Did you know you are naked?

So yesterday, I was listening to someone re-telling the fall of Adam and Eve. I was only half-listening because I've probably heard the story at least 500 times (side note: What I love about the Bible is you can always get something out of the Bible; it doesn't matter how many times you have heard the story). Well, as I was listening, I tuned into the fact that before the fall Adam and Eve were naked and without shame. Then after they sinned God comes looking for them and says, "Where are you?" And they answer, "We were hiding because we were naked."

So what? Well think about it. They were obviously naked since day one and it never bothered God. After the fall, Adam and Eve realize they were naked and they decide to hide from Him. They tried to fix their problem on their own by making their clothes out of leaves. When God finds them, He fixes them new clothes through an animal sacrifice and sets them straight.

What does that have to do with us? Well, we really are not that different from Adam and Eve after all these years, are we? The Bible says in Hebrews 4:12

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight.
Everything is uncovered and laid bare
before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

We are still naked before God. He sees all of our sin, everyday! Yet when we realize our sin, what do we do? Like Adam and Eve we still run away from God and hide. We try to fix our problems on our own. "I can't believe I just did that! God must be so ashamed of me." [He probably is saying, "You've had this problem for the last 10 years but now that you've finally recognized it we can start getting down to do something about it]. We choose to hide in guilt shame, and condemnation. But what does God want us to do? What did God want Adam and Eve to do? He wanted them to come out of hiding and allow Him to fix the problem. And guess what, just like He fixed it for Adam and Eve, He has ultimately fixed the whole problem for us through Jesus on the cross. Read what directly follows the verse from above; it will thrill you:

Hebrews 4:14-16
Therefore, since we have a great high priest
who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God,
let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable
to sympathize with our weaknesses,
but we have one who has been tempted in every way,
just as we are—yet was without sin.
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy and
find grace to help us in our time of need.

I pray that we can really get this! Jesus is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. He came to earth, He walked where we walked and He experienced temptation! He overcame and as our great High Priest He offers us all of Himself! Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence! Adam and Eve ran away in shame, but because of Jesus the second Adam we can now approach God with confidence in our time of need and what do we receive: mercy and grace!

So if you have found yourself down and out, stand up and approach Him with confidence because Jesus has made the way for you to come.

In Christ,

If you liked this you might also like:
Why Do I Throw Out the Good?
Breaking The Cycle with TRUTH

Smorgasbord Tuesday: Access to the Thoughts of God

Last week we finished going through our 9 week journey through the Fruit of the Spirit. As you know, I really grew in understanding the role of the Holy Spirit in my life. The Holy Spirit has always been a bit of a mystery to me. You hear a lot about God and who He is as our Father, and you hear a lot about Jesus of course and His role in setting us free but the Holy Spirit I think remains a bit of a mystery and He doesn't get talked about a lot.

As I began finishing up the fruit of the Spirit series, I began running across a lot more verses that discussed the Holy Spirit.

2 Corinthians 2:9-16
But as it is written in the Scriptures:
"No one has ever seen this,
and no one has ever heard about it.
No one has ever imagined
what God has prepared for those who love him." — Isaiah 64:4

10 But God has shown us these things through the Spirit.

The Spirit searches out all things, even the deep secrets of God.11 Who knows the thoughts that another person has? Only a person's spirit that lives within him knows his thoughts. It is the same with God. No one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.12 Now we did not receive the spirit of the world, but we received the Spirit that is from God so that we can know all that God has given us.13 And we speak about these things, not with words taught us by human wisdom but with words taught us by the Spirit. And so we explain spiritual truths to spiritual people.14 A person who does not have the Spirit does not accept the truths that come from the Spirit of God. That person thinks they are foolish and cannot understand them, because they can only be judged to be true by the Spirit.15 The spiritual person is able to judge all things, but no one can judge him. The Scripture says:
16 "Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Who has been able to teach him?" — Isaiah 40:13
But we have the mind of Christ.

Now I really want you to take time to stop and reflect on what these verses say. Everyone knows the verse, "His thoughts are not our thoughts, His ways are not our ways" but they don't know what follows in 2 Corinthians. We have been given the Spirit of God, and what does the Spirit of God do, it searches the mind of God. Think about that really, it will blow you away! Your spirit is the thing inside of you that nobody else on earth sees or has access too. If you don't want somebody to know what you are thinking, they won't know. Yet God in His infinite wisdom and power has decided to give us access to His secret thoughts. We have the mind of Christ!

