Monday, March 23, 2015

I'VE MOVED!!! (well, not really... but my blog has !! :)

I'VE MOVED!! After 7+ years writing on this blog it's time to bring it to a close and start a new chapter! I've moved over to Wordpress. Go over and check it out and don't forget to follow!!

Thank you all for your faithful reading over the years! You are a blessing to me! 

Much Love,


Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Banner Over Me...

“He calls me to His banqueting house, and His banner over me was love.” 
–Song of Solomon 2:14
With Valentine’s Day on Saturday, here’s my two cents on Love. So my friends, whether you have someone this Valentine’s Day or if you’re single and you have a date with pint of Ben and Jerry’s (that’s my game plan… just kidding.) I pray that through this, you are reminded that it is by HIS LOVE that we know what true love is. Be encouraged dear ones. You are loved. 

This verse can easily be skimmed over and not really given much attention. As I’ve dug deep into this verse, it has so much more to do with the Gospel than I ever realized. He has brought us in… into His feast and His banner over us is love. This is quite a surprise and the opposite of what we deserve. As sinners, we are eternally separated from a Holy God and without hope of reconciliation on our own. We are Unholy. Separated. Sin-filled. Enemies of God. These were the banners over us. This is who we were. It wasn’t just the sin we have committed but it is the fact that we are sinners. It is at the core of who we are.

"As it is written, 'there is none righteous, not even one, there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless, there is none who do good, not even one."
-Romans 3:10-12
Yet, we are here. We are invited. We are welcome. Why? Because those banners have been done away with and we have been given a new banner… A banner whose words are etched in blood. The blood of the sinless Christ, who lived, died and was raised to set us free, uniting a broken and separated people to Himself. What does the banner over us declare?

That is our new name. 
No longer separated.
No longer condemned.
No longer shamed.
No longer guilty.

Beloved of Christ. 

For everyone who believes in Christ for salvation and forgiveness of sin, this is who we are and the only reason why we can come into His banqueting house. It would be a sheer mercy to let us stand at the door way and over hear or peer in on the feast or as Charles Spurgeon once said, “to sit under the table and eat the crumbs that fall on the floor.” Yet, He brought us in and adopted us as His own and has given us access to freely and fully partake in His own riches.

This is a fundamental basic in the Gospel, yet it can become so mundane to our souls. We forget the gravity of the Truth. Jesus loves me. Me- sinful, prideful, rebellious, strong-willed, independent Mariah who, left to her own devises would never choose Jesus. This why God initiated, loved and chose me first. It has nothing to do with me. He loves me, not because I’m worthy or lovely or good. He loves because He is in and of Himself is LOVE. Love enough, to redeem, reconcile and unite my broken and sinful heart to His perfect, spotless one. 

Do we really live this? Yes, we know this intellectually, but do our lives reflect that His love is enough? Not just for salvation but His perfect Love- here and now, covering every area, every situation and season. His Love displayed through the Gospel is enough... For our sanctification, for our righteousness, for our healing, for grace, for power in overcoming sin, for our holiness, He is enough.

For so much of my life, I spent trying to fix and heal myself in the name of Jesus yet, denying the power that was available to me. I knew, that I had been invited in, and that I was an adopted child of God, yet, I refused to live it because I felt so unworthy. Shame consumed me. Condemnation controlled me. I let my past effect my belief that freedom was actually available in Christ.
Am I alone in this? I don’t think so. So many of us live as peasants in the Kingdom rather than living as children of the Most High. Many of us, sit under the banqueting table content with eating the crumbs when the feast is waiting for us to partake in.

I plead with you my friends, do not be content with sitting in our shame and condemnation. Get up. Remember Whose you are and who you are in Christ. You aren’t who you used to be. You are redeemed. You have been ransomed. You have been rescued. Enough of letting Satan deceive you into thinking you are still under your old banners.
You are Loved.
His Love is enough.
Get off the floor.
It’s time to partake in the feast. 

"No in all these things, we are more than conquers through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither life nor death, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." 
-Romans 8:37-39

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Ponderings:Christ's Beauty & Our Ugliness....

