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Faith is not a Feeling

Our Mission StatemenSONY DSCt here at Being Rebekah declares that we are “real girls living real lives.” It also says that we hope that our readers will be inspired to passionately follow Christ. Lately, I feel that my “real life” could only inspire in the sense of giving the readers a guide on exactly what not to do in their walk with Christ. That being said, our blog truly does strive to show both the mountain peaks and the valleys.

I’ve been so up and down lately. I feel beaten down by Satan one minute and the incredible exhilaration of the Lord’s rescue the next. God keeps showing up in amazing ways. Unfortunately so does the enemy. Knowing the Lord is there should be enough to keep the enemy’s tactics from bothering me, but I’ve been on the edge of despair more times than I care to admit in the last few weeks.

I have wonderful people praying for me and I’m wearing them out. What’s the point of having them pray for me if I never seem to improve – or if improvement is only temporary? I’m holding the key. No amount of prayer on their part will make up for a lack of will on mine.

So what if I’m down, does that make the Lord any less powerful? Does it make His Word any less true? Does it make the devil’s future any less sure? No. No. No. I refuse to give in to my feelings. I refuse to listen to the voice of the enemy.

The following two things are true:

  1. Faith is not dependent on feelings.
  2. The devil is a liar.

Satan likes to manipulate our emotions to our spiritual detriment. Elijah felt like giving up right after a huge spiritual victory. Saul felt very spiritual right after he disobeyed God. Feelings are not a good thermometer for our spiritual condition. Being a Christian is a walk of humble faith, love, and obedience; it is not based on emotions.

I need to continue to do what I know to do regardless of what I’m feeling. Faith is action. Faith is obedience to the Word of God. Faith is not a feeling! Period.

Guest Spot: MJ of The Peace Filled Life “Plan B”

Editor’s Note: Our weekly guest spot is our effort to help our reading community connect with each other. MJ’s post on contentment in our moments reminds us of the truth that “…godliness with contentment is great gain” (I Tim 6:6). Thank you for sharing MJ! 

depressed

I spent too long believing I was living Plan B. I thought that if I had just done X, Y and Z, I would be living Plan A. For now I was waiting, doing my “penance” – until Plan A would magically appear, and my “real” life would start and I would live happily ever after.

I could not have been any more wrong.

In reality, I have many blessings in my life – a wonderful husband, three beautiful children, a house in the suburbs, reliable transportation, and a good job.  My family has food, water, clothing, indoor plumbing, electricity, heat, air conditioning, and modern appliances.  I have an awesome extended family, many good friends, a great church and community.

And yet what did I find myself concentrating on? The ONE thing that I did not have. Is that not the most ungrateful thing you ever heard of?

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). John 10:10

The evil one has one goal for your life – to steal your joy, kill your spirit and destroy your life. God wants you to have life! Not just in the life to come, but in this very life that you are living now. Not just merely an existence, but to the full, till it overflows!

Living my life as if it were Plan B was not what God intended. God made life for enjoying!

If I concentrate on the what ifs, and the if onlys – I will live my life disappointed, angry and bitter. But if I concentrate on accepting the many gifts that Christ has given me, I will have joy and peace.

In May of 2011, I had enough.  I made a decision:

crosspraiseJesus

I chose joy and peace.

I chose to enjoy where I am.

I chose to accept the path that God designed for ME.

To be honest, 2011 was one of the most painful years of my life.  Yet after I made that decision –

I had never felt more joy and peace in my life.

I had never heard God’s voice so clearly nor felt His presence so abundantly.

I had never been more secure in the fact that I AM living the Plan that God intended for ME.

His Plan is good. I choose this.  Do you choose this?

*     *     *

“Seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14b)

MJ is a mom, wife, career woman, and follower of God.  She is passionate in her quest to “seek peace and pursue it”.  Her blog can be found at http://thepeacefilledlife.wordpress.com

See the original post at: http://thepeacefilledlife.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/plan-b/

Published by permission of the author. Submit your own post at beingrebekah@outlook.com. 

