In The Word

  • Finding Freedom Through Forgiving Ourselves

    How many times has your mind replayed over and over again that mistake you have made in the past? When you think about it, you get a knot in your stomach and feel horrible about yourself. We all have experienced a situation where we really screwed up and we just can’t get past it. Sometimes we mentally beat ourselves up, knowing we screwed up yet again. You may say to yourself, “how could I have been so stupid?” or “how come I keep making the same mistakes?” or “I just can’t get it right!”

    Although we know that Jesus died for our sins, we don’t always live in the freedom of forgiveness He offers. God has made us to live a life of true freedom, no longer held captive to sin or bitterness. We often hear about forgiveness in the context of forgiving others, which is important and necessary, but there is one person who we usually have the hardest time forgiving–ourselves.

    There have been times in my life when I have messed up and have asked for God’s forgiveness, knowing that the Bible says He will forgive me, but I haven’t extended that same grace to myself. God might be extending forgiveness to me but I can’t always accept it. I don’t feel like I really deserve to be forgiven–I’ve messed up one too many times. Surely His grace only goes so far!

    During these times, Psalms 103 reminds me what is true:

    All that I am, praise the Lord; everything in me, praise his holy name.
    My whole being, praise the Lord and do not forget all his kindnesses.
    He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.
    He saves my life from the grave and loads me with love and mercy.
    He satisfies me with good things and makes me young again, like the eagle.
    The Lord does what is right and fair for all who are wronged by others.
    He showed his ways to Moses and his deeds to the people of Israel.
    The Lord shows mercy and is kind. He does not become angry quickly, and he has great love. He will not always accuse us, and he will not be angry forever.
    He has not punished us as our sins should be punished; he has not repaid us for the evil we have done.
    As high as the sky is above the earth, so great is his love for those who respect him.
    He has taken our sins away from us as far as the east is from the west.
    The Lord has mercy on those who respect him, as a father has mercy on his children.”

    The first time I saw these verses my heart finally understood the vast scope of God’s love and forgiveness. “He has taken our sins away from us as far as the east is from the west.” Do you know how far that is? The east and west will never meet because they go on forever in opposite directions. It’s not just a really long distance, like saying as far as the moon and back. It’s no distance you can measure because it is infinite. God didn’t just remove our sins and past mistakes from us, but they are so far gone that they can never be found again.

    So why do we hold on to something that God has forgiven and doesn’t remember anymore? When we don’t accept God’s grace and forgiveness as our own, we leave an opportunity for Satan to double-down on us with shame. Shame tears us down and attacks our identity, making us feel unworthy and disqualified for God’s love and forgiveness. Shame makes us doubt that we are even forgivable. When we believe the lie that Jesus’ sacrifice is big enough for everyone but ourselves, we aren’t able to experience the freedom that Christ died to give us.

    “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin…” Acts 13:38-39

    “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

    The lies of shame and doubt keep us trapped and enslaved to our sin and past mistakes, but God’s immeasurable love for you, propelled Him to send His son to redeem you and remove the sin and shame that entraps you. When we choose to trust in Jesus, we are set free! We are able to let go of our past mistakes and choose the freedom we have in Christ.

    So, dear one, let us live in freedom as children of God who are forgiven and loved. There is no end to His passion and love for you–His grace is never-ending. God’s grace and forgiveness are for YOU. Jesus thought of YOU when He went to the cross. Today’s the day to accept His forgiveness for whatever lays heavy on your heart, and allow yourself to be set free from the heavy burden of guilt and shame. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free, and it’s God’s desire to see you live a life of freedom in every way!

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  • A Prayer For You

    So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

    We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.”

    Colossians 1:9-14

    This prayer from the book of Colossians is our prayer for you. It is our heart’s desire that you will grow in your faith, in your purpose and in wisdom and understanding of God and His word. We pray that you will hold steadfast to your identity as God’s beloved one and know without a shadow of a doubt that you are deeply loved. As His child, God has given you the Kingdom of Light. He will strengthen you and empower you so that you can live a life of purpose and love. May the world see Christ’s love through you as you allow God to work in your life.

    We would love to pray with you! Feel free to comment below and let us know how we can be praying specifically for you.

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  • Get Back Up, Girl!

