6.26.2012

The new girl, with the old life

 "Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or anyone practicing homosexuality,10 no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom. 11 And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified,  you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." - 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

I'm saved. Would you know it by my lifestyle? Better yet, would you know it by the way my heart looks? The way I speak? act? My very being?

These are some questions I've asked myself the past few weeks. Some of the questions that have kept me up at night.

See, the problem I have with many pastors, evangelists, and leaders messages is that they tell you following Christ is easy (which it's not). They tell you that all you have to do is pray a prayer and after that everything is taken care of. The fact that our very lives must change when we come to know the Savior is a message that many people don't bring anymore. And so my story continues.

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I just can't believe I did that. Am I really saved if I keep doing the same sin over and over again? Why can't I just stop? Why don't I love God enough?

All of these thoughts have something common... the word 'I' is used a good bit and the heart and focus of all these thoughts were... me.

I've learned something this week. I know, I know, the week just got started but when God is working it only takes a couple days for AMAZING things to happen! As I've told the Lord I don't want to live a lifestyle of sin anymore and that I want to really live out what His Word says, He began telling me some things.

~"If you want to love Me, you must allow Me to love you." <~ Ouch! I didn't realize it until very recently but I've been so prideful acting as if God couldn't possibly love a sinner like me even though His Word already says He loves us regardless. As I'm learning more of who my Beloved is, the more I see His love for me and my love for Him blossoms.

~ "I've already taught you how to live for Me. It's in My Word which you read daily. You don't need to know how to live for Me, you already know how. What you must do now, is obey."

~ "Stop calling yourself by the names you were formerly known by. Ugly, unlovable, stupid... these are no longer who you are. You are Mine. Understand that I call you worthy, holy, beautiful, and beloved and that is your identity now. Seek your value and identity in Me."

^ That last statement above is totally something God touched my heart with yesterday! I was doing 'The Lord's Table' course* yesterday and they talked about not calling yourself fat anymore because now that I'm in Christ and seeking to glorify Him in my eating and drinking, then I am no longer bound by those constraints! There is freedom!

Friend, if you are in Christ, then who you were before Him is no more. Why do you continue to try and keep an old lifestyle with a new you? It's like trying to wear too tight or too loose clothes once you've grown or lost weight. It doesn't fit anymore! Get rid of it!!

Read through the above verse again. You see the names we had in verses 9-10. Those are the names we were called before Christ because that's the way we lived. If you're still living like that and you claim the cross of Christ as freedom then I strongly encourage you to let go of sin once and for all. This won't be something you can do on your own. This is something you must rely on God for. The eternal worth of living radically for Christ is beyond describable. It's worth it. <3

Now, pay close attention to verse 11... santified, justified, washed by Jesus Christ is who we are right now! Holy is one of our new names! Not by our selves, but by Jesus and His gift to us of grace and mercy!

Tell the devil you're done with him and his empty promises. Remember that sin's promises are always empty. Remember that the promises of God are always true! Stay cool, peoples! ;)

*If you want to know more about 'The Lord's Table' course you can go to www.settingcaptivesfree.com and check it out!

6.21.2012

Attack.

Last night I sat on my bed with my journal and tears streaming down my face and just poured out my heart to God.

Yesterday stunk soo bad. I wanted to punch a wall... or a person... haha! (that's a joke btw;) but it seriously wasn't a good day at all.

It's really hard to take on a positive attitude when your day isn't going well at all.

First off, my family & I were arguing about EVERYTHING! When I thought I was being patient and calm, I wasn't. It's soo hard being patient when you're angry.

I wasn't having a good confidence day either. I felt "too fat", "too ugly", and "too unlovable". These things are always a battle for me, but yesterday it was especially tough.

On top of those two things I felt so far away from my Savior and the more I talked to Him the further He seemed. That late night cry was soo needed.

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This morning I woke up with a sense of dread and I just wanted to roll over and go back to sleep and then.. I got up. Why?

Well, here's a story for you.

I have a wonderful friend named Ashley (click her name and go check out her blog:) and we both have problems with food (eating disorders) and so we talk about it each week and what's been helping each of us and yesterday I was kinda just thinking about her and me and what we're going through and the Lord broke through with one word: Attack.

It wasn't quiet and it wasn't loud, it was just... profound. I told her about it and she said it was funny because God kept showing her things with the word "Fight". Coincidence? I think not. Later as I was thinking about it some more I realized how I lack the drive and want to attack. I just give in.

