Freedom Can Be Dangerous

I was under a strict eating plan for six months, reforming my habits and creating new ways to eat. I continued on that strict plan for an additional two months until my husband came along after me and finished his program. We did awesomely. We truly changed the way we live, the way we eat, the way we look, and the way we feel. Our entire marriage has been reignited because we are so much more unified than we were before. We were already more unified than any other couple I know before we started. It’s truly been unbelievable.
However, we have freedom now. Since July 17, 2015, we have been free from our accountability—free from someone looking over our shoulder, checking our stats and what we are eating. Honestly, we haven’t truly motivated each other in the right direction in keeping our food tight. It has been a bit hard because your body actually doesn’t want to eat healthy food. It wants to have sugar. Once you have reintroduced sugar into your diet, your body craves it. It wants it. It kicks and screams for it. Your flesh wants to reignite and turn back on.
What I have learned is that fat cells have memory, just like your muscle has memory. Your fat cells are looking for the opportunity to be fed and re-inflated. If you don’t understand that, you will give them fuel that will increase the fat percentage in your body that you worked so hard to get rid of.
Honestly, that’s where I am today. I have eaten so badly this specific weekend. I have just torn up hamburgers, sugar, and icing. We were celebrating a family birthday, and I ate everything in sight. I feel so horrible. My stomach hurts. My body has stiff joints. I’m inflamed. I can feel the inflammation in my body.
There is one line that comes to mind: Freedom is the best thing ever, but freedom is dangerous. While freedom is a giant privilege, it’s also a gigantic responsibility. When we set our kids free from our home and they are no longer under our control and watchful eye, the boundaries they have are set by themselves.
Freedom can be a dangerous weapon unless you put it under your own boundaries and self-control, unless you surrender your freedom to the one who died to set you free. I have learned that for me, freedom isn’t free. It’s not easy. It’s dangerous. It’s so tough.
I wonder if you are like me—exploiting your freedom in some way and you need to surrender to God and let Him get you back in control of those things you have exploited and lost control of. If you do, just click “Like” below, write a comment, or email me directly if you know me. I want to pray for you by your first name—I want to pray for you. I am praying for myself. I know if I struggle, you struggle. Would you let me lift you up to the Father?

Stirring My Expectations

The Fight to Remain Hopeful in Devastating Times

All the power of Jesus flows through me because He deposited it in me through the Holy Spirit. If I speak to a mountain and I have only faith as small as a mustard seed—the tiniest thing on earth—then it will be moved. I have to have that faith, though. Faith has to be there. What is faith? “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 NKJV).

When God spoke the world into being, He spoke. But who was listening? No one, right? So why did He have to speak if no one was actually listening? He spoke because He took what was invisible and made it visible. That is how He spoke. He spoke the invisible into the visible. When we speak, we are bringing the invisible to the visible. That is how the power works in and through us. 

But we cannot do that unless our imagination can imagine it. We have to be able to imagine it. Our imagination is generally for vain use, thinking of the negatives and the what-ifs. We think, “How will I live with this? How will I live with that?” versus “What can God do here? I can imagine this person healed and walking.” There are two ways of using your imagination: a way that gives God glory and brings miracles to pass or the way of negativity.

God meets you where your faith is. In the Bible, when Jesus was walking around, He met people exactly where they were. The majority of the time, there had to be a point of expectation where they were expecting to receive something from Jesus. They didn’t necessarily have to expect to receive a miracle, but they had to have an expectation. What is expectation? It’s another word for hope. You have to have a hope.

I think, so many times, in all of the trials, we become discouraged and overridden with the inability to have hope. We lose our expectation. We become bitter and burdened. We are not full of hope and seeking, knowing and believing God is going to bring about His promises and make them come to pass. We have to have a point of expectation.

During this issue I have had, I recognized the point of expectation was immediate healing. When that didn’t come to pass, I lost my expectation. I had to go back and say, “Okay, what is my expectation? I have to reestablish my expectation. I have to reignite my hope.” It’s kind of like hope is our part and faith is God’s part. The faith you have is a gift from God. You can’t conjure it up. He gave it to you. It is deposited in you. He gave you the very ability to believe in Him. 

