Tag Archives: Trust

Vulnerable….always

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Interesting what you realize as your own strength, power, control are taken from you. For the last few weeks, I have been suffering terribly with fear. Fear is something I have overcome in the past, but all of a sudden I am plagued again. Here is the most interesting part…as the Lord has begun to speak to me about my future, and my hope has risen to really believe what He has will be, the fear has risen simultaneously.

For the last five years or so, I would declare how I totally trust in the Lord’s protection. I would have shared how I completely believe He has sent His angels to have charge over me and I am safe. It also would have been true that I am a pretty strong girl who can move quickly and deliberately when she has to. However, now that I am in a healing process, I have felt completely vulnerable. I have been ridden with fear, because if someone was coming after me, I am not as strong or as fast as I may need to be.

The reason this has caught me off guard is because until now, I had no clue that really in my heart there was a good portion of my belief that was in my own strength, my own power. Although I believed I was totally relying on God, I was also super comfortable with the idea of what I brought to the table. So when what I have to offer to my belief system has changed, I’m surprised by the outcome, and I’m thankful for this revelation.

This is also happening to me in another area of life. There is this one piece of my puzzle that I constantly am tempted to want to relax into trusting what the world can offer me, rather than look completely to God. EVERY TIME I begin down that road, starting to exhale in relief thinking that is being taken care of, that circumstance which I want to rely on is snatched from me. EVERY TIME it is jolting, frustrating, and also humbling. I feel like the Lord is saying, ” Daughter I love you too much to give you something, anything, that will make you feel comfortable, safe, provided for, or taken care of apart from me. I want you to totally and completely rely on me.” I must confess to you, friends, that this doesn’t always feel like love, sometimes it just feels hard. But I know that what I feel mostly isn’t what is true. The truth is, He does love me, and He is love, so His motive over me is ALWAYS love!

This is good. It is good for the hidden shallowness of my faith to be laid out plainly before me. It is good to know how vulnerable I am and always have been, and it always has been Him keeping me. It is good to realize how much faith I have put in things that are easily shaken, taken, or broken. For the path I am on, I will only be able to count on one thing, on One, on God. He is love. He has got me covered. He has it all worked out. This must be resolved now before I journey any deeper into my destiny.

When I asked Him to speak to me these were the scriptures He gave me. First one declaring His bigness, to put things in proper perspective for me:

Psalm 65:2-8 We all arrive at your doorstep sooner
or later, loaded with guilt,
Our sins too much for us—
but you get rid of them once and for all.
Blessed are the chosen! Blessed the guest
at home in your place!
We expect our fill of good things
in your house, your heavenly manse.
All your salvation wonders
are on display in your trophy room.
Earth-Tamer, Ocean-Pourer,
Mountain-Maker, Hill-Dresser,
Muzzler of sea storm and wave crash,
of mobs in noisy riot—
Far and wide they’ll come to a stop,
they’ll stare in awe, in wonder.
Dawn and dusk take turns
calling, “Come and worship.”

Now that I know how vulnerable I am, and yet I am loved, provided for, and protected by the Ocean-Pourer and the one who muzzles the sea storm, He says also:

Proverbs 27:1Don’t brashly announce what you’re going to do tomorrow;
you don’t know the first thing about tomorrow.

What an awesome reminder: STOP BEING BLINDED BY WHAT YOU THINK IS GOING TO HAPPEN and trust Me who KNOWS what is coming. Trust Me who is never caught off guard or suprised. Trust Me who is always FOR you and is working EVERYTHING together for your good. Nothing is too hard for Me!

Before I close with the song that I woke up meditating on tonight (which led to this posting), fIrst let me just ask you, what are you trusting in? What would you be devastated by losing? Your health? A job? A relationship? If you are feeling prompted, ask Him to show you if you are trusting in anything other than Him…..it is the time to know that HE really does provide our protection, our needs, our love. He gave it all FOR us, and He is still giving it all TO us! TRUST HIM! (and not for some outcome you have in mind, but for peace, joy, and love no matter what the circumstance)

“Always”

My foes are many, they rise against me
But I will hold my ground
I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm
My help is on the way, my help is on the way
Troubles surround me, chaos abounding
My soul will rest in You
I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm
My help is on the way, my help is on the way

Oh, my God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear, His promise is true
My God will come through always, always

I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
From You Lord, from You Lord

Strength will rise….

