God spoke through the ocean! 

My last day in Portugal I sat by the sea. We ( my friend and I) decided that even though it was overcast and somewhat windy, we would go to the beach as we had planned. It was not what I would call a typical beach day. I was a little hesitant if I’m honest. But, I never told her that. We took some food and a few beach chairs so we could relax by the ocean and take in the beautiful view and refreshing sea air one more time before we prepared to fly back to opposite sides of the world where we came from.

We went to the same beach we went to the day we got to Portugal. But, this time the beach, the tide, the feeling it gave you, was totally different. Just six days ago we had the warm sun washing over us and a wide span of beach to walk along. The waves danced gently on the shore and we explored tide pools that had clams and all types of life living in them. But, on this day the water out weighed the beach and the air was full of a heavy sea smell and mist surrounded everything as the waves washed ashore, leaving behind sea foam that was a result of heavily churning water. The delightful tide pools we explored for over an hour were no where to be found. 

The air was a tiny crisp but refreshing and the sound of the waves was intoxicating. We set our chairs in a spot where we would be safe from the rising tide and wrapped ourselves in the soft blankets we each brought and sat there in awe! 

My interaction with the ocean is very minimul so if you are one who is familiar with the ocean some of this may seem a bit elementary but for me it was profound and majestic to say the least. 

As we sat there, there where two to four rows of billowing waves coming in. These waves would start almost out of my range of eyesite ( I’m sure they probably started much farther then I could see)  They would well up slowly as though the water was taking in a deep breath and then roll into an even larger mass before rolling in over itself as the force of itself became too much to bare. They roll over and make a white feathery crest as they cascade in on them selves, only to well up again and again repeating this beautiful rhythm until at last it would reach the shore. Dispite the massive power and force that had welled up it would meet with the shore gently and wash over it calmly and almost mythotical. 

These waves have emence power and make a huge impact yet they flow around the smallest obstical, effortlessly it gives way to the smaller object in its way. It flows around it and conforms to its shape, sometimes following a completely different path then it had been headed down. 

As I sat there, I silently spoke to the Lord about His power and how He holds this very sea in His hand. How large and bold and powerful He is. Just like the waves. Then He spoke to me about His love for me and how I should love others. 

Like the waves, they start far off in the distance, they well up and can become very intense (like love). Love is powerful and has a large impact on those who receive it. (Like the shore received the waves). It is something we should be bold in and allow it’s great power to inspire awe in us. Yet, real love and true love like that of God is gentle and mild. It’s bold and powerful strong and impactful, as well as gentle and forgiving. Giving way to obsticals and flowing effortlessly down what ever path it comes to. It conforms to any shape, any size, any demand, any obstical. It is wide enough to cover the ocean and deep enough to touch the most harded of hearts. Love, especially Gods love is beautiful and sometimes overwhelming it’s hard to take in all at once. 

My eyes searched the shore back and forth trying to take in every moment and it was difficult. I was in awe and wonder at how the water keeps its rhythm and how the water just knew where to go and how to flow. Much like Gods love, at least to me. Trying to take it all in and wondering how it keeps perfect timing and how He knows how to make things flow for me. He spoke to me so loudly in those waves that it changed my view on love. Love is something we are it is how we flow it is how we use our power, our strength. Love is something to be respected and cherished. And most importantly it is something that we can only do fully if God is the one setting it into motion. When God is at the center of your love for others, it will not matter what you get back in return. The waves don’t expect the water on shore to rush out and meet it! The waves just come in and are gentle and flow. God, loves us unconditionally He flows with us and is with us down every path, even ones He would not have chosen for us. He gives way and takes shape wherever we are in our walk with Him. Slow and steady welling up with love for us. His gentle love changed my heart so much, I almost feel like I have a new heart. A heart willing to love like He does. Or at least to try. I pray for God to fill me and all those reading this, with the bold powerful love that makes a huge impact. I pray He helps me deliver that love with gentle kindness and Grace. That I would have the ability to flow as the waves not easily thrown off course but willing to give way to others. I pray for my love to be deep and meaningful and far reaching like the Lords. 

Traveling Light

There is much to be said for traveling light. Less baggage= less to lose, the less to drag around, less to hold you down and less to consider.

