Assuming

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We all know the old adage about assuming things.

I think we’re all guarding our stuff too much to assume the best in others. We’d rather assume we’re going to get hurt than lay it all on the line and assume the best possible outcome. {Tweet this Quote}

Assuming the best in others– even difficult people– puts your trust in God, and gives that person a fighting chance. Trust me, other people can feel the walls coming down.

Its amazing how when you put your trust in God by assuming the best- that person will react to your kindness.

When you feel forgotten

And if not

When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were facing the decision: worship a false god or die, they made the choice to worship God instead.
I’m sure at the time of being thrown into the flames, being only human, they felt forgotten by God. I would have. “Am I really about to die? God, are you listening?”

I wish I had unwavering faith. I don’t. Yet I’ve begged God even when I felt forgotten by Him.
When your body feels numb from exhaustion of a broken heart- take one last step. God delivers. Since the creation of humans, all we’ve done is forget God. He even says in Isaiah, “The children I raised and cared for have rebelled against me. Even an ox knows its owner, and a donkey recognizes its master’s care— but Israel doesn’t know its master. My people don’t recognize my care for them.”

He gets it. Being forgotten. Jesus probably felt forgotten when the very men he spent his time pouring into all fled when he was about to be executed, especially the one who paid the corrupt system to kill him. 

Taking a step, however small toward God when you feel spent, tired, and lonely… is the step that will save you.

See in Daniel chapter 3 how Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego weren’t actually sure God would choose to save them from death? But they said, “Even if not… God is still good. We still choose Him over your statue.”

I love this part: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”

Nebuchadnezzar was so furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that he commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual. Then he ordered some of the strongest men of his army to bind them and throw them into the blazing furnace. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell into the roaring flames.

Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed to his advisers, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace? I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!”

Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent his angel to rescue his servants who trusted in him. They defied the king’s command and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God!”

I want to hang this concept up and say it every day until I internalize it. “The God we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up. If not… He is still good.”

Just because I feel forgotten, doesn’t mean I am. Shattering this lie that ‘I’m forgotten’ is this truth: God simply doesn’t forget.  {Tweet}

What Am I Really Afraid Of?

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My friend and co-worker Abigail says that if you’re afraid of something… it’s a good practice to say, “God, by saying I’m afraid of this, I’m really afraid you aren’t ______.” You fill in the blank.

Sounds harsh but it really works. Fear is actually sin. We weren’t created to live in fear. We were created to live in freedom.

For me, it’s the fear that I don’t have what it takes, and as a result- what I love will be taken from me.
“God, what I’m really saying is, ‘I don’t think you really created me to be a worship leader. I don’t feel you have equipped me for service the way I feel I should be. I fear that instead of giving me the desires of my heart… you’ll give me something lesser and I’ll have to settle.”

Ouch.

The same God who created the anatomy of the human body, the same God who causes the moon to rise and the tides to flow in and off the sands, the same God that can make the Red Sea simply stand up on edge and the same God Who can walk on water- THIS is the One I’m DOUBTING has a good plan for my life and ministry?

Leaders- Try this fill-in-the-blank exercise!

We’re all afraid of something- burdened by something- unwilling to let go of something.

When I take a good look at myself, I don’t even like to be around me when I’m fearful. Because fearful people are constantly defending themselves and putting up walls. Fearful people aren’t loving on others and serving them, they’re too busy guarding that precious thing they’re afraid to lose.

I learned a lot this weekend at the Built to Last Conference along with having worship leader Rick Muchow from Saddleback at our church. He said something that really stuck with me:

“Worship Leaders, it’s about time we start doubting our doubts and believing our beliefs. Too often our dreams are actually waking nightmares that we buy into. Too often we doubt our beliefs… and believe our doubts.

No matter what is going on around me I choose to believe God made me to lead others to worship. I choose to believe that God will give me the desires of my heart if I find myself fully trusting in Him. choose to doubt the idea that I’m not ready, not good enough, or too young. I choose to DOUBT that God would create a desire in me and then give me anything less. {Tweet this quote!}

I choose to boldly ask for things that are so great that they are doomed to fail without God’s help.  {Tweet this quote!}

Will you?

A Special Place in God’s own Heart

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Ladies. “Fellow laborers” in Christ as Paul says. I want to talk to you about how God really sees us as equals and a partner with men to serve him. The Bible actually tells us we are special. Important. Equal. Loved. {Tweet this quote!}

So many different types of Christians see women as lesser, thwarting the beautiful “Good News” into something it was never intended to be. Women are mistreated {throughout history, and today more than ever} because of the fall. The Bible talks about this.

In Genesis 3, Satan attacks the woman first. He tries to get her to pull away from God, so that her husband, who loves her more than his own life— will follow. See the influence and potential the wicked one sees in her. And then stomps on it:

“Now the serpent was MORE CRAFTY  than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
You will not certainly die,” {The lie satan ALWAYS uses on MEN and WOMEN!} the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

… Later, because of what they’ve done, A “forever curse” is put on both man and woman, they must leave paradise- walking and conversing with the Heavenly Father- to labor in misery and pain. They will never look upon the face of God again until Jesus comes, dies, and returns to bring us all home to paradise again.

Read carefully: “13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”….
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this… I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
    and you will strike his heel.”

Satan hates all believers. He hates anyone who loves God. But in my reading of the scriptures I believe he has a special hatred for womankind.

Throughout history humanity has enslaved, mistreated and abused women. Young and old. Yes, the weaker vessel.

But that’s not what God intends for us. We may be smaller (1 Peter 3:7), but our souls are NOT so. We were created in God’s image with many of the Trinity’s beautiful, compassionate traits. Women nurture and love in a way all their own. {Tweet this quote!}
Satan would love nothing more than for us to take every single thing that comes our way, believing we are lesser and cannot serve. Do you see his plot? (I have a close to home testimony about this in my own life. Maybe a story to come later.)

What would GOD love, and satan HATE?

For women, all around the world to rise up and disciple other women in the TRUE Words of God- the Bible. The Good news. To spread His love despite our lesser view in humanity’s eyes. There is nothing more we can do but prepare for God’s return and just go around loving others!

Women, we actually have a really tough assignment. We have to put aside our differences between each other, and any of the past hurts we have experienced, and go all-in for the cause of the gospel. For one young lady, it may be a season of life of staying home and discipling and pouring into our children and husbands. For another, maybe a season of life that is singleness and finding other women to pour into. For yet another, it may be serving in the local church here or abroad.

God sees who we are “on stage” (figuratively or literally)… and he sees us “off stage”. Let’s strive to make both a pleasing aroma to him.

“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!
I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. YES, and I ask you, my TRUE companion, help these WOMEN — since they have contended at my side in the CAUSE of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.” Philippians 4:1-3

Your names are in the book of life, beautiful women all around! Take the baton, God has called you out! Rise up, and serve!