Comparison

Recently I was experiencing a lack of joy in a relationship. It occurred to me that I had let unhealthy thoughts creep in to my mind once again. Comparison being the number one unhealthy thought. Just when I think I have the whole comparing thing nailed on the head, it comes back around again.

I was comparing myself to someone else. The way I looked, my home, my family, my gifts, my abilities. I was putting myself down, having a little pitty party as to why I did not have the things or gifts and abilities that they did. Comparison is the thief of joy.

I was focusing on what I did not have instead of what I do have. In that moment of me comparing myself to someone else I had believed that God had cheated me. That somehow God had missed giving me something special when He created me and instead He gave it to somebody else. Now I would never say that about God but when I compare myself to others that is what I am doing.

I find that comparison comes from insecurity in my own life. As soon as I start comparing myself to someone else I have to stop and realise that love needs to happen right there. To let God come into that part of me where I am really struggling or feeling inadequate and love me there. That I have to recognise that insecurity and invite God in to it and ask Him why I am struggling so much with it and how can I fix it.

Comparison is a waste of my time. The Lord really encouraged me to stop looking at other people and just focus on myself. There may always be someone in the world who is better than me at things I try and do… but I am the only me there is and God does not make mistakes and He did not forget to give me anything that I need. My identity and my value are that I am a daughter of God, pure and simple. That is what defines me; not what I think of myself or what the world may see me as but what God thinks.

So I am trying my hardest to stop comparing myself to others. I am opening my heart up to the Lord and letting His love come in and heal the hurting places inside of me and everyday I am reminding myself that I am a daughter of God and I am valuable in His eyes. I encourage you to do the same.

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I long to be called a friend of Jesus

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I never really thought about being a servant versus being a friend with Jesus until recently. You know how you read a verse in the bible so many times that you know its words inside out but not fully grasping the understanding of it and then one day you read it again and it just comes alive to you, like fresh revelation. John chapter 15 verse 15 was one of these verses for me.

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15

A servant serves. They do what their master asks of them but they are still held at a distance, living in separate quarters to their master, eating at a different dinner table and using a separate entrance to the house. But a friend is taken into the masters life. A friend regularly spends time with the master, sharing in his life, engaging in conversation and having their thoughts and ideas heard.

As a friend of Jesus you are taken into His life. You have access to the heart of God and His heartbeat becomes your heartbeat. Instead of working for Him like a servant you work with Him. He trusts you with more of His power and you become changed into His likeness more and more. Your identity changes because as a friend you are not worried by what other people think of you, you know who the Father says you are.

As a friend you enter into a partnership with Him. Your ideas, dreams and desires are heardTake delight in the Lordand he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4.

You are not a puppet carrying out the Lords plans. You are a contributor to what He is doing. God wants to be influenced by what you think and dream. He is after your desires and intimacy with you.

So how do we move into that place of being a friend of Jesus? Jesus says in John 15 verse 14 “You are my friends if you do what I command”.

Becoming a friend of Jesus is about following Jesus, it is going in the direction that He is going in. It is doing the things that He is doing  and saying the things that He is saying. We have an intimate connection with Him when we regularly spend time in His presence listening to His voice and hearing His commands, we are faithful in doing what we asks us to do, we read His word and hold it in our hearts and we follow people who are also following Jesus.

Just before Jesus saysYou are my friends if you do what I command” He says this “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

His command is not difficult, yet how many of us struggle with this simple thing, just to love one another? To love one another like Jesus loves us helps us to get to that place of being counted as a friend of Jesus. His commands are not outrageous, they flow from a heart that loves us and just wants the best for us, so lean into His voice and hear and read His commands and start there, doing the things that He has commanded us to do. Lean into the heart of God and hear His heart beat. He is inviting you to be His friend.

When you find yourself feeling broken

when it falls apart You come running with open arms

Sometimes I find myself feeling a little broken. Life has left me feeling a little crushed, defeated and overwhelmed. It is not one thing that has left me feeling this way but a string of little things that have come across my path along my way.

I just feel like I need to be put back together, or mended before the hole in me gets any bigger. When I start to feel this way I make sure that I find the time to shut myself away and just spend time with the Lord. Before I run to a friend or to my husband to pour out my feelings and ask for their advice, I spend time with the Lord and listen to His words of wisdom first.

I see it as an invitation for the Lord to come deeper into my life. I see it as a chance for me to experience more healing, more freedom, more revelation and more intimacy with the Lord. And every time that I go to Him, I get just what I need.

I love these words from one of my favorite songs by United Pursuit. “when it falls apart, You come running with open arms”. Usually it feels like I am running to the Lord all the time but it is actually Him running to me. He delights in doing good for me and it is His greatest joy to do so. He delights in coming in and helping me to put all my pieces back together. It is up to me to let go of what I can not hold and to hold on to Him.

What I have discovered over time is that it is ok to feel broken and to admit that you feel that way, to admit that you don’t have it all together and that you are starting to come apart. There is no shame in admitting your weaknesses and you shouldn’t hide them either. It is not helpful in anyway to hide your feelings and to stuff all your pain deep down. Instead we should be trying to process it with the help of the Lord and the Holy Spirit.

By doing that it will help us to walk in His freedom that we talk about having in Christ. I know that I want to walk in His freedom so I am going to stop stuffing all my pain down and internalizing it and I am going to bring it to the surface and deal with it. I am going to let go of what I can not hold and hold onto Him.

