The Lord is my Shepherd

“Jesus was gentle and tender and true.  He was righteous but also stern and tough on phony people.” The Shepherd Trilogy by Phillip Keller

As I was speaking to God about what this statement means through the light of him being a good shepherd he showed me that the very essence of the word stern was to be uncompromising.  That he is uncompromising when it comes to the fact that he will not accept anything but the best for His creation and is unwilling to let us walk in anything but that. He is constant in His pursuit of us as the Good Shepherd.

He is tough, not easily influenced, as he stands firm on what he knows to be the truth.  He is unwilling to let us accept anything less than that truth, His best, for us His beloved.

So, we could ascertain then, Jesus was gentle and tender and true. He was righteous and uncompromising in his pursuit of the revelation of the truth, he stands firm in that truth unwilling to bend or allow any of us to walk in anything less than His ultimate best for us.

Many interpret Jesus as being tough and stern on people without viewing that through the lens of his ultimate love, care, and desire for us to fully embrace and be able to walk in all He has for us, with Him forever.  They have interpreted that toughness or sternness as permission for them to look down on those they oppose. Unfortunately, they take that view and use it to justify rudeness, belittling, and arrogance if you will, in their own behavior towards others.

Love is never arrogant or rude. Love is always patient and kind. The heart behind Jesus’ actions was always love, his desire was for us to be free and walking in the truth of who we have always been. He loved each and every person as he created us all in his image what he hated was the lies stealing away His best in their lives. The war isn’t against flesh and blood and often times it appears that is forgotten.

I sadly have seen many examples of this type of interpretation as justification of these very behaviors both online and in real life as these beloved’s misperception of Jesus’ intentions overflows into what they have come to believe their “job” and “right” is as His children. They have believed that it is their “job” or “right” to keep the rest of the flock in line, forgetting the foundation that it needs to be rooted in love. They have bypassed the Shepherd and have climbed over the sheepfold asserting this misgiven perception. (I get it, I really do, as there was a time in my own life that I also felt that it was my duty, or job to do just that. It was an exhausting job, but one that brought much self-justification and self-satisfaction but was ultimately dripping with pride and arrogance as I was unable to recognize that I had stepped out of the rest of my beloved. Oh, what little did I know.)

The truth is there is only one shepherd and anyone who enters the sheepfold any other way but the door is a thief and a robber.  Don’t get me wrong they can still be sheep, and part of the true shepherds precious flock but may simply not yet be understanding the reality that as a sheep our only job is to simply trust the shepherd and rest in his care.

Only the owner of the sheep has the rights to enter through the door of the sheepfold.  There is only one owner and it is his job and role alone to care for the sheep and that included keeping the sheep in line, and free from any danger.

The shepherd has the rights to ownership and authority and those of us who have willingly yielded ourselves to that care have joined our brothers and sisters in the fold of our precious shepherd. I use to believe that ownership and authority where bad things.

God has ownership and authority over me because he created me.  Yet he created me with free will so that I could choose to believe and submit to this truth or not.  Ultimately, submitting to his ownership and authority is resting in his care and provision for my own life. Ownership only means so much as the character of the owner.  Likewise, authority will look differently depending on the character of the owner. Our understanding of who Elohim is, and ultimately our intimate knowledge of the trinity affects our understanding and view of what that authority and ownership looks like.

If we believe that God is a tyrant demanding his rule and authority over us then we are missing what Christ came to show us in the flesh about the truth of His desire.

Ownership-The Good Shepherd offers us protection, care, health, healing, lack of worries, provision, fellowship, family, security, comfort, joy, happiness, guidance to the very best pastures and so much more. Ownership is me allowing myself to submit-to choose God, to yield my own lacking abilities to bring life forth to His, it is trusting that He, the one who dreamed me up before the beginning of the earth, who delicately knit me together in my mother’s womb and who has never left me can do it better than I can.

Authority-The Good Shepherds authority fends off the enemies and predators in our lives (at times even our own wrong mindsets and beliefs) He brings forth His life in us to the fullest extent as he has always intended.  Me yielding to the good shepherds’ authority is simply believing that He alone can care for me best.

