Knowing the Will of God

How do we know the will of God?
We do the will of God by being in tune with the Holy Spirit.

“…those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit…”
– Romans 8:5

Want to live like Jesus? Want to live according to the Spirit?
Great! It doesn’t have to be complicated! We just set our minds on the things of the Spirit!

What does it mean to set our minds on the things of the Spirit?
It means to focus on Jesus, because He is One with the Father and Holy Spirit.

How?
Sing to Jesus. Talk about Jesus. Pray to Jesus. Draw pictures for Jesus. Take walks with Jesus. It just means to set our affection, our gaze, our attention on Jesus.

Why?
The result of setting our minds on Jesus is life and peace.

“…to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace…” – Romans 8:6

When our focus is not on Jesus and not on the Holy Spirit, it is probably on the flesh. If our minds are set on the flesh, the result is death.

“…to set the mind on the flesh is death…” – Romans 8:6

That said, most people I know would probably choose life and peace over death.

I can hear you, now. “Great. I knew that. I love Jesus. I know to focus on Jesus. Now what is the will of God about my marriage? About this job I could take? About relocating my family? About my health problems?”

In our daily lives, we can make a choice to practice focusing on Jesus and as time goes on we will be filled with more life and more peace, but what about the BIG decisions of our lives?

I used to have the same question. I used to worry a lot about huge decisions, and it used to take a lot of striving, worry, and time before I got to the peaceful part (usually after the decision was made). A tool I’ve used since then has given me great peace in many circumstances.

Henry Blackabee’s book, Experiencing God: How to Live the Full Adventure of Knowing and Doing the Will of God, explains four specific things to base our decisions off of to remain in the will of God.

1. Scripture
2. Counsel from other Believers
3. Prayer
4. Circumstances

*Note: He mentioned that never ever do we look at circumstances alone, but we do take into consideration the situations/circumstances around us to determine the will of God.

Now when I have a big decision to make, I look at these four things. I pray this is helpful and practical for you in making big decisions and knowing the will of God!

 

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What Jesus gained or lost in going to the cross

Some days I have more questions than answers.
….scratch that….
Some days I have more questions than answers. 
MOST days I have more questions than answers.

As I process things with the Lord, sometimes the Holy Spirit gives me questions to help me process through things. When I have good questions (keys), I often search for good answers (doors). The Lord gives me revelation through this seek/find method of communication.

…Search for Me with all your heart and you will find Me….sounds familiar.

Today, these questions arose within me:
1. Why did Jesus go to the cross?
2. What did Jesus lose in going to the cross?
3. What did Jesus gain in going to the cross?

I write these things, not because I feel I have much insight on this from today, but because I felt these were good questions (keys) that could unlock some great doors of understanding.
As always, if you have insight, understanding, or revelation, please do share! 🙂

Shalom, friends!

Your husband is your Maker

“For your husband is your Maker, Adonai-Tzva’ot (Lord Almighty) is His name…”
Isaiah 54:5a

Your husband is your Maker. Jesus is referred to as your husband (2 Corinthians 11:2, Revelation 19:7-9, Isaiah 62:3-5)   and your Maker.

Often times, people pray for their future spouse or for their kid’s spouses in order that the marriage will be good, healthy, and the two will be compatible and make a good team. With the whole idea of Jesus as the Bridegroom and the Church as His Bride, Jesus did not need to pray and wait for a spouse to be a certain way. He could CREATE a spouse to be according to His liking! With our (the Bride’s) relationship with the Lord, He had a slight advantage.  He was and is our Creator; therefore He gets to make us according to exactly how He wants us.

Some people pray for spouses who like to rock climb, who enjoy children, who play the guitar, who prefer books over movies or coffee shops over loud parties. Whatever the case is, when people pray for their spouses, they are specific and intentional; because they know they will be living with and teaming up with this person for life. Jesus is the same way – specific and intentional.

He can create and make whatever He wants. Have you ever thought why He made you the way He did? Why did he make you with the color hair you have? Why did He create you with certain desires to create through music or art or why did He give you a passion to play football or soccer? Why did He grow your legs out to the extent they are now? Why did He give you the voice you have or make your fingernails just as they are? Have you ever thought – it’s because He likes it?

Jesus didn’t have to pray and wait and pray and wait for a spouse. He wanted worshipers. He wanted a spouse. So He made us. He made the Church. We are His Bride.

If you are His Bride, then you are His Beloved. (Isaiah 62:4-5) If you are His Bride, then you resemble a part of the Lord which He delights in. It would be incredibly sad to miss out on what the Lord is delighting in. It would be incredibly sad to not embrace what the Lord loves about you and me and about each one of His Beloved.

