Even If…

‘Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God.’ Leviticus 26:1

The story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego was brought to my attention with a fresh word today. If you are familiar with the story in Daniel 3, ask God to cultivate new awareness as you read it again. In short, King Nebuchadnezzar, a King of Babylon, made an image of gold that was 90 feet high and 9 feet wide. tower-838540_640He commanded that when the people heard all kinds of music they were to bow down and worship this idol. 3 Jewish men refused and the King’s punishment was to throw them into a blazing furnace. They had earned favour with the King and looked over his affairs but that had no bearing when they would not bow down to the King’s command. ‘They pay no attention to you’ was the tattletale account from the astrologers to the King. Nebuchadnezzar was furious but amazingly still willing to give them another chance. I love their reply. vs 16-18 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”‘smoke-1232654_640

As you can imagine, the King was furious and he threw them all in to the blazing furnace. You will have to read the rest of the story to see the amazing way that God rescued these men.

What God showed me was an incredible faith in these men that EVEN IF God did not rescue them, they were willing to die for their God. They knew Him and nothing came before Him.

I have been challenged in the last few days especially to look at the idols I have placed before my God and sense as I pray for the body of Christ that this is a heart issue in many of us, in fact I would even go so far that this is an ongoing issue we all need to stay aware of and keep in repentance over. My heart’s desire is to love God with all of my heart but to be quite honest, I find some things are layered in front of that.. Areas of my life that I continue to struggle with and not able to relinquish over to God when I do know that He is able to save me from myself. He has done so in many places of my heart.

God placed a book in front of me this past weekend called Idol Lies by Dee Brestin right after a time of prayer when the word idol came to my mind. Then this morning our marriage devotional was, you guessed it, about idols. Coincidence, I think not. Dee says it well, “Being released from the penalty (the guilt) of sin is instantaneous, happening the moment we respond to God’s call and to the payment Christ made for us at the cross. Being released from the power of sin is gradual, for bondage has layers. All of us have hidden idols that need to be revealed, removed and replaced.”

God is in the business of revealing things to us that need to removed and replaced so that He will maintain first place in our hearts. The beautiful thing is, He will not give up on us. One of my favourite promises is Philippians 1:6,’ 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.’
I want to be like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and not compromise my faith to God for something less than what He desires for my life. I want to easily be able to give up the things I love to love Him even more if He asks that of me. I want the death grip I have placed on some areas of my life to be removed and ready for him to replace with Himself.

‘Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.’ it says in Psalm 37:4. This Psalm also instructs that we trust, commit, be still and hope in the Lord. It is in these actions toward Him that we will find delight and the fruit will be our true desires. Come along on this continued journey of delight with Him, let Him reveal the things that get in the way of being fully devoted to Him. These sentences in Dee’s book grabbed me to simultaneously want to dig in and to close the book, “Every believer needs to be set free, and it begins with getting past our denial, with seeing what we really idolize and admitting this to God and to others.We may think for example that our deepest desire is for God, but in reality we are running to food, friendship or Facebook to fill up our souls. We may think that our identity is in Christ, but in reality if may be in the success of our ministry, mothering, or marriage.”

You know what my favourite part of the story of the 3 Jewish men is? This… Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire,  and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.’ Daniel 3:26,27. Not one hair singed. Not even the smell of smoke. We have all sat around a campfire I am sure and know how much that smell permeates our skin and clothes. Not even the smell…God can do this. He is a Redeemer that wants to remove any smell of smoke, any idol, anything that keeps us from true intimacy with Him. I do know this and so I will come and be still and listen, and repent and continue to walk out this journey until my stone heart has been replaced by a heart of flesh that is intimate with my God. Will you join me?

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Waiting Well

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Psalm 27:14

Stay with God! Take heart. Don’t quit. I’ll say it again: Stay with God. MSG

 Wait patiently for the LORD . Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD. NLT

 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. NIV

Did you think the title Waiting Well is an impossible feat? I heard a quote about financial planning that said usually you are coming out of a crisis, in the middle of one,  or one is on its way. This may be a good reference when dealing with money but if it refers to waiting, it doesn’t bring much hope. Although the definition of crisis can mean a time of intense difficulty, trouble or danger, it can also be a turning point when an important change takes place.
We all have our own definition or experience of crisis depending on our life filters. We all have different ways of responding. My heart is to wait well through things but often my faith in attempting that is not pretty. Often it results in me taking things into my own hands and messing with the outcome God may have wanted, or I may become suspicious, resentful or full of doubt toward the situation and sometimes even God.

