Friday, January 30, 2015

empowered to walk away from an anxious heart

I pray earnestly that this devotion might be the beginning of understanding for anyone seeking to walk away from the burden of living with an anxious heart.  
And Moses made a serpent of bronze and put it on a pole, and if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked to the serpent of bronze [[a]attentively, expectantly, with a steady and absorbing gaze], he lived.  
Numbers 21:9 (AMP)

When you sit back and think about it, it really takes the same level of energy internally to use your faith for good or for negative.  We have a beautiful choice in that we can decide which way we want to push our brains - the direction in which we want to tend to operate.  We can use our efforts to walk in hope and live in expectancy of the favor and goodness and mercy of God to follow us all the days of our lives as we are promised OR to assume the defeated mentality (as the enemy would much prefer) of moving about in a life filled with doubt and dread, worry and anxiety.  

It does not always "feel" as though we have an option available in this matter because so many of us have these incredible strongholds in our minds where the enemy has us trapped in patterns of discouraging wrong thinking - our instant inclination seems to be to go directly to the place of the negative, the worry - presuming the worst of any situation.  Many of us suffer from actual fully developed disorders born of a chemical imbalance that the enemy has then capitalized on with years of mental misprogramming - consistent and constant bombardment of misguided thought processes that leave us believing we have no other choice than to think this way - that we are just born worriers.  
BUT there is HOPE! 
We have all the power of Almighty God at our disposal to teach us and guide us into learning new ways of thinking.  It is not easy & it does not at all come naturally, but that is okay because with the Spirit working in and through us, we are not limited to the natural way of reordering things.  It is crucial to seek revelation first of this truth: with God ALL things are possible.  Pray that God will show you His brand of HOPE so you can begin to have the inkling of understanding that just because "I've always had a problem with anxiety" does not mean you have to settle for and live in a 'this is as good as it gets' mentality.  There is always hope when God is part of the equation!

Yes, I fully advocate for the use of doctors and medications as are helpful for achieving stability and offering support to allow you to do this good work - and it is work that it takes to reprogram the mind, but work that God Himself will help you through.  But please hear me that the doctors and the medications are not all there is.  God is handing you an open invitation here and now because He wants to help you - He wants you to lean on Him.  He wants to set you free from those strongholds the enemy has set up in your mind and heart!  
To be set free, you must be willing to do your part - the "work" -  & stretch your faith to trust God to do His part.  It is a process of continuous seeking, learning and trusting - and you will always be a work in progress this side of heaven.  But I can assure you as you are promised in the Word of God, that He who begins this good work in you will see it through to completion when He brings you home again!   The Author and Perfector and Finisher of your faith will not fail you - He will be with you every step of the way. 
Please open your heart to believe today that God genuinely wants to bring you - yes, YOU who has struggled for so long - into wellness and soul rest - come and accept His invitation...  Please listen to this song before you read on...

[Can you see yourself in a new light?]
As well, functioning, walking free & living in victory - delivered through your struggles & able then to give back to others who are hurting... 
Can you see yourself as stable and whole, living a good, full and blessed life - the one God always intended for you?  
Can you get this new vision of yourself down deep on the inside and see yourself through eyes of faith so you can begin to move forward into all the good things God has in store for you?
Please pray with me...
Lord, I have a broken and dull image of myself.  I have accepted what I've known for so long as my lot in life, and it's hard for me to comprehend and internalize that this is never how You wanted me to live.  I know You designed me with a purpose and You have plans for me.  I know in order to move into the life You want for me, I need to get a new vision of myself.  Please remove the scales from my eyes and help me to begin here and now to see myself and my life through eyes of faith.  Help me to shake of the old 'as good as it gets' mindset and remember who I am because of You.  Show me out of Your great love for me what my real and true identity is as a child of the Most High God.  Help me to see myself as You do as You break the strongholds the devil has built up in my heart and mind.  Lead me forward into victory after victory, into the freedom You came to bring me, all for Your Glory!  In Your Name, I ask You to draw me ever closer to Your heart.  Amen. 
If this message has touched you, or you know anyone who struggles with worry or anxiety, I just ask that you send them the link to this post.
Let us all do what we can to encourage one another.  

