“If I paid you $50,000 for every person you preached the Gospel to today, how driven would you be to do it? What if I gave you $100,000 to spend an extra hour in prayer? Would you be more inclined by financial gain to give a few hours of your time, or are you inclined by the love of Jesus? What compels you more, eternal treasure in heaven or worldly treasure that will rust and be destroyed?”—Tony Seigh (via freedomreigns)
Without the Spirit; without prayer, the Church is nothing more than a social gathering for people who want to do good in life but often fail. With prayer and the Spirit we become a force to be reckoned with.
who will take me to the most dangerous and darkest parts of the world where there’s no gospel being preached, no light as a witness and is willing to lead me to my death though it be painful and/or violent
“Being equally yoked has more to do with pace. Being equally yoked means you run as fast as you can towards Jesus, and when you reach your top speed, you look to your side to see who can keep up with you and that is who you marry.”—Damon Thompson
A Christian who forgets the prominent place of prayer in our epic battle to bring Jesus to this dark world is a useless warrior stripped of his weapon. Pray is not poetic language of a polite society. Prayer is down in the muck and the trenches, releasing the power of God into every situation faced. Prayer is the weapon of trench warfare and I don’t know if you’ve noticed but we are fighting in those trenches.
“If I told you that I was late because I had an encounter with a 30 ton logging truck going 120 miles per hour that ran me over, there would only be two logical conclusions. One, I’m a liar or two, I’m a mad man. You would say, brother Paul, it is impossible to have an encounter with something as large as a logging truck and not be changed. And then my question to you would be, what is larger, a logging truck or God? How is it that so many people today profess to have had an encounter with Jesus Christ and yet they are not permanently changed?”—Paul Washer (via amartyrschallenge)
God can’t force us to study his Word, that is our choice. But it is more than study, it is allowing the Spirit to put that Word into effect in our living: “dwell in you richly”. It is seeing the Word come alive in all its depth when it says to love one another, to respect the elders, to love your enemies. God will write it upon our heart and the Spirit will enrich our lives with it as the Word takes life through our living. It is amazing stuff that works from the inside out but we have to let it, allow it, permit it, make way for it, submit to it, invite it in.
If we are getting up in the morning and saying to ourselves, “Today I am going to be more loving”, we will fail. But if we get up in the morning and say, “To you Jesus I surrender this day and I am determined to follow the Spirit all day long”, you will find yourself being more loving. Most of us do not understand the difference.
We often sing about God’s majesty, but do we really behold it? The word majesty has a few definitions, but my favorite and the one I believe best describes God’s majesty is this: an imposing grandeur. God’s greatness makes us know how small we are compared to Him; we can’t help but look upon Him with awe and a holy fear. Matt Chandler used standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon as an analogy. You know that one misstep off the edge and you’re done; you are pint size compared to these huge rocks and crevasses. God is so much bigger than that! Habakkuk 3:10 says of the Lord, “The mountains saw you and writhed.” Even the towering mountains shrunk back in the light of God’s grandeur! Truly that is a testament to God’s majesty. Creation can’t help but to proclaim His greatness. Jesus said in Matthew that even if His people were silent, the rocks would cry out in praise (Matt 19:40). If we get ahold of God’s majesty, our worship will never be the same! It is impossible to be in His presence and not be in awe.
“A woman who fears the Lord will not run away from God to satisfy her longings and relieve her anxieties. She will wait for the Lord. She will hope in God. She will stay close to the heart of God and trust in his promises. The prospect of departing into the way of sin will be too fearful to pursue; and the benefits of abiding in the shadow of the Almighty too glorious to forsake”—John Piper (via praise-yeshua)
“If you don’t get that He loves you, if you don’t understand that He has an affectionate love for you, then on those days where you struggle, on those days when the Accuser or your own voice calls you worthless, calls you a screw up, calls you a failure, calls you unlovely, when you don’t understand that He loves you and that love is built upon Christ and not you, then I don’t know that you’ll ever really run towards Him.”—Matt Chandler (via thisisyourmaverick)
Our life is no longer made up of things of this world but instead we are hidden with Jesus. We died. We keep forgetting that. When we accepted Jesus we died to what we were, how we felt and what we perceived, to our opinions. That is how it must be but often today it is more like Jesus just becomes part of our life instead of BEING our life. Apostle Paul wrote: “When Christ, who is your life …” You died and the only way you can live is in and through Jesus just as he lives in and through us. This is the only way to live a life that glorifies God.