Prayer Monday: He is Faithful

This weekend, I have learned yet once again that He is faithful.  Let’s all pray this “praise prayer” together (even if you use your own words 😉  ).

sunsetworship

Jesus,

I praise You for being faithful.  I worship You that in all times, You are good!  Thank You Jesus for turning tides.  Thank You Jesus for being my constant, wonderful companion who knows best.  Thank You that all things are safe in Your hands!  There is none like You! There is no greater love, no greater power, and no greater friend than You!!! Thank You for dying for me.  Thank You for rising again in power.  Thank You for sending Your wonderful gift of living in our hearts as the Holy Ghost!!   You are the Lord, the famous one, great is Your name in all the earth!!!

With a grateful heart,

Rebekah M.

Prayer Monday: Renewed Promises

So I have had the same prophecy spoken over me throughout the years.  I can think of three main instances in which it has happened, two of them were with the exact same wording by different people, in different states, and almost a decade apart.  The third was definitely in the same spirit of the other two.

bones

When I was younger, every time I had a serious time of asking God for revelation/my future, I repeatedly would open my Bible and it would land on Ezekiel 37 (this is over years starting in either elementary or middle school at least 5 or 6 times or even more).  Finally, during my college years after one such time like that, I angrily drove home from church one night and was like “God! You have to tell me what it means, why the valley of the dry bones??? You have to or… or… I don’t even know what!”  It is amazing to think I felt I had a right to yell at God like that. Yet instead of punishing me, that very next Sunday we had an unexpected guest preacher who taught on promises.  At one point, he talked about Ezekiel 37 and explained that bones represent promises and that the valley of the dry bones is an analogy of how God can and will breathe life back into promises that seem so dead and dried up.

Last night, the pastor preached on the subject of promises and how God is faithful and able to perform that which He has spoken.  During alter call, I felt the renewed hope in my promises.  They may at times seem SO dead and so far off, but I once again said to Him who is able, “Jesus, if this is truly what You want for my life, You KNOW what needs to come to pass.  I believe. I will go where You want and do what You want.”  I felt His promises begin to take life back on those dry and dusty bones.  I felt Him say:

“That is why I sent you that passage so many times when you were younger, so that you would know that from a young age I wanted you to learn that I am able to bring your promises back to life.  I want you to always know that I am able and I will bring My promises to life.”   

What promises has God laid on your heart that you feel are dead and dusty?  Know that He is able! Let today’s prayer in your heart be to reclaim your promises! Don’t let despair take hold, know that He is faithful and able to perform what He said He would!  Your promises may look dead in your mind’s eye, but He is able to bring back life even the things that seem to have been lost to you years ago.  Let today’s prayer be one that claims His faithfulness.  Ezekiel was told to prophecy to the bones so speak it forth- speak faith that God WILL bring His promises for your life to reality! You may not see the results today, or even tomorrow, but hold on to your promises, hold on to your faith, and know that HE WILL BE FAITHFUL!

God bless you readers as you believe in His promises for your life once again,

Rebekah M.

Related post:

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/02/04/prayer-monday-breaking-oppression-again/

Guest Post: Heather Mertens “The Light Is Just Where We Need It”

Editor’s Note: Our weekly guest spot is our effort to help our reading community connect with each other. We are excited to be able to bring you all this encouraging post to just keep walking where God lights the way. Included with this post is a photograph taken by her daughter! 🙂  Thanks for sharing both Heather and her daughter! 🙂 ~Rebekah M. 

40YearWanderer_Heather_Mertens4

Aren’t you used to walking into a dark room and flipping a switch to see a flood of light show you where you are and what the surroundings include? We don’t normally have lights that just light up the spot we are standing in. We don’t buy flashlights that just light up the immediate area around the flashlight. Instead we want lights that go as far as possible so that we can see what is way ahead of us.

But God doesn’t always work that way and He IS the light. His light is a lamp just at our feet, waiting to show us where to step out on faith next.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. – Psalm 119:105

For you are my lamp, O LORD, and my God lightens my darkness. – 2 Samuel 22:29

He wants us to explore our faith – be it as small as a mustard seed or largely filled with praises to no end believing in the miraculous healing needed at the moment. Explore our faith, yes! We tend to be stuck in the faith we know. I was stuck once in my life { one LONG period in my life! } where the only faith I had was the faith I knew. But when God opened my eyes through working in my life and through His Word, I started to see that I could explore that faith to expand it. I could even ASK FOR MORE. Even when we have a tiny amount of faith we have enough to ask for more.

There was a man who went to Jesus for something. He asked Him to save his son ‘if you can.” They had just enough faith – still inside doubt – to ask Him for help. His response?

