Hey ya’ll! Here is a Late Post for a Throwback Thursday.
Have you received what God has already made available through His Son, Jesus? Are you living or just existing?
I am so excited to even type this. Last Monday, stage lights of orange, red, purple and blue took their turns illuminating the musicians and artists as they sang and led us into prayer, praise and worship. It was amazing; I got to check “attend Worship/Christian concert” off of my bucket list that I had written solely in my head. Oh, I also met a new friend who too came alone to the Kim Walker-Smith (w/Chris Quilala and Urban Rescue) concert. She shared with me her testimony about beginning her healing journey after losing her husband a year ago. Her quest to do something new or something she hasn’t done in awhile each month was amazing to hear.
And before the concert, I had just attended a Christian Educators’ retreat that weekend. Although I incurred an injury to my face while attempting to play baseball during free time, I still had an amazing time there too with the worship services and sessions on restorative practices, trauma care, ACES Study, and rights as a Christian in the education field. There were loads of knowledge.
Attending both the retreat and concert gave me the opportunity to not only invest in the kingdom of God and support my siblings in Christ but to also challenge my comfort zone, gain knowledge about restoration, and learn more vulnerability. Moreover, I was blessed with the opportunity to experience God’s love.
After the retreat and concert, I was off with my sisters-in-Christ to experience New York and have a little faithcation full of opportunities to elevate my faith and learn to trust God. It sounds like I have been having a great time, doesn’t it?! Yes I have, but before these awesome experiences, I faced some challenges I didn’t think I would survive. Moreover, I have been dealing with something that can rob you of the experiences and joy I was experiencing this month. Had it not been for God showing me the power of His Word, I don’t think I would have had this testimony.
Fear had been rising in me lately like yeast in bread and I had been dealing with it over the years. I thought I had overcome it but now realize it has been gripping me like never before. I didn’t realize fear can manifest in many ways and in different stages, and build in different areas of your life. God delivered me from depression but now fear was back and in the form of anxiety and panic attacks. It also appeared in the form of people-pleasing, lack of confidence, and lack of trust in God.
The mind wars, emotional drainage, the worrying, the trying to keep life perfect as well as busyness were other symptoms of fear. Literally, things would trigger my past fears or create new ones. On the outside, I am looking like I am holding it all together and all is well and behind the scenes I am, on some days, waking up crying and feeling hopeless. But I am a believer of Jesus, a joint heir, a sibling of Jesus, and God is my Father and the Holy Spirit dwells in me. So, why am I walking timidly through life and not fully walking in the freedom of Christ Jesus?
This summer I came across the scripture through my daily devotional reading. I had read it numerous times but this time I heard it! John 10:10
Jesus came that we may have life and that we may have it more abundantly. Now life here isn’t just any old life but the life that only Jesus can bring. It is NOT a life which Jesus becomes a genie in the bottle and wealth is hoarded. It is true life that is equipped with eternal treasures that the world cannot provide. When we accepted Jesus as our savior, it came with His life and a covenant between us and Him. It came with unfailing love, grace, joy, and freedom.
So why haven’t I walked in this fact consistently and received fully what GOD gave me through His Son?
Here are some reasons why:
- I am listening to what others and the thief says. The devil is the father of lies and I keep listening to what he says about me instead of what God says about me.
- I am not walking in the authority of Jesus.
- I didn’t realize how valuable I am to God.
- I had to begin to develop a grateful attitude.
- I had to begin living my life in pursuit of God.
- I have to surrender and come to the end of myself. Every area of my life belongs to Jesus.
- I had to begin to make God my first priority.
- I had to begin growing in my love walk.
- I had to start to intentionally invest in God’s kingdom.
- It is easy to go hibernate or hide under a rock when wounded, drained, or just need thinking and alone time. I had to remember that life is about relationship and discipleship and I can’t always isolate myself.
- I had to learn to receive and not just give. I had to even learn to receive from God for myself.
- I had to learn that life is a process, becoming spiritually mature is a process, and my faith walk is a process.
I want to experience as well as walk in the freedom and life Jesus came to give me so that I can fulfill my destiny here on this earth.
Now I am on a mission, to live simply, fruitfully, and purposefully. I want to experience as well as walk in the freedom and life Jesus came to give me so that I can fulfill my destiny here on this earth. That life He was talking about was already provided for and given to me so now it is up to me to claim what became mine through my covenantal relationship with Jesus.
He doesn’t want me or you to be paralyzed in fear, unafraid to seize our destinies, and too comfortable to not step out in faith.
I want to live and let Jesus continue on in His work through me. Life can be tough and life is not perfect. We are not perfect. Life can also be scary from time to time but God did not give me or you a spirit of fear, but that of power, love, and a sound mind. He doesn’t want me or you to be paralyzed in fear, unafraid to seize our destinies, and too comfortable to not step out in faith. He doesn’t want us with neither countenances of despair nor visages of defeat. He want us to realize who we are in Christ Jesus and how valuable we are that He would give His only begotten Son to die for us and give us life and life to the full.