Christmas Surrendered with Gain

Christmas Surrendered

“May it be done to me according to your word.” – Luke 1:38

Mary carried Him for nine months, went through the pain of childbirth, mothered Him for thirty-three years, then surrendered Him to crucifixion.

She Surrendered…

Her public honor – to the unbelieving.

Her girlish figure – stretched and torn.

Her comfort – left home pregnant on a donkey.

Her pride – Joseph sees her for the first time as he delivers God’s Son.

She held her deeply loved promise in her arms.  Then, she was forced to surrender Him.  She was just a girl.  Just a human child, and like us, she felt her sorrow.  Mary’s surrender allowed her to hold Love, and then became our eternal gain.

Hope.  Joy.  Peace.

Jesus.  Emmanuel.  Savior of the World!

When God calls us to surrender, He never leaves us empty.  There is always an eternal purpose when we’re willing to say, “may it be done to me according to your word.”

“I’m just a girl, nothing more, but I’m willing, Be Born In Me”

~Shannan

Merry Christmas ~ 2015

I Am – Christ Within.

Holy Spirit
 

I almost quit because the pain hurt too much,

But I found my center and turned my gaze to Trust.

Christ with me, Christ behind and before,

Christ in me allowed me to keep going hope being restored.

 
rain21
 

There will always be pains to endure with wounds to mend,

But that only means there too will be victorious lives at the end.

Christ with me, Christ behind and before,

Christ in me redeems and Christ in me transforms.

——–

I’m not who this world said me to be.  I am – Christ within.

~Shannan

Copyright August 9 ‘2013

Christ Within

Click on Picture to find your center

“When They Began”

I woke up this morning and felt doubt trying to steal my hope, so I began to pray before my feet ever touched the floor.

     Dear Abba… You’ve promised that if your people delight in You, then You will give us what our hearts long for.*  I am at rest knowing that You are good and You cannot lie.  I believe You!  In my weariness, please help my areas of unbelief.

Morning Praise 2

Am I the only one who struggles with doubt?  Oh, my faith is strong for others and my vision for you is great, so why do I wrestle with belief for my own heart’s desires to be fulfilled?  Could it be because I know my faults and the areas of struggle that I’ve yet to surrender?  Is it that I’m bracing myself for another “No” from God, because of the heartache I’ve known in my past?  I don’t see others as having to be perfect to receive their request from God.  If perfection was a requirement we would all be buried under the weight of despair.

I believe a huge part of my struggle is that I often fail to recognize that God is leading my every step.  Society has conditioned us to only acknowledge the giant leaps.  Rarely is anything seen as valuable unless it has a parade of accolades trailing behind it, so in the mindset of this world it doesn’t look like I’m stepping at all, but if I am pressing into God I am in motion.  Paul and Silas, even while in chains, trusted God and sang praises to Him.  With every breath of praise, they were stepping in faith.*  

What seems desolate today may lead to greater victories tomorrow.  It was after Paul and Silas began to sing praises to God that their chains fell off, along with the chains of all the other prisoners.  Our praise is not only for our own gain.  Paul and Silas not only celebrated a personal miracle but they got to rejoice with many others as they too were freed from both physical and spiritual chains.

God?  That’s really crazy!

God told Jehoshaphat to send the worshipers ahead of the troops into battle.  God gave a promise that He would fight the battle for them.  “You will not need to fight in this battle.  Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!  Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you…  Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets and you shall prosper.” (2 Chor. 20:17 & 20b).

Sing Praise

“When they began to sing and to praise”

Jehoshaphat was obedient to God’s crazy request, so God caused his enemies to fight against each other.  God’s love is true and pure.  His love is unchanging.  His love is the same for all of us, so if you believe that God will restore the lives of those you pray for, then you must believe for yourself also.  If I believe for you but fail to trust when I pray for my own needs, then I have become prideful.  Ultimately, my lack of faith is stating that Jesus is enough for you but He is not enough for me.  Ouch!  To think I can be so arrogant, that’s a really painful thought.

Jesus paid a debt He did not owe and I owe a debt I could never pay.  I can’t, but Jesus did!  When I gave my life to Christ, He covered me with His perfection, and I too can take my request to God and ask believing – even when I’m still struggling with my faith.  Wrestling with faith shows the presence of faith.

“Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” – Mark 9:24

Having emotions is not wrong, it’s what we do with them that matters.  This morning as I felt hope draining from my heart, I called to the One where hope begins.  In faith I called to God as I surrendered my unbelief.

