When God Dethrones You and Unmasks Your Pride

Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb… (Luke 24:12).

Something changes in your heart when you have been humbled by God. I imagine Peter experienced a similar feeling after his denial of Jesus. You see, Peter, just let me, understood that being humbled by God, dethrones us and unmasks our pride.
 
Pride is a terrible tool in the hands of those who have not learned to tame it through humility. Sometimes, in order for us to grow, God has to take a sledgehammer to our pride so we learn one of life’s most valuable lessons, that He is God and there is no other.
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You see, when God dethrones you, I mean, really dethrones you, unmasking pride and humbling you to the core it really does change you. I know, at least for me, as I’m sure it did for Peter, you live with this deep, raw, awareness of your own personal sinfulness. You are much more keenly aware of your imperfections and your deep need for the overwhelming and undeserved grace of God.
 
You see, I think, when everyone else stood by in unbelief over the empty tomb, Peter, having been humbled by God, understood something about God that before He had chosen to dismiss. You see, Peter became convinced, as I have been, that He is God and there is no other. Truly, nothing, and I mean nothing is impossible with God. That’s easy for us to say, but to live this out means letting go. It means living with an awareness that more often than not we wrestle with doubt, fears, and deep insecurity.
 
Therefore, we must live in that tension, submitting our own worries, doubts, and fears to the living God. When we do, He rises up and offers us grace. He gives us faith that can change the world as we cling to Him with all our lives. Truly, He is a mighty Savior who takes messy people and uses them for His glory.
 
Lord, you are so good. Truly, there is none like you. You are the love of my life. There is no one like you. I love that you are my Savior and my friend. Thank you for humbling me. Thank you for changing my heart and making me new. May I never go back to the old me, but may I always live dead to the old woman in me, so that Christ might be glorified, in Jesus name, Amen.

When Discouragement Comes Knocking

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you”….(Psalm 56:3)

I woke up this morning feeling discouraged. My heart was sad as I wrestled internally with what was going on inside of me. You see, God is challenging me to trust Him, but if I could be quite honest, trusting Him means releasing something that I desperately want from Him.
 
Can I just be really honest? That’s hard. It’s hard to let go when you’ve been through the wringer and back again, waiting, and waiting and waiting some more.
 
If I could be quite honest, I fear God’s no, because I do not know when and if He’ll ever say yes. This is painful, but I am learning, that whatever comes my way in life, whether yes or no, good or bad, there is a joy that I can have in the person of Jesus. Yes, a joy that comes only from His love that reaches down from Heaven into my discouraged heart.
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I have felt, recently that there have been little places for me to land. You see, God has made me unique, just as He has you. This uniqueness sometimes makes me feel a bit like an outcast and like I don’t quite fit in, even in Christian circles. However, I have learned the joy of placing myself not in the trust of the company of men, but instead, of my heavenly Father. Yes, He is good to me. In His love, there is a place for me to land. Just as there is for you.
 
Sometimes, my heart feels like it’s being poured out like water before the Lord. Today is one of those mornings as I learn to place my whole self into the arms of my Father. If I place my trust in man, I will on all accounts be sorely disappointed. I am thankful though that I can reach into the bank account of my Heavenly Father’s love for me. Truly, this account never runs try as I seek His face.
 
Abba, daddy, you are so good to me. Your love, yes your love is enough. Whatever comes of today, I know that you are good and in you, I have a safe place to land. Thank you, Abba, that in your love I can find peace, in Jesus name, Amen.

Practicing​ Faith When It Makes No Sense To Those Around You

their words seemed to them like nonsense…(Luke 24:11).

Faith seems silly to some, doesn’t it? Especially when it costs us something. There have been moments in my life when I have been practicing faith when others have questioned my motives or even- my sanity. Sure, I get it, faith doesn’t always make sense and radical faith makes even less sense.
 
Radical faith is the kind of faith I want to practice more in my life. But if I could be quite honest, whenever I want to pursue radical faith I am met with fear and doubt. Fear that tells me God won’t pull through and doubt that tries to make me believe that I’m not hearing from God.
 