    Ever since I was a kid growing up in Washington, DC, I’ve been a bit of a scrapper. My earliest scuffle that I can remember was in kindergarten. A kid took my crayons and wouldn’t give them back. At recess I asked for their return politely, several times with increasing intensity, but still no crayons. At this point, playground rules in 1980’s DC dictate that we throw down. It was either stand up to this punk kid, or never again illustrate beautiful pictures with my favorite cornflower-colored crayon. He leaned in to push me, so I shoved him to the blacktop hard enough that he dropped my crayons. I scooped up my Crayolas, looked down at him and repeated with my best street tone, “I said, GIMME MY CRAYONS!” Then I turned and walked away the victor, with my rightful belongings restored.

    I was always a strong-willed child. My mom tells me stories about me when I was two years old, literally daring her to “go ahead and spank me” for my persistent defiance and disobedience that day. She is probably relieved that my stubbornness led me into ministry, instead of becoming the leader of a gang.

    Growing up, I approached most of life with that same undaunted tenacity. I would try to first handle things peacefully and with some grace, but deep down I always knew, that if I needed to, I could take life’s punches and still get back up.

    What I quickly discovered however, is that it is much simpler to get back up when you’re on a playground and it’s only crayons at stake. You don’t have to be an adult long before you start weathering blows that sting a whole lot more. Maybe it’s the time-stopping phone call that brings news of serious illness for yourself or a loved one. It could be getting the next round of bills and having to decide which ones not to pay so that your family can buy groceries that week. For some, it’s hearing the doctor say, “We can’t find the baby’s heartbeat, we’re so sorry”.

    Life can be mean and so very hard. It’s not fair and I get it. It’s the awful kid on the playground all over again, only this time you can’t push the bully named “grief, stress and anxiety” to the blacktop in self-defense. It can begin to feel like you’re fighting a battle that you can’t win, just swinging away at thin air until you feel exhausted and defeated.

    All of those scenarios I listed above are my own. I have lived them. I have taken those hits square on the metaphorical jaw, and yet somehow, I’ve gotten back up. It is not through sheer determination of the will or by some rare form of strength that I get back up. It is the power of Christ in me and around me, that pulls me up out of the mud, and sets me upright again on solid ground where I can stand.

    I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.”

    Psalm 40:1-3

    Time and time again, I have found myself in over my head, facing a fight I can’t possibly win on my own. It happens so often in my life that I actually started wondering if anyone else has this many problems. I found myself asking in my pitiful state, “Why me? Why do I have to endure all this?”

    As the last part of Psalm 40:3 says, “Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him.” As a Christian, a woman, a mom, an employee, people are watching to see if I will get back up when life knocks me down. How I walk through crisis, big or small is a testimony to God at work in my life and in the world around me. While I can’t control what trials will come my way, I can control how I choose to navigate those challenges.

    Sometimes God grants me strength to fight the good fight like in 1 Timothy 6:12, “Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.” Other times, God is lifting me out of the mud to set me on solid ground again, like in Psalm 40. In every situation, God is always working on my behalf, allowing others to witness how He is at work in my weakness. It is only through Jesus that I am the “Get Back Up Girl”.

    My job is not to engineer my success or come up with plans A-Z of how I will avoid painful situations. My job is to ready myself and stay connected to the One who strengthens me and never, ever lets me down.

    In Ephesians 6:13-18, we hear about the armor of God that equips us for everything life can throw at us. We can put on the belt of truth to keep us thinking clearly and a breastplate of righteousness, so that we don’t have to be ashamed—we are made righteous through Christ. Our feet are fitted with the good news of peace and the best part, we get a shield! When we are weary from the fight, we can rest secure while the enemy’s arrows glance off of us. On top of it all, God gives us a helmet of salvation that gives us hope, along with the powerful weapon of His Word.

    We have all of this from God, to equip us to get back up. My friend, if you are battle weary and worn out, let Him pull you back to your feet today, place you on solid ground and give you peace. If boldness and strength are what you need, our God will supply it. You are loved beyond measure! I know in times of hardship that can be hard to believe, but God loves you so very much. Hear Him cheering you on, “I’ve got you! You can do this!” Now, get back up girl!

    Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to get back up. – Ephesians 6:13

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  • Living in Victory

    Sometimes I find myself relating to the disciples on the day after Jesus was crucified. They were disillusioned, discouraged, and without hope. They couldn’t see the bigger picture, just the events right in front of them. They didn’t remember or understand all that Jesus had told them would happen. For them, it felt like they lost the one thing worth fighting for.

