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Off the Back Burner

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~ Romans 8:38-39

Jesus loves us. This we know (for the Bible tells us so…). Song aside, this is a simple fact. He loves us with a love so pure and deep it is beyond our comprehension. We as Christians know this. We also know that God is a jealous God (see Exodus 34), and desires us – the dedication of our whole being.

As loved and desired as we are by our Lord Jesus Christ, we do a great job of ignoring Him in return. So many of us turn to Him to get us through the hard times, or to guide us over a rocky patch. Then when things are going well again, we stop seeking Him as strongly. We know better than to think we can do this life thing on our own, yet we still begin spending less time with Him. On an intellectual level, we know we need Him. But on a heart level, we think we’re doing ok, and we do our thing. Sure, sometimes we reach out to Jesus or worship or pray, but it’s not as often and not as heartfelt.

Then, sure enough, the tide turns again and times turn tough. Relationships end. And then we’re right back to seeking God again for help. Driven by pain, desperation, and loneliness, we seek out our Father for comfort and healing. He gives it, and gives us love and peace. So what do we do? We rejoice that we’re all better, and we leave Him alone again.

Basically, there is a huge tendency among Christians to turn Jesus into our rebound guy. We go after things that look and sound good here on earth. When they turn out to be false or not so great after all, we go crawling back to Jesus. We keep Him on the back burner for the times we need His, and when we don’t, our walk so often grows complacent.

Readers, this is not the way to treat the lover of your soul. He is not meant as a crutch. He is meant to be our everything. Do we truly, TRULY desire Him above all other things and people that can be found in this world? Truly? Because we should.

In the Bible, Rebekah left everything she knew – her home, her family and friends – in order to follow her Isaac to his home land and be his wife. Up til now, we have always considered Isaac to be a person. But what if he isn’t? After all, we are told that we are Christ’s bring, aren’t we? So, what if the example is really telling us that this is the way we’re supposed to follow Christ rather than a fellow human? Completely, purely following Him, counting everything that’s currently in our lives as worth leaving, for the sole purpose of loving Him and only Him for eternity.

Today I ask you readers if this example reflects your walk with Him. And if it doesn’t, it is time to revisit your relationship with Him. If we courted Him, loved Him, desired Him, and waited for Him as often as He did for us, our lives would not be even remotely the same as they are today. We can never reach that ideal because we can never fully grasp the entirety of God’s love for us, but we can still at least try!

I invite you to open your hearts and bring God in – away from the back burner and into the center. Take Him off of the rebound list and start  to seek Him for the sake of Himself – not for an assist through the tough stuff. Strive to love Him and desire Him as He does us.

God bless!

~Rebekah A

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His Creation All Around Me

“The heavens are Yours, and Yours also the earth; You founded the world and all that is in it.” ~Psalm 89:11

Walking to the grocery store today, I was struck repeatedly by how beautiful everything was around me. Granted, I live in an urban area, so natural beauty is more scarce here than other places. But still, people plant flowers and there’s the occasional tree on a side street.

Today for some reason, the colors just seemed extra bright, the designs extra beautiful, the outside air extra refreshing. Even the bugs seemed beautiful in there own way – and I hate bugs. Why? Because today for some reason, I just had an overwhelming sense of God’s presence. He is in this world. He is here. Not a single shape or color in a flower, not a single branch or leaf of a tree, not a single blade of grass or feather in a bird, has escaped His notice. He brought it all into being. Our Father is so creative!!

With this in mind, I had to rejoice. For if He pays such attention to the details of nature and still objects, how much more attention is paid to we who must actively follow a path? Not a single step we take, trait we possess, laugh we laugh, or tear we cry escapes His notice. He is in this world. He is here. He’s with us and in us, and we are never alone. How amazing is that?

On the way home, I was passed by a man in a hurry. I felt a big urge to pray for him. Distance was quickly building between him and me. He didn’t seem friendly. His headphones were on. And suddenly he ducked into the post office and appeared to be busy. There were a million little reasons such as these to not stop him and pray for him. So, I didn’t. I prayed for him on my own, but I did not stop and lay hands on him the way I felt like I needed to.

The sense of failure was profound. But beyond that was a sweet reminder. It doesn’t matter how much we mess up, or how many times. It doesn’t matter how broken people are, or what horrific acts occur. He is in this world. He is here. There is hope.

God bless!

