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Wanting It More

You know how sometimes things come up that you love to hate? Maybe we had a bad day and are talking about it, and get into ‘poor me’ mode. After awhile, we start to thrive on how bad we have it. Nothing can cheer us up, and often we don’t even WANT to be cheered up because we’re thriving on the attention and sympathy. On some level, we’d rather have a problem to complain about than a solution. Or maybe it has to do with people – in choosing who to make plans with or who to date, there are often multiple options. God can easily guide our steps here, but how often do we fail to ask Him, preferring to agonize about it and analyze it ourselves. We prefer the attention and the fantasy to the reality that these problems have solutions and you can get wisdom on them in seconds if you just ask God. It can be surprising how many areas we have like this, and how quickly we can slip into playing the martyr rather than ask God for guidance in that moment.

However, God brings unconditional love, and He brings peace. There’s no drama in His presence. We bring the drama we get from the world, we give it to Him and He takes care of it. He empties it from us, and fills the void with Himself. We have an easy time submitting bad things. But for some reason, we harbor these ‘martyr’ situations. We harbor the dilemmas that bring us extra attention. It doesnt even always cross our minds to submit those things. But to he used fully by Him, we have to give it ALL. We can’t be concerned about the attention our daily problems give us, or the credit we get when everybody knows how difficult it was to accomplish something. Our identity is in God, and we don’t have to fight for His attention. He sees everything anyway.

We have talked about fasting, and how when fasting gets tough we ask ourselves do we want this food, or do we want God more? We choose God, Nd fasting becomes bearable. We want Him more than anything else, and in that mindset, we will do anything to seek Him.

It is time to get into that mindset with our hearts. It’s time to ask ourselves, “Do I want God and God’s plan, do I want to thrive on my savior, or do I want to thrive on this problem that doesn’t even need to be here?” God vs problem…it’s a no-brainer. We’d choose God every time.

I’ve heard it said that living with Jesus is expensive, and that love will cost you. I think that’s a heart issue and we should count the cost here – it’s way more expensive to thrive on drama than on peace. It’s more expensive to hold on to our flesh than to let our Savior show us how to live. So spend time with Him today, and ask Him to show you your ‘martyr’ areas – things that are bogging you down when they don’t really need to be, or things that you haven’t given God full control over yet. Go through the problems and questions in your life and ask yourself “Do I want this dilemma or do I want God’s plan?” If you reach the no-brainer answer, as I did, it’s time to finally say “God, take this from me and guide my steps”. He will, and you will wonder what you were ever holding on so tightly for.

And as always, if you want extra prayer or support, or just to chat, i want to hear from you! So write to me at being.rebekah.a@gmail.com. God bless!

~Rebekah A

Don’t Miss Your Miracle

And his daughter in law, Phinehas‘ wife, was with child, near to be delivered: and when she heard the tidings that the ark of God was taken, and that her father in law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and travailed; for her pains came upon her. And about the time of her death the women that stood by her said unto her, Fear not; for thou hast born a son. But she answered not, neither did she regard it. And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband. And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken. ~ I Samuel 4:19-22

One of my favorite sermons taught about this scripture passage and was entitled “Recognizing Your Miracle When It Happens.” As I opened my Bible for inspiration on a blog it fell right on these verses and I knew that someone needs to read this.  

When things happen in our life we sometimes become overwhelmed by the details.  Phinehas’ wife heard that all the men in her life were dead and fell into labor because back then, no men = no security. Sometimes bad things strike into our lives, but in the midst of trial God can bring us miracles. Recognizing that miracle, however, can sometimes be the hardest part.  

My ex dumping me was probably the greatest gift he ever gave me. So often during our relationship I felt as if he was trying to buy my love- coach purse, expensive dinners, etc. I told him I was happy to just go to subway and sit and chat but he never did. I love carnations but he said they were cheap flowers and he wouldn’t get them.  When things started going south I begged and pleaded with God “Lord, let this cup pass from me. Be my God of second chances.”  One night during a powerful service, after almost 2 weeks of silence from the man who had claimed I was the only girl he ever loved, I prayed with ALL my heart “mountain, be thou removed!” I had no clue what the mountain was, but I knew that it was gone.  The very next day, my ex changed his relationship status on Facebook to “single” without ever breathing a word to me. I was devastated. Guys reading this blog who are dating- if you are a true man of God and feel you have to break up with someone- pray about it and if you must break up, meet with her! It can be at a coffee house or over skype if distance is an issue, but see her FACE-TO-FACE and look her in the eye and tell her that God is telling you “no.”  That is what a real man of God would do. Don’t cop out with the excuse “we met when we talked about taking a break,” because taking a break and breaking up are not the same. I had believed he would have done what a real man of God would do but clearly, he did the furthest thing possible.  

