Old Faithful

This past weekend was one of the most fulfilling weekends I’ve had in a very long time. They were full of wonderful friends, fantastic adventures, new people, warm conversation, and joyous hope for the future. Saturday morning I attended a beautiful baby shower for my dear friend Santana and her husband. After I left the shower, I was blushing with excitement. It was a beautiful afternoon with perfect, sunny weather. I wanted to be romanced, so I turned to the One who loves me most. I decided to see a movie and spend time driving around talking to Jesus. I ended up driving to a department store and meandered inside for a bit.

I’m a simple girl, but for some reason I found myself drawn to the jewelry section. This is usually unlike me. However, I began to glance at the rings and admire their shining magnificence. As my eyes scanned the selection, a certain beauty commanded my attention. I reached for it and read the inscription around the silver band. Believe. I slipped the ring onto my thumb and it was a perfect fit.

ring

Tears sprang to my eyes as I admired the ring on my finger. I felt the spirit of God amplifying lessons and examples of his faithfulness in my life over the course of the last two months. He has been steady, loving and correcting me unconditionally. As memories of his faithfulness swirled through my mind, I felt a strong impression that he wanted me to use this ring as a reminder. My life has been on a calculated ascent ever since I began to dare to believe all that God says about me and all that he says I am. That’s how salvation begins for us all, when we decide (as a response to God’s awakening, not our own doing) to believe he is true and good. Yet, I knew that this thing was to be a reminder for me everyday to consciously decide to believe God on a consistent basis.

  • I believe Jesus is enough for today

I am fully persuaded that all that I need in life is in and flows from my precious Jesus. There is no real fulfillment outside of having a personal relationship with a God who brought me from death to life. There is no room for discontent in my life because Jesus is the source of all of my satisfaction. Does this mean that we don’t need money, friends or family? No! This simply means that we should understand all we need–all things good–comes from him. Therefore, he is my Superior Pleasure above all other things. As long as Jesus is on the throne, we shall never face a day that isn’t full of hope in him.

  • I believe God is for my good

Every good thing comes from God and God does not withhold good things from those who walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11). Not only do I believe that God does good things, but that he wants good things for me more than I want them for myself! Consequently, I can rest and trust his timing, his placement, and even his delay because I know he will come through for me.

  • I believe I am loved and accepted

I am not a mistake. God decided (it was in his perfect, detailed plan!) to create a woman who looks like me, smiles like me, laughs like me, thinks like me, loves like me. I am a purposeful, hand-stitched creation that God yearned to see in the world so that I could bring him glory and impact people for his kingdom. I am accepted and loved by God. It doesn’t matter who else has beautiful hair, a nice smile, or even who can write better than me. This world has space and a need for my particular personality, my particular words, my particular influence. Be grateful for the person God made you to be because it doesn’t matter how many people you think look, work, learn, or perform better than you do… God has a sphere of people and lives that only you can touch. You are special. You are loved. You are important. You are needed. You make a difference.

Blinking back tears, I took the ring to the register and paid the cashier. I find myself staring at it often and remembering that I do believe God in all these areas of my life and more. It’s not always been easy, but it’s worthwhile to trust a God who cannot fail.

Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky. Psalm 85:10-11, ESV

I love how the people of God declare that love and faithfulness are friends and righteousness and peace are intimate. It’s a beautiful picture of the goodness of God and the wonderful life he offers us. When I read this passage, my heart swelled. This depiction of faithfulness flooding from the ground like a geyser and righteousness shining down from the heavens creates an image of the earth being an incubator of the goodness of God.

Photo Credit: Andreas Tille, Creative Commons

With such a beautiful, biblical description of God’s faithfulness erupting from the ground, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the infamous geyser in Yellowstone Park is named Old Faithful. Nature in all its magnificence only scratches at the surface of the awe-inspiring glory of God.  Everywhere our feet trod is covered in faithfulness; everywhere the sun beams light and heat radiates in righteousness. What a picturesque truth! The faithfulness of God is inescapable. It’s who he is and it’s all around us.

