My heart is at a very strange place these days and sometimes it doesn't make sense when I try to put it into words, even to myself. I write things in my journal and then wonder how God could possibly even understand that. So this may or may not make much sense, and I'm ok with that, because no one is making you read this :)
God's peace never ceases to amaze me. The past year has presented itself with so many opportunities for God to pour His peace upon me, and He never fails. I love being able to feel Him walking with me everywhere, every day. I have had a few teary moments, and then it's like He just pours that peace out over me all over again and just puts that grin right back on my face. One of my favorite songs says "in the moment of my weakness You give me grace to do Your will" I love the emphasis on weakness. I used to think that weakness is being so beaten down that you just feel like you can't go on, but I feel like weakness has been redefined in my life. I don't feel flat on my face defeated by any means, but I have found weakness in the form of total surrender. Simply saying, "ok, God, I don't really know what You're doing, but that's ok. whatever You want is fine with me, just give me the strength to do it because I know I can't do anything without You anyway." Grace: God's unmerited favor. I love that. He gives me His blessing, His love, His strength, even though I don't deserve it because He wants me to be successful in what He is calling me to do. It still blows me away that He loves me that much. That He would do that for me. I hope I never get over that.
In the chaos, in confusion
I know You're sovereign still
In the moment of my weakness
You give me grace to do Your will
When You call I won't delay
This my song through all my days
There is no one else for me
None but Jesus
Crucified to set me free
Now I live to bring Him praise
-None But Jesus, Hillsong
I have recently become obsessed with this song by Watermark called Captivate Us. I'm all about definitions and word origins and stuff, and the words "captivate" and "devastate" really grabbed my attention. Which is funny considering captivate means to attract and hold the attention of. Isn't that how God pursues us? We are attracted to Him and are never the same again. Once you have experienced Him, you never want to leave His presence. You're captivated. Now devastate. I have to admit that I had a bit of a harder time understanding that one. When I think of the word devastate, it doesn't generally have good connotations. But when I think about my own life and my track record, God has had to devastate me in order to get my attention at times. I can think of so many times He has literally smacked me on my face and brought me to a place of complete devastation in order to make me see Him. Such powerful words. And a bold request.
Your voice is powerful
And Your words are radiant bright
In Your breath and shadow
I will come and abide
You whisper love and life divine
And Your fellowship is free
Draw me closer, oh my Lord
Draw me closer, Lord, to Thee
Captivate us, Lord Jesus
Set our eyes on You
Devastate us with Your presence
Rushing river, draw us nearer
Holy fountain consume us with You
Captivate us, Lord Jesus, with You
-Captivate Us, Watermark
It could be said that this has been the summer of spiritual warfare. At the beginning of the summer, I really struggled with feelings of discouragement and thoughts that I could not be the woman of God that I desire to be. I felt so inadequate for some reason. Well, not some reason, because of Satan. I finally recognized this as not from God, but I didn't really understand how to fight it until camp. I was so adamant about the girls knowing that they are beautiful and defining themselves in God, but I was oblivious to my own struggles with the same thing. I read Psalm 139 almost every day now and love hearing God tell me how He made me perfect and beautiful. He made me to be His image bearer and I can and will be the woman of God that He has called me to be and that I want to be and I will not allow anyone to tell me otherwise! There is such power in those verses.
There could never be a more beautiful you
Don't buy the lies disguises and hoops they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you can do
So there could never be a more beautiful you
-More Beautiful You, Jonny Diaz
For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I know this very well. Psalm 139: 3-4
I told y'all when I wrote about camp about all of the warfare that went on there and how it really shook us up for a while. And now here I am, facing even more. I'm not quite sure how to word this. I feel like I have really heard God directing me and now I'm doubting that. I'm having a hard time discerning what is my own desires and what is God's voice. And was what I thought was God's voice really my own? But I really prayed against my own desires and practically begged God to make His voice loud and clear and I felt like He did. So why do the circumstances not line up with what I thought I heard Him saying? I'm really seeking Him with my whole heart and I know He can and will speak to me, but right now I'm terrified that I won't hear what He is saying. My mom pointed out to me today that this is just another way Satan is trying to get to me. I have to stand firm on knowing what I heard God say to me even when faced with scrutiny from other people. I'm not living to please them anyway. Hebrews 7:25 says that He intercedes for us. Back to the dictionary, intercede to intervene on behalf of another. When I don't know what to pray or what's going on, it's so nice to know that Jesus is there to intervene for me and take over the situation.
I know I have a knack for rambling when it comes to this thing, and by now it is 1:38 am which only makes that worse. But the most incredible truth that God has given me these past few days is this:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all- how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither present nor future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:28, 31-33, 35, 37-39 That's right, back off Satan!