Relying on God

A lot of times we start to rely on God and we start to get comfortable. We start to become so comfortable with the peace God has bestowed upon us that don’t even realize that we stopped relying on God and started to rely on our own abilities once again.

It’s not an easy thing to do and its something that you have to work at, but in a relationship with God..

DO NOT GET COMFORTABLE

Now by that I don’t mean to not get comfortable with God, but instead I mean that we can’t get comfortable in just handing our problems of the day, or of a few days over to God and then thinking we don’t have to do that again and we’re ok. 

How many of you have felt weighed down by the issues in your life and decided to hand your problems over and start to rely on God again and everything is going great..but then a few days later you feel stressed and worried and just as oppressed as you did before?

~You lost sight of God and picked up what you had already set down at His feet~

We all need God. If a life of peace and prosperity is what you’re looking for, then the only way you will get that is by relying on God. 

“What are you preoccupied most with lately? What’s the main thing you think about, worry about, and work so hard at? Have you asked God about it? Pleased with Him for help? Bugged Him to death and gotten no reply? Do you wanton know aha might be the disconnect? Your focus. When your main issue is anything but the Kingdom of God, then that’s called worry, and worry separates you from God and messes up your relationship with HIm. Think about all the time you spend bugging God with your questions. Now think about what would happen if you could totally be free to concentrate just on Him.”

Part of relying on God means to trust Him. As you worry about all the things going on around you, you aren’t trusting Him to take care of you. The bible says..

Philippians 4:19

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”

Isaiah 12:2

“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.”

Psalm 9:10

“Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.” 

IT’S TIME TO TRUST

Relying on ourselves is something that seems natural to us..but it is so important that we remember to trust God and to lay our problems at His feet. It is important to understand though that relying on God is a process. it is something we have to work at. Like the picture says, relying on God has to start over every day. As you wake up that morning, you should start your days off by handing the day to god and telling Him that you rely on Him for your strength and all that is to come that day and that you trust in His pan and in everything he is doing in your life. 

If you do this, if you start off each day handing your problems to God and trusting Him to take care of you.. then say goodbye to worry, goodbye to anxiety, goodbye to anger, goodbye to heaviness, goodbye to everything that is weighting you down and say hello to peace! And man, I don’t know about you but that sounds great to me!

Let God take care of you! That’s what He is here for. And I can promise you this..God will take care of your problems a millions times better then you ever could. And not only that, but He can lead you to succeed so much more and take so much further than you could eve come close to on your own.

Closing Prayer:

“Lord, I need you. I need your love and I need your peace. I have been trying to take on life on my own and Lord, I am failing miserably. I don’t want to do this on my own anymore, Jesus I want you! Forgive me for picking up all the things that I have already laid down at your feed and I ask that you would take this baggage from me, that you would take away my worry and my fear. It rust you Lord and I had over anything that I have been trying to take on my own or anything that has kept me from your presence and your amazing peace. I love you, Lord and I now turn my eyes to you and away from this world. Thank you for always being there for me ad loving me so much that you would take away all my pain and take care of all my problems. Thank you that I don’t have to worry about my future because with you I hope. You are so amazing to me and I think you for covering me with your amazing peace so that I can be focused on the one thing that truly matters..and that is You, Jesus. I love you, Lord. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.” 

 

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You Are Chosen

We’re all different. We all have different personalities, different body features, different likes and dislikes. Every single person is unique and special in their own way. Everyone has different strengths and different struggles..

Regardless…

Whoever you are, whether you are ned or sporty, tall or short, well off or just getting by, weird or normal, outgoing or shy, excited for tomorrow or just struggling to get through this day, whatever and whoever you are…you are loved, you are perfect exactly the way God made you, and you are chosen.

WE’RE ALL BORN INTO SIN

When we came into this world we were born into a sinful flesh. But how amazing is it that we have someone who loves us so much that they would take the punishment for every single one of our sins? That we don’t have to constantly carry the weight of guilt and shame throughout our days?

1 John 4:9-10 “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

When Jesus died on the cross our sins were forgiven. BOOM. Just like that. No  matter what you do, no matter how many things you screw up, nothing, not a single thing could separate you from God’s love! Is it just me or is that incredible? To know that even though we’re not perfect and that we continue to mess up and fall short of the gory of God..that He still loves us unconditionally exactly the way we are…God loves YOU. God loves the sinful, weird, unique, real you.