For years I was a collector. I still can be if I hold still long enough. I would collect things from everywhere. Every time I moved (which was frequent. Eight times in two years at one time.) I found something at the new place that would become a part of the collection. Something cool or quirky that someone else left behind. So, every time I moved I had a piece of that old place with me a memory an object from that time and space. It would travel with me and just became a part of who I was. When I sat around with people and I looked around the room I could quickly give you a story to go with almost everything I owned. It’s still nice to think of those things and those memories. They aren’t all bad. Some are funny and some are down right ridiculous.

But, what I found is that dragging all the past with me and all its objects became hard to handle and hard to move and God was trying to write a much better story then any of the stories triggered by any one of those objects.

I was far from a hoarder and I didn’t really obsess about these things. They just made me feel comfortable and they were hard to get rid of.

The first time I felt the Lord telling me to lighten my load I didn’t get it. Why does it matter what I have or keep? Who cares? I wasn’t materialistic they weren’t expensive things, I wasn’t wasting all my money on stuff.

Then God said, “If it’s not a big deal and no one cares then why do you need it?” I would argue that I just like the stuff and didn’t want to get rid of it. And then the convicting question, “what do you want more those things or Me (the Lord)?”  I would of course respond that I wanted the Lord more.  Then I would get rid of whatever it was I felt Him asking me to get rid of.  This may seem extreme or even silly to some of you.  First, of all I’m writing this expecting that you will believe not only that I talk to God, but that I can actually tell when He’s talking to me and what He’s saying.  So, I understand if this seems weird to you.  Just please bare with me a little longer.

So, I would get rid of my entire movie collection first.  God revealed I was taking too much pride in collecting entire sets of movies. Is movie collecting bad?  By no means is it bad, neither are movies or enjoying them. But, for me at that time they needed to go and God showed me part of my character that would not have been visible to me otherwise. So the movies went and so did some other things.  Then this purging of stuff began to become one of Gods main tools for refining me.  It became the way he would reveal the strangest parts of myself to myself.  Why certain things were harder to get rid of and why there were something I even justified keeping longer then I should have.

Bottom line is I used to keep, keep, keep.  And now I purge, purge, purge.  God helped me to grasp the concept that everything in this world is made by and owned by God.  Every stitch of clothing everyone ounce of metal no matter what shape it takes (car, phone, tools, electronics).  You name it and it is HIS. Not mine.  So if everything is His then He wills how it is used and where things belong.  If I am in His will He will provide what I need when I need it.  So, why hold onto all these things weighing me down?

This doesn’t just go for physical object either. This counts for feelings and resentments and expectations even.  We give these things too much control over what we do and where we go and how we live.

God has used the purging of things and the taking away of people (not deaths, just not in the same place in my life as they once were) to teach me these things.

God wants us to answer Him when He calls. He wants us to GO when He says go and do what He is asking us to do.  I have found that these lessons of perspective (who really owns what) I have been better prepared for last minute changes in plans and I don’t get as hurt over things not going as I thought they would.

Taking the bus again and riding my bike everywhere to prepare for my up coming trip has proven to be exactly what God had planned for this season. Yes, it saves me money for my trip and yes, the riding helps me stay in shape and it’s fun. But, more importantly God is strengthening me through the trials of peddling up hill against the wind to rely on his strength and not my own. He uses flat tires to reveal that everything has a purpose and things learned during one season are greatly needed in the next season. Nothing, we do or go through is wasted. He has used hurt from the past to build confidence in the future.  He has used my pride against me to humble me at His feet and He has used my defeats to show His victories over every detail of my past.

I wanted to hold on to old things for comfort and He wanted to hand me the world.  The closer I draw to Him and the more willing I am to let His Spirit rest upon me and the more I realize I was made for Him and not the other way around, the less I need and think I want. The more that happens the more free I feel. Free from material wealth and free to be full of His Spirit and free to follow His calling.

These are just things God has shown me, in the way He has shown me. He works in all of us in a way that speaks to us the most deeply. But, for me He has shown me the value of traveling lightly. Not letting things from the past drag me down or have too much weight in my future. Cling to Him and He will provide for every need as it arises and in its perfect timing.

