By Carmen Miller
Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.
Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.
Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”
“Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”
This verse just does something to my heart every time I read it. Jochebed was a woman of God. She was used greatly by God because she was so faithful. As a mother I don’t know how I could have kept it together, as I watch my precious baby float away in a basket. But her faith, trust and fear in God was much greater than anything else.
Take a moment with me and just imagine, loving something or someone so much and having to let it go. I imagine how torn up she must have been. Today, as I read over these passages, I find myself asking, “What, in my life do I need to surrender?” It doesn’t necessarily have to be someone you love. It could also be something in your life that you hold dear, but just can’t let go, although it is something you must do.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “If you love something, let it go.” That’s what this story reminds me of. She loved her baby boy so much, and knew the only way to spare his life, was to surrender him. Although it does not go into depth, her love for her son, we are aware of it in verse 3, “. . .she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch.” The Life Application goes on to confirm, “This tiny basket or ark was made of bulrushes, or papyrus reeds, and was fashioned by a woman who knew what she was doing.” From that, we can assume she was a loving and caring mother who made certain her baby would remain safe and sound in this basket, made with so much care, until he would be found. Jochebed feared God more than man, and for that she was blessed by God when He returned her child right back to her for a season. She trusted in the Lord, and His plan and purpose for her and her children. I bet she never imagined her son would grow to be a mighty man of God who would later become a deliverer of His very own people!
What, in your life do you need to surrender to God?
Do you have faith that He has a bigger plan and purpose for your life?
Are you ready to place those things in a basket and fully surrender it all today?
We don’t look at situations like our Father does, and we don’t know what the future holds for us, like our Father does. But when we surrender to His will and trust in His promises, we find that He will always come through for us. He clearly tells us this in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Let’s fully surrender those things we love so much to God today and watch as He pours blessings from Heaven on us.
By Marquisha Harden
I’m sitting in Sunday school and for some reason it’s just the pastor and me. I look around to see if anyone else is going to join us, while she is preparing the lesson, but they never show. She says, “turn to Genesis 12 and read.” As I began reading, tears began to form, because at that moment, I knew God was revealing his new promises to me.
Genesis 12:1-5 Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation, I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
November 2011, I interviewed for a job located in northern California, but I wasn’t sure if God was allowing me to move at this time. I had relocated to Florida and was ready to leave since I arrived. Unbeknownst to me, God had other plans, so I was there for 3 years waiting for God to give me the “Okay” to move. My family and friends were not thrilled that I was planning to leave, especially since they new my “situation”. However, this Sunday morning, God confirmed that he heard my prayers and was honoring my request! Everyone who knows me, knows I do most things “outside of the box” and they hardly ever understand the choices I make; sometimes I don’t even understand them, but I know God does.
During this time, I had recently been unemployed for six months and started a new job making well below what I was used to making. I had no money, no car, and no complete plan to carry out this next move. However, I did know that God had a plan, so I had nothing to lose.
Hebrews 11:8 “By faith Abraham when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed: and he went out, noting knowing where he was going”
February 2012, I accepted the job and moved to Sacramento, California (confirmation is even in the city’s name). Within the first week, God released so much to me, confirming that faith works! I found a nice apartment and the managers only required a portion of the money to move in. I found a church home and one of the first messages I received was on the blessings of Abraham. He provided transportation (courtesy of my job), and a group of friends who love Christ just as I do!
God is faithful! He’s not only faithful to me, but to those who seek him and obey his word. Sometimes his instructions don’t seem to make sense, but we have to trust that He knows what he is doing. After all, He is God! Whatever God is pressing on your heart to do, you will only reap the benefits of His promises by faith and obedience.
