February 22, 2014

A Matter of The Heart

This post is very hard to write for me because I know it can be easily misunderstood and taken as me condemning people. I want neither. I am simply writing something that God as placed on my heart and my concern for Christian generations lacking in striving for holiness. I write this so we know what to pray for generations to come because it is only an uphill battle from here.

I have a concern for Christians who are saving themselves for marriage. There is this game I am noticing among those who decide to not have sex until marriage.

I don't want to get all crazy and say stop dating, it's not right, blah, blah, blah. Because I don't believe that. There is absolutely nothing wrong with dating. But I do believe there is something wrong with dating when you don't stand with your brother or sister in Christ and strive for holiness in Christ. The game I am noticing though is these people selling themselves and inciting others. With social media as a main source of communication amongst people, it has also become a source for seeking to understand their beauty. This looks like pictures that are clearly intentional in getting comments about ones body or posing in a way that is more (I hesitate saying this, but..) sexual. Writing comments that are not aligned with God's heart.

So who are these people selling themselves you ask? The ones who seek out confidence in others. The ones whose identity is not in Christ and needs to know what others think. The ones who need to fit in and do not want to be different or set apart. The ones who seek relationships or acknowledgment from the opposite sex. The ones who give almost everything away to the World accept their virginity (because that's for the "wedding night"). Is it possible that our view of purity before marriage has become this tangible thing, that as long as we save their virginity until marriage everything else is okay?

Please don't misunderstand me. There are not universal rules regarding purity. It needs to be the conviction of the Lord. I have a boyfriend and for our relationship, we personally decided what purity looks like for us. We both had boundaries and rules for ourselves prior to dating, but once we started dating we set our boundaries personal to us, with marriage in mind. It is the choice between the couple or the individual person to choose where their boundaries stand (if they choose to set them.) But I believe this to be a matter of the heart.

I speak to the women:
I become concerned when these women are posing these pictures or making comments that may be causing others to stumble or lose sight of the Lord. I see girls taking these pictures of themselves and all I see is them giving a piece of themselves away. And at what cost? The cost of themselves. But ultimately nothing. They get nothing in return. No approval from the Lord. No blessing from the Lord. All they receive is an addiction to rid themselves of this emptiness. I think the core of this issue is beauty. Women trying to find out if they are beautiful or not.

They believe that they are what they make themselves to be. But that completely discounts who they are in the Lord. Can you imagine creating something with everything you have in you and being so proud of what you made? Being so proud of this creation, you decide to make every single one unique. Not one is the same. But this creation decides they do not like how they were created. They do not want to function the way they were created to function. They strive to make themselves different, completely disconnecting themselves from the Creator. Can you imagine the pain that this Creator experiences? His creation is functioning in a way it was never created to function. His creation will never reach its full potential unless in works in the way it was created to work. His creation will never look beautiful enough in their eyes, even though He poured everything into it. He believes His creation is beautiful because He created it to be beautiful.

Psalm 139

Women, please stop seeking approval and praise from friends (guy or girl) because you will leave feeling empty every single time. Please stop luring men into your traps. Lift them up and encourage them in their faith rather than distract them from their faith. If you want to be the best friend you can be, then stop tempting them with your false lies about beauty. That approval will last for only so long.   Please stop believing that you are not beautiful, according to the world. The world lies. We are separate from the world and we are in Christ. God poured everything into you. You are beautiful.

Men, stop partnering in women towards the distraction of your faith. Instead of encouraging women and proclaiming their outward beauty, speak to the heart. Men have so much power in women's live. Men, you can tell women they are beautiful. But don't do it when they are selling themselves and seeking approval. That only teaches women that they are beautiful when they give the world what they want. Tell woman they are beautiful when they are having a hard day and think they look horrible. Because when we do that, we discount outward beauty and speak to the beauty at heart. Our appearance should not reflect our beauty. God's view of our beauty does not change. Men, speak to women's worth in the Lord. Stand as leaders and teach girls who they are in Christ, through speaking truth to them about their beauty.

As Christians, we need to stand together supporting and encouraging our brothers and sisters in Christ. This means holding each other accountable and pushing each other towards Christ's heart and Truth.

October 30, 2011

The Lord reigns in everything...

For the past couple years my family has watched a family member gradually walk away from the Lord. We did not just sit back and watch pretending nothing was happening. I just think we did not realize the severity of it. I think we thought this would pass, that maybe this was just a time of doubt that they had to work out on their own. Only until recently do I think we really saw how big this was and is. Sadly, the Lord is not present in their life and they are deciding that they don't want that kind of life right now. In a way, I have abandoned this relationship because I did not understand how to be in it. I have taken a step back praying how to approach this relationship. The Lord has revealed some things to me.

