Unworthy

Lord God,

I feel so unworthy of Your love, Your grace, Your mercy, Your forgiveness, Your joy, Your peace.

Unworthy.

I realize there isn’t anything I can do to earn anything You have to offer to me. But, for some reason, my heart feels like I need to at least try. Try to be worthy of You. Try to be worthy of Your free gifts. Try to be worthy of Your calling.

I’m not. On my own, I’m absolutely nothing and so unworthy, so not worth Your time. But, Your Son in me, Jesus Christ who I am one spirit with… He makes me worthy. He makes me valuable to You. He makes me worth Your time, worth Your energy, worth You.

For some reason You created me… You created me for You.

For some reason You wanted me… You want me with You.

For some reason You sent Your Son … to give me an abundant life in You and so I can spend eternity with You.

I’m not perfect, no where near, yet You never give up on me. You never stop working in me, working on me, molding me and shaping me. You began a good work in me, and You are faithful to keep working until You finish the work You began in me. Even though I’m not worthy. Even though I wonder why You put up with me, why You haven’t given up, why You keep working… You keep working. … Because You are Faithful.

You must see something in me.

You say You have a plan and a purpose for me, and it must be something really good or You wouldn’t keep giving me chances and opportunities to grow in You, to develop into the person You want me to be, that You have purposed me to be. That sounds crazy to me, that You have a purpose for me.

Some days I miss the mark, I mess up so bad that I can’t see past the mess ups. However, You don’t let them stop You or Your work. It’s not that You don’t see them, but You look deeper until You see Your Son in me.

Yes, I believe in You. Yes, I believe in Your Son, Jesus Christ. Yes, I believe He rose from the dead and that He is coming for me some day. Yes, I have asked for forgiveness, and the blood of Jesus has washed me clean from every sin. Yes, I am a new creation in Him. Yes, it is Him that You see in me.

I don’t feel like I’m worthy for Him to even live in me, but He does. That same Spirit that rose Jesus from the dead lives on the inside of me. And Your Spirit is a gift to me, to remind me of my inheritance to come… to be in Heaven with You. He is a reminder of all the promises that I have in You. He is a reminder of the treasure that I have awaiting me, Jesus Christ, the Holy and Anointed One.

You Father, Your Son, Your Spirit, You’re my reward, my portion, my prize. There is nothing and no one that compares to You. There aren’t even words that are adequate enough to express what You are and what You mean to me.

I thank You, God, for not giving up on me, for not throwing in the towel, for not seeing me as a hopeless case, for not holding my past sins and present failures against me. I thank You for Your grace, for Your mercy, for Your forgiveness, for Your love, for Your peace, for Your joy, for the joy I have in You. I thank You for seeing me how You have designed and purposed me, for seeing me for who I am in Christ. I thank You for allowing me to humble myself before You and for not just letting me ask You for forgiveness but for actually forgiving me and casting my sins far from me. I thank You that You don’t see me as unworthy but as Your daughter, as Your precious child. I thank You for working in me, for not giving up, for not getting discouraged by my choices or my lack of faith or confidence in You, in who You say I am, in who You have created me to be, in who You want me to be. I thank You for calling me, for choosing me by name. I thank You that You do have a work You want me to do, and that by Your grace (and in spite of me) Your will and purpose for me will be accomplished. I thank You that the work You have begun in me will be completed and that I will be ready for when I meet Jesus.

Thank You for Your goodness. Thank You for Your gentleness. Thank You for Your grace. Thank You for Your mercy. Thank You for Your patience. Thank You for Your loving-kindness. Thank You for Your love. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit. Thank You for Your Son. Thank You for the blood of Jesus Christ. Thank You for preparing a home for me in Heaven. Thank You for You.

Thank You for seeing my heart, for seeing me, for knowing me… really knowing me.

Thank You for taking the worthlessness that I was and making me worth something to You, for giving me value in Your Kingdom and in Your eyes. Help me to honor You, to bring You glory, to worship You with my life. Create in me a clean heart, and have Your way in me.

