July 9, 2012

Exodus 14: 15 “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!”

A rather strange pick for today. I am truly amazed by how God speaks and moves through His people.

Context.

I had a conversation with a friend a couple of days ago. This friend had expressed an interest in me that was more than friendly and I had told him that I wasn’t interested in him in the way he desired. I said that perhaps we should not hang out together if he expected a standard of attention that I would never be able to give to him. He prayed and fasted about our relationship and when I saw him the other day, he told me that he was OK for us to hang out as friends. I inquired about his sudden change of heart (I mean I can’t be that easy to forget can I?!)  and he responded with: “I prayed and prayed and argued with God a lot about it, but God very clearly kept saying to me – ‘she is not yours’.”

I was so humbled.

I was also a little frustrated at the same time. Not because he wasn’t interested in me anymore, but because I too desire to hear God’s voice in that manner. I was jealous that God spoke to Him so clearly and He doesn’t do that with me.

Does God love him more? Does God have a greater fondness for the ones he speaks directly to? Does that mean he doesn’t love me as much?

Blah blah blah. Sometimes even I amaze myself with how self-centered I can be!

It’s not like I haven’t heard from God myself, au contraire, I hear from Him everyday.  Spending time seeking His presence is the biggest part of my daily routine and I pray that that never stops. I don’t care how mad I am at my situation, I will spend time telling God how mad I am! You simply cannot have a relationship with God if you don’t spend time with Him. God speaks to us in very different ways. I got caught up in the way God was speaking to my friend and forgot what God had been saying to me.

So back to this weeks verse. I have been struggling with a few things this past week (as I have blogged about faithfully!) In light of my struggles and difficulties, God has consistently been reminding me of His faithfulness. Focusing on His character has been a daily mantra – it doesn’t matter what I am going through, God is still God. Every moment I have spent with God, I have felt Him beckoning me to remember and focus on who He is.

  I read this verse last night after my pastor preached an INCREDIBLE sermon yesterday!

Actually let me just take a minute to talk about yesterday. It was a wowzer. God’s presence was so amazing, so real and such a comfort. None of us had ever experienced God in that way before. It was like He came down to remind us all of who He is.

God knows I needed that.

My pastor talked a lot about the God we serve, the God who created the heaven’s and the earth by a simple whisper and it motivated me to read Exodus 14 – 17 last night. I needed to personally remind myself that my God parts seas with a blast of His breath (Exodus 15:8)…. my challenges are NOTHING to Him.

In fact, everytime I make a big kerfuffle over them, I insult the mightiness of my God.

My relationship with God is a daily humbling experience. I love it.

I know I am being led by God, but my middle name should really be ‘doubt’. I doubt my purpose, His plans, my life… everything! It is a daily battle for me to overcome my doubts. This verse struck me and I found myself meditating on it this morning too.

The Israelite’s were being led by God. He had just parted a sea for them so that they could get away from their enemies and head in the direction of the promise land that He was leading them to. But the moment they were faced with challenges, they quickly forgot what God had brought them through and allowed the challenges to dictate their responsiveness to God.

God is so LOVING!

Can you imagine saving an entire people, parting seas for them, sending all kinds of signs to their enemies and then having to deal with their complaining and ungratefulness when they lack food? God just parted a sea for you three days ago and you don’t think He can feed you?!

Yet His love endures.

So back to the verse… geez, I get sidetracked a lot!

God is leading me. This verse reminded me that even though there will be pitfalls and stumbling blocks, God is still leading me. All I have to do is keep it moving. He will take care of those stumbling blocks, after all, they are NOTHING to Him.

Crying out to God for help is a standard part of our walk with God. But at the same time, there are some moments when all God has to do is remind us of who He is.

What are you crying for? Keep it moving child. I have already told you where to go… just keep moving.

This blessed me so much.

God bless you all today.