Realizing that my Husband is also my Maker makes me realize He made me to His liking. He made me according to what He wants. He doesn’t have to ask and wait for a spouse He wants. He already has that desire in me. I am His Beloved, and I am what He wants; therefore I want to more fully walk in the destiny of who He’s calling me to be, because I know that He is delighting in me. I want to give Him the fullness of what He wants by becoming everything He wants me to be.

This revelation makes me want to see the beauty in all of His creation. Realizing that He could and can create whatever He wants makes me appreciate creation more and makes me value it more. He didn’t nonchalantly put things together. He was intentional. Specific. I want to walk around and ask the Lord what He likes about each person, because I know He made His Beloved to resemble Himself.

“Maker, what do you specifically like about this one? What about them resembles you? How are they displaying a part of Your image? How do they resemble Your heart?”

Believers – this is our role!

“It’s just a little while longer until I see you, Jesus
It’s just a little while longer until I know you, Jesus
It’s just a little while longer and we’ll be together
All I want is just to know Your heart, and would You keep me here until we’re one!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btR_ipFzlcM

My heart longs for Jesus to come back. How much is “just a little while longer”? How long is that, because to be honest, sometimes it seems like FOREVER away! I pray, “Jesus come back”, but I also pray, “Jesus help us to get on board with your plan to spread the Gospel like crazy in order that as many people AS POSSIBLE can know you!” I want Jesus to come back NOW, but I know that the more time He allows, the more people will come to know Him.
So, Lord, help us to share the Gospel urgently, passionately, and honestly. Work through us to speak Truth clearly and understandably. Do what You do best, and have the Spirit go to work on our hearts and on others’ hearts. Jesus, we will not be silent. We will pray to you night and day.

Our JOB/ROLE as BELIEVERS: Pray persistently – so much so that we give God no rest!
Isaiah 62:6 – 7
On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent. You who put the Lord in remembrance, take no rest, and give Him no rest until He establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth.

So, Jesus – establish Your Kingdom here! In the U.S., establish Your Kingdom! In all the world – in the entire Universe, change hard hearts to hearts that worship you! Give people new hearts and new spirits, and change hearts of stone to hearts of flesh! (Ezekiel 36:26). And, God, we’re sorry for not sharing the Gospel with an urgent passion. Restore that passion in us and increase our longing for YOU, because we know that when we love you, we show it through obedience. We love you, Lord. Thank-you for forgiving us when we confess. (1 John 1:9) Help us to walk in Truth through the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8). Amen.

Prayer works – see how!

I’m leaving for Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 8 days. I have my documents in order and have already started a packing list. This is the most physically ready I have ever been for an overseas flight. This is also the most spiritually prepared I have ever been for a missions trip. Why? How do I know this?

I know that I am prepared, because I can confidently say I am covered in prayer. My team and I have been praying both individually and corporately for over 4 months. People have been and will be praying for us. We have been praying for the city of Phnom Penh, for the people of Cambodia, for purity, for protection and covering while we’re there, for encouragement, for joy, for freedom – we have been praying about all these things!

AND GOD IS FAITHFUL!

Over the past few months there have been breakthroughs!……..
1.  A house of prayer in Phnom Penh has been established!
THIS IS NOT A COINCIDENCE! WE PRAYED! GOD IS FAITHFUL TO ANSWER!
When people pray for encouragement, healing, restoration, and the turning of hearts for a city and a country, IT MAKES SENSE that God would establish a heart of prayer there! Prayer is where human hearts are changed!

http://phnompenhhouseofprayer.com/

2. A Child Pornography Ring was Busted!
THIS IS NOT A COINCIDENCE! WE PRAYED! GOD IS FAITHFUL TO ANSWER!
A great quote from the article about how porn increases demand for more lust….
“This case does not come as a surprise – unfortunately it is all too common and every effort must be made to eliminate the selling of children. Some offenders claim that as long as they don’t actually physically abuse the child directly they are doing no harm. This is a fallacy. Every time these images are viewed it increases the demand for new images and consequently more children become victims. It is a question of supply and demand.”

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1205/S00356/child-pornography-ring-busted.htm

3. Personal Freedom
For those of you who have been reading my blogs, you’ll realize that this Jesus whirlwind I’m in right now has brought freedom, joy, and great encouragement to me personally. I used to be scared to go to Cambodia; I am now excited! I used to fear seeing and meeting street kids; I am now anxiously longing to personally show them Christ’s love. In April I was discouraged and was fighting to believe Truth; I am now speaking it to myself and to others, praying that the Holy Spirit makes it real to us all. THIS IS NOT A COINCIDENCE! We prayed! I prayed! My family prayed! My friends lifted me up to the Father! I was healed and fear left me because God is GOOD and FAITHFUL and HE ANSWERED MY PRAYERS!

