Is God really talking to me? | How to Hear the Voice of God+ Bonus Tip

“God, is that you?” I blurted as I sat up quickly in my bed. I was completely alone in the room when I heard a voice speak to me. Now, I knew I hadn’t heard the voice audibly, but it was so clear I felt as if I looked up I would see someone standing in the room with me.

This was one of the first times I heard God speak to me and it certainly wasn’t the last.

Whenever I would read stories in the Bible of God speaking to people, I would get so excited. I had so many questions and just thinking that I had direct access to the One who could answer them all made me giddy.

However, I would quickly learn that hearing the voice of God is a journey. And a wild one at that!

God doesn’t speak to people in conventional ways. He chooses clever and often time’s creative ways to get specific messages across to us. At times, we can obviously tell God is speaking to us but other times, we are left wondering if there is anyone up there listening.

Today, I would like to offer my two cents on how you can start your journey to hearing God more clearly and offer some advice on how you can tell if what you’re hearing is truly coming from the Lord.

So, let’s do this!

 

TIP #1: You need to have a constant prayer and devotional life.

Now, God can and does talk to anyone any which way He pleases. I’ve heard stories of people who were deeply lost in sin and yet they heard the voice of God clearly calling them to repentance. However, some of us can be doing all the “right” things and still feel like we’re not hearing from God.

I want to clarify that God is sovereign and He does as He pleases. He may reveal Himself to people who don’t want anything to do with Him while it feels like He is hiding from those who seek Him and love Him. Regardless, God knows what He is doing.

The point is, if we want to hear God more clearly, we have to fine tune our hearts to God’s frequency. One of the main reasons I’ve found that people don’t hear from God is because they don’t pray.

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

John 4:24

The way that we get to know God and relate to Him is different than the way we relate to people we can physically see. Getting closer to the Lord requires spiritual discipline so our hearts can be softened to hear and receive His words.

God is always speaking something. When we make it a habit to pray, fast, and read the Bible, we open our spiritual ears to hear what He is saying.

TIP #2: Read your Bible.

This tip is closely related to tip number one. However, I want to emphasize the importance of studying scripture when wanting to grow in our ability to hear God.

The Lord is never going to tell you something personally or through another person that does not align with the Bible (we will discuss this in more detail further on).

By becoming more intentional about reading the Bible (and actually studying it 😉), you will realize that many of the questions you have, are already answered in scripture. Everything you need is already in there.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 

2 Timothy 3:16-17

Reading the Bible can become something fun that strengthens your relationship with God. Find out more on how to fall in love with reading your Bible by clicking here.

God’s voice sounds a lot like what’s already in your Bible. By looking to what God already said you can start becoming more aware of what He is saying now.

TIP #3: Have faith!

There are going to be moments when you think that God isn’t talking to you, but He actually is!

I can remember many instances when I felt a small prompting in my heart to do or say something. Strangely, though, it wasn’t something that I would normally say or do. After stepping out in faith, I realized that God was speaking to me the whole time!

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My obedience to those small nudges of the Holy Spirit proved to always lead me down some really cool scenarios.

For example, not too long ago I attended a youth retreat out of sheer obedience. I wasn’t even planning on being there.

During the worship set, I remember glancing at a young girl who was about 12 years old. I felt that she needed God to confirm to her that He was real. I walked up to her and began to pray for her. I simply told her: “You’ve been asking God if He is real. Well, this is Him telling you that He is.”

Immediately this young girl began to cry with a huge smile on her lips. God spoke to her, and He did it through me. It was exhilarating!

As I’ve continue to follow that “still small voice” on a more consistent basis, it has become easier to do what it says. Now, I hear God more frequently because I know how to pick out His voice in the crowd.

Hearing the voice of God is all about stepping out in faith, being obedient in everything. Even the little things!

 

And now, my final piece of advice…

 

BONUS TIP: 

God never contradicts scripture or makes us feel guilty and dirty. One surefire way to know if what you’re hearing is the voice of God is to compare that voice to the voice of God in the Bible.

I’ve had some crazy experiences in which a person has come up to me to bring a “word from the Lord,” and to my dismay what they had to say did not align with scripture whatsoever.

One woman, after I had preached a sermon to a group of students, grabbed my hands and began to “prophesy” to me. Everything that she said completely glorified me and not God. The “word” she gave me was more about my ego than about doing God’s will!

Immediately I felt uncomfortable because I knew what the voice of my Daddy sounded like, and that was not it.

This does not mean that I was disrespectful to this person, but I did not allow what she said to get planted in my heart.

I cannot stress enough the importance of knowing what the Bible says in order to judge between the voice of God, our own thoughts and the voice of the enemy. Hearing from God requires us to do our ground work and stand firm on truth.

 

I hope that you were blessed by this blog post.

 

With all the love in the world,

Paola Nicole

 


 

 

Carla and paola flowers

Hello there!

Our names are Paola and Carla. And yes…we are identical twins! We are pastors, ministers and young women who are absolutely in love with Christ. Our passion is to empower other young women through the message of Jesus Christ to fulfill their live’s purpose.

Although we are young (23 years old if you’re wondering😉) we have been preaching, teaching and serving in ministry for almost ten years. We hope that through our writing you may be encouraged and empowered to step into the calling that God has over YOUR life.

Thanks for reading, sis!

 

Always praying for you,

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If you need prayer or this article blessed your life in any way, please let us know below! 😁👇

 

 

Turn Your Mess into a Message | Why Your Story Matters

Have you ever been in the midst of a situation and wondered: “What good could ever come from this?” You quote Romans 8:28 to yourself all day long, but you just can’t see how God can work out your current circumstance for His glory and for your good.

Listen friend, there is nothing under the sun that happens without God knowing about it. While not everything we go through falls under His perfect will and plan for our lives (because we are sinful and part of a broken world), everything that does happen to us has a purpose in our lives.

Some of you reading this have been through unimaginable sorrow, loss or pain. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one, a first love, your source of income or friends have walked away from you.

While I can’t sympathize with every situation everyone faces, mainly because I haven’t walked through them myself, I have gone through my own circumstances. And I get it.

