Get Feisty with Satan

I refuse to lose so you might as well leave.

I’ll stay up all night if it means through Christ there will be victory.

I’m going to war, give me your best.

Oh wait, is that all you got?

Your old tricks won’t work on me anymore, I know them now.

You think you’re so clever and crafty,

but I can see right through your lies

I can call it out now, “Yep! That’s the enemy!”

I’m calling you out, I won’t be fooled by your schemes.

You promise me good things, but you leave me so displeased

You had me once before, but thankfully not anymore.

You whisper at me saying “it’s okay, just this one time”

But I know that “one time” turns into two, three, four then eventually an addiction.

I refuse to go back to that place, so I will fight.

I will get feisty with you Satan.

Go ahead, throw your temptations at me!

Give me the best you got.

I laugh at the thought of you, for my Savior and King has defeated you!

My mind is sharp and ready for attack,

I got my armor of God and it’s ready for use.

So throw your best stuff at me, taunt me with my past.

Your lies don’t hurt me because my King has got my back.

My armor protects me from all that junk.

So come on Satan.

I’m getting feisty with you tonight. 

*Disclaimer:

I wrote this because I wanted to communicate how Satan lies and deceives. I don’t have an addiction.

Following God Through Dryness

It has been over a year since my last post. Why? Because I’ve been afraid to post. I’ve been ashamed to admit where I’ve been- In a place of dryness (I will hit more on being ashamed later). Over the past year, I’ve been walking with the Lord and many a times its seemed like I was in a desert. This dryness looks like me feeling like God is distant. Walking with God over the past year hasn’t been easy. It’s looked like me battling with depression, frustration and confusion.

So where am I now?

I’m still following God through dryness.

I learned that everyone goes through dry periods and that feeling this way doesn’t mean that I am doing anything wrong or that God isn’t pleased with me. I don’t need to be ashamed of where I am at. Christ is made perfect in my weaknesses and that is something to boast about!

God’s promises have sustained me over the past year. In His Word I am reminded of His promise to never leave me. Although God feels distant, He has never left me! Satan loves to whisper lies.

But bro and sisters..Don’t let him whisper lies to you! Call out those lies! Get feisty with satan, get feisty with sin! Don’t let them have a hold on you!

Don’t let your feelings triumph over Truth. You may be feeling distant from God, but what does God’s Word say about that (Your heart is deceitful above all thing! Jer. 17:9)? All throughout the Old and New Testament we see God making promises to His people, telling them that He won’t leave them (And He never did!) That “distant” feeling is a lie. Don’t let Satan pull one over on you. Shout it if you need to! (I like to shout at Satan and call him out on his schemes) (My residents probably think I’m nuts!)

Whether I am “feeling” God or not, His promises are still true, His character is still the same, His love for me is still everlasting!

This dryness will end. If not in this life, we can have confidence that dryness will be a thing of the past when we finally meet Jesus. Push on sisters and brothers..push on!

 

Joy

“I will be your Lighthouse when you are lost at sea…Throw off your fear and come running to me!”

The satisfaction that comes from the knowing the Lord is far greater than any earthly satisfaction you could ever imagine. It is in Christ that I understand the word “joy”. This joy is something that I receive from Him and oh how sweet it is! It’s this out-of-this-world feeling of pure and true satisfaction and absolute peace. 

I don’t know how to express how thankful I am for Him choosing me. I don’t deserve this grace. I don’t deserve this precious love and eternal life- But He looked at me and said, “I know, but I want you anyway.”  

 

What an amazing, unwarranted, beautiful gift we have in Christ Jesus. 

God Knows You Intimately

Sometimes I get caught up in the logistics of everything.  I forget about God, but instead focus on man’s interpretation, whether this be the right way to view a passage of scripture or figuring out the right type of theology to follow. I get so caught up I forge the most important thing: God.  What about God? I specifically forget His grace. His beautiful and undeserved grace.  Tonight I was reminded of His great grace for me.

In our nit-picky society, it is so easy to get so zoomed in on a particular passage of scripture that you forget what really matters in the end. Grace. Ultimately, all that matter’s is that I am His. For forever. And Eternity.

When I think about my relationship with God, I am drawn to the unexplainable joy that I have.