Hebrews 11:1&6; Proverbs 3:6
Guest Post by Ashley Perez
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: The following is an article our guest writer Ashley Perez had published on Know Your Value, and we thought the readers of WHOLE would also enjoy. You can read it in full below, or check it out over there.
a : pleasing by delicacy or grace
b : having conventionally accepted elements of beauty
If there is one thing we girls are taught to admire from the start it’s the idea of “pretty”. Phrases like “what a pretty dress you have”, “is that your pretty dolly”, and “isn’t that a pretty color” quickly turn a girls head. The word spins round and round in our heads, and what comes out? Seek pretty.
But then there’s a distinct shift that happens to all girls somewhere around adolescence, the age where doubt quickly replaces childhood confidence. We are no longer just supposed to seek pretty, we are supposed to be pretty
.This is a challenge.
And the reason it’s a challenge is because being pretty or being beautiful has moved from an inner quality to a petty judgement. Why even the word petty is just one letter away from pretty.
Do I think it’s wrong to want to be “pretty”? No, of couse not. I want to be considered pretty just like every girl whose ever existed.
The real problem is that we’ve forgotten to look beyond pretty, because in reality pretty is a hard standard to reach, it’s always changing, and it’s so subjective that if you spend your life in pursuit of it, you are sure to fail.
Instead spend your life in pursuit of real beauty, the kind that doesn’t fade.Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 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. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. (1 Peter 3: 3-5)
So here is the challenge. We must change our goals. We must strive to be more than pretty things.
Women: let’s look at ourselves as more than pretty things, let’s cultivate in ourselves something worth being called “beautiful” over, something that scrapes deeper than the surface.
Men: admire women for more than their appearances. If there are women in your life whose character is truly beautiful let them know that you appreciate them.What beautiful characteristics are you cultivating?
Ashley, like many other 20-somethings, is trying to figure out how to be a classy, sassy woman of character in a 21st century society. She's definitely a Hannah, though she has some Shoshana-like qualities. An English teacher in South Korea by day, she moonlights as a lover of Dawson's Creek reruns by night. She's cooler than this bio makes her sound, which is why you should check out her blog, Boys are IDOTS and her website, www.twentyandto.com a guide to getting your life together in your 20s. She also tweets @itsashleyperez
By Frances Crusoe
I am a list person. I try to organize my life by keeping a running tab of things I need to do. My lists are organized into categories like work, home, kids, ministry, prayers, etc. With every item that is scratched off, I feel a sense of accomplishment and relief. One less thing to worry about. I've done what was needed to do in order to feel that sense of relief, that freedom in knowing I got the job done, the reward that comes after the hard work.
I don’t always follow my lists to a T and sometimes I dread the sight of them. Some days, I don’t feel like working on certain projects for work, running certain errands, cleaning and doing laundry yet again, or following up with tasks for the ministry. After I finish having my temper tantrums, I get over myself and start plugging away at what needs to be done. I want the relief, the freedom, the reward even though my heart is not in the task itself.
This past Friday, I was leaving the amazing Catalyst Conference
with a friend and she and I starting sharing some of things going on in our lives. It dawned on me that we both tend to have this checklist mentality. We are plugging away at life, crossing off things on our checklist, waiting for the reward and satisfaction that comes with completing the tasks. We realized that we tend to treat our relationship with God the same way. We go through life with our checklist of things to do and not do in order to get that same sense of satisfaction and reward from God. What once started off as a heart felt desire to please God, it has now become a desire to do things for God in order for Him to bless us.
“If I serve in the church, God will be pleased.”
“If I give tithes and offerings, God is going to bless me financially.”
“If I open my home to someone in need, God will grant me extra favor.”
“If I guard my heart and stay away from sin, God will give me a great husband.”
“If I don’t have sex before I get married, I am going to have a great marriage.”
James 2:17 NKJV says, “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead
.” Faith without works is dead. I realized I am pretty good at the works part. I have my trusty checklist of things I do so that God can see my good deeds and bless me accordingly. Yet, I realize, I am missing the faith part. I have allowed myself to feel like I have to work hard in order for God to see me. I have to check off my list of accomplishments so that I can feel like now, I am deserving of this or that. I have reduced God to nothing more than a system of cause and effect. If I do this for God, then God will do this for me.