 

With Sincerest Love,

Your Daughter, bought with the price of the life of Your Son, Jesus Christ

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Compassionate Eyes

Everywhere I look I see hurting people.

From the woman who lost a child before birth…
to the woman who lost a child any time after birth…
to the Girl who got pregnant as a teen and doesn’t know what to do…
to the man who chose to fight for his country and serve but has memories of war and death and things he can’t unsee or unexperience…
to the child who wants attention but his parents can’t take their eyes off the tv or cell phone long enough to give it so he feels unloved…
to the teens who decide they just aren’t worth it or that life isn’t worth it…
to the girls who were sold into a life of prostitution by their own families…
to the men who feel worthless and unable to provide for themselves let alone a family…
to the women who want to be stay at home mom’s but can’t afford not to work or who feel “less than” because of what society tells them…
to the men who want to be with their families but have to miss out on family time to provide financially…
to the people who feel broken, lost hurt, confused, afraid, fearful to let people in…
to the person who feels so angry they lose control and hurt others or themselves…
to the people who hurt so much they don’t even want to step outside of their homes…
to the people who want relief from the hurt and pangs of life that they turn to drugs or alcohol to help them…
to the person with a disease that is threatening their lives and taking strength and energy and health from them…
to the person who just lost someone they love…
to the person who loves God so much but they just don’t know how to have a relationship with Him or how to serve Him…
to the person who has no where to go and is living on the street…
to the persons who sacrifice to be there for family and friends but who are seldom shown thanks or appreciation…
to the woman who gave her heart to the man she thought loved her only to be beat by him…
to the man who cared so much for the woman he thought loved him but only used and abused him in the end…
to the little girl who was happy and free until someone decided to do unmentionable things to her…
to the people who have had trust broken…
to the…

… The list could go on and on, and maybe never end.

There are hurting people everywhere we look.
Sometimes we don’t even have to look further than in a mirror or beside us to find one. This world is full of hurting people, broken and confused people. People who are dying – spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

And what they need is grace, mercy, love, hope, understanding, compassion.

They don’t need to have any encounter with a person with a “buck up” attitude. They don’t need a lecture or to feel condemned, judged, less than or inadequate.

They need compassion. They need people full of compassion, full of love and grace and mercy and self-control and gentleness and kindness and patience and goodness and faithfulness and joy and peace. They NEED to encounter people with hearts like God’s who can minister to the Lord by ministering to their brokenness, their needs, their hearts and their hurts.

We are suppose to preach the “good news” of Jesus Christ. Well, there is more “good news” than “Jesus loves you and died for you and wants you to join Him in Heaven”. To a dying and hurting world, they need the “good news” that there is one who sticks closer than a brother, that they aren’t alone, that someone genuinely cares, that they ARE, indeed, loved, etc….

As a Christian, we are suppose to be the hands, feet, and mouths of Jesus. We should be His heart beat, and we should reflect Him in such a way that when people encounter us they feel as if they have encountered God Himself.

It’s not about us. It’s not about what we can do for God, but what God wants us to do with Him. It’s about God. It’s all about Him.

People don’t need another person, another imperfect being with a selfish fleshy side that will cause more hurt or damage. They need God. They need to encounter God. They need to encounter people of God who are genuinely full of God Himself, who are actually Christ-like and who will interact with people like Christ would.

We need to get the focus off of us and off of what God can do for us or give us and get it on what God has done for people and share that with the people.

We need to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, our soul, our mind, our strength, and we need to love others like Christ loves us.

We need to develop, strengthen and grow in the fruit of the Spirit. Every word that proceeds from our mouths should be edifying and life-giving and seasoned with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This is how the world knows that Christ Himself is in us, that the same Spirit that rose Christ from the dead lives on the inside of us, that the Holy Spirit and “I” am one being, joined together.

We should be building people up, not tearing them down. Our words have power, and we are powerful beings because we can speak… We can speak into lives, hearts, situations. We can speak to God.

But, what are we saying?

And, how are we saying it?

