Living As God Intended {Trial Truths}

Late last year, I set up some boundaries. Social media boundaries. These boundaries were put in place to protect me. To protect my heart. The hard thing about social media is – the reminder of how different our lives can look like from everyone else’s.

My life looks vastly different from everyone else’s. I could sit here and literally count the ways. But, it doesn’t really benefit my soul to do that. Instead of doing this profitless thing, I need to keep my focus on the Lord and His Word.

Looking to the Word –

But be sure in deciding these matters that you are living as God intended, marrying or not marrying in accordance with God’s direction and help, and accepting whatever situation God has put you into. This is my rule for all the churches (1 Cor. 7:17, TLB).

In Scripture, we are reminded that – we can be placed in very different circumstances from others. There is a bigger picture than our circumstances (even the devastating ones), and that is the quality of relationship we have with God through His Son Jesus Christ! Will we allow the Lord to be of greater importance than our painful circumstances?

Some things in my life can make me feel so ashamed, and yet I have to remember it is a “drawing near” tool. While my identity isn’t in my circumstances, these things can help me connect with Christ – who is the Source of my identity.

Whatever your circumstance, I welcome you to my blog. You are welcome here. None of us fit into this perfect box of unbrokenness, for we all face hard things. Let’s just keep coming to our Lord Jesus honestly, and learning how to live for Him.

The circumstances we face can be very tough at times. I love this verse found in 1 Cor. 7, because it honestly shares the truth we need to recite in our daily lives. We need to consider how to live a life for our Lord Jesus, even now. We need to live out the call God has placed on our lives today, rather than waiting for better circumstances.

If you are anything like me, you might be feeling inadequate and broken right now. Friend, this is where the Lord will meet you and share with you His presence as you draw nearer to Him.

While I cannot fix your circumstances or even my own, I am here to offer you comfort. The truth is – you are not alone, neither am I. We are not alone. The Lord Jesus Christ meets us here. In this place. And out of all other places, this is the one where He chooses to reveal Himself the most. . . as we come broken before Him and desperately seeking Him.

Well, that is all I have to share today. But, I will be back soon. Don’t forget to order your journal and prepare your heart – because Monday we begin our newest online Bible study (Press On Toward Faithfulness)!

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Honest in Community {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan.

I don’t even know where to start. Perhaps, you can relate. I wholeheartedly believe in the truth we will look at today. I firmly believe we, as the Church, need to be honest with one another. So this is what I attempt to do, but it doesn’t always work out the way I hoped. This, I know. Why do I keep doing it? I wholeheartedly believe in trusting my Lord Jesus and obeying what He teaches us in His Word. Today, our truth is found in Ephesians 4:25 –

Stop lying to each other; tell the truth, for we are parts of each other and when we lie to each other we are hurting ourselves (TLB).

We are the family of God, Church. Yet for some compelling reason, we are busy fiddling with less important things that overshadow our priority for His Church – our spiritual family. Shouldn’t expressing honesty within our spiritual family be a given? I love this translation of the Scripture. When we don’t obey God in this, we are hurting ourselves. We need to love one another, and use our honesty as a way to do this.

We are urged to draw near to God in James 4:8. There is a lot of distance between church family members. It’s rare to see an Act 2 friendship, where there is gut-wrenching honesty and closeness. This closeness, this community, is no stranger to my blog posts. As you all know, this community is one I crave. But, it will not exist – unless we begin to express honesty in our conversations with one another.

I am thankful for the opportunities I have been given – to simply be honest. While honesty brings a multitude of emotions, which is no easy task to handle, it is better than the option of running away. We have been given such a precious gift in our relationships with one another. Let’s take the time to cherish the Christian community we have been given.

As Ecclesiastes reminds us, we desperately need one another. We don’t know how fierce of a battle someone is facing, unless they share. I have been doing loads of “sharing” on Facebook. While I may not get “likes” or “comments,” I firmly believe I am doing my part in sharing honesty like this one –

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I am obeying God. What others do with the content of sheer honesty is up to them, but I am joyfully, gratefully, and sorrowfully giving this over to God and being honest in how well (or unwell) I am doing – with my Summer. I am absolutely resolving to honor God, by sharing. I am not going to lie and pretend things are all sunshine and roses, unless (of course) they are.

When we share our honesty with one another, as the Church, we are giving God ample room to work in and through us. If we want to see God’s power in action, it is time to put away the lies and hurting ourselves by doing so.

