Monday, September 1, 2014

Created For A Purpose

Created For a Purpose:

"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 hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

We've all most likely read this verse over and over, quoted it time and time again, and written it down as lovely encouragements. However, have we allowed repetition to render our reckoning of this verse to be insincere?

What does it mean to have the God of the entire universe as your own personal schedule keeper? He calls the shots, makes the dates, and sets them into action. But not only that, He also makes them impeccably phenomenal. The plans He predestined are monumental and marvellous.

"Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare." (Psalms 40:5)

What a proclamation for God's creation! He has planned so much goodness, and we mustn't forget that what the Lord plans will indeed come to pass.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

"Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails." (Proverbs 19:21)

Our minds are wanderers, constantly searching and searching for a firm foundation on which to build trust. If we're deluded by the devil into the destructive deception he imposes upon us, then we are doomed to be destiny-distressed. That is to say, we'll believe it to be our own works and efforts that build the stairway to success. Thereby, ensuing heaps of worry and anxiety when pondering the prospect of our future. Because we feel inadequate, we relentlessly stress over the future.

The reality is, we are inadequate - on our own, that is. We can't get by on the prosperity of our own works. We are not strong enough to carry the burdens of this life on our own shoulders, for we'll surely crumble under such pressure.

"But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”" (Matthew 19:26)

You see, it's not about the "how" in regards to our destiny being great. We know in our hearts that through God's almighty and powerful strength, He will surely make a way.

"Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you." (Jeremiah 32:17)

We needn't fret over the pressure to plan and orchestrate our own destinies. We cannot build on our insufficient glory, but we must fully depend on and delight in the glory of God the Father. Nothing is too hard for Him. He is more than able to supply everything we need.

"And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)

Now we have covered the "how" as well as the "who" when it comes to our destiny, and now we question the "what." What is our purpose? We are created for a purpose aren't we? Of course! But... What is that purpose?

First, our eternal destiny. Our eternal destiny is unending, unburdened life. Everlasting life is life that is even more intimately fellowshipped with God, for everlasting life is when we'll meet Him face to Face.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

Our eternal destiny is to behold Him in all of His wondrous glory. We will worship and be made whole in spirit. Our souls will no longer feel continually hungry. We will be right there with the Lord, the fulfilment of our utmost desire.

Next, our earthen intent. Jesus our Saviour intends for us to live in joy and abundance. He is our Good Shepherd, and He desires only the best for His sheep.

"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep." (John 10:10-11)

Jesus Christ gave His life so that we may have ours. Not just life that drudges through and survives, but life that shines His Light and Love - life that thrives and glows! This is how we ought to live NOW, right here where we are.

Lastly, our mission. Our mission here on earth is to bring others into this wonderful way of life. We live with our eyes set on the prize of eternity, and that hope anchors our souls. Our Lord is our stronghold and our refuge in times of need and in times of thanks, in times of grief and in times of praise.

He is our Companion throughout every season of life, and that's just too good not to share. Our mission is this: we are ambassadors of His precious promises.

"Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God." (2 Corinthians 5:20)

So don't go on another minute wondering if you have a purpose! Living with intention is a choice! We must choose to embrace all that God's Word professes, and we must declare it over ourselves and over our lives without hesitation.

Live with eternity on your mind. Let abounding grace be draped over you as royal garments. Hold abundance in hands of gratitude, and vividly live so others see the goodness of God shining brightly in your soul. We're all purposed, but ambitious purpose is a conscious choice.

-The Introverted Evangelist

Photograph Taken By: Jon Courville

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sabbath Sunday Surrender

Sabbath Sunday Surrender:

"One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple." (Psalms 27:4)

Another week draws to its conclusion. A new week is just around the corner. Lord, we come into Your Presence this day, and we devote our hearts to seek You. We come to the Well, we're thirsty for more. We come to Your throne, bowed down we adore.

"Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God." (Revelation 21:3)

Be with us, so closely and intimately, yet again, O God. See our desperation, and come with compassion to care for Your people. Unhinge the gates that contain Your Living Waters, and let Your righteousness rain down on us. Oh come closer, Lord, and lead us in the Light of Your glory and goodness.

"I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them." (Isaiah 42:16)

On this serene Sabbath Sunday, I surrender to the invitation into Your loving arms. Surround me, O Lord, with the sensation that is Your astonishing Love. Guard this week with the might of Your powerful mercy and grace.

"The Lord will march out like a mighty man, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies." (Isaiah 42:13)

When we surrender, You take charge over the opposing forces in our lives. You call them out, grab them by the collars of their shirts and hurl them out with victorious vigour. You are our Saviour!

You are far more powerful than we could ever imagine. You are much more personal than we have yet experienced. Ah, yes, Heavenly Father, we shall find peace in our surrendering.

I surrender, Oh Father, I surrender to Thee. I know that Your favour watches over me, so I will choose to surrender to Thee. Oh how great You are, my Lord!

"Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is the great God, And the great King above all gods." (Psalms 95:1-3)

We enter into this week, not on our own strength, but dependent upon His mercy. We begin a new journey today, embracing the wonderfully mysterious reality of His unyielding grace. We sing praise, for our minds and our hearts are utterly overwhelmed by the rushing downpour of His blessings. Hallelu Yah! We rest and rejoice today.

-The Introverted Evangelist

Saturday, August 30, 2014

I Cannot Please People

I Cannot Please People:

"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." (Galatians 1:10)

My efforts to please people have quietly eroded genuineness and joy away from the shores of my personality for years and years now. I've been so inwardly paralysed by the fear of letting people down, hurting someone's feelings, and upsetting people, that at times, I lose sight of the reality that I'm made for so much more than enslaving myself to the master of human whims.

"The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe." (Proverbs 29:25)

When I trust in the Lord, I am shielded, favoured, and blessed. On the other hand, when I trust in man, I am suppressed, fearful, and burdened.

God doesn't want us to live shackled with the task of living up to human expectations. God has taken the law of expectation and replaced it with the New Covenant of grace.

"Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant." (Hebrews 7:22)

"But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." (Jeremiah 31:33)

HE is our God. We worship Him alone. We're not ruled by the desires of this world. We're not made to continually strive to achieve what the world wants. We are made for the Lord's purposes. It's no wonder that when our lives are directed towards pleasing other people, we feel empty and exhausted.

I've decided to forfeit my chase for human approval. After all, the only One whom I wish to please is the Lord God Himself, and lately, I've been feeling a real tug from Him on my heart. I can feel that He is pulling me in closer.

He's whispering to me the secret to a satisfying life, "I desire you. I am overjoyed when you deny the futile attempt to follow the world's fleeting fads, and instead turn to me with a thankful heart filled with expectancy and trust. I am most pleased when you simply rest and surrender to the flowing waters of my unending grace and favour."

Receiving His blessings (no matter how "too good to be true" they seem) with an attitude of gratitude pleases Him. Trusting in the sheer beauty of all that HE is brings Him great joy. HE is the One to please, and it's not a chore to please Him either. HE is the only One who matters, and the only One who satisfies.

Living life apart from the mainstream current, deviating from the rush of this world's ways. This is the route by which we're called to travel. When we surrender to His unfathomable grace and favour, His kindly charismatic heart bursts forth with even more blessings upon blessings. His gentle compassion takes my breath away.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33)

Oh Father, when I'm Yours and You're mine, my life plays in perfect harmony to the rhythm of Your heart. When we are Yours and we embrace You as ours as well, this is the state in which You are pleased and we are fully satisfied.

"This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalms 118:24)

So abandon the burden of pleasing humanity, and embrace the grace found in the streams of Living Water flowing from the generous heart of God. Surrender to the flow of His unending grace, mercy, and favour today. May your day be filled with rejoicing and rejuvenating. God be with you all.

-The Introverted Evangelist