Trying to help things along on my own often reminds me of the story of Abraham and Sarah, once Abram and Sarai. I invite you to read this fascinating story beginning in Genesis 15. In short, God promised Abraham in his old age, offspring as many as the stars. Sarah did not believe after all this time that the God who had kept her from having children would fulfill this promise through her. Now before we persecute Sarai too much in her decision, know that it was common practice in that day and culture to give a female servant to her husband to produce an heir. Often women were shamed when they were unable to conceive. Imagine for a moment how that felt to her, now imagine trying to wait well in that situation. Notice Abram didn’t seem to protest too much about her suggestion. (Genesis 16:1-4)

This created a series of problems from Sarai feeling rejected, her barrenness highlighted even more as the servant conceived,  to blame towards Abram and the maidservant running away. These are all seemingly difficult situations that arose from independence from God’s plans. But God…

He not only brought restoration to these relationships but He gave Abram and Sarai their promised son, through their 100 and 90 year old bodies, and He gave them new names. The meaning of a new name in that culture was that God was calling them to submit to Him and His promises, it wasn’t to shame them for their mistakes but to create more intimacy with them.

Do you know our God this way? Have you experienced His redemption in the midst of your waiting even in the form of the strength to keep standing? I have a feeling like the financial saying about crisis above, that waiting is more a normal in our walk with Him, than the manifestation of answers or miracles or removing of circumstances. I think He trusts us more than we trust ourselves.

Marlo Schalesky said, “Waiting is not a punishment from God, it is a tool in His Hands to make and mold us into who we are meant to be.” We are always looking for the ‘there’ aren’t we? Once we get _____ or do ______ or accomplish ______ we will be happy or successful or have ‘arrived’. It is an elusive chase though. Marlo also said, “There is no ‘there’ here in this life. When God brings us to a place, He doesn’t want that to be the answer. He wants Himself to be. True fulfillment comes in God.”

In the Mercy Me song, Even If, they sing this sentiment. ‘I know you’re able and I know you can, Save through the fire with your mighty hand. But Even If you don’t My hope is You alone.’ Can you sing that? Is your heart convinced that there is purpose in this process? Or are you in a place of discouragement? Of not being able to believe for that?

What do we do in the meantime, in the wait? How can we wait well?

Remember that our life is not our own. I know this statement is a newsflash to many in this self-centred, what about me world? I can relate and I still sometimes struggle with this. But it really is Not about us. Jesus died, buying our freedom at a price, so that we could be reconciled to God and in this bring glory to Him by living for Him. Our lives are because of Him and in Him. Renew your mind with these truths;

‘LORD, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.‘Jeremiah 10:23
‘Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.’ 1
Corinthians 6:19,20

Seek Him. Yes Him, not always His hand. I once heard it said that He is more concerned with our character than our circumstances, but He uses our circumstances to make us more like Him. His heart is for relationship, it is why He created us and He promises that we will find Him if we look. Renew your mind with these truths;

‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart’ Jeremiah 29:13

‘Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.’ Psalm 105:4

‘But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’ Matthew 6:33

Be Real. He knows you better than anyone else. Go to Him with all of your emotions, honesty, discouragement, praise, frustration, anger, sadness, confusion, questions. It is in this place of honesty and surrendering all of this along with your opinions, ideas or thoughts that He will come and meet you and minister to your heart. You know when He says to love Him with All of you heart, ya He meant that. Renew your mind with these truths;

‘If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.’ 1 John 1:8-10

Receive. Take in the love He wants to give you. Don’t let it bounce off of the filters of your wounds or shame. Ask Him to help you receive all that He has given you. And this is everything, by the way. When you sit with Him, be expectant that He will meet your heart. We can’t buy, earn or deserve His mercy love and forgiveness, we just need to receive these free gifts. Not because we are good, but because He is!  Renew your mind with these truths;

‘Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.’ Matthew 7:7
‘Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.’ Hebrews 4:16

 

Pray. Submit. Surrender. Trust. Hope. Persevere. Choose. Pray. He’s Got You.

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Wounds Unveiled

Jeremiah 6:wound14 & 8:11 “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. Peace, peace, they say when there is no peace.”

Jeremiah 6:15,16, “Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them,” says the Lord. This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.”

Jeremiah was calling God’s people back to God but they didn’t like his condemnation of their sins and so chose to ignore that and listened instead to predictions of peace. God had called Jeremiah to warn them as he rose up with vengeance for their conduct. Sin cannot be removed by denying its existence. God gave this warning so that the people could confess and walk in His ways. He does that for us today. Do you have areas of your life that need a touch from God? An area that you need to press in further for full reconciliation?

