Be Aware.

My life had turn into chaos these past couple of months as busyness crept into what we call, reality. It was normal for me to panic when I had downtime for just 10 minutes. If I could write on my blog everything I went through and learned, I could probably write a book. However, today I will share what the Lord encouraged with this morning.

Studying the book of Malachi, I began to compare myself to the Israelites as they have come out of captivity from Babylon.  It was clear they were living shamelessly in their compromise, complacency, and heartless worship towards the Lord who delievered them time and time again. How many times have I compromised to make myself comfortable? Complacent? Had the fire burn out? Have I settled for less? Heartless worship? Have I been worshipping Him in the secret place? Am I allowing myself to be led by Holy Spirit before leading myself?

A majority of us in the ministry allow busyness and work to take place of the work of the Lord. Yet when we come home, there is such emptiness inside our hearts. In that emptiness, God is not the only One who wants to fill us. The enemy longs to fill us with doubts, darkness, depression, compromise, complacency, hatred, bitterness, confusion.. let’s just stop here. We must surrender it all to be filled with joy, peace, patience, passion, faithfulness,……

I questioned myself  numerous of times, “Why am I doing all this?”. That question becomes a red flag yet to be transformed into a white flag. Compromise, complacency, and heartless worship are the attributes of pride. It all begins with…. me,  my wants, my thoughts, my ways and my feelings when in fact, it should begin at the feet of our Beautiful Saviour poured out like a jar of perfume.

I often wonder where I will end up in my life. What exactly I would do.  My dreams and desires are far bigger than I can obtain today. I cannot find the easiest way to get to them. They are beyond what my efforts can achieve. My walls and all my defenses must come down along with my thoughts, questions, and doubts. What if I fail? What if I don’t do anything memorable? How will I get there? Again, the focus is on me.

Then it dawned on me as the Lord showed me this picture on my wall.

 

photo (3)

 

 

This picture describes the passage in Luke 5. Jesus telling them to throw the nets to the other side and through obedience, they do it. These disciples who have never seen or met this Man came to instant obedience.  However, that’s not the point for me today. This picture revealed that in all that I do, whether it be in ministry, work, and generally life, I must do it all with Jesus sitting next to me, talking to me, spending time with me…. Because of Jesus, they were able to catch a NET full of fish to the point of breakage. I must be aware. Jesus is not a stoic statue but a relational Man who longs to fulfill the duties of a bridegroom. He is not just sitting in the boat but TALKING to us. I must be led. If it were not for Jesus, they would not have caught as much fish. Allow Him to get in the boat with you and be lead by His voice.

We all KNOW that Jesus is with us always but not all of us are aware. What scares me the most in my life is to give my 100%, look back and see that Jesus was somewhere else. The words towards the Ephesus church in Revelations always stings my heart, “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” Revelations 2:2-4

No matter what you face in life, what you do.. you achieve it all through communing with Jesus in all that you do. He will give you the words, the strategies, the encouragement, and the grace to finish the race set before you. Once we allow this to consume our everyday lives, we will find ourselves doing the impossible. Be aware of His presence, fall in LOVE with Him to the point where You know when He walks into the room, that You recognize His voice, and You know His ways, thoughts, and character. BE AWARE.

 

 

Mary or Martha?

mary

Obviously from my last couple of posts, the Lord has been teaching me about REST. Something I have struggled with since high school. I remember all these words spoken over me that God loves my heart but He wants me to rest. Quit striving and performing for He loves me no matter what I do or say regardless of my skills, talents, and abilities. Prophetic destiny is what God already spoke into my life when He created me. Ministry is not my calling. My calling is to BE with Him, to have fellowship and communion and out of that, ministry easily flows as you love on His people and walk in obedience to His voice. You can only discern, obey, and hear if you’re walking with Him consistently, not overpowered by works and performing. Ministry is not what you do but who you are and who you are is found in Christ.

This week’s lecture speaker blew my mind as he spoke about the meaning of prophetic destiny and ministry. He completely took my perspective of ministry life and realigned it to God’s vision or definition of ministry. That’s another teaching but it did lift up many burdens off of me.