Advertisements

I’ve seen the Schiaparelli & Prada exhibition at the Met a few times and while it is not the subject of this week’s post, it stimulated my thoughts on an impossible conversation I too would like to have.

Schiaparelli & Prada – two completely different women designers, communicating in completely different historical times.  Yet, because they are fighting the same attitudes towards women and power, stylistically different concepts of fashion draw an intricate balance in their translation of beauty.

I have been knee deep in Paul’s letters to Timothy and I found myself wondering what it would be like to have a conversation with Paul. While I know that his words are inspired by the Holy Spirit, his writing to me is on an entirely different level.

For the moment, I dream of an impossible conversation with Paul.

You would think that I would desire a face to face conversation with Christ – but that’s not an impossible conversation at all. I actually do that everyday.

But Paul, wow. How I would love to pick his brain.

I have great love and admiration for the murderer turned teacher. I especially admire his steadfastness. He is so assured of God’s love for him that even when faced with all kinds of trials and tribulations, he remains full of faith. Man, I wish I was like that. I wish I was a woman of more faith.

After the exhibition and reading Timothy this past week, something became very clear to me. When your fighting the same battle, it doesn’t matter what moment in history you are fighting it, your approach though individually conceptualized and thus translated, is still fought very much in the same way.

Just like Paul, I’m on the exact same path, fighting the same good fight.

The Bible tells us how we should fight this fight and it is the same for all of us.

However, the internal emotional battles are different…I would imagine. Aren’t they? Or maybe not? I don’t know.

I want to know why he endured his persecution and trial with such faith. I want to know how I can do the same.

An impossible conversation I would love to have.

Have a blessed weekend folks.

July 2, 2012

 

Psalm 103:1 “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name”

How do you bless God?

I have a very shallow concept of the verb ‘to bless’. I think of it in terms of attaining wealth, accolades, success, good relationships and so on. I don’t think my understanding of the verb is necessarily wrong, I just think it is shallow. I have reduced the act of receiving a blessing, being a blessing, or simply blessing someone else to a very physical or visible action made possible through God’s grace.

So again I ask, how do you bless God? I mean – He is God. I can never have enough money, accolades, success or anything that could ever be enough to ‘bless’ Him with.

So what exactly is David talking about in this verse?

I’m obsessed with punctuation and grammar. It was striking to me that in all the different biblical translations – the punctuation for this verse is pretty much the same. This communicated two things to me:

1. I must bless the Lord in my soul

2. Everything else that is within me, must bless the Lord too.

Uh like duh Yvonne.

I promise, I think I have a point. Or rather, this is something I know God has been trying to teach me this past week.

What I felt David was communicating, is that there is a separate state of consciousness in action when we bless the Lord in our soul and when we bless the Lord with everything else that is within us. The point is, the punctuation (no pun intended) communicating two separate acts of blessing God, made me understand what it really means to bless the Lord.

Blessing the Lord in your soul is one thing because it in itself is a state of consciousness linked to the Holy Spirit  – so already the desire of the spirit is to bless the Lord because it is of the Lord.

Blessing the Lord with all that is within you is a different, but very conscious choice you still have to make. This means that irrespective of your feelings, your circumstance, your situation, the weather, your finances, your health, your relationship status, how you woke up, what you ate (insert as appropriate)…. you make a choice to honor the name of God.

It is completely accurate that there is nothing that we can ever do to deserve God’s love, but there is a lot that we can do to please Him. One of those things is choosing to bless the Lord with everything else that is within you. When we do so, we offer God what He truly desires from us – our all. Not just our thanks for all the physical/visible blessings in our lives, but trust in His faithfulness for everything else.

So in those moments when it doesn’t feel like God is there, when everything is falling a part, when you are crippled by fear, depression or anxiety, we choose to take it all to God with praise and thanksgiving. By doing so, we tell God that He is above it all. We tell God that we trust in His character not in His blessings. It is then that we start to bless Him.