And you know what the best part is…?

No matter what this world has to say about you, no matter how many times you sin or you mess up, your worth NEVER changes in God’s eyes. And even in this sinful flesh, God still chooses YOU to spread the Kingdom of God and to be a warrior for the Lord. 

1 John 3:1

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it does not know him.” (NIV)

In Acts 9, a story is told about a man named Saul who spoke threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord.

3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, who you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

7 The men traveling with Saul stood their speechless; they heard the sound but did not se anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything. 

10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”

“Yes, Lord,” he answered.

11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsusnamed Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”

13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who coma on your name.” 

15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my Chosen vessel to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.”

I want you to take a second and think about that last verse. Here is a man who has gone around persecuting believers and threatening to murder and arrest those who serve the Lord, and still, the Lord calls Ananias to heal him. When Ananias challenges why God would ask him to heal this man, the lord says “This man is my chosen vessel!” 

Isn’t that amazing? That as sinners and as people who are far from perfect, that God continues to love us and continues to choose us. That even though we are so unworthy, God blesses us with the opportunity to change lives..to spread His Kingdom..to love on His children.

No one is worthy of God’s love…but that doesn’t stop Him from loving us. No one is going to measure up to the glory of God, but do not let that stop you from going out and discipling or helping people or whatever it is God has called you to do.

YOU ARE CHOSEN

Regardless of who you are or what you have done in your life, you are loved and you are chosen by our mighty Lord and Savior! God has chosen YOU! Every single one of us has a calling on our lives, and just because you have messed up or you don’t think you are where you need to be in your faith to proclaim His name, God has chosen you and God is calling you to walk with Him and spread His Kingdom. God doesn’t want you to come to Him or to spread His Kingdom when you are prefect! No one is perfect. It’s time to stop doubting yourself and instead trusting that God has placed a calling on your life and that He wants you now! Right where you are, exactly as you are. 

Jeremiah 1:4-5 “The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” 

You are chosen and from the day you were born God set you apart form this world and had a plan for your life. Don’t ever let fear or guilt or shame or anyone in this world make you think anything less because you are CHOSEN. And I promise you..when you start believing that you start trusting that..nothing is going to stand in the way of the amazing plans God has for you.

So it’s time to decide..

Are you going to let fear and doubt hold you back from the glory that God has planned for you, or are you going to boldly walk out into the destiny that God has set before you?

 

Who Are You Trying To Please?

Often times we spend so much time trying to get ahead in life. Whether it’s at a ob, or in school, or in social settings, it is very easy to take our eyes off of God and to look to impress the world around us.

Because of this we can get hung up. We’re so focused on being apart of what everyone else is doing or being the best at our jobs or activities that we suddenly aren’t happy anymore. We work so hard at getting our approval from this world that we’re forgetting that this world wasn’t made to do that!

It is impossible to count on a human being or an activity to carry that weight of your happiness because it wasn’t made to complete you or to satisfy you.

So I ask this question…

WHO ARE YOU TRYING TO PLEASE?

Is it your friends? Your boyfriend/girlfriend? You favorite sport? You job? Your ability to excel? Or anything else along those lines. What is it that you work so desperately for? Whatever it is, it is blocking you from being able to have freedom in your life from the things in this wold and safety from the schemes that satan tries to plot against you. 

Galatians 1:10 “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

As we welk through life seeking the approval of our bosses, our friends, our families, our coaches, our neighbors, ect..we are putting the power of our acceptance and approval into things of this world instead of God. Because of this we become trapped and overwhelmed by worry and frustration because in reality, n one can measure up to the standards of this world and nothing in this world is going to fill the God sized hole in us, other than God himself! When we’re concerned with the approval of  others, we are creating a stronghold for satan to be able to control and manipulate us.. by doing this we allow him to be able to make us feel like we’re not good enough or cause us to become so anxious that we can’t function and God doesn’t want that for us.

In Christ We Have Freedom

Many people don’t even realize the freedom txt we have in Christ, but with God we get a fast pass from all of that! We get to skip over all of the uno because in God we are loved, in God we are worthy, in God we are righteous, in God we complete, in God we can do all things! When we look to God for our approval, we are protected from the lies that satan tries to feed us and we are solid and secure in this world knowing that we have a foundation in Christ who loves us and will always provide for us! How awesome is that? To be able to walk through life and know that you are loved and accepted, and that you don’t need the opinions of this world because God, the only thing that matters in this entire universe, has given it to you! I int’ know about you but that is incredible to me. 

