He Has Your Back…

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I’ve taken a good amount of time away from writing to really check my heart & motivation. Being a teacher of the word is not something that should be taken lightly & I wanted to ensure my heart was in the right place… so I apologize for the momentary disappearance, but it was necessary.

I absolutely love how God makes it a clear point that He is in control. I think in life we give ourselves, and the devil, way too much credit. I frequently struggle with allowing myself to become consumed with the impact of my decision in life. Yes, all of our decisions will have a positive or negative impact. All of our decisions should be considered & prayed through, BUT we cannot allow them to consume our thoughts.

God is clearly speaking through John when He tells us that He is the beginning and the end. Alpha & Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. God is telling us all that regardless of our decisions, He is still in control. God is telling us all that regardless of what WE do, His ultimate plan will still be fulfilled.

We still must consider the impact our decisions will have. Think of God’s path for us kind of like a GPS. When we have a destination that He is trying to get us to, He will show us the easiest & most effective path. Whether or not we decide to stay on that path or not is up to us! If we make wrong turns, He will reroute is. If we directly ignore what the GPS says & decide to take our own route, it will still reroute us. Eventually, we get back on the right path and we head to the destination God has for us.

He is the beginning & the end fam. Have peace that He knows exactly what He is doing. Trust that His route is the best route. Pray, check your heart & then make a decision. He will honor that. He will see that His ultimate plan is still fulfilled.

Have joy today fam. Stop stressing & letting anxiety overwhelm you. He is in control. He always has been & always will be.

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Gratitude…

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“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

This verse has a significantly different meaning for me this morning. Simply because it adds emphasis to a realization that I got yesterday at church…

Have you ever thought to sit back and THANK GOD that you are literate enough to actually read the Word of God? Seriously. Think about it. Even right now, you are blessed enough to read this blog because you were taught how to read from a young age. This weekend we prayed over a wonderful woman in our church who is traveling to Ghana to help expand a school, adding restrooms, and delivering school supplies.

As dumb as it sounds, I was completely wrecked at the realization that I was blessed enough to go to school & learn to read. My biggest hindrance to reading the word of God and allowing it to dwell deep within my heart is pure laziness, BUT there are people all around the world that CANNOT even READ IT. I mean COME ON!

We have the ability to read the Word of God without worry of persecution. We have the ability to READ period. We have lost the beautiful blessings that are right in front of us.

Nothing should hold us back from truly allowing God’s word to dwell richly in our hearts.  Even more so the gospel itself should completely wreck us no matter how many times we heart it. The very teaching and understanding of the Gospel should be at the core of each of us and reside there permanently.

My heart’s prayer is that I would be so in love with God and be so grateful that even if He did NOTHING ELSE for the rest of my life… That I would be eternally grateful for the fact that I get to go to heaven. That my debt has been paid. That I am set free from a life full of pain where I go from thing to thing to thing TRYING to fill the void in my heart… A void that only He can fill.

Matthew 16:26 says this, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” Think about that picture for a second and let your mind wrap around it. EVEN IF YOU GAINED THE WHOLE WORLD… Billions of dollars, vacation homes all over the world, all the men/women you want, all the admirers you could ever imagine, not a single stress in the world besides having to decide over your next purchase, etc… Let’s be real. None of us are going to get anywhere NEAR that, but yet we will forfeit our souls for what? Sex? A little money? A little fame? Maybe one vacation home? Maybe one semi-nice car?

Get my point? Time and time we run towards something that will temporarily numb us, all while ignoring the very thing that will satisfy the deepest desires of your heart and soul…

Turn to Him fam. Let the Gospel message dwell deeply in your hearts… Because of what Jesus did, we get a free ticket to the greatest place imaginable.

Trust & Humility…

It’s crazy to think of all the times I struggled with wondering if I was even saved. All the times I continue to fall into certain sins, all the times I do things that instantly convict me afterwards, etc… the first whisper the satan throws at us is making us question our salvation… why? Because he would love nothing more then to paralyze us all & render us ineffective.

The Bible makes it loud and clear that we are saved by Jesus and Jesus alone. There is nothing that we can do to make ourselves worthy of the salvation we have received.

When we first get saved we realize this desperate need for Jesus, but for some reason after that initial point many of us start feeling like we need to earn it. Very easily satan will turn conviction into condemnation.

You see, conviction is from the Holy Spirit. It’s a light shining on an area of darkness that needs to be worked on. It’s a beautiful thing, something to be celebrated even.

Satan, loves to turn it into condemnation. Instead of it being a beautiful area where Jesus’ light can shine & we can improve, it becomes an area of shame. It becomes something that somehow disqualifies us from something we were never qualified for in the first place.

We are all qualified when we choose to trust Jesus & humble ourselves before Him. That’s it. We call on Him to save us, we repent, we acknowledge our need & we trust. That’s it.

Dream Vacation…

It took me a while to figure out what God wanted me to write about for this verse… Even more so it took me a while to work through the conviction in my heart for this.

The reason why is simply this; the psalmist has such a love, appreciation & deep relationship with God that he would rather spend just ONE day near God, then a thousand anywhere else.

Think about your dream vacation… whether it be Hawaii, Tokyo, Seattle, Canada, Australia, etc… If you had the option to sit in God’s presence for one day or spend a thousand days in your dream vacation place ALL EXPENSES PAID… which would you choose?

At first, as a Christian we will answer God’s presence! Duuuuuuh… but yet we reject His presence daily for much less. What I mean is this; we would rather watch TV for an hour to “relax” then we would rather sit in God’s presence to pray, worship or read. We would rather invest a ton of time & resources into a hobby over investing that time & resource into getting closer to Him.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying those things are bad BUT when left unchecked they become idols. We can do hobbies & things for God’s glory and come closer to Him!

