The Bible tells us that God knew you before He knit you together in your mother's womb. (Jeremiah 1:5) Have you ever attempted knitting? I attempted multiple times growing up and it was a disaster! So thankful God is the master of design and creation. Even if you are good at knitting you know the extraneous attention to detail, the careful selection of materials and the attention it requires to knit something together. Can you imagine knitting together the intricacies of the human body and even more so your personality? That’s what God has done and continues to do. We are all the work of God’s hands. Not some of us, not a chosen few, ALL OF US! I could write an entire book on the importance of finding your identity in God alone and the unique type of freedom that provides. Maybe one day I will but today, let’s talk about the basic concept that is so easily overlooked. This foundational truth can alter your perspective of yourself and in turn your existence.
Oh God, our Father we are the clay, You are the potter, we are all the work of your hands. -Isaiah 64:8
You have gifting, talents and abilities that are unique to you. Early on in ministry I would see others with the gift of service. They would gladly wash the dishes after noon lunch and sweep every inch of our building. All while joyfully praising God in their own way. I would feel such a sense of guilt in those moments because that is SO not my gifting. I am not the woman who gleefully walks up to the sink to wash dishes and feels fulfilled after. Seeing the many people in the local church that seemed to be gifted in that way, the historic Bible stories of those humbly serving and the servant leaders I had early on it was a real challenge for me. However, that guilt was not from God. If you are feeling this way, don’t own it.
In Luke 12:7, the Bible says that God knows the number of hairs on your head. I don’t know if you are anything like me but every day when I brush my hair copious amounts of hair come out. In the shower, in my hair brush...everywhere! I don’t even know how many hairs come out, I don’t think I want to know ha. But God does. He cares that much, He is that all knowing. If He knows how many hairs are on your head, don’t you think that He knows your passions and desires! He knows what will fulfill you, the areas of serving others that will inspire you most; in your neighborhood, your career, your classes, in everyday life.
You may be saying God, I’d love to know what that looks like for me, could you fill me in on the secret? We must remember that often times God calls us to obedience before He reveals His plan. So, what step of obedience is He asking of you today? He is calling you to give something specific over to Him. Whether it be your perceived lack of self-worth, the talents you hold back because you are scared of serving in certain capacities or a struggle you need to let go of. Whatever it is, lay it down. Lay it on down and trust that God has something better for you because you are divinely designed to be uniquely you!
*If you are looking to learn more about yourself and how you might enjoy serving, keep an eye out for a new RESOURCES section of the website where a Talents & Gifts Survey will be shared soon!
“Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” - Matthew 16:24-26
The next few days, months, weeks and years God radically transformed my life from religion being a part of my life to my relationship with God being my purpose for living! Daily surrendering my fears, doubts and failures was my primary focus. While celebrating the peace, joy and redemption that flooded into my life, I was fueled by a passion to walk by faith. As a young christian, I was eager to dive into the Bible morning and night. Amazed by the beauty evolving from my growing relationship with God. The redemption that took place was intoxicating.
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” - Jeremiah 29:13
Despite the miracles God has done in my life, I still struggle through seasons of fear, doubt and complacency. Walking through my daily quiet time as though I were merely eating breakfast, not meeting with The One True King; savior, redeemer and creator.
At times I’m ashamed of how easily I fall into mundane actions, of how I’m distracted by daily life or even ministry related happenings, of how unintentional I can be in my relationships. It doesn’t take long before I notice I’m not loving God with all my heart, soul, strength and mind. It’s in those moments I:
You see, surrendering your life to God, following His leadership and living out His love is not only decided in a single moment but is also a daily decision to surrender your all to Him, to dive deep in to His word and to be real.
Start today, set aside some time and space to get real with God. You can do this in an abundance of ways, I like to do some of the following: simply journal prayer, listen to worship music and take a walk, crack open my Bible and pray for God to move. How do you get real with God? Share in the comments below!
“We who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.” - Hebrews 6:18.
Today we are going to dive into this verse, and surrounding verses in Hebrews to take a closer look at how this set of verses can radically alter our perceptions, give us peace in the storms of life and the strength to move forward after devastating circumstances. Whether you are a survivor of a traumatic event, an abusive relationship or challenging circumstances, I’m right there with you. As a survivor, in my earlier seasons of healing, I always asked myself if the trauma defined me. In fact, when I hit the bottom of the barrel and walk through a powerful storm in life, I still revisit that question. The difference between my earlier years and now is the truth I have readily embraced that nothing defines me but God.
“Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf…” - Hebrews 6:20.
The stage is being set here. God is calling out a specific audience, those that have sought refuge in Him. Are you seeking refuge now? Maybe you have walked through losing a job, a loved one or are fighting addiction, seek refuge in Him today! Be encouraged, God is with you, you are not facing your circumstances on your own. Maybe the trauma you experienced was years ago but the aftermath still occasionally rears its head. Your trauma does not define you. However, it will always be part of you, it has helped shape who you are and the way you choose to face (or run from) those circumstances will continually shape you.
Focus on Your Relationship With God
Even when you are angry with Him, it’s okay to be honest about that in prayer. God knows what you’re thinking, let Him in. For “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.”-M.L.K. Jr. Take refuge, be encouraged, hold fast! It’s also important to note that the hope is set before you...then begs the question, what is my hope? Jesus has gone before you. Not only is He your savior but He gets what it’s like to walk this earth. He knows the challenges we face on a daily basis. Jesus can completely empathize with your situation. Hold fast to that hope.
No matter what this life has to offer, if you have a relationship with God through the sacrifice Jesus made, you have hope. You are not bound by your past experiences. No trauma will define you, unless you give it that power. Learn from it, grow from it and give it to God through prayer. Rise up and walk in the freedom you have because Jesus has gone before you.
The shackles that once held you captive are removed, the prison cell door is unlocked and open, now it’s up to you. Will you cast your pain, your despair and your fear to God and walk out of the cell you have been bound by? Things will not instantly be perfect and that’s okay. Often times it’s a daily choice to let go of the hurt. Make that choice daily and walk in freedom.