Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Love, joy, peace, in You I find it all.
I want to let my hair run free.
To not care if anyone sees.
I want to jump, leap, and shout…
To be released of all doubt.
From You I ran,
but no more.
In You I can.
You are Lord.
I can dance around,
Not caring if I fall on the ground.
I can let my hair fly proudly.
I can sing loudly,
Not caring if I sing off key.
I can be wild and free.
I can because of You.
I’m letting go.
In the wind my fears, doubts, and worries blow.
I’m releasing it all.
I know sometimes I’ll fall.
But I know You will be with me.
Even if You are all I see,
That’s okay with me.
I can because of You.
I no longer have to hold back,
I can give it all and not lack,
Because I have You.
Nothing else even matters.
In You I am new.
I can because of You.
I can proclaim Your name.
I cannot be the same,
Because of the impact You’ve had on my life.
No longer am I captive to lies and strife.
I can shout of Your praise,
To You my arms will raise.
I have redemption,
And Your forgiveness that You mention.
I have all that I need,
In You. God, take the lead.
I can because of You.
Last March I wrote a post about Freedom in Christ and I wrote this poem probably around a year or more ago. To me this poem is a picture of a girl who is free in Christ and lives for Him. That's the girl I want to strive to be. We can have freedom in Christ.
Jesus was put in chains so that we could be set free; died so that we could live. We just have to accept His free gift of love.
Galatians 5:1, "Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery. "
John 8:36, "Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you really will be free."
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
God is so amazing. Tonight we had a night of worship at my church and honestly it was one of the most genuine worship times I've had with the Lord in a while. God has to remain me daily of His glory and majesty. I felt so full of the Spirit I wanted to just jump up and down. I was grinning the whole time, full of joy. Afterwards I did jump up and down some while talking to a friend about it - my friends are a bit used to my energy by now. I was just reminded of how great God is! God is worthy of praise and deserves ALL our praise.
Praise and worship is something I've thought about a lot and I know it's important, yet I neglect to do it so often. I can be filled with the Spirit as much tomorrow as I am today. The same God who did all those amazing things in the Bible is the same One who exists today and is with us.
Psalm 18:3, "I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I was saved from my enemies."
(I emphasized it)
Luke 19:40 is probably one of my favorite Bible verses now. I heard it again tonight and I was like yes! It says, "He answered, “I tell you, if they were to keep silent, the stones would cry out!”"
Wow! If we don't praise Him the rocks will cry out! He is so worthy of praise.
We can worship God is so many different ways - singing, music, writing, drawing, serving... through pretty much anything. One of my favorite ways is through singing. You don't have to be a great singer to praise Him through it.
Psalm 21:13 says, "Be exalted, Lord, in Your strength; we will sing and praise Your might."
No where in that verse says 'You have to sing great to praise Jesus'. Nope. It says that we will sing and praise His might.
On this earth we are on we get glimpses of God's glory. A duckling swimming with its brothers and sisters, a beautiful sunset over the ocean water, a gentle breeze through green treetops, a blue sky with white fluffy clouds... Think of one of the most beautiful sights you've ever seen. Even a quarter of God's majesty and glory is more than a hundred times greater than that. Can you even begin to imagine?!? No, we can't. Isaiah and John both got to see God in His glory and they tried to record it, but mere words can't do it justice - though it does give us another glimpse of His glory.
Isaiah 6:1-3, "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and His robe filled the temple. Seraphim were standing above Him; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another:
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts;
His glory fills the whole earth."
John goes into a bit more detail....
Revelation 4:1-8, "Immediately I was in the Spirit, and a throne was set there in heaven. One was seated on the throne, and the One seated looked like jasper and carnelian stone. A rainbow that looked like an emerald surrounded the throne. Around that throne were 24 thrones, and on the thrones sat 24 elders dressed in white clothes, with gold crowns on their heads. Flashes of lightning and rumblings of thunder came from the throne. Seven fiery torches were burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God. Something like a sea of glass, similar to crystal, was also before the throne. Four living creatures covered with eyes in front and in back were in the middle and around the throne. The first living creature was like a lion; the second living creature was like a calf; the third living creature had a face like a man; and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings; they were covered with eyes around and inside. Day and night they never stop, saying:
Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God, the Almighty,
who was, who is, and who is coming."
I encourage you to go look up that whole chapter in Revelation. Here's the link.
But there's something you have to understand about this passage. When John writes things like God seated on His throne looks like jasper and carnelian stone he doesn't mean literally. John tries to write what he sees - write something that is indescribable, too amazing for our human minds to even begin to imagine.
God is just so amazing. I keep using that word because I'm not even sure what words can give Him justice... non that I can think of can. He is beyond description and comprehension. So let's praise and worship Him who is worthy of praise!
Here are a few links to different great songs if you wanted to just listen and worship God through song right now.The Stand by Hillsong and Revelation Song by Kari Jobe and Throne Room by Kim Walker-Smith and Fullness by Elevation Worship.
Revelation 5:13, "I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them say: Blessing and honor and glory and dominion to the One seated on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!"
*** I know I'm a day late, to be honest I just had no idea what to write yesterday. I'll try to get back on track this coming Tuesday.