In Christ,

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The One Goal to Keep {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan.

I bring before you all a special verse for Christian women. This is the verse. It can spark excitement in our hearts, but it can also scare some of us. This is a place, where we can learn to live out our faith in Jesus Christ and allow our sister-relationships to become a greater priority.

These older women must train the younger women to live quietly, to love their husbands and their children, and to be sensible and clean minded, spending their time in their own homes, being kind and obedient to their husbands so that the Christian faith can’t be spoken against by those who know them (Titus 2:4-5, TLB).

Community: Friend or Foe?

I love this passage of Scripture, but sometimes I don’t. My heart chases after deep Christian community, and sometimes it can be difficult to find. Being with my brethren is what my heart wants. In Christian community, we grow leaps and bounds and build lasting relationships. This is why we are urged to seek out godly friendships with other women.

Even if this pursuit takes a little time (or a long time) for fruition, it will be well worth the wait.

Worth Fighting For!

However difficult this pursuit for Christ-like relationships with other women, I feel like this is worthy of fighting for!

When we live out this Scripture in our daily lives, we are placing our trust in Jesus Christ and choosing His way of life over our own. These kind of relationships require vulnerability, feeling uncomfortable, and accountability. But, this is the place of being loved beyond measure, and our faith in Jesus Christ is tested/matures too.

Finding Our Willingness

Now “older woman” doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be 80 years old, but I wholeheartedly believe they have a wealth of spiritual treasures to pass onto the next generation. Women of all ages would greatly benefit from these distinctive relationships. We just need to be willing to obey God, as we come alongside someone else in the faith.

Far too often, we have stepped aside and ignored this Scripture – to avoid “interfering in another’s life”. Truth be told: We need for another woman, who is following Jesus, to come alongside us and lovingly interfere. We need to grow in our willingness to allow  (even invite) another to step into our lives. 

Speaking as a younger woman, but older than some, I know my need to be –

(1) Taught how to apply my faith in Jesus Christ to specific situations

(2) Reminded of biblical truths

(3) Prayed over

(4) Given Encouragement

 

Let’s cling to the truths of Titus 2. We won’t be able to live it out perfectly, so if you feel like you are failing – take heart, you aren’t alone. But, let’s remember the grace of our great God and focus on obey God in living this thing out – no matter what it looks like.

Job 29-31; Psalm 26-27

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Assigned Reading for January 11: Psalm 26-27; Job 29-31

Psalms –

Chapter 26 – What is a different way of putting what David is saying?

Lord God, I need You to free me.

Essentially, this is what he is saying. He is showing all of us that these are the kind of prayers worth praying. The result of such honest prayers is watching God show up like never before.

How are we intentionally seeking God through His Son Jesus Christ?

His heart cry was to lead a blameless life and to be mindful of God’s unfailing love. This serves as an important example for me, because I need to be mindful of God and His kind of love. I need to move out things, so I can be focused on Him and the things He is leading me to do.

Chapter 27 – God is greater than anything that could try to cling to our lives. We don’t have to be afraid anymore, because we have Jesus and God is on our side! My heart is safely kept by God, and He will protect it. He will guide me, and give me the confidence to trust Him increasingly more.

Job –

In chapters 29-31, Job makes his final defense. During the reading of Job, I have had some mixed emotions about this man of God who held to integrity and ran from evil. He spoke as a man. A very desperate man. He spoke bluntly to God, which is difficult to read as God is holy. Unlike us, God is holy. Yet, God saw fit to allow Job to speak such words. Job was holding onto his faith, but it was also being stretched – extended beyond its previous capacity.

As I began reading, these first few verses bring some heartfelt questions to mind.

How are we realizing God is watching over us? And, how are we enjoying an intimate friendship with God?

Job is recounting his former deeds, and how he was a man of integrity. He was spoken well of, offered counsel, and helped anyone he could. As he spoke, you can tell he was speaking genuinely. However, those days are long gone. During his testing, he was not respected – rather he was shamed by his community.

Surely no one lays a hand on a broken man when he cries for help in his distress. Have I not wept for those in trouble? Has not my soul grieved for the poor? Yet when I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, then came darkness. The churning inside me never stops; days of suffering confront me (Job 30:24-27).

This is where Job stood. As he stood here, he wondered what was going on. It seemed like God was attacking him, but Job had an enemy he did not know. Job continued to show himself as a person who feared God and ran from evil.  As Job recounted his deeds, his heart was being searched. And soon, God would answer him.