So I got up this morning knowing that it was going to be hard, knowing I'll have trials, knowing that it may not go smoothly or happily, yet knowing my Savior is with me. If I didn't have Jesus, I probably would just stay in bed all day and sleep because life's problems are too hard to deal with without Him. Seriously.

Tomorrow, neither you nor I will know what happens. God knows though! Does that bring you peace? It should because He is always with us (His promise to us! <3) Tomorrow might stink and you might cry, but remember all we have to do is take one step at a time with the Lord. Let's attack right back when we're under fire! Let's not give in to those lies the enemy is feeding. Attack with His Word and shut the devil up!! Love y'all!! You're beautiful just as you are.

6.19.2012

Confessions

Who am I really living for? Christ or Satan? Myself?

I wrote these words in my journal today. I'm really thinking about it.

The past few weeks have been spent in tears, being torn, upset, and entangled in sin. I laid it down, I picked it up, I laid it down, I picked it up... sin must be LEFT AT THE CROSS. <~ There's a period there. It's almost symbolic because it's a period, end of story type thing.

I know, I know, Christians are supposed to be "perfect", right? No. But when did we begin using being imperfect as an excuse to sin? Oh.. you don't do that? Right, me neither. Awkward...

But for real. I'm tired of this sin and it's like every time I go a few weeks without it I go back and pick it up. You know what that means? Maybe I haven't genuinely repented.

I've been learning about genuine repentance and what I've learned is that it's God's gift! We ourselves cannot make repentance happen in our lives (contrary to what some evangelists and preachers will tell you), we must ask God to change our hearts and lives and let us turn away completely from sin to Him. When I first accepted Christ in my life I believed whole heartedly that only He could change me. There was no pride, no "I can do it by myself" thinking or otherwise I would have never asked Him to come into my life in the first place... how do we get so far away from that type of faith and reliance on God?

I'm tired. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. I have no one else to blame for that but myself. I don't want sin anymore. I FREAKING DON'T! Here's the thing, if I don't replace sin with Him, I'll go right back to where I was. Yes. And it will be a vicious cycle that repeats itself until the end of time.

The key to forsaking sin once and for all is: stop filling up on sin that will never satisfy and leaves you hungry all your life, and start filling up on the Living Water (Jesus Christ) and replace all those bad habits with Him.

I've been doing this in certain areas of my life, but the whole of my life... hmmm.. not so much.

I could end this post with a, "I'm never gonna sin again, all I want is Jesus.." etc. and I'm not saying that people who have said that before are lying, however, I know I'll sin until the world is gone, the point is striving to please God in all I do by obeying Him because that's how I love Him. That's how He wants to be loved, “If you love Me, you will keep My commands." - John 14:15

So I'm gonna end with something better, a prayer, a prayer for myself and for you. I know I can't do this on my own and I'm seeking God's help now.

God,
Thank You for being so faithful to us even when we've been so unfaithful to You.
Show us our sin and let us hate it as You hate it. Let us not make excuses for our sins or try and hide them from You because we can never do that.
Bring our sins out in the open and let us deal with them in Your Light.
Replace our want and desire for sin with a want and desire for You. Let us not go back to filthy ways of living. Let us live in righteousness for You. Let us seek Your Kingdom FIRST.
I'm done with living that way. We need You, Lord. Grant us genuine repentance and give us a new heart and a new spirit like You promised in Ezekiel 36:26. Help us to love You by obeying You as You desire.
                  In Jesus' name, Amen.

6.12.2012

Breaking His heart

So last week I helped out with VBS at my church. It's such a blessing to me to be able to interact with kids younger than me and be an example to them to help lead them towards the cross!

One day the most precious little girl got sick. I watched her throwing up and people coming to help her and it was the most sad, pitiful thing I've seen in a while.

**Side note: she was feeling much better a couple days later and let us all know in her cute little girl voice, "I feel all better now!"

A little while later in the day I was reflecting on everything that had happened and I thought of her getting sick. As I thought about that I was telling the Lord how heartbreaking it was to watch and then He came back with a, "Imagine how I felt..." followed by a "especially when my daughters force themselves to do it."

Ouch.

Well that certainly made my heart break and then I felt a little conviction because I thought of all the times I hurt the Lord by doing things I knew He was not wanting. I thought of the girls who struggle to see their beauty (like me) or who beat down on themselves because of their looks, personalities, or whatever.