How are we, how are our words, making others feel?

No, we aren’t to go by our “feelings”. We don’t say “I don’t feel like getting up and going to work today or church today so I’m just not going to go.” Or, “I don’t feel like anyone loves me so I guess I’m not loved.” Those are “feelings”, but not emotional feelings. Emotional feelings matter. Examples of emotional feelings are love, hurt, excitement… to name a few.

God is a feeling God, an emotional God. Christ Himself was moved by compassion. Compassion IS a feeling. It is an emotion. God feels and so should we. God is an emotional God, and we are emotional beings. We, afterall, have been made in His image, in His likeness.

And, how our actions, how our choices, how our words impact others should matter to us. They matter to the person on the receiving end. They matter to those who are in our lives. They matter to God.

One day, when we are in Heaven at the judgment seat of God, we will answer for everything we did or didn’t do, for everything we said or didn’t say. We matter to God, and everything we do and everything we say matters to Him. Therefore, it would be wise for us to be mindful of what we are doing and saying to ourselves, to God and to others, and what message it conveys to those witnessing it or hearing it.

It is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. And, life and death are in the power of the tongue.

We need to decide how we want to use that power. We need to make it a point to honor God with what we say and how we say what we are saying. We need to be concerned with how our words, and how we deliver a message, impacts another person.

The earth is full of hurting people. We should care about not wanting to add to their pain, to their confusion, to their hurt. Christ, when He was on this earth, did not add negatively to others, and we need to take responsibility for ourselves and make every effort to not add negatively to others either.

Your words matter, and how you speak matters.

So… What are you going to do about it?

Passionately Committed

I am humbled by the fact that God chooses to use me, that I get to be used by God to advance His Kingdom; to encourage, inspire, teach, witness to others. The fact that God loves me and wants me for Himself, wants me in Heaven with Him, wants to use me.. in the condition I’m in, in spite of the imperfections and the stubbornness I can sometimes have… Despite feeling worthless and unusable at times, God chooses to use me.

He is looking for people who are willing to be used, who are willing to serve Him, who are willing to give their hearts and their lives to Him, who are willing to listen to Him, who are willing to say, “here am I Lord, use me”, “send me”. He is looking for people who aren’t just “willing” but who are willing to be obedient, too.

It does God no good for us to cry out to Him for Him to use us, to send us, and then Him tell us something He wants us to do and us not do it.

It is when we are willing and obedient that we will eat the good of the land (Isaiah 1:19).

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

Every day. for the majority of my teenage years, I prayed (and earnestly prayed) for my will to be that God’s will be done and for God’s will to be done in my life. Fast forward to the present, and I can tell you God (1) hears our prayers, (2) is faithful,  and (3) answers our prayers.

I prayed day after day, year after year, my heart pleading for God to make my will be for His will to be done and for God’s will to be done in my life. I haven’t prayed that prayer in a while. I stopped feeling the urge to pray it. I didn’t stop because I no longer wanted it, I just stopped without even realizing I did.

At some point, we have to stop crying out to God, and start seeking God, seeking His will, seeking His way. And, in my twenties, I did just that. I got into the Word. I read. I studied. I purposed in my heart to practice what it says to do. And, then I began the journey of living the Word.

I became passionate about it… so much so that it became a part of my DNA, a part of who I am, a part of my character. Without realizing it, God and I were developing in me something called, integrity.

integrity: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness; the state of being whole and undivided

My integrity, my character, the foundation of Tara was being built on God Himself, on His Word, on His principles, on His way of doing things.

For years people would get mad at me, at my passionate commitment to God, to living a life that I felt would be pleasing to Him.

The past couple of years, all I’ve wanted to do is honor God, glorify Him, please Him.

I’ve discovered along the way that people don’t like that. It makes them feel uncomfortable. It seems “extreme” to them. They have considered it a weakness and have looked at me as “weak”, and even made comments to me, about me being weak or about ways to overcome these “weaknesses”. My family has often referred to it as me living in a “fantasy world”.

