Wednesday, November 7, 2012

For such a time as...Politics?

During this election cycle I decided I wouldn't engage in the ongoing political discussion on Facebook  but after seeing some of the posts today I feel compelled to respond. It deeply saddens me to see fellow Christians doubting the sovereignty of God because of the outcome of this election. We were never promised everything would work out for us. Think back for a second to the Israelites...was everything all hunky-dory for them? No! Yes, God brought them out of slavery, but He also led them into captivity. If you believe in a sovereign God then you believe He ordains the "good" stuff along with the "bad" stuff. You can't take one without the other. I think we, as followers of Christ, have a beautiful opportunity (no matter your political affiliation). We have the opportunity to stand up and answer the call God has placed on our lives to reach others for Christ. I heard on the news last night this country is less religious now than before. That's not a political problem y'all! That's a church problem! God called us to go and make disciples of all nations, not a politician. He called us to take care of the poor, the orphaned and the widowed, not a politician.  It doesn't matter who the president is, our calling remains the same.

So I urge you, please do not seek to find an identity in a political candidate (no matter which one), if you are a follower of Christ then your identity is IN Christ! And you can rest assured that God works ALL things for OUR good and HIS glory! Our hope is not in the present but in the future glories God has promised that have yet to be revealed! Our hope is eternal, founded in the One who WAS, IS, and YET to come.

 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Romans 8:22-25

Saturday, September 29, 2012

You just know..

When do you know it's time to answer the call? When do you know it's time to make the change? Is it one of those things where you just know? Those things have always frustrated me. You know? You ask someone a questions and they're like oh "you'll just know when the time is right." What if you don't know, though? What if you're one of those people who has a really hard time knowing when you know. Does that make sense? 

Well I feel like I'm one of those people. I've always struggled with the whole "you'll just know moment." But, lately I feel like I'm right on the edge of the knowing. I'm getting restless. I'm feeling maybe God is preparing me for something. All the struggles and disappointments I've experienced are getting me ready for something, maybe something big maybe something small. I don't know, but I don't want to miss it. Have you ever had that fear? Like God has been preparing you for something and you know it but then all of a sudden the satan gets all up in your grill putting doubt in your mind. Doubt that says you won't know it when it happens or doubt that says you're not as close to God as you think you are. That doubt is scary and it makes me think I don't know. So when people say "oh you'll just know" I think will I? How will I know I know? You know? I begin to question God whether or not I am actually capable of doing whatever it is he wants me to do. When I finally shut up long enough to listen to God I am reminded that he will not leave me hanging, as so many people have done to me in the past. He's not in the business of calling people and then hanging them out to dry. He's in the business of building us up to fulfill his mission. You are where you are for a specific reason and purpose even if it is unpleasant. He will use everything for His glory. He has not forgotten about you or deserted you. And when it is time to answer his call you will know. There will be no doubt in your heart or mind. He will lay out the path before you. 

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us[a] that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 12:20-22

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

One Day at a Time

Wow, it's been quite some time since my last blog post. I could make a thousand excuses as to why my life got busy, but let's be honest, everyone gets busy and certain things fall by the wayside and that's what happened. My blog fell by the wayside, but no more I say! When God calls us to something He means it. He doesn't just mean for us to do it when we have time to do it, He means for us to make it a priority. So often I find myself letting the things God's called me to be the things I let slide. Other things become more important, and it's usually not frivolous things. It's things like school work and house work; things that I can easily justify to myself as important, but are they more important than the spiritual state of my soul?? I don't think so. The eternal state of our soul is the most important and it is only through a relationship with Jesus Christ that promises us eternity in heaven keyword being relationship. A relationship involves two people interacting with and communicating with each other on a regular basis. It usually involves both people giving and both people taking, but what is utterly amazing about our relationship with Jesus is that He gave the ultimate So why do I not want to constantly be giving everything back to him? Because I'm human and I'm selfish. I'll be honest. In my relationship with Jesus I like to take what He gives, but when it comes to giving up everything to Him...yeah not so much. But when I fail He doesn't take anything away. He's always there to pick me back up. Every. Single. Time. I want to give up everything to Him. He deserves everything I have. And it is a daily struggle to wake up and decide to hand it all over to Him. If you happen to struggle with the same thing don't be discouraged and don't dwell on all the times you failed. Decide today that things will be different and take it one day at a time, spending time in the word and prayer, asking God for help. This is not something that can be done on human strength alone. We are inadequate and when left to our own devices we always come up short, but with God ALL THINGS are possible.