And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” – Mark 9:23-24

He asked. He received.

Even the apostles asked for more faith.

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” – Luke 17:5

So what happens when we take that little bit of faith and we ask for more and we just… LET HIM?

He works. That’s all it takes. He moves on our behalf. He shines the light in the darkness. He wants us to trust and ask because he desires for us to know how much He loves us.

So let’s dig even deeper, shall we friends?

Why do you think He only lights just the portion of the path right in front of us?

I leaned in deep to find out, to listen to Him, and I saw His light shine right where I needed it. I believe He does it so that we will know without a shadow of a doubt { the light casts out the shadows, right? YES!!  that He wants and desires to take care of us, to guide us, to love us. He said that.

And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them. – Isaiah 42:16

When we are leaning in and looking is when we see more. There are times in our lives when He reveals something – just a portion – that is further into our future but it always has to to do with His plan and calling on our lives. And although that doesn’t happen often, He does reveal Himself in a light that shines out further along the path. I’ve had this happen more and more in the last several years. Why? {I think the answer is more simple that we humans want to admit.}

Why?

Because I asked.

The Light is just where we need it
and it always awaits us.

I am running after His light to show me where I am headed. Whom to touch. Whom to bless.

Go ahead. Ask. He will answer. And never will He let the darkness win.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:5

It may seem daunting as you run the race. But run fast ahead following that light.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

Bless you my friends,

~ Heather

You might also enjoy my similar guest post here on Being Rebekah: 10 Things Life Teaches If We Are Learning

Heather Mertens has spent 40+ years wandering through life – at first aimlessly and now at last with drive, passion, and commitment to Christ who called her out of the darkness. Her life has brought depression and healing, death and life, destruction and repair, sadness and victory – and above all else … Love.

What started as a gifted love for writing, blossomed into a ministry and a career. She penned a Christmas poem at age 7 for her father who carried it in his wallet until the day he died a few years later. She knows deeply how words can touch a life. Her writings and books can be found at www.40YearWanderer.wordpress.com ~ Life, Love, Joy… Found!

All Scripture quoted from the ESV Bible.
Image Permission granted by: EmmLe Images

Published by permission of the author. Submit your own post at beingrebekah@outlook.com. 

Bridging the Gap

I was recently forwarded the video below. It’s probably close to twenty years old, but it’s remarkable how a mere 41 seconds can be so touching. Perhaps you’ve seen it already, but if you haven’t go ahead and click play; I’ll wait. Actually, even if you have seen it, go ahead and click play anyway because it’s 41 seconds of love and humanity that we could all stand to be reminded of.

This adorable pair of siblings perfectly illustrate the way we are supposed to help one another, love one another, and work together. It is also a picture of how Christ bridged the gap for us so that we could cross the gulf of sin to the presence of God.

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).

When the little boy realized that his younger sister could not cross the gap on her own, he literally bridged the gap for her. He lay down and allowed her to cross over despite the fact that she wasn’t the most graceful at the task. He doesn’t move until she is completely on the other side, even when she steps on his hand. Ouch! But one of the things I love about this clip is how as soon as the brother puts his leg across the gap for his sister, she immediately begins to cross! She was too afraid to attempt the feat by herself, but she trusts her brother so completely that she doesn’t even hesitate once he offers help.

Do we trust God like that? He is the solution to all of our struggles. When He offers us help, we should be like the little sister and not hesitate to accept it! Are we so focused on the gaps in our lives, that we fail to trust the bridges God has provided? When I was lost in sin, Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice for me and laid down His life so that I could have a way to the Father.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

He bridged the gap for us.

Thank You, Jesus for being the One we can trust in the face of fear and obstacles. Help us to trust You completely and to not hesitate to accept the provisions You have provided for us. Help us to see You in every act of kindness and be inspired to provide a helping hand and show Your love to those around us.

In His Love,

Rebekah L

Prayer Monday: A Prayer for the Hurting

In light of the events earlier today, I wanted to say a prayer for the hurting- join me if you would. 

