Story Devos

The Steadfast One…

 

Mountains

It easy to say, “God is always for you.” to someone who is in a difficult season, when moments are more beautiful and easy for. There is more receptivity to this truth when you have positive feelings to back it up. What happens when you feel betrayed, angry, or even resentment towards God as his goodness transforms due to the perspective of our lives, the ups, and downs? Is he still for you? Is he still good?

The automatic answer is yes he is still good because he never changes. As humans we deal not only with absolute statements in our constantly changing worlds and lives, but feelings and emotions, as well as beyond difficult situations that challenges our faith, leads us to our knees in surrender and repentance or leave our hearts hardened from God all together because forgiveness is too much, holding on to pain is easier in order to protect ourselves. Though I am using a lot of pronouns of we, and us I am talking mainly of myself. I also know that it would be prideful of me to think that I am the only one on this earth who has struggled with forgiveness, who has struggled with pain, and letting go of anger and bitterness in order to hold onto Jesus, actually trusting him.

Trusting is not a one time commitment and choice, it is daily. Love is not a one time commitment and choice  it is daily. The goodness of God does not change because our life constantly changes a we grow like flowers opening an closing to the sun.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” – James 1:17

With the Father there is not variation or shadow due to change, there is no possible change due to the downs in our lives. He is the same, he is the loving, just, caring, all powerful father that will continue to work with us as we journey in our relationship with Jesus. As the son of God, Jesus assures you that it’s in his spiritual DNA to never change.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” -Hebrew 13:8

He is for you, he is always good. Your pain, your struggles, your trails will not cause him to change, walk away, even turn away if you decided to walk away for he loves you and cherishes your heart. His foundation is love and truth. Let him love you, and if you’re not ready, take your time in getting to know him all over again as Abba Father. For he loves you and there is nothing you can do about it.

Prayer in Life’s Changes: Lord work with me in knowing that you are good no matter what. Understanding that your goodness does not change with the constant changes of my life. I thank you for your grace and mercy in my life. I thank you Lord for your direction even if it is a small shift. I’ll hold your hand as you hold my heart. Amen. 

READING // PSALM 42

 

Standard
Story Devos

Trusting in Jesus: Living Life Inside Out

GrippingIt’s the grip of the hand on our own lives that causes a miscommunication between our spirit and the spirit of Christ to trust in him. This grip blocks our own mentality from the mind of Christ. Though we are instructed to let the mind of Christ be within us life happens, the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. So how do we let go and when we do let go, what do we do with the new found space in our hands that once gripped everything to feel secure?

As young girl I discovered the art of perfectionism, covering up, and feeling as though God comes and goes in my life.  In latter years that developed an anger towards God as  I reached out to others things to fill a void that only he could fill. I held onto until my hands bled and those that I was holding onto I began to hurt. I believed that God was not as steadfast as he said he would be, and the fact that he would not leave me or forsaking me was only because I was doing right toward him, the church, or my family. When mistakes happened or I made decisions that did not please God  shame, guilt, and self-degradation were the only ways to explain why he’d want to leave me.

Years and years went by and as I finally entered into a personal relationship with Jesus, I felt loved for the first time. He showed me that people can love me, but I put them in the place of him and loved in a way that was not healthy. This lead to unmet expectations, broken friendships, and keeping silent to exist in what was left of a friendship, family relationship, and a romantic relationship. I performed for Jesus in order to receive the love God gives, it was my only way to pay the dues I owed in him being a holy, righteous, powerful, authoritative, one wrong and you’re done God. I would be surprised by moments where Jesus would pull me closer in depression, in the breaking down, and hard seasons in life, but fulling trusting that God would never leave me and that Jesus always works everything out for my good, that was something that was a little too eerie.

My hands were weary, bruised, but I was comfortable and safe.

“I love you.” he’d whisper to my heart time and time again. As I continue to journey with him through the ups and downs Jesus would slowly teach me how to let go. He reminded me time and time again that he would never leave by bringing people into my life that had his love pouring out through their pores. So much so, I’d have to pinch myself to see if my life was real (I still do today). He brought me to a place of healing where i’d let go a little and continue to do through the pain. He always bring me back to himself. He showed me of how much he loved me. My view of God slowly changed as I realized that he is a father that has structure, but at the beginning of the day delights in me and desires for me to delight in him. From there my path is made firm as I walk with Jesus.

I sat on the phone with a dear friend Jesus blessed me with doing my best to write about trusting Jesus. Months prior to us meeting I wore perfectionism and covered up well. Living life outside in I created my own reality that did not line up with God’s vision for my life. As we hung out and Jesus just sat in on our conversations leading them with healing, love, and grace I began to come into a different imperfect reality. That i’m loved no matter what, God loves me, Jesus purses me, walks with me, and leads me daily. I am loved, through the hard seasons, mistakes, and choices I make. I don’t have to be perfect, I don’t have to cover up and for the first time I can come out of my head and live life inside out.

Jesus shares: “Blind Pharisee! First clean what is on the inside of the cup and dish, and the outside will be clean also.” -Matthew 23:26

He calls us to repentance to him, confession to one another, to love him with everything we have, and to love others as we love ourselves. For we overcome by our testimony, so if we keep silent about our pain, our struggles, the ups and downs of life how can we heal? We do not heal when we silently grip our lives in the name of perfectionism, covering up, or fear of the unknown.

Darling

Backspacing again and again I messaged my friend and finally faced what I’d didn’t want to face in the new season I was in, perfectionism and the shame and guilt that comes with it. I shared the deep struggle of the shame and guilt  in living out of perfectionism rather than being loved. I shared how I was slowly letting go of that.

“When we do let go, what do we do with the new found space in our hands that we once held tightly to feel secure?” I asked her

She replied simply, “Simply be, and let him love you.”

It is the letting go of the bruised hand bleeding and torn and allowing Jesus to put his scared, sacrificial loving hand in yours covering every sin, leading you into new life. Loving you into his likeness and challenging you to reach for him as he purses you daily. Leaning on him daily, as you learn to live, move, and breathe in him. Delighting in him. Amen.

Let him love you. For proverbs tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct they path.” – Proverbs 3:5-6  It’s okay to lean on him, it is a must, and he invites us to submit to his love in everything we do. Amen.

So, let him love you. Letting go and holding onto Jesus is the only is the  way we can learn to trust in him. The unknown can be filled with Jesus for the past has God written all over it. For he’ll show you that you can always trust in him as he walks with you daily, as he leans down to listen, and you following him as he leads. Let him love you.

Lord I want to know your love. I trade my this grip on life for a grip on you. Lead me lord in this fragile, messy, beautiful life you have given me, and show me that I can trust you. I’m in  need of you always Lord.  Thank you for loving me. Amen. 

Journal Questions:

What are some areas, things, people, you hold onto that cause worry, anxiety, shame, and guilt in your life?

Devotional Song// Isla Vista Worship -Surrender

freedom

Standard
Story Devos

Resting in Jesus

living room

Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. -Matthew 11:28-30

What does it mean to rest in Jesus?

This question has been on my mind for awhile now. What does that look like to rest in Jesus? Does it mean to trust in him, to read your word daily, to mediate on scripture, to write in your journal, or to literally sleep? What does it look like?

Scripture does lead us to look at ourselves, leading us to repentance, teaching us through stories, and giving us the opportunity to practice the teachings of Jesus a we learn.

Jesus says to lean not on your own understanding, there is instruction that when we humble ourselves we then can cast all of our anxieties on him for he cares for us. We are to look to him, we are to keep our eyes on him. It’s all about him. When we are resting in him, it is not about us, it is about us resting in him being drawn closely to him. All that we do to rest in him is for him and us to draw closer to him, to get attention off of ourselves.

Waking up one morning I created a list in my head of all the things I needed to do over spring break, all that I wanted to get to all my goals. The list was getting longer and longer. The pressure was beginning to build. Finally I laid back in my bed and decided to ask the Lord, “What do you want me to do?” I could hear a list of his within myself. Practices like prayer, honoring your mother and father, treating others the way you would want to be treated. Understanding others, and letting go of resentments, relinquishing control of the way I run my life and take head to wisdom.

Oh the mess that I am. Even still he speaks softly reminding us that at the end of the day he has control, we may make plans, but the Lord always direct our steps, or wobbly inconsistent, prideful steps. He loves us enough to work with us until discipline is in our bones in our personal relationship with him, this practice of this personal relationship overflows into other parts of our life. For at the end of the day developing a relationship with God that goes deeper than religion is the goal, in our imperfection, yet growingly maturing.

So what does it mean to rest in Christ? It means focusing on him more than ourselves as he heals ever broken part of us from the inside out. He loves us from the inside out, he longs to heal the depths of us more than just a bump or bruise, for it is the broken vessels that need to be healed first for the bruise to go away.

Journal Question: How do you rest in Jesus?

Prayer: Lord I pray that we are able to rest in you more, that we are able to focus more on your as you heal us, for you understand our pains, or hurts, anxieties and all. I pray lord that we are able to humble ourselves and that through our brokenness you come close to us to show us more of you. I thank you so much for you loving kindness, for your faithfulness, and promise to work with us until you are done, not until we are done. Thank you Lord for the invitation to rest in you, may this be a gift and not a chore as we walk in daily life. Amen.

 

 

Standard