stay in peace.

The temptation to exchange peace for worry can be real. Sometimes the reality of “peace that surpasses all understanding” is so contrary to our flesh that we feel like we’re not doing enough, or that peace isn’t normal in the midst of trying times. A lot of times, it’s not a question of whether or not God will come through, it’s a matter of “Exactly how long can I remain this calm throughout the rest of this process? 😂 Can I discipline myself to stay in this peace, and in the love of God?”

The answer is YES.
YES, you can.

Last night, I opened my Bible, and it fell to 2 Chronicles 20. It is a great reminder of God’s faithfulness when His children turn their faces to Him. If you’re battling with staying in peace, this is what the Lord has to say:

“Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde for the battle is not yours but God’s.”

“You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf.”

“Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe His Words, and you will succeed.”

Praise before your breakthrough.
“And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against their enemies.”

grace requires nothing of me.

“I’ve spent my whole life searching desperately to find out that grace requires nothing of me” – Sleeping At Last, “One”

Any perfectionists out there? ✋🏾 I listened to a podcast a few days ago, and my mind was BLOWN by how often I think that everything has to look/feel/flow a certain way, and that I’m the only person who can make it happen. Y’all, the “I can do it!” struggle can be real some days! What I’m finding, though, is that in the moments when it’s not “going according to plan,” Holy Spirit is trying to meet me with grace.

To the ones who need a reminder today that you don’t have to have it all figured out to come to the table:

You are not inherently bad. Even in the seasons that have been hard, God still sees you. “I have loved you at your darkest,” Romans 5:8, ESV . 

Remember, you can NOT do it by yourself, and there’s nothing to prove. You cannot earn your worth. While your heart for wanting to make sure that everything that can be done right is done as right as possible, you’re wearing yourself out, Martha. You need Holy Spirit to help you. You need rest. Embrace grace. “But he answered me, ‘My grace is ALWAYS more than enough for you, and my power finds it full expression through your weakness,’ So, I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me. SO, I AM NOT DEFEATED BY MY WEAKNESS — BUT DELIGHTED..” 2 Cor. 12: 9-10a, TPT

When God’s grace pulls you close, don’t resist His love that casts out condemnation and silences the inner judge. “So now the case is closed. There remains NO accusing voice of condemnation against those who are joined in life-union with Jesus, the Anointed One,” Romans 8:1, TPT .

This a lifelong journey. Embrace grace on the good days & the bad ones. “Surely there is not a righteous man on Earth who does good & never sins.” Ecclesiastes 7:20, ESV .

P.S. That Sleeping at Last podcast for 1’s is the BOOOOOMB! Go listen if your Wing is a 1 (or if your Type is a 1, obviously! 😂😂) Also, “Extravagant” by Steffany Gretzinger & Amanda Cook (the live/acoustic version) is a great reminder of His love for us!

instablog 5|29

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith.”
‭‭(1 Peter‬ ‭5:6-9a, ESV)

Have you ever walked through seasons of life where you know that God is teaching you lessons, but it seems that no one else is getting this same lesson? Coincidentally, you keep having run-ins that test the gangster in you, yet the Lord tells you, “Shh… Don’t defend yourself. Don’t even talk about the situation. Bless that person, and allow me be your vindicator.” Maybe, there’s something that you’re believing for, and it seems like you’re the only person left in it. “My husband has been living with anther woman for two years. Some days are so discouraging, but I have not felt God to tell me to give up.”

I’ve been there. I’m still there. Heck, I STAY there! 😭😂 in the seasons where it seems like you’re grasping for air, looking for God:

1. Keep going. Keep humbling yourself while you wait for God to honor your faithfulness. Your pain may be real, but He’s preparing the most beautiful heart for something SO much bigger than what you can see right now.

2. Keep looking to Jesus. We are going to endure various kinds of sufferings. The Bible promises that. However, in those sufferings, we can bring our burdens to the Lord. “He will sustain you. He will never allow the righteous to be moved.” (Psalm 55:22)

3. Keep resisting the devil. You stay sober-minded by casting your cares, and allowing God to give you a new perspective (even if you need a new perspective every 3 minutes). Pull yourself out of self-pity, and dare yourself to keep trusting God.

4. Keep expecting God to show up. “And after you have suffered a little while, the God is all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself RESTORE, CONFIRM, STRENGTHEN, & ESTABLISH you.” (v. 10)

let it go.

You know those moments when God is pressing on your heart to let go of something? Those moments where you’re willing, but it is the hardest thing in the world to do? You keep going back to prayer. You constantly reread Words to keep you encouraged. You keep wondering, “Am I making a right decision?” And, if you were completely, 100% honest with yourself, you’re really wondering how you will muster up the courage to actually move forward. Fear is asking you, “What will your life look like without ________ (you insert your own blank)?”

“Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews‬ ‭12:2‬, ESV‬‬)

Jesus understood that what He would gain was worth laying down His life. 

What we’re giving up is not only better for ourselves, but it’s also better for our purpose in this season of life, and ultimately, the people we’re called to influence. We’re called to make disciples. If God is asking you to lay something down (even if it’s hard), you can believe that it will not only be for your good, but for the good of those that you’ll encounter.

He has good things for YOU. You do not have to feel fear or shame about moving forward. 

Holy Spirit

For the past few weeks, I’ve been listening to the same podcast by Jonathan David & Melissa Helser called “Leaning into the Holy Spirit” (which I will happily put the link in my bio for anyone who wants to hear how glorious it is! It is SO GOOD!) Really, I love the way Melissa speaks about the Holy Spirit. I won’t give away too much, but I loved these two things she speaks about:

1. The tone of the Holy Spirit. Whenever people speak to her, she listens for the tone of the Father. A lot of times people project what they think God wants to say in a moment, but instead of it sounding like the Father, it sounds like pressure.

