Stop Looking Back, Start Walking Forward

You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary…. (Revelation 2:3).

Sometimes my heart feels heavy and weary. I am realizing the reason why it feels this way. You see, for those who persevere and don’t grow weary, they no longer carry what happened in the past. They’ve learned to let it go, but the more we keep looking in the past, the longer the weight of it presses down on us and causes us to become weary.
 
If we want to be free, we have to stop looking back and start looking forward. We must, myself included, look forward to our freedom, setting our eyes on our redemption and the new thing we’re believing God, in faith, to do.
 
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There are so many themes I see in Scripture that I am claiming for my life. Themes of redemption, resurrection, and renewal, but sometimes the stench of the past wants to pull me down into the grave of hurt, pain, and unbelief. Today, I’m choosing to let go. Then tomorrow, I’ll have to choose to let go again. A one-time release to God doesn’t always cut it, freedom comes as we persevere.
 
Some hurt is more recent than others- let it go. Jesus beckons us to forgive. Our problem is that we hang on to hurts. We must be willing to place our pain, hurt, rejection and disappointment in God’s hands. Only then can He reshape it with His love. Only then can He redeem it for His glory.
 
Lord, sometimes I keep looking back, please forgive me. Thank you for the new thing you’re going to do. I believe in faith that you can right all wrongs, you can make all things new and that you will redeem, restore and renew all things the enemy tried to use against me in my life. Today, I release any hurt, pain or disappointment caused by others to me. I believe in faith for their personal victories. I know that you can take dead things and bring them back to life, so today I claim resurrection power over my life and my loved ones. Lord, this journey is hard, but you are so good. Shower me with your love, I pray, in Jesus name, Amen.

Stand Firm….in Your Thoughts

Resist him, standing firm in the faith,…(1 Peter 5:9).
 
Sometimes my thoughts try to carry me away to places like this,
 
“These people don’t value me.”
 
“This person doesn’t care about me.”
 
“Why have that conversation? It won’t do any good. That person is disrespectful, they won’t listen to me.”
 
“My life would be so much better if….”
 
Those thoughts lead to disunity and destruction. They keep people, especially believers from growing together in love, grace, and forgiveness. They divide the church and relationships because they are thoughts sent from the father of lies himself, Satan. To our own destruction, these thoughts are purely selfish. I’m also recognizing in my own heart that thoughts like these are rooted in fear too.
 
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Much of the Christian life is learning about how to stand firm, not just with our bodies, but with our thoughts as well. As the devil whispers a lie, we cannot allow our thoughts to follow the line that he has cast for us. We must take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ. We must grow spiritually strong in our minds so that we can grow spiritually strong in our faith and our witness of Jesus.
 
One of the most unifying things a Christan can do for the gospel is learn how to die to their own selfish thoughts and motivations. Sometimes, what keeps me stuck the most is caring so much about myself that I take personal offense over how I feel like people don’t ask about me or reach out to me enough. Yet, in my own selfish heart, I neglect to do the same for them. Oh Lord, forgive me.
 
The building up of our faith begins when we learn to take captive every thought, die to ourselves and raise up Christ. As we exalt Him and value others more than ourselves, we see the beauty of Christ on display that springs from our hearts. No weapon can be formed against us because we have the weapons of warfare to overcome the tactics of the evil one. For we have the mind of Christ.
 
Lord, may my thoughts and heart be centered on you. Jesus, be my joy. I pray that my thoughts might be pleasing to you. I want the world to see you in me. I want them to experience your love through me, but sometimes, I make life all about me. Forgive me for being so selfish. Change me, I pray, in Jesus name, Amen.

You Don’t Have to Live in Pain

and presented her to them alive…(Acts 9:41).

As I reflect on this past year of my life, there were many, many things that died within my heart and soul. There are still, to this day, things that continue to die. However, what I’m finding is that these deaths have not been for my destruction, but for my good.
 
Paul was given word that a woman named Tabitha had passed away. Yet, death did not have the final word on her. By God’s grace, Tabitha was resurrected. I hear the Lord saying to me, “Heather, live not in the pain of your death, but instead, live in the fruit of your resurrection.”
 
