fully seen. fully known. fully loved.

Lord, you know everything there is to know about me.
You perceive every movement of my heart and soul,
and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind.
You are so intimately aware of me, Lord.
You read my heart like an open book
and you know all the words I’m about to speak
before I even start a sentence!
You know every step I will take before my journey even begins.

Psalms‬ ‭139:1-4‬ ‭TPT‬‬ #Loved

Fear in Creativity

This is a throwback post from May 27, 2018 that was never posted. I found it this morning and realized that I really needed this today.

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So, about 6-7 months ago I heard the Lord tell me that it was time to move on a dream that I’d had for a long time: owning my own small art/handlettering business. After the initial excitement, I almost passed out from fear! 😭😂 I kept looking to people who were doing it better. I kept deflecting by asking for advice from people. I wanted everything so perfect that I wouldn’t move forward.

Yesterday, I told myself (& my friend for the purpose of accountability) that I was getting it done. Tonight, as I sat down to finish the website, I had a serious fear moment. In the midst of it, my sister came in and asked could she paint. I was immediately reminded of what it’s like to have childlike faith. She sat & painted her masterpiece within ten minutes, and got up from the table beaming with excitement. She couldn’t get over how much she loved it, and how happy it had made her. (I was even happy watching her be happy!) I was convicted of how long I’d put this off, and realized how hard it is to do anything apart from childlike faith. My sister didn’t care that her picture wasn’t perfect. She cared that she expressed her heart.

Our Father doesn’t care how perfect we try to make things. He cares about obedience and us expressing His heart in whatever avenue He’s asked us to use. We don’t have to be perfect. We have to be humble. His strength is made strong in our weaknesses, and His grace abounds where we are not qualified.

“Learn this well: Unless you dramatically change your way of thinking and become teachable, and learn about heaven’s kingdom realm with the wide-eyed wonder of a child, you will never be able to enter in.”
‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭18:3‬ ‭TPT‬‬)

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Processed with VSCO with s1 preset

Our Nature in Christ: Healed

“But he [Jesus] was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his stripes we are healed,” (Isaiah 53:5, New International Version)

(For starters, let me begin by saying that this first paragraph is a little [very] graphic and made me squirm)

“These ‘stripes’ (or wounds) were administered by whipping the bare backs of prisoners whose hands and feet were bound, rendering them helpless. The phrase ‘by His stripes we are healed’ refers to the punishment Jesus Christ suffered—floggings and beatings with fists. Whips made of braided leather with pottery shards and sharp stones affixed to the ends tore the flesh open with each whip. When we picture this terrible, inhumane form of physical punishment we recoil in horror. Yet the physical pain and agony were not all Jesus suffered. He also had to undergo the mental anguish brought on by the wrath of His Father, who punished Him for the sinfulness of mankind—sin carried out in spite of God’s repeated warnings, sin that Jesus willingly took upon Himself.” (GotQuestions.com)

Can I be honest? I am a very visual person so picturing Jesus in these beatings definitely made me uneasy. However, it also made me think of His love for me. I love the author’s point that Jesus had to “undergo the mental anguish brought on by the wrath of His Father.” The first time that I read that, I literally had no idea what that meant.  I was praying and trying to figure out how God measured sin in physicality? Then, the Holy Spirit revealed that He took on the fullness of shame, guilt, and condemnation.

Let’s be real for a second here. The shame, guilt, and condemnation from disobeying God for myself can be bad, and has even proven to be crippling from time to time in my life. In the past, I’ve had panic attacks from being so overwhelmed. I cannot even BEGIN to imagine what it is like to take on the shame, guilt, and condemnation of EVERY, SINGLE person in the name of love.

Just take a moment to take that in.

______________

“Some have taken this [verse] to mean that every believer has the right – the promise – to perfect health right now, and if there is any lack of health, it is simply because this promise has not been claimed in faith. In this thinking, great stress is laid upon the past tense of this phrase – by His stripes we are healed. We can say that God’s promise is perfect, total, complete healing, but we must also say that is is not promised to every believer right now, just as the totality of salvation isn’t promised right now. The Bible says that we are saved (Ephesians 2:8), we are being saved (1 Corinthians 1:18), and we will be saved (1 Corinthians 3:15). We have been healed, we are being healed, and we will one day be healed. God’s ultimate healing is called ‘resurrection,’ and it is a glorious promise to every believer. Every ‘patch-up’ healing in this present age simply anticipates the ultimate healing that will come.

What Christians must not do is foolishly ‘claim’ to be healed, despite ‘mere symptoms’ that say otherwise, and believe they are standing on the promise of Isaiah 53:5. What Christians must do is pray boldly and trust God’s goodness and mercy in granting gifts of healing now, even before the ultimate healing of resurrection” (Guzik).