Faith without works is dead. But works without faith and heart behind it…what’s that?
I welcome this wake up call about where my heart is. It hadn't dawned on me before that I had allowed myself to slip into this works mentality, treating God like a genie who should fulfill my wishes because I was a good girl. I don’t deserve anything. I am not a good girl despite with my completed checklist says. I am a sinner, saved my grace, through faith. Faith. The missing link in my works.
I don’t have to do in order to receive. There is no amount of work on Earth that I could do to repay God for all that He has done and the sacrifices for His son. God loves me despite my sin, despite my checklist of accomplishments. If I never do another good deed again, He will still love me. I can stop trying to earn something that is already readily available. I can stop trying to do this or that so that God will hold up His end of the bargain. He doesn't want me to do for others out of a selfish place in my heart. He wants me to do for others out of a place of love and gratitude for Him. He is faithful in His promises because His heart does not change. My level of sin or service don’t make Him love me any more or any less.
I will keep the checklists that keep my life organized but I can let go of the checklists that keeps me working without faith.
By Nikki Johnson
I’m dangerous. I know. I say what I mean and the filter that keeps my thoughts from showing up on my face is non-existent. This level of transparency often gets me in trouble. Not that I mind because that way I don’t have to make any apologies for just being myself. I haven’t always had the privilege of being this way. My twenties and early thirties are filled with moments when I denied what I really felt or thought, to only be replaced with the acceptance of lies, broken promises, undermining propositions and boxes that I should have never fit in to begin with. As I approach the wonderful age of 40 (117 Days away), I’m finding that defining who I am, was never a job description for anyone, including myself. So I said to myself and others, in the infamous words of Donald Trump, “You’re Fired!” Yep…I fired myself. Pink slip and all. No severance package, no COBRA plan, no two-week notice, and no farewell party. Just a “kick rocks with no shoes on” goodbye.
The Bible I love and profess as the map for my life tells me in Jeremiah 1:5 that God says “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you”. Stop the presses! The word knew in this context means to be intimately aware. Have you ever had somebody tell you “I know you better than you know yourself”? I have and it irks the living bejesus out of me. How dare somebody that does not live my life or have my experience dare to cross the holy threshold that I have set up for myself, to only allow those of my choosing to enter? Well God does just that in this one little verse. Jeremiah gets a Western Union telegram from God that says “Before I formed you in the womb I knew (and) approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (AMP). Immediately in verse 6, Jeremiah replies with a definition contrary to what God has just spoken: “Then said I, Ah Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am only a youth.” I wonder who put it in Jeremiah’s mind that he was incapable of doing what the Creator of the universe declared about him. Was it a well-meaning teacher who did not understand his call and purpose? Was it a loose-lipped uncle who told him that he could never live up to the family legacy of priests? Was it a neighbor who dared to question if he was really a prophet of God? Or could it have been Jeremiah himself who just did not have the confidence and faith it took to really believe that God would dare to send His word to him?
The gracious and loving Father immediately assures Jeremiah of his calling, direction, and purpose. He reminds Jeremiah that He will be with him always. None of the “I am only” thoughts matter when God has already defined who you are. Imagine that. The infinite, immeasurable God has taken the time out of his busy existence, to involve Himself in the minutia of your life to give it reason, purpose, destiny, and resources. And he did all of that before your mother and father even met each other and decided that the other was worthy of any amount of time they would spend with each other. If God can do all of that for me, then it becomes my responsibility to not try and recreate the creation but to search out the intended purpose. There is a great adage that says “If you do not understand the purpose of a thing, you’ll abuse it”. The same can be said of our own self- image and definition.