A few weeks ago I wrote in my journal about how after spending every morning with God that week, I finally realized what He meant when He says, “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Deut 8:3). In the midst of all this “living” and excitement that has been going on this past week, I have pushed aside that carved out time in the morning to spend with my God. I feel it. I feel the difference in my life when I’m not taking time to just sit in His presence. I have been so out of it this week, and I can even say that I felt lifeless. This morning as I poured out my heart to God, He refreshed me. When I said, “God, ‘turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged’” (Ps 25:16-17) He said, “draw near to the throne of grace, so I can give you mercy and you can find grace in your time of need” (Heb 4:16). I had read this verse so many times, but it became living and so beautiful when my heavenly Father spoke it to me. Today I didn’t feel groggy or “blah”, instead I was filled with joy and excitement throughout the day.
The reason I write this post is because so many people have not had this revelation. Too many people cannot with certainty say that in God’s presence they find fullness of joy and pleasure; they cannot say in their dry places that their souls truly thirst for God as a deer pants for water. Having quiet time is so much more than just spending time with God to know Him more and become more like Jesus. It’s a matter of life or death of our souls. I pray that God grants the revelation to each of His children of our dire need for His presence. The beauty is this: He satisfies that need. His word promises that when we draw near to God, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). God will meet you wherever you decide to sit and commune with Him, and soon you too shall sing:
“Your presence is all I need, it’s all I want, and all I seek. And without it, without it there’s no meaning. Your presence is the air I breathe, the song I sing, and the love I need. And without it, without it I’m not living.” - I Will Exalt, Amanda Falk
Here’s a fact: All that matters is your relationship with Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter about your looks, your style, your possession, your job, your friends, even your family. It doesn’t matter how many times you go to church, how well you sing, if you are in the worship group or lead a Bible Study. It doesn’t matter how many hours you spend feeding the poor, visiting the sick, building homes, giving out clothing. It doesn’t matter how many storms you quiet, dead you raise, blind you give sight to, lepers you heal. All that matter is your relationship with Jesus Christ.
God has been stirring something in me for the past few days that was just confirmed by a conversation I had with Sophia. The dreams we have been dreaming for the past 3 years are now visible on the horizon.
Almost three years ago, God started moving in my life and the lives of some of my closest friends in a powerful way. He started depositing larger than life dreams in us, put a fire in our hearts for fervent prayer, and maybe the most significant thing was the burden ands subsequent promises/prophecies he gave us regarding our generation. We cried out daily for our generation and had a fiery passion to see revival break out around us. And there was one thing weighing heavy on our hearts: we knew God had brought us together for a purpose and would use us together in the future, but we knew that we would be separated for a season for individual growth and preparation. I can’t say exactly what happened, but slowly this fire began to grow cold. Maybe we were discouraged at the delay of God’s promises. Last summer we experienced a moment where we doubted all the dreams and visions. Was it emotional hype? There we were a year and a half after the dreaming began, and there was no sign of an all out revival, God hadn’t sent us out, and the spiritual atmosphere seemed colder than ever.
Quite a few months ago God started bringing up old dreams that laid dormant. It wasn’t just in us, but in our church as a whole. Week after week God would speak through someone telling us to dare to dream again. When remembering dreams that God had placed on the hearts of our pastors and leaders at for our church, an elder read out of Isaiah 62, telling the church it was time to prepare the way of the Lord and remove the stones from the path. He told the congregation that God is stirring up old dreams and visions, and it’s our job to remove the stones from our lives and the church as a whole, because God is coming with the fulfillment of those dreams.
Now of course when God is about to unleash and move in a mighty way, the enemy becomes very angry. Satan does all he can to wreak havoc to get God’s people discouraged and take their eyes off of Jesus. I’ve been seeing this in my own personal and home life. My best friend has seen it in hers as well. As we were saying today: poop is hitting the fan. I’ve always said to myself that I should be worried if satan ISN’T attacking me, because that means I’m no threat; I’m right where he wants me. We’re seeing outright attacks, but we’re also seeing a lot of brokenness and contrite spirits. While we may be quick to call the brokenness an attack, looking closer, I see it leading to a holy burden and grief for the state of our world and the church. I see repentance coming out of broken hearts. What I really see is stones being removed from our lives. I’ve never been so broken down as I have been recently. Every wall that I have built up is being demolished. Pride, selfishness, bitterness, and anger are being stripped from my life. It hurts. God touches wounds and it doesn’t feel pleasant at the time. There has never been a burden so heavy on my heart in regards to sin, both in my life and this generation as a whole, and there has never been so many tears shed. Just when I am bouncing up and down with joy because of what God has done, and am on the verge of thinking, “now I’m ready. No more crud to deal with,” and pride starts seeping in, God touches another sore spot. But He does it to heal. I am never left broken. Repentance doesn’t end at contrition. God fills me with joy and passion. It’s as if with each stone removed, I can see Him more clearly, coming right towards me. And He is carrying the dreams He have me sneak peek of years ago.