Well, it’s here. It’s almost Christmas time. Just one more day. I love this season. Maybe it’s because I gravitate towards all things beautiful and for me, Christmas encompasses beauty. The glowing lights. The decorated Christmas trees. The smell of fresh baked cookies. Evenings spent by a crackling fire. Watching Christmas movies with my family. Nat King Cole singing Christmas classics. Holiday parties with friends. Getting to wear a pretty dress. I love it.

Yet, it’s so easy to gloss over this season with all the busyness and chaos and fail to feel the weight of why we’re really here celebrating and why there is a reason for Christmas. Have we really stopped and were still long enough to let it all sink in?

We as humans are naturally drawn to beauty- beautiful things, views, people, music, stories etc. This season is beautiful and the Christmas story is beautiful too. But the beauty of this story isn’t one that the world really esteems. In a world that loves fame and fortune and the glamorous- Jesus didn’t fit the mold. The people of Israel were anticipating an earthly king to come with a sword in his fist ready to deliver them from the oppression of the Romans. Jesus came as a baby, to a lowly virgin girl from a no name town called Nazareth, and was born in a stable amongst the sheep and donkeys. This wasn’t what they had planned. Yet, Isaiah prophesied of Jesus’ lowly coming.

“For He grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; He had no form of majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces. He was despised and rejected and we esteemed Him not.” –Isaiah 53:2-3

As I read the gospels I get so frustrated of the blindness of the people of Israel. How could they be so oblivious? The long awaited Messiah-King Jesus had come! He was right in front of them and yet, they did not see it. He was the One who the prophets of old we're talking about! Yet, would I be any different? Me, who naturally esteems the gorgeous, rich and famous? Would I even notice? I’d like to think I would but what if Jesus had come in our day? Would we esteem Him? Would we recognize our Messiah? He probably wouldn’t be the leading televangelist, or have millions of followers on social media. He would probably be a no body in our eyes.

Thankfully Jesus is completely different from us. We gravitate to earthly beauty. We esteem it. We value it. We are drawn to it. The opposite- we aren’t so fond of. Jesus on the other hand, who is the King of Heaven with overwhelming love- He is drawn to us- the ugly. Not to us on our good days, when we are doing the right things or when we “have it all together.” No. Jesus- God Almighty- left the glories, the comfort, the beauty and praise of Heaven to come to earth. He came to be nothing to a world that esteemed Him not. He came to us- the ugly, rebellious, filthy and tyrant people and we hated Him. We spit at Him. We rejected Him. We failed to see Him as our Savior and ultimately killed Him. Yet, in loving-kindness and unfathomable grace He came. Not in a way that we would praise and esteem Him.

He the Most High King became the lowest of the low, so that us- the lowest of the low may be counted as righteous and holy, adopted children of the Most High.

Grace and love. Peace and perfect justice. Floodgates of mercy… all wrapped in a swaddling clothes laying in a manger in Bethlehem. He’s not what was expected. There was no loveliness that would bring the multitudes and make the front page of the news. He was born in humility. But He is exactly what we need. In our shame, our defiant rebellion, dead in our sin- He came. He came to our ugly mess and bid us to come to Him. He didn’t turn away in disgust. He didn’t reject us. But He bore our sin. He became one of us so that we could be counted as one of His.

His coming, His living, His dying, His resurrection has nothing to do with our worthiness. It’s about Him. It’s completely undeserved on our part. A.W. Tozer in a prayer in his book Knowledge of the Holy articulates this beautifully:

“We are sure that there is nothing in us that could attract the love of One as holy and just as Thou art. Yet Thou hast declared Thine unchanging love for us in Christ Jesus. If nothing in us can win Thy love, nothing in the universe can prevent Thee from loving us. Thy love is uncaused and undeserved. Thou art Thyself the reason for the love wherewith we are loved. Help us to believe the intensity, the eternity of the love that has found us. Then love will cast out fear; and our troubled hearts will be at peace, trusting not in what we are but in what Thou hast declared Thyself to be. Amen.”

