Category Archives: Uncategorized

Come Father from the Fringes

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Worry and stress permeate when the gospel is not big enough or constrained to a small portion our life, unable to bring life to all areas. When the gospel is made silent, reserved for religious “times, activities or topics” it leaves room for one thing, humanism. Humanism is the idea that humanity is the ultimate or thing of prime importance. It is a full dependance upon humanity and ultimately self. And so I am left to wonder who reigns? The Lord or me? 

We live in a world that says spirituality and religion do not “fit” or are not permissible in certain spheres or is not enough to solve problems. So we turn to man made constructs, psychology or science to solve them. The problem I am facing, if I leave my heart unchecked, is being pulled into the delusion that I can solve my own problems. My fears drive me to striving to do more in hopes that I can prevent pain and hardship. My stress and worry opposes Godly contentment. My stress is a marker of something deep inside of me that is rebelling against the Truth. 

And with deep tragedy in my soul, forsaking my Maker and abandoning the truth, I wonder why the worries of the world are destroying me.

Why isn’t the Gospel working?

Because it isn’t the Gospel at all. Jesus came and liberated all of life, not just part of my life. He is not just reserved for quiet moments with him. Not just the spaces of worship or community Bible study. All of it

And so the poverty of my spirit and worried, hurried mindset communicate there are boundaries for the Gospel.

Oh no, sweet self. There are NO boundaries for Jesus. No part of life that the empty tomb, nail pierced hands, resurrected Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father left untouched.

So why do I live in fear?

Because I am buying into the self worship of humanism, the world’s structure that pushes God into the fringes until he is “no more worshiped.” Instead, I collect all things that glitter gold (my own wisdom, knowledge, capacity and capabilities) and I melt them down and construct with my hands a statue. As I look at this image, it resembles me. And I join the culture of individualism and buy the lie that I am worthy of worship. I am the ultimate provider and solution to life’s trials and tribulations. This glittering statue says “my way, my control, my preferences, my sacrifices all for my experience.” I assert this in my heart, and bow down to me while proclaiming to worship the Lord. 

But self worship has a price. A heavy burden. It demands I save myself. 

Am I willing to resist myself and invite my Father from the fringes into all things? Am I willing to melt the golden stature of self? Am I willing to oppose cultural norms of self worship- that declare and promote a message that me the individual, the human, the experience is ultimate- and chose the Gospel? 

Yes. Why? The burden is too heavy. My finite mind and body has reached capacity and my soul aches under the weight of trying to save myself. And I weep, I weep for the deluded heart inside of me that proclaims the Gospel and longs to live all for Him. Oh Father, have mercy on me. 

So come Lord Jesus. Come to every part and area of me and overturn the temple tables of self worship. And when I resist, in your gentle way show me how to keep the alter for You pure, and my knees bowed to the One who deserves all the glory and honor and praise. Oh come Father from the fringes. 

27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

When we believe the miracle of the Gospel pertains to all of our life and turn to Him for help, He reveals Himself to us. And He grants us rest. I want that. I am tired of trying to save myself.

Oh great merciful God, forgive me for the times you have been pushed to the fringes of my life. You are the Truth. You are the solution to my weary, worried heart. Please, give me rest. Come Father from the fringes.

A Journey to Life with Less Worry

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You probably know the sound. The familiar voice that says… “Hurry, you have more to do. Why are you so slow? Don’t forget about that one thing. What if it doesn’t get done? If it doesn’t get done, you’ll be a failure. What about your finances? What if there isn’t enough to pay your bills? What if your next check bounces or the card gets declines? Oh… and your relationship with so and so, they didn’t text/email/call you back. Maybe they are mad at you? And he, he was short with you this afternoon. Maybe he is unhappy with you. What if you did something wrong?” 

You know that tape that plays in your head that is like a black hole that draws you in until you don’t know which way is top from bottom. Every possible subject becomes a matter of worry. As your mind reels about all of the possible things that may go wrong, your stomach muscles clench and butterflies form anxiously flitting about. With each flap your pulse gets higher and your lungs struggle for air. 

Or maybe it’s the late night to-do list that is running through your mind as you collapse on your pillow. As the list grows into a monster inside your mind, it takes life and swallows you up. You become restless and sleep leaves you. Tomorrow’s worries steal today’s sleep as you chase them into the new today. As you drag yourself out of bed, longing for the next moment you will find yourself there. Secretly you wish your day away believing that sleep is the best escape from your anxious reality. 

