Lanissa's Posts

{Becoming} How His Promise Can Affect My Reality

Written By: Lanissa Reale

How His Promise Can Affect My Reality

In a Becoming Ministries Bible Study group recently, 5 teenagers unanimously agreed that it’s in the middle of the night, laying in bed when ALL OF THOSE HORRIBLE thoughts we have about our lives, all of our fears and all of our concerns suddenly come out to play. Can you so relate to this?! I know I can!

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In a world full of people, isn’t it so easy to feel… alone?! We can try to fill that void with a lot of different things (you know the fillers), but the truth that we can hold onto today is that: the SAME promise of nearness that God gave us is the only substantial filler for every void in our life.

What I LOVE about His Promise of nearness is that it does so much more than make us feel like we aren’t alone. His promise of nearness lets us know that we are worth enough to Him that He would choose to be near to us. His Promise shows us that we can do all things through Him that strengthens us. His promise proves that we will always be remembered, and never forgotten. That we always have a friend and counselor, and that even when our worlds (inside and out) feel like they are falling apart- God is NEAR. And so. much. more.

You see, friend, God’s promise of nearness is the power you need to live your life in the way you were created to live it. It’s the freedom you need to Become the person He created you to be. It’s not a fairy tale story, and it is not a Promise that God has turned His back on. He is a God that does not lie. Here’s the truth for you this week sweet friend: HE IS NEAR TO YOU. Oh, how I wish I could hug you and whisper that into your ear… He is near. He cares for you and loves for you more than anyone ever could- and in turn to His living sacrifice to be near to you… He wants your nearness in return.

Let’s be honestwith each other this week. What are YOU drawing near to? and in the quietness of who you are… do you still feel a void? If so , you have a choice. What are you going to fill  that void with?

Psalm 145:18; Hebrews 10:22; Psalm 63:1; Psalm 143:8

Throughout The Week:

Spend time reflecting and asking God if there are some voids in your life that you are filling with something other than Him. As Christmas draws nearer, and more busy-ness fills your schedule, be careful not to let the chaos of it all overwhelm you and allow the enemy to whisper untrue thoughts into your heart. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, alone or confused this week, STOP and go fill your void with the word of God. Read scripture, worship Him- do whatever you have to do in His Presence to renew your mind. He is near. ❤

LET’S CHAT BELOW: What do you think it is about the Holiday’s that are so stressful?! And what are something you do that almost instantly remind you of the nearness of God, in the midst of it all?

Until Next Time
~ Lanissa Reale

(lanissareale.wordpress.com)

Lanissa's Posts

Removing Sneaky Idols Part 2

Written By: Lanissa Reale

Did anybody else feel like our last post was speaking straight to them?!  I can’t get away from it, and want to make sure that I really apply what God is trying to tell me on the topic of sneaky idols!  Join me, and let’s see how we can really make sure Idols aren’t still sneaking into our hearts.

‘Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!’ Jonah 2:8-9

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Friends, I absolutely love this scripture because it gives us the heart behind what is actually happening in our spirit when we pay regard to false idols.  Whatever that idol may be (sleep, another person, a relationship, selfish ambition etc).

When we take our main focus off of God and place it on something else we are forgetting the reality of His steadfast love toward us.  We can try as hard as we can to make good excuses, to cut corners and to go as long as we can without shifting our focus back to God- and we begin to think that we are doing just fine living that way!

You see, most of the time, not tending to sneaky idols will not have immediate consequences on our lives.  That’s why they are sneaky.  We haven’t died, we haven’t lost our jobs, we are still feeling the presence of God- but over time… our hearts are wandering and trying to get love & fulfillment from something other than God.  Our hearts begin to distance themselves, slowly removing us from the truth found in when we spend intentional time with God and we begin to find ourselves tired, feeling dry spiritually, easily frustrated and hungry for more.  Why?!  Because NOTHING is EVER going to offer us the steadfast love (that changed everything) other than God!

Salvation, our salvation, belongs to the Lord!  And our salvation is so much more than simply accepting God as our Lord and Savior.  It’s recognizing we are unclean without him and turning from our old ways to follow Him completely.  Salvation is our new beginning and our new journey.  And that beautiful journey belongs to the Lord and no one else. 

Today sweet friends, I want us to really think about where our attention and hearts are dwelling.  What sneaky idols have we allowed too much space in our lives?!  We have everything we need to turn back and give ourselves fully to the Lord.  It’s called the Holy Spirit!  And when we do, we will begin to experience the freedom, the light load and the refreshment our souls so desperately are craving! 

I encourage us to make that step this week!

Let’s Chat below:

Where have your attention and heart been dwelling most often, lately?  What sneaky idols have crept into your life?  And what are you planning on doing to KICK THEM OUT?!  Comment below- let’s chat! 