It ripped my heart up in shreds and yet, there was a nagging feeling that “you prayed about that mountain last night and then this… this must be of God!” Although it took much fasting and prayer, I eventually came to see that indeed, his breaking up with me was a miracle.  I loved what I THOUGHT he was more than even Jesus- what a horrible place I had been in! Never in my life have I placed any person or thing so far above God as I did my ex.  He was my everything. I practically lived to see or hear from him again.  Even when he yelled at me because I didn’t go to the gym and made me wonder if he even found me attractive at all, I still came back for more.  If we had married, who I am would have been destroyed and I would have been a shell of the light I am now.

I never imagined that God would so quickly show me that He has a new future for me and I honestly wish I knew who God wants me with because there are multiple guys right now and I am legitimately interested in them all. God has put me in a place of just trusting Him to sort it all out because I do NOT want to hurt anyone and so I just have to believe that if I keep focusing on Him, Jesus will help limit anyone having pain when it’s time to choose. Perhaps one will just naturally take himself out of the running or one will shine brighter. All I do know is that if I had wallowed in mourning instead of burying myself in Him, I would still be harboring heartache, there is no way I could even be entertaining the thought of a new relationship in the next few months, and I don’t even know if I would still be passing my schooling. This God we serve, He gives us miracles in our trying times but we must recognize them when they happen or, like the woman in the passage above, we may perish in our sorrows.

Jesus,

Help us not miss Your miracles in the midst of our storms. As the preacher said, they may be tiny, crying miracles that need our care and attention, but when they grow up, like how her son would have been able to take care of her in her old age, Your miracles will come to fruition if we just hold on to hope and stay faithful to our daily tasks.  Lord, teach us to focus on You and hold on to the fact that in You, we have hope.  In You, there are miracles that we may not even recognize just yet.  Thank You Jesus for saving me from tying myself to someone who never even saw my real worth and couldn’t even tell me I was beautiful until AFTER he was essentially dumping me when he asked for a break.  Lord, for those who are brokenhearted, I pray right now that You show them just how faithful and loving You are as You did for me in my time of pain.  For those who’s life is falling apart, show them that in You, they have a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). Show them that in You, they can overcome the things in this world because You overcame the things in this world (John 16:33). I love You Jesus with all my heart. 

Rebekah M. 

Being Anna

There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.” ~Luke 3:36-38

My last post was about seeking God and not His promised rewards; those will come on their own as God sees fit, but our priority as Christians needs to be on God Himself.

The story of Anna the prophetess exemplifies this. She was married for seven years. That’s it – just seven years before her husband died. Marriage and parenthood are supposed to be two relationships, marked by unconditional love, that emulate God’s love for His people. We can’t fully love the way God does, but in these two relationships, if we do it right we come as close as we can.

However, Anna was denied these things. She was denied a loving marriage. The bible doesn’t mention any children; since other details about her life and family are mentioned, I’m assuming she had no children. But if you know for sure please tell me! Regardless, most girls dream of growing up and getting married. Especially back then. Anna got that life, and then it was taken away from her.

Did she get bitter, or turn on God? No. She may have for awhile, I’m certain she was hurt; but she opened herself up to be healed by God and to grow in her walk with Him. Ultimately, she spent her life not on a human family or any earthly thing; she spent her life with God. Granted, she was brought to a place where there was nothing left for her on earth. Facing that, she turned her desires and her focus to Heaven. Her temporary home was empty, so her sights were set on her eternal home. We aren’t all brought to such a place of despair; sometimes we have to shift that focus on our own.

But look what happens when we do! Anna, at age 84, having spent most of her life as a widow, was essentially living in the temple and spending her waking hours in fasting and prayer. She worshiped and prayed to God for the sake of being with Him – not to gain a reward, but just to be with Him. Her perspective was right, and guess what happened? God rewarded her anyway! Anna spent so much time worshiping in the temple that she was in the temple when Jesus Christ was brought in to be dedicate. Anna’s there praying, desiring God, and then sees Him as an 8-day-old infant. Not only did she see Him, but she knew Him for who He was. She had been blessed with prophesy and her time with God honed her discernment. She knew exactly who she was looking at, and she knew what He would ultimately do. She had the chance to speak over Him. God literally rewarded her with Himself.