This verse resonated in me because I have felt like mountains are falling around me these past few days! But rather than trying to cry them away, I am making an effort to choose to bless God not only in my soul but with my writing, my time, my prayers, my thinking… It isn’t easy at all and I keep failing. However in doing so, I am reminded of how great God is and then my trials seem rather insignificant.

I love Mondays.

 

 

Hebrews 10:36 “Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised”

After my last post I read this verse and it hit me like a tonne of bricks. I’ve been meditating on it all day, so much that I can’t even wait for Monday!

It strikes me how I consistently declare and know that God is God, above all and in control. Yet my personal struggles make me doubt Him. I think this week was a combination of factors, when it rains it really pours.

I’ve made some very BIG decisions over the past couple of months. Every single one of them was made after much prayer, seeking God’s face and patiently waiting on Him. Honestly, I have never done this before. I tend to make decisions and then ask God for His blessing on it rather than making Him my first point of call. My waiting was not in vain, I know I heard from God and I know what direction He was leading me in.

  In Colossians 1:9 Paul tells the Colossians that he has been praying for them and especially praying that they would have complete knowledge of God’s will for their lives. I found myself asking God for the exact same thing – I prayed that He would give me complete knowledge of His will. I assumed He would throw down from above, a detailed map that gave me some supernatural prophetic ability to know exactly what would happen in my career, relationships and family life. I figured if I knew His will then I could have faith when I was living it out and challenges came my way. I prayed thinking I was so wise to ask for such a superior gift. As an aside, I remember watching Aladdin when I was really young and telling my mum that Aladdin was a really silly man. If I was him, I would have asked to have a thousand more wishes on my very first wish… Greed has clearly always been a problem for me! This is all besides the point and only emphasizes my foolishness and utter pride. I thank God that He is in the business of humbling his proud servants!

To cut a long story short, I found my answer to prayer in 1 Thessalonians 4: 1-7 where Paul declares that God’s will is that we would live holy lives, pleasing to Him. The standard of holiness that God expects is impossible for us to attain – on our own. We are weak and it is only through a relationship with Christ that we can begin to live in this standard. His strength makes us perfect.

I read this week’s verse today and it hit me – the problem is never finding the exit, God ALWAYS has a way out of a difficult situation. He is God, all powerful and forever in control. As I write this and especially after reading this weeks verse, I am beginning to understand that I need to focus on what God is building in me in light of my current difficulties.

PATIENTLY ENDURING a trial builds character in Christ. When we are patient, we learn. We wait on what God has in store for us, trusting that it is better than what we can hope or plan for ourselves. We trust that He is faithful to deliver us from our trial. Endurance literally means the ability or strength to continue or last.  Building character enables you to fight the good fight, to CONTINUE to live a life that is pleasing to God despite your feelings or failures. Giving my life to God never made my life ‘easier’. In fact, things have only become more challenging for me because I am constantly fighting my own personal desires and inadequacies. I am actively fighting who I used to be, the things I was comfortable with… all of it. On top of that, I have to fight those constant nagging reminders of who I used to be.

This was really powerful for me. It’s like God is saying to me everything that is hurting you right now, you need it. I am using it to build you up to continue to live the life that I am calling you to, THEN you will receive all that I have promised.

So yes, my struggles are still very much there, but I think I get what God was trying to teach me.

Have a blessed rest of your weekend folks!

 

June 29, 2012

Sometimes I think I am schizophrenic. I go through at least 7 different emotional states in one morning. Most times, the biggest challenge is finding God’s presence or rather, re-assuring myself that God is in control even when I don’t feel Him there. I think when we first start a relationship with God, we rely on a feeling as a result of an experience with God. However, as your faith matures, you stop having that ‘feeling’ all the time and you have to start relying on God’s word as truth irrespective of what you feel or what you see going on.

