Thursday, May 30, 2013

I Am day 9, I am created to be His vessel

I Am....

Created by the Creator of the Universe, created to be His vessel, used in His manner. 

I am Holy.

I am chosen.

I am redeemed. 

I am a sweet reflection of God's amazing power and I can live an life of abundant blessings when I am living a life committed to Him. I will experience joy beyond my understanding. I will experience a hope for a future, a future in fellowship with Him. 

But, when I allow my mind to control me I fall into a pit, my thoughts taking control like ravenous wolves. I must surrender these thoughts to the One and Only capable of relieving such an affliction. When I am able to do this, my relationship with Him will thrive and prosper in magnificent and remarkable ways. 

We must hold true to the above stated. We are so precious to Him. Once we have accepted our sinfulness, there is nothing that can separate us from Him ever again. After that moment the driving force in our life becomes having an intimate relationship with Him. He fulfills our every desire, our every need. Once we have Him, we have everything. Knowing that truth can be hard in our sinful state, which is why learning to have a relationship with Him is pivotal to our existence. Allowing Him into every aspect of our life--our laughs, our cries, our doodles on paper, our walks with the dog, our cooking, our showering--truly every waking moment. It strengthens us. 

He strengthens us. 

Read & reflect on Isaiah 60:1 & 2
Will you arise and be strengthened by Him in this sin clouded world?

Read and reflect on Luke 1:79
Will you allow the prince of Peace to guide your feet?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I am day 8, I Am a small creature

I Am......

A small creature in a huge world created by God's loving hands. I long to know Him and am passionate about understanding the greatness of God. When I focus on Him, I am able to grasp the vast, incomprehensible, mysterious infinity of God's wisdom, power, presence and love. The more I know about the greatness of God, the more I know the value in the love He extends towards me. There is a joy in my heart that comes from understanding how great He is. 

He has set kings on the throne, set our entire world into existence with a small breath from His mighty mouth, how much more can I trust Him to handle my little 'ol life? He is far more capable at governing my life and the joy that comes from knowing He can handle it without hesitation sets my heart on fire. 

Read and reflect on 1 Chronicles 29:10-13
Will you exalt Him to head of your life? Will you become a part of His glorious Kingdom?  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I am day 7, Understanding His great love

I Am......

A tiny reflection of the amazing power our God has. It's hard to wrap our mind around His greatness sometimes. It's hard to fathom how a real person could have been so perfect, and changed our lives in such immense ways. But, He did. And understanding the incredible love He has for us is pivotal in our walk with Him. We can't place Him in the governing position of our life if we don't know how much more capable He is than we are. If we don't begin to understand just how much power He has, then we can never revere Him and admire Him and trust Him and place our entire life in His capable and mighty hands. 

He reminds us over and over again in beautiful and eloquent ways throughout Scripture that He is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the great I Am, my Redeemer, Savior, Lord, Provider, Yaweh....the list could keep going and going and going because the truth is--God is exactly who we need when we need Him. He is so great He can be not who a neighbor needs, or who you needed last week, but EXACTLY what we need at exactly the right time. That's what is so incredible, He's not limited in any way, His power surpasses anything we can ever imagine. 

Read and reflect on Psalm 89:15
Will you walk by the light of His face? 

Read and reflect on Micah 7:7
Are you watching? Seeking? 

Monday, May 27, 2013

I Am day 5, Not of this world

I Am......

Not of this world. Living a life consecrated to God can seem difficult at times--especially in a world where we are constantly bombarded with ways in which we can depend on ourselves rather than God. This world pushes "self" and how great we are, what an impact we have, instead of how great He is and what an impact He has. There is nothing in and of ourselves that can achieve greatness--it is through the blessings of our great God that we can achieve what He sees fit. 

Sometimes it makes no sense to us, for His ways are far greater than ours. But we must always hold strong to the truth that He has a far greater plan for each of our lives than we could ever imagine. His plans are overrun by our racing thoughts and by the constant hub bub of this world. But, if we stay in constant communication with Him, surrendering each moment to Him, the overwhelming world has no affect on our life. 

Read and reflect on Isaiah 41:10
Do you feel dismayed, fear the unknown in this crazy world? How do you think depending more on Him can alleviate some of those anxious feelings? 

Read and reflect on Psalm 27:8
Are you seeking His face?

Friday, May 24, 2013

I am day 5, I am not who the world wants me to be

I Am........

Not who the world wants me to be. The world typically doesn't want on fire for Christ Christians--that usually brings about change in people when they are truly around those being led by the Spirit. The ideal Christian in the eyes of the world as a whole is one who ONLY goes to church and is there to come to when there is a crisis because there is undeniable proof that prayer comforts people in time of crisis. To see and accept the total changed person and love them, that is something the world has a tough time doing. But, a true and changed person simply lives their life every day to the beat of their ability, and when their ability run sour it is God who fills then. They love others, they admit when they're wrong, because they're human and wrong often. And they do nothing--not take a walk, a bath, comb their hair, watch a movie, fall in love, stay in love, live life--part from God. 