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The snow was cold as I was lying there awaiting rescue. Yes, I am that girl. I am the girl who on her first day of skiing, went too high, and fell too hard….( and though I wouldn’t recommend my choice , skiing is a blast!) I had two hours of private lessons with one of my best friends and I was actually doing really well on the green level which I had been taught how to do. The trouble came when I decided I should go above my level of instruction and ability and just “see” what happens…..

I learned that skiing is so similar to life. You see, when skiing, if you start to feel out of control and start trying to do everything in your power in the moment of panic to take control, you usually head really, really fast in the wrong direction. However, if in your moment of panic, you stay centered ,balanced and focused on doing what you have been instructed to do, you will quickly regain composure and though you still may not end up exactly where you wanted, you are safe and the recovery time is much quicker. Isn’t that just like life? I feel I really need to get this lesson. When things start spiraling out of my control,I can choose NOT to go with it. I can choose to stay centered an focused and let God be in control. Help me Lord to be able to live this in the moment of need!

One other major lesson I learned from this event was the scripture:

Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strengthand power….

I learned why strength rises when we WAIT upon the Lord. When we are WAITING we are learning, we are gaining experience, devotion, building muscle and ability, and then in HIS timing, when He says the wait is over, we move into the next thing. You see, I did not wait on the Lord. I self diagnosed, “I got this!” and I was wrong. So if we wait, we gain strength. Waiting is for us, because He loves us, and He is busy preparing us AND the very thing are moving into to be in the right condition in due season. If we move ahead of God, more than likely we will be ill-equipped and inexperienced, finding ourselves overwhelmed, lacking joy and peace, and filled with fear. Making choices in this condition will often leave us wounded.

So can I encourage you today, as I am reminded with every laborious step on a healing knee, to find JOY in the waiting because it is FOR you because He loves you. If you are already in over your head, by His doing or your own choice, stay centered in Christ, Keep your eyes focused on Him, and DO NOT try to take control of your sense of falling, HE has you completely covered.  Your fall won’t be as fast, hard and far, and your recovery will be much quicker if you let Him have the control!

P.S. even though I made a foolish choice, He is working it together for good…I wouldn’t have been able to write this post had I not learned this lesson…..rejoice even in the recovery from mistakes….there is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ!

Praise you Jesus!

get rid of the root…..

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So yard work isn’t really my thing, but it has to be done, so….there I am weeding a planter and I keep ripping the weed, not getting to the root. Trying hard not get frustrated, I just asked the Lord, “do you have any wisdom to share on weeding effectively?” He simply said, “Grab as low as you can and wiggle a little and it will loosen the root and come right out.” Knowing I did not previously know this, I knew it was Him, I did it and instantly the roots were loosening and the whole thing came out. That got me thinking about how I could have trusted in my own understanding and done all of that weeding and in a week it would have all grown right back. But by asking Him for wisdom, He showed me with just a little extra effort and time,getting a little messier,  the roots would slide out, permanently removing that weed …..this is true for a lot in life. Ask Him for a strategy and be willing to put in the extra effort, allow it to get messy,  and the root system of that thing you have been trying to get rid of in your life for so long, but it kept coming right back, is going to be gone for good. Maybe it’s time to plant some flowers, to replace weeds with something beautiful! You are something Beautiful!

 

Are we really protected by God?

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For a little while I have been wrestling out the topic of God’s Protection. I had a beloved friend share with me a horrible event that happened to her son. My heart filled with anxiety as I listened. “Wait, how could this happen?” I thought to myself, “She loves God, she prays for her children, I know she was agreeing in scripture over their lives……I HAVE A SON, could this happen to him too?” I was completely wrecked.My whole world had been thrown off axis. I needed answers.