“ALL the promises of God are “YES”!*  So take a deep breath, rest in Him, believe for yourself like you believe for others, and say “AMEN!” – 2 Cor. 1:20

In the words of a wise friend of mine, “It’s an honest request that God delights to honor; and when we see our faith increase, we know to give the glory back to God.”, (Kimberly Wyse).  The more I recall what God has done, the more I find rest in knowing that He will continue to amaze me.  God is good!

What chains have you bound?  Are you physically shackled?  What emotional weights keep you hidden in fear rather than functioning in faith?  Are you burdened by people’s false accusations?  Or, are you struggling with forgiving yourself for wrongs you’ve committed?  Whatever it may be that taunts your mind today, take the thoughts captive and give God praise.  He’s still writing your story.

~Shannan

2013, Growing Forward In Love!

* Scripture references, Psalm 33:18, Psalm 37:4, Acts 16:25-34, 2 Cor. 1:20

“Fifty Shades Of Grey” The Numbers Just Don’t Add Up!

We are not without hope.  Hope can be hard to find because of the continual moral decline of our world, but hope still exists because our Redeemer is alive and at work on our behalf.

In my recent blog post, “Is That Ok With You?  Better Yet, Is That Ok With Me?” I said that the desires of my heart looked less than hopeful.  These words are deeply felt, but to feel something deeply does not mean it is always true.  How often do you feel you cannot take another bite of that wonderful meal, yet you make room for one more bite and then inhale dessert after it?  And ladies, how often do you feel you cannot take another step in that gorgeous new pair of heels, but you find the strength to finish out the day in them?  Many times, what we feel and what is possible differ.

With best-selling books like “Fifty Shades of Grey”, and with Hollywood’s depiction of what love is, real and lasting love can be hard to recognize – even in the local church body.

“For the wages of sin is death..” – Romans 6:23a

Lately I’ve been hearing people justify one wrong action because they are doing two or three other things right.  If I do A, B, and C right, that does not mean I can choose to do X, Y, and Z wrong.  They do not cancel each other out.  I’m not casting judgement on anyone.  We’ve all been guilty of these mathematics.  Absolute truth is found when our equation does not work.  We are absolutely wrong, and until that wrong is made right the rest of our formula will never equal a true positive.  There are no Grey areas when it comes to sin.  Right is right and wrong is wrong, and there are consequences to our words and actions.

There’s more than just a physical death that takes place when we sin.  The ultimate penalty of living a life of sin is eternal death, but we can also forfeit a blessing in the here and now by making wrong choices.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” does not offer the formula to an intimate love life.  This book, and now movie, does just the opposite!  Love seeks what it can give, not what it can take.  It’s frustrating to witness our world seeking out and offering this form of affection and calling it love.  It saddens me to hear of so many women buying into this form of entertainment because it then slowly taints their vision of what is true.  Just as we, women, can never live up to the fantasies of the pornography that men look at, neither can a man live up to the absolute pornography that’s found in the pages of this book.

 

I’m only using this book as one example, just turn on the television anytime of day or night and you will hear and see the same distortions over and over again.  It appears that chivalry is dead and romance is nothing more than a sexual encounter.  Sex has become nothing more than a “Hello, my name is…!”  Our world has become so self-centered and desensitized to truth, that we seek what we can take instead of sincerely caring about the hearts of others around us.

Until we can understand that real and lasting love is not a self-seeking fulfillment, but rather about giving of self for the good of another, we will exhaust ourselves trying to feed a hunger that cannot be gratified.  Self cannot satisfy self.

I am not anti-TV, or anti-entertainment.  I love going to the occasional movie with friends and daydreaming about the what if’s of the future, but I must not lose site of what is true as I dream.  Our mind and our feelings will lead us down all kinds of paths, but those paths may not, in the end, lead us to a positive outcome.  Let’s face it, sin is fun!  That’s why we do it.  Though it’s never fun in the end, but merely an illusion.  The same voice that leads you to temptation and all its false glory, is the same voice that will be there to rob you of your sleep with guilt and regret when you find your appetite has not been quenched.  The hunger only grows stronger but the more you feed it the more you find you’re only chomping on air.

How can we hold onto hope and dream without fear?

How can the cravings of our heart be satisfied?

We must bring our thought life to God and align it with His word, and then trust Him when He promises us a hope and a future.  He also promises to listen to our heart’s petition.