I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Lover of My Soul

Searching around on my Nook looking for something new to read I discovered a book I had downloaded over a year ago, a book my mom has been reading and continuously telling me how awesome it is. Little did I know I already had the very book she has been raving about! The book is by A.W. Tozer and it's called The Pursuit of God, and trust me when I tell you it will transform your heart and the relationship you have with God, and I'm only on chapter 2! It has already challenged the way I define the relationship I have with my heavenly Father. We are not so far removed from God as we think. Tozer stresses that we are made in God's image, we are little what God is big. I have heard this phrase many times, but it's only been recently that it has truly rocked my world. Another way to think about it is God took a little bit of himself and made us with it. How incredible! So that means when I pursue God, and seek to understand who He is I will in turn understand who I am in Him because I am made in His image. Did you get all that? Pretty crazy stuff right? Crazy and life changing! God is not a far away being, disconnected from our everyday lives, no He is all up in the middle. God is a person with a personality, and whose personality we were made in the image of. So it would make sense for us to have a deep longing for God and constantly pursue Him in all that we do, but we don't. Why not? For me, I think it's because I get caught up in my routine and I get caught up in all the "what I'm supposed to do's" that I forget this is a relationship and relationships aren't made up of checklists. Relationships become rich and meaningful when the people in the relationship spend quality time together and pursue one another seeking to know the person on the deepest of levels. God desires that for us. He has already done the ultimate pursuit by sending His only son, Jesus Christ, to take our place and repair the relationship we initially rejected. That's how much God wants to be in relationship with us! So I resolve to no longer have a relationship with God made up of my Christian checklist, but it will be a relationship in which I pursue Him on the deepest of levels and seek to know Him inside and out, all the time realizing that I will not fully know until the day I see Him face to face. I desire for the following words to be my prayer, let them be yours too.

Jesus, Lover of my soul,
Jesus, I will never let you go
You’ve taken me from the miry clay
You've set my feet upon the Rock, and now I know

I love you, I need you,
Though my world may fall, I’ll never let you go
My Saviour, my closest friend,
I will worship you until the very end

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Finding Contentment in Restlessness

Is it possible to find contentment in the midst of feeling restless? I believe the answer is yes and I know this because I have been able to find it. Spiritually I am experiencing a season of restlessness. I am realizing that I have made decisions about my life without consulting  God first and I am now beginning to experience the consequence, restlessness. At the time I felt like I was making the right decision for me, but I wasn't asking the most important question, is this was God desires for me? I was basing my decision on whether or not it was what I wanted and as mentioned in one of my previous posts God knows what's best for me more than I do. It is a sobering experience to realize that you really can't run from a calling God placed on your life so many years matter how hard you try.

One summer at GA (Girls in Action) camp, when I was about 10 or 11, I felt a very distinct pull on my heart towards ministry. I didn't know what that really meant, but I remember vividly sharing that calling with my mom on the car ride home from camp. It was a moving experience and I know without a shadow of a doubt it was from God, but the unfortunate thing was, I left that calling at camp. Instead of pursuing that calling through out my life and figuring out how God was going to use that I forgot about it, and moved on. Every now and then it would creep back up into my heart but I would do a pretty good job of talking myself out of it, telling myself, "there's no way I could discern a calling from God at 10 years old." And you know what, that's putting limitations on God, and we know God can very well do whatever he pleases and if he chose to reveal himself to a 10 year old who am I to say he can't? So now what? What do I do after I've run from this for so many years?