Until Next Time
~ Lanissa Reale (lanissareale.wordpress.com)

 

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{Becoming} Becoming Means Removing Sneaky Idols & Refocusing

Written By: Lanissa Reale

Sneaky Idols

‘And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me.  “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God’ Exodus 20:1-5

I just finished a 21 Day Fast to begin this new year, and throughout this Fast the Lord has been challenging me to ask myself the question “where are you dwelling?”  Where am I spending most of my time, my mind space, my emotions?  In the truth of the Lord, or in something else?

I have been fasting tv at night so that I could go to bed earlier and wake up earlier to spend time with the Lord.  And to be honest?  I LOVE MY SLEEP!  That’s the reason I chose to fast what I did, because my desire to “snooze” was becoming greater than my desire to spend time with the Lord!  Ha!  Can anyone relate?!

Do you have something like that in your life?  Something that has become almost a norm that you find yourself more willing to do that thing then dwell in the truth of the Lord?  Whether it’s hitting the snooze button 10 times, dwelling in a negative emotion for too long, cancelling commitments so you can stay home instead?  Etc.  I think we all do. 

And the more I read this scripture, I realized that these idols the Lord talks about aren’t always so obvious.  Sometimes they are excessive sleep.  Sometimes they are living in fear.  They really are anything that keeps our focus off of God and our heart in a different place. 

I want to encourage us to dig a little deeper.  To not just choose to pursue Him completely during the fast, but to begin to remove things in our lives so that we can continue to do so after the fast!

You see Becoming is not just attending Church and gleaning from other’s Revelations, Becoming is getting to EXPERIENCE Jesus.  We get that opportunity girls!  And it’s huge.  And the Lord sent His Son so that we could experience Him.  We have access to Him, not when we have behaved correctly- not when we have stopped sinning.  Our sin, our shortcomings no longer separate us from our Holy Father.  We can come, whenever we decide to.

But let us not be confused.  Because of this immense and freeing access to a relationship with the Father- the enemy will do anything he can to try and keep you from that freeing relationship.  Place other things in our eye sight.  Try and push other things in your focus.  Things that at first may even seem good.  Sneaky Idols.

But our focus, when placed on anything other than our loving God, is misplaced.

I don’t want my heart to be focused on anything but Him. Because I know what happens when that becomes the case.  Your heart and soul were meant to be focused on only one thing.  And as hard as it may be at first, you can do it.  You were made for it! 

You were made for freedom sweet girl.  And it is available for you!

And we want to be here to help you!!  Let’s do this journey of life as young women together!


Let’s CHAT below:

What has become a sort of idol in your life recently?  What are some practical ways that you can begin to be disciplined in not giving in to those things?  Let’s chat in the blog comments below! 

Until Next Time
~ Lanissa Reale
(lanissareale.wordpress.com)

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{Becoming} From My Head to My Heart, Lord Take Me On a Journey

Written by: Lanissa Reale

Becoming is the journey we get to take together, as we come as an online community to receive encouragement and empowerment.  We get to be encouraged as we Become the women God created us to be.  Becoming is the journey we take with the Lord, as He moulds us throughout our life.  Empowering you in your Becoming is my passion.  We’ve spoken a bit about it already (check previous posts)- and now let’s keep getting deeper!  In order to fully embrace our Becoming, we have to be willing to go on the journey.

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‘When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” ‘ Exodus 14:10-14

This entire chapter of Exodus 14 cracks me up & relates so deeply to me at the same time. The Lord, through Moses, had set the people of Israel free from being servants of the Egyptians as Pharaoh had let them go! 

Can you imagine the pure joy?!?!  Being set free from bondage & walking freely?  We’ve all been here in some way or another.  God has set us free from something, He has answered a prayer, He has brought something back together in our lives- we are free!

Our hearts are exploding!!  And we begin to walk freely, & then like the people of Israel we notice that not everything is just perfect.  The Israelites noticed that the Egyptians, from whom they had been set free, were after them again to try and take them back!  Their MINDS freaked out!

How could you set us free and then let our enemies come after us again, Lord?!  The funny part?  God was the one who had hardened the hearts of the Egyptians & made them go after the people of Israel!  Why?  Simply because He wasn’t satisfied with just giving freedom to His people from their enemy, He wanted to defeat the enemy completely. 

And as we know, later in that chapter the Egyptians (by the Lord’s strength & will alone) were defeated and swallowed up by the Red Sea. 

Sweet friends, God has defeated our enemies.  And wants to show us continually that He has done so.  Your life is a process, and He isn’t interested in showing you everything at once!  “Fear not, and stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord which He will work for you today!”

Everyday we live is a journey, and I pray that we would allow God to take us on that journey of trusting Him in the journey. Of giving us the faith to fear not, stand firm and see His salvation worked out in us each day. From our heads to our hearts, take us on that journey Lord!

