Looking for a Political Savior….

Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall…. (Lk 11:17). 

I love it when my husband and I are on the same page. Unity in any kind of relationship is a beautiful thing. Whenever communication breaks down and we start to make assumptions or lean into our misunderstandings of what that person means it never goes well. It always destroys our unity with one another. 

It takes active listening for us both to stay unified with one another. It means we must ask questions, wait for the answer and maybe even ask a few more questions for clarification. Just to make sure we fully understand the other person and don’t start following the wrong narrative in our lives. 

It’s easy for me to follow the wrong narrative. To get caught up in some story that just isn’t true. A story weaved by demonic forces, that seek to destroy the good things in my life. 

I can’t help but that think our world today has gotten ahold of the wrong narrative. Our hearts and minds become so easily swayed by the next big news story. Keeping us from resting in what really matters. 

You see, Israel was looking for a political savior, someone like David who would overthrow Rome and put the Jews back in power. Instead, they got Jesus, a conquering king who came not with the sword, but with love, grace, and forgiveness. He came to destroy the dividing wall of hostility between Jew and Gentle. At every turn, He spoke life into the oppressed and sought to restore the humanness inside of each person that society tried to destroy. Women, Samaritans, lepers….the list goes on and on. 

Because of this, many Jews missed the Messiah. Simply because they kept holding onto the narrative that Jesus needed to be a political savior. I wonder what would happen in our world if we stopped placing so much of our time, heart and energy on the next big news story and instead on pursuing the words, heart, and ministry of the Messiah, Jesus? 

His heart is the only thing that can change the narrative and restore unity. It’s the only thing that can save our world from the destruction we constantly find ourselves in. So today, I’m choosing to hold fast to the reality that Jesus changes everything, including my stubborn and often rebellious heart. So dear friend, we have to stop creating for ourselves political, ethnic, and racial camps, only furthering us from one another but let us hold fast to a man born in Bethlehem who came to redeem the whole world from their sins. A man who supersedes class, race, and ethnicity brings all people together through His love. 

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Father, I am heartbroken over the reality that our country and the world find itself in. Help us, Father, to hold fast to you, and maybe we become unified because we have given ourselves over fully to you, in Jesus name, Amen.

Earth-Shattering Moments

The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”… (Matt 7:27).

Life is full of earth-shattering moments, isn’t it? Moments and seasons of deep humbling and catastrophic change. A parent who loses a child. A spouse whose addictions ruin one relationship after another. A job change. A marriage lost. A teen who becomes pregnant. 

With every life-altering moment comes an opportunity for growth and change. Without that opportunity, we’d be left to wallow in our shattered moments, but thankfully, even in the darkest of seasons, there is always hope. 

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What I have learned in these moments is that where I find myself is really not the issue. Sometimes life throws us in unexpected places. It’s who I find myself with that matters. If I am standing with God on the foundation of Christ, who is my life, then no matter where life takes me, I can stand tall with hope. Knowing that God will be writing something beautiful with my story as I place my hope in Him. 

So, if your life keeps becoming shattered and you feel less and less whole and more and more broken you may not be allowing God to build your life on HIs firm foundation. Truly, He is a mighty healer. As we place our faith in Him, He grows us into something brand new, so that the world might see Christ being build up in us. 

Lord, thank you for your loving grace. Truly, it is more than enough. It changes us. Be our sustaining grace now as we live our lives fully and completely surrendered to you, in Jesus name, Amen.

Waiting With God

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice… (Eph 4:31). 

Have you ever wondered why God keeps walking you down a similar road? I have and for that reason, I’m paying closer attention.

I think what I’m learning is that God walks us down these similar paths because, quite frankly, we asked for it. I don’t mean that dismissively. After all, as Christians, haven’t we asked Him to make us more like His Son? Is it possible that the only way for us to be like Him is to walk down similar paths so that we might finally pass the test?

As I’m reflecting more and more on this journey that I’m walking I see just how much I messed up the true meaning of the previous ones. Of how I missed out on certain areas of my life that needed to grow because, quite honestly, I got bitter and angry. However, this time, in the midst of the raging seas I saw the Lord reveal this truth to me and I made a different choice. Now that I’ve done that, it feels like something in my Spirit has been set free and I’m not just talking something small. I feel a radical shift inside my heart and my mind.