Jesus, 

What happened earlier today was a senseless act of horror today in Boston. What should have been a moment of celebration where months of training finally came to fruition for so many, ended in tragedy.  I pray for comfort and peace over those affected by what took place and I ask for You to help us to embrace You for who You are: the Wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father. You will hold us in this time of pain. You will reach out and comfort those who have lost loved one. You will calm the fear in the hearts of those who are paralyzed by fear from what happened today.  We cannot allow fear to rule our lives. Help us to trust that You hold our worlds in Your hands. Help us to remember that just calling on Your name, the name of Jesus, there is power. There is power to break every chain. There is power to shine brightly in this dark world. There is power to overcome fear, worry, doubt, anger, bitterness, and hatred.  There is power to be love to those around us- to show compassion with our every move. There is power for the hurting to be healed. You mend broken hearts. By Your stripes all those years ago when they were torturing You we are healed. 

I praise You God that You will bring emotional and mental healing. I praise You God that You will help those physically hurt in the blasts. I praise You God that You will bring peace to those living in fear. I trust and believe that You are greater than the darkest of hearts in this world. 

Rebekah M. 

Bitterness: A Spiritual Abscess

When something gets infected, sometimes instead of healing the right way, puss builds up in a pocket and as the pressure builds, the patient feels increasing amounts of pain. The area becomes red, hot, and can even ooze a little. Sometimes it will finally burst open.

This past winter when I was working the ER, there were multiple patients that I had to help perform an I&D on (incision and drainage- cutting it open and getting all the muck out).  The ER doctor said to me “THE definitive treatment of an abscess is an I&D. You can give them all the antibiotics you want, but unless you go in there and get that infection out, most will come back with it again.  And you can’t just cut it a little and push on it a little, you have to give it a good cut, use an instrument to break up the locules (little pockets), and really squeeze hard to make sure you get EVERYTHING out or else you’ve done nothing for them.”

When we are injured in life- be it from family, friends, people from church, or various circumstances- we either heal the right way (which can take some time), heal with deep scars, or even end up with a deep root of bitterness in our heart.  As the bitterness festers, the anger, hatred, and dark feelings grow and grow. It can overflow a little here and there but ultimately, when it is bad enough, God needs to go in and do surgery on our hearts.  He had to do so on me once before.  For those who have been following along with my journey, over a year and a half ago, my first boyfriend broke my heart to pieces and even though God did help me heal some, I had a root of bitterness that had grown in deep. The cut was so deep within my soul, and I hid it away for so long, that it took visiting my brother and sister in law in California with my parents and two guest preachers working in sync with the Spirit to get God to muck out much of it.  I wrote about the experience in a post but that was not the only time God has worked on me.

Sometimes it feels like we are being torn up from the inside out. It feels like our souls are being mucked out, pushed, prodded, and broken up in ways we never imagined. This process though, can be of God to help break up the walls that have been created that hide the infection of bitterness, anger, and hatred.  As time has gone on, God has continued to break down the walls I have against my ex and his friends.  I am MUCH improved but I know God is making me go to the city of our (and also my.. as in ever in my life) first kiss for residency to help make sure that the last walls are broken down.  I cannot be fully ready to accept my future “Isaac” unless every last wall and pocket of bitterness/anger/pain is broken down and cleaned out.

What do you have festering in your heart today? Is there anything that God needs to go in and muck out? Are there pockets hiding away in your heart built up to protect you from things in your past? Do you see that all those walls are doing only keeps pain/bitterness in your heart?  Let it go! Let God work on you! He will heal you more completely than you could ever imagine. He will bind you up with His love and give you a new heart. Just trust His process and see that He truly is the great physician!

Thank You Jesus. Thank You for Your amazing ways.  Help us be wiling to go through Your “I&Ds.” Help us trust that even if it hurts at the time, it is for our good.  I love You Jesus. 

Rebekah M. 

Related posts:

https://beingrebekah.com/2012/10/07/forgiveness-and-renewal-revisited/

Confident in His Love

Mercy

A few weeks ago one of the other Rebekahs wrote A Daddy’s Chastisement about how she was messing up and what the Lord did to pull her out of that situation. His chastisement, while difficult at the time, turned out to be exactly what she needed in order to fully restore a right relationship with Him. In the end that chastisement catapulted her into a great blessing.

This weekend I found myself in a similar situation where I was doing something totally out of God’s will and while I was doing wrong of my own choice, God still swept in to rescue me before I made a bad situation worse. With the help of some God-timed technological quirks, through my god-sister and godparents I was given my “way of escape” (1 Corinthians 10:13) to get out of the situation I was in. Like Rebekah M. felt when her parents found out what was going on with her, I was also mortified to have my godparents find out about the circumstance I had gotten myself into, but experiencing their love and acceptance at a time like that has shown me something I would not have seen otherwise.

