Who’s Fighting Harder?

It is always through words that ideas and concepts are conceived. It is through communication that things are understood among people. Words are what create and develop morals in a society as a whole. They encourage, discourage, insult and compliment. They give advice and counsel as well as display opinions and decisions. So why, if words are so crucial in so many ways, are they so passively used? Why are they flying from our tongues without consideration a lot of the time, if these exact words are what hold the “power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21)?” 

I believe it is because the enemy is alive and well and is in full pursuit of our lives. Because he wants to make sure we are fed lie after lie, and he does it through conversations and relationships as he knows how impactful those things are-on even national levels. False teachings and harmful ideas enter our minds and slip so seamlessly off of our tongues, and spread from person to person to where it becomes a normal and accepted way of thinking. Then, our society begins to idolize and develop itself around that idea. This is how the devil easily invades our lives. And imagine the leg up he has now that information can be passed to millions with the push of a button. 

With this, we see a call to believers, to counter the ideas that are being spread, with our words. When we decide to speak our ideas, the devil finds that he is held back from his plan to destroy. But if we are being honest, who is really speaking louder in this world right now? The devil or God’s people? We know that God’s voice is louder than the devil’s ever could be, but we are His church-His bride-and we are called to be His voice, His love and His passion here on earth. We are given the divine calling to be Jesus to the lost and broken. So are we stepping up to override the devil’s lies with God’s truth? Are we creating roadblocks for him or just enabling him to pass right through? 

The words you may speak to somebody may decide where they spend eternity. They are surely being fed plenty of deceitful thoughts, and it is our call to oppose those thoughts. God will do the rest, as His voice can be heard much louder than any of ours. But He has given us a purpose, to love and stand up for those who are far from Him. Don’t let the devil fight harder for those souls than you are. 

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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.”

Fiercely Sprinting

Think of your life as a race. At the finish line is eternity in Heaven with your Creator. A perfect existence lacking in all evil and abounding in all good. A place where you will no longer have to thirst or hunger for anything to keep yourself running, because all will be fulfilled. But until then, the One who sits at the finish line has promised to provide you with all that you need to make it to Him. He has told you that He will feed your hunger when you seek Him out and quench your thirst when you ask Him to.

Are still you wandering around the path trying to find your own ways to satisfy what you need? Or are you experiencing the true fullness of His promises? And are your eyes fixed on the race, or on the glorious finish ahead?  

It is time to realize that you couldn’t be running this race without Him. That you are running to get to the end, because there is nothing greater than being in the full glory of the One who saved you. Chase after Him and let Him satisfy everything you need along the way, because what the world needs is people who are fixed on and passionate about Christ. People who get goosebumps when they think of Him, who chase after Him relentlessly, and who will never be satisfied until they see Him face to face. People with an unquenchable thirst for His Word, a hunger for His knowledge and a fire for His love. Those who know what is to come, and can’t stop praising Him for it. We don’t need any more believers who merely believe, but instead absolutely burn for Him.

Fiercely sprint to get closer to your Creator, and watch the world be changed by believers who refuse to merely believe.

1 Corinthians 9:24

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”

Bold Faith

Because today I am ending a time in my life and getting ready to begin another, the future is on my mind.

This morning I was driving to my last day of work, creating a vision for what I would like my life to look like now, and coming up with some modest goals. These included starting up a ministry, leading a small group, taking classes online, volunteering at the food bank multiple times a week, making new friends, getting a part-time job, and becoming the greatest wife and housekeeper imaginable. I laughed at myself while the list went on and on, and decided I was getting in over my head a bit. But then I started thinking about the Lord and His bold vision for His children’s lives, and instead decided to add a couple more things onto my list.

