unexpectedturns
When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. For, “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.
I Corinthians 2: 13-16

My family, namely my husband and I, have been challenged as of late to take what some might call drastic steps of faith. In our pursuit of all that the Lord would call us to do, it has become evident that it’s time get every aspect of our lives in line with the Word of God. And the main aspect in our lives that’s lacking is our finances.

I read the book The Blessed Life by my pastor, Robert Morris, two years ago. I read it and wanted to live what it talks about. The book is a life-changing revelation of what it’s like to live with reckless faith. And so my husband and I decided to start tithing faithfully, the full ten percent, not just whatever we could scrounge up as we had made a habit of doing. It has been a blessing to see God’s right hand of provision on us since we made that decision. Bills that shouldn’t have gotten paid got paid. Checks we weren’t expecting came. Clients I never dreamed of called me up. Blessing has piled upon blessing and we both know that it’s because of our obedience to the scriptures when it comes to tithing.

But despite all our blessings, we just couldn’t seem to get ahead financially. We always seemed to be “just making it.” Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I expected, by tithing, to become rich and worry free. That’s not what I expected at all. But I also thought that things would get a little better, somehow, in regard to our finances. I puzzled over the situation for months, never really expressing to my husband just how confused I was about it. So I decided to pick the book back up again and see if I had missed anything.

And then it hit me.

The Blessed Life lines up steps we, as Christians, need to take regarding our finances in order to get them in line with the Word of God and in line for abundant blessings. The first step is to get out of debt. When I read that, I thought, “Well, we’ll just pay minimum payments and get out of debt the slow way. But we’ll stop using credit cards.” And we did. We stopped using them. And we were faithful to make the minimum payments. But if you have a credit card, you know that minimum payments take about 10,000 years to pay off even a tiny amount of debt. They do that on purpose, so that they can get as much interest from you as possible. (Two thousand dollars of debt and it only costs $25/month? Sweet!)

What I failed to consider was that by taking the “easy” way out, I was really taking the long, hard, beating of way out. While I watched others who sacrificially laid their finances at the throne become financially free and blessed, I wondered why we were still “slaves to the lender.”

That’s when I asked God to open my eyes to what I was missing. And He did. By his Grace, He did. He challenged me to stop looking at our life the way I thought it was “supposed to look.” You know the way – get married, get a house, get nice cars, have cute kids, trade in your cars for nicer cars, trade in your house for a bigger one. Look like the Joneses. Keep up with them, at all costs. That’s the path we thought we wanted, too. So when God challenged me to throw that idea away, I fought Him for a while.

“What, you mean, do something drastic to get rid of debt? Like what? Get rid of a car?”

But that wasn’t drastic enough.

“Move into a tiny apartment?”

But that wasn’t drastic enough, either.

“Live in a box on the street corner?”

I was just getting snippy by that point.

“What if we moved in with someone?…”

That was it. But I was absolutely mortified to bring it up to my husband. I just knew he was going to laugh in my face. Or look at me like I’d lost my mind. But instead, to my utter shock, when I suggested it, he actually stopped, pondered, and didn’t say a word for a minute or two. That’s when I knew he was truly considering it. When he came back and said he agreed that it was probably the best idea, I couldn’t believe it. I mean, utterly couldn’t believe it. It was then that I knew it had to be God’s idea. So then I had the task of mentioning it to my parents. I decided to go for the joking route.

“I’m tired of paying minimum payments on credit cards and not having any money to help anyone else or do ANYTHING else. Maybe we’ll just move in with you guys. Heh.” *wink, wink* *nod, nod*

“Well come on over!” was my mother’s reaction.

Wait, what? Is this real life?

Yes, this is real life when God orchestrates the movements. So here we are, about to move in with my parents for a season while we get completely debt-free. Let me tell you, I understand that scripture I posted at the top in a way I never would have before. We have had all manner of crazy looks, protests, questions, and downright rudeness when we tell people what we’re doing.

“Why would you EVER move in with her parents?”

“Are you giving to the church and LOSING YOUR HOUSE? STOP GIVING TO THE CHURCH!!!”

“Are you crazy? You can’t do that! You’ll ruin your life! You’ll ruin your marriage!”