Are you walking wounded? I believe this is a time that God is calling His people to account, to press into those areas that need healing and reconciliation and not walk around as though without power. Christ in us, the hope of glory! Are you walking in the fullness of what this means? Hear me when I say, I am included in this list and am not pointing fingers. I have heard it said on a few occasions lately, what would my life look like if I was walking in the fullness of what Christ did for me?

I have been praying specifically for revelation in some areas of my life to live this out. I was asked the question recently, What have you been believing if you continue to have the same behaviour even when it is not working? This caused me to press in deep. This was a no peeling layers question, it was a deep cutting to the root one. It was the beginning of a beautiful unraveling; albeit a painful one, that will take consistent hard work with the Holy Spirit to break it off. God knew my heart was ready. The lie: I am unworthy to be loved by people or God, I have to earn it. The truth: I am loved and nothing I have done or haven’t done or will do, will change that. Deception: I have the gift of generosity but the enemy has twisted it into my shame and believing I have to earn people’s love and being generous with all things was the means to do it.

carnivalmaskI have also been deceived into thinking that shame was healed because I did not search to the bottom of the wound. You know when you pass over the surface and it seems enough…peace where there is not peace. I know there are layers and it is a process. I have previously called process the swear word of life but have come to realize that it is just life and we will always be in process until the day of Christ Jesus. My root wound was rejection and my trying to earn love and favour from God and people was my heart’s way to protect itself from that. Performance has been so integrated into my behaviour because of this that even in my path of healing, it still reared its ugly head sometimes in the middle of true generosity. The issues at hand were mainly my spending and my eating.

So this is my call to account. I know this is not every pathway to healing, to display our wounds and behaviours but I feel this is part of the process for me to be able to walk in the fullness of God’s power and life in me. This life is so much bigger than my struggles. I want the pain I have lived and caused to be used for God’s good and His glory. The enemy cannot have this power anymore, I have given it to him too long.

My husband, son and I are currently reading ‘Do Hard Things’ by Alex & Brett Harris – A Teenage rebellion against low expectations. Little did I know it was not just for my son’s benefit. I am discovering that I had low expectations of what God can do because I had not studied His character enough. I had low expectations that my deeply-rooted behaviour could not change because I have taken easy paths in my life often, trying to create peace where there wasn’t any really. I had low expectations of who I am in Christ because my wounds got in the way of fully believing my identity to be true. I had low expectations of the magnitude of our God because my identity did not have a solid foundation in him but I have just taken snippets of truth here and there and let my emotions rule me. I had low expectations of this all because I had not fully surrendered all of my heart to Him.

My word is Trust this year and this is what God is requiring me to do, give Him my heart so He can make it whole. Trust in the Lord with ALL my heart…oh yeah, that is what it says in Proverbs. Where are you withholding your heart from God? What behaviours are you continuing to do and expecting different results?  Take up this call to account and seek healing, forgive, do the hard things, choose peace in the midst of circumstances, ask Him to remove the blinders of your own deception and trust Him with the outcome.

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Trust & Grit

Isaiah 55:8,9,”For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, ” declares the Lord.”As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

In the half of the book of Isaiah that the verses above appear, the prophet is bringing words of forgiveness, comfort and hope. He tells of the coming Messiah and the hope and release from captivity for these people. These words that declare His ways and thoughts are higher were a comfort to the people of Israel then just as they are to us now. It is comforting to know that when things don’t make sense to us, it does to Someone. Our pride tries to get in the way and figure things out but often is to no avail. There are some things that just do not have any human answers or explanations.

It is in these times that we need to concede to our limited understanding and turn our face to the One who holds our hearts. Remembering that His love for us is great – Ephesians 3:16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

silentgodRemembering that even though what has happened may not be good, He can turn it to that, that there is collateral beauty in the darkness. Romans 8:28,” And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.We need to be ok with not knowing all the answers and trusting Him, that we can embrace the wilderness and know that His light still shines in the darkness.

It starts here. believe

This picture reminds me of my sister because she gave me this for Christmas. She has had a week, one of those that you are walking along minding your own business and then boom, your feet are swept out from under you. A week when trite sayings or placating words do not console the groanings of her heart. Answers are unattainable and comfort comes only in the depths of tears shared and heartache exposed to God. She knows God is bigger, yet scrambles for answers, hungry for whys to soothe the brokenness of those she loves and of her own heart.