It’s three years later and the dreams are on the horizon. My friends and I are finally being separated, with a few of us being scattered about the country and world. Passion is stirring again. The flames are bigger than before. I just have the words of Pete Greig’s “The Vision” imprinted in my heart at the time. “Revolutionaries dreaming once again… My distant hope is His 3D.” All of the dreams we dared to dream seemed like a far off hope, but God knew what He was doing when He gave us those dreams. He already saw those things happening before His very eyes. And now, we’re going to see them happen before our own.
For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning torch.
The nations shall see your righteousness, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will give.
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married.
For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.
On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent. You who put the LORD in remembrance, take no rest,
and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth.
The LORD has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm: “I will not again give your grain to be food for your enemies, and foreigners shall not drink your wine for which you have labored;
but those who garner it shall eat it and praise the LORD, and those who gather it shall drink it in the courts of my sanctuary.”
Go through, go through the gates; prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway; clear it of stones; lift up a signal over the peoples.
Behold, the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the earth: Say to the daughter of Zion, “Behold, your salvation comes; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.”
And they shall be called The Holy People, The Redeemed of the LORD; and you shall be called Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.
“In the end, there is nothing under the sun that brings lasting fulfillment. You have to look beyond the sun. The groove in our hearts cannot be filled with the temporal. It demands eternity. Therefore, our very searching for more and more, for bigger and bigger, and for better and better, is our sense that something is off, amiss, deformed, and broken. In the same sense that death, pain, and suffering tell us that something in the world is broken, our insatiable searching tells us that something bigger than the earth itself is missing from our soul.”—Matt Chandler, The Explicit Gospel (via kschlabaugh)
It is more important now than ever before that we are a people of the Word and of the Spirit of God. It is more important now than ever before that we become as intimate as we can with Jesus, surrendering every day to him, his instruction and his values. We must possess the mind of Jesus. It is the only way we can guard are hearts and minds for him and keep the pollution of this world from affecting us. The clash between man’s logic and the Kingdom of Jesus is increasing and we must shore ourselves up for what is coming. Take the Spirit’s direction and make sure that you are solidly established in the Kingdom and not losing ground to the world.
Last week I was so excited to get a call from YWAM Orlando, checking up on my progress with my application. I told the young woman on the phone that I had sent in my application just about a week prior, and that it should be arriving any day. Yesterday I e-mailed them to make sure they’ve received everything, and I expectantly waited today for some good news. What I got was more than a little troubling. All of my recommendations arrived, but my application, along with my personal essay questions and the $35 application fee is nowhere to be found. Instantly I started going through the situation in my head: if I get my application transferred from the DTS I previously applied to, then they might get it late this week, and then there is still another week until I get word of my acceptance. THEN and only then does fundraising begin, giving me less than a week to send in $1,100 for the first part of my tuition. I could feel anxiety welling up inside me, so I just lifted up a desperate prayer. God, you’re cutting it close. Then I heard Him say, “do not be anxious.”
For some reason, I decided to go on Facebook, and the first status that I saw was this: “Self-reminder: God is in control and he is FOR me.” Do not be anxious. I turned on worship music to go back to reading and spending time in prayer, and the first song that comes on shuffle is “God, I Look to You” by Jenn Johnson. Again, I could hear my Father saying, “Do not be anxious.”
My application process for YWAM has been long and tumultuous, but up to now, I’ve been so calm and upbeat, because the Lord has given me such peace. I know this is His will, and now more than ever I must trust Him.
Tonight as worry threatens to give into disobedience, God reminds me not of stories I’ve heard of the great faith of historical heroes, but my close dear friends. My best friend Sophia had her plane ticket purchased, her trip to Russia planned, and with less than two weeks until her departure, she still had not received her visa. Now she is back in the U.S. with stories of how God greatly provided for her during her month long journey throughout Russia. I remember my friend Patrick telling me about his missions trip to Jordan last year, and how with much less than a month before he was set to leave, he still needed $9,000 for his trip. By the time he left, he was having to turn people down for support money! God provided above and beyond what he needed or could’ve expected.