But, the enemy has blinded us as a whole from the beginning of time and it's only through Christ and the indwelling Spirit that we can regain that sight. Becoming this new person is simple and complex, magnificent and gut wrenching. It fights everything within us naturally to sit back and go with the flow. It sets us on a new path and typically that path is much much more windy than necessary because of that natural instinct to fight change. But change is precious and necessary when we are walking with Christ. 

We should be quick to remember as well that it is not the change someone else deems worthy, but what Christ deems worthy. It is a personal daily relationship with Christ and the Father and allowing His Spirit to convict us when necessary and simply communicate with us the rest of our time. He wants a heart relationship with us. He wants to be One that we can cry to, laugh with, yell at, question, but ALWAYS trust and ALWAYS know that His will is far greater than we can ever understand. This blind trust and true faith is something that is hard to spot sometimes when we are looking at a world so painted with sin. And this world when being painted by the enemy doesn't want a true and honest relationship with Christ because they haven't allowed the true Painter to begin painting their beautiful canvas yet. 

Will you allow Him? Or is your current canvas enough for you? 

Read and reflect on Jeremiah 18:1-4
Will you allow the grueling transformation? 

Read and reflect on Romans 12:2
Will you be transformed and renewed? 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I am day 4, I Am Not

I Am Not......

Sarah is a 29 year old married mom of 4 who just accepted Jesus s her Savior. Sarah started attending a church about six months before her acceptance of Christ and upon entry to church the Sunday following her baptism Sarah felt uneasy and no longer excited about her new life with her Lord and Savior. Sarah was handed this flyer as she walked through the church doors:

“We are so excited about your decision to accept Jesus as your Savior, you are now a child of the King and must continue to show Him that you are worthy. Now that you are saved, please do not speak of your previous life, we do not want to hear about what a sinner you used to be. Do not drink. Do not wear pants. Do not wear makeup. Do not wear two-pieces. Do not ask to lead a bible study, we will ask you if we see that you a bearing the correct fruits. Do not is church. Do not associate with your old sinful friends. Do not associate with anyone not saved."

Obviously this flyer is extreme. I do not personally know anyone who was handed this flyer. But, I do personally know that some of these things were said to me and those I know personally and I have one thing to say--only God can tell us what we can and cannot do and only God can tell us who we are and are not. Opinions and "rules" are thrown out there by each of us, and so often we speak on the basis that we are exhorting some truth that will change their life, when I'm reality we are picking apart their life so that they can fit some cookie cutter person we have created. 

God made Us. God formed us. God is the one that will take our hearts and mold them into the magnificent beating organ that can change lives. Just because Susie next door is terrific at organizing a child's birthday party doesn't mean you have to be. Just because Billy's mom Tonya gave up wearing makeup because she didn't like the feel on her face, doesn't mean you have to. Just because Allison homeschools her 7 children and always seems so put together when you see her doesn't mean she is. The only truth in these statements is that they are true for some family some where--it doesn't have to be your family. 

Let God tell you what activities you might enjoy, let God reveal to you every passion that He crafted within your soul.

Read & reflect on Jeremiah 29:11
Notice how it doesn't say, 'I have plans for you & so & so"--the plans He has for each of us are specifically crafted & chosen by Him for His purposes. We cannot allow others to squash pieces of us that God may want to use for His special reasons. We cannot say what God wants to do in someone else's life. We cannot know what way God wants to us, how can we begin to say how He wants to use someone else? 

The answer, we can't.

We simply can't compare ourselves to others!!! We are unique, one of a kind gems in a rare collection held only by One. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I am day 3--I am not

I am not....
.................anything that the enemy tries to convince me I am. The enemy is cunning, deceitful, & wants nothing more than to separate us from God & for us to lose all hope in the One who can defeat him. We cannot let Him have that victory. Our souls are not for him to take pleasure in. Our souls were created for a relationship with the Savior, Prince of Peace & it is within a relationship with Him that the enemy has no barring on our life. He is powerless when the power is Christ. 

Use that power. 

Humble yourself before the throne & admit that the enemy has lies that overwhelm you & threaten to steal your joy--ask Him to fill that emptiness. Ask Him to stand you up tall. We tower over the tallest structures when it's God who is lengthening our body!! 

Read & reflect on John 10:10
Do you ever feel as if a thief is stealing from your life? Do you believe God when He says that Jesus came to bring life & life abundantly? Are you experiencing abundant life? Do you think our idea of an abundant life & God's idea are the same? 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I am day 2

Anne stood 5'7" with brown hair and emerald green eyes and she loathed herself. When Anne woke in the mornings and looked in the mirror, she saw nothing but ugly dark circles under her eyes, unmanageable hair, a nose that wasn't centered correctly on her face and was in her opinion two sizes too big. Anne had hated herself since she was a child--now she stands in the mirror at 42 everyday and critiques herself. God's sweet serene voice is muffled by the screaming fits in Anne's head. The enemy has convinced her that there is nothing special about her. No one loves her. She is ugly. She is worthless. 

