Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New Desires

   I am no longer who I was. The old has passed away. This new soul thirsts for the Lord. A desire for the living God is stronger than ever. He has redefined this life, and renewed my hope. "The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree," (Psalms 92:12)
   It is so beautiful to delve into the wonders of the Lord. He makes all things bright and lovely. This troublesome life is worth living when everyday is flooded with His Presence. I will never grow tired of experiencing His mercy and love. My all I will give to Him. I long for others to feel Him, and to know Him more and more.
   You have given me a new purpose. In You I am filled with hopefulness. You give me strength, peace, and vitality. I have no reason to be afraid, because You will never let me go. In Your hands, my life is placed. I will trust in You.
   I do not have to fret about a thing. Because You are my God, I should not fear. I know that I have victory in Christ Jesus. He has defeated all of my enemies, so I will stand firm on this truth. The devil has no hold on me. I refuse to be controlled by him, but I will yield only to the Spirit of the Lord.
   "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." (Ephesians 6:10-11)
   Do not be quiet about the enemy's schemes. Do not keep such malicious tricks in the dark, because in the darkness they will fester and become vile. Spurt them into the open light, so that you may see how idiotic they are. The devil absolutely abhors for you to realize the absurdity of his deceitful ways.
   Anger and rage have no power over me. Love and compassion are what I seek to produce. Destructive behaviors shall not have hold on me, but let self-control from the Holy Spirit be my response. 
   Without my Lord to guide my heart, I would would without a doubt be a fleshly mess. Therefore, I will praise my God with every victory over frustration and anger. Hatefulness is not welcome in this heart. Because the Holy Spirit dwells in me, there is no room for such heinous behaviors.
   As you see, I have a new mindset. I do not want to satisfy my flesh, but I wish to serve my King. The one thing I desire most, is to constantly be with my Savior, Jesus Christ. Peace be with you all. May the overwhelming tranquility of the Lord rest upon you.

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Friday, July 26, 2013

Life Outside the Fear Cage

   One of my most frequent pass times is worrying. I know that it is a terrible way to spend my days, but it is so easy to get caught up in the "what if" frame of mind. We've all been there, fretting over tomorrow. What we really should be doing, instead of focusing on what we are worries us, is focusing on God's grace. He is sufficient for us.
   When our minds become tangled in anxiety, we start to doubt that God can handle things. We forget who God really is. He's the creator of the universe. I'm pretty sure He can take care of whatever it is that we worry about. Yet sometimes our eyes shift from one worry to the next and it becomes a habit for us. 
   We start to become comfortable in concerns. When we are comfortable being scared, it puts a negative effect on our ministry. How many non-believers are going to look at someone who is completely engulfed in anxieties and say, "Wow! That looks great! I want some of that!" No, of course not. Because nobody wants to live life in a cage.
   Your own personal fear cage is where worries fester like big, nasty, infected sores. Oozing with unease, itching with insecurity. Is that how you want to be seen? "Ew! I don't want to catch your worry. Get away from me!" The stench of worry is repelling.
   What others should see in us is Christ, the hope for all. He is glorious and bright. He is overflowing with grace and salvation, and it is freely offered to all of us. So take it! Run to Him and be free from your fear cage! In Him we too can be filled with joy.

   Once you are radiant with God's light, you can tell others about His mercy. When others see the joy in your heart, they will become curious. Curious for what we have in Christ. What a wonderful feeling, to bring others into the family.
   Let's go out into the world and build the kingdom. Let's store our treasures in heaven. Let's be reckless for God's sake, and live abundantly.
   "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." (John 10:10)

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Fruit of the Spirit

   God, help us. Restore our vision to see what it is you see. Help us to see the beauty. Help us to look at things through your eyes. Heal our broken eyes. Give us hope and peace. You do not create mistakes, we are Your children. Save us from ourselves.
   Help us to be more like You. Change our hearts' desires. Give us a new perspective when things seem to spin out of control, or don't go our way. Let us produce the fruit of the Spirit. Help us to revolt the ways of the flesh. Please give us Your strength to say no to earthly pleasures. Fleeting happiness is not what we want. "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:21)

   Lord, I pray that we would come to reflect your mercies. I pray that we would strive, not to please or impress, but to love one another just as you love us.
   "Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God." (Ephesians 5:2)
   Plant within us the seed of Your Word, God. Seal Your love inside our hearts, so that we might live to glorify You. All the glory and honor and praise belong to You, the King of kings. You are Lord of all. We seek to dwell in Your Presence, and be more like You.
   "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)
   May the rest of this world come to see that You reign, Lord. You have dominion over all authorities. We are called to be Your troops in this world. Give us the courage to carry out Your will. It's in Your mighty name that we pray, Amen.