Let it go and come alive

We were going about our day in our normal fashion, the sun was shinning, the boys were at work and school and the girls were busy at home. I was pottering around the house listening to music and my little girl was sitting on the floor surrounded by toys immersed in an imaginary game when the song just let it happen started playing.

As soon as the song started to play my little girl immediately jumped up and started dancing. The soft sweet music had captured her attention and she began to sway in time with the music and then began spinning and twirling. I stopped what I was doing to watch her. The song was singing out you’re full of life now, you’re full of passion, that’s how He made you, just let it happen. I realized that I was watching these words being played out in my sweet little ballerina.

My little girl loves to dance, she skips through life with joy on her face and joy in her heart. She was created to dance and to enjoy life. She is full of passion and she is full of life and she just lets it happen, she does not think about it, she just gets up and dances.

Do you remember the song Let it go from the Disney movie Frozen? I believe it has been a prophetic song for the past few years. Although it is a song from a children’s movie it has been resonating with so many people, I cant tell you how many times I have heard the phrase let it go quoted. I think it was a prophetic message for all of us that we just need to let some stuff go.

I believe that God has called to us to let it go and now He is calling us to be a light and to come alive.

The lyrics from the song just let it happen, the song that my little girl was dancing to,  are this…

You’re full of life now
You’re full of passion
That’s how He made you
Just let it happen
And He calls each one of us
By our names, to come away
And He whispers to your heart
To let it go and to be a light, come alive
So take me back,
back to the beginning
When I was young
Running through the fields with You

This song encapsulates the next stage for us, the next thing that God wants us to do. He wants us to let go of all the things that are holding us down and holding us back from being the person that He has created us to be. To let go of all the things that bring us fear and anxiety. To let go of all the things that cause us to be bitter and angry. To let go of past hurts and pain and to begin to come alive again.

He is calling each one of us by name to come away with Him. To go into our secret place, the time and space that we set aside to just be with the Lord and there He whispers to our heart. There He tells us who we really are, loved, redeemed, set free, passionate and full of life.

It is in our secret place where we can discover how to let all our stuff go and how to be ourselves and to come alive again. We were not created to be walking around with all these things weighing us down. We need to let them all go and start to live fully alive, fully awake, passionate and free.

We need to live like my little dancing girl, moving through life with joy, knowing who we were created to be and living that way, being full of passion, full of life and just letting it all happen. We don’t think about it, we just get up and dance.

understanding your identity : we need to start over

One of my favorite songs at the moment is Simple Gospel by United Pursuit.

I  love these words from the song…

I want to know you Lord like I know a friend,  So I’m laying down all my religion. I use to think that I could box you in. I’ve been told to be ashamed, I’ve been told I don’t measure up, I’ve been told I’m not good enough but you’re here with me. I reach out and you find me in the dust. You say no amount of untruths can separate us.

I feel like this is a process that I have been going through for the past two years. I came to a place in my life where I just wanted more of God. I wanted to know Him like I know a friend. I had this feeling deep within me that there  was so much more to God that I had not yet discovered. So I set out on a journey to know God more.

Laying down my religion, breaking down all of the walls I had built to hem Him in and all the boxes I had tried to fit God into all had to come down. It was like starting all over again.

Religion had me reading the bible because I had to. Somewhere along the line I had been told that you must read the bible everyday. The bible is so hard to understand and where do you even begin? The task became too difficult and not very enjoyable so my goal of reading the bible everyday was not achieved. I would then begin to feel guilt and shame over not reading the word of God everyday and to avoid those feelings I just stayed away from reading the bible all together.

I had to lay down this perception and this lie of being a good Jesus follower meant that you had to read the bible everyday. God does not want us to feel shame and guilt over not achieving that. He wants us to read His word and if we could do it everyday then that is great, but if we don’t, He is not there looking upon us and condemning us. He is there with grace and mercy. Guilt and shame are not part of my DNA, God did not create me with those qualities, they are not my identity.

Religion had me praying every night before going to sleep, to offer Him my lists of requests because I had been told that you have to pray to God everyday. I never really had anybody sit me down and explain to me the art and love of praying and I never really set out to discover it for myself either. I had failed to see that prayer was actually talking and listening to God, that it was in actual fact a two way conversation between two people that actually had a loving and intimate relationship .

I had to lay down my thoughts that God was far off and too distant to care or worry about the little things that I was concerned about. I had to understand that I am not an orphan that He is in actual fact my Heavenly Father and that He sees me and knows me and nothing I think or care about is insignificant to Him. Being an orphan is not how I was created. My identity is that I am His daughter and I can talk to Him and He will talk back to me

To begin to really know God and to really know my identity as His daughter I needed to start all over, I needed to learn how to do my walk with the Lord all over again, but this time in the right way.

I needed to be more childlike. I needed to have a childlike, teachable and humble spirit so that I could stop believing the misconceptions and the lies I had been believing and start to understand the truth about God and the truth about myself. I also needed to be hungry for more and I had to seek these things out for myself and not just take another persons word for it.

Starting over again is hard but I truly believe that the Lord wants to break down the boxes we have put Him in and even break down the boxes we have put ourselves in.

What are some of the lies or misconceptions that you are believing about God? What are some of the lies or misconceptions that you are believing about yourself? I encourage you to start to think about these two questions and ask the Holy Spirit to help you along in this process of knowing God like you know a friend and knowing your true identity as a son or daughter of God.