Anxiety, discernment, discipline, God's sovereignty and goodness, God's will, trusting God

Weighing with Discernment

No, this post is not about the scale in my bathroom. I have discerningly stayed off that scale for the last few months:).
Decisions, decisions, decisions. Just when we get settled in a pattern, another decision is thrown at us. This year has provided me myriad opportunities to speak with women about God’s will. Each of us lives with an idea of God’s will–some more stringent than others. (Weirdly enough, I have found that the more one clings to the Sovereignty of God, the less anxious one is about “missing” God’s will. Maybe I should do an informal study.)
I spend the majority of my time with young adult women at a time in their life where lots of decisions are being made. What to study? Where to apply for jobs? What to do with my life? Where’s the man I thought would be here? Should I settle for an okay guy that makes me feel wanted or should I hold out for someone with greater spiritual maturity and integrity? Is there a guy out there with spiritual maturity and integrity? What city should I live in? Is it okay to do something I like or is that not what God wants me to do? Should I buy this house, this car, or should I stay with my parents?
Do you know a theme I have discerned? People are more concerned about the right and lefts of taking a job or moving than they are with the everyday decisions to pursue God by pursuing holiness. God’s word tells us of people who were called out of their lands to do crazy things (aka Abram, Jonah, Moses–etc). People fixate on this thought. God’s word, more than anything, tells us to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, strength and to grow in His character by the power of the Spirit in the gospel’s truth. Let’s face it–it is just more “sexy” and exciting to talk about big decisions than the daily decisions to pursue Him. It takes less committment on our parts to think about the “big” stuff than to think daily about surrender and where our affections turn. I hear so much fear in making a mistake and missing where God “wants” me in the big stuff (like marriage and moving etc), but I do not hear a fear about the everyday. Is it not our everyday decisions that make us who we are? In parenting, everyday consistency and love means more than that Disney vacation–right? So, what about making decisions daily for purity in our hearts? Dawson Troutman says “you are what you are now becoming.” Hmm.
1 Thessalonians 4:3 says the will of God is our sanctification. Romans 12:1-2 says to present ourselves as living sacrifices holy and acceptable–renewing our minds daily in Him instead of the world so that we can discern the will of God. Somewhere along the way, people are being taught more about a God of “fate” or a “genie” God more than one you follow with all your heart in order to worship Him and treasure Him in every decision (how to react to my toddler, what to watch on tv, how to spend my money at Target).
From my growth over the years, I see that God is more concerned with our heart’s devotion than righting or lefting us to Minneapolis, Podunkville, Tennessee, or China. There has been ONE time where I knew for certain WHERE I was to be–that was a call to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. That was my Abram out of Ur moment. Funny, I do not know all of God’s purposes, but I do know that as an 18 year old, I would never have guessed that He was calling me there to suffer and die to myself and see my sin. In my limited vision, I could have gone to a Christian school that I decided on my own and grown more in self-confidence, leadership, and selfishness. I know, sounds opposite, huh? But, He had me go to a place where I was shunned because of my stand for Him. I learned humility, dependence, need–and that I was sinful and He was graceful. He could have done that anywhere because He is God, but He purposed it at UTK. What did He purpose? Not a husband, not lifelong reunions with girlfriends, not a ministry–He purposed my sanctification.
As I said, my ONE time, in 35 years that I “heard” an exact location and call from God. ONE–not even in the who do I marry category did I get that one. In starting a ministry and leaving the world of consistent paychecks, I did not get a distinct “word” from God. In infertility, there are a lot of decisions to make–IUIs, hormones, IVFs, embryo adoptions, international adoptions, domestic adoptions, childlessness forever. I have not gotten a firm read on any of it. Has God abandoned me? By no means! Has He grown me in countless ways in all different places in the country and in my heart? Yes!
Well, I got another shock to the “what is God’s will” system the other day in a phone call. I was offered the opportunity, yet again, to apply for my “dream” job. (At least my dream job from a couple of years ago). I would have to turn from full time ministry to take it. Financially–wow, would it help. I want to pray about it–and I am. As I look, I see there could be many ways I could grow the kingdom there. There is no “wrong” in this situation. There might be a best–but a best in different categories. “Best” financially would be applying for the job–can we say downing lots of future debt and prepping for retirement, possible adoption costs, etc–those things are not ungodly. “Best” in the way I have been growing and maturing and walking deeply with people would be staying where I am–continuing to grow and invest in WDC. The last few months have afforded me so many opportunities to see fruit in the lives of people I have been investing in. I have seen fruit in my life–fruit that does not come from one day–but many years of surrender. I have been content in what God is doing. Growth as a leader, artist, shepherd, disciple has come.
Do I still wonder–Does God want me to take this job? Yes. I have a bit of the “right” and “left” leadership of God still in me from my teenage years. Do I want to continue growing where I am? Yes. Am I seeking God in the middle? Yes. One of my favorite songs ever–“Hold it up to the Light”–says “I am mourning the loss of the choices I’d lose.” (It’s a song about faith and decisions by David Wilcox.) I reflect yet again on that line. Sometimes I think I (and we) can make decisions and opportunities as idols. We have this sense that the decision itself will crush our lives if we do not do it right. (For example, if I do not apply for the job, a chain of events leading to my demise will occur where I will never have a child and my marriage will go to pot and I will miss leading myriad people to Christ.) Does that give God power and glory or the decision the power and glory? God wants us to trust and worship Him in the midst of all of life. In moments like these, I take a deep breath and know that day after day I have been in His word and have been surrendering to His leadership. I ask, trusting Him and His presence that is there day after day, “what do I desire to do?” I desire to continue serving with WDC and pouring out full time into young women and women of all ages. Does a new job sound exciting, sexy and full of economic promise? Yes. Would there be benefits to taking it? Yes. Would God work there, too? Yes. I choose to stay and offer God what I do here.

