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Soul Rest (Devotional)

When so much is happening around us or even to us, it can be easy to fall out of the place of rest found in Abba.

Let us think upon the goodness of God.
Remembering that our soul can be at rest with our heavenly Father who is with us every step of the way.
He is not surprised or taken off guard.
He is never weak nor tired.
He is trustworthy & abounding in faithful love.
His track record will never change. He is forever reliable.
Our souls can return to rest because of who He is💕

Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.
Psalms 116:7 CSB

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Having The Heart of Jesus In A Culture Of Disposal

Disposable.


The paper plates and plastic wear you throw away when you don’t want to do dishes. The one time use razors to shave. The rare but needed toilet paper that was hard to get ahold of just shy of a year ago. Our culture has made a habit of one time uses because it is well, convenient. However, I am sad to say that many of us have felt the weight of disposability when it comes to relationships and even our hearts.


As I was crying out to God yet again after what had seemed to be a relationship that had came and went without a word, I wondered what I was feeling. I had been praying for God to take out people that were not meant to be in my life and send people that were. I knew that this was an answered prayer but there was such a weight on my heart I knew I needed to talk to the Father. Our conversation went something like, “I forgive them Lord. I know I did as you told me to. You’ve searched my heart. But I just feel…I’m not sure how to explain it.”


Then I heard the Holy Spirit whisper that wretched word, disposable.


Quite often in my 28 years of life, I have tried to build relationships. But there comes a point in many of them that when I was no longer useful, I was tossed to the side. I was good until I was no longer useful. It seemed that through the seasons, I was labeled with a lack of durability for the long haul. Because of my previous history of trauma and abuse I lacked on understanding healthy boundaries. Truth be told, boundaries even felt ‘un-Christ like’ at times.


Disposable was slowly becoming my identity as each person came and went. It felt that each time, they took something with them when they left.


When we are built for community, it can be hard for us to understand why the cherished friendships we have cannot come with us in the next season. It can be hard to understand why when you are innocent, and you are made out to be the villain. Relationships can be messy. A wise counselor once told me that relationships are not only a place of hurt, but they are also a place of healing.


I have missed the mark countless of times in relationships and I am so thankful for grace and mercy. However, one reminder has remained the same through each season:


It is important that we value people through the heart of the Father and not our flesh.


Pride can sneak its way in and we slowly begin to have a fogged lens of superiority over one another. This is not the way God wants it to be. After all, it is only through His grace that we have been saved. It is a sheer gift, not something that can be earned or deserved.


If we treat others while remaining in the love of God there is no possible way we could treat them as something that can be used and tossed to the side. Because when we have God’s heart, we know that His Children are worth dying for when they have nothing to offer.


For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. How much more then, since we have now been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from wrath. -Romans 5:6-9 CSB


Jesus not only died for us and made us His children, but He encourages us that as we are being sanctified each day, that we are to be made into a vessel of honor for special use. The only way to no longer treat people as disposable and not allow ourselves to be used is through the Spirit of God. When we walk in step with the Holy Spirit, we will remain humble, living a life full of honor, love, and put boundaries in place that not only protect us but the relationships he has given us. We will not always get this right. But what we do after we have missed the mark is imperative.


Will we come boldly before God and expose the times we have had wrong motives? Are we courageous enough to call and ask for forgiveness when we have hurt those around us? And even if they do not forgive us, can we still pray for them with Abba’s heart? When we walk in love, remaining in the Spirit, we cannot help but see the value Jesus has placed not only on us but those that surround us.

Other Scripture To Meditate On:


If, then, there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, make my joy complete by thinking the same way, having the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others. -Philippians 2:1-4 CSB
Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also those of wood and clay; some for honorable use and some for dishonorable. So if anyone purifies himself from anything dishonorable, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. But reject foolish and ignorant disputes, because you know that they breed quarrels. The Lord’s servant must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth. Then they may come to their senses and escape the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. -2 Timothy 20-26 CSB

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An Open Invitation To Be Still.

I came across a scripture I had read many times before. Maybe you know it too.

Psalm 46:10 NKJV reads:

“Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth!”.

With my eyes barely open and my coffee beginning to grow colder, I read Psalm 46:10 like this:

Be still.

And Know.

That I am God.

I continued to say it over and over and over. Hesitating, I fessed up to the Holy Spirit, “I am not even sure I know what that means.”

With gentleness and wisdom, the Holy Spirit asked me if I would like to find out.  As we began to study together the Holy Spirit revealed that to be still means to cease and relates to the word, rapha. God is also known as Jehovah Rapha, our healer. In other words, to be still means to cease, be repaired, or to be healed. To know, is to know through firsthand experience. The last part, I am God, is to display that God is exceedingly and mighty!  

All together this verse was more than just knowing of God and understanding that He fights our battles for us. To “be still and know I am God” means to cease, be repaired, be healed, through firsthand experience our exceeding and mighty God.