I can’t tell you how much, or adequately express how amazingly awesome God is. As a teenager, I received a Word that has stayed with me all the way to this day.

“Don’t mistake your meekness for weakness.”

It took me years, and honestly, I am still learning how true this statement is, how encouraging this Word has been, and how deep it runs, too. But, every time a negative, or critical comment has been made, or someone has chosen to attack or complain about my character, this word has come back to my remembrance. It has brought comfort and peace and drawn me closer to God each time. It’s almost like the arms of God wrap around my heart every time “don’t mistake your meekness for weakness” comes to my mind.

I may not have fully understood the word when I first received it, but God seriously meant this word for me, and He is the one who has used it to encourage, strengthen, and grow me over the years. And, I am a better person for it. I am thankful to God for it. I am thankful to God for God Himself.

It wasn’t until this year, when I heard a minister talk about how we should want and desire God’s will to be done in our lives, that I realized that somewhere over the years I stopped praying for that, that it stopped being my heart’s cry and my heart’s plea. Once I realized it, I apologized to God and felt bad for not continuing with that prayer. I even tried to pray it again, but I had a check in my heart about it, and I didn’t understand why.

Over the past few months, and more specifically, this past month, God has begun to show me that I don’t need to pray that prayer any more because He heard my prayer all those years ago, and He has already answered it. I don’t have to pray for my will to be that God’s will be done in my life, because my heart’s greatest desire now is for God’s will to be done, for God to have His way in me, in my life, through me, for God to use me however He needs to and wants to.

It’s no longer about me needing to ask God to make my will be for His will to be done; that has been accomplished; I want God’s will to be done. God is so faithful, so good, so amazingly wonderful, and loving and gracious, and kind and generous… He heard my prayer when I was a teenager, and my prayer was answered; I just didn’t realize it until I was in my thirties.

Now, the focus needs to be on God, on His will, His plans, His purposes, His way of doing things.

If we want to be used by God, to be of use to Him, to advance His Kingdom, to honor Him, to please Him while we are on this earth, we have got to make every day, and each of our lives, be about Him.

We have to choose to live for Him. We have to determine that we are going to serve God, seek God, pursue God, chase after the things of God with a passionate commitment, a “no matter what happens” kind of attitude.

passionate: strong feelings or a strong belief

commitment: a state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.; an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action

We get one life to live, and one chance to live it. There are no do-overs. It’s just this one opportunity. ONE. Let’s not waste any time, not even one more day. Let’s decide today to make the rest of every day of our lives count for God.

Let’s make a passionate commitment right here, and right now, to seek God, to seek His will for our lives, to be willing and obedient to His ways, His plans, and to actively pursue everything God wants us to. This life can no longer be about us, about making ourselves “happy” or about doing what we want. We need to make our lives matter for the Kingdom of God. We need to give up our lives, our desires, and replace them with the right kind of desires… Godly desires, and live this life for God and with God.

God has a plan and purpose for each and every one of us, and His plans are so much better than anything we could ever dream up or image or want for ourselves. And, according to Isaiah 9:7 (NLT), “the passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make” it happen. Yes, I’m taking it out of context a bit, but I’m doing it to illustrate that when God is passionately committed to something, that means He is going to see it through. He is faithful.

And, friend, God is passionately committed to His word, to His promises, to His plans, to His ways, to His will. AND, He is passionately committed to His children – that includes me and you.

If God is for us, who can be against us?

God cannot deviate from His word. He cannot change who He is. The essence, the character, the quality and very being of God is unmovable, unshakeable, unchangeable.

GOD IS WHO HE IS.

When God makes a promise, all of Heaven is backing it.

He is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies… Heaven doesn’t just have an army, Heaven has “armies”, and the Lord oversees them all.

He is looking for people who are willing to join Him, who are willing to be obedient to His Word, who are willing to be obedient to Him. He is looking for people who He can send, who He can use.

I can’t speak for you, but I can say, with all my heart, that I want God to use me in any and every way He desires to.

