Monday, March 1, 2010

Empty and Expectant

So lately I've been going under serious construction with the Lord. In the past two months I feel like God has taken everything about me, inspected it, bulldozed it over, and cleared away the debris. For a while I questioned this. I asked God why he was taking so much from me, and even thought he was punishing me for past disobedience. It was not until read out of Hosea that God revealed to me what was really going on.
In Hosea chapter 2 God gives Hosea the image of an adulterous wife who goes out from her first love to seek other lovers whom she believes will provide for her satisfaction. He says that he will keep her from reaching the lovers that she seeks after that bring her away from him by building a wall of thorns between them. When she could not find satisfaction in another lover, she returned to her first love. While this is referring to the nation of Israel during Hosea's time, it also applies to us now. Think about it for a second. Think about every time that you've tried to do something against God's will that you thought would bring you happiness. Did you succeed, or did you come back to God, hands bloodied and scared, wondering how you mangled yourself to that extent? God protects us from ourselves and the "other lovers" we think we need, whether it be sex, drugs, cutting, alcohol, or any other addictive, sorry substitute for the love of God. Even if it hurt us, he will do everything he can to keep us from destruction.

This is where my story fits into this parable. I had gone out and searched for other things to fill the place of God, namely a boy, and obviously...he didn't quite measure up (which for the record is saying nothing against him, he couldn't have measured up to Jesus even if he was Prince Charming!). When I came back to God, I expected business to carry on as usual and for God to make everything perfect, as if it ever were in the first place. Obviously this is not how it works. Back to the story in Hosea, after the woman returned to her husband, he took everything from her. He took all that he had given her. Honestly, until February 20th, I felt like I had come back to God, and that he was punishing me for my absence...but in reality, he wasn't doing that at all. In Hosea Chapter 2 verses 14-17 it goes on to say “But then I will win her back once again.I will lead her into the desertand speak tenderly to her there. I will return her vineyards to her and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope.She will give herself to me there,as she did long ago when she was young,when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt. When that day comes,” says the Lord,“you will call me ‘my husband’instead of ‘my master.’ O Israel, I will wipe the many names of Baal from your lips, and you will never mention them again." It was through this I realized that God was not taking apart my life to punish me, but to redefine me. He stripped me of all that I had, simply so that he could lure me into the wilderness once again and speak to my heart and give me hope out of my depression, and freedom out of my captivity. Not only did he redefine me, but he also took the name of my false idols from me, and took away their power over me, just as he removed the name of Baal from the lips of the woman. After living with other lovers for so long, the lover of my soul merely wanted to remind me of who I really was and set me back on the path I belonged.

So where are you today? Are you wandering, searching for something that can satisfy you? Have you just come back from that journey with your hands and soul wounded? I assure you that on this day, whether you are seeking God or not, that as a child of God he is a.) protecting you from harm, even harm that is self-inflicted and that b.) even if you feel like the world is falling apart around you and your questioning why he's allowing it to happen, that you don't need to question because I can garuntee you that the wilderness is just around the corner, and it is there that God waits to redefine you.

I leave you with the following scripture out of Hosea Chapter 6, verse 1:

“Come, let us return to the Lord.

He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us.
He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds.
In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence.
Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him.
He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.”

Never doubt this promise, and although your soul may be broken and your heart shattered, return to Abba Father, and let him heal you with his love and tender mercy. Don't be afraid to loose it all, because everything he has to give is just waiting to be poured out when you do.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Well, the snows melting, the roads are clearing, and the promise of returning to civilization is growing every day. It's been a while, I know. I got lost in the second ice age we've all recently been experiencing. I'm sure you understand.

Today I come to you with more encouragement than philosophical blabbering. After reading over some questions recently on formspring (the heinous thing that it is), I began to think about a lot of aspects of my life. As I read through questions that people had posted anonymously, on my page and others, I really could not believe the nerve that some people have. I was outraged that someone would exhibit that kind of damaging amount of disrespect when they kind hide behind their username. Seeing comments that read "your a stupid whore" or "you so fugly", and that continue to get much much worse, I was filled with anger, even though they weren't directed at me. In the midst of my anger, I realized what it really was...simply another attack. It's through this experience that I say the following.

As people living in a world that doesn't exactly welcome our existance, we have to watch even more carefully what we allow to enter into our hearts. We can listen to all the Christian music we want and watch TBN until our eyes bleed, but when we create an account on websites like formspring, that basically turn you into a target for whoever wants to shoot, and insert ourselves into the world we're still allowing ourselves to be influenced by it, and ultimately open the door for the devil to come in and destroy what God is doing. We give the devil the opportunity to define us and turn us into something God never intended us to be. This happens through many more avenues than just Formspring, and we have to stop it.

All I'm trying to say is realize who you are in the Lord, and hold onto it. Realize that you are a beaufiful, powerful, victorious creation that our Abba Father loves and wants to get to know. Realize that whether or not some anonymous person, who doesn't even have enough self respect attach their name to their criticism, thinks you're pretty or smart doesn't matter because the creater of the world, the one who set the universe into motion, has numbered every hair on your head, and sacrificed his own son's life to be able to watch you live. I don't know about you, but knowing God's opinion of me, makes all others pale in comparison.

Don't get discouraged, because in the end living for him is all that matters. He will heal every wound that occurrs as a result of a world that isn't afraid to hate us, but he also doesn't want to see us feel that pain. Continue to be uncommon, use God's word to drown out the wicked words of others, use his songs to drown out the melody of emmotional massacre, and live solely for him. If we focus on doing that, we can prevent the devil from trying to redefine us, and convince us we're something we were never meant to be.