-Father, I thank you for the lessons you give to each one of us. I thank you that you know us each so well you can speak to us in unique ways that hold meaning for us individually. You speak to me through these times of purging and others in ways that speak loudly to them. I pray Father for each person reading this that you will bless them with the ability to recognize when you are speaking to them. I pray a blessing of boldness for each of them that they will act on your will when they discover it. I pray Father, you continue to guide us through each season of our lives and you help us to take the lessons from one season and apply them to the next. Thank you Father, for all the blessings you pour out on us. In Jesus Name- Amen

Love like it’s your job- (because it is)

For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. (‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭30‬:‭16‬ NIV)

How do we Love like God calls us to love?
How do we love Him and honor Him with that Love?
Everytime we hear something in our heads telling us to do something nice or kind or calls us to reach out to someone for God we are hearing from God and should be following that leading. So, why don’t we?
We hide our faces in our phones to avoid contact with the world. Yet we claim these devises keep us connected. Yet, more then ever we fear one another instead of love one another.
God calls us to love everyone and we can’t even talk to strangers.The world is full of people who are afraid of people!
Judgement and hate, violence and intolerance are running rampant.
In a time of stranger danger we have a God who calls us to love our enemies and to love our neighbors as our selves.
Do you find yourself going to church on Sunday and dragging your self to your job all week. Just to feel let down by life? To feel defeated and left wanting more from this world. We are in this world but not of it. We are free from the bondage of this world.
Yet we strive to be unique and different. How? By falling in line with the next best fade.
In this entertainment age we want instant connection and instant gratification. We want to be entertained rather then to be involved. We want to watch life from a far while craving to be a part of it.
But, we are stuck with a worldly mentality. Stuck with our heads in a dream land, constantly dreaming for more… More money… More recognition…. More validation or just dreaming of things and places we wish we could go, places we wish we could see, relationships we wish existed. Our hearts tied up in drama and false idols, idols of stature, money, material wealth, sex, tv and fantasies, and our spirit left dying of thirst. Our spirits cry for a good watering, a way to make these things come true, our wishes made tangible. Do we all forget?
We drink from the well that will never run dry the Living water.
Yet, most of us live as though there is a great drought.
We have a direct connection to the creator of the universe, the sovereign Lord of ALL yet we act like wondering feeble minded animals with no control of our lives, our circumstances, our lively hood and the condition of our being.
It’s time to wake up! Time to redeem our old attitudes and time to see the Lord for all His glory. It’s time to see what that His calling really means for you and your life. His kingdom will come and His will, will be done. Will you be sitting at your desk bored out of your mind slaving away for the world when He comes? Or will you be on fire and ready to go where ever He sends you for what ever reason He sends you when you hear Him call?
This is not an invitation to leave your job, throw caution to the wind and live as radically as YOU think one might live if you abandon all worldly things and dropped all to follow God.
This is an invitation to pray and listen closely for your FATHERS instructions and be willing to do so if He gives those instructions.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. (‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭5‬ NKJV)

We worry more about what others have that we don’t and miss out on how God is trying to use us for others. We worry more about what people think of us then what God thinks of us.

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭29‬:‭25‬ NIV)
God calls us to be fearless and bold. He calls us to be different and set apart and to stand for righteousness. And in return he will keep us safe.
The creator of everything! Is trying to use you for His purposes and we sit around crying about no one “liking” something we posted on Facebook or our boss not noticing the great job we think we did. We have a King looking to use us as his go-to person and we are concerned about what the neighbor thinks about our new car.
We have a creator that has made us for a special purpose and we all just run around trying to find joy and happiness in everything we think we see other people enjoying.

Radical change needs to take place.
This type of change is the type that starts so small no one may notice at first. When you feel the urge to hate, love instead.