This season is beautiful and enjoy it. But please don’t let it go by without stopping and pondering the real Beauty- Jesus. King of Kings come to earth to redeem an ugly people like you and me.

We have a Savior.

His Name is Jesus.

He is greater than we can ever imagine.

We are worse off than we’d ever like to admit.

Yet, we are more loved than we could ever hope.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Desert Places, Watered Gardens and Isaiah 58

“And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong, and you shall be like a watered garden; like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”
-Isaiah 58:11

This is a promise. Notice this isn’t a maybe or a probably or a most likely. No, this is a fact- a clear reality which can be banked upon. He will guide us continually. For He has promised: “I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6) “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b) In every season, every second that our hearts are beating- He is guiding us, leading us and continually with us. There is never a point where we are forgotten, left out, or where God dropped the ball on our lives. No, He will faithfully guide us- even through the scorched and desert places. “He satisfies the longing soul and the hungry soul He fills with good things.” (Psalm 107:9) Even in those wilderness and dry seasons when we feel nothing. We don’t understand what God is doing or how it is for His glory and our good. When we feel betrayed, misguided and abandoned. Jesus longs to meet us there. He reminds us that there is not one step in this life that we will have to walk alone. Often times God takes us to the wilderness and scorched places to remind us that He is truly all that we need. He strips us of all other dependencies and other loves so that we can see that He alone is what we need and the only thing that will satisfy the depths of our longing souls. (Think of Hosea and Gomer)
Elisabeth Elliot wrote these profound and true words on the wilderness:

“We may earnestly desire to be obedient and holy. But we may be missing the fact that it is here, where we happen to be in this moment and not another place or another time, that we may learn to love Him- here where it seems that He is not at work, where His will seems obscure or frightening, where He is not doing what we expected Him to do, where He is most absent. Here and nowhere else is the appointed place. If faith does not go to work here, it will not go to work at all.” -Elisabeth Elliot, (from The Path of Loneliness)

The wilderness season often entails seasons of loneliness, hardships and trials. The reason we must endure those things isn’t because of a lack of God’s faithfulness, love or goodness as the Enemy would like to make us believe. It is the opposite. He is working out a plan greater than what we can fathom. He ultimately knows what is best for us and what will bring Him most glory.

“In the sorest trials, God often makes the sweetest discoveries of Himself.”
–Gems (from Streams in the Desert)

It is in the scorched places where we have the opportunity to be made strong. It is not when life is easy and carefree that we grow most but through the trials, through the pain, through the fiery refinement- that is when we are made most strong. It is in those times that we can learn to feast upon the riches of Christ alone. It is in these seasons where we learn to agree with Asaph’s declaration:

“Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will receive me to glory. Whom have I in Heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth that I desire beside You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:23-26)

“And you will be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” When we drink deeply of the Living Water our souls are satisfied yet thirsty still for more and more of Him. As we seek Christ as our Source for life and joy- it can’t help but overflow into every area of our lives. We can’t help but speak of Him and rejoice in His goodness and long that all men may come to the Fountain and find life. People will notice that we aren’t like the rest. We live life a little different from the world- our outlook and perspective isn't the most common or popular, our aspirations and joys are not like the worlds. It should be our prayer that as a result of our lives feasting upon the goodness of Jesus- the world is drawn to the Hope that lives within us. We have the opportunity and privilege to be little springs of water in this thirsty world. And by the power of the Holy Spirit-  lead them to the Well of Living Water- our Source, our Supply, our Satisfier, our Peace, our ever-present Help, our Faithful Guide, our Redeemer.

Whatever stage of this verse you find yourself in- whether it is the struggle to trust God’s leading or guiding in your life- rest in His promises. They are facts. They are realities upon which we can bank our everything upon. Whether it is the struggle to find satisfaction- I urge you dear one to believe - that He alone satisfies us- even in the driest droughts of the soul. Yes, this season is agonizing and painful. I have been there and am well acquainted with this wilderness. It is not easy in the slightest, but dare to believe your God and let Him go to work at your heart. Whether you are in a season where you are as a watered garden- I urge you to continually be watered but Jesus- He alone can produce the fruit in us. There is not a point where we are no longer in need of further grace and mercy. There is no point where we can say, "I have arrived." (As Elisabeth Elliot said once.) Go again and again to your Source. Be continually filled up with more and more of Jesus. When people are drawn to you- point them to Jesus- the One who has made what was once a desolate and dead life- now a flourishing garden full of the life of Christ. May He be your Sustenance and Supply. He is truly the Well that will never run dry.  

