Friday, January 23, 2015

Making disciples of EVERYONE

Have you ever felt strongly about something, but weren't sure how to proceed with expressing your thoughts? It happens to me often, and what I most often do is simply ignore the prompting and go about my daily day. 


That's a question I have been trying to figure out for some time.

Is it laziness? A spirit of lazy? Well, I think some of it most certainly is, and I pray so greatly that He rid me of this sin that seems to control some aspects of what He is trying to do in my life. 

Is it confusion? A spirit of uncertainity? Well, again, I think some of it most cetainly is, and I pray, again, that He rid me of this sin. 

Is it fear? A spirit of fear? Nailed it. I think, unfortunately, this is where most of my unrest comes from. It's so much easier to just pray, quietly to Him, than write and express how what He is saying to me. 

I read a blog post, or saw an Instagram picture, not sure which, where there was a picture that pretty  much stung my heart. It basically said, if there is a gift that God has given you, and YOU choose not to use it, that's on you. You have squandered His gift. No one else can be blamed, only you. 

I do that. This spirit that I have, of fear, one in which what others will say, or how I will be tested by man, it stops me clear in my tracks. 

The truth is, I am not biblically sound yet. I do not know the Scriptures like the back of my hand. I cannot recite a ton of Scriptures out of memory yet. I cannot use Scripture to back what I have to say often. And, in the legalistic world I grew up in, that is a must, a prerequisite to whether you are taken seriously. So, I don't share my gift often, because I know that there is inevitably someone who is more knowlegable in the Word, and I don't know how to respond appropriately. 

I think it's unfrotunate though, when the Holy Spirit is pushed out or denied, simply because someone with a legalist mind set thinks they have "figured it all out" because they know the Scriptures to and fro. 

Which brings me to today's post. And MORE posts, if I can continue pushing out the voice of the world and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. 

You see, if someone's only basis for their belief is Scripture, and no prompting from the Holy Spirit, I think there's a big problem. 

Am I saying that there is no use or validity in the Scriptures? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Let me make that abundantly clear. I am in no way, shape or form stating that I don't find truth in the Scriptures. 

I DO. 

Very much! 

But, I was also taught, and am trying very much to break that teaching, that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are dead. I was taught for a long time, that there are not gifts anymore. Speaking in tongues, healing, prophesying, they were gifts of ancient days and they are we have the Scriptures and that is all we need now. 

I believed that for a long time. 

I believed for a long time that the Holy Spirit only worked through the Scriputres, that you could only hear Him through the Word. 

I think that is wrong. I know, without a doubt, that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are very much alive, and active, and we have got to use them, accept them, and listen to them MORE



We cannot turn away from the gifts and use His Word as our basis. The law abiding Jews did this in the time of Jesus. The Pharisees did this. 


And to the detriment of Jesus' ministry. Miracle after miracle Jesus performed, and time after time He was questioned because it didn't line up with what THEY believed Scriptures stated. They added, they took away from the OT and when Jesus came, they didn't pay any attention to His ministry. 

I see this so much today. I see our society, our generation, holding on to these Words on a page far greater than they are holding onto the Man that the Word points to. That Man, Jesus, He GAVE US HIS SPIRIT, not for us to abuse or ignore, but for us to use and use greatly. 

Why? Why did He pour out His Spirit at Antioch? 

To bring the Kingdom of God HERE. So we could experience Him after His ascension to heaven. So that we, as His followers, could work WITH Him to draw souls to His kingdom

2 words sum up why we need the Holy Sirit--Kingdom Work

It's easy....we are to work with Him in Kingdom work, bringing men and women to the knowledge, the saving grace, of Jesus Christ. That His love, and His Spirit, would be so mighty and so powerful that there would be no doubt that He offered something different than this world. 

This world is dark. This world offers something that is contrary to what He offers. But, people don't know this. And if they have heard it, they ignore it. Sometimes out of selfish motives, but I think a lot of time becase the people they see claiming to believe in this power, this Jesus, are cruel, judgemental, and quite often, mean. 

It's a lot to swallow, I know, and maybe I'm striking a nerve inside of you. But, there is such a difference between having convictions and wanting to live a life consecrated to Jesus and pointing an accusatory finger at people and making them feel absolutely terrible about their life. 

I'm not promoting turning a blind eye to someone's sin, but I am promoting loving someone despite their sin. What do we think Jesus' ENTIRE ministry was about? Loving US despite our sins. 

There is no degree of sin in God's eyes. There is simply those who have made His Son their Lord, and those who He is waiting to accept His Son as their Lord. Those that He is waiting for, He loves them just as much as those who already have. 

We cannot ever forget that. We MUST not forget that. 

It's a must. 

We have got to love those people--the broken, lost, living in the dark people--so that they may come to have understanding and knoweldge of who Jesus is and what He offers. 

People get that most greatly through us, His disciples. We are part of a great commision. Go, make disciples. But, I think we far too often choose who is unworthy and who we don't think would make good disciples. 

But, it's not about us. It's about the Kingdom. And God, Jesus, His Spirit, they don't want ANYONE to miss out. Not one, single person. 


So, why do we? Why aren't we speaking to the poorest, most broken people and inspiring, uplifting and encouraging? Why do I see so many grounded Christian men and women instead pointing the finger at those they deem "vile", "unworthy", "messed up"? I was that person. Without question, without doubt, I was the lowest of low. 

