My Strength

“The Lord is my Strength and my [impenetrable] Shield; my heart trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song will I praise Him.” Ps 28:7

The fact that God is my Strength is more meaningful than I  fully comprehended at first. If you look at the word ‘strength’, it’s meaning includes the following:

  1. Energy
  2. Courage
  3. Health
  4. Power
  5. Security
  6. Stability
  7. Anchor
  8. Ability
  9. Influence
  10. Value

This is incredible. The fact that God is our strength means He IS our energy when we feel weak and tired. He IS our courage when we feel cowardly or faint-hearted. He IS our health when we are sick. He IS our power when we are incapable as humans. He IS our security when we are in danger or threatened. He IS our stability when we lose our balance in life and become unsteady. He IS our anchor when we feel disconnected from life. He IS our ability when we lack the skill or talent to accomplish a task. He IS our influence when we lack motivation or zest in life. He IS our value at all times – through His death on the cross we understand what we mean to Him.

Rejoice in the Lord, who is your STRENGTH!

Overwhelmed.

It always starts out the same way. I start feeling anxious, uncomfortable, discontent – any negative emotion you can think of. I usually try to fix it by getting a new hobby or fixing my attention on something to numb the ache. All that this manages to accomplish is to further frustrate me and make me realize how much I need life. LIFE.

When I sit down and start writing the words that I feel, I always come to the same conclusion. Time with You. This is what my soul longs for. This is why I experience frustration and anxiety and fear and loneliness. I long for you as a deer pants for water. My soul needs to reach out to You and be touched by Your life-giving Spirit.

“AS THE hart pants and longs for the water brooks, so I pant and long for You, O God. My inner self thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?” Ps 42:1-2

You are life-giving and real. You don’t exist far away, You are close to me this very second. You are intimately acquainted with my life and You know my thoughts afar off. I will never find delight in anything other than You. You are the essence of joy – you are the perfect solution to my heart’s cry. You bring peace and you wrap me in the softness of your love. I feel at peace in You. I find myself in You. The anxious thoughts in me goes quiet at the sight of your beauty. Your presence is the only encounter I need.

I love you with all my heart. Thank you for saving me and choosing to be with me, mistakes and all. You are wonderful and good.

5 Minute Friday: Risk

Time to tune in to 5 Minute Friday, with The Gypsy Mama. Every Friday readers write for 5 minutes about a chosen topic, but they are not allowed to edit their work, back track or over think it. Today’s topic is Risk, so here are my 5 unedited minutes:

RISK

Go:

Every time I sit down to write, I venture into this world of risk. Although it might not threaten anyone’s safety, it does sometimes frighten me to consider the amount of eyes that will be reading what comes from the depths of my heart. Blogging is giving of oneself – offering up your heart and serving it on a platter. Will the readers like what they read? Will it touch their hearts – or will they turn up their noses in disgust?

As mentioned in a previous post – being yourself and being real no matter what you do will ultimately bless someone around you. Even if it is just one reader every month, it is a risk I am willing to take. To open yourself and let God move through you is scary – but the rewards are greater than the human mind can comprehend. 

One man (you) can sow, but it is God who will provide the harvest. Step out and give yourself (and the gift that is within you) freely and fully. Risk it, and see what God can do through one person. 

“Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]…” Ep 3:20

Stop.

Get real

Growing up, not many children are encouraged to ‘just be themselves’. Most of the time they receive the message that it is better to blend in – to rather not swim upstream and cause commotion. This message takes root and grows stronger as they mature into adulthood – and many times the effect is that they live a life not entirely true to themselves.

The past week I have thought about this message a lot. God did not create us to conform, or to have all Christians act towards him in the exact same way. Yet, in most churches today all believers sing the same songs and say the right things at the right time. I believe God delights in authenticity. I believe a genuine heart pleases Him more than conformity. I believe we need to express ourselves in the way that feels most natural to us – no matter how the world perceives it. Worship can take on many forms –  whether you experience God and delight in Him (which is worship) through painting, singing, writing, sports or admin.

