- it is telling us that Jesus, who is the form of God and equal with Him, came in the likeness of us; He did not come as a millionaire like He could have, He did not come as a King like He could have, He came as an ordinary baby, an ordinary man. He humbled himself, and wrapped Himself in flesh. He humbled himself and was obedient- even to the point of death. Think about that. Jesus humbled Himself, and was obedient enough to say okay to dying on the cross for us. And all He is asking us to do, is to follow His Word, to humble ourselves. He isn’t asking us to be tortured and nailed to a cross, He already did that for us.

We have established the importance of humility- but what is it really?

Most of us understand that pride is the opposite of humility. What is pride? Pride is when you focus on who is right and your own glory, it reveals your character. Humility is when you focus on what is right and God’s glory, it reveals God’s character.

Maybe you are not prideful on purpose, and you don’t understand how pridefulness comes into your daily life. Let me give you some examples of how it happens- pride comes in when you compare, when we think we are owed something. Pride comes in when you pity yourself, and only focus on your weaknesses. Pride comes in when you are self reliant, when we think that we have our acts together. Pride comes in when we want recognition or when we expect others to acknowledge us.

Humility is, like a quote which I recently read, not necessarily when we think less of ourselves, but it is when think about ourselves less. True humility can be understood like this:

H-honoring God above yourself

U-understanding your need for grace

M-mourning over your sin

I-illuminating God’s glory

L-looking for ways to serve others

I-ignoring your pride

T-trusting God’s plan over your own

Y-yearning to worship

The Bible says that Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom (Proverbs 11:2). So I want to challenge us to strive to be humble, be more aware of our actions and attitudes, and check ourselves and make sure we are pleasing to God.

Sabrina Hope

Voices of This World

Dear fellow Apostolic Girl,

We live in a world that tells you, as a woman, that to be feminine means to not submit to authority, that to dress like a woman makes you look weak, that when you become a wife and mother, and take care of your household, that you give up your independence, future, and opportunities.

This is my second entry as an Apostolic Girl blogger, and I want to tell you that you are powerful, that in your submission you are crowned with glory and anointing, and that you are beautiful. And in this world that tries to tell you otherwise, I admonish you to guard your mind and your heart. Jeremiah 17:9 says “the heart is deceitful above all else, who can know it?”

When you do not guard your heart, you make yourself susceptible to the influence of this carnal and sinful world. As some of you may have experienced in your past, this is a dangerous and vulnerable place to be. The principalities of this world will try and make you believe that you are treated unfairly, that you shouldn’t have to submit or be humble, that you deserve recognition for all of your accomplishments and acts of service. Thoughts and attitudes like these will begin to poison and darken your heart.

In contrast, submission and humility are exactly what we should strive for. God sees your private devotion and servant-hood.  He walks with you in every journey or path you take. When you submit, HE sees. When you are humble, HE sees. When you serve the kingdom of God without recognition, HE sees.

There are so many voices in this world. And sometimes it can be hard to discern God’s. The most dangerous of these voices are the false ones that come from within the church. Those in whom you trust, that are giving you misguided direction. You will only be able to discern the voice of God if you build a relationship with Him. When you get to know Him, His voice, His thoughts.

You must be careful about what you open your mind to. Whether it be movies, books, or even educations that can lead you astray. Pray for your mind. Pray for your heart. Pray for the armor of God to be utilized every morning before you walk out your door. For without it, you are walking into the world without spiritual protection. Know that you are crowned with glory. That you are anointed and powerful. Do not let the voices of the world take that away.

Disney may say to “Follow Your Heart.”  But, please don’t. The heart will deceive you. The heart will make you feel emotions that are not of the Lord. Follow the Holy spirit that lives inside of you. The one that will guide you in the right direction. The voice that will speak clarity to you in the midst of the fog. Who are you allowing to speak into your life?