    They didn’t understand that Jesus came not only to help them in the here and now, but to win their hearts and souls for eternity. They didn’t see that there was a war involving humanity and that we were all prisoners who needed a rescue. God’s love for us propelled Him to send Jesus from heaven to do just that. This battle was real and our very lives were at stake, but He came to bring us victory. Through the cross and resurrection, Jesus won the victory and triumphed over death itself.

    At the moment that Jesus died on the cross, the curtain in the sanctuary of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened. Once Jesus came back to life, many godly men and women were also raised from the dead and went into the holy city of Jerusalem (Matthew 27:50-5).

    Can you picture this scene? It’s like the fireworks after the battle is won–it is a holy celebration! Can you even imagine what elation the disciples must have felt when Jesus came back from the dead? A situation that seemed completely lost and hopeless had miraculously turned into their biggest victory!

    …he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken. In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.” – Isaiah 25:8-9

    “Death has been swallowed up in victory. “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Corinthians 15:54-57

    We cannot forget that Jesus’ victory is also our victory! Because of His victory for us, we are free from the hold of sin and death. It is a victory that cannot be undone. No longer can anything separate us from the love of God. The victory won through Christ is so great and monumental that even the calendar flipped! There was life before and life after. We live our lives after the reality of the resurrection, and that is a life we live in victory!

    We stand victorious even when we feel like we are losing the battle. Whatever battle you are facing, whether it is for your marriage, the salvation of a loved one, an addiction, your health or something else, know that you no longer face this battle alone, but rather with the One who has already won the victory. He will give you the strength to stand and He does not fail. We are victorious because He is victorious. Praying you live in the victory of Christ today!

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  • You Can Do This!

    Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” – Hebrews 12:1-3

    Last week we talked about setting some faith goals that will help you seek the Lord and grow in our faith more this year. One thing I have found over the years is, that when you set out to accomplish a new goal, especially one that involves growing your faith, you must be prepared to face some difficulties and obstacles. Satan likes to get us off our game, especially when we are first starting out.

    When these obstacles come, it is easy for discouragement to set in and we give up before we really get started. Even with my best planned efforts, sometimes I get discouraged when the change I want doesn’t happen as fast or in the way I had hoped for. The author of the book of Hebrews seems to be speaking right into this type of situation. He is encouraging us with these verses in chapter 12 to not give up–the reward of our efforts will be worth it!

    When I start to get discouraged, I sometimes find encouragement from others who have gone before me. I can tell myself, “Hey, if my friend Suzie can do it, maybe I can too!” Knowing others have conquered something that I want to conquer helps me stay the course. Their victory over the finish line or through a difficulty, helps me remember that there is victory waiting for me too.

    Encouragement can only take us so far; we must also get serious about the goal. We need a steadfastness that says, “no matter what, I’m committed to making this happen.” Verse one says that we are to throw off everything (not some or just a little, but ev-er-y-thing!) that is hindering our faith and growth in the Lord, especially the sin that can entangle us like a vine and pull us away from God. Part of the “no matter what…” is to be willing to let God take away the things that are not helping us but hindering us in reaching our faith growth.

    Once we have removed what’s hindering our progress toward the goal, we persevere. We need perseverance because obstacles will appear in our path and we will sometimes lose sight of where we are headed. Things will be going well, and then you or someone in your family gets the flu or you go on vacation or you have out-of-town guests visiting and you get thrown off the path toward your goal. It’s in these challenges that we must rely on God’s strength and the encouragement of others to persevere when the going gets tough.

    We can overcome with perseverance when we have our eyes on the prize–stay focused on the goal. In the goal of faith, we keep our eyes set on Jesus. Not only is He our example but He is our guide. He has gone before us and endured more than we can possibly imagine but has made it to the other side, victoriously! He truly is the author and perfecter of our faith.

    So, while there may be times that you start to grow weary, do not give up. Stay the course and keep running that race to the finish line! You can do it–you got this! And more importantly, God’s got you!

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  • Something New

    This is what the Lord says—he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters…“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise. – Isaiah 43:16, 18-21

    Each new year brings a sense of a fresh start–an opportunity to hit the “reset button”. Whether you are a resolution maker or not, the new year is an opportunity to leave behind the things of the past, whether bad habits or simply bad memories, and look forward to new possibilities.

    This past year was one of those difficult years for my family. It was wrought with several physical ailments and the loss of loved ones. While there were also many good memories made and many wonderful things to be grateful for, it was one of those years that we are glad to leave behind.

