Be yourself…please!

I realized a few days ago that I have wasted a lot of time trying to be “right” in prayer.

More specifically, I try to be “right” and say “the right words” in prayer! I was always second guessing myself, and trying not to sound like “everybody else.”

I know it’s weird, but now I’m trying to bypass all the theological silliness and worry about being “accurate” and “correct” in praying about things and instead trade that in for JOY in prayer, praying the natural way, praying what comes to mind, praying without thinking beforehand about how I will sound to God.

In other words…childlike praying!!

Mark 10:14- 16
When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.”

It’s true, “knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” (1 Corinthians 8:1)

Children…which one of them thinks before he speaks? Considers whether what he or she is about to say is “right”? Yeah…none of them!

Since I realized that I had been trying so hard to pray right or to pray “creatively” I have felt so free and joyful in prayer. What a relief! I won’t look silly before God, no matter what I think I know or do not know! Oh Lord, heal us from all insecurities!! In Jesus’ Name! Thank You!

It’s amazing how He accepts us. It’s also amazing how I didn’t realize this for such a long time. It’s a hurdle to get over too. It’s a prideful hurdle, like “Well, thank You God that I am not like other men!” ( like the prideful man in Luke 18:11)

Whoa..I didn’t realize that that is how I sounded. I didn’t actually thank Him for me not being like other men…instead it was me trying to pray creatively, unlike everyone else. Which is just as prideful. God forgive me. He’s so gracious, really. He reveals our problems so graciously! I mean, He didn’t berate me for this. Instead He just showed me the way…and this way builds so much intimacy. Because who wants to put an act on for their spouse? Or their best friend?

I feel kind of silly admitting all of this. Embarrassed. But the word says to confess our sins to one another, so I hope this confession blesses you and helps at least one other person out!

I’ve always believed that it’s really important to be “real” with God. But it turns out that I wasn’t being much more “real.” Thank You, Jesus, for Your great grace. I am being purified by Your blood all the time! Cleanse me continually in You! Thank You, really, I’m so grateful! Father I pray that we all become more intimate with You. That we put ourselves out there for You. That we are really ourselves in prayer! Help us get to know ourselves through our relationship with You. I pray that we will all become exactly who You made us to be! In Jesus’ Name, amen!!

God bless you!

 

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Tuesday’s tips…on a Wednesday!

Sorry, I’m a bit late with this one 🙂 Actually, I’m not really sorry. I think it’s a great time for me to share what God spoke today concerning time with Him!

“Reach high to the tallest tree. Don’t be satisfied with what is easy to get to.” 

So when you’re spending time with God, but you’re kind of bored…ask Him for more. Pray in your prayer language if you have one or just simply ask Him for more of His presence. Even if you end up doing what you originally had planned (like reading a certain passage of Scripture or something) it will be way more wonderful because of His joy filling your heart, just because you pressed in more. That’s definitely what happened to me this morning! Press in and you will hear Him, see Him and experience Him in new ways. Don’t stop because you feel weak or bored! God bless you, for when you seek, you shall find! 

Hosea 6:3
“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.”

Getting Myself Ready

[I just want to share a bit from my time with the Lord today…something I have not gotten much of recently! But I set the timer for ten minutes–why does that always help me?? It might help you cut through distractions too! Read more here 🙂 And He spoke!]

I set the timer and started listening 🙂 
How is God so good that as soon as we come to Him and rest in Him, He is always, always there to speak? To lead us into Himself? He is so awesome. 

So anyway…I will just write from my journal 🙂

“I am reminded of the vision mentioned during church today–a tree leaning over a raging river (representing God) and the fruit falling off the tree into the river. Basically, if we get into the river of God, we will taste His fruits–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. 

[so I looked up Galatians 5:19-21]
“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, self ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild, parties, and other sins like these…” 

[Can you see yourself? The underlined is where I start heading when I am definitely not following the Spirit of God. It’s like a warning sign: Look out! You’re turning your own way again!]

[and then Galatians 5:21-22]
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. There is no law against these things!” 

[And then Galatians 5:25]
“Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” 

Yes Lord! I will follow the Spirit’s leading in every area of my life! Let it be! Let my life line up with the Kingdom of God! 

And then I listened again…And praise God, He spoke!

“You are My bride. I am coming for you. Be ready.” 

So I asked, “How can I be ready?”

And He replied, “Wear My ring.” 

I immediately thought of Ephesians 1:13.
“And when you believed in Christ, He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom He promised long ago.” 
(Or… “He put His seal on you” instead of “He identified you as His own”.) 

A few years ago, I heard a sermon on this verse. The preacher equated God putting His seal on us like a fiance putting an engagement ring on his wife-to-be. How beautiful- so I’ve always loved it. I automatically thought of this Bible verse. 

The Holy Spirit is like our engagement ring- He is the promise of what’s to come. God living inside of us. Awesome. And our fruits, that only grow because of the Holy Spirit making us more like Jesus, are our bridal adornments–they make me “ready” for the marriage feast!

Revelation 19:7 NASB
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” 

We make ourselves ready by wearing God’s engagement ring for us–the Holy Spirit!! 

—–

So about half an hour after I spent that the with the Lord, I was listening to music on the computer. I didn’t like a song, so I pressed “next.” This was the song that came up. Kari Jobe: My Beloved! The first line: “You’re My beloved, you’re My Bride.” God is definitely speaking! Thank You, Jesus!

Enjoy, and ask the Lord how you can wear Him better~ Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.”

 

It’s been a little while

Hi!

I have some awesome news. My husband got the job he wanted!! We are thanking God for these changes He was in charge of. 🙂 It’s sooo awesome to have a promise and then see it be fulfilled! Has this happened to you? I would love to hear!

As for the moving thing, I don’t know what you remember, but we heard on July 2 that we needed to move by July 31. (Read that post here!) It was definitely a surprise, but once again, the Lord had great plans for us. Less than a week after we heard, we had a place to move to! I posted about our need on Facebook and so many wonderful friends took it upon themselves to tell us every time they saw a place that was available for rent! It was so kind of everyone, I don’t think I mentioned how much I appreciated that. So if you’re reading this, and that was you…thank you so much!!

Anyway, I got a message from a friend, saying that she and her husband had some ideas for us. We got together the next evening, and they said that there is an empty apartment above them…they own the house, and offered us the place! At first it didn’t seem to fit our needs, because we wanted to get a place with my brother, but they only had three rooms. I was really bummed, because it seemed perfect otherwise. So we declined the offer. They said we could always change our minds because they weren’t going to look for tenants for another month.

When we got into the car, my brother immediately called me and said he changed his mind. A couple of days went by, but to be honest, I was so done with looking! I started dreaming about all that we could do with that apartment…and it soon became clear that this was the answer! So…God didn’t just lead us to the right place…He brought the right place to us! Bless God!!

So now we are almost all settled into our new home. We’re missing a couch and a bed frame and box spring (couldn’t fit up the stairs!) but we are so ready to start anew in this wonderful place. We feel so happy and at home and free. It’s wonderful. And having our friends live downstairs is definitely a plus!

Two super big changes in just one month–Rick got a new job (he even got three offers from three different companies! This was definitely God’s timing for a new job!) and we got into a new place.

I wonder what else He has in store!

I think the best part about all of this is that He prepared me. He got me ready for some “change.” Over & over in January, February and March of this year He told me in different ways that “change is coming.” Well, it certainly came!! 🙂