Can I just assure you that you don’t have to have the perfect answer when your kids ask a tough question about God. My son asked a doozy last night and I was left his room feeling like I was an idiot and a failure to him and God.
But as I prayed, I felt the Holy Spirit say, You don’t have to have all the answers. My heart was instantly filled with hope in realizing we have a God who answers questions and on top of that my kid is asking questions, he is seeking.
When it comes to a relationship with God, the bond comes when He personally answers our questions through our seeking Him. It is the time it takes for us to get that answer in which our relationship grows deeper with Him.
When our kids are asking Who, What, Where is God, we can bet God is ready and willing to answer.
This does not mean we don’t also seek to help our kids answer those questions but in their seeking we can have peace that the time it will take for our kids to understand the answer will be time well directed, by our Father in heaven, in order to draw our kids closer to Himself.
True freedom comes from Obedience to God. There is a notion these days that because of the cross we are no longer obligated to actually obey anything. We are free to do whatever we want to. The theme among popular woman’s books is, “We’ve been conditioned to (fill in the blank), indoctrinated, let your “wild run free” , ….. Deceit looks and feels so pretty doesn’t it (maybe even liberating)?
Freewill and Freedom are two different things. Quite often we choose freewill over actual freedom and it always gets messy for us, eventually.
The thing is, we think we know what’s good for us. We’re stubborn and hard hearted.
Choose obedience, sister. Choose the yoke of Jesus. There is where we find true Freedom!
If you aren’t sure how, start with the word of God and email me anytime at:
Do you know what the definition of peace is?! You know I always look for the freedom we have in Christ as I read God’s word and PEACE has been a result of my growing in Christ though the past several years. I have found myself “realizing” the peace that I have. I haven’t always felt this peace. A while back I decided to look up the definition of peace just for fun and I was pleasantly surprised when Webster told me it is: FREEDOM from disruption.
Peace is FREEDOM! Of course it is. After reading the definition I just smiled thinking of Jesus waiting for the day I would find out what it meant. I mean I knew what peace was in reference to a feeling but to get some details on it was refreshing.
So, disruption is the key word here. Disruption is a break or interruption in the normal course of some activity or process.
Years ago I heard someone say, Nothing comes to us unless God approves of it first. Think about that, Nothing can get to us until first God allows it to. No matter what it is, if we are following Jesus and seeking Him, EVERYTHING we go through or experience is first filtered through God’s sovereignty. Whatever he allows or does not allow, we trust that He is good, merciful, working all things according for our good, forgiving, faithful, and so there is no disruption but only eternal purpose. When we look at this through the sovereignty of God we see that there is no way for His will to be “disrupted”.
When visiting the disciples after Jesus rose from the dead, Jesus said over and over, “Peace be with you” . Clearly at that time they were terrified because they were looking at a (who they thought was) a dead guy but Jesus’ words were more than calming their fear. They were also calming their doubts. They had just seen him crucified, they were grieving and wondering if they had been following a fool for all that time and then they see him and wonder if they are going completely mad. They are questioning everything on top of their grief. All that they had known they believed to be completely disrupted. He said simply, “Peace be with you”. In other words, Nothing has been disprupted. All is going according to my plan. Do not let the events of the last three days disrupt the work we have started.
In the past several years the difference in my walk with Jesus has been that I have been swimming in scripture. Everyday I have been studying and learning and praying and reading and reading and reading. I don’t say that to boast but to encourage you that knowing who God is gives peace beyond understanding.
Knowing what God has done and what He’s going to do opens the door for us to obey what Jesus said, which is to Love the Lord with all of our heart, and all of our mind and all of our soul. That leaves no room in our hearts for life’s disruptions.
Sister, do not let the circumstances in your life disrupt the peace you have in Christ. There is nothing that you are going through, your children are going through, your body, your job, your anything is going through that God does not have full authority over. Through Christ, you have freedom from disruption. PEACE. BE. WITH. YOU.
In the last couple of weeks I have accidentally found myself on a road to what we aren’t free from. I’m not really sure how that’s happened but it has actually given me much more clarity on freedom itself. Understanding the “requirements” of following Jesus is freedom!
