A Consuming Fire

On Monday, I unexpectedly got to get my MRI done early. Yesterday, I got my results back.

Nothing. They found absolutely nothing. My brain & head are 100% healthy.

God is good, am I right?! He hears our prayers. He answers our prayers. He heals. He renews. He strengthens. He is so good.

My symptoms aren’t gone…yet. But I will continue to pray for that daily. & I believe so strongly that He will deliver me from this trial with His mighty, mighty hand.

It’s hard to understand why I’ve been feeling the way that I have. But I do know that God has revealed Himself to me in ways that I never knew He would. He has revealed to me wisdom that I seriously just can’t contain.

So lean in on this, brothers & sisters in Christ. God will give us many blessings in this life, & He will take many away. But why is it that we wait until He takes them away to appreciate them? Why do we wait until we are sick to appreciate being healthy? Why do we wait until we are dying to appreciate life? Why do we wait until our spouse has left to appreciate their friendship? I took so many things for granted before I fell into this sickness. I would rush through taking my dog for a walk, dread making dinner every night & put off going to the gym after work. Now, I seriously celebrate when I have the strength to do ANY of those things. I am only now recognizing how the Lord had blessed my life so graciously with good health for so many years.

I really believe that I am going through this so that I can share this with you: you are so blessed. I am so blessed. We have been given another day to taste the goodness of our God. We have a Savior who took our sin, along with our guilt, & did away with it for good. We have the hope of eternity in our hearts-an eternity in the presence of God. See, this is not something to be taken lightly. This gift of life that we have been given needs to start being experienced with a responsibility like we’ve never known before. The Word says in Hebrews 12:29 that our God is “a consuming fire.” He is not a gentle breeze that blows through every now & again to remind us that He is still around. No, He is a consuming fire. His strength is uncontainable.

He is moving among us, you guys. He is changing lives, He is changing people’s eternities every single second. He is calling us to fight, to advance, to conquer. He is healing people, saving people, raising people up. He is training leaders to speak for Him in a world that really only seems to want to speak against Him. His power cannot be quenched. THIS is the God you serve, the God I serve. THIS is the One we believe in. The One we put our hope in.

Live like you know who your God is. Thank Him for what He has poured into your life. Use the talents He has given you to advance His Kingdom. But do it now. Don’t wait-there’s a reason the Lord has spoken certain dreams into your heart at this very time. Because before you know it, you may not be able to act on these things anymore. Let yourself be consumed by Him, let Him set you on fire today. & keep on burning for Him-today, tomorrow, forever.

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Fair Weather Fans

Last week, my boss told me that since it was playoff weekend, we were all going to wear football jerseys Friday through Monday. So on Friday, I excitedly pulled out my Broncos shirt & represented my team & my state proudly! There was a little bit of smack talk about Sunday’s game, a lot of bets made, & even some fighting words tossed around.

Well…now it’s Monday. & of course, I am faced with the unfortunate dilemma on whether to wear my teams jersey again (which is now the losing jersey) or not. Do I represent the team that I once had so much hope would win? The team that kind of…let me down? Or am I going to shy away, be ashamed & embarrassed that they didn’t pull through?

My decision? Well, the blue & orange on my shirt says it all. I don’t want to be a “fair weather fan” (as my mom used to call it). I want to be proud of the team I support, even when the outcome isn’t ideal.

When I was thinking about this idea of being a fair weather fan, God definitely used it to convict me on deeper levels than football. He asked me a very tough question. Am I a fair weather fan of Him? Am I okay with praising Him, proclaiming His name, even when things aren’t ideal? For me, I have had one very specific prayer for almost a year now-a prayer of healing-& yesterday in church, I prayed again that the Lord would divinely heal me. I believed for it in my heart, worshipped Him for what I was sure He was about to do, & may have even talked some smack to the devil. ūüėČ

Well…now it’s Monday, ladies. I woke up feeling just as bad as always. & so I’m faced with this-does this outcome mean that I’m not going to wear His jersey today? That I’m not going to proclaim whose team I am on? Am I going to let the enemy soak up what looks like his victory while I’m embarrassed that God didn’t “come through” for me?

No! Here’s what I plan on doing. I plan on saying His name louder than before, telling of His goodness more boldly than before, & speaking out His truth more proudly than before. Because listen ladies, our God DOES NOT lose! He NEVER once has had an “off” game! He is STILL absolutely covered in grace, infused in mercy, & strengthened with healing! & even though I am not healed, MY GOD IS STILL A HEALER! If I get up every single day, regardless of circumstance, & put on His jersey-the jersey of worship & praise-I will never be representing the losing team. But if I put on the jersey of hopelessness & disappointment, then I am choosing to represent the enemy’s team. Well here’s a little bit of a spoiler alert: that team already lost. They’re out. I mean, no playoffs, no Superbowl, NOTHING for them. When Jesus died on that cross, He defeated them forever. & that’s why I will confidently wear HIS jersey day after day after day.