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I Hunger and Thirst

   My entire being. Every bone. Every moment. Aches to be with Jesus. Ever since I can remember, I've had the deepest affection for Him. Drawings, love notes, five-year old poems. I was an incipient evangelist.

   Obviously, my favorite thing to do was write to Jesus. He was, and still is, always on my mind. He has always been my joy. There is simply nothing more important to me than worshipping my Savior. I can't remember what life was like before knowing Him. Probably because I was born into a foreign land. This is not my home, and it has been evident for several years.
   There is no other name as beautiful as Jesus. Jesus. When His name is spoken, the surrounding atmosphere is flooded with the peace of His Presence. He is everywhere. He is lovely.
   If one were to ask me about my love, Jesus, I'm not sure I'd be able to stop pouring out my adoration. He is wondrous and beautiful. He is matchless. Nothing compares to Him.
   Everyday that passes is just another day closer to being with Him. Growing old is not something to be dreaded, but something to be celebrated. I yearn for Jesus's company. As you can see in the above pictures, I had created a whole series of "Claire in Heaven" books. Dreaming up the adventures I'll have once I go home. It's a rather hopeful way to live.
   I still write to Him. I'm always thinking about Him. I hunger for Him. I long to hear His voice. Yes, Jesus, You are my all.
   And one day, one glorious day, I'll get to come home. I will be forever wrapped in His arms. I will never let go of His hand, not now and not ever. I only wish everyone could have the deep, passionate feelings for Jesus that I have. Life is sweet in His loving, caring Presence.

   Be blessed by His melodious whispers. Listen for Him. He wants to have an intimate relationship with you. Invite Him into your life. Open the door to your heart. He has been knocking.

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Friday, July 19, 2013

Are We There Yet?

   Often times I disconnect myself from this world and mourn about how badly I miss my true home. I feel a longing to be up there, with Jesus, in Heaven. It's difficult not to feel jealous of those who have already entered the gates. I need a boost from my Father to keep my head up.
   I'm constantly asking, "When can I come be with You, Jesus?" I know that it's not my time now, but I can't help but be very homesick. It is another reminder that I'm just passing through here. It is further proof that we are not citizens of this earth. The world is temporary, but Heaven is eternal. Heaven is where we're destined to be, and nothing at all could ever take this from us.
   "For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!" (2 Corinthians 4:17)
   It is as if He is encouraging me to keep going, saying, "It will be over before you know it, My child. Don't give in. Push onward toward the prize that awaits you: spending eternity with Me." This gets me through some of the toughest times. 
   When I think that one day I'll meet Him face to face, my entire day is brightened. I become filled with His glorious Presence. It overwhelms me in the midst of my sorrows. He is here in my struggles. He is with me. He is with us. He cares.
   "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand." (John 10:27-28)
   Take a minute to think about this. Jesus says that He knows us. What does He mean by that? He means that He intimately knows us, and He feels our aching hearts. When you really, really know somebody, you care for that person. You probably even call him by your friend. When your friend is feeling sad, it makes you sad. This is exactly what God meant in this verse.
   Then, later on in that verse, He continues to say, "neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand." I don't know about you, but those words paint a vivid picture in my mind. Jesus said that nobody can snatch us away from Him. He is holding us close the same way a loving parent holds a child with a broken heart.
   Think about that for a moment. God cares for us so much! When someone (namely the enemy!) attempts to attack us in anyway, God will protect us. He will fight the battles that rage around us. All He wants is for us to rest in His tender, loving arms. "The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace." (Exodus 14:14)
   Oh, I love when I find a verse that sums up exactly what I'm trying to say. It's like God steps in and says, "I've got one for this." So perfect.
   Next time you are longing to be in Heaven with Jesus, remember what He has promised to us. First, we will spend eternity with Him and nothing can take that away. Second, He is holding us always and telling us, "Everything will be okay, My child. We will make it through this. I've already won this battle. Just rest in My peace."
   Soon, it will seem like a blink. Soon we'll be home. Soon we will be there with Jesus, and worship at the feet of God. Blessings to you, for we are victorious in all things, by the blood of the Lamb.

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Free to Struggle

   Today I was listening to a song by Tenth Avenue North called "The Struggle". When I first heard the song, I didn't fully understand it. I suppose it didn't really click with me then, but now I get it.

Lord I falter and I fall down
Then I hold on to the chains you broke

   See when I fall down, it is so easy to grab what is comfortable, and what I'm used to doing. This happens because the enemy attacks when we're at our weakest points. I've touched on this subject before, he uses stuff that really messes with our minds, and it's different for everyone. When we feel sad or upset, that is when the fiery darts are aimed at us.

