Eternity, Intimacy, Longing, Love, Prayer, Trials, Wilderness

Strengthen Me to Worship

This is not a new revelation but tonight I realized again just how much of a choice love and worship is. It is a decision we make, over and over again, irregardless of the emotions we feel. I cannot always see Him, the One with eyes like fire and hair like wool. There are some days when the shroud of normality and the blanket of mundaneness seem more real than the Burning One John wrote about in the book of Revelation. 

But I think I struggle the most when my heart is tired. When my heart is tired and when my soul is weary, the last thing I feel like doing is declaring goodness when I don’t see it. When there is a gap between what I know and what I see, it is hard to believe. It is hard to face the void and to speak life into it. It is easier to curl up in a ball under my blanket and shut down, or to put on a senseless movie to numb the mind. It is easier to run around in circles distracting myself with a million and one things than it is to come vulnerable before God and sing. 

But love chooses Him. Love sings to Him even in tiredness and weariness. Love chooses worship and love chooses praise. And I love Him. 

There are days when His presence is closer than the skin on my bones. It is so easy to worship Him then because all I can see is glory. But there are also days when my heart hurts and all I know is the mundane. I know that one day, the curtain of eternity will open and I will see Him with unveiled eyes. But until then, in the dark night of faith, I will choose to worship. He is still beautiful and He is still worthy, even when I cannot see. And I will sing my love to Him, even if I have to wage a war within my will to do so. 

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Consecration, Destiny, Eternity, Fear of God, Intimacy, Longing, Love, Musings

Greatness

I think many people have a warped understanding of what greatness is. When we talk about greatness in the Christian context, many think greatness is found in the size of their ministry, the stage, the big lights, their realm of influence, what an “anointed man/woman of God” people say they are. What if greatness is not found in any of that? Is a famous minister to the nations greater than an unknown housewife faithfully loving and serving her family? I don’t think so. The former simply has a bigger assignment, but greatness cannot be defined by the scale of our assignment (although we should serve faithfully in the spheres entrusted to us). To understand what greatness means, we must look back at the One who initiated our lives and find out He is searching for because He created us and He alone gets to define the standards of greatness. What is He searching for and what does He measure us by? What pleases Jesus? It is important to know the answers to these questions because in the fulfillment of them, we find real purpose and we attain true greatness. 

So what does He measure us by? He has not hidden it from us. He makes it so clear all throughout Scripture. I could go on and on, but to sum it up in one simple sentence, the greatest Christian is the one who loves Him the most, and the one who walks that love out in righteousness, holy fear, obedience to His commands and laid-down sacrificial love for people. The one who does this is counted as great. 

It would mean absolutely nothing if the whole world applauded me and told me how amazing I was, if God did not agree. It would be utterly pointless if I ticked all the boxes of what greatness looks like in the eyes of man, but completely miss out on what Jesus thinks is great. We all want to be great for God, but the key to being great is first found in understanding where it truly lies. 

God is the one who will evaluate me when I stand before Him at the end, not man. I will be evaluated by His standards, not man’s. We want to be great and significant in His eyes, because that is where it counts.

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Musings

The Measure of A Man

Having spent a lot of time in the gym over the last couple of months, I am no stranger to the sight of big bulky men. Some of the guys at my gym have abs like rocks and arms bigger than my waist! They’ve worked really hard to look the way they do. I see them huff and puff and throw around crazy weights heavier than I am almost every single day. That kind of dedication is very admirable, and I am all for it. 

But if there is one thing I know, it is that a man is not the size of his bicep. It is good to pursue physical health because our bodies need to be taken care of, but at the end of the day, a man cannot be measured by the amount of weight he is able to lift. Muscles are good and they do paint a picture of prime health, but they do not define manhood – not for one second.

A dear friend once told me, it doesn’t matter how big or how small or how fat you are – if you’re able to make a woman’s heart feel safe, you will have won the battle. And he’s right. I’ve been around men that look nothing like the hulk-like men I see in the gym – yet they have the incredible ability to make me feel safe, honored, respected and treasured. They carry a quiet strength – not the pompous kind that shouts physically, but the silent kind that is steady, sacrificial and honoring. 

A man is not the size of his muscles – he is the size of his heart. He is the size of his honor, his courage, his faith, and especially his love. The strength of a man lies in not how much he is able to benchpress, it lies in the strength of his heart. It does not lie in his super ninja fight club moves, it lies in how much he is able to fight for and protect the hearts of those entrusted to him.

Muscles are good, but a strong heart is better. A clean diet is good, but sacrificial courage is better. Squats are good, but real faith is better. Deadlifts are good, but protecting and honoring the women around you is better. Real manhood cannot be found in the gym, nor can it be sought for in reps and sets. Real manhood is found in the steady brave heart that abides in God. I’ve seen this, and I know it with my whole heart.