    I love this verse because it is a reminder to me that God, my God, the God who parted the sea so His people could find a way through, is asking me to leave behind those things that are not of Him and not dwell on what has been, but rather focus ahead on what He has prepared before me. God is always in the business of making all things new. As we shift our perspective, we can see the new things he has before us.

    If you are feeling like you are coming out of the wilderness of last year; take heart, he is making a way through that wilderness and bringing His living water to the wasteland. His hope springs up before us! We are His chosen people, who He is making new each day–His beloved. He delights in making all things new and providing for His people.

    As we go into this new year, my prayer is that we can have eyes that see all that God is doing around us; that we will see His wondrous works springing up before us. We have a new start in Jesus. He is our hope and our future!

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  • Merry Christmas!

    And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.’”

    Luke 2:8-11

    The long-awaited day is here! In this verse we see that the shepherds are going about their life and duties, when the most amazing thing happened. An angel appeared with an important message, and they were the first to hear the good news! For 700 years since Isaiah first prophesied the coming of the Messiah, the people of God have been anxiously waiting for the Messiah to come. The Good News that they have been waiting on in faith for generations has finally arrived.

    Can you imagine what the shepherds were feeling at this moment? Afraid? Overwhelmed? Overjoyed? Relieved? Honored? They were considered societal nobodies, just ordinary people who worked outside and smelled like sheep. Despite this, they were chosen to become the first messengers of God’s good news.

    In the Christmas song “O Holy Night,” the second line says: “Long lay the world, in sin and error, pining. ’Til He appeared, and the soul felt its worth.” This line is so amazing! It is in the moment that Jesus is born, when He appears in the world, that our soul recognizes it’s worth. How wonderful that God would become flesh for us–to exchange heaven for earth and endure hardship, pain, loss and all this broken world offers. But He came for us! God’s great love sent Jesus for our sake because we are His beloved.

    Father God, we are filled with such joy on this Christmas day knowing that you brought to us the best gift of all–Jesus! Thank you for your great love for us and for sending your Son to redeem us. We are filled with such joy over the good news of Christ!

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  • Glow in the Dark

    “The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life?…Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away. But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.

    But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” 2 Corinth 3:7-8, 12-18 NLT

    In Exodus, we read about Moses and the Israelites and God’s giving of the Ten Commandments. When Moses returned from the mountain after having an personal encounter with God, his face shined so brightly that no one could look upon him. The glory of God was radiating from his face, literally! As a result of Moses spending time in the presence of God, he literally soaked up God’s glory and was still glowing with it as he left the mountain. He was like a living glow in the dark toy! So to put it lightly, the Israelites were a little freaked out when they saw him, so Moses wore a veil to conceal his face because it was too bright and glorious.

    In the Bible, we sometimes see two meanings for things. In these verses, there was a literal veil that Moses wore, but the veil also symbolizes the barrier between God and his people. Their hearts could not fully “see” what God was trying to show them. Their hearts were not yet enlightened–the veil remained and obscured their sight (literally and figuratively) from God’s glory.

    At one time or another, a veil has covered our hearts. Because of a barrier between ourselves and God, we couldn’t see God’s glory. Instead of seeing the light, we walked in darkness.

    But we have hope! Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, the veil between heaven and earth has been torn away (Matthew 27:50-54). When we turn our hearts to the Lord, we see truth and we find freedom from the veil that blinds us. The barrier between God and us no longer remains. In Christ, we can have full access to God’s spirit, in fact God spirit now resides within us! How amazing is that?!

    Our encounter with the risen Christ doesn’t leave us with a glowing face like Moses, instead we radiate God’s glory daily as we spend time in His presence, being made more and more into the image of God. The veil has been removed and now we radiate God’s glory to the world around us. This brings a whole new meaning to letting your light shine!

    We are not to conceal God’s glory from those around us, instead, we are to shine brightly and be a beacon in the darkness pointing others toward God.

    Praying your encounters with God this week leave you filled to the fullness of God. Be bold and shine brightly!

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  • Set Free

    In America, we live in the home of the free and the brave. But what does it mean to be free? With Independence Day this week, I decided to look again to see what the Scriptures have to say about freedom. I discovered that there are a lot of references to freedom. In John 8:31-36, Jesus tells the Jews that once they know the truth, the truth will set them free. They are confused because they didn’t even know they needed freedom. They said, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” To this question, Jesus replies: “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

    We may live a country that is “free” but are we free the way God intended?? Are we living in captivity without even realizing it to addiction, sin, illness, fear, insecurity, broken relationships or financial crisis? Jesus came that we may be set free in every way: physically, spiritually, and emotionally. He came to restore and give us true freedom. A long time before Jesus arrived on earth, the prophet Isaiah spoke of Jesus’ coming ministry and purpose on this earth that later Jesus himself would proclaim.