Daniel 2:21-23
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
Amos 3:7
Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing
without revealing his plan
to his servants the prophets.

God desires to reveal His secret thoughts to us! Are you listening?

2 Corinthians 3:15-18
Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts.
16But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
18And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

We have something that most people in the Old Testament did not have, access to the full understanding of the word of God! We are being transformed to become more like Christ through His Spirit working and operating in our lives! Take full advantage of what you have been given! You have been given God's Spirit and where His Spirit is there is freedom!

As you know I was very excited to have Brian White in town last week for the Freedom in Christ conference. While those messages are not available online at this time, he did speak at my church on Sunday. He talked about the thoughts of God and our thoughts and it goes right along with today's blog, so if you are interested in hearing more about the the thoughts of God the message is called: What Do You Think?

So why do I like Brian so much? I like him because he is not a pastor (not that I have anything against pastors:) rather he is a professor at a public college in Michigan. What I like is that he really gets what I've been talking about in this post. We all as believers have access to the heart and mind of God and it can and should effect our everyday life in a very powerful way! He is someone who believes this and walks it out as a "lay person" and I personally find it very inspiring for my personal life.

I have also run across someone on the blog sphere named Micey. She has an incredible testimony, called Once I was Lost, if you have an extended period of time sometime you will want to read her story. Anyway, she is someone who has her ears open to the Spirit and it is amazing how many opportunities she gets to minister the gospel to people. Check out her post on 7/22/09 for an example of what she does on at least a weekly if not daily basis.

My encouragement to you this week is to know who you are and what you have been given as a child of God! You have access to the secret thoughts of God on a daily basis. Start listening and you will be amazed at what He has to say to you.

In Christ,

Freedom in Christ

Okay, so I have to share already! I have been thoroughly blessed at the Freedom in Christ conference. The only way I have to describe it is that I had a lot of "jars" that were near empty in my heart and I feel like they are being filled to overflowing . It has been a difficult season for our family with the loss of Nevaeh. Losing her not only only brought pain because we don't have her anymore but it also brought a lot of questions about who God is and where He is. Let me just say, He has been pouring in abundance into my broken and weary heart this week. I love baths and it has felt like a nice long bath in the love of God being restored, refreshed and renewed. Many of the truths Brian is speaking out have been little thoughts on the back of my mind and he has blown on the flames.

If you live in or near Madison, there are still 2 more nights!! It is at LCC Church from 7-9. Come and be blessed.

Smorgasbord Tuesday: Fruit of the Spirit Self-Control

Okay, get out your box of Kleenex (sniff, sniff) this is the last week with the fruit of the Spirit! This has been a 9 week journey and I hope that you have had as much fun as I have had. Okay, I could go on and on but I'm really just stalling because today's fruit of the Spirit is self-control. Who really wants to talk about self-control? Anyone? I see no hands!

This journey began with the fruit of the Spirit love and I think that was the perfect start, because love is the foundation of this whole thing: knowing that we are loved by God and then giving love to all those around us. The journey ends with self-control and I again think this is the perfect ending to this topic. Just like we can't do any of this without love, self-control is the perfect way to get all those other things we talked about into action.

Self-control as a fruit of the Holy Spirit is a perfect example of this balancing act that we've been in this whole journey. One the one hand, these are fruits of the Holy Spirit and so we know that it is an attribute of God that we get to have in our lives. On the other hand, we know that these fruits aren't just "mystical" things bestowed on us without any effort on our part. Self-control is something that we need to put into action, but we also see that it is a fruit of the Spirit, so to have it in a life-changing way will not exist apart from our relationship with the Holy Spirit! I don't know how you've landed on this journey with understanding this balancing act but I've definitely leaned way more into the Holy Spirit to receive all these fruits than I ever have before, and self-control will be no exception!

As we probably all well know self-control is not an attribute of American culture rather the opposite of self-control i.e. self-indulgence is rampant in our society. From Nike's "Just Do It" to commercials that say "Have it NOW" we and our children are being bombarded by the exact opposite message. I am asking you to take an extra minute to step back with me and see exactly what the Bible has to say about the benefits of self-control in our lives.

Proverbs 25:28
Like a city whose walls are broken down
is a man who lacks self-control.