I began my journey by asking the Lord to teach me. I had to put my heart back in place in the center of Truth. God is always Good. His NEVER breaks His promise. Nothing separates us from His love. He NEVER leaves us nor forsakes us. He answers the prayers of His children.

I started by talking to my mentor. She said to me, “So Jenna, do you pray to try to control the outcome? Did God not love Jesus because He allowed Him to suffer and die for us? Did God not protect the disciples when they each considered it an honor to be martyred for His Gospel of Peace? What do you do with the scriptures about sharing in His sufferings?”

I did NOT like this response! I did NOT like someone alluding it may be true that because I am in Christ doesn’t mean  harm will not befall me!!!! I did NOT want THIS bubble to get burst. I didn’t want to mature in this area of thinking…..NO NO NO! But God said, Yes, so I continued on.

I spoke with a dear friend of mine and she said, “Jenna I think the problem you are having is that you are trying to understand an Infinite God through finite eyes.” Through this powerful statement ( and I am sure the prayers of others asking God for my heart to be softened to learn His truth on the matter) I was able to remember something the Lord showed me not to very long ago.

I was contemplating His protection one day, as I was studying Psalm 91, and I was thanking Him for innumerable events I could specifically see His protection on my life in. As I finished He responded, ” You are welcome, Jenna, but they number of times Satan has asked to bring things into your life and I have said NO keep them far from her, is far greater than the protection you are aware of.”

As I remembered this, I also considered the truth that God can work everything together for our good. I began to allow myself to consider how we are in a world where sin exists and how everything that happens IS NOT God’s will. He gave us free will, and He will not violate that. However, because He is God He makes beautiful out of our ugly. And man, can it get ugly!

He reminded me of a dream I had not too long ago where I was being tortured in every way because of my profession of Christ and because I would not stop sharing the Love of God. As I was enduring every blow they gave to me, the strangest thing was happening. My joy and peace were untouched and the only thought I had over and over was, “I have been crucified with Christ, therefore I no longer live, but Jesus Christ now lives in me. You cannot take that away, no matter what you do to me.” As I meditated upon this dream, asking Him to reveal to me what I need to learn through it, He was showing me how His protection doesn’t mean we won’t face suffering, it means He will walk through it with us, and we can have Victory in Christ, in our hearts, spirits, and minds even through the trials. That is powerful! That is true protection!

I was allowing Him to mature my thinking, renew my mind, in this area, and one morning I finally said, ” Just show me in Your Word again, affirm to me again what is really true about your protection. Please continue to redefine for me what it means to be protected by You.”

He brought me to Psalm 73. It was remarkable, please read it for yourselves. What I got from it was there is no doubt that God is Good. So even when bad thing happen, God is good. The psalmist expressed, “I almost missed seeing His goodness because I was too busy looking in another direction.” I began to understand how this issue and fear of being protected from evil really isn’t where my focus should be. My focus should be, “Seek first the Kingdom of God…..and all things will be added unto me.” He continued to say, “Although I’ve been ignorant as an ox in Your Presence, I was STILL in Your Presence. And You led me gently, compassionately, and then You blessed me!” What an awesome God, although I was asking questions that were not even where I needed to worry about, He gently led me and blessed me anyway! The psalmist ends by saying, “God You are all I want in Heaven AND on Earth.” As I read that, I thought, “Could that really become the cry of my heart? He was enough, everything, all?” Everything besides having Him is truly icing on the cake?He alone is more than enough for me?

I’m not there yet friends, but that is the cry of my heart. I want Him to be everything. I want to whisper a surprised thanks for everything above the gift of having been saved through Christ. I want to recognize everything as a blessing, a not deserved, not promised blessing from the hand of a good and loving God. I want to get this so deeply rooted in my heart and spirit so that when the next storm comes I do not have a faith crisis and life crisis simultaneously. I am choosing daily to declare, “God is always good, and I am always loved.”

