Posts tagged ‘Faithfulness’

August 15, 2011

Sweet Freedom

It’s been one year since this journey began.  With the exception of the past two months, I’ve surprised myself that I’ve been able to keep this blog up and running. I sat down multiple times over the past two months and tried to write but the blinking cursor just stared at me – almost mocking me. What did I have worth saying? Nothing.

Last year was riddled with the question, why? Why me? Why now? Why not? And why God?

But today, I’ve been able to look back at the past year and finally see some answers.

If my world had not fallen apart, I would not have come to trust God more fully. I saw my faith and it was weak.  I had to live what I had claimed as true and I’ll be honest friends…

 It. Was. Hard.

In fact, on three separate occasions I seriously considered turning and walking away.  (Does that make me Peter? – Kidding) I can’t tell you how scared that made me. Yikes. But PRAISE GOD He didn’t let me. Oh sweet Jesus thank you.

But this made me realize my depravity and then that I was living by works. (We know that doesn’t work well.) I was exhausted. I couldn’t do it anymore. I stepped out of ministry and out of a community I loved so deeply because I couldn’t separate “doing” from authentic faith. It hurt. I didn’t know who I was if I was not a “leader” or a “servant.” And without those things, I didn’t know how to see my faith or God.

How do good things get in the way of the best things? I had to return to the basics.

Why didn’t I understand that Christ’s blood was for me? How desperately I needed his grace! I had prided myself in being a Christian for twenty something years and serving in various capacities but how had I missed the fact that no matter how hard I tried to become perfect I would never be able to measure up and how much I needed Jesus’ precious blood to cover me.

So I gave in.

I’m letting His blood wash over me. Hallelujah!

I’m free.

I’m free.

I’m free.

Thank you dear Jesus for not giving up on us. I can’t wait to see what next year will hold.

Isaiah 41: 9-10 …”’You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”

 

May 8, 2011

In Due Time

My pastor gave an amazing sermon today. He preached on 1 Samuel 1 – where Hannah fasted and prayed for a child. She probably prayed a hundred prayers and implored God to move. I can identify with Hannah – I’m sure many of you can too. Do you ever feel like you pray a prayer a thousand times and when you say “amen” you wonder if you were even heard?

Well, He heard you. I promise you, He did.

1 Samuel 1:20 says, “and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said ‘I asked the Lord for him.’”

You see, God hears our prayers. He’s just waiting for the right time to reveal his plan.  

This past year I have personally wrestled through letting go of my plan and seeking the Lord’s direction with my life. For an entire year (if not more) I’ve wondered why every step I’ve tried to take has failed and have felt stuck.

Has this ever happened to you?

But what happens when He calls? Are you ready? When your number is drawn and you’re asked to fight, or assigned an unexpected challenge can you do it?

God has given me Joshua 1:9 as my battle cry.

Joshua 1:9 “This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

We are commanded to have courage and to be strong. Whether we are waiting in our current circumstances and yearning to hear God’s voice or direction or if after a season of quiet, you are quickly given a challenge – we must rely on Him. He is with us always.

In due time He will reveal himself. We can trust that.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

January 11, 2011

Sweet Dreams?

Harnessing our thought life can be difficult, but if we take a step back and examine our thought life we may realize how it impacts our outward demeanor and our feelings of contentment. Discipline in our thought life should not escape our notice.

Author, Alicia Britt Chloe wrote the following:

“Watching children exercise their imaginations to picture themselves as mommies, doctors, or astronauts is delightful; we call it playful pretending. As adults, though there is a difference between using our imaginations to build a better tomorrow (being visionary) and mentally self-medicating through self-aggrandizing daydreams.

Disciplining our imaginations can be an enormous challenge especially when we perceive ourselves as deprived of affirmation, attention, or acceptance. But in those seasons – perhaps even more so than in applauded seasons of influence – it is absolutely critical that we not live out in our thoughts what we know we should not live out in our lives. The principle we examined in layer one (when tempted by immediate gratification of our appetites) is still true in layer two (when tempted in our thoughts by the attention and awe of mankind): we will reap what we sow, even in our minds (see Galatians 6:7-8).

For example, consider a new parent drowning in diapers who daydreams about freedom and time he would have if he were still single or childless…who wakes up with less patience and more resentment toward his spouse and children. Or a woman lost in daydreams of being swept away by an attractive Prince Charming…who wakes up, rolls over, and wonders why her husband is looking more and more like a frog. Or a young professional smiling, lost in a daydream about high-profile companies fighting over him with ever-increasing pay scales and benefits…who wakes up somehow less satisfied and motivated in his current job.” Anonymous: Jesus’ Hidden Years And Yours, p.121-122

Do you find yourself struggling with contentment? Wishing for the next best thing? A new job? A better financial situation? Do you crave the applause or attention of those around you? Cast it aside. Focus on what is true (Philippians 4:8) and what God has laid out for you today. Trust God to provide for all your tomorrows and hold your hopes and dreams. But do not lose focus on what He has given you today because it is a unique gift.  Even in your times of struggle, God is giving you the opportunity to lay the foundation of your character and trust in him. Ultimately, do you trust him? Yes? Then focus on today. He has already been to your future and He has given you your present situation – so be faithful to pay attention to it and do as he leads. Just as the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), God desires us to be faithful and utilize what he has given us. If we are always dreaming, wishing, and hoping for the next thing – we miss the opportunity he has given us today. We lose contentment and fail to see the goodness of God. And we wonder how we got stuck? Hmm…

 

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