The full appreciation of this verse is lost on us because of cultural differences, but today's version might say "like a country whose missile defense system is broken, is a man who lacks self-control." As we see in this verse and will see in verses to come self-control is our system of protection. I believe one of the most important things you can teach your children is self-control. The ability to control yourself and not give in to every urge that comes your way will go a long way for your kids. Also, as I said earlier the other fruits such as patience and faithfulness will not work very well unless you have learned to control and stop those initial fleshly reactions.

If you read the book of Titus you will see the word self-control emphasized and given out to everyone. It asks older men, young men, older women and young women to be self-controlled. It also states that elders and deacons should exhibit self-control. We learn in II Timothy that the lack of self-control will be a sign of the last days. Let us, as the people of God, rise above our society and our culture and exhibit self-control and teach our children to be self-controlled. This is not something that is for the "mature" in Christ but it is a necessity for our protection and the protection of the church. We have seen far too often in our culture the damage that is done to the body of Christ when those in leadership are caught in a sin that took place because of the lack of self-control.

I Peter 5:8
Be self-controlled and alert.
Your enemy the devil prowls around
like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Resist him, standing firm in the faith.

This verse warns us to be self-controlled and alert. Guess what, you have an enemy out there prowling around and he is looking for a wide open door to run through. It seems like the lack of self-control is one of the ways of opening up the door to the enemy and saying pick on me, pick on me! We, however, can and should resist him and one of the ways we do this is through exhibiting self-control.

I Thessalonians 5:8
But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled,
putting on faith and love as a breastplate,
and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

Putting Your Clothes on will be one of the ways you can operate in the area of self-control.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.
On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
We demolish arguments and every pretension
that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,
and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

A second way to grow in the area of self-control in your life is to take this verses to heart and begin applying them. Take whatever area you are struggling in the area of self-control whether eating, anger, lust etc and begin to submit those thoughts to Christ. We have the power to demolish strongholds. Lets begin doing it!

Being One Body

This post will be some new thoughts that I have been tossing around. Please note that this is me processing out loud so I don't know how it will come out:)

I have always thought that having so many different denominations in the body of Christ was a sign that we were divided in Christ and it was showing that we were not really united in Christ. The past few months I'm starting to view things differently and even as recently as this morning I'm thinking I'm having an "ah,ha" moment.

I Corinthians 12:3
Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking
by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed,"
and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

Do we really believe this is true? The Bible says that only the Holy Spirit allows people to say Jesus is Lord. Now there are many denominations and there are many different theological standpoints represented within these denominations (before I continue let me say the standard the Bible asks us to judge on is whether or not Jesus is LORD). I myself have often found myself and my faith "threatened" by different theological standpoints because from where I am standing it doesn't look like how I look. I would like everyone to view things they way I do!
4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.
6There are different kinds of working,
but the same God works all of them in all men.

So if there are different kinds of gifts and services don't you think they will work out in a different manner than how I work things out?

7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for the common good. 8To one there is given
through the Spirit the message of wisdom,
to another the message of knowledge
by means of the same Spirit,
9to another faith by the same Spirit,
to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,
10to another miraculous powers,
to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits,
to another speaking in different kinds of tongue
and to still another the interpretation of tongues.
11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit,
and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

These verses say that the Spirit is the One who gives these gifts and He determines who gets which ones. These different gifts are given for the common good. I'm currently listening to Ravi Zacharias. I love listening to Ravi because he is an apologist. He talks very intellectually and he is able to argue with the philosophical community! He is very gifted and his gift is needed. But would Ravi be able to minister to a drug addict on State Street? Probably not. Does that mean his gift is not as valuable as the person who can minister to the drug addict? No, both people are needed and both people need to work in the areas they were gifted by the Holy Spirit. We are not supposed to be comparing ourselves to one another. Our eyes are supposed to be fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith!

Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand,
I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason
cease to be part of the body. 16And if the ear should say,
"Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,"
it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.
17If the whole body were an eye, where
would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear,
where would the sense of smell be? 18But in fact God has arranged
the parts in the body, every one of them,
just as he wanted them to be. 19If they were all one part,
where would the body be?
20As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!"
And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!"
22On the contrary, those parts of the body
that seem to be weaker are indispensable.

