Outcry

I don’t think I will ever get my Monday Moving Music actually on Monday, but I’m trying to get closer. I came across this song last week and I have just meditated on it all day. It has been the outcry of my heart and I believe it needs to be the outcry of our church as a nation.

It is a call for us to individually come clean and purified before God as we cry out to Him. I think to often we, I, forget this important part of coming before the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the Healer of nations and Savior of souls. Yes, Jesus has cleansed us of our sins and forgiven once and for all at the cross, but we need to come repenting and acknowledging the cleansing that has occurred, that has flooded over us by the power of the cross. And what a glorifying time that is, acknowledging where you have fallen so short and are so guilty, yet realizing Christ, in His magnificent grace, has made you completely holy and pure in the site of God. Let us long to grow to look more and more like the blameless bride He is coming for.

I think the chorus is by far my favorite part:

It’s the power of Your presence
That changes us
Your glory all around us
And we’re undone
You open up the Heavens
And fall afresh on us

I don’t know what more words I can add to that besides, wow! It is HIS POWER that changes us. It is His power, alone! His glory surrounding us leaves us undone and He gracefully opens up the Heavens to fall afresh on us. That is, should be, our prayer! There are so many alternative ways out there to find change, growth, help, empowerment, but we were all created to need and long for His power to change us.

The bridge of the song is my prayer for each of our hearts and for the church.

Holy Spirit… fill this heart again
Holy Spirit… burn like fire within

I pray that we individually will feel the fire of the Holy Spirit burn like a wild fire deep within us through the power of the presence of the Lord. And may the Holy Spirit fill our hearts again.

Kari Jobe never ceases to amaze me with the lyrics of her songs as being just very worshipful, honest cries out to the Lord for His glory to be felt and seen. I pray this song spreads for God’s glory, but much more than just the worship song, I pray the message behind it spreads. I know there are so many hurting in many different areas of life. Life is a rough uphill battle and sometimes it feels like you have no one fighting in your corner and no one hearing your cries. Might I encourage you to cry out to God in the midst of your storm even if it seems like “it’s just going as high as the ceiling” as people say. Fight against Satan with the word of God, the worship of God, the prayers of His people. There is supreme power in the presence of God. From the moment He made you, He fearfully and wonderfully made every part of you (Psalm 139:14) and He will complete a good (amazing) work in you (Philippians 1:6).

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Finding My Place

Romans 12:3-8 “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

A lot of us have done those tests that help narrow down what your spiritual gift(s) are. I love tests like that because I always need help narrowing things down. Even with that, I have two that are pretty dominant. Using your spiritual gifts brings fulfillment in service to God. We are all created with a different part to play. It is a cooperative play with beautiful individual pieces working together to form one amazing working body as the bible says. When we examine the scriptures comparison, it makes so much sense. When our body has all of the different parts working the way they were designed, it is a beautiful thing. It is beautiful when your arms are able to reach out and extend an encouraging hug; your legs able to walk with your child/grandchild up that mountain; your heart pumping the right amount of blood at just the right the second and so on. Then there is the alternative, when the cells in your body are attacking one another resulting in potential death; your legs slowly becoming too shaky to use and almost becoming as if they are no longer your own; your brain has now become an enemy and made even your most loved ones, strangers. When each body member is not performing its function, it creates strain on the other parts of the body and chaos.

I feel like this lesson is something I had learned awhile back. But, it’s funny how God teaches you lessons then reteaches with a little twist to remind you, hey, you don’t have this figured out, dude! It’s just like part of verse 3-“Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought”. Throughout the last year with the pain and reduced activity, I have not been able to live out my spiritual gifts the way I had or planned too. The key words being-the way I had planned and “my” spiritual gifts. I had to learn to live out my spiritual gifts differently and serve in a new way.

I have always been an “action” type person. I am going 24/7 and if I’m sitting still then I feel like I’m doing something wrong.Image result for funny for 24/7

I applied that to how I served God and subsequently others as well. That was until God stopped me in my tracks. So, you have a choice, either stop serving until things are in pristine circumstances again or adjust and grow. We usually have a picture of how things are “supposed” to go and then God has the actual canvas laid out. When we truly surrender ourselves to being used in any way that He plans then we can sincerely be used in the body of Christ.