Until next time,
Be Blessed and Be a Blessing!
and remember

[You are SO loved!!!]

© K. Michelle Payne 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

conviction and condemnation


“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8:1


[What is the difference between conviction and condemnation?]

That is the question someone posted a few days ago in a Christian mental health group to which I belong.  I didn’t see it when it was first posted, and when I did come across it, I didn’t respond initially because it seemed that someone else had expressed an answer similar to my own understanding of the matter.   But then, last night, I unexpectedly heard from someone who had apparently been reading my blog and very much identified with a lot of what I had been writing.  I didn’t even know this person was in the group with me, and I was kind of surprised to hear from them because they hadn’t made a single comment to any of my posts sharing my blog.  At the same time, I was very glad they’d reached out because it encouraged me that God is, indeed, making sure that these messages are getting to the folks who need them most, even when I am unaware of what impact my words might be having.   

I mention this to say that during the conversation with this person who reached out, we ended up discussing the issue of unrelenting guilt over past sins.  I could tell very quickly in the course of our exchange that this person was incredibly tormented by a sense of shame over past offenses that have long since been forgiven by God – completely erased in the eyes of Christ.  This is something I’ve wrestled with in the past and have come to be set free from over the course of months of the Spirit working in me and revealing Truth to me.   I asked if they had talked to God about the difficulty in forgiving themselves & they said certainly – and that for a time it helps, but the guilt always crowds back in… That did not surprise me at all.  Most things that we surrender to God, we are incredibly prone to pick back up again, sometimes just moments later.  It is only by a continuous process of giving over, the repeated surrendering at the feet of Jesus, combined with enlightenment on the subject by the Spirit Himself teaching us we do not have to pick it back up again that we are ever able to let go fully… And often, this is something we have to be told repeatedly before we really effectively learn it.

After this exchange last night, I was redirected back to that post about the difference between conviction and condemnation.  I felt led to post a response to be sure the person asking received enough clarification, and to offer to talk if they were still wrestling with the matter.   Having not heard anything back, I presumed it was all done and would not be revisited until I received a text today asking my take on the two…  This is what poured out of me in response:

Conviction is the twinge that lets me know something I’ve done is in some way disappointing to God or less than giving Him my best.  It’s the tug at my soul that causes me to realize I need to draw near to Jesus and ask for some enlightenment on what I may have done and why it was wrong or how it could have hurt Him or come between us.   Conviction is that initial sensation that causes me to realize I’ve done anything wrong to recognize I need to confess and seek forgiveness and help from God to overcome bad behavior or less than pleasing habits or thought patterns.  Conviction is very useful and helpful and good because when acknowledged, it causes us to realize that need to draw nearer to God.

Condemnation, on the other hand, is the carrying of guilt over the offense – a sense of punishment or shame – the continuing to loathe the behavior long after it’s been forgiven by God, keeping us trapped and tormented.  Condemnation is the enemy’s tool of guilt that makes us feel that we are unworthy of the love that has been so freely poured out on us.  We carry the burden far past when Jesus has totally erased the sin.  Self-condemnation is a horrible sentence to impose on the psyche, refusing to forgive oneself – insisting your offense is too great to be pardoned, too bad to be entirely wiped away.  The enemy convinces us internally that we are still marked by our sin even though by the blood of Christ we have in GOD’s eyes been made clean and pure.  We carry on feeling dirty and walk through life defeated… We begin to shut down, presuming because of our guilt that we are unlovable and less than.  We grow distant from God and recede into depression and darkness (which is the whole point of this attack on us).

The brilliant hope though is that Jesus came to set us free from all this guilt and shame.  And even if we have been caught in patters of living in self-condemnation for years, the Spirit can and will teach us to forgive ourselves as fully as God has forgiven us.  HE will reveal the Truth to us & the Truth, once understood and internalize and fully realized, will set us free indeed!
To anyone who wrestles with this personally, I pose the questions that helped me to better understand why this is such a wrong way of thinking:

Who am I to pass greater judgment
than the Lord, God of Heaven?
Who am I to insist that my sin is too great
to be covered by the blood of Jesus Christ? 
Who in all this do I think that I am?

