identity in Christ

What Do You Worship?

Posted on

The Bible tells us to not have any idols before us. (Exodus 20:4-5) But what do we think about
when we talk about idols? A golden calf? A carved stone image? How about our jobs, careers,
spouses or children? What about our money, our home or even our favorite sports team? We
probably don’t think of it this way, but all of these things can become idols in our lives. So today I
want to ask a question…   What do you worship?

-Everyone one of us worships something.

What do you worship? Seems like a simple question, but it really isn’t. We all worship
something, whether we acknowledge it or not, we all worship something. Do we worship the
Lord? Or is it something else that gets our time, attention and our faith? Is it our job or career?
What about our spouse or finding the love of our life? Seems like a strange think to think about,
but if our spouse or love interest comes before God, then somethings is amiss. Maybe it is the
thought of getting ahead or even material things, like a new car or a bigger house. All of these
things can become an idol in our hearts and lives. Even our giftings, talents, and skills can
become an idol if we rely on them more than we rely of God. Every one of us worships
something. If it is anything but God, it will eventually consume you and leave you empty.

-True worship flows from the heart.

True worship flows from the heart. If we are worshipping something other than God, then it
shows that our hearts are not right. Maybe we have been disappointed, discouraged, confused
or hurt. Maybe we have been through hard seasons and have resorted to depending on
ourselves and other things to get us through. It can be tempting to turn to our own devices to try
and fill what is missing from our hearts. We may have even turned to the Lord, asked for His
help, and for Him to refine us. But when the refining begins we may find that all of the stuff that
starts to surface out of our hearts is very messy. We may want to run because all of that stuff
coming out hurts. However this is not a time to run, it is a time to hold on and allow God to enter
your heart through those hurts. If you keep running, eventually those things in our hearts will
continue to surface again and again until we turn them over to the Lord. Instead of running,
press in and let God heal those wounds and refine you into what He has called you to be. Press
into your relationship with the Lord. Worship Him through the process. Let your worship be a
measure of what is happening in your life. Worship reflects what’s in our hearts. Worship reflects
our relationship with the Lord. Worship is a lifestyle. What is your lifestyle reflecting? An up
close and personal relationship with the Lord? Or an up close and personal relationship with
idols?

-Worship reflects our relationship with God.

If you are unsatisfied, discontent, discouraged, disappointed, or just plain weary, maybe it is because your worship is going to the unsatisfying things of life. Maybe it is time to yield your own will and submit to the Lord’s will for your life. Just do an about face, and let God lead you, instead of leading yourself. Don’t wait. Do it today. Don’t wait. Do it right now, right where you are. Just start by saying, Lord I need you, and I need your help. Start with small steps. Ask Him to lead you daily, then make time everyday to seek the Lord’s even if it is just for five minutes. Ask Him to heal your heart and let Him. Ask Him to reveal the idols in your life and to help you remove them. Tell him that you want Him to be the Lord of your life. Ask others for help and build Godly relationships. And remember that we all are a work in progress and that the Lord is faithful to complete the good work He has started in you.

Be Blessed My Friends,

Leah

Advertisements

A Place of Belonging

Posted on Updated on

A place for you


God talks to me many times in pictures or visions. He will show me something and then over time give me more and more revelation. Recently the Lord showed me a vision of a beautiful table. The table was lavishly decorated with candles, greenery,  centerpieces, the whole works. The table had all kinds of food, meats, vegetables, desserts, more food than anyone could imagine. There were presents on this table too. It was a full bounty of wonderful food and gifts. There were also name markers at every seat. Also in this vision there were people sitting on the floor and under the table. They were eating scraps off the floor. They were not even looking at the table. They didn’t even realize everything that was up there on the table.

I think as Christians we often settle for leftovers or scraps because we don’t know or see that there’s more. I think that can especially be true for those of us raised in the church all of our lives. We have settled for less than what God has for us. Why do we settle for scraps off the table, when the Lord has made us a place at his table?

-There’s a place of belonging for you at the Lord’s table and in His family.