Now God has called me to step into this sort of faith. Will I take these troubles as a sign that maybe I was wrong and this isn’t His will? Or will I trust that He has placed this desire in me to do YWAM now, and obey his word to not be anxious? There’s many ways this could go and God can provide. He could make my application show up at the Orlando DTS tomorrow. Or He can cut it so close that I have a day until my first deposit is due, and someone could come up to me with the desire to sponsor me on this journey. I don’t have to figure out how He is going to provide. I just need to trust and know that He will.
“Let us get this straight. Jesus Christ does not just offer us salvation as though it is a decoration or a bouquet or some addition to our garb. He says plainly: “Throw off your old rags, strip to the skin! Let me dress you in the fine clean robes of My righteousness—all Mine. Then, if it means loss of money, lose it! If it means loss of job, lose it! If it means persecution, take it! If it brings the stiff winds of opposition, bow your head into the wind and take it—for My sake!””—A.W. Tozer (Faith Beyond Reason)
Apparently I’ve officially reached the age when I hear the age old question everywhere I go. “So, what about you Natalia? Anyone special in your life?” Part of me wants to be a smart-alec and answer, “Why, yes! Jesus is pretty special to me! There’s also my parents, my brother, and of course my best friend is quite special, too!” However, I refrain from such a sarcastic answer because I can never think of this witty response in time, and I don’t want to offend anyone.
Yesterday I was asked this twice in one night. I do believe it’s a record thus far! At first I answered my childhood friend, telling her I am unconcerned with being in a relationship right now. She inquired, “You don’t want a boyfriend?” What I said next stuck with me the rest of the night, not ever realizing before what peace God has truly given me regarding my singleness. “It’s not that I don’t want a boyfriend. If God brought one at this very moment, I’d be happy and welcome him into my life. But it won’t necessarily make me any happier than I am right now. I’ll be just as happy with one as I am without one.” Later that night as I went to get some frozen yogurt with this friend of mine and our moms, I heard her mom ask mine if I was engaging in any sort of relationship with a guy. I couldn’t have said it any better than my mom did. She told my godmother (as I call her), that I have never wanted to date around, and that once a man pursues me, and I see that he is a godly man, ready to walk in his calling and lead me as his wife, then I will seriously consider entering into a relationship with him. Following my mom’s eloquent explanation, I added a simple and true statement: I am in no rush.
It seems as though the enemy has been vigorously trying to attack me with loneliness and dissatisfaction with being single this weekend. My dad telling me every hour or so that I need a boyfriend and my mom asking me about some of my male friends has threatened to disrupt the peace I have in God and this season of my life. In his grace and loving-kindness, last night He gave me the perfect words to reaffirm this satisfaction He has granted me in Himself: having a boyfriend or a husband will not necessarily make me any happier than I am now.
God has dealt a lot with lust in my life in the past month and a half. Girls, lust is NOT just a guy problem. I’ve known this for a few years, being one of the few women who struggle with lust visually, but I wasn’t aware at all how deep it ran in my heart. This awareness and conviction was brought on by my desire to see Magic Mike. I won’t talk about that movie, because it would be another post in itself. The Holy Spirit basically asked me, “What are you doing? What good can come of seeing this movie?” I realized this was something much deeper, and through an intense week of praying, reading and listening to God, He hit the root of the issue of lust. Lust arises when we believe that something or someone else can give us more satisfaction than God. For me that meant I believed I could find more satisfaction in having a good looking, muscular man. My loneliness could be better satisfied in a man’s arms than in my Father’s arms. My desires for marriage were completely selfish, and consequently setting up any future relationships for failure. But God did something beautiful! He gave me truth in the scriptures about satisfaction in Him. Not only that, He met with me, and I saw then that my soul truly longs for Him. He spoke to me and my heart was revived and full. I remember writing in my journal, “Truly I am sustained by every word that proceeds from your mouth. I can’t make it through the day without hearing from You first.”
For the first time in my life, I have not only found “fullness of joy” (Ps 16:11) and satisfaction in God’s presence. I have realized my desperate need for His presence, knowing that nothing can ever fill me and satisfy me like Him. Like David I can honestly say, “my soul longs, yes faints for the courts of the LORD” (Ps 84:2). Do I desire to get married? Yes! I’m not walking around with the illusion that I have to suppress this desire and think that when I don’t want it, it’ll happen. I do want it, and I know that when it does happen, it’ll be another added joy and blessing in my life. It won’t make me any happier than I am now, because my happiness, FINALLY, isn’t based on my circumstances. My fulfillment is found every morning when I sit at the feet of Jesus, and every day as God is continually with me.