I sought the Lord and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

The point is prayer works. We prayed for offenders to get caught. They did. We prayed for joy. We’re now joy-filled! We prayed against discouragement and asked for encouragement instead (because God gives great exchanges – Isaiah 61:3). We’re encouraged and are seeking Him more passionately! We will continue to ask God for things; because He is a good God who LIKES to give good gifts to His children.

Unexpectedly, I stumbled across Ps 2:8 today….this isn’t a coincidence either 🙂

Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.

HA! We don’t even need to ask God what is on His heart concerning the nations! He already told us! It’s in the Psalms. It’s in the Old Testament. It’s in the New Testament. It’s all over Scripture. He wants worshippers from every tribe, tongue, nation, and language; and He WILL NOT SETTLE until He has them – every last sheep! SO – there it is. I’m going to Cambodia, preaching the word, because the Spirit of the Lord is upon me (Isaiah 61) and He has all authority in Heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). So, I’m going to Cambodia to pray some more, to be encouraged some more, to be filled with joy some more and to pray all of those things and more over my friends and brothers and sisters in Christ who are there. Praying He brings the nations to Himself and that He uses  us while we’re there in whatever way most glorifies Him! 🙂

Jump In!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=un0pTIVd2Z0

Here are the lyrics to the song if you want to check them out.

I AM FREAKING OUT!!!!! God is continuing to blow me away! I’m not begging for encounters with Jesus anymore; I’m EXPECTING IT! Now I just stay in His presence until the next wave hits.

Do you remember wave pools? Maybe you’ve been to a waterpark with a wave pool and remember the totally-worth-it-chaos it provides. The most adventerous kids swim out toward the rope that blocks them from touching the wall, where the waves are blasted out. The fun begins when the siren sounds and chaos breaks loose, because then people feel the effects of the waves.

I feel like I’m riding on the waves right now, because Jesus keeps blowing me away with how He is showing Himself to me and to others! Whether it’s through Scripture or people or paintings or music or dance or colors or stories or nature – He keeps showing Himself to people in different ways, and it’s awesome!

Right now, I just feel bad for people who are missing out! If you’re not feeling the presence of God and are not being overwhelmed by Jesus, then jump in! Sometimes it takes time to jump in the wave pool of Jesus. I understand that, and I’m praying for you if you’re in that spot. I pray that in the meantime, you can stand under the waterfall of Jesus and still have Him POUR out His relentless, never ending love on YOU, Loved One!

For those of you who ARE ready to encounter Jesus and know Him in a deep and intimate way and be blown away by Him constantly – Jump In!

For the more detailed, thorough folks….
Because I’m excited about what Jesus is doing, this all may seem very vague and abstract….SO if you want more explanation…. “Jumping In”, in my mind, refers to spending time in the presence of God. For some this may mean, going fishing. For others, it may mean sitting in a quiet spot contemplating, playing instruments, singing, or getting in the Word. God is everywhere, and He is King over everything; so nothing is outside of God. Whatever you do, wherever you are, you can be practicing the presence of God. If you want to know more, check out this book (on my top 5 list!) about practicing the presence of God. Otherwise, Jump on in!

The Trauma of Divine Glory

As promised, this blog is about encountering Jesus and falling face down. As I have said before, I know God is telling me something important when He tells me multiple times in different ways. He has recently used a documentary (Nefarious: Merchant of Souls), a friend (check out her cool blog here), and my church’s study of the book of Revelation to bring me to the same theme, which is the trauma of divine glory.

Two Sundays ago, at church, the title of the sermon was the Trauma of Divine Glory. This title blew me away, because it was and is so incredibly relevant. One of my first thoughts was that nothing in life is more traumatizing than the glory of God. In this sense, the trauma (of divine glory) is not a negative thing. Here’s my own definition.

Trauma (of divine glory), n.
1. positive
2. something the human body/mind cannot fully comprehend
3. results in shock and reoccurring thoughts and memories of the event

When does the trauma of divine glory occur? The trauma of divine glory occurs when people encounter God. The part that I love the most is how people react to meeting Jesus. It’s not an embrace or a loving hug or even a cry. It’s falling down flat on their faces! (I picture arm-less veggie tales types of falling.) The shock is so overwhelming that people just fall flat – face down on the ground. Ha! Jesus is SO glorious that we fall on our faces as though dead! These are real reactions from people who have encountered Jesus and have experienced the trauma of divine glory.