That very word, “requirements” can instantly give our belly’s a twist. In our culture today, if we put an requirement on anything; that is instant oppression. Following Christ though, requires EVERYTHING. Literally, your life.
In saying this, so often people call themselves Christian’s and follow the belief that all they need to do is believe and be nice to people. If Christianity is defined as following Jesus Christ’s teachings and you don’t even know what he taught than why would you call yourself a Christian?
When we decide to believe what Jesus says to be true we should change. Not immediately but there should be a steady “changing of our minds” which results in the changing of our hearts. We should be able to see a difference. What is this “changing of the mind” it is literally REPENTANCE.
Our walk with Jesus requires a constant posture of repentance. There is no relationship with Jesus without repentance.
The best news about repentance is that when we get tired. When our endurance to follow Jesus feels like its on empty, repentance is our fill up. It’s our gas pump that refills out tank with the truth of who God is and who we are NOT.
Let’s draw close to Lord today, Sister. Let’s Repent and be humbled by the holiness of the Lord God.
So, Autonomy. This is a new word I learned this week. It means self-law or no accountability outside of ourselves.
As Christian women, if we don’t understand what true freedom in Christ is than we will be in a war of authority for our entire lives.
Christian Freedom is not Autonomy. In all things we are accountable to God. The freedom of a Christian is “God-law”. James says in 2:12 “whenever you speak, or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law of love, the law that set you free. God’s law IS what sets us free. Jesus said he didn’t come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. Matthew 5:17
The truth is no matter if you believe in God or not you can never be free from Him. You can either be accountable to yourself here one earth or accountable to Him here on earth but either way you will stand before Him when you die and the fate of your eternity will be in His hands. Either way you can never actually be free from God.
And Thank God, we can never be free from God! Can you even imagine? Our Freedom is in the fact that we can never be free from God. His ways are perfect. He is for us and not against us. He loves us and has good plans for those who love him.
Take heart today sister, that you will never be rid of your savior and what a blessed truth that is.
So I’ve been reading this book and a bunch of the way through it I felt like I was on board the magical mystery tour bus. LOL It’s called “The Lily of the field and the bird of the air” by Seron Kierkegaard. I discovered this author a few years ago when I came across a quote of his in regards to freedom. You know how much I love freedom so I finally got one of his books. This was published in 1848. 1848! crazy right? Well, this particular book is a “discourse” (as he calls it) on Matthew 6. Particularly the verse 26-28 when Jesus himself says,
“Look at the birds . They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are…”Look at the Lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, wont he more surely care for you? You have such little faith!”
Even though the author does get a little trippy and very philosophical he is so on point with his dissection of the lives of these little creatures in relation to God. I had to share a few things I’ve found freedom in after reading it. It’s major premise is in looking to the Lily and the Bird as a teacher and finding , silence, obedience and joy.
The silence comes not just because they can’t speak but because they realize that God’s Kingdome is the only thing to seek. In seeking God’s will first and always they master silence, which is what they embody where as for us humans, it is an art to be silent. We often come to God with the how, what, and why’s; instead of just being before him in silence.
“What is it that I must do, what sort of effort is it of which it can be said that the Kingdome has been sought first? In a certain sense there is nothing. You shall in the deepest sense make yourself nothing, become nothing before God, learn to keep silent.”
– The Lily of the Field and the bird of the air by Soren Kierkegaard
Obedience is the lily and the bird’s assurance that God’s will be done. No matter the length of the life for the Lily or the sorrows and struggles of the bird, they are unconditionally obedient to God’s will on earth; Just as the Lord’s prayer says, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” There is no ambivalence when in comes to their “today” they do not worry about tomorrow because today they abide in the Lord and must look no further for anything else.
“In nature everything is unconditional obedience; his will is done because everything obeys him unconditionally, because there is no other will than his in heaven and on earth.”
-The Lily of the field and the bird of the air by Soren Keirkegaard
Which brings us to Joy, the bird and the Lily are Joy; they have no conditions on “how or when or what ” will arise in their lives and that is precisely where their full joy comes from. Every care they have is put upon the Lord and because of that they rejoice. So often our joy in conditional on our circumstances and unless we cast all of our sorrows on the Lord we will not experience true joy and we will inevitably forget to rejoice in God.