One last thing was when I was talking about this to my counselor, he brought me back to Genesis and how God’s original plan was NOT for us to be concerned with good and evil, but to only eat from the Tree of Life and enjoy Him and His creation. Praise God! I can do that! =)

We can count on Him. He has our back. He is Faithful. He is Trustworthy. He earned my trust on the cross, and nothing can change that. You are divinely protected my friend! It is the TRUTH!

Angry? Not me…..or am I?

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Recently the Lord has reminded me that anything I try to do in my own strength or power will end ugly.

I have started attending a group which makes you journal and the first week is probing inward about anger. I found that my anger (which I was highly unaware of it’s existence ) was mostly due to me constantly saying in my mind, “Let it go,”….”don’t worry about it,”….”just keep moving, it’s not a big deal.” The problem was, it was a lie! I wasn’t letting it go, not worrying about it, or moving on, I was actually stuffing it. Which means my tendency, always to my own great surprise, is to reach a point where, “I JUST CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!”

I wasn’t able to let it go, although I was fully believing I had, because I was trying to do it in my own strength, by myself. After journaling the Lord has shown me that a much more beneficial road to take would look like this:

“Lord, thank you for giving me the emotion of anger so I can discern when something is wrong. Right now, something is wrong because I am feeling angry. Do You have a solution or a higher perspective or reality for what I am currently experiencing?”

This takes a lot more time and effort than being ruled by my emotion, but I am fixed on moving forward this year. I am partnering with Jesus no matter what it takes to replace my destructive cycles, like this one, with constructive cycles. I am willing to take the extra step for freedom!

The truth is, I cannot muster up enough strength consistently to hold in all the stuff that flies at any of us in just one day, not to mention, weeks, months, and years. I need God, I need Him in every NOW moment, and He is available and with me! What incredible Love! Lord, I fully admit my dependence on You. I need you, Lord, more than ever before! I love you Jesus! Amen!

Ephesians 4:26-32 MSG

26-27 Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.

28 Did you use to make ends meet by stealing? Well, no more! Get an honest job so that you can help others who can’t work.

29 Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.

30 Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.

31-32 Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.

Getting to know you……..