We cannot neglect our physical bodies and let them waste away, but when all is said and done, the man who tends the garden (or jungle, if you prefer) of his heart is greater than the one who tends only to his physical body and nothing else. 

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Consecration, Eternity, Fear of God, Pain, Prayer, Process, Trials, Wilderness

Embrace The Fire

Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. (‭Psalms‬ ‭19‬:‭12-14‬ NKJV)

Left on our own, we are helpless to discern between righteousness and unrighteousness. Ways that seem right in our own eyes may lead us to death. (Prov 16:25) Who can discern his hidden sins? Who can understand his errors and secret faults? My heart trembles in fear because I cannot see what is hidden within me. 

But He knows. And if we want to know, He is pleased to show us and take us through the fires of refinement. Of course there is a price to pay, but the rewards of it far, far outweighs the pain of sanctification. Better to pay the price of testing now than to pay the price of judgement later on. Better to be tested in my heart and to walk through the fire, than to live my life in ways that lead to death. We are never to abuse His grace and take it as an excuse for continuing to live in unrighteousness, hidden or unhidden. Sanctification is a necessary process and we are to walk in it. We are to walk out the righteousness given to us, and in doing so, willingly embrace the fire of testing and refining.  

Give me the testing, and give me the fire, so that what is impure may be burnt away and what is of gold, uncovered. 

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. (‭Psalms‬ ‭139‬:‭23-24‬ NKJV) 

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Musings, Pain, Prayer, Process, Trials, Wilderness

What Are You Looking At?

I scribbled this in my journal a while back. It was true then, and it stands true now.

Strange how small everything else seems in the light of eternity. Whenever I find myself drowning in the cares of life, it is always because I have lost sight of eternity. It is always because I have allowed the thoughts of this world precedence in my heart. Scriptures talk a lot about lifting your eyes, and I think only lately have I begun to grasp what that really means for myself. 

The Lord has been allowing me to go through a period of uncertainty and unknowing. It hasn’t been easy on my little heart. There were decisions that needed making, crossroads that needed to be taken, questions of the heart that needed answers and overwhelming desires that longed to be met. My soul was so tangled up and messy on the inside. I worried, I paced, I threw up my hands in frustration. “Lord what am I supposed to do? Just tell me what to do!” He said, “Praise Me.” To be honest, I was actually expecting a lengthy and profound revelation from heaven (you know, like an awesome prophetic dream download) but that was all He gave me. Two words. Praise Me. What! I brushed His words away. Surely it was more than that. Surely it couldn’t be so simple. I continued fretting and asking but over the next few days, He remained so silent it frightened me. 

So tonight I caved in and set an entire night apart determined to worship amidst my confusion and turmoil. Tonight, I lifted my eyes and sung my way into emotional breakthrough. I ugly cried my way into a whole new level of abandoned trust. I saw eternity, and suddenly everything I was anxious about seemed embarrassingly insignificant. I saw His goodness and calmness covered my aching heart. I saw His faithfulness and peace enveloped my soul. I was able to trust again. I was able to breathe again. I was able to let go. 

Oh how He rearranges me when I am in His presence. Nothing’s changed around me but everything’s changed inside of me. 

O my soul
Fix your eyes on His face. 

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Consecration, Destiny, Eternity, Fear of God, Longing, Musings, Purpose

The Beatitudes

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. (‭Matthew‬ ‭5‬:‭3-11‬ NKJV)

I am doing a one year Bible reading plan and I came across an old familiar passage. The Beatitudes. Only this time, I realized the utter richness and complexity of His words. I am so mind blown by this one passage! It will take an entire lifetime to explore this one single passage and what it looks like lived out in ordinary life.

What does it mean to be poor in spirit?
What does it mean to mourn?
What does it mean to be meek?
What does it mean to hunger and thirst for righteousness?
What does it mean to be merciful?
What does it mean to be pure in heart?
What does it mean to be a peacemaker?
What does it mean to be persecuted for righteousness’ sake?

…… what does it mean to be blessed?

I have barely scratched the surface when it comes to understanding The Beatitudes. I am even further from walking it out in my own life. But I want to understand His ways so much! I want my life to count for something in His eyes. I don’t want to waste my days, I want to live as one blessed in His sight.

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Musings, Process, Wilderness

Free Falling

Free falling into abandoned trust
I hold on to nothing 
I let go
And I trust that You will catch me 

The Lord has been bringing me into a whole new dimension of trust. It feels a lot like free falling through thin air and my only hope is that He won’t let me crash at the bottom. I have nothing to hold on to, and it feels so vulnerable. Not having any control over the things around me makes my heart feel so naked and exposed. But more and more, I am learning to trust His ability to keep me and to catch me. I am discovering the heart of a good, good Father. Trusting Him is beautiful, scary and exciting all at the same time. 

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