1. Woman talking about a vision of God
In the documentary (Nefarious: Merchant of Souls), there is a lady who speaks at the end of the movie. She is an overcomer, someone who was beaten down in life and lived through the trauma of human trafficking; but through Christ, she has overcome. She talks about Jesus and she talks about how Jesus came to her, so gently and so kindly. She talks about His beauty and when she saw Him, she said, she fell face down, as though dead.
2. John talking about a vision of God
When John encountered Jesus, he says in Revelation 1:17 that he fell at His feet, as though dead.
3. Ezekiel talking about a vision of God
“Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.” – Ezekiel 1:28
4. Peter, James, and John as Jesus showed them His glory while they were on the mountain
He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” 8 And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. – Matthew 17:5- 7
4. Jesus appeared to Abram
When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” Then Abram fell on his face. – Genesis 17:1-3

….I want to start praying more intently for encounters like this, where I experience just a glimpse of His glory – just a slice of the future, and end up falling on my face because of the radiant glory of Jesus! I LOVE this! I love this, because I know that the trauma of divine glory is more traumatic than any other experience I have had or will ever have in my life. Jesus is greater, more powerful, more impactful, more shocking than any other thing in the world, whether good or bad. Jesus’ glory outdoes any positive or negative “shocking” thing in the world. Nothing compares to the glory of Jesus.

So, I pray that Jesus would show me and you His glory, because I want to have the fear of the Lord. I want to experience the trauma of divine glory!

I’m a Believer.

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!

1. Vulnerability

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).

My Refuge and My Fortress

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…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaKDOYTZbJg

New atmospheres, New ears

Sometimes it takes me a while to put two and two together…or three and three…or four and four. I know God is talking to me when He tells me something at least three times in different ways. Sometimes, He speaks to me through creation, through people, through His Word, through prayer, through pictures, through billboards, through music….through whatever – there’s really no limit. But, I just re-realized that I’m not always paying attention to what He’s telling me.

God spoke to me through a song this past week, and I just realized now how relevant and true the song is in my life right now. haha….it’s crazy! This song talks about how God is taking me to new places, new atmospheres, heavenly places. This all sounds abstract and vague; but in context, it makes sense.

The context – in a previous blog, I talked about how God gave me the verses James 1: 2-4, which says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” In my blog, I mentioned how I didn’t much appreciate this verse and how I didn’t receive it joyfully or even really willfully at first. I tried to fight against going through trials and temptations….and it didn’t work.

So, in the last few weeks, God has given me different verses that correlate with these verses. The latest verses He has given me have been 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, which say, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

So, what all does this have to do with heavenly places, taking me to new atmospheres, and having new ears? In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul is talking about visions and revelations and the third Heaven! I have just recently learned about the third Heaven, and that there is a first Heaven, second Heaven, and a third Heaven perspective. The first Heaven is what I can see with my own eyes in this world (natural things – objects and people). The second Heaven is the spiritual realm of things that I don’t see (spiritual beings/things – spiritual warfare, demons, angels, Heavenly beings). The third Heaven is God’s Kingdom and how He sees things! Dang – to have that arial view! Can you imagine!?!

Right now, I see things through my own vision in the first Heaven – in my natural perspective. But, how I would LOVE to have Jesus’ eyes and see what He sees! Paul was taken to the third Heaven in 2 Corinthians 12, and He was “caught up into Paradise”, He “heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter” (verses 3-4). Can you imagine the glory of that? Can you imagine the revelation and the glory of Jesus you would see or hear or experience?! Hot dang!

Do you know what Paul gained from this? He gained greater revelation! And, as a side dish, he was given a thorn in the flesh. A thorn in the flesh? What the heck? Why? Did he do something wrong? NO! Was God mad at him? NO! Was God pleased with Him? YES! Then, why did Paul have a thorn in the flesh!?! “….to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh…” (verse 7). Was it spiritual warfare? Yes….”a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from being conceited…”

Hm. God allowed spiritual warfare (Satan’s attack) on Paul to go through and pierce Paul, not as a punishment, but as a chiseling tool to keep him from becoming prideful. Do you know what this means!? When we have our own ‘thorns in the flesh’, it’s not necessarily a punishment. It’s not necessarily a consequence of our actions. It’s not God saying He’s displeased with His loved Ones. It’s not God forgetting us or not loving us or leaving us. It’s Him being a good, loving parent. It’s Him forming us into His image more and more. And, it’s painful. It really is. Changing form is a painful transformation. But…..we’re getting closer to Jesus, we’re becoming more like Him, and we’re seeing, hearing, and experiencing more of His glory. And you know what glory is worth?!