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She did it!
She really did it!
My friend, Samantha Bennett, she really has published her first book!
Amazing!
Beautiful!
Fascinating and Creative.
I love Penumbra!—-and I know you will too!
My friend is so much more than an extremely talented writer, but she is sooooo that! Here are just a few Q&A’s we did together to help you get to know her! If I can, please allow me to encourage you to check out her first chapter here and once you have been hooked, get read to order a book for yourself and a gift for a friend on December 18th on Amazon.
Soooo, grab your coffee and snuggle up for a little chit chat because here we go, Ladies and Gentlemen, I give to you, Samantha Bennett.
Jenna: Sammie, I am so thankful you have chased your dreams and have allowed your inward impression to become and outward expression. So I have to know, what inspired you to write your first book?
Sammie: Well, I took a creative writing class in college that sort of got the wheels turning. I loved the class, loved the process of writing stories, and I had this itch to write a novel. So I read a book by Stephen King called On Writing that really broke down the craft. He talked about writing a little bit each day, and I decided to try. A few months later I had the first draft to my first novel.
J: It’s amazing how many people are involved in the creative process, some we will never meet and some we do life with everyday! Penumbra is such an unusually beautiful word, how did you come up with the title?
S:I love this story! One of my best friends, Heather Ostalkiewicz, and I were at Starbucks, and she gave me a box with a bow on top. Inside the box was the word “Penumbra” written on a note card along with its definition, Latin roots, all that. She had just visited her parents in Maryland, and her dad had introduced her to the word. Since Heather knows I’m also a lover of words, she wanted to share this new word she’d learned. She could have kept it for herself, but she felt this nudge to give it to me. I’m so glad she did.
J: I’m so glad she did too! There was certainly a message wrapped up for you. This leaves me wondering is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
S: I cringe a little when it comes to combining a “message” with story. See, I’ve read some books where the author definitely wanted to teach me their message, and the story suffered as a result. Instead of letting the story speak, I felt like the author was speaking, and quite frankly, I was no longer in the story world. With that little disclaimer in place, I will say, yes, there is a message or theme to this story, and it would be that we matter to God.
J: Wow! I love that, and I couldn’t agree more. What each of us have to give is so important and it really does matter. Where does someone like you go to for inspiration? I guess another way to ask that question is what books have most influenced your life?
S: The book of psalms comes to mind. It’s so wild and free and just so emotive. For a long time, I thought that certain emotions were “bad.” But you go to the psalms and you find anger and sorrow, and also elation and relief. There is great suffering and great joy, and always this thread of hope. That’s beautiful.
J: Raw, vulnerable, and real written works of art can change us, the readers. What an awesome opportunity! I can imagine it would be difficult to begin learning about these techniques of the art of writing. If you had to choose, which author would you consider a mentor?
S: I’d have to say Francine Rivers. I love her Mark of the Lion series, Redeeming Love, and her two most recent novels that are a generational saga. First off, she just rocks at storytelling. Her plotting, her characters, they are all just superb. You don’t want to put her books down, because she knows how to tell amazing stories very well. Second off, she doesn’t shy away from hard things. She writes from such a human place with so much authenticity. Third off, she writes redemption well. It doesn’t feel fake or contrived when she writes it, and that’s a huge accomplishment.
J: I have to say, Sammie, I did not want to put Penumbra down. I was hooked and had to know what was going to happen! I am so thankful you created this work of art. So where did it all start? Do you recall how your interest in writing first originated?
S: Oh wow,  in writing since I was teeny tiny. Last year I was looking through my box of childhood things that my mom has kept. And it was just so obvious that I was going to be a writer. There were so many stories in there—mysteries, adventure stories with our miniature schnauzers, just all different kinds of hand-made books. I lost track of that for many years, but a college writing class reminded me of my childhood ambitions.
J: Isn’t that amazing! The dreams of a child, with nothing in the way! There is something so pure and simple about that. However, as an adult there are less simple parts of accomplishing the dream. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
S: Finishing it! I didn’t outline with Penumbra, so I was learning alongside characters. And for a recovering control freak, that’s not easy. It’s horribly difficult! I had to trust God, trust the process, trust that I was writing toward a conceivable end. I only knew the next little bit. That’s all I ever knew. And that was the hardest part.
J: Wow! What an incredible journey. I am thankful you allowed the characters to organically become. There was nothing that felt forced in who they are, what they discover about themselves, and what choices they make. I’m sure there were other hard parts of this journey such as the challenges in bringing Penumbra, as a whole, to life.
S: Oh wow. There were a lot of challenges. Writing characters with emotional honesty was probably the biggest challenge for me. I had written a few earlier manuscripts, and I always received the same feedback—the characters lacked emotional depth. Which was so frustrating because I didn’t know how to fix it. Well, I learned that I couldn’t give my characters something that I didn’t have. I first had to learn about emotional health in my own life before I could translate it on the page. And I’m still learning!
J: I love how you allow yourself to be in process- it is something I am learning so much about! But now that this process is over, I have to know what’s your favorite part of the book?
S: I have two! I don’t want to give too much away, but the climax of the book is my absolute favorite. It was so thrilling and surprising to write, and I hope it will be as thrilling and surprising to read. I also love the relationship between Norla and Pallo. Their love story is such a core part of this book, and I learned a lot about myself and my marriage in the writing of it.
J: Sammie, I have to totally agree and say those were some of my very favorites also. Thank you so much for giving me your time and allowing me to preview this amazing story. I’m looking forward to the sequel (wink, wink, hint, hint….lol) For all of you, my hope would be you feel closer to Samantha and that you can’t wait to read Penumbra (like it here on Facebook!). I’m ordering my copy on the release day, December 18, 2012….make sure to get yours also! “See” you soon!