She is an example of someone who loves hard, to the depths of her and in this place she is often rocked hard but the love that gets spread in the process  is beyond description. She is colorful and intense and bold and brash and expressive but oh does she love life. She knows the shackles from which God delivered her and in turn she shares this love to help set others free. The ripple effect of her submission to God after going to the depths of hell is eternal, deep and wide. She meets with the hearts of many, those who are hurting, addicted, suicidal, incarcerated, broken and loves them the best way she knows how, the way God loved her back to life. She may be misunderstood to some but she goes to places that a lot of us wouldn’t or couldn’t access and God knows that. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36 He made her unique to love the lost and to bring hope. She experiences a lot of loss and death in this gritty love but God is purposeful and it is because of this kind of love that she now is helping a 14-year-old girl plan her mother’s funeral. It is because of her pressing in to relationships that this girl has someone in the darkest time of her life to walk beside and love her. broken

Our mother loved like this. I want to be known for this. This is how God’s love is. Gritty, deep, messy, eternal and in many ways beyond our understanding. But that’s ok. We don’t need to know everything, we just need to know Him.

What part of your life do you need to trust with His ways and thoughts being higher than your own?  God has given us all a sphere of influence to love with His love. How are you expressing that in your life? Dig deep, it’s the only way to live. Life is too short. God’s love for you too great.

Lauren Daigle says it best in ‘Trust in You’

When you don’t move the mountains
I’m needing you to move
When you don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When you don’t give the answers
As I cry out to you
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in you

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Lessons from 2016

2016

Happy New Year! As Queen would sing and some would say, “Another One Bites the Dust”. A few people who have experienced hardships in 2016 are not sad to see the year go and to move into a fresh space of potential hope, healing and new things. It is a time to reflect, a time to celebrate and a time to anticipate as we move into another year. For those that had a year of difficulty, I saw this picture above and I liked the challenge of it to not write the year off or remember only the negative things.

So as I sent out a plethora of notes to people blessing their year to come, I asked what did you learn from this year. It was all fine and dandy until one of my friends asked it back to me. 2016 was a very full year for me and not lacking in challenges or loss and I wasn’t as excited for the year to be over as I was for a refreshing start in 2017. She did catch me though with my own question as I hadn’t sat with it before I encouraged others to examine their perspectives.

Most of my life I have strived or performed for love out of a lack of identity and worth. God brought a new depth to who I am in Christ in 2016 and so as my surrender to those truths happened, my striving has lessened. I realized that in this process His power always trumps my willpower and He can pull things out of my character that no amount of striving would accomplish. God doesn’t need my help, imagine that!

And so this leads to One Word. For the past few years, my husband, son and I have sought God’s direction for a key word that He wants to do in and through us in the next year. It really helps you to focus in a particular area of character, keeping our eyes on Jesus and simplifying life. Face it, who doesn’t need to do that. It is said that 50% of resolution makers fail by the end of January. That gives half of us 31 one more sleeps to try and pull things off.

As I was filling out my calendars for the year to come, the thing that struck me the most was how quickly times passes by. My oldest daughter will be 27 next year, my other daughter, 25 and our son 16. My husband and I will be 50! How did this happen?  Exciting and yet instilling a sense of urgency in the same breath. I don’t want my goals to peter out the end of the first month of the year, hence seeking after my word.

I actually bantered with God a bit when I heard the word He wanted me to focus on this year. It felt like a ‘this will require much’ kind of word, so I had to make sure you know. Some years God presses more into my character and then others are about adventure and discovery like last year with the word, Delight.

God confirmed it through a song at church this morning called ‘I Give It All’, in these couple of verses; Though darkness may surround me, your love provides the light I need, So I’ll trust in you, so I’ll trust in you. Your will is my will, your heart is my heart, though I may resist, take every part. I give it all to you, I give it all to you. It was a perfect picture of the dichotomy of being new in Christ and trying to do it on my own. Though I may resist, God knows the pull of my flesh and the desire of my heart to give it all to Him. Regardless of my resistance, He can change me.

And so, I will Trust…Isaiah 26:3,4 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, the Lord is the Rock eternal.”

TRUST – to place one’s confidence in, to hope, that which has been entrusted. I love how it is defined in Greek, Pistis is the word, which is what I would do if I didn’t surrender to this process. Haha Seriously though,  it means faith, belief, trust, confidence, persuade, be persuaded (come to trust). They go on to explain that this is a gift from God, God’s divine persuasion therefore it is distinct from human belief (confidence).

In other words, this is Not something that I can strive for, it is a gift God gives. So as I seek Him, I need to be in position to receive what He has for me. It seems like a fitting process to my living in the victory of my identity doesn’t it? God knows better than I do about what I need.