What I want to know though is, why didn't we do anything? Why did we just let them figure it out on their own? Why didn't we walk through this with them? It makes me really rethink about how I deal with people who are struggling with their relationship with the Lord. In the past, I have taken the approach that I can't fix their relationship with the Lord and they need to wrestle with it on their own. But now I don't think I like that approach. Maybe we can actually have an influence on the people who are walking through this. Instead of condemning them for their doubts maybe we should walk through it with them. Meaning, if they are looking at other religions, look with them. Why not research with them and talk out and wrestle every deep question. Instead of trying to prove the Bible's truth, why not disproved every other religion and then bring them to Truth? Instead of condemning them for their questions, why not journey with them? I just wonder if I had done this and truly supported them through their questions and guided them gently to the truth or even showed them the lies of other religions, would that have made a difference? I will not know if it does, but I know it is never too late to start.

I also realized that my testimony of faith can never be devalued or discounted. By this I mean, Instead of judging them for lack of faith, why am I not sharing my faith. Why am I not sharing what the Lord is doing in my life? So through lots of prayer and battles with the Lord, He has finally showed me what I am to do about this. I am to write letters (yes, through snail mail). I am not to condemn them for their lack of faith or for their lifestyle. I am not to mention anything about their faith or their questions they are wrestling with. I am simply to write letters speaking about how Christ is transforming and changing my life. I am to speak of where He is present in my life and where I feel I am struggling to see Him. I am to speak of my doubts and my questions. I am to be vulnerable and open about my relationship with the Lord. I am not to paint a picture of a undoubtful and perfect relationship. I am to show my real and true relationship with the Lord. I am to love them and speak truth to them through my testimony. I have full confidence this is what the Lord is asking of me right now. I am so excited to start and so excited to speak the Truth.

When the Lord revealed this to me, I was so excited! The Lord sent me a peace. Before I was burdened about this situation and so saddened. But now I feel peace. The Lord has granted me peace. The Lord showed me that His hand is present in their life and I am not to worry. The Lord reigns in every part of their life. I believe that. I believe the Lord will not ever let go of them. I have faith in the Lord's promise. I will cling to this Peace, always.

If anyone is reading this, I have one request: pray. Please pray. I have had only one prayer and I will hold to it until the Lord wins their heart back. My prayer scares me a little bit though because the Lord is faithful to answering prayers, but our salvation is more important that anything. I have been praying, "Do whatever it takes. Do whatever it takes to bring them back to you, Lord."

September 23, 2011

Nothing to say. Lost for words.

I find that some days I get hit with a major reality check really fast, often faster than I am ready for. Today was one of those days. I have been hit with the question of "do I truly have a relationship with the Lord?" If you are wondering what the answer is, well it's no. I thought I did up until today when I realized that I have been trying to have a relationship with the Lord. But my heart is not in it right now because my heart is in a million pieces. I believe it is impossible to have a relationship with the Lord when your heart is absent. I have had a rough relationship with the Lord for the past couple years. I have so many names and events in my head right now that I want to blame for this instability. I have so many reasons and excuses for why my relationship is the way it is right now.

But I know better than that. I know that no one and no event should have the power to determine my relationship with the Lord. But sadly, I think it does. I think I have allowed my relationship with the Lord to be determined my these outside factors. I find my mind wondering back to the "glory days" of my relationship with the Lord. I think about the days when my faith showed in every circumstance no matter what. My faith became what I was known for. I remember what it felt and looked like to have a relationship with the Lord. But all those times were connected to one place: my church. My faith grew so much with my time at the church. But once I graduated from High School everything changed and pain took over. A lot of damage was done during my senior year by some people and some events and I think it instantly shut my heart down. The Lord cannot reach a closed heart. I think since then I have been searching to find a relationship with the Lord that is not associated with this place where my pain still feels so real. I think it is heartbreaking that a place, event, or people can cause someone to not want to have the same relationship with the Lord that they had before. I think I have been in pursuit of a relationship with the Lord that maybe is right in front of me. I was hit with this reality today. The thing is I do want a relationship with the Lord actually so badly that I have been literally crying out to the Lord to help me. I have been praying in desperation that the Lord would restore me and draw me close to Him. Yet after months of this, I hear absolutely nothing. To be completely honest I think I have been turned off of my faith because these things that happened my senior year were all associated with the church. All the people were pastors who had personal relationships with the Lord.

