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. :)