By passing judgment and issuing sentence of shame on ourselves for offenses and trespasses already forgiven and entirely erased by GOD HIMSELF, we are actually setting ourselves up as a greater authority than He. 

They are challenging questions – and they did not set me free in and of themselves, but they helped me to see the situation from a different perspective.  It is NOT God’s desire for us to trudge about lamenting our past offenses – He wants us to walk in VICTORY!  He longs to restore us to a right and fruitful relationship with Himself, and does so out of love and great delight when we confess.

All the guilt and shame we hold onto are thrust upon us by the enemy, and we do not have to accept or carry any of it.  He is the great accuser, and he will not stop assaulting us or condemning us so long as we live and breathe.  This is why it is so critical to be grounded in the Word to know the Truth and to be familiar with the voice of the Spirit leading to know you can (and should) dismiss everything that comes to your mind that is not of God. 

There is therefore now NO condemnation
(not from Heaven or to be inflicted on oneself)
for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1

I didn’t get that verse until God made it real and alive to me.  But now that I KNOW it, it’s one about which I’m incredibly passionate, particularly because it’s a frequently used tool of the devil that keeps us needlessly enslaved in defeat… And that is NOT the life God has called us to or designed us to live!!!

And he whom the Son sets free
shall be free indeed!

Conviction does bring with it a sense of remorse, but only inasmuch as is useful in helping us to realize the desire to draw nearer to the heart of God to be made whole and right again and to help us to try to avoid repeating that same offense in the future for not wanting to hurt God that way again.  However, if you find that you are lamenting your sins to the point of rejecting yourself and carrying a heavy burden of shame everywhere that you go (in all your interactions and relationships), I would say you are dealing with condemnation.

Be encouraged that this is very common, and you are NOT alone in your suffering.  God can heal you from this pattern of wrong thinking as you seek Him for help and guidance. 


I urge you to pray regularly to be released from this stronghold in your mind.  And when the enemy accuses you, rebuke him in the Name of Christ!  Tell him to get behind you in the Name of Jesus!  Quote scripture back to the devil because he cannot stand before the Word of God!  Use all the spiritual weapons at your disposal to fight the enemy – he cannot withstand the powers of prayer, praise and the Word or the Name of God!!!!


“For the weapons of our warfare are…
mighty before God
for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds.”
2 Corinthians 10:4


If this message touches you at all, 
if this is a subject you've ever wrestled with,
I really encourage you to pop over to youtube & listen to
Don Moen's 
and let the Truth really sink in down deep!


Until next time...
Be blessed!!! <3

[about this blog]

© K. Michelle Payne 2015

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

walking in a victory mindset


"When we all get to heaven
What a day of rejoicing that will be
When we all see Jesus
We’ll sing and shout the victory!"


As I lay in bed, this refrain kept crowding out the other hymns I was trying to sing in my mind – wandering over top of other lyrics and musical patterns.  At first I was frustrated, but then I realized God was trying to show me something here. 

I have no doubt the day we are called Home will be like no other – when our Joy is made complete and we are face to face with GOD.   

But the question came to me:
Shouldn’t we walk around in this mindset all the time?

The victory is already ours – won decisively on the cross some 2000 years ago!  Yes, though we suffer but for a little while (in the grand scheme of things), we can still choose to walk in glory and live consciously aware that we are now of the LIGHT!  No longer of this world, but purchased and redeemed by the blood, we are saved and our future is entirely secure!   

The enemy loves to hurl every kind of junk at us that he can while we are here because he wants us to be utterly and entirely miserable.  He is strong and very manipulative, and he is incredibly determined for us to walk around in the most defeated mentality he can ascribe to us.  But we do NOT have to live that way – regardless of what tools he may use against us, what horrendous and awful things he may do to us, he cannot take away what we do not willfully surrender.  We can CHOOSE to hold fast to our Joy in Christ – and we ought to do just that.

