The things that God has been teaching me and He's shown me that I need to grow in since the beginning of this year are astronomical. Have you had told me just six months ago that God was about to break me entirely down to build me back up? I would have given you a peculiar, confused look.
I want to share what God has been doing in my heart and the doors he opened for me in this update.
At the beginning of this year, I had reached a point where I was struggling significantly with discouragement from Spiritual attacks from the devil. It was at a point where I could barely get the energy and desire to get up and start the day even. It finally came to a moment where I realized that I had allowed my hectic schedule to intervene with my time with Christ and where I knew that Christ wanted me to head in a different direction ministry-wise. Still, I didn't know what that exactly would be.
In January, I got invited to take discipleship classes with Global Year, a gap year ministry that friends of mine, Richard and Lauree Hayden, and director of the Guatemalan branch. After that first day of learning and reading the bible after getting home is when I started feeling a sense of peace, and Christ gave me the subtle yes that I was heading in the right direction in obeying what I felt Him pressing on me but hadn't known what it was.
Matthew 4: 18-22 is when Jesus called his first disciples. In verses 19-20, it says, "And He said to them 'follow me, and I will make you fishers of men,' Immediately they left their nets and followed him." Just these two verses show us how we are supposed to obey when Christ tells us to do or puts something on our hearts. We are supposed to obey immediately without hesitation. Christ doesn't put something on our hearts just randomly. Even though it may seem impossible to accomplish, He will provide if it is his Spirit putting it firmly on our hearts.
Christ's most significant commitment is for us to go out and lead people to Christ. We are to make disciples that can spread the hope of Christ. We aren't to sit around and say that someone else will do it or that I will go as soon as I finish X, Y, and Z. We are Commanded to lead people to Christ. We are commanded to spread the love of Jesus to all nations. There are billions and billions of people that don't know the true love, hope, and word of Jesus, and we as a church are commanded to go out and make sure the whole world hears and has an opportunity to know our Jesus in the way He wants them to know Him. He's not someone you can have as a go-to when things are difficult. He is someone that wants to be first in your life and wants to use you in powerful ways.
Like one of my favorite artists said in his song,
When ya healthy it's like, we don't really care for Him then.
Leave me alone God, I'll call you when I need you again
I look around at this world we walk on
It's a smack in the face, don't ever tell me there's no God
And if there isn't, then what are we here for?
And what are y'all doing down there? I don't know Lord…..
If we as Christians aren't bold and go out and do what Christ has called us to do, why are we here?
If you look at your life right now, are you reflecting on what Paul said in
21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.
23 I am hard-pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.
24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.
Here's a question posed by Richard, my pastor, this morning. "How many people are benefiting from my life in being alive?" The way I'm living my life right now is it furthering the Kingdom of God and making God famous and when people look are now I'm living my life, they think, "That girls on fire for Jesus.". Or Am I living for Jesus but not on fire for Him. If we live our day-to-day life and forget that there are people all around us, no matter where we are in life, that are lost and need/are searching for a fulfillment that only comes from Jesus, what are we doing?
If you look at where our world is right now, there is no denying that people's need to know and build a relationship with Jesus is exceptionally high. It doesn't matter where God has placed you now. He will use where you are to reach those in the circle that you are in. If you are a mom, a teacher, a doctor, a firefighter, etc., He has a plan and has people waiting for you to reach out. You may even have regular connections with them and have no clue how much they need Jesus, and you speaking up could be the last thing Jesus is waiting for to tip them over the edge to fall into His arms.
God knew us before we were even formed in the womb (Psalm 139:13). If He knew us before we were even formed in our mother's womb, think of the wonderful things He has planned for us if we would listen and follow His commands.
Philippians 1:8a "For God is my witness," His opinion is the only one we should be worrying about when we do something. Christ is our Witness; He is our father. He is our Saviour, our rock, the Good Shepard. I could go on and on about what he is, BUT He is the only one that has the power to judge us truly. We possess none of that. We have no power to judge one person from another on how they live their lives. We are to share the hope we have in Jesus and pray that Jesus will open their hearts to him.
In this period, Christ has been growing me and putting a boldness that I never had to go out and start up conversions, leading, and sharing my testimony to those in my community. I would never have thought I would be able to, and the only way that I can be is by leaning on Him for strength and courage, surrendering when I don't have the words, and allowing His Spirit to fill me when I am low.
Psalm 71:1-3, 5-6
1 In you, O Lord, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame!
2 In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
incline your ear to me, and save me!
3 Be to me a rock of refuge,
to which I may continually come;
you have given the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
5 For you, O Lord, are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
6 Upon you I have leaned from before my birth;
you are he who took me from my mother's womb.
My praise is continually of you.
I want to wrap this up by saying thank you to all praying for our dear girl. She DOES NOT HAVE CANCER. Praise God, but she does have TB and answers concerning that hare not coming quickly or easily. So please still keep here in your prayers. Another prayer request that I have is to pray for the homes and the kids. With listening to Christ comes hardship, and as you all know, we want the best for the kids but are very low on help and have a lot of kids. So pray for our staff and us volunteers that we will give the kids the best care and not completely break.
A personal prayer request that I have is that Christ keeps teaching me and growing me in a way that He can. That I will seek Him first in everything that I do, I will hear what He has to say to me. The decisions that I have to make in the future concerning ministry are that I'm listening to His voice and what He wants me to do and not what my emotions lead me to do.