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It’s as if the Lord took years of bent up brokenness and pride and broke it. Now, this time, I’m not getting mad at the circumstances around me, but I’m choosing instead to praise the one who brings the rain. Beloved, I’m telling. you, if you want to grow, walk with God through the valley and make a different choice. Choose to bless and praise God in all things and watch Him set you free from areas in your life that you’d been held captive by for years.

One thing that I’m reminding myself is that I’m not just waiting on God to show up in my life, no, I’m waiting with God. There’s a huge difference. We might envision ourselves just sitting here, waiting for God to bring us the blessing, but I think what God is showing me is that what we should actually be doing is waiting with Him and when He’s ready, we’ll walk together into the next blessing. Until that time, we must wait patiently with Him in the midst of whatever life might bring our way. Truly, as we do we find that in all things, He is our greatest blessing, to begin with.

Lord, thank you for changing me. Thank you for growing seasons. You are so good and I trust you, in Jesus name, Amen.

 

In Seasons Of Waiting

He sent out his word and healed them… (Ps 107:20).

Has God ever put you in a season of waiting? I’ve not been very good, in the past at waiting. I’m a get it done kind of person. If I’m not producing I feel as though I lack purpose and worth. In the midst of present circumstances, this feels all the more real to me.
 
I think God puts us in seasons of waiting to teach us something new about Himself. It’s part of the next steps in our lives as He prepares us for the journey ahead. He did it with David, Joseph, Ruth, and even His own Son, so why would he not now do it with us also?
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I am learning, in seasons of waiting the purpose of them is or own our personal refinement and healing. It’s a bit presumptuous to think that we don’t need seasons like this. Seasons of waiting and healing. Seasons where we get sidelined for a bit so that God can make something new out of something old inside of us.
 
What the human heart needs in seasons of waiting is to hear from God. Truly, His word heals the hurting soul. It can encourage and inspire, convict, and bring great joy to us, even in seasons of waiting. So if you find yourself in a season of waiting don’t run from it or feel ashamed by it. Embrace it as a gift from your Heavenly Father who is making you new.
 
Lord, thank you for these seasons of waiting. Thank you for being my teacher. For growing and changing me to be more like you. I long to be more like you, I pray, in Jesus name, Amen.

His Fullness….in You

Christ in you, the hope of glory….(Col 1:27).

You and I have something that is beyond any treasure we could ever hold within our hands that lives inside of us if we know the Lord Jesus Christ as master and savior. Truly, it is the fullness of God that dwells inside of us through the resurrection. It is the Holy Spirit of God. His love, grace, goodness, and power.
 
Some days I forget just how powerful that fullness is inside of me. Truly, it is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead that lives inside of me. It is the working of God’s grace through the resurrected Christ that empowers me to live differently.
 
I don’t want others to get little scraps of God’s grace because I’m feeding the wrong things inside of me. I want them to receive all the fullness of the love of God that lives inside of me. When I own and recognize His goodness I can live through that power and others can taste and see that the Lord is good.
 
If there is one truth that I must live in today it’s that I am not just a new creation, but I am full of God’s power. This offers me the same power that Jesus had to forgive others. The same power Joshua had as he marched courageously around Jericho and the same power Mary had as she steps forward in faith and into God’s destiny for her life.
 
Friends don’t live in defeat. You don’t serve a God who is defeated and if He lives inside of you than you serve a good of victory and that is what He offers you through His love that lives inside of you today.
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Lord, I have the risen Christ inside of me. This is such a gift. Thank you for filling me with your Holy Spirit. I want to live in that love today so that the world might taste and see your goodness, grace, love, and courage in me, in Jesus name, Amen.

Don’t Run From Your Grief

Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,

so great is his unfailing love….(La 3:32).

It is good and necessary to allow yourself to feel and grieve the depth of your sadness. Stuffing it down only keeps it from properly working its way up and through your heart into the healing embrace of God.
 