I get that it’s hard to heal after a breakup. I get that it’s hard to forgive those that turned away from you. I get that it’s hard to move on from grieving a loss. But, I also get that it’s not impossible to get up and turn your mess into a message!

Mess to Message blog photo

Everyone has a story to tell and there are many ways to tell it. While I am a very guarded person and believe wholeheartedly in privacy (hey! not everyone needs to know your business), I also believe that we need to be open books that others can read.

Personally, I strongly dislike exposing myself in any way, shape or form. I don’t like feeling like people can see into me because I feel as if they see the real, raw and broken version of me, they might not like it. But that’s okay, my love!

Put your walls down!

It’s normal human instinct to want to protect our weak spots. We don’t want to come across as vulnerable to other people. We want the world to see the Instagram worthy parts of our lives (BTW you should totally be following us on social media). Who wants to see the other boring and mundane stuff, right?

However, sharing a bit of our mess (please use common sense when sharing y’all) and the message behind how we endure through it, can help someone see the goodness of God.

There is a danger with painting a picture of perfection to the world.

Perfection is unattainable. Only in Heaven will we be fully perfect before God. But, here on earth, we will continue to live in brokenness and sin.

We can work towards having lives worthy of the calling that God has given us, but at the end of the day we all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

It’s those shortcomings, when we come so close only to be cutoff by our own weakness, that help us embrace our humanity. Believe it or not, they can provide just the right amount of impulse to steer us in the right direction.

Embrace YOUR story!

Before you can share your story, you have to make sure that God is holding the pen (or keyboard 😉). Without God’s authorship, our stories will always be mediocre. He is a far more excellent writer than we could ever be!

While I have some parts of my story that I am ashamed of and probably not so eager to share (don’t we all), I have decided to hand the Lord the pen of control and my life as a blank page. I have chosen to give God copyrights to my life!

Lord, please feel free to write whatever you like!

I have embraced God’s will with open arms. The story being written about me may not look like everyone else’s, but it’s a story all my own.

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I’ve decided to invite God into an ongoing writing session as He pens every moment of my existence here on earth.

And trust me, my story is as unique as it is wild!

Why would we ever want our lives to look like other people’s lives when we can embrace God’s unique story line for us? Don’t settle for a story that you are trying to write on your own!

Even though not every part of my life has been sweet, I can clearly see how God has been working for  my good in every season. Moments when I felt lost were also moments when I learned to seek God’s direction. Moments of heartbreak became moments where I learned to persevere despite how I was feeling.

There is a specific message that only you can communicate.

I think that up to this point, I have hopefully convinced you to start looking at your life a bit differently.🤞

We know that nothing that happens to us is by accident. Even the inexplicable circumstances we go through can have a purpose if we give them to God.

Because of this, there is a story that only you can tell. There is a message that you alone can give.

Story only you can tell

I want you to understand that once you embrace your story, no matter how messy, you can start allowing God to design your message.

I have walked through some deep heartbreak in my young adult life. The past couple of years have produced an immense amount of growth in me.  I have matured in my thinking in ways I never imagined.

All of the processes I’ve been through have allowed me to communicate who Jesus is with a greater level of passion and commitment than before. I don’t view Christianity in the same light that I used to. Even my attitude towards ministry has radically changed.

My life now communicates the message of hope, redemption and healing through Jesus in a whole new way. Even as my level of influence has changed, the way my message looks and sounds has changed.

I have made the decision to not allow the messiness of life to keep me silent. Wouldn’t that be convenient for the enemy? 😉

Instead, I have decided in my heart to fight continually to proclaim what I know to be true.

Our unique circumstances and the way that God has worked through them, have crafted a beautiful narrative that only we, the ones who’ve walked through them, can tell. Your story has power because only you can tell it the way that you experienced it.

I believe that there is something so powerful about sharing our testimony. Life affords us with a multitude of situations that can become center stage for God to display His power.

So, my friends, what messes have you been through that can become a powerful message to someone else? By sharing our stories, we can connect deeply with the people around us.

Share only what edifies.

Now, a word to the wise: please be careful of the parts of your story that you do share. Not everything we go through is edifying for someone else to hear. Parts of our stories can bring confusion or stir up painful memories for others.

I am aware that there are parts of my testimony that if someone were to hear, they would not fully understand the circumstances that I found myself in at the time. Not everyone is understanding and can offer grace for another’s broken past.

I want to encourage you to share your story, but just make sure you have a message to go along with it. Nothing in this world can edify like the Word of God can. Therefore, we should not replace God’s Word, which has the ultimate authority, with our testimony.

I understand that our human stories are powerful, but there is an eternal story containing a deeper truth not found in simple human words. God wrote a powerful story that we can lose ourselves in. One where He and us are the main characters in a divine romance!

Thanks for reading!

With all the love in the world,

Paola Nicole

Carla and paola flowers

Hello there!

Our names are Paola and Carla. And yes…we are identical twins! We are pastors, ministers and young women who are absolutely in love with Christ. Our passion is to empower other young women through the message of Jesus Christ to fulfill their live’s purpose.

Although we are young (23 years old, if you’re wondering😉) we have been preaching, teaching and serving in ministry for almost ten years. We hope that through our writing you may be encouraged and empowered to step into the calling that God has over YOUR life.

Thanks for reading, sis!

Always praying for you,

Signature

If you need prayer or this article blessed your life in any way, please let us know below! 😁👇

Why I Am Not Letting Satan Steal My Peace Anymore | 4 Practical Tips on How to Control Your Emotions

…and not let them control you.

I completely lost it. I was in the middle of a meltdown and there was no way for me to stop the river of tears that were now flowing from my eyes.

I was frustrated, disappointed and heartbroken.

My life had taken some unexpected turns and my emotions were all over the place. I had never learned to manage my emotions in a healthy way up to this point, and now I felt completely controlled by them.

Do you ever feel like in this crazy, messed up world you are always fighting a losing battle for peace? Like, everything around you seems to be falling apart and so are you? Do you feel like your heart can’t take it anymore?

Well, my friend, if that’s not you, it certainly is me.

I totally get it. Fighting back the flood of emotions is hard!

