Saturday, November 9, 2013

Clean House

“I want to have a deeper relationship with Christ. I really do but…”

Throughout the years I’ve talked to so many different Christians who desperately want to have a more intimate relationship with the Lord. You’ve probably talked to a couple, too. They say things like:
  • “I try to read my bible every day but I just can’t seem to be consistent.”
  • “I want to have a prayer life but I just can’t seem to pray for longer than five minutes.”
  • “I really do want to have a deeper relationship with The Lord. I really do but I just can’t be the person He wants me to be just yet.” 
Sound familiar? Maybe you can relate to these statements. I know I could at one time in my life. I’ve learned that my problem with growing a deeper relationship with The Lord was simply that I just loved God—And that’s fantastic. However, intimacy is more than just loving someone, it’s about truly being in love with that person. Many Christians love God but lack intimacy with Him because they aren’t truly in love with Him.

But why aren’t more Christians completely in love with God?

There are many reasons this is true. I believe a common reason is what I like to call the "Clean House Syndrome." When friends or family come over your house you’re moved to clean or tidy up a bit, right? You dust, clean the kitchen, and maybe even vacuum. You wouldn’t want your guest to judge you, right?

 Jesus isn’t afraid of our mess.

We do the same thing with Christ when He knocks on the doors of our hearts (home). We throw bitterness under the bed, try to dust off lust, and hope that Jesus doesn’t open the door to our “secret closet sins.” So we say, "Jesus, I love You but I'm not ready to deal with my mess yet. I'm embarrassed and fear that You won't love me the same if You saw my mess."  And instead of completely welcoming Him into our hearts, we let Him keep knocking.  Our fear that He will reject us keeps us from completely giving Him our whole hearts.

When you expose all of the mess in your heart to God, you allow Him to go into the most intimate places in your heart. With perfect love and grace, He will begin to clean those places up. Then, reading the bible, praying, and listening to worship music won't be something to check off of a list. It'll be a connection that you use to know Him more--just because you're in love.

Beloved, it’s time to completely open up the doors to your heart and let Jesus in. He’s not afraid of your mess. In fact, when you let Him in, He’ll clean your mess up better than you could ever imagine. You see, He wants all of you—including your mess. Your spiteful heart, your insecure heart, your prideful heart, and even your hateful heart—He wants it all.  He didn’t just die for part of you; He died for all of you. Amazing child of God, the truth is, Jesus won’t stop knocking until you completely welcome Him in. He WILL continue to pursue you. It's time to let Him in. 

Lord, I will never be satisfied with just giving you part of me. I'm ready to give you all of me, all that I have, and all that I am. I know that even with all of mess, you won’t judge me, but You will love me. Take me as I am today, Lord. I am ready for more of You.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Walk With Me

What is my purpose for this life? Why did God even create me? Where do I belong?

God never creates anything without purpose. The stars in the sky, the creatures of the field, and even the living microorganisms that we can't see without a microscope were created ON purpose and WITH purpose. No matter who you are or what your background looks like, every person stands face to face with the question of their purpose.

In Hebrews 11, we see so many great men and women who found their purpose. By faith, Abel offered a more pleasing sacrifice to God than Cain. By faith, Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau. By faith, Sara received strength to conceive a child. By faith, Enoch pleased God (Hebrews 11:5). When my Pastor taught on Enoch, it changed the way I saw my life. The bible doesn’t mention much about Enoch prior to Hebrews 11:5. But we see that Genesis 5:22 says, “Enoch walked with God...” Enoch was known in the Hall of Faith for just walking in God’s presence? As simple as that sounds, I believe it’s the fundamental purpose for our lives--Just to walk with God. 

Oftentimes we become so desperate to find what our purpose, that we try everything out. “Maybe I’m a singer... Or an athlete... Or a preacher.” Unfortunately, when these endeavors don’t work out the way we want, failure becomes a mountain in our lives. What if we sought to please God more than we sought out recognition or validation?

You find your purpose when you’re found in His presence.