God always meets with us in the depth of our tears and grief. He is never far from us in those moments when we allow ourselves to feel the pain of what we have lost. In fact, He is ever near in those moments. Just as Jesus wept with Mary and Martha over the death of their brother Lazarus I believe that He too weeps with us in the midst of our losses.
 
Don’t allow the enemy to speak words of defeat and shame into your life. Don’t let him tell you that your grieving makes you weak or that God is disappointed in you because you’re dealing with sadness or maybe even some anger over your situation. Allow yourself to walk with God in the process of your grieving so that you might find His hand holding you up as you walk with Him through the valley and onto the next chapter in your story.
 
There are some chapters I’d never want to relive. They are painful chapters, full of loss, grief, and sadness, but there are also other chapters full of life and peace. Even in those dark chapters there were good parts of my story being written. Those are the moments I’m pressing into as I recall the goodness of God in my life in seasons of loss.
 
Grief has a funny way of joining us throughout the day. Something is triggered and we can either bury our grief and not allow ourselves to feel the pain and weight of it or we can bring it up to the surface and allow God and others to help us carry the weight of it. Because, if you’re been like me, you’ve fought back tears that just kept flowing because you were embarrassed over your grief.
 
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Allow yourself space and time to not be OK. It does not mean that you’re weak or less of a Christian. It just means that you’re human. A human being who is on their way to the city of hope, where the resurrected Christ awaits HIs children. Until that day we will suffer much trouble, but in our grieving He is good and in our dryness He brings steams of living water for the soul that continues to thirst for Him.
 
Lord, you are so good. You have never left me or disappointed me. You always make streams in the wilderness and provide in the valleys. My heart says, “I trust in you!” In Jesus name, Amen.

Your Provider….is Your Provision

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you…. (Matt 7:7).

Dear friend, God is your provider, but He’s also your provision. He’s EVERYTHING you need at the dawn of each new day.
 
Keep knocking each morning, God stands behind the door, waiting to bless you with more of Himself. Sometimes I forget that its God that I’m seeking. Not the job promotion, health, financial provision, or whatever else it is that I might need at that moment.
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Maybe, to me, God sometimes seems a bit insufficient because He’s not answering my prayers and giving me the things I’ve asked Him for in the timing I’d like. I can very easily become impatient with God and skip out on seeking Him because, at least for that day, His presence to me just isn’t enough.
 
Ouch, that’s hard to admit, but I’ve been there so many times, wanting something from God instead of just simply wanting more of God.
 
I keep thinking about how when I became a parent I started to lean into my motherly instincts. You see, as I’ve gotten to know my daughter, I can pick up on little things that tell me what she needs or if something seems off I lean into those instincts as I seek the Lord to better help care for, love, and protect her.
 
So, if I’m asking my daughter to trust in my motherly instincts, knowing what’s best for her, why don’t I trust my Heavenly Father’s instincts for me? Why don’t I easily trust that He knows what He’s doing or that He knows my needs before I ask them? I think it’s because I’ve allowed fear, time, and time again to tell me a story about God that just isn’t true.
 
So, dear friend, keep knocking each day. God longs to welcome you into His arms of love and it’s there in His arms that we find the provision that we need for that day as we are simply held by Him.
 
Father, I do want more of you. I know I have things that I need, but you already know that. I want to trust in your instincts for me. I want to believe with all of me that you know what you’re doing. Truly, you are a good and gracious God who works all things together for our good, in Jesus name, Amen.

They Who Run….Will Not Grow Weary

they shall run and not be weary,…(Is 40:31).

Do you ever feel like you’re limping through life? It just seems like one blow after the other hits and here you are again thrust into the valley, sitting still as you allow one more wound to heal.
 
It is good to sit still with God in the valley. It’s far better to heal there so that you don’t bring your wounds out into the world. When we do that we hurt people. We throw them into valley’s dug by our own hands. Casting them into the places of our own vehement judgment.
 
I’d rather be stuck in the valley than run on the mountaintop if that means I’m just going to run over people along the way.
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God has a destiny for us, it is Heaven. The place where we shall dance and run with Him on streets of gold. You see, He’s preparing us for that place. Therefore, there are times and seasons in life when we must learn how to heal. Then, we shall receive renewed strength for the journey ahead on the road that we are walking towards Heaven.
 
