Tag Archives: fear

“Good Christian”

14 May
I have been meditating on the vertical nature of sin.
More to the point, our relationship to sin and to God and what this means to our outward walk. This has been so freeing and merciful at the same time. Removing years of false ideas of what it meant to be a “Good Christian”.
I have learned the meaning of why all sin is equal in God’s eyes.  Truly, I tell you this;  Any sin, big or small, is ultimately between us and God. Sin erodes our own relationship with Him, we drift apart from Him. When we drift from Him, we stop living within His beautiful, powerful, mercy-filled loved.
How can we walk like a saved, set free from our bondage to sin (meaning we are washed white as snow, because of Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection), be the expected “full of light” Christian without staying close to God, eyes on Him? We can’t. We just simply can’t.
When we look away we compare, we judge, the fruits of our relationship to Him, that connection grows dim. We begin to seek other God’s, or we think we are God, and that we control the outcomes; “Look, yes, we did this great thing!”  We try to settle our own scores, we put people in their place, we gossip or tell even the little white lies, we are unforgiving or mean spirited.  Do you see the truth? None  is a fruit of Him within our hearts, and it can’t dwell within the temple (our soul) because it only comes from our closeness to Him. Sadly, robbing us of His merciful gift of grace and peace. What I get hit with deep down, is the ultimate realization that what it really does is robs other’s of seeing the gift of a heart-wrenching, hope-filled, joy-filled beauty of a one on one relationship with Him, our amazing Father, Savior and healer.
It isn’t about being a “better” Christian, or a “good” Christian or a “wiser” Christian, or an evil sinner. It is about dying to self meaning staying eyes focused on Him, seeking after Him first rather than our own pride, hurt, desires, success, busyness, goals, workout, children, etc… Letting go of our own control and self appointed God status. Holier than thou!
Talk to Him. Just talk to Him constantly; About everything. You have no idea how many times I have started a conversation with God, finger pointed at someone who upset me, only to end up seeing how I can be more compassionate or I am also guilty of sin. He leads me, guides me back to humility, grace, acceptance and peace. Every single time. It’s quite powerful. It isn’t always fun, it isn’t always what I want to know, but it’s always true, it’s always good and it’s always healing.

Life hurts and people always mess up. It’s what we do, with or without Christ as our savior. Religion kept you thinking it was about the rules. It’s not! It’s about The Ruler! It isn’t about being “good” or “bad” it’s about being close to the one that gives you grace enough to heal, change, grow, forgive, love through pain and hope. Hope.

I pray to walk a walk that focuses on God, from sun-up til sun-down, to show the world the beauty of surrender. I thank my Father for the grace and mercy He gives because I never achieve that perfection. I pray for humility enough to always be transparent in my journey here, so you know, my heart truly seeks to share His love. My mind, the distractions, the hardships, the ego.. this ego! “My hurts, my offense, my truth, my peace, my wants, my success, my desires, “I deserve it.” Oh dear Lord, please don’t ever give me what I deserve! Please hear my gratitude for not giving me what I deserve, but loving me so much to give me grace I didn’t earn!

Christianity is anyone that believes that Jesus died on that cross and rose from the grave to set us free from our sin. Religion can start to add on to that, but the beginning of that is the truth. If your religion isn’t pointing you to God, to Christ, then it’s not accurate.  God’s word speaks loud and clear to me, and more so the more I spend time in it. He says this to be true. John 3:16.  Christ was born and died for you so you can have a way back to God, even through your sin nature. It’s the only way, because we just simply can’t earn it ourselves! Being saved never said we would never sin again. Seriously, the truth is, if that were true, we would just find a way to mess that up. We need Him always, daily, hourly, minute by minute!

Thank you God! for loving me, just as I am, right where I am at, sinful and goodness, blessed with my own unique gifts, all rolled up in one because of you and for you. Let me be the light that shines in this dark,crazy world. Let me see the finger before it points at others, let me stay close enough to you that I hear “stop, don’t say a word” before my tongue betrays us. Keep my enemy far from me, and give me eyes that see from a place of being so loved, so I can love.  Let me touch other’s by my walk to inspire them to want to know more about this amazing gift of your mercy and grace.  Let me always be humble enough to give you Glory Lord.  I am nothing without you.