I think there can be many reasons we may not take our place. Maybe we feel unworthy, unloved, and rejected. Maybe we don’t even understand that there is a place for us at the table.
Maybe it is fear. Maybe it’s the enemy’s lies. How often do we let fear and lies keep us from taking our place? How many times do we not take our place at the table because we are holding back, because we don’t believe in ourselves, because we are afraid that we are not enough or that we are a misfit? Maybe the enemy has asked us over and over again “Who do you think you are?”. If you are like me, I have fallen in all of these areas. I have believed the lie that I am not good enough. I have believed the enemy’s lies and let fear have a place in my life. When ask the question “Who do you think you are?” I have backed off my God given place.

Whatever the reasons, the truth is we have place of belonging at the Lord’s table and in his family. If we, as a family, make a place at the table for our children, our friends, and loved ones, then how much more does God have for us? He has not made us beggars, just giving us enough to get by, but he has given us the full bounty. All we need is to ask, receive, and believe. We need to have faith. We need to believe. We need to trust God. And, yes, sometimes all of these include taking a risk. Having faith, is taking a risk.

However, the risk is worth it. We should not be settling for scraps. We should not settle for anything less than God’s best. We need to take our place at the Lord’s table. It is important to take our place. We need to fulfill God’s plans for our lives. I think we all know the story of Ester. If she had not taken a risk, stepped up, and taken her place, what would have happened?

-It is important to take our place at the Lord’s table.

I am not saying this is easy. I am just saying it’s important for us to take our place in the Kingdom. Maybe right now you don’t even know what that looks like. Maybe you feel lost, stretched thin, insecure, or out of place. But what I want to tell you is that even though we may feel out of place, confused, and insecure, that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have us exactly in the right place for Him to fulfill our purpose and call. Maybe you are exactly in the place that God wants you. Trust him. Believe in Him and yourself. Ask for Him to lead you, and then follow. Ask Him to show you your place, and then step into it.

-The bigger your call, the more the enemy will attack you.

We all have a place at the table. We just need to look for it, take a risk, and take our seat. We need to recognize that the enemy tries to make us afraid and that he is a liar. We need to remember that the bigger our call, the more the enemy will attack us. He accuses us with that phrase “Who do we think we are?”. Who do I think I am? I’m a child of God. I am adopted. I have a place of belonging. I am loved by my Father. You are all those things too. Our father is good and has the perfect place for us. Next time the enemy ask who do you think you are. Tell him that. Be blessed my friends.

 

Ephesians 1:3-6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, in which he has made us accepted in the beloved.

I Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

Romans 12:4-8 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teaches, on teaching; Or he that exhorts, on exhortation: he that gives, let him do it in simplicity; he that rules, with diligence; he that shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

The Beauty in Brokenness

Posted on Updated on

Many times in life we work so hard to be perfect. We try time after time to be good enough, to be accepted, to achieve success and great things. We often hide our flaws and weaknesses. We try to conceal the fact that we are broken. We live a lie that we can achieve the good life or even a great life in our own power. We live the lie that we are okay and that we can take care of ourselves. Many times all this works for us until it doesn’t. My life was like that for a long time, and then, over time, my flaws, my shortcomings, and my weaknesses became to hard to hide. I looked at myself one day and said it out loud. I am broken. I need help. In my brokenness I discovered just how much I needed Christ and how very lost I am without him. I also discovered that it’s ok to need him and to need others. I discovered it’s okay to not be perfect, to make mistakes, and to have weaknesses. I discovered that admitting that I am flawed and broken set me free. But for me, the biggest truth of all was that being broken can be beautiful.

-I looked at myself one day and said it out loud. I am broken. I need help

Brokenness is beautiful in the Kingdom. We will never be perfect but God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. We all are broken in some way. We all have weaknesses and messiness in our lives. That is why we need each other and more importantly, why we need God. When I bring the broken pieces of myself and my life to him, He puts me back together. He sets me next to others and their brokenness. You see, we all are broken. Only Jesus is perfect. It’s Christ who can put us back together if we let him. The Lord restores us and puts our broken pieces together with his power, his love, and his strength. Then we become his masterpiece. God shines through our brokenness and together we are beautiful like a mosaic or stained glass window. He shines through our lives and we become a living, breathing testimony of God’s goodness, faithfulness, and power.