He continually persuades us of the truth of His character so that we can understand what His desire is and what true ownership and authority look like under His loving care.

Psalms 23:1-The Lord is my Shepherd I lack nothing.

You Enemy isn’t Who You Think it is!

Hold the Attack

The other day the Lord had me paraphrase in Julie speak Psalm 31:10-20 for myself. At the time I felt it was an odd passage to translate as it wasn’t really relative to what was occuring in my life at that moment and then last night and this morning he brought it back to my mind and began speaking to me about it further.  One part of what I summarized that really stood out to me was what I had wrote for verse 15. I had summarized it as “My here and now is in your hand. Save me from the hand of those who have made me their enemy and continue to persecute me.”

Save me from those who have made me their enemy, spoke to my spirit. I heard Julie you are not their enemy, they have made you into that in their own minds.  So many times we make others into our enemies in this battle but in reality that is not true, they are at the same table God has prepared for us feasting with us.

Psalms 23 He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

The word enemy here in this verse is starer-to cramp (literally or figuratively), cause distress, is an adversary.

If you have ever had a cramp you know that it is painful. Our “enemy” therefor cramps our style, or is literally a pain in our butt so to speak, causes distress, and is our adversary.

When we look at that definition is it people that really are our enemy?  Who is the real adversary? We may think it is the person behind the words or actions that is the one we should be fighting against, but if we are looking at them and seeing enemy and not beloved son/daughter their true identiteis whose perception are we looking through? Is it not that perception itself that is our true adversary?

Eph 6:12 For our struggle (wrestling, conflict, fight) is not against flesh (“carnal” human origin or empowerment)

**That part of the verse right there woke me up, my fight isn’t again human empowerment, it’s not about the human actions its about the source behind what is birthing them.

Eph 6: 12 (cont) but against the rulers (initial starting point, origin) and against the powers (delegated empowerment, authority), and against the world focus (ruler of this world, referring to Satan) of this darkness (physical or moral) against the spiritual [forces] of wickedness (pain, laborious trouble and toil, inequity) in the heavenly places.

Beloved people are not the enemy, our fight should not be against one another, but against the origin of that mindset, that self delegated independent spirit mentality stemming from Satans lie of inequity in the spiritual rhelm.

Romans 12:17 Never pay back evil fro evil to anyone. Respect (foresee in advance) what is right in the sight of all men. If possible (strong, mighty, powerful) so far as it depends on you be at peace (bring peace, be at peace) with all men.

It is not the person who is slinging the mud at you that is your adversary, it is the one that has deceived God’s beloved to begin the mud slinging in the first place.

 

 

New Seasons

Embrace the Process of Letting Go

My heart is sad again this morning saying goodbye to my children as they are off to school once again. I find myself wanting to fill the time with doing things just to make it though the day, distracting me from the sadness.

However, I hear that still small voice in me saying to embrace my feelings, that it is ok to be sad that the sadness shows my intense love, affection and compassion for each of them. I am a good mom. This sadness does not need to be pushed away, it just needs to simply be recognized, identified, as what it really is, a mourning for the changing of seasons. It needs to be embraced, not shoved down.
My sadness isn’t because I am afraid, I know that my Papa is taking care of his beloved children. It isn’t because I find my identity in my children and I now feel lost with them gone, because I know who I am apart from the label of mom.

It’s simply a sadness for the ending of a season that I loved. I hope with eager anticipation that this new season will be even better because I have a Papa who loves me so, but that doesn’t make the letting go of what I loved exempt from the sadness.

Maybe you to find yourself in a season of letting go of something you dearly loved. Maybe God is calling you out and onward to what is next. I want you to know it’s ok to grieve that loss, it’s ok to allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. God is right there with you in those tears, holding you close. He loves your tender heart. We won’t be stuck in this place forever, as we process the letting go with our amazing trinity he births new hopes, dreams, and desires for the now.