No, it is not easy – it is not the natural state of affairs.  It is much easier to give in to the temptation to be depressed and to loathe circumstances, to be angry with God over situations in our lives that are well beyond anything we could begin to understand.   Please know that I am not suggesting that any of those emotional responses are unreasonable, but I am saying that we have a choice in the matter.  And God will give us the power to maintain our peace and our joy in the midst of even the worst of situations if we will choose to turn to Him and seek His Presence in the midst.  And He will give us the capacity to keep seeking – it is not a once and for all deliverance from struggles.  It is a constant and continuous practice of intentionally choosing joy, peace, trust and faith over despair and bitterness or anger or resentment and depression and all the other traps of the enemy.

We have every reason to rejoice here and now,
even in the midst of trials, whatever form they may take,
because we know our future is BRIGHT
– brighter than we can even imagine –
and can never be stolen from us!


God never ceases to amaze me – here’s a little victory chant he wrote for me… I am not a cheerleader LOL – but I think it gets the point across J  Oh, boy – the things He calls me to!!!  Enjoy!

Link to my recording of



I’m gonna praise His name on high, on high!


It’s time to raise and lift His banner high!

I got the victory y’all – I got the victory y’all!

I got the what?

 I got the what?

I got the victory y’all – I got the victory y’all!

Let’s lift His Name on high – Yes, lift those voices high!

We got the victory y’all – we got the victory y’all!

We got the what?

We got the what?

We got the VICTORY y’all – we got the VICTORY y’all!

Lift His Name on high – send praises to the sky!




Come on y'all, 
let's get our praise on!!!
Nicole C. Mullen's
is a good place to start!!!


Until next time...

Be Blessed!!! <3

[about this blog]

© K. Michelle Payne 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

assaulted and delivered


Be alert and of sober mind.
Your enemy the devil prowls around
like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8 

From my notebook…

I knew he’d be coming, Lord – I knew the enemy would be gunning for me.  I knew I needed to prepare myself because I’d started to make an impact for You.

I knew he’d come at me, but I didn’t expect it would feel like this.  I should have known he would come after my heart and mind – my most vulnerable places.  That he’d isolate me as much as possible & then go to work.

And once I realized his well laid plans were unfolding before me, I felt the depression tugging again at my soul, calling me downward – urging me to come back to the old familiar of the Pit.

But I will not go!  I will run to You, Lord God, with all that I am despite all that I’m “feeling” because I know he is working on every emotion I have – and he will not stop.  And as much as it is my natural inclination to turn to another human for comforting, to talk through this hurt, I know my only Real Refuge, my Safe Haven, is You.

Let us go now to the computer and write – let us take all the pain within and choose intently to draw nearer to God.  It is not the natural instinct, but it is the soul solace I so desperately need.


All weekend I’d felt run down.  Saturday I was supposed to go visit my dad and sing, practicing with him to play for some folks at a nursing home today.  When I got up, I was so desperately tired, I sat with my head in my hands and felt my soul collapsing within me.  I wasn’t certain how I could muster the strength just to get dressed, much less to make the drive out to visit and then sing and carry on.  I got up and asked, “What would YOU have me do, Lord?” 

To which You responded ever so kindly, “I’m glad you asked.  You didn’t ask me before you made plans with your dad, and now that you’re here before me I would have you stay put today and recover.  You’ve been going and going and going, and you need to rest.  Stay home today and REST, Michelle.

Oh, I was so overjoyed to hear that!
Permission from GOD to rest.

It is not the first time You’ve given me a permission slip, and I’m sure it won’t be the last…  I think we all need that from time to time, to be reminded we’re not meant to go full steam all the time.  And You were absolutely right (Of course, You are GOD after all)… As is not entirely unheard of in the course of Michelle-ness, once I had begun writing this blog, I pushed forward, at some point not being entirely sustained by YOU and Your power, but relying on my own means to keep up the pace.  And very quickly I was met with sheer exhaustion – rightly so because this project You’ve brought me to is not meant to be carried out of my own strength (as no work You call us to do on Your behalf ever is).  