“For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace not for evil, to give you a hope in your final outcome.  Then you will call upon Me and you will come and pray to me, and I will hear and heed you.” – Jeremiah 29:11-12

Real and lasting love still exists.  It is found in the heart of those who seek truth and get to know Him.  There will be times when we need to rightly reach out and accept what God is handing us, but to live a life of taking everything we want when we want it will leave us depleted of anything lasting.  We will die snake-bitten.

“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.  And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?'” – Gen 3:1

So often we fall for this twisting of the truth.  Once truth has been twisted it is no longer truth.  I would be no less than arrogant to think that God would applaud me for choosing a small area of Grey over an entire garden of life.

What God really told Adam was that he could “freely eat of every tree of the garden”, with the exception of one, (Gen 2:16-17).  God warned Adam that this one “No” out of all the yeses would lead to death, but like many of us choose, Adam chose to think that the rules did not apply to him.  So Adam and his wife, Eve, ate and forfeited the gifts of the garden.

Thankfully our Redeemer does live and has made a way for His gifts to be restored, “…but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”.  And because these numbers do add up to an absolute positive, I can trust these next words and let my heart dream!

“Delight yourself also in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4

The desires of my heart may looked less than hopeful at times, but I am not hopeless.  I am expectantly optimistic!

~Shannan

Uncompromisingly Walking With Him In 2012

Keeping It Real!

2 Pet. 1:3–9, Mathematics that work!

What’s alarming about this information is that the brain acts as a whole entity; its plasticity is global. Change in one area affects other regions.”

Here is just one reason why what we read and view does matter,  “How Watching Pornography Changes The Brain”.

Is That Ok With You? Better Yet, Is That Ok With Me?

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet (there was no visible sign), moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Heb. 11:7

What makes a righteous man?

“Noah walked in close fellowship with God… (Gen. 6:9) and Noah did everything the Lord commanded him.” (Gen. 7:5)

As I stood before my friend in my kitchen, once again I became internally ill when he asked the dreaded question, “What are you doing these days?”  I froze for a moment as my mind raced to find the words that would be pretty enough to prove I’m really not lazy nor lacking in drive.  Once again that nagging little voice that I wrestle with each day grew louder, “You’re not doing or being enough.  What kind of testimony to God are you if you’re not accomplishing what so many others are?  You are not enough!  My friend’s question was innocent and not meant to cause pain, he was simply asking how I was doing that day, but after so many years of walking through this dark and lonely season, I’ve picked up guilt for not living up to the expectations so many had for me.  To not have a grand and adventurous accomplishment to tell about makes me feel no less than a disappointment.

Since the day after my husband was killed, I have been told what I was going to do and be.  “Shannan, you’re going to be the next Beth Moore…I can see you being the next Joyce Meyer…God would not allow this to happen for nothing…You’re going to be great!”  As much as I do not want to be someone else, as great as they are, the fact that I’m not all of these things flooded my mind as I stood before my friend, and I almost felt I should apologize for not being “great”.

Noah did not waver, even in a world that made trusting God unpopular, and even when God did not seem to make any sense.  Noah responded to God and then waited for Him.  Our world today does not understand waiting, much less will it allow someone to “Be still”*.  I deal with my own guilt each day for the fact that God keeps saying, “Be still.  My grace is sufficient”  Why do I wrestle with God’s gift of time by trying to dress me up each day in the clothes of appeared success?  Why do I let the question, “What do you do?” torment my mind?  I do a lot everyday, to the point I average about 4-5 hours of sleep each night, but what’s really being asked is, “Who are you now Shannan?”  With not having a career to identify me, I then have to deal with the looks of pity.  I’ve always been the odd one, so why does this cut so deep now?

Here’s the short and only answer to the questions I keep asking myself.  Why do I feel guilty?  It’s pride.  I know without an ounce of doubt in me that my heart seeks God for each day.  I ask Him to expose any wrong thinking I may have.  I ask that He protect me, shelter me, and guide my every footstep along the path that He established for my life long before I took my first breath here on His earth.  I ask Him almost daily to place within me a vision and the passion to do what He wants me to do.  So why do I wrestle with Him when He says, “Be still?”  The only honest answer I can give is that it’s my own pride.

I was use to having my life planned out for 3 years in advance, knowing exactly where I was to be and when.  Then in a flash, I went from “success” to a whirlwind of death and corruption.  I spent 3 years in legal battles all the while attending one funeral after another.  To date, I’ve buried 7 immediate family members, and another 15 friends, family, and industry peers since Warren’s death.  I have sweet memories of visiting my friend each day as she courageously journeyed her way through pancreatic cancer.  What a gift for her to trust me to walk her last miles with her.  I did have to refrain from attending all 22 funerals, but my heart was at each one.  I don’t tell you this for pity, for I see my storm as a means for God to reveal His strength.  This small amount of information just brings things into perspective for me a little.