One night this week I spent some time in the prayer room and really just sat there for a couple of hours. So much warring within me. I have never been through a season of confusion, restlessness, and uncertainty like I have this season. As Truth began to wash away the lies and comfort me, I sat there in His presence knowing that He was holding me and protecting me.

There wasn’t a band in there, the songs that were playing however, were songs that I saturated myself in when I first met the Lord. I remember I would sit in my room for hours and just listen to these worship songs and “feel” a love dancing over me igniting a hunger within me to know this Man more. They were songs that led me to know intimacy with Jesus. No one ever taught me about intimacy but it was through worship that I began to discover intimate relationship with the Beloved. Let me reiterate, it was through WORSHIP. These past couple of months through my busyness, I stopped writing songs and worshipping him in the secret place because of busyness.. There was my number one problem.

In the prayer room, I began to think about Martha and how I’ve always seen myself as Martha and not Mary. I went through the passages of Martha and Mary. This is what I got.

Martha “Religious Spirit”
(From passages Luke 10, John 12, John 11)

  • Worrier(anxious, troubled).
  • Does not see the need of others and chooses to see the flaws (flaws in her eyes), is affected by what others don’t do and do (controlling). Martha didn’t see the need Mary had to sit at the feet of Jesus. I also believe she wanted to look better than Mary by telling Jesus, “Look what I’m doing for you and she’s not doing anything”. That backfired on her as Jesus said that Mary has chosen what is better and it would not be taken away from her.
  • Performer/Complainer. (Performers complain) Luke 10, Martha complains that her sister is not helping. Jesus never asked Martha to serve. Martha served out of cultural respect. She could not get past the “traditional habits”. That’s what religion does. When you do not choose to sit at the feet of Jesus because you choose to live out of a performance/serving mentality, you are most likely to miss what He says that could change your life forever. I’m sure Mary’s life changed instantaneously sitting at His feet.
  • Faithless, concerned with bad outcomes (pessimistic). In John 11, when Jesus was about to call Lazarus out, Martha instead of seeing/believing the miracle first, chose to see the negative effects the odor of Lazarus’s body would have. She obviously didn’t know Christ enough to believe the supernatural. She couldn’t get past the smell. She thought of the smell before the glory. When you’re preoccupied in busyness or distraction, you will not have enough faith to see Jesus move in your life because something will always get in the way whether it be your doubts, worries, lack of trust, etc.

Mary “Laid down lover”
(From passages Luke 10, John 12, John 20)

  • Listener/gazer. Mary sat and listened to Jesus ignoring the chaos around her. She chose the good portion. Jesus HIMSELF said that Mary sitting at His feet was better than her serving like Martha. (bam)
  • Knew how to wait. I believe Mary gained revelation on the loving character of Jesus because she sat to listen to Him speak. In John 11, Martha hears that Jesus is coming to their town because of Lazarus’s death, she runs to Jesus but Mary does not. At first, I thought Martha did the right thing to run to Jesus and yes there are times when we have to run to Him but I thought Mary was in so much pain from her brother’s death, that she chose to be herself in that situation. In other words, she was not afraid to show her true emotions to Jesus. BUT what I love is when Martha tells Mary that Jesus is calling for her, she quickly rises up and runs to meet Him. In her time of waiting, she moves when Jesus calls. Many of us choose to run and serve before Jesus calls us to. That’s how we burn out and move without the Father. Mary moves the heart of Jesus as she fell at His feet. He is not a stoic God. Our hearts of sorrow, pain, confusion, etc moves His heart.
  • Faith driven. Mary knew and believed that Jesus could have saved Lazarus from death and I believe she had hope that Jesus could still save Lazarus. I mean at this point, the whole nation has seen Jesus raise people from the dead, heal the sick, and walk in signs & miracles. The fact that Mary said “If you had been here my brother would not have died”.. she knew Jesus was a healer. She thought about Jesus continuously knowing that He could heal her brother.