Jesus, we thank you that you are so faithful and giving of Yourself to us, when we just focus on You. Help us to keep our priorities straight and keep our eyes on You and Your light. Help us to see You as the true and ultimate reward, and to see anything you bless us with here on earth as a bonus.

God bless!

~Rebekah A

Unveiling Your Treasures

“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” ~James 4:3

I’ve been noticing a heavy sense of entitlement in the Church. It’s no secret that we work hard to become closer to God. We fast, we pray, we meditate, we worship, we fellowship, we go to church, we sacrifice things we know we shouldn’t be doing.

Then, at the end of it, we say “God! Look! I’ve fasted! I’ve humbled myself! You can reward me now!!”

Yes, God rewards us. Yes He blesses us. He loves us and desires to bless us. However, we need to check our priorities here. Why are you fasting? Are you fasting and sacrificing so that if you ‘prove’ yourself to God, He’ll reward you in kind? If you act kingdom-minded enough, He’ll give you the worldly things you want too?

If that’s the case, you’re already living the reward. You got the greatest reward you ever could – eternity life with the Holy Spirit. If we were truly kingdom-minded, as kingdom-minded as we’re called to be, we would be rejoicing in the sacrifice itself. The more of the world and our human, fleshly desires that we shed, the more room there is in us for the Holy Spirit to manifest itself. The bright His light shines through us as we move through the world, that the space may be brighter for us having passed through. That’s a reward in and of itself. That’s the ULTIMATE reward.

Has God not already rewarded us in advance, by the stripes and cross of Jesus Christ? No act in our lifetime will ever be great enough to deserve that; yet it was given to us in advance.  Does God not promise us that He finds the best pathway for us to be on as we navigate the world? No act in our lifetime will ever be great enough to deserve that; yet it was promised to us already.

Yet here we are. “God I fasted; show me the fruit of my labor.” “God I prayed; send me a boyfriend.” “God I sacrificed ____ because I know it’s not right in your eyes; so reward me.” If we were truly kingdom-minded, those statements would look more like “God I prayed; deepen my prayer and multiply my time so I have more time to rejoice in You”. Or “God I fasted; my physical hunger left room for spiritual nourishment, and I’m more full of you than ever.”  I’m not saying God’s never going to bless you; of course He is, and He’ll bless you with earthly things.

But for our part, when we go around sacrificing and doing these things so that we can be blessed and rewarded, we are putting God’s promises above God Himself. The action may be Godly, yes….but in our hearts, if we’re doing it for the blessing that comes later, are we not still just doing it for our own gain? Is that being truly kingdom-minded?

And what about those times that we do godly things, go on fasts and prayer journeys, and really dig deep into God, and then look around for our reward and get disappointed when we don’t see it? Are we perhaps looking for rewards with worldly eyes? We’re told we’re storing up treasures in Heaven, not here on earth. Do you think treasure looks the same up there? Maybe when we don’t see a tangible reward, we just aren’t looking for it with kingdom-minded eyes; our worldly eyes are looking for tangible things. God does reward, but He sees things differently than we do. If we were truly kingdom-minded, we wouldn’t measure God’s rewards with worldly eyes. We’d be looking with His eyes. That changes the value of all treasure here on earth. Just like a flawed mirror of ourselves, the world gives us flawed glasses. Treasure here, and tangible things here pales in comparison to the treasure God can truly give us. A glorious ministry, a clear path, a husband….these are all good things and God can and will bless us with them. But nonetheless, they are things of this world. If we’re looking around for tangible rewards right where we stand, aren’t we putting God in a box? When He does reward, let’s let Him do so in His own way. Who knows, maybe He did reward you and you were so busy looking for some worldly thing that you missed it?

Also, I feel a sense of condemnation in this sacrifice – I’ve been feeling it in myself, and God’s been doing a lot this week to relieve me of it. “Lord I don’t know you enough; I don’t have enough of you in me; I’m bad at being Your daughter; I need to sacrifice and stop doing ___ and see if I can find more of you somewhere.” We condemn ourselves to it; God loves us to it. We put up blocks sometimes, thinking we aren’t good enough yet or worthy yet to fully let God in. We try to do more and more, thinking “at the end of this sacrifice, I’ll be worthy to feel God more fully.” It’s a constant feeling of striving.