Let’s CHAT below: Share your thoughts on this post with us below in the blog comments!  Are you sometimes tempted to be a bit bipolar when it comes to trusting God?  Ha!  I know I can be!  How can we address that inconsistency Biblically?

 

Until next time

~ Lanissa Reale (lanissareale.wordpress.com)

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{Becoming} Coming Down From Our Seeking & Experiencing Instead

Written By: Lanissa Reale

Hello beautiful friends!  I hope to get to know you a bit better through our blog comments below- make sure to comment and we can start chatting!  Last time we spoke about allowing the Lord to take us on a journey, from our head to our hearts.  And we’re not done yet!  Let’s go a bit deeper shall we?!

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‘And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was passing by, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down, and received him joyfully. ‘ Luke 19: 2-7

As I read Luke 19 today, something within me leaped for joy!  Most of us have heard this story of Zacchaeus hearing that Jesus was coming into town and then climbing up into a tree (because he was a shorty!) to get a glimpse of Jesus. 

Can you imagine Jesus actually walking by you?!?!  I would do anything I could to see him too; and I love the message that we typically get out of this passage.  Do what you need to do, no matter your circumstance or what the crowd says about you- to get to Jesus. 

BUT- what I think we miss sometimes is the fact that our place is not always up in the tree searching for Jesus.  What do I mean?

I think, and know because I have been here before, is that we can get into this mode of being on the lookout for what God is doing, where He is going etc.  We know that He is a big God & so we keep our eyes peeled for the big things that He HAS to have in store for us, right?!

But what I love most about this passage is when Jesus says, “Zacchaeus, come down from your tree.  I’ve come to stay with you today.”  You see, Jesus wants us to come down from expecting and waiting on Him and actually be with Him.  Dine with him, stay with Him & experience what He has for us in the day to day moments. 

Seeking for Jesus has its value and importance, but it was never intended to be our stopping place.  Because being in the position of seeking can sometimes become our comfort zone. We are comfortable going into Church on Sundays, comfortable attending events but not really getting connected, comfortable seeing from a distance but not actually getting our hands dirty in this journey of faith.

Experiencing The Lord is when the true, sanctification process begins.  Experiencing The Lord is the Becoming process.  Experiencing the Lord is what we were created to do.

I pray that we would choose to get off our high seat & sit with Jesus.  Walk with Jesus.  Be with Jesus in our daily lives.  It’s in the daily moments when we truly learn what it feels like to walk in His Spirit.  Let us remember to be Mary’s in moments when Martha needed to come and sit.  Let us be women who are concerned, mostly, with experiencing Jesus personally. 

Let’s CHAT below:

What has been keeping you from experiencing Jesus in an intimate and daily way?  And what do you want to do, moving forward, to eliminate that obstacle?  Let’s talk through it together in the blog comments below! 

Until Next Time,

~ Lanissa Reale (lanissareale.wordpress.com)

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{Becoming} How God Can Use Me Even When I Feel Broken

Written by: Lanissa Reale

Everyday I wake up to a blank canvas of opportunities ahead of me.  Filling that blank canvas with tasks, assignments, meetings, relationships, and choices galore leaves me with the reality of striving, dreaming, struggling, winning and praying.

Each day I wake up human, prone to mistakes, prone to going through seasons and processes and prone to continuously putting cracks into this vessel called my life.  I am human.  I am limited, selfish, a mistake maker and expectation failure.

But.  God.

You see I know, we all know, very well who we are and what we lack.  We try to fill voids by our own strength, and struggle to stand on our own two feet with confidence and peace although we know that we desperately need and long for some grace.  But God hears us, He knows us, and He sent His Son to die as the final sacrifice for our sin and to be raised to life so that we would no longer have to struggle and remain in our sin and our lack.  The Lord has given us a new life, and is calling us to live in it as new creations.  To not look at our life from a standpoint of problem, but of promise.  To find our identity in Him and only Him.  And when we fall short, to receive His grace each and every morning.  Pastor Keith Pittman from Celebration Church once said, “God’s grace is like a life-proof case.  It doesn’t keep you from falling but it keeps you from shattering”.  I have learned within this past three years, that when we put expectations on people and on God of what we think our lives should look like, we are only setting ourselves up for disappoint, hard falls, heart ache and even bitterness and anger toward God for not answering our prayers.

God’s grace is sufficient for you, but only if you choose to rely on Him rather than yourself.  He knows you.  He knew you and created you and had plans for you before you were even woven in your mother’s womb.  And He sent His Son for you so that you would be able to live a better and new life, not the life that you planned out for yourself.  And thank God.  Because the life that I had planned in my little head for myself and those around me was covered with cracks and mistakes and false expectations.  God wants us to know, today, that He has something better in store for us.  He has forgiveness, and freedom, and whole hearts, and a life of peace.  And all we have to do is surrender all that we are, all of our expectations and all of our fears to Him completely… letting Him have it all.  We no longer have to hold it all together and try to figure it all out, but we can trust Him to work all things together for our good.