My god-sister is in one state, my godparents live in a second state and I live in a third state. None of that stopped them from coming together to help me. Recently I confessed in my Rooted and Grounded post that I have difficulty believing that anyone could actually care for me and I struggle to trust God and accept His love. God used the situation this past weekend to show me that even when I’m messing up, even when I sin, even when I’m outside of His will, I am never outside of His love.

Would you believe my god-parents got up in the middle of the night and drove all the way to where I was in order to bring me to the safety of their home? Would you believe that my god-sister stayed on the phone with me until after two o’clock in the morning? She didn’t let me go until she knew her parents had arrived and I was safe in their care. When I checked my cell phone history to see how many phone calls they all made to try to reach me there were 36 (most of them went unanswered). Between my godparents and my god-sister there were 36 different attempts to contact me! The devil has lied to me; he tells me no one loves me, but people who don’t care just don’t do that. Someone acting out of an intent other than love might make one or two token attempts at contacting me, but only genuine care and concern can motivate someone to make dozens of phone calls in the wee hours of the morning.

Do you believe that God uses people to show His love for us?

Back at my godparents house they didn’t show any anger for dragging them out of bed in the middle of the night and they didn’t show judgment for the predicament I found myself in. They wrapped me in their love. My mind is completely blown thinking about it. They had every reason to treat me poorly, but they treated me with the love and mercy of the Lord.

My godfather wrote the following in an email to me today: “Amen to what you said about confidence in the love of God individually. We all should remind ourselves from time to time that Jesus died for MY sins and rose for MY living. He is always close to ME and He cares about ME, always. And it is not because I’m big headed (someone special), but just because HE is (His nature)!

Where I expected to feel the crush of condemnation, I instead felt the embrace of Jesus’ love. It amazes me how merciful our God is. He is constantly reaching out to us, seeking to restore us to a right relationship with Him. Over and over, I fail Him, and yet His mercy endures. His love offers us another chance. The Lord used the people in my life to show me that I am loved. Truly, despite all my fears and failures, God loves me.

Dear Reader,

If you’ve messed up, don’t give up! If you repent, God is faithful to forgive you! He loves you more than you know. He is reaching out to you, just as He reached out to me; in love. He was willing to suffer the cross for you, and He wants you to have confidence in His love for you as an individual. He doesn’t just love us collectively as part of humanity; He loves us individually – where we are right now, flaws and all. He is a wonderful, merciful, amazing God!

In His Love,

Rebekah L.

Multiplying Texts

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according tohis purpose. ~ Romans 8:28

Recently, one of my friends has been going through a rough time.  She is called. She has a purpose. Jesus has a destiny for her.  Sometimes though, on our way to fulfilling our destiny, God allows things to happen in our lives so that our chains can be burned away so that we are ready for His tasks. phone

I truly believe in Romans 8:28.  I believe that ALL things come together.  In her struggles yesterday, she was texting me and God latched on to something He said through me and used technology to multiple the text.  I told her:

[Friend]-  be strong. The Lord is your strength. He is your shield. He will uphold you in His arms of love.

I found out today that God had that same text sent to her almost hourly yesterday from the moment I sent it until 11PM last night.  All day she was fighting a tough battle. Things flying in from all directions.  What I said did not feel incredibly profound to me at the moment. I felt like I was speaking truth but clearly, God knew it was a truth that she had to hear all day.  She sees it (as I do) as a miracle.

This is the God we serve. This is my Jesus.  That something that I felt was meaningful but definitely not profound enough to send the same text 15 times in the same day, He multiplied and resent to her all day long- to remind her He loves her. That He will uphold her. That He will be her shield.  That He is her strength.

Dear readers- know that God loves you just as much! Know that He will also uphold You in His arms of love. Know that He will be your shield as well! Know that He is your strength as much as He is mine, as much as He is my friend’s!

Jesus, 

Thank You that You’ll even take a seemingly simple text and multiply it for the needs of the recipient. Thank You that even technology is in Your hands. Thank You that ALL things work together when put in Your hands!!! Praise You Jesus! Thank You Jesus!!! 

Rebekah M.