Who Do You Say Jesus Is?

I love the Lord. He is so vast that He can die for the sins of the world once and for all, yet He’s so personal that He can speak directly to our hearts and spirits every day. I love that Jesus Christ is the Lord of all and the Giver of Life and the King of the universe, but nothing makes my heart swell more than when I consider that I personally know Him. There isn’t a day that goes by where He is unattainable, inaccessible, or unreachable. God is near to us! And He has the uncanny ability to become whatever we need Him to be for us. The Apostle Paul said that he becomes all things to all men (I Corinthians 9:22), and I believe he learned that from Jesus. Throughout my life, Jesus has become many things for me, and each facet of His Person has had an astronomical influence on my life.

Friend

Photo Credit: Ambro, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo Credit: Ambro, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Every teenage girl experiences the overwhelming desire to be loved and accepted by her peers. I remember feeling the pressure of being liked. I never had a hard time making friends, but it seemed that my circle of friends was constantly shifting and changing. I didn’t know why the people around me faded out of my life. All I wanted was certainty and to establish a secure friend. I met that Friend when Jesus walked into my life. I talked to Him about any and everything. He was the only Person I felt would never tire of me. Jesus wasn’t annoyed by me, no matter what time of day I called on Him. Although there were others around me, Jesus was my only consistent friend. From there, our relationship grew.

Lover

A woman becomes beautiful when she knows she is loved…Cut off from love, rejected, no one pursuing her, something in a woman wilts like a flower no one waters anymore. She withers into resignation, duty, and shame. The radiance of her countenance goes out, as if a light has been turned off. But this same woman, whom everyone thought was rather plain and unengaging, becomes lovely and inviting when she is pursued. Her heart comes alive, come to the surface, and her countenance becomes radiant… This doesn’t need to wait for a man. God longs to bring this into your life himself.
from “Captivating” by John & Stasi Eldredge
ID-10047309

Photo Credit: Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Jesus and I grew from companions to lovers. We crossed that line of camaraderie, and I began to pour myself out to Him in new ways. The things He whispered to me became more intimate, more piercing, more intense. He wooed my heart in ways that caused my pulse to both quicken and stand still. He formed me and knows exactly what words to say that will release tears of love and gratitude. Jesus is more than our Savior; He is the God who stooped down and looked at the adulterous woman in her eyes and loved her. He is the God who took the longer route to his destination in order to have a life-changing encounter with the woman at the well. People write songs and poetry about being in love with Jesus, but I had never been that infatuated with Jesus. It wasn’t until I knew Him intimately that my appreciation for Him grew to incomprehensible love. After years of wondering if it was actually possible, I fell in love with God.

Warrior

Photo Credit: "Without Fear" Jennifer Ellison, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo Credit: “Without Fear” Jennifer Ellison, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Every woman longs to be the princess who is rescued from a mighty man of war who has come to win her freedom and win her hand in marriage. This man has successfully leapt over walls of fire, swum across tempestuous seas, swung on thorny vines across bottomless pits…all to save a beautiful woman who is bound by an oppressor. We fantasize about our knight in shining armor galloping on his robust steed over the horizon just as the sun is beginning to set. There he is! We long for this man to come for us so we can get away from this place we are in and be with him. As long as I’ve known Jesus, I readily identify Him as friend and lover, but I have not seen him as a warrior. Until now. My eyes have been opened through recent discoveries and now I see that He eagerly fights for me. I am wide awake to the fact that my enemy is bloodthirsty for me, but God is my Warrior and my hiding place. He hides me in the shadow of his wing and He will annihilate my enemy. God is a mighty Warrior eager to protect me from intruders and unwanted assailants. Since I have seen Him this way, my perspective of the Lord has grown. Suddenly, my confidence in Him has grown exponentially. He is mighty. He is fierce. He is able to ward off my enemies. Mostly, He believes I am worth being rescued.