When You showed me all this in prayer Saturday morning, You reminded me how easily I could tell others that we are not meant to go about our lives on our own power, but to lean wholly on YOU – yet here I was missing the very lesson I was sharing so readily. 

Praise You that when You correct and restore me,
You always do so in kindness and love and mercy.

Still though, I do bear the consequences of my poor judgment… Because of my pressing forward and the sheer exhaustion that had ensued, I realized I was coming down with another virus or bug.  There’s an awful lot of that going around Richmond right now.  ‘Tis the season, I suppose.   Again on Sunday, I felt the need to rest – and having just been told by God to do so, I honored that.   I felt some guilt over not having published two days in a row, but You reminded me kindly that You never said that I was meant to post daily – that notion was entirely my own creation.  You also reminded me You would continue to guide and instruct me through the course of this project, assuring me that those who need to be fed will be taken care of – it’s not all on me.  How prideful for me to have even remotely considered that it ever would have been… It was not an intentional assumption by any means, but it was still there. 

So there are two days during which
I’d had pretty minimal social interaction –
the process of isolation had begun
though I had yet to recognize the importance of it.

Last night, I lay in bed so exhausted from this sickness but feeling quite alone.  I wanted very much to call a friend that I felt I was missing in the moment but was much too tired to carry on a conversation – it was incredibly frustrating.  I gathered my blankets and rolled over, staring at the ceiling, and prayed openly to You.  Be my everything – be my ALL – my Comfort, my Friend, my LOVE, my Companion, my Healer, my Deliverer, my Provider.   I asked that You would be more and more to me in my lonesomeness, so that I would know You and experience You on every level.   I asked You to fill all my empty spots and make the most of the quiet hour where it was just us.  I thanked You for making me lonely so that I could seek Your face to be drawn closer to You.

This morning as I lay awake in bed at some ridiculously dark hour, again I felt so alone – I wanted so much to text or call someone, but I knew at 4 a.m. it was highly likely any such communication might not be met with a warm welcome.  I was tempted to be frustrated in the insomnia, but the Spirit enlightened me to choose to seek You instead.   I sang quietly, “In the secret, in the quiet place – in the stillness You are there.  In the secret, in the quiet hour I wait only for You – I want to know You more.”  I thanked You for helping me to realize that I could use such times to commune with You rather than lamenting the poor state of affairs that everyone else was probably still off in dreamland.  And it was a beautiful moment… I remember we had a very good conversation; I had been quite surprised I was able to carry a good conversation at such an hour.

Then later this morning when I got up, I felt the urge to reach out to everyone (again the effects of the isolation) and connect… to talk.  I called my mom at work but she was far too busy to chit chat.   [The well laid plans were beginning to homogenize even though I was still woefully unaware.]  I got word from a good friend that our team had lost the football game yesterday.  I haven’t watched in a couple years, but I knew well enough to know that my team had done pretty well this year and yesterday’s game was against another friend’s team – so I reached out and offered my humble congratulations.

We exchanged a couple texts, and I casually asked if he’d ever gotten my emails.  I had sent two of great importance to me over the past two months & had never heard anything back.  Well, it turns out they never made it to his inbox.   I was devastated.  To put this in context, one of the emails was following up on a very emotional conversation we’d had on the phone back in November.   When I realized that my very heartfelt, intensely meaningful email sent the next day had never been delivered, I was at first relieved because it explained why I’d never heard anything back.  But almost instantaneously following that sense of relief, I became entirely crestfallen… I resent the message, along with a text to just let me know if for some reason it didn’t go through this time.  That he need not respond to either of my emails, but I just wanted to be sure he got them both. 

And then I just sat there… The sadness of that realization just eating away at what had already been a building unrest within me from being isolated the past several days.  And the devil – he is sooooooo good at capitalizing on these small things.  On taking ordinary circumstances and stitching them together in a manner such that they have a much greater impact on the psyche than they ever would in and of themselves… Oh, and he went to work.  I sat eating my lunch and felt the tugging, the pulling at my mind and my heart.  Oh, it was awful!!!!!