 

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Who Has It

2 Feb
“In Your Name
There is truth where logic fails
Understanding that makes sense of our days
You Are Worthy” – Hillsong

As I prepare to lead a group of women through an amazing book about God’s attributes and power, (None Like Him by Jen Wilkin) I am humbled by many things.

First, I don’t have it all together. Second, I am struggling with not having all the answers. Third, I am still healing, ‘am I really ready to lead’?

These are my thoughts that Satan tries to mess me up with; Satan and my flesh convince me that I should have such a mature faith that I am not easily distracted by my struggles.

What this simply means is that I need him more than ever. No matter how mature in faith I become,the more I rely on Him, I will continue to need Him more.
The truth always win, when we seek Him, simply by worshiping Him in the midst of trial. My need for Him grows alongside of my growth in Him. Only He could make that so incredible.What an amazing moment of peace for me.

When we get too caught up in our own struggles, our own pain, our own journey; We need to remember who God is. We have to stop focusing on our circumstance, and ask Him to show Himself. “Who are You and what do You want me to dwell on”.  His word is a great place to start.
If we are going to walk in faith when logic fails us, when we can’t make sense of everything here, that is the precise moment that we need to remember who HE is.
Worship Him in the mystery. “There I find you in the mystery… Spirit lead me, where my trust is without borders” Hillsong
David in Psalm 42 cried out deeply from his depression, yet He  continues to worship God. Amen. There is such peace when we actually remember who He is and who we are not?Thank you Lord for never giving up on me.
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
Psalm 42:11 NIV
…Continue reading these gems: Such blessings. 
Trust in the Lord completely,and do not rely on your own opinions.With all your heart rely on him to guide you,and he will lead you in every decision you make.Become intimate with him in whatever you do,and he will lead you wherever you go.[b]Don’t think for a moment that you know it all,[c] for wisdom comes when you adore him with undivided devotion and avoid everything that’s wrong.Then you will find the healing refreshment your body and spirit long for.
Proverbs 3:5-8 TPT
 
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.[a]
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones. Proverbs 3:5-8
 
 
 
I long to drink of you, O God,
drinking deeply from the streams of pleasure
flowing from your presence.
My longings overwhelm me for more of you![c]
My soul thirsts, pants, and longs for the living God.
I want to come and see the face of God.
Day and night my tears keep falling
and my heart keeps crying for your help
while my enemies mock me over and over, saying,
“Where is this God of yours? Why doesn’t he help you?”
So I speak over my heartbroken soul,
“Take courage. Remember when you used to be
right out front leading the procession of praise
when the great crowd of worshipers
gathered to go into the presence of the Lord?
You shouted with joy as the sound of passionate celebration
filled the air and the joyous multitude of lovers
honored the festival of the Lord!”
So then, my soul, why would you be depressed?
Why would you sink into despair?
Just keep hoping and waiting on God, your Savior.
For no matter what, I will still sing with praise,
for living before his face is my saving grace!
Here I am depressed and downcast.
Yet I will still remember you as I ponder the place
where your glory streams down from the mighty mountaintops, lofty and majestic—the mountains of your awesome presence.[d]
My deep need calls out to the deep kindness of your love.
Your waterfall of weeping sent waves of sorrow
over my soul, carrying me away,
cascading over me like a thundering cataract.
Yet all day long God’s promises of love pour over me.
Through the night I sing his songs,
for my prayer to God has become my life.
I will say to God, “You are my mountain of strength;
how could you forget me?
Why must I suffer this vile oppression of my enemies—
these heartless tormentors who are out to kill me?”
Their wounding words pierce my heart
over and over while they say,
“Where is this God of yours?”
So I say to my soul,
“Don’t be discouraged. Don’t be disturbed.
For I know my God will break through for me.”
Then I’ll have plenty of reasons to praise him all over again.
Yes, living before his face is my saving grace! Psalm 42 TPT

Take Heart

19 Jun

There is a line in the movie “The Shack” that I really liked.  “Papa” is explaining what grace and trust look like when evil harms us; In those circumstances that we are collateral damage when someone’s free will results in grave sin.  “I am not asking you to excuse what he did. I am asking you to trust me to do what’s right and to know what’s best.”  He means inspite of what we see.  Forgive and trust God in all circumstances.

