Trust Muscles

I want to share a tradition of mine with you.

At the beginning of every year, God inspires me to pick a theme for the year. Then I find a verse that matches that theme, and I memorize it. The verse this year is Proverbs 3:5-6.Trust_blog_061817

The theme this year is definitely TRUST.

Trusting the Lord. Trusting in His perfect timing. Trusting that in all things, in the end He is working everything out for good.

Trust is like a muscle. The more you exercise it and use it, the stronger it becomes.

Times of Growth

One of my biggest trust growing experiences was going away to college; leaving my family behind and venturing out on my own. But my relationship and trust in God grew as He helped me overcome homesickness, a breakup, and a difficult roommate experience.

I wouldn’t trade those years for anything! Not only did my trust in the Lord grow, but I became a more independent and adventurous woman.

You see, when you trust the Lord, there are so many things you gain. Faith, character, and patience, to name a few.

Think of a time when you were diligently praying for the Lord to come through and do something specific in your life. Did He answer as soon as you wanted Him too? He did not for me. He made me wait and see.

In the Waiting

For me, anxiety tends to creep in the longer I wait for His answer. But reading the Word, and having the Holy Spirit hold me accountable for my thoughts, helps keep me grounded on the truth. The truth is, He has been faithful in providing for me, and now for my husband, in every area that I prayed and waited for Him. It took time, but it was always worth the wait!

Right now our struggle is wanting to buy a house in a very terrible market. (Helllooo Colorado!) We went to a home-buyer’s class, and just realized that the timing is very wrong for us to buy at this point. We’ve been praying for months that God would give us wisdom on how and if to move forward with house hunting. And today, His answer was wait…

Which happens to be a very common theme in the life of this go-getter, all-in, dreamer of a woman.

And I finally see that this theme is actually a positive one in my life. The greatest blessings come after trials and long periods of trusting the Lord.

God’s Perfect Timing

So take courage! Sometimes it is God’s perfect timing and will that causes the greatest blessings to have long periods of time pass between them. It makes us even more grateful when they come!

I’ll be praying for you as that trust muscle stretches and grows. May your love grow for the Lord throughout the journey!

In Christ,

Ariel

 

In the Morning

Sometimes the day fades, and so does your confidence. You’ve been facing trials left and right, and nothing seems to change.

I have had a few challenging weeks lately. Bad news, my nephew being sick, stress at work, and now I have a cold. Life seems to kick you when you’re down.

But there is always the morning. Every day I open my eyes, I realize that God still has a plan for me. He has given me another day to make a difference. He is making a beautiful tapestry out of the story of my life. Every day and every person matters.

Psalm 143:8:

Every sunrise is a reminder that God loves us, and that His mercies are new. He hasn’t forgotten about you, dear heart. I want you to know that the One true God that you entrust your life with, loves you unfailingly and unconditionally.

When we diligently seek Him and prayer and read His word, He opens the way before us. Psalm 119:105 says,”Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” He will show us the way we should go, as we wait in trust and hope.

He may not reveal as much of the path as we wish He would. But He gives us one step at a time-and gives us the courage to keep going even when met with changes and obstacles. Without the strength of the Lord, I would have given up so many times. You know what’s amazing? He believes in me; that with the Holy Spirit I am going to accomplish much for the His glory. All my sins and mishaps are forgiven, and will not keep Him from working through me to reach others for His kingdom.

I hope tomorrow morning brings new hope and joy for you! Remember His unfailing love for you, and praise Him.

Love in Christ,

Ariel

 

Picture courtesy of Pinterest

 

 

Pursuing God, Part 2

Aiden Wilson Tozer (1897 –1963) was an American Christian pastor, preacher, author, magazine editor, and spiritual mentor. 44 years of ministry, associated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA), a Protestant Evangelical denomination. Among the more than 60 books that bear his name, at least two are regarded as Christian classics: The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy. His books impress on the reader the possibility and necessity for a deeper relationship with God.:

Have you ever noticed that a lot of emphasis is placed upon the acceptance of Christ?

And that no one expects us to “crave any further revelation of God to our souls.” (Tozer)There’s this thought that if we have found Him, we no longer need to seek Him.

