After hearing the news of 2 very young people from back home taking their own life, God laid it on my heart to speak up and speak life into those who are struggling. You are not alone & you are so loved.
God laid it on my heart these past couple days to talk about how Jesus isn’t looking for us to “get clean” before we ask him in our life. Neither should the church you attend. The church you attend should be showing the love of Jesus by meeting you where you are at, sins and all. None of us our perfect. None.
I have went to different churches with different denominations. Where I have learned the most is where I felt the love of Jesus and was taught biblical principles. I’ve never learned something out of fear or condemnation. We know that fear nor condemnation come from God. Love casts out all fear and God is Love. There’s a big difference between conviction and condemnation. Condemnation is overwhelming guilt that pushes you away from God. Where conviction is where Holy Spirit points out you have something to work on in your heart through love.
When I went back to church in 2015, I was sick and in need of a doctor. In other words, I was consumed by the enemies lies, what people portrayed God to be, overwhelmed by the heaviness of my sin, and just came home from the bar a couple hours before while still battling a pill addiction. I stepped into The River and was very timid and didn’t really want to talk or be seen by anyone. However, I was stopped by 4 amazing women that day that I still love to this day. They knew that I was struggling but loved me anyways, just as Jesus does. I walked into worship and it was completely different than anything I had ever saw. People were free. They held up their hands praising God, weeping, and laying hands on one another. And then Holy Spirit hit me….Like right in the face. Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about! The song we were singing was talking about was about breaking free from addiction and depression.
I am unsure why there is this lie floating around that Jesus expects you to be white as snow when you come to him…probably just one of satans tactics…But, if we were clean and not in need of a doctor, God wouldn’t of went Jesus to die for us. It’s never too late to come to God & you’re never too dirty to come to him either.
“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord . “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.
Isaiah 1:18 NLT
“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.”
1 John 4:18 NLT
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
1 John 4:16 NLT
I hope everyone had a restful night, but if it was anything like the Lunney Household, it was anything but. (Not complaining…Let me tell you why!)
We left church around 9pm as it still rained and flooded the area. We came to a little dog in the road running around with a collar (no tag), wet and lost. My husband looked at me and of course I told him to put the little guy in the car! We brought him home and our puppy was, to say the least, having a puppy moment. Playing with her new friend or trying to establish dominance, I’m not really sure. Needless to say, we talked about what to do next. We called people who we thought could help and they told us to take him to the vet in the morning and see if he has a microchip. I posted all over facebook pages for lost pets and spouse pages wondering who could’ve lost their baby. This pupper is seriously the sweetest. We drove around the neighborhood searching for people who may have lost him, but came to another dead end. We opened the car door to bring him in and he dashed into the woods. (Yep, that really happened.) My husband and I prayed as we went to bed. He soon fell asleep and I began to pray to God, asking him to put protection over this little pupper that I found…and then lost. I prayed for God’s will to be done and for him to go home or for him to find safety. HERE’S WHERE IT GETS GOOD. My husband woke up this morning and opened the door to let our puppy and this little guy slept on our porch all night. Ughhh, my heart! I’m sure you are thinking a couple things…1.How did she lose a lost dog? 2. This poor puppy. & 3. Why is she telling me this?
Here is why…
During my quiet time Holy Spirit has revealed to me some things through this little guy. (So cool that he can use a puppy to bring revelation and a blog post to share with you all!)
We have all been this puppy. Searching for home. Searching for love, care, and protection. We all have been lost, myself included. How often do we choose being lost in the woods when God has provided us with everything we need? We settle for the woods because, well its adventurous and we don’t really know God when we first come to him. Our old life looks pretty appealing when God challenges us on our behaviors and worldly ways. (Or for this little pup, peeing on the laundry basket…) So we venture out in the woods, lost, “alone”, and searching for home. We can never be fulfilled unless it’s through our identity in Christ. We will continually search and even sometimes settle for less than what God has to offer, like the porch for instance.
Even if you were to get lost, fall off track, I know God still remains the same. The promises of his word tell me so!
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”-Deuteronomy 31:6
It took faith for this dog to show up on our porch this morning. He ran away from us, but something drew him back to our home. Was it the love we showed him while he was here for a brief moment? When you get a taste of what God, his pure,steadfast love…you don’t travel far into the woods before you realize what you needed was back where you just were. We didn’t need the puppy to clean up before he entered our home. God doesn’t need you to clean up before you ask him into your heart. He wants you as you are at this very moment.
I just posted a verse yesterday on Instagram and it’s really fitting for what has transpired over the past 24 hours.
“This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”-Jeremiah 29:10-13
God doesn’t say we aren’t going to go through trails or tribulation’s. He promises us that he hears our prayers and that we will find him when we seek him wholeheartedly. He promises us plans to prosper. Plans to prosper doesn’t always line up with what we think is best. But often what we go through, is what shapes us into Christ-like character and puts us exactly where we need to be. Or for this lost pup, in a warm house out of the rain, snoozing on the floor.
Did God just use a dog to reveal all this to me? Yes, yes he did. That’s the cool thing about God. He will speak to you in ways that you will listen.
