TRUE FREEDOM

Try. Try. Try. I’m restless at all the trying and striving I have been doing. The trying I do  to keep up this reputation, the trying I do to keep up this idea of who I am in peoples heads. And all this trying for what?

I want to get to the root of all this trying. Am I trying to be this person, because of my love for Christ and my honest desire to glorify Him and be more like Christ? Or am I doing all this trying simply to keep up some reputation and live the life of some Pharisee?

I love those days where God hits you in the heart and says yo listen to what I have to say to you. Today was one of those days. Recently I have been watching myself become more and more like this defense jerk. Always defending myself anytime someone accused me of anything. What was the root of this defensive jerk I had become? I did not know why I was acting this way, but I know I hated it. Then as I talked more and more with a dear friend of mine, God used them to help expose my sin to me. My sin of wanting so bad to be and look a certain way in others eyes that the moment I saw others being the way I wish I could I would just immediately tear them down. The moment I saw someone getting the attention I seek, I could not help myself than to just tear them down out of pure jealousy. I hate this. I hate this sin. And I thank the Lord for showing me over this past week how gracious He is in forgiving me for being this way.

Today as the pastor spoke about these fortified walls we build up to cover ourselves I was completely convicted. He explained how each time we are accused of anything we immediately find some way to defend ourselves and add another brick to our fortified wall to keep us from being exposed.

What would life feel like if all we cared about was Christ and what He thought about us?

Can you imagine how freeing that would be? It just makes me let out a huge sign of relief to know that I do not have defend myself when someone accuses me of something, but instead just take it and learn to shut up. Not a single evil accusation thrown at Jesus was true, but never once did my Savior fight back. Never once did he defend Himself of these false accusations, but instead glorified His Father in Heaven because Jesus knew who His life was to be lived for. Jesus was completely free of this weight I carry of others idea of me.

Lord, my prayer is that I can live completely free in you. My prayer is that you would shut me up and teach me to be real. Teach me to admit my jerk moments (even if that embarrasses me). Jesus, teach me to love others the way you did. Lord, I want to completely believe that no one else’s opinion of me matters but only Yours. I WANT TO TRULY BELIEVE HOW TRULY FREE I AM IN YOU. Lord, may I love others and be more like you simply because of the love that I have for you overflowing into the love I have for others.

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Be still and shut up

GO. GO. GO. I have to keep my schedule as packed as possible and fit every single thing into my life. There’s no time to sit down and rest.

I often find this is what my life is like. Each semester I tell myself I am going to give myself a break and not max my schedule out and each semester I find that is actually quite the opposite of what I have done. I started to find that I found my sense of fulfillment in keeping myself. It is almost as if I am not doing anything then I am not actually making something of my life. I have made keeping myself busy an idol. If I can just add one more job or one more class to my schedule then I will really be doing something with my life. Why is simply just God never enough for me?

A little over a week ago I was confessing this idol of mine to a friend and they reminded me of the verse Psalms 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” I laughed and agreed that this verse should be my life motto but quickly forgot about this verse. Yesterday I got back from another trip and was completely wore about and normally on Tuesday’s I work two jobs but today God gave me a break and both of the jobs told me I did not need to come in today. So I decided to go to a coffee shop and go over some of the DNOW material for the weekend. The whole weekend is on listening to God and allowing Him to speak to you in different ways (of course). Low and behold in the first lesson Psalms 46:10 appears and once again God reminds me to be still and listen to him. God really does have a sense of humor.

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Lord, I thank you for reminding me once again that nothing of this world will ever be my identity. My identity is fully in you. No matter how packed my schedule or how empty my schedule is you still love me. No matter how many jobs I fit into a week you still want me to take time to be still and rest fully in you. Thank you Lord, for telling me to shut up and just be with You, because in You is where I find my real rest. No matter how crazy busy and hectic this world gets, You are my rock and You never change. Remind me daily how much I need to be still and just listen. No schedule will ever be enough, nothing I do will ever be enough, but Lord, you are enough.