If I know I am exactly where God wants me to be today, and I believe Him when He says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things shall be given unto you.”*  Then why is my heart anxious?  Why do I feel I have to prove that I am ok?  Who am I trying to please in these moments when my heart is screaming for something…ANYTHING other than this?  The answer is you.  I’m trying to please all the “yous” that I stand before.  I fear I will not have an answer that will be adequate, or even one that will pacify for the moment, because my life does not make any logical sense right now.

“God would not allow this to happen for nothing.”

That’s true, but what if the something still looks like nothing?  What if the something that is coming from this season of the valley of the shadow of death is an internal growth within myself and not for a stage full of lights?  What if my heart’s desire is to be a wife and mother who bakes cookies and not a famous somebody to the world?  Is that ok with you?  Better yet, is that ok with me?  I’m slowly coming to the place to be able to answer yes to this question.  I still wrestle with saying yes absolutely, because the reality of this heart’s desire looks less than hopeful.  You can’t go to school for 4 years, get a degree, and POOF there’s love – a real and lasting love.  There is a part of me that is 100% ok with my present circumstance, and that is the fact that I know I am not sitting idly by doing nothing to prepare.  I am seeking God and trying to learn all I can so that I can be a better me.  I am, in faith, preparing for the desires of my heart.

After what seemed to be too long of a pause, I answered my friends question honestly.  “There’s not a whole lot of new going on, I’m just trying to seek God for my next step.”  Then my friend spoke such freeing words over me.  With a gentle peace and a bold confidence, “Awww, you’re abiding”, he said.  For the first time in 6 1/2 years I felt I had nothing to prove.

I can safely bet that Noah questioned God’s delay in opening the ark door.  It rained for 40 days and 40 nights, but Noah and his family were on that big boat for a year!  During their stay, the world as they knew it was wiped away.  When the time of the flood season was complete, they stepped off of that ship into a whole new world.  No doubt it was scary, but the change was absolutely necessary for mankind to continue.

Noah could have refused to build the ark for fear of what others would think.  After all, it had never rained on the earth before, so what sense did it make to build a boat in preparation for a flood?  There certainly had to be accusations that this man, Noah, had lost his mind.  But “By Faith”, with “no visible sign”, he began to build, and then allowed God to shut him in the day the rains began to fall.  With all of man’s logic and their accusing words, he could have allowed pride to sway him from his trust in God.  After the many months aboard that ship, he could have let his anxious moments cause him to jump overboard before it was time, but “By Faith”, he chose to “be still” and wait on God – “to the saving of his house”.

Like Noah, my life does, and will, look different from when the storm first hit, but I serve the all-powerful and all-knowing God who is full of grace and mercy.  His ways are best, and so is His timing.  I too can “Be still”, and trust Him in what appears to be His delay.  He’s never late, and thankfully never too early.

For now, my “great” success is to be here sharing with all of you, and this is ok.  That is, until I’m baking cookies…. 😉

~Shannan

Uncompromisingly Walking With Him in 2012!

Be sure to talk to me in the comment section of this blog.  I really do love to hear from you too!

“Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” – Gen. 6:8

*Psalm 46:10, http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2046&version=AMP

*Matthew 6:33, http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matt%206&version=AMP

I’m In Love…

…with people!

This past Thursday I was wiping down my kitchen walls, doing laundry, and vacuuming the cobwebs above my cupboards that seemed to appear overnight, etc, etc, etc…  As I danced around my washing machine and climbed to the top corners of my ceiling, I felt hope rise to the point that I began to smile and sing the praise chorus that echoed through my mind.  “You make, All things work together for my good…”  Nothing has changed.  Nothing new is in view.  No “Aha” moment has been had, yet hope and joy walked beside me.  I believe their presence had something to do with my conversation I had with God during my run on Tuesday morning.

While soaking in the brisk air and the sun’s rays I found myself reminiscing over this past weekend.  I had traveled to Illinois to share my testimony at a church just 12 miles east of St. Louis, MO.  On my way home I made a stop in Marion, IL to tape a TV spot at the TCT Network.  It’s not the spotlight that I enjoy, I’m ok without that, but through my weekend travels I discovered a deeper love I now have for people.  Since childhood I’ve been one who befriended the friendless.  I attribute this soft spot in my heart to my own understanding of being the unpopular, or the invisible one myself, but something is different inside of me now.