These are the sounds of worry…. and there are many more. But, I am sure you know the tapes well. I do. 

Worry, when multiplied becomes stress. And stress steels. It robs peace, joy and presence in today. Stress takes from the very life and fixates on every problem, and possible horrific outcome and spins a web that says “Control will fix this. Do more, accomplish more. Success= happiness.”  Stress lies telling you that life begins when the To-Do list ends (which is never, by the way). 

But what’s worse, is stress can and will manifest itself in your body when it becomes high enough. When the pressure builds and worry reproduces, it will make itself known. It hates being ignored and will make a scene. 

This my friends is where I found myself a month ago. 

Every worry, problem, possible problem, assignment (I am in grad school), to-do became so huge that nothing could console me. The stranger thing was I was coping to the point that I was in denial that I was stressed. I ran from task to task and was exhausted and hardly productive. My mood would swing violently as more was added to the list. When unexpected events would come about, it was more than I could bear. The burden was crushing me. I longed for my bed and cried every morning when my alarm went off, I would avoid getting up as long as I could. My heart, mind and body was looking for rest. Finally one day,  I found myself in the doctor with my limbs literally burning and my head pounding and the tests began. 

I should mention that medical tests do not help stress. In fact, it makes it worse. And so as the doctor waded through the possible reasons, I felt worse. The interesting thing is after all the tests, the conclusion is I am stressed. Oh really?  The pain and burning was coming from my neck and back that were clenched because of worry. 

Why does the body react to worry? Someone said to me that stress, which is the product of worry, actually is fear. 

Maybe my body is literally bracing itself for impact. Fear that tragedy, hardship or whatever the figment of my “worry tape” is playing at any given moment will actually happen. And so my body reacts to what is in my mind by clenching my muscles in fear that I will not be okay. 

And so my friends… I have begun the journey to find peace in the midst of a chaotic world that in fact does produce reason to worry. In a culture that demands constant activity, I am looking for rest. And with my “always have a plan five years out” personality I am learning to enjoy the journey. 

So will you come with me as I follow my Father, my Lord and Savior to a life with less worry? 

 

photo credit: iStockphoto. by Jennifer Goodman Linn

Broken Threads of Friendships Past

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Well, I took a break from the blog world for a while. Intensional and not so intentional, in ways. I learned the value of living a life that isn’t driven with the hopes of a post on social media. I have intensions to blog more, but grad school keeps life full. So I make no promises in this space. Although, I would love to try.  In my break, I started school again (the best and craziest decision I made in the last year and a half). And I am engaged to be married…. Perhaps there will be posts about that to come….  So… if anyone is still listening….

Friendship is colored with both success and failure, weaknesses and strengths. These colorful threads make friendship beautiful. The haphazard stitches make the tapestry beautiful. Vulnerability is the very thread that sews the heart to another.

What does it mean to be a good friend? This heavy weighted question sits inside the halls of my heart. I can hear the clicking of the high heels as this question wanders like an impatient sales woman, waiting to be answered. Perhaps the real question I am asking is “Am I a good friend?” I am not sure I know the answer to this. All the shortcomings, failures and losses of friendships come to mind. I imagine I have moments of great strength as a friend, and others of great weakness. The enemy of our souls certainly has the ability to highlight the shortcomings. Today I am pondering lost friendships. You know the ones that part with time, fade into the distance when the roads meander apart? Sometimes this is a natural parting of ways, other times it seems like a dramatic severing of souls. Dreams of life long friendship, whispered secrets and delightful hopes are cut in a stunning instant. Those losses hurt the most. I confess that my intense relational being tends to believe that all friendships will last forever and it nearly crushes me when they shatter, no matter the circumstance.

As I reflect on my own losses, one particular friendship comes to mind that weighs on my heart which causes a wave of melancholy and sad wash over me. This friendship had deep ties connecting our hearts and in a moment those ties were snipped in a text message. I still wonder what went wrong. I mull and chew on the various things I did, like a cow on cud. This ache in my heart over the loss nags at me. It’s been over a year. I know I missed the mark for her. I know I wasn’t attentive enough, available enough. Truthfully I was selfish. Perhaps I wasn’t there in her greatest time of need as she was for me. I confess that I went through a season where pride filled my heart and a particular belief made me assume I was superior. Maybe the brunt of this belief, the craziness of it all, just became more than she could bear. After all, I was pretty consumed with my own needs, longings, desires… so much so I am not sure I would be friends with me. I wonder how many times I overlooked her pain, discarded her needs and made her feel unworthy with my pride filled words. I wonder how many times rescheduled dates caused tears I didn’t see. I took her for granted. Don’t we all have that potential when we fail to see what we have?