Striving for more of God is great. But the thing is, God is already in relationship with each one of us. In active relationship. Some of us know Him intimately, and some are mere acquaintances, and some are strangers. Either way, it’s a relationship. I don’t think it’s possible to have full revelation of God here on earth. Our human minds are so small compared to Him, and He even tells us we should always desire more of the Spirit.  That hunger, that desire, is always going to be in us, because as Rebekah M said, we aren’t home yet. We’re here for a short time, and this isn’t our true home. While we walk here in this foreign land, we need to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us in the way we’re supposed to go and show us how to think and act. But the Holy Spirit is not something we need to go on a quest to find; it’s already inside us. We just need to look inside ourselves and let it love us. We get so caught up in changing ourselves that sometimes we get ahead of God, or sometimes we forget to stop and check in with the Holy Spirit inside us and let it show us what it’s done in us already.

Sometimes there are things that need change. The difference is we see ourselves as “bad Christians” when it comes to certain things. God doesn’t see us as bad; He just sees that He isn’t done molding us yet. So He brings us through tests and trials, He trains us…sometimes we don’t need to anything at all, we just need to sit there and let Him come over us and love us, and let the presence of His light cast out our darkness. Sometimes we are called to fast and sacrifice.

But either way, God is always there. Always. And we were created to serve, worship, and love Him.  So, if we feel called to make certain changes or sacrifices, and we do, and we don’t see the fruit of it right away, check your heart. Are you doing this for God, or for God’s promised reward? Are you looking for a reward from God through the flawed glasses of the world?

If you feel like you’ve been fighting an uphill battle, take the time today to just spend time with God. Just let Him love you. Let yourself feel Him. It’s enough to just dine with Him at His table. We don’t need to be questioning Him and putting demands on Him; just sit there and belong to Him. Check your motives with Him, and give Him your heart. Just bask in His presence; meditate on His kingdom. Because at the end of the day, there’s your reward. It’s there, right next to you, waiting for you to truly embrace it, without veiling it with the expectations of the world.

I pray for all who read this blog that this revelation of God’s rewards may touch them. And I’d love to pray for you individually! So write to me at being.rebekah.a@gmail.com.

God bless!

~Rebekah A

I Choose

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. ~Joshua 24:15 

For almost as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved the name Joshua. So many times I’d say “any single guy named Joshua gets a +1 in my book!” My adoration of the name was because of the above verse: Joshua chose God when not everyone was. When it wasn’t the trendiest thing to do, he chose serving the Lord over any other.

In the last few months God has been opening my eyes to the fact that life is all about choices.  As I mentioned before, when my world was falling apart God gave me a choice and I chose worship.  As my 21 day fast continued, I made an ever growing list of choices such as “Monday I chose to worship You and today Lord, I choose to worship You and to trust You.”  Let us, when events occur in our lives, through God’s strength and grace, make the choice to worship, trust, and know that God is good and His mercy endures forever and that He has EVERYTHING in His hands.  Hold on to Romans 8:28 and know that good and bad works out in the end.

I was talking with one of the guys about this concept yesterday. Honestly, it was probably one of the best conversations about God that I’ve had in a while. We ended up talking about the fact that God is okay with us being human. Jesus lets us weep and cry out to Him and it is in our choice of reaction that we forge our destiny. When my car hit the guardrail while I was driving on that mountain road, my pastor and his wife called me up and we prayed over the phone together.  We soon broke into worship and it was IN THE MIDDLE OF WORSHIPING JESUS  that I got the phone call saying that I was set up with a rental in the middle of the night so that I could go to bed worry free, knowing I had a way to get to the conference the next day! THAT is God! However, before that happened my first reaction to the accident wasn’t to jump up and worship as I looked at my car- it was:

God I’m SO FRUSTRATED!!! I thought everything was turning around! I AM SO FRUSTRATED GOD!!!!

I know that yes, I could have had a MUCH better first reaction, but I also feel like God blessed me because despite the initial frustration, I went from “pity me” to “Lord, despite it all, I trust You and I worship You.” It took me longer than it should have, but I learned a lesson in my hesitation to immediate worship- it was fruitless because in the end God did have it all in His hands!