“We have found that acquiring information outside of rooted relationships turn immature Christians into the theology police. And nobody likes the theology police. When that sort of doctrinal arrogance takes over, people end up despising doctrine because they can’t see the beauty of it from the beauty of reconciled relationships.” - Matt Chandler
“Love will cost you everything: laying down your life, living a life of passion and compassion, giving without expecting, feeling God’s very heartbeat, surrendering to His rhythm, and following the Lamb wherever He goes—even to the ends of the earth.”—Heidi Baker, Compelled By Love
Fall 2010 I found myself sitting in an International Relations class, as well as a class about contemporary world issues. That summer I had decided not to attend college, and was in the process of applying to a discipleship training school with Youth With A Mission in Brazil. God had other plans for me, apparently. While on a trip to the community college with a friend, I had an urge to sign up for classes. The next day I went back and signed up for the two classes I found the most interesting and started 3 days later.
It just so happened to be when Egyptians decided to revolt against their leader, Hosni Mubarak, and when Israel entered into peace talks with Palestine once again. My classes were full of lively discussions, and sometimes heated debates, mostly revolving around the Middle East. One day as I was watching the world news,— to be better informed and not look like an idiot, of course— I saw images of the riots and revolution in Egypt, and my heart shattered. I remember crying out to God, asking Him why they don’t see that a new political leader won’t bring any lasting change. Over the course of my fall semester I learned about the entire history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (What wasn’t taught, however, was how this conflict actually dates back to the times of the Bible.) There were also many terrorist bombings in Afghanistan and even Iraq, Yemen started having increasing turmoil, and Iran started becoming more hostile towards the U.S. I found myself on my knees a lot. I had never had such a burden for the Middle East; in fact, I believed I would be a missionary in Brazil and maybe Africa. God not only started drawing my heart to the Middle East, but began showing me that evidence of this calling in my life has been around since I was a little girl, around 6 years old.
Since fall 2010, the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have failed, Iran has threatened to attack Israel, Egypt has rioted again, Yemen’s state of affairs has grown increasingly violatile, Libya has gone through a revolution, and now Syria has entered into one. Last night I watched reports of the situation in Syria, and I could feel tears welling up inside. All I could think was, “They want change so desperately, but this is not the change they truly long for.” People, even innocent civilians, are dying for something that may bring satisfaction for a few years, maybe a decade at best. Every time I’d heard Damascus mentioned, I would think about Paul and how he was converted on the road to Damascus. The place where a terrorist was converted and brought into a life of proclaiming the gospel is now being taken over and ravaged by terrorists. While I was trying to fall asleep last night, I felt restless thinking about Syria and these war torn countries in the Middle East. All I could do was pray and cry out for them. I found myself pleading, “Please God, send someone, anyone, to give them the good news. Any way they can get into the country, make it happen!” Right now Syria has one doctor for a population of 700, 000 people. He has to treat government soldiers, rebel soldiers, and civilians that get caught in attacks. What if God made a way for a doctor to go in and lend a hand in treating the wounded? He or she could show Christ’s love and find a door to share the gospel through medical service. I long to go to Syria, or any war torn country. Even if all I do there is find a spot to provide a hide out and safe haven for civilian children and women. Ultimately I desire to share with them the good news of Jesus Christ, but it can start with a simply act of love and service.
One of my heroes is Amy Carmichael. I remember reading about how she grew up wishing she had blonde hair and blue eyes, like most of her peers in Northern Ireland. She would earnestly pray for God to change her eye color from dark brown. I can relate to this, having dark brown eyes myself. When she became a missionary in India, she discovered that God had designed everything about her, down to her eye and hair color, to accomplish what God had purposed for her life. Because of Amy’s dark hair and eyes, she was able to rub mud on her face (to give her dark skin like the Indians) and blend into meetings in the temples, where they would sell children into slavery, in order to rescue them. Amy Carmichael took helpless children and gave them freedom and hope, and later opened an orphanage for them. Last night, I thought a lot about her, and thought, “if I could only help the children, and those who can’t help themselves.
