Thursday, October 7, 2010

Shout the walls down!

I've been observing quite a bit in church lately, therefore I am writing this with a troubled heart. The Bible talks about freedom to dance, to sing, to shout, to rejoice etc. We sing songs about the freedom to do these things, yet we stand there stiff as a board barely squeezing the words out of our mouths. What good is that doing you or God? Worship is a pure expression of love to God. Honoring Him for who He is and acknowledging what He has done for us. He's done it all! It's our chance to thank Him and praise Him and rejoice! Why is it that we do none of these things anymore? I could give you so many scriptures where the Bible talks about forms of worship and the freedom that comes with it.

There are times of reverence and quietness in the Lord, and then there are times for rejoicing and shouting and praising God for what He has done! (That is the difference between "worship" and "praise". They aren't the same thing and they are both very important for different reasons.) The victory that is in your life! Um, allow me to say that word again.. VICTORY! Really? When you go to a sports event and your team is victorious do you seriously stand there with no movement or emotion and barely muster out enough energy to say "Oh... yay." Wow. No, I don't think you do that. I hate sports, but if I ever get dragged to an event I am overwhelmed with the energy and I can't help but shout along with everyone else. Next thing I know I am taken away with the moment and excitement! Ok, so God is God. He is GOD! And we can't even give him a little shout?

Another thing, when the worship leader says "Shout to God," why do we clap? Clapping isn't shouting and there is an importance in the "shout"... The book if Joshua is a really good book, read it sometime, but it talks about Joshua and the Israelites taking the land and in Chapter 6 the Lord gives specific instructions on how they were going to get into Jericho:

Joshua 6:1 "
Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in."

Per the Lord's instructions, theyobeyed him and marched around the city. Now look at this!

Joshua 6:15-16, 20 "On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the people, "Shout! For the Lord has given you the city!"..."When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city."

"Shout! For the Lord has given you the city!.. the wall collapsed!" Look what victory they had when they shouted! The walls came down! The walls that were up, letting no one in. That is a miracle! How many walls in our lives do you suppose would come tumbling down if we shouted?

I have been on both spectrums in a praise and worship environment before. I was once that person who stood stiff in refusal to make a move or a sound. Maybe it was out of fear of what people would say about me or how they would look at me. Especially when everyone around you is just as quiet. Why be the odd bird? Just be quiet like everyone else and you will be just fine. I've now come out to the other side where I don't care what anyone thinks and if I need to shout, then by-golly I'm gonna shout! That's my victory right there that I could be passing up!

If a whole congregation of people came together and truly worshipped the Lord recklessly and expressed ourselves however we felt to do so, what sort of work do you think the Lord would be free to do? If we came into that room KNOWING that we already have the victory! The battle has already been won! The walls of Jericho have come crashing down and we are free to run in and take the city! EEEEven if, our circumstances look miserable, we feel tired and cast-down, or we are majorly subconcious about our outfits today and "omg is everyone staring at me right now?.. Who does she think she is coming to church today?".. duh. We all have our "things" in life.. But I am telling you from experience, what is it hurting you to let loose, trust God a little bit and shout, dance, scream, rejoice, do whatever, and see if He won't come? He HAS to come! You're applying your faith through your act of worship and believing that He has already done what He said He has! What a slap in the face to God when we don't act like we know He's done something for us.

I don't know about you, but I just made myself excited and now I want to go shout and dance! Ha! But really, if ever I have felt strong about an issue then this is it. Because I let myself go years feeling all bound up and beat up in insecurity or unworthiness. No more! There will be none of that! So I dare you... next time you are worshipping in a congregation or even if you just go home and try it out by yourself.. let yourself be free in His presence and shout and dance and jump and rejoice and PRAISE Him! It may feel weird at first or even that you are faking it.. but I promise you.. you will hit that place and it will be like a mighty rushing river. And that is the place where you can get all that God has for you!

Be encouraged and rejoice in the Lord today!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"I can't get away from myself"

I heard someone laughingly say, "I can't get away from myself." That statement turned on a light switch for me. So many times I think that maybe if I go over here and do this, or talk to this person, or take up this hobby, I will be happy and won't feel so uncomfortable with what state I am currently in. That happiness lasts for a little while but then I am right back down to where I was. I am still me. Whatever it is that is causing this discomfort in me, is still there. No matter what you do or where you go, you can't escape yourself.

Sometimes people think that once they've screwed up enough where they are living, if they move somewhere that no one knows them, they have a chance to wipe their slate clean. This can be true. BUT, it can also be a matter of time before you build up that same life in that town, that you just left behind somewhere else. It's because you're running, from yourself. And yourself, will always be there.

