Probadly Not a Popular Subject but a Needed One | the Results Outweigh This World’s

God’s Word is so precious, isn’t it? This morning I sit here writing in silence; the house is quiet with sleeping children and the rain is falling so gently the sounds are so inviting. My quiet time with the Lord has been very sweet this morning!

I love to journal, so I started there because my mind was filled with other thoughts that needed to “come out” so that my mind would be clear once the Word was opened. The coffee is made. I started in Colossians, but the Lord redirected me to Ephesians, specifically chapter 4. Now I am no theologian, that is my husband’s domain, but when I read Ephesians 4:11-16 my mind and heart suddenly became very God-stirred to the point of needing to write…write a not so popular topic at that, but a much needed one.

I don’t know about you, but it breaks my heart when a child of God chooses to live their life in bitterness, unforgiveness, and resentment – which is really choosing to live a life in opposition against God. I know the struggle is real. I have struggled myself on different occasions with all three, yet by God’s grace He has ripped those roots out of my life then set me free (which He can do the same for you), but it’s a choice.

One cannot walk in sin and claim their relationship with Christ as intimate – it is an oxymoron, a no-can-do! Sin always hinders your relationship with Christ; it is never His fault. He is holy.

Just one symptom of choice that breeds bitterness, resentment (which go hand in hand) and unforgiveness is unresolved issues via the topic of “Church.” Now any “unresolved” issue will breed bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, but today we are being specific.

The “church” topic is a hot one, yet I find it is mainly amongst those who claim Christ; those who have “church” baggage. Now before we launch off (or you turn me off), I know there are some out there who truly have had some horrible experiences – sadly they happen within the church, for this I am not excusing or accepting what others have wrongly done to you. I pray that you have been biblically guided, cared for, and walked with and most of all (you) have chosen to walk in obedience to Christ – whatever the offense(s) done to you have been. Be careful what you choose to hold onto it — it will change your life either way.

Specifically, we are talking about the matter of our own heart. Are we striving to walk in obedience before God – in all things? We need to grasp, that before a righteous and holy God no excuse, no experience, no situation, no word spoken to us here on Earth will be our defense to use as justification for our disobedience. God cares more about your heart, your choices, whether or not you choose to walk in obedience to Him or not in this earthly life, even through the toughest valleys.

In conversations, so often when “church or church membership” or “I use to go to church” or “I’ve been hurt by so many churches” come up, we usually quote, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching (Hebrews 10:25). This is a fabulous verse! So True. Clear and to the point. Yet, rejected by many. Thankfully, obeyed by many.

But read with me in Ephesians, “And He gave some as apostle, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects in Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

  • Praise the Lord for Pastor’s who weekly bring the Word to us – some 4+ times a week, for their love for Christ, their God-calling to feed the sheep, and to share Christ.
  • Praise the Lord for Evangelists who preach the Word of God –sharing the Good news of Jesus Christ.
  • Praise the Lord for the gift of teachers. Those who have a love-burden to share Christ with others of all ages.
    • The Result: Through the love labors of God’s servants, they are a God-blessing to you, saint! Don’t muzzle the ox. You have been given this gift from God, to help in your equipping you in your God-service. This is the working in God’s work, for the building up of the body of Christ…until Jesus Christ returns! Isn’t that so precious. What a gift to be given! Thank your Pastor. Thank God for your Pastor
    • The Result: So, we do not act like little children any more – because our flesh will want too. Praise the Lord to have such a gift to aid us in our growth in Christ, to help us grow in the Word so that we are not so easily influenced, or deceived by the world’s craftiness, so that we are not ‘carried away’ but rather grounded in the Truth. What a blessing!
    • The Result: Because of being taught in the Word, and the Word changing us, we grow in ALL aspects of Christ. Our spiritual growth should be daily, because our relationship with Christ is personal. Coming together as a body of Christ magnifies the beauty of Christ and He fits every joint together as One.
    • The Result: By growing in all aspects in Christ, who is the head, the whole body (the church) is filled and held together by each believer (each joint – each God gift) according to the proper working of each individual part which (this is so beautiful) CAUSES THE GROWTH OF THE BODY (the church) TO BUILD UP ITSELF UP IN LOVE.
    • The Result: If we lived our life in Christ, His Church, God’s way – our lives, His church would be fabulous!
    • God’s plan works! The question is are we willing to obey?

Whatever excuses you have used to not obey God, to not go to a Bible preaching church, to stay home or do other things, to not become a member (to commit yourself) of a local Bible preaching church (in Acts they were baptized and added to the church daily), to not serve God with the God-gifts He has given you, to not worship God — have no merit before God. It is not that He doesn’t love you, it is because He loves you!

Excuses are just that, excuses. God doesn’t want your sacrifices or your works, He wants YOU! Your heart – your life, your ALL! He gave us His all, His life – who are we to think we can claim this life as “mine”?

If you find yourself in the camp of bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, or find yourself clinging onto something rather than walking in peace, obedience, and life in Christ you need to seek God first — confess these things before Him, ask Him to forgive you and create in you a clean heart and renew a right spirit within you (Psalm 51:10). Seek out someone who can Biblically help you through this these heart-idol that keep you in bondage. To not resolve them Biblically is your choice of self-cannibalism. There is freedom in Christ. The Truth does set you free (John 8:32).