Do yourself a great service and terminate those people, places, things, and mindsets, which attempt to quantify who you are without the benefit of a divine word from the Lord, your Creator. God is very detailed-oriented. He has a successful track record. His work has yielded a great return on His investment. The processes he implemented in the beginning are still considered the best practices. In the instance of your life and purpose, and for the sake of generations to come, God meets every service level agreement (SLA), and will always be considered the Subject Matter Expert (SME) for your life. The best part of all is that His consultant’s fee is something you already have – your life. Yield to Him and He will provide everything you need to make the Fortune 500 list of kingdom living.
While I pray that you have enjoyed the assemblage of words gathered here, I am all about practical application. Here are a few points to help you release yourself from the bondage of unhealthy definitions and walk in the liberation that God provides in His divine calling and appointment:
1. It is okay to say NO! No is one of the most powerful words in any language with the least amount of letters. Being a “people pleaser” is the easiest way down a slippery slope of wrongful definition. For example, you may be a great administrator. However, if that is not what God has ordained for you to do in a particular season in your life, no matter how great you are at it, learn to “just say no”. Saying no will keep you from feeling overwhelmed and will keep frustration at bay. Saying yes when you are supposed to say no may be keeping another person from walking in their full destiny because you are in the way.
2. Get out of your comfort zone. You will never grow and learn if you stay where you are. Runners training for a specific distance or time push themselves to go a little further or longer every time they dare to put their feet to the pavement. Bodybuilders understand that to build muscle, you have to add more weight along the way. Try something new. Be bold. Be courageous. Even if you fail miserably, you will have succeeded in finding what works for you and what does not.
3. Pray. As stated before, God is very detailed oriented. It is our job to find out what those details are. I believe that He may not give us all of the details all at once because we may not return to Him to find Him. I believe that He wants us to want Him just as much as He wants us. So God is a tease. Yes I said it (No filter moment – see above). He builds precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little (Isaiah 28:10). How else do you get to know someone? Communication is of the utmost importance in building relationship and a way to communicate with God is through prayer.
4. Have FUN! Enjoy Jesus (Hallelujah)! Please, for me and the rest of the world that needs your witness, SMILE! LAUGH! There is a time and a place for mourning, but my bible also says “Joy comes in the morning”. Trust me when I say that I understand the drain of a succession of nights, but after night comes morning. Somewhere in the world, when you are in your night, there is a morning somewhere. Our perspective is half of the battle. Youtube videos are a great source of comedy. If you stream radio, you can create a radio station of clean comedy. Redeem time with those who mean the most to you in the world. Surround yourself with people who you can just be you with and with people who will affirm your importance in their lives.
Have you ever been waiting on God for something and it just seems like he wasn't responding? You've tried being faithful and waiting for a period of time, but it just didn't seem as though the promise was coming to pass. Most of us find ourselves in these types of situations because we feel God should move at our pace. At that point, we start searching for alternatives to substitute his promise, instead of trusting God’s word. God is faithful.
We cannot fulfill God’s plan prematurely. Having faith is more than just believing God for today, you have to constantly believe that God will provide. You can’t give up or allow doubts to enter your mind. Instead cast down every thought that contradicts God’s promise (2 Corinthians 10:5). When we try to substitute the promise, we create unnecessary grief and sadness for others and ourselves.
God made a promise to Abraham that he would have as many children as there were stars (Genesis 15:5). God did not tell Abraham when the promise would come to pass; he just let him know that it would. Abraham believed God for a moment, but later agreed with his wife, Sarah, to conceive a child with her maid, Hagar (Genesis 16:2). After Hagar became pregnant, Sarah grew angry and dealt so harshly with Hagar that she ran away (16:3). God appeared to Hagar and instructed her to return to Sarah. He promised to multiply her descendants that they shall not be counted. She was instructed to return home where she would give birth to her son, Ishmael (Genesis 16:8-12). Later, God appeared to Abraham to remind him of the promise; Abraham thought he already had the promise. However, God made the covenant regarding the seed that would come from Abraham and Sarah, not Hagar; the promise had not yet been fulfilled. It would only be fulfilled years later when Sarah gave birth to Isaac, just as God promised (Genesis 17).