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” (‭Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭19-20‬ NIV)

When you feel the urge to give up on someone, continue and stand firm. Be stead fast in love.
They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. (‭Psalm‬ ‭112‬:‭7‬ NIV)

Stop ignoring those little tiny things you feel you should do. Stop dumping water on the spirit, stop shoving these actions aside out of fear.
Be faithful with little and he will give you much. I am blown away by the little tiny acts that add up to big blessings later.
Being Christian and sharing Christ with others does not have to be this uncomfortable heart pounding experience where you corner some one and ask them if they know Jesus. It could be a smile, a hello, a how was your day. It could be asking someone in line at the store if they have anything laying heavy on them, a burden of some kind that you might be able to pray for.
Holding doors for people. Helping with groceries, something very simple but it shows love. It shows you notice they are alive and care to help them. Most people are so rushed, so hurried, so focused on worldly tasks. An act of kindness snaps them loose just for a minute. If you feel God (I sometime relate this to your voice in your head. Your conscience)
God speaks in so many ways I can’t go into how he communicated with people right now but if you hear anything or feel something ever telling you to do something nice for someone, just do it! Or if you feel inspired to send and encouraging text out of the blue to someone you don’t normally text even if it’s at 4am and you don’t known if it will wake them up. Just do it! Say yes Lord, I will answer your call and I will step out in faith and live radically for you. I will step out of my comfort zone for 4 seconds and ask this lady in line in front of me how she is. And ask her if she needs prayer ( just an example hear and then do whatever it is you hear)

Perimeters , how do I know it’s God?
Philippians tells us:
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭8‬ NKJV)
Be obedient to the “voice” that tells you to act on these things. Show the love God is calling you to show. Step out of your self. Place your focus on how God wants to use you for others not what you can get out of others.
Take the words you hear from God and act in faith. You will be blessed.
Writing this right now is an act of faith. The enemy tells me no one will see this, you won’t get up and tell people these things.
He’s right! I’m terrified to tell people these things. I have fear I have doubt and it is scary to step out. But God tells me I have Him in my corner, these words are from Him and they line up with scripture. He wants us to live radical lives for Him. He wants us to be fulfilled in this world and bless us for eternity. And we are the ones making it hard. We are stubborn and listen to the wrong voice far too often. We feel these impulsive words we hear to be kind are just day dreams or passing thoughts and the enemy is right there to back it up and remind you you are too busy to take the 3 seconds it takes to say “can I pray for you?” The enemy paints vivid pictures of strangers giving us the stink face for being extra kind. Or even worse when we obey these thoughts and act as we feel God calling us, the enemy influences people to return our words with judgement or hateful statements as a warning not to do it again in order to beat us into submission and keep us quiet.
The enemy wants to kill and destroy you. He wants you silent and dosial. He wants you wounded by the world and jaded by hate and let down.
Are you going to stand here, children of the Most High God and tolerate the mistreatment the enemy places on you?
Or are you going to act like the righteous sons and daughter of a King, call the royal guards and have the enemy seized. When we stand firm in our faith, when we rebel against the norm and speak love to others, when we listen to those things in our head telling us to reach out to a broken world, we pile coals upon the enemies head.
How can we love better? Are you willing to try?
It’s simple but not easy.
“God direct my day and help me hear you” “help me to be obedient when I think I hear you” what if I hear God and step out in faith and the text isn’t answered? You fear. What if I make people mad?
Who cares. God doesn’t hold you accountable for their reaction, he’s looking for your obedience. He will deal with them in his time. It’s not about you or them. It’s about God and what he wants to use you for.
Stop letting the fear of people keep you from being faithful to God.
-Father I pray for those reading this that it will all make sense and sink into the place in their heart you are speaking to. I pray Father for your comfort and strength to come with your directions. I pray you help us be bold and full of your love. To live fully for you and full of your Spirit. I pray we learn to love more completely and to live less selfishly and more selflessly. I pray this in Jesus Name Amen.

Out of the Boat

I feel like I am being called out of the boat again. I refer to this every time I fell God calling me to do something I either don’t understand or something that makes me so fearful I can’t possibly do it without Him.

Matthew 14:22-31 KJV

And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.  And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.  But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.  And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.  And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.  But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.  And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.  And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Right now, I feel as though I’m in a boat, with the waves crashing around me and the “wind is boisterous!”

If you have read any of my previous blogs (as random as they can be sometimes) you may know about the coffee shop I was working on. Ok, correction the coffee shop I AM working on. If you haven’t then you don’t know much about what’s going on with me right now or what has been going on the last few years.
I would suggest reading the blog entries listed below before reading anything else. Other wise you may not really get anything I talk about:
Reposted from a blog I never let anyone read
365 Days with Jesus
Day 103
Day 300

Ok, on with crashing waves and crazy wind. So, I thought I was running in the right direction with the pursuit of this coffee shop/ art gallery for Jesus I have been given the vision for. But, it has been one road block after another. Some of that I will say I believe was the enemy, working his hardest to distract and discourage me as much as possible. Another aspect of it is me, my flesh, my desire to see this through.
All though perseverance and endurance are both things I can say God is teaching me (and a much needed lesson it has been) there is also striving for prideful reasons and just down right being stubborn.