Yesterday as I put my kiddos on the bus and watched them pull away and leave our home Papa let me see their guardian angels flying next to the bus with them. He opened my spiritual eyes and allowed me to see that He is always with them and that He is their greatest protector. He knew that would bring me much comfort and joy.

He granted me these beautiful children to love, shape, mold and speak life, truth, and love into and now its the season to send them out into the world to be the light to those he has already prepared for them to encounter this year.

I know that whoever that may be will be greatly blessed by their tender hearts, caring natures, and unconditional love. They are a joy and my prayer is that those who God has surrounded around them will have the eyes to see how special each of them are.

Titles

I am just a woman who loves her Abba.  There is nothing that makes me uniquely special in the eyes of the world, nor do I deem myself any better than anyone else.  I say this not to belittle myself but to make you see that you and I, we are equal on this journey.

I am not one for titles, I often find myself balking when titles are used to describe me because that is not how I view myself.  I am more than just a mere title. Though I have been called wife, mom, daughter, friend, prophet, pastor, and teacher those things do not adequately describe who I truly am.  Only my beloved Abba can adequately describe the truth of me, only the love of Jesus flowing out of me can accurately show you who I really am.  All glory to Him who sits on the throne of grace.

There is no difference between you and I, at the very core of who we are, we are created in the same image, the image of God.  We are both beloved sons and daughters of the one true Abba.  We both have full access to every good and wonderful gift of the Father.

I have been contemplating lately what the prophetic is as God has brought this into my life.  Asking Abba why this gift is a part of who I am and what that looks like functioning in the beautiful body of God’s beloved children in my own life.

I am not here to tell you that you need me to hear God for yourself, that is never my intention nor my heart. I fully believe that you, yourself can hear God.  In fact, there is nothing that God or myself wants more than for you to be walking in that very truth with Him.

I have a choice to function in this gift or not, it is not forced or even expected of me by Abba. I choose to because the very core of me (I believe the Jesus in me) longs to move in it, to encourage you in the truth of who he is and who you are. In return I am also encouraged.

I believe all can hear God, I believe that is what he desires for each of us, relationship, intimacy, friendship, life. On this journey, I pray that our encouragement of one another flows out of our own experience with the Grace of God Himself, that it would be from the overflow of our relationship with him.

Blessings, Julie

Redeemed

This morning in my reading I came across the word redeemed and it made me start thinking about the word and what it really means.  What are we redeemed from? What are we redeemed to? What is redeemed?

What has he redeemed us from?

Galatians 3:9-10 Those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham the man of faith. For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse.

Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.  Redeemed here means completely out from, to rescue from loss, ransom, redeem.

for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.

The law isn’t what brought on sin, the law isn’t bad, it isn’t the curse, the law in and of itself was good.  The law showed us who we were always meant to be, we viewed the law and perceived lack in us based on our own ability to fulfill it. That was never the intention of the law, the law was meant to draw us back to God.  The curse is that through the law we viewed lack in ourselves in our own ability and instead of turning back to God we turned to our own self works.

Adam and Eve believed a lie of lack and thus ate of the tree of knowledge to obtain wisdom which was already theirs. By their own hands they tried to cover their nakedness. We looked at the law and perceived our lack based on our own ability to bring forth that type of life and then try to obtain that life by our own works instead of turning to God. We turn to works rather than trusting in the faith we saw revealed in Jesus.

Jesus redeemed us from that way of thinking as he showed us the truth of us and of the relationship the father has always desired to have with us. He fulfilled the law and give us a vantage point of who we truly are, it was the unveiling of our true selves.

Our choice is to believe him and rest in that truth of who we are, lacking no good thing in Him.

Or,

we can perceive ourselves as lacking and then hop into our own works to try and bring forth life by our own hands, which is the very curse he redeemed us from.

We are redeemed from Death unto Eternal Life by faith in the Son of God alone, no works but his. Amen.

The Adventure of Life

always changing...