“O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from the misty lowlands where I have wandered so long.”

-A.W. Tozer

Friday, October 17, 2014

Slavery, The Gospel and a Church Unmoved....

I came home tonight to my warm house in my gated suburban neighborhood.
I live comfortably.
I live safe.
I live most of my days not in fear.
Most of the time I don’t worry about whether I will live to see another day. It’s expected that I will wake up tomorrow morning and go about my day, free to decide my coming and goings and what I do and don’t do.

But to think that just blocks from me- there are women and children who cannot say the same. While I’m safe in my bed tonight, they’re wandering the streets. They’re staying in filthy motel rooms. They’re hiding in abandon drug houses. They don’t live in safety and freedom from worry or fear. No, they live in constant terror. These women children are modern day slaves walking by us in plain sight as we go about our ‘busy and hectic’ lives.

I cannot and do not know how to articulate what those in human trafficking endure. I have heard their stories first hand and seen the tears they have wept as they speak years of neglect, abandonment, violent physical abuse, daily sexual assault, rape, brain-washing and manipulation. This is not a Hollywood plot or a twisted novel. No, this is real life. This is their reality. This is their day to day. This is their normal.

I can give you the overwhelming statistics. I can tell you the horror stories. I can tell you about the injustice.  I can give you all the facts you want.

Yet we stand unmoved.

Ok, our hearts might hurt a little bit because of the stories we hear…yet, it doesn't affect us at the core. Like me, we can go home safe tonight. We don’t have to worry about being violated or sold for someone else’s benefit, lust and greed. We don't have to relive the nightmares of childhood molestation and rapes day after day like they do.

If we’re honest. It’s a lot easier to look away. It’s easier to avoid. It’s easier to plug our ears and say, “lalalalalala… not hearing you.” It’s easier to just think it only happens in third-world countries and not in our backyards. It’s easier to down play the severity of the issue than to see it for what it is.

I say this… knowing that I am guilty of doing this very thing. It is a constant struggle to not look away from this harsh reality and just continue living in my comfortable, suburban bubble.

But I want to call out the church here on this...

We are unmoved. 

Our hearts aren’t broken for these women and children who God created and are made in His image. We go to church every Sunday.  We have mastered the language of “Christianese.” We go to our small groups and hang out with our Christian friends who we feel accepted and comfortable with. We talk about being missional and being a light to a dark world. We raise our hands in worship and sing, “Break my heart for what breaks Yours. Everything I am for Your Kingdom’s cause.” Yet, all the while, our hearts aren’t stirred and broken for those we encounter every day who are headed for a Christ-less eternity. Often times, our lives are more about our cause and our agenda rather than for the Kingdom.

 It’s easier to stay in our comfortable little bubble than wake up to the brokenness that surrounds us.
It’s easier to stay unmoved than to ask God to break us. 
Because when we ask Him- He will.

His Kingdom’s cause isn’t about getting more stuff, driving fancy cars and living for the weekends… His Kingdom’s cause is about redemption. It’s about the Gospel redeeming brokenness. His Kingdom is about seeing dead men made alive through the power of the cross. His Kingdom’s cause is about every tribe and tongue confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord of all. So when we ask God for a broken heart and we surrender to His Cause, most likely, we will get our hands dirty. We'll be called to love and serve the lowest of the low- the ones society wants to ignore and turn from. We'll probably go places that will make us uncomfortable. It won't be easy. It won't be risk-free. It won't be pain-free. It won’t be pretty or glamorous. It won’t make CNN headlines or put us on the cover of PEOPLE Magazine. His Kingdom- asks for everything- all of us. Every part of our lives given for His purposes and will to be done. 

