“He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way. All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of His covenant.” // Psalm 25:9-10
I think one of the biggest reasons we as human beings get into trouble is because we’re trying to take hold of our own lives. As humans, and especially as Christ-followers, we’re not made to do this. We know that from the very beginning of time, God created us for a relationship with Him. He was going to be our Father, our Provider, our Protector. And while we sinned and went astray, His design and heart for our lives never changed.
If you’ve been around the church for any amount of time, you’ve heard the word surrender. In fact, when you got saved, you probably heard someone tell you about surrendering your life to God. It’s funny how we can trust our eternity to God by accepting Jesus as our Savior, as sufficient payment for our sins, but yet we have a hard time trusting-or surrendering-our every day lives to Him. Yet that’s exactly how we’re supposed to live.
If you joined me a couple weeks ago, I talked about the hardest lesson I’ve had to learn in life. Today’s post kind of goes along with that same theme. But I’m convinced the only way to God’s best in life is to trust Him and follow Him every step of the way. And the only way we can do that is by surrendering to Him.
The thing is, surrender is scary. I think a lot of Christians are afraid to surrender their lives to God because they fear God is going to make them do something horrible. Like marry the weirdest guy on your street, or make you pursue a job you’re going to absolutely hate. But guys, that’s not how God works. He may call us to places we’d never expect, situations that might even scare us at the moment, but when we lay down our pride, our expectations, and our desires, that allows God to give us His very best.
Think of it this way: He made you. He made you with certain passions, certain interests, and certain gifts. He knows the best way for you to use what He has equipped you with. He knows the kind of guy you’ll like, because He made you to like someone like that. He knows the kind of job that’ll light you up inside and bring Him glory because He put that fire inside of you when He was knitting you together so beautifully in your mother’s womb (Ps. 139:13-16). He knows the ministry you’re going to love doing because that’s what He equipped you to do.
When we surrender to God–going where He leads, doing what He’s made us to do–not only will we find joy, peace, and relationship with Him, but He’s going to get all the glory from us, and ultimately from others impacted by your obedience. If we as followers of Jesus would just let go and trust the very One who created us, we’d find ourselves right where He wants us. And no plan of our own is better than that.
I love Psalm 25:9-10. It reads, “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way. All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of His covenant.” Did you see that? All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful. Guys, that’s who God is. Those are His intentions. Every. Single. Time. Loving and faithful.
So when you find yourself scared of surrender, remind yourself of this verse.This God who made you, who sent His one and only Son to die for you, is sovereign over everything. All His ways are loving and faithful. And because He can’t change, that simple truth never will.
When we let go and let God take control, someday we might just change the world ❤
Until Next Time,
"Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” -Matthew 16:24
P.S.!! Next Sunday I’m starting a new series for the month of February on GOD’S LOVE. See you next week!
“As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left,that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” // Joshua 1:5b-9
When you hear the word brave, what do you think of? Or who do you think of? Maybe you think of a personal hero, or maybe a historical leader, or maybe something simple like a superhero. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is on Monday, and as I’ve been going about my week, bravery has been something that’s been prevalent. And when I stop to think on the life of Martin Luther King Jr., I see that bravery was something prevalent in his.
It takes guts to be brave. To stand up when everyone sits down. To speak when everyone wants to stay quiet. But it also takes bravery to do small things, sometimes the things God wants you to do. And depending on your personality, even the smallest things in life can demand every brave bone in your body.
A lot of people view being scared as a weakness. We want to be viewed as strong, put together. I know I do. But the truth is none of us are going to be strong all the time. And it’s in our areas of weakness that God comes in and makes us strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
In today’s Scripture passage, we see Joshua receiving something like a pep talk from God. Moses had just died on the edge of the Promised Land and God was putting Joshua in charge. It was going to be his job to lead the people in, to fight the wars with the residents already residing in the land, and to follow God’s commandments just as He laid out. And here’s the cool thing about the Bible — the Bible doesn’t hide or ignore the fact that some of our favorite heroes — the ones did great things — were scared at times. In Joshua 1 alone, God tells Joshua not to be afraid 4 times. God knew this wasn’t going to be easy for him, and He didn’t ignore the fact that Joshua needed a courage booster. And that same God doesn’t ignore that fact in our lives today.
God knows what scares us. He knows what gets our heart racing, our brow sweating. But He also knows that His presence is sufficient for those things. He knows what’s on the other side of the those things is worth your racing heart and your sweating brow. He knows that you’ll never experience Him sitting around, comfortable in your pajamas all day like you would out in the wilderness of life with Him being your strength and comfort every step of the way.