He knows our storms. He knows our sin and He knows the sins done against us. He is beside us, faithful, even when we can’t feel Him.

Faith is like a muscle. In our good times, our faith may not be getting a work out. Our gratitude may be strong, our worship may be strong but our faith truly is only tested in our trials.  Endurance is for the long term. Is faith really faith when the minute it gets painful, we fall apart?

Romans 5:3 tells us that our trials, through persevering, strengthens our character and builds us up in Hope.

He knows our circumstances and he knows our relationships. He knows where we are overwhelmed by the storms, uncertain how to navigate our way through. In Matthew 14:27 he says to Peter “Take heart; It is I. Do not be afraid”.   It is the middle of a storm, and the seas are raging, the disciples see the impossible, Jesus on the water. Peter, though he only had a small amount of faith, and probably a good dose of fear in that moment, was willing to trust and get out of the boat and walk to Jesus. “Lord if it is you, command me to come to you on the water: Jesus said “Come”.

Faith like that, faith that says “ok Lord, I am overwhelmed by the storms of my life right now, I long for answers that don’t come quickly.  I struggle to let go of the resolutions I planned for the outcomes you have planned. Lord, hold your hand out to me, help me find my way safely, and I will step out in faith”

How confident we can be friends, that He is there in the storms. In him we can find our peace, our hope, our courage. We can cry out “Father, our little faith can let us step out of our terror, even in the midst of storm, and walk on the water with you. You ask us to trust you, to take courage in you, in your presence, even when we don’t feel you near. You help us walk on the water in the storm.”

It is then that we find what cannot be found anywhere else. Peace that surpasses all understanding. Calm that belies the storms. Hope that even if it isn’t what WE planned, we know it will lead us to the exact place to bless us and to bless other’s with.

Lord you are just that amazing and good. Us of little faith, seek you and find you when we seek you with all of our hearts. Imperfect, scared to death, hurting and lacking in grace and mercy for other’s and for ourselves. We find perfect peace in all of that, the storms that this world brings.

Thank you, Father, for never letting me drown in this storm. Thank you for giving me the courage of Peter to step out in faith I don’t always feel!

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Matthew 14:27

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.Jeremiah 29:13

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b]boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:1-4

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phillippians 4:7

 

The Truth Sets You Free

27 May

We battle with this world on a constant basis; we war with one another, we war with ourselves, we even war with God, at times. The very basis of truth in that is this: we only have one enemy, our war is with Satan.

We are victorious in Christ.

I am so far from perfect, God knows this! His forbearance of my stumbles has set the example for me to bear all things from those around me! It is a constant decision I have to make, and don’t always, obviously. In my short marriage, I learned to focus on grace and seeing the parts of my husband that were wonderful in order to not betray, reject or abandon him. Forgiveness and Grace are only possible by submitting and seeing the greater purpose, God.

In order for my husband to betray me and bring an end to our brief marriage, he had to to tune out the voice of God and believe the lies Satan told him. He had to hear Satan tell him to focus on the parts of me and our marriage that weren’t perfect. He had to, in order to betray, reject and abandon me. When we don’t fully understand our own own salvation, or how to even embrace Grace and Mercy, we simply are too vulnerable.  That is Satan, and he will follow it up with “life is too short to be unhappy”.  People don’t make us unhappy, we allow Satan to do that to us, for us and with us.

“From Lead like Jesus:Fear and Pride always separates us from God, from one another and even from ourselves. “ (EGO= Edge God Out) 

I read an article about the Lake of Fire. Revelations is a bit daunting to me, I become a bit frightened sometimes, reading it. As a sinner that struggles to trust in Jesus, Satan can seriously mess with me with that! I can go down the rabbit hole and question, am I truly saved?  Oh God, how I fear for those that walked away and rejected Him. What about those that don’t even know what is to come?  The second death of being thrown into the sea of fire, is so frightening. Thank you Lord for Grace! Please Lord, let me be an instrument of your message of hope to save people from that death!