What is the solution to our depraved indifference?

1.) Our hearts must be captured by the Gospel. 

We must see our dire need and dependency upon it. We must see that it is truly the solution for every issue- big or small. We must believe that the Gospel is actually transformational and that nothing is too big that the Gospel can’t redeem. The Gospel must be our beginning and our ending. It must be the center and the sole dictator in how we view the world and those around us. 
The Gospel is what this world needs.
These women don’t need just help getting a GED or helping them love themselves or build back their self-esteem- they need the Gospel. That is the solution. This is where healing is found. The pimps and johns- they need the Gospel. Lust, porn addictions and greed isn't the core issue. Yes, that is an outflow of the fact they are dead in their sin. But the core of all of this is the fact that they do not know Christ. They are enemies of God doing only what they believe to be right in their own eyes. They need Jesus. They need the Gospel.  So if the Gospel is the transforming solution for every human heart then we must be drenched in the Gospel if we are going to bring it to the lost.  
We must get the Gospel.
Live the Gospel.
Believe the Gospel.
Proclaim the Gospel.

The Gospel and the strength of the Holy Spirit working through us, is the only thing that will sustain and enable us to love and serve these men, women and children. Human will-power, our own human sense of injustice will not carry us through to see human trafficking come to and end. 

The Gospel is what will stop human trafficking. 

2.) We must be broken. 

“God must have broken things. Those who are broken in wealth, and broken in self-will, and broken in their ambitions, and broken in their beautiful ideals, and broken in their worldly reputation, and broken in their affections, and broken often times in their health; those who are despised and seem utterly forlorn and helpless, the Holy Ghost is seizing upon and using for God’s glory.”
–Thomas Toke Bunch

We must be broken over our sin- knowing that we are no better than anyone else. We aren't holier, or more loved by God because of our perfect church attendance, or the fact that we're good people. When we are broken over our own sin and we see God's grace covering us, we will have a lot more love, grace and compassion for those who are lost. We must be broken. Like the quote above states- God must have broken vessels who have died to self and vain ambitions and mediocrity. Our only aim and desire must be to lift high the Name of Jesus and see His Kingdom advanced and lives redeemed.

3.) We must be called to anguish. 

“Anguish means extreme pain and distress. The emotions stirred that it becomes painful. Acute deeply felt inner pain because of the conditions about you, in you or around you. Anguish. Deep pain. Deep sorrow. The agony of God’s heart. We've held on to our religious rhetoric and our revival talk but we've become so passive. All true passion is born out of anguish. All true passion for Christ comes out of a baptism of anguish. You’ll search the Scriptures and you’ll find that when God determined to recover a ruined situation, He would share His own anguish, for what God saw happening to His Church and to His People. He would find a praying man and He would take that man and literally baptize him in anguish…. You see, a true prayer life begins at the place of anguish. You see, if you set your heart to pray, God is going to come and start sharing His heart with you… There is going to be no renewal, no revival, no awakening, until we are willing to let Him once again break us.” 
– David Wilkerson (excerpt from “A Call to Anguish”)

Our hearts must not stay where they are at. We must experience the anguish and brokenness of God’s heart for the lost. We cannot stay indifferent any longer. We must know the Gospel. Our hearts must be captured by it. We must be broken and called to anguish. We must be on our knees for our cities and nation.

 “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
-2 Chronicles 7:14

I wonder how different our cities, our nation and world would look if we actually humbled ourselves and in anguish we prayed and sought the Lord. If we turned from our wickedness, our indifference, our comfort and ease… If we actually believed that the Gospel is greater and bigger than we ever thought possible and it truly changes everything… Maybe, just maybe...we'll have revival again.

 Come, Lord Jesus, come and move Your people to action. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Nothing Short of a Miracle...

“What’s your testimony?” 

"Well, I was raised in a Christian home. I’m a pastors and missionary kid, and so I kinda always knew about God so when I was 4 years old, I asked Jesus to be my Savior….” 