We are free to struggle
We're not struggling to be free

   Now hold on. We're free to struggle in our lives, but at the same time we aren't struggling to be free? If you're lost about this, it's okay. I didn't understand it either. But then, it occurred to me. In my life I have troubles daily, but I know the truth now. I don't need to spend hours and hours fretting over things. I need to trust in God. He's got me. Jesus paid a price for me. Oh! You see:

Your blood bought and makes us children
So children drop your chains and sing

   Now I get it. His blood bought us so that we would be free. So that we wouldn't have to be bound up in sin and worry. There is an easy fix to our struggling. Come to Jesus. He's already taken care of it all. What a great truth! What reassurance!
   And to think, one glorious day, all of this will be forgotten. We'll be delighted in spending all of eternity worshiping I Am, and basking in all of His glory and greatness. We are free. Nothing can ever separate us from His love and gentleness. Nothing could ever take away what awaits us in Heaven. Nothing. None of our burdens are too big for Him. Hallelujah!

Hallelujah, death is overcome
And we are breathing
Hallelujah our stone hearts become flesh
A flesh that's beating
Hallelujah chains have been undone
And we are singing
Hallelujah the fire has begun
Can you feel it?

   Can you feel it? You're free. Run from the bondages! God's got it. He's got you. He'll never let you go. He will never forsake you. Our God is great and powerful and strong!

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Monday, July 8, 2013

Prayer Power

   The coldest of cold days, the longest of nights, the loudest of cries out to God, "Save this child!" The pain and sorrow led to the prayer. It all started with a prayer.
   In James 5:13 it says, "Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray." The bible put special emphasis on the importance of prayer. When you pray, God gives you His full attention. God listens to your every word. If you are filled with fears, He is ready to bear the burden for you. If you're overcome with joy and gladness, He delights in the sound of your thankfulness.
   This past December, something happened. I got very sick and very weak. I wasn't sure if I was going to make it through, nor did my dearest mother. Little did I know that every night I laid down to rest, she was ridden with anxiety. Anxieties lead to prayer, and prayer leads to action. My mother was a warrior, a prayer warrior, in the midst of it all.
   Nights seemed longer than ever for her, and she'd often wake up in terror. She'd whisper to the Great Healer. She was praying that I'd be sustained. I want to say to her, thank you. Your prayers have meaning and power.

   "When he heard this, Jesus said, 'This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it.'" (John 11:4)
   In the story of Lazarus (found in John chapter 11), Jesus heals Lazarus. And this all started with Mary and Martha calling on Jesus. Prayer.
   Because a prayer does not depend on the one who speaks it but the One who hears it (our God in heaven), prayer is essential.
   "In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out." (Ephesians 6:18 MSG)
   Remember that your prayers are never ignored. Every prayer is cherished by our Heavenly Father. He cares for us. "casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7)

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Abundant Life and Who's in Charge

   Jesus came not to condemn us, but to redeem us. Jesus came to break the bondages of sin. Jesus came to set us free from fear. Jesus came to save. "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)
   God intended for us to live joyful lives. He wants us to walk with Him, trusting Him every step of the way. He wants us to live in peace knowing He is Lord of all, and that He has got it all under control. Fear is when we don't believe God can handle our situations.
   Life. Life is so beautiful. When a baby is born, it's not useless or a mistake. A baby is God's creation. Life is a miracle. When a mother cow gives birth to her calf there is a sweet, tender loving relationship. This baby calf is not a mistake, and neither is a newborn human baby. All things happen because God planned them to happen.
   "Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him." (Psalms 127:3) You see, children are a gift! When a new life has begun we should rejoice! A life is never, ever, ever a mistake.
   All beings deserve to live in the fullness of God's grace and everlasting love. So many people today have become accustomed to disrespecting God's creations. God made us in His image, God created animals and plants and mountains. God does not make mistakes. He is perfect.
   Take a moment to enjoy what He has done. Look around and bask in all His marvelous glory. What spectacular creativity! Respect all He has made. "The godly care for their animals, but the wicked are always cruel." (Proverbs 12:10)
   All life is important to the Kingdom, old and new. "a fierce and heartless nation that shows no respect for the old and no pity for the young." (Deuteronomy 28:50)
   Wow. I think I just scared myself with how LIVING His Word is! See what I mean! The Holy Bible is alive and active! It says it right there! We've gone so downhill! We need to bring Christ back to the front of our lives, our nation, our schools, and our families!
   I pray for this fallen country. God, no matter what may surround me, You will be my King. You have all authority, God, only You!
   "He was given all authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal - it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed." (Daniel 7:14)

   -The Introverted Evangelist