It brings me to tears.

The hope I have. The strength I have. The life I have. It’s His, but given to me.

How could this be? How could I, a horrible sinner, receive such grace! Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Guys, my life apart from Christ, was leading to my destruction. I was looking for purpose. I was looking to be loved. By whom? Anyone. Anyone that would take me. I hit rock bottom and was dragging across it painfully, getting bruises and cuts.  When I look back at my life before Christ, I think, “Who was that girl?” It is literally a miracle that I know the Lord today. He moved in my heart and revealed Himself to me in a way that I couldn’t put into words.  He told me, “Emily, I love you. I chose YOU! You are loved, You are treasured, You are pursued, I will never leave You, I will never hurt You, You are mine.”

He revealed to me my identity in Christ. In Christ, I am able to be those things because when He looks at me He doesn’t see my yucky and dirty sins, but instead sees His perfect and spotless Son, who sacrificed Himself for ME.  My mind can’t comprehend His love for me. And I will never be able to, but that’s what makes it so amazing.  Until Christ revealed Himself to me I understand how valuable I was. I didn’t understand my worth. I couldn’t see that He really did care! I had no idea that He has more thoughts for me than all the grains of sand on all the beaches in the world (Psalm 139:17-18). I had no idea that He knows every hair on my head (Matthew 10:30).  I had no idea that He made me in HIS image (Genesis 1:27)! He chose me. Me. He designed me PERFECTLY, because I am in His image. He knows me intimately.

Man guys. I am just saying, but this stuff rocks my world. God rocks my world! 

Thanks for listening. 

My Sister’s Baptism

Today was a very exciting and spiritually uplifting day because my older sister was baptized. 

She had a little speech about herself and her journey prepared and, one of the pastors read it while she was baptized:

“I went off the Lord’s path for awhile because of my anger about my chronic illness and all the pain and suffering that ensued. I was so hurt and had the misconception that God did not love me, for how could he do this to me. I believed in his promise that ” He would never give me more than I can handle ” which is in 1 Corinthians 10:13. I have since then realized that God has allowed suffering and pain in my life but, Jesus has been with me every step of the way giving me courage and strength. The Lord worked on my heart and softened it. I realized that I am a daughter of the King and that God’s promises are true. He has never ” left me nor forsaken me ” (Colossians) and has provided for me every step of the way. I was too blinded by satan and my own desires to control everything and heal myself to see, that God had a plan and His plan was far better than my own. I now am ” taking up my cross daily to follow Him (Jesus) ” (Luke 9:23) and living in the light. ”

Needless to say, I am so thankful the Lord has been working in my sister’s heart. God is so faithful. Praising Him today! 

Teach me Lord.

Over the summer I came upon Psalm 143:10, “Teach me to do you will, for you are my God; may your good spirit lead me on level ground.” I had been struggling to accept God’s will as my own. I didn’t know how. I needed Him to change me. This verse was perfect. I had no idea that I could ask the Lord to “teach me” His will! What a wonderful and powerful thing! I love how God KNOWS my heart. He has prepared this verse for me (and you). 

Praying this verse has become a habit for me because I no longer desire my will, but His. I know His will for my life is perfect, whether that means I go through hardship or happy days, He knows what is best for me and what will bring Him the most glory. I am thankful to have a King who knows what is best for me. I am thankful for times of hardship, times of weeping, times of sadness, because ultimately He knows that will bring me closer to Him than anything else.  My Savior knows what is best for me. I am thankful for that this morning. I am trusting in Him today. 

 

His Strength

Very encouraging this morning!

Finding Strength. Gaining Courage. Loving God.

image

A good friend of mine always tells me, “Steph just take God what you have, He will make up for the rest.”

I’m learning that there is so much truth to that. In our weakest moments, God’s strength, if we allow, has the ability to shine through.

You know the moments I’m talking about. Our moments of sadness. Of anger. Of frustration. Disappointment. Fear. Whatever it is.

His strength is made perfect in those times. He ask of us only one thing…to be still long enough to allow it to happen.

We walk in the flesh and have flesh thoughts that prohibit us from feeling Him. I’m wondering if today we can focus more on Him. Listen to Him more so that when our “moments” happen today we can see God show-off for us.

