Less is More…

Lord Jesus, I pray,

I love you, I need you. So often I find myself getting so caught up in myself. I need to be reminded to look to you more. I need to let myself decrease so that you can increase in my life. Lord, remind me each day, that as I live my life, to you less is more. I take my pride and I lay it down at your feet. And I ask you Lord to help me be humble. To the best of my ability Lord, may I practice humility in all I do. Lord, take my heart and purify it with your blood. Drench me Lord, with your mercy. For all my days, Lord, I want to seek you.

~Amen

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”

John 3:30

The prayer above is based off of one of the most meaningful songs that I’ve probably ever heard in my life. It’s a song I constantly find myself going back to and singing. It’s a song that always brings my heart back to a right place before God. It’s also a song from one of my favorite bands of all time; “Less is More” by Relient K

It’s been a long while since I last listened to this song. But this week it came back to my mind and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. I’m copying the lyrics below because this song has become my prayer and a sweet reminder to lay my pride on the floor and seek the lowest place. I want to share it because I think it is so beautiful and I hope it will encourage your heart as well.

Jesus, I pray
Take all my mistakes
Throw them away
Destroy them for my sake

Jesus, I call out ’cause I’m sorry
Because I fall so short of your glory
To the best of my ability
I’m practicing humility
And I lay myself before
‘Cause less is more

All that I have
I lay before
With my pride on the floor
‘Cause to you less is more

All that I have
I lay before
With my pride on the floor
‘Cause to you less is more

A part of myself
All that I am
You love me so much
That you fill me again
And may these words on my heart, on my lips
Somehow mean so much more than this

Jesus, I pray
Know what I’m trying to say

All that I have
I lay before
With my pride on the floor
‘Cause to you less is more

All that I have
I lay before
With my pride on the floor
‘Cause to you less is more

A part of myself, before you were Lord
I hold nothing back, ’cause to you less is more
And may these words on my heart on my lips,
Somehow mean so much more than this

Jesus, I pray
Just know what I’m tryin’ to say

Jesus, I plead
Please purify me
Make my heart clean
Drench me with your mercy

Jesus, I pray
I love you, I need you
For the rest of my days
I swear I will seek you

To the best of my ability
I’m practicing humility
And I lay myself before
‘Cause less is more.

Less is More by Relient K

Less is More by Relient K (link to youtube video)

A God Who Sees

El-Roi; the God who sees. Something I’ve been learning about God this Summer.

When we feel invisible and it seems that all of our efforts to serve and please God go unnoticed by those we want to be seen by, there is one who sees. God sees. No matter how invisible we might feel, we are never invisible to God. El Roi, means the God who see’s and this is a reminder I really have been needing this summer.

All my life I’ve felt like I have just been invisible to certain people. No matter where I go or what crowd I’m with, I am never the one in the center of the picture, I’m just there, in the background. And each year of my life I’ve had to really fight and wrestle with this strong desire and longing I have had to be that one who is in the center. To be the one everyone wants to hang with. To be noticed and appreciated instead always being invisible.

Without even knowing it, I have been putting so much worth into certain roles people can have in life. Instead of seeing all the roles we have as fitting together and working together for God’s purpose in the body of Christ, I have been looking at all the ways I am not like others and feeling like I will never measure up. But this summer, God has slowly, and few many mistakes, been getting through to me and doing some hard work on my heart.

I spent this entire summer working alongside other Christians but when I look back I realize that I was unable to fully enjoy the fellowship of working with them because in my heart, and in my pride, I was telling myself that their roles was more valuable than mine. I found myself constantly striving and basing my happiness in serving on reaching certain goals instead of being fully focused on serving God in the way He has specifically called me.

Well, long story short, it took an unplanned injury and many days of “forced” rest to awaken me to a new view. Suddenly my life was slowed down by a very bad sprained ankle (which I just found out this week is also a small fracture). I no longer felt like I had constrol in my life and I was unable to strive for the things I thought were so important. I had to choose to rest and take on roles that I deemed as less important simply because it was all I could do. The last few weeks of my summer were filled with days of “forced” rest and I found myself getting back into long mornings in God’s word each day and looking to Him more for help.