 

I was happily looking ahead to next year and all my children being happily in public schools for the first time ever.  I spent my mornings contemplating all the time I would have for my blogging, reading, painting, organization, etc., etc. And then it happened, a small little nagging feeling in the core of my being.  I started to think of how much I was going to miss my 5-year-old being with me throughout the day, about how much I actually enjoy our morning snuggles, our reading on the couch, our afternoon game time.  The desire to homeschool once again started to bubble in my spirit, but I pushed it back down right quick. No, I did not want to give up my time, oh all that glorious time. Visions of me relaxing on the couch reading a book filled my mind, but that feeling wouldn’t stop, it was relentless. Then it expanded that little desire became not just homeschooling our 5-year-old but our 8-year-old as well.

I had many conversations with Daddy about this desire, and what it exactly meant and looked like for our family.  I felt fear come in about this desire to homeschool, so much so I was overwhelmed.  You see the last time we homeschooled I had all four kiddos home and it was so very difficult on me and not very enjoyable for any of us.  That fear made me doubt my abilities, my sanity, my desire as being authentic.  I teetered between wanting that time all to myself and the desire to have my children home. Back and forth I felt tugged between them both.

I just keep going to Him, day after day, asking him to show me what it’s all supposed to look like.  Asking him what I truly desire, and if my desires are his desires. Asking Him to show me what is His best for our family.  I let him persuade me of His truth, that I am fully capable to carry this out.  That I can take and find the time for myself despite being with my kids 24/7.  That he will provide those moments that I desire of relaxing on the couch with a good book in spite of homeschooling. That I could have both in a sense.

He showed me that this journey of trusting him in my relationship was much the same as this journey to trust him with homeschooling.  That there needed to be a deconstruction of all that I knew about education, all those years of book learning needed to be torn down so that he could reteach me what school was to look like for our children. Much like my journey about of “religion” and into beautiful relationship with Him.

He showed me that my greatest asset is not my Master’s Degree in Education, nor my organizational skills or creativity, it is Him.  Yes, all those things are awesome and important but to have the source of all truth and wisdom is infinitely more valuable.  To be able to go to him when something with my kids learning isn’t working and say, now what?  To know that I don’t have to have all the answers because he does. The best news is we all have that same access to Him.

He showed me that sometimes the decision to homeschool isn’t just about what you will teach the child academically that year, that it can be more about what you will teach that child relationally.  What you will speak into that child identity wise, that it could be more about a season of protection and building up than it can be about imparting academic wisdom.  How closely this relates to our fathers very heart for us.

Maybe it’s simply about allowing the child to feel empowered by letting them select a topic they enjoy and just coming along for the ride.  Maybe it’s about letting the child go unrestrained into this new way of learning and not requiring them to stop for the day when the scheduled lesson is done.  Maybe it’s about knowing that some days will be spent on hours of grammar because that’s what she wants to do and the next day grammar won’t even come into play as the outdoors is calling and knowing that, that is OK.  Maybe it’s about building relationships and learning to simply trust yourself and your abilities. To learn to love learning all over again from the ground up.

Oh, how closely that can mimic where God has me at right now with Him.  His focus is on teaching me about real relationship with him and what that looks like, it’s about deconstructing the misperceptions I had and focusing me on my true identity and value. In this journey, he is protecting me and building me up day by day. He is less concerned about my “book” knowledge and more concerned about my relational knowledge.  He is empowering me in my abilities to hear and connect with Him and is allowing me to run this race unbridled and full of excitement and passion, no rules and regulations or to do lists hinder this race any longer. The chains are broken and I have been set free.

Some days this race is run full speed ahead and others days it resembles more of a slow trot, but either way he is showing me that both are perfect. He is showing me that this pace that I am on is my own and that I can trust it and Him. That it’s about learning to trust myself, and to trust who He is showing me that I am.  I am learning to love this glorious adventure and I am somewhat sure I will also enjoy this new season of going back into homeschooling.  One thing for sure is it’s a glorious adventure and I have the best teacher right here inside of me.

You are Enough

The view of God is the only truth about you.