My commitment to Him, to His word, to His plans, to advancing His Kingdom and to our brothers and sisters in Christ is an unashamed, passionate commitment.

What about yours?

Testify!

Today I did something I don’t typically do… something I actually shy away from.

If you’ve read my blog, at all, you know that I love God. Like, people can’t say they “know” me if they don’t know that simple fact about me. And, I don’t hide that. I don’t shy away from telling others about God, about His love, what God can do for them, etc. Why would I?

Jesus Christ is as real to me as my fingers are. So, talking to others about Him, encouraging others in their faith, praying for others and with others, encouraging myself in my faith is not new. But, I don’t typically tell others what I do, how God uses me, etc.

I don’t “testify” to my Pastor, my church family, my friends… not really. I’m usually too afraid to because I want to be careful and mindful to not make what God does and what He’s doing about me. But, at the same time, there is NOTHING wrong with being thankful, encouraged, inspired, or excited about what God is doing or how He is using us.

I have a friend right now, who has been struggling with this. She is just so awed by what God does, how He’s been using her, the work He’s been doing in her and in her family, that she shares. She’s passionate and excited and feels exhilarated and fueled by what God is doing and by the fact that she gets to be a part of it. And, I for one, am always encouraged by it as well. It keeps my fire ignited and makes me want to join in with her.

But lately, she’s had remarks made to her about being “boastful” or taking pride in what’s happening and what she’s been doing and how she’s been being used. I’ve told her, more than once, to not let Satan keep her silent or use those remarks to dim the light she is shining. But, I have discovered that I need to take my own advice.

I do not share, usually with anyone (every once in a while I will tell one or two people) something God did or how He used me or an opportunity that was opened to me. But, today, after having an usual desire to go to a specific store to get an item I didn’t even really need, and then witnessing to a woman outside the store and leading her in a prayer for salvation, I purposed in my heart to tell my friend who is always sharing with me.

And then, when I got home, I actually went to my church’s app on my phone, and went to the “Report Salvations” section and completed it. I’ve never felt the need to keep track of how many people I’ve led to the Lord, and I don’t broadcast it by sharing with others, but I decided today to stop worrying and being fearful that I might sound “prideful” or that others might perceive me as “boasting”.

The fact of the matter is, we NEED to boast about God and about what He is doing. We NEED to tell others what God has done through us, how He’s using us. It encourages our brothers and sisters in Christ. It encourages us. And, it encourages God.

Instead of being afraid the attention will be on us, when we share and testify to what God is doing or how God used us to do something, it is actually putting attention on God. It is one way that we boast about God. It’s not about us, it’s about Him.

Being afraid to share about what God is doing and how He’s using us, can be compared to being afraid to tell others about Jesus. We should NEVER feel ashamed of God, of what He’s doing, of what He’s done for us or of what He’s going to do, and we certainly should not feel ashamed to tell others that God is using us.

Satan doesn’t want us to serve God, to be used by God, to have any impact for the Kingdom, and He doesn’t want us to tell others how God is using us or what God has done through us. If we tell others, then others might be inspired to be used by God too, and then they might share and inspire even more people. But, that’s exactly why God WANTS us to share.

We overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony! (Read Revelation 12:11.)

I encourage you to join me in striving to testify more often.

Perceived

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve really struggled with my perception of myself.

I’d been so worried about, and focused on, how others were perceiving me and my actions and my words that I had lost sight of who I was. Who I really was, and whose I am. Instead of operating in confidence, I was operating in fear.

Every day, every week it became a constant fear of thought…

“What if I say the wrong thing?”

“Am I doing this right?”

“What if this person or that person gets mad at me or thinks this about me or what will they think if I say this or if I do that?”

“Is so and so mad at me?”

Honestly, it got so bad that I even started questioning if I was hearing from God, if I could hear from God… if I’d ever heard from God right.

I was… miserable. Emotionally, I felt drained from the constant worry of others’ potential opinions about me. I became oblivious to the fact that I was caring more about what others might think of me, that the “what if” mindset was setting in. Spiritually, I was beginning to feel confused, and then frustrated because I knew confusion didn’t (and doesn’t) come from God.