I’ve always been the type of person that allowed the circumstances around me to dictate how I’m feeling. I have quite the temper and it usually flares up when I’m really stressed out. Moreover, when life isn’t going according to my plans, which is usually the case, that can be really upsetting for someone like me!

However, this is not how God intends for us to live as women of God.

Throughout my journey with God, especially this past year, I’ve been learning to still my heart and walk in peace. I always assumed that peace was a matter of believing that God would rearrange my circumstances in order for me to experience peace.

This isn’t really how it works.

Peace isn’t a state of events but a state of mind.

In Psalm 46:10 (ESV) God commands His people by saying:

Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

Bible and quote

This command is given to remind us that we have the option of choosing to not let our circumstances define the state of our hearts. We get to choose whether to have peace or allow our current circumstance to dictate our emotions.

The enemy wants us to buy into the lie that he gets to dictate how we feel. Then, when he attacks our minds we think we have to sit passively, allowing him to take us on a roller coaster of emotions.

However, there is so much more that God wants for us. You have power over your mind and over your emotions!

I want to share with you some tips on how you can have peace and not let Satan steal it from you!

Why I am not letting satan steal my peace anymore

TIP #1: Keep eternity in perspective.

Alright, I know this one might be a little unexpected, but hear me out.

In light of eternity, everything else seems rather dim. When all we can see is the here and now, we don’t react in wisdom or love.

In order to have peace when everything seems to be falling apart, we must view our lives with an eternal perspective. Everything that happens to us on earth is temporary and will eventually pass.

By understanding that our circumstances are temporary (even the attacks from the enemy of our souls), we can walk assured that peace is on the other side of our process.

At one point in the Bible Jesus tells his disciples to get on a boat to cross to the other side of the sea (Matthew 14: 22-27). In the middle of their voyage, the winds and waves arose against them. However, Jesus shows up walking on water and stills the storm. He did say they would get to the other side, right?

No matter what storm we are going through, Jesus still walks on water and brings peace and stillness to any situation. Have hope, sister! Even when the enemy is attacking, you can rest easy. God’s got this!

TIP #2: Do not stress but instead bless!

I have recently understood the full power of changing the language I speak. Many times the enemy will oppress us with lack of energy and motivation. If we partner with the atmosphere by speaking negatively, we allow Satan to win!

Instead, as daughters of God and women full of power, we have the ability to speak against what the enemy is doing. If we feel down and “blah,” we have to speak life and hope.

We can counteract the negative influence of the enemy and reverse the tide of emotions flooding us!

Our speech (2)

One of the biggest mistakes I personally make is complaining when I feel emotionally or physically drained. Sometimes, life just gets so hectic that I fly into a temper tantrum!

However, as a daughter of God, my words have power. Regardless of how I am feeling, I can’t allow how I am feeling to influence the way I am speaking.

Speaking negative words is like handing Satan ammunition and then telling him to make us the target!

My beautiful sister, speak life over every situation in your life. Where there is sadness, speak joy. Where there is brokenness, speak wholeness. Where there is anxiety, speak peace.

TIP #3: Be ready and alert at all times.

The enemy comes in to attack our minds and emotions when he knows we are at our weakest. Satan knows when we haven’t prayed in a while, read the Bible or when we are going through a tough situation.

Sadly, our enemy knows how to use our brokenness and weak areas to his advantage. This is why it’s so important to be alert at all times and be mindful of what we are allowing into our lives.

The Bible instructs us in 1 Peter 5:8 ESV as follows:

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Don’t be the one he finds to devour. Girl, take up your sword and show the kingdom of darkness who your daddy is!

TIP #4: Take charge and walk in authority!

Okay, let’s put on our big girl pants now.

We have power over the way that we choose to feel. The biggest lie that I believed is that I had no power over my emotions. I thought that the way I felt was just the way that I felt. It couldn’t be helped.

However, this is not true.

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The enemy wants us to believe that we are helpless in the face of depression, overwhelm and insecurity. He wants to steal our peace by making us believe that we can’t do anything to change the way we feel.

Sisters! You have power and authority through God’s word to resist the devil and watch him flee from you (James 4:7)!

I want to encourage you to stop the enemy from planting distressing thoughts in your mind to take away your peace. Do not give in to the pressure to cave in and be swallowed whole by your emotions.

Take charge of your spiritual life by resisting in prayer and reading your Word.

I know from personal experience that when I take the initiative to submit my emotions to the Holy Spirit, the way I feel completely changes.

Don’t allow Satan to steal your peace anymore!

Our peace is not determined by the way that we feel. We can’t allow the enemy to come in and speak his lies into our mind. Sister, we carry the power of God inside us!

We can change the way we feel by understanding that emotions come and go. One day you’ll feel happy and the next one you may feel down.

Don’t worry. We all go through this. However, we cannot allow our emotions to be our puppeteer.

Still your heart, beauty!

With all the love in the world,

Paola Nicole

Carla and paola flowers

Hello there!

Our names are Paola and Carla. And yes…we are identical twins! We are pastors, ministers and young women who are absolutely in love with Christ. Our passion is to empower other young women through the message of Jesus Christ to fulfill their live’s purpose.

Although we are young (23 years old if you’re wondering😉) we have been preaching, teaching and serving in ministry for almost ten years. We hope that through our writing you may be encouraged and empowered to step into the calling that God has over YOUR life.

Thanks for reading, sis!

Always praying for you,

Signature

If you need prayer or this article blessed your life in any way, please let us know below! 😁👇

Feeling spiritually dry? Get your passion back!

I think we can all agree that life can be very, very busy. As young women in the 21st century, we may be juggling jobs, school, ministry, family, hobbies, friends and more. Finding the time to slow down, pray and be in God’s word can be difficult or nearly impossible. However, we should never allow the crazy busyness of life to rob us of our passion for seeking God’s presence.

At one point in my life, I was working a part-time, thirty hours a week job that required me to travel to different sites every day. Some of these locations were more than an hour away from home. I was also on my last semester to finish by Bachelor’s degree (which was brutal). One of my classes required me to write a twenty-page paper analyzing a company’s financial statements (sounds fun, right!).