Being a woman is hard. Being a woman who is trying to fit into the norms of society is impossible.

It’s no wonder that so many women today are utterly exhausted, discouraged, depressed, and hopeless.  The world screams at us, all that we should be, should do, should look like. Painting the picture of a perfect mom, wife, woman, all the while giving us conflicting messages as to what exactly that entails. We often see contradicting views, confusing right?  Which one is right? Which one is best?  We all want to be the best us, the best wife, the best mom but what does that look like? How do we get there?

Maybe you are like me, at times insecure in my own ability to be a good wife, a good mom, a good friend.  I mean none of these things come with a step by step instruction guide. Maybe there are times where the tears flow more than the joy, where situations arise with a child that you have no idea how to parent through and inadequacy tries to creep in.  Maybe there have been times when you have allowed someone’s negative perception of you to make you feel not enough, ugly, less than.   Maybe you have been rejected, abandon, left behind and you believe that it has a direct connotation to your true worth.

It could have been as simple as a disapproving look in the grocery store as your child is having a code red meltdown and you football carry him out the front door leaving the groceries behind amidst the judging glares. Maybe it was a phone call from your husband telling you that once again he needs to go on a business trip and you feel the panic of having to single parent for a week rise up.  (All you single parents out there I give you much respect and honor, you are amazing.) How about going out in public with all of your kids in the middle of the day because you homeschool? Ever got the questions with that one?  “Why aren’t you in school?” “Vacation already?” “You are what, can you do that?” Maybe it was just a disapproving glance in the mirror when looking for a new swim suite to accommodate your changing body that you no longer recognize. Maybe it was having to put n/a on an application under job.

This world is great at judging you on with their ever-changing unrealistic expectations. Pinterest, Facebook, and most of the TV Shows and Magazines fully reinforce those very things.  We are bombarded daily with all that we should be and many of us unwillingly take it on as to what should be our norm, believing the lies spewed forth. We ourselves are pretty great at judging ourselves too, and we are usually way harsher than anyone else. We judge our appearance, our job performance, our family, our friendships, our homes, and our bank accounts, the list goes on and on.

However, this is not how it was ever meant to be.  This is not the life that our Father, God, ever intended for us.  This is not the easy yoke he speaks of, or the rest that we are called to enjoy. Through His only son Jesus, he came to show us the very truth about who we are.  To speak light into the darkness of our understanding of how amazing we are. He came to redeem our true identities and to show us our mirror image, Him.  He came to give us the eyes to see and to tear the veil on the very distortion this world tried to put on our shoulders. He came to destroy our false idols of our mistaken identities.

Beautiful daughter, you are more than enough.  The only truth of who you are is not found in the worlds perception but in Christ alone.  We do not have to fit into the mold, in fact you were created not to.  You are unique, his masterpiece, one of a kind, and totally glorious. You do not need to be anything, because you already are all that you ever need to be.  You do not need to be a certain size, a certain color, a certain occupation, a certain station, you are more than enough, worthy of love, affection and intimacy.

Letting go of believing the lies of the world as your truth can be hard, as they are everywhere, every day, screaming at us.  But there is one who is constantly pursuing you, tenderly, lovingly, reminding you that those things are not who you are.  That only He, the creator of your being knows you, the real you.

He knows that your sensory seeking kiddo got overwhelmed by all the stimulation at the grocery store and lost it.  He knows that the countless hours you have spent researching his disorder, loving, encouraging and driving that kiddo to appointment after appointment.  He sees you advocate for your children and sees your heart of love for them, his heart in you for them. He knows you, the world does not.

He knows how difficult it is for you to get your four children where they need to be by yourself, he knows the anxiety you feel when you know there will be no relief coming and you have to do it alone. He understands the fear that tries to overcome you, because he sees your past and knows the root.  He knows you, the world does not.

He knows the reason you had to homeschool was because your children were so relentlessly bullied that it was becoming unsafe for them. He sees that you had to get out of the house just to be around other people or you were going to go crazy. He also knows that your children are fully educated and above in many areas.  He knows you, the world does not.