I had memorized this well-known verse many years before. In the stillness of what normally would be a busy morning, I began to see the impact that not being still has had on my life. At times, we can glance over known well passages of scripture without asking Jehovah Rapha to come in and do His mighty work. We go through the motions of our daily quiet time, where it becomes routine and religious. We check prayer, church, fasting, and even reading our bible off our list and fail to experience the transforming power it is meant to carry. All too often we glance over the scripture we have known for years and fail to see what Holy Spirit is trying to speak to us. The very ministry God had gifted to us through His grace becomes an idol. Our busyness can look spiritual and even look good to the outside world, but God knows our heart.

My coffee went from lukewarm to cold. Now, I could visibly see my relationship with God was beginning to grow to be the same way. While it was something that I had never intended, it was the reality of my present circumstance. I began to weep and ask for forgiveness. Unknowingly, I was about to taste freedom that my heart had been desiring. I was about to begin to hope once again.

The Holy Spirit spoke that it was time to stop going through the motions and fall back in love with Him. I had been in the wilderness for a long time. It was in the wilderness and through much suffering that I would be reintroduced to my first love. That morning was a marker to cease from the busyness, repair where things went wrong, and be healed of the hurts I had endured. It was time to get to know Abba again firsthand. It was time to see Him in an exceeding and mighty way that would blow my expectations.

I share this with you today because the same invitation that has been extended to me, has also been extended to you. Our perfect heavenly Father always has a listening ear for your questions. In fact, I believe He not only has an open ear, but desires you to ask questions. There are places in your heart that need to be mended and that need healing. God is not ashamed of where you are and you should not be either. Unlike worldly love that tries to change us to be loved, God loves us because it is who He is. As we get to know Him once again, we are transformed from the inside out.

Let’s boldly join together and welcome in the Holy Spirit to have His way. Let us cease from busyness. Only then will we begin to encounter God’s love and develop intimacy with Him once again.

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Learning To Lament: The Example Of David

Some situations require us to lament. To lament is also known as grieving with passion. God hurts when we hurt and our hearts should grieve when we sin against him.

David was a prime example of this. In fact, most of the Psalms he wrote were laments. Another example of this you can study in 2 Samuel 11 & 12.

David sinned against God through adultery, drunkenness, and murder. His response when confronted with the weight of his sin was to acknowledge it. As David acknowledged what He had done and the consequences that would follow because of it, he lamented. He weeped on the floor and did not move  and refused to eat.
After David’s son had passed away, he then changed his clothes and went to the house of the Lord to Worship.

God doesn’t expect us to not grieve or mourn. In fact, he desires us to invite Him into the places that hurt the most. He does not stand in a corner while we weep but mourns with us. He bandages up the wounds of the brokenhearted.

Come before Him today with your laments. Grieve with him and welcome in the great comforter in the midst of suffering. There will soon be a day where it will be time to rejoice and dance. But there is also a biblical season of weeping and mourning.

••Then David got up from the ground. He washed, anointed himself, changed his clothes, went to the Lord ’s house, and worshiped. Then he went home and requested something to eat. So they served him food, and he ate.  His servants asked him, “Why have you done this? While the baby was alive, you fasted and wept, but when he died, you got up and ate food.”  He answered, “While the baby was alive, I fasted and wept because I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let him live.’  But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I’ll go to him, but he will never return to me.”
2 Samuel 12:20‭-‬23 CSB

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When To Walk Away: Finding Freedom From Toxic People (Book Review)

Book Information

Title: When To Walk Away: Finding Freedom From Toxic People

Author: Gary Thomas

Publisher: Zondervan

ISBN:  0310346762

Book Review

              Gary Thomas’ When To Walk Away: Finding Freedom From Toxic People is nothing short of lifechanging. As a Christian, many of us have unintentionally believed a lie that walking away can be “not Christ-like”. Throughout the 240 pages of wisdom Thomas displays scripturally sound examples of not only when Jesus walked away but why it is important that we have the wisdom to know when to walk away. I loved the emphasis on how toxic people can often times be a distraction. At times, Thomas explains, we can even feel guilty because we are not able to help those toxic people into the kingdom of God. He so elegantly explains that sometimes staying within the toxicity is more selfish because it takes your energy and places it in the wrong place.

Throughout the book Gary Thomas goes through a variety of topics such as, Working With Judas, Toxic Parents, Kids, Marriages, and even how we can be toxic to ourselves. The Appendix is filled with 41 examples of scripture of when Jesus walked away from people who were toxic. Wisdom and experience is found through each chapter. Gary Thomas used his old ways of people pleasing as lessons to advance the Kingdom of God!

I cannot put enough emphasis on how EVERYONE needs to read this book. My life experience in this fallen world has given me plenty of experience with toxic people. This book gave me the wisdom of how to walk away when necessary and not feel guilty, knowing Jesus walked away at times because he was kingdom focused. A highlighter ran out by the time I finished this book. If you are someone who struggles with walking away from people because it feels “unchrist-like”, get a copy of When To Walk Away: Finding Freedom From Toxic People. I will be reading this again and again. There is too much wisdom to just read this book once.

Of course, this book has made it to my favorites shelf, and I give a 5/5 stars! Get yourself a copy! (No this is not sponsored; it is just that good!)