Jesus, 

I ask that You now solidify in our hearts that with every event in our lives we have a choice. We can choose to do things our way or do things Your way. We can choose to worry or we can choose to worship.  We can decide to walk away from you because of fear and doubt or we can choose to walk towards you- hurtling ourselves in Your arms when things go wrong.  Let us choose worship. Let us choose trust. Let us believe and know that You are sovereign and above all things, even the problems of our lives.  Thank You for understanding that we are human and allow us the space to come to You when we hurt and just sit in Your presence and say “Lord, I choose to trust You, but it hurts so much right now.”  To declare, “Lord, my heart is breaking but I know it is in Your hands.”  To resolve “Lord, I am afraid, please help me with this fear for I choose to worship You even though I am so afraid right now.”  I love You Jesus with all my heart. 

Rebekah M.  

Working In Partnership

“I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth. Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who causes the growth. The one who plants and the one who waters are equal, and each will receive wages in proportion to His labor. For we are God’s co-workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.” ~ 1 Corinthians 3:6-9

It’s no secret that God gives us strength and wisdom, and God has all things in His hands. Yet God has been telling me lately that I play a big role in this. Every inch of my heart is either of God or of the world, and I choose which to follow. If I follow God, the things of the world are bound in my heart, and God’s will is free to reign over me. If I follow the world, God’s will is what I’m binding.

So often, we treat God as statue-like, there to answer our desires, and give us what we want. When we don’t like His answer, we wait til the season has passed and we hear a different one. But that is not the God we serve. The God we serve is never idle, with any area of our lives. With every single part of our heart, and every single area of our lives, God wants to be moving. He wants to guide us, refine us, call us deeper to Himself so that He may provide for us more and more fully, and His will may be manifest over us.

He wants to do all these things, for His will and His path is the best one we could possibly be on. However, in order for Him to do these things, we have to let Him. If we want Him to water the ground we’re on and make it fertile, whether it be growing our relationships or jobs or anything else we have in our lives, we need to plant the seeds so that His water can be put to use. Sometimes He even gives us the seeds; with me, He’s been holding His mirror up to my heart showing me areas that need change. He handed me the seeds on a silver platter; He could not have made it more clear. My job, then, was to plant them and let His water flow forth.

As God is not idle in our lives, we cannot be idle and expect Him to work anyway. We have to take the steps He calls us to take; we have to sow when He tells us to sow. We have to open up places in our hearts when He tells us to. Sometimes this calls for sacrifice and fasting; other times this calls for worship. Either way, we are God’s partners. We are His voice and hands and feet here on earth. It’s an amazing, beautiful, and humbling place to be. So pray into His will today, and take the time to listen to what He tells you. He won’t leave you hanging! And of course, feel free to write to me at being.rebekah.a@gmail.com, and let me know what He’s telling you; I’d love to pray into His will for you!

God bless!

~Rebekah A

A Cause To Rejoice

“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.” ~ 1 Chronicles 28

I have some updates for you all. First, I posted in Stepping Out in Faith about a project God was calling me to. He wanted me to make little cards with Bible verses on them, and distribute them with food/drinks to homeless people. Or really to anyone on the street I passed who may have needed His word that day. To help me in this, He put a name in my head, of a girl I don’t know well. In obedience, I texted her anyway. I am very excited to say that I’ve since heard back from her! She didn’t think it was creepy at all that I texted her out of the blue, and is going to do her best to help me if she can. Yay!! Thank you Jesus for knowing the exact way things need to be done, and for putting it on my heart. Next steps involve finalizing the cards themselves, but mostly they involve prayer, prayer, and more prayer. God is orchestrating this, and I don’t want to get in His way!

Second, like I posted in The Heart Of The Matter, I fasted yesterday in an effort to start shedding some worldly qualities I have in my heart. Basically, I have a hard time seeing with God’s eyes and His heart, and my words, actions, and choices reflect that. Instead of being His vessel all the time, I’m His vessel sometimes, and the rest of the time I’m getting in His way. In turn, He has slowly but surely been shedding light on these areas in my heart. His Word is a perfect mirror, and through it you see a true reflection of yourself. Having brought it to my awareness, however, He made it very clear that the next choice was mine. God is light, and can cast out all darkness. Darkness can’t exist where He is. So those “dark” areas I had in my heart are there by my own choice. Would I continue choosing to block Him out in these moments, or would I choose to submit them to Him so He can fill  my heart with light?

I chose God, and it started with a fast. The Bible tells us that some things can only be cast out with prayer and fasting, and yesterday I turned that principle on myself. The thing about fasting, for me at least, is that the second I take those steps to sacrifice for my Father and to grow in Him, He rewards me exponentially. I feel His presence so much more strongly on those days, and I can feel myself rejoicing to be so close to Him, and Him rejoicing to be so close to me! Never do I feel so purely and tangibly loved as I do when I make this small weak effort to seek wisdom from my Father, and feel His total joy in return. He wanted my heart. Yesterday I gave it to Him and He was happy about it! I didn’t even do anything special – it was just for 24 hours. Nonetheless, I – who am nothing and nobody without Him – made Him rejoice in my presence the way I do in His. That’s how much He loves us, and it’s a beautiful thing.