This morning (and the past couple of days), I’ve been struggling to feel God’s presence. Emotionally I am all over the place and I have started to doubt the things God has spoken into my life. I have started to doubt His promises and I am doubting that He has a call on my life. It is very difficult for me to openly say all this, particularly because I am known for being the encourager in all my relationships. I never doubt God’s nearness to others or have a problem reassuring them of His presence in their lives, but for myself, I falter all the time.

Like I mentioned before – my writing is an act of worship. I really don’t feel like writing right now, I really don’t feel like talking about God and His love when I am in such a state of doubt. I am doing so because I know that real worship and real praise is a sacrifice. It is a conscious, deliberate act of faith in spite of circumstances and feelings. In order to grow in my spirituality, I am choosing to praise and worship the most when my heart doesn’t feel like it.

In moments like this, I listen to up-lifting music. Music that speaks to my heart, reminds me of God’s faithfulness in the past and gives me hope for my tomorrow. This week, Anthony Evans has been on repeat.

I hope the lyrics reassure someone of God’s nearness this weekend… they certainly do for me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGDzNIZfdYQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtMBvVra-f8

The Hiding Place

June 25, 2012

This book quite literally changed my life. It just dawned on me that I say this a lot! I wish it was hyperbole, but it really isn’t. There is something about the presence of God manifested in a book, a sermon, a moment – whatever; that has continuous transformational power.

Anyway, this book – it almost feels like you could write an entire book on the numerous insights it brings up for the Christian faith and walk. One of my pastors suggested the triumphant true story of Corrie Ten Boom saying it was one of those ‘top ten books that every Christian should read’.  I was sure to get myself a copy as soon as the service was over.

Corrie ten Boom and her family were part of an underground movement to protect Jews in Holland during the Nazi occupation. In 1943, their attempts to hide Jews in their little clock shop were discovered and the entire family was arrested. However in true Romans 8:28 style, Corrie managed to sneak a Bible with her into the barracks. In Barracks 28, the words of that Bible were shared with other women until their building came to be known as “the crazy place, where they have hope”. Corrie and her family literally faced hell, but they never lost sight of God. They never lost sight of the focus of their faith and that was the most important lesson for me. Reading the account instantly made my trials seem so trivial in comparison. More importantly, it made me realize that I consistently chose to focus on the difficulty before me instead of just looking to God. God was enough for Corrie and her family. They trusted Him so much that there was nothing that could be done to them that would not cause them to trust Him all the more. God wants us to realize that He is enough for us. Every trial, every problem, every difficult situation should only serve to build you spiritually. It should make you turn to God in an act of submission showing God that He is enough for you.

At the same time, as soon as we open our hearts to God, He will teach us and build us spiritually in His own perfect timing. One of my favorite scenes described in the book is when a young Corrie is on the train with her father and asks him “ Father, what is sex sin?” Her father is silent for a while. As they get off the train at their destination, he finally speaks asking her to lift his very heavy suitcase off the train. The suitcase is obviously far too heavy for the young girl and she is unable to carry it. Her father then agrees with her, it is far too heavy for a young girl. But his response after that literally sent a shock through my system: “it’s the same way with knowledge Corrie, some knowledge is far too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.” His response to this day still brings me to tears.

God expects us to be like children, so utterly and completely dependent on him for everything. His kingdom is reserved for His children! There are some suitcases, some burdens that are just too much for us to deal with; they could be at work, at school, in a relationship, family, it doesn’t matter. Trying to carry them and figure them out on our own only shows us that we cannot bear them and the more we try to bear them, the weaker we get until we have to put it down and eventually surrender it to God. But praise God because ultimately that act of surrender is all God wants from us! When we allow God to carry our burdens for us, we become dependent on Him. We trust Him. As we trust Him, that burden gives us an opportunity to grow spiritually so that we can handle more when we are spiritually stronger and older.