But you see, we know that while it will certainly present its own set of challenges, the choice we’ve made to do something radical about our situation is completely and totally God’s plan for our lives. And because of that faith, we’re not scared. In fact, truth be told, we’re both excited. We can’t wait to see what’s waiting for us on the other side of this step of faith. We can’t wait to see what God does with our willing hearts. And we can’t wait to bless others the way we’ve been blessed.

If I’ve learned anything about living by faith it’s that you have to expect the unexpected. You have to let go of preconceived notions, you certainly have to let go of your ideas on life, and you have to run with full abandon towards what you know God is telling you. Sometimes it’s weird. Sometimes it’s crazy. Sometimes it’s hard. But always it’s amazing. Always it’s a blessing.

So that’s what my family is doing. We’re running with full speed towards the prize, the blessing that is living by faith. We’re diving in, not sticking our toes in, to the blessed life. And we aren’t looking back. This will be our year of Jubilee!

If you feel like God is telling you to do something, maybe even something challenging or crazy, what’s stopping you? Is it fear of failure? Is it fear that it might not be God’s voice? Is it fear of what others will think of you for doing it?

Let go of those fears and press forward. Keep your eyes on Him, not the naysayers or the potential failures. Never forget that if God is opening the door, He will light the path. Never forget that if you’re not going the right direction, He will stop you in your tracks. Read the Bible and trust. Do what it says. Dive in. All in. And let’s live this Blessed Life with reckless abandon!

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7

I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:14

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. I Corinthians 3:8

And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’ Luke 19:17

God is interested in building His Kingdom. That’s why He is going to entrust funds to people who are proving to Him that they will be good stewards with those funds – giving when God tells them to give. They won’t squander their resources on useless things – they’ll budget their money and be accountable. They will also be good stewards of their time, relationships, and talents. This is the message in the parable of the minas. Jesus makes a similar point in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25). God gives talents to each of us according to our ability, and He expects us to use those talents for Him and for His Kingdom purposes. We will never see God’s miraculous power given to poor stewards!
-Excerpt from The Blessed Life by Robert Morris

(If you haven’t read The Blessed Life yet, do yourself a favor and read it. Go get it. Today.)

likeagoodchristian
I used to be a good little Christian. I knew all the Christian-ese. I had a few key scriptures memorized. I did all the things good Christians do – I read my Bible pretty regularly, I went to church every Sunday, I listened to worship music in my spare time, I memorized popular Bible verses. I was really good at acting like a good Christian. And I counted it all as merits in my honor. I was doing a God a favor, I guess.

I used to think that there were levels of Christianity. Growing up in church, I was exposed to all kinds of Christians. The eager new Christians. The complacent Christians who were born into a Christian family. The wise old Christians who mixed scripture and clichés interchangeably. The obligatory Christians who were only there because someone was making them. The on fire Christians that seemed to know a scripture for every occasion. I wanted to be one of those on fire Christians. I wanted to have an answer for everything. I wanted to impress people, and God, with how much I knew.

But the key word was “knew.” I memorized scriptures, I acted the part, to get myself into that “club.” I became someone I thought I was expected to become. And while I know that His Word never goes void, while I know that despite my Pharisee-like behavior, despite my dogmatic religiosity, God was changing me, I wasn’t doing it because I thought I needed to be changed. I was doing it because I wanted to impress.

Pride. I reeked of it.

But then life happened.

There came a point where my rose-colored glasses were smashed by the well-intended and not-so-well-intended. There came a moment of crisis where I stood on the edge of a cliff called religion, looking desperately for the bridge to the other side – to real faith. By the grace of God alone, I found that bridge. He led me there. And I crossed it. Ran across, honestly.

There came a moment where memorizing scripture stopped being cute and started being a necessity. There came a moment where I didn’t want to have a bag of scriptures to throw out to impress, but where I needed droves of scripture to call on for the sake of my bleeding heart. There came a time where I no longer cared to impress and instead began to earnestly seek shelter in the secret place of the Most High. There came a moment where I laid down my crown of religious piety and picked up my cross to bear daily with Christ.

That was the moment I knew real faith. That was the moment I knew that the Bible isn’t something for good Christians to utilize for power or merit, it’s something for desperate, broken, lost, hurting, abandoned, rejected people to cling to as if their lives depend on it, because they do. The Bible isn’t meant for those who already have it together, as I thought I did. It’s for those who know they can’t get it together without Divine intervention.