“Learn, therefore, from the lily and the bird. Cast all your sorrow upon God, entirely, unconditionally, as the lily and the bird do: then you will become unconditionally joyful like the lily and the bird.
-The Lily of the field and the bird of the air by Soren Kierkegaard
So, with silence, obedience and with Joy we find that the Kingdom of God can be sought first. The reoccurring word before all of these things that I noticed was “unconditionally”. We so often create conditions in which to worship or ask or experience God under and that ; “the conditions” are what get in the way of our freedom in Christ. We have freedom from the conditions of this world.
May we never look at a lily or a bird the same again. May they always be our reminders of seeking the Kingdom of God first; in unconditional silence, unconditional obedience, and unconditional joy!
So, the coolest thing happened this week. Last Friday I shared with you about the rest that Jesus gives our souls. So, I have been reading this book called “The Pursuit of God” by A.W. Tozer for months! It is a very small book so I have often been mad at myself for taking so long to read it. This past week I finished up the chapter I had been on for weeks and then moved on to the next. You will never guess what the chapter was titled! “Meekness and Rest” As I began to read the chapter it started to answer several questions that I was asking myself after posting the “Yoked?” blog. As I dug into the chapter it referenced Matthew 11:28-30, the very same verse we talked about last week! How cool is God?! That just could not have been a coincidence
A few of my questions were, How do we “yoke” ourselves to Jesus? What can we do to find rest in Jesus? and here is what he explains in the chapter.
A. W. Tozer began this chapter with Matthew 5:5 which is a verse from the Beatitudes. No, not your tweens attitude, lol the Beatitudes. If you don’t know what that is, the Beatitudes are the blessings that Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5:5 says, God blesses those who are meek and lowly, for the whole earth will belong to them. He then explains how the very attributes that the beatitudes teach are the very opposite attributes of human conduct. The burden, if you will, that we are all born with.
” These evils are which make life the bitter struggle it is for all of us. All our heartaches and a great many of our physical ills spring directly out of our sins. Pride, arrogance, resentfulness, evil imaginings, malice, greed: these are the sources of more human pain than all the diseases that ever afflicted mortal flesh. ~A.W. Tozer
What I learned is that in Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus is basically elaborating on how to apply the meekness that he talks about in the beatitudes to our lives. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am meek and lowly, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light. In essence this tells us the way to yoke ourselves to Jesus is to “take on” the attributes of Jesus. This is not easy for us because our first instinct is to satisfy ourselves and when we do so the burden of the world begins to weigh on us. Jesus says his burden is light. One might wonder how Jesus could give any kind of burden? I know I wondered about this. When we hear him say his burden is light, its the meekness that He is talking about. When we take on his meekness we are taking off our pride, our pretense, and our desires (that which we don’t realize the weight of) and replacing it with Jesus’ burden that is righteousness, patience and humility, which is actually the rest that our souls are searching for. This rest is only obtained by coming to Christ.
A burden means a load carried or toil borne to a point of exhaustion. Rest is simply release from that burden. It is not something we do, it is what comes to us when we cease to do. Jesus’ own meekness, that is the rest.
The freedom here is when we realize what our actual burdens are. In my last post about being yoked I failed to define the burden correctly. Our actual burden has nothing to do with any day to day activity or work. The burden we must focus on is the burden we are literally born with, the burden of inward sin. Our inward sin makes us the priority, makes us the tiny God, and makes us the hero. Our Freedom is in self-forgetfulness.
So, funny story, for years even after I found Jesus, when I heard the term “unequally yoked” I always envisioned two different kinds of eggs. I’d think about like a chicken egg and a blue bird egg and what their egg yokes would look like, LOL, and I would get a little grossed out thinking about different types of animals and their egg yokes mixing together. I mean am I the only one? I might be. LOL In my defense though I grew up in the 90’s where the “this is your brain on drugs” commercial (you know that one where they showed you an egg and said, “This is your brain” then cracked the egg in a frying pan, let the yoke sizzle and said, “This is your brain on drugs”.) was during every commercial break on television so that was my only visual of a yoke. Alas all the way up until I was in my 30’s, yes 30’s, I thought unequally yoked had something to do with eggs! LOL I know, I’m ridiculous. And I wondered why I didn’t grow spiritually for the first 10 years of walking with Jesus, maybe I should have picked up the actual bible and read it myself. With all that said, let me just tell you, even though I bet you already know, being unequally yoked has nothing to do with eggs! The yoke the bible is talking about is a wooden beam used between two animals to enable them to pull a heavy load together. Can you imagine how my world was flip turned up side down when I learned that, LOL, at the fresh age of like 32! LOL. Anyway…
For weeks now I have been thinking about Jesus’ invitation for us to take his yoke upon us.