And as hard as it was, somehow in the midst of this change, I began to see something. I realized that when I stopped striving I began to understand that each role is important and needed. Just because one role requires more skill and responsibility it doesn’t mean it is more important to the function of the body of Christ. God made each of us to have separate roles and callings and to simply serve Him in the whatever area He’s called us to.

But this is probably the biggest realization I made this Summer – People don’t love me less because I don’t have the skills for these roles nor do the roles that are more in the background have less importance when it comes to serving God.

I was reading a verse in Hebrews today a verse that really cemented in my mind this concept that God has been teaching me;

“For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end,” Hebrews 6:10-11

In this passage, I saw that God doesn’t overlook any acts of service to Him. God see’s all we do, even when we do things that are more in the background. God is the God who sees! One of my favorite things I find myself constantly saying to myself is that God knows my heart and all the desires of my heart, so I can trust him. This means that, because God is the God who see’s and knows my heart, I can rest in Him and find fulfilment in whatever role He calls me to. If others don’t see or give me the appreciation my heart longs for, God sees and nothing will go overlooked by Him.

He is the God who sees! God sees me and He see’s you!

Maybe this post is mostly me babbling on about my experience in something I’m learning. But I want end it by saying that there is also so much that you can take comfort in when you know that God is a God who sees. Whatever your struggle is, whenever you have days where you just feel invisible and unnoticed. God always sees you and your heart. God loves a heart that serves Him for the pure joy of serving Him and not in serving with hopes of being noticed. It took a hard trial and setback in my summer to get this truth into head. So my urge and prayer is that you won’t have to learn this lesson that hard way like I did.

Resting in the God who sees shouldn’t just encourage and comfort us, it should also spur us on to serve Him well in every role we have and stay faithful to the call He has on our life.

A Lesson from Jonah…

Do you know about Jonah in the bible…

A couple of months ago my church preached a sermon on Jonah. It’s been a while since that sermon, but I still have the story ringing through my head. And, like it or not, I have been seeing myself in parts of the story of Jonah. Mainly in Jonah’s stubbornness and unwillingness to rejoice in God’s goodness. I know, a great character to relate too…

After trying to run from God, being thrown into the sea, swallowed up by a fish, and then given a second chance by God, Jonah finally makes his way to Ninevah. He delivers a short and to-the-point sermon to the Ninevites and then he smugly makes his way to an outlook to watch the city receive God’s judgment. We look at this story and we shake our heads at Jonah. Johah just didn’t get it, we say. He didn’t understand God’s character and grace. But in reality, when you read chapter 4 of Jonah you will see that Jonah did have a right understanding of God;

“But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry.  He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity”

Jonah 4:1-2

Jonah was upset and admitted that the whole reason he didn’t want to go to Ninevah in the first place was because he knew God’s character and He knew God would show them compassion. This really paints a whole different picture of Jonah’s heart as he ran away. And as much as I try to hide it, I can see parts of my heart reflected in this.

How often have I been too scared to pray a certain prayer, take a chance with a certain person, or say yes to opening a new door because I know deep in my heart what God’s character is and what God is going to ask me to do. I know that what God wants for me is going to be differant then what I want and I just don’t want to go there.

When following after God means showing grace and love to those we don’t like, going outside of our comfort zones to reach the lost, and forsaking our flesh and choosing the path marked with pain instead of pleasure, wouldn’t it just be easier to stay where we are. Or to run away in the opposite direction.

But as we see with the story of Jonah, running from God doesn’t help us. In fact, it’s impossible because God is everywhere and he is sovereign over everything. And when Jonah finally obeyed and went through with it all, He still did not have his heart in the right place and he wasn’t able to share in the joy of seeing God show compassion to sinners. The compassion and grace God gave to the wicked people in Ninevah is a beautiful thing, but Jonah was blinded to it by his pride and discontentment.

When we are so focused on our pride and our life not being where we want it, we miss out on the good things God has for us now. Just like Jonah, we sit under our own tree, angrily waiting for the thing we think we deserve, when in reality, God has already given us more than we could ever need and His plan for us is to stay in this season a little longer.