And one cold winter day she left. Abruptly and I didn’t chase her down. Truthfully, I don’t know if she wanted me to. I still wonder if she wanted me to pursue her, but after not a murmur from her lips or a light up of the phone- the cold cut of the bond of friendship stung. I was surprised, shocked and confused. The pain settled in my heart and I just let her go. I justified in my heart that she wanted to leave. I told myself she had better friends in other places and it was best for her if I just let her leave. She was done with me, and I wasn’t brave enough to make it right. Rejection spewed lies and told me I deserved the loss. And so I cowered and hid in my shame and let life pass by.

 

Changes came to both of us. Seasons change after all, but what happens when you want to take people into the next one with you? I confess I do not handle change well and I have had my fair share of major changes the last few years which likely strained the friendship. We both failed, made mistakes; but we also both had great strengths. For the years our lives intersected I was deeply blessed by her. And so the wound was deeper, with an awareness of my love and gratitude for her.

I stuffed this loss into a dark corner of my heart and “moved forward”. But the truth is my heart just didn’t really come with me. She still is someone I think of, pray for and miss often. Perhaps my awareness of her absence is deeper than ever because of my upcoming wedding. She was a person I dreamt with, cried with over previous failed relationships and pain. We would whisper about our wedding days and make plans. I think back and remember those moments with a deep sorrow of what was lost. Those plans are a shadow in my mind and I grieve her absence. A huge part of me never dreamt of these day without her.

Today, I weep at the loss of our friendship. I grieve the ways I failed and miss her presence. I am not minimizing the wonderful friendships I have now with other courageous, bold women of God. But no friendship replaces another. No two relationships are alike, and I think that is purposeful. We are created uniquely, and so our friendships follow in uniqueness.

And, so I remember with tears finding their way down my cheek….this unique and treasured friendship that once was and thank the Lord for the moments I had with her and wish I had held on a little tighter to our friendship I took for granted…. Now they are treasures in the depths of my heart. I remember and even treasure the broken threads that linger from our friendship in my heart.

Perhaps today you will take the time to remember a friendship lost with the ticks of time. Let’s pray for them and love them no matter how it ended. May we be thankful for those who are close to us, after all we don’t know how long we have.

If you (my treasured lost friend) read this… I am sorry for the ways I failed you. I wish you well, pray blessings in to your life and hope you find it in your heart to forgive me. I still to this day, love you and miss you.

The Lie of Perfection

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This morning I collapsed at the feet of my Savior overcome with the emotion of spiritual exhaustion. I cried out to Him “God, I am just so tired of trying.” As the tears flowed, He revealed something to my aching and weary heart. “Sweet daughter, you do not have to earn my approval” He whispered.

As I prayed, I realized that I have been operating out of a place of needed perfection. This perfection was something that made me worthy to be in His presence and receive His love. Here was this part of my faulty foundation that made it nearly impossible to stand. For years I have been clinging to a lie:

I have to be a perfected version of myself to approach the throne of the very God who created me.

This deep seeded need to be perfect drove me to a place of constant condemnation and exhaustion. I found myself daily feeling guilt and shame for failing at something. My self talk was constantly cycling through all the ways that I could just do it better next time. Often as I would confess things to the Lord, I would repent and then in my heart make an agreement not to do it again. As soon as the offense happened again the shame would pour out and frustration would creep in. My soul cried, how will I ever be good enough for my King?

I am realizing that this lie puts a great amount of responsibility on myself to earn love, grace, mercy and approval. This lie shifts salvation from something that is a gift from the Father, to something that I have to deserve and create with my own hands. It’s no wonder I am exhausted. I do not have the power to save myself.

The fruit of this lie has been striving. I have been striving for perfection in every area of my life. Perfection in school, relationship, hobbies, approval of others and church. Every area of my life had to be perfect and I had to know the right answer. Failure is something that I have been so afraid of for years. At times it has rendered me so completely ineffective that I give up before trying, because I would rather chose to fail, then try and be told that I am not good enough.