It sounds like a generic, good Christian kid response right? I don’t have a glamorous or dramatic testimony. I’m not a recovering drug addict or prostitute. I don’t have horror stories from my childhood or a story about being on death’s doorstep and pleading with God to save my life so I could serve Him.
No, mine isn’t like that at all. 
 And I’m ok with it.

I was raised in a Christian home by loving, godly parents who have been in full-time ministry pretty much since they got married over 27 years ago. I grew up in the Christian bubble surrounded for the most part by believers. One morning when I was four years old, I woke up with the clearest question in my mind. “Have you made Jesus your Savior?” I believe the Holy Spirit was prodding my heart with this question. I knew about Jesus but I had never surrendered my life to Him. So as much as a four year old can understand about man’s depravity and Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross- I saw my need for a Savior. I got down on my knees in the hallway outside my room and gave my life to Jesus.

(Translation:  "My testimony. I prayed to God. I said, God change my life God and make me free. That's my testimony." By Mariah Jane- age 4)  

A lot has happened since that day…. Some really good things and some others that weren’t so great.  Yet, through every season, I can see God’s love and goodness covering it all.

*He was faithful when I was faithless.
*He relentlessly pursued my heart when I was running away.
*He tenderly showed me mercy and grace by drawing me back to Himself even after I had made a mess of my life.
*He disciplined me (which was painful to say the least) but He used hurtful circumstances to sanctify and refine me.
*He has shown and proven His unending Love to be the only thing that will truly satisfy my longing heart.
*He walked with me in the wilderness to prove to me that He is enough and all that I will ever really need.
*He has been with me in the valleys and on the mountaintops. He’s never left or gotten tired of me… (which is a miracle- let me tell you. J )

I drew this picture shortly after I came to know the Lord and even after these many years it is still so true today…

We are safe in the arms of Jesus. 
Nothing can separate us. 
We are forever secure. 
Forever redeemed. 
Forever loved.
Forever set free.
Forever to lift high the Name of Jesus who has conquered our sin and shame and made our dead hearts beat and come alive. 

This is my JESUS!

In the end, it’s not about how glamorous or dramatic our testimonies are.  All our stories are miracles.
We were once dead in our sin. Enemies of a holy God.We hated God and wanted nothing to do with Him.Yet, even in our filth and sin God loved us. He sent His very own Son to die the death we deserved so that we may have eternal life with Christ.We weren't just saved to be poppers in the Kingdom of God but we have been adopted as sons and daughters of God.

We bear His Name.
We share in His inheritance.
We are His beloved children.
Once enemies of God turned beloved children!
And if this isn't a miracle what is??
And more than that, His Holy Spirit- His continual presence dwells inside of us!
We were alienated from God because of our evil hearts and now our hearts are the very dwelling place for the most Holy One!
We are sealed for eternity with Him and nothing can stop His love toward us.

"No in all these things we are more than conquers through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the Love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." 
-Romans 8:37-39

So take heart, you are a miracle.
Your story is a miracle.
Believe the Gospel.
It changes everything. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

LIFE: Here and Now.

 I’m a visionary. I’m a dreamer… a big dreamer that is. I’m a planner. I like things laid out and planned out to the T. Maybe that sounds more like a control freak but whatever. J 
For me, the tendency is to always look to the future and say, “If only…” 
If only I had someone.
If only I was married.
If only I had my dream house.
If only I had a better paying job.
If only I had a newer car. 
If only my Pinterest fashion board was actually in my closet.
If only.... Well, you get the point.... then I could be happy. I would actually feel like I have purpose. I could actually start “living' then.

But here’s the lie.
 The Enemy wants us to either… 1.) Look back at our past and believe that life was better back then (Example: the Israelites- even though they had the pillar of cloud and fire to guide them, they wanted to go back to captivity in Egypt. Why? Because leeks and onions and slavery sounded better than manna in the wilderness with the Presence of the Lord.) or 2.) The Enemy will have us look to the future and believe that life will better if we only ______ (fill in the blank) the grass is always greener on the other side philosophy.

He wants us to ignore the present. Here and now, what the Sovereign Lord has appointed for us to do today.