When we are discontent, we will complain and grumble to God about all the things we don’t like and we miss out on seeing all the good things he has given us. But on the flip side, if we are content where God has us, we can rejoice in all God has done for us and all the grace he has shown us.

I don’t know about you all, but this story of Jonah has been hitting home for me a lot. I keep saying to myself, “Wow, I am a lot like Jonah as he sat on that hillside waiting for God to give him what he wanted.” I can so easily fall into the habit of complaining about my life more than praising God for it. But when I remind myself of God’s character and how God is sovereign, I begin to see things better. I see that this life, is not about me and making the things I want to happen, but about God and letting God do his will in my life.

So as I end this post, if you ever find yourself like Jonah, you’re not alone. We all find ourselves on the hillside wanting our own way over God’s way. But this is the challenge; Instead of sitting on the hillside waiting for God to work, we ought to be jumping up and down for joy praising God because he is always at work and he has already done the greatest work! Sending his Son to die for us so that we might be free! That is the greatest act of compassion and mercy in all of history, and if we have our hearts in the wrong place, we just might miss out on this great joy.

Today

Hey all! Long time no see right.

It’s been a while since I’ve written on here. The Holidays came and well, I’ve been busy. I’ve been writing consistently on my other blog – More of Thee Co. So if you’re not following me there please go check it out! I try my best to have an encouraging post for you all on that site once a week.

But, I also have to be honest with you all. The Holidays this year have been hard. I’ve had such a sweet time with family, but I feel like behind the laughs and smiles is a deep shadow. Memories of last year and grieving still flood my mind. I keep telling everyone that I simply just want the Holidays to be over.

But God is good. This year God really made it clear to me the beauty of the true reason for celebrating this season – Jesus Christ. Never has the reality of the gift of Jesus Christ been so dear to my heart as it has been this Holiday season. I felt true peace and joy the day before Christmas when I was singing hymns about Christ’s advent at my church’s Christmas Ee service.

My heart still hurts, but I have God’s peace and that’s all I need. Today as I was praying, I realized something. For so long I’ve struggled with being okay with being single. As I was praying, I told God, I can’t be at peace when I think about being single forever. But I also told God that I can be single for Him today and rest in His joy today.

For some reason, thinking so far into the future is crippling. It’s scary to think that maybe God’s plan for me is never get married and never have children. I don’t like going there. But when I simply focus on the day ahead of me I realize that today God’s called me to this walk and I’m right where I need to be.

Whatever it is you are going through, this is true for you. Maybe you are single like me, still hurting over a broken heart and thinking you’ll be single forever. Maybe you have been trying and trying to have a child but for some reason, God hasn’t allowed it to happen yet. Or maybe, you know God is calling you somewhere and you’re ready to follow Him with all your heart, but He just hasn’t told you where yet. It’s okay to be there. But we must not let these unfulfilled longings become our focus. When they become our focus, they become our identity, and when they become our identity we begin to say to ourselves we will be this way forever and then we feel crushed.

Instead, ask yourself this; Can you be single one more day? Yes. Can you be childless one more day? yes. Can you be content waiting for the Lord’s timing and direction one more day? yes. Can you live for Jesus just one more day in whatever it is he asks you to do? Yes.

More and more I’m realizing this life is meant to be lived in the day to day. It’s about seeking Jesus each day and asking Him for the strength for today, not for tomorrow, and not for the future. God simply wants us to trust Him and be willing to follow His lead moment by moment, day by day.

As I head into this new year, this is my prayer. That I will be able to take it one day at a time. I hope and pray that I will find someone someday who I can share my life with and my love with the Lord with. I pray that one day my broken heart will be healed and won’t hurt so much anymore. But for today God has asked me to be single. And for today I can do that. Today Jesus is enough for me.

"So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today." Matthew 6:34

Another in the Fire

I believe that God’s timing is in everything, even the days we read certain stories in the Bible.