If this wasn’t keeping me busy enough, I was responsible for leading a youth Bible class once a week, leading worship at several weekly services and keeping up with my own personal prayer life. It was madness!

Because of all the pressure I had (or better yet, I placed on myself) I struggled deeply with anxiety. I actually suffered a slight panic attack during the last couple of hours left to finish my final assignment before I graduated college the following day. I am not exaggerating!

To say the least, I did not feel like praying or reading the Bible. I was in a constant state of exhaustion.

These two things took a backseat to all the other demands of my young life. How was I supposed to put aside my schoolwork and job to pray? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

However, I realized that not taking time to pray and study the Bible was actually causing me to become weary and burdened. I thought of prayer as yet another thing to put on my to do list.

By thinking of quiet time with God as another demand on our busy lives, we miss the opportunity to connect intimately with God!

As the months of business kept going by, I found myself losing my passion and my spiritual life grew dull. I didn’t feel like going to church, my worship was less joyful and serving became a burden instead of a passion.

I didn’t want to get up early on Sunday morning to go to worship practice at church. I was too tired! I just wanted to lay in bed all day, binge watch Netflix and eat buckets of ice cream. I no longer felt the same passion for prayer or scripture that I once felt.

I was walking in a spiritual haze and suffering from spiritual apathy. I didn’t feel as connected to God as I was before. The spiritual dryness that I was feeling was a direct result of my unwillingness to fight for the passion in my heart to stay alive.

Listen up, no matter how crazy life gets, we can never take our relationship with God and put it in the back burner.

No matter what demands come our way, pursuing a passionate relationship with God actually gives us the strength to face life head on, not drain us of our energy. A vibrant, private life with God is what supplies us with the necessary power to confront all that life is throwing our way. We have to fight to stay passionate for the presence of God!

girl runnin in field

Life doesn’t slow down or get any easier.

I would love to say that my life today is less busy and more manageable than when I was in college. I would love to say that life got easier. However, that is certainly not the case!

Even though I finished college and no longer have the pressure of assignment deadlines, I still have to deal with the responsibilities of being a young adult. Here is a snapshot of my life now:

I am pastoring an emerging church with my family. I work full time (40 hours a week), I am enrolled in my fourth year of Bible institute, I am in the process of applying to become a licensed minister and doing all this while leading a youth group and dance team. Along with these responsibilities, I also have to worry about paying my car bill, saving for my future and having a personal and social life (c’mon, I gotta have some fun, right?).

The older I get, I realize that life doesn’t seem to slow down. If I’m this busy now, imagine when I get married and have kids. Things will only get more hectic!

In this crazy life, all we can do is continue pursuing Jesus passionately no matter our life’s circumstances. If you are feeling tired and losing your passion, my advice to you is to pray as if nothing and no one else existed. Take time out to be at the feet of Jesus and soak in His companionship.

Maybe right now, you are feeling spiritually dry. You feel the same way I used to feel. Life may be demanding more from you than you feel you can give. I totally understand, sister!

But listen, you don’t have to let life stop you from being passionate about Jesus! We have a very real enemy that wants us to walk in spiritual complacency, only praying when we have to and never pushing for more. This is not God’s best for us!

Here is my advice to you!

  • Take time out to be alone with God every day, no matter what.

I encourage you, if you are feeling spiritually dry, to sit down sometime tonight in a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. Turn up your worship music and crack open your Bible. Ask God to fill up your weary soul with His Word. Allow Him to pour His love over you.

You don’t have to do this for hours and hours. Even just a few minutes of quiet time with God can make all the difference!

  • Receive the love and grace of God that refreshes your soul.

You don’t have to strive to feel God like you used to. He hasn’t stopped caring about you. When you go into your secret place, open your heart! Don’t allow guilt to overwhelm you. The key to having a vibrant prayer life is to submit your thoughts to God and to know what thoughts come from Him and what thoughts come from the enemy of your soul.

  • Submit your flesh, girl!

I would highly encourage you to fast and become intentional about setting time aside to pray and read your Bible. This doesn’t have to be two or three hours of your day. Just thirty minutes can make all the difference.

You might not feel like disciplining yourself to pray and read the Bible, but the momentary discomfort is nothing in comparison with the long-term benefits of a devotional life with God. Training your flesh to seek God, my friend, is a powerful way to defeat lust, pride and fear and develop a deep passion!

Listen beauty, if you want to live passionately for Christ once again, you’re gonna have to fight for it. We live in a world that is pulling our attention in a million different directions, but you have to be intentional about pulling your focus towards Christ daily.

I know you’re tired and you feel like giving up. I know you think that maybe God has forgotten about you. Life is overwhelming you, but hang in there, God’s got you. He won’t leave you nor forsake you. This is only a season.


Carla and paola flowers

Hello there!

Our names are Paola and Carla. And yes…we are identical twins! We are pastors, ministers and young women who are absolutely in love with Christ. Our passion is to empower other young women through the message of Jesus Christ to fulfill their live’s purpose.

Although we are young (23 years old if you’re wondering😉) we have been preaching, teaching and serving in ministry for almost ten years. We hope that through our writing you may be encouraged and empowered to step into the calling that God has over YOUR life.

Thanks for reading, sis!

Always praying for you,

Signature

If you need prayer or this article blessed your life in any way, please let us know below! 😁👇

How to Overcome Indecision and Confusion

I remember having to make a very difficult decision at twenty-two years of age.

I felt completely alone as I contemplated taking a step that would potentially change my entire life. This decision was no small feat. I felt confused and burdened by the weight of indecision.

In life, we are going to encounter moments when we have no choice but to step out regardless of whether we are sure of what’s going to happen next or not. We are not always afforded the luxury of standing by, waiting for decisions to make themselves.

However, it can be tough when we don’t know what decision to make. It makes it even harder when we feel like God Himself is not giving us much to go on.

Listen up girly, no matter how confused or alone you feel, God is still with you, even when you don’t feel Him.

But, what do we do when we feel confused? How do we step out of confusion and into decisiveness? How do we contend for the Lord’s perfect leading while also stepping out in faith even when we can’t feel Him?