If you happen to see me on the side of the road with a “will work for food” sign, you know that I got this all wrong and should have been looking for a sign to go right or left!

Anxiety, God's sovereignty and goodness, God's word, infertility, suffering in joy, thankfulness, transformation by truth, trusting God

A full heart…

I just finished some time this morning in Philippians. Wow. How easily we forget what our lives are about. In Philippians, Paul writes as an imprisoned man.
If I wrote from prison, I think my letter would be quite depressing. “The food here is awful…You would never believe what the people talk about…I get harassed non-stop…I’m depressed…I’m innocent and it’s not fair that I am here!” You can imagine your own letter.
However, Paul writes this amazing letter encouraging the Philippian church in his own suffering as they are also called to suffer for the gospel and the sake of Christ. His perspective in God-entranced instead of man-focused. He even says that he is glad that the prison guards are now able to hear the gospel. His heart and mind are so truth focused. Most people have looked at chapter 2 of Philippians where he talks about the humility and example of Christ, thinking of others before yourself, etc. I guess we can look at it as theory, but he lives it as reality. He is in prison thinking about the Philippian church and spurring them on to faithful lives in Christ for His gospel. When he talks in chapter 3 about counting all things as loss for the sake of Christ and for the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus His Lord. He is not talking in generalities but specifics–he did not have his freedom. In chapter 4 when he says rejoice always in the Lord and do not be anxious–he was living that out in God’s power. When he says think on things that are true, excellent, praiseworthy, noble, etc, he has shown that example in the whole letter. When he says in chapter 3 that he has learned the secret of being content in all circumstances, he is living it right there in front of us. Do you think that is a life of loving God with all his heart, mind and strength? Uh, Yes! The same Spirit in Paul is in those who have repented of their sin and put their faith in Christ’s work on the cross.
Just as Paul was imprisoned to minister the gospel there, we are each in whatever season we are in to minister the gospel and give God glory where we are. We know that He is about sanctifying us (that’s His will–1 Thes 4:3), but He is also doing a work beyond us–for the body who know Him and who are to know Him. Our lives are not our own.
As I have been walking through infertility and writing about it here, my prayer is that others have seen the gospel–the power of God–an example. Not that I am bearing perfectly, but this is bigger than having a baby. Those circumstantial things are not the ends in our lives. Each thing serves as the means by which Christ is exalted. Our lives are not our own.
There are many different seasons of joy and hardship in our lives. Yours may be an impossible marriage with one who does not know Christ. There is purpose beyond yourself and your happiness in it. Yours may be wayward children, disabled children, and unfulfilling job. My friend, it is bigger than just you.
Greg, my husband, always says “how are people to know how to deal with suffering…such as sickness, death, divorce, etc, if Christians do not live that example out?” We are not immune from suffering, but He is faithful and has purpose. Is it easy? HA! NO! But how are people to know the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus if the reality of life on this earth is not lived out by those who are being transformed by Christ in hope?
The awesome thing about Philippians is Paul is in a place of suffering living out the very truth he is preaching. It is not theory–it’s fact. How gracious of God to show us examples in Paul…in Christ…in David…in Ruth…etc, etc. All but Christ were humans, but all had–“Christ in them, the Hope of Glory.” We in Christ are empowered with the Spirit to remind us of truth, to strengthen us with the power that raised Christ from the dead, to give us hope in Him instead of anxiety, to teach us to rejoice in the midst of suffering.
May we live in the reality of Christ in whatever circumstance we are in–knowing “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

*Note…in no way I am encouraging you to think that your circumstance does not count…God bears with you as a loving Father through it. However, it is not about the circumstance just going away–it is about much more. Bring your mind to reflect on His truth.

Anxiety, God's sovereignty and goodness, grace, infertility, transformation by truth, Uncategorized

A hidden talent…

I have a hidden talent that I have honed all my life. Depending upon the season of life and circumstances, I could be called an expert. This talent is not something to be proud of. It is not healthy or truthful. It involves self-worship, and it does not produce fruit that lasts and encourages.
That talent is worry. I can tell you where all the verses are found to encourage releasing my anxiety to God–Matthew 6, Philippians 4, 1 Peter 5. I have even worried about worrying so much. It is a talent that has been passed down in my family including worrying about what others think, worrying about doing things perfectly, worrying about what happens next, worrying about how I am coming across. I am a firm believer in God’s sovereignty, but if I am a worrier, do I really believe?
In Crazy Love by Francis Chan he explains that

‘worry implies that we don’t quite trust God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives.’

‘stress says that things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control.’

This sentence got me–‘ basically, these two behaviors communicate that it’s okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life in somehow exceptional.’ Gulp.
More than any sin, I think we can encourage one another to worry. There is this fine line between listening to someone vent and feeding mistrust in God.
Lately, I might be sounding like a broken record with infertility. I am given the opportunity every day to walk in my hidden talent or walk by trusting in his grace and strength. More than any situation in my life, I have been reminded that I am not in control. (I think marriage to Greg has taught me that, too) I cannot open my womb–no amount of hormones or standing on my head or old wives tales can create life. Even no amount of worrying prayer and bargaining with God will bring life to my womb. You know what I mean by worrying prayer—“God will make it happen if I pray in this way with these people and I pray enough and I try to be as good and trusting as I can.” Let me know how that works because there are 13 year old girls and drug addicts not praying who get pregnant every day. We, as believers, are not given what we “deserve” in life (good or bad)–God is a wonderfully mysterious God of grace. My greatest worry is probably Greg’s age and mine–“how will I be a good mom when I am older? what if I die and leave my children? what if it is not convenient or too hard? what if I have quadruplets?” You get the picture.
Here’s the problem, I think I am god. And, that is a huge problem–I have put another god before Him and have made an idol. In the words of Dr. Phil, “how’s that working for me?” The problem then is not the circumstance of infertility. The problem is my adulterous heart that is looking somewhere else and worshipping someone other than the amazing Lord that is my King. It is not okay to worry. Like any other sin, I must confess and repent and remember the forgiveness of the cross. I choose to remember the truth that Christ is my righteousness–he trusted the Father perfectly. I admit that I am a poor god, and I am reminded of His character–infinitely faithful (I am finitely fickle). Then, my sin is exchanged for worship and awe.
Chan expounds that worry and stress ‘declare our tendency to forget that we have been forgiven, that our lives here are brief, that we are headed to a place where we won’t be lonely, afraid, or hurt ever again, and that in the context of God’s strength, our problems are small, indeed.’
Who is God? Creator, Sustainer of life, Redeemer, Deliverer, Giver of life, Just, Merciful Father, Good, The only one worthy to be praised, Everlasting, Sovereign…and much more.
His purposes are high above ours–and better than our finite wishes, and He invites us with Him. The problem–we cling to our finite wishes and treasures instead of letting the debris go and trusting His character. These last few weeks I have been faced with the temptation for anxiety at every turn, but I can say that I have been purposefully looking to Him for TODAY and trusting Him for TODAY. I do not want to borrow worries from tomorrow, and I have enjoyed today more than worrying about tomorrow (not perfectly). This is His grace because I have been on hormones that I have made me irritable and cloudy and tired. May I remember His faithfulness and trust His ways above my own understanding! Maybe I can develop some helpful hidden talents with the time that I would have been worrying!