Although Ishmael became apart of the promise, he was NOT the promise God had chosen for Abraham. He looked like he could have been the promise, because it seemed as though God was not responding as quickly as Abraham and Sarah thought he should. Instead, the process of conceiving Ishmael created grief, jealousy, and sadness for both Sarah and Hagar.
When we substitute God’s promises, we don’t know what’s in store for us. When we wait on God, we can be sure we are receiving a good and perfect gift (James 1:17). God will fulfill is promise in His time, not when we think its time. His ways are not our ways, and his thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9). They are so much greater than anything we could ever think imagine! We can be sure that we will receive all of God’s promises whether it’s a ministry we wish to start, future spouse, children, or job, if we remain faithful and wait on Him.
Hebrews 11:1 & 6
Every January 1st, millions of people - including myself - renew their commitment to exercise and eat healthy. It may be that mysterious tightening of the waistband in my favorite jeans or the way I get out of breath walking from my car to the mall entrance…something in my body lets me know that it’s time to get in shape. I love how God created my body just so…it tells me when enough is enough, lets me know that it’s weak and needs to be strengthened. Once I get the warning signs of aches, pains, and shortness of breath, I know I better change and get my workout plan together.
Amazingly enough, my spirit works the same way! Just as too many donuts and syrupy coffee drinks can lead to a heavier bottom, a steady diet of “I don’t believe it will ever happen,” and “God doesn't hear my prayers,” with a side of “when will things ever get better?” will weigh down your faith and cause the soul to bottom out. I know I’m not the only one who has been guilty of feeding my faith negative snacks of disappointment, impatience, and unbelief. It’s left my faith tired, weak, and out of shape…the same way my body would be on a poor diet and no exercise. It is a well-known fact that lack of exercise and poor diet can be a deadly combination, but we are not just a body.
We are spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body. If we cannot live a healthy life with a dying body, how do we expect to live a healthy life with a dying spirit? The only thing to do is to begin a new workout plan.
There are numerous sources of information for healthy eating guidelines ranging from the US Department of Agriculture to a YouTube video or blog. It can be confusing at times to figure out exactly what source to trust with your health. The Bible, however, is the one and only resource that gives time-tested guidance on working out your faith and provides testimonies from proven faith warriors. Best of all, the workout comes with a guarantee from God! All we have to do is follow the instructions in the plan.
“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” --Philippians 2:12 NASB
There, in black and white, are clear instructions to “work out.” Seriously, I am talking about exercising the kind of faith that can save your life. The foundation of this kind of faith is believing the Word of God. Faith begins by believing that the Word is “truth.” You have to believe that reading and living the Word will make a change in your spirit just the same way that eating healthy and exercising will make a change in your body. You won’t see many immediate changes…it takes a while for people to notice that you are losing weight, but the evidence of your work shows up on the outside. It works much the same way with your faith.
It takes more than one “workout” to see results. Spend time every day reading the Word, working out your mind and challenging yourself to accept what it says as true and applicable to your life, your struggles, and your experiences. Don’t tell yourself that something you have read is too hard for you! The Bible says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV). Have faith and believe that you can have the same salvation, the same power, the same faith as those heroes and sinners you read about in the Word. Keep reading, keep believing, and keep your workouts consistent. Feed your spirit with the Word, and exercise it by acting on what you read. You may not see it at first, but a change is happening that will be evident in time.
Once you have developed your faith in the Word by reading and living it, you should see enough results in your life to trust that the plan works! Continue to rely on God’s Word…look for ways to get in even better shape and build deeper faith! You can never have too much faith - it pleases God more than anything else.
Faith can make you whole again when things seem broken beyond repair. Faith moves mountains, heals sickness, and is the stepping stone to all kinds of miracles. Fitness is more than just diet and exercise.