When we are walking in our healing and not our pain, we take people with us towards that beautiful city prepared for us by God. Instead of thrusting people into valleys made and dug by our anger, we are running with them towards that celestial city full of hope, life, and peace.
 
Lord, let my life be one of praise. I long to take others with me towards your salvation, hope, and healing. Restore unto me the joy of your salvation today, I pray, in Jesus name, Amen.

Joy Stealer

Look, your son is alive!…(1 Kings 17:23).

Dear friend, God wants you to live fully and freely alive in His love.
 
Personally, as a parent, that’s when I’m experiencing the most joy. When my daughter is laughing and giggling together with me. I’m certain that God takes the most delight when His children are experiencing the same kind of joy in His presence.
 
Life can be such a joy stealer. It can so easily rob us of the joy that is ours in Christ. It can whisk us away into deep and dark places of sadness and misery if we allow it. Yet, there is a joyful presence that awaits us each day. It is the Lord Jesus Christ who is forever ours. Truly, He loves to dance with His children at the start and end of each new day. At those times when we are most prone to let our minds drift off towards places of negative thinking.
 
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It’s not that I don’t want to dance with Jesus. It’s just that sometimes I’d rather sit near the punch bowl and drown in my thoughts. The devil loves to spin a web of lies into us, drowning us time and time again in the would have’s should have’s or could have’s. He’s so crafty in what he says. It feels so convincing. Especially if we’ve allowed him to spin the web of lies for quite some time.
 
Have you ever walked into a room where someone else was and your heart was struck with anger or hurt feelings? Not because they had spoken anything out against you, but your time at the punch bowl drowning in your thoughts convinced you that although they never said it, that’s what they’ve been thinking about you all this time.
 
What a waste of energy. Yet, we do it all the time. I am learning that the only story I can and should tell myself is one of peace, love, and mercy. Unless I do that I’ll be sure to drown in unforgiving and negative thoughts. Stealing away the joy that is mine in Christ.
 
You see dear friend, it’s the dance that He delights in the most. When we are His and He is ours as we dance together. Not because all things are perfect and right in our world, but because we can trust our Heavenly Father’s plan. Because we know that although we cannot see the end, He holds the pen of our story and for that, we can praise Him.
 
Lord, you are king over all creation. Truly, you are my greatest joy. You have joy for me today. I long to sit in your presence and to dance in your joy. Help me now to do that, I pray, in Jesus name, Amen.

Endure The Drought….Receive God’s Rain

The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land.’ ”… (1 Ki 17:14).

Dear friend, rain is coming. It always comes to those who choose to be faithful. God always sends rain on the land of our lives when we are willing to trust Him in the drought.
 
You see, sometimes a drought needs to take place because some area in our life needs to die. It’s not that God is trying to do away with us, though sometimes we might feel that way. No, God is trying to do away with something inside of us. Something that’s blocking our view of Him. Something that’s taking up too much residency within our hearts and minds. God always sends a drought not to kill not us, but our idols.
 
Truly, He is a good father who loves to shower His children with good gifts. Gifts from above. Gifts of love, mercy, patience, kindness, and self-control. I think what I’m learning is that in order for fruit to grow, something has to die in me first.
 
I don’t care for that process, but I know that it holds within it a great purpose. A purpose that leads my heart beside quiet waters. A purpose that is far better than the life I was living before the drought. That is so hard to see and understand in the drought and that is why we must stay the course, run from bitterness, and live serving God in faithfulness.
 
Trust me when I say this, it’s hard to see the drought as some sort of purposeful thing from God. Yet, what I’m learning is that seasons of drought are opportunities for great growth. They are times when God can finally get us alone and speak tenderly and lovingly to us. They are seasons of life when God becomes who He says He is to us if we are willing to believe that He is the one who always sends the rain.
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Lord, although I don’t always understand the journey one thing I am certain- you are good. Although my life sometimes gets thrown out of balance and knocked off course. I know that you are good. Truly you are the God who sends rain on the righteous. I want to live in your love and truth today, in Jesus name, Amen.