Looking back on my spiritual walk, I know now that there are some things I could not carry two years ago. But because I went through them and allowed God to take over, my act of surrender built my faith. In the Spirit, I look back at those burdens and give thanks for them. They were a blessing. They built me spiritually and made me that more dependent on God, giving me more confidence in His kingdom. James 1: 2-4 asks us to be joyful in trials. I struggled with this, how can I be joyful when I feel like my world is falling a part? Another perfect illustration of this is an instance in the book when Corrie and her sister are moved to another barrack that is infested with fleas. The women complain incessantly, but Corrie’s sister Betsy encourages them to give thanks. Betsy thanks God for the fleas purely because God’s word directs us to give thanks in everything! It turns out that the fleas are indeed a divine blessing. Because of them, the guards would not enter the barracks, as they didn’t want to get any fleas on them. This gives the women un-interrupted time to pray and read God’s word without fear of reproach! In every problem, God’s hand is ultimately working and when we start to believe that, we should be thankful and we should have joy.

God has sanctified us for a purpose. I used to believe that our purpose in life was limited to our talents, so if you’re good at art you become an architect and your purpose stops there. But praise God because He is so much greater than that! He equips us to do the things that He has called us to do. He gives us direction by re-equipping and building us to fulfill the ultimate purpose: bringing glory to His name! This is part of our spiritual journey. I now believe that our call is constantly evolving and developing just as our spiritual state is. Before Corrie’s arrest, the Holy Spirit gives her boldness when dealing with authority in order to continue the underground movement. She is able to tactfully work around them in order to get supplies for the Jews that they are hiding. But after the arrest, when she is eventually released and both her father and sister are dead, she assumes she is to continue with the underground movement. But, when she tries the same stunt that she used to do before the arrest, it fails miserably and she is completely lacking in boldness. She then says: “If I had ever needed any proof that I had no boldness, no cleverness of my own, I had it now. Whatever bravery, whatever skill I had ever shown were gifts of God – sheer loans from Him. It was clear from the absence of such skills now, that this was no longer His work for me.”  Only someone who was filled with the Holy Spirit would understand and make this conclusion.

As I prepare to leave New York, I mused on her words a lot. I felt God giving me direction by stripping me of a skill that I thought was what defined my purpose.  I remember praying that 2012 would be a year of growth for me. This book made me understand that spiritual growth should be, had to be and would be my priority. Perhaps that was the biggest learning point for me, Corrie Ten Boom was so filled with the Holy Spirit and so led by its dictates, that there was no challenge, no problem that overwhelmed her. Every so-called ‘problem’ became a blessing, she turned to prayer and she always focused on God and He consistently revealed Himself to her.

Where are you in your spiritual walk today? Are you seeking God more than you seek things of the world? Are you approaching a problem as an opportunity to bring your focus back to the father? Read this book. It will do wonders for your spiritual health, ultimately the only thing we should strive for in this life.

June 22, 2012

I apologize for not posting anything last week, I had friends visiting me in good ol NYC and was very busy being the perfect tour guide (if eating your way through the streets of NYC is part of the definition of the perfect tour guide, then yes, I am the perfect tour guide!)

I have known these women for most of my life. It was wonderful seeing them all again, seeing how much we have all grown but remained steadfast friends. I can’t wait for all of them to have families and be that fun aunty they all run to for pancakes and journalling lessons.

Anyway one of my best moments was taking them to my church – Brooklyn Tabernacle. God met us, His presence was so real and so beautiful to all of us. I tear up thinking about that very perfect day.

But another amazing moment happened when we watched this sermon. I am always touched by TD Jakes teaching of the word, but this one seriously moved me. Every single person I have sent this to, has watched it at least twice already and they have all had such amazing insights from God as a result.

So enjoy. Let me know what you think and have a blessed weekend people!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXeQppS2asM&fb_source=message

 

June 4, 2012

Ephesians 4: 14 ” Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth”

I say this often and I’m not about to stop either — I really am amazed by the word of God. God has anticipated every little thing to the last detail, His timing is so perfect in the way He teaches us.