When was the last time you worked out your faith?
Growing up from a young age, we all had thoughts of what we wanted to be as an adult. Some of us wanted to be teachers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, business owners, etc.
Every adult would ask you the question. “What you would like to be when you grow up?”
And of course we would say one of the careers stated above, and there was nothing wrong with that.
I am willing to bet, some of us are not living out those careers, or living out our divine purpose. Sometimes we go through life; completing high school then off to college. Graduate, and maybe a Grad school after that. Sometimes we do all of these things under the impression that we will land that awesome job or career that we so dreamed of at a young age. This is not to say, this should not be every young person’s goal. But when it has not happened for you, and education has been top priority on your list; you didn’t land that awesome job, or not flourishing in that career you so desired to be in—the question to some is:
“What do I do with all this education I have?”
“Why can’t I find a job I am happy at?”
You see, I have been at this place in my life. I have completed high school, and graduated from college with an Associate of Arts degree. Growing up, I never thought about or even knew what I was going to do with my life. I just knew it was going to be something big!!!
Reading through the Book of Esther has given me great enlightenment over the years. Esther was a young woman that was taken from her village along with other young virgin women. This happened because the King summoned his leaders to find him a new Queen. Esther and the other women were brought back to the King’s palace. For one year, Esther was being groomed for the King to take on the role as his Queen.
Throughout this time Esther did not realize what was happening. She did, however, know that it was something major. So she remained obedient and followed the instructions that given to her. Esther had visits with the King throughout the entire year and was not the only one to visit him. There were other women but, she was the only one that stood out to him. Something about her that was different, something that made her unique.
After a year had past it was time for the King to choose his Queen, and he chose Esther. She was well pleased, of course, for after a year of getting to know the King she had developed feelings for him. They married and she became Queen Esther. I know this may sound like a love story, and it is, but there is more to this…so stick with me.
Esther had a cousin that had known she was going through this grooming process for a year. He stood with her and kept encouraging her to be all she could be as a Queen. After Esther became Queen, a situation arose. Her cousin informed her that the King's right hand man was going to have some people killed in her village and to notify the King of this situation. She found a way to talk to the King for 3 days. As, this occurred she asked her cousin to request the people in the village to fast, pray, and seek God’s face during the 3 days. Queen Esther also did the same thing, fasting, praying, and seeking God’s face.
You see, Esther, had a purpose that was set in motion by God before she became Queen. Her purpose was to pray and intercede on behalf of her people. That was God’s assignment for Esther all along. She just had to go through the process of being groomed as a Queen to finally step into her purpose.
I have gone through some bumps and bruises in my life time heading toward my destiny and purpose. Not, sure what all is going to unfold in my life, but, I do know it will all be good. God will produce Greatness out of me. So, you may not see it, or even imagine what God has set you apart for. But, I encourage each and every one of you—whatever trials, test, situations that are tight for you right now. You are just going through a grooming process for your destiny and purpose. Allow God to guide and instruct you, on how to connect with your purpose and destiny. Because, we all have one…
Photo Credit: http://inspired-design.tumblr.com/post/31770831849
Guest Post by Coleen York
Dusty, grimy, dirty little bits. You think to yourself as you sweep up the floor, trying to clean up the mess from the broken vase knocked from the countertop.
You sweep the shards of glass into the corner of the room and add it to the rest of the pile. Sitting down you stare at the growing mound of broken glass in different colours, shapes, and sizes. Some pieces dull, some very sharp. To you it is a memorial of things that were once beautiful but now seem rather useless.
Relationships gone wrong, mistakes you said you’d never make, fights with loved ones, morals you once held…the list could go on.
So what do you do with the pieces that seem irreparable, ugly, and worthless? Do you continue to allow them to sit in the corner of your life taking up space? Do you continue to let them be a hazard with all their sharp broken edges? Sharp enough to leave you cut, bleeding, and bruised more than once…
Today is the day you stop tip-toeing around those areas of your life. Your life, no matter what it has contained until this point, is not a pile of rubble.