So this week, think about what scares you. Has God asked you to do something that you don’t feel adequate enough for? Maybe you don’t think you can do it. Moses felt that way, too. But God gave Him the promise, the simple phrase of, “I will be with you” (Exodus 3:12). And He whispers that same promise into your scary places. This week, be brave. Call on God as many times as you need. Run to His arms for refuge. And let Him walk with you every step of the way. He is faithful and your bravery is beautiful. Because there’s nothing more beautiful than a child of God taking hold of her Father’s hand and trusting Him every step of the way.
So be brave … and someday we might just change the world ❤
Until next time,
P.S.! I have a challenge for you! Try reading Joshua 1:1-9 every day this week, preferably in the morning. This will encourage your spirit and empower you to be brave as you walk through your day with the Lord. I’ve done it in the past, and it really does help!
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” // Philippians 2:14-16
I was reading a devotional book the other day when I came across a quote that really struck me. This is what it said:
“There is no point to a life in Christ if we lose the one thing that makes us different from the world. God wants you to display a life that shows how wonderful salvation is.”
Janelle Anthony BreckellThis made me stop and think for a moment. In today’s culture, it’s so easy to blend in. We think by “blending in” that we’ll somehow win others to Christ. They’ll think Christianity is “cool” because we do what they do. But if we think about it, what message is that portraying to the outside world? It sounds to me like that’s saying, “If you decided to follow Jesus, that’s cool. You can even keep doing what you’re doing right now.”
Now, don’t get me wrong. I think it’s fine that Christians laugh, have fun, and do cool things. There’s nothing wrong with that. The problem comes when we as Christians try to blend in instead of being set apart.
Can we meet the world where they are by having fun, doing “cool” things, without actually being apart of them? I think the answer is yes.
The thing of it is, that’s a hard yes. It’s hard to get close to culture without getting sucked into it. It’s hard to stand our ground against temptation and the lure of the world, especially when we’re trying to engage it. But as Christians, it’s imperative that we go and meet the culture where they’re at without getting sucked into exactly what they’re doing.
The Bible talks about us walking a different path in life. Ephesians 4:1 tells us, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” This is a strong exhortation from the Apostle Paul. He’s pleading with the church at Ephesus to live a life worthy of the calling they’ve received. When we came to know Jesus as our Savior, our old self was done away with. We were given a new name. A new identity. We were brought into a new family (2 Cor 5:17, Galatians 4:3-7).
You probably have some resemblance to your family, your loves ones. Maybe you have your mom’s hair, or your dad’s eyes. But what about to your Heavenly Father? Is your heart reflecting His? When people see you, are they seeing your resemblance to Him? Are you standing out, shining bright in this dark generation? Are others questioning why your life is soaked with joy and your peace unshakable?
This is the kind of life we are called to as followers of Jesus. If we look like everyone else, talk like everyone else, and live like everyone else, how is anyone supposed to see Jesus in us? How are people supposed to experience the life changing power of Jesus if they’re not seeing it in us?
In short, what is the purpose of following Jesus if we’re doing life the same way as the person who’s not?
I’m convicted to hide God’s word in my heart, to invite Him in every day, and by the power of His Holy Spirit to live a life that’s different, one that’s shining on the brightest and darkest of days. It’s not an easy life by any means. But Jesus didn’t call us to an easy life … He Himself didn’t live an easy life. He served when He could’ve been served. He gave when He could’ve received. He sacrificed His life when He could’ve just stayed in heaven, seated on His throne, and worshiped day and night for all eternity. But instead, He came to rescue us. To rescue us out of our life of sin and darkness, that we may have an eternity filled with Him. That’s why our life should look different. That’s why we want people to know Jesus. Because He’s not only changed our life, but the course of human history!
As you wade into this week, pray about where God might want your light to shine a little brighter this week. Maybe at school? Maybe at work? Maybe to your unsaved family members? How can you be salt and light and bring the hope and power of Jesus to other’s this week?
When we recognize we’re set apart by God to stand out for Him, someday we might just change the world. ❤
Until Next Time,
P.S.!! This week’s blog was inspired by the devotional Whatever Is Lovely by BroadStreet Publishing Group LLC & 100 Things God Loves About You: Simple Reminders For When You Need Them Most by Zondervan. Please check these wonderful books out!
“How abundant are the good things that You have stored up for those who fear You, that You bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in You.” // Psalm 31:19
Hey guys! Happy Sunday! I hope 2019 is treating you well!
So, I love documenting lessons I learn on my Christian walk. In fact, I even have journal of them. I even wrote a blog about the 17 things I learned in 2017. But today I want to share with you by far the hardest lesson I’ve had to learn. One that for the longest time I just couldn’t seem to get. One that I heard about over and over, yet I never quite understood how I was supposed to walk it out in my own life. The lesson, essentially, of letting go and letting God, and taking life one day at a time.