Laying our burdens down

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So I had an amazing experience with The Lord and just thought I’d share it in case you wanted to give it a shot.
As I was spending time with Him, I had worship music on. The words to the song were, ” and I lay every burden down, at the foot of the cross,” next thing I know, I find myself drawing the cross, on a hill, and above it writing words that describe what I receive from His sacrifice and who He is to me. Then I proceeded to to write down all of the things that were burdening me. After doing that, it was like I knew they were no longer in my hands, but in the hands of the only One who could work them together for good. After this exchange, I was able to hear and focus on what He wanted to share with me, to encourage me in, and to lead me to pray about. It was powerful for me, and I just thought it may be for you too! Be blessed!

I’m HOPEFULLY devoted to You!

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So I am reading through the book of Luke with some amazing women and yesterday as I read Luke chapter 1, the Lord really spoke to me. As I was emailing them with what He brought out for me, He made it clear that this was a word to be shared with all. So, here goes…..why don’t you read Luke chapter 1 and then continue reading. (If you don’t have a bible handy, I LOVE biblegateway.com)

So, as I was reading I took notice of Zachariah and Elizabeth. The Lord had said He was going to give them a child. The bible states that they were both very old. Elizabeth had been unable to have a child, she even called this a ‘disgrace’.

25 “This is the Lord’s doing. He has shown his favor to me by removing my disgrace among other people.”

As I thought about this couple, who,” were both righteous before God, blameless in their observance of all the Lord’s commandments and regulations,” and had their dreams crushed time and time again. I can just feel the pain of month after month, no pregnancy. Prayers left unanswered. I can feel the sting of constant disappointment and heartbreak. And yet, they still continued to serve the Lord wholeheartedly.

The Lord began to show me how this can apply to all of us. Have you ever felt disappointed because the desire of your heart was not given to you in the time frame you were hoping for? Have you ever been heartbroken by seemingly unanswered prayers? Have you ever given up hope on a dream because it seemed the time had past, the circumstances would never be right again, you had missed your window of opportunity, or maybe feel you are just too plain old to dream a little dream?

Well, what was the Lord doing for this devoted couple? He so longed to give them the desires of their heart. I know He was hurt watching their suffering, all the while knowing He had such an incredible honor and blessing for them. He sent them a child, in their old age, who prepared the way for the Messiah, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior! WOW! AMAZING!

So what I believe the Lord is saying through this awesome example is, He could have given them the desire of their heart on their timing, but He loved them too much to allow them to miss His best for their lives. He chose to answer their prayer in a MUCH BIGGER way than they could have ever hoped for. He chose to bless them in such a supernatural way that everyone took notice and PRAISED GOD for this miracle, realizing that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD. He chose to use their blessing not only to bless them, but all of us for all generations.

EPHESIANS 3:20(NIV)

 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us

I believe what God is saying is that if He makes us wait, it is because the blessing we receive, the answer to our prayers, the giving of the desires of our heart, will be so much grander, and have such a greater purpose than we could ever hope for or imagine, that it is worth the wait!

Also, we can learn from their devotion. They were called righteous, and it was noted they kept the Lord’s commandments. Can you imagine if the one thing you have asked God for, you felt He had asked you to surrender, and having such gratitude and reverence for WHO GOD IS, over who He seemingly wasn’t, and still serving Him with all of your heart? This is a big concept for me. Their example of being righteous, and serving the Lord, despite their hurt, confusion, and sorrow, has definitely caused me to ask the Lord to help me mature, so that this will be my choice in the midst of the storms I will face in life. I believe the Lord could use them for this honor and miracle because of their obedience, their love, and their wholehearted devotion. This lifestyle has become a desire of my heart.

So I guess what I have been asking myself, I will ask you too. Do you really believe, “37 For nothing is impossible with God?” Are we living in relationship with who God is, or with who we have known Him not to be? Are we remaining faithful through our hurts, heartbreak, and let downs?