I have been so well and good for a while now that I had forgotten what it felt like, the beginnings of depressive episodes.   And I PRAISE YOU, PRAISE YOU that You have taught me so much about active thinking – processing my thoughts as they come – and that You have shown me that I have the ability to CHOOSE to redirect my mind.  It is not easy; it does not come naturally… but by Your Power at work within me through the Holy Spirit, I am capable of changing the course, of recognizing the pull on my soul and deciding right then and there to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!!!  And thus, I began writing, praying.

This is actually a most glorious occasion because what the enemy intended for my bad has really shown me how much You have delivered me from this awful emotional trap that used to completely control me.  I used to have no means or strength or know-how to fight it – I would always succumb completely.  I would be lost entirely in the abyss.  Yet, here I am more than a conqueror because You have brought me into this Marvelous Light and shown me how to live better by walking with YOU. 

And now, having experienced it, having felt it again fresh in my mind, I can all the better encourage those who are going through it, those in the midst right now who have yet to learn the tools, the skill set to overcome these battles.  Praise You that what the enemy meant for my harm, You have turned around for the good of not just myself, but anyone else with whom I might be able to share this message. 


Thank You that whenever we turn to You,
when we go beyond how we feel and choose to seek YOU,
You have the Power to take all the harm,
all the hurt that the enemy throws at us,
and use it for good. 

Help us to trust You even when it seems totally beyond
our own human understanding or ability to reason how,
that we can be assured You will be true to Your Promise
to use ALL things together for the good of those
who love You and who are called according to Your purposes. 

Remind us when we forget...


I want to encourage you if you're in the darkness
to choose to redirect your mind toward heaven.
The enemy would love nothing more than
to drag you down as deeply into the pit as you will follow...
But if you will ask, and keep asking,
God can show you how to seek Him in the midst
and He can deliver you also
from even the darkest of depths.

If this is something that's hard for you to receive
in this moment, I hope you'll pray about it and listen to
Elevation Worship's
making room in your heart for God
to grow your faith and trust in Him.


Until next time...

Be Blessed!! <3

© K. Michelle Payne 2015

Friday, January 9, 2015

convicted, restored and moving forward

Titus 2:1, 7
But as for you, promote the kind of living that reflects right teaching.
Let everything you do (say and think) reflect the integrity of your teaching.

Ephesians 5:1-2, 8-13, 15, 17
Follow God’s example in everything you do, because you are his dear children.
Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ…
For though your hearts were once full of darkness,
now you are full of light  from the Lord, and your behavior should show it!
For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.
Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.
Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness;
instead rebuke and expose them.
When the light shines on them it becomes clear how evil these things are.
So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise…
Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do…
let the Holy Spirit fill and control you.

Psalm 139: 23-24
23Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 51:10
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.


In prayer this morning, I asked Jesus to let me know again if there was anything at all within me that I was holding onto – anything keeping me from being my best for Him.  Anything that might be hindering me from doing all the good He has prepared and called me to.  I prayed my Lord would use the Spirit within me to bring any lurking offenses to the front of my mind and show me so that I could push them out and surrender again wholly to Him to be used as He would for this ministry He’s growing in my life.  I pray this way every so often because I know, I know that there are always going to be things in my heart and mind that need to be dealt with, that need to be purged in order to be fully surrendered in my walk.  That the surrendering or giving over of my life is not a once and for all sort of matter, but a continual process of recommitting and constant letting go, pushing aside all else and choosing intently to run toward God.  I asked God to help me be very cautious about what I allowed into my mind, what I listened to and entertained, what sorts of activities I indulged in, and also that He would help me be very vigilant about guarding my thought life so that nothing could come between Him and I and all this great work He is doing. 