As I peel back the layers of my striving for perfection, the real thing I was fighting for was love. I believe that all love is conditional to some degree. This distorted understanding of love told me that I had to perform at a certain level and offer something to another person in order to receive love. When I did not perform well, the love would leave.

This mentality is a very self-centered and self-worshiping place. In this position of pride, I place a false sense of control and power into my own hands. When I believe that I have the power to win or lose the approval of God, I am saying that I have more control in the relationship. Thankfully, I do not have this type of power in the relationship with God. Romans 5: 6-8 says:

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 

This very principle is something that my heart disagreed with. In my pride, I told myself that I had the power and control to earn God’s love or cause Him to turn from me. But God tells us that Christ died for us when we were powerless, while we were still sinners He hung on a cross to reconcile us back to the Father. Thankfully, He is working in my heart to show me that I cannot change His mind. This morning He whispered these words to my heart:

“I won’t reject you or cast you away. You are precious to me, fearfully and wonderfully made. I hold you in my arms like a newborn baby, admiring my creation. I clothe you and care for all your needs. Just as you would not expect a newborn to care for itself and come to you only when it was feed, clothed and changed, I do not expect you to do that for yourself.” 

 

 

 

Dancing with the Idol of Image

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This journey of laying down idols and relinquishing control to the Almighty Savior of my Soul is a journey I am walking through now, in real time.  If you are just joining me check out my post from monday on control and tuesday about idols. I think they are important to understanding today’s post 🙂

This is not easy for me. But God is bigger than my discomfort. Today I am going to dive into my dance with the idol of image. In fact that is the reason for my discomfort and sweaty palms as I type these words. I really work hard to maintain an image. Something like I have it “all together”. Whatever that means. And I am already concerned about what you think of me. Silly really, but the truth. I think most of us strive to appear that way especially if we are meeting others. I mean really, who wants someone to see their flaws (or percieved flaws) and struggles upon first meeting someone? We all have them but we sure work hard to hide them.

I find that when I am in the presence of new people I am constantly trying to figure out what they are looking for.  Although, I will admit the older I get the more comfortable I am with myself, and the less I compromise on who I am on the behalf of another. However, situations of meeting new people really expose the subtle ways I still work to please others.

This area of idolatry really became apparent for me in the last couple weeks because of different situations I was in that caused me to feel slightly insecure. Nothing major, just uncomfortable in my own skin. This bothered me because I have really been working on finding my identity solely in Christ and not letting other things dictate who I am. A flag popped up, waved wildly, and I remember petitioning “God, will I ever feel comfortable meeting new people?” A few other things happened that really exposed this area:

-I looked in my well stocked closet to find I had nothing to wear for several different occasions where I really wanted to make an impression. I then proceeded to search the mall for several weeks for the “perfect” thing to wear. It truly became an area of stress in my life. Lame.

-I became overly self conscious about my weight because I was seeing people I hadn’t seen in some time so I decided that I needed to crash exercise. (In my world that is exercise hard for a couple of days, experience extreme burnout and not go for a week after). Doubt there is any tangible change or results but in my head it was something productive to control my appearance. Ha, right.

-Become that girl who tries on almost every article of clothing in her closet before going to a weekly meeting just because I never know who (meaning future mr. erin taylor) could be there. Even though I am soo not looking.

-Freak out over wearing work out clothes in public. By freak out I mean apologize repeatedly, to a friend who does not care one iota what I look like, about the embarrassing state of no make up and work out clothing I was in. What? For real? Who does that?

Those are just some examples. Whew. I am laughing at myself as I type them. But the truth is they are there. Last night I was journaling through something things and it hit me out of the blue where this is all stemming from. The little lie was exposed and suddenly it all made sense.

I believe that a portion of myself (my personality) is flawed.

When I was a child I was painfully shy and really struggled to build friendships. There was a time in my life where just meeting another human being freaked me out to the core. I would cling to my parents leg and will myself invisible. To adults it was adorable, to me it was mortifying. In middle school I could not make friends and my parents were at a complete loss at what to do. This life transition was hard enough without the added stress of me coming home in tears every day because I had not met a single person, let alone talked to anyone.

In my heart I began to ask “What is wrong with me? Why doesn’t anyone want to be my friend?”