Anyway, I started out just praying to Him. Every hunger pang I felt was a call to prayer, and I even danced around the house singing to Him! It wasn’t even an actual song, just a refrain I made up (“Take me to the rock, that is higher than I; Father give me grace, to finally lay down my pride…”), but it served my purpose. Throughout the course of the day, I relived conversations and events where my actions were less than stellar, and I repented them. I prayed for a change of perspective and a shift in my priorities.

That night, my roommate came home after a rough day – he’s nearing his busiest work time of the year, he has been sick, and he’s even sicker from the medication he’s been on. And he said something completely innocuous, but inadvertently said it in a harsh tone. Normally, I’d be hurt or offended by this (pathetic, I know, but this is exactly why I fasted). This time around, it did occur to me to be hurt, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t. But this time, I brought God into the picture and said “God take my thoughts and heart right now and guard them. This isn’t important; this conversation and words mean nothing. There’s nothing bad here, nothing to be upset about, so take it away and help me to see that. In this moment, keep me focused on what’s important.”

See, I didn’t ask for perfection. I asked for change. Change in my heart and in my perspective cannot come when my choices and actions remain the same. For change to come, I need to give god the chance to work it. God, for His part, answered my prayer immediately. I got my change in perspective. I saw right away when something wasn’t important. What’s slower to change are my actions and emotions. There may be a day when I don’t have to ask for God’s help with these little insignificant things. There may be a day when I don’t even notice such comments, or don’t react to them at all. I sincerely hope so. For now, my change in perspective is a great start, and I’m in a place of submission for the rest.

Thank you Jesus that you are constant and faithful to us. I thank You that You are merciful with Your mirror, and bring awareness without condemnation. You will not forsake me in spite of my flaws; You created me and gave me life and worth, and You think I’m worth fixing and refining rather than forsaking. I thank you that you are beautiful and give me things to work on daily. I pray for continued guidance as I follow You and as You complete this work in my heart. Show me how to love You and let You fully use me as I wish to be used by You. Help to stand strong in the work required to get there. And Jesus? I love You.

If any of you have been seeing yourselves through God’s mirror lately, you are seeing that you are less than perfect. Take heart and know that it’s ok. God doesn’t do things idly; He’s not giving you these moments of pain/shame/embarrassment just to hurt you. He is drawing your awareness to shortcomings because He thinks you – yes, YOU – are greater than your flaws. He knows you better than you know yourself, and knows that you are worth refining and fixing. He knows you’re too great to forsake. We all are. So He won’t. All He wants is us to come before and spend the time to let Him work in us. He wants to rejoice in our presence the way we rejoice in His. His love for you is that strong; so embrace it! And if you need some extra prayer to get you through, or even just want to share how God is moving in your life, write to me at being.rebekah.a@gmail.com. I don’t know how to make that a link, so I’m sorry about that, but I’d still love to hear from you!

God bless!

~Rebekah A

The Heart Of The Matter

“The Lord will give you the bread you need and the water for which you thirst. No longer will your Teacher hide himself, but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher. While from behind, a voice shall sound in your ears: “This is the way; walk in it.” when you would turn to the right or to the left.” ~Isaiah 30:20-21

As you may have read in my post Declaring Citizenship, God has been really drawing my attention to all those moments in a day where I’m consumed by the world and not by my Father. Rebekah M just posted yesterday about a need to be separate from the world as well, to be in it and be a light in it but not to be of it. Is anyone else seeing a theme here???

Today God has been stretching that a bit further, essentially saying that He’s shone the mirror of His word on my heart. He’s reflected it back to me so I can see it. He’s entered me, perfect in His light, and shown me all of the dark places that are still there. Every spot of darkness shuts Him out, because He is the light. He’s told us that where there is light, darkness cannot enter. Lately He’s been saying to me that the opposite is also true. Where I harbor darkness, His light can expose it, but nothing more. For Him to cast it away, I have to let Him. I have to invite Him in to do more work. And I have to let those areas go.