“What hope have we for deliverance from the “second death” if not the suffering of its pains, in our place, by the Son of God? If I receive the “crown of life”, which I don’t deserve, in place of the “lake of fire”, which I do deserve, it can only be for one reason: Jesus Christ,” Rick Warren

We are not going to be thrown in to the fire because we do things wrong! We will be thrown in because we refused to believe we have been saved from the fire by Christ!

I completely believe that that mustard seed of faith is as important as my deep end of the pool is.  My deep end comes with far more expectations than an un-awakened believer or sadly, the Christian seeking redemption through rules and judgement’s of who is and who isn’t doing it right!  But, even in the deep end, I am vulnerable, I allow Satan to mess with my mind!

God doesn’t demand order, he puts the chaos into order, because we can’t. We are constant chaos.  We are so double-minded, we lie to ourselves constantly. We get tossed about.

Who among us, truly, is so focused on Heaven, that this world never causes us distress. Who is so strong in their faith that they never battle with Satan and his lies. Who? Not one of us. Some have heard so much untruth in our early lives, we were so hurt, we truly don’t know how to not believe the lies. It is far more difficult to believe we are so incredibly loved and forgiven by a perfect God, than to believe we are not worthy by a lying enemy.

Christ was tempted. He can understand our hardships and weakness because He experienced it here. He went through horrible trials, temptation, and battles. He was perfect, victorious, every single time as an example.  I see the written word of how Christ walked this world, not as the hopeful example of how I should walk, (which my whole journey leads me down that path, but never to perfection) but the submission to the one so strong and perfect that He was able to save me from my weakness and imperfection. From that perspective, I am stronger, more powerful, because He lives in me. Satan has no hold. I can’t, but Christ can.

If we don’t fully understand the Power of the Cross, the grace and mercy that comes with that, we are powerless to give it to others. Worse yet, if we don’t understand that we are saved from the lake of fire, how can we be? It is the basis for forgiveness. If we truly believe God has forgiven us for being sinners, we can forgive others. That is faith! That is obedience.

Faith is the root, the need and the core of every bit of our walk.  We are all sinful. It is horrible to me to see the depth of suffering that is to come for those that don’t believe. There are life long Christians that have not understood the power of surrender, that see obedience as a way of living, rather than a way of submitting and surrendering, they have only a mustard seed, or maybe they don’t even have that! Hope for it to be truth is submission in its own right. Doubt that the cross was enough for everyone, is not faith at all.

The wisdom of King Solomon pours out from the pages, but at the end of the day this is his summary of our purpose.

13 That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. 14 God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad. –Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Jesus said…Thou shalt love the Lord they God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[g] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.[h]

They come to the light. They see that their actions are sinful and they need a savior. They turn to Jesus to rescue them, to save them from eternal judgement while they are still sinners! They aren’t perfect, they are humbled and worshipful. They fear God and seek to love others enough to help them to see their need for Christ. The light, The hope.

Paul tells us this truth!

 There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1).

Those of us that put all of our hope in Christ, know that this world is short and the second death will come one day. Heaven is our hope! This world hurts! I can’t wait to be in the presence of Christ and to dwell in HIS house forever.

As long as I walk this world, I will need Christ and I will sin. I will stumble, I will fall, I will continually need to cry out to him in trials and need to praise Him for His blessings. I am just a mere mortal. I am weak, He is strong.  But God! I am made strong in Him.

I will never stop praying for those that can’t seem to find Him because they can’t seem to let go of self hatred. Stop trying to run from your sins, lie about your sins or even suffer or pay for your sins. Simply just tell him the truth! Simply surrender that you are sinful, that you are weak, that you can’t do it yourself and humbly ask Jesus to help you. Then… you believe you are saved. You then can stop listening to the lies that you are too far gone for God to simply forget your sins. When you ask Him to forgive you, believe that He does! Because He does!

There is not one single good church,good pastor or humbled christian that doesn’t welcome your honest questions, nor will they judge you for your sins. They will give you guidance and hope.

32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”John 8:32