These are all the same lies that so many of God's precious daughters hear every moment of every day. It breaks His heart. He doesn't see us in nearly the same light as we see ourselves. We see ourselves through sin covered glasses, God sees us through perfect eyes. Perfect eyes that want us to KNOW we are gems in His kingdom--gems that He wants to add to His rare and beautiful collection. A collection that has been in existence since that first disobedient moment in the garden, when He could've turned His back on us the way we turned on Him, but He didn't. And He promises never to. He promise to walk through fire with us, to climb mountains with us, He promises that if we have the faith in Him, we ourselves can move mountains. 

Anne is like so many of us. Anne doesn't think God loves her. Anne thinks she is a hopeless mess with no chance at love from a perfect and understanding Father. But she is wrong. We are all wrong when we think there is anything in our life that can separate us from the love that He longs to pour over our unworthy heads. We are unworthy because of sin within us, not because He doesn't find worth within us--He finds much more than worth. He finds and sees the self that He in His perfectness created. He sees the parts of us that we don't even know exist, parts that He stitched together within our souls. It is within those souls that we can find the strength to see ourselves as He does. It is within our soul that we can allow Him to mold us, shape us, bend us, stretch us and be the rare beautiful gem that He formed. 

Read Isaiah 64:8 
Do you feel as if He is molding you? Do you feel like clay, ready to be shaped into whatever vessel He sees fit? Ae you ready to shine like the gem He truly created you to be, or are the whispers from the enemy still too strong to ignore yet? 

Read & reflect on Jeremiah 1:5 
Do you understand that He knew exactly who you were from that moment you were in your mothers womb and nothing you have ever done in your life stops you from experiencing the life He truly sees fit for your life? 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Who Am I outline

Here is the outline of the Who Am I? study. We will finish up next Friday, it's about 2 days per topic. 

1.  Who Am I? 
  A.  Born into His image, loved greatly

2.  Who I am not
  A.  Whatever lies the enemy can create, THEY'RE NOT TRUE

3.  Seeing who the world wants me to be
  A.  Seeing the world for what it is--a fallen temporary place

4.  Accepting that I am His
  A. Stand firm in Him

5.  Accepting who He is
  A. Sovereign, Holy, AMAZING

Our study verse is Jeremiah 1:5

I am day 1

Read Jeremiah 1:5
Read Micah 7:7-8

I was maybe 13 years old the first time I looked in the mirror and said to myself, "you're fat, you're ugly, you are nothing" anything that would make me see myself as ugly as I felt on the inside. On the inside, there was a fire raging & burning me alive. This fire was lit and active within for almost 20 years, until our Almighty Savior revealed to me the power of His mighty hands and quenched that fire with His hands. His hands squashed that fire within me with one fierce grip, a grip that holds me so tight I don't want to catch my breath. I feel safe within His tight grip. I feel power within me, power that enables me to know the truth about myself....I AM SPECIAL, HOLY, CHOSEN, FORGIVEN, REDEEMED, SANCTIFIED, TRANSFORMED. None of these things happen in the manner in which I think they should happen. None of these things happen in the manner in which others think they should happen. No, they happen on His perfect and loving time. He wants to be an integral part of my life, walking with me through every painful and tripped up step. He wants continual communication with me so that I may hear what it is that He wants! I get so bogged down with what others say about me that I lose the truth that He gives--that I am the daughter of the risen King and nothing can ever separate me from Him. He doesn't just tell us these things over and over again, He fills our soul with this unquenchable longing for Him, and if that longing isn't satisfied by Him we continually search for a filler. I don't want a filler, I only want Him. This is something that my flesh fights against, but my soul longs for. When I drown out the clanging cymbals in this world & listen to His ever sweet voice, the negative things I think about myself or the negative things that others say, they just simply don't hurt as badly. When I look at myself through His eyes, I'm amazed and astonished at how simply radiant I feel. That radiance is His Spirit within me. That radiance is His ambiance reflecting outward. 

I am who He formed in my mothers womb--before sin crept in, before this world tainted my existence--I am who the Potter formed. I am miry clay ready to be shaped into whatever tool He would have me be. I am ready to be refined, to be set into only His transformation fire & I look forward to each and every change that He enables me to make. I long to be the vessel that He uses to bring glory to His kingdom. 

Reflect on Jeremiah 1:5

What does this make you feel? Do you feel like clay sitting on a shelf collecting dust while He waits to refine you, or do you feel like you've walked through that fire already & are now collecting dust as you sit on a shelf? Or better, do you feel like He has a firm grip on your handle & can be used in whatever fashion He sees fit? 

Reflect on Micah 7:7-8