I continued about my day, doing laundry and dishes, praying all the while – having learned I could still be Mary and get housework done by intently focusing my mind on and drawing God into the situation (regardless of what task was at hand), thereby choosing to seek Him in all that I do.  I realized as I was praying that I was very much being led by the Spirit (which is the usual way of things lately since I’ve begun walking so closely and spending so much dedicated time pursuing God), but that truths were being revealed to me that were certainly not coming from my own human ability to reason and understand.  I thanked Jesus for this gift of wisdom and for answering a prayer from a week or more ago that He would lead me into a more conversational form of prayer – so that it wouldn’t be so much of me praying, praying, praying… and then sitting still to hear from Him.   (Although, that is very  well and good, I very much wanted to develop our rapport and expand upon various means of communicating with each other.)

I began reading in the Bible as led by the Spirit and was convicted of something I’d said a couple days ago while visiting with my friend.  I’d made a couple disparaging comments about my lament of an observed overall tendency of most folks to wander around in blissful ignorance – although I did not express it quite that gracefully.   I was also convicted in those quiet moments of reflection of previous conversations that God had brought to my attention before – conversations with other friends that I knew in the moment were less than pleasing to Him, but still had enjoyed quite thoroughly.  I knew for a while that God was trying to deal with me out of love on this subject, but I wasn’t really sure how to change or address what has long been a perfectly acceptable subject of conversation between us. So every time I talked to this one friend in particular, this same subject matter kept coming up & each time I’d get off the phone, I’d feel the same twinge of conviction in my heart that I’d let God down AGAIN.  And wasn’t I going to do something about that?  Wasn’t I going to acknowledge that God didn’t care too much for what really boiled down to my engaging in conversations that amounted to making fun of His dearly beloved children. 


It is really hard for me to put that out there, to confess to you my faults.   Thus far, I’m sure it’s appeared from the contents of this blog I have this great faith gifted of God and probably don’t wrestle with stuff like this.  Nope.  I’m still human – I’m totally flawed.  There, I said it.  Yes, I do have an amazing relationship with God, one for which I’m incredibly thankful – one I long to share with you…. And there’s still more to be taught here in this message, but let’s just be clear, ok?  The one writing this is totally 100% fallible and imperfect, just as we all are.  I am, just as Jesus said Himself, a work in progress; I always will be.  The messages, though, are from God.  So, yep, you can believe I’m still gonna make mistakes.  And you can trust I’ll be honest with you about them when I do.  But I’ll also tell you how God’s dealt with me and taught me from them because this is what He does; THIS is how He refines us and makes us more and more into His likeness as we draw near to Him.

Back to the praying part…

Spending quiet time thinking, Jesus begins to help me to understand more now why this is such a big deal – why these conversations bother Him so much.  It should be well and good enough that He says, “Michelle, this is not pleasing to me, don’t engage in this anymore…” – that should be enough.  But He knows I’m stubborn, so out of His great loving kindness a lot of the time He explains stuff to me in a way that I’ll “get it” so I can do the work of digging in and letting go of whatever bad behavior or habit that needs to be gotten rid of.  He brought back to my mind as I was sitting there in reflection how much it hurt when I overheard those folks at Home Depot making fun of me.  How much it stung to my very innermost core.  And then (and this is entirely God revealed) I realized that when I’d made those harsh disparaging remarks about ignorant people, I was speaking of God’s dearly beloved children. 

And even though those people couldn’t hear me – God could.
And even though they weren’t hurt – God was. 

Every time I said something awful about another person, it stung God’s heart just like what I had felt standing in the middle of Home Depot.  When I had those conversations and laughed uproariously at my friend’s impersonation of folks that drove us a little nutty, it cut to Jesus’ innermost being because those are His beloved and cherished people.  Sure, I justified within myself that it was ok because they couldn’t hear it so no one got hurt, right?  Oh, no… Jesus, my LOVE… He heard every single word.  Every awful comment broke His heart because they’re not just His people – they are His body… we are all His body – the Body of Christ.  I tried to wrap my brain around the truth that every time I said something terrible or laughed at some joke someone else made, it hurt HIM.  Oh, wow.  Yeah, when I realized that… then I got it.  Then I understood.   