We've all heard these verses before but let us actually live them out in our everyday lives. An eye looks and acts completely different then a foot! If we all tried to look and act alike in our faith then the church would be rendered ineffective. The Bible says, "But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be." Let us trust God and trust that He truly has people in the right denominations and places. Let us stop trying to convert "Christians" to our thread of theology so that they "look" like us but instead let us work together and focus outside the body on the people who need to hear the gospel!

Do denominations have ruts and misconceptions of God? Yes. Are we allowed to speak the truth in love to one another? Yes. But let us not crush one another and say they are ineffective for the gospel because the way they manifest and act out their faith does not end up looking like you. Do you think your faith right now today is perfect? That every theological place you landed is 100% accurate? I would highly doubt it. Is God still using you though? Are you still walking in freedom? If yes, then don't worry about the "rut" you see your brother stuck in. If God, wants to pull him out of the rut, He will and He may even allow you to help in the process. But He also may allow your brother to help you out of a rut you are in! We usually offer ourselves more grace than we allow are brothers and sisters in Christ!

Paul was able to write about this topic because he didn't always get it.
Acts 15:36-38
36Some time later Paul said to Barnabas,
"Let us go back and visit the brothers
in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord
and see how they are doing." 37Barnabas wanted to take John,
also called Mark, with them, 38but Paul did not think it wise
to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had
not continued with them in the work. 39They had such a sharp disagreement
that they parted company.

Paul and Barnabas split and not on good terms. Who was right? Maybe they both were, maybe it was time for them to split so the gospel could be spread most effectively. Unfortunately, at that time they weren't able to see that. Did that prevent the gospel from going forward? No. Was God satisfied to allow their relationships to stay in that place? No, in His good time, somehow, somewhere God revealed to Paul the error in the way they split. And guess what Mark became very valuable to Paul:

II Timothy 4:12
Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you,
for he is very helpful to me for the ministry.

Mark not only became valuable to Paul but he also became valuable to us too because he wrote the book of Mark! He maybe even was on Paul's mind when he wrote I Corinthians 12.
Maybe you all already got this, but as I've said before, I can be a little slow sometimes. Let us not be threatened by our brothers and sisters in Christ who are in different denominations, or are displaying different gifts than us. Rather let's learn how to operate together so we can be effective in Christ!
As I said earlier, I'm really excited about the Freedom in Christ conference because it is bringing the body of Christ together. There will be at least 35 different churches represented. There will be many different theological backgrounds, different worship styles, different prayer styles, etc. My hope and prayer is that people will allow their brothers and sisters in Christ to be free to worship the Lord in the way they do, that we can have respect for one another right where they are at and that we can encourage one another to keep stepping out in faith and being used by the Lord in the ways they are gifted by Him.

That's all,

Smorgasbord Tuesday: Fruit of the Spirit Gentleness

We only have a couple weeks left looking at the fruits of the Spirit. I am kind of sad because I've really enjoyed the whole process. I've learned a lot about the Holy Spirit during this process; I hope that you have learned some new things too!

This week's fruit of the Spirit is gentleness. I think people tend to attribute this trait as a feminine quality, but the more I've been reflecting on it I think men can and should be really good at this fruit, too. I've come up with a definition of gentleness from “Jaime's dictionary:”
the recognition that you have
the power to break, harm or destroy
the object you are interacting
with because it is precious, fragile
and inferior in power compared to you.
Because of this you choose to restrain your
power and instead use your power to
protect it for its benefit.

I came to this definition by thinking about when we tend to use the word gentle. The scenario that came to my mind was when we talk to toddlers who want to see a baby. The phrase you always hear is, “Be gentle.” Why? Because we recognize the toddler has the power to hurt the baby and that they need to consciously restrain their power in order for the baby to be protected from harm.

Like I said earlier I think as a society we tend to attribute gentleness as a feminine trait but I believe it can be a very masculine trait if men would recognize the meaning of gentleness.

Ephesians 6:4
Fathers, do not exasperate your children;
instead, bring them up in the training
and instruction of the Lord.

The Lord is very clear that fathers play an important role in training their children to know and understand the Lord. Men by design are powerful creatures in both statures and in word. One of the ways they can achieve the goal of bringing up their children is by treating their children with the gentleness and this can only be learned by being with the Lord.

Philippians 4:5
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

I think this verse clearly points out that one of the evidences of the nearness to the Lord will be gentleness. If gentleness is lacking in your personal life I would suggest doing a few things. One is to get near the Lord. This can happen through prayer, worship, reading your Bible and fellowshipping with others.