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
|(this picture is a little blurry but the view of the sky was beautiful that night)|
Fear. There are different types of fear... the rightful fear we should have of God and fear that comes from the Enemy. Today I'm going to talk about the latter.
Fear is something we have all struggled with one time or another.... yet it's not something we like to admit. Maybe we don't because it'll make us look like little kids, or not brave. That doesn't have anything to do with it. Satan likes to attack us using fear because fear can paralyze us. Satan lies to us to make us so terrified of something that we won't do it. There are the "normal" fears you might think of like snakes, spiders, heights, ect..... but there's also fear of the unknown, something bad happening to you or your family, forced to do something really out of your comfort zone, and the list goes on. Fear sometimes comes in the dark of night when you're lying in bed, paralyzing you, lying to you, almost taunting you till you get to the point where you just want to scream for it to be morning already.
A few weeks ago I went through a time where I struggled with fear. Occasionally it attacked me during the day but mostly at night. I would lie in bed when it came, poisoning my thoughts and trying to take over. It would paralyze me and, like I described above, it got to the point where I just wanted to scream for fear to be quiet. This went on for a while. I tried thinking about other things at night, tried to pray, but it didn't always work. One night I had had enough so I went into one of my sister's room and she told me something that didn't feel so great at the time but was something that helped me in the long run. She said that Satan was trying to get into my head, using fear to control me. Now, when you are scared at night and go to someone for comfort that's not usually the first thing you want to hear. But it was true.
A Bible verse I memorized as a kid came to mind sometimes when I was afraid. When I was little I would repeat it to myself when scared. It's Psalm 56:3, a very easy verse to memorize. It says, "When I am afraid, I will trust in You."
Soon after that night we had a guest speaker at our church and a Bible verse he read really stuck out to me. Romans 8:15, "For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father!""
Wow. We weren't freed from fear just to fall back into it. If you are in Christ you have received the Spirit of adoption, you are God's child!
Later that afternoon I wrote this poem based on that scripture....
"I stand right here,
there's no room for fear.
I stand right now in Your presence.
Your love pierces through, love so relentless.
I didn't receive a spirit of slavery to fall back to fear,
but You've adopted me into Your family and You're always near.
I cry out to You, Abba, Father!
My prayers to You are never a bother.
You are right there, with arms wide open.
Your love heals me, for I am broken.
Fear has no hold on me,
love broke through and has set me free.
You are stronger than the Enemy.
You have the ultimate victory!"
After that day fear started to have less and less of a hold on me. It still comes back sometimes, but I try to remember Romans 8:15 and remember that God's with me and I just need to trust Him. I don't want to let fear ever control me again.
I don't know where you are right now, I don't know if you've been struggling with fear or not. But if you are I want to encourage you and say that God's with you always. It's hard, but it'll get better. Try to trust in Him and lean on His promises. That's a hard thing to do when battling fear but whenever you can, surrender to Jesus and trust Him. And if you aren't struggling with fear then enjoy the freedom you're living in and live for Jesus.
I hope that no matter where you are concerning fear that this post has encouraged you and I wanted to share this song with you. It's called No Longer Slaves by Bethel Music and is a beautiful song about how we're no longer slaves to fear, but children of God.
1 John 4:18, "There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear."
Psalm 27:1, "The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom should I be afraid?"
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Last week I posted about seeking the Lord. I talked about how I had lost perspective. I had forgotten to look to see God's wondrous works and I forgot to remember what He has done and is doing.
The picture above is of a sunset a few weeks ago. The sun rises and sets everyday, making the sky glow in a gorgeous array of colors... yet so often I don't even bother to look. God's beauty is all around us if we chose to look. His power that is talked about in the Bible is still every bit as powerful today.
I was reading in Psalm 78 the other day and several things stuck out to me.
Verse 11 says, "They forgot what he had done, the wondrous works He had shown them."
Verse 42, "They did not remember His power shown on the day He redeemed them from foe."
They forgot. They didn't remember His power and what He had done. Like when they were in the desert they forgot His works in Egypt and didn't trust Him to provide - which He did.
Verse 38. "Yet He was compassionate; He atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them. He often turned His anger aside and did not unleash all His wrath."
God, even though the Israelite's rejected Him and didn't trust Him, He still showed compassion. What an amazing God we serve! He does the same thing today. We sin and turn away from Him to go back to our old ways... but He still shows compassion.
Psalm 78:12-16, "He worked wonders in the sight of their fathers in the land of Egypt, the region of Zoan. He split the sea and brought them across; the water stood firm like a wall. He led them with a cloud by day and with a fiery light throughout the night. He split rocks in the wilderness and gave them drink as abundant as the depths. He brought streams out of the stone and made water flow down like rivers."
The same God talked about in those verses is the same God today. His power didn't diminish... He's still in control! He still holds all authority in His hands!
Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."
We may not see the same wondrous works that God did in the Bible but trust me, He still holds that power. He still does wondrous works - like creating sunsets. Sunsets happen everyday but could you or I make one? Of course not. He's powerful. His glory and majesty is too much for us to see. We get glimpses of it but have never seen His full power.
