I look at those around me, from the Believers who sit next to me in the pews, to the non-Believers who have never felt the presence of God’s love wash over them. Yet, as we mingle in the world, the lines are blurred. It’s kind of hard to tell anyone apart. Is there anyone who looks different? Who sets themselves apart with convictions in their heart that screams that there is a God? Or do they look and act like everyone else? Does your desire to fit in cause you to be stuck in the elementary teachings about Christ, forcing you to mull over the same struggles you’ve had for years? This begs to ask the question why?
Fear limits. Faith builds up. I am not referring to the fear of God, out of respect for His authority, rather the kind of fear that limits our obedience to God rather then drawing us closer to Him. Obedience that requires faith, also has an antithesis known as fear, and it is knocking on the door. The unknown breeds a slew of emotions, especially if we question our circumstances rather than the God who called us there.
We all have our foundational beliefs that form the framework of our core. Where does your truth stem from? From society? Your parents? The Bible? Perhaps you don’t even realize where they came from, they are just so embedded in your personality you continue to live them out. I challenge you-to strip down your preconceived notions of truth, and start building your ideologies on the Word of God. Because ultimately when we say our parting goodbye’s here on earth, the only One we have to give account to is God.
It was 2002, my boyfriend (now husband) and I decided to take the next step in our journey of faith. We both had accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior and were ready for whatever God had in store for us. So in a local hotel’s pool we openly confessed to others the proclamation that we so intimately made between God.
Whether consciously or subconsciously thoughts are constantly filtering in and out of our heads, as we establish game plans for our days, weeks, and months, but how often does it go as smoothly as hoped, or exactly as we originally desired? Sometimes we can become so focused on what we think should happen, we ignore God directing us down a different path.
I stand at 5 foot nothing, with medium length dirty blonde or brunette hair (depending on who you ask) and blue eyes. I have three kids, ages 5, 3 ½, and almost 2 years old. I don’t have many hobbies, nor do I excel at many things, primarily because to do most things (even average) takes me a lot of energy and dedication. My thoughts can come out jumbled, and I occasionally say the most clichéd statements wrong. I get nervous when telling people what they don’t want to hear (even though I still do it), and I carry the emotional weight of a lot of situations around me. I don’t say this as a “woe is me moment,” but I can empathize with Moses who felt inadequate for the tasks that God called him to do.
Lately, I have been hearing a lot of people angry over legalism. What is legalism? I am sure if you asked multiple people what it is you probably would receive various answers. This seemingly attainable type of mindset eliminates the need for a Savior and yet it falls so far from the truth because no one is perfect (Romans 3:23). Bottom line, we need a Savior. Jesus fills the gaps of our imperfection and provides a means for salvation. However, sometimes I feel people take the term legalism too far, falsely assume many matters the Bible discusses as debatable. This too is dangerous because it undervalues the fact that God placed it in the Bible for a reason.
The night was still as the Star of David announced Jesus’ birth. Swaddled in cloth and appearing to have all the same attributes as the sweet babies that have gone before, God makes His appearance to man. After the anticipated journey, the wise men arrived, and in an instant they fell down and worshiped Jesus. They didn’t question what they should do, rather they immediately showed the respect God deserves. They were clearly called wise men for a reason.
Playtime at McDonalds was over. It was time to wrap things up and get going. Of course telling three children that it’s time to leave is easier said then done. After much repetition I finally got all three kids in the van. Relieved, yet frustrated, I sat down and stated, “You know you guys really have to listen and obey mommy” Isabella’s response, “Why?”
We live in a land of abundance. We have two of everything, and what we don’t have extra of it is on our wish list. We have three kids; my husband works hard, and we are good budgeters knowing what monetarily comes and goes. Lately, I was yearning for extra: extra in the bank account, extra to go out to eat or buy a new outfit. We are buying our first house, so our tight budget is even tighter. I guess I am feeling the squeeze. Yet through this moment I took some time to reflect on last year.