My heart then, is a direct reflection of my choices. And of course I do have a choice. In every moment I can choose the world or I can choose God, but I can’t choose both. Lately, God’s been telling me that while my prayer life has become much stronger, and I can bind demons with my words, so too can I bind God with my actions and my choices. My heart yearns for Him and yet blocks Him at the same time.

So, there’s only one thing for me to do. Change my choices. For me, such changes come about in a day of fasting. God leads me to more fasting as He sees fit, or sometimes just the day is sufficient. Either way, tomorrow I will be shutting out the physical needs, the worldly and fleshly needs and wants that I have. Instead I’ll be depending on God for the spiritual nourishment that I really need. I need to get more kingdom-minded, so my desires can match up to the Lord’s a little bit better. If I am to be a citizen of Heaven, I need to see with Heaven’s eyes, and desire what Heaven desires.

Too long has God had to share my heart with the rest of me. He is telling me now that as a jealous God, He has had enough. He will no longer be bound by me, a worthless creature without Him. He desires my whole heart and will settle for nothing less. Fasting tomorrow will help me regain some focus on Him, and ultimately fill me with enough spiritual nourishment to overtake the darkness and cast it away. At the very least it’ll be a start!

I humbly invite you to join me in this. When I fast, I typically don’t eat any solid food for 24 hours and see where God leads me from there. It’s usually somewhere amazing, if you need some incentive. 🙂 I’m not asking for anything drastic though. Maybe you will just stay off of facebook for 24 hours. Maybe you’ll just stay off of facebook for a couple of hours. Maybe don’t send any texts. Maybe skip lunch. Or maybe dessert. Heck, skip salad. Just make a conscious decision to skip something for a certain time frame. Make sure that whenever you start thinking about what it is you’re skipping, let it be a call to prayer. And if you opt not to fast, maybe just say a prayer every time you eat for 24 hours. Whatever it is, allow God to open you up and bring you closer to His kingdom. Let’s give ourselves fully to the One who made us, and not make Him share our hearts any longer. He created us and saved us and granted us eternal life; surely He is worth it!

Whether or not you feel called to join me in fasting, pray that in your choices and your actions for the next 24 hours, you are  not binding His will over you but granting Him full access to your heart. And if you need extra prayer, for anything at all, I’d love to give it to you!!!! Write to me at being.rebekah.a@gmail.com – I would love to hear what God’s been telling you, what you’ve been going through, or anything you may need prayer for.

I just feel God saying it is time to look deeply at our choices, words, and actions. They are true reflections of our hearts. The question is, do they reflect Him?

Good luck, and God bless!

~Rebekah A

Separating Myself (aka Leaving Babylon part 2)

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you ~ II Corinthians 6:17

Last night and today I fought with my personal Babylon again.  I find it interesting that there are times where we go into a testing mode.  When everything was falling apart, I buried myself in Christ and found Him to be more perfect, wonderful, loving, and forgiving than I had ever imagined.

Lately, however, I feel like He’s calling me to interact a little more with the world.  For over 2 months, I went to work then came home and prayed, or listened to preaching, or prayed some more.  I fasted so much I lost 15 lbs after YEARS of not being able to do that! God was transforming who I was and what I did… and I am still a new creature but I feel like He wants me to be a light as well.  It is a fine line though- how to be a city on a hill and yet not hide my light under a bushel? How do I be IN the world but not OF the world?

Tonight my pastor taught and reiterated the importance of being separate and it really struck a cord in me.  A big part of my Babylon is because I secretly want to fit in, to be like others.  When my ex and I were dating, we’d say we weren’t doing anything wrong b/c we knew of other couples who had done similar things and they were fine (ministers in the church etc.).  However, when God says “this is your personal Babylon” you MUST obey!!! I wish that I had just listened to Him from the beginning.  Again, no we didn’t do THAT and yet I always wanted my future husband to know that he was my first everything- even my first kiss.

When God calls us to be separate- sometimes above and beyond what He’s requiring of others- there’s a reason for it.  So many people told me I was crazy for wanting to hold on to my first kiss and yet now, I regret ever giving it away.  I regret that whomever I marry, he’ll get some firsts… but not all of them as I had always wanted.  We need to be separate but it’s for a reason- our protection.  My heart breaks at the thought that I’ll have to confess a bit to my future Isaac that I’m not always as loving and sweet as people think.  I’m secretly evil. The phoenix (as explained in a previous post) was briefly unleashed and luckily God saved me from myself but the damage done will be remembered for a lifetime.  Although God fixed me, He didn’t take the memories away.  I hope I am never again that girl who was crying at the drop of a hat, easily upset, and allowing herself to be yelled on a fairly consistent basis typically over ridiculous things (going to the gym, eating food at McDonalds, not being awake enough on the phone late at night…).  However, next time, when God says build a wall- I’m going to do it and not tear it down!!!