 It’s so easy to think that these days in waiting don’t have significance or purpose. Believe me, I know… it’s hard. Sometimes I feel like the Israelites wandering in the wilderness for forty years just waiting for the day to cross over into the promise land.  

Truth is-
We've been given today to live.
Today is a gift.
We woke up this morning. 
Thank Jesus for it. 
There is purpose.
Don’t cast it off as if it doesn't matter.

I’m twenty-two. I’m single. I’m a nanny to twin girls. Most days, I’m wiping baby butts, sweeping Cheerios off the kitchen floor, and chasing after energetic two year olds, all while consuming multiple cups of coffee. Life can be pretty mundane at times. However, I must look at the greater picture of what God is doing rather than just my 3x5 snapshot of life at the moment. He is using this to sanctify me for a greater purpose. This season is necessary

When we see that God is up to something bigger than just our little view of life- it gives purpose to the most mundane of days.

As Charles Spurgeon said, “Remember this, had any condition been better for you than the one in which you are in, Divine Love would have put you there.”

So what is Divine Love teaching me? Here and Now?

1.)    He satisfies the longing soul. (Psalm 107:9) He is truly enough. He is the Well that does not run dry. He meets every desire and every longing with Himself. He alone is the satisfier of my thirsty heart.
2.)    He is worthy of my trust. (Psalm 20:7; 143:8-10) Jesus holds every moment of my life in His hands. Every day of my life was written in His book even before I took my first breath. He knows what He is doing. He is Lord over all. He is Sovereign. I can trust Him completely- even when I don’t understand His ways or leading… One thing is for sure. I can trust Him.
3.)    I am not alone. (Deuteronomy 31:8; Zechariah 2:5) He is here. With me. Here and now. He hasn’t forsaken me. He is walking every mile of this journey with me. He goes before me. He stands beside me. He is my shield and defender. I do not need to fear.
4.)    Surrender. (Galatians 2:20) All to Jesus. I surrender. All to Him- I freely give. Exchange my plans- for His. My expectations- for His. Life isn’t about my dreams coming true- True Life is found surrendered at the Cross of Jesus Christ.
5.)    Wait upon the Lord. (Psalm 25:3; 27:13-14) His timing is absolutely flawless. Even when it looks as if nothing is happening or moving forward He is working! He is doing something! I will not be disappointed when I wait and trust for His perfect timing.
6.)    Worship is a Weapon. (Psalm 30:4; 11-12) Worshipping Jesus is a weapon against the Enemy and against an unthankful, restless and discontent heart. It’s not if I worship but what I worship. The Enemy wants me to worship anything but Jesus. Set my heart to worshiping Jesus and continually gazing upon Him. Let every moment become an offering of praise back to Jesus- then I’m reminded of His goodness, His faithfulness and His worthiness. Thanksgiving is one of the least used weapons we have. Cultivate a thankful, worshipful heart.

This gives a whole new perspective to living. Jesus, the Sovereign Lord has appointed today for us to live for His glory, to magnify His Name, to speak of His goodness and faithfulness, to trust Him, to rest in His sovereignty over our lives.

 We have been given today.

So live it.

Whether we’re single, married, in school, flipping burgers at McDonalds, working an office job in a cubicle, or living the dream, we are responsible to live today for the glory of Jesus Christ.

 Don’t get caught up in the things we wish we could change or the things we wish we had.  If we truly believe God is Sovereign over EVERY moment of our lives, and He knows exactly what His children need then we have to believe that here and now is God’s best for us.

Dear friends, find satisfaction in Jesus. Trust Him. Know you are not alone. Wait upon Him and in the waiting- worship Him continually with thanksgiving. Taste and see what He is truly GOOD and all that we will ever need.

“Single life may be only a stage of a life’s journey, but even a stage is a gift. God may replace it with another gift, but the receiver accepts His gift with thanksgiving. This gift for this day. The life of faith is lived one day at a time and it has to be lived- not always looked forward to as though the ‘real’ living were around the next corner. It is today for which we are responsible. God still owns tomorrow.”
-Elisabeth Elliot