2. The importance of backing into Him. She tells a story of homeschooling her daughter & her daughter having an issue with phonics. Melissa suggests that they ask Holy Spirit for help, but her daughter says no. Melissa presses for a little while, but realizes that she’s getting nowhere. So, she does what she knows to do: She asks Holy Spirit for help, takes a few steps back and backs into Him while He says, “Wait.” A few moments later, her daughter starts crying, saying that she does need the Holy Spirit. All is well, and she zooms through the rest of her phonics lesson!

I truly believe that the most radical thing that we can do as Christians is to live all-in in fellowship with Holy Spirit. All of the giant leaps of faith are just byproducts of that relationship. Giant leaps of faith/big ministries/heavy followings with a poor attitude towards the Beatitudes indicates that we may desire the fame of being close to the Holy Spirit more than we actually desire being with the Holy Spirit.

We don’t have to live lives where we’re always afraid of the next step God is going to ask us to take. Friendship with the Holy Spirit always prepares us for the big steps. His friendship is not one sided, only getting to know Him. As much as He desires for us to know His heart, He wants to know ours. He wants to hear us express what we like. He wants to watch an episode of your favorite show with you. Invite Him into your real life.

This is the type of fellowship + Christian life that we’re called to.

Seasons & Comparison.

SEASONS & COMPARISON// I was talking to a friend this morning & we were speaking about how God is moving. As we were talking, it kept coming up that comparison & wrong influence have settled on the hearts of believers, and that God really wants each of us to understand & embrace the seasons of life that we’re each in.

Ecclesiastes 3:1,2b tells us that, “there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…. a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted.” You may have a friend that’s in a highly prophetic season & they’re getting rhema words left & right. While you may be in a much more quiet season where the Lord is teaching His heart, and the confirming words are few and far between. Sometimes those quiet seasons are a little harder & the enemy will try to convince you don’t hear from God, and that you aren’t as significant. But we know that He’s the father of lies & that there is no truth in Him. (John 8:44) boy, BYE! 👋🏾!

The quiet season where the Lord is ministering to the heart is no less powerful than the one where someone’s getting prophetic words left & right. You may be in a season where He needs to teach the Father’s heart. They may be in a season where He needs to show the Father’s hand. Neither season is more important than the other. In fact, it helps to balance the other out. However, in a quiet season, if I’m looking at Sally’s life & how the Lord is speaking to her through dreams and visions, I’m going to miss Him speaking in that still, small voice.

So, you’re in a quiet, powerful season? Cool. Embrace it. Embrace the answers that are found when you seek His face & heart. You’re in a louder, prophetic season? Cool! Embrace it! Regardless, KNOW WHERE YOU ARE so that YOU KNOW when He speaks, & you’re in line & can move when He says to move.

Instablog 4.18.18

“People look at the external, but God looks at the heart,” (1 Samuel 1:7)
. •

I think I’ve always thought about this verse concerning judging other people, but rarely considered it when it came to loving myself. We tend to hyper-focus so much on the bad that we don’t ever consider the good in our own hearts and intentions. We buy into satan’s lies & define ourselves by a few bad moments, and forget the fruit we bear. .

While it’s true that we are all ever-growing, that none of us are perfect, and that the Holy Spirit will forever be doing a SERIOUS work within each of us, who we are is defined by God, and we are all loveable. .

If no one has told you today: Yeah, you had a bad moment (maybe a few), but you’re still a really good person with a really good heart. The entanglement of shame and guilt are destroyed off of your life, in Jesus’ name. I pray that your eyes are always opened to the fruit that you are bearing, and that you walk in freedom, in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Step Out

Lately, more than ever, I’ve heard so many stories of people (including myself) wanting to step out on faith & start businesses, take risks, make some leaps of faith, etc. I can’t speak for others, but for me, it’s not necessarily fear as much as it is a thought process of questioning whether or not this step of faith is responsible. Or am I really equipped for this? 

This morning I was reading in Exodus 14, and the Holy Spirit ministered through the Israelites crossing the Red Sea. I love verses 13-14, but verses 15-20 really ministered to me today.

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry out to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.” 

1. The Lord is asking us today, “Why are you swaying? Have you come all the way to the edge only to be frozen in fear? I’ve created the provision for you. I know what the circumstance looks like. Step out, anyway. Move forward.”

“Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground.” 

2. What is in your hand? Start with it. He will bless the works of your hands. “Do not despise the day of small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin,” (Zechariah 4:10) Not only will He create the miracle in your life, but because of your obedience, you will pave the way for the people who will come behind you. (SIDE NOTE: I’ve read this story plenty of times, and noticed it said “dry ground,” but it never clicked until this morning.. Can we take a second to take in the fact that dry ground meant that there was NO dampness from the sea? & that no sand was sticking to the bottom of their shoes? The Lord took every ounce of water, as they walked out in faith.)

“And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.” 

3. Unbelievers are watching you move, & in the end, they’ll know the true living God.

“Then the angel of God who was going before the host of Israel moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them, coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel….. and it lit up the night without one coming near the other.” 

4. The LORD is saying to each of us today, “I am coming up the rear, guarding you against your enemies. I am the barrier between what I’ve promised you, and what is trying to hold you back. There is nothing to fear. I will light the way. Keep moving forward” 

So, I encourage you today, in whatever the circumstance, STEP OUT. Take the leap!