How about you? Will you seek after the One Word process and see where it takes you? What do you have to lose? Comment and let me know what your Word is and we will see what God will do. Share your goals and resolutions if that is your choice too, accountability in any arena is key to success. Be blessed and C’mon 2017.

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Doubt Rectified

Hebrews 12:2,”Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”cross-1177327_640

I was telling a friend recently that as our children become adults the things they deal with become bigger and harder but my trust in God has become deeper and wider. Our children have been given to us as a precious gift by God and our time influencing them is short. Peace of mind comes with being able to trust God has their best in mind. They are His children first.

If we can teach them at an early age to trust in God with everything in their life, they will rely less on their own devices. Our world places far too much importance in being independent. Don’t hear me wrong because I know there is value in independence and is part of the process in maturing. It is when we become too self-reliant and prideful that the humility of coming to God gets wiped out. I can do it myself makes even faith a place to perform and do it yourself. It does not allow for a place of trust and belief and seeing that we really can’t do things without God. At least not to the fullest potential of who He created us to be.

I lived over half my life, first of all not even knowing that God existed, second, not knowing He loved me. Now I can’t even imagine the opposite. Once you have experienced the love of God and the fullness of belonging to Him, your hope changes and your joy increases. It reveals that there is a purpose for your life and a reason you are on earth.

Hebrews 12:1 says,”Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” The race is marked out for us, are we going to choose to run it? Do we know what comes after the finish line?

The next verse goes on to say that we are to keep our eyes on Jesus. He is the author of faith, the one who wrote the book on it. He is the perfecter and in Greek that means completer or finisher. He both creates and sustains our faith. It took me a long time to understand what was meant by the ‘joy set before him ‘or at least being able to reconcile that with death on a cross. But joy was His motivation. Just as we are instructed to keep our eyes on Jesus, Jesus kept His eyes on His Father to finish His race and purpose. In completing His race He gets to affect redemption and reconciliation for every person to God’s heart. If they so choose. As John Gray says it, ‘He did it just in case’ someone chose Him. This is pretty incredible motivation for Jesus to finish.

It was not an easy journey, enduring (suffering patiently) the cross which was a representation of shame and humiliation. Jesus scorned the shame of the cross which meant he despised it, ignoring that it was a shameful way to die. He got victory in the place of shame in order for us not to have to live in it any longer. Jesus was able to do this because He was set on the joy set before Him.

What are you set on? Sometimes our independence has us miss what has already been done for us.

He has created our faith, we just need to step into it and believe. “If you declare with your mouth,’Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

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

He died for our sin and our shame, we just need to confess it and receive His forgiveness.“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

He will guide us. “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5,6

I tell my son that being right is highly overrated. I believe that independence is too. We were created to depend on our Creator. What can you trust to Him today?

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Child-like Reception

“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Mark 10:15

‘Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”‘ Matthew 19:14

‘Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Luke 18.16,17child-659283_640

This question posed by Graham Cooke got to the depths of me today. “How would our daily experience be different if we received God’s love to the same degree that He is loving us?”

Don’t skim past this. Pause. Feel this. Wonder.

If this does not stir something in you, do you Know that He loves you? God is love, His heart is for you and His passion is that you will know the freedom of how much He loves you. It just takes turning toward Him and choosing.

Don’t skim past this. Pause. Feel this. Wonder.

I was studying the Word ‘Receive’ as it struck me that without positioning ourselves in this mode, we would not know the depths of His love. Some biblical definitions of the word receive are ‘to gain or take possession of, to believe or accept as true, to welcome.’

It says in the verses above that we are to receive the Kingdom of God like a little child. This doesn’t mean that we will never enter it if we are an adult but perhaps we won’t  experience the fullness of what that means if we don’t come like a child. In innocence, trusting , not being suspicious but choosing to believe. Children are receptive and this attitude is usually a great contrast to an adult or one hardened by the world and their choices.

In biblical times, it was customary for mothers to take their children to be blessed by a rabbi. Jesus was available to have these children come but it was His disciples that rebuked these mothers. The disciples thought the children were a waste of Jesus’ time. In true Messiah fashion, he turned this idea upside down and challenged the status quo of acceptance and what was important.

Humility over pride. Reception over rejection. Belief over unbelief. Trust over doubt.

Receiving God’s love to the same degree that He loves us means knowing Him. What is stopping you? Lay down any bitterness, cynicism, hurt, doubt, unbelief, pain, shame. Even for a moment, pick up wonder, expectancy, trust and come ready to receive. Child-like. girl-883014_640