“For I consider that the suffering of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” – Romans 8:18

Beauty in Weakness

For whatever reason, weakness has always correlated with ‘wrong’, ‘bad’, ‘unreliable’, and ‘unbelieving’. Because of this, I have never wanted to be known or to think of myself as weak or needy.

At first I thought this was a cultural thing, but the more I think of it; I’m convinced it’s a human thing. I’m convinced of this, because I’ve never met anyone who willingly, joyfully, and intentionally opens up themselves to people in a vulnerable way in order that people can see their weaknesses. It’s our human nature to want to be known and seen as strong, independent, and confident. We want to be known as people who can handle things themselves, get a job done well without help, and live life without much assistance from anyone else.

In contrast to this thinking, it was interesting to hear a Cornerstone Simi Audio Podcast by Matt Moore entitled, ‘The Beauty of Weakness’. I can identify with the title. I know weakness is beauty, because I can see it in other people. When others are open and vulnerable, questioning and seeking out genuine answers from someone other than themselves – it is a truly beautiful process. I’ve witnessed it myself, and I fully agree that there is Beauty in Weakness. However, I don’t know how there can be beauty in my failures, in my let downs, in my lack of holiness. How is there beauty in my own weakness? This, I did not understand.

From Matt Moore’s insight, I learned something. It’s not my failure, my unreliability, my lack of holiness that is beautiful. When I’m lacking holiness or victory or strength, there is something missing. There’s a space in me that is not completely filled, and what goes into that space (if I let it) is what is beautiful.

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

When I lack something, when I am weak, when I am torn down, when I am in despair, when I have already tried my last rope and have no more plans or even ideas of what to try, then I am made perfect. How? How does this make any sense whatsoever?? How can I possibly try everything, give my best, try my hardest, then pull myself up by my bootstraps and try harder and still fail and then say ‘yes, weakness is beautiful and it is good’? …because, in my weakness, God’s power is being made perfect in me.

Ya know, honestly, I had to just go back and look at the verse; because at first, I wrote ‘I am being made perfect.’ But, that’s not what it says. The verse says, ‘My (God’s) power is made perfect in weakness.’ God’s power in us is made perfect in our weakness. I’ve gone through a time where when I heard this I didn’t find it a good thing. I found it annoying as ever and it just made me more hostile and bitter to the Truth.

My attitude and thought was and sometimes still is…”great, I’m weak. I’m sick. I’m tired. I feel like crap. I don’t want to do this and I have no motivation whatsoever. I don’t really care about what I’m doing and yet I still have to do it. Awesome. Thanks, God. I’m weak and I hate it. I could take joy in this, but I already prayed for joy. And I’m not joyful right now!”

Haha…I remember one time in particular, where I was struggling in practically every way….physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. I couldn’t get a hold on anything or even explain things to anyone, including myself. I just cried out to God; and you know what He gave me? In my weakness, in my bitterness, in my anger, He gave me hard Truths from James 1.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trails of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2-4

(I still sometimes want to tell God that this was not the right time or place to show me this verse, because it did not produce anything holy in me at that time). Take note: It did not produce anything holy in me at that time. I knew what God was saying to me. I knew He was saying to take joy in my trails, to take joy in my weakness, to appreciate this time where I am struggling in so may ways. And to be honest, I didn’t want to accept that Truth at that time. So I didn’t.

Thank the Lord that He is patient with His children, because He showed me this Truth again, in a different light. He showed me that there is beauty in weakness. And, I am weak, so I figure there must be beauty in that somewhere. Though I may not see all or even parts of the beauty in it right now, perhaps I will see it later. I don’t know, but whatever the case, I know that weakness is a good thing. I know it’s what God wants from me.

I know that when I am weak, I am moldable clay. I know that when I am weak, I am a sheep who is willing to follow instead of lead myself astray. I know that when I am weak, I am vulnerable and I am then a teachable disciple. I know that when I am weak, I seek the Truth not for knowledge sake, but for the sake of banking my heart on what my Creator-Judge says is true.

I know that when I am weak, I am where God wants me to be. And, I know that when I am weak, the Father is near. I’m now banking on these Truths, and I’m aiming to live in weakness, in order that the power of God is made perfect in my weakness, because where I lack, I create space for God to be. And wherever God is, there is Truth, there is love, there is freedom; and that is what I need more of in me.

More of You and less of me, I pray; may my weakness by a way for more of You in me

If you need to claim to these Truths, as I do, meditate on these verses with me.

  • The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18
  • The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. – Psalm 51:17
  • How you have helped him who has no power! How you have saved the arm that has no strength! – Job 26:2
  • Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. – Psalm 34:19