He sees that beautiful body of yours, all Size 14 of it, that lovingly carried 6 children but birthed 4.  He sees those stretch marks of battle, the extra weight, the sagging breasts of this amazing body he created.  He sees you, the real you and the fullness of your beauty. He knows you, the world does not.

He sees the enormity of your job as a stay at home mom.  He sees the sacrifices you made letting go of your own career goals to raise these little gifts. He sees you ease the burden on your husband by just being at home.  He sees this smart, intelligent woman, holding the college degree changing yet another diaper. He sees the countless loads of laundry, the boo boo’s you kiss, the love you give. He knows you, the world does not.

Oh, that we would allow the one who knows us best to be the only defining voice in our lives.  Not the world, not our spouse, not even ourselves but Him and Him alone.

Daddy I pray for each woman today that reads this post I pray for women everywhere that struggle and strive to see themselves as beautiful, worthy, enough.  I pray that you would continue to show each of us the truth of who you created us to be.  I pray that not only would you reveal that to us but that you would help us to believe it.  I pray that we would be able to let go of the lies that we tell ourselves and the lies of the world, let go of the judgement and condemnation and simply rest in who you say we are.  I pray that when we look in the mirror we see the glory of who we are and nothing else, that we see nothing but our true selves as you have always intended.  In Jesus name. Amen.

Tame that Tongue Already

The tongue, it can reflect the Word that confirms your true Genesis and identity, or it can speak the opposite. Out of the mouth the heart speaks.

James 1:19-19

Ponder the word that reveals your true origin, do not ponder the problem;

(pondering the problem brings anger and takes our eyes off of our true genesis)

Rather remain silent than to give anger your voice, anger distorts the picture and brings no credit to compliment God’s righteousness.

We are God’s righteousness, called to ponder the word that reveals the truth about us.

In James 3:8 we see that no one can tame a tongue. How many of us were thought that we need to tame our tongues?  Well this verse states that is totally impossible.  So than why are so many still striving to do so? How do we tame a tongue if not by our own self effort?

Bottom line, it’s not our job to tame our tongue. It is something that happens in us when we realize our true nature.  It’s God’s original design being birthed in us as our understanding of the truth of our real natures is revealed. When we ponder the truth of our original Genesis, faith wells up inside of us and we begin to see the truth and are able to believe our true design.  Out of that revelation flows the restraint of the tongue, it’s the very fruit of the Holy Spirit at work in us.  Self-Discipline, not us but him.

It’s the revelation of our mirror likeness that ignites true freedom to utter that which is precious and true. (Mirror Bible)

James 3:2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.

If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man. Meaning fully complete reaching the end.  There was only one perfect man and that was Jesus. It goes on to say that only the perfect man can bridle his whole body.

But wait we saw in James 3:8 no man can tame his tongue. This contradiction shows us that in James 3:2, James is making a point to show us that we are not the perfect man, that is Jesus, and that we in our own self effort can never bridle not just our tongue but our entire body which the tongue directs as we see in the following verses.  As I said above taming the tongue was never our job.

Can we all take a collective sigh of relief. Ahhhhhhh, now that is good news.

We could never do this in our own ability or strength, there was one perfect man, Jesus, and His spirit in us is the only way to bridle this body.

James 3:3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well.
The bit is the truth of who we are in Christ, when that truth is in our mouths we effortless are persuaded (obey).  The word obey here is peitho and it means to persuade, have confidence in.  When the truth of who we are is guiding and directing us we are persuaded and have confidence in our Papa’s hands. Our entire bodies are guided by that truth. So, is it us guiding ourselves here by our own works? No, it is our persuasion of the truth of our identities being birthed in us that fosters the transformation of our entire bodies.

James goes on to give us another example in James 3:5http://www.christiancounselingco.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/tamingthetongue.jpg

Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.

No matter how strong and big the ship is or how strong the winds trying to redirect it when it is guided by the very small rudder of the truth it holds the course. From that, the will of the pilot makes clear the path.