Is it possible that my heart could still be so shattered that I can't find my way to the Lord? Is it possible for me to say that I have so much pain that I do not know how to be with the Lord? It is possible for me, who has been a Christian all my life, to need to start new with the Lord? Is it possible that I feel so broken that I do not know how to pray or what that looks like? Is it possible for the Lord to pursue me and restore me? How broken does my heart have to be before the Lord wipes away my tears? I know the Lord can restore my broken heart, but can He wash away the pain that binds my heart? Will the Lord meet me right where I am?

My mind is spinning with questions. Some questions I have faith and believe are true and some I honestly doubt. I only have questions right now. I have no answers. I have no solutions. I only have a broken heart, waiting and hoping that the Lord with piece back together and bind with His heart, not my pain.

July 26, 2011

The Testing of Abraham.

My Lord is good. I went to church on Sunday night and the sermon was amazing. Then there was extended worship at the end where I had time to truly reflect. I needed the with the Lord so badly. The Lord has no problem giving me what I ask for. I have been praying that the Lord would give me courage to surrender my boyfriend to Him. I have been praying that the Lord would teach me to rely and trust in Him. Most of all I have been praying that God would release the strong holds I have wrapped around my heart involving my boyfriend. During my time in worship I continued to pray these prayers. Slowly through this time, the Lord began to stir in my heart. I could feel that I was slowly refocusing my eyes on Him, which I realized had been a very long time. I began to feel a release and truly worship my Savior. Now I have only heard the Lord speak to me a few times, but when He does I know it is Him. During my prayer and worship time the Lord said to me, no more, meaning no more relationship with my boyfriend. As I continued to pray and have this conversation with the Lord, I began to fully release myself and say, okay, Lord. If that is what you are asking me to do then I will end this. I will remain obedient in You. I will do what you ask of me. I have to say that my heart was truly sad to hear the Lord say this, but I also felt such great peace in what the Lord had asked of me. I was spending time in prayer and finally released my boyfriend to the Lord and allowed the Lord to have the last and final part of my life. Through my time with the Lord, He continued to speak to me. After I released my boyfriend to the Lord and gave the Lord my complete and full heart, our conversation changed. He revealed to me that we were being selfish with our time, we would spend our time getting to know each other's hearts, but somehow never shared our time with the Lord. We left the Lord out of our relationship, He was not in our conversations and was ignored. The Lord continued to speak to me saying the He sacrificed everything, it was time for us to sacrifice our time too. He told me, if this relationship is going to continue forward, then things have to change. Your time has to become mine. That is the only way I will allow this relationship to remain. I felt such peace because I knew this was the Lord speaking to me. I knew that He meant what He said. So I told the Lord if this is what He wanted, He would receive this. I asked the Lord though that if this is what He was truly saying to me and wanted, that He would also speak to my boyfriend as well. I prayed that the Lord would stir in His heart as well and bring his heart to the same place as mine, I feel such peace because I now feel that my relationship with my boyfriend is completely in the Lord's hands. I believed His hand is in this. I am so excited because there is going to be such a great change in our relationship, but the Lord will bless it and it will be so good. 

I believe that maybe the Lord was testing me to see if I would actually give up this relationship. Like the testing of Abraham with Isaac. The Lord simply wanted to know if He was willing. The Lord simply wanted to know if I was truly willing to give this up. I am willing to give anything up for the Lord now.  I trust in His divine plan. 

July 19, 2011

A life of sacrifice..?

God and I have been playing tug-a-war for the past few months. As I prepare for this trip in January, He has been preparing my heart. Through my prayer time the Lord has asked me to give everything up to Him.  And through time, I have been able to accomplish this. I have come to a place where I like the luxuries in my life, such as running hot water, my bed, a fridge full of food, a couch, and lights but I know I can freely live without them and live in total contentment. The problem is that I have surrendered all those things to the Lord, but a few things. I just recently learned to surrender my relationships with my family and friends to the Lord. I realize my family will never cease loving me and will always be there for me no matter where I am. My friendships, I know the same. But the one relationship God and I are fighting over right now is the one with my boyfriend. This one is the most complicated and I think that is why the Lord is asking for me to give it up to Him. Now I have reached a place where I am totally honest with the Lord. I have been telling the Lord that He is going to have to fight hard for this one. I am not going to just give it to Him. Now understand this, I want to give it to the Lord, but my heart is so wrapped around this relationship so tightly that I am struggling so much. I also know that this relationship has become an idol in my life. My boyfriend has become my savior and saving grace many times, when He should never take that place. So right now I am journeying through the Lord as He slowly recaptures my heart. I am on the journey to find my first true Love again.