There has been a repeating topic that comes up when I talk to people about their walk with Christ, besides reading the bible. (You should do that too! haha!) That would be the topic of forgiveness.
“If anyone has caused pain, he has caused pain not so much to me but to some degree—not to exaggerate—to all of you. This punishment by the majority is sufficient for that person. As a result, you should instead forgive and comfort him. Otherwise, he may be overwhelmed by excessive grief. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. I wrote for this purpose: to test your character to see if you are obedient in everything. Anyone you forgive, I do too. For what I have forgiven—if I have forgiven anything—it is for your benefit in the presence of Christ, so that we may not be taken advantage of by Satan. For we are not ignorant of his schemes.” -2 Corinthians 2:5-11
Often, we as humans, have a hard time forgiving people that hurt us. Let’s face it, people have done some really hurtful things. There’s sexual, physical, and mental abuse in this world, and then on a different side of the spectrum people lie, steal, and cheat. People’s hearts can be really vile. When we forgive someone who really hurt us, it says more about our character than it ever will there’s. It is actually beneficial to your health to forgive. Don’t believe me? Check out the article below on Psychology Today!
You don’t have to get an apology to forgive someone. When I realized you didn’t, it was so freeing to know that I didn’t have to carry around the baggage of the hurt of past abuse relationships, sexual abuse, and cheating to name a few. Holding on to unforgiveness leaves a bitterness in your heart for everyone else to see and feel. The devil has a foothold when you don’t forgive the people that hurt you. It can be really difficult to forgive someone who hurt you. But, growing isn’t always a walk in the park!Just because you forgive someone once, doesn’t mean you won’t have to repeat it aloud for the next 3 months. Say you forgive them out loud, until you truly do. Your words have power & satan will do everything in his power to stop God’s plan for your life. “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.”-Proverbs 18:21 MSG
Jesus died for our forgiveness. So why wouldn’t satan try to stop something that God has provided? Being hurt and in the midst of trial is often when our obedience is being tested. When it’s hardest to forgive is when you should be forgiving. Not only does unforgivness hurt them, it hurts you.
You know the saying hurt people, hurt people? It’s true! We are called to be the light and salt of the world. So what we are called to do when someone hurts us? LOVE. Yes, I said it, love and comfort them! I know what you are thinking…Is this girl crazy!? I know it sounds crazy, but I am not asking you to do this in your own strength! If you forgive others, God forgives you. It brings them freedom and you! Double win!
Ask Holy Spirit to guide you. Ask him if you first you have any unforgivness in your heart. If a name comes to mind, say aloud that you forgive them. Keep the pattern going until their are no names left. The first time I did this, it took about 3 hours! Not joking! Pray to God asking him to have Holy Spirit teach your heart to love and forgive when someone hurts you. Realize that you aren’t fighting against the person that hurt you and that you are in a spiritual war against satan and all his little friends. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens. “-Ephesians 6:12
Would you go into a war without protection or your weapon? No…I wouldn’t either. Then how come it is so easy for us to go to battle without our Spiritual Armor & Weapon? It instructs us in Galatians 6:11 “Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil.” EPHESIANS 6:11 AMP
Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious]. So stand firm and hold your ground, having tightened the wide band of truth (personal integrity, moral courage) around your waist and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (an upright heart), and having strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news]. Above all, lift up the [protective] shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one . And take the helmet of salvation , and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. EPHESIANS 6:13-17 AMP
Not only reading, but applying the word of God to your life is what protects you. I’m not saying that life will be perfect…But when we know the Truth of God’s Word we can recognize the lies of satan.
God’s word is full of promises. Things we need to pray for. Im happy to say God doesn’t break promises either! When we don’t read our word, we lack wisdom and understanding of what is going on in the spiritual realm, how we can put God above everything else, and really love our neighbors. The list goes on, your bible is your instruction manual to life!
I have heard many times that people do not have time to read scripture. I know it can be difficult. Why wouldn’t satan want to stop you from spending time with God? Am I calling your kids, husband, work, ect., satan? Of course not. But when you put God above all else, your life will improve, including those relationships.
When we read our word diligently and pray those promises, they come to life because God watches over his word. The possibilities are endless!“But Jesus looked at them and said, “With people [as far as it depends on them] it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” MATTHEW 19:26 AMP
I don’t know your life…I don’t know what your mornings look like…However, I know that I want to be equipped with my armor in the morning to fight the battles that might transpire for me. I am not a morning person. So, when I first began really diving into the word first thing in the morning it was difficult. I would get distracted, be so tired my eyes wouldn’t stay open, or not wake up in time. I got really frustrated, really fast! I recognized that it was satan wanting to stunt my relationship with Abba. NOT TODAY SATAN. I asked God, “God I’m really having a hard time spending time with you in the morning, will you please limit my distractions? It says in your word that I need my armor, please wake me up refreshed, focused, and ready to retain and put into practice what I read.” Next morning, I woke up early, without an alarm! (Very rare with the shift I used to work!)
God wants to spend time with you! He wants you to be a doer of the word and light of the world. If you’re struggling getting in the word, you’re not alone! I will be putting up more helpful tips and reasons why it is important to read scripture.
I hope you all have a wonderful day! & if we don’t talk before then, a very Merry CHRISTmas!