I have other blog entries about a cross country trip and mentioned praying about it and seeking God out for answers. I am going to go against the things inside of me telling me to write about this vaguely and I am going to write about it as truthfully as possible.

I am leaving in May 2015, my goal is to save $3000.00 between now and then. These are two things I feel very strongly about after lots of prayer.

So, where do I go? Two options: Alaska for seasonal work, or a wondering cross country trip I have talked about for years.

What about the coffee shop? Are you ready for this one… I don’t know. I am finding out and learning this IS an exceptable answer. The desire is still there but I feel like there is something missing to have it go forward as God intends it to. I know when the time is right God will bring it together. This is a very hard thing for me to accept.

At least it was at first. I have been having feelings of doubt and all kinds of emotions and fleeting thoughts ever since that original building got sold back in July and I was asked to move.

How can I be doing everything I do, believing with all my heart it is what God wants me to do and then its done? How can I put all that time and all that effort into something for God and have it taken away?
How can I sacrifice my time my money and all my resources and even my own personal comfort for the sake of God and then have what I was doing just stop?

All I could think of for weeks was these questions and many others. Mostly question about what I did wrong to make this happen. And the answer I kept getting was… Nothing.
It is just time for something else. A new season, new lesson, new opportunities. I don’t need to know how, or why, who, nothing. I don’t need to know anything. Just trust the Lord and carry on. Do what I feel Him telling me to do and carry on. No, explanation needed.
Is it frustrating at times? Yes
I feel weird talking about things I know I’m supposed to do and then three months later those things are totally different and don’t seem to add up to the end vision I know I was given. Who can figure out and 100% discern the will of God? I sure can’t. All I know is that when I feel things this strong, its Him and when I don’t listen or I let fear get the best of me, it usually calls for hard times. But, when I blindly go with it and trust even when it seems foolish. It always works out in the end and then it makes all the sense in the world.

So crashing waves of confusion and some disappointment that things didn’t come together how I saw it coming together. Had some doubt in my ability to hear God as well. But, God is growing my faith with every act of obedience and helping me to see Him even in doubt. So, when the boat starts rocking and I am unsure if its Him I’m hearing. I say “Lord if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
So He said Jessica “Come.”
And I got out of the boat…. again….

Lets see where this goes this time!

God vs Man- How Do We Love our Enemy?

So Man is my biggest foe. God is the commander of my army yet I still take orders and listen to the opposing force. Wait… that doesn’t make sense. How can you fight a war and expect to win if you take orders from the very enemy you aim to destroy?
That isn’t even the biggest problem with what is happening. The biggest problem is most of us don’t even see the enemy as an enemy. We see co workers that P us off, family issues that drive us crazy, traffic jams, bank account woes and late bill payments. We see people who “just don’t get it” and keep thinking over and over again that “if things would just be____ (fill in that blank as you wish) then everything would be fine and I would be happy, content, at peace.

So, this enemy… he hides in plain sight! He’s right in your face! People who study war would tell you how smart that is. It is unsuspecting and innocent looking. Its a gift of a hollow horse full of enemy forces waiting to burn your life down as you sleep.

I want to try and explain something very important. The actual people are not the enemy! The situations, circumstances, and the way we think when controlled by the enemy is the enemy. My sister is not my foe or someone to battle with, the irritation and the thoughts the enemy can make you think when you begin to disagree and the small little thing starts pinning you up against each other like there is a world war about to start, now that is sparked by the enemy. He tries to separate Gods believers, he tries to keep believers from having a good influence on non believers he tries to prevent us from traveling to share Gods word, he tries to cripple us with fear of stepping out for God in blind faith.

If there is one thing this journey is teaching me, it is that the enemy hates bold steps made in faith when it seems like the most irrational thing to do.
Yet, I find that when those fears are met head on with a faith that tells me God wins and I’m on that side. It is easier to face that enemy and step out into the darkness.