Last week I posted about how I had lost my awe of God. I took my eyes off of Him and forgot how amazing He really is. While I'm writing this I'm jamming out to some Jesus music (by the way, if you need any music suggestions I'm your girl) and sitting on my bed with my Bible opened... and I feel joyful. Joy has always been something I've struggled with and when I feel it it's always so amazing. That's Jesus. He's the one who gives me joy. I'm trying to seek God, I'm trying to get back in awe of God and His power. If you want to seek God and don't want to just get by one of the first things you can try to do is rediscover who God is. He's too amazing and vast for us to comprehend all of Him, but He gives us a glimpse of Him in His Word and in everyday life.
Let's never lose our awe of God. And if we feel like we are beginning to let's rediscover who God is.
In Revelation 2:1-7 Jesus (through John) writes to the church at Ephesus. They were doing great works but they abandoned the love they once had. Jesus tells them in verse five to, "Remember then how far you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first." He wanted them to remember. Remember what it was like when they lived for Him. When we do great things for Him, yet without love for Him, it means nothing. So let's remember why we loved Him to begin with. Let's remember back to when we were so passionate about Christ. We need to recapture that.
We need to remember.
Psalm 104:1-4, "My soul, praise Yahweh! Lord my God, You are very great; You are clothed with majesty and splendor. He wraps Himself in light as if it were a robe, spreading out the sky like a canopy, laying the beams of His palace on the waters above, making the clouds His chariot, walking on the wings of the wind, and making the winds His messengers, flames of fire His servants."
What is one of your favorite scriptures telling of God's power? Mine's Psalm 104 ... which I included a few verses from above. Have you ever lost your awe of God's power, and just of Him in general? What did you do? Or are you going through that now?
(On a different note I realized that this will be my 100th post to post... so yay!)
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
This past Sunday morning I was in church and we were singing when a question came to mind:
Am I really worshiping?
If I'm being honest with myself I would have to say I'm not sure. My mind wasn't completely focused on God and I was distracted. After that question came to mind I tried to really worship. They sang the song Fullness by Elevation Worship and part of the bridge goes like this...
Spirit come, Spirit come"
I was wondering in my heart: was that my top desire? While singing that song I prayed the lyrics to God. I prayed that He would be my number one desire. As I got to thinking I confronted the thing that I've been feeling recently: I've just been getting by one day to the next. I look forward to one thing coming up and I don't make the most of the moment I've living in now. I've been distracted and unfocused. I haven't been truly seeking God with all my heart. I haven't been putting Him first.
And when all of that comes to mind comes more questions....
Why do I read my Bible everyday? Out of obligation or out of love and desire? Why do I pray? Am I just naming requests or pouring out my heart to Him? Why do I serve in the church? Do I do it because I feel that's what's expected of me, or because I long to serve Jesus?
It's so easy to try to just scan over those questions, but I challenge you, as I'm challenging myself, to really search your heart and think about those questions. I'll be the first to admit that my heart hasn't been in the right place recently. It's so much easier to go through the motions then to truly seek and love God. I've realized that I've lost my awe of Jesus. You may ask, how do you lose your awe and wonder of God, King of the universe? The answer is when you take your eyes off of Him.
Back to this past Sunday. I was praying in between songs when the next song came up. It's one of my current favorite songs and the timing couldn't have been more perfect.
Behold Our God by Sovereign Grace.
I'm putting the video below and I highly encourage you to listen to this powerful and beautiful song.
One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 63:1-8 and to me it just reflects a beautiful relationship with God. When you truly seek Him who satisfies.
Here are the first two verses, "God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You. I thirst for You; my body faints for You in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water. So I gaze on You in the sanctuary to see Your strength and Your glory."
Another great Psalm is Psalm 139.
Here are the first ten verses (I really wanted to include the whole passage but that's a lot so I recommend looking it up and reading it).
"Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I stand up; You understand my thoughts from far away. You observe my travels and my rest; You are aware of all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, You know all about it, Lord. You have encircled me; You have placed Your hand on me. This extraordinary knowledge is beyond me. It is lofty; I am unable to reach it. Where can I go to escape Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there. If I live at the eastern horizon or settle at the western limits, even there Your hand will lead me; Your right hand will hold on to me."
Now I have to be honest with you, nothing magical happened. I didn't pray to God and the heavens opened. An angel didn't appear. I didn't just "feel better". Instead I just felt a little taste of peace. It's like after I wandered away from God I'm finally back in His arms.
While God may have felt distant lately, it was never Him who left, never Him who kept His distance. It was me. I've been so focused and distracted by things that don't matter I lost sight of the One who truly does.
I feel an emptiness inside that can't be filled by the things of the world. I can only be satisfied by Jesus. The process of learning to seek God is not a easy one. Trust me, I've tried and keep failing. But with God's help He will teach me how, step by step.
I pray right now while writing this post, that you will seek God and find Him. I'm praying for myself and you. I'm praying that we will truly seek Him, and continue to seek Him always.
Psalm 9:10, "Those who know Your name trust in You because You have not abandoned those who seek You, Yahweh."
What about you? What have you been going through recently? Is there some way I can be praying for you?