The answer came alone out of the unsuspecting mouths of my parents. Hear me when I say I know they did not mean for me to take it to heart or interpret this way. I honestly believe they were just trying to help me come out of my shell and meet people. I know that my distress and friendlessness caused them great pain. But something like this was said:

“You need to be more outgoing  and then you will have friends.” 

When I could not figure out how to be more outgoing, the lie, “Because you are not outgoing, there is something terribly wrong with you. No one will ever like you. If you were just different or better you would have friends” formed in my heart. Satan took the words and my pain and formed a lie that took root. The worst part was I agreed with him. And I have been living the fruit of that lie for years now.

As I had this realization, sadness washed over me. I know in my mind those lies are far from true. But because it is a lie that lives in my heart, I operate from that place. Our actions are a reflection of what we really believe. Thankfully I know God is not going to leave me here. He already has begun building the foundation to deal with this lie. Scripture began to flood my mind and I wrote:

I am fearfully and wonderfully made in my Father’s image. He did not make a mistake with me yet created me with a perfect purpose and plans to prosper me. I am the daughter of the King, adopted into His family. Loved and cherished by Him. He delights in me. I am the apple of His eye. 

The actual verses are as follows:

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know full well.” Psalm 139: 14

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1: 27

“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 a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

“he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-” Ephesians 1:5

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4: 10

“For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.” Psalm 149: 4

“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 17: 8

For the next few weeks I am going to focus on taking this lie captive, replacing it with truth and pulling it right out of my heart. I will begin by renewing my mind in the Word so that Truth can replace it as I pull it out. I also am going to pray about what types of action God wants me to take to combat this lie and purge my heart from it once and for all. Personally I am done dancing with this idol of image. Christ is the only one for me. He doesn’t step on my feet 😉

I know Christ wants me to walk in the confidence that He gives me. He does not want for a minute me to doubt the way His hands created me. If you can relate or have been where I am at feel free to comment below. We are all in this journey together you know? And maybe we can learn a thing or two from each other. Happy Wednesday 🙂

Confessions of a Control Freak

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I have a confession. I am a CONTROL FREAK. Nothing wigs this blonde headed girl out more that lack of control. Now now don’t jump to conclusions, I am not some power crazed authoritarian type demanding others to do her bidding (i hope). Nope, it’s more like I have a deep fear of getting hurt so I scramble to organize and manage my own life, and for my poor now ex boyfriends theirs (ya, i’ll own it). It is the small things that I want  have to control. Or big things. Okay, okay all things. Ugh. I want the plans and the desires of my heart to happen how I want them and when I want them. I want things on my terms and I want to understand them as they come. I literally find myself reeling when things do not go my way, according to “the plan”. At times I wonder how I go day to day without a paper bag in my giant purse (slight exaggeration).

The problem with this whole plan issue is there is no room for God. In fact it is deeper then that. Not only do I not invite Him into the plans of my life, I flat do not trust Him. Ouch. Last time I checked I do not verify with my Sweet Savior if the thing I am about to tap into my iCal aligns with what He has for me. The reality is I struggle with letting go and trusting that He has the best intentions for me.  Past pains and wounds scream out in my heart that He is not worth trusting. The scarred parts of my heart spew the venom of distrust and cause doubt and unbelief.

The truth is in the caverns of my heart it is echoing:

-Remember that hurt? You can’t trust Him to protect you.

-Remember that pain? He will let it happen again. Save yourself.

-Remember that disappointment? He doesn’t have your best interest in mind. You can make it happen.

-Remember that failure? He doesn’t care about your dreams. Take it into your own hands.

My heart in pain choses to writhe and rebel believing the whispers of the enemy telling me that I have to do this alone. It lies and says my God has forsaken me in the past, therefore I cannot trust Him in the present . I make agreements with these lies remembering those tender wounds and failures. Disappointment creeps in and control feels safe. My response then is to clench my fists, build walls and try to do it all myself. I create plans and protection mechanisms that resemble a seemingly safe and indestructible fortress named the Castle of Control.

But this “safe place” I have been building is deceptive. Isaiah 28: 15 says:

“You boast, “We have entered into a covenant with death, with the grave we have made an agreement. When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by it cannot touch us, for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place”. 

Every time I believe that my control is safer than trusting God with my life, I am making a lie my refuge.

