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!

Our Creator Speaks Through His Creation

Add a subheadingDo yourself a favor – and immerse yourself in nature. Walk into the woods. Gawk over the intricacy of the countryside. Listen to the birds sing overhead. Feel the cool breeze wash over your skin.

Open your ears to the peaceful sounds of God’s wildlife. Our Creator speaks through his creation; yet, often we are unaware of the soft, gentle words echoed in the forest of his beauty.

Set down your phones. Turn off your WiFi signal. Abandon all the electronic distractions that steal your focus. Sit on a rock in the middle of a rushing stream. Contemplate the Master Artist’s majesty.

Smell in the aroma of freedom all around you. Everything in creation sings in thanksgiving to the One that carefully and thoughtfully designed it.

Your life is a precious gift. Make each day count. Spend your time on what sets your soul on fire. Pray for others in the quiet. Take time to listen to that still small voice that tells you – “This is the way. Walk in it.”

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. – Isaiah 30:21

You See Me, Lord

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. – James 1_17.jpgYou see me. You know my name. You catch my tears in your vast hands and charge me to keep going – for you are continuously guiding me with your radiant light.

You say always:

Look up, child. Gaze into the clouds and remember my sacrifice. Remember the blood I shed to bring heaven down to earth.

You are mine. Walk as a warrior. You are not a follower.

You were made to stand out from the herd. Stand tall and move forward.

You illuminate my feet. You are my lamp and the sunlight that brightens the road before me. Breathing deep into the atmosphere of your grace, I take in promise after promise – for these promises from you are rare gems.

I lap up your golden joy for it invigorates my body. I praise you, Maker, because your blessings bubble over – for you are the fountain that endlessly provides. You are Jehovah-jireh my provider!

May my focus be fixed, and my legs encased in the cement of your stability. You hold me together when the world shakes violently with uncertainty. You are my constant, Lord.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. – James 1:17

I lean into you. You are the source of all my energy. Your promise propels me forward and your grace encourages my weary heart to keep walking the path set me before me.

Walking with your word elevated high, I will shout your name to the heavens – because you are truly great and worthy of all my praise. You saved a wretch like me, hallelujah!

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!

 

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

Find Your Remedy in My Words

May our sons flourish in their youth like well-nurtured plants. May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace. Psalm 144_ 12.png

Cast your cares on me. I know your burdens are heavy – they are weighing that precious heart down. Let go and give me your worries. Put all your hefty troubles on my shoulders. Cry out to your Abba Father, dear one. My body was broken for you.

Nestle yourself within my warm embrace. Feel my heart beating for you. I am here for you. My heart bursts with affection over your life, beauty and irreplaceable makeup.

You are mine.

Do not forget you are a child of promise. Do not lose sight of this precious assurance, child. The complex netting of your veins, vibrant color of your eyes and intricate composition of your soul is one of a kind. You were made with a heavenly purpose in mind. I knit you together to be a Kingdom Seeker.

Honor your body, value your life – for you are far more cherished than rubies. You, my dear, are a pillar in my castle.

Stand tall and strong. You adorn my courts with beauty and strength. Lean into me when times seem turbulent. I am always here, sweet one. Hold on to the hem of my robe of righteousness with unwavering faith. I will show you great and mighty things and work through you in breathtaking ways.

Don’t lose heart. Don’t crumble under worldly pressure. Look to me in times of trouble and find your remedy in my words.

Remember your purpose and revere it.

May our sons flourish in their youth like well-nurtured plants. May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace. – Psalm 144: 12