Colossians 3:1-4 “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

IT’S TIME TO LOOK TO GOD

The next time you’re struggling and you’re anxious and you feel like you can’t do anything right, ask yourself who you’re trying to please. When you’re looking around and you feel like you’re failing miserably, look up! Because when your goal is God’s approval, nothing else in this world matters. No matter what you do or how many times you fall, God will alway love you and always forgive you.. you just have to look towards Him! When you look to God, you can always stand firm in peace because you know that God is the only thing that matters.. and I promise you, when the only approval you’re seeking is God’s, everything else in your life will fall into place. 

Just remember..your salvation and your glory pst in God’s hands, not anyone else’s.

Boasting

Boast
“To talk with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about one’s achievements, possessions, or abilities.”

Many times in this day and age, a common goal or theme in life is to achieve. Now having that as a goal or a mindset is not a bad thing, but using it in the wrong way can lead to consequences. Each and every person was blessed with certain abilities or certain gifts, but a lot of times we mistake those gifts to be ours, that our accomplishments are ours, that our victory is ours.. and i’m here to tell you that is a big, fat lie.

When you decide to become a Christian, you are saying that you are deciding to die to your old self, to die to your flesh, and to fully become reliant and dependent on Jesus Christ. This means that you no longer are counting on yourself to call the shots and to gain possessions for yourself but instead that you are letting God take the reigns and that you are living to glorify Him! With following God comes blessings and greatness and glory.. but as you reach new heights and as you achieve new things, remember to ask yourself..

~WHO ARE YOU BOASTING IN?~
Are you boasting in God or are you boasting in yourself?
This is a question I frequently try to ask myself and I encourage you to do the same. It is easy to obtain something great or to do something great and forget that it wasn’t by ourselves that we are able to achieve these things but instead it was by God and God alone!

2 Corinthians 4: 5-6
“For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

It’s time that we take a look at our life and see if we’re glorifying God or if we’re glorifying ourselves. Talking and bragging about ourselves and our accomplishments doesn’t glorify God, it’s making everyone look at us and idolize us when in reality, if it weren’t for God, we wouldn’t be able to accomplish the things we are! When our aim and our focus is to bring fame and glory to ourselves, God is not going to bless us. And every time we brag on ourselves or get people to look at how great WE are.. remember that by doing this, you’re causing everyone around you to take their eyes off God and to place them on you..

I know for a fact that people’s eyes should not be on me.. I am human and I fall and i’m not the thing people need in their lives, and neither are you! When we selfishly bring glory to ourselves while calling ourselves followers of God and Christians, people who look up to you, or people who are even just around you are going to watch that and people WILL follow you.. So do you want to be a person that points people in the direction of our Savior, the one and only thing that matters in this world and that people need in their lives? Or do you want to be a person that takes their eyes off God, and encourages people to count on their own strength so that they might fall?

You decide.

As Christians, we’re in the business of making GOD’S name famous, not our own. And if you are serious about following God then it is important that we humble ourselves before Him so that we can fully understand that we are nothing without God. It is then, and only then, that He is able work through us in order to spread His kingdom and bring about the abundance of blessings and riches in our lives that He’s promised us.

John 5:30
“I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.”

BOASTING IN GOD ALONE
This life isn’t ours and the gifts and abilities we’ve been blessed with are a blessing! God does not owe us anything, and we do not achieve these things on our own but instead we are achieving these things together, side-by-side with God, having full faith of the glory that He is going to bring fourth and the fruit that you WILL bare because you have Jesus Christ by your side! With that being said it is important that we do not boast in ourselves, or anything other than God! Our wonderful, powerful, incredible, amazing God that has given us the honor to use the gifts He has given us to achieve such great and mighty things so that we may show the world how amazing our God is, how powerful our God is!

1 Peter 2: 9-10
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the name of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who oncewere not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.”

As followers of Jesus Christ, we should no longer want people to praise or marvel at us but instead at God! I know for a fact that I couldn’t be anywhere close to where I am today if I we’re to rely on my own strength and talent, because without God, i’m nothing. Make sure not to forget that. Make sure that as we go out into the world, that our one and only goal and our one and only purpose is to glorify God. Our abilities and even our life can be stripped away in an instant, but God is everlasting. Every time you achieve something or any time you do something great, THANK God! Because He is the reason for your success! And even as we sin and we fall short of God’s glory, He still allows us to achieve the things we desire!! So remember that the next time something you do something great or something great happens in your life.. because God didn’t have to give you your abilities or your favor, but He did it because He loves you. So give the glory to Him! He deserves it.