The other day I read the story in the bible where Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego were thrown in the fiery furnace. I have been reading through the prophets one chapter a day and this was where I was that day; Daniel 3. I have been feeling a bit sad and lonely and as I read the story I found so much encouragement for my heart. The story wasn’t new to me, I’ve heard this story so many times in my life. I grew up watching the classic veggie tales rendition of this story too many times to count. But after reading it afresh, the story hit me in a new way. What stood out to me the most in this passage was actually not the bold and fearless faith these three men had, but how they responded when they were in the furnace and that there was a fourth man with them.

Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.” He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

Daniel 3:24-25

A song instantly popped into my head as I read this story (I have the song attached at the bottom e of this page). Maybe you know the song already. It’s “Another in the Fire” by Hillsong. I kept thinking about how amazing of a truth it is that there is another in the fire with us! Each trial and hardship we face, we are not alone. There is another with us, and that person is Jesus Christ.

I listened to this song in my room and let my heart worship God. Suddenly I felt so overwhelmed just thinking about all my hurt and pain that I had walked through and the realization struck me that God was there with me through all of it. There was not a single day of my heartbreak where God was distant from me and I know that there will not be a single day moving forward where He will leave me. Oh how thankful my heart is that God has been with me every step of the way through this fire.

But There is also one more thing that really stood out to me in this story. Not only was God with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when they were in the fire, but they were unbound and unharmed the entire time they were in the fire. When they came out of the furnace there was not even a single trace of fire on them;

Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

Daniel 3:26-27

I think that this is such an amazing thing that these three men were not hurt in any way. In a sense, you could say they were thriving while in the fire. I can’t help but have this picture in my head of them laughing and having the best of time while in the fire with Jesus. And this can be so true of us too! I have had people tell me that I am doing so well considering how much of an emotional hardship I experienced. It’s really only been few months but I have been receiving so much healing that it is hard to believe how short of an amount of time truly has passed. My relationship with God has been on an upward climb ever since I entered into this fire. I’m not saying this trial in my life has been easy, but I can say with all my heart that this trial has been the sweetest time I’ve ever had with Jesus.

You guys, this is truth; the fires in our life are good. God has a reason and purpose for all the fires we must walk through in life. Sometimes He doesn’t tell us the reason why, but we can always trust Him. The fires grow us closer to God and allow others to see God’s glory. Whatever your fire, I hope this Bible story can encourage you too! God is always with you and he gives you everything you need to not just survive, but to thrive while you are in the fire.

When the trials come, always remember that there is another in the fire.

Demanding a Blessing

But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

Genesis 32:26

I’ve started doing something new…

Whenever I sit down and start praying to God and praying for my future, I’ve started a new habit. It’s a new way of praying. I’ve started, in way, almost demanding a great blessing from God. Not in a selfish way and expecting things to be done in a certain way. But rather it’s like a way for me to say; I trust you so much God and I know that there is going to be a great blessing on the other side of this season, so I am going to start praying for it. It reassures my heart in a unique way when I begin praying hard for that blessing that I know God has for me.

My prayers have gone from something like: “God I know you have good things instore for me and your plans are for me. Help me to trust you…” to “God, I pray that you will blow my mind with how great your blessing is for me! I have given up so much for you, God so I come to you and ask that you will give me something even greater in return! God help me to stay faithful to you as I wait!”

My mind thinks back to the story of Jacob and to the night when he wrestled with God. Right before the “angel of the Lord” left, Jacob clung onto Him and demanded He bless him. He said he wouldn’t let go until he got a blessing. And you know what, Jacob didn’t get rebuked, he got a blessing!

I find myself coming to the conclusion that God must be pleased when we as His children ask for good things from Him. Our good, good father loves to bless His children and there is no good thing that he withholds from us.

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

Praying in this way, and confidently asking for God’s good blessing as we take the steps of obedience, is a way to grow in our faith. It’s a way to take trusting in Him one step further. If you desire God’s blessing but find yourself in a season of waiting or hurting, let me challenge you to give this type of prayer a try. Find a blessing of God, hold onto it, and pray it for you life. Don’t waver in your belief that God will bless you, pray with confidence that God will bless you beyond what you can imagine. But also keep in mind as your praying, in order for God to bless you in this way, you need to keep holding onto him, keep following him in your season, and give God time to work. The blessing is coming!