Imagine how our Father must feel when we break His heart like that. It usually doesn't start out with the intent of breaking His heart but after a while we do begin to learn that any time we refuse to rely on Him we are hurting Him. I find myself doing this sometimes and I just have to stop myself and ask, 'When did I become okay with hurting Him? when did it just not matter to me?'

This post is just to give you a little food for thought and to remind you that whoever you are, the Lord values you and sees you as precious and beautiful in His sight! No matter what. Period. That's for real the most awesome thing ever to know! That no matter what God always sees me in love and LOVES me! He LOVES you! Don't break His heart by feeding into the lies Satan throws at you. Ask God to remind you or show you who you are in Him!
Warning: He will answer!

6.05.2012

Like Christ or the world?

My heart is so sad right now.

Ever been around someone who presented themselves to you in one way and turned the complete opposite right in front of your eyes?
Yeaaaahhhh... that just happened in a way and it was crazy.

There's a blog that I've read for many months and have actually shared links for on here many times. They presented good Christian articles on topics that weren't usually addressed. I applauded them so many times for that. However, they seem to have lost what made them unique from other blogs and now it's just getting out of control.

There has been this form of "Christianity" that's been on the rise for many years. The lukewarm, uses the fact that we're forgiven as an excuse to sin, wants to look as close to the world as possible yet not be "of" the world (that just doesn't work btw), etc.
What I've learned is that there is no possible way to be a Christian and be just like the world. Jesus didn't live like the world and I believe firmly that we are to follow that example.

Note: We all have used God's grace as a means to do what we please so I'm not condemning, however we must take off all the junk that keeps us from Him and as we follow Him we become more like Him; holy and beautiful.

Today I went over to their website after having seen the picture for a new post and was disgusted that anyone who claims the name of Christ would consider the picture appropriate. At first I wasn't going to say anything about it. You know I don't want to hurt any one's feelings, start drama or make someone feel bad, but then I read the article. It was completely gross. I'm all for educating people about sex TO A POINT! Seriously people! Let's keep the private stuff, p-r-i-v-a-t-e.

While I read the article I just kept seeing over and over how they equate a "good" marriage to how good the sex is in it. Let me tell you something, I don't know much about marriage but one thing I do know is that if sex is the focal point of your relationship it will fail before it's even started.

How can we as humans figure out what a good marriage looks like when none of us are even good?! Only the Father is good and when He saves us He begins making us better, but we still have sin in us. We won't be perfect until Heaven, so how can a human being tell me what a good marriage looks like apart from God? It's just wrong. Period.

Guys, if you're a Christian your life must looks different! Girls, if you're a follower of God then you have to follow HIM! Not the world, not your friends, not what people on tv say is right, you have got to follow the Lord. Is this easy? Heck no! Is it tiring? Yes! Does the good outweigh the bad? You better believe it!

In his book, 'The Church', Mark Denver said this: (found on www.radical.net/blog)

Today many local churches are adrift in the shifting currents of pragmatism. They assume that the immediate response of non-Christians is the key indicator of success. At the same time, Christianity is being rapidly disowned in the culture at large. Evangelism is characterized as intolerant, and portions of biblical doctrine are classified as hate speech. In such antagonistic times the felt needs of non-Christians can hardly be considered reliable gauges, and conforming to the culture will mean a loss of the gospel itself. As long as quick numerical grown remains the primary indicator of church health, the truth will be compromised. Instead, churches must once again begin measuring success not in terms of numbers but in terms of fidelity to the Scriptures. William Carey served faithfully in India, and Adoniram Judson persevered in Burma not because they met immediate success or advertised themselves as “relevant.” (xii)

We've got to stand out! It's not something you have to force all the time (though sometimes your feelings and what God says to do won't match up and you're gonna have to choose to follow God anyway), but if we (Believers) continue to do as the world does, then God, who knows our hearts and motives, will have something else to say to us when we meet Him face to face...

"Then I will announce to them, "I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!" - Matthew 7:23

We either believe ALL God says or none at all. It's not pick and choose. I'm saying all of this out love, not my love, but His. He cares so much for you that He wants you to live the best life and the best life you can live is one that is all for His glory! So what do you say? You can choose Life (Jesus) or death (sin), but if you choose Life you've got to choose the life that comes with it. Let's be completely committed to Jesus and His Truth. <3