Jesus – The Center of Self Discovery

_The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become - because He made us._ - C.S. LewisA sense of self worth. We search for this hidden treasure within ourselves. It’s a journey experts tell us — full of twists and turns, trials and errors. We are instructed to head off on a secret self discovery mission — and once we find ourselves, then we will be happy. Then we will have magical answers. Then will we know our purpose. 

Clearly, it’s important to realize our skill sets and unique talents. These beautiful gifts are truly kingdom assets and we should embrace them with all our hearts. 

As Christians, we can get lost in the hype of self discovery. We embark on a mission that is said to beautiful. We are promised to gain an understanding of what fills our joy tanks and what fuels our insides. However, sadly, that joy we’re after simply doesn’t appear like it was promised. 

Could it be because we are looking in the wrong places or to the wrong people? 

The glitter and glamour fades and we are left feeling confused. We want some revelation to burn across the sky — and turn on the lights of our souls. Yet we still feel lackluster and void of vision. 

The simple truth is — if we are looking for self discovery without placing Jesus in the center, we are simply trying to drink water from a well that’s bone dry.

We should be praying — Lord, it’s you I want to define my life. You define me! 

“But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 6:17 

May we yearn for a “self discovery” that leads us closer to the throne room of Christ. While seeking our self worth, may we look up and see the face of Christ — for he is the answer to every question and remedy we seek! 

“The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become – because He made us. He invented us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be. . .It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.” — C.S. Lewis 

May our wandering feet purposefully lead us to the empty tomb of everlasting love. It is through this love that we truly realize the weighty reality of our worth. We see that our lives meant enough for the King of Kings — to shed his precious blood. 

That’s worth, my friend. That is self discovery. 

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Refined and Resting in the Waiting

I want a peace beyond my understandingI want to feel it fall like rainIn the middle of my hurtingI want to feel Your arms as they surround meAnd let me know that it's okayTo be here in this placeResting in the.jpgYou’ve called us to do hard things. Life isn’t easy or fair. We ice-skate on treacherous sheets of frozen water in anticipation of the calamity below – holding our breath. Will the ice crack and splinter? Will we fall below into the tundra of the unknown? It depends on what we fix our eyes upon – the good, the lovely, the praiseworthy? If that’s our focus we surely will not drown.

This world spits sulfur and hurls debris at our fragile bodies. We close our eyes – trusting and waiting for deliverance. When will it come, we ask you? You are good, we cry. Show us your favor! Shine down on us the light that illuminates the dark and dissipates the fear hovering over our heads.

We walk like the Israelites trusting in the desert. Gazing at the clouds above and the fire in the sky by night. We know you are near. We cling on to the truth – by faith, not by sight. We know you are watching over our steps; but we are an impatient people. We yearn for the swiftness of your rescue. Unaware of the truth that you are making us stronger in the process, we diligently wait for your army of goodness to infiltrate our camp.

You sing over us – and call us precious gems. We are being refined in the waiting.

“I want a peace beyond my understanding. I want to feel it fall like rain in the middle of my hurting. I want to feel Your arms as they surround me. And let me know that it’s okay to be here in this place. Resting in the peace that only comes. In the waiting.” — Greg Long, In the Waiting 

Abba Father, we are ready for your warrior-like skills. We beseech you, sweet Savior, to wave your banner of victory over our heads. Like the people in the time of Ezra, may we fall face down and worship you. May we place our faces in the dirt and elevate our hands – for you are worthy.

Ezra opened the book in full view of all the people, since he was standing above them all, and as he opened it, all the people stood up. Then Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and with their hands uplifted, all the people said, “Amen, Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.” — Nehemiah 8:5-6

We may not see the full image of your beautiful, intricate quilt; but we know you are a good Father. We know that you always deliver on your promises. You are the Savior that was wounded and bled for our transgressions. Our names are etched permanently in the palms of your hands.

We sing – hallelujah when we are still unsure of how you are working. We praise you even when we stand soaked in a thunderstorm. We shout at the top of our lungs in every situation – great are you, God! We pray for our enemies and bless those who curse us because you have defeated death.

You deliver. You show up – and you grant your children favor. May we humble ourselves in your presence, open our hands and expect a blessing because he is who has promised is 100 percent faithful!

Walking from Famine to Plenty

May we step out in faith – and stop trying to order our steps; but, look to the one who made our feet.You lead us to your mountain and make a covenant with your people. We cry from the depths of our souls because the mountain is not just high and mighty – it also has hills and valleys.

We walk from famine to plenty. We are led by your hands from dark places to your pure, incandescent light. You appear like a pillar of fire to guide us. You, God, fill us with your presence and ignite our spirits.

We hear your voice … in the stillness you speak:

Look up precious children. Look to the stars! As I did for Abraham, I will also do for you. I will make a covenant with you. Your name is etched in my hands. I smile and rejoice over you, sweet children of mine!

Oh, how great is the love of the Father!