Unlocking Doors

I was realizing something today

I’ve noticed that in these last few months my walk with God has really changed… a lot. I have experienced I closeness with God that feels more real than all the other times in the past. I was even sharing with my mom that I suddenly felt like I had this new boldness in my faith and strange and wonderful joy in the Lord.

I’ve been thinking about the last few months and all the times that God has brought me to surrender something to Him. I feel like after each act of surrender I made my relationship with God took on a new level. It’s as if taking the step of surrender is a key opening a door that leads to a deeper closeness to God. But just one time isn’t enough. Surrender is something we have to keep doing. Once we open one door, we will find another one behind that. Each door taking us closer to Jesus and his love for us.

I really like this idea of a key unlocking doors. As we live this life and choose to follow Jesus down the paths He has for us there will be doors we face. These doors are a vital step in our walk. They appear when we reach a point where we have to surrender something that we have been focusing too much on and choose to follow God. It’s not easy to to make these decisions of surrender and sometimes we see the door and we think it’s a dead end. But when we take the step, insert the key, and unlock the door by giving our desires to God, the most beautiful thing happens. The door opens up and we find ourselves on new ground with our Lord and Savior. He fills our heart with a new love and closeness to Him and gives us the strength we need to keep on following Him.

I pray that on my journey, each time I reach a new door I’ll be able to take the step of surrender and choose to follow Jesus through it because I know that there is deeper joy on the other side. And I hope that this idea can help you too as you keep on following Jesus through your doors and grow closer to him in your walk. Each door and act of surrender we walk through will bring us closer to our dear Savior and that is the most beautiful place to be.

I Am Joseph

What is the right response to suffering?

This question has been on my mind a lot lately and God has been so gracious each time my heart has a question like this one to guide me to the right answer and example in scripture. In my Bible study, we are still working our way through Genesis. I’ve talked about Abraham, Job, Jacob, and even David on this blog. Are you ready for the next Bible character that I’m finding myself in. If you know your bible, you may be able to guess which one comes next. It’s Joseph! And oh boy, what an amazing story is Joseph’s story. It’s a story full of unfair and unjust suffering, but one that is overflowing with God’s goodness and good purposes!

I’m not gonna lie to you, I’ve kinda created a new little saying that I keep telling myself each day. I’ve been saying “I am Joseph”. As I read the story of Joseph and look at my life, I keep finding myself saying “I am Joseph”. In my Bible study, we were discussing the life of Joseph and the sudden onset of suffering he faced. Joseph went from being the most favored/spoiled child to becoming a slave all in less than a day. I was thinking to myself, “wow, I wonder what it must have felt like to have everything and then lose everything”. Then I literally felt like I had my eyes opened up to the fact that, that is my story. I saw an almost identical pattern in a way my life has been these past few months. Only months ago I was so happy. I was finally on the verge of all my dreams coming true. I was engaged and in the process of starting a life with someone and oh it was bliss. But then it ended so fast. One thing after another came to light and before i knew it, it was all gone.

I AM JOSEPH. I can feel the same hurt and pain and disappointment that he must have felt. All his dreams, gone. All his family and friends gone. His life suddenly taking a completely different route and an unwanted move to a new location. (Okay, wow, there really are a lot of similarities here, granted I still have my family and friends, but I moved to a new area and have been struggling to get connected so I do relate in a way to the loneliness and I do in a way also feel like I lost a family because how close I became to his family).

There really is not a lot of good happening in Joseph’s story, but if you keep reading the story of Joseph there is something very encouraging. It is said at least three times in the book of Genesis that God was with Joseph. In each season of suffering Joseph faced, Joseph had every right to complain and despair. Maybe he did at times, but the Bible never mentions it. Instead Joseph rose to the top of every situation he found himself in. He was greatly blessed and God gave him success in all he did. Even as a slave Joseph rose to high favor. And let me tell you something, you cannot rise to favor if all you ever do is complain about how bad your luck has been.