I kept repeating to myself, “if you’re attitude stinks then you’re heart’s not right”, and I kept (okay… like constantly kept – probably every waking hour kept) checking my heart to make sure I wasn’t holding on to anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, offense. Every comment made to me, I wondered what exactly the person was trying to say, if there was some hidden meaning, if it was directed to me. Every Facebook post I read, from a select few, I wondered if they were talking about me or making that post in hopes that I would see it and read it and “get the drift”.

It was bad.

I started feeling disengaged in things. I was feeling like, “if they are going to think that or do this then what’s the point?” I really wanted to not care, but let’s face it, I cared… too much, and obviously about the wrong things.

I was praying. I was asking God what was going on, what I’d done wrong, what I wasn’t getting.

But last week, we had a guest minister in from Florida for a week of revival, and things began to change for me.

The first night, the guest minister spoke about the importance of being you. How being yourself is where the blessing is at. He cautioned about comparing yourself to others. He told us to be careful to not have more faith in our ability than in what Jesus did for us.

He said, “the more you become who He has made you to be, the more your ability to lift others.”

The entire sermon my heart was soaring… Like, every weight gone and my heart flying free.

I was given permission to be myself.

He said to “do out of who you are.” “Let the doing come out of the being.” Essentially, do things from a place of who you are, of who you are created to be, of who Jesus has made you.

A couple of weeks ago, a statement was made from some people who were concerned that I was doing too much and not asking for help or that I would get overloaded, that I was worrying about things that I didn’t need to worry about, that maybe I was over analyzing some things. Well, I’m going to be honest, at the time, I didn’t feel I was doing any of that. I felt like they were over analyzing me.

Don’t get me wrong, I took it before God to ask Him. I always do. I want God to have His way in my heart, to make sure that my heart is pure and holy and filled with the things He wants my heart to be filled with. I want to honor God and bring glory to Him in my thoughts, my words, my actions. I’m not afraid of God doing a work in me. I welcome it.

And, when I took it to God, I had a peace regarding the condition of my heart. I started realizing that they were asking and expressing concern because they love me. I had taken a personality test a few weeks prior and they read the results and shared that the results said I could get overloaded with helping and not ask for help, etc.

I didn’t share with them what I maybe should have at the time. I know myself fairly well. God is the only person who knows me better than I know myself. I’m already aware that I like to help, that I’m a doer, that I get things accomplished. I already know that I sometimes say “yes” when I should say “no”, but if I do, it’s my fault and I still need to do some growing in that area. I am fully aware that I’m often afraid of hurting other people’s feelings or of them being disappointed in me, and so I sometimes do things in an effort to avoid that. I do not ask for help often. But, when I feel someone sincerely wants to help me, and when I trust that a person will help me in a way that is helpful, I don’t have a problem asking for help. I’ve learned to say “no”. I may not say it very strongly, and admittedly, not clearly at times, but I do say “no”. All of the things I was doing at the time, I was doing because I love God and because I want to be used by God. I was feeling energized and excited and passionate and ready to go and do, not stressed or overwhelmed (again, my thinking of what they, and others, were thinking of me, was a different story). And, I like God being able to grow me in all of these areas. I need the freedom to be able to grow and for God to be able to use me and do a work in me. I want to better develop my ability to use wisdom and discernment, and I need to be given the opportunity to.

But, I didn’t say any of that. Not a word. I didn’t want to seem combative or risk offending them. Plus, their concern was somewhat accurate because I was worrying and over analyzing and driving myself crazy with the thoughts of “what are they trying to say?” And with second guessing myself because I was worried about what they would think. In that sense, I was DEFINITELY feeling overwhelmed, inadequate, and stressed. But, my thoughts were the cause of it. My perception of myself had shifted and I felt like I needed to “please” rather than “be”, but I didn’t realize any of that until last week.