There’s this new woman that has come forth from somewhere deep within me. She is a woman fully alive in the Lord Jesus. Truly, the Lord is presenting me, not as a dead woman, but as one who has been resurrected by love.
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As I was talking with my husband yesterday about the reality of my recent past and the pain of it I said to him, “As painful and terrible as this time has been I am thankful, because, through it, I am a new and different woman. There’s something about Jesus’ love that I have tasted and experienced that I have never known before. For that, I am grateful because even though life has been without a doubt excruciatingly painful at times, I know Jesus in a way that I have never known Him before. I understand, maybe for the first time that my true identity is simply in being a child of God. I have learned the value of being content. I have been set free from things like fear, and control that I was once a slave to. Even in losing so much, I have gained so much more. I have gained Christ and His love. I have gained the joy of knowing Him, experiencing Him and being found in Him.
 
Maybe life feels too painful to keep moving forward. Maybe you’re not supposed to move forward just yet, maybe you’re just supposed to sit still and let God shower you with His love. One of the biggest mistakes we can make is to press forward through pain and just try to tough it out. This will never work, our pain simply buries itself and creates a wall of resistance between us and God. Do not allow the enemy to keep having his way in your heart. Submit to God and let His love wash over you. I’m living in and waiting for my blessing because I believe, with all hope, in a God of redemption. I am seeing and experiencing the fruit of letting go.
 
Lord, life is painful. Yet, it is not for our destruction. It can be used for our good. You can use it to make us new people. I know this to be true because you and I are living in the fruit of it. Jesus, thank you for showing yourself good to me. You never disappoint. Abba, daddy, I trust you. You have my heart and you WILL restore what the locusts have eaten, I believe it, in Jesus name, Amen.
 

You are Not a Dissapointment ​

When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done….(Luke 9:10).
You are not a disappointment to Jesus. Nor are you a failure in His eyes. I have felt that way before. Like Jesus and everyone around me sees me as a total disappointment.
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There’s this journey that God is taking me on, deep into my heart to uproot lies and set me free from things that have created deep bondage in my life. I am no longer a slave to sin, but one of righteousness. Along the journey of letting go and being made new, the devil will whisper lies into our hearts that attempt to destroy our newness in Christ. Sometimes the process God takes us through of becoming like Him means that we become small in the eyes of the world. It means that we have no stage or place to shine for Him because we are being taken through a process of refinement. We are not failures or disappointments. Truly, we are the beloved of God.
There is a lie in our world that tries to convince us that brokenness or hardship is the reflection of a failure. Yet, I am finding that brokenness and hardship is the reflection of a champion who is being made new in Christ. It is the devil’s work to destroy, to lie and convince us that we must remain a slave to something. Whether it’s control, fear, failure or disappointment. Yet, we can be reminded God is always working in us for our good. With His hammer is also His hand. He works and chisels away the old self, and His love is there with us.
Not where you’d hope you’d be in life? Don’t have what you thought you would? Had a couple of setbacks? Don’t see those as disappointments that define who you are, but let them propel you forward on the mission God has for you. Be reminded that His love is for you. He is working all things out in your life for the purpose of making you new.
Lord, I am a new creation. I am no longer a slave. What a wonderful truth. The devil wants to destroy. I am not a disappointment, I am the beloved of God. I will walk forward in freedom today.

No Longer Slaves, Walk Forward in Freedom

Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey…(Ro 6:16).
 
There is a King that reigns on the throne of my heart, her name is Heather. She has spent the majority of her Christian walk not as a freedwoman released from the chains of sin, but as a woman who has continually offered herself as an instrument to fear, control, and pride.
 
But, I have been crucified with Christ. The truest thing about me, in Christ, is not my fear, pride or control, but the newness of Christ that lives inside of me through RESSURECTION. It is the resurrection power of Jesus that I can call upon when the old patterns of my heart try to set themselves up as King. Truly, these old patterns are not who I am, for they have been done away with. I can and should walk forward not in my bondage, but in my freedom.
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In order for me to see my truest self, I must seek to see God’s reflection in my heart each morning. It’s there, in the quietness of my encounter with Him that I am brought to a realization of the deepest anguish of my own heart. It’s there that God shows me what or who is reigning as King. The question then becomes, what must I give up so that I can experience the fullness of God’s resurrection for my own heart and mind? Is it fear? Then, I shall take up faith, because the Lord is King. Is it control? Then I shall die to myself because the Lord is trustworthy. Is it pride? Then I shall make myself small and exalt Him because He does not need another King.
 
What the world and our hearts need is not one more Christian on fire for God, blazing with great gifts for Him, but Christians who allow the fire of the Holy Spirit to burn away the old self, so that they might shine as stars for the world to see that Jesus reigns.
 
Lord, you are King. I am not. Thank you for this journey you are taking me on. You are changing me. May I walk forward today in the new self. I do not want to be a slave to my old self. I want to walk forward in my freedom, in Jesus name, Amen.

Let Go, Seek His Face, and Become Like Him

For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,…. (Romans 6:6)

There will come a day when every tear upon my eye will be wiped away. I will see my Lord in all of His glory and I SHALL THEN BE LIKE HIM. Wow, what an overwhelming thought. That I, Heather, the girl who struggles against all sorts of sins will one day be caught up with her Lord in the air and He will robe me in white. I will be purified by His love.

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Until that day, I have one desire and calling as a Christian, to become more and more like Him. We will never grow in our newness in Christ unless we come to Him like a child, with innocence and humility.

When I was a teenager I had to go through a major swing change to improve my golf game, but once I got through the awkwardness of letting go of old habits, my game improved. The same goes for us, we must allow the Father to take our old patterns of behavior, the habits that are far from good and let Him remold and shape us into new and different people.

As I do this, my heart grows towards my Father. For this is what it means to seek His face, to simply, move towards Him, keeping my gaze fixed upon His great love for me. It is the joy of a father when a child runs into his arms for the very first time. This is the joy of God when we stop pursuing our temporal comforts to find a safe place in His embrace. When I die to my own sinful patterns and behaviors and run into the arms of my Heavenly Father His love dances over me as I am held by Him.

Letting go of old patterns and behaviors begins when we see that the LORD is truly a good, loving Father who delights in His children. When we see the best offer lies not in our comforts, but in His embrace, we are changed. Changed into people who have been set free. Changed into people whose hearts are at rest in their Father’s love.

Jesus, you love me. Today, I want to seek your face and move towards your grace for me. It is remarkable that you look at me, a sinner, and you love me. Your love for me is without limit. I do not have to fear for I am a new creation. You are my joy, strength, victory, and delight. Today Father I want to run into your arms and not my fears. I want to live in your embrace today, in Jesus name, Amen.

When Others Do Not, The LORD Will Receive Me

the LORD will receive me….(Psalm 27:10).

People and circumstances in life will sorely disappoint us. It is inevitable that we will be let down by friends, family, co-workers, and others who enter into our lives. Sadly, it is part of the human experience. Some of it stems from our own insecurities that play into our relationships, while other instances come from someone else’s brokenness.

I am learning that no human relationship can ever offer me what God can. A woman who finds all her worth in her children will one day be left devastated when they want little to do with her. The man who finds all his worth in his successes and the opinion of the people at his work will be left in disarray when he gets bypassed for the promotion.

In all of life, there is one place I can go where I know I will be received. It is into the arms of the Lord Jesus. It’s there, in my own brokenness that I can receive His unending love. It’s in His strength that I can lay my head, knowing that I don’t have to be defined by my disappointments in people or circumstances. In His arms, I come to a deeper revelation about life as I see the brokenness of people around me. In their brokenness, they do and say things that are unhealthy because they themselves have not gone into the arms of the Lord. It’s there, in His arms where our hearts are stilled and our lives made new.

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I cannot, nor will I ever be a very good human being who cares for people if I do not let myself be received by the Lord. As I am received my heart is stilled and the opinions of people, the unfair circumstances all start to fade away, because of His love that dances over me. I still want justice, but I lay it in His hands because I know He is a good, loving Father who loves to redeem that which the enemy tried to use against me.

Lord, life will disappoint me, people, circumstances and everything in between, but you are trustworthy and good. I lay my head down today in your embrace, knowing that you still my heart. You are so good to me and I can trust you, in Jesus name, Amen.