Each day we wake up and we face a broken world.  But we belong to and are made new by a HOLY and good God.  In our daily struggle, we now get to look at it through the promise of God instead of eyes that only see regret and problems.  When we are down, He picks us up.  When we feel unworthy, He reminds us that the Creator always knows the worth of His masterpiece even when others don’t see it themselves.  When we have messed up, He continuously gives us grace.  And when we feel like we can’t do it on our own anymore, He says good because I never intended you to.  Daily, we are reminded of what we lacked before the cross.  Yet now, we can wake up each day knowing that we have been given new life, new power, new inheritance and new authority because He who created all things now lives in us.

We are ashes continuously being given beauty instead of shame.  We are always Becoming.  You see God doesn’t look at your sin and lack and say “away from me”.  No, no.  He says “I see my Son Jesus, and your sins I remember no more.  Come to me, and find rest.  I am all you need, my grace is sufficient for you”.  We are vessels, cracked vessels.  Yet the more cracks we get, the more that the light of the Father can shine in and through us.

Our pain is not our destiny.  Our mistakes are not our identity.  HE looks at us and gladly, with open arms, says “yes, I want and have wanted that one, just the way they are”.

Be encouraged, you are loved and cherished more than you know!  In Him, there is always beauty for ashes.

~Isaiah 62:3; Psalms 94:18; Isaiah 61:3; Lamentations 3:23~

Until next time,

~Lanissa Reale  (lanissareale.wordpress.com)

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{Becoming} Check Your “Freedom”

Written By: Lanissa Reale

Freedom.  A word that holds such power and value yet at the same time confusion.  Freedom.  Something that is supposed to promote and allow liberty is actually causing pain.  Some may say, “I am so glad that I choose not to believe in or follow that because I feel so free and truly happy with my life!”  But, let’s take a moment and remove all of the cultural masks we have created: the masks we’ve taken on because of our past, our fears, our parents, our rage or our confusion.  Let’s take a moment and just be real, even if just for yourself, and ask yourself “what does FREEDOM really MEAN anyway?”.

Freedom by Websters Dictionary’s defintion is “Liberation from slavery or the restraint of the power of another”.

Freedom by Scripture’s definition comes from the Greek word Eleuthera which literally means “a state of freedom from slavery.”

What’s the difference in the two you ask?  Well the first definition, and probably the one you refer to, means liberation from another.  While scriptures definition means liberation from slavery by another AND yourself

If you ask me, most of the time the real core issue is not needing freedom from what others say or do but it is needing freedom from myself.  Check your freedom.  Do you think you are really free?

Friends we so often walk around living our lives by doing whatever we want, “breaking the paradigm” of cultures say so’s and we think we are free.

OR we are doing the “right things” and following the rules, acting appropriate in front of others yet not experiencing fullness of life and then when we get alone we are having a war on the inside of us.  And we say we are living in freedom. 

NEITHER OF THESE ARE TRUE FREEDOM.  We have to ask ourselves the hard yet reality driven questions: are you truly full of joy?  When no one else is looking or reading or liking or poking, are you absolutely sure that THIS is what life is all about.  Or do you have the constant thought in the back of your head that there is more.  “Oh maybe one day I’ll find our what it is”, “Maybe I have to have more of this and more of that to experience that real free life”… Or maybe you think it’s a fantasy and true freedom doesn’t even exist. 

I’ve come to tell you, dear friend, that true freedom is more real than your very bones and it is FREELY available to you. 

The freedom that scripture talks about is not a rule following, get your ducks in order, pretend to be perfect, get sucked in, freedom.  True freedom is given not because of anything we have done but simply because of the love of God.  He loved us so much that He sent his only son to earth to die for our sins that separated us from true freedom, so that we would NEVER be hindered by them any longer. 

But Jesus didn’t just die for your sins, He died for you.  He died so that you could be free from the strongest enemy and stronghold you will ever face: yourself.  And this freedom that is offered when we accept what Christ did for us allows us to truly live a free life.  Not a religious life.  A free life. 

Free of any shackles, anything holding us back on the inside and out.  It’s a freedom that gives you life and life abundantly.  And this freedom, isn’t a gimmick.  It’s available for you every second of every day. 

So check your “freedom”.  Are you truly happy and free, or do you need to set aside that mask covered idea of freedom and get a real dose of life giving freedom?

In order to BECOME the person that we were created to be in the Lord- we have to get to the place where we actually know what true freedom is, and start pursuing it.  Let’s start the journey of becoming by getting free.

Until next time,

~ Lanissa Reale

(lanissareale.wordpress.com)