And, what ended up happening was me second guessing EVERYTHING and Satan running a muck in my head with worry and fear and doubt. I was feeling guilty for being myself. I started thinking I wasn’t good enough, that I had messed up somewhere or that I was missing something and that they didn’t think I was cut out for the tasks, that I couldn’t do anything at all for anyone or anything. Like I said, I lost sight of who I was, who I really was. And honestly, it started prior to the conversation. The comments just kind of jet powered the whole spiral I had started down. I may have had peace in my heart about the condition of my heart, but my mind was NO WHERE near the same page as my heart.

But, last week, after I was given permission to be myself, I stopped feeling guilty for being myself. When the minister said to do out of who you are and to let the doing come from your being, I felt encouraged because I had been, and the guilt of doing that was gone.

All week, God was reminding me that HE knows my heart. No one… NO ONE knows my heart like He does. He knows my intentions. He knows who I am. He knows me.

He has continued to speak to me about who I am, what abilities He has given me, the works He has already done in me, the fact that He knows my heart, and my heart is good. The condition of my heart is good. But, because I want it to remain that way, I will always check in with God about it.

He has been speaking to my heart about how NO ONE else’s opinion matters, only His because He is the only one who knows my heart. That I need to have faith in His ability in me. I need to trust Him. Trust the work He has done in me, the work that He has for me to do, the fact that He qualifies me – no one else, nothing else, no one’s opinion of me qualifies me… He qualifies me. HE qualifies me. He can and will use me, as long as I stay willing to be used and willing to be obedient. I may not get it right every time, but God is merciful and gracious toward me, and He can use the “mess ups” as ways to help me learn and grow.

Near the end of the week and over the weekend, I found myself asking, “how can I trust God’s ability in me if no one else does?” But, today I realized I was asking the wrong question.

The real question I should’ve been asking is, “how can others trust God’s ability in me if I don’t?”

Reader, we can’t be afraid to be who God has made us to be and who He has created us to be. We can’t be afraid to become who He has purposed us to be. We can’t be afraid to be ourselves, to be who we are. We have to trust that God has done a work in us, and we have to trust that He is going to continue to. We have to know that His grace, His supernatural ability is at work in us. We have to allow Him to use us. We have to forget what others have said about us in the past, or even today, and focus on what God says about us, who He says we are, what He has told us to do and how He has told us to do things. We can’t honor God if we aren’t ourselves. We can’t function if we’re constantly worried about what others might think or say or feel about us… We have to accept who we are and embrace the work God is doing in us.

It’s when God does a work in us that He is able to do a work through us. And, He should have the freedom to work in us as He sees fit… It’s how we go from glory to glory. It’s how we go from one level with God to the next.

I encourage each of us to trust God. TRUST Him.

Details…

God is a good and faithful God. His mercies are new every day, and He is ALWAYS watching over everything that concerns us. And… He cares… even about the tiniest, smallest things. There isn’t a single detail that He doesn’t care about when it comes to His children.

Last week, I was scheduled to clean at the church and I had planned to be there early, but I overslept and then wanted to spend time with God and needed to get some things done, so I didn’t get to the church until later in the day. I felt bad for having said I’d be there at a certain time and then not being there, but I wasn’t really worried about it.

When I got there, I went about cleaning and organizing. I was in the middle of sweeping the linoleum floors when I noticed water. Turned out there was water literally coming from the bottom of the wall where the trim was, and it was “flooding” the foyer.

I texted the appropriate person(s) and did everything that was asked of me. I discovered ice build up on the pipes to the air conditioners, and I turned the units off as requested, and then the water really started spreading. Thankfully, I was able to make it back to the church with some towels before it got too far into the foyer or did any damage.

It was while I was cleaning up, though, that I found myself thanking God for letting me be there and for letting my day go like it had. Had I been there earlier in the morning like I had planned to, I would’ve already gotten the cleaning done before the “flood” and we wouldn’t have known about it until the next day when we came in for youth group. By then, the damage would have already been done and there would have been a bigger mess to clean up.