I'm convinced that people who keep finding themselves in the same destructive situations is because they repeat patterns in their lives. They don't change what they do. You can't expect different results if you keep doing what you've always done. It's such a simple truth, but sometimes we miss the simple ones.

Anyone who knows me and has read my writings enough, know that I'm not here to point fingers, but merely enlighten everyone on truths that I find out for myself and ABOUT myself in hopes that they may be able to reach someone else facing the same thing.

I can say this for myself, and I also have friends, who, face themselves, from time to time and get angry. Angry with choices they KEEP making that aren't good for them. I have a running joke with a friend that "I'm a masochist." It's funny, but sadly enough, is true. Why do I, and so many other people out there, put themselves in situations that knowingly hurt them. Why do we follow patterns of destruction and how do we change?

It's easy to blame other people or circumstances, but really, we can avoid these patterns. It takes one action of doing something different to start the journey of change. The journey of change from, "I can't get away from myself".. to "I'm happy with where I'm going."

Everyone has their own shortcomings, weaknesses, and issues. Some may be different than others, and some be the same as yours. We all know what we face daily, weekly, yearly.. even when no one else does. And unless you have walked in someone else's shoe's, it is impossible to judge them for how they handle their life. But there is one thing we all can have in common, and that is doing what is necessary to change unwanted patterns in our lives. It is all about choice. If you are standing in the fire, get out! Don't just stand there and say, "Ahh, this is hot. I wish I wasn't standing in this fire right now. I wish someone would just come get me out of this." No! You just, get out! Walk away.. and realize, really? Was I just standing in that fire for that long when all I had to do was walk away?! Pretty simple, yeah?

I know the areas in my life that I need to clean up, and I know the roads and alleys that I need to avoid. The question is, do you know those areas in your life? Knowing is half the battle, as they say. Doing something about it is the other half. Let's do something!!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Patience and Trust Work Together

My mind never has been able to quite grasp the concept of, "wait and see." I have never been much of a patient person. I need to see instant results and I need the answer to a question 5 seconds ago. I never was good at working out because after 3 visits I didn't see any results. I love a nice tan but I can't force myself to lay there for 15 minutes and I especially can't keep going back after the 5th time with still looking white. So I give up. If I try to do something and I don't have it mastered in 5 minutes I quit. If I don't know something then I probably just won't ever know it if it involves me taking time to learn it. I want to already know it! Does this paint a pretty good picture of my patience level? I hear the journey to the destination is where life is lived, but I hate the journey. I just want to sleep through it and wake up on the other side. This has always been my personality and I am finally being faced with the decision to change this rather large character flaw.

Yep. So God is teaching me patience. It's so not fun. Good one God. I thought I had all my little ducks in a row and all my eggs in my one little basket. Sometime when I wasn't looking my eggs were emptied and my ducks scattered! I now realize I know nothing. Hahah! You know when people say that life never goes as you planned it? Yeah, I totally thought I was exempt from that statement. I went from thinking I knew exactly how things were going to play out in my life to now questioning every little thing. This is where you have to remember that God is in control. As soon as you start getting a little freaked and want to start taking matters into your own hands your life's equilibrium gets knocked off. Give it back on over to the Lord and save yourself some time. :)

So patience and trust are holding hands right now. I'm trying to learn to do both. I want do this for myself. I want to trust God enough, to be patient. Does that make sense? It's just become very evident to me how patience and trust really do work together. You can't be patient if you don't trust. Anyway, repetitious. But it's true if you really think about it.

Life is all about the journey and finding where God wants you. Putting the right people in your path for reason's we sometimes don't know. Placing us in jobs that we can't seem to understand what God has in mind there. Choosing career paths that you can't seem to figure out how that comes into play with your gifts. But God really does know what's going on down here and on a personal level with you. He knows every little detail. He knows what makes us happy and what makes us sad. Sometimes because of things I have been through in my lfie I tend to focus so much on protecting myself from pain that I miss out on the here and now. Hey, there's where patience and trust comes in again! ;)

So I just want to encourage everyone, as well as myself right now, to hang on. Be patient. Trust God to take care of the details and in the mean time don't be afraid if you don't have all the answers. One step at a time. One day at a time. And when your heart is in the right place and your eye is on the Lord, He won't let you fall. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"System Restore"

Lately I am so amazed by God. Seriously, He is showing Himself to be so real in my life. To know God is so different than to hear about Him. Going to church your whole life doesn't mean you really truly know God. You have to establish your OWN relationship with Him for it to mean anything at all. And we are so free to be able to do that.