I imagine Joseph must have known that God was with him. How else could he have had the faith to keep on going without despairing. His pain had to have been great. And I’m not saying he no longer felt the pain and hurt that his brothers inflicted on him. Later in Genesis Joseph says “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” So obviously, his pain during this time was constantly on his mind. But what Joseph shows us here is how to rightly respond when suffering happens and we have no control over it. We must get up and keep going. We have the choice to either wallow in our self pity and despair, or make the best out of whatever situation we find ourselves in. I’ve gotta believe that when we choose the latter, God truly blesses it, just like he blesses Joseph.

God blessed Joseph and gave him favor in each place he found himself in. In Potiphar’s house, he rose to leadership. In prison, he rose to leadership. Then, lastly, in Pharaoh’s kingdom, he rose to leadership. None of these places Joseph found himself in were places he wanted to be. In fact, if he had the choice to go back to his family, I’m sure he would take it without even looking back. I can tell you that there are definitely times in my life that I wish I could just go back to those happy days and forget about the pain. But I have no control over the place I’m in right now which is why Joseph’s story has been so encouraging to me. I’m learning from Joseph’s story that God’s will for me in this season is to keep on trusting Him and to find ways to keep on serving Him even while I’m hurting.

I also want to talk a bit about the end of Joseph’s story. As I’m sure you are familiar with how in the story of Joseph we get to see how all his suffering would one day make sense and play a role in God’s amazing plan. God used Joseph to be the means of saving many nations, including Israel, from a devastating famine. Joseph became a great leader in Egypt, a wise man who was full of integrity. But if he became a ruler in Egypt right away without first spending years as a slave and in prison, I don’t believe he’d be the same ruler. God was using the hard seasons of suffering in his life to teach him how to be humble and also how to lead and manage other people. When God’s time was right, Joseph was given one of the most coveted positions in all Egypt. Truly, Joseph was finally able to say that God had taken all his sorrow away.

I think that it’s so encouraging to see how God was using Joseph’s suffering to position him in the right place at the right time to bring provision to God’s people. God was preparing Joseph for something greater. And that is what God is doing when we suffer! God is preparing us for something bigger, better, and greater. God is using all the suffering in our life for his good purposes. Often times, like Joseph, we can’t see the whole picture of what God is doing while we are in the middle of it. Maybe all we see is the pain and unending waiting. But we can hold onto the truth that God is going to work all things out our for good and God will be with us, as He was with Joseph.

So yes, I am Joseph! And maybe as you look at your life, you are Joseph too. Maybe God has brought sudden or unjust suffering into your life. The big question to ask yourself then is “what is my response?” Remember, it’s okay to feel hurt and pain. In fact, if you don’t feel any pain as you suffer I’d be worried that something is wrong with you. What really matters the most is what you do with the hurt? Do you dwell on it and let it lead you to despair. Or do you get up and keep on chasing after God and serving him in the place your at, trusting that God is going to do something great through it.

Let us hold onto the truth that God is always with us through every trial we face. Every season of suffering has a purpose that we may not be able to see until the time is right. But we can know this, God is taking us down these hard paths because he wants to prepare us and make us into something greater! God’s purposes for your life are so much greater than whatever it is you have lost, so let’s be like Joseph and keep on suffering well in this life!

Unfulfilled Desires

Do you have any unfulfilled desires? What do you do with them?

These past few days I’ve been thinking a lot about unfulfilled desires. It seems we all have something in our life that we want but God has said no or not yet. The other day I was seeking counsel from a dear friend and she asked me a hard question. She asked me how much of my wanting this relationship to work has been me just simply wanting to have a relationship. Ever since I was a young girl I’ve had the desire to get married and start a family. It’s always been my biggest unfulfilled desire. It’s also been the hardest thing to surrender to God. The more time I spent thinking over this question the more I realized how much my desire really has played a role in my decision making.

Let me tell you all, I’ve been doing some deep heart searching this past week and it’s been hard. I’ve come to realize my desires aren’t wrong. Marriage and a family is a good thing to desire. Whatever it is your waiting for, if God says no, it doesn’t always mean it’s a bad thing to desire. We often forget that God has plans for us that we can’t see. God’s timing is always going to be best for us. But making these desires come about with our own method will not lead to the blessing God desires to give us.