I had to ask myself, “What do I expect? Who is my hope in? Do I really believe Jesus is who He says He is? Do I believe?” He asked His disciples at one point, “This is what everyone else is saying about me. But who do you say I am?” I really had to answer that question. Who do I say God is? Who do I believe Him to be? Even though I haven’t seen this manifested in my own body, do I believe who He says He is?

I began to listen to the Word pour in and realized my fear was limiting my ability to receive from God. It had punched out my expectation and my hope. I started saying, “Do not be afraid. Only believe. Don’t be in fear. Only believe. Believe only; do not fear.” You can only do one or the other. I started quoting these Scriptures. “I will come and heal. I will, and you will be clean.”

I am saying Jesus is willing. Greater is He who is in me than anything else in the world. There is nothing that can come against me that’s greater than the One who is in me. Jesus is willing. He says, “I will.” His will is aligned with God’s will. So if He will, God will. If God wants to, Jesus wants to. God is willing. Jesus has compassion on us. That is His heart’s desire. He does not want to see us hurting. He wants to see us prosper and be in good health.

I realized I have been robbed of my joy, my hope, my thankfulness, and my health. Not only was I robbed of my physical health, I also was robbed of my joy and my hope. I had to start being thankful and started thinking, “God, thank You, Father, that I can walk. Thank You, Father, that my neck isn’t broken. Thank You, Father, that I am awake another day. Thank You that I am seen and not viewed. Thank You, Father, that I am loved. Thank You that I know Your Word. It is deposited in me. Help awaken it.” As I truly started to motivate and keep my hope up, I stopped walking alone.

The thing is, the enemy prowls around like a roaring lion. He wants to separate you from your pack. He wants to make you prey. Really, the only way to get to your prey is to get them away from their pack, where they are safe.

This journey for me has been isolating. It has been isolating physically. I can’t really hug and kiss my children or people in general because I don’t know if they can be as gentle as they need to be. So to protect myself, I’ve had to say, “No, thank you. We can hand hug.” The other thing is this has limited my intimacy with my husband because I can’t fully function physically right now.

Mentally and emotionally, I can’t engage in conversations with people. I just don’t have it in me. I don’t have small talk in me. I’m easily exhausted. I can only take on these little bitty bites of social activity. The thought of being social burdens me so much. I don’t want to be social right now. I don’t want drop-by visitors. I don’t want people to bring me food because I don’t want to have to talk to them. I don’t want to have to engage socially. If they want to leave it on the porch, thank you for blessing me. But it’s not really a blessing for me to have to engage and entertain right now. It hurts my neck to turn and be in conversation. It hurts my eyes to look up to the left and down to the right. It’s just random little things. It’s truly been isolating. I’ve been all alone. I don’t even want to text because it hurts my arm, neck, and eyes to have my phone in front of me. It’s been a silent time.

The truth is I am not alone. I couldn’t be more loved, adored, and surrounded by the Father and the people who are around me. I just don’t want to engage with them right now. But I know they’re my friends. They will be there until the end. They are fighting for me, standing in the gap for me. It’s almost like they remind me I am not alone and that increases my hope.

One of my daughters made me realize I had lost my smile. She made me realize I had given up on joy because the pain was so severe that I had lost my ability to smile and engage in laughter. Other days, I didn’t do as much. I sat around and didn’t speak. I didn’t have anything to say.

That’s enough. It’s not okay to steal my joy because that’s attached to my hope and my health. That is one thing I need to keep. I continue to encourage myself. I tell myself I shouldn’t be afraid and I should believe only. I asked the Father to rid me of doubt. I read the Word and realized God meets you where your faith is.

Remember the woman with the issue of blood? Her faith was, “If I only touch the hem of His garment, then I will be healed.” The centurion would speak the Word only. That was his faith. The guy at the gate called Beautiful wasn’t even expecting to be healed, but he looked at Peter and John with the expectation to receive something. That was his point of faith. Jesus met them there.