I LOVE this latter section!!! Haha! I have struggled with everything that the last two paragraphs refer to. Today, I even asked Holy Spirit, “Uhhh, are we sure that Christians can’t claim healing despite symptoms? I think it’s faith!” But I love the rest of this article and this quote from Charles Spurgeon, “‘With his stripes we are healed.’ Will you notice that fact? The healing of a sinner does not lie in himself, nor in what he is, nor in what he feels, nor in what he does, nor in what he vows, nor in what he promises. It is not in himself at all; but there, at Gabbatha, where the pavement is stained with the blood of the Son of God, and there, at Golgotha, where the place of a skull beholds the agonies of Christ. It is in his stripes that the healing lies. I beseech thee, do not scourge thyself: ‘With his stripes we are healed’ (Spurgeon).”

I love the humility of this.

Resources
https://www.gotquestions.org/by-His-stripes-healed.html & https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/archives/guzik_david/StudyGuide_Isa/Isa_53.cfm

Our Nature in Christ Series

So, until this year, battling for my identity in Christ was really hard for me. A few years ago, a leader from a small group gave me a list of 90 items that refer to our nature in Christ. I never looked at it too much, but honestly, I’ve needed it. I tend to get caught up in my feelings, and while I read my Bible a lot, I don’t think I always take time to really digest the Word in relations to my identity.

So, I decided that I think that I want to deep dive into that list. Instead of simply saying each of these things out loud, I’m going to unpack them, and I want them to come alive as the Word promises, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires,” (Hebrew 4:12, New Living Translation).

So, join me! I’m sure most of it will be notes that I find from online resources, but it’ll still be awesome, and hopefully it’ll help you too!

Good & Loved

I’ve been listening to this new song by Travis Greene and Steffany Gretzinger for a few days now called, “Good & Loved.” There’s this one line in the song that says, “What was and is is covered by the One who was and is your Cover.”

As I was listening to the song the other day, I had this moment where I was thinking about a situation that I’m processing forgiveness in. I heard that line from the song, and it was as if all of the hope filled me. I was reminded of Revelation, 1:8, “I am the Alpha and Omega, who was and is and is to come.” As I listened, I was filled with this confidence that what was (what’s happened in the past) and what is (my present life) has been covered by the One who is the Beginning and the End, the One who was and One who is. There is NOTHING in my life that He will not cause to work together for my good.

I know that life can be tough, and there are seasons where it seems like the pain and injustice are nonstop, but we have to choose to believe that God does care about us. Today seems like a good day to ask the Holy Spirit for help if you’re struggling. You don’t have to have all of the fancy language. You can begin with, “Holy Spirit, I need your help.” Repent. Then, reject the accuser who comes to tell you that God isn’t for you, and that He won’t deliver you from this.

He’s a good God.
He loves you, He will cover you with His love, and you will see good come out of this.
That’s a promise.

P.S. Here’s that beautiful song.

We Don’t Have to Know the “How”

I LOVE the story of the Elisha and his servant in 2 Kings 6.

Long story short, the king of Syria was trying to plot against Israel. Every time he’d compose a new plan, God would tell Elisha what was said, and Elisha would tell the king of Israel. The king of Syria (obviously frustrated because his plans were being foiled), sent an army in the middle of the night to seize Elisha.

Early the next morning when Elisha and his servant got up, the servant went out to find an entire army with horses and chariots surrounding the city that they’re in. Freaking out, he asked what they’re going to do. “Elisha replied, ‘Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are against us.’ Then Elisha prayed and said, ‘O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.’ So, the Lord opened the eyes of the servant and HE SAW, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha,” (2 Kings 6:16-17)

Y’ALL! God is fighting for us, and there is more going on that what we can see.

I was listening to a clip this morning with Abi Stumvoll, and in it, Abi mentioned that when the servant was standing there, he was probably wondering, “HOW? How are we going to do this? There is an entire army coming against us. How will we overcome?” The servant didn’t know it at the time, but he was already in the middle of God’s answer, and all he could see was the problem.

It’s not our job to know the “How.”

As Abi stated, if we look at the “How” for too long, hope deferred, discouragement, and defeat all sink in because we were never meant to carry the “How.”

If you have a “How” in your life, that is the breeding ground for the miraculous. You have to have a “How” to see God do the impossible.

Today, we can have confidence that God has the “How” taken care of!

(Video: We Weren’t Meant to Carry the “How” | Abi Stumvoll | Bethel Church

You Fight for Us

I was driving to church yesterday listening to Steffany Gretzinger’s version of “Defender.” In the song, she spontaneously sings out,

“You fight for us
Prince of Peace, you fight for us

You’re not struggling to hear me
So, I’m not striving to be heard
I am sure the One who made me
Is catching every word”

I love Steffany, and I’ve heard this song countless times, but I love this one prophetic line because I love the reminder of His strength in our weakness and that He fights for us.

He fights for YOU.

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DECLARE.

Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations.
I will be exalted in the earth!
– Psalm 46:10

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
He who keeps you will not sleep.”
– Psalm 121: 1-4

I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand, I will NOT be shaken.
– Psalm 16:8

I have been young, and now am old, yet I have N E V E R seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.
– Psalm 37: 25

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.
– Psalm 40: 1-3

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P.S. Here’s the song link (https://youtu.be/MJ9cov1lk64)