Workout time! Shoulder Day!

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When I don’t desire God

Spring break is a hard time for me.  I am surrounded by my family, but I miss my community.  Whenever I am home I am reminded of the importance of community. I NEED to be in the presence of women who love the Lord.  I need that accountability.  After talking to a few of my girls I realized something…

It is hard to desire God when you don’t have a schedule.  At school I am reliant on God for everything, but when I am at home, my desire to get in the Word is lacking.  After examining my heart, I’ve realized the reason for this is because I have no structure in my day.  When I am bumming around and doing whatever I please, I get lazy!

Although a break from school is nice, I don’t like how it affects my relationship with God.  I was thinking about why not having a schedule affects my relationship with God and I realized it’s because God created us to work! Genesis 1: 27-30 tells us some very important things about who we are and what our purpose is!  First God tell us we are created in HIS image: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (V 27)  Do you know what this means?  It means that our very being reflects God! We were made to bare His image.  We are to reflect God’s character.  One aspect of God’s character is that He is the Creator. He is a hard worker! God created heavens and earth and every single thing in the world and beyond! He gets it done!  So, what does this mean for us?  We too, are to be hard workers. We were made for work! We were not made to sit around and watch Netflix all day, but rather to “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (v 28)  God then said,  “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. (v 29-30)  So in the very beginning, God gave us a plan. He gave us a job!  He told us, “Look what I made for you! Look how wonderful it is! Now, go take care of it!”  

God gave us a plan. He gave us a job.  We are made for work and this is a good thing.

After realizing this, everything made a lot more sense to me. I like being busy! I don’t like feeling stressed, but I like having a job. I like working and I like being productive. I am glorifying the Lord when I am productive.  Sitting around and watching Netflix may be a nice break every once and awhile, but I bring the most glory to God when I am actively living for Him, which means having my mind and soul engaged in all that I do.

With all this being said,

I am ready to go back to Berry and I am very thankful for the work and community that awaits me.

My Biggest Fear.

Tonight I spent some time examining what the Bible has the say about Heaven by reading this article:

http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-happens-at-death.

It took me around an hour to finish it because I kept being overcome by emotions of fear and doubt. I cried out to the Lord weeping, asking that He would help me, that he would give me understanding and wisdom about my eternity.  When I finally got to the bottom of the article, I encountered the last paragraph:

“Knowing that death ushers us directly into the realities of either heaven or hell should make us look up to Christ as our refuge and salvation and should make us strive, as Paul, to “have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to him” (2 Corinthians 5:9). Even for believers, the prospect of death is sometimes a fearful thing because death is enshrouded in great mystery as the realm to which we have never gone. But we may take courage and lay aside our fears in the confidence that we have a God who time after time says to his people, “Do not be afraid” (Joshua 11:6Isaiah 44:8Matthew 14:2717:728:10;Revelation 1:17). God wants His people to be comforted in the face of death: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you” (Isaiah 43:1-2).” (Matt Perman)

I burst into tears after reading this.

For the past few months I have been feeling extremely fearful of death. Thinking about dying and eternity took me to a dark place of doubt, fear, and uncertainty. I wondered, “Lord! Why am I feeling this way? Why am I doubting You, why do I have such horrible fear?” I had never feared dying. But lately, fear plagued me whenever I would think about this. I felt alone. I questioned, how can I be a Christian if I fear eternity? It doesn’t make sense for me to fear this!

For months I have been praying that the Lord would give me peace and understanding- that I would no longer fear dying and eternity.

After reading this article tonight, specifically the last paragraph, I feel renewed. My vicious fears were confronted with beautiful truths.

I have a God who tells me not to fear!

He tells me “Don’t be afraid!”  How many times have I read this? How many times have I heard this? Thank you Lord, for making your commands click- For telling me, “Don’t be afraid Emily! I am a good and faithful Father. Trust in me- I am with you.”

This passage from Isaiah 43 truly hit home.  Recently, the Lord has been whispering truths to me from Isaiah 43 and so to have this be the passage Matt chose to display God’s goodness and promises couldn’t have resonated with me more.