The second thing I would suggest is to take time to reflect on what gentleness means. This understanding of gentleness has already started helping me respond to my kids in a more gentle way. I am recognizing that I have power with my words. My words can either destroy or protect their spirits. By consciously recognizing this fact it has helped me to restrain myself when I interact with them. I don't have to prove my “power” to them by being forceful with them. Often times, I think disciplinary struggles flare when there is a power struggle going on. In the end, the parents lose their tempers and gentleness is the farthest thing from their minds (of course I know this only from observation not experience :). The parent is trying to prove to the child that they are in control. However, when you eliminate the power struggle because you are the one in the place of power, you will find that it will be much easier to discipline and to do it with gentleness. You are the one in power in your relationship with your children you do not need to establish this over and over again. If you've “lost” that power with your children, then first reestablish this as a fact in your own mind. You are in control and you have the power to protect or crush your children's spirits. Since you have that power choose to restrain it and use it in a manner that protects and nurtures your child instead of in a way that crushes and destroys their spirits. (For more on parenting check out my post on Training Children.)

Finally, for the greatest understanding of gentleness meditate on the character of God. As we have seen with all the fruits; these character traits are from God ALONE and He blesses us with opportunity to have them in abundance in our lives. He is the All-powerful One. He is the Creator of the Universe! He is powerful we are not! He could choose to force Himself upon us and have us follow Him out of fear and trembling alone. Instead, He restrains His power and came to us in the form of a man, Jesus.

Zechariah 9:9
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and having salvation,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Matthew 11:29
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.

Or look at I Kings 10:11b-12

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart
and shattered the rocks before the LORD,
but the LORD was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake,
but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
12 After the earthquake came a fire,
but the LORD was not in the fire.
And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

Look at God and how He desires to come to you. As we talked about last week He desires to bring us to repentance through kindness. He also has approached us with a gentle spirit. Gentleness in no way lessens who He is rather it enhances His amazing power.

I hope you enjoy this week basking in the gentleness of the Lord, and letting those around you benefit from His gentleness coming out of you!

Smorgasbord Tuesday: Fruit of the Spirit Faithfulness

This week's fruit of the spirit is faithfulness. I feel that I have a grasp of understanding about this fruit because of my husband. This month we will be married 8 years and we dated for 8 years, so we've been together for 16 years. During our wedding ceremony it was mentioned that one of my favorite qualities of Josh was his faithfulness. That quality still remains one of my favorite quality traits of him. If you have the opportunity to become Josh's friend you have made a friend for life. It doesn't matter if you turn your back on him, or reject him, he will remain faithful to you despite of you because his faithfulness is not dependent upon who you are but it is dependent upon who he is.

Because of this amazing quality trait in my husband I think I am able to have a greater understanding of the faithfulness of God.

2 Timothy 2:13
If we are faithless,
He will remain faithful,
for He cannot disown himself.

God's faithfulness to us is not dependent upon who we are but it is dependent upon His character. We can know without a doubt that God will never abandon us because it would go against His character, who He is, to do that. It has nothing to do with me or my faithfulness but it has everything to do with Him.

I feel blessed to be married to a man that has a genuine character trait of faithfulness. Now I know Josh is a human being, but I have no fears or qualms of him ever being unfaithful to me because I know it would go against the core of who he is. His being unfaithful would require him not only to breech our relationship but it would also require him to go against a core part of himself. Being in a relationship with someone who has a character trait of faithfulness does several things for you. One thing it does is it removes fear. I don't have to worry about what he is doing and I do not have to worry about our future together . I also don't have to try to be a certain way in order to keep his affections on me and me alone. Another thing faithfulness does it creates an atmosphere for trust. I can trust Josh and I can trust the activities that he is doing even when I'm not around because he has promised to be faithful.

I hope this description of my husband gives you a clearer understanding of God and His faithfulness. When we get a grasp of God's faithfulness towards us it will set us free to be ourselves. His love and commitment to us has nothing to do with who we are but has everything to do with who He is. He will not disown us, because to do so would cause Him to disown Himself. So we don't have to live in fear of losing God's faithfulness towards us and we don't have to try to be somebody else in order to keep His affections on us. He loves us just the way we are and He always will. When you remove this fear of abandonment trust can fill its place. If you truly believe that God will always be faithful to you and will never abandon you then you can trust Him through whatever circumstance you find yourself in. There may be times when you think He has left you, or that He is no where to be found. You don't have to fear though that He has given up on you, or found someone else to care about and so now He has no time for you anymore. Instead, you can trust that He has your best interest in mind, and even though you maybe can't see Him at the moment He is caring for you because He alone is the Faithful and True One (Revelation 19:11).