That is so far from the truth, yet why is it so acceptable? Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth, as Tozer would say.  Apathetic Christians aren’t going out proclaiming the gospel. They aren’t digging into God’s word, wanting to learn more about Him. They enjoy His gift of love, but don’t want to repent of our sins.

“In the midst of this great chill there are some, I rejoice to acknowledge, who will not be content with shallow logic.” (Tozer)

How would your life change if you decided to seek God with your whole heart? Would you be reading the Bible more, going to church, and praying more?

God first loved us; before we tried to get our act together. He knows the messes we’ve made, the sins we’ve committed. But He is waiting with open arms to deliver us, to wash us white as snow. He wants to give us deep joy and peace.

We should encourage a mighty longing after God. To break free from our stiff religious lives and be refreshed by God’s Spirit and truth. “We must strip down to the essentials. We must put away all effort to impress, and come with the guileless candor of childhood. If we do this, without doubt God will quickly respond.” (Tozer)

So what do you say? Let’s come to the Lord in humbleness, ready to learn from Him and be filled by His love and mercy. The person who has the Lord for His treasure, has all things in One… we shall never need another.

Thanks for reading! That concludes this study on chapter one of “The Pursuit of God”, by A.W. Tozer. I will continue to blog about this amazing book as the Spirit leads.

Have a blessed day!

Ariel D.

Tozer quote picture found on Pinterest

 

 

Pursuing God, Part 1

“We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit.” A.W. Tozer

The Lord draws us. Have you felt Him drawing you in? We still have a decision to make; will we pursue God, or stubbornly turn away? He accepts us and wants us, no matter our past.

The amazing part is, even the moment we decide to follow God, we are already held in His hand. He is already guiding us.

Psalm 42:1-2

“1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
    so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
    When can I go and meet with God?”

“This is deep calling unto deep, and the longing heart will understand it.” A.W. Tozer

When was the last time you felt this way about the Lord? That your soul felt so dry and parched, that all you could think about was going to the Lord and being refreshed by Him? Some days I do long to be with Him, to not only be refreshed but to rejoice in His presence.

Did you know you can receive Christ, without a special love for Him being created in you? You can be saved after giving your life to Him, but still not be thirsty after God. We have been told that it’s okay, now you have your fire insurance and can go back to business as usual.

But where is the fire, the passion of being a Christ follower? Some days the fire may be puttering out, your spirit is dry and needs to be fed from the fountain of life. We do this by praying and seeking the Lord humbly. Read His word, get to know Him and the plans He has for you. When you are willing and ready to obey, His blessings become more obvious, and your passion for Him grows as you see His promises fulfilled in your life.

Sometimes we are so distracted by the miracles and wonders of God’s word, that we forget how personal and real He is. Personalities recognize other personalities in our daily lives. We need to get to know God, the Person.

John 17:3 (NIV)

“3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”

“God is a Person, and in the deep of His mighty nature He thinks, wills, enjoys, feels, loves, desires, and suffers as any other person may.” He wants to make Himself known to us by His personality. He communicates to us through our minds, emotions, and wills. The exchange of love and thought between God and the souls of redeemed men and women help us know Him and serve Him wholeheartedly.

Check back next week for the continuation of this study on the book: The Pursuit of God, by A.W. Tozer!It's a bit wordy, but overall a great book. :

This blog post was inspired by the writings of A.W. Tozer, and the quotes are taken directly from his book: The Pursuit of God, chapter 1.

Bible quotes were found on: Biblegateway.com

Book picture found at: Pinterest

Peace and Quiet

The crumpled wrapping paper has been tossed, the twinkling lights have dimmed. No more Christmas songs on the radio. What do we do now, after such a season of light and joy? Just get back into our old routine?
I’d like to suggest another way.
We just celebrated the birth of the Prince of Peace. So my goal for the New Year is to trust the Lord more and be filled with His peace. This peace is steady and unending, though we must slow down to receive it.
We all need some peace and quiet.

Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Colossians 3:15 is especially relevant for all of us right now. Let your heart be ruled and guided by the peace of Christ. We as Christians should be known for being peaceful and kind. And don’t forget the last part! Being thankful for all the blessings you have now, and the rest of the year will give you a positive outlook and contentment on a daily basis.

