Willingness

Willingness to let go is key in transformation.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

– John 3:16-17

If god did not send Jesus to condemn us, than why would we spend so much time condemning ourselves? I ask myself this question today. Why do I have such a long list of failures? Why do I carry these with me when I am free in Christ? There is no security in the baggage I choose to carry with me each day. There is a choice I make when I decide to strap on these heavy burdens. Pride comes through when I look to Jesus and tell Him that “it’s ok, I got it, I can carry this all by myself. Thank You anyway.” Take this pride and break it Lord!

Why? Why do I turn from the outreached hand of Jesus each morning and choose to walk the hard road? What will happen when I look at the heavy load I have packed and decide to leave it behind? I am sure it will feel quite strange at first, as I have become so used to the weight. I would walk differently, talk differently, smile more.

Change is hard, accepting love and grace can be too. We have a choice every moment of every day. Will I choose to burden myself or will I choose to give it all over to Jesus?

And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

– John 8:32

I don’t want to look to myself or to the world for approval, I will never find it there. I know the truth and I choose to let it set me free. God’s word is true and He tells us to walk in it.

How do you feel after bringing your guilt, shame and pain before God? Do you feel like you have left it all there? Do you know that when you do, He will allow it all to fade away and to no longer burden us? Do you accept what God tells us to be truth? Will you rely on Him in all things? Accept the gift being handed to you, unwrap it, open it up and use it every day. It is meant to be used, not to just sit on a mantel collecting dust. Break these chains Jesus!

Lay it all down

Last week I wrote about where I believe the Lord is bringing me in terms of places to grow. We talked a bit about the guilt and shame we can all carry around with us and how we are not meant to do so. Jesus loves us more than we could ever imagine. Even when we are in a place of finally accepting that love, we still are not able to fathom the depths of it.

Did you take the time to write out all your failures, your guilt, your shortcomings? I would encourage you all to do so. Write them all out and bring them before the throne. Let our Mighty Yahweh wipe that slate clean.

When I choose to hold onto the baggage from past pains, I am stifling the Holy Spirit’s power in my life. I want all that Jesus has for me in the life He has granted me. I want the power of our Creator to shine through each day. I deeply desire for His love and compassion to pour out of me.

I want these desires to outweigh and overcome anything that gets in the way of that happening.

Lord, as I look over this list created, I ask You to show me how to let it all go. I give them all to You, they are Yours. I don’t need any of this. Wash them away, cleans me and free me. Break these chains Lord. You are might to save and I live for You. There are parts of me that I closed off long ago and today I ask You to break down those walls and to allow me to become whole again. Let me be as You created me to be. Shine Your precious light into those dark places that scare me so. You are stronger than anything. You spoke our entire universe into creation, how much more can You do in me when I give up control!

Where do you find it most difficult to go? Are you willing to allow Jesus into those places? Have you felt a release as you bring these desires before God’s throne?

Where do you come from guilt?

As I begin to delve into this guilt I deal with, I wonder where it comes from. My feelings of inadequacy certainly play a part. Past pains I have endured and caused. Feeling like I have to be everything to everybody. Generally speaking, I believe my high standards play a significant role in my guilt.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20

So I take this before Jesus and ask Him what his standard is. How do I measure up Lord? How do I please You, for that is truly all that matters. When I am focused on pleasing Yahweh, the rest follows and my burden is lifted. This I can testify to and long to do more.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9

When I allow myself to be consumed by guilt and anxiety, I am to confess it to Jesus. He forgives me and cleanses me. This is permanent! He does not keep a list of past failures to remind me of. So why do I?

Today I will take the time to sit down and make the list of failures I still hold onto. Once I feel like I am done, I will bring them before Jesus and ask Him to wash them away. I must repent and allow Jesus to cleanse me of these burdens I am not meant to bare. I must release these to our Lord so that He can break the chains. I must give them up in order for Him to take them away. I need to be willing to release and to accept the healing that Jesus offers. If I don’t take the first step, if I don’t allow the space, I will be stuck right where I am.

Our God is a wonderful God. He will not force anything and waits for us to go before Him with our messes. Today I will pour out all the guilt and shame I carry each day. Today I accept the promise of Jesus and lay it all down before Him. Today I ask Him to replace the guilt withe the joy, peace and love that He offers. I beg for the exchange to take place in the deepest parts of me.

Will you allow him to work in your hearts today? Will you dare to lay it all down for Him to take away? Will you give God the space to work miracles in you?

Let’s walk in this together.

Guilt Free Living

Each year I find that I grow in one or two major areas at most. This seems to be my growth pattern over the past few years. This year I am feeling a focus in the following areas:

Guilt Free Living and Freedom in Christ.

Let me elaborate a bit on each of these.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

– Romans 3:23

Guilt. Oh that dreaded guilt that creeps in so easily when I am not paying attention. Guilt comes in many forms and I am so susceptible! I experience the dreaded mommy guilt, the wife guilt, the employee guilt, christian guilt, and so on. What I am beginning to see is that guilt is useless. Feeling guilty does not motivate me, it generally tires me out as I am battling it in the midst of trying to accomplish goals.

At this point in my life, I am choosing to recognize the guilt as it sneaks up on me, and stop it from tainting my life. I am not responsible for other people’s happiness. I am not responsible when people I care about fail. I am not going to take other people’s failures  on as my own. I am not going to beat myself up for my own failures. I am going to accept each day as it is and loosen my expectations and standards. I sin and I fall short, this is part of the human condition and I need to accept that before I can move on.

This way of thinking brings me right into the Freedom in Christ.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. – Galatians 5:1

I believe in Jesus and I have accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. I am free in Him. I can stand firm and weather the storms of life. I need to accept His never ending love and grace as my own. I am at a point where I am seeing where I am still allowing bondage. I am not walking free in Him. I may have moments where I get a taste of that freedom and it is so sweet. I know it’s there, I can see it, I can feel it. When I close my eyes I can be in it. God is so good.

The time has come, I must walk in this freedom each and every day. This is not an obligation, but a wonderful gift that I let remain unwrapped. A gift that my Lord has handed to me and I thank Him for it each day while it sits there, unused and collecting dust. I believe that I hold myself unworthy of this gift and while that is true, it is not for me to deem myself so. Jesus came to save each of us and I will not turn from that.

Society, culture, expectations, these things all get in my way. I want to deepen my reliance on Yahweh and lessen the outside world’s influences.

10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

– Galatians 1:10

These are the goals that sit on my heart right now. I want to follow Jesus completely and not allow the world we walk in to distract me. I no longer want to be filled with doubt and anxiety. I choose Jesus.

I invite you all to join me on this journey and would love to hear from you in regards to the areas you struggle most in. We are here to lean on and learn from each other.

Always Moving Forward

This funny thing called life, is well just funny sometimes.

I have found myself in a place that I have longed to be in for sometime. I have prayed for and looked for this opportunity and know for sure that God’s hand brought me here. The difference here is that I just know that I will not be here all that long. Generally when I begin a new venture, I am all in and laser focused. This time is just different.

This venture feels to be a stepping stone. I am focused, I am completing the work that needs to be done and I am feeling that I am growing professionally. This past month has been so liberating and transforming, I am having trouble even thinking of how to  describe it.

All I can do is pray for guidance and follow where the Lord leads. I have had a way of living in my heart for a long time and I can feel the shift taking place. I am so thankful for this and do not want to lose focus of where I am going. I do not want to just fall back into complacency. I want to continue to take leaps and know that Jesus will carry me into the unknown safely.

Today I am overflowing with gratitude and don’t ever want to lose that.