What College Has Taught Me

College is a big step in life. You’re out there somewhat on your own, but you start to make your own decisions and start figuring out the person you want to be, without your parents or anyone from home having a say on who you become. It’s a fresh start. It’s been a time of constantly trying to figure out the question, “Who Am I?”

Well, thankfully, as i’ve taken this semester to really dig into this question, I have found some answers. So here’s to you my readers. Hopefully, regardless of your age or wherever you are in life, you will benefit from what i’m about to share and that it might mean something to you.

I AM A CHILD OF A KING
Often times when we think of royalty, we picture someone that’s lifted up. A family that is looked upon with favor and one that stands as an example to all.. We are all apart of that family! As we serve Jesus Christ and as we run towards Him, he lifts us up! He places us where we can be an example to others, where we have the amazing opportunity to love and grow with one another. As we venture into God’s overwhelming presence and as we draw near to Him, He openly welcomes us to His kingdom. And the absolute best part of it all is that being royalty doesn’t exempt you from the trials and tribulations of life.. but as we take our place in this family, we no longer have to provide for ourselves. Even when the waves of life come crashing down, you have a God, a King, a Battle Hero that fills you with peace and love and hope while He takes on all the things that Satan throws at us. No longer do we have to suffer on our own because we have a God right there next to us, taking it on with us. Squeezing your hand and telling you that you’re safe at every crash of a wave.  A mighty warrior, that even as your under attack.. you’re able to stop and look at His beautiful face and realize that, “Wow.. everything is going to be ok. My love is fighting for me.. He’s taking care of me.”

I AM LOVED
I am broken. I am a sinner. I doubt God. I runaway from God. I put my trust in things other then God. And do you know what the crazy thing is.. He still loves me. And i’m not talking just about an ordinary love. I’m talking about an extraordinary love! A love that gives, a love that is gentle and complete. A love that is pure, that doesn’t have any other agenda other then saying, “You are beautiful, you are mine, let me love you! Let me show you what you’re worth to me!” ..A love that guards my heart. One that makes it a priority to provide and care for my heart at all times. A love that is so selfless, that when pain enters my heart, He weeps. A love that is ready to pounce the minute I call out to it for safety. A love that constantly completes, one that constantly makes me whole.. a love that is unlike any love you can find on earth. That’s how I am loved. And that’s how you’re loved too, that’s how you’re adored too. That is the way God sees and loves YOU.

I AM RESTORED
Let’s face it.. we’ve all got a past! We all have things we regret, things we wish we could change, things we’re embarrassed about. At least I do! And the hard part is that we live in this world that doesn’t ever forget. Often times a saying that I see on social media is “forgive but don’t forget.” And that’s exactly how society works… But that’s not how God works. I know as you’re reading it may be easy say “I know, I know, Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sins, I already knew that.” But do you really KNOW what that means? It means that not only do we get to live a life knowing that we’re forgiven, but it means that God see’s our ugliness, and loves us so incredibly much that He wipes the slate clean. COMPLETELY clean. As I look down the old road of my past, i’ll be real honest with you, I really don’t like what I see. Many times, I remember the past and feel completely unworthy. Sometimes I just feel like I flat out just failed.. and I  become afraid for people to know my past because i’m afraid that they won’t like what they see. But one thing i’ve learned is that God isn’t concerned with the past. He’s seen it! You don’t have to go and tell Him about it, He knows! And even with that knowledge.. He loves you! He loves you with or without your sin. The minute we open our mouths and repent and ask for forgiveness, our slate is wiped clean! God is not concerned about what happened before, He’s concerned about where you’re going! God doesn’t want me or anyone of you to hold on to what happened in the past because He’s restored you! He’s made you brand new. You don’t have to dwell on the past anymore because God adores you! Right where you’re at.