I have made a lot of mistakes over the past few years and let myself fall into the trap that so many people fall into. Condemnation. Sometimes it's hard to get out of it because you accept a false sense of responsibility for all of your "wrongs." The kingdom of heaven is different than the kingdom of this earth. We are taught to own up to our mistakes, accept responsibility and pay the consequences. With God, he paid for our mistakes on the cross. He accepted full responsibility for our sins and shortcomings and He says we are forgiven when we repent. So pretty much, when you are forgiven, then you are forgiven. No need in beating yourself up over your mistakes anymore. God loves you, now love yourself.

Letting go of the condemnation has freed me up so much. To know that I AM worthy because HE is worthy. To know that I am good enough because He created me and placed me here for such a time as this. To know that no mistake I have ever made can keep me from the blessings He has for my life.

I got the image of a computer the other day. After years and years your computer gets filled with excess files, sometimes viruses, and just extra stuff that doesn't really need to be there. So you do what is called a "system restore" where you wipe your hard drive clean and it restores it back to its original condition. The Lord showed me that as an example of what He wants to do in me. Through the years based on circumstances that maybe we had no control over, different "strongholds" may have formed inside of us causing us to make future mistakes etc. So with that being said, He wants to restore us back to the original version that He created us to be. Getting rid of the things that shouldn't be there but keeping different traits that make up who we are. When you do a system restore on the computer it keeps those certain important programs like Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, etc. Humanly speaking, those "programs" are gifts, talents, and important characteristics that make us who we are.

I hope that made sense because when He showed me that analogy it made a ton of sense to me! We are taught about change, and becoming who God wants us to be etc. Dying to our flesh and letting our spirit reign hallelujah amen. Haha.. but until you actually understand what that means, it seems kindof difficult to begin the changing process. It isn't that God doesn't like who you are and He thinks you need to be someone different. It isn't about changing who YOU are. It's about changing the things inside of you that wasn't supposed to be there to begin with and replacing them with the quality God intended to be there. Once you realize that and you get it on the inside of you, it will change your perspective of change. It will make you want to do what is necessary to "change." Change is good. Don't be afraid to change. Now more than ever, I am excited for my "system restore" and I am ready to take on whatever God gives me. The future is getting closer everyday. Why waste the present on things that won't benefit your future?

Be encouraged :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

You can have as much as you want!

It's sometimes unreal to think that you can have as much of God as you want. Think about someone that to you seems so close to God and they just seem to be super tight with Him. You can have even more of a relationship with God than that. He has so much of Himself to reveal. So much to Him that so many people don't know. He loves us. No love that you know in a human sense can compare to the love that He loves us with. There's no way to measure it. There's no way to comprehend it. But the more you press into seeking God's face; asking Him questions about Himself, about how much He loves you, what He wants you to do that day, who He wants you to talk to, little things He reveals to you... the more you seek Him and find it out, the more your life will be changed and the more joy you will feel.

For quite sometime I was living in a place where I felt like a film was covering me. I couldn't see through it, I couldn't feel anything but I wanted to get out of it and I knew that outside this "film" would be a better life. My life was transformed from darkness to light when I chose to dive into God and lay down the things He was asking me to lay down at that time. Obedience. I can never stress enough how important obedience is. You will be miserable until you do what He wants you to do. And what He wants you to do is something that will only better yourself! Just do it! It's worth it! Nothing compares to knowing you are walking where He is leading you. God doesn't change His mind. If he wants you to do something, and you don't do it, He's not going to give up, change His mind, and find something else for you to do. He's pretty much not a quitter and He never changes. So unless you want to run around the mountain 3 or 4 times, give in and surrender to the Maker and Creator of all life and make yourself a bond slave to Him.

Be obedient because you love Him, not because it's a chore. Seek His face to know, not because you should. Live a holy life because it's necessary, not because religion tells you to. Remember that He loves you, and nothing in this world, I mean NOTHING.. no drug, no relationship, no high, no amount of money, no NOTHING compares to the presence and the fulfillment of God. Stop searching and look up to Him. He's just waiting for you.. He has so many adventures He wants to take you on.. live life. Not this carnal life, but live life with Him. He will make it worth it!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

The devil is a liar!!

When God heals you of something the devil will try to make you think you've still "got it." When God sets you free from something the devil will try to make you think you're not free and throw those feelings back at you. The devil is a liar! Seriously, he will try to throw symptoms back on you to make you start doubting what God has done. But those symptoms, thoughts or feelings are all a lie. It isn't truth. For one thing, the devil can't "do" anything to you. He can only make you believe what he is telling you is true. When you believe it, it'll come to pass. Whether it be good or bad.