 

Bethany Marsh

More Than Enough

As a teenager, especially in our generation, you’re probably well aware of how you compare to your peers. You want to fit in and be your best which often means you want to be like someone else. When someone seems better at something than you, you may feel like you’re not good enough and that you need to be better in order to be accepted.

When we fail, struggle, or face obstacles, it can make us feel that we are not enough. Surely we must somehow be inadequate or this wouldn’t be happening. If only we could be stronger, do more, get better, then things would be okay. We would be okay. Right?

We as humans, become the judge and find ourselves lacking. We tend to compare and critique and then we tell ourselves, “I’ll never be good enough” or “I’ll never be like them.”

When you face rejection, your first question is “Why not me? Am I not good enough?” You start to compare and then doubts come flooding into your mind. You got all these questions and all these negative thoughts.

Believe me when I say that I have told/ask myself that phrase so many times. And sometimes I still do. Having doubts about yourself is inevitable. We’re still humans, you know.

I saw this post the other day. It said, “You will always be enough to the right person.” It’s true. With the right people in your life, you are enough. But most importantly, you are and always will be enough in the eyes of the Righteous One.

The Bible says in Psalms 139:14:

“…for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well…”

But, since we’re still in this world, humans will be humans, flesh will be flesh, and the devil will be the devil. There will be times where Satan will try and lie to you and keep telling you that you’re not enough. That you’re not worthy of anything. That someone will always be smarter than you, prettier than you, better than you.

Each of us are different. Your calling is different than the people around you. You’re different, she’s different. You have your own strengths and weaknesses.

But more importantly, do you ever realize that it is your flaws and your differences that makes you perfect? You are plenty. You are enough. No, you are MORE than enough.

I want you to give all your doubts to Him. Let Him show you the you that He sees. The one He thinks is enough. The one He thinks is worthy.

I want you to remember this: no matter what other people may say, no matter what you tell yourself, no matter what the devil tries to tell you, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords died for you and me. You are wonderfully made by the Great I Am and in His eyes, you are enough, you are worthy.

Francesca Vitug

A Woman to Be Praised

Today, we are bombarded with the feminist movement and the many different meanings it holds for people (don’t worry, this is not an article about feminism, that’s a whole different conversation). That the thought of being a Proverbs 31 woman is outdated and old-fashioned, or only for moms. But, I want to encourage us to not get caught up in that feminist mentality or argument that being a Proverbs 31 woman is outdated, but to focus on the women that God is calling us to be.

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
Proverbs 31:30 NKJV

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Proverbs 31:30 ESV

The Bible says charm is deceitful. Charm is defined as “the power or quality of giving delight or arousing admiration”. A synonym for deceit is misleading. So, another way to interpret this verse would that arousing admiration is misleading, and that beauty is vain.
As girls and young women we have power, but we must be mindful of how we use it. We do not want to be a stumbling block for those around us, we do not want to be a distraction from what is truly special about us and what separates us, which is that we are chosen of God and we are filled with His Spirit.

I pray that instead of being girls who are focused on the material things, the charms and beauty we have, that we are girls who choose to become a woman who embodies the characteristics God desires of us.

To be modest – 1 Timothy 2:9

To be kind – Proverbs 31:26

To have self control – 1 Timothy 2:9

To fight for those who can’t fight for themselves – Proverbs 31:8-9

To be trustworthy – Proverbs 31:11

To be good – Proverbs 31:12

To honor and be honorable – Proverbs 31:25

To be willing to work hard and not be idle – Proverbs 31:13-15, 27

To plan and make decisions carefully – Proverbs 31:16

To be strong – Proverbs 31:17, 25

To be wise – Proverbs 31:26

Let us be girls, who are rising up to become Proverbs 31 women.

IMG_0314

Save this image for your wallpaper as a reminder!

 

Sabrina Hope

The Attitude Check

Philippians 2:3 – “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

Jesus Christ is love. If we truly want to reflect Him, we will be what He is. We will never be as perfect, but we can try! Christ put others before Himself. The scripture above is a reminder that He desires us to uplift, encourage, and even put the needs of others before our own.