I AM ENOUGH 
I know personally that it’s hard for me not to feel like I need to earn love. Often times I catch myself judging God’s opinion of me or my own worth or my own value, when that’s crazy! I’m not God. And many times it’s Satan trying to make me feel insecure or trying to get me to doubt God’s love.. but the Bible constantly reminds us that God’s approval isn’t earned by works, but by faith! It’s so easy to find myself thinking of all the things I need to do to please God or to be the right Christian when that’s not what God asks of us at all. God just wants us! We don’t have to do a single thing to earn His love because it’s free! I am enough and you are enough! Just like that. It doesn’t matter what you think you deserve or how you think God’s opinion should be of yourself because God doesn’t care. You could come to Him with a list of all the reasons why you shouldn’t deserve His love and he would just smile and say, “I don’t care. I love you!” As you’re going about your days and as you’re seeking to follow God, all He asks for is us. When you start looking to Him and believing that what He says is true, He will start showing up in your life like never before. Don’t worry about cleaning yourself up before you go to Him, just go to Him. He just wants you. Everything else will fall into place later.

I AM IN LOVE WITH THE ONE THAT TREASURES MY HEART
I truly believe that God has a place in His heart for each and every one of us to fill. A place that only you personally can fill, a place that only you can complete. As I have realized this and have sought after filling that place in Gods heart, I have found one thing.. and that is that I am absolutely, 100% in overwhelming love with Jesus Christ! Jeremiah 29:13 says,
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  And I tried this! As I started to become concerned with God’s heart and concerned with keeping up my end of this relationship I realized that, guys… God is so beautiful! Everything about Him is so wonderful! To know that I have someone that is in love with me, someone that adores me, someone that created me with His bare hands and breathed life into me! The way God loves and the way that He treasures and captures my heart is so beautiful.. And the best part about all of this is that God feels the same way about you too. YOU. Exactly how you are. You are loved, you are adored.. God thinks that you are extraordinary! You are His masterpiece! You are His perfect work of art, and He loves every bit of you. He’s just waiting for you to realize this. He’s waiting for all of us to realize that His love for us is unlike anything we’ve ever imagined. He’s waiting for us to see how incredible we are to Him and how treasured we are in His heart. These aren’t things that i’ve just learned once and now i’m done. These are things that i’m learning more and more about every day. They are things that God shows me in new ways every day. And every day is a new excitement of where my love is going to take me and what He’s going to show me… And the same love is waiting for you! He’s ready for you.. and be prepared. It’s the greatest love you could ever imagine.

A Complete Surrender

I believe that every believer reaches a point in time where they find that their head and their heart are in constant battle with one another. That in the pursuit to follow and serve Jesus Christ that there can come a time that what they desire clashes with, and does not line up with, the plan that God has laid out before them.

I myself am struggling with the fact that the desires of my heart and the plan God has clearly laid out for me do not match up. Sometimes in the midst of the craziness of life, we start to make our own plans and start to follow our own desires. We seek to satisfy ourselves rather than to serve the one that breathed life into us. But as we’ve given our lives to Jesus, we’ve given Him permission to lead it. So when we start to look down a different path then the one that He has drawn out, there’s going to be conflict that arises in you.. that’s when you have to decide.

Are you going to trust Jesus or are you going to follow your desires?

I was having some quiet time today and was listening to Bethel Live on pandora (highly recommend it) and this song called “The Cost” by Rend Collective Experiment came on, and the lyrics really laid heavily on my heart. Here are the lyrics:

“I’m saying yes to you
And no to my desires
I’ll leave myself behind
And follow You

I’ll walk the narrow road
‘Cause it leads me to You
I’ll fall but grace
Will pick me up again

I’ve counted up the cost
Oh, I’ve counted up the cost
Yes, I’ve counted up the cost
And You are worth it

I do not need safety
As much as I need You
You’re dangerous
But Lord, You’re beautiful

I’ll chase You through the pain
I’ll carry my cross
‘Cause real love
Is not afraid to bleed

Jesus, take my all
Take my everything
I’ve counted up the cost
And You’re worth everything”

Take a minute and just read over those lyrics again and soak up what it says. Really capture the beauty of
a full surrender.

All my life, one thing I can be completely certain of is that Jesus has never once steered me wrong or was not looking out for my best interest. We are God’s precious children, we are the loves of His life and He is always looking to guard our hearts and to provide us with the greatest life we could possibly imagine. When we decided to follow Jesus, we decided to give up everything and to trust him with our lives. To follow Jesus means to have faith that no matter how painful or unclear the road ahead may be, that He is going to not only protect us, but provide for us. That if He is leading us away from the life that we desire for ourselves, that there is something even greater coming up ahead.