It was in those moments that worship music stopped being something I critiqued for its musicality on Sunday mornings and started becoming something that brought me into the presence of the Almighty, giving me a taste of His glory, His goodness, His power, His overwhelming love. I will never forget the first time I experienced worship that literally brought me to my knees. I trembled with emotion, with an overwhelming sense of my need for Him. I cried that ugly, snotty, mascara-streaking cry that is neither attractive nor desirable in public places. And I didn’t care for a second. I knew I was smack dab in the middle of the presence of the Creator of the Universe and He wasn’t offended by my snot nose. So I worshipped. Oh how I worshipped.

If you grew up in church like I did, then you probably know how easy it is to make a religious routine. You probably know how simple it is to think you’re impressing God and others with your knowledge of the Bible and church things. But if you’re like me, that knowledge is nothing more than a pride-building lie that spreads its tentacles into every corner of your being, devouring you from the inside out. That knowledge won’t get you very far when you’re hurt, when you’re rejected, when you’re sick, when you’re broken. It might provide fleeting comfort, but if it’s not in your heart, in your gut, deeply rooted, watered daily, and growing, it will be nothing more than that – a fleeting comfort.

But when we take the Word to heart, when we let it be the Bread of life, the Water that quenches, the Breath of God we breathe in daily, we cannot help but rise to new heights of faith, of peace, of comfort, of joy, of Divine grace. That’s what I want. No more head knowledge. Deep, soulish, life-altering, mind-changing, soul-transforming faith. I don’t care about being a good Christian anymore. I care about knowing my Father in a way that drowns out all the rest of the noise the world throws my way. I care about resting in the arms of the One who loves me unconditionally. I desire deeply to press into the mind, the heart, the character of the Creator of the Universe. It is there and there alone I will find my hope.

didnthavetimeforgod

I was too tired to read the Bible. It put me to sleep.

I struggled for a long time. I felt like a failure. I looked around me and saw my Christian friends reading the Bible, growing, learning, praying, in what seemed like a perfectly disciplined faith. I felt like I couldn’t live up to that anymore because I was a mother. What little time I had to myself, I was too tired to read the Bible. It put me to sleep. I felt so guilty that reading the Word of God put me to sleep, but it did. I had an infant. And then a toddler and an infant. I just couldn’t find the time or the motivation to read regularly. And the guilt was eating me alive.

Growing up, I remember my pastor saying not to feel guilty if you ever fall asleep reading the Bible. “What better way to fall asleep than in the arms of the Father?” he would ask. True, I thought. But if you never read more than a sentence before you fall asleep because you’re so tired that a moment of stillness is like a sleep aid, you begin to think maybe that sentiment doesn’t apply to you.

And so the guilt piled higher.

This went on for a few years in my life. I still prayed. I still worshipped God in the car, listening to my favorite live worship albums. I still went to church. But I felt like a colossal failure because I couldn’t seem to find the time to actually read the Word of God. I knew that’s where the power was. I knew that was what I needed to go to the next level in my faith. And I just couldn’t seem to have a breakthrough.

If you’re a mom reading this, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. A moment of stillness is like a fine wine – you cherish every sip, every second, like you’ll never have it again, because truth be told, you may not. Throw in the obligatory daily Bible reading and it seems like an insurmountable mountain to climb. It might as well be Everest.

But I have good news! There is a way to be a mother of young children and still nourish your walk with Christ in a meaningful way.

I was listening to a sermon from my pastor in my car one time when I heard him talk about his son. He said that his son was given some advice when he was a young entrepreneur – to get a copy of the Bible on audio and listen to it as much as possible throughout the day. My pastor laughed that his “cheap” son bought the King James Bible on audio because it was only $9 as opposed to $50 or more for the other audio translations. And because of the Elizabethan language he was immersing himself in day in and day out, he began to speak like Shakespeare. “How goes thou, dearest brother?” he would say. Pretty funny.

But that funny little story flipped a light on in my stubborn brain.

My faith doesn’t have to be defined by the actual physical act of reading the Word right now. I can listen to it instead! What a concept!