This all may sound like a fantasy to whoever is reading this. Yes, I have considered that all my dreams and hopes for these nations are easier said than done. I know that getting into many Middle Eastern countries right now is nearly impossible, never mind one that is in the middle of a civil war. Seeing as how the Bible promises that unrest and wars will only get worse before Jesus comes, I also know that by the time God sends me out, getting into the Middle East will be even more difficult than now. Finding a place and an opportunity to serve in the nations will be nearly, if not completely, impossible. But here is what I also know: God has called me to the 10/40 window. More specifically, He has called me to nations in turmoil, especially muslim nations. People have looked at me like I am crazy, reminded me how dangerous it is, and reiterated the great chance of martyrdom, (only they did not say it as eloquently as calling it martyrdom). That’s okay, because everything they’ve told me, God has already told me, but he didn’t stop there. God has given me a heart for the impossible, but He has reminded me that He is a God who loves doing the impossible.
“The indigenous churches in India have a great burden for America just now… and are praying that God will visit your country with revival… You feel sorry for us in India because of our poverty in material things. We who know the Lord in India feel sorry for you in America because of your
My friend, we need you. We need you to stop living in the shadow of your brothers and sisters and to shine in your calling. We need you to grab hold of your gift. I said your gift, not someone else’s. Grab hold of that thing and give it all you have, to serve others with it. There is no elitism in the Church, no priesthood because we are all of the royal priesthood. We need you to share with us what God has given you!
Oh ye of little faith. That’s what I found myself thinking so often for the past year. For someone with a hunger for adventure, I was incredibly boring. Somewhere along the way I went from dancing until midnight with my family, then going out for burgers at 2 a.m. to sitting at home and watching TV for hours, with no motivation to go out. Monday night, Sophia said what I’ve been lamenting over for the past year. “Our friendship has become boring.” It had. In fact, I’ll be honest and admit it had become lifeless. It wasn’t just our friendship, though; it was my life.
I can’t recall exactly when, but at some point, I had let my fears take over my faith. The longing for adventures still existed in me, but when it came time to embark on them, I became paralyzed. That’s when I’d tell myself, “O ye of little faith.” Sadly I recognized my lack of faith, but couldn’t look beyond it long enough to ask God for increase. Fear not only stripped my ability to be adventurous, but also my creativity. I became so lifeless I couldn’t even find small fun things to do. My days and weeks became monotonous routines and anything threatening the routine was unwelcome.
God used Sophia to show me how dangerous this had become. I was stuck at home by myself all day alone with my thoughts, which lead to another whole mess. Thinking back on my friendship with Sophia, I can recall so many moments filled with laughter, fun, and adventure. Some of those memories were caused by our own stupidity, but nonetheless they involved risk and make great stories. On the flip side, a lot of those memories are of good, wholesome fun fueled by our passion for life.
I’ve learned that faith isn’t just believing, it invokes action. It’s more than just bearing fruit; faith invites you to actions beyond the ordinary. People say spontaneity is the spice of life, but mere spontaneity without wisdom often leads to foolishness and messes. True faith in Christ, which connects you to the heart of God, produces excitement like being spontaneous while also exercising wisdom. Real faith looks beyond the situation at hand to the God who is in control. Don’t look past that last sentence, as I often have. The God we look to is the same God who parted the Red Sea, sent down fire from heaven to shame the priests and worshippers of Baal, and caused a valley of dry bones to become an exceedingly great army. To quote Sophia: God hasn’t changed; we have.
If we live daily by faith, we should be anything but ordinary. It doesn’t matter if we have ordinary jobs or are required to stick to some sort of routine. When we are not troubled by the moments when we are called to break the routine, that is the working of faith. God has reminded me of the dreams he has placed in me, but more so He has shown me I don’t need to wait for those to come to pass in order to exercise great faith. Every day I put myself out there, ready to have fun and be adventurous, is an example of faith. This is my challenge to all of you: get up! Go have fun to the glory of God! You don’t have to do something stupidly crazy to be adventurous. In fact, Mark Driscoll says that passion tethered to wisdom is pleasing to God; faith will lead you in that direction.
“Do not we rest in our day too much on the arm of flesh? Cannot the same wonders be done now as of old? Do not the eyes of the Lord still run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those who put their trust in Him? Oh, that God would give me more practical faith in Him! Where is now the Lord God of Elijah? He is waiting for Elijah to call on Him.”— James Gilmour of Mongolia
Currently looking like a spazz, dancing in my seat to this song. But COME ON! It says "I DANCE because You are good." How often do we sing those words standing as stiff as a board, clapping our hands? God is good. Do you believe that? Does it fill you with joy? Like David I will say, “I will become still more undignified than this!”