The gifts that I have really been focused on now are service, by prayer, and encouragement. I struggled with prayer, at first, as if sitting back and praying for someone rather than being present serving was somehow not enough. Service has always been one of my spiritual gifts, but it has been more in a physical capacity. So, I had to adjust my thoughts in this area. When it got down to it and I really took a hard look, (Psalms 139:23-24), I had to realize that I was really thinking of myself “more highly than I ought” in a sense. When we pray, we are crying out for God to move in a person’s life, a situation, a crisis, etc. We are interceding on someone’s behalf in the name of Jesus who has the power to move Heaven and Earth; speak and heal; and to dry every tear. But, I thought “my presence” would mean more than that? You see where I’m going with that??? It’s not to say that physically serving is not Incredibly important. We are called to be the hands and the feet of Christ. But, at the times when we cannot physically be there or in any case really, we are called to pray. God is supremely powerful and He wants to hear us cry out to Him on our behalf and on the behalf of others. It is such a service that I think we forget about.

I have always found music to be an encouragement to me. God has always used the words in songs to really lift me up, convict my heart and motivate me at the different times I needed it. There is something about encouragement that just gives you the strength to keep going and climb to new heights.

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God has really given me a heart for this. I have realized through these trials that you don’t have to have everything figured out yourself in order to encourage another. You don’t even have to “feel” encouraged yourself necessarily in order to encourage another. God will give me a scripture, a song, a quote, anything that I can pass on to another. As a side note, I never share unless I feel like He is leading me too. Even then sometimes I hold back because I start to think well maybe they will think it is a nuisance, I’ll seem to preachy, etc. But, those are the times I know Satan has in turn used me to block a message that someone may have really needed. The times I have resisted that, I have had people say, man I really needed that. It is never something that I feel I did on my own because it is always something that I wait on God to prompt my heart for. I say these things not to try to sound proud in any way. I say it because it is something that I do in order to keep myself humble. I struggle with the tug-a-war of wanting to be used by God and then sometimes feeling like I somehow did something great. Therefore, I try to build as many caution tape barriers as I possibly can and pray like crazy that God will guard against it. So, that is one of my caution tape barriers. I don’t send an encouragement out unless I feel the Spirit prompting. I feel as though if I began to do it without the Spirit leading me, then I would start to want to take credit for it. Then it becomes something done not out of worship and glory to God, nor out of service, but about me.

I am slowly learning that through every circumstance to consider it joy just like James 1:2-6 says about trials. Because it is producing perseverance and growth in ways that would not have happened without the struggles. I do not enjoy the trial, nor am I enjoying the current trials we are going through, but I am so thankful that God is teaching me who He is through it. I have to cling to it. And I refuse to remain idle. I will serve, thrive and help build his kingdom in any way that He gracefully sees fit in the process. All too often, we (I) get bogged down in our struggles and forget that there are so many around us that are drowning, trying to cling to any life preserver in sight. We can use the gifts He has faithfully given us, through His grace, to help the people around us. No matter the difficulties and trials you are facing today, find your strength in Christ. Hold on to His promises and meditate on them. Then find your place to use your gifts He mercifully gave through His grace. Even if you have to adjust based on your physical condition, I urge you to pray. I urge you to find your place in the body of Christ. All members of the body are needed. If your member has changed a little based on your physical/mental condition, grief, finances, etc., find your new member and start now.

OvErSeEs MiSsIoNs

Below are different examples of how God blessed me by allowing me to be a part of His mission. I so miss these places with all of my heart. I honestly never saw myself living in the United States the rest of my life. I saw International Missions as my life. Having to give up that dream is part of God molding the “new me.” I know God called me to missions so many years ago. Now, I have to see where He is leading me with these new restrictions with my body. Any day He could chose to heal me entirely which would be amazing! But, He could also choose that this is how I am to serve Him-completely reliant on Him in my weakened physical state. I am praying to live out my life to serve Him in whatever ways He sees fit. We all have gifts that He has given us. No matter how restricted you may feel by your earthly body, God can and will use you if you are willing. His strength overcomes all the ways that we are weak. There is so much we still have to offer no matter what we are going through. You are beautiful and still wonderfully created exactly the way you are right at this moment. I pray God’s word provides you with the strength you need today.