I believe that I’ve been desiring certain good things of God so much that I’ve allowed it to cloud over my vision and cause me to make poor judgments. I feel almost a bit ashamed of all the years I’ve spent chasing after something I wanted so bad when I can see clearly now that God is saying not yet, wait longer. So I decided that I needed to come to terms with these unfulfilled desires that I have been letting rule my life. I talked to God about the desires of my heart. Instead of just surrendering to God my relationship I also gave to him my desires for marriage and a family. I told God that I desire this good thing, but I desire it to be from Him. I desire God to lead me to it in His timing and in His perfect way.

I didn’t feel better right away. My desire is still here and still very strong. But God did give me his peace and I can feel God slowly working on my heart and putting this desire back in it’s rightful place. I’ve also come to realize that I’m quite content right now being single and growing in my walk with God during this season. Honestly, those are words I never thought I’d hear myself saying.

As I continued to think about all these unfulfilled desires we have, this question crossed my mind; What are we supposed to do you with these unfulfilled desires? I didn’t have to think hard to find the answer. You do the only thing you really can do. You just keep following God with all your heart. You keep trusting that God truly does know what’s best for you and the path your on is His will for you. This really is the only way for God to bring us to a place where we can truly be ready to receive the good things that we desire. It allows us to rest knowing he will bring it to us in His timing and He is all we need in the seasons of waiting that we must walk through first.

Lastly, as I finish up my thoughts on unfulfilled desires, I find myself thinking of Paul in one of his letters. In Romans 1:10 Paul says – “and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.” Paul had unfulfilled desires. He had been desiring to go to Rome for some time, but the Lord was not opening the door for him to go. Even though Paul wanted to go to Rome, he never took action to make it happen. He stayed where he was called and served God with all his heart. Finally, when the timing was right, God took him to Rome in chains.

When the timing is right God will bring our desires to fulfilment, and hopefully for us it won’t also entail being in chains, as it did for Paul. But like Paul, while we are waiting for the God’s timing, we can keep on serving God and pursuing the calling that God us in the place we are in right now.

Faith Is…

Do you know what faith is?

Have you ever wondered what faith looks like? Yeah, you probably can recite the definition of it. The first verse in Hebrews 11 even gives us this definition of faith; “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” But what does that look like other than just a definition?

The other day I was having another rough day. But in the midst of the pain I was feeling I kept thinking about faith. And I kept thinking about what faith looks like in the midst of hard seasons. It’s one thing to understand the textbook definition, but it’s a completely different thing to live it out. And I needed to know, in the moment I was in, what it looked like for me to live out my faith. This is what I came up with about what faith is…

Faith is taking a step forward, not knowing where you are going. It’s when you don’t know where the path is going but you know it’s the path you need to be one so you take a step forward. It’s a step forward into an unknown future while following a known God.

Faith is moving forward, even when it hurts and when all that is inside you wants to turn the other way. It’s choosing to move and not stay still because you know that God’s calling you somewhere new. It’s moving forward with a hope fully trusting in God.

Faith is taking it one day at a time, and trusting with all your heart that God holds the future and His plans for you are good. It’s is such a beautiful and hard thing to do. It’s believing that in the end there will be God’s blessing even though you don’t feel it in the moment.

Faith is hard. It’s not easy. To truly live out faith amidst all the trials and hardships of life takes so much strength and pure trust in God. But I find comfort in this; Faith is simple. When you really think about you’ll see that it really is pretty simple. It is not about a certain set of complicated rules to follow and turns to take. It’s simply about trusting God. And it’s when we are in the midst of trials that our faith truly is tested and has the potential to shine.

So today, I am simply reminding myself that faith for me is looks like taking just one more step in the right direction and choosing to follow God. When I think about it this way I feel better. I feel like I can keep following God and not get overwhelmed. Because I’m choosing to not focus so far ahead but instead to focus on the moment I’m in and what following God looks like for today.

This is what faith is! It’s simple and you can do it too. It’s less about the definition and more about the simple act of trusting God. So whatever your facing, just keep following God’s call on your life one day at a time and you’ll begin to see what faith is.