I remember how God spoke to me last year on Easter (which also happened to be my birthday!). Last night, worshiping the Lord and being in his presence at a Good Friday service, I was reminded of the same thing(s).
Philippians 2:5-11 says:
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
What does this speak to you? To me, it tells me that I am to have the ATTITUDE of Christ, and attitude by definition includes the “manner, disposition, feelings, position, tendencies or orientation” of someone. Wow. Already, that is convicting, isn’t it? And how are we to be LIKE Christ if we don’t SEEK Him, KNOW Him, spend time in the Word, PRAY to Him, LISTEN for His voice above all others, RECEIVE his love and grace, and ALLOW this to change us?
Romans 12:1-2 says:
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
All we have to do is go to Him; He is constantly in pursuit of us (Psalm 23:6) and ever since the first woman/man sinned, has had a plan of redemption. And the part that always hits me deep is the SACRIFICE…how God sent his only Son, who put on flesh, to be able to relate to us on every level, and yet was able to live a perfect life..in order to have no blemish as our sin offering (John 1:14; Hebrews 4:14-16; Hebrews 7:26-28). I remember sitting in church last year, tears pouring from my eyes, and thinking how great and AMAZING Jesus is, to have offered Himself, his LIFE, like this for us, for ME! And in those moments, and again last night (with more tears…I am very emotional…haha), I felt the Spirit stirring up anew the passions and dreams and desires God put in my heart YEARS ago.
Many of you have probably heard or seen me mention this passage before but I must share it again. We read from 2 Corinthians 5 last night, and the words brought more confirmation to me…
“For Christ’s love COMPELS us, because we are convinced that one died for all…that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was RAISED again.”
How does his love compel you? God has created us each uniquely. WE have different personalities, eye color, body types, nationalities, backgrounds, testimonies, stories, and were not all born in the same place!! It is clear what Christ’s purpose was/is and we will live the rest of our lives never even being able to wrap our minds around all that this entails! And because of His life, and those of us who have a relationship with Him, what does this mean for us? As we REMEMBER Jesus and how his UNCONDITIONAL LOVE compelled Him to die on a cross to cover us, may we ask His Spirit to stir our hearts as to what our lives are to be lived for.
Every sin is something good that has been twisted/tainted/taken into Satan’s hands to be used against us, to keep us from all God has for us. Even sex, something that is supposed to be waited for and guarded, to be shared as an incredible and awesome gift within MARRIAGE, has been completely degraded and (I believe) it is being used to destroy many relationships in the world today (when done in every other place/relationship besides in marriage). It is time we stand up for what we believe in as Christians! It is sad how many “Christians” paint a false image of the Father; and yes, I understand we are flawed human beings. But what would it look like if we lived compelled by Christ’s love and walking in the Spirit?? Romans 8:5-6 says,
“…but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of the sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace!”
It is for FREEDOM He has set us free and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there IS freedom! (2 Corinthians 3:17).
I must admit that during my time in California the past few months, I have struggled a lot…with:
reverse culture shock
questioning my future
seeing how many people here are ALSO in need of Christ’s love
being/feeling discouraged with/in support raising
trusting God for his timing and having faith He will work out his plans for me!
But constantly I am being reminded of his love for me, and the great lengths He went to EXPRESS this, and the reminder that I (and all of us can be!!) am free in Him and to be and do all He has created me for! I am being given the opportunity to share this love here. I know I am in a CAVE season…that sometimes God brings us to a seemingly dark place so that all we see IS God! IN 1 Samuel 22, David feels the need to escape to a cave. (read verses 1-5, maybe some more for context). During these times, we are REMINDED of so many things, and God always shows up when we go to Him! He is with us, always transforming us if we allow Him to. David needed this time in order to continue on to the throne. I needed to come back to California to be better prepared (financially and in other aspects!) to go back to serve in Ecuador. what are you being prepared for?
I know now, more than ever, that I want my life to be a living sacrifice to serve the Lord, from here to the ends of the earth. I want to love with His love, and go where He compels. Please pray for me and WITH me, as I continue raising funds to return to Ecuador! And may we all go deeper in our faith and desire to trust Him more.