Well, I could mope and wallow in self-pity, saying "woe is me" but I have nothing to mope about. Am I feeling restless? Yes! BUT, I can make the choice today to pursue the calling God placed on my 10 year old heart so many years ago. Praise God we get more than one chance! This season of restlessness is causing me to spend more time in God's word and I am desiring to know God deeper and become more in tune with him. I am reminded that when I am weak then I am really strong and God continues to remind me that it is all in his timing, and even though I am restless I can find contentment because my God is sovereign and in control of my WHOLE life. So be encouraged! Do not get down if you realize you have been running from the true calling God has placed on your life. Instead, run even faster back to him, for he is EAGERLY waiting for you with open arms. Even in the midst of restlessness your Heavenly Father can bring you rest.

"Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving." Colossians 4:2

Thursday, August 9, 2012

For such a time of...CONFRONTATION

Confrontation. Eww, even typing the word makes me anxious! I don't know many people who actually enjoy confronting someone when they feel they have been wronged or upset, unless they just like confrontation for the sake of confrontation. And if that's the case there may be some other issues going on, but that's beside the point. Let's talk about confrontation. I for one do not enjoy confrontation. In fact I am notorious for avoiding it! It's uncomfortable, sometimes there's crying involved and you don't always leave the conversation with warm fuzzies, and I'm a pretty big fan of warm fuzzies. BUT I am constantly reminded during my quiet times that this life will be hard and I won't get my infinite amounts of warm fuzzies until I'm spending eternity with my heavenly father. So that means during this life I will have to confront others who have hurt me and I will also experience confrontation from people who feel I have hurt them and it's not going to be fun. Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:15, "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother." Well, this is one of those times where Jesus just gets straight to the point. This instruction is very clear. If we're hurt, go to the person who did the hurting, end of story. Don't wait around. Don't harbor the feelings, because when you do that the hurt builds and builds until one day it explodes (I'm speaking from first hand experience). So I ask myself, why is it so hard? Am I the only one who feels this way? This is something I struggle with on a daily basis, and I have a tendency to over analyze situations, well tendency is probably an understatement, and that doesn't make my relationship with confrontation any better. Usually, by the end of my over-analyzation (I think I just invented a word) I've made the issue WAY bigger than it was, which you know is no good. So what now? I've decided to turn it over to you!

What about you? Is confrontation hard for you? What do you do to prepare for confronting someone? Is it more difficult to confront those people closest to you, like family? Are there particular verses you always go to that provide comfort or support? Do you over analyze? How do you combat your tendency to over analyze? I know these are a lot of questions, but I really want to hear your thoughts! So go ahead, comment away! :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Do you pray for patience?

Lately for my quiet times I've been reading through Oswald's Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest and something I read this week really hit me. He talked about how so many times as Christians we don't want to experience adversity or hardships even though Jesus promises over and over that we don't have to be afraid for he has overcome this life. (John 16:33). He then went on to say that adversity is necessary. Say what? That's right. Adversity is necessary. Adversity builds endurance and endurance is necessary to the Christian life. And not only is endurance necessary it is rewarded! James 1:12 says, "God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." Wait a minute, did he just say God blesses those who patiently endure testing? World officially rocked. Why haven't I been praying for patience all along?? The answer to that questions is easy, fear. I knew that if I asked God for patience he wouldn't just give it to me. That's not how he works. I knew he would give me experiences that would test my patience and that's not something I was too excited about. He has revealed to me, though, that patience is necessary because when we are able to endure adversity with steadfastness then we are exhibiting the very nature of Jesus Christ. Our savior endured adversity, and endured adversity without complaining. He willingly accepted the plan for his life, remained steadfast and God glorified him! He has promised the same for us, but in order learn how to patiently endure testing and trials we must practice, and then practice some more.  But we don't have to be afraid, because God promises to be there every step of the way, and we have a savior who has experienced every trial and temptation and overcome them! So I encourage you, pray for patience! It won't be easy, but God will do an amazing work when we allow him to work in our lives!

 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy[a] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." Matthew 7:13-14