Worship in the Wilderness

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, for forty years. Therefore I was provoked to anger with that generation and said, “They always go astray in their hearts, and they have not known my ways.” Where your fathers tested me, tried me, and saw my works, so I swore in my anger, “They will not enter my rest.” Watch out, brothers and sisters, so that there won’t be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. For we have become participants in Christ if we hold firmly until the end the reality that we had at the start. But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception. -Hebrews 3:7-14

Today was the day. I was going to march into my supervisor’s office and hand in my letter of resignation. To preface, I do not want to quit. I love my job, but I am exhausted. Exhausted of trying to balance my career with marriage and motherhood. Exhausted of feeling like I have been here for three years, but am getting nowhere. Exhausted of pretending that I am okay… when in reality I am not okay.

In these verses, the author calls us to encourage each other daily. This is not easy, especially on those days when we feel like throwing in the towel. I did not quit my job, but I did complain. I complained knowing that there were others there who felt the same way I do. I chose to make them feel worse. That is what complaining does.

Complaining is a symptom of an unbelieving heart. The Israelites would complain that God, who delivered them from their slavery in Egypt, had set them free only to let them die in the wilderness. They continuously doubted his presence, provision, & protection. Their unbelief hardened their hearts against God. Consequently, they did not enter the promised land.

We all have moments when we feel exhausted & tempted to doubt the goodness of God’s plans for us.

“My eyes grow weary looking for what You have promised…” -Psalm 119:82

But what if, instead of complaining, we worshipped in our wilderness? Worship transcends our emotions. “Only in the act of praise & worship can a person learn to believe in the goodness and greatness of God.”

There is a popular quote that you have probably heard at some point in your life: “It’s not about the destination. It’s about the journey.” I disagree. It is about the destination. Do not lose sight of where you are going because of where you are now. Worship while you wander & you will get there! Complain and you will die in the wilderness.

The choice is yours.

Advertisements

Burning Hearts

Many years ago, my uncle asked me: “How do you know when God is calling you?” At that time, I wasn’t quite sure how to respond, so I paused a moment before I answered: “You hear him”. My uncle was not a believer, but I found out afterwards that he was literally hearing a voice calling his name. Somehow, he knew deep down that it was Jesus.

In Luke 24, we see two disciples on the road to Emmaus. These men had hoped that Jesus would be the one to redeem Israel… and then he was crucified. The resurrected Jesus joined them, although they didn’t realize it was him. It wasn’t until later that day as he reclined at the table with them that their eyes were opened. Then they said to each other:

Weren’t our hearts burning within us while he was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us? Luke 24:32

Even though they didn’t know that it was Christ walking with them and talking with them; their hearts were burning just hearing him speak! Jesus was only waiting for the right moment to reveal himself to them.

It was as he reclined at the table with them that he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight. Luke 24:30-31

I imagine that it was like that with my uncle… and with me before I made the decision to accept Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. I was just walking along, discouraged, not realizing that Jesus was walking with me- waiting for the perfect moment to reveal himself. The moment when the symbolic “breaking of the bread” would open my eyes to his sacrifice on the cross for my sins. Before that moment, the truth of the Gospel was hidden from me, no matter how many times I may have heard it (& I am a PK, so I’ve heard it plenty) or how my heart burned. It was only when I believed in his sacrifice, that the veil over my heart was lifted, and I could finally see the resurrected Christ.

If my uncle were to ask me again: How do you know when God is calling you? I don’t think my answer would differ by much. I might add, “you hear him & your heart burns within you”. Yup, that’s Jesus.

 

 

We Do Not Set Aside The Grace of God

I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. -Galatians 2:20

When we have faith in Jesus- God’s GRACE (his free and unmerited favor) gives us the ability… the strength to live righteously. Paul describes our bodies in his letter to the Roman church as “bodies of death” completely incapable of walking by the Spirit on its own. Our very flesh betrays us leading us time and again to “kick against the goads”. However, when we deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus- we are crucified with him and no longer live according to the desires of our flesh, but by grace through faith in Christ. I know this, yet more often than not, I feel like Paul:

I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate. -Romans 7:15

How many times have I asked myself: “why did I do that?” Followed by a resolute, “Never again!” Yet, if I am not careful, it will happen again. Jesus warned his disciples to “watch and pray”, so that they do not fall into temptation. We must pray, because although our spirit is willing- our flesh is weak.  Thankfully, GOD’S GRACE IS SUFFICIENT! We are undeserving, yet he continually bestows his favor (act of kindness beyond what is due or usual) on us, when we pray, and his strength is perfected in our weakness.

Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time. -Hebrews 4:16

We obtain this grace to help us be more like Christ, even whilst we are still in these dying bodies waiting to be transformed. Because of his sacrifice and our faith therein- we are able to practice what we want to do (righteousness) and not what we hate (sin). We do not set aside the grace of God, but we cling to it for dear life knowing that his grace=our righteousness.

Just Pray

I shared this on Facebook and decided to share it on here as well. I have talked before about how prayer as a solution is being rejected by the world and how sadly, many churches are adopting this mentality. For these people, Prayer Is Not Enough! However, I will say it until my dying breath… Yes it is! Yes HE is!

My status reads as follows:

I am really sad about the recent suicides that have made headlines over the past week. People who appeared to have it all ending their lives. Mental illness runs in my family, so this cause is especially near and dear to my heart.

I am heartbroken by the way the Church has responded in light of these events. I don’t know when prayer became about being “politically correct”. When did it become taboo to tell someone suffering from mental illness to pray? I don’t know if I’m just naive, but I still believe that there is nothing impossible for God! Yes, I understand that mental illness is like being diabetic or having another physical ailment, and that you’re going to need some kind of treatment. I myself have been in therapy. Sometimes you’re going to need that and/or sometimes you’re going to need medication, but at ALL TIMES you’re going to need prayer. I don’t know why it’s not okay for the Church to say that anymore.

The Bible says: “is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.” I believe that God still heals! And he doesn’t just heal physical illnesses… he can heal your mental illness too! Yes, we should connect them to the appropriate resources, but let’s not belittle the power of prayer when doing so. Yes, we have fellow believers also struggling, but when I say, pray… I’m not saying “just pray” like it’s an easy way out… I’m saying PRAY because it’s the ONLY way out. Pray like your life depends on it… because it does! It will not be easy, but your life is worth it! It’s worth waging war for on our knees!

One final yes, for those who don’t know Christ… I do believe knowing him will make all the difference!!!!! In his presence there is fullness of joy! Peace that surpasses all understanding! Hope like an anchor of the soul! New mercies every morning! Love that covers a multitude of sins! And so much more!!!!

Thanks for reading & don’t forget to pray! 🙏🏻

Bloggers Support Bloggers Award

bloggers-support-bloggers-button.png

Thank you, Gail, for nominating me for the Bloggers Support Bloggers Award! I am relatively new to all of this and so appreciate you thinking of me! I find it so encouraging to read your blog. I especially love your poetry! Your love for God is evident in everything that you share!   


The Rules:

  1. Thank the one who has tagged you for this challenge and link their blogsite.
  2. Add the official photo in your page.
  3. List at least 5 bloggers you like. (Suggestion: You can list up 3 bloggers that you’ve known for a long time and you can also list up 2 newbies or more. It’s up to you though!)
  4. In 5 sentences or above, give a short description about why you love the blogger.
  5. Tag at least 3 bloggers to do the challenge.
  6. Put #bloggerssupportbloggers in the Tags section so whenever a blogger is looking for new blogs to read, it will be easier to find!

Blogs I Like:

I love the following blogs because of their transparency. They recognize that we’re all on this journey of faith together and there are no pretenses to what they share. They “keep it real”. The world needs to hear about God from more people like them. People who aren’t all about appearances, but who speak from the heart. 

Inside Cup

Beauty Beyond Bones

Elihu’s Corner

Matthew Winters (Comeback Pastor)

Seeking Divine Perspective


The Nominees:

Dreaming of Guatemala

Nocturnal Mom Talks

Valerie Cullers

God bless! ❤