~Rebekah A

Song Of the Day: Imagine Me by Kirk Franklin

I think many of us have a hard time seeing our worth. I know the other two Rebekah’s have admitted to this in the past and I know for myself it can be especially true at certain moments.  I’ve seen how self-doubt and insecurity has chained me in the past from moving forward towards the wonders that God has in store for me and yet, when I just give it all to Him, He still makes things work out.

Those things from my past are gone.

Those things in YOUR past, dear reader, are gone when You just give it over to Christ.

I don’t know who this post is for, but I so strongly believe that God wants someone out there to see what He’s been saying to me all week: we can be made new in Him!!

Let the things of your past fall away as you learn to give God the things of your past and let them fall away.  Our hopes and dreams are secure in Him if we would just trust Him to help us meet it fearlessly.  We should never go through life thinking we are invincible on our own, but we should have a Godly confidence that regardless of our faults, God is enough to make up the difference.  Regardless as what we see as things that mar our beauty, we are perfect in His sight when we come before Him in the beauty of sincerity and holiness.

Someone out there suffering from past hurts- let them go!!! Let God take them!!! He is able! My life is a living testimony of having had someone rip my heart to shreds and finding in Jesus- not another man, nor a career, nor anything else this world tries to offer- everything I needed!! I’m sure there are those who have suffered so much more than I have and yet everything in me screams that HE IS ABLE. There is NOTHING that He cannot handle- even your deepest pains and scars.  Look to Him and find the healing you’ve been seeking today.

I normally don’t do this but if you would, say this prayer with me as you read this:

Jesus, 

I come before You in brokenness and in my shame. I am nothing without You. Heal me from the things of my past. Take away the feelings of worthlessness and pain. Forgive me for my past sins. Make me a mosaic- a masterpiece created from the broken. Fused so completely that people no longer see the process of breaking it took to create it- only the beauty of the finished product. Lord, heal me so much that I am able to become a light to those who follow after and are looking for what You have to offer. Jesus, I give it all to You now and I thank You for Your goodness and mercy.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life (Ps. 23:6). I worship You Jesus. I thank You Lord for Your healing power. I love You Jesus with all my heart. 

Rebekah M.

Thou Art Fair

Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee. ~ Song of Solomon 4:7

So often females feel inferior, ugly, fat, and stupid.  When I was growing up, two of the boys from my church teased me relentlessly about my weight. It was to the point that I was once chased out of the church while they called me a whale.  Was I overweight? Yes.  But between their actions and my own family’s actions of trying to “encourage” me to lose weight only served to bury a deep seated fear that guys find me ugly and fat.

Shortly after my ex “accepted” that we were going to get married by freely telling me he had picked out a ring, he started in on my physical appearance.  He sounded excited musing about the fact that I would, like all females getting married, want to lose as least ten pounds.  He quickly went into how exactly I must go about this- demanding that I go to the gym 1hr, 3-5 days a week.  As I argued with him telling him I hated the gym and even trying to compromise by promising to workout in my house that much, I began to feel more and more ugly.  I wondered, how could this male tell me that he loved me and yet want to change how I look so much? Did he ever love me I mused.  As things continued to deteriorate, it became clear that the answer to that question was “not the way I need and certainly not the way God does.”

I don’t want to be too harsh on my ex and say he never loved me at all.. just that it is NOTHING like this Jesus of mine.  This God we serve and adore- He loves us beyond all things.  He didn’t come and die for birds, He didn’t come and die even for the majestic deer; He came to die for sinners like you and me.  I am SO beautiful in His eyes and He whispers it to my heart every day.  I am fair.  I am beautiful. I am a priceless treasure to the God of this universe. Dear reader- I hope you realize that you too are just as beautiful and priceless in His eyes!!!! True beauty comes from having a confidence in who you are in Christ.  No man or woman can ever take you down when you realize this fact.  After my ex dumped me and I emerged from weeks of fasting, guys started appearing in my life like crazy.  For a while it seemed like I couldn’t even handle them all in my life.  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would be in a situation where so many guys IN CHURCH would be trying to talk to me.  I realized it was because I now knew who I was in Christ and just how much He loved me.  My closeness to Jesus drew people to me more than ever before because I confidently went about my life, knowing that I was loved so completely and deeply by the God of this universe.

Jesus, 

I thank You that love me so much.  I thank You that Your love frees me to do all the things that You have for my hands to do.  I thank You that Your love frees me to live this life to the fullest.  I thank You that no one will ever adore me as much as You do.  I love and adore You Jesus with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. 

Rebekah M.