These are a couple that I found throughout the Word… I’m not saying that Mary is better than Martha but I’m simply saying that choosing to sit at the feet of Jesus and to fellowship with Him transforms our thoughts, our lives, and the way we live for the Lord. I find myself like Martha MANY times but I believe this season of my life the Lord is taking me back to my first love.. back to Him.. when I would fellowship with the Father without worrying, without thinking ahead towards my future, and without trying to please others constantly.

What did God prophetically declare when He formed me in my mother’s womb? It wasn’t servant, it wasn’t pastor, it wasn’t do-er, but rather daughter, beloved, and friend. Everything God says and does is relational.

Who are you? Who do you choose to be?

There’s A Rest

 Rest

There’s A Rest – Sean Feucht

“Lord, we rest and we abide in the shadow of Your wings.
Put aside confusion and busyness and distraction.
We press into the place of Your rest, grabbing ahold to Your promise of intimacy
Root us deep in the soil of Your love that we may bear much fruit, that we may stand”

There’s a rest in the fight
There’s a place of abiding in the vine

Rest.

Image“You’re entering into a season of rest. You don’t have to prove to anyone that you’re qualified. You know how to fight, you know how to war, you know how to persevere but you need to rest. Even fight from a place of rest. You’ve been a warrior but God wants you to simply be His princess this season. You still have a performance mentality. Don’t listen to the lies of the enemy. The “rest” you want is not laziness. Just soak in Him.. do what you love to do.. you’re a worshipper.

All these words spoken over me by my spiritual parents that I remember in that moment. I knew all of this in the back of my head but my orphan mindset rejected it all and went back into the performance mentality. Everything I struggled with, wondered about, doubted.. it was all spoken into me in a matter of minutes.

I was too busy trying to be someone I am not and forgot about who I really am. I am a worshipper, I am a lover of God, I am His daughter.. I do not belong to man. I realize the more I fight back, the more tired I get.

All I kept hearing last week was “Be still and know that I am God”.. it kept playing over and over in my mind. I’m trying too hard to please others who don’t even care of my existence, people who don’t even take time to build a relationship with me.

I know what the Lord is doing this season of my life. It’s all making sense. I just have to submit and be still. And the transformation all happens in the place of rest. I must choose rest.

Let’s say I’m rediscovering myself. What I loved to do.. spending hours just BEING through music, art, writing and simply just being still in nature. I don’t know where that Janice went but I sure miss her.. before she got all busy and occupied with “grown-up” stuff. And I’m pretty sure her Father and Beloved misses her too..

“The Lord will fight for you, you only need to be still”

photo 3

Truth vs. Lies

It’s funny how I’m harder on myself than the Lord is on me.
This semester alone has been a roller coaster. You know when you know the truth but you side with the lies just because you’re stupid and should know better? Yup.
 
TRUTH vs. LIES

1) Lies say: I’m a girl so there are many MANY days when I feel so insecure about my appearance and feel just plain UGLY. I compare myself through pictures on pinterest and instagram all the time. Even girls here at my school. I then find myself trying new things to look like the world’s definition of beautiful. I begin to fall into self-pity when I cannot buy all the clothes, makeup, and shoes. I begin to lust over the materialistic things. (This is quite embarrassing to admit because it’s such a dumb girly flaw BUT I am being honest and vulnerable.) But Truth says I am created in the image of God and we all know that our God is sure not ugly. He is rather incredible, beautiful.. Truth says “3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 

2) The lies say: “You should know better than that. You aren’t trying hard enough. You are a failure. God is surely disappointed in you.” Truth says: That is a mind of an orphan and not of a son/daughter. You are a son/daughter who belongs to the most High God and the best, gracious and loving Daddy in the world. Truth says His grace is sufficient for me in my weakness. Truth says, ” But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31. Truth says you fall, you get back up and keep going.

 

3) The lies say: You’re not suppose to be here. You could’ve done something else. It could’ve been easier for you.Truth says: There is a season and time for everything. Truth says He has plans to prosper me and not to harm me. Truth says He is the good shepherd who guides us. Truth says I am here because He has placed me here for I heard the voice of God and obeyed Him. Truth says He will never leave His children. Truth says He is faithful to finish what He has started in you.

