by Jill A. Williams

Lately, I’ve been quite convicted by the word “intention.” Jamie Grace, a singer, songwriter and vlogger, believes that everything you do has to be intentional. Whether it’s choosing to eat a pear instead of a bag of chips, to be still when you feel like lashing out at somebody or even walking away from a bad relationship. Everything you do must be done with some intent; because you have been created on purpose for a Purpose. However, we sometimes miss the mark. Sometimes we fall prey to temptation and feel like we’re going back to our ‘old ways’: in thought, word and deed. What causes me to act the way I do? When “my mind [and heart] keeps telling me NO, but my BODY keeps telling me YES!?”

Watch your mouth

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” (James 3:9-10)

James 3 speaks of ‘Taming the Tongue’ as it is a ‘dangerous instrument’ that allows both blessing and cursing to flow through it. Our tongues are, in turn, controlled by the brain. Pastor Myles Monroe once spoke of the act of feeding our brains information, as “brainwashing”: whatever we feed our minds daily (good or bad) shapes our thinking and essentially ‘brainwashes’ us. He said that it happens all the time, so we might as well feed our brains good information. Proverbs 23:7 also tells us that “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

But it all starts with the heart: “[For] from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:46) So what is your heart full of? What have you been feeding it?

Food is bae

Most people love food. The textures, flavours and aesthetics of it is an art-form. Culinary schools have developed and grown many-a-student into world-renowned chefs, foodies and food experts. Mixologists, liquid chefs, master chefs and pastry chefs all have one thing in common: they know exactly what is required to get certain outcomes in their concoction, Together with this, they know which quantity of each dish or drink is just enough for the consumer.

That’s what we should strive for with our hearts. We ‘eat’ through our experiences, thoughts, what we hear people say and from the media. Whether you realise it or not, consumption will occur, so make sure you’re feeding yourself with the ‘GOOD stuff.’

Running your mouth

Complaining is something we all do, isn’t it? We do so without the bat of an eyelash, frequently, throughout each day. Did you know that, in Ephesians 4:30, it says that this actually grieves the Holy Spirit? To find out why, just look at the heart and intention behind it. It doesn’t give honour to God, but questions His ability to handle whatever it is that you are experiencing. It also intends to make people acutely aware that you are dissatisfied with what you have (or don’t have) and are experiencing, which would offend the Hand of the Giver and hurt the One “[who] alone, knows the plans [he has] for you: plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11). Is causing this type of grief to the Holy Spirit really worth it? Our relationship with God should be far more precious to us than a momentary high; a fleeting thrill.

LoveCandy knows best

“Love and water are alike. Both give life to the people”

I recently read this on one of those quotes you get on LoveCandy wrappers (yes, those still exist!) It got me thinking: like water, love can erode even the mountains. Our words are so powerful. They can set in motion war, revolution and revival. Many priests, pastors and spiritual leaders advise one to speak things that are not yet a reality (in the physical realm), into existence (Romans 4:17). This is because we were created in the image and likeness of a Creator, which makes us creators in our own right. Make sure that whatever you ‘create’ is for good and not to the detriment of your life and the lives of those around you.

Gracious Tempest

“The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me.” – Psalm 116:5-6

This verse is one of those I’ve come to memorise, thanks to an amazing song by Hillsong Young and Free called ‘Gracious Tempest’. This verse holds a great promise: God will protect me, even when I am unaware, naïve and un-watchful. I don’t have to be perfect. Nobody says or does the right things all the time. There are so many occasions in my life when I’ve faced delays, denials, rejections, misunderstandings and hardships, where God has covered me with His banner of love, and brought me through it. He is THE Saviour- who is always good, just, and full of grace. Thank God for Grace and Mercy – “For surely grace and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23:6)

So watch what you allow into your system and: “Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” – Psalm 116: 5-6

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