The truth is, anyone who is making waves for the Lord is in over their head. But He is never in over His. I want people to look at my life and say, “that’s gotta be God, because there’s no way she could do that on her own.” I want them to marvel at the miraculous work that the Holy Spirit displays through me-a sinful, imperfect person-and praise God for His perfection because of it. If you want your life to reflect Him, you have to leave some space for Him to show Himself! This means stepping out in faith and pursuing some things that you won’t be able to accomplish unless He steps in. This means adding a couple more things to your list, trusting that you will succeed or fail for His glory. It may not be in His plan that you achieve everything you set out for, but He will never do great things with you unless you believe Him for great things.

God honors the dreams of those who have big faith, because those who have big faith honor Him.

Hebrews 11:6

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”

Abounding In Light

Jesus.

Blameless. Sinless. Glorious.

Picture Him walking through the streets: heads turning, knees bowing, eyes wide open in admiration.

Jesus.

Pure love. Pure truth. Pure light.

Our Jesus was one of a kind. He embodied a light that can never be duplicated, one that will never dim. He showed the love of God to a world that was so desperately in need of it. As He came to be the light of the world, to take a world so covered in darkness and give it hope, now we are called to do the same (Matthew 5:13-16).

How are you responding to this call?

The truth is, His calling on your life remains, whether you ever take Him up on them or not. We are consistently given the opportunity to show our broken world the radiance that is Christ. My challenge to you today is to take Him up on it. We need to long for an existence that is so focused on God that others can’t help but to see Him in us. Give everybody you meet an encounter with Jesus, and watch as His Spirit sets in all around. Deny yourself of any yearning for your own glory, and you’ll be creating space for the Lord to work.

Jesus was incredibly kind (Matthew 19:14), loving (John 10:10) and humble (John 14:28). Begin to intentionally show kindness to all, extend love at every opportunity, and constantly renew your mind back to the fact that it is all for the Father’s glory, because He is much greater than you, even on your best day.

Now picture yourself walking through the streets: heads turning, knees bowing, eyes wide open in admiration. Praises rising, all people giving thanks to the one true Lord; our gracious Father, abounding in light.

Long for that, because He is more than worthy.

John 8:12

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'”

Everything Beautiful

Let’s be honest for a moment. How many of us focus A LOT, probably too much, on our own beauty? My hand is shooting high into the air right now, ladies, so don’t be ashamed if yours is too. I tend to spend a lot of time zoning in on my appearance and assessing my physical beauty in comparison to other women. We all know this concept to be vain and narcissistic at its very core. Some of us might even deem it a tactic used by the enemy to create self-consumed (and therefore less humble) Christians. But what if I told you that God created beauty with the intention that it would be one of the most important and significant things in our lives? Let’s take a look at the Word and what God has to say about beauty. 🙂

We are going to start in Ecclesiastes 3:11, which says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”

Let me reiterate that the Bible says that God, “has made everything beautiful in its time.” Everything. Because we know that He created all things (John 1:3), and all things are for His Glory (1 Corinthians 10:31), we can recognize that He makes all things beautiful according to His will. But what does “in its time” mean? It means that God only does this in His divinely perfect timing, which contrasts greatly to our flawed and human idea of timing.

God will make us beautiful only by His will and for His glory.

So what exactly is beauty, in God’s eyes?

1 Peter 3:3-4 says, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

To God, beauty isn’t what we see looking back at us in the mirror, but is rather marked by a spirit of peace, faithfulness and submission. This kind of beauty is eternal, it is unfading, and it is the kind of beauty that the Lord truly values. He looks at a heart that is in full submission to His truth, and sees great worth.

This beauty, this unfading beauty that we are talking about, is not something that you either have or don’t have. This beauty is something that we, as women of God, get to strive towards every day. As we spend our precious time with the King, leaning into His heart for us, we are becoming more beautiful. As we love our families and stretch out willing hands to those who are hurting, we are becoming more beautiful. We will never truly grasp the ideal beauty in this life, for only one human that has walked this earth could and ever can. Spend your time running towards the most beautiful man to have ever lived, and pray that you will be able to grasp just a bit of the beauty of Jesus in this lifetime.

God has made everything beautiful in its time, and when we are in eternity with our loving Father, we will finally be made truly flawless and beautiful.

Revelation 21:4

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”