I tell people I’m a dreamer by nature, and I am. I’m a writer. A writer, by definition, is by nature a conscious dreamer (Okay. Maybe not in Websters, but I’ve heard it defined like that). I also have the gift of faith (I wrote an article about that on 412teens.org if you’re interested in learning more about that). Put these two things together and in my heart and soul I think I could run a marathon around the world in 7 days if I wanted to. The problem I’ve found with this is that when things don’t go the way I think they will, or don’t go the way I expect them in faith to go, then I get a little … frustrated. I’ve been in a particular situation for the past few years that has tested me for a while, and it seemed to be coming to a head in late 2018. For the past few years, I’ve wanted to relocate. To move from the state I was born and raised in to another part of the country. The state I want to move to has differed throughout the last couple years, as well as the reason of wanting to relocate in the first place, but the desire has always remained the same. I. Want. To. Move. I Want. To. GO.
I have prayed about this very thing almost every day for two and a half years.
Every year I think, “This is the year it’s going to happen. This is it!” And so I get all excited (for one reason or another), only to be left disappointed when the time passes, the decision to stay has been made. I recently experienced a situation where I thought I knew what God’s will FINALLY was. Crystal clear. The answer to my constant prayer, my heart’s deepest desire. Only to find out that … again … it might be delayed and possibly not play out like I expected or wanted.
So, here’s the thing. The past few years, my mom has told me over and over again that I just need to wait. That God would reveal His will when it’s time.
This frustrated me beyond comprehension. I thought we should be seeking, exploring, researching, GOING. It wasn’t until recently that I finally realized what she meant this whole time.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, I want to give you some encouragement today. If you’ve heard about surrendering to God, but you’re not sure what that looks like or how you’re supposed to live with the future in mind while keeping your eyes fixed on today, here’s what I’ve learned about all this:
When you keep your eyes on God with the intent to follow Him, and you trust that He’ll come through just in time, you can let go of trying to control everything and learn to follow.
Listen. God knows His plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11). They’re even good plans. But when we try to control the circumstance, complain in the waiting, and get frustrated when things don’t go our way, we’re just prolonging the waiting process. That’s not how God wants us to spend our time in the waiting valley.
Instead, He wants us to trust Him enough to let go of our heart’s desires and focus on Him. Then He can move in our hearts and life.
Even if the thing you’re praying about is God’s will, or a Godly thing, it can quickly turn into an idol. When you care more about getting that thing than you do about what God wants, it’s no longer something God is going to be pleased with because it’s taken the places in your heart that He wholly wants.
There’s nothing wrong with having hopes and dreams for the future. But it’s vital that we don’t get so lost in them that we become consumed by them, wanting them more than God’s will … or God Himself.
If you’re in this season today, my encouragement is to get in the Bible, worship God throughout your day, and pray for His will to be made known to you. Try and focus on today. It’s okay to allow yourself to focus on today. Because God is still working in your future so that you don’t have to. So that you can relax and trust Him. We’re reminded in Proverbs 16:9, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” We might try to figure out the next year, two years, even the next decade. But God establishes steps. One at a time.
Fam, this is hard stuff. It makes me uncomfortable just typing these words sometimes. But, it’s part of the faith journey God has us all on. The more we trust Him, the less we’ll feel the need to manipulate and control. Whatever you’re waiting for will be so much better if you let God work it all out, anyways. And whatever you’re waiting for will be well worth that wait. I promise.
And maybe one day I’ll be writing to you from a new state. A new place. Maybe it’ll be the place I want to be, maybe it’ll be a state that was never on my radar. But either way, I know that it’ll be the place God wants me to be. Because I’m choosing to trust Him instead of myself. And in letting go, I know I’ll find walk into the best God has for me. And that, this year and every year to come, I want more than anything.
When we trust God and let Him lead, chances are, someday we might just change the world ❤
Until Next Time,
“There is a favorite story I like to tell myself. It’s the one about how my life should turn out. But in the end I’ve discovered – I would have never been brave enough to write it as messy and marvelous as God. So, I’m choosing to take His hand and simply live it.” -Lisa Terkeurst
P.S.! I wrote this blog back in December 2018, and as I get ready to post it for all of you to read in January of 2019, I can honestly say God has really done some hard work on my heart, and it feels so much better taking things one step at a time, no matter how hard it was to get started. Something that’s a constant help to me is praying, “Give me today” when I feel anxiousness about the future starting to come on. God answers this prayer every time. And He will for you too.