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.

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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.

Change.

I can just feel it. I can feel the Lord working in me and shaping me to be the woman He has designed me to be. I can just see it. I can see my future, my ever-increasing love for the Lord. I just know. I know that the Lord has something big planned for me and my life. Whether I die tomorrow or live till I am eighty. He has got something big and man, I am excited.

Prayer: Lord, help me to not follow my earthly desires and longings but instead let me find my satisfaction in You. I pray that you would help me to do your will. I don’t want my life to be my own- I don’t want to be my own king. I want to follow you but Lord I wander. Bind my wandering heart to you. Teach me Lord, to do your will- for I know that your plan is for my good and your glory. May my thoughts, words and actions be glorifying to you Lord. Thank you God! Amen.

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. For your name’s sake, Lord, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble. In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.”
Psalm 143: 10-12

I caved.

I’ve never been one to write. In fact, I really hate writing. But when it comes to something I’m passionate about, I will write all day long.

I wanted to start this blog as a means of getting all my excitedness and thoughts out into the world.  I am specifically talking about the excitement and thoughts that come from my relationship with the Lord.  Often I will be so filled with joy that I just want to share it with someone, so here I am, trying to share that joy.  My hope is that by sharing my heart the Lord would use that somehow, whether He use it for me or someone else..who knows!

So here’s to sharing! Cheers!

-Em.