If you’re asking yourself these questions, well, my friends, this post is for YOU!

I want to share with you 3 tips for how I’ve learned to overcome confusion (not perfectly…but as best as I can) when it hits unexpectedly.

Confusion Blog post

1) Keep walking according to the last instructions that God gave you.

Hold on to the words that the Lord already spoke to you. If God has already placed it in your heart to pursue a certain career, ministry or strategic relationship, keep walking that out.

Many times God won’t give us more because we haven’t been faithful with what He has already given us. If we can obey the leading of the Holy Spirit in the small things He will definitely guide us in the bigger things! (Luke 16:10)

Sometimes we want to run ahead of God and end up overwhelming ourselves in the process. I recently went through this! I turned myself into a nervous wreck and it was completely unnecessary.

Sometimes, getting out of a confusion rut is as simple as placing one foot in front of the other, going towards the only direction you know to go.

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This is why I keep a “prophetic word” journal. This notebook contains notes on nudges that the Holy Spirit has given my heart.

If I feel a specific tug on my heart from God, I write it down and pray about it.

If you don’t like keeping a journal, write down what God shows you on your “Notes” app in your phone. Then you can go back and scroll through what God has been speaking to you! 😊

In my journal I also keep track of words of knowledge that I’ve received from other pastors ministers. Some of these words are confirmations to what God has already spoken to me in private and some are new instructions from the Lord.

The idea here is to keep a record of when you have felt God guiding you in a specific way. It is so refreshing to look back at what you wrote and be reminded of what God said to you!

2) Anchor yourself in God’s presence.

Sometimes when it feels like our lives are spinning out of control, we need to hit the brakes and center ourselves again.

Slow it down, sister!

Whenever I’m feeling flustered it’s usually a sign that I’m doing too much of what I want versus what God is leading me to do.

It’s important to center ourselves on truth (God’s words in scripture) and stabilize our minds. As 1 Corinthians 14: 33 says:

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

It’s okay to not have all the answers, but where are you turning to for peace?

When confusion hits, we can get desperate to find answers to all our questions. We may feel like we need to make a decision right away about an important matter.

However, if we step out and start trying to fight confusion in our own strength, we can end up stepping outside of God’s perfect will.

I find that in times when I need to make a decision, the best thing to do is to go before God in prayer, fasting and ask for a specific confirmation. If I don’t receive a specific confirmation, I stand still and wait or make the best decision I know how to based on what God has already spoken to me before in the secret place.

3) Know your “why.”

As a young woman trying to live in a way that honors God and the calling that He has placed in my life (Ephesians 4:1), it is so important for me to make decisions that align fully with God’s Word.

In the past, I’ve made decisions that I have then completely regretted. In retrospect, I can clearly see how those decisions did not fit into the “why” of my life.

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Our “why” in life is what we know to be our reason for being on this earth at this specific time and season. It can be as broad as to glorify God with all our life or as narrowed down as a specific ministry God wants us to exercise.

I have deep convictions and values in my life that reflect who God has called me to be. As a pastor and minister, I believe in integrity, purity and pursuing God’s purpose for my life above all other wordly pursuits.

This means that every decision I make in my life has to reflect these core values.

By outlining what I believe to be God’s purpose for my life, I then make decisions that align accordingly.

So, beauty…

What do you feel is God’s calling for you? What makes your heart burn with yearning? What do you know God has already spoken to you in the past?

Has He spoken through another person to reveal certain assignments that He wants you to complete? Do these things align with the truth of scripture?

These are all great questions for you to ask yourself in order to find your “why” in life and remain focused even in the midst of confusing seasons.

 


 

Carla and paola flowers

Hello there!

Our names are Paola and Carla. And yes…we are identical twins! We are pastors, ministers and young women who are absolutely in love with Christ. Our passion is to empower other young women through the message of Jesus Christ to fulfill their live’s purpose.

Although we are young (23 years old if you’re wondering😉) we have been preaching, teaching and serving in ministry for almost ten years. We hope that through our writing you may be encouraged and empowered to step into the calling that God has over YOUR life.

Thanks for reading, sis!

 

Always praying for you,

Signature

 

 

If you need prayer or this article blessed your life in any way, please let us know below! 😁👇

 

How to Fall in Love With Reading Your Bible

5 tips for engaging with scripture and making reading the bible FUN!

There is nothing I love more than sitting down with a sweet drink in hand, colorful highlighters, a pen and my precious ESV Two Column Journaling Bible from Crossway. I love reading the Bible and digging into the truths found in such a precious book.

However, this wasn’t always my relationship with God’s Word. It has been a long journey to get to a place in my life where I really enjoy reading the Bible.

I haven’t always made the time nor the effort to study scripture in a deep and meaningful way. This created an inconsistency in my spiritual life and stunted my growth. I felt unhealthy spiritually and stagnant. I knew that reading the Bible was important, especially as a leader in my church, but it just simply was no FUN!

I wasn’t connecting with scripture and that was a BIG problem.

So quick confession: Several times a week, I tend to grab food from the nearest drive-through fast food restaurant and head 60 miles an hour down the highway because I have to get to my next engagement. I don’t savor my food. I simply shove food in my mouth to keep myself from passing out for the next several hours. Please don’t judge me. Ya’ll know you do it too!

This method of feeding myself is neither healthy nor sustainable. In the end, I’ll keep myself alive but not well fed. Being alive is not the same thing as thriving and growing!

I know that finding the time to sit down and read your Bible can be daunting, let alone actually taking time to study it. While it might seem overwhelming (I mean, where do you even start?), taking time to really dig into scripture is crucial for spiritual growth.

Before I continue I would like to recommend that you get a journaling Bible. Journaling Bibles are specifically designed for note taking in mind.

Click here to view the journaling Bible that I use for my personal quiet time: https://www.amazon.com/Journaling-Bible-TruTone-Branch-Design/dp/1433555816

Now, I want to share some tips that helped me personally fall in love with the Bible and start having FUN as I connected with scripture!

Here we go!

TIP #1: MARK IT UP!

