Monday, February 13, 2012

Just some thoughts about Trust, God's Will, and the Holy Spirit ...

What do you think about when you hear the word "trust" ???
For me, I think of dread. I've been finding out more and more over the past few years that I really struggle with trust. Trusting God. Trusting people. Trusting myself. ... I hate to say it, but I really hate not being in control. I know that every human being on the planet struggles with this to some degree. I guess it's our sinful nature. Sin is so much in opposition to God that it won't let up without a fight ... a HUGE one! And all-out WAR, for crying out loud! ... But I do think some people struggle with trust more than others, and sadly, I'm one of those "some."

Do you ever find yourself praying for change? I've been in a fairly consistent battle with myself about my life. I enjoy what I'm doing and experiencing ... I love dance, my teenagers, and working in such flexible jobs. I love my church and living at home. I love being free to do whatever I want when I want. I love growing in the Lord. All of these things are happening in my life now. But there's still a part of me (that's bigger some days than others) that wants out, wants something new, wants change. I am fairly content ... yet restless at the same time. I am determined to be faithful where I am, with what I'm doing, until God moves me. But I have been praying for God's will to HAPPEN. I've been praying that I would be faithful but that God would bring something new ... a new adventure.

Lately, I've been feeling like that something new is coming - and soon! And isn't it ridiculous? Now that I think it's coming, I'm scared out of my mind! I don't know what the "something" is, mind you. But just the thought of any kind of change scares me. Isn't that dumb? I pray for something, and then when I get it, I freak out? Are you kidding me? ... But it all goes back to that trust thing.

I was sitting in my church's office last night crying, talking to God. I was distraught over the thought that I don't trust Him. My heart was breaking over the matter. As if being God of the Universe wasn't enough ... God reaches down into my life every single day and loves me, teaches me, gives me joy and hope and purpose and strength. God, the biggest, most mighty, most powerful Being in existence takes the time to be in a personal relationship with me. ME. God is eternally faithful to me. And yet, I still do not trust Him. So I was crying out to God last night, telling Him how sorry I am for not trusting Him and asking Him for strength to trust Him, really trust Him, with my entire life.

And then I listened to a sermon by John MacArthur today. So powerful. And I'm just so thankful that God, in all of His faithfulness once again, brings His Truth and Hope (and the real Answer to my lack of faith) to my attention right when I need it. All weekend He's been doing that ... things like, calling my best friend at 1:30am on Sunday morning, having some of the most cherished woman in my life come pray with me, speaking to me through worship and Pastor's sermon on Sunday, having an incredible afternoon with my teenagers and the Calvary kids, sitting in a church office crying, a friend being up for a walk in the park one of these days, a John MacArthur sermon. All of these things are God's faithfulness and care in my life in just one weekend. ... And MacArthur's sermon is just such a great reminder to me ...

I'm sure many Christians wrestle with God's will ... I know I do. And my trust issue makes me want to have "all my ducks in a row" before I do anything, before I step out into something new ... often, no matter how big or small. And MacArthur's sermon really hit me hard. All 5 "S's" that he shared were right on, but the second, being Spirit-filled, was the ONE. And so cool ... because God's been working on me about this for a few weeks now ... through having me dwell on the Fruit of the Spirit and sending me little tuggings of the Holy Spirit in my personal life and even blurbs from books about the Holy Spirit's work in our everyday lives. There He goes again, being faithful to me! ... You see, we must be filled with the Holy Spirit; we must be conscious of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives and follow His leading in order to get rid of our fear, anxiety, anger, bitterness, jealousy ... anything we are struggling with. My trust issue is rooted in fear ... fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of change. Bluck. But if I want to get rid of this fear, I MUST be Spirit-filled. I must be walking closely with the Lord every single day. I must be getting into the Word as much as possible. If I want to build up my trust level, I must be connected to the Holy Spirit at work in my life.

Do you ever forget that? I sure hope I'm not the only one! I just have to keep trying. And I need to do what I also read recently, to "do things afraid." I may be afraid of something, but I need to go for it anyway. Do it afraid. And God will be with me. ... I hope this is encouraging for somebody out there in blogger world. It's just something I'm struggling with and learning ... and planning to overcome! :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dear Emily #4

Dear Emily,

I
MISS
YOU
!!!