 –The Lord restores us and puts our broken pieces together
with his power, his love, and his strength.

 Brokenness is beautiful. Its relatable. It’s love in a unworthy vessel. It’s God’s masterpiece waiting to happen. It’s being his hands and feet. It’s knowing that we are nothing without him, and everything with him. Brokenness is what enables us to be His workmanship. If you’re broken, know that you’re not alone. If you feel like you have no value then I am glad you are reading this. If you feel like you are beyond repair, let me tell you that is a lie. I have messed up things in my life so badly, that God’s grace is the only thing that saved me. He saved me in my darkest times. He saved my marriage. He helped me be a good mom. He kept me going. He healed my heart. We are never beyond repair. God doesn’t give up on us. He restore us and uses us. If you’re falling apart. Let the pieces fall and hold on to God. He will put you back together and his workmanship is beautiful. He will restore what you thought could never be fixed. He will set you free. He will use your life as a living testimony and for the Kingdom. He will take your brokenness and make you beautiful. My friends, I want to  leave you with this simple prayer.

Lord I choose to let you fill in the gaps of my brokenness
and ask that you let your light shine through me. Amen.

Be Blessed my friends.

 

Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds

Luke 4:18-19 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

Ephesians 10:2 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, you are our father; we are the clay, and you our potter; and we all are the work of your hand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Identity Crisis: True Identity

Posted on Updated on

It’s been a little while, but today we finish up the identity series. Last time I shared my story and how this is still a journey for me. I shared that I had reached a point of needing something to change and asking “where do I go from here?”

I think many of us reach this point. Where do we go from here? Well, we can continue with more of the same or look to God for answers. I did the latter and after many years have come to realize how important it is to know who God created us to be. As people and as the body of Christ, we really need to know who he designed us to be.

-Knowing your identity in Christ brings freedom.

To get there, one place we need to start is with renewing our minds. Identity is tied to our thoughts. We must change the way we think. Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on good things. We need to start believing and speaking the truth. We need to speak positive over our lives more than the negative. Another thing we need is healing. Healing from wounds and past hurts. Healing from lies we have believed. Healing from any false identity that we have created for ourselves. We can ask the Holy Spirit to show us any lies we have believed and to heal any wounds we may have. One big area I feel we need to grow in as Christians, is to receive and experience God’s love. When we receive God’s love, then we can love ourselves. If we don’t love ourselves we can’t fully love others and we can only minister to others to the level of our own healing. We must look to God for who he created us to be. When we are looking to others and to things arounds us to define us, we are unable to walk in our God designed identity. We suffer and the whole body suffers when we try to be something other than what God has called us to be.

-The true you is always more popular than the fake you.

So here it is…. change isn’t easy. But change is worth it. There is a price to pay, but wherever you are in life, you are already paying some kind of price. Living bound to a false and ungodly identity has a high price in anyone’s life. Knowing who you are in Christ sets you free. Freedom is waiting for everyone. So, how do we begin to find out who we are in Christ?

Let’s start by defining identity.

According to Mr. Webster, identity is who someone is, the quality, beliefs, etc. that make a particular person or group different from others, the distinguishing character or personality of an individual, and my personal favorite, the condition of being ones self and not another.

Now lets look at what God says about our identity.

These four things frame everyone’s identity.

1. You are unique. Psalm 139 tells us that we are made unique, that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. It tells us that no matter where we go The Lord is there. It also says that God’s thoughts about us are precious.

2. The Lord has designed you for a specific time and purpose. Ephesians 2:10 says that we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 1:3-5 tells us that God chose us in him before the foundations of the world…

3. Nobody can take your place in your world. Each of us has a place to be fitted in the Kingdom. Ephesians 2:19-22 tells us we are members in the household of God and are fitted together to grow into a holy temple.

4. You are uniquely gifted and needed by those God has called you to be with. I Peter 4:10 tells us that we each have a gift and should minister to one another.

Each of us are unique. We all are created with a purpose. Each of us are needed by each other and in God’s Kingdom. We all have gifts and talents. We are all a part of one big puzzle and each of us need fitted into the picture. We need to be confident and steadfast with who he created us to be.