Beloved, stop looking for your purpose to fall out of the sky. Your purpose, your destiny, your entire reason for living is to simply please The Lord in your walk. Enoch wasn’t a well-known prophet nor did he write a great portion of the bible. Enoch found that his purpose for life was found in God’s presence. And for that, He pleased God.

Walking with God is simply trusting, relying, and allowing the Lord to lead you. Anxiety is a major indicator that you are not fully walking with God. Those who walk with The Lord are content with who they are, where are they are, and how God is leading them. When you begin to become anxious about your purpose ask yourself, “Have I been truly trusting and relying on God?” If not, “Where did I get off track in allowing Him to lead me in purpose?”

Maybe you’re reading this today and you know that you’ve been trying to make or force “purpose” to work. You’re tired of questioning and are seeking answers. Child of God, run to His presence. It’s in that place where God will begin to extract the gifts inside of you and mold you for your destiny. Don’t worry child, God didn’t forget to make a “plan” for you. The same God that intentionally created the Universe is the same God that created you ON purpose and WITH purpose. 

"Lord, I'm done trying to figure things out on my own. My desire is to simply walk with You, in Your presence, hand-in-hand. Let my walk be pleasing in Your sight. Show me the way, God." 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Tips on Sharing Christ

We’re all Christians. We all have a story. We all want to share.

Spreading the love of Christ is very important as we follow Him. If we’re not sharing Christ, all of our “works” and “gifts” mean absolutely nothing. Growing up in church I’ve seen evangelism (sharing Christ) done both effectively and ineffectively. When sharing Christ is done ineffectively, that person sharing can easily become discouraged. So how do you share Christ the right way? 

There really is no right or wrong way to share Christ. But there is a wise and unwise way. Ultimately using wisdom from the Holy Spirit is the only way we can be effective in sharing Christ. There are people you come across that need to hear about Christ right on the spot. Somewhere in their heart they have questions and are open to an answer. That’s someone who is ready to receive Christ. Those are usually the easy hearts to win for Christ. But what do you do with those whose heart’s aren’t so open to hear God?

There are times where you see people hurting but they aren’t quite ready to receive Christ yet. Their heart isn’t open or receptive to receive an answer. As Christians, I understand, we all want to share Christ with everyone. But if you truly want to be effective, use wisdom—use the Holy Spirit as your guide. When I first fully came to Christ, I shared Him with everyone. Although my zeal for Him was great, it wasn’t particularly wise. Think about it, Jesus didn’t perform miracles on EVERY person He came in contact with. He was patient and used wisdom.

Here are a few steps that The Lord has taught me when dealing with unreceptive hearts:
  1. PRAY- This is the most important step. You have to pray that the Holy Spirit will soften and open that person’s heart. Obviously somewhere in their heart is hardened. YOU can never soften their heart—ONLY the Holy Spirit can. I saw that a good friend of mine needed Jesus but I knew she wasn’t ready. So I began to pray for her heart first. 
  2. CONNECT- In this step it’s important to establish a relationship with that person. Connect with them. Find out their likes and dislikes. This step will give you more insight on what to pray for. We see countless times in the New Testament where Jesus connects with people by simply showing them His grace and love. 
  3.  SHARE- This is where the Holy Spirit really gets to do His thing! He then will open a door for you to share Christ with that person. For example, on your job, out of nowhere it'll just be you and your coworker in the break room for a few minutes. That person will all of a sudden ask you where your church is or about God. Listen to His voice to lead you when you do have that opportunity to share.
It’s easy to become anxious to share Christ with every person you come in contact with. That time, however, isn’t always the right timing. Pray first, connect, and THEN share with those people who have hardened hearts towards God. Trust that every day the Holy Spirit will lead you to someone that doesn’t know Him. Trusting the voice of the Holy Spirit is going to be the only way you'll effectively be able to win a soul for Christ. Jesus says in Mark 16:15 “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Yes, I know, you have a testimony and you're passionately in love with Jesus. But let’s also be wise when we share Christ by solely using the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.