 

 

 

Enough 

“Though the earth may try to satisfy my heart,

though the earth may try to tell me you’re not faithful,

though the earth may try to blind me from your goodness, YOU SHINE THROUGH.

You’re the only who fills me up.” – “You’re the Only One” by Chris Renzema

This song blows my mind at how accurate it is. I long daily to finally be enough. To be enough for the world. To be enough for someone. To be enough for anyone. Man, am I thankful that no matter how far I am from ever EVER being enough (whatever that even means), Jesus looks at me and says, daughter, you are enough for Me. What more could I possibly ask for? Who care that the world says I am not enough for any human or task. I have the full approval and love of my maker. Unlike a child living for the affirmation or approval of their parents, I have the full approval of my Father. I have unconditional approval and love. When I am at my weakest, grossest stage, I am enough, because when Christ sees me, He sees Jesus. I am enough not because of anything I have done but because of everything Christ has done. horse-shoe-bend

 

Lord, thank you for being the only thing that satisfies my heart. Day after day I pick up and run to another thing to satisfy me and day after day they crush at the weight of my expectation. My heart longs for eternity and it’s like a black hole, consuming everything in its path, taking what it can get. Lord, you have put eternity in my heart, and NO thing of this world will ever be able fill me up. Thank you for being the only thing that fills that gap. Thank for loving me even when I cheat on you with silly idols daily. Thank you for creating these beautiful views so that I may be able to better experience the love you have for me. Thank you, Jesus, for paying the price for us. crand-canyon

I AM ENOUGH. YOU ARE ENOUGH.

 

 

Pruning

I’ve always loved the term “pruning” as a description of what the Father does to us. I feel like a huge part of my Christian life is this pruning process. I’m constantly putting an idol in between my relationship with my Father, and my Father is constantly revealing my sin to me and pruning away the sinful idols in my life. I put these enormous expectations on these idols I deal with and inevitably they are crushed because they can barely amount to these great expectations I have given them. The coolest thing God’s been showing me is that He won’t crush like my worldly idols. He can handle anything because HE IS GOD, the same God who created me and knit me together in the first place.

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Lately God’s been doing a lot of pruning in my life, which if were being honest (in a lack for better words) sucks. Of course it hurts when God shows me the nasty, gross parts of my heart that I’m ashamed of. But the sucky parts are far out weighed by the Father revealing how much He loves me and forgives me even with my disgusting sinful heart. I honestly don’t think I would ever be able to grasp the mercy and love my Father has for me without recognizing how desperate and in need I am of Christ.

There’s a saying that people like the use that I have been thinking a lot about lately. “God never gives you more than you can handle.” In a sense I understand what this quote is saying, but at the same time I disagree. I disagree, because anything I try to handle on my own has already become too big for me. Apart from God, I can do absolutely nothing. These idols I have are not given to me from God, but instead from Satan. Satan wants me to believe that I don’t have to confess these temptations and sins because I CAN HANDLE THEM ON MY OWN. I CAN FIX MYSELF. I’M BIGGER THAN MY TEMPTATIONS AND SINS. That’s exactly where I am wrong. The most beautiful part is that no matter how much temptation I experience, I am able at anytime to just look to my side and see that Christ is actually right there walking along side of me, begging me to let Him take this weight. And instead of it being ME who is doing the bearing it’s Christ. Jesus carried the cross that bore my sin on it, this is the most honest picture of Christ bearing the weight of my sins because I can’t.

I challenge anyone who is reading this to let God reveal to you the nitty gritty, the nasty, gross parts of your heart to you. Let him do this pruning he needs to do in your life, but also look at His face during this and see the VAST amount of love Christ has for you. My last challenge is to confess your sins to someone you trust and that can hold you accountable. God did not put us in a body of Believers so that we could just hold all our struggles and temptations to ourselves. No, He gave us a body of believers so that when you do struggle you can ask for prayer, explain to them just what you’re dealing with and they can point you to Christ.

John 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.