I used to think that writing on and highlighting my Bible was a sin compared to heresy. How could I possibly mark God’s Holy Word?

In actuality, marking our Bible (aka. Printed copies of ancient texts) is not a sin and can actually be a form of worship. By getting creative and writing in the margins of our personal Bible and highlighting texts that stand out to us, we are causing scripture to come alive to us. We can even write down our prayers!

Check out my personal Bible below:

I love circling, marking and writing notes about what I learned from a text. I even take sermon notes in my Bible or on a sticky note.  (If you would like me to go more in depth on how I study and process scripture, just leave a comment below.)

By adding color with fun bible tabs (I have the ones from Bibles x Coffee) or highlighters, reading and studying the Bible is a whole lot more enjoyable and engaging for me!

 

TIP #2: PUT YOUR THOUGHTS ON PAPER.

Along with writing in your Bible, take time to journal your thoughts and elaborate on what you’re learning. If you don’t own a journaling Bible or need more space to write, keeping a Bible or scripture journal is a great way to get your thoughts on paper.

I enjoy looking back at old journals and seeing how far I have come in my journey with God. I can see in what areas God has worked in my life and how mature I’ve become over the years.

This can also be a great way to set up stone markers of where you’ve been and align yourself to get to where God is taking you.

 

TIP #3: FOLLOW A BIBLE READING PLAN OR CREATE YOUR OWN.

Reading the Bible isn’t just about literally picking up your Bible, opening up to a random page and reading random verses. I am totally guilty of doing this by the way!

Reading the Bible is about actually learning something and connecting more intimately with God. I love using The Bible App from YouVersion and following along with their reading plans. Some last from three to ten days. Some an entire month. There is literally a Bible reading plan for all aspects of your life!

You can also select a book of the Bible and start digging in. That is what I have been doing this past month. I went through the whole book of Ephesians in about two weeks and loved it!

I feel like I ate a well balanced meal because I took special care to dissect passages I was unsure about and research words that I didn’t understand. I made sure to really take my time making notes. I wanted to take as much in from each passage as possible.

 

TIP # 4: READ YOUR BIBLE WITH FRIENDS.

While nothing can replace quiet time alone with God, sometimes joining a Bible study group, whether in person or online, can really fuel our passion for God’s Word. I personally love watching other YouTubers disclose how they study scripture and following along with their Bible studies.

Also, if you are part of a local church, set aside time to attend prayer and Bible study services. As a pastor, I witness how many people overlook these kinds of services when they should actually be the most important ones to attend!

You do not have to study the Bible on your own. Leaders and teachers are great resources to use. By sitting under great teaching at your local church, you are placing yourself in an environment to thrive.

If your church does not have a Bible study group that you can join or doesn’t fit your needs, try calling up some friends and creating your own. There is power in community! You do not all have to be super theologians or Bible scholars; just pick a passage and begin digging in. By doing this in a group setting, insightful conversation can be sparked!

And finally (drum roll please)…

TIP #5: Pray, pray, pray!!!

I can’t stress how important it is to pray when reading scripture. We can have all the resources in the world but if we don’t take time to ask the Holy Spirit to open our understanding, we will gain very little from our Bible studies.

I remember when I first started walking with the Lord that I really struggled to understand the Bible. I would read tons of Bible verses but I found myself getting confused. I needed HELP!!!

So…I began to pray. I asked the Lord to open up my understanding and to give me supernatural wisdom to understand and apply His Word. By slowing down the pace of my anxious mind and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide me as I read scripture, I began to actually connect with what I was reading. I had my aha! moment.

You too can have this moment if you slow it down, pray and meditate on scripture!

 

Reading the Bible doesn’t have to overwhelming and confusing. It can be fun and engaging if you use the right tools and create a routine that works for you.

Now close your browser and get to reading sister! Love you!

 

3 Boundaries to Set in a Romantic Relationship

I wrote a post a while back about setting boundaries in romantic relationships and what that is all about. Here, I’m referring to dating relationships, or when two people are getting to know each other for the purpose of discovering if they are compatible for marriage.

Now, I want to dive a little deeper into this topic and define some areas where it is important to define these boundaries. Again, I remind you that the setting of boundaries is for the purpose of protecting our hearts and developing healthy, thriving relationships that will always leave both people involved better off (Proverbs 4:23). Ready? Here we go!

1.Physical

Now this boundary seems like it would be obvious, but you’d be surprised how many girls I speak with are unclear on what this means. I mean, is kissing, hugging, or just holding hands allowed?

Well, the Bible is very clear about waiting until marriage to have sex (Hebrews 13:4). That’s one boundary that is black and white. Also, the Bible does state that even looking at another person with lustful thoughts is considered sinful, so that’s pretty clear as well (Matthew 5:28). Then, what about all the other stuff?

This is when we must look inward and examine our own hearts to determine where our intentions lie. This is when we must pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us (Psalm 26:2).

Some practical ways to guard a relationship and keep physical boundaries could be to set a curfew for dates. Obviously, two people alone in a car after midnight can give off the wrong appearance. Also, limiting dates to public areas can be a great way to keep from unnecessary temptations. Going out on group outings is a great way to not only keep the relationship accountable to others, but also a great way to see how your date interacts with your family and friends.

2. Emotional

Now this is one area that not many people speak about. It is important that when one enters into a romantic relationship to allow the relationship to grow in intimacy as it grows in trust. Many of us want to share every single detail of our lives with a new person, but it is important to also understand that the hidden corners of our hearts are reserved for a relationship that has grown over time. Just as a flower grows and blooms, so does love. The key is to create a fertile ground for love to grow through intentional conversations and welcoming wise counsel.

Also, it is important to not allow a relationship to become co-dependent. No person could ever fill our hearts the way Jesus can. Many of us make the mistake of demanding another person to fulfill every single one of our needs. This simply put, is impossible. Only God can fill and heal every single void in our hearts.

3. Spiritual

This boundary goes hand in hand with emotional boundaries. It is vital to understand that the single most important relationship in a person’s life is the one with Jesus; the lover of our souls. There is no one and nothing that can be more important than him.