So the first way to love your enemy is realizing that that person in front of you isn’t the enemy. They are just the Trojan Horse. The enemy is the unseen force inside that is waiting for an insecurity to exploit a weak spot in the armor to be shown or a default in character that he cant wait to see let loose on some one.
Another important note, it isn’t always the enemy! We are flash and blood and flawed and fallible. Sometimes it is our our flesh. In general I think it all starts with our own flesh. The enemy is just an opportunist that has impeccable timing.

These are all the more reasons to draw close to the Lord and ask to be refined and ask for guidance and growth. To allow God to work in us, so the enemy has less of us, to use against us. The more like Christ we become the less flesh the enemy will have available to him. So first step, in loving our enemies is to Love God and allow Him to work in us, stay close to Him and live in His Spirit.

Then we will begin to see others as He sees them. The more clearly we will be able to see they are not actually the enemy. This is especially true with people who aren’t walking with God. They don’t have the guidance from the Lord we have. Next time your boss starts freaking out or treats you in a way that just makes your blood boil, do this. Picture that person standing in eternity with no God, now picture them being used by the enemy as his pawn in an epic battle of the ages. Picture them worn down by trying to do life on their own without God. Picture them alone, hurting, separated from the only thing that could possible give them any hope in this world. Now, imagine them as a drowning person in a sea or deception and grief sinking deep into the world and the enemies lies of how things should be. Picture them with no hope and no way out. Now, imagine you are standing on the shore of this sea or better yet, you are on a boat near by. Will you get angry back at them and argue and bicker and make the waves around them bigger? Will you add to the chaos in their day, their life, their existence? Will you ignore the opportunity God is giving you? Every action and reaction is a witness to the character of God in us. Will you keep on sailing by comfy in your boat? Will you keep the truth to yourself? Or will you get out of the boat and reach out your hand? Will you offer them safety? Will you share what can save them?
Every situation we face in this life is a chance to “get out of the boat.”
Every time we come up against a trial or we face the enemy either in the form of our thoughts or a person or situation we have the chance to trust God have faith in what He is teaching us and face that enemy. Recognize that our “enemies (the object the enemy uses, person or other wise) are to be loved” and the enemy (the devil) is to be defeated by that love.

House Sitting Retreat- Day 3- God vs Man- Our Hidden Foe

Ok, so back to wondering how the people in our lives get between us and God. First off, let me start this next section with a huge thank you to all the people who support every “crazy” idea that comes to my mind. I am sure I can overwhelm even the most creative mind at times with how many directions my brain can go.

So, to those of you who keep track of me and listen to all my ranting first hand.

THANK YOU! you are amazing.

Please don’t take any of the following statements to heart. *(see right there, had to put a note in to make sure the feelings of loved ones are protected from the truth I’m about to share) Half of them don’t even know I’m writing a blog!

So, While “retreating” here and spending quiet time alone with the Lord I was praying and reading and writing. On the coffee table right in front of me was a small magazine I will reference it to avoid any copyrighting issues. (Tabletalk, The Seven Deadly Fears.) While reading a few struck me and God convicted me big time! Fear of Men by. Nicholas T. Batzig (no idea who he is but God used his writing today. If anyone reading this is friends with him on Facebook be sure to tag him so he knows he is being used as an instrument of God).

We are around people everyday all day. I am becoming increasingly aware of how much, what they think or what I think they might think effects what I do, what I say and how I say it. Even the way I might DO anything could change.

Think about that for a moment. You’re at work, working and a person you don’t know very well is in the same space as you. You feel God nudging you to ask this person a simple question. What do you do? Do you fearlessly ask the question? Do you ask God to repeat Himself to make sure it was Him? Do you think the entire situation out to the end. For example: I ask and the person looks at me nuts and has a bad opinion of the crazy girl asking random questions. Get scared of being rejected and say nothing? Or, do you walk past them seven times, think all these things through, and then realize not asking is against what God wants you to do. Then, finally terrified and reluctant ask the question?

The last option is the one I choose today. What did I find? Not only was the person happy to answer but it helped me learn more about them. It opened up a door. It was two people talking about their faith at work. To top it off something even more unexpected happened. They asked me to answer the same question! Which turned into me sharing about the time I spent with God yesterday and sharing this fear of Man I have with someone else.