I just believe we need to live before God from the depths of our souls and be honest with Him no matter what. If you are experiencing an off day where you need to vent – tell Him about it. If something doesn’t make sense and you are angry with Him, tell Him this! Remember – God knows your thoughts afar off (Ps 139:2), so you can’t surprise Him and shock Him away by what you say!

“God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality).” John 4:24

What do you want to say to God today? Live in His presence as the only version of yourself on the planet. Don’t conform to someone else’s standards – you will rob the world of your much needed uniqueness.

“Behold, You desire truth in the inner being…” Ps 51:6

Safeguarding the truth

I sometimes look at the content of my blog and wonder if there is enough variety to keep readers interested. This comes from a human mindset that always wants to hear new things and constantly be entertained. In itself it is not a bad mindset to have – but in terms of Christianity it can lead to many churches straying away from the core focus which is Jesus. He is, and should always be, the center of the Gospel.

Paul also wrote about the same topic in Phillipians 3:

“For the rest, my brethren, delight yourselves in the Lord and continue to rejoice that you are in Him. To keep writing to you [over and over] of the same things is not irksome to me, and it is [a precaution] for your safety.” Phillipians 3:1

By repeating the truth over and over again, Paul wanted to protect their newfound safety in Christ. They were surrounded by lawful voices telling them to do various things in order to establish righteousness. He repeated over and over again that Jesus is the only source of their righteousness, and the only way to salvation.

Just like Paul, I will repeat these truths in order to protect my own spiritual safety and that of all the readers.

Stay safe in the singular focus of the Gospel which is Jesus. Stay safe in the knowledge that faith in Him is the only way to attain righteousness. Stay safe in the knowledge that none of your own works can save you. Stay safe in the knowledge that God does not condemn you, and that He loves you without condition.

5 MINUTE FRIDAY: OPPORTUNITY

Time to tune in to 5 Minute Friday, with The Gypsy Mama. Every Friday readers write for 5 minutes about a chosen topic, but they are not allowed to edit their work, back track or over think it. Today’s topic is Opportunity, so here is my 5 unedited minutes:

OPPORTUNITY

Go:

God was the first to take the opportunity to reach out. He looked at my lost soul and decided that I was worth the life of His only, perfectly blameless Son. He made it possible for me to reach into the depths of the holy of holies – to literally step in and know Him intimately. He gave me the opportunity to live with Him for all eternity, and all I had to do was to believe in His Son’s sacrifice.

I grabbed hold of this opportunity given to me with both hands. It is completely undeserved – receiving complete pardon of my sinful nature by only believing! What an incredible exchange!

Now I will endeavour to see God’s goodness in everything. It is all around me – I can literally taste and see that the Lord is good (Ps 34:8)! I will take every opportunity to think upon His goodness and provision, and be filled with His life and peace.

All that remains is the opportunity to love Him, because He first loved me. There is no effort in our relationship, just grace.

Stop.

Worry-warts

It is something we all are guilty of on a daily basis – some much more than others. Go take a look at two previous posts on Fear and the process of Letting Go…this post will tie in well with them.

Every situation we encounter in life has the potential to go in two directions: either positive, or negative. Compulsive worry-warts (like me, especially when it comes to our baby) see the danger, the potential problems arising a mile ahead of the event itself. Taking the baby on an outing, I worry that he will cry inconsolably. Feeding him, I worry that he isn’t getting enough milk. During the day, I worry that he isn’t getting enough sleep. Although it is hard for me to admit this, this process is a huge waste of my time and efforts. Not only is it unproductive and, like fear, based in the non-existent future – it also leads to sickness and sadness.

So Jesus tells me the following today:

“So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.” Matt 6:34

I need to let go of the aspects of any situation that are beyond my control, and focus only on living in the moment. His grace is sufficient for anything that could come my way. I must only focus on His provision, not the potential problem.

“But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully];” 2 Cor 12:9

Without worry, we will experience abundant joy and light living. Our minds will be filled with peace. Some last encouraging words if we let go of our own yokes and trust in the abundant provision of Jesus:

“For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.” Mat 11:30