It’s Time to Break-up…

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8

Yesterday, I mentioned a group of 3 girls. That group and their negative comments that had sucked the life out of me. Even in the midst of correction for their poor choices in words, there was an additional lesson in my encouragment to speak kindness to each other: Would you tolerate this negativity in a romantic relationship? If the boy you liked, or you were dating called you “fat, ugly, stupid, or crazy…” and then proceeded to tell you he was “just joking,” would you allow it? Or would you break-up with him?

Of course, their response? Kick him to the curb.

So, question for you: Why do we allow these terms to define us? Why do we allow Satan to creep in and tell us lies? Badger us with his emotional assault, and endless abuse? Isn’t it time to break-up with him, too?

Fear, you don’t own me
There ain’t no room in this story
And I ain’t got time for you
Telling me what I’m not
Like you know me, well guess what?
I know who I am
I know I’m strong
And I am free
Got my own identity
So fear, you will never be welcome here. (The Break-up
Song, Francesca Battistelli).

Fear. Lies. The devil’s tactic to keep you in a state of defeat. But the truth is…you can defeat the enemy. Paul mentions a strategy for battle in Ephesians 6, even mentioning who this enemy is.

We are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:12-17, NLT

We have an enemy who feeds us nothing but lies about our worth and our purpose, our calling. And we know exactly how to break up with him. We CAN defeat him. With the belt of truth, and the sword of the Spirit, those things that God says are “true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable” about us in His Word. Remebering that God offers protection from the evil one simply because we are His. We just need to call on Him to help us fight the battle.

So we can finally break-up with that no good scroundrel…once and for all!

If you are ready to break-up with the devil, and conquer the lies he throws your way, join me for a 30 day exploration of the lies we believe, and the truth God reveals. The printable Bible reading plan includes daily Scripture, as well as a song you can add to your playlist, or sing along with in the car in praise for the truth God provides to you and about you. Truth that is able to conquer any lie.

You can also subscribe to the entire playlist on Spotify.

I’ll roll with it…and not quit

Surrender. In common terms surrender is the act of giving up one’s power over something. In relation to God, it is one’s active choice to yield all decisions and all control to Him. Surrender is a bold act, and it is brave, courageous, and often we dive into it head first thinking that the road will be easy. The road to surrender is definitely not one of ease. It is bumpy. Full of fits and starts. Stop signs, and lanes that only seem to go one way. A roadblock up ahead, or two, or three.

Surrender may make you want to renege on your decision to surrender it all. Like seriously just give up.

Where am I going with this? Let me explain.

I choose a word to define changes I plan on making each year. I don’t make resolutions, because my resolve is to always make sustainable, consistent, and everlasting change. Not a year-long goal that ends when the new ball drops. So this year: surrender. I felt His tug on my heart (and my brain and body) to stop moving, and allow Him to move. To stop trying to control everything, and let Him handle it. It hasn’t been easy, so I am sitting back, and letting things be a bit.

Some things I have breezed through. Like a phone call later in the winter stating that there could be a barrier to preparation for my ordination service I hoped to be attending in July.

Oh, well if you have that one class left you may have to wait until next year.

He meant next year…like a whole new year. I really wanted it this year.
So you know how I knew this surrender thing was working? Up to this point anyway…
Because if this had been last year…you know like 2020 last year, I would have come undone. I would have been in a puddle of tears on the floor after that call. But I wasn’t.
I just said to the advisor: It would be a disappointment to wait even longer after such a long time, and working this hard, for just one class…but if that’s what God wants. Then that’s His will. I’ll roll with it.

Until, the time came. And another meeting came. And, well-I didn’t roll with it. I knew in my heart I was supposed to be surrendering. And, come on. That is what we all do, right? Thy will be done, God; but…can you please do it this way? In this amount of time for me? Thanks!

That class did in fact become a hiccup, among some other things. And I do in fact have to wait another year. And, no…I didn’t roll with it. I broke down. I spent weeks in discouragement. Convinced I wasn’t enough. I wasn’t cut out for this. I had done something wrong. God was mad at me. I failed. I didn’t measure up, and I was just going to give up. And I told a beloved friend this. And this is what I heard…January, have you ever quit anything? Really, you haven’t have you? So why quit, now?”

And he was right. I hadn’t. I always finished. I may have taken detours. Started at different times than others. Maybe a little later. Taken a little longer. Maybe even a break or two. But I always finished.

I am not a quitter.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6

So, I started that last class this week knowing it was the last one I would have to take, and knowing it was up to me to continue to surrender to His will in all of this. Even if it was not exactly the way I wanted it all to turn out.

His timing. Not mine. Because if it had been up to me, I would not have quit that class back in December. I would have pressed through, exhausted, worn, and weary. And gotten nothing out of it.

He knew I needed to wait.

Because when I opened the book, read the intro and saw the author had also struggled with giving up in ministry. When I read about the heart to embolden women to walk in their unique purpose. When I felt the Spirit tugging and pulling at me-I knew this was the time.

I had wanted to give up. Walk away. I quit the class out of necessity, but I was on the verge of quitting the journey all together.

But He knew I was just in a waiting season.

I just needed to be patient. I just needed more time.

His time. Not mine. He knew I was not a quitter.

I remember a poem I had to recite in 7th grade. Not read. Like memorize. Stand up in front of class and recite by memory. I still remember it. Still remember many of its lines. I will leave you with a couple of those lines today…emblazoned in the memory a woman, much older than that 7th grader, but still determined to never, ever quit.

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit. -John Greenleaf

Don’t you quit. Don’t you dare quit now just because it is taking a little longer. Don’t you dare let the devil’s ridiculous voice convince you to quit. You, you…you just keep rolling with it.

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9

That Brick Wall Was Meant to Be Climbed

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I am sure you have had one of those periods in life. When you are skating along and everything seems to be going great. You feel confident in the direction in which the Lord has you moving. Then-BAM! WHACK! You slam right into the makings of a brick wall. Or two.

A wall of defeat, maybe.

Maybe it’s a wall of criticism. Or self-doubt.

Hurt. Grief. Loneliness. Sin.

Regardless of what that brick wall may be, it begins to slowly tear away at any progress you have made. Making you feel that instead of moving ahead, you are now starting to move backwards.

Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you the path to take. Proverbs 3:6

This is what I had been doing. I had been letting Him lead me. Allowing Him to show me the path. I had a renewed sense of passion. Of purpose. I had a vision, and a plan I felt in my heart was truly His.

And then…it happened. I hit that wall and started staring at all the bricks that stood in front of me. The bricks that wanted to prevent me from staying the course.

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. John 10:10

And, that’s what he tried to do.

See, all those bricks of defeat, criticism, self-doubt, hurt, grief, and loneliness are all the bricks that the devil tries to throw at you when you are headed in the right direction. The bricks that make up the wall that Satan tries to erect in your path to veer you off God’s chosen course.

With each roadblock, there is a brick on the wall which reads what Satan wants me so desperately to believe…

You are not good enough. You are not making a difference. You are not getting through to them.

Turn around. It’s too hard for you.

God has left you. You will never make it past this point now.

Just give up. You don’t have any other choice.

But, when those walls start looming in front of us, we do have a choice. We can give into Satan’s lies, or we can hold our heads high. Climb over those obstacles. Keep moving. Know that God has not left us. That He guides each and every step of our course.

With His strength and favor we can climb those walls. Chip away at those bricks. Move forward and keep going, no matter what obstacles lie before us, so that we can reach the glorious destination he has charted for each of us.

For the Lord, your God, will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you or abandon you. Deuteronomy 31:6