Friend, we do not have the details of how they remained devoted, but I know the people in the bible are not fictional characters, they are real people just like you and I. I believe they were not perfect, in fact righteousness is a gift from Jesus, meaning: right with God, and that only comes from Jesus. I believe they were able to be real with God,expressing their deepest wounds and finding rest and peace above their pain in His love. This is not a message of :Suck it up and serve anyway with a smile on your face.” This is a message of: take your broken heart to Jesus, asking Him to make a beautiful mosaic out of it, more creative and passionate than the original. Run to Him, not from Him. I believe this is the only way we can remain devoted through our struggles. Lay down your need to understand, recognize He is God and we are not, TRUST HIM, but be real about where it hurts. It is in this vulnerable posture that His love will begin the healing process, and once you have been there and received from this place, you will NEVER want to be anywhere else. This is where true devotion, true righteousness, true deep and passionate intimacy with the Lord begins and never ends. Will you go there? I hope so.

Lord Jesus! Thank you for such awesome love. Thank you for being our healer. Thank you for knowing us so intimately that you can restore everything we have lost in the battle. Thank you for caring about us so passionately, that you won’t give us everything, to ensure we can be available to receive Your best. You are the best. All I want is You! I love You Lord. I need You Lord! It is in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen!

Ask! ASK! AAASSSKKK!

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Ask ask ask! The Lord keeps reminding me, ASK SPECIFICALLY. He shares with me a message to give to someone, “Stop settling for what you can see, I have more for you than that, but you have to ASK.”

I feel led to send a friend a  picture text with a word of encouragement about her gifting and talents from the Lord. She replies, “Thank you! This is an answer the a very specific prayer.”

At the leading of the Lord, I have been asking Him much more specifically when I am in prayer, and He is answering specifically. I almost feel like He is showing off. =) All kidding aside, this is for us. This grows our faith. Everything He does is because He loves us and has our best in mind. He is always for us!

So, when He first said, ASK SPECIFICALLY, I got a little nervous. I almost felt like I would have more opportunity to be let down. Once I realized I was believing this very sad lie, I started seeking the Lord as to why I initially felt this way. Basically, the root is fear. I was afraid of really believing God for miracles because I didn’t want to give Him the chance to hurt me, let me down, or make me feel really stupid for believing with all of my heart. I begin wondering who else do I have this attitude towards, but that’s a story for a whole other entry! =)

Why are there times when we ask, ask, ask and it seems like none of our prayers are being answered? Or maybe the opposite of what we have asked for is what happens? I believe what the Lord has showed me is how He is God and we are not. There are times when we will have to surrender the need to understand why something happened, or didn’t happen, and recognize that there is a bigger picture and all things will be worked together for our good. It is also important to realize the effect of sin. We do have free will, and so does everyone we love and pray for. There are consequences for sin, and we need to be careful not to blame God when sin is the cause of destruction. He is way bigger than sin, but we have to come to Him, and ask for forgiveness, turn to God and away from sin, be redeemed by the blood, to walk in His Will for our lives.

The next question I had was, “How do I know what to ask for?” There is scripture that deals with asking according to His will. then also, there is the one about delighting myself in Him, and then He will give me the desires of my heart. He is teaching me to ask Him to show me what He is up to, before I begin asking for what I think I want, in any given circumstance. It may go something like this:

Lord Jesus, thank you for so and so. Lord I know you created them fearfully and wonderfully. I know you have a plan and purpose for their life. Lord I know you love them. Would you show me what you see when you look at them? Would you show me your will for their life? Would you teach me how to pray for them? How to love them? What is Heaven’s heartbeat over so and so?

Usually, after I ask this way (and often this prayer is about myself and my circumstances) He totally changes my perspective. Most of the time there is at least a sliver of judgement in my heart, and He totally undoes that by humbling me with His incredible love for each person (including me) that I pray for. There is power in agreement, and this shift in my prayers has allowed me to come into agreement with the Father’s heart. It is when I come from this place, that I do not feel afraid to ask specifically, because I feel confident that whatever He wants for whomever is totally possible.