Every time I agree that I can do a better job than the God of the universe, I am agreeing with the enemy entering into a covenant with death.

Every time I move to control the intricacies and outcome of my life, I make falsehood my hiding place. 

In my control I am believing lies and denying the truth about who God is. He is trustworthy. I am His daughter who He has chosen and set apart. He has great plans for me and yet my fear and unbelief create a great rift in my heart. His word says in Proverbs 3:5-6:

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart 
   and lean not on your own understanding; 
6 in all your ways submit to him, 
   and he will make your paths straight.

Today I am making the move to destroy the Castle of Control and building my life on the Cornerstone of the King. I am kneeling before my God, praying against the unbelief and doubt in my heart. I am opening my hands to worship the King who is worthy to be trusted with all my heart.

My prayer is “Father, I pray that the eyes of my heart may be enlightened in order that I may know the hope to which You have called me, the riches of Your glorious inheritance in the saints, and Your incomparably great power for those who believe. Ephesians 1:18-19 (Beth Moore, Praying God’s Word)

Do you struggle with control, doubt and unbelief? If so I would love to pray for you by name. Leave a comment!

Resources:

Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds by Beth Moore is revamping my prayer life. This book walks you through applying God’s Word into your prayer life to break spiritual strongholds.

Passion 2012: Part 2

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It is hard to put into words all that happened in my heart at Passion 2012. It is impossible to sum up the emotion and the way that God reached down and touched this place. You would think that in a crowd of that size you would feel more lost and unknown. But I felt more myself and authentic there alongside so many people that love Jesus with no bounds.God really rocked my world with the messages that the speakers brought to Passion 2012. It amazes me how at just the right time we can hear a word straight from Him.

God convicted my heart through the words of Francis Chan on an issue that He has been trying to get me to do for some time. I will admit, sometimes I am S-L-O-W. This girl loves books. I particularly love books on spiritual growth. While these things are not intrinsically bad, it can be a problem if they are the only source of “truth” in your life. I read books and supplemented it with an occasional verse from scripture instead of the other way around. I read these books with hope to gain spiritual insight and growth. But Francis Chan said something that was on my heart for months. “Read the Bible for yourself”. For months God has been whispering to my heart about seriously digging into His Word. Seeking nothing before His Word. At first my motivation was I wanted for myself the spiritual insights and understanding that the people writing the books and bible studies had. I don’t think that was a wrong motivation. I just began to realize that those that really wrote something based on the Word of God had to wrestle, grapple and struggle with it to come to a place of understanding. I wanted that journey with God. I did not want to be spoon fed any longer. I did not want the middle man to be my source of understanding of the God I love. No, I wanted that journey and understanding straight from Him. Now, believe me. I think God can use books, bible studies, sermon’s and people all as a vessel to get to you, but there is something amazing about receiving understanding straight from the Word itself. This stirring began several months ago, but Francis Chan hit it home.

Something that keeps rolling around in my mind that he said was “Don’t just follow something because they have something smart to say”. How often do we follow people just because they have something smart to say? I will admit, almost everyone I follow on twitter is because I think they are smart or I value what they say. Francis Chan also talked about the seriousness of the Word and how we as believers of God need to be testing everything against scripture. Do the things people say match with God’s Word? Do we know scripture well enough to see a counterfeit? How well do we we know the Bible? I must admit, I have been guilty of taking in much of what I read and giving it authority in my life without testing it against the Word of God. I cannot sit here and trust that everyone that has something to say is true and right. Francis Chan spoke truth when he said “People will lie to you”. I want to be able to discern and test things against the Word of God. Do you? Some questions Francis Chan left me with to think about that maybe you need to ponder:

-We manipulate the Word to match our desires. How is my heart? Am I manipulating the Word to make it match something I want?

-We try to beautify everything. Have I created a false sense of the Word just to keep it looking the way I want?

-Do I take the Bible literally? Or am I creating it into a figurative book open for interpretation?

-Do I know the Word well enough to test it against something that may be lying to me?

These are things that have definitely left me thinking. I am praying for a discerning spirit that will allow me to understand scripture and test things that I learn, hear and see against the authority of the Word of God.

P.S. If you want to hear this and the other messages for yourself go here and purchase an all access pass. I promise you it is worth the money for all that you get 🙂

It was amazing learning from John Piper along side so many of my peers who love Jesus