4) The lies say: It’s too much money. You can’t pay it off.  Truth says: Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you. Truth says He is Jehovah Jireh and caretaker. Truth says He will not bring you this far just to leave you. Truth says it is already provided.

So enemy.. care to tell me any more lies? Because I have a whole BOOK of Truth that cancels out any accusation or lie against me. 

Encouraging Coffee Date.

 

Image

Just thinking about the coffee date I had earlier on this rainy day with my beautiful sisters Cara and Paige.  We sat at Starbucks talking about this and that for hours, we began to speak revelation after revelation and simply share our hearts to one another with deep insight.

Two things I remember:

1) When you ask God to break you, mold you, to transform you.. (in other words, all the selfless requests we ask God to do out of a heart of innocent, radical submission yet we never realize what we’re asking for haha) He will do what He needs to do. He is faithful to us no matter the circumstance, trial or tribulation. AND He WILL, transform us.

Paige began to share about this skit she saw when a man asked God to break him and change him, God appeared with a hammer and chisel. God began to chip away certain things on this man as he painfully asked the Lord why He’s picking at that specific area, etc. God knows what He’s doing , amen? However, I began to think.. BECAUSE Jesus Christ came on earth to die for our sins, He carried every single sickness, burden, and tribulation that we would have to carry today. He overcame it all and conquered all of that PLUS death so that today, we may carry the power of His resurrection within us. That resurrection power is ALIVE. It’s living in the inside of us. We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us, right? That’s exactly it. He LOVES us. That very love is transforming, it’s conquering, it’s overwhelming, protecting, full of joy, mercy, and grace. Love is the very thing that transforms us because it compels us to LOVE others, OBEY God, and give us boldness to endure.

Yet I think if Jesus hadn’t come to earth and accomplish what He did, if God so dared to chip away at us, we would not be able to withstand the pain. The wrath of God would come against us because of our sins. However, I praise Jesus for His love that compelled Him to obey His Father that today we may enjoy the fellowship with God as His heirs and as His children through all trials and tribulations. He was the gap, the meditator that built the bridge for grace to walk upon and reach us who were lost and destined for eternal death. Thus, we have crossed over from death to life through Christ who loved us. AMEN.

Jesus endured the pain and suffering as they literally broke Him inside and out. So I too through the atonement am able to live in victory and grace because of what He did no matter what trial or tribulation come knocking at my door.

2) As you desire and hunger after the Man, Jesus, you begin to search for wisdom and gain revelation. Revelation, to me, is like a breath of fresh air. Something comes alive in me when God reveals to me secrets, teachings, and wisdom personally. I have heard many times, “if the enemy is bringing attacks or if you’re going through struggles, it’s because breakthrough is just around the corner”. Breakthrough always produces revelation because you gain new insight of the character of God and the great miracles He does time after time through every season. When you think about how much you’ll mature and know God, it encourages you to keep running. But the infamous one who loves to kill, steal, and destroy will try to run faster than you. He will do anything to block you from receiving new revelation of Jesus. He will attack you at your weakest points which is why you must guard your heart, eyes, and ears. What you do matters, what you see matters, and what you hear matters.

The enemy knows Truth sets people free, he will do anything to block that freedom and oppress you. If he knows all of that then  don’t give him that position or foothold to kill, steal, and destroy the good things God has for those who love Him. You should know better than him. Revelation unfailingly will draw you closer to the heart of God and the enemy loathes that. He hates the sound of truth, prayer, and worship. So live in the opposite spirit. When lies flood your mind, renew it and speak life and truth. When tiredness, laziness, and hopelessness attack you, rise up and pray. When everything around you doesn’t make sense, just worship and exalt Jesus. 

What comes to my mind is Romans 8. I love this chapter for it is filled with life, Truth, and encouragement. Suddenly, my problems don’t seem as big when I think about who my God is and how BIG He is. They’re not as big as I remind myself of the Cross, His blood, and His promises towards me. I am more than a conqueror. 

Be encouraged.

1 Peter 5:6-11

Image

 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

 

Image