Galatians 2:20 says,
” I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” 

Sometimes we just have to say yes to Jesus
Even when we don’t understand, even we when it’s not what we want and it’s not what we desire, even when it’s painful, if we are serious about laying our lives down to follow Jesus Christ then thats what we need to do, lay our lives down. And that includes what we desire.  The lyrics of that song are so relevant when it says, “I’ll chase You through the pain, I’ll carry my cross, ‘Cause real love is not afraid to bleed. Jesus, take my all take my everything. I’ve counted up the cost, and You’re worth everything.” I don’t know about you guys, but Jesus is worth everything to me. I can confidently say that not one person in my life has loved me, cared for me, provided for me, protected me, or shown me the amount of grace, hope, compassion and mercy as He has.

As followers of Christ, we have to trust Him. Everything on earth that we desire will not complete us and will fail us, but God will never fail us. He has an almighty and perfect plan and because of that, we know that if He closes a door in our lives that that door being closed is EXACTLY what we need. We can trust that as long as we follow Jesus, that he will not let us down. We can trust that He knows us even better then we know ourselves and that the glory that is presented at the end of the day will be worth the suffering or pain that comes with laying our desires down to live the life that God has planned for us. Romans 8:18 is a common but extraordinary verse stating “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”  It’s time to take our minds off of what it is that we want or how undesirable it is to leave those things behind, and its time that we look to God and trust. Trust and rejoice in the fact that God has everything under control, and that the glory that He is going to reveal to us is going to be absolutely amazing.

A Complete Surrender
Following Jesus means a complete surrender. It means saying yes to Him and saying no to our desires. It means surrendering every aspect of our lives over to Him and saying, “Jesus, I love you and I trust you. Lead me to where you want me to go. I leave everything I want and everything I desire behind, and I give you all of me. Take me and mold me; have your way in me, Jesus. I will follow you where ever you go.” We are able to stand firm in the fact that all of God’s promises are true and that He is our ultimate leader; that He will lead us to glorious places beyond anything that we could measure. We just have to trust Him. And when you do, get ready.. Because He’s going to blow your mind.

Dear Misunderstood Believer

Following Jesus isn’t easy. Although it is one of the most incredible things in the world, it is still a very hard job to do. As we seek to know Him and become more like Him, something pretty incredible starts to happen. In our pursuit for Jesus, He shapes us and molds us to become more and more like Him, and He pushes us to become the absolute best we can be! Many times though, as we’re changing and moving forward and living to serve Him and to walk the path that God has destined us for, often times the reality is that that path can leave us very lonely. Although we are becoming closer and more present with things above and in the Spirit of the Lord, many times that draws us farther away from this world, and farther away from the things that seem normal to many of those around us. I can say that it has happened more than once where a friend who has loved me and cared about me so deeply, no longer wants to be in my life anymore because they don’t understand why i’ve changed or why I don’t want the same things that I used to. It has also happened many times that people slowly fade out of my life because they know what I am doing and they see where I am going, and they don’t want me around because they don’t want to be reminded of it. And the truth is that following Jesus can mean giving up things that most people could hardly comprehend giving up.. and when you move in one direction that others around you are not, it’s easy to become misunderstood. And it’s easy to become unwanted by this world. And trust me you don’t have to say it because I already know,  it’s not fun. Everyone desires to be loved and cherished. Everyone wants someone that just knows them, someone that understands them, that wants them for exactly who they are.. but sadly many times instead of having those things we’re left being mocked, being judged, being ridiculed, being torn down for what we believe in and its all because no one seems to understand why it is that we live the way that we do.

I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t like being alone.. I don’t like being misunderstood and I can become really discouraged sometimes because I don’t feel like I have anyone to walk with me or to really know me or even want to for that matter. So I am writing this letter to you, misunderstood, because I would like to say..