My thing is CrossFit and fitness in general. I genuinely love working out, but I have to keep it in check. If I start doing it for the wrong reasons it can actually take me away from God & His purpose for my life. There have been moments during my workouts where the Holy Spirit is wrecking me & it’s wonderful. There have been relationships formed, lives changed & ultimately my relationship with Him has improved. On the flip side, there has been times where my pursuit of physical excellence has out weighed my pursuit for spiritual excellence. To where I was spending 2+ hours a day, 6 days a week pursuing CrossFit & not truly focusing on God.

When I was meditating over this verse this morning God really convicted my heart. Because on a daily basis I choose other things over His presence. I choose other choices over sitting with Him for even a moment. I analyzed my day yesterday & realized I spent more time scrolling through Facebook & Instagram then I did in His word. I realized I spent more time talking to other people then I did with Him. I realized I spent more time mentally thinking about things that do not edify my spirit then I did on things that do…

You see. Every moment of each day we have a choice to sit at God’s feet. Even in the midst of fitness, parenthood, being a spouse, working a job, being a student, etc… we just need to be intentional about our hearts in the midst of what we are doing.

I’m here praying for each & every one of you. I hope that God blesses your time with Him.

No Questions Asked…

The meaning behind this verse is unreal. I mean… we BELONG to God. We are His. Completely accepted, loved, made whole & above all apart of His family.

How easy it is to project what others have done onto God. The hurt, pain, rejection & confusion from people and this world have NOTHING to do with God or His character.

Literally, the creator of life itself looked down at all He created & thought that this world wasn’t completely without you. He then methodically prepared a beautiful life for you, formed you in your mommas womb & set a path before you that leads to such a fulfilling life.

THAT’s the person we belong to! The God that never breaks a promise. Every single word He speaks has power & truth, love & affection, approval & adoration. Elohim is our good & loving Father.

Look around you. The beauty of this world. The beauty of our senses. God created such a magnificent & beautiful place for us to live. He gave us the power to make a difference in this world. He gave us a purpose. He gave us a future & a hope. We can enter into His throne room with boldness & talk with the creator of all. We are protected from anything that can fully break us. He gives us ways to get out of temptation. He takes care of all of our needs…

Right now, He is sitting on His throne looking down at you. So dang proud. So dang proud at the fact that the enemy has tried SO HARD to destroy you, but yet because of FAITH in Him you are still standing tall. Loving those who seem unlovable. Pursuing those that others have given up on. Leaving behind you the pains & disappointments to still press on with your hopes and dreams.

He is proud of you. He is yours & you are His. What a beautiful realization it is when we can grasp the simple truth that God is yours, but more importantly YOU are His…. and like a good Father, He will protect & the gates of Hell will come against you BUT you will not be alone!

Always Ready…

I love the timing of this verse. Especially for all my Crossfit fam… For those of you who don’t know what CrossFit is, it is a fitness program, in essence, but each year the best of the best throw down in the Open, then regionals & then the games.

All year athletes live & breathe CrossFit to try and prepare themselves for the open. They train countless hours, they spend an extensive amount of time/resources on recovery, they structure their lifestyles around their training, etc… being a games athlete takes an indescribable amount of dedication. It takes this much because they know each year they are going to have their fitness tested. They know that each year Dave Castro has methodically planned to try and make them break. He has put together some grueling workouts that are designed to test their capabilities.

Some athletes go into the open each year pretty confident… why? Because they have put the work in & know that they have done everything they possibly could to be prepared for what the enemy (Dave Castro) has planned. They’ve equipped themselves in every possible way. They’ve done everything they possibly could to be ready so that when it comes time to attack the open they are ready…

So then, why is it that as believers we don’t put this kind of year round effort into God. I mean, we have the great deceiver tirelessly planning our destruction. He has spent thousands of years planning the demise of humanity. Doing whatever he can to try and destroy everything that God has for us. The Bible tells us that we need to be fully prepared for whatever the enemy throws at us, but yet many of us don’t put in nearly the amount of devotion & effort required to thrive. If we spent our entire existence working our lives around God & what He has for us then this world would be dramatically different…

Long story short, there is a very real enemy. That hates you & is doing everything he can to try and destroy any future that God has for you. Why in the world would we not do everything we can to be prepared for it?! Why would we not take the time to fully equip ourselves with the armor of God?! It’s downright silly.

He has greatness in store for you, but you still have to do your part. Be prepared. Stay ready.

There Is A Purpose

I’m sure we can all agree that there have been some moments in our life where we desperately needed God’s comfort. Moments where it seemed like the world has stopped spinning & the days were never going to end. I know I’ve had my fair share & that they aren’t fun.

Paul was also a man who had gone through some pretty extreme trials in his life. Paul had a beautiful mindset about trials & the way we should see them. For him, they were seen as moments to truly reveal his character & experience God’s Love in a deeper way. I can attest when I say that during my darkest trials, the deepest heart aches & the biggest disappointments that I felt God’s Love like I never had before.

What’s even better is that once you have gone through a trial, God can then use you in a much more effective manner to bring comfort to those who are going through a similar trial. There is no greater gift then the gift of knowing that something you went through has positioned you to bring them peace. It’s beautiful when we can give the pain in our lives a deeper purpose and meaning.

Remember these few things in the midst of trials. It reveals your character, it shapes your character, it’s an opportunity to experience God’s love in a unique way & through the trials you will be able to relate better and help someone else through their trial…