Ephesians 4:31-21 – “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

‘But, Charity- I’m just sassy. I’m just sarcastic. I’m just real.’, you may say. But, scripture clearly says that if your attitude reflects bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour (aggressiveness), or evil speaking (gossiping)- you’re doing it wrong. God does not want that a part of your “personality” or nature.

Proverbs 29:11 – “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.”

It is not wise to say everything that comes to mind. You must practice self-control and maintain your emotions and temper. Before you speak, you need to contemplate on it and ask yourself- “would God approve of what I am about to say?” If you feel it is necessary to say what is on your mind, the verse says keep it in until afterwards. So, after dwelling on it and seeing if it would be beneficial to share… then you may speak at the appropriate time.

Ephesians 4:14-15 – “ That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:”

It’s good to be honest and speak truth, but scripture says to do it in love. If one of my friends come up to me and asks, “Do you like this dress?”, and I think it’s the most hideous thing I’ve ever seen, I will give her truth IN LOVE. I will word myself in a way to not hurt her feelings but be honest in that I am not a fan of the dress.

Mark 3:25 – “And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”

Don’t let a bad attitude and an unchecked spirit divide the Kingdom. Division, offense, and “drama” amongst the people in church displeases the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:10-11).  God is coming so soon. We do not have time to get caught up in bad feelings, gossip, jealousy, and judgment. His Kingdom is more important that all of that!

No one is exempt from an attitude check! Even I have to self-reflect from time to time and make sure that my frustration or anger doesn’t get the best of me, especially in how I treat others. We must check our attitudes and see if there is any area in us that isn’t truly reflecting Christ. And if there is, we mustn’t be afraid to acknowledge it and work on changing it. As I continue to work on myself, I also encourage you to not forget your daily Attitude Check.

Charity Huba

Remember Your Roots

Dear Fellow Apostolic Girl,

Remember your roots. When you look at a statement such as this, you may think that I am referring to remembering your family tree and heritage. But in this case, I am referring to the roots that have sustained us and built us up from our personal pasts and experiences. The roots that grew as a result of your testimony.

Often times, we look at our past, and the mistakes we’ve made, or what we’ve been through, and try to bury them away. We want to hide from those feelings so we push them away from us. Many times, we were put through a time of trial or testing and in that time, we learned some hard life lessons, or grew from hard experiences where we had to learn to trust on the Lord. For those of you who may be going through something like that right now, let me encourage you that there is a bigger picture that goes beyond what we can see or comprehend. Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

We often use the scripture from Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Let’s look at that scripture in a different translation to give more perspective. “For I know that thoughts that I think towards you, declares the Lord. Thoughts to prosper you and not to harm you, thoughts to give you a hope and a future.” The Lord can map out our lives according to His specific will, for each moment in time. No matter how much He has done this, He will never force you to follow His will, so… when we step outside the will of the Lord, we then take control of our own lives, and may get caught up in something that was not planned for our lives. BUT the mercy and grace of the Lord is never-ending and never-failing. Praise God! There is always room for another chance for us to fall back in line with the will of the Lord. And when we do, the result is a testimony of what the Lord brought you out from.

Victor Jackson said this, “God factors your failures into your future.” What an incredibly true and encouraging statement. As a child, I was always told that “God uses the bad things that happen, for good.” And it is true. He takes those experiences and trials we’ve been through and uses them to reach others. Sometimes, I think to myself that the Lord may have put me through something for the sole purpose of being able to reach others who are going through the same thing. The important thing to realize, is that no matter the mistakes you’ve made, the trials you’ve suffered, God can and will use it as a testament of where He has brought you from, and it then becomes your job to share with others as the Lord leads. Our testimonies should be used as an encouragement to those around us. They give us opportunities to reach and relate to people we would have never related to before. Testimonies glorify God and are a constant reminder of His grace, mercy, and mighty works.