The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name. Exodus 15:3, NIV
But the LORD is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced; their dishonor will never be forgotten. Jeremiah 20:11, NIV
The LORD will march out like a champion, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies. Isaiah 42:13, NIV
The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17, NIV


Join the discussion! Who has Jesus revealed Himself to be in your life? Leave a comment!

“But what about you?” Jesus asked. “Who do you say I am?” (Mark 8:29)

You Can’t Serve God

Now therefore fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.

–Joshua 24:14, ESV

FLESHVSSPIRIT

Have you ever struggled with faithfully serving God? We have all had those moments in our walk when one day we are worshiping on the mountaintop and the next day we are wallowing in the valley. We attempt to do what we think will atone our bad behavior. We give our time, service, gifts, and even our money to God, yet sometimes it’s almost impossible to keep our attention fixed on Him. There are days when we could spend hours praying and reading the Bible, and there are days when we hit the snooze button rather than spending time in simple devotion. Before we know it, days have gone by since the last time we paused to spend time with God. We become discouraged because we’re still struggling with sins we hoped we would have been delivered from by now. We are angry at our own inconsistency, yet we feel helpless against the capricious whims of the flesh.

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.--Paul via Romans 7:15, ESV

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
–Paul via Romans 7:15, ESV

Paul eloquently forms into words the constant struggle within the Christian’s soul. The ferocious battle between the spirit and flesh frustrates the believer and refuses to be ignored. Every moment and every decision requires us to choose between our carnal nature and the spirit of God who lives in us. When I am offended, do I allow my bruised ego to fuel retaliation or do I humble myself and forgive? When I am in rush hour traffic, am I a courteous driver or is my road rage unbearable? When things don’t go my way, do I complain or am I thankful? When someone shares sensitive information with me, do I tell my friends what I heard or do I petition for that person in prayer? When I am hurt or rejected, do I vent on social media sites or do I seek God’s healing?

For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.--Paul via Galatians 5:17

For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
–Paul via Galatians 5:17

Should this constant battle cause us to surrender to the flesh and forget about our pursuit of holiness? Not a chance.

It’s not enough to want to be good for God. Apart from Christ, there is no good in us. In the Bible, Joshua charges the children of Israel to serve God faithfully and in sincerity. Israel’s response is resounding.

“Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods, for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us in all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed. And the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. There we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.”

–God’s children via Joshua 24:16-18

Joshua says something uncanny: “You are not able to serve the Lord, for He is a holy God.” Is Joshua telling us to throw in the towel? No. He is sharing a secret that is much more profound. It is impossible to serve God faithfully within our own strength. How, then, are we expected to be victorious in this Christian walk if we cannot trust ourselves to remain faithful to God? We must rely on Christ. God is the One who breathed life into our dead souls. If we needed God to bring us to Life, how much more do we need Him to lead us step-by-step and day-by-day? Without Him, we would still be dead. God did not bring us to life and expect us to rise from the grave and walk this journey without Him. He longs to be our sole source of Life Support. We err when we attempt to do anything for Him without Him. When we admit that we are frail within our humanity, and begin to utterly depend on God to show us His ways, then He will rush in like a flood and become the answer to our deepest quandaries.

The children of Israel tried to convince Joshua that they would not forsake God, but Joshua knew that they could not make such a pledge without God’s help to keep it. We are ill-equipped to be like Him without seeking His help. It is possible for your chains to fall off of you. It is possible for addictions you’ve struggled with for years to melt away. It is possible for you to experience healing and deliverance in your emotions, your mind, your body, and your heart. God rescued you from death to life so that He could walk with you for the rest of your days and forevermore.

Just as we needed God to get to God…

…We need God to obey God.

…We need God to serve God.

…We need God to trust God.


We need God.