Two weeks ago I memorized Isaiah 43:2 and I will often recite it to myself when I am feeling anxious, fearful or worried.  It is amazing to see now that this verse applies to my fear of dying too. It’s a promise to me that when I am dying, the Lord will be with me and that He won’t leave me!

My fear about death centers around the idea of me not knowing what is going to happen and being alone.  But I’ve realized, there are truths to both of those fears.

  1. Fear of uncertainty:  I do have certainty. I have the certainty that the Lord will never leave me or forsake me. That He carries me in His arms like a shepherd carries his sheep. I have the promise that the Lord is faithful and that He delights in me.  He will make good on all His promises, and with that, I know that what the Bible says is true.  The Lord has never left me. He is for me and not against me. All that He does is for my good and His glory.
  2. Fear that I will be alone: 2 Thes 1:7 talks about believers being WITH Christ! We are literally going to be in His presence. There will be no separation of time between me physically dying and going to Heaven. When I die I will immediately be taken into the presence of Christ.  I will be with my savior, the one who delights in me, the one who loved me so much that He took on flesh and died for me, the one who looks at me with compassion, the one who carries me, the one who comforts me and never leaves me. I will be with Him and He will intercede for me in front of the Father. He is my friend, my helper, my savior. There will be no fear when I am with Christ.

Prayer:  Lord, thank you! Thank you God for showing me truth tonight. Thank you Lord, for not giving up on me despite my foolishness and complete and total lack of faith.  Thank you Lord for loving me unconditionally. Thank you Lord for revealing to me your character, which shouts “faithful and loving!”  Lord, I pray that I would not forget your promises to me- that you are with me, through all things! And that you tell me to not be afraid because you have got me! You know what is best for me! -And what could be better than being with YOU Lord? You know what is best, and that is for me to be with you in Heaven. So I ask Lord, that you would truly cement these promises and truths in my head. Help me to run to you and your promises when I feel fear creeping in. Help me Lord to never forget the gravity of your statement in Isaiah 43:2- That you are with me. Thank you Father. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. 

Isaiah 43: Jesus is Bae.

Okay, can we just talk about this for a minute?

Isaiah 43.

Like what?

I can’t handle reading Isaiah 43 without getting excited. The truths and promises in that chapter are so beautiful to me.  The Lord’s love is so clearly displayed for His people.

We are called “precious“, “honored“, “loved“, “redeemed“, “covered.”

We are instructed to look to Him, instead of “former things”.  How cool is that? The LORD is telling us, “Hey! Don’t look back on your old ways, I am making you new! You no longer are the same person you were before- instead you are now  “precious”, “honored”, “redeemed”, “covered.” You are my delight!”

Isaiah 43 whispers the Lord’s love for me.  When read Isaiah’s words, I feel the Lord whispering to me my identity in Christ.  I hear Him telling me to remember what He has redeemed me of, but to not dwell on it.  I hear tell me that I am new. I am no longer who I saw just a year ago.  He has changed my heart and is slowly but steadily aligning my desires with His.

Although,

It’s been a battle- running to Him instead of my former ways.

Being a Christian is a battle- But a battle worth fighting because the war has already been won.  I find strength all throughout the Bible, reminding me that the Lord has a good purpose for me and that He is on my side- He is with me, always.  I don’t have to fight this battle alone.  I have the best fighter on my side- the Holy Spirit.  The Lord guides me and leads me away from temptation.  Does that mean I don’t fall? No. I do.  But there is grace. Great grace!  Grace that I can’t understand but am so thankful for.

It’s so amazing to know that the Lord knows all the places I have and will fall short and yet He looks at me and sees perfection.

Think about it like this…

If the people around you were able to know all your thoughts and all your previous sins, do you think they would want to be around you or be your friend? My guess, probably not.  But the Lord? He sees all those things, even your future sins and still desires you. He relentlessly pursues you saying, “I love you, I want you. Come be with me!”  Thinking about that helps me understand just a hint of His goodness and love for me.

I am telling you guys, no one, no thing, could ever compare to God. The satisfaction and joy that comes from having a relationship with Jesus is incomparable.  No drug, No boyfriend or girlfriend, No house, No husband or wife, No family, No career, No pleasure, No comfort, could ever or will ever compare to Jesus.