It’s so simple, and yet for me, it was profound. I am just in a tired season of my life. A busy season. A season of dirty diapers, and tantrums, and messes, and cries, and more messes, and more dirty diapers, and sharpies on the wall, and jelly on the floor, and rocks in my cup, and… you get the picture. Sitting down to read anything, while it sounds luxurious, just ends up being a recipe for sleep. Glorious sleep.

Any parent will tell you that the car is one of the few sacred places left where you can actually do a little thinking once you have kids.

So when God showed me that all I have to do is listen to the Bible, it opened up a whole new world for me! Now, every morning when I’m getting ready, I whip out my handy little smart phone and turn on my free audio Bible (any translation I want!). I listen to a chapter or two while I’m putting on my makeup. It’s awesome! I get to have a few moments to myself and immerse myself in the scripture all at the same time. It has become my favorite part of the day.

But it hasn’t stopped there. Whenever we drive, I listen to the Bible on audio some more. Any parent will tell you that the car is one of the few sacred places left where you can actually do a little thinking once you have kids. They’re strapped down, you see. They can whine all they want, there’s nothing you can do about it. You’re on the highway going 70 miles per hour. You can’t take their shoes off for them or find their monster truck. You have a legitimate excuse. And it’s a perfect time to listen to the Bible! (Plus a bonus: you’re immersing them in the Word, too!)

I live thirty minutes from my church, an hour and a half from my parents and generally twenty minutes from anything else I want to do, so needless to say, we’re in the car a lot. I made it through Leviticus that way.

The point, my sweet friends, is that your walk of faith doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. And in fact, it won’t. And that’s great! If you are in a season of life where sitting down to read anything, even for five minutes is out of the question, don’t fret. Find another way. There are endless resources out there. Even if it’s just a simple five minute devotional read from a free app, you can find a way to be with God each day. But I’ll forewarn you – it will only leave you wanting more! (What a great problem to have!)

And don’t let Satan keep you from reading the Word by making you feel guilty like he did with me. He robbed me of several years of meaningful growth in my faith by telling me I was too busy for God and by telling me that if I didn’t have an hour every morning before everyone woke up to sit in a quiet place and read and study, it wasn’t worth my time. But when your infant wakes up four times a night, what exactly is the definition of “before everyone wakes up?” See, that’s his plan – not to turn you to him, just to keep you from God. And he’ll use any means necessary, believe me. And a steaming pile of guilt is one of his favorite tactics with me.

Take back your walk. Don’t fall victim to preconceived notions. Ask the Lord today to show you how you might incorporate him into your day, everyday. And see if you aren’t radically transformed and blessed because of it.

If you would like to download the Bible app I use for audio (and reading), check it out here. There’s a kid’s Bible by the same company and it is awesome, too!

inthewilderness

When you can’t feel God, believe He’s there anyway.
When you can’t see God’s hand, believe it’s there anyway.
When you can’t understand God’s plan, trust it anyway.

That’s faith, friends. It’s easy to see a person of faith and assume they just walk on a bed of roses, perhaps blissfully unaware of the issues around them. It’s easy to look at someone else’s life and say, “Yeah, good for them, but they have no idea what real suffering is. They have no idea how hard my life or situation is.”

But they do.

How do I know? Because they’re human. And the human condition has always been the same. And whether we deal with unexpected illnesses, unexpected deaths, unexpected job losses, unexpected betrayals, or on and on, one thing is true: when it happens to us, it hurts worse than when it happens to someone else.

He may very well be keeping you somewhere you don’t want to be in order to protect you from somewhere else you don’t need to be.

Trust anyway.

That’s it. Trust God when you don’t want to. Read the Bible when you’re mad at Him for not answering you. Pray when you don’t think He’s listening. Do you know why? Because He is. And He cares deeply. And when you’re in a situation that seems impossible, or unredeemable, it’s not. And He may very well be keeping you somewhere you don’t want to be in order to protect you from somewhere else you don’t need to be. Or He may very well be letting you learn a few lessons before you destroy yourself and everyone around you. He knows now. He’ll tell you when you’re ready.

There have been more times than I care to admit that I’ve had to pray anyway, trust anyway, believe anyway. And it has always paid off. Want to know why?

Because I believe in the God who CREATED THE UNIVERSE. No big deal, just the UNIVERSE. And His eye is on the sparrow. How much more so on me?

