I’m going to Cambodia in a month. In exactly one month, I will be flying out from Chicago. June 13th. That’s the date. It’s somewhat of a surreal feeling I have typing this right now, because God has just recently (as of Friday – so 3 days ago) stirred up in my heart an excited desire to go. Prior to this excited desire, I had an unwilling hesitancy. It’s quite the difference (a change for the good)!
I like that I have a desire to go, now! 🙂 That’s such a praise! THANK-YOU, GOD!!! This blog is a praise report….a shout-out to God for what He’s been doing in my life lately. At first, I almost typed that I don’t have anything profound to say in this blog, but that’s such a lie. Sometimes we say things in attempts to sound humble, but really it’s just false pride…..so, the heck with that! I DO have something profound to say, because God has given me this amazing testimony of how He is changing my thoughts, my heart, and my will. And that’s a big deal! One of the best ways we can encourage people is to testify (to testify: to give evidence as a witness of something’s proof or existence) about what God has and is doing in our lives. The Holy Spirit teaches us things as we walk with Him, and we can gain so much Truth from listening to how other people have heard from, met with, and encountered Jesus in their own lives. So, my aim in this is that it’s encouraging to you!
Lately, God has been teaching me a lot about vulnerability. I’ve had to learn first that it’s important to be vulnerable with people because it creates closeness and intimacy and THAT is exactly what God wants for the body of Christ. (haha…now that I think of it, it’s really funny to picture a body which isn’t operating in sync together….I mean, who wants a body where the head or the arm or the foot isn’t connected?….that’s just awkward).
So, God has been teaching me about reconnecting with the body of Christ. And to be honest – at first, it was really hard! I felt raw, I felt weak, I felt so open and so scared of rejection. Rejection didn’t even happen, but the possibility of someone rejecting me was real…and that scared me. So, the first time I opened up, I felt awkward. I desired authentic closeness, but I didn’t want to open up. I knew I needed to (for my own sanity), I knew I wanted to (because God gave us the desire for community), and I knew I was told to (because God commanded me…more than once…and He made it clear).
So, I did open up to people – and you know what? It got easier. And it got better. And then I remembered that I am extroverted, and that a lot of isolation and introspection is not a healthy thing for my overdriven brain. So, I guess my encouragement and challenge for the body right now is to A) intentionally connect, B) be vulnerable with trusted, mature Christians who treasure you, and C) keep connecting and being vulnerable to grow in those relationships…..because that’s what God wants! He LOVES LOVES LOVES connection!
2. Divine Protection
Even more recently, God has been teaching me about divine protection. Last Sunday, I had a venting session with God. At first I called it a ‘needed prayer time’, but it quickly turned into a venting session. I was angry at God, I was telling Him my thoughts, and I then realized I didn’t believe He protected me. I didn’t believe He had protected me in the past, and I wanted to know why. I knew this was most likely a lie, so I asked God to show me that He had and was and is protecting me. So, God being God and being faithful, showed me how that He HAD been protecting me, even when I didn’t see it.
Later that week, I got into more specifics of His protection by asking Him to show me how He had been protecting me while I was in specific situations. He was faithful to answer me and to also show me where He was and how He had been protecting me in past times where I doubted not only His protection, but His divine presence. He gave me specific verses to go along with His divine protection, as well. They come from Psalm 91. (I am now working on memorizing Psalm 91, so if you see me, ask me to say it; because I’m prone to start memorizing without finishing).
7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. 9 Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place– the Most High, who is my refuge– 10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.
3. Brain -> Heart
It’s a great chapter, and I find encouragement from it. God’s way of telling me He’s protecting me was an awesome reminder. BUT, if I don’t stand on these Truths, then the time I took to search out these Truths in God was pointless. If they’re only in my head and not in my heart, then I’m not standing on these Truths. It takes God to put the knowledge I have in my head, in my heart.
For me, I have to repeat these Truths in my head over and over and over AND pray that God moves the Truth from my head to my heart. It’s a process of praying and using repetition through thinking, speaking, typing, teaching, and then doing it again the next day. This is how I start to know and believe Truth.
I have had to hash out a lot of things with God in the last couple of months, and I finally feel like I’m getting break through. I’m getting break through after praying and repeating and praying and repeating. I’m hearing God’s response, and I’m believing Him. I know and believe that He wants me to be intentional in being in the community of the body of Christ. I’m believing Him that He protected me and that He will protect me in Cambodia. I’m believing Him that He works out all things for the good of those who love Him. And my small belief just makes me want to believe all the more…..so I think, “Then I saw His face, (na na na na) now I’m a Believer!” ……which brings me to a post coming soon about people seeing (yes! For real! SEEING) Jesus’ face and falling face down, as though dead…