Then I acknowledge with Jesus where we are.  Something HAS to change – I can’t very well have those conversations anymore knowing all THIS.  I asked Him point blank how I’m supposed to change the nature of our accepted subject matter for our conversations because of the work He’s doing in me (the changes He’s making) without coming across as self-righteous and indignant.  Then, and this is GOOD… and that’s how I know it was from the Spirit and not my own idea… I asked Jesus to give me a bigger heart of compassion because that would take care of the whole problem.  I would be able to respond out of love and compassion rather than judgment or rebuke.  And it would make clear (without condemning my friend) that those sorts of comments are not something I’m interested in joking about anymore.  And maybe it would come up in conversation a few more times, but eventually they’d get the idea that I’m not the person to talk to about this kind of thing anymore… And hopefully at some point, Jesus can have this conversation with them, or open a door for me to share from a place of love what’s changed in my life as far as why I’m not laughing anymore. 


My specific words to Jesus I will share in case you might have the same struggle… so that you can walk with me in this changing…

Create in me a clean heart, O God – give me a bigger heart of compassion, full of love like Yours for Your people so that I am constantly refined and transformed from within, conformed heart and mind to the likeness of Christ that I would see and think of others always as You do – and consider all that I think and say of them as how it would affect Your heart to hear and feel. 
Remake me in Your image – transformed bit by bit, changed from glory to glory – help me to forget the old Michelle and press forward to the new that You are making in me that with each day, each lesson You teach me, I would die more to self and that You would live in me.

Less of me, less of my human nature and the evil natural self and its tendencies and more of Your light and love until I am but a reflection of You, Lord.  Yes, I am blessed to be corrected and restored – to be made right with You and taught from my mistakes – to live and grow, moving ever forward on this journey with You, being drawn nearer to You.

Praise You for helping me to be quiet enough to hear You in my heart – for blessing me with discernment that I can recognize Your Voice and when the Spirit is leading me – Glory to You for making me humble enough to know no matter how close You draw me near, I will always be flawed this side of Heaven & always be needful of Your Grace.

Praise You that You have invited me into this beautiful relationship with You and for instilling in me the desire to respond to the invitation.  Praise You for pursuing me all the days of my life, that Your Love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me. 

I adore You for being who You are in my life and for giving me understanding of who I am to You – for showing me that my identity is based on Your Great Unfailing Love for me alone.  Not on anything I’ve done or haven’t done, not on anything that’s ever been spoken to or over me, not on anything that has or ever will happen to me, not on what anyone else thinks or judges of me…
My meaning is solely defined in that I am Your beloved masterpiece with whom You are well pleased.  That You approve of me and adore, cherish and treasure me as precious – You always have and You always will – and the great and brilliantly beautiful, most wondrous PROMISE that NOTHING can EVER separate me from Your Love.

Praise Father God, Jesus, my Savior, Lover of my Soul, and Precious Spirit that abides within me every moment I have breath.  And oh, the great wonder that even in the midst of this exultant ecstasy as I write today, still my joy is yet to be made full and complete – that even as You promise to show and lead me into new and glorious mercies with each day, no matter how good it gets, the amazing PROMISE that always the best is yet to come!   That even as much as You give me here on earth, my true treasure and the full measure of joy and understanding of Your Love is still awaiting me on that blessed day You bring me Home.

But for now, we have work to do.  And I am so overjoyed You have called me to help You as part of Your plan.  Please bless this message and anyone who reads it that they might come to know You more.

For Your Glory, Your Honor,
Your Name and Your Kingdom!
Now and Forever!
Amen! <3


If you need to come to God and ask Him to search your heart
to see if there is any behavior or manner of thinking
within you that is offensive to Him
or that might be in some way keeping you from His very best,
I encourage you to pray and listen to
by Audio Adrenaline
and allow God to move in your heart.


Thank you for joining me today.
I pray this message has blessed you in some way,
even if just to encourage you and remind you
we are ALL works in progress,
ALL needful of His Redeeming Grace...
And none of that lessens His Great and Amazing Love for us.


Until next time...

Be Blessed! <3

© K. Michelle Payne 2015