Maybe you’ve been there too when you knew God was speaking something into your life, but you were too afraid to move forward. You feared the voices of those who question your obedience, so to avoid feeling dumb or stupid, you kept yourself from practicing obedience with God.
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Sometimes faith sits on the sidelines instead of rising up with the courage to accomplish the vision provided by almighty God. Unless of course, faith makes us look good to other people, then we’ll be sure to practice that.
 
This is the sad reality of our culture. We make lengthy posts about the good things we do and take pictures of our best moments so that we can receive the praise of man. Yet, we hardly, if ever post about the radical obedience of faith it takes to walk away from deeply embedded sin. You see, this is the less glamorous side of faith.
 
Something God started teaching me years ago is, “Heather, stop making yourself look like the hero.” People can’t relate with a hero who makes all the right decisions, but they can relate with someone like them, who doesn’t always get it right. Therefore, I could tell you about the countless times I did not practice faith when God was asking something of me. I could share with you about the open willful rebellion in my heart against the things I knew He was asking me to trust Him in. So, if you’re looking for a hero, it’s not going to be me. Praise God, that our lives are not meant to display ourselves, but instead, the risen Savior who sets broken sinners free.
 
Lord, here I am. All of me. Even the most insecure parts that forget how good you are to me. Father, I need your grace. Yes, please, more of your grace Abba. May I practice radical faith today, not for others to see and praise me, but simply because I want to walk closely with you, in Jesus name, Amen.

Give God The Eraser and Let Him Write a New Journey

Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the purpose of the LORD will prevail….Proverbs 19:21

I remember a time in my early 20’s when I had my life all figured out. At that time I had determined the age I would be married by when I would buy my first home and about the time I would have my first child. On paper, everything looked great and the longer I held onto my plan the more it became a stumbling block between me and God.
 
You see, those who are willing to walk in step with the Lord must understand that they cannot run ahead of the Lord; making their own way. Instead, they must resist the temptation to plow through with their own plan and submit themselves to the Father of hope, joy, peace, and purpose.
 
I have learned to give God to the eraser so that my plans don’t become so important that they become demands of Him. You see, when I walk in step with the Father I can know and understand that, indeed, His loving is holding me. When I am held in the Father’s love, there is no step He will not be with me on. Even in the painful steps of life, His comfort is there to hold us and receive us.
 
Today, I am living in this place of letting God call the shots. You see, I’m a planner who loves to come up with all her great ideas. Therefore, sometimes my ability to plan out my next steps muddies the waters of how I can really best hear from the Lord. But, I cannot, nor will I ever hear most clearly from God if I am allowing my humanness to capture my heart and mind, because, in my pride, I’ve often thought my ideas are pretty great ones.
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I remember as I was journeying throughout the land of Israel in 2011 I really had no idea where I was going. Instead, I had to trust the one who was leading me. Therefore, today I will come with empty hands knowing that my plans are not good ones if they are keeping me from receiving God’s very best.
 
Lord, I submit to you today. Forgive me for how I have allowed my own ideas and plans to get in the way of truly hearing from you. Lord, I am desperate to hear from you. Speak to your servant, truly, I am listening, in Jesus name, Amen.

God is Listening…Even When it Feels Like He’s Not

he has heard my cry for mercy… (Psalm 28:6).

God is listening, trust me, He really is. I know it doesn’t always feel like it. I’ve been in those spots in life when I felt like He was far off, but I’m learning now that He speaks to me more often than I think.
 
The place He speaks to me the most is in my willingness to come before Him broken, desiring His grace and love to make me new. Now, I’m not saying I’ve got this thing all figured out. Truly, I am a major work in progress, but I have seen the hand of God in the places of my deepest brokenness. I have heard His voice the loudest when I have cried to Him for mercy, not in my anger, but in my desperation to be showered with HIs love and grace.
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I have found the reason why so many of us do not hear from God is that we allow our hearts to grow hard towards Him because of the pain and difficulties of life. Therefore, instead of making decisions out of our wholeness in Christ, we make them out of our pain. We can almost be sure these decisions will be selfish as we prioritize protecting and soothing our pain instead of seeking a heart that is soft and tender to the Lord’s mercy.
 
Since we’ve convinced ourselves that our personal healing is impossible we insert ourselves by attempting to play the role of God in our lives instead. This always ends in disaster. Therefore, we must soften our hearts before the Lord as we cry to Him not in anger, or in our demands, but instead, for mercy.
 