Friday, February 5, 2010


I don't know about you, but if I had a dollard for everytime I was lectured about priorities, I would have enough money to pay for college and grad school. In every area of life, it seems as though adults are constantly concerned with my ability to put the important things first, the only problem being that each advisor has a different suggestion about what should be at the top of my list. Chart toppers range from school, family, and even putting myself first to ensure happiness. All of these answers to me are rather ignorant. It seems to me that the obvious choice would be placing God above everything, not only because he is the creator of all that comes after him, but also because he holds the future of our lives, and if we allow him to take the drivers seat, following him at all costs, the other areas of our life could only flourish. For anyone who has attended church before, I'm sure this is not really a new concept.

Although it is hard to succeed in making God the top priority in life all the time, I know many who daily seek to find that success, and it is those who I am now speaking to. How do you prioritize aspects of your faith? What is it that you desire from God? For me, over the past six or seven months, it has been his signs, wonders, and miracles that have captivated my heart and filled my prayers. This desire is not always an easy one to have, and in the past month or so, has really become a burden on my heart. I have been frustrated and even confused, throwing tempertantrums and questioning God as to why I am not seeing the heavenly culture I desperately want to see. Although it has been difficult, I thought my hunger for the supernatural was right on track until yesterday when I was reading a blog posted by the Ramp (a powerful ministry in Hamilton, Alabama). In this blog, one of the members of their ministry team shared that her desire, and her current priority was simply getting to know God, and presented the scripture from Matthew  “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons, and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, evildoers’”. Jesus was saying that it is not supernatural experiences and actions that give our faith validity, but simply the act of knowing him. This really got me thinking. How was it that I could beg God for signs, wonders, and miracles without truly knowing him? How is it that daily I was pleading with God to fufill the desires of my heart, without knowing the desires of his?

It is through my learning experience that I say this. We have got to reprioritize. Although, in our generation, it is hard to turn down an invite from our friends to hang out and decide to hang out with God instead, it is neccissary to our relationship with him. Although it is hard to put down the homework and study God's word before studying for a life-threatening exam, it is neccissary to obtain the wisdom to carry out his will. Although it is hard to stare into the face of the non-believing parent that you love and say "I'm going to church" and possibly disappoint them, it is absolutely neccissary to please Abba Father who we could never truly disappoint . God has to be first.

Once he is first, we then have to prioritize what is important in our walk with him. This is where I struggled, and I believe I am not alone. As a generation we thirive on entertainment, and that characteristic translates to our faith with God. We become so consumed by the wow factor that comes when something supernatural happens and how our faith is built by that event, we forget that the only way our faith can truly grow is by knowing the fullness of God. We have got to make knowing him the top priority. Instead of spending hours begging to see what he can do, as if he had to prove himself, we need to spend hours begging him to reveal to us his heart. We need to read his word, and learn of his promises and power. We need to have conversations with him, and listen to what he tells us. We need to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and crawl into his lap, and let him love on us. While doing this is not the easiest, we can never see the byproduct we desire without knowing where it came from. So I urge you, make knowing the fullness of God more important to you than life, and see what happens. I don't know what will happen, seeing as I'm walking right beside you on this one, but I bet you'll find that knowing him is so much sweeter than anything else, and what he can do will become just an added bonus. One thing I do know is that we must try or risk grieving God to a level that we could never know. After all, how would you feel if someone did not care about knowing who you were, but still wanted to use you for what you had to offer them?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


So I've decided to take a journey. Overall, throughout my walk with God, I have never been considered the "closet Christian". Anyone who knows me is not only aware that I believe in God, but is also quite aware of my love and strong passion for him. Simply put, It's not as if I've been cowering in the corner afraid to share my faith for the past six years. In fact, it's been the exact opposite. Although I've always been quite vocal about my faith, one weakness I've realized in myself is that, when the rubber meets the road, I don't always run in the direction my faith has instructed me to run. This never ends well, and ultimately leaves me in a place of desperation and ruin, begging God to pull me out from under the rubble and set me on the right path. Needless to say, failure gets old fast.

Finding myself in a similar situation recently, and listening to the lie satan whispered that God didn't care, I was broken. I had once again found myself burried under the remnants of my self made plans, and knew no other place to turn than to God to repair my heart.  As I was praying, God revealed something to me. My whole walk with God has cycled in this fashion not because he has ever walked away or because he didn't care, but because, without fail, I end up comprimising and accepting life the way the world has fed it to me. Continuing on this train of thought, I looked back, and reflected on the amount of times my friends have found themselves in horrible situations, feeling lower than low, and was astonished to discover that every time, each situation was caused by a different cultural stereotype spoken over our generation. It is because of this that I say no more.

In Romans chapter 12, verse 2 is says "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God". From now on I am challenging myself to do just that. The effect that our world's definition of our generation has had on destroying God's definition of his children living in it is unacceptable, and I will no longer live in a way that promotes that definition. From this point on in my life, I am going to be making the daily decision to be different. I will cry out for my generation, in word and in action, in the hope that others will follow. I will see the things of God, and not let sin enter my mind. I will speak words of encouragement, and not let the devil use the voice God has given me to create deciet. I will listen to my Abba Father's voice, and not neglect the promptings of his Spirit inside me. I will walk in the foot steps of Christ. At the risk of being unoriginal (sorry Tony Dungee) I will choose to be uncommon. Care to join me?