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Prayer Of Thankfulness

God, how can I thank you enough for being who you are? How can I praise you enough for your grace and mercy towards me? Thank you for your compassion, thank you that your heart is sad when I cry, and that your eyes are filled with tears when I am broken. No amount of love, acceptance or attention on this earth will ever compare to your love for me. Please don’t let me lean on this world’s love to fulfill me, Jesus. I want your love, the love that never fails, never deceives, and never lets me down. God, I want to lean so much on you that when everything around me crashes, I can stand up strong because you are truly my rock. You are my best friend, the only one who always listens and is constantly loving towards me, even when I am unlovable. Thank you for overcoming this world so that I can, too. I love you, Jesus. Amen.

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A Beautiful Life

How do the people around you know that you follow Christ?

Is it because of the way you love them, have generosity towards them, and encourage them? Because of your grace and forgiveness towards them, and the way that you relentlessly believe in them? Or is it because you just simply tell them?

Read Chapter 8 of 1 Corinthians in your Bible, where Paul is warning the more mature believers to be cautious of the way they live in order to prevent the non-believers and new believers from stumbling. He stresses the importance of not becoming a stumbling block to others, as you are then sinning against Christ. In this chapter, Paul wants us to realize that the way we live as Christians is not only impactful, but crucial in other people’s faith and walk with the Lord.

If you never told anyone that you were a Christian, would they still notice something different about you? Would they wonder how you had peace in the midst of trial or kindness towards those who have hurt you?

Today, aim to get people wondering about you. Shine the light that following Christ has placed inside of you, and watch as people are drawn towards you. As believers, we have been given a great responsibility and influence over our world. Use this influence, and He will use your life as an example of His love. A beautiful life is the sign of a life full of Christ.

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

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Selfless Marriage

God made room for a lot of things in marriage. Things like love, grace, forgiveness, intimacy, honesty-He made plenty of room for all of it between spouses. But there’s just one thing I have been searching high and low for on that list. I have put it under a microscope looking for this one thing, but it seems that God must have accidentally left it out.

God did not make room in marriage for selfishness. He never intended for it to be there. But when it does creep in, it has to take the spot of something else. When selfishness finds its way into your marriage, things like forgiveness and grace find their way out. This isn’t because marriage was made to be¬†a weak¬†thing, only able to hold and support a small amount of emotion. It’s simply because selfishness just doesn’t belong.

I’ve been discovering that the more I put myself and the things that I feel that I am entitled to aside, the more I am finding God in my marriage. And not only that, I am also finding that my needs are being met even more now than when I constantly demanded them from my husband. The Lord created marriage to be a covenant in which both people’s sole focus was on the other one’s desires, needs and expectations. When both spouses are more diligent about fulfilling those things for the other person, a marriage experiences¬†true strength.

Right before I got married, I had a friend tell me that the first time we disagree on which TV show to watch, I needed to let him watch what he wanted. It seemed silly and a bit insignificant at the time, but now I am realizing the complete opposite. When you throw selfishness aside in the little things, it adds up. Those things will happen daily, even hourly, and you will always have the opportunity to choose to fight for the interests of yourself or those of your spouse. Begin to practice in the mundane parts of life, and when those big things come around, you will be more likely to choose to be selfless.

God’s intent for His children to be bonded with one¬†another, abandoned to oneself, is the world’s second most wonderful love story! He is so passionate, so on fire about your marriage and the powerful potential it has. When you rid your marriage of selfishness, you will not believe the love and grace that will be unleashed.

Philippians 2:3-4

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interest of the others.”

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Give Me Jesus

I need Him.

I need Him because I am tangled up in this world. I need Him because I am out for my own selfish gain. I need Him because I’m insecure. Because I’m prideful. Because I’m a liar. Because my sin is ugly.

I need Him because I know I am broken, but still I long for beauty.

And oh how beautiful Christ is! How precious are the quiet moments with Him where my silent prayers are heard. How tender are the tear-filled nights with Him when He wraps His arms around me. How invigorating are the bold prayers of faith prayed by His children. How full of hope I am when His strength is displayed in my life. And oh, the peace that invades my heart when I hear the words, “it is finished.”

I want Him.

I want Him because He wanted me. I want Him because I want a life that matters, a life that is truly intoxicating. Because I can’t do it on my own. Because I don’t need to.

Psalm 55:22

“Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.”

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