It reminded me of the need to trust God even in the small things that don’t go our way. Like, when we’re stuck in traffic or we’re running late. We should trust that even in those moments when we’re feeling pressed for time, or feeling frustrated because of circumstances out of our control, we need to trust that God IS in control, and that He’s working all things out for our good.

Today, I was reminded of it again.

This morning I was praying scripture over myself, and this one really grabbed my attention and a peace swept over my heart. I knew it was one I needed, and one I needed to share. But, I didn’t know if I was suppose to share it right then, so I went about my day. Then, this afternoon I was reminded of the scripture and knew I needed to sent a text right then.

Praise God for His timing, for His goodness and faithfulness!! I’m telling you, He truly cares about every little detail and EVERYTHING that concerns us.

I sent the following text to just a few people (people God laid on my heart):

“Today is the day the Lord has made. He has already gone ahead of you, and He IS with you. He will NOT fail you, and He will NOT forsake you. No matter what news you receive, no matter what happens, you do NOT have to fear nor be dismayed.

Deuteronomy 31:8

Psalm 118:24”

In less than 10 minutes, a friend of mine, who lives in a completely different state, texted me back telling me that the text I sent was “very timely” as she was sitting in the doctor’s office preparing for a mammogram and an ultrasound because of some pain she had been experiencing. She said she was believing for a good report and had been trying not to worry about it but trusting God instead.

Now, THAT is God… for God to give me a word of encouragement to share, to have me wait until just the right time to send it, and to have me send it to her, in her time of need… SO GOD. (And her report was a good and favorable one, by the way.)

I can’t speak for you, but I think I need this reminder every day. I think we get so busy caught up in doing things and trying to live life that we forget that God is with us, that every single day His mercies are new and His grace is sufficient. He has a plan and a purpose for us, for each and every day. We are NOT here by accident but by His doing and for His appointed purposes. God knows what each and every one of His children needs, and He supplies our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. And, He most certainly CAN use us to meet the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ. We may not know why something is happening, or why we are somewhere we aren’t suppose to be or why we have a word when we do, but we don’t have to know the answers in order to be obedient or to be used by God.

God’s not asking for us to be perfect or to get it right every time, but He is asking us to make ourselves available to Him, to be willing and to be obedient.

I’m thankful God never gives up on us, and that He never stops working on what He has started in us.

Everlasting Strength

When you’re tired and exhausted…

When things don’t seem to be going your way, or how you planned, or how you’d like them to go…

When you have more work to do than time to do it…

When you feel like you’ve run out of “umph” to keep going and doing…

When you feel like you’re not enough and there’s not enough of you…

Remember:

  • It’s not by your might or power, but by the Spirit of God… (Zechariah 4:6)
  • God’s power shows up best in weak people. (Read 2 Corinthians 12:9.)
  • It’s when we are weak that He is able to be strong for us and in us. (2 Corinthians 12:10)
  • We must make a conscious effort to decrease so that He can increase, so that His power at work in us can increase (John 3:30).

God isn’t asking you to be some big, amazing, beast of a person who nothing affects or who is like a power ranger and superman all rolled into one. He doesn’t expect you to be perfect, to get things done without Him, to wear yourself out, to be burdened or boggled down.

Everything on your plate, every responsibility, every task, every burden or worry… He expects you to let Him help you with it. He expects you to depend on Him. He is the vine, we are the branches, and we aren’t able to function without Him – it’s the way HE designed it.

If you feel like you’re not enough or there isn’t enough of you to go around or like there’s just too much to do….  it’s because (1) you aren’t enough on your own – you NEED the Lord and the Holy Spirit to help you; (2) you are trying to do it on your own and in your own strength and might when you really need to be leaning on Him; and (3) if you look at your “to do” list or around you instead of to Jesus, it IS going to seem like too much.

Be careful not to magnify the issues of life instead of magnifying the God who has those issues already taken care of and provided for. He has you in the palm of His hand; rest in Him. In Him is everything that you need.

“Trust in the Lord God always, for in the Lord Jehovah is your everlasting strength.” – Isaiah 26:4