So many people, of all ages, began to share their stories with me after I spoke on Sunday night.  As each person handed me their heart, both the joys and the sorrows, I was captivated by them.  What a precious honor it was to have my elders ask my opinion regarding the thoughts and feelings some experience during grief.  No doubt they could teach me a wealth of knowledge from their own experiences of loss, yet they chose to trust one some 40 years younger than themselves.  Wow!  I also chatted with some who were probably 15-20 years younger than I am.  I loved each one individually yet the same.  So on Tuesday morning as I began my run, with one foot coming down in front of the other and my hands open and turned toward the sky, my prayer went something like this;

“Lord, Thank You for continuing to transform my heart – it’s all You.  I feel change is in the air.  I’m not sure what You are doing and I’m not going to try to figure it out this time.  I’m done guessing, and I’m done trying to pick up what everyone else tells me I should or should not be.  I will allow You to unfold Your purpose and reason for each step You lead me to take.  I realize there are areas in my life that I have picked up a false sense of control, for this I am sorry.  I can do nothing without You giving me the ability.  I cannot walk, run, breathe, or get my countertops clean enough*, without You enabling me to do so.  So, I am choosing to let go of all my preconceived ideas.  It will take me some time to learn how to let go and I will need reminded often, but I am releasing all the restrictions I’ve set in order for You to bless me.  I have been wrong far too often and You are never wrong.  I trust You.  Lord, please show me clearly where, when, how, and who.”

I must admit that I’m just a little nervous after this prayer, but why not put words of faith into an adventurous action?  I believe that the dreams of my heart are far better off being molded in God’s hands than dictated by my minds logic.

If you become willing to open up and sincerely share your life’s story with others, you will find you are not as alone as you might think.  Everyone has a story!  Whether it be an internal struggle or an outward battle, we all have a story to tell and we all need each other to tell it.  Why not open up yourself to love others and let others love you back?  It doesn’t take a huge platform to be open with your heart, but it does take courage.

If you choose to be brave, just maybe you too will find hope and joy walking with you!  Better yet, maybe you will find yourself “In Love”!

~Shannan

Uncompromisingly Walking With Him In 2012.

“Still Keeping It Real!”

*some of you out there will understand my countertop statement in my prayer.  For those who do not, that’s for another blog 😉

Feeling Completely Plucked

Sometimes I feel like a chicken that’s had all its feathers plucked out.

Feeling A Little Chilly!

I know God doesn’t strip us without reason, but I have to wonder how long He will leave me naked?

“Tribulation produces perseverance…”

“…and perseverance, CHARACTER!”

 

Am I the only one feeling this way?

~Shannan

Uncompromisingly Walking With Him In 2012!

Still Keeping It Real!

“…and character, HOPE.  Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” -Romans 5:3-5

Just A Few Words… January 1 ‘2012

Sometimes being where you need to be is being where you’re needed and not where your needs are met, yet strangely, that’s where you often find peace and purpose.  My lack of knowing my next step left me wide open for God’s leading today.  Though there is sorrow and questions looming there’s still hope.  I will admit that I did not have the strength of heart to hope last night, so I slept through the ringing in of the New Year. BUT TODAY IS A NEW DAY!

In the midst of my being needed I found my peace in hearing the words from Romans 5:5.

“Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.”

Watch and listen for God’s love and encouragement.  This life disappoints but God never handles our heart will ill intent.  We may not have the answers for what the New Year will unfold but God gives us what we need for today.  (Deut. 4:29)

Much Love and God’s Perfect For 2012 – Here We Go!

~Shannan

Uncompromisingly Walking With Him In 2012!

A Christian’s Resolution….

“For though I am away from you in body, yet I am with you in spirit, delighted at the sight of your [standing shoulder to shoulder in such] orderly array and the firmness and the solid front and steadfastness of your faith in Christ [that leaning of the entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness].  As you have therefore received Christ, [even] Jesus the Lord, [so] walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him.  Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.” – Colossians 2:5-7 (amp)


HOPELESS

Don’t always assume that tears are a sign of lost hope.

Sometimes they are a purging of the lies that the enemy of our soul continues to whisper to us.

And sometimes they are the only way we know how to tell God how grateful we are.

“Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.” – Psalm 126:5

~Shannan

2011, Keeping It Real!