DONT BE DISCOURAGED

The truth of the matter is that we serve an amazing and incredible God that loves and cherishes us and understands who we are and where we are going. Although we may feel alone on this earth, we know that we are never alone because we have God by are side! The same one who created us, the same one that calls us His masterpiece, the same one that breathed life into each and every one of us. When you choose to follow Jesus, it is for a reason. In Jesus we have freedom. When things are hard and the waves come, we have a God that raises us up and carries us to safety and provides us with peace. When we are faced with a struggle, we have a King that rounds up his army of angels and raises us to victory against those who have come to harm us. When we are hurt and lonely and feel like we are hopeless, we have a Savior that reaches down into the deep, dark pit that we have made for ourselves and rescues us without hesitation. Once we have seen and experienced these things, it changes us. When we experience a love that is greater than the one of this world, a love that is indescribable, one that awakens a part of you that nothing else in this world is able to.. we are no longer satisfied with the things that this world has to offer. When we draw near to Jesus and accept the love that He offers, we no longer want to be away from it. Yes, we are human and we get off track and walk away from that love… but I know that even when I get off track, that I cannot keep myself satisfied with the way i’m living.. Because i’ve been shown a brand new picture of what it means to have a good life.. And i’ve seen His glory. It’s ok to be misunderstood, because you know who else was misunderstood? Jesus. And there’s not anyone else who could understand you more then the creator Himself. And we know that just as Jesus was called to a greater purpose, we have also. Matthew 7: 13-14 states,

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” 

We know that walking the narrow road isn’t easy.. it can be lonely and it can leave us being misunderstood. You will lose people you love and things of this world that you desire.. But I don’t know about you, but to me, Jesus is worth it. Sure, it would be easy to complain, to turn back, to walk away and give into satan and his schemes. It would be easy just to throw in the towel and say “Well, sorry God I tried, but i’d rather do my own thing.” But Jesus Christ died for me. He shed His blood for you and I so that we may experience freedom, so that we may live a life filled with peace, joy, love and hope! Jesus Christ rescues us from our fears and overflows the hole inside of us with an everlasting love that constantly completes us. So although this way of living can be tough and can cause us to give up some of things that we absolutely want to cling on to the most, it’s worth it. Jesus Christ isn’t concerned with making us happy, He’s concerned with making us holy! And the process of making us holy, or in other words sanctification, does not always involve the easiest and most comfortable way. Thankfully though, God has made many promises to us, one of those being this:

And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.

Deuteronomy 28

When we obey God and seek to serve and glorify His name despite the fact that the rest of the world urges against it and can leave you lonely and unwanted, Jesus is honest and faithful and will transform your life to become anything but average. He will lead you and guide you to a life that is greater then any of us could ever imagine and will rise you up to be an example to all those around you.

In my personal bible, often times it will have an excerpt to the side that follows certain passages. In Psalm 22 the people are crying out for God and asking why He has abandoned them. They cry out for the Lord and pray earnestly for His help.. and then it changes. They turn their mourning and crying into dancing and shouting praises of joy because the Lord answered them, and He rescued them. The excerpt that followed ended like this:

When life gets tough, obey God, and you’ll suddenly find more peace and hope then you ever imagined. No matter what the results of your plans or dreams are, and even if it feels like God totally let you down, trust him, believe, and know that this too shall be used to make you holy if you will just let it. Like the psalmist, get good at knowing that even if things seem miserable, God is always there and always in control. Let praise and not complaint be the final word in your talks with God.

Even though this walk is not always the easiest and even though it can leave us undesired, unwanted and misunderstood on earth, we know that we are the opposite in Jesus. In Jesus Christ we are loved and cherished and understood and when things seem tough on earth, it’s time to just trust and obey. Jesus Christ is supremely interested in everything that happens to you and is ready to make something beautiful out of the pain and suffering that we might have to face on earth in our pursuit for Him. Draw near to God and don’t be discouraged by those around you who are stubborn or lack faith. Do not be discouraged by those who try to fight for their own life. Because although their dreams and plans might be coming true, if we choose to be living by our own strength and not the Lord’s strength, then our energy eventually begins to run out, and our success eventually turns to failure.

In a song called “Outsiders” by Lecrae, he says this

I tried my best to fit in
Looking for a suit to fit in
Standing outside of your prison
Trying to find ways I could get in
Now I realize that I’m free
And I realize that I’m me
And I found out that I’m not alone cause’ there’s plenty people like me
That’s right there’s plenty people like me
All love me, despite me
And all unashamed and all unafraid to speak out for what we might see
I said there’s plenty people like me
All outsiders like me
And all unashamed and all unafraid to live out what they supposed to be

You’re not alone. Being different and being misunderstood isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes it can just mean that you’re not afraid to live out the life that God has planned for you. That you’re moving farther away from this world because you’re becoming closer and closer to Him. So keep moving forward and don’t be discouraged by the things of this world. At the end of the day, you’re in greater hands than the world could ever supply you with. And if Christ reigns over everything, then whose hands would you rather be in anyways?