Anxiety, God's sovereignty and goodness, God's word, grace, rest, transformation by truth, trusting God

Give us this day…

These last few weeks and the coming one can qualify for some of the craziest I have experienced of late. All good things…just a lot of busyness in preparation for my niece’s wedding, welcoming my nephew home from semester at sea, running the business side of WDC, running the ministry side of WDC, celebrating the end of college careers for many close family members and those I have been in disciple-making relationships with, and then the regular responsibilities of life. I feel like the proverbial chicken with her head cut off…
Last week I got some time to “be with” God. I purposefully was not rushing off to the next appointment or writing my to do list. I actually took time to remember the gospel and what Jesus means to life. I remembered that he is there when I am weak and weary and heavy laden, and he promises rest and is humble and lowly in heart. I was reminded in scripture that we are to come as little children. The notes in my new ESV study Bible (which I love) said children show a childlike trust, a vulnerability, a dependency in everything knowing they cannot provide for themselves. Gulp. Oh the sweetness of being reminded that I am to be completely vulnerable and dependent upon him as a child. Oh the freedom of that. Oh the reminder that he gives us to not worry about tomorrow (a child does not), to ask for the needs of the day (a child does that in trust).
Another reminder was given to me yesterday as I read and studied in the hammock (a Sabbath tradition that I have not partaken of in a while).

Lamentations 3:22-24
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
The LORD is my portion, says my soul,
therefore I will hope in him.

He is faithful beyond belief (especially beyond my belief). He is even faithful to gently remind me in his word that every morning starts with new mercy, new strength from him. In verse 25 he says “The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” Matthew 6:33 says “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and these things will be added unto you as well.”
I stopped and recognized him instead of continuing to run around in my own self-absorption. I have to be reminded of that everyday. Life in Christ is much more simple than we try to make it…we let ourselves get engulfed by the noise of this world…internet, tv, social media outlets (facebook), busyness, task, productivity. Last week, I felt pulled in every direction…people asking me thousands of questions (it seemed), the more I checked email, facebook, blog, voicemail, texts, the more I had to respond. I was reminded of a Geoff Moore song from the early 90’s–

Simple heart beat in me until I can see a simple heart will set me free
to let extraordinary things flow through this heart of simplicity.

I took a break from Facebook. I knew I needed to simplify my schedule for this week. I cannot be all things to all people, but I know the one who is all that I need (all that we need). My prayer is to approach him as a little child in need, vulnerability, complete trust and with an eye for his glory. My prayer is to seek him first and wait upon him. He is my Daddy, my hope. May this week, even in craziness, glorify him, his purposes, his name. May I be with friends, family, strangers, new friends and have that childlike heart that loves and makes him known.

Anxiety, discipline, idols, learning boundaries, trusting God

The financial crunch

Finances. Ugh. They are on the forefront of our collective mind as a nation. Fingers point. People panic. This crisis shows the reality of our hearts. We are constantly trying to get something to fill us up. That something may be a new house, a certain car, miracle make-up, crafty projects, eating out, the newest recipe, new fashions, decorator items. Name the vice and we have tried it.

It is impossible to remain untouched by greed. We think we deserve certain luxuries. We know that just one more ______ will fill us and solve our problems (or at least make us feel better for the moment). Watching TLC or HGTV on certain days can create in me the equivalent of pornography–a lust for more. I can think that I am less than because of the house I live in…or the way I look. Ever use shopping as a way to make yourself feel better? A house or clothing or food is not bad in itself, but paired with the lust in our hearts to fill ourselves with something other than God, they become bad for us. In Matthew 6, Jesus tells us not to worry about those things–we are to seek him first and all will be added to you. Where our treasure is is where our heart is.

Everything meant for good is tainted by sin. So, we have to examine our hearts in the light of our financial decisions.
1. Can you afford what you are buying?
By afford what you have I mean–can you pay all your bills and not have debt? The big problem we have is that we are buying things on credit that we cannot afford or can barely afford. Do not get caught in the trap of keeping up with the Jones’ when you cannot afford what they have. (Hint: You do not even know if they can afford what they have–it may be smoke and mirrors.)
Take time to examine what you are spending, and make decisions with wisdom. If you have not made decisions with wisdom, get some help. (By help, I do not mean a “bail-out.” I mean start budgeting and making cuts of your spending in order to pay down your debt. You do not have to stay in this cycle.)
2. When making a purchase, ask why you need it and why you are buying it. Is this from an emotional need? Have you prayed about it? Is this wise? Self-control and self-discipline are a practice, not a gift. There are some things that you may think you need and cannot afford. This is the place we learn what true needs are and who our provider of true needs is.
3. Do not let the world dictate your decisions.
Just because you “can” do it does not mean you should do it.
For example, the bank tells you you can get a loan of $300,000 for a house. That does not give you a license to spend $300,000 on a house. That is the absolute limit. Think about the future. Think about your goals. You may be making a better decision to buying a $150,000 house so that you may invest wisely and give more money away. Just because you “have” does not mean you spend it all.
We always think, if I just made this much more, then I would be okay. In reality, people who are in debt making $30,000 a year will be in debt making $150,000 a year because they do not practice living within their means. There will always be one more thing to buy to fill ourselves or to keep up with our neighbors if we do not look at our hearts in regard to money and consumerism. This goes back to the ten commandments–do not covet your neighbor’s house, wife, etc. We need to learn contentment in Christ and where he has us. We can learn a plethora about ourselves in regards to how we deal with our finances.
4. Ask, how does this glorify God? Who and what am I treasuring through my financial decisions?
It is not as simple as do this and you are good–do this and your are bad. What is your motive? Where is your treasure?
If your treasure is here on this earth, pile up things and debt. You must get the newest fashions and send your children to the best schools and keep up with the latest housing trends. I will tell you, it is all emptiness. These things will not fill you, but follow your way. Most of us are following it–wide is the path that leads to destruction.
If your treasure is in heaven. Think about investing in people for eternal purposes. Think about how to make the most of God in your finances. It will cost you some here–friends, popularity, momentary pleasures. You will make decisions differently. You will learn that just because you can does not mean you must or will. You will learn that in a moment of weakness you might feel less than–or your children might. You may actually do some crazy outside of the box things. You may not upsize your house every 10 years. We are put here to glorify God and make known the treasure that he is–he is a treasure. Narrow is the gate and the path that leads to life. This is not easy. In fact, it is a constant battle, but it is a battle that brings true peace to the heart. Use the lack or plenty that God gives you for his glory–learn to trust.

This crisis is an opportunity for you to examine the path that you are on and what that path says about your heart. May we learn to treasure the Almighty God through his son, Jesus Christ, more than ever in this time.

Anxiety, trusting God

Anxiety and Doubt

Nothing like crazy thoughts in the middle of the night to highlight the landscape of your faith. I had one of those nights last night–a mixture of Nyquil, sickness, and the true state of my heart. I have been off of my rhythm of fellowship with God this week, so I have not interfaced with truth. I realized that as I lay awake last night in a sea of worry. It was like I could not muster an ounce of faith. I was a master of doubt and anxiety.
I have been sick this week, and my mind has been cloudy. As I have been on the couch, mindless things have been feeding my brain and heart, but they are not so mindless. After hours of tv, thoughts like, “if I just had this much more money, I would feel safe.” Thoughts like–“just go get a job, the support will never come in.” “What are you doing anyway? You are a fool.” “Do you think you know anything to share with anyone?” “You will be so old when you are a mom that you will not be able to be there for your children.” And my favorite, “how do I get my dog to stop climbing over the fence?” (true story…and if you have free suggestions, we need them.)
How am I overcome so quickly? A good portion of being overcome is being disconnected from God. It does not take long for his truth to ground me, but it also does not take long for the opposite to occur– for lies to disarm me. I have been worried about money and leadership and our future, and I have kept feeding my soul and mind with this world’s view of provision instead of God’s. My world tells me that a savings account is my safety, that luxuries and ease are deserved, and that comfort of circumstance is the true measure of a good life.
Yesterday afternoon, I had the opportunity of sitting in on a conversation with a man I respect and a girl I meet with. They were speaking about the future, life plans, etc. A word of wisdom meant for her ripped at my heart. He said that the best place to be is in need to have to depend on God’s provision because you are in a place of faith instead of depending on yourself or your circumstances. It is not a revolutionary thought, but my eyes were opened to the reality of my heart. There have been places that have been much easier in my life, and I began to think that it was my doing and my resources. I have trusted in them instead of God. (I did not acknowledge that, but that was the reality). I have spent this week worrying about things instead of taking them to God and acknowledging that in every area of life I need him. I am in a place that is a gift to know God and see God, but I have been about me.
My desire would be to wrap this post up with a nice bow of how my faith has moved mountains today. The truth is, I see how I need to spend much time and energy praying, examining my heart, confessing the areas of lack of trust in my Father, and remembering his faithfulness. I think on my friend, Daniel, who is in an extremely trying time (that is an understatement) and whose faith in Christ and his power is the hope that’s carrying him. That is not on sheer whim, but it is on the bedrock of God’s truth, provision and faithfulness. I must remember the bedrock of God’s provision, and pray for faith.

“Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anthing is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:6-8

Anxiety, discernment, discipline, God's word, sin, spiritual growth, the gospel, transformation by truth, trusting God

The battle of the mind

A few days ago, I was refreshed and ready for the fall. I had energy and was ready for the somewhat exhausting days that I knew were ahead. Yesterday, however, I felt like I had been hit with a ton of bricks. Something I had been looking forward to happening did not. I was reminded of a several of my failures all at the same time. Then, I began questioning everything I was doing–if I was equipped, if I had been simply fooling myself. Ever have a day or moment like that? Maybe your whole life seems to be filled with those thoughts.
By the time bed time came last night, I felt utterly defeated. I spoke some of it out loud, and Greg in his loving brevity squelched it a little bit. He basically said (in fewer words) “If you handled something poorly, what can you do but say you are sorry and move on?” Oh yeah.
I then, began to take charge of my thoughts a little bit. I began to examine what I am about to embark on: launching a ministry that will help the discipleship of women in Knoxville. It is not flashy, but it is a necessary part of the life in Christ–discipleship. It is commanded of all of us in Matthew 28:19-20. When you are dealing with the inner life of others and challenging and teaching them them to be dependent upon and grow in Christ, there will be push back and hard times and sometimes avoided phone calls. I have lived it many times this past year. Sometimes when you are the one who is helping someone challenge the deep seated sin in their life, you are not the first one they want to call. You are not running for Miss Popularity. In my flesh, I would always like to run for Miss Popularity in that I want to be loved and appreciated. However, I know that many times the greatest love for others is not always well appreciated because the greatest love points them toward Christ who is the only hope and not toward me making someone feel good in the moment. I know in my own life, I have loved the deep growth I have had in Christ and the freedom in the gospel more than feeling good about my comfort for the moment. So, to love others as myself, I have to move beyond my own self-protection and point them to Christ.
Last night, I realized that the enemy (who loves to steal, kill and destroy) was on the attack–he was accusing me (which is what Satan means–accuser). And, I was buying in hook, line and sinker. In the book I was just reading, the author encouraged the reader to take charge of their thought life. When you have daydream time, he said to put your mind on scripture and truth. I then, began to try that–remembering Philippians 4:8–think on things that are true, noble, good, excellent, praiseworthy, right, honorable, etc. I remembered the gospel–that I am no longer condemned, that I am set free and declared righteous because of Christ’s blood.
Many times the battle is in the mind, and when the stakes are high, the battle intensifies. Please pray for me as I move forward in meeting with the lawyer tomorrow. Please pray that my mind be upon truth and not indulging in the accusations and living in defeat. And, pray to be aware of areas in your life where the battle is hot. It may be accusations of guilt that you are not a good mother or wife or boss. It may be a failed relationship that you are defeated and scared about. It may be fear that plagues you from being obedient to what God is calling you to do. If I were my enemy, fear is where I would strike every time.
The truth about me is that I will fail at some things this year. I will struggle. I will not handle everything perfectly. I will see opportunity to act in sin grow. I must cling to the truth of the gospel and so must you. I must be quick to admit wrong and let go of pride. And, I must humbly ask for forgiveness of God and others as I continue to walk. I must meditate on his truth daily and praise him for all things. I must remember daily Romans 8:1–“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”