Wow. God, give me the peace and grace to trust You despite me. That’s all I really need when I face the things that make no sense.

You can have the rest. Give me Jesus.

In Gethsemane the holiest of all petitioners prayed three times that a certain cup might pass from Him. It did not. After that the idea that prayer is recommended to us as a sort of infallible gimmick may be dismissed.” -C.S. Lewis

I grew up in church. Ok, more specifically I grew up in a non-denominational Disciples of Christ church and an evangelical, charismatic Church of God private school. And then I went to a Baptist church. Ok so, more accurately, I grew up denominationally confused. The liturgical, dogmatic church where I grew up was in stark contrast to the charismatic, evangelical spirit-filled church where I went to school. Whereas on Sunday mornings I was wearing robes and lighting candles, on weekdays I was casting out demons and dancing in chapel. Then when I became Baptist I learned a lot about rules and expectations, most of which were set forth by the Baptist Faith and Message.

Needless to say, when I got into my twenties, I grew tired of it all. I wanted to get down to the truth. I didn’t care anymore about what one denomination thought, or what another taught. I just wanted to know the Bible.

Then I heard about Gateway Church. I heard lots of things about Gateway Church.

“It’s full of demons.” 
“They’re a bunch of rich folks in a country club.”
“They’ve only grown the way they have because they’re in the richest town in America.”

I knew there was something to it, because if people were that passionate against it, something was up. And whether for good or bad, I wanted to find out what was going on. So I went – perhaps more out of curiosity, but I went, nonetheless.

And for the first time in my life, something happened to me that I never thought was normal, or even possible for a sane person – I fell on my knees and wept right in the middle of the service.

I didn’t know what it was back then. I had heard terms like “anointing” and “presence.” I didn’t really care, I just liked it and wanted more. There was something to this place. It was full of something I couldn’t explain. (I now know that something is the Holy Spirit, and He has changed my life.)

Growing up with a veritable smorgasbord of spiritual influences left me confused at best. I didn’t know whether it was better to serve God in reverence, never ask questions and live in fear, or if it was better to cast demons out of the oven when the rolls burned. (When I was a little girl, I would literally lay in bed a night casting demons out of my bedroom. Yes, mom, it’s true.) The turning point came when I decided to strip my faith down to the Bible and nothing else. And when I found a church that taught the same thing, I was hooked. All in, no looking back, you might as well hand over the Kool-Aid ’cause I’m drinking it.

And now I’m in a place spiritually that not only did I never think I would be, but I never thought I wanted to be. I’m that girl – you know the one – who prays in the spirit language (you know, that scary thing that only weirdos do, otherwise known as speaking in tongues), who has seen demons cast out, who believes in miracles – daily miracles, who experiences the presence of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis. I’m the girl who lifts her hands during worship and jumps in church. I’m the girl who lays hands on her children when they’re sick and teaches them to pray for themselves. I’m the wife who submits to her husband’s spiritual authority with joy because I know that he is submitted to the same God I am, and I don’t really have to worry about whether or not we will be on the same page. If we’re on God’s page, we’ll always be on the same page. I’m the girl that has faith that the bills will get paid even when there’s no reason they should on paper (and they always do). We’re the family that tithes even though we “don’t have it” and we see miracles continually because of it. We’re the family that gets excited about talking about sermons together, about talking about scripture we’re reading, about things we’re learning.

I never thought I would be that girl, that wife, that mother, that family.

I now understand that my varied denominational experiences each represented a part of the Trinity. My dogmatic, non-denominational church taught me about the awe and wonder of the Father God, the Ancient of Days. It was there that I learned about reverence, respect, and fear (the healthy kind). These things were good, but they weren’t everything.

It was in my charismatic private school that I learned about the Holy Spirit. He is power. He is everywhere. He brings life in dead places, dry bones becoming flesh. He heals, he revives, he restores. But He is not the only part of the Trinity.

It was in my Baptist church that I learned about Jesus. He died and rose again that we might be forgiven of our sins and live in heaven someday. He is Savior. He is redeemer. He is the one who sets free. He is the Son of God, God incarnate, Emmanuel. But he is only a third of a mighty three-strained cord.