Oh, Lord, forgive us for our lack of faith. We know we need your grace! Fill our hearts with your love! May our hearts be soft towards you! Thank you for speaking to your people. Lord Jesus, thank you for our love and grace for a redeemed sinner like me, in Jesus name, Amen.

How God Took My Most Painful Season and Has Made it My Most Fruitful

In his distress he sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors… (2 Ch 33:12).

Be thankful when the Lord disciplines you.
 
No really, be thankful.
 
It’s really one of the ways He showers His love upon you. I know it doesn’t feel like it at the time, but truly, His discipline is His way of leading our wayward hearts back to Him.
 
I love how God can take our messiest situations, sometimes caused by our own sin (or someone else’s) and redeem them for His glory. You see, pain changes people. Sometimes for the better and sometimes not. How this plays out really has to do with the willingness of the individual to surrender their pain (or their sin) to the Lord. Then walk the long, and sometimes painful road of transformation and redemption. If we choose to bypass the road to redemption we will become bitter and angry at God and others.
 
A little over a year and a half ago a lot of suffering entered into my life. Life just stopped making sense as it quickly spiraled out of control. Once things came back into balance I had to deal with the pain of that season for many, many months. I sensed things like bitterness, anger, and resentment seeking to take root. I knew, that in order for me to grow I had to continue to submit those feelings to the Lord and pray instead for HIs grace to fill my heart.
 
Now that I have received God’s comfort, I’m different. I mean, I’m really different. Something in my heart has grown out of the darkness of that pain. Truly, it was the most painful season of my life, but it has also proven to be the most fruitful.
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Trust that God will bring fruit from your pain too. That’s just what He does. He’s in the business of resurrection and redemption. I held fast to those truths in my darkest moments. Now, I am seeing the fruit of holding fast to Jesus. Be encouraged to do the same if you have suffered greatly in life. Remember, its what God uses to make you more like Jesus. Be thankful for HIs discipline.
 
Lord, I trust you. You are so good to me. This pain has proven to have a great purpose in my life. Thank you for your redemption of my pain. Continue to sow seeds of love, grace, and compassion in my heart. I want to be more like Jesus. Thank you for your power to resurrect our pain, you are so good, in Jesus name, Amen.

Don’t Be Surprised When Opposition Comes When You Start Pursuing Your Freedom

How then can your god deliver you from my hand?…(2 Ch 32:14).

The enemy loves to whisper lies of deceit into our hearts. His goal is to destroy our faith because he knows that if we practice it, we can move mountains. Therefore, one of his goals is to make us believe things like, “God doesn’t love you. He wants to punish you. God will not pull through for you. God isn’t trustworthy. He is not faithful to you.”
 
You see if the enemy can get us to believe one of those lies, our faith will die in the hands of our oppressor and we will stay wandering with him in the desert. We will wander until we return to the one true God and all of His faithfulness.
 
Sometimes I look inside my heart and I see unbelief. I see fear or insecurity start to lodge its way in. Then, there are other times, when I am trusting in the faithfulness of God. During these seasons I feel like I can take on anything. These are my best moments when the voice of God is louder in my heart because I have sought Him diligently amidst the persistent voice of the enemy.
 
Yesterday the enemy was trying to make me run from trusting in God into a place of chaos. My heart always feels chaotic when I am led by fear. You see, he kept trying to push old buttons, getting me to become led by fear and anxiety. Since I recognized this I called it out for what it was and claimed my freedom and victory in Christ through the power of God’s word.
 
Whenever we pursue a God’s sized vision we will always be met with opposition. But we must remember that our role is to stand fast and keep building up whatever God has asked of us. As we build we will be met with greater opposition, but we can trust and know that the Lord fights our battles for us and we need not fear. With each brick we place, we are growing stronger still, building a wall of strength against the lies of the enemy. For truly, greater is He who is in us, than he who is in the world.
 
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Lord, thank you for your love. Sometimes I am astounded by the fact that you love me. I am so blessed that you would call me your child. You are the greatest treasure I have ever found and I long to be changed daily by your love, in Jesus name, Amen.