Mathew 11:28-30 when Jesus himself says, Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.
I have read this verse over and over and over the past few days and every time I read it my heart flutters because of it’s sweetness. Jesus knows we don’t know how to do this life stuff on our own. He asks us to let him teach us. He reminds us that he is humble and gentle in his leading and He says his yoke will give us rest for our souls. This is not a few extra water breaks or an extra 20 minutes added to a lunch break. Jesus is talking about full on rest for our SOULS. We can rest our body all day long and still be tired. Tired of the world, tired of the pain, tired of the struggle, tired of the questions, the dinners , the husbands, the collage papers, but rest for our soul? That is freedom. That is the rest we actually need. The rest that keeps us in step with the one who’s burden is light.
Our freedom comes from being yoked to
a gentle and humble teacher, Jesus.
The question is, how do we attach ourselves to the yoke of Jesus? I don’t have it all figure out but I have to tell you that I have tasted a little bit of this kind of rest for my soul and it has always come when I am in full repentance and surrender to Jesus. I can’t quite seem to stay in that rest because of my constant struggle to let go of the things of this world but oh when I’m in those moments of rest with Jesus I long to be nowhere else. Sister, I want you to experience those moments too. My best advice to you is to read the word of God, learn who God is, pray, repent, and repeat all of that all the time.
I had no intention of a Part 2 for my last Freedom letter to you but once my post got rejected for the facebook ad I tried to create I just had to share more with you.
Sometimes, if I feel strongly about a message I’m sharing I will boost that post in hopes that more women will be encouraged. Last week’s Freedom Friday was based on my own experience of feeling annoyed, irritated, and even mad at the people posting their ideas. As I went to Jesus about it, knowing that I was wrong to harbor these kinds of feelings for others, as a Christian, I believed the Holy Spirit lead me to read the story of the last supper and specifically when Jesus washed Judas’ feet, the man who he knew would betray him. In my prayer time I asked Jesus if I could wash his feet and as I read the scripture I believed Jesus said, It’s not my feet I want you to wash. My heart was convicted and knew I needed to be willing to wash the feet of those that got me so riled up. I shared this experience because all of us need to hear that message, especially in a time when it seems we are all so divided by our ego and opinions.
There is a review process for a boosted post in order for it to be approved. The day after I created the ad I got a message that said my ad was rejected. I was confused at first, then I read the policies of the ad according to religion and realized that some how it was the wording I used at the top of the post. “If we call ourselves followers of Jesus we have to be willing to be like Jesus.” I am still not exactly sure what they had a problem with but I know it had to have something to do with being like Jesus. Right? I mean what else could it be?
No matter the reason, the fact is, is that this world does not want to be like Jesus. Our culture is rejecting Jesus.
Did you know that our culture today is considered a POST CHRISTIAN culture. This means that Christianity is no longer the dominant religion. Do you understand what that means for our children? The majority of ideas that our children hear are not biblical ones. This means we have to be diligent in knowing what the word of God says so we can recognize these bad ideas and equip our children to stand firm in what they believe with the evidence for our faith. We have to teach and read the bible with our kids. They will not get it’s truth anywhere else. Sunday school lessons are not enough. We have to equip them.
The freedom is that we don’t belong to this world. We belong to Jesus.
We don’t have to worry one bit about this. Jesus told us this would happen.
John 15:19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.
As a human, seeing the word REJECTED directed toward you or your ideas makes you feel some kind of way, no matter what. Something in us wants to be accepted by this world. My encouragement to you and to me is to set our eyes on Jesus. Press in to the word of God and become as much UNLIKE this world as we can.
Before Jesus talked about the hatred of the world for us he talked about the one true Vine. John 15:5 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. Abide in the one you belong to, sister.