I came across the following picture that was circulating on social media sites…

It didn’t sit well with me at all.

This is not the first time I have seen something and thought to myself, “well that isn’t true!”

I have been knee deep in the book of Ephesians this past week and a half, and this verse struck me.  It really is quite simple. The more we seek God and focus on Him, the more mature we become in the spirit and the more we grow; the more we see things the way God wants us to see them rather than the deceptive way the world portrays them.

Will Smith makes a point that resonates to the competitive, selfish, vengeful and self-fulfilling aspect of human nature. Aspects of human nature that are utterly and completely sinful, aspects we are supposed to overcome. Christ teaches us to love and to love others unconditionally. He doesn’t teach us to just love those who were there for us, or our Christian friends, or our family… He teaches us to love others as we love ourselves as a way of life!

There is so much out there that is deceptive, but if your heart is filled in God’s truth then you can begin to discern between false teachings and the things of God.

As an aside — I write for my church’s blog as well. If you are interested at all – check out:

http://blog.brooklyntabernacle.org/transitions/

Have a blessed rest of your week!

New journal, new me.

June 1, 2012

 

I bought a brand new moleskin journal this week and it was quite possibly the highlight of my week. I am a very simple person.

For the past year I have been increasingly methodical and consistent in my writing and I found myself reading through my words, marveling at the progression in my thinking and my attitude towards God. It really was quite striking to me.

When I write (well at least for this past year), I try to make it a reflection piece on my daily reading of the word of God. I write about what I read and how I think it applies to my life. I write about my frustrations and unanswered prayers. I write reminders for myself to pray and what or who to pray for. I write about personal character struggles, using the word to try and mark out a spirit led action plan to overcome them. For instance, last week I was struggling with jealousy. I was very jealous of someone (actually there were more than one) and I wrote about it. I then made a plan to pray a prayer of blessing for the people I was jealous of. I didn’t do this because I am a good person, I did it because I am an awful one. This helped me to surrender this emotion to God. By praying for them, I was telling God I didn’t want to be controlled by the sinful emotion anymore and He could take it from me.

As I read my old journal, re-lived all of the memories, lamented over my sad moments and laughed at some of the really ridiculous ones; one thing was very clear to me. There is such a difference in my attitude and thinking from the beginning of the journal to the very last page. In the beginning, I had a lot of doubts about the relevancy of the word of God for my life, but now, my writing reflects a personal confirmation that the word of God applies to every emotion, desire and struggle I am faced with.

In the beginning I lacked confidence in God but now, my writing reflects a personal stand in Him. God has been so faithful to me. He has taught me. He has blessed me immensely and He has taken control over my life.

The Bible is filled with verses that confirm my current state of mind. In Philippians 1:6, God promises that when He starts something in you, He is faithful to complete it. In James 4:8, God promises to draw near to those who come near to Him. He promises to grow us continually, using whatever means necessary to get us to have life and have it abundantly.

I am in a very uncertain part of my life, but I have such peace. I am beginning to understand why God promises us peace that passes all understanding – it is because through Him, we can be secure and at rest even when it doesn’t make sense to be.

Peace.

I had a conversation with someone this week who said to me: “I’m OK, but I don’t have peace… well your peace at least. I want your peace.” That comment will certainly go down in my personal history as one of the most encouraging and beautiful things anyone has every said to me.

I am in awe of God, I pray that anyone reading this would be too.


I have had conversations with people who have asked me things like – “how do you get into the Bible? Should I read a verse a day? Is a devotional enough?”

Honestly, I don’t know.

I know what works for me.

I started off trying to read as much as I could (on average 4-5 chapters a day) and that was a bit of a disaster for me as I wasn’t meditating on it. I was reading it dutifully rather than passionately or with any reverence. But when you begin to meditate on the word of God, you begin to realize that it is literally the voice of God speaking into your life. You build an unfathomable reverence for it. If your not meditating on it then it just becomes a piece of literature that you can enjoy, but not understand or see the importance of.

