"And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone around them, and they were terribly frightened."
This morning as I was paging through the Bible the word suddenly stood out to me. I did a little research and discovered that it occurs 87 times in the Bible! It’s fun to think that I could be minding my own business and then, suddenly, an angel appears! Or, like the shepherds who were tending their sheep in the field, suddenly, an angel appeared and then many appeared, whoa! I’d be terribly frightened at first too. There’s no gradual process when angels appear, they just seem to pop up out of nowhere, you know, suddenly. As amazing and fascinating as it is, I am left to ponder the method.
"And just as sin reigned through death, so also this sin-conquering grace will reign as king through righteousness, imparting eternal life through Jesus, our Lord and Messiah!"
Romans 5:21 TPT
What an incredible gift we've been given. We are made new - a new life!
I was reading this week in Romans, and just re-reminded all over again about how I was given such a precious gift, and how I operate in faith vs. the law. God's grace is totally sufficient. He reminds me that I am to believe by faith, and as I do God imparts to my account righteousness. Isn't that incredible? He's done all the work.
I've had days where I don't feel new life, and all I think I see is myself failing. Then I get reminded all over again to have new eyes to see and ears to hear, what the Lord says and keeps saying. We are not that person anymore, we are transformed.
"Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive fails and the fields produce no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls, yet I will [choose to] rejoice in the Lord; I will [choose to] shout in exultation in the [victorious] God of my salvation! The Lord God is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army]; He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds’ feet and makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my high places [of challenge and responsibility]."
God promises over and over in His Word that He will strengthen those that trust in Him. He promises to give us confidence that is as sure-footed as a deer, when we live in faith.
"Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you."
Ephesians 3:20 TPT
I am blown away when I read this scripture - and I know that it is true!! Limitless. I know that no matter how large the dream I have, how large my imagination can stretch that God will outdo it all.
Can you picture it? Whatever dream you have God's dream for you is far more than you can grasp. It says here that His miraculous power which resides in you, is what energizes you and strengthens you. Basically, when we are at rest in Him, He does the work that we cannot and it's his desire to!
"Once your life was full of sin's darkness, but now you have the very light of our Lord shining through you because of your union with him. Your mission is to live as children flooded with revelation-light! And the supernatural fruits of his light will be seen in you-goodness, righteousness, and truth. You will learn to choose what is beautiful to our Lord."
This little light of mine,
I'm going to let it shine.
All around the neighborhood,
This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine,
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine...
Did any of you sing this Sunday school song when you were a kid? We sang it all the time, but today as I was thinking about it, I began to ask myself, "Is my Light really little?" The answer is no, impossible? Why? Because Jesus lives in me! I immediately began to sing the song with different words:
“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple.”
Honestly, I am the worst when it comes to this type of thing. I always feel the need to DO rather than BE.
A couple months ago I considered giving myself homework assignments related to the Bible and prayer to force myself to actually spend time with God. Why? Because that makes it easier for me.
Sometimes, it’s easier to fill out a worksheet or complete a journaling prompt than sit still, listen, or pray from the heart. BUT, that doesn’t make it better.
"Here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you!"
Psalm 27:14 TPT
There isn't a place so far away that we can go, so dark that the Lord isn't there. He is passionate about us, and He is jealous over us to be close. The Lord meets us in that place, and pulls us close. He is our very foundation, our rock, our fortress and our strength.
Walking through serious health problems as a child into adulthood, I clung to the Lord just like this verse says,
"Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you!" I can honestly say that after I walked through that journey, it didn't seriously occur to me that there might be seasons just as hard or sometimes harder that I might walk through. There have been years where the it felt like the trials just kept coming, but the Lord would remind me of who He is, and who I am in Him. We all have a choice whether to believe the truth of who God says we are and keep our eyes on Him, or get lost and feel far away from Him. He's already stated that He won't leave us.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”
“Solvitur ambulando.” (“It is solved by walking.” St Augustine)
I spend a lot of time outside, praying. For whatever reason, I feel closer to God when I am in the middle of His Creation. My artwork is largely a reflection of that. Natural beauty inspires me, and the fact that God made it all inspires me that much more. My creativity is just as much an extension of that connectedness as my prayer life.
"Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive fails and the fields produce no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls, I will [choose to] rejoice in the Lord; I will [choose to] shout in exultation in the [victorious] God of my salvation! The Lord God is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army]; He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds’ feet and makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my high places [of challenge and responsibility]."
Have you experienced difficult times in your life? Have you had seasons where it felt like you simply didn’t want to get up in the morning, and everything around you was bleak?
For me, I have experienced a few seasons like this. We had a season of financial crisis that lasted seven years. It was very painful as we walked through many losses of worldly treasures. We struggled to buy groceries and clothes for our children. We felt weary year after year as we worked to keep ourselves above water.
This morning I felt to just worship the King of kings before even asking for anything because He truly is worthy of that, the King on the throne. I played two songs, one of the them being a song by the name of Way Maker, absolutely incredible song.
Here you will find a mix of encouraging and inspirational articles written from members within the Community of Christian Creatives.