He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow, march out against them…you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!”
2 Chronicles 20:15-17 [NTL]
God will never give us anything we cannot handle. He will never give us a situation that triumphs us unless we allow it. He may give us situations that are bigger than us though, and it’s at these points where He’s looking for us to trust in Him. The situation may be bigger than us, but when we put our trust in Him, we have a power on our side bigger than anything that could ever come our way. When our hearts and minds are focused on Him and not on the situation, we walk effortlessly through our situations, sometimes without even realizing it. He has a love for us so deep He never wants to see us struggle, so when we begin to worry, look to Him and allow Him to help.
I’ve been hearing so much build up to this from Shauna and some other friends of mine working on this project and so awesome to see it taking off! Excited to see the rest of them come out and for the official launching in a few weeks. Check out more at http://notwhoiwas.com
It really breaks my heart to see the pain in this world, particularly at self harm or suicide attempts. I’ve been feeling really sucky lately with loneliness; not having anyone to go anywhere with, people ignoring or giving up responding to me, I’ve felt pretty low. But it feels incomparable when I see the pain others have had or are experiencing. I can’t even begin to fathom the depths of limbo some have dropped into, but it wrings my heart every time, compassion pervades my entire soul and my spirit softens. I so wish there was more I could do, but I feel that all I’m able to do is just hold a constant and persistent representation of Christ’s love to them.
Lately I’ve been really craving more of God, significantly more. So much so that I have been continually unsatisfied, and in the last few weeks have even become frustrated. I’m seeking to further challenge my thoughts and my life, and to orientate myself into a position where God is truly the centre of my day to day life in everything I do.
Often at the beginning of a school year I will write out a post it note and stick it in my room. This note is a constant reminder of what my key focus is for that season of my life, just something short and simple. Last year I had “Just Love” which I believe I blogged about then, and this year’s is “Who are you working for?”, alluding to Colossians 3:23:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.
This note has really helped me narrow a focus on life, certainly in my work ethic for school. It’s been very beneficial, but only to that one aspect of my life. As I’m so desperately craving more in my relationship with God, this one focus doesn’t feel adequate on its own.
The frustration comes in because I feel unguided with what else to do to further deepen my walk. Most often this is where the role of a community is paramount. A group to support, encourage, and inspire one another, and in today’s context, usually a church.
Now I do have a church that I’m very involved in and I love everyone there, but because of the nature of the church, the focus is most often kept to the rudiments. The body completely cycles and renews every 4 to 5 years, and for this reason it is difficult to go into any depths without setting up the fundamentals for those who are new that year. I’m not speaking ill of the church, I believe it is operating in the exact way it should for the situation, and it’s very beneficial to those who are new to the faith. But as someone who has grown up in the church, I feel I’m in the wrong place to promote my spiritual growth.
The beginning of Hebrews 6 really hits home for exactly what I am feeling.
So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgement. And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.
So that is what I am after. I will still be involved in my church to help the spiritual growth of those who are seeking, and to help its function, its purpose is certainly important, but I’m on a search to further challenge myself with newly inspired ideologies.
Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
Really thought provoking, and I can think of so many correlations to Christianity about truly using the amazing gifts the Father has given each one of us for our full potential in our own ministries.
Well, it’s been a while now I suppose, life has been good lately. Physically I’m reaching a new peak level of fitness, emotionally overall things have been going well, a little bit of a roller coaster but that’s usual for this phase I’m in, but I’m hoping will soon transition into a very good place, and spiritually I feel I’m fairly healthy, but ever so hungry, which I believe to be a good place to be in.
This past Sunday night I had a leadership meeting just before our service started. It was fairly routine, a look at the next 4 or 5 weeks, organizing teams and addressing any concerns or suggestions. As we came to the end of the meeting though, my pastor announced to us that he would be leaving us in the coming semester. It was a big shock to most, Andrew had done some amazing things for our church, pulling it out of financial crisis, reconstructing and stabilizing the whole leadership structure and functionality of it, further connecting our church to our campus community as well as our city community, and giving a clear image and direction for the future of our ministry, and all of this in only two years that he’s been with us. His reason is entirely understandable, his family is growing and he wants them to all be able to attend a church together, and as they live a half hour drive west of here the trip is wearing. He’s been offered a full time pastoral position at a church in his own city which I believe will be a much better place and opportunity for him and his family.
Hearing the news worried me though. I started attending around the same time he began his work, and through him I really connected with the body and gained involvement and leadership. His departure leaves us in uncertainty, there is nobody to take his place, nor are there plans on it at the moment. How can a church grow or continue with no pastor? There are a few filler pastors through associated churches who will come in to speak, but would we not loose stability and possibly deteriorate? My natural reactions came in, and I was honestly worried about this community I have poured into and have had pour into me, the future looked bleak at best to me.
Later in the night, I was able to take a step back and again look at the situation and realize the potential and the positivity in it. The beginning will be rough, and it won’t be easy, but if the students of the body step up, I believe our community will flourish significantly. If the leadership is willing, we all have a huge opportunity to step up and take charge of our church. I mean this is a student church which has been run entirely by students save Andrew, but in this upcoming season, it will be an entirely student run church for students. I feel like doing this will really tighten the relationships and fellowship we have within our community.
Another aspect to it from a personal perspective, is that I have been spiritually craving more lately and seeking more provoking messages to really challenge my thoughts and life, which I haven’t been able to find at Lift, not to say anything bad of Andrew, I hope from what I previously said it’s understood that I love him and what he has done. In the last month I’ve occasionally also been visiting a church near Milton though which has really provided for that craving, but it’s difficult to make it out there. I believe this change at Lift may be able to provide for this craving I have down the road as we may eventual find another full time pastor for the church who can bring different perspectives and challenges to us in other ways.
Change is good, but only if you allow it to be. Change can bring worry and doubts and uncertainty, but know God absolutely loves you and He will care for and meet your needs. Focus on Philippians 4 versus 6 and 7, for that mindset will change your life, guaranteed. Talk to your Father, tell Him your wants and your worries, and hold a confident faith to His promises of plans to prosper you and to give you hope and a future.
You are loved! It’s a wonderful feeling, so enjoy it and enjoy life!