Who is God to You?

  • We hear.
  • We see.
  • We experience.
  • We choose.
  • We decide.
  • We deny.
  • We accept.
  • We. 

    Maybe, just maybe, if we chose to put ourself aside for just one moment to stop presupposing we knew who or what God is, but rather came before Him & His Word with simple child-like-wide-open unbias eyes, untainted heart, and unskewed minds….maybe, just maybe, we would grasp His understanding of who and what HE IS for who and what HE SAYS HE IS, not what we think He is

    It would be then, that we would begin to understand the attributes of God. It would be then, that we would begin to hear, to see, to experience, to choose, to decide, to deny, to accept, to know God for God…prehaps like the very first time you met.

    • Revelation 2:4-5

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

    Church…we ARE Plan A there is no Plan B

    3 Simple Reasons why Church is God’s Plan A.

    Here are three simple reasons why “church” is GOD’S plan A and there is no plan B in God’s book. Why we must stop kicking and screaming and questioning God’s plan. It is He that is in change. It is HIS salvation gift to us. It is His death that paid the price…NOT OURS!

    1. Church is plan A because God tells us NOT to forsake the gathering of ourselves together as believers. This is one of those hot buttons of the day and yes, I am going to talk about it! First, I’d like to say that I am truly sorry if you have been hurt, offended, or even abused in any form by the church as a whole. This is WRONG!! This is not pleasing, honoring, or glorifying to the Lord nor is it not His plan for His church.

    But may I ask you a question? Have you ever bought something from a store, like meat, and got home to find out that it was bad? Did it stop you from buying meat for the rest of your life? 

    Have you ever had food poisoning from a restaurant? Did that stop you from ever eating out again? Most likely NOT! 

    SO…why is it when something “bad” at church happens we lump them all together and vow the mother of all vows that ALL Christians are hypocrites, ALL churches are filled with liars, cheaters, hypocrites, and rotten filthy sinners and we are never going back. 

    I want to stop right here. I understand, I know I talk with ladies who have physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually been abused by family members, unbelievers as well as believers. None are right. None should have happened (mine included), but we live in a sin-filled world and we have a choice. Yes, we have a choice even in the midst of our greatest pain, sorrow and trial. Will I use this situation to grow closer to my Heavenly Father or will I take it and grow bitter by the the day.

    So often, I see “church” used as an excuse and see bitterness grow by the day and the choice to live in disobedience to God spiral from that one choice! 

    The bitterness will take you farther than you ever excepted to go. 

    Regardless of what enters of life, we are accountable before Christ. When we use people as an excuses to not obey Christ, we justify our own actions and guilt to make ourselves feel better. 

    I have another question to ask you. I am assuming you got over your food poisoning or got over that purchase of “bad meat.” If I opened your refrigerator door, I would find it full or at least part-way full and would come to find out that you have feasted on many meals “outside” of your home. You didn’t grow bitter at the “bad” meat. You didn’t call the store a hypocrite. You didn’t hold a grudge. You didn’t allow bitterness, people, or excuses from stopping you from shopping or eating, did you??!!

    So why the double standard? Using people, excuses, our own bitterness and unforgiveness to NOT obey God is sin. If you are a child of God, you are part of plan A…you are not doing your part. You are needed, but you are choicing to missing out on God’s plan A. 

    Because Matthew 18 wasn’t practiced like it should have been when the offense happened, sadly, you are hurting yourself, the church, fellow believers, unbelievers, and you are hurting the cause of Christ…for what “bad meat?” That didn’t stop you before!

    Reconcile that “bad meat” even if the other party doesn’t want too! Make it right before God on YOUR end!! Go and confront that offense! Seek and be ye reconciled. Forgive.

    I speak from experience! I have “abuse” in my background. What kind I will not speak of at this time, but believe me when I tell you, I know! I know what I feels like, how it hurts, the anger, bitterness, the confusion, the spiral effects. But I also know the healing power of God in ones heart and life. I know the comfort and release of walking in obedience to the Father and it is worth it all! I would do it a thousand times over!

    It is one of the hardest things you will ever do, but it is one of the most spirit-freeing (bondage releasing) God+you experience you will ever do, because when you walk in trust and obedience, God blesses! You NEVER go wrong walking in obedience to Christ….NEVER!

    Hebrews 10:25

    2. The very second you accepted Christ as your personal Savior, He gave you at least one spiritual gift, at least one. You may have more! Do you know your spiritual gift or gifts? Do you know God wants that gift or gifts to be used? Yeppers, you guessed it! For Him, for His Glory in His Church! 

    I hear the question already, can you use your God-given gift in other places? Sure! But the primary place is where He wants, within His Church. Again, this is not our plan or trying to make our plan work…this is God’s plan. We either obey and do or not!

    I Peter 4:10-11

    3. Church is Plan A because it is the only plan! We are to be proclaiming, mouthpieces, ambassadors, of what and who God is and what He has done for us to everyone soul we come in contact with. To fail to accomplish the great commission is to live in disobedience to Christ. 

    Matthew 28:18-20

    • The bottom line is this: God’s Word is clear. The choice is in your hands…your heart.
    • How will you choose to walk before the very God who gave you your eternal life? 

    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!