James 3:5 starts with So, also….

This is saying in this way also, it is saying look at what we just talked about, in this way also the tongue is a small part of the body, and it boasts of great things.  See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire.

The tongue can boast of either God or us, of his ability to steer, guide and direct us or of our own.  It all comes down to what we believe is the truth of who we are.  We speak the truth of what we believe with our tongues, for out of our heart our mouth speaks.  We cannot tame ourselves.

Matt 15:11 A man is not defiled by what enters his mouth but by what comes out of it.

Defile here is the word koinoo- it means to make common, pollute

We make ourselves common by what we believe in our hearts that come out of our mouths.  We are not common.  We are royalty.

Matt 15:18 But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart and those defile the man.

Again the word here for defile means make common. We can suffer from Identity Theft.  We can allow the very truth of who we are to be stolen from us, we can forget what manner of person we are.  The good news is that God is always persuading us of this truth. Jesus was God unveiled in the flesh. He was God finding accurate expression of Himself in human form.  Jesus is the mirror image of our true identities.

James 1:22 (Mirror Bible) Give the word your undivided attention; do not underestimate yourself. Make the calculation. There can only be one logical conclusion: your authentic origin is mirrored in the word. You are God’s poem; let his voice make poetry in your life!

When we ponder the truth of who we are as seen in the word in human form we cannot help but see our authentic origin, we no longer underestimate our birthright.

God I thank you for each and every person who sees you in this post, who hears your voice calling them into a deeper understanding of all that you have provided for us in this life.  I pray that you would help us better understand the truth of who you created us to be so that we could rest in that truth and out of the overflow of that our hearts would speak the truth.

Going Through Difficulties

Where are you God?

There are many times in our lives when situations occur that are very hard for us to humanly reconcile where God is at in all of these things.  We try to equate these things somehow to His character, or it being His hand.  In doing so we are taking out of the equation the very real world that we live in.  This fallen world that is upheld by our own choices.  This world that allows us free will so that the true love of God can be received not by force but by choice.

I have struggled over things that I have seen, things that have happened to me personally in my life and to those closest to me, wondering where are you God, where were you in this? In my own understanding, I can try to equate these things to God, I can try to reconcile this with human logic and understanding, but there is another way.  A better way.

What if we went to God and simply asked him, where are you in this? When we are going through great trials and trouble what if we asked Him to show us what He was doing in it?  What if we asked where were you in that, as we look back on things from our past that were painful and left us feeling confused, hurt and alone.  Do you believe that he would show you? I do.

I have done this with some of the most painful times in my life, times that were turning points for me in how I saw myself.  Times that I blamed myself, judged myself, punished myself for. It took me a while to be in that place where I trusted Daddy enough to go there with Him, where I allowed myself to ask those tough questions even when I was sometimes afraid to hear the answers.  One thing I have come to understand is that He is so very good, we need not be afraid.

I have done this with times when I so expected to see Him move and heal and the healing didn’t manifest as I expected.  I asked those tough questions, I fought it out in a way with Him as I wrestled with my grief.  Does that mean he wasn’t there in it, that he caused it to happen? No. I can ponder in my own understanding if His inaction meant he allowed it to happen, I can wonder if it was somehow His will, however to do so is to entertain human reasoning, not His own.

We can readily go to the source of divine knowledge and understanding as we carry it within us where ever we go. We can ask Him those tough questions, wrestle out our own understanding with Him. He doesn’t mind, he embraces us and relishes the opportunity to speak life and truth into us. I have found the difference between going to my own understanding and going to His, is that His brings peace, comfort, and even joy.  That doesn’t mean there won’t necessarily be grief, or a sense of loss, or even a bit of feeling stretched which can feel uncomfortable at best, but His truth is always a healing balm to our battered souls.

I pray that today you would be ready to take those tough questions to Him, that you would have the comfort with Him to trust that He is good and would be confident in who He is enough to ask.

 

Love-Agape

What it is and what it isn't.