That one simple question turned into a deep meaningful spiritual conversation with someone I haven’t really talked to before. I will tell you what, I will take that over “Hi, hows it going?” any day.

God, knows what He’s doing. Even when we don’t. The enemy wants to prevent us from these simple conversations. These simple conversations bring strangers closer together in Christ. Even people who seem to have no faith can gain some from us asking the questions God prompts us to. We need to hear Him and obey.

So, the hidden foe I speak of are the little whispers of doubt in the tiny little things we think we hear God prompting us to do.

He whispers “Ask Nate how he sees me working in his life.” if I obey -a relationship with God at the center starts and faith becomes strengthened. God gains more ground in the battle. We are faithful in little and will receive more.

He whispers “Ask Nate how he sees me working in his life.” if I ignore it (disobey)- nothing happens. No relationship, no strengthening, no added faith, no spiritual gain. The enemy keeps us in a boring mundane regular day at work lull. Nothing spiritual about that, no battle taking place. (or is there?) The enemy gains ground in the battle.

These situations can be the worst with family. Like I said, I love mine and they are very supportive. But, lets face it. Who’s approval do you seek out when it is God vs Family? Do you stick with the urges and prompts that God gives you? Do you say something about Jesus to the person in your family that you are unsure of where they stand with Jesus? Do you take the chance of offending them because God wants you to say something? Or, do you ignore the quiet voice, or feeling that you shouldn’t  say something because it might be uncomfortable? They might get upset or push you away!

We fear the loss of mans favor, loss of their love or we fear their disapproval. We fear loss of friendship, comfort or pleasure from those relationships. So, we “edit” what we know we should say. We all do it. I’m the worst at this. Time and time again the chance to speak Gods truth goes by, ignored. His convicting words tight in my chest as the anxiety builds. Do I really say that to them? (whatever it is your feeling you should say at the time). What if they freak out on me? What if this guy never talks to me again because I need to keep strict boundaries he doesn’t understand? What if my words sound overzealous? What if I sound nuts?

So we compromise. We say half of what we thought we should. We edit so the truth is sorta there and Gods message is kinda given, but in a way we know it will be better swallowed.

Question: Do you know that person better than God knows that person? Do you really think you know what is best said and not said to them at any given moment?

If you feel God telling you to deliver a message do you put your own words in, edit the message to make it more palatable. Or, do you deliver it as you know God is telling you to?

Maybe, the enemy has you double guessing all together. After all, why would God use you to tell someone they are heading down the wrong path? Why wouldn’t He just tell them Himself?

When we fear man it mutes and quiets our witness and keeps us from living for his glory.(Nicholas T. Batzigs words not mine) But, it spoke very clearly too me.

This fear of Man is a thing I never even thought of and it turns out to be my greatest road block. My biggest idol standing in my way to doing all the things God wants from me and for me.

Now, picture what it would be like to act on all the things you feel God telling you to do. Imagine, fearlessly and confidently carrying out every order large and tiny that the Lord gives you. I wonder what that would be like. Not even sure if it is possible. Sometimes, I have a hard time knowing for certain it is God telling me to do these things.

Jesus was able to do this and he never worried what people thought he never compromised for gain and his only goal was to bring honor and glory to the Heavenly Father. He was also rejected and despised because of it.

I don’t know if I can say I have what it takes to do the same. How do we battle this foe? How do we put God above all others all the time? How do we seek His approval over mans every time? How do we break free from our Man pleasing default setting?

*Father, I pray for all man kind that we would seek you more fully. I pray that when we feel you speak to us we follow more quickly and with less reservation. I pray you help us to come together and trust you as our guide and counselor. I pray you strengthen our faith as a whole, as one body. I pray you show us when the enemy is at work and make us more aware of how real the spiritual battle is. I pray Father, that you would give us a boldness to speak when you ask us to and a willingness not to edit the message according to what we think would be more pleasing to the receiver. I pray you help us to see the power and authority you have given us over the enemy and that we would see him and his attempts to keep us weak and fearful. I pray you help us to see you put us here to love one another and not to fear one another. I pray you help us to see there is one purpose Father. To glorify you Lord in all we do.

In Jesus Name- Amen