Lord, I need You to speak for me. I always tend to mess it up when I use my own words. I want to speak up for the hurting, not stay silent because of my past hurts. I want to speak up for the lonely, not stay silent because of my own battle with loneliness. I want to speak up for the ashamed, not stay silent because of my own secret shame. I want to speak up for the victims, not stay silent because I've also been victimized. YOU CAN USE ME.
"I have put my words in your mouth
and covered you with the shadow of my hand."
Lord, I need You to be my eyes. I always see the worst in others when I look through my own blurred vision. I want to show grace to the sinner, not hide behind my sin. I want to show grace to the wounded, not hide behind my scars. I want to show grace to the captive, not hide behind my self-made prison bars. I want to show grace to the guilty, not hide behind my own judgement. YOU CAN USE ME.
"The Lord does not look at the things people look at.
People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
Lord, I need You to prompt me to listen. I always miss out on opportunities to bless others when I ignore Your voice. I want to be like Abraham and go when You say go, even if it's to an unknown destination. I want to be like Daniel and pray when You say pray, even if my life is being threatened. I want to be like Moses and lead when You say lead, even if I'm old, shy, and have an anger problem. I want to be like David and sing when You say sing, even if I'm depressed, disturbed or in danger. YOU CAN USE ME.
I can't do anything without You, God. And I don't ever want to. Thank You for using me.
I've been wondering about the future lately. Been thinking about what I have to do to get from here to there. I feel like my dreams are so unattainable and far fetched that I will never be able to achieve them. I'm sure I'm not the only one who struggles with this. I love my life, my husband and kids, my home, etc... It's not that I'm ungrateful. It's just that I know there is MORE for me to do, be, see, etc... And I wonder how long it is gonna take. Do you ever find yourself asking God that question?
"God, I know you have called me to such and such but I'm not seeing any signs of such and such happening right now so how can I move things along a bit? Or can you just drop such and such right into my lap this very second so I don't have to wait anymore?" :)
Can a girl get an Amen? I'm just being real. This waiting period of my life has felt like it's been going on for the past 3 years. The more progress I make in the natural, the less clearly I'm able to see how the heck this miracle of a dream is going to happen. Seriously. But God is so hilarious sometimes. I mean, He really has me laughing over this one. (Sarcasm intended). I can hear Him now.
"Daughter, you are so adorable in your frantic efforts to make this giant dream come to pass on your own. I can see how badly you want it. I want so badly to give it to you. There's just one catch: you have to let ME do all the work."
This comforts me and challenges me.
It really is such a huge concept to grasp that I can spin my wheels getting everything perfect for my dreams to come true but really God's just waiting on me.
So He can finish what He started.
His word even says it as clear as day:
"There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears." (Philippians 1:6 MSG)
Why do I doubt? Because I'm blinded by my own "Gotta Do It Myself" mentality. GDIM for short. :)
Just because it looks like my dreams are on hold doesn't mean they aren't going to come true. We are such an "I have to see it to believe it" kind of culture but God says,
"Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:29)
Let that sink in for a minute.
BLESSED are those who believe before they see it come to pass.
How hard this is for me!
You too, right?
(Cause you're human.)
God knew this would be difficult for us.
Our flesh cries out to be appreciated by doing everything in its power to achieve success.
But that's just it.
We gotta stop listening to our flesh. Our flesh is made up of me, myself, and I.
The only way to get from here to there is to listen to the One who has the whole journey planned out perfectly... the Holy Spirit.
When we listen to Him: we can laugh at the seemingly giant obstacles in the way of our dreams. We can dance in the rain of the storms that threaten our very existence. We can sing out at the top of our lungs to the tune of heaven's song.
Why? Because we know that He will do what He has promised.Did you get that? HE WILL DO IT. I don't even have to sweat the details, girls. And neither do you. Your Daddy's got this.
"Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth,
but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you." Isaiah 60:2
Today is "Shine a Light on Slavery" day.
It's a day devoted to telling those around us the shocking news that slavery still exists. In fact, there are more slaves on earth today thanever before in history. Over 27 million in fact. (Source: A21 Campaign ) That is some dark news, my friends. Sometimes, it seems like the darkness is overtaking us, doesn't it?
But, you know what?
Darkness is temporary. It can't stand the light and runs away from a single flame.
It cowers at bright beams of hope and shrinks back at rays of grace.
FEAR is it's weapon of mass destruction.
But don't be misled by this impostor of darkness. It's all a lie. A ruse to try to distract you from the truth.
And this is the undeniable truth: The Light always wins. (Isaiah 58:8)
The Light lasts forever and ever. (Isaiah 60:20) Eventually the things done in the dark are exposed by the Light. (Eph. 5:11-14)
And the Light's weapon is far stronger than that of the dark: LOVE.
This is NOT the time to shrink back or give up or stay quiet. Fear can't exist in the presence of love. So, we have to keep fighting. We have to keep loving. We have to keep shining. More needs to be said. More needs to be done. So. Much. More. And the love-light of Christ is a beacon to the hopeless, desperate, and forsaken. He's inside of us!
Jesus is the Light of the world.
He is the bright morning Star. He is the Dawn at break of day. How can we keep quiet?!!
Jesus is the only way to fight the Darkness.
Do you live with a knowledge that you carry His Light inside of you?
This truth brings us courage to keep pushing back the dark.
It's not just a cliche to say that we are here on earth to be the Light.
No, it's a calling to see things differently, a mandate to bravely act. It's a revolutionary way of living, a mission to live for the cause of Christ. Are you shining?