I reestablished my point of expectation, just proclaimed it out loud, “I repent for losing my expectation. This is my expectation. This is what I believe.” I had a face to face visit with Jesus. I pictured Him in my mind, and I said, “I don’t want to be like Your disciples, who, even though they saw You, walked with You, and saw Your miracles, were still in awe and shocked by them because they didn’t really know who You were. But I know You. I know who You are. I have walked with You. I know You are willing. I know You are trustworthy. I know You have sent Your Holy Spirit, and greater are You than that which is in me. Father, this is what I expect. I expect that every time I have a symptom, I can speak Your name only and it will be gone in Jesus’ name. I know that every symptom doesn’t mean healing didn’t come. It came two thousand years ago, and healing is present. I believe and expect my body to receive that healing immediately. When a new symptom comes, it is exactly what it is. It is the enemy trying to make the symptoms louder than my knowledge and relationally knowing who God is and what He desires for me. Those new symptoms, I will not let them tear me down in fear. I will rebuke fear in the name of Jesus. Now I pray, Father, that You will set me free from the fear that has entangled me.”

I reestablished my expectation and said, “This is what I expect to happen.” It made me fight before I move. I speak, and I pray. I speak to my mountain, and I expect. I am not just praying and hoping, wishing a wishful hope. I am praying, fully expecting it to happen. I am expecting the visible to submit to the invisible. How awesome is that? And He is doing it.


Doubt vs. Belief

Are you in a battle for your health, your life, your encouragement, or your positivity today? Don’t sit around and wait until you have no doubts. You have to choose to believe God’s word. It’s a daily choice. You are never going to live this life without any doubts at all until you are in heaven.
We battle. We battle our minds. We battle our flesh. That is why the Lord tells us to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Him. That’s why we are supposed to be a living sacrifice. Sacrifice that is living continually wants to walk, get up and move up to the altar and take up its own agenda.
We have a battle. There is a raging battle between the flesh and the spirit all the time. To assume you are not going to have any doubts is just deceiving yourself. It’s okay. Just choose to believe God’s word. Put the doubts down. Take the thought captive. Refuse to dwell on them and think about them and think more about God’s promises than you do on the doubts.
You are not being a hypocrite when you choose to believe God’s word when you are in a fight and you are in the middle of the struggle. You are actually deciding who you really are. “Am I really this person in the flesh who is in the middle of a battle between my doubts and my faith or am I who God says I am?” Do you think the real you is your natural mind, your carnal-mindedness? Or do you think your spirit-man is your real you? You have to decide who the real you is and begin to stand in it.

I know the flesh is powerful. It feels like the real you. The doubts are the real you. But the Bible says you become a new creation. You are born again. You’re now a child of God, an alien in this world. You have crossed over out of death and into life. Who is the real you? You have to decide: “This is the real me.”
The new you on the inside is perfect and has the mind of Christ says 1 Corinthians 2:16. Colossians 3:10 says we have been renewed in the knowledge and the image that created us. 1 John 2:1 says we know all things. It’s not talking about what is in our mind. It’s talking about what is in your spirit. We are just too carnal. We think we are limited by what we know and our knowledge, instead of tapping into the power and the unlimited knowledge of God. When we agree with our thoughts, our own understanding, we limit God from working in our lives and ability to agree with Him.
The new you on the inside is righteous and holy and pure. If you believe the real you has been truly born again, is a new creation, and you are who God says you are, then you are a hypocrite for agreeing with your fleshly doubts. If you consider being a hypocrite is one speaking the word of God and believing you are the righteousness of Christ, then you think the real you is the emotional, physical you and not the spiritual one that has been born again.

It’s time to find out who you are in Christ and change your identity—to have that identity of who you are in Him. Be more true than what you look like, what you feel like, what your emotions say, what has happened to you, and the circumstances around you, so you would truly know who God says you are and agree with that more than anything. It would be greater and larger than anything that comes against you. You would not be faithless in challenges if you would believe.

The One Thing Keeping You Down!

I’ve got LeCrae in my CD player. He is a rap artist. He knows who he is. Everyone wants to be like him. But he is an original—an original creation. He’s not tame. He’s got his name. He knows it from the beginning of time. His fingerprints are like a birthmark that no one can imitate. He’s the real thing.
It made me think about how fun it is to sit here and try to rap. I mean, I’m forty-something years old, and I’m sitting here, trying to make up a rap song like LeCrae. I had this thought pop into my head: maybe I was supposed to be a famous rap artist, too. I’ve been rapping since the 80s for fun. And I’m really horrible at it—but horrible by whose standards?
Some of us have such a lack of confidence for so many years that we never really reach our true potential. We allow the fear of man and the fear of failure to hold us back. 