    The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

    “They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations” (Is. 61:1-4Luke 4:16-21)

    Jesus came to restore what was broken in this world and in his creation. Through his ministry and ultimate sacrifice, he ushered in a new way of life and brought hope for a renewed and restored creation.

    Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

    “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” Romans 8:14-17

    Because of what Christ accomplished through the cross, we no longer need to live as slaves to sin and fear. For if we are in Christ, we have received his Spirit and He has set us free from the law of sin and death. We are no longer slaves to the things of this world but instead are the children of God. The power of sin and death has no hold on us any longer because the Christ has conquered both and His spirit now lives in us. And we know that “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor. 3:17).

    As we learn to live from day to day in the power of the Spirit, we continue in that freedom. Freedom means that we are no longer compelled to obey the things that mess up our lives and threaten to enslave us, but we are now free to follow a new and better path–one that leads to peace, joy and life to the fullest, the way God intended. As you take a moment today to reflect on freedom, thank God for the freedoms in our lives and for His Spirit that has truly set us free.

    Happy 4th of July!!

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  • Be Strong and Courageous and Do The Work

    Have you ever felt in over your head? Ever taken a step of faith not knowing if the ground was still really there beneath your feet? Maybe you were thrust into a position where you had to figure things out to avoid catastrophe. I think King David’s son Solomon, probably felt like this more than once.

    Let me set the scene…King David, though far from being a perfect King, was still a man after God’s own heart. In his later years, his crowning achievement would be commissioning the building of the Temple of God. David’s heart’s desire was to build a house for the ark of the covenant. The temple was to be more than just a lovely sight to take in or a hub for the community to worship, it was to be the very dwelling place of the Lord. The plans had been given to David by God through the Holy Spirit and it was an enormous undertaking.

    Because David was a warrior and had shed blood, God had determined that David’s son Solomon would be the one to build the temple. As David nears the end of his life, he commissions Solomon to build the temple, as God had instructed. Before all of the people, David encourages Solomon, the future king of Israel, to listen to God and follow his ways. Then David turns to Solomon and says,

    “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.”

    1 Chronicles 28:20 NIV

    This reference of scripture is also seen in Deuteronomy 31:6 when Joshua is being appointed by Moses to be his successor and lead the Israelites. I think it is no coincidence that David is quoting this particular scripture to his son.

    Though, what’s different here is one little line…Be strong, courageous and Do. The. Work.

    I cannot tell you how many times I have sat motionless in my anxiety telling myself “be strong and courageous and do not be afraid”. And there are times when that is both appropriate and necessary. There are seasons when we need to be still and let God fight the battle for us.

    But there are also times I need someone to come along side me, pull me up off the ground and remind me to there’s work that can be done. Waiting on the Lord is often continuing to do the last set of instructions you received, until you get new ones. It is working actively with what you have in front of you. God is faithful to equip us with exactly what we need. He brings people into our lives to fortify us, encourage and help us. I hope that you hear these words as coming from that friend who lovingly takes you by the hand and helps lift you up off the ground so you can stand, strong and ready.

    “But what,” you may ask, “does this look like in present-day times when the task is not building a temple, but folding yet another load of laundry thanklessly, or clipping coupons to make ends meet? How do we do the work when the thing before us just seems too daunting?”

    It will look different for each one of us. We all have tasks in our lives, some joyous, some tedious, and some completely overwhelming. The charge that King David gave to his son and to the people of Israel still rings true for us today. Listen to God, follow his ways, be strong and courageous and do the work. We dig deep, lean into the strength God gives through the Holy Spirit and step forward. The promise? God is with us, and he will never leave us. We need not fear. He will help us see this through and give us joy.

    So mama, weave prayers for your children into the folding of socks. If you are in a position to encourage and mentor others, or to speak truth in love, use your voice! If the path ahead is long with no end in sight, look for the next step right in front of you. The point is, in every season, we are all called and equipped to do good works, but we’re never alone. We don’t have to be afraid, God himself will lead us and not forsake us.

    Lean into Him. Be strong. Be courageous. And let’s do the work.

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