I have been really seeking to know God more in my life, to know the one who is my friend and Abba.  Today he drew me back to the Love (Agape) verse and said look at both sides of this coin today and you will better see me.  So below you will find my chart of what Agape love looks like and what it is not.  I used the Greek definitions and also used a thesaurus for the opposites of the words given in the verse.

One thing that I realized is that some of the words that described what it is not were attributes that I was still believing about Abba. This was such a beautiful moment of Daddy showing me lies that I was believing about who he was.  It was a beautiful answer to my desire to know Him more. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

I Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[a] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

 

Love is: Love is not:
Patient: long-tempered, refusing to retaliate with anger Agitated: violent, frustrated, intolerant, unwilling, loud
Kind: gentle, pleasant, good Unkind: Quick to anger, harsh, antagonistic, discourteous, rude
Not jealous/envious: calm, content, undoubting, confident, trusting, unresentful Jealous: envy (rivalry, spite, malice, resentment), covet
Not boasting: humble, modest Boastful: show off, brag, exaggerate, blow one’s own horn
Not arrogant: humble, modest, meek Arrogant: aloof, bossy, smug, assuming, haughty
Does not act unbecomingly: humble, kind Unbecomingly-arrogant, bossy, cocky, pompous, vain, disdainful, know it all
Does not seek its own-doesn’t seek himself/herself, considers others, takes the time to see them Seek its own: Self-centered (egotistical, selfish, self-absorbed), self-seeking (boasting, bragging, egocentric)
Is unprovoked Provoked: incensed, aggravated, enraged, irritated, angry, mad
Does not take into account a wrong: does not charge with a wrong, does not conclude a wrong, sees the truth in the person Judges, charges with wrongs, concludes wrongs, refuses to see the truth in the person
Does not rejoice in unrighteousness: the opposite of justice, Rejoices in injustice
Rejoices with the truth: reality Does not rejoice with the truth, God’s reality
Bears all things: cover, conceal endure patiently, to carry, transfer, take Doesn’t bear: fail, lose, avoid, refuse
Believes all things: have faith in, trust, accept, consider, regard, trust, understand Doesn’t believe: abandon, deny, discard, dismiss, disregard, forget, neglect, ignore, reject
Hopes all things: believes, assumes, cherish, expect, confide Doesn’t Hope: abandon, distrust, doubt, forsake, fear
Endures all things: remain behind (as if standing with you), stand my ground (standing with the other), bears hardship, withstands, weathers Doesn’t endure: disallow, halt, hide, refuse, reject, run away, deny

 

Many times, in religion we are told that we ourselves are responsible for producing this type of love for others in our lives.  That brothers and sisters is an impossible feat.  None of us in our own will power or strength can manifest this type of love in our lives.  This type of love is a gift from Daddy to us.  It is a gift of His Spirit that lives inside of us.  (Galatians 5:22) It is not something that we bring forth by self-effort and works, it is simply something we believe and receive. It is in that receiving, his love can overflow out of us onto those around us.  We love because He first loved us, but we have to understand and experience first hand what Daddy’s love really is, what it really looks like, feels like, tastes like in our own lives. We have to be willing to receive this beautiful gift from Him alone and to be able to do that we have to believe we are worthy of His love.

If your love for others doesn’t look like what we saw above be of good cheer, all we have to do is believe and receive, to allow ourselves to be loved by our good father and out of that we will see the fruit of His Spirit manifesting itself effortlessly out of us.  We never were called to create the fruit simply to bear it. He is the vine, we are the branches, his love flows into us and out of that relationship we bear His fruit. If you struggle to believe you are worthy of such a love as this, ask Daddy to persuade you of the truth.  Ask Him to show you just how worthy he sees you, then be open to what he has to say.  Even if you can’t believe it yet, he is a great persuader and it is his joy to persuade you until you can believe.

Daddy I thank you for each and every person who will read this post about you.  I pray that you will give them a new perspective on how they view you.  I pray that any misperception of who you are will be highlighted and you will reveal the truth of who you are to them, that it will resonate with Your Spirit in them. Amen.