The one thing that can hold you back from all God has designed for you is FEAR. Fear of what? Fear of losing? It’s interesting. When you have nothing, you’re afraid of losing nothing. Instead, you’re willing to risk it all because you realize you have nothing.


I wonder how my lack of confidence over the years has held me down and kept me from being catapulted to where I was originally designed to be. Maybe there’s something else you’re supposed to be doing, but the fear of not being able to pay your bills and provide for your family has kept you from moving forward. Maybe fear has you on lockdown.
I believe that God wants to release us from that fear. He is calling you and me to step out in bigger ways than we ever have before. In what ways and areas do you need to trust God more? It’s time to throw down every chain that’s been keeping you down!
Father, I ask You to release me from everything that is holding me back from fully engaging with the confidence that I can come before Your throne with anything. Help me to remember and truly believe that You are for me and when You are for me, no one can stand against me. Set us free, God. Set me free, Lord, in Jesus’ name.

Increase My Faith

How many times have you prayed and begged for God to move but you see nothing?

I have. I begged God to heal my mom. I begged for more faith. I begged for anything! 


Father, please please please please please increase my faith.
(Like the more times I say “please, the more likely He is to do it.)

I will do anything if You will just give it to me. Lets go. Send me. Okay, I am waiting … 


Im not the only one who has begged for more faith. 


The disciples did this, too: The apostles<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-25657H" data-link="(H)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-family: “georgia” , “times new roman” , serif; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>
 said to the Lord, Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5 NIV).


Look at Jesus response. 
“He replied, ‘If you have faith as small as a mustard seed,<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-25658J" data-link="(J)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> you can say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea, and it will obey you” (Luke 17:6 NIV).

He was saying that you do not need more faith. The tiniest amount of faith is more than enough for you to speak to a MOUNTAIN and it will be uprooted and thrown into the sea! You have all the faith you need.
We dont need more faith. We need our faith to be pure and not tainted or diluted by the hurts, bitterness, and unforgiveness we can have in our hearts. Many times when you fail to see the thing you are hoping for come to pass, a little bit of doubt creeps in and dilutes your ability to believe God.

You dont need more faith! 
Clean up your broken heart so you can trust fully 
in Jesus and the word of God! 
How?
Jesus said, “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21 NIV). (Also see Mark 9:29.) 
Many people pray and fast to get God to move, but prayer and fasting are meant to get your heart to move into alignment with Gods heart and help you to weed out the old hurt, unbelief, and bitterness. 
Lets study this and talk about it. Its a big subject.

If we can truly understand this, it changes everything! 
Love, 
Sheri 

Tool HighlightCheck out these healing scriptures at http://www.ikanministries.com/healing.html




Obey Your Man

Just a few years ago, when a woman got married, she had to say she would “love and obey” her husband.
Well, some women got rebellious and lost respect for men altogether! I was certainly raised in a home where the man was a lazy jerk. I was well-trained in the “men are lazy butts” mentality.
Who would have thought that my definition of men would roll into my marriage, but it did. It was a strong, controlling attitude.
I would use my beauty or whatever else I could to get my way because I knew men were easily manipulated. Yes, I said it. Not all men, but certainly most!
After I was saved, I learned a new word: ‘submit.’ “What?!” I thought. That’s just a word, right? Surely it wasn’t a requirement anymore. After all, God didn’t really know what the modern-day men were going to be like, did He? (Of course He did, but we babies don’t really believe that God knows all, do we?)
A mentor of mine said, “The way you submit to your husband is a picture of how you submit to the Lord.” Ouch! That stuck me right in the heart! I knew I didn’t submit to my husband. I was a little bit smarter than he was, and I was always right—right?
I quickly learned that when I did not submit to my husband’s final decision, fear might be controlling the direction I was trying to lead us from the back seat. People in the back seat try to tell the driver how to drive, but they don’t have the same perspective as the driver in the front!
I looked up the synonyms for ‘obey’ and ‘submit’:

Obey—adjust, conform, adapt

Submit—bow, defer, accede, give in, yield, succumb
How do you submit to your husband or the authority that you are under?
Does it reflect how you submit to the Lord?