 

♫ Lord, I need You | O, I need You | Every hour I need You… ♫

Intimidation of the Call

It’s been a while since I’ve updated my blog. I’d like to say it’s because I was busy feeding the hungry, laying hands on the sick, building homes for the homeless, traveling overseas and spreading the gospel, moving and shaking my city for the name of Jesus. Of course, I’d love to say those things, but then I’d be a liar. I was actually in the middle of a transitional season with God. It may be more accurate to say I was in the middle of a transitional season with doubt, fear, intimidation, insecurity, complacency and laziness. This is not to say God wasn’t present and showing Himself mightily to me during this summer, but these other obstacles were also in my line of sight.

I’ve known I was created to write for God for years. I’ve never once questioned my destiny or God’s purpose for my life. I did, however, begin to question my ability to be great in the call. Rather than singing God’s grace and dreams over my life, I quickly sank into self-doubt and intimidation. There wasn’t a particular person or writing style that intimidated me; the call itself caused me to quiver in my boots. This occurred because I measured the frailty in my humanity against the spectacular call that God set before me. In my eyes, I looked at what He desired from me and thought that it would take my own strength to perform it, when all He wanted was the opportunity to use me for His glory. He would be doing the work.

This reminds me of Moses, the murderous, adopted son of Pharaoh turned shepherd, who would have benefitted from a few anger management sessions with Dr. Phil. God gave Moses a call that was much bigger than his own perceived ability. God calls a murderer to be the deliverer. What was Moses’ response to God? “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” God says, “But I will be with you…” So begins the verbal exchange of Moses’ excuses and God’s affirmations (recorded in Exodus chapters 3 and 4).

Moses: Who will I say sent me?

God: I AM THAT I AM!

Moses: But, they won’t believe me.

God: I will perform signs through you.

Moses: But, I’m not eloquent. I can’t speak well.

God: I will be your mouth and teach you what you will speak.

Moses: Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.

Reading this conversation makes Moses seem faithless and weak. We would never be this way with God, right?

Right?

How many times have our own prayers facilitated conversations like this with God? How many times have we questioned God’s confidence in us? How many times have we tried to tell the omniscient, preeminent, omnipotent, supreme, Almighty God of all that He is wrong in His choice to use us for His divine purposes? How silly are we to shake our fists at God’s call on our lives!

I have been much like Moses. I’ve looked at the call on my life along with my own weak abilities, and shrunk in fear. Fear fueled my intimidation and doubt. Fear chased away faith in God. Fear caused me to forget that the same God who called me is the same God who will walk with me every step of the way until I fulfill the call. In fact, God is the one doing the work; I am simply the vessel the source of Life flows through.

God’s love and mercy are so rich, in that even when we doubt our own gifts and capabilities, He is sure. He could have easily said, “You know what, Mo, you’re right. Maybe you’re not the guy for the job.” No, God was sure of His choice in Moses. He didn’t even allow Moses’ speech impediment or insecurity excuse Moses from the call. God told Moses, “[Aaron] shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him.” Talk about a promotion from murderous, has-been son of an evil Pharaoh!

The point of the matter is that everyone who is in Christ is God-designed and has a purpose in Him. We all have a call of greatness over our lives. The amazing truth is that God is aware of our defects, issues, and inadequacies when He calls us, yet He calls us anyway. I’d venture to say that our fragility is the reason why God uses us because we cannot possibly take the credit for the glory which will be done through us. People will take one look at us and know that God has been with us.

I choose to shake off every thought of defeat, and trust in the One who called me. God doesn’t need a reminder of why we’re not qualified, or a list of excuses. He needs a ready and pliable vessel. God didn’t have to use Moses (or any man, for that matter) to deliver His people from Egypt. With one blow from His nostrils, the Egyptians could have fallen dead, yielding instant freedom from captivity for the children of Israel. God doesn’t really need the help of man in anything, yet He intentionally chose Moses. Why?

The purpose of the call includes more than the goal of impacting people for the glory of God. The call is an avenue for I AM to intimately connect with you in a way you’ve never dreamed of.