How precious is your unfailing love, O God! – Psalm 36:7

He refreshes us every morning with his presence. He goes before us and sings over us a new song – the beautiful melody of salvation through grace. May the words of deliverance always be on our lips!

He has made a way for us in the wilderness of our self-reliance. He holds out his hands and asks us to walk boldly.

May we step out in faith and stop trying to order our steps; but, look to the one who made our feet.

He is the Creator who spoke the world into existence.

Great is your faithfulness, Holy God. Great is your provision. We stand in awe and wonder of you.

Precious Savior – you are good, and your mercy endures forever. Hallelujah!

The Rock That Is Higher Than I

Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. – Psalm 61: 2,3

Oh God, I cry out so often feeling confused and weary laden. This world tries to snatch the life out of us. It grabs while we are the most vulnerable – introducing doubt, guilt and fear. Our hearts, overwhelmed by external sources, forget to climb the ROCK that stands taller than trees, buildings and even the heavens.

You call out – Remember daughter whose you are!

Consumed in worries, we fret; but you have told us not to worry. You are an ironclad King – fighting the darts being hurled our direction. Our simple selves cannot see the war being waged. You are present every single second of the day. You fight for us – battling for our hearts and our minds.

You say – Breathe it in, sweet child. Breathe in my power. Breathe in my security. Do not be afraid. I have called you to be courageous.

May we walk in your assurance and remember that we are daughters of the Highest King!

To the world our crowns may appear invisible; but, you, God, have assured us that we are cherished and adored.

We enter your gates with heads held high – shining your pure light. We pray that we are able to point others to you.

May our fear never outpower our faith. Earthy obstacles are just that – carnal. May we strive to build up lasting kingdoms.

May our lives be beacons – radiant and ever bright. May we point to you in the night sky and draw lost ships to your safe harbor.

“All for you, Mighty King” may our lives forever sing!

 

Choosing Life & Holding Fast

_Choose life so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life._ - Deuteronomy 30_19-20I find you when I’m still – observing creation, basking in the beauty of the luminous sun and singing your praises with elevated hands.

You are the one that makes this heart of mine steady. You light a fire in my soul and line my feet with the purpose to tread this earth fearless.

I look to the mountains dotted with lush, dark foliage unafraid because you are with me.

God, you are my rock. Unmovable, solid and supportive. Help me to seek you every day and fully comprehend the wisdom in your profound words. Your words are the honey that I want to line my lips every single day.

Bestow meaning into your child’s life.

May l look to you and walk with a purpose – shining brightly with a radiant light. Give me your energy to press ahead with fire in my soul. I want to burn for you during the night – and light my lamp with the oil of your provision.

Oh, Lord – I want to choose life. May I always hold fast to your truths – for you are the perfect Father. You instruct me with compassion and encourage me to soar victoriously on your beautiful wings.

“Choose life so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life.” – Deuteronomy 30:19-20

You are my life, LORD. I pray every step I take is consistent with your will for my life.

Live and breathe in me today and always.

Your ways are perfect, and I bow to your flawless grace and mercy.

Charging Toward Forest Fires

“If you are in Christ, your scars won't have the last word over your life; His scars will._ -- Sarah WaltonPrecious, merciful Savior – you have healed the stripes that cover every inch of my body. Aching and crying, when I call out to you, you hear me. You lift my face, bowed in complete surrender, and breathe your life altering words over me.

You boldly speak to me: I am here, child, you say. I have always been here. Give it to me – all the worries and ailments that weigh you down. Place them in my hands that were pierced for you. You are my treasure, created for a mighty purpose. I will heal you and empower you.

Your words wash over me like a monsoon of warm water. I can feel your protection, love and devotion. My lips are met with the beautiful kiss of your might. They are lined with the wisdom written in red.

I accept the raw preparation. You are equipping your child for the battle ahead.

Smoke lines the horizon and you have called your special warriors to charge toward the forest fires in the distance. May I strap up my boots, blow my shofar of promise and tread on the hot coals shouting your name. When we cling to your faith, you claim the victory every time.

“And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city.” – Joshua 6:16

You are worthy of all praise.

You are my healer. You are my comfort. You are my provider. You are my vision, God. You tell me to crush fear and trample the lies of the darkness.

Prepare me, God, for your service. Use this earthen vessel is the cry of my heart! Open my eyes that I may see your wonderful commission in the sky.

Blessed be the Lord God!

Since When Did God Become So Offensive?

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. - 1 John 4_4.jpgWhat has our culture become Jesus? One that tramples on your words, one that regards our greatness as supreme, refuses to acknowledge the one that fashioned our bodies, minds and spirits?

Oh, how I long for the days when many would seek and revere you.

Woe to those who have believed the snake lies of the Evil One. They have fallen prey to his whispers of grandeur. How tragic to worship the laurels thrust upon us by this crumbling society. How utterly catastrophic to disregard the greatest sacrifice in human history!

Since when did your name become so offensive to others, God?

