Monthly Archives: March 2013

He is Alive!

Christ Jesus is alive!

“Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25a).

“Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God” (Romans 6:9-10).

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but CHRIST LIVES IN ME” (Galatians 2:20a).

It is my prayer that you will experience fullness of Christ Jesus living in you.

Christ’s life in us is not a half-life, not a worn out life, not a dead life – but an abundant life. Is that your reality?

The Ultimate Relationship

Over the past few months, I’ve been praying over a potential relationship. It had been my heart’s desire to be in this particular relationship for some time, and I really thought this friend was “the one.” After all, he is on fire for Jesus, we have similar ministry goals, and we complement each other well. (Those are the top three things on “the list”).  From the outset of this desire, there have been obstacles to this relationship, yet as I prayed, I came to view them as opportunities for God to work, to grow us if this indeed was His will for us.

Throughout this prayer process, God has had one word for me, “Wait.”

I was so afraid that if I did what God asked and waited, I would be more likely to get my hopes up and be disillusioned if the answer ended up being no. Somewhere in there, God gave me the faith to wait on Him.

Still, I’ve been feeling (and have shared) that something big is heading my way.  A few weeks ago I woke up very early in the morning with the sense that I really needed to pursue a yes or no answer with God … and to be open to either alternative. So I began to pray for God to resolve the desires and feelings about this man in my heart, whether that meant fulfillment or removal. If it meant removal, I didn’t want them suppressed or rooted out. Suppression would only lead to a part of my heart blocked off that I would eventually have to go back and deal with later, and rooting these desires and feelings would leave my recently-blossoming heart barren. I guess what I really wanted was a transformation of these desires and feelings.

This past week I’ve been busy. The Enemy has been trying to distract me through attacks on my character. I’ve had to confront the lies with the truth. It’s been taxing. And several days went by when I didn’t think about this relationship at all. And when I did think about it, I felt … nothing. I thought, “Well, maybe it’s because I’ve been so busy. Maybe this doesn’t mean anything.”

But I had two really beautiful and vivid dreams and they both inspired me. I don’t usually remember my dreams, and my dreams certainly don’t inspire me. But in these two dreams I was in these gorgeous middles-of-nowhere. Wilderness places. Hiking, but mostly just talking with people on these hikes. Having good conversations, building relationships. It was so pleasant and even though there were people in these dreams I didn’t even know, and groups of people I do know who never mix, it all made sense.

I finished reading Hosea a week ago, and since then I’ve been in Exodus. In Hosea, God refers to wooing His people to wilderness places so they will seek Him and love Him. In Exodus, God brings His people to a wilderness and leads them there. Through all of this, God has been speaking to me about two things: He wants my love and He wants me to take care of His people. After the dreams, I would say God wants my love and He wants me to take care of His people in the wilderness places. To cultivate and restore life and health in barren places. It is my calling to walk with people through times of difficulty, particularly young people from broken and poverty-stricken homes.  I will walk with people through these times, I will bear their burdens before my Heavenly Father.

As I relaxed Sunday morning during church and quieted my heart to hear what God was saying about this relationship, I heard Him say, “I want something different for you.”

The miracle is, I don’t feel resentful about it. It makes complete sense.

The thing is, however much we love Christ and want to honor Him, however similar we are, however many obstacles we could have overcome with God’s help, God has given this man and I different desires, different visions. Without ever intending to, we would have held each other back. That’s not to say we wouldn’t or couldn’t have had a good life.

But I don’t just want a good life.

I want a great life. I want to be most passionate about God, to hold nothing back from Him, to have nowhere I am unwilling to go and nothing I am unwilling to do for Him. I want a husband who I can inspire to passion about God, to hold nothing back from Him, to have nowhere and nothing he is unwilling to do for Him. And I want a husband who will not only be living these things for himself, but who will rise to the challenge of calling these things out in me. And I want to call these things forth in him.

Again I am reminded, it’s not about my future husband, whoever and wherever he may be, though I certainly lift him up in prayer day by day. It’s about the ultimate relationship: the one I share with my Creator, my Redeemer, my Source. I love Him more than anything on this earth. Spending time with Him is what I crave throughout my day. That’s not to say there aren’t bumps in the road on my end, but my relationship with Him has overall changed for the better.

And I am so excited to see what He does next!

For now, though, I’m just going to relax and listen to some uplifting music.

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A New Song

 “Never comes a revival of religion without a revival of singing!” ~Charles Spurgeon, Life More Abundant

“The thief does not come except to kill and to steal and to destroy; I am come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10 NKJV).

I heard Tenth Avenue North’s “Worn” for the first time this past week. I totally relate to the song, because, oh my, it was my year last year.

Then I watched this. It’s Mike Donehey’s story behind “Worn.” Turns out he was involved in a car accident that left him literally on his back for several months, and that’s when he started his music ministry.

I talked a few weeks ago about how last year in a spiritual sense I was on my back. God is renewing me and waking me up to abundant life every day.

I just so relate with God giving me a new and different vision for my life, and yet, it just fits.

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Worry

On Wednesday night, I listened to a few teachings on the topic of worry.  One was a Bible study at my old church, the other was a teaching by Elyse Fitzpatrick. Both referenced Jesus’ teaching on worry in the end of Matthew 6.

Everybody agrees. Worry divides the mind. Between what actually is and what might be.

Worrying just comes naturally.

When one thing isn’t worrying me enough, it seems my enemy cannot help but send something else along for me to worry about.

When I woke up this morning, my biggest worry was that my older brother is fiercely opposed to a direction my life is more likely than not going to take.  And honestly, the more I’ve prayed about it the more God assured me that hey, not everyone is always going to like what I do. (I crave affirmation). That if He calls me to do it, I need to do it, regardless of what my brother thinks.  And, except for a few panicked moments, I’ve been like, “Eh, okay, God.”

Then this morning, on my way to church, I had a car accident. Everyone involved is fine, but although it’s drivable, my car is a mess. The other car had some damage,  but mine took most of it. As it probably should have. The accident was my fault. And I feel horrible, because it was just so avoidable on so many levels.

When I arrived at church, Psalm 91 came to my heart: “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”

Sometimes, I get worried that I am in the wrong place at the wrong time. And I wondered that today a little, but I was on my way to church, for crying out loud.

After church, I was telling my younger brother and sister about the accident. They had come through on the highway a few minutes after me and they had seen an accident in the exact area mine had taken place. When I was telling them about my accident, they thought maybe they had driven past me.  But the accident they saw was a little different. Cars were towed away and a person went away in an ambulance from that accident.

My car? It looks like a clunker. Me? I’m a little sore and shaken up. But I drove myself away in my drivable car. The other people drove away in a drivable car.

I am remarkably blessed.

“What if you had killed somebody else or yourself because of your critical misjudgment?” my Accuser asks.

I rebuke you. That is not the reality. The reality is we are all physically fine.

“What if you had totaled someone else’s car or your own?” he comes at me again.

I rebuke you. That is not the reality. The reality is that although there is a lot of work to be done, the cars are drivable.

“What if God decides to punish you and not provide for your needs in this accident?” the final blow, not against my person, but His.

I rebuke you. That is not the reality. God says, “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him. I will set him on high, because He has known my name” (Psalm 91:14).  I claim that!

Because I can trust God, because I DO trust God, I refuse to worry about non-realities.

Who knew God could do so much through a car accident? I can’t wait to see what He does tomorrow!

 

Psalm 91

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.

 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence.  He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.  You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day,  Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

 A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you.  Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked.

 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place,  No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;  For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.  In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.  You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

 Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name.  He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.  With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.

 

 

 

 

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