This is where many people begin to stumble because romantic feelings can be so strong. These feelings constantly keep that special someone in our minds and we begin to dream about the future, but it is important to keep our hearts in check. Our hearts are like an altar, and we were designed to be worshipers. At the end of the day, our original design will lead us to bow down in worship to someone or something. It is important that through prayer and connection with God we seek to keep God at the center of our hearts.

 

I hope that I have somehow helped you to understand the deep need for boundaries in our lives. Boundaries are a good thing, but it is important to remember that in guarding our hearts we can’t neglect our need for connection. Being transparent and vulnerable (at the right time) can help deepen intimacy and trust between two people seeking marriage.

 

Written by Carla Lopez, Cofounder of Empowered Beauty

carla

 


 

Carla and paola flowers

Hello there!

Our names are Paola and Carla. And yes…we are identical twins! We are pastors, ministers and young women who are absolutely in love with Christ. Our passion is to empower other young women through the message of Jesus Christ to fulfill their live’s purpose.

Although we are young (23 years old if you’re wondering😉) we have been preaching, teaching and serving in ministry for almost ten years. We hope that through our writing you may be encouraged and empowered to step into the calling that God has over YOUR life.

Thanks for reading, sis!

 

Always praying for you,

Signature

 

 

If you need prayer or this article blessed your life in any way, please let us know below! 😁👇

4 Ways to Have More Fun this Summer, While Still Growing Your Faith

…while getting closer to God.

Summer here in Florida is in full swing. Temperatures are in the high 90’s every single day which is perfect beach whether.

However, as fun as this season can be, summer is also a great time to invest in you walk with the Lord while also having a great time doing it.

Growing in God isn’t just about Bible studies and Sunday morning services. It is also about putting your faith in action and stepping out of your comfort zone.

Here are my tips for having a great time this summer while still making your spiritual life a priority:

#1) Go to a Christian retreat, camp or convention with your friends.

If you’re local church doesn’t host a summer camp, try joining another church for their annual camp or retreat.

My denomination has a yearly summer camp for teenagers and young adults that provide opportunities to connect with new people.

Camps and retreats are also a great way to unplug from the routines of life and really set aside time to grow closer to God. Camps are full of fun activities and provide times of refreshing for our spirits.

So grab your friends and pack your bags and enjoy a weekend getaway!

#2) Attend a local Christian concert.

Summer is a time when many worship bands and Christian groups go on tour to multiple cities in each state. My advice: Search you favorite bands’ Facebook or Instagram pages for tour dates and locations.

Christian concerts vary in price according to the venue, but concerts held in large churches versus stadiums tend to me less expensive.

You can look up local bands that may be playing near you as well. Local churches also host open mic nights and cafe style gatherings that are lots of fun and a great way to meet other Christian young people.

Christian concerts or worship nights are also great for making space to connect more deeply and intimately with God.

#3) Serve. Serve. Serve.

Serving isn’t just beneficial to the one being served…it can also be loads of fun for the once serving!

Try getting involved with your local youth group or kids’ ministry to see if you can serve during VBS (Vacation Bible School) or youth camp.

You can also volunteer for your church’s kids trip to the beach, museum or zoo. If you like working with children, this will be really fun for you.

If working with kids isn’t your strong point, try getting involved in a missions (foreign or domestic) trip or Christian summer internship program. These will not only provide opportunities to serve but will also allow you to meet new people the same age as you that serve God and want to grow in their faith.

#4) Host a bible study or meet up.

For the social butterflies out there who love to host parties, hosting a bible study or Christian group can be really fun and enriching.

Growing stronger in your faith doesn’t just have to be about receiving but it can also be about giving. By hosting a bible class you can pour into others what God has poured into you .

Plus, after bible class, you can all jump into your local pool or make ice cream sundaes. The sky is the limit with this one. You can make your bible studies or meet ups as fun and exciting as you want to!

Having fun this summer doesn’t mean that you need to compromise your walk with God! You can fun and grow spiritually this season.

Have a great summer everyone!


Carla and paola flowers

Hello there!

Our names are Paola and Carla. And yes…we are identical twins! We are pastors, ministers and young women who are absolutely in love with Christ. Our passion is to empower other young women through the message of Jesus Christ to fulfill their live’s purpose.

Although we are young (23 years old if you’re wondering😉) we have been preaching, teaching and serving in ministry for almost ten years. We hope that through our writing you may be encouraged and empowered to step into the calling that God has over YOUR life.

Thanks for reading, sis!

Always praying for you,

Signature

If you need prayer or this article blessed your life in any way, please let us know below! 😁👇

The Lies I Believed

…and how I conquered them with truth.

I lay in my bed sobbing as I held my bible tightly to my chest. I was weary and burdened from the fruitless fight to conquer the battle in my mind.

For months I had been struggling with broken thoughts about my self image and who I really was. I had been fighting in my own strength to keep my head above water and not sink into despair.

I couldn’t do it anymore. I was DONE.

That night I finally laid down my pride and stubbornness, picked up my bible and went hunting for answers. In a matter of minutes I was UNDONE.

God’s love came pouring through the pages of my bible and into my heart  and I knew I would never be the same. The lies that had entangled my heart for months began to loose their grip and truth flooded my mind.

Sometimes in life we believe the lies that the enemy speaks to us. We fall into despair as we cling hopelessly to lifeless sources of truth.

We look to social media, friends, blogs and even romantic relationships to try and understand who we are. But all of these only lead us to believe lies about who we are and what we were created to do.

Here are some lies that I believed and how I conquered them with truth:

Lie #1: I am defined by my past mistakes.

Guilt and shame are not part of God’s plan for our lives. No matter what our past looks like our future does not need to reflect our past brokenness.

The enemy of our souls wants us to believe that we are marked forever by the mistakes we’ve made. This is not true!

The bible tells us in 1 John 1: 9

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

There is nothing that we can do that is too big for God to clean up! He is faithful to forgive us and wash us clean.

Lie #2: My identity is found in what others think of me.

As a minister, it’s always been important for me to set a good example for others in every area of my life. However, it can be unhealthy to obsess about what others say and think of you.