This terrible truth crushes my heart. Deep sadness cascades over my whole being when I think of how you are not admired and adored. You are the rightful King. You are the Creator of the Universe and our selfless Savior. We should be washing your feet and adjusting our lives to run after you. You are the one that died for us –that we might have life! You are the Master Artist that fashioned us – knit us together in our mother’s wombs.

May our hearts turn back to the LORD!

May we desire to turn back to you, sweet Jesus. Without you –society crumbles. We become no better than the wicked culture in the days of Noah.

We need an army to rise up and carry the torch of truth into this dark, desperate society. Name calling and persecution should never phase us – for we have a God that can scale walls, walk on water and shut the mouths of wild lions.

Ascribe to the LORD – all who love him! This is a battle.

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. –  1 John 4:4

We will not leave this world unscathed by the darts of the wicked unless we suit up in our Master’s battle armor. May we hold his promises close to our heart and apply them. Let us walk forward in his power. Take heart — precious torch bearers and trust in God to lift us up in this oppressive time!

Charge full force into the waterfall of grace afforded to us by his blood and stand firm!

My Everlasting Garden

Text placeholderI’ve made an everlasting garden for you — dear child. A lush space filled with beautiful fruit bearing trees and endless waterfalls of my grace.

Enter, child. The door is always open for you. I call you to step forward — out of the desert. I see your feet caked with dry sand and your sandals frayed from the arid heat. Lace those sandals up, unashamed.

Come into the covering of my garden. Let the moisture of my mercy wet your tongue and water your soul. Let the canopy of my provision shelter you from the harsh elements.

Admission to my garden is free. You will be fully awed by its flora. You will be overwhelmed by its sweet fragrance. You will be protected by its shield of invisible power. It was made for you.

Watchmen stand at its gate armed with swords of my word and breastplates of my righteousness. My garden is an impenetrable fortress for the weary and heavy laden. It houses the one and only sun — and shines that true radiant glory!

Take my hand and walk with me through this garden of grace. Be warmed by the light wrapped around you. Loose vines will never hinder your expedition in the garden of my mercy. You will see — uninhibited.

Sing with the angels the songs of deliverance and peace. Join in on the symphony of voices — lifted up in one accord. Your voice is precious to me.

You are my beautiful creation child. Walk assuredly with a lantern of oil that will never run dry. I will always provide for you.

May you lead others to the garden of fullness that is waiting for them! It’s your calling — share this beautiful, free gift with the world.

Shine bright, dear child.

 

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. – Revelation 22: 1-3

May Your Name Always Be on My Lips

_What's closest to your heart is what you talk about and if God is close to your heart, you'll talk about Him._ - AW TozerJesus – may your name always be on my lips. You alone are good, God. You alone are majestic. May others see your spirit shining strong and hovering over my life.

Consume me, sweet Savior.

My bones yearn for my Maker. They rattle at the mention of your name. You, Christ, dazzle me. Your sacrifice humbles me. It brings me to my knees in gratitude and awestruck wonder.

“What’s closest to your heart is what you talk about and if God is close to your heart, you’ll talk about Him.” – AW Tozer

Overwhelmed, like a speck of sand looking out over the vastness of your oceans of mercy, I cannot help but weep when thinking of diving into your arms.

You open your arms – fully aware of my imperfections and human depravity – yet, you still call me worthy.

You clothe me in your strength and righteousness – and give me a new name. I hold up my hands empty and trembling and you fill them with your abundant, overflowing grace.

You have charged me to be a light to the broken – a lamp to the lost.

I pray that my soul will always be stirred by your noble theme. Your endless love makes my heart leap – for you are the reason for my existence.

You are the purpose. Your precious blood saved my life, and I will dance and lift my voice to the heavens – knowing you hear me and draw near. May I sing of your love forever.

“I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!” – Psalm 66: 17-20

Clean, Supple & Overflowing with Love

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4_ 31-32Let go of all that holds your heart for ransom, dear child. Do not harbor bitterness, rage or envy in that beautiful pumping vessel. Keep it clean, keep it supple, keep it overflowing with love.

Like a balloon that graces the stratosphere when released, liberate those emotions that are keeping you from loving to the fullest, smiling from ear-to-ear and singing for joy at the top of your lungs.

There is no place for resentment in a soul that is occupied by the Holy Spirit. Your soul is my territory and my spirit desires to move and work in a tender, lionhearted soul.

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4: 31-32

Unshackle that fear that holds you back from moving forward. Forgive – and do not let the sun set on your anger. You, my child, were called to bless others. Open your mouth and speak life. May your words truly resemble the sweet aroma of flourishing wildflowers.

“Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.” – 1 Peter 3:9

Look to the heavens and feel my forgiveness. Absorb my love and understanding and do the same for others. Unwrap that seal of hostility that ties your heart in tightly. Let this vital organ breathe. Walk as an unscathed soldier waving a flag of my grace and truth.

Bless and you will be blessed, child. Forgive, and you shall be forgiven.