I challenge you to share your testimony, and let it be a constant reminder of who God has called you to be, and where you would be without His love. I challenge you not to hide from your past, but to share your experiences with those who are in need of hope, encouragement, advice, and love. Most importantly Sisters, I challenge you to trust in the Lord, and let Him direct you.

Bethany Marsh

 

Enjoy Everything

To give some background on what this phrase means to me, this phrase of ‘Enjoy Everything’ became a sort of motto for both my family when, 8 years ago, my 19 year old cousin was killed by a drunk driver in a hit and run. In his pocket there was a To-Do list for the next day, one thing to do was pay a ticket and there were a few other things. But, the last thing on his list was simply Enjoy Everything. In hindsight, this phrase and the simple yet powerful reminder it provides has been applicable to my entire life.

This sentiment of “Enjoy Everything” can be applied to the various situations we all have gone through and will go through. Good or bad.
As I prepared this, I sat down and read Ecclesiastes; most people are familiar with Chapter 3, the first verse states-

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens”.
The chapter continues and goes through different situations and conflicts. I won’t go through all of them, but I definitely encourage you all to read Ecclesiastes. It only takes about 10 minutes, and it is so applicable- at least for me, to this season- and it serves as such a great reminder on perspective.

Each season and moment in our lives has rewards, heart breaks, and challenges. I think, for those in this college season in our lives, we can think of something that fits each of those categories. Maybe the reward of A’cing an exam or utilizing a student discount. Maybe the heart break of failing a class or being away from your family. For those in a season of Middle or High School- maybe the reward of winning a sports game or making a team. Maybe it’s the heartbreak of losing friends who you thought would be with you forever.

Obviously, there are worse things and I am sure each one of us has been through our own personal seasons of heart break, of challenges, and of rewards. But, I want to encourage us to enjoy everything in every season. Even if that season is watching as doctors turn off life support. Even if that season is burying someone you love. Even if that season is losing everything you have.

I know I sound crazy- I am telling you to enjoy things that break your heart into a million pieces and that change your life. But, here’s the thing- God is working for our good, always. My dad, and I am sure you have heard this if you have been to church or around Christians, always says, “God is good, All the time”. He is good and He is working for our good. When we are in the thick of the situation, of the challenge, it is hard to see the good and it is hard to imagine there could be anything good about it. But, God.
God sees the big picture, God is shaping us; He is molding us into who we are destined to be. When God breaks us, He is still there- He is holding us and crying with us, His heart breaks with ours. Then, in His perfect timing, He picks us up and makes us into something even better. In Ecclesiastes, it also says that a sad face does good for the heart.

We can trust Him. Why? Because we have a promise, His promise.
His promise in Romans 8:28, that He will make something good out of the storms that bring devastation in our lives.
His promise in Isiah 66:9, that He will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born.
His promise in Jeremiah 33:6, to heal us and give us abundant peace and security.
He is working for our good, always.

I don’t know if any of you can relate to this but, a lot of times I find myself neglecting the season I am in, planning and dreaming for the future, thinking once I get there I will be happy, content, and can finally enjoy my life. But we shouldn’t be waiting to enjoy the next season, we should enjoy the one we are in.
As much as we don’t like to think about death and our lives coming to an end, at least I don’t; we only have a certain amount of time on the earth to make a difference and to live our earthly lives. Some people have a longer time, some shorter. When we are laying on our death bed at the end of our lives we won’t have a “next season” to plan and wait to enjoy- besides Heaven of course.

Each new challenge, each heart break is a chance for us to grow and to let God do what He wants in us and through us. Throughout my life, growing up, I never, ever thought what I have gone through to be part of my testimony and may be able to help someone else one day. I wouldn’t change a thing about my life or experiences.

Enjoying everything takes faith. Faith doesn’t mean everything will be great, it’s believing God knows what He is doing even when. He has our back, He promised and He can’t break His promises.
This ride of life may be bumpy, but we can have peace in the fact that He is working for our good.

sabrina hope