Religion Vs. Spirituality


Growing up in a Baptist church is way different than what I experience today in a non-denominational church. I was raised in a Baptist church and I didn’t experience speaking in tongues. I never witnessed the gift of prophecy.  I didn’t recognize my talents were spiritual gifts from God. I’m sure yall won’t mind me keeping it 100%. I used to be scared to death when I’d see people speaking in tongues. I had no idea what was going on. My Grandmother took me to church with her and that was the first time I’d seen anyone speaking in tongues. It was weird to me but I didn’t ask any questions. I made it up in my mind that I wouldn’t be back. I felt much better in the comfort my home church. We didn’t do that, so I felt like speaking in tongues wasn’t normal. I can remember visiting a church and as people were being prayed for they were falling out and being covered up. Once again, I was clueless as to what that was or what it meant. There I was again, thinking like Uh-Uh, I won’t be back. It got to the point that I only felt comfortable in churches that operated the way my home church did. Talk about being closed-minded. If it didn’t look like what I was used to, I didn’t want it!

This is what sometimes happens when you give your life to Christ at an early age because it’s the thing to do.  Yes, I believed that Jesus died for our sins. Yes, I knew he rose from the dead with ALL power in his hands but there was so much more than that. As a child, going to church was just what we did. We got up on Sundays and we went to church. Church was a religious act. I was not building a personal relationship with God. Yes, I had my children’s bible and knew all about the biblical stories, but how did I know to apply it to my life as a child?? This is why I believe it’s extremely important that ministries today have a separate children’s ministry. I had Sunday school, Baptist training union, and vacation bible school those were the only things taught on my level. I rarely understood the message that was preached when I was younger. So I basically had a beginning foundation of the word of God even as I grew into adulthood.  The same with kids in school, if they have no clue what they are doing in class they generally check out. That’s what I did. I didn’t try to understand the word for myself nor did I ask questions. I could’ve but I didn’t. There is no blame, just becoming aware as to why I was a baby in Christ even though I had grown up in church all my life.

When God wants to get your attention, he takes you to places that are unfamiliar. He takes you out of your comfort zone. This is what happen when I moved to Georgia. I was in an unfamiliar place and began to experience a different church culture. Moving into a non-denominational church.  I was eager to learn the word instead of just simply getting up on Sunday going to church. I wanted to understand in order to build a better relationship with God. I desired to not only hear the word but LIVE the word. This is what the PROCESS looks like. Yes you can grow up in church your whole life, and you can go to church every Sunday because your parents made you go BUT you as a person have to become INTENTIONAL in building a relationship with GOD. As like with anything you want, you get out of it what you put in. The closer you desire to be to God the closer he will be to you! He waits on us with outstretched hands no matter how many times we fall. Ephesians 1:7-8 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence. This became clearer to me as I sought after God. The more I desired to learn the more I learned and the more he revealed to me.

I was very talented in many different areas as a child. My parents made sure I was active in church and extracurricular activities.  Looking back at all the talents from dancing, modeling, giving speeches, singing in the choir, and competing in beauty pageants God revealed those talents were spiritual gifts given to me by him. I had never taken a spiritual gifts assessment but the 1st time I did I was AMAZED! What I was learning was that God gave us this gifts not for US but to be used for his glory.  1st Corinthians 12:4-11 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b] 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

As I said before, the closer you get to God the closer he is with you.  Things were starting to be revealed to me. I used to complain about all the things my parents had me doing. It wasn’t only to preoccupy my time, these were gifts that would manifest to bring glory to God. It’s no coincidence that I can get up in front of crowds and speak with ease, it’s no coincidence that I can have a conversation with people from all walks of life. THAT WAS GOD’S PLAN! The word says in  Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Things that were unfamiliar and the same things I ran from are the same things I began to pray for. Listen, I meant what I said when I said I RAN from those speaking in tongues. It wasn’t until I began to read the word for myself and began to grow closer to God did I began to understand. Speaking in tongues was a universal language in the spirit. Acts 2:4  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.  Once I understood, I wanted to experience the spirit move in me the same way. Once again, I’m gone keep it real, even when I asked God to allow me to speak in tongues, I was still a tad bit nervous. I realized that I was still nervous because it wasn’t the norm for me. I had been conditioned one way for so long that it was going to take some getting used to. I had to totally relinquish my feelings and let go and let God. When you ask God for something he will give it to you so it’s extremely important to be ready for what you pray for.

I’m going to be very transparent. It wasn’t until over a year ago that I received a prophecy about my life. I understood the voice of God and I knew that I had the gift of discernment.  The closer my relationship to God grew the more I heard his voice. When I was prophesied to the first time I truly didn’t know what to think. I knew that there had to be a way that God would let me know if it was a true prophesy or not. I quickly learned after the prophecy that God sends confirmation. The confirmation would be through people, a message, or a sign. Hips N’ Lips did not start this blog as a ministry. We started this blog as a voice to reach the people and talk about our experiences as we often did. We never considered we would be used to touch God’s people. God revealed through prophecy that this blog was a spirit led KINGDOM blog. The very people we were told we would work with we happened to run into some of these very people within 2 days. IT BLEW US AWAY! We were in awe! The one person that prophesied to us has become a spiritual advisor and a sister to us. Our prayer was that we’d be divinely connected to people that God sent and that has happened numerous times. We learned to go to God in prayer about everything concerning Hips N’ Lips and our personal lives. Now we have also learned to not move and make decisions without going to God first but he is so dope that he continues to make sure we don’t fail.  The word declares there will need to be some form of confirmation to any prophecy.  I hear clearly from God on my own accord so I make sure to hear from him. 1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. Once again, YOU MUST be prepared to receive the very thing you pray for. I have witnessed unclean spirits being casted out and no longer was I afraid. The very thing I didn’t understand and ran from I was able to study and gain wisdom. The power and authority that God has was given to those he chose. I’m thankful to be a student being taught by the most HIGH! ELOHIM.  Luke 8:29 For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had seized him many times; and he was bound with chains and shackles and kept under guard, and yet he would break his bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.

I prayed to understand discernment, prophecy, speaking in tongues. John 14:13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. I was moved to share my insight because I know others that have shifted from Baptist to non-denominational. I understand that it can be tough to know what to believe and what not to believe. I encourage myself all the time to fact check the word. The word does not lie! I gave several scriptures, but it’s also good to read the passages in their entirety. This way, you get a total understanding of the message that is being relayed. I was conditioned by what was familiar versus what was in the word. Often times we get stuck because we choose to be comfortable. God does not operate in comfort. He is the master of the unknown. He teaches us and guides us through our faith. We must have faith and believe his word and he will show us the truth through miracles, signs, and wonders. Hebrews 2:4 God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will. Just because you didn’t grow up around it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. At the end of the day the most important thing is your personal relationship with God. You walk is with him not with religious practices. This is my personal opinion, I was used to doing things a certain way until I made the decision on my own to learn and understand. I was always worried about the judgement that would come from others in what I choose but I had to focus on what GOD said and not what people say. I had a good friend that told me she was not raised in church so it was easy for her to practice her spirituality freely. I was a tad bit jealous LOL. Just kidding. It did make a lot of sense to me. We cannot be consumed with what we grew up thinking. We have to know God for ourselves and not by what we were told.

Hips N’ Lips Dena

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