The bible says in Colossians 3: 23-24

Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…”

Our greatest desire should always be to honor God in all that we do. God’s opinion of us will never be mislead because he looks into our hearts in a way that people cannot.

Lie #3: If my current circumstance is not good, then God has abandoned me.

It can be tempting to blame God for abandoning us when life doesn’t go our way. I’ve found myself countless times crying out to heaven for an answer to my circumstance only to be disappointed when I felt like God was silent.

Listen beloved daughter, God is near to you. This is his promise to you in Psalms 34: 18-19:

 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”

God is close to us in our affliction. The world will lie to you and tell you that your God
has forsaken you and therefore you are alone. This is a complete LIE!
It has been in my moments of distress that I have seen God working so faithfully in my
life. He orders our steps and even if life isn’t going according to our plans, we can trust that God knows exactly what He’s doing!

Today is a good day to be free from the lies of the enemy in your life. You don’t have to believe what the world tells you is true.

Believe what God says is TRUE!



Carla and paola flowers

Hello there!

Our names are Paola and Carla. And yes…we are identical twins! We are pastors, ministers and young women who are absolutely in love with Christ. Our passion is to empower other young women through the message of Jesus Christ to fulfill their live’s purpose.

Although we are young (23 years old if you’re wondering😉) we have been preaching, teaching and serving in ministry for almost ten years. We hope that through our writing you may be encouraged and empowered to step into the calling that God has over YOUR life.

Thanks for reading, sis!

 

Always praying for you,

Signature

 

 

If you need prayer or this article blessed your life in any way, please let us know below! 😁👇

How to Heal from a Broken Heart

We’ve all been there. That moment when disappointment hits like a wave and it seems like God is playing a cruel joke on us. The job went to someone else, a relationship ended, someone you love passed away. It hurts, but it doesn’t have to define you.

It’s important to go through seasons of brokenness but not to dwell on the pain that they bring. Notice that I said go THROUGH them. We aren’t meant to stay in the midst of our pain. God will process us THROUGH it.

Disappointment is a powerful tool that the enemy uses to make us believe that God’s best for our lives won’t come to pass. Sure, life is hard, but there is always a purpose to our pain. God is not done with me yet. Neither is He done with you.

Before I share with you some practical advice for finding healing when our hearts are burdened by pain, I want to clear something up first.

Healing is a process. And a very complicated one at that.

It takes time to heal from disappointment and heartbreak. The process isn’t clear cut. There will be times that you think you finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, only to be hit by a freight train of hurt again.

However, if you commit to finding wholeness again at the arms of the one who loves you more than you could ever imagine, you will receive healing. Promise.

Now, let me share some practical advice with you for healing from a broken heart:

1) Acknowledge the pain, don’t just ask for it to go away.

Pain can teach us a lot about ourselves. By acknowledging that we’re hurting and ceasing to hide away the hurt, we can actually begin to see hope for our future again.

I’m the type of person that when I’m hurting, I push people away. I act like everything is fine but every so often, I just loose it. I have a temper tantrum or I blow up on a loved one. None of this is fair to the people that care about me.

Hiding away the pain doesn’t make it go away. Sooner or later it creeps back up again. Instead, go before your Heavenly Father and ADMIT that you are hurting. Just let it all out before his presence and don’t hold back any of it. Trust me, He UNDERSTANDS.

2) Commit to forgiving those who hurt you.

Forgiveness is in itself is a process. It’s hard to choose to forgive someone but still feel the pangs of bitterness just at the mention of their name. However, I’ve learned that unforgiveness only holds one person captive. YOU.

Sometimes, we’re not even angry with people, we are actually angry with God.

Last year was pretty rough for me. Many things happened in my life that were not favorable and that I could not control. I became increasingly resentful towards God. I didn’t realize how much damage it was doing to my heart until I finally exploded.

I was finally able to forgive God, others and even myself when I began to dive into the Lord’s goodness again. If God could love me so much as to die for me, then who am I to hold anything against God or anyone else.

Learn to forgive others as Christ has forgiven you. Trust me. You were never meant to carry the burden of your own wrongs, or those done against you.

3) Renew your hope.

When we are hurting, it can be so easy to get so lost in our pain, that we begin to develop a cynical outlook on life. But here’s the thing, you can’t allow your hurt to control you.

I have realized in my own personal life that when I begin to put more emphasis on what I’m currently going through, it begins to feel like I will never see the light at the end of the tunnel. But believe me, there is always a light.

Change YOUR perspective. While you may not be able to change your situation, you can change the way you see it.

No matter what you are currently going through, don’t allow yourself to believe that it will never change. Nothing lasts forever, not even your pain. Whether you’re going through a hard breakup, job loss, transition or disappointment, as long as your trust is in God, you can make it through anything.

I encourage you to lift your eyes off of you and your situation, and instead believe that what God has for your future is still good because He is good.

4) Pray into God’s will for your life.

Life always takes unexpected turns. It is inevitable that we will find ourselves in situations with outcomes that don’t go along with what we had planned. Maybe you wanted something so badly, only to have it taken away from you.

I know, so unfair right?

But, when life’s circumstances don’t turn out the way we want, it’s important to reevaluate our motives and desires. Why am I so disappointed? Did I put more emphasis on what I wanted versus what God wanted for me?

Listen, God knows everything. He isn’t surprised when we get blindsided by tribulation or when we encounter an obstacle. He alone knows everything and He is in control of everything. Healing is found when we let go of our plans and instead choose to trust God with His.

Dear sister, be encouraged! God is the healer of all broken hearts. You’ll get through this.



 

Carla and paola flowers

Hello there!

Our names are Paola and Carla. And yes…we are identical twins! We are pastors, ministers and young women who are absolutely in love with Christ. Our passion is to empower other young women through the message of Jesus Christ to fulfill their live’s purpose.

Although we are young (23 years old if you’re wondering😉) we have been preaching, teaching and serving in ministry for almost ten years. We hope that through our writing you may be encouraged and empowered to step into the calling that God has over YOUR life.

Thanks for reading, sis!

 

Always praying for you,

Signature

 

 

If you need prayer or this article blessed your life in any way, please let us know below! 😁👇