God wants to make a mosaic of beauty out of all the broken pieces you’ve been carrying yet trying so desperately to ignore. Drop them into His hands.
Let The Great Artist upcycle all of your broken bits into beautiful artwork. Being broken does not make you irreparable. Being broken allows The Great Restoration Artist to arrange all of your shattered bits into a piece of artwork far more beautiful than you ever dreamed.
Mosaics can only be made with busted shards. But you have to surrender all the pieces.
Jeremiah 30:17: “For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord, because they have called you an outcast…”
You are not useless.
You are a priceless piece of artwork.
Coleen York is an ardent Jesus follower and writer (and she sometimes fancies herself a part-time comedienne). She is passionate about ministering to the hearts of women by showing them their true worth and identity in Christ alone. This passion led her to found She Has Worth, a website designed to reinforce the worth and beauty God has given each and every woman, regardless of her past or relationship status.
By Frances Crusoe
I recently had the pleasure of listening in on a panel discussion where some amazing men of God answered the age old question "What do men really want in a woman?" One of the most interesting responses of the night was when one panelist shared that what he looks for in a woman, that may someday be his wife, is the fact that when he meets her, she is pursuing her God given purpose. Makes sense right? Women want a strong, godly man and that same strong godly man wants a woman who is not just waiting for a man arrive. He is interested in a woman who is pursuing her God-given purpose in life.
A couple of nights ago, I felt lead to pull out a book by one of my heroes of the faith, Christine Caine. She wrote a book called "Can I Have And Do It All, Please?," a book that I purchased last year after hearing her speak for the first time. For whatever reason, I never finished the book but God told me to go back through it. I love her writing style so before I knew it, it was 2 AM and I was more than half way done with the book. I did however spend a good bit of time in the section where she talked about women finding their purpose.
God has been speaking to me a lot about having a vision for my life and being faithful in pursuing my purpose which is writing and encouraging broken women. We all have the same charge: go into the world spreading the Good News and making disciples. Yet, everyone has different gifts and talents that will help them bring this to pass. From NBA players to stay at home moms, we all have a purpose (Jeremiah 29:11 says so). Yet, many of us spend so much time fumbling through life doing one fleeting thing to the next, trying to figure out what it is instead of listening to the direction of the Holy Spirit. Finding this book among the hundreds on my shelf and honing in on the section of purpose was not by accident. Christine listed 15 questions to ask yourself when you finally sit down long enough to put some thought behind what it is that God has you here to do. I found myself answering a lot of these questions, just to confirm that me and God were on the same page when it came to what I'm to do with my time here on Earth.
Ask yourself these questions and see what you come up with. Bring it God and allow Him to shed some light on the plan He has for you.
What is it that I've been good at since an early age?
What do others look at me doing that would be hard for them, but seems effortless to me?
What is it that I consistently find myself sharing about or helping others with?
Why do I think God created me?
What am I most passionate about?
What things enrage me and what problems in the world do I have a passion, over and above all others, to solve?
What subjects could I talk about for hours and days without a loss of momentum?
What Scriptural truths and subjects have been those that most bear witness to me and speak life to me
What have been the biggest struggles I have encountered in life?
What have been my biggest victories and breakthroughs? Why?
What subjects or topics do I enjoy learning about?
What would I be doing if money wasn't an issue?
What type of people do I connect with easily or have compassion for?
What were my favorite subjects in high school or college?
What part of the global or culture do I have a passion for?
This is by no means the "right" way to figure out what to do with your life. The Bible should be your road map and the Holy Spirit should be your guide. This is a simple way to get the gears turning in your head and start turning your heart towards Jesus. Our time here on Earth is but a vapor. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could live blameless and free. The least we could do is not waste this life and bring as many people as we can to know Him.