Who’s In Control?

I believe one of the hardest things to do as a Christian is to give God all your heart.  It is easy to sing songs about giving our hearts to Christ and letting Him have control over our lives, but, in reality, it is difficult.  It means we relinquish all our rights and allow God to invade our lives!

When we do not have full control, we live with risk.  We wait for God’s command and will for our lives instead of living life our way.  Isaiah 55:8-9 says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  God says, “For I know the plans I have for you…plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Surrendering our lives to Christ can be scary.  We are entering into the unknown and sometimes we feel out of control but as long as we trust that God knows what is best for us we have no need to worry.  Psalm 46:10 says for us to “be still and know that [He] is God.”

I remember a few years ago, my pastor was helping me get through a tough time in my life.  I was not fully living for God and even doubted His love for me.  In one of our meetings, I remember saying to her God can have control over this but He cannot touch that part of my life.  I was choosing how much control He could have.  I was terrified if I relinquish that part of my life, He would not accept me or be ashamed of me.  I thought I had to clean up my own mess before coming to Him and allowing Him to take control over the situation.  For four years, I lived in the mentality that God was disappointed in me.

Let me tell you something:  That is no way to live!  It is false thinking!!!  God does not love you because of how good you are.  He loves you because you are His child!  He may not approve of everything you do but that will never change the way He feels about you!  Psalm 36:5-7 is one of my favorite verses that talks about God’s love with such depth and beauty.  It says, “Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.  How precious is your unfailing love, O God!  All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.”   

I encourage you to put your fears aside and reach out your hands to surrender your life to God.  I gave my heart to God a year ago and I have no regrets!  It is much easier to live a life in God’s will rather than go against Him by doing things my way.

There is a song called, “I Give You My Heart” by Hillsong.  Here are some of the lyrics below.  Read the lyrics slowly and think about what they are saying.

This is my desire to honor You
Lord, with all my heart, I worship You
All I have within me, I give You praise
All that I adore is in You

Lord, I give You my heart
I give You my soul, I live for You alone
Every breath that I take, every moment I’m awake
Lord, have Your way in me

Let this song be your prayer today!  “I give you my heart…my soul.  I live for YOU alone!”  Amen!

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Dancing With Our Heavenly Father!

In the Book of Psalms, chapter 25, verses 4 through 5, is a simple prayer that says “show me Your ways, Lord, teach me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.”

One of my favorite quotes that I live by is, “Life isn’t about waiting for the rain to pass; it’s about dancing in the rain.” This quote, in my opinion, means standing strong when life is crumbling around us and all we can do is call out Jesus’ name. Even if it is a whisper, He hears us and He comes to our aid. God does not want us to live in defeat but He wants us to feel empowered by Him and be conquerors of this world.

“Dancing in the rain” means we fully trust in God no matter what we are facing. It means we do not allow worry and anxiety to control us because we allow God to be in control of our lives. We face situations head on and not run from them when life gets hard.

Life is like a dance. It is like a child dancing with her father. She gently places her feet on top of her father’s as she looks up at him mesmerized, in awe of his love! She feels like a princess dancing with her prince. The little girl hugs her daddy as tight as she can never wanting to let go! It is a priceless and precious moment between a father and a daughter.

Life stands still and everything is at peace when a child is wrapped around her father’s arms and gently guided in the way she should go. This describes our heavenly Father. Imagine yourself placing your feet on top of God’s and letting Him guide you in His ways and His purpose for your life.

Dancing with our heavenly Father is indescribable. It may be when we need to be reminded of His touch or His voice. It may be when we need Him to carry us across the room reminding us He will never forsake us. It may be a longing to be in His presence through prayer and reading His Word. Psalms 119:105 says God’s Word “is a lamp for my feet; a light on my path.”

I encourage all of us to embrace God and take the time to dance with Him. We are His princess and He is our prince.

Do You Own Your Faith?

What is faith? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary faith is a “strong belief or trust in someone or something.” It is also the “belief in the existence of God.” The Webster Dictionary describes faith as “belief without proof.” If we ask people what faith is according to the Bible, most likely they will quote the Scripture, Hebrews 11:1. Hebrews 11:1 says that “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Second Corinthians states, “for we live by faith, not by sight.”

What does it mean to have faith in God? It means that we believe God is real and He will do what is best for our lives. First Peter 1:21 says “through Him [Jesus] you believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” Our faith comes from God.

It is important to build our faith with a strong foundation in Christ. We must believe that He is good and will never forsake us. A faith that wavers under pressure has no foundation. This kind of faith will fluctuate according to a person’s emotions. A strong faith takes courage to stand against any circumstance. A person who owns this kind of faith finds joy in every situation. We must allow God to be in control over our situations and not be overwhelmed with emotions.

For us to “live by faith and not by sight,” we must know that God directs our path. We need to trust God with our lives. Faith requires us to be uncomfortable and to follow God into the unknown.

In the book of Matthew, Peter walks on the water toward Jesus. As long as Peter stayed focused on Jesus, he did not sink but, once Peter doubted his ability to walk on water, he began to sink. In Matthew 14:29-30 it says that “Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” How many times do we lack in our faith with God and, like Peter, we sink and cry out for God’s help? We may be struggling in life and we have doubts whether or not life will get better. Matthew 14:31 states that “immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught [Peter]. ’You of little faith,’” He said, “’why did you doubt?’” Even when we doubt God, He still rescues us and brings us to safety.

My question for you to ponder is, “do you own your faith?” and is God asking you, “why did you doubt?”. This is not an easy question to ask yourself because it means that you have to look within yourself. You have to ask yourself if you are putting your faith in worldly matters or are you putting your faith in Jesus Christ.

Year 2015: New Beginnings

Each year I write a letter to God on what my goals are for the new year.  My goals may be spiritual, personal, and/or desires of my heart.  Each year on the last day of December I read the letter to see whether or not I met any of my goals.  This year is different.  All I want is to be in God’s will, no matter what that may look like.  It is not about my desires but His desires for my life.  I had good intentions but I am realizing the letters bring disappointment if I failed to accomplish my yearly goals.

So this year all I want to do is love on God and enjoy the journey that God has set before me.  It may look different than I expected and even surprises along the way but, as long as I am fully trusting God with my life, I have no worries!

In Revelation, God says He makes everything new!  My pastor said in her Sunday Morning message that we must invite Jesus into lives.  “Jesus is welcomed in your life when He is the center of your life!”  That is my number one goal for this year — to make Jesus the center of my life.  My pastor also challenged the congregation to evaluate ourselves to see where Jesus fits into our lives.

I want a better prayer life and be more excited about reading God’s Word.  I want my life to be a reflection of who Jesus is, no matter the cost!  I want to be sold out for God and continue to learn His ways and purpose over my life.

So here’s to new beginnings!  I’m not looking behind me on the what-if’s but looking forward to new exciting things that will come my way.  I’m enjoying the journey with Jesus and loving life to the fullest!