It was at Gateway that I finally began to learn about a walk of faith in the power of ALL THREE – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I have learned that each part of the Trinity is power, is meaningful, is vital, but any one part without the other, or any one part placed above the other is not a true representation of the triune God. And without all three, we can’t achieve the blessed life.

I write this today, convicted of the truth that many of my dear friends are stuck in one of three aspects of God without experiencing the fullness of His power in the Trinity. Some of you are in a church where you follow the rules, you give your due respect and you go home and wonder why you’ve never had a miraculous deliverance from a problem, or illness, or financial burden in your life. I’m here to tell you it’s time to welcome the power of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Or maybe you’re in a place where all you see is a spiritual battle around you. You live in fear of opening doors to demons at every turn because they lurk in corners waiting to attack. I am here to tell you that He who has overcome the world, has already overcome the enemy! It’s time to get back to understanding the power and wonder of the Ancient of Days.

Or maybe you’re not a believer at all. Maybe you think all of this is a bunch of bunk made up by a bunch of lonely, confused kooks. Maybe so. But us kooks are changed, set free, and will never be the same. Say what you will, but you can’t argue with that. It’s time you give Jesus a try. What have you got to lose? On the other hand, if you’re wrong, what then?

God the Father, Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit work in unity to bring victory, deliverance and power. I challenge you today to strip away your denominational filters, or your family heritages, or your preconceived notions and search for all of God in Spirit and in Truth. You will be amazed at the difference it makes.

It was only when I realized I had failed that I realized I had finally passed the test.

I had been a worship musician traveling between various towns and churches for over ten years. I had played every kind of venue there was – the famed, the dive, the tiny, the nostalgic, the coveted. I could credit to myself many accomplishments during those years. I could name off the cool people I had met, the opportunities I had had, the names I had opened for. My band had been on TV in literally every country in the world. But I was tired of it and I didn’t know why.

I figured it was just time for a break. I figured I was just over the thankless hours and hours of work that go into those brief cool moments. But I was wrong. And it wasn’t until I finally took that break, absolved the band, and walked away, that I figured out what the problem was. I was tired of me.

I had spent the better part of those years relentlessly pursuing the accolades, the affirmations, the fame, for lack of a better word. Oh no, I didn’t want to be famous, I would say. I just wanted to be known (what the difference is, I couldn’t tell you). I was over it all, finally.

So when I took a class at my church on what worship is all about, I was shocked to learn about Lucifer. Lucifer just happens to be the most glorious angel of the Bible – you know, the one who turned into Satan. I was shocked to learn that Lucifer was the chief worship leader. He was beautiful. He was wonderful. He was gloriously talented and gorgeous. And God gifted him with all of that for one reason – His glory, not Lucifer’s. And perhaps Lucifer started off understanding that. But somewhere along the way, he started receiving those accolades. He started believing the praise. He started needing it.

I know this because so did I. When people would say, “Gosh, the worship was so anointed this morning. I haven’t experienced worship like that in a long time,” I took it upon myself as if I were the one who made that happen. I believed that I was gifted with something just a cut above the rest. And I believed that gift made me better. Don’t get me wrong – I gave God the credit. I would always say that God had given me those abilities.

Sure, God, You gave it to me, but I made it cool!

I’m ashamed to say, that’s really what I thought. I may have given God the credit, but I was taking all the glory. It’s a fine line, a tightrope. But there is a difference. And it’s the difference between life or death.

When I received that glory for myself, I also took on pride. In heaps. Like drinking my own poison. Like fueling my own fire. And it wasn’t until I realized that I had been failing miserably that I had finally passed the pride test.

I am so thankful that God, instead of letting me keep going down that road, let me get sick of what was going on long enough to take a break and evaluate the situation. I am so thankful, so grateful that He knows me better than I know myself. I am so thankful that He didn’t give up on me, when Lord knows He should have.

That’s what grace is – loving me despite my unlovability. Loving you despite your unlovability. And that grace has set us free.

Today, I was blessed with the opportunity to step back into worship after more than a year on hiatus. It’s an opportunity I didn’t see coming in a million years, but one that only God could bring about. But this time, I know where I stand. I may be the conduit, but HE is the GLORY. HE is the maker of all things beautiful, all things glorious, all things of grace, mercy and love. And I stand with my arms high, my heart submitted saying, “Lord, to Your name be all the glory. Forever. Amen!”

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT