What is in Your Heart?

Deuteronomy 11:18  Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.

Proverbs 3:3  Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

Proverbs 7:2-3  Keep my commandments and live, and my teaching as the apple of your eye.  Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.

I believe with my entire being that God’s Word is holy, perfect, true.  I see God’s Word all over our world.  I stumble across certain scriptures on decorative signs to hang on the walls of your home (which I happen to be a huge sucker for).  I see a lot of Bible verses posted on Facebook walls.  I notice Scriptures on clothing and billboards.  If our eyes are open I am sure we will see God’s Word spread all around us each and every day.  Let me ask you something I felt God ask me recently, Is your heart open to receive His Words?

I presume this is an important question to really think over and answer honestly.  And this is why:

If we see with our eyes God’s Words but do not secure His Words to the walls of our hearts we miss out on the transforming power His Words can have in our life.  He wants us to store up in our hearts all of the treasures He prepared for us to receive from His Word.  There is no problem to have God’s Words scattered across the walls of our homes, the desk space at the office, our Facebook/Twitter accounts as long as those very Words are fastened firmly to the walls of our Hearts first.

I am thankful God has asked me such a bold question.  I know He is thankful that I answered it honestly.  Every day God is showing me what it looks like to have His Words in my heart.  I desire for others to see what is transforming me from the inside out: the treasures of His Words stored up in my heart.  I pray that they too will be transformed by what they see and start to open their hearts to receiving all they will ever need, Jesus Christ.

the Calm after the Storm

As I was driving today dark clouds were following me all the way.  Kindly the clouds waited to burst open, letting out sheets of rain, until I walked through the door of my apartment.  There was a short break before the next storm rolled in.  On and off storms have been the theme of these past couple of days.  In the midst of these storms one thing has held true, there has been a beautiful calm just after each one.  The rain goes away.  The dark clouds disappear making room for the sun to shine down brightly.

This beauty was created for you and me.  That makes me feel special, you?

Today, I am taken back to another rainy couple of days just a year ago.   This would be the time I was in India.  When we arrived the rainy season had just hit.  The rain was pouring down almost non-stop.  There was one particular rain storm that stands out the most during our time at the YWAM campus in Lonavala.  There were 14 of us “praying aunties and uncles” there to hold a retreat for sixty precious princesses of the Most High King.  These precious ones came to Lonavala needing to find God and grow deeper with Him, so did we.

On rainy day 3 of our retreat it was time for my “talk”.  I tirelessly prepared a talk on the importance of the Armor of God and a very safe part of my testimony.  This talk took a very unexpected turn for the best the moment that I felt the Holy Spirit’s nudging to share my story.  What followed was simply His words and not my own.  As the rain pounded on the roof of the building we were in, tears fell on each of our hearts.  We all came to the center of the room, so many girls pouring their hearts out to God.  Our tears were washing away the pain, the fear, the abuse, the torment, the sin, the shame, the guilt, and God’s grace was filling up the room with His love.  As we stood there I instantly thought of doing a sort of victory dance in the rain.  It was short lived but it was so freeing.  As the rain fell on the tops of our umbrellas I was reminded that God’s love will fall on all of our wounded hearts and wash the pain away.  The storms may seem relentless, but God’s love will calm even the most destructive of storms.  He will use each tear that falls to melt away the pain in our hearts to make room for Him.

Just as the sun shines after the storm, God will shine in our lives after the storms leave us.

 

 

No Pain, No Gain

When someone is struggling severely in life it makes me want to take the very thing that is causing them to struggle and blow it up, making sure it never returns.

I just hate so much to see someone in such devastation.  I want to help.  I want to fix.  I want to take away the pain, problem, battle.

I have so strongly been feeling this way about a particular situation very near and dear to my heart.  Just when I wanted to be justified in these feelings, God reminded me of the danger of feeling this way.

1. I am not God.  I am human, a sinner, imperfect in every way imaginable!  It is not my job nor will it ever be my job to fix or take away someone else’s problem.  I can try but I will never succeed and in the process I will end up in the way of the only One who can truly fix every problem, God Himself.

2.  Struggles, as awful as they look when we are going through them, are truly a blessing in disguise.  I am fully prepared for you to disagree with me on this, however it is SO TRUE!  I went through one of the worst struggles I never imagined I would survive to tell you about.  I was trapped in an abusive relationship for years.  I didn’t know the way out, but God did and thankfully I found Him to help me get out before it was too late.   Looking back, this awful event in my life is one I am most thankful for because it led me to a beautiful encounter with my Savior.  I would go through everything I went through all over again if and only if it had the same outcome every time: a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.

3.  These struggles can be used by Satan to try to destroy us, however they can also be used by God to bring Him glory and save lives!  (Genesis 50:20)  As much as Satan can use something for the purpose of destroying us, God can use the same thing to save many lives!  On the other side of a struggle we find a testimony of God’s power, love, forgiveness, and grace.  This is our story and a tool we can use to bring others to Jesus.

I am reminded tonight that I should not be praying that these current struggles, and the ones to come, go away and never come back…I need to be praying that in the midst of these struggles we find God.

Hard Loving You

They keep telling me all you need is love.

That I should be the one to love you.

As if my love could really do anything for you.

And I wish it could, would.

If I knew my love would fix you I would love you in a heartbeat.

But it’s not that simple, and it is not my love you need.

I am here.  I care.  I cry.  I pray.  I cry.  I cry.

Through tears I beg with God, please show me what it looks like to love.

In an instant my eyes are open, seeing clearer than I ever have before.

There I am in the fullness of my sin, and there He is in the midst of it all.

There I am on the strayed path, and there He is reaching out to bring me in.

It was hard to love me, but He did.

So now I know what it looks like to love.

There you are in the fullness of your sin, and there I am in the midst of it all.

There you are on the strayed path, and there I am reaching out to bring you to Him.

It is still hard to love you, but I will.

Because it is not my love you need but it is my love that will lead you to Him.