God calls us to leave our Babylons behind us… so that we can move forward towards Him.  If you aren’t separating yourself from the things of this world, you’ll only be enticed to return back to your Babylon.  We need to learn how to separate ourselves and turn ourselves into a city on a hill- ones with walls of holiness and a heart to seek God on all things.  That our light may shine bright in this cold, dark world and those who are seeking refuge might easily find where the answer to their problems lie- in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior and the One and only True God.

Dear Reader, 

I pray that you and I both not only leave our Babylons behind, but move forward into becoming a city on a hill for Jesus.  May you pray and listen to Him to find out what bricks to use, how high your walls should be and where your weaknesses are so that He might fortify you.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

God bless you, 
Rebekah M. 

Seek Him First

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. ~Matthew 6:33 

This journey of mine has been incredible. Where I once felt like my life had fallen apart, I now know that my life is just beginning.  Where once I had felt like I lost my future of the handsome, sweet husband, beautiful twin boys, and sweet little princess all living for Jesus, I know that regardless of the dreams a boy says to you, it doesn’t always mean he will follow through with them but God’s dreams for you will always stand.  For almost two months now, I didn’t care whether I lived or died since my dreams were shattered.  I wouldn’t do anything to speed the process along, but I didn’t care should the Lord decide to take me.  After my car accident a little over a week ago, I wondered why He didn’t just take me because I was in the middle of praying- I knew where I would have gone.  (Please know though that after God freed my heart last Sunday, I’m now ready to LIVE for HIM.)

This journey first started end of November when my boyfriend of the time asked for a break. The next day I spent it sobbing in bed, unable to do anything but pray desperately to God and try to hold on to anything else within me.  For those who haven’t read my other post, just a few weeks prior he had told me he was getting me THE ring, it was all picked out but he was just saving up to get it and then after a few rough weeks he’s looking at me in the middle of a restaurant saying that he hadn’t even wanted to talk to me on the phone two nights before and felt he needed a break.  After a day of sobbing and praying in my bed God told me I had two choices:

1) fear, worry, and doubt Him in this time or

2) worship Him knowing that He had all things in His hands

I chose worship.  

Last weekend, between the conference and the sunday services at my church, I felt something break. For two months now I have been fasting, praying at least 3 times a day, and especially in this last month pursuing Him with all that I have. Friday night post-service at the conference, I had a single guy on each side of me at the restaurant paying me attention.  Never in my life have I felt like a belle of a ball like I did then- and I was openly talking about God and how good He is! The next day, the very guy that I had said to Jesus “Lord, he’s cute.  Wouldn’t it be nice if he’d say hello to me?”  stopped me to say hello as I was passing by!  In the middle of this week, another guy has randomly entered my life via mutual friends and the first “get to know me” thing he asked was what sort of adventures have I been on before.  I quickly mentioned two then noted that more than any other adventure was doing things for God like saying something to a person that God heavily laid on my heart and finding out it’s what they’ve been praying about all week. After a lag in reply I said “Lord, if he doesn’t reply so be it- I’m not going to hide my love for You,” the next day he replied with stories of his own!!

Rarely in my life have I felt pursued.  Even when my ex and I were dating I still only briefly (for about a month or two) felt like he was pursuing me… much of the time I was worried he was ashamed of me since he never really wanted to introduce me to people and once he started to, he was telling me I had to get to the gym etc. These guys however… it amazes me that I’m not even worried about them half as much as I would have before, I’m surprised there’s more than one, and I unashamedly speak of my passion for Jesus and it seems to make them even more interested!

Dear Reader, 

Please take in the underlying concepts I’m trying to get across today: worship Him in the storm and live unashamedly for Him.  I went from shattered dreams to having a full life before me.  I don’t look like a super model; I’m not super amazingly special; yet, it seems guys are crawling out of the woodwork and I cannot even believe it myself!  Lord, You amaze me.  In shining for You brighter than ever, it draws guys  my way and it amazes me!  I pray You help me continue to seek You first for You’ve told me that the guys will all sort themselves out in the end.  Help me to unashamedly be a light for You and point the way to Your goodness, mercy, and grace.  I love You Jesus with all my heart. 

~Rebekah M.