So today, I want to encourage you to allow Him to upgrade your relationship with Him. Allow Him access to the part of you that you have been saying, “I’m not ready to go there yet.” If He is prompting you, it will be worth it. ASK ASK ASK. Do not be afraid. Find out what His will is, what His perspective is, and come into agreement with His heartbeat. You are about to see specific answers to specific prayers that is going to grow your faith like crazy!

P.S. I wanted to share a bunch of scripture on asking, but felt led to take them off because He was telling me that He wanted you to dig for them. Have fun excavating the truth! There is a treasure to be found for sure!

Nothing to be afraid of!

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Recently I went through the Lord asking me to surrender my business back to Him. At first I felt a little sad, but then relief set in, which led to guilt. Why did I feel relieved from doing what I felt God was asking me to? He is sooooo good, because the book I was reading at the time was all about being, “pruned”.

John 15 (NLT)

15 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

There was a chart which describes how we know the difference between being pruned and disciplined. At the emotional level on this chart, the author described the emotion directly related to being pruned at relief. As soon I read this, I knew that I was bearing fruit, but God has more fruit in mind. With this truth now in front of me I went from guilt and feeling like a failure, to excitement to see what God has in store.

I’m sharing this to show you just how much we cannot trust our feelings alone. God did create us with feelings and they shouldn’t be ignored, however, we must check them according to the truth of His word! Sometimes our feelings are out of our flesh, and if we “follow our heart” instead of striving to be “in step with the Holy Spirit,” we will end up way out of the will of God for our lives.

Galatians 5:25 (NLT)

25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

He has good plans for each of us. It may not always make sense to us at the time, but we know that He loves us and is for us. We also know He is trustworthy and faithful. He gave up everything for us before we ever even thought about sacrificing anything for Him. This is a love that is worth following and investing in.

I also just want to touch on “fear of failure.” One thing I did ask of the Lord when He asked me to surrender my business, was to walk me through every memory and teach me every lesson I could possibly learn out of this experience. I made many mistakes being this was my first time trying, and I wanted them to be beneficial to everything else I will be called to do in my lifetime on Earth.

Before embarking in this business, I suffered terribly with “fear of failure.” The Lord spoke to me through the account in Numbers 13-14 where the Israelites were about to take the Promised Land, and Moses sent spies into the land to scout it out. The reports came back where all but two spies cried out in fear, “There are giants in the Land, we will surely die!” But two spies said, “There are giants in the Land, but GOD has promised us this Land so we should enter into it!” After hearing this account, the Lord spoke to me and said, ” Right now you echo in perfect harmony with the majority, but I think you are one of the two!” Just knowing God believed in me, made me want to believe in myself, that together with Him nothing is impossible, so really what is there to be afraid of?

Matthew 19:26 (MSG)

  26Jesus looked hard at them and said, “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.”

1 John 4:18 (MSG)

 17-18God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.
So once He dealt with my fear of failure, I was more open to His leading. And now, I am leaving this business which I can plainly tell you there have been parts of that I failed at. And guess what? I’m failing forward! I’m in process, and I’m learning. Failing is NOTHING to be afraid of because in fact it makes you smarter and stronger. It definitely has not destroyed me, which is what I always thought it would do! If this would be the only lesson I received out of this business venture I would feel satisfied, but it’s not, there have been so many more!
Can I encourage you today, if you are dealing with the paralyzing fear of failure, read the account of the spies. Then seek the Lord and ask Him to identify the root of the fear.  Write out what you are really afraid of and then seek the scriptures to find truth to override the authority of your feelings. God planted greatness in the very core of you when He knit you together in your mother’s womb. Please do not allow a fake giant of fear to keep your greatness, your unique expression of Christ in you, from being illuminated to this world. Face your giants, and if you have to, do it afraid!

Jeremiah 29:11(NLT)

 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Colossians 1:27 (NLT)

 27 For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.

Deuteronomy 31:6 (MSG)

 6 “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”