Right now in my psychology class I am reading about the "Learning" process in psychology. Ivan Pavlov discovered in the 1920's that a certain stimuli causes a reaction. When something is done to you and you react a certain way, then when that something happens again you will automatically react that way because you learned to adapt to that situation or whatever it is. For example, many people may not know that I have suffered from anxiety issues for years. Especially when it comes to the doctor. When I was younger, I was at the doctor and I passed out. They said it was from a blood sugar problem, then another doctor mentioned it was anxiety. So after I was told that I had a sugar problem I constantly watched what I ate, felt I had to eat 30 snacks a day, and I would start feeling like I was going to pass out every time I felt like I was hungry. Then when I was told it was anxiety I would be in certain situations where I would get nervous etc. and I would feel that I was going to have an anxiety attack and pass out. So because I passed out, I associated that fear with every doctor visit. I had trained my mind to think that way and my body to react that way.

How that factors in to a spiritual principal I will tell you. It's about how we train ourselves to think and what we allow ourselves to believe. It's really simple. Believe the Word. If God says you are healed, then you are healed. So believe it. Don't believe and rely on the symptoms that are telling you otherwise. The devil is a liar and don't forget that. Also remember, like I said before, he can't do anything to you and he can't force you to do something. He can only lie and make you believe it. Simple as that.

So there is a little simple truth for you today :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Look at the time!

It has been nearly a year since I have written anything. That's a pretty long time for someone who finds her healing in writing. The last 2 years and more recently the last 9 months have been a very trying time in my life. Writing is my safe haven and an honest look inside myself. When you feel ugly you avoid all mirrors. I felt ugly inside so I avoided to the mirror into my soul. Writing. All the avoidance and here I am. Back again. I have come out on the other side and my life is a testimony to the goodness and love of God.

I could go on a start talking about all the things I have said in previous blogs, but you can just go read those. It's just an honest time to give God all the glory. For months I was in complete and utter disobedience but I felt that it was near impossible to pull myself back on the path of righteousness. All it took was once decision to be made. The hardest decision to make, as I had tried making it at least 10 times before. But I knew, if I didn't do this now, my life was headed for a black hole and I was about to miss my exit for the road to fulfill my purpose in life! I was living my lfe, but not the way I was intended. The good that came from it was a lesson learned and an opportunity to hopefully save others from falling into the pit that I stumbled into.

When we mosey down a trail we know we shouldn't, we get lost. It's like walking in the woods right at dusk. You decide to go down a trail that looks gorgeous to the eye but you have that warning that it's getting dark and you should stay focused on the path you were on. But you allow yourself to get enticed out of curiosity down this dark path. Before you know it, it is completely dark and you have no idea where you are. It seems impossible to find the path you were originally on because the farther down this enticing path you walk, the darker it has gotten. There is a way to find that path, it just takes awhile, and a little cuts and bruises through the sticks and pricks! That is exactly what it felt like for me. But all along that journey I would get little nudges from God pointing me back to the right direction. I would grab what He gave me and follow a little ways, then I would get scared. I thought, "no, this can't be right.. I will keep trying to find it on my own." That's what takes the longest to find your way back. When you don't trust the hand that leads you; you trust your own hand. If I would have followed Him from the first nudge He gave me, then it wouldn't have taken me 10 times to try and find my way back.

Trusting the Lord can be difficult when you don't know where He's going to take you. But that's why it's called "trust". After going through what I went through I can say, it doesn't matter where He takes you, it's better than anywhere you could take yourself. No matter how difficult what He is asking you to do may seem, it's only difficult to your flesh. Your spirit leaps for joy to do what He asks of you. The hard thing I had to do was to help me. Of course I could only see through my pain at the time and it didn't make any sense. Even when I knew what I needed to do I didn't want to because it was easier for me to disobey and be somewhat content in my flesh, than to obey and walk through the refining fire!

Although this explanation wasn't specific on my decisions or what it was that He asked of me, the principal applies to all of us. Trust God and know that He knows. Haha, that's pretty simple! What's pleasurable for the flesh is painful to the spirit, and what's exciting for the spirit is devastating to the flesh! We have to live by the spirit and mortify the deeds of the flesh! My dad recently told me that to mortify means "to kill with starvation." We have to starve our flesh so it will die and our spirit will rule!

Thankful to God for so many things... I am humbled and in awe of Him.