Monday, January 26, 2015

Wha...wha...what If?

What if?...a question God has faced me with at every side lately. 
See, I am a fear walker. 
I like to dream nestled all snug in my heavenly Daddy's lap, and praise Him with abandon at His feet, and even speak truth from the Throne room, but I am afraid to step into the next thing. 
There. I said it. 
I am afraid. 
I am afraid of failure. 
I am afraid of people perceiving God confidence and radical faith as pride. 
I am afraid of people judging me with a chuckle of disdain and thinking, 
"...why does she think she is called to do that? Just who does she think she is?! There are so many others that are so much better at what she is trying to do." 

But God has been replacing that fear dialogue with His TRUTH dialogue:
"So what if? What if you did it and your worst fear happened? People laughed, judged, misunderstood...etc.?" 
He says, "Do you actually think that will keep Me from being with you? From blessing you? From empowering you? From loving you even if you stumble along the way? I called you to it. I will walk you through it."
And that has me re-thinking and asking this:
What if I do what He asks and He does show up? 
Or what if He shows up and I haven't stepped up to partner with Him in the doing? 

The latter are the "what if" questions that should drive me toward my anointing rather than allowing the other "what if" questions to keep me from it! 

When people embrace their anointing, it ruffles feathers. It stirs up jealously and our own self doubt, fears and regrets. 
But when people do not embrace their anointing, it leaves an unoccupied place in the Kingdom work within the atmosphere of influence God has placed you. 
I don't want my seat, my place of work in the Kingdom to go unoccupied. 

No, I refuse to leave my place empty at the table of His abundance. 
I refuse to listen to the enemy tell me I am unwanted and incapable.
I refuse to linger in self doubt and instead I will choose to linger in His presence when I am doubting. 
I refuse the thought that I am made for second best and defined by circumstances or my past. 
And when the world wants to pigeon hole me, define me, paralyze me, silence me, I refuse to settle for the mere good things because it is the GOD things that truly fulfill me, challenge me, grow me, propel me, bless me, and bring the Kingdom of Heaven to every place I enter.  
He didn't make me to be everyone else...He made me to be me.

We need to stop apologizing and cowering and start believing the words of Jeremiah 1:5-8:
"'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the not say, 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you.', declares the Lord."

No more uttering, "But God...I am only_______(fill in the blank with your phrase of choice.)"
"I am only" mentality is spiritual paralysis. 
I AM mentality is spiritual POWER! 
Whatever God thing You are reluctant to do, clinging to the fact that He is with you will calm the storm of every fear. 
It isn't prideful to step out. It's compete trust in His power to sustain you.  

So...what if you and I choose to live a life by design rather than default: Will everyone understand? Agree? Be kind? 
No. They won't. 
But we will be living in the Kingdom purpose for which we were created. 
That is a family, a community, a church, a workplace, a city, a county, a state, a country, a world that I want to see! 
What if God showed up? 
What if lives were changed?
What if I learned to trust and known Him like never before?
What if, indeed:

"What if everyone of us lived the rest of our lives believing that we are clothed in righteousness, forgiven, redeemed in every way, and so thoroughly loved by our Father in Heaven that it wouldn't matter what other people think of us? We might actually change the world!" - D. DeSilva

Friday, January 9, 2015

This Changes Everything

"Time in a person's presence changes everything. Relationship changes everything."-Francis Chan.
I get it. It's so easy to remember this or see evidence of this in our earthly relationships. Because, duh- those relationships have skin on.
But we get flustered and frustrated and confused as we attempt to walk out this goal or resolution of "improving our relationship with God."
We are paralyzed and perplexed as we hoard new devotionals and reading plans and sign up for all the studies and to do all the religious thingys...yet feel no closer- only fat with knowledge and depleted of time.
Do you see? Do you see that He doesn't want your academia, your works, your achievements your perfect routine, your perfect anything?
He just wants you.
Go ahead. Answer that question that just came up in your head: "But I don't ______. And I ______."
So what. What if there is a whole list of what you've done and shouldn't have. And  so what if there's a whole list of what you haven't done but should have.
He. Still. Wants. You.
Talking to Him through your day. Loving on Him as He loves on you in the middle of your mess.
Think of the person you love most, that you're closest to.
How did that happen? Because you read books about the person? Studied people who knew that person? Went to corporate gatherings that celebrated the  person?
I would dare say the answer is NO to each of these.
None of that makes sense when INTIMACY and connection is the specific and ultimate goal.
All of these can be healthy things in equipping you for an existing relationship-but they are not where it all begins and ends.
No wonder so many feel Jesus distant and irrelevant. It's because we try to have a relationship and know the heart of the One we have locked out of the room.
Can you imagine that familiar picture of Jesus standing at a door knocking?
Let's reframe that:
Often, we feel that's not for us, once we have gone from death to life- that the picture is irrelevant for our life.
But the unfortunate reality is that as soon as He ushered in our forgiveness, we ushered Him right back out the door.
In truth, this picture is an image of our hearts today, this moment.
Jesus stands at the door longing to connect with you, leaning in to call to you, gently saying,
"Will you put down that book, will you pause just a moment, will you walk away from that other love- that thing, that person that's sitting in my place- will you let me in? I have love and grace just for you. Just. For. You. Don't bother with that mess...I already see it...and I gave everything to meet you in the middle of it...just let me in."
This? Knowing THIS changes everything.
It's a relationship that will change all relationships.
A love that will change all other loves.
A Presence that will never leave you.
A Grace that will transform you.
Looking for change this new year? 
Let Him in.
And the rest? All is grace.
This changes everything.
Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you." Revelation 3:20
"We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne." Hebrews 12:2 NLT
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Jesus? This changes everything. #simpletruth #letHimin