  • Nowhere in Scripture does God justify or state it is okay for us to claim Christ and walk in disobedience to Him.
  • Nowhere will you find God telling us it is okay not to serve Him, not love Him, not obey Him, not to put Him first and that He is okay with second place, not to use our talents in the ‘body of Christ’ (the church), not to put on Christlikeness and walking in our flesh is justified. It is not found anywhere in Scripture!

I lovingly tell you, whatever excuses you think are valid before God that justify your disobedience do not stand before Christ! We must take responsibility – by God’s grace confess, forsake, and work through the areas the Lord points out in your soul for you to begin to walk in accordance to His will. Scripture says, if you seek Him you will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). Fulfilling His purposes are far more valuable than anything this world could offer.

Life is short. What we do here on Earth both matters now and for eternity. We do not know when our last breath will be, that is not to live in fear, but to live – to live in the fullness of Christ! God rightfully deserves our worship, praise, honor, and reverence. He desires our growth and best.

I want to tell you a little secret, I do not go to church because I am a Christian. I do not go to church because I am a pastor’s wife. I go to church because I desperately NEED God (without Him I am nothing, I can do nothing) my soul needs Christ and the Word! I go to church because I love God (I am a sinner saved by His amazing grace)!

How about you?

  • Don’t use others sinfulness to justify your own sin.
  • The choice to love and obey Christ far outweighs the losses you would face if you chose to use sin as a weapon.
  • Don’t take my word for it, search the Scriptures! Trust God!

Enjoy Christ. He loves you. We need to look no further than the Cross. Praying for you, friend!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Did some God-Running

 

Couple days ago, I was reading I Samuel chapter 1 in my personal devotions. Since then my heart has been impacted and so impressed by Hannah’s own personal walk with God, specifically seen through her prayer. I have read Hannah’s story many times before in the past, but this time was different.

Through Hannah’s example, I want to instill within my own heart and live before my Lord from within and without in such trust. So, in many ways, I am really writing to myself and sharing it with you, so thanks my friends for listening. Our Lord is so wonderful and timely.

When reading Hannah’s story in the past I remember understanding it, feeling her pain (more so as a married adult), understanding she was ridiculed by those from within her very home and seeing her being mistaken for a woman who was drunk instead of being intensely sorrowful in pray before her Lord by the priest, and so on. If you know her story, you know what I mean.

But reading through her prayer this time it has gripped my heart for it is far more than what meets the eye. Yes, she was asking the Lord for a son and then in the same sentence giving him back to God, but what I have missed many times before is Hannah’s heart (I Samuel 1:10-11).

As I started to think about this prayer that came so humbly yet truthfully from her heart, I began to think, what kind of woman asks God for a son (who has no children – remember her circumstances here) and then in the same sentence says, “…then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life…” (I Samuel 1:11) Think of it.

I know, personally speaking, we have gone through some tough waters as a couple and as a family. I can imagine that you have too. Life is good and filled with many blessings from the Lord, but life can also be very challenging and hard at times – so much so that we cannot even speak the words in prayer. We groan. Been there? When this happens, the Spirit speaks for us and makes intercession for us – I don’t know about you, but this give me goosebumps! (Thank you, LORD!)

This is where Hannah was. She was groaning. Her pain was intensely deep. Humanly speaking many would probably say Hannah would have been justified in being bitter over her plot in life. She was barren. Everyone around her knew it. In that day being barren was considered a curse from Lord. Now her husband loved her, but he did have another wife; her name was, Peninnah. Now Peninnah wasn’t the nicest lady to be cohabitating with for she was fruitful, multiplying and making sure Hannah felt every dig, every sarcasm, and every hairy eye she made!

Those who have walked the valley of grief (which comes in many forms) know there are stages. My husband and I like to call them “waves” because that’s what it feels like. We can say God is bigger than any situation, but living that out is another.

It is true, God is bigger that ANY situation we find ourselves in, but there is a choice on our end that must be made in each situation or circumstance we find ourselves in: To walk with God or without God.

I know that may sound very trite, but to be very frank it is everything! Without God, I don’t want to even think about how horrible it would be, but I can tell you first hand that with God – with God, the impossible is possible! It is still a process that you must walk through, but His strength and most of all His comfort is far more than I could ever describe on paper (that is another story for another day). It is deeper than the ocean, sweet, gentle yet strong and very VERY tender to your broken heart!     

Hannah chose God. She chose to humble herself under the mighty hand of God and His plan for her life whether she understood that plan or not. When found that day in the temple and thought to be “drunk” it was her broken heart speaking to the Lord. Her hurts. Her pains. Her fears.

Her prayer that day could have been much different. She could have prayed for God to shut Peninnah’s mouth or close her womb. She could have prayed that the ridicule and humiliation would stop, but instead she asked God to change HER! Wow! She approached God with humbleness and confidence in trust including her pain and lack of understanding why to trust – not in self but trust GOD! Hannah is an incredible example of ‘better’ over ‘bitter.’

That prayer in the temple was life altering for Hannah. What a glorious day it would be if we, like Hannah, choose God’s freedom over bondage. 

I will never look at Hannah the same again. Her heart was revealed that day for all generations to see. May I follow her godly example.

To you my friend, if your soul is beaten, hurting, looking for something or wondering, take it to the ONE who truly cares for you – GOD! Allow Him to pick you up, heal your soul, set you free from whatever it is that has you bond and may you experience the inward blessings that only God can fulfill. He desires this for you!

Thankful Hannah ran to God!

I did some running to God myself this week! I don’t want to be bond but free in Christ!

He is always there!

God keeps His promises!