I got home from Bible study tonight feeling pretty good ... more optimistic than the rest of my week so far. And then I watched a really ridiculous video you posted, and it made me ache a little. And then I saw that you were online, so I said hi. But I don't think you were really online. So then I thought "my Dear Emily posts!" So here I am. :):):)

How are you???
I was really behind with your 366 photos blog, so I glanced through your maaarvelous pictures. The two stories I want to hear ... about the cute piece of pottery? And ... what was the other one? Oh, the keys! You locked yourself AND your client out of HER house, huh? Sounds like a hoot! You must share these stories sometime. :)

I noticed that you're still restless. Me too. What's a girl to do but keep trusting God with it all? I wish that wasn't so hard!!! It's just been a rough week from that standpoint. It doesn't help that business has been super slow at The Porch. For some reason, when business is slow at work, I always start thinking about how my life isn't what I thought, how I want something new, "oh, woe is me." That whole downward-spiraly deal. But then, of course, God brings me back to reality. It's taking a little longer this week ... but I'm getting there. Bible study with the Cooks and the Adamsons tonight helped a bit. :) We love those guys. :D ... But God brings me back and reminds me how good I've got it - I love my teenagers; I love dance (and my dance instructor!) :D; I'm in a really good season right now. I'm bound to have restless days (or weeks) ... but I'm gonna come out (more than) okay. I hope God brings you back to those realizations too, in your restless season.

Well, I'm just missing you a lot tonight. I hope you're having a great week! I'm off to do some Zumba!!! :D

Love you tons,
Mical :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

SoZo: Show Jesus

Hey, SoZo! Since we're not meeting tonight, I thought I'd post some more Jesus thoughts for y'all.

For this SoZo devo, you need to watch the video at this URL ... http://youtu.be/x4p9CdXCPWE ... yep, you guessed it! It's another short lesson over a Jamie Grace song! :) My favorite song on her album - "Show Jesus."

Not only does this song have a great beat, but it's got a great message too. Don't you wanna be around people who love Jesus??? I love being around people who are so full of God's joy that you can see it "all over their face." And I wanna BE a person who exudes Jesus in that way!!!

Matthew 5:14-16 says, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. in the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven."
We need to SHOW JESUS wherever we go so that other people will come to know Jesus through us. Once the Holy Spirit lives inside us, He is our LIGHT. He is the Light of God that shines through our lives. We don't want to hide that light ... we want to let it shine BRIGHT - in plain sight - right on our faces, even! So that everyone who sees us, talks to us, hears about us will know that we belong to Jesus. We need to constantly set our mind to doing "good works," as the verse says. God wants us to love and serve Him by loving and serving others. Those good works have the potential to lead others to Christ, so that's go crazy loving and serving those around us!

And before you go, take a look at these two passages from Ephesians ... they are all about showing Jesus in the way we live our lives ...
Ephesians 4:1-3 - "I therefore, a prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
Ephesians 5:15-17 - "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."

And what is God's will for us?
To SHOW JESUS!

Love you guys! Have a great week, and I'll see you on Thursday for Zumba and Bible Study! :D

Thursday, February 2, 2012

FOTS: Joy

The second fruit of the Spirit is joy.
Ah, joy. Such a blessing from the Lord. A dictionary definition for joy is "the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation." This definition is great on the one hand and not so great on the other.

The definition says that joy is a great delight based on something "exceptionally good." Too true. As Christians, our joy comes from our eternal hope in Christ Jesus ... indeed, that is "exceptionally good." :) On the flip side, though, there is a huge difference between joy and happiness. Joy is something that can last forever if we keep the right perspective; whereas, happiness is based on our circumstances alone. If we can keep our mind and eyes and heart fixed on the promise we have in Christ, that we are co-heirs with Him of the Kingdom of God, that we will live forever if we put our trust in Him, that we have purpose if we live for Him, then we can live in joy, year after year, day by day, moment by moment - no matter what is going on around us. But if we focus on our circumstances, then we'll only be "happy" when are circumstances are "exceptionally good." And how many of us know that our circumstances are not always "exceptionally good?" ... Exactly. I think we all know that! Sheesh ... this earthly existence is crazy!

So to live in joy, I must simply keep my focus on Jesus. Not always a simple thing to do ... but simple in and of itself.

Colossians 3:2 is one of my all-time favorite verses in Scripture. It says, "Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things." THAT'S where joy comes from ... seeing the world and the people in this world and our circumstances through the eyes of Jesus!

Philippians 4:4 says, "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I say, rejoice!" We can rejoice no matter what happens in this life if we are rejoicing (finding joy in) the Lord and His purpose for our lives.

The second half of Nehemiah 8:10 says, "Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." Our circumstances don't have to keep us down because God's joy, alive in our hearts, gives us strength to overcome anything!

So today, God, help me think of You and Your joy. Help joy fill my every thought, every breath, every word. Make me wholly Yours, and be the joy that exudes from my heart and life so that others can see You in me. Help me grow in this fruit of the Spirit. And thank you so much that Your joy is not based on my circumstances that change more often than I can count; but instead, my joy is based on YOU, and You NEVER change. Thank you for that promise and that security, God. Be glorified in and through my life and in and through my joy. I love you, Lord! :)