There’s Only One Word For This!

I had no words, so I asked the Holy Spirit how I should pray.

I have so many people on my heart for various reasons, and I’ve come to a loss for words when I pray for them.  As I asked for this wisdom I was reminded of the most powerful prayer we can pray.  I was reminded where it is that we find everything we need and where all that we long for is discovered.  One word came to my mind to offer on behalf of my friends – “Jesus”!  This is all the Spirit spoke to my heart, and He is more than enough.  This is where restoration not only begins but where it is complete.

A Broken Heart – JESUS!

A Broken Home – JESUS!

Financial Issues – JESUS!

In Sickness – JESUS!

In Loneliness – JESUS!

In Need Of Forgiveness – JESUS!

In The Valley Of The Shadow Of  Death – JESUS!

In The Valley Of Depression – JESUS!

I offered no other words, but as I spoke His name over each person that came to mind all the trials of this world suddenly became powerless.

Throughout my childhood and into the beginning years of my marriage, I struggled with the words “thank you” and “I love you”.  I was full of gratitude and loved deeply, but when words are rarely heard, they can feel like a foreign language rolling off your own tongue.  I remedied this problem by putting into practice a very simple solution, I started saying them.  As silly as it sounds now, it wasn’t easy for me to speak these words at first, but the more I did the easier they became.  Now I value every moment I have to sincerely express these emotions.

About six months ago I realized how rare it was for me to say the name of Jesus.  I talked about God and had no problem with referring to Jesus as Lord, but to say His name was more rare than common.  I sang gospel songs for years that used His name, but to actually speak the name of the One that I call friend did not come easily.  With my new awareness I had to ask myself , Why don’t I say His name?  Why is it so uncomfortable for me to do?

I don’t know that I have one good reason to give you in answer to my self-imposed questions, with the exception of my previous childhood example.  So, I drew from the lesson I learned with those most precious words of “thank you” and “I love you”, and I applied the same prescription to solve this newly discovered language barrier – I started saying His name.

Having my tongue tied up in knots and unable to breathe His name out loud, as I would with any of my other friends, kept me from so many blessings and freedoms.  When I say “blessings”, I’m not at all implying Jesus to be likened to a genie in a bottle, that when called on He gives us all the earthly toys we want.  No, He’s a much better father than that.  The sweetest blessings to me are seeing a prayer answered for a hurting friend, or witnessing a lost soul meet Jesus and come to know that they are worth far more than their social status or job title.  This freedom can only come one way, at the name of Jesus.

“For this reason, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed upon Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:9-11

When we are a part of God’s family, it isn’t bondage that makes us bow our knees, but the joy of our freedom in Christ.  I get more and more excited as I think on this topic and discuss it with friends.  Will you allow me to elaborate on my thoughts for just a moment?

The scripture states that, “every knee will bow…and every tongue will confess…”  I don’t know about you, but I always read this scripture with the mindset that this is a futuristic happening.  My mind heard it as, “When Jesus returns at the end of time, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord.”  But that’s not what it says!  It says that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow – PERIOD.  This excites me because I realize that now, at this very moment, there are knees bowing as I speak His name.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  -Eph. 6:12

If we are wrestling here and now then we need now power.  What is our now power?  Jesus!

““Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.  And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything in My name, I will do it (Again, it’s in the now, not just somewhere in the future).”  -John 14:12-14

If we are going to do greater works than Jesus did, then we must recognize how that’s even possible.  How can I have faith to be victorious if I don’t know where faith begins?  Just think, when we speak His name, all that we are wrestling in the spiritual world must bow and submit to the authority of Christ.

Many have given me the humbling compliment of “You’re Strong.”  My strength is knowing that my strength is only because of Christ in me.  I am not “strong” by my own merit.  I’m lost without Him.  I’m too tired without Him.  I’m too broken by this world without Him.  But JESUS!!!  He is my energy to press on.  He is my wholeness.  In Him alone I am found!

My Peace – Jesus!

My Hope – Jesus!

My Joy – Jesus!

My Healing – Jesus!

My Ability To Forgive – Jesus!

My Ability To Trust – Jesus!

My Ability To Love – Jesus!

On The Mountaintop of success – JESUS!

Anything Good In Me – JESUS!

My Source Of Strength…

“Darkness knows its Lord and the prince of darkness is not its lord.” – Pastor Austin Cagle

JESUS!!!

They Bow Down.

~Shannan

2011, Keeping It Real!

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