Reflect this week on the faithfulness of God to you. As always, I believe when you grasp the character of God not only in your head but in your heart it will begin to flow out of you naturally to others.

Finally, if fear and abandonment have been a part of your life story I truly believe God desires to speak to that wounded place in your heart. He has promised to never leave you or forsake you. He is asking for you to give Him the broken places of your heart and allow Him to move in them. Do not draw back in fear but let the Great Physician take the wounded places and breathe His life into them.

Freedom in Christ Conference

If you live in or near Madison, WI you will want to mark your calendars for the up and coming Freedom in Christ Conference at Lake City Church.

The conference will run from Wed July 22 - Saturday July 25 @ 7 pm every night. No offering will be taken and there is free childcare for preschool children!

This conference is being putting on by 30 Madison and surrounding area churches. The church leadership of the Madison region is trying to view the church as a whole the body of Christ not just as "individual churches." This conference is one way they are ministering together to the greater Madison region. The theme of the conference is freedom in Christ and the focus will be to find freedom from addictions (all Madison area recovery groups are being invited to this). Brian White is the featured speaker and the area pastors will be the prayer teams afterwards. Click here for more details.

If you live near Madison, come! It will be worth it. Brian White is hands down my favorite speaker and I can't wait to hear him talk 4 nights in a row!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Of course freedom is one of my favorite topics so I can't help but be excited.

Hope you can make it!

When Life Doesn't Make Sense

Sometimes it feels like life has spun us around and then threw us up. We find ourselves laying flat on the ground trying to make sense of all the crap around us but it still doesn’t make sense. We look up to heaven and ask “why” but all we hear as an answer is a deafening silence.

I cannot answer the “whys” of life and I am beginning to think that the majority of the whys won’t be answered on this side of earth. I can, however, tell you about the “who.” He is “I am who I am" no matter what situation you are facing today (Who I Am). All I know for sure is that “I AM” wants to let you know that during those “why times” He is intimately aware of everything you are facing and He cares (SELAH).

God’s obsession with us started in the womb and continues into every moment of our day.
Psalm 139:1-13:
O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

These verses show us that we cannot escape the presence of God. He is aware of our words before we even say them. God is surrounding you and hemming you in from the front and the back to help you through whatever situation you are facing.

I was taking a shower the other day and noticed numerous strands of hair falling out. At first I was annoyed by them but then I was reminded of the verses from
Luke 12:5-7: “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?
Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

I was then very thankful for those hairs because I knew that right there and then the Lord was thinking about me. Then I was awestruck; “He cares about something so insignificant as the number of hairs on my head!" I realized by looking at those hairs that the Lord wants to remind us throughout the day how much He loves us and how significant we are in His sight.

Then I thought about the fact that Jesus mentioned the sparrows. I think the majority of cultures in our world have some sort of small black birds. Jesus could easily have said, “God is aware when the ostriches and peacocks fall to the ground and die.” But instead he chose to talk about sparrows something that the majority of the people in the world have seen and know about because He wanted us to know that these truths did not relate to “special people” but that they applied to all people. Sparrows aren’t birds we have to go on great excursions to find. We often ignore and overlook them but the God of the universe cares about the “insignificant” of this world. He cares even more about you and I as individuals.

Perhaps even after all this you still feel the Lord has forgotten you and your struggles. Hopefully, Isaiah 49:14-16 will convince you that this is not the case:

But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me,
the Lord has forgotten me.”
"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me.”

Your name is engraved on the palms of the Lord’s hands. The Lord is aware of your “walls,” the situations in life that surround you everyday. If you are struggling to believe these words write them down and surround yourself with them until they go from your head to your heart.

I do not know where you in your journey of life, if you are on a valley or a mountaintop. But I just wanted to remind you today that you are significant right now with whatever you are doing in life because the Creator of the universe created you and He loves you. The next time you see a sparrow or one of your hairs on the ground take it as a personal reminder from the Lord that He is thinking of you!

Daily Prayer

Disqus for For His Glory Alone


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