Highly Favoured

The angel went to her and said, “Greetings you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.” Luke 1:28

Recently as an exercise to hone my writing skills, I was to ask a handful of close friends a few questions about how they see me and what kind of influence I could have. The purpose of receiving this kind of feedback was to make the message I have more clear. To help me see how I can best inspire people with the tools I already have. And perhaps shed some light on areas that I may think are obvious but are amazing to others.

First of all, the fact that they were so willing to respond blew my mind. I am blessed by so many incredible women in my life, it was actually hard to pick just 5.  Second, their responses brought some tears. Third, this is a very humbling exercise to perform. Owning the truths that were spoken from their perspectives would have been very difficult to do even a year ago.

God has been teaching me this last year to receive. Receive His truths and let those reconstruct what my identity is in Him. Not in what others tried to tell me, not in the lies I believed, not in the performing so hard for love it almost destroyed me kind of way. But in renewing my mind and believing regardless of what I feel to standing in the promises of God.

Lysa Terkeurst said, “In between progress and perfection is the sweet spot of authenticity.” This statement makes me want to pause and say ahhhhhhh, releasing the places that have been wound tight in me trying to become someone I was not. butterflies-843298_640You see my heart is to be authentic, in all I speak, say, write and do. I am unique, my story has been woven in such a way as to distinctively influence those that God has placed in my path. There are some things I can speak because of my experiences that will resonate with the hearts of those I encounter. This truth is the same for you.

The space between progress and perfection can only be accomplished with supernatural favour. Joyce Meyer once said, ‘Natural favour has to be earned and once it is you need to maintain or keep working for that favour. Supernatural favour is a gift from God. You receive this just by being His child.’

Natural favour is very difficult to sustain. Performance is a vicious cycle. The only antidote to this is knowing in your heart of hearts that you are deeply loved and favoured by God and Nothing you do or don’t do will change that.heart-1213481_640

One way I have been renewing my mind with God’s truth is by speaking that I am highly favoured by the Lord. My travelling companions to St. Louis as of late probably thought I was a little silly proclaiming this phrase everywhere I went. Little did they know I was renewing the way I thought of myself in relationship to how God sees me.

You see,  I know that the only one in the Bible that was given this title was Mary, the mother of Jesus. She was chosen by God to carry the Messiah, His precious Son because she was highly favoured by Him. And this favour carried over into Jesus as we see further down in Luke 2:52, ‘And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men.’

As a believer though, one who has chosen Christ as Saviour, I also have the incredible privilege of carrying Jesus. Not in the physical, pregnant sense as Mary did, but in my spirit. He is with me everywhere I go and because of this I am highly favoured by the Lord. Because of this I get to extend His Favour to others.

Choose an area where you have not been believing God’s truth about you. Now find the truth and start to declare it. Is it in the area of not believing you are worthy and have to perform for or earn God’s love? Say it with me now, I am highly favoured by the Lord. I am the apple of His eye. I am His beloved child. Start there. Don’t stop until your heart believes it. Your freedom depends on it. woman-591576_640

Confident Humility

‘Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 1:6

How do I stay humble but yet be confident of the abilities God gave me? This question came from my son Owen during his basketball tryouts as I prayed over him one day encouraging him to be bold in his abilities. I loved his heart and to me the answer was in the question. His knowing that it is God who gave Him these abilities is humility hurdle number one. Hurdle number two was his desire to stay humble during this process.  Hurdle number three is the fact that he made the cut from 45 to 12 even if he isn’t the strongest player and it is only his second year playing and he isn’t boasting to everyone about it. Apparently I am though, perhaps I didn’t jump the hurdles without knocking one over.

I am a proud Mama, just like God our Father is proud of each of us. Joyce Meyer said, “He has never spoken anything negative about us.” My boasting also is in the Lord and the favour and opportunity that He gave Owen in this season. He did raise a good question though and I think the answer to achieve confident humility is to remember that our confidence is in God and not in ourselves. He absolutely gives us all gifts and abilities and strengths that others may not have but it does not make us better, just gives us better opportunities to give Him glory.

The other night I had the absolute privilege to speak blessings over the women in our lifegroup. I was honored that God would want to partner with me to speak of His life and love for each of these fearfully and wonderfully made women. Then I was completely humbled as they spoke blessing over me, sharing how God has allowed them to see me. Redeemed and full of Him. All of the things I desire to be, authentic, mentor, teacher, writer, pointing to Jesus. I say this not to boast but to say I would not be who I am at all if it were not for Him and His grace, mercy, healing and redemption. And this not for me but for others. We are healed in places to lead others to healing, we are comforted to comfort others, we have experiences to make us more like Him and show Him to this dark world.

I was convicted though to walk in the truth of the things I heard that night. To not downplay them with false humility but being confident that these are things He has worked out in me. Acting in true humility does not deny our own self-worth, it literally means the disposition to be humble, a lack of self-pride. It means to lower your own worth and be considerate of others, more of Jesus, less of you.

This theme ties in with my focus this season, on the incredible humility and confidence of our God to enter in to the mess of our world to bring redemption. He knew from the beginning that sending His Son as a helpless babe into a dirty stable was required to rescue us from ourselves. A free gift. All we need to do is open it. This takes confident humility, this choice of faith cannot be made from a prideful position. It is grace toward us through faith where we can be confident that He chose to come and die and be resurrected for our sin. I always marvel at Mary, the mother of Jesus in this season for the ultimate confident humility she displayed as an angel came to tell her, a young unmarried teenager girl, she was to be the mother of the Son of the Most High, conceived by the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:38 ,”I am the Lord’s servant.” Mary answered,” May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. Most of us can’t imagine responding that way, but she was confident in her God and not full of herself. For her it left no other choice but to obey even when she didn’t understand.

So what are your hurdles that are preventing you from choosing Jesus, particularly this season as we celebrate Him and His birth? Seek Him this Christmas and open your amazing gift of Love. You will not be disappointed. He is waiting for you.