I am humble enough to admit that I wasn't chosen to be a disciple because I have all the answers. I was chosen to be a disciple because Jesus loves me. I was chosen because He has a plan for me. I was chosen because His plan is far greater than what I think of myself, or what anyone else thinks of me. 

It's what Jesus says about us. THAT has to be what we share with the world, with one another. 

I encourage you, friend, (and I truly mean that, FRIEND) to encourage someone today. And, if you are the one that needs encouraging--know, without any question, that you are so loved by the Creator of this Universe, that He sent His Son to pay the penalty for every single thing you have ever done in your entire life. If you accept Jesus as your Lord, you will never experience a Spiritual death. You will live, forever, with a King, that LOVES you! 


Go out, make disciples, and don't choose who you think is worthy to be a disciple. We are ALL worthy, because Jesus died for the WORLD. 

We are less than only Three, friends! 

Monday, January 5, 2015



So much has been happening in the life of our little ginger family. I haven't taken the time to sit and write for almost a month. I have felt the stirring, but have honestly made excuses as to why I couldn't write. Excuses have become a problem in my life the past month, and I have said ENOUGH IS ENOUGH today and listened to the sweet, calming voice within my head. The voice of Jesus--the Holy Spirit. 

That voice has awakened my soul, revived my spirit I cannot even tell you how many times. Today is one of many times that the Spirit has done the work that He is meant to do--dwelling richly within me to accomplish the work of the Father. I have learned greatly that we cannot control the work of the Holy Spirit. He works in ways that we cannot predict or understand. Just as I had no control over my physical birth into this world, I have no control over my spiritual rebirth. 

I like control. I like feeling in control. Far too often in my past I have felt completely out of control in my life and it has riddled me with fear that shakes me to my very soul. That fear has enacted this desire to control everything, and everyone. But, I cannot control the Spirit. I cannot control what He does within me and through me. It is a gift from God, and one that I can either accept and walk in, or squash and squander. 

Accept and walk in is what I greatly desire. I no longer want to squash or squander anything that God gives me. I spent far too many years in my life doing that. But, it's a habit that can be hard to break, and one that sucks you back in so quickly. 

I've been living in that place, that place of squander and squash, for the past month. I've felt down, confused, like I didn't know which way to go. I kept calling out to God for a sign, and getting frustrated when I didn't "see" one. 

I realized yesterday during a much needed 2 mile run, that I was being a lot like Nicodemus in the book of John. I was asking for these signs and such from God, when the truth is I simply needed to believe. I need to have the utmost faith that the God of the Universe was there for me, and would not let me backslide further than He could reach me. 

And sure enough, I saw that truth this morning as I sat to do my morning devotional with the site I needed to drink of and be filled by the living waters of Jesus. I kept walking away from my time with Him, not truly being filled, wanting more. But, the living waters of Jesus, they never leave us empty, or parched. They fill us completely. I wasn't allowing Him to fill me, because I kept waiting and hoping for some sign that He was using me, when I needed to simply walk out in the truth and believe that He was using me for His purposes to advance His Kingdom. 

We are responsible for whom we will obey--and God wants us to choose Him. I was choosing my flesh, the signs that my flesh wanted. But, God wanted me to choose Him, and the truth that He loves me greatly and He has a plan for me each and every day. 

I think we get so wrapped up sometimes in how God is using us, and whether we believe we are good enough to truly be used by God, that we miss how He is truly using us. We have one purpose--to advance the Kingdom. That's it. Be the light in a dark world. That is the purpose of this world--to bring lost souls to a Savior that will give eternal life. We don't have to look for our purpose, wonder if we are being used, we just need to spread the Gospel, speak the Gospel, and He will do the rest. 

We will come up against many challenges in this world. It is a challenging, sin-filled world. Jesus didn't come to rid us of challenges. No, He came to change us on the inside and to empower us to deal with problems from God's perspective. 

I know without a doubt that He is changing me on the inside. That's not the important question. The more important question to ask myself is am I walking with the full assurance that I am changed, and that I have the power to point a light to Christ so that others can be changed?

That is what I want. With my every breath, with my every step, to point to Christ. 

I start to focus sometimes on whether I am a "good enough witness" or what "I' am doing, that I take the focus off of God, and place it on myself. 

I don't want the focus to be anywhere except the Savior who died to save this world. 

As I ran yesterday, God awakened the locked away truth that He is using me, greatly, for His purposes. But, I am not focusing completely on the reality that everything I do, I do for God. Every word I speak, I speak for God. I am not using the gifts He has gven me, to glorify Him. 

Writing, it's one thing He has always laid heavily on me that He wants me to use to glorify Him, and it's one thing I don't do enough. I began my Transparent Thursday series to ease into writing more consistently, and then I allowed that to dwindle down. I feel very heavily that He is calling me to write more, share my heart more, even if it needs realigning. That is okay! I don't have to worry about the realigning, He will do that all on His own. I simply need to glorify. I simply need to be willing to be used. 

And oh, I am willing to be used. 

I am willing to sacrifice everythingi n order to be used for the glory of God. 

As I read through the Bible, I will share my heart more. I will be honest and open about what I am reading and how it is impacting my life. As I walk through my day, I will write more about how He is shaping me, and my family, and how we are looking to Him to empower us. As I seek to become mentally and pysically fit, I will share more of my journey, hoping to inspire others to joing the journey with me. 

I look forwadr to sharing with you, friends, and pray that you will be encoruaged each time you read.