I recently wrote 5 things I want to do in my lifetime.
1.write and publish a book
2.go on a foreign mission trip with my husband and our two girls
3.travel and speak to teenage girls all over the world
4.go to Israel
5.ride an elephant and wave like a princess
As I looked back over that list this morning I smiled. I could literally visualize myself riding on an elephant with my friend Blake laughing so hard that we almost fall off the elephant. It is also that time of year again where little children get the catalogs in the mail and they circle and mark everything they want. From big doll houses to the best Nerf gun they also visualize themselves playing with whatever it is they want so badly. I believe that we often find ourselves staring at the things that enslave us and we no longer can see ourselves walking in freedom. When we allow our hearts to be hidden in our addictions or fears those things begin to dictate our days and we continue to walk in that bondage never fully seeing Jesus. Our hearts become a breeding ground for pride,shame and other forms of enslaving emotions and thoughts and our identity becomes this chase of constantly wanting more and then emptiness sets in. If we are honest with ourselves and trace our dreams to why we want them to happen we find pockets of a deeper longing. God created us to desire Him and to want His presence in our lives above anything else but He isn't a bully. When an alcoholic gets to that rock bottom place He can usually muster up a small amount of strength to say no for the first time and then the second time he has a little bit more courage until he no longer finds himself staring at a bottle but instead surrender that is laced in victory. It takes us completely giving up sometimes to really see God's power but also really positioning our hearts to fully believe Him.
On the last day, that great day of the feast Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirst, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."
As I read this my heart visualized a huge waterfall falling over a mountain. The rush of the stream pouring into this pool of water that moves quickly without ever stopping or drying up. What a picture of God's power in our lives. It says that Jesus cried out and that moved me. I have stiff armed the power of God in order to pursue a feeling of relief because honestly I didn't believe that He could bring my heart relief completely. I can also point back to times in my life where I could feel Jesus crying out to me to turn away from something or a place of self hatred so He could tell me just how beautiful I truly am. When we allow His words to penetrate our hearts it shines on the areas of doubt and lies and it doesn't cover them it yanks them out so it can fully take its place. The Living water represents the Holy Spirit in our lives from the moment we choose to accept Jesus as truth in our hearts. This continuous flow of God's love and grace and power will pour out without ever stopping. Doesn't that change your perspective on those areas of defeat in your life? God doesn't intend for you to fight to keep up a pace that will always lead you into a place of failure. Its His spirit that sustains you in your weakest moments. To believe means to accept something as true. As I sit here I am asking myself and I also want to challenge you in the areas of unbelief within your own heart this morning. Do you truly take God at His word? Do you believe what He says about you? He isn't going to bully you into a deeper relationship with Him but He is crying out to you because He knows that His living water will satisfy a longing that is deep within you and you will NEVER EVER EVER thirst again.
Be encouraged today!
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Today is Veterans Day and both my kids are out of school and my man is also off of work. My plan was to take all the fall decorations down and then start putting all the Christmas decorations up. My plan didn't go quite so smooth. I began removing pictures and other fall things and noticed dust and trash behind couches along with a few cob webs. So I changed our planned a little and began giving my girls some deep cleaning chores. I was overwhelmed at the dirt. I thought to myself I clean and sweep almost daily but it wasn't until I began removing things I saw even more dirt. Now when we begin to put up Christmas decorations I can know that it's clean and it will feel and look better. As I thought about all the cleaning going down I began to think about how easy it would be to leave the stuff hidden. The guest coming for the holidays wouldn't see it and yet it would still remain. Isn't that just like the dark places of our hearts. We allow things to sit and gather dust and then before long it stinks and the way we look at things becomes distorted. We have to have every thought protected, every area of our heart surrendered or cob webs will form and our dreams and our passion will begin to fade. Just this morning as I began to pray for this weekend and all the girls that are coming I also began to feel very insecure about my body and my weight which I haven't struggled with in a very long time. I eat healthy I exercise (not everyday) and I truly no longer feel bound by food. Those thoughts actually stopped me from praying and I stood and looked in the mirror with disgust. I went to the kitchen got my phone and I had a text from not one but 3 people saying they had me on their hearts this morning and we're praying for me. In that moment I just began to praise God for allowing me the opportunity to speak truth and suddenly those thoughts had subsided and were no more. I had to attack the thought and remove it in order to fully shine. God has such huge plans for everyone of us and yet we need a daily cleansing to ensure no sin creeps up. Sin only allows us to coast and just remain but repentance and surrender allows us to move forward and it deepens our faith and passion. Our view of our circumstances change because we aren't weighed down by the things that haunt or keep us from shining. In Psalm 51:7-15 (the msg) says it so beautiful and gives us such a clear picture of Gods redeeming love.
I love that it says this. "oday allow God to move things around in your heart and allow Him to cover it with the beauty of His grace and then watch what happens next! Those around you will see Jesus so clearly simply because you chose to let the light in.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014