There is no such thing as a perfect identity. We as humans certainly make mistakes, but trying to live our lives in the way God created us will give us a freedom and a peace we will not find anywhere else. If we always try to be someone that others will like, we will end up not having peace in our lives. We will never make everyone happy and everyone is not always going to like us. However, to have peace in our lives, we must listen to God and get comfortable being who he wants us to be. We’re meant to rely on him, to know his love for us, and trust that God has the best plans for us. It’s not what others think of us, but what God thinks of us that really matters. It’s how we see ourselves that defines who we are, not how others see us.

True identity lies in Christ. We may look for it in other places, and even find it there for awhile. We may create an identity for ourselves that may carry us for a time, but in the end if we put our identity in anything else, other than Christ, it is temporary. Build your identity in Gods love for you. Unchangeable. Unconditional. Never failing. Build your identity in who he says your are. I want to leave you with this thought. Ask God to show you who you are. Ask God to see yourself through his eyes. If you need a place to start, here are some things God says you are:

Beautiful
Loved
Cherished
Justified
Set apart
Set free
Gifted
The Apple of his eye
Protected
Adopted and Born of God
Made with a purpose
God’s workmanship
Fearfully and wonderfully made
He knows every hair on your head
A new creation in Christ
Chosen by God
You are never forsaken
He has laid out a path for you and made your path straight
You are forgiven
You are redeemed
You are perfect in His sight
You are made righteous
You are Gods representative
You are warriors
You are sufficient to minister to others
He will give you the mind of Christ
He heals the broken hearted
You are the sons and daughters of Christ
He has made you righteous
You are more than conquerors
You are an overcomer.
You are ruled by peace and not fear
You are quickened by His word
You are complete in Him
You are a Kings kid
You are bought with a price.
He died for you and bought you with His blood.
He loves you
He will never forsake you

Be blessed my friends.

Be You Bravely

Posted on

I saw this video a few days ago from a friend on Facebook. It impacted me greatly. My wish, no my prayer is that each of us would take this message to heart. That we would embrace who we are. That we would be comfortable in our own skin. That we could be comfortable being who He created us to be.  So my friends, I pray for you today, to take a step with me and together to Be You Bravely.

What Does Your Mirror Say?

Posted on Updated on

I posted this on Facebook a couple days ago, but wanted to share it here as well. I feel like this is a powerful message about how we view ourselves as women. Far too often we are hard on ourselves and only look at the outside image, when we should be looking at the total image of ourselves, from the inside out. I hope this brightens your day.  I hope this lets you believe that you are enough. I hope this will help you see what I see. You are beautiful my friends!

Made Alive

Posted on

This week’s Poetry Tuesday feature is coming to you from the beach on Pamlico Sound. It is one of my favorite places. I love this song’s lyrics. We truly are made alive forever. Thank you Jesus. Be blessed my friends.

Made Alive

I once was dead in sin
Alone and hopeless,
A child of wrath I walked
Condemned in darkness,
But your mercy brought new life
And in your love and kindness,
Raised me up with Christ
And made me righteous.
You have bought me back
With the riches of,
Your amazing grace
And relentless love.
I’m made alive forever,
With you, life forever
By your grace I’m saved,
By your grace I’m saved.
Lord, you are the light,
That broke the darkness.
You satisfy my soul,
When I am heartless.
If ever I forget
My true identity,
Show me who I am,
And help me to belive.
You have bought me back,
With the riches of,
Your amazing grace
And relentless love.
I’m made alive forever,
With you, life forever,
By your grace I’m saved,
By your grace I’m saved.
My sin has been erased,
I’ll never be the same.
My sin has been erased,
I’ll never be the same.
You have bought me back,
With the riches of.
Your amazing grace,
And relentless love.
I’m made alive forever,
With you life forever,
By your grace I’m saved.
You have bought me back,
With the riches of.
Your amazing grace,
And relentless love.
I’m made alive forever,
With you, life forever,
By your grace I’m saved,
By your grace I’m saved

http://youtu.be/dh2rAhZG6ik