Meditation means less content at a time, so I found myself reading a chapter a day. The interesting thing is a chapter a day (even when I was just meditating on it) was not enough. I desire God’s word in a way that I can’t really describe or explain. My day is incomplete, stressful and haphazard when I don’t have it. But that is something that God built in me. The main point is God will grow whatever you come to Him with.

Don’t try to impress Him with your studentship, He is God. Don’t try to make yourself ‘right’ to get into the word, that really is quite pointless – He is God and you can only please Him through your faith, not your seemingly good actions or intents. They will get you nowhere with Him so stop trying to use them as an excuse.

Come in your weakness, in your failings, with your little understanding and let Him build you. He is faithful to do so.

Re-reading my journal, reliving my journey proves that to me.

I am building a nice little Bible collection too – you can never have enough. I find that a daily devotional verse somehow (not somehow, divinely) always compliments my chapter for the day – even when they are from completely different books in the Bible! Again, I really am in awe of God.

I do love getting all your messages and emails, so feel free to keep them coming. I don’t know much but I do know what God has done for me and I am happy to share that with anyone who is curious, searching, confused… whatever.

Have a blessed weekend folks.

 

1 Corinthians 4:10 “Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you claim to be so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are so powerful! You are honored but we are still ridiculed”

If you happen to be on twitter, you probably have gathered by now that the Misfit conference I spoke of in Friday’s post was a life changing experience. I was blown away, utterly and completely wrecked. Wrecked — you might ask? Yes. Wrecked. Used in this context to describe the act of complete surrender. The point when you realise you are absolutely nothing without God. The point when you offer yourself as a living sacrifice and give all your hopes, plans, ideals….everything you thought defined you, you give it all to Him. The act of being left completely empty.

Wrecked.

Now to anyone who doesn’t know my God (yet), the idea of being ‘wrecked’ and left absolutely empty might sound a little out there to you, perhaps (if I may be so bold to say) a little crazy too. I don’t blame you, I have struggled with the concept of surrender ALL of my life. I realised this weekend that the whole time I was struggling with the concept of surrender, I was losing out on the power of it.

You see the beauty of being completely empty, of being ‘wrecked’ so to speak, is you make room for God to fill you. Anything that God fills you with is ultimately and incomparably better than anything you can do or think for yourself.

The verse I picked for this week’s devotion was the theme of the conference.

When you make that decision to walk with God and to surrender everything to Him, you become a misfit.You start walking in a purpose that is from God and not from or of man, you start to fight for things that the world doesn’t want you to fight for, you start to talk and act in a way that is the dialectic opposite of the way the world wants you to act. You stop fitting in.

God’s ways are so different from man’s (Isaiah 55:8), it is astounding to me that I was fighting to fit in the wrong team.

My biggest fear has always been that if I completely surrendered my life to God, I would have to become a pastor. For the sake of brevity, I will not even comment on how ill founded that fear was… the devil is quite clearly a liar.

Anyway, my big AHA moment was realising that “filling your mind with the things of God breeds creativity and innovation. Never average, but the kind that causes revolutionary change!” To be filled, you need to surrender. The more of your life you surrender to Him, the more you can be filled.

 God’s purpose for us all is to stand in the gap. As John Gray said this weekend — our lives are a solution to a problem. God characteristically speaks in solutions and He spoke us into life! Our task is to look to God to show us what problem He wants to use us to stand up for.

It will not be easy, but ultimately the moment you start “acting on the blatant disrespect, being uncomfortable with your surroundings and becoming a misfit” is the moment you start making a difference in this world.

David, Paul, Gideon, Esther….

Misfits.

Think Martin Luther King Jr.

Misfit.

Hellen Keller,

Misfit.

And off course the biggest misfit of them all….

Jesus Christ.

I am so amazed by God. Have an awesome week folks.