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Can we fully understand how the peace of God works? No, but we can rest assured that His peace is always available, and will guard our hearts and minds. Don’t be ruled by to-do lists, stressful situations, work, or disappointments. Pray that the Lord would fill you with His peace, and rest in the comfort of knowing God’s love for you never fails.

Love in Christ,

Ariel

Bible verses found at Biblegateway.com

Come to Me and Rest

Sometimes you just want to raise that white flag. You have tried to have a heart of love and peace, but the situation you’re facing never seems to change.

Matthew 11:28 NIV

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

We all reach a point of exhaustion. We are weary from trekking on and on, up the steep mountain passes. The view never clears up, the clouds continue to loom overhead.

So take time to rest. Talk to the One who created your heart and knows you better than anyone. Maybe you think the Lord doesn’t want to be bothered with what you’re going through; but I’m positive that He does. It is not insignificant or unimportant, namely because you are His child, and He cares for you.

When you take time to rest and pray, the clouds may still be there. But know deep in your heart that the mountain peak is still there, and that it is breathtakingly beautiful. And that is your future! We have full assurance through salvation that we will join Christ in heaven someday! Nothing could be more beautiful than that.

What about now, you ask? You don’t want life to be miserable. And it won’t always be this way. What I do know is that God will give you strength. He will give you glimpses of His glory through creation. He will encourage you through the words of a friend. He will answer the prayers of those who are petitioning Him on your behalf.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

Rejoice always,  pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

No one likes to be told to just be thankful for what you do have. Even more challenging is to thank the Lord for the trial He has allowed into your life.

But I hope you will try thanking Him. Not really for the bad thing happening, just that He is going to create good through it. Thank Him for loving you, for never leaving you. You are going through the refining fire, and it can burn sometimes. Just remember when you choose to follow Christ through it, you truly shine!

I am praying for everyone that reads this. I wish you didn’t have the pain and suffering. I desire to encourage you through this blog, and would even give you a hug and pray with you if I could! If you need extra prayer, leave me a message or comment.

Love in Christ,

Ariel

The Battle Raging Inside

Worthless. A failure. Incompetent. Stupid.

Maybe these are words someone has called you. You know people don’t have to use those exact words; it can be implied in the tone of voice they use, and the way they look at you.

What makes them even worse is when they are reinforced over time. Months and years can pass, with these painful things being burned into your conscience.

But they are all lies.

This is the spiritual battle we face every day, inside of ourselves. This is the fortress, the stronghold that the devil has built up in our minds. And he likes to make his home there, inside that fortress. He doesn’t plan on leaving. He feeds you those lies; that you’re worthless and incompetent. But they can seem so true when they are coming from inside you.

We are given amazing weapons of God that are mighty. We use them to stand against the evil one, defeat his lies, and force him to submit to the Holy Spirit.

The Armor of God; Ephesians 6:10-18

“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

We should cover the battlefield with prayer. If we don’t, we’ll soon fall behind in the spiritual war. Jesus is our example, and He always found time to pray.

Remember when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, right before He was betrayed? He told His disciples to watch and pray, while He went off by Himself to pray fervently.

And they fell asleep. That same night, Peter denied the Lord 3 times. I’d like to think, had he been awake praying, he would’ve been ready for that spiritual battle. He would have proclaimed that he did know Jesus. He didn’t know the power of prayer.

God wants us to surrender the keys to the fortress to Him. Not only that, He will will empower the Holy Spirit in us, so we can demolish the stronghold. Then we can take those lies and compare them with the infallible truth of scripture.

Because you are worth God sacrificing His son to save you. You are not a failure, you are serving the Lord with joy. You are not incompetent or stupid, you read the word and practice wisdom. You are a chosen child of the King, that has a unique testimony that is priceless.

Don’t let hate, pain, or sorrow become the stronghold you keep inside. Be firmly founded on the Rock of our Salvation, Jesus Christ.

Love in Christ,

Ariel

Check out my inspiration:

5/22/16 Sermon by Pastor John Nunnally

 

 

So Walk in Him pt. 2

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7

“So walk in Him,”

Every day. One step at a time. Sometimes I want to run ahead. Funny how every time I do that, things don’t work out very well. They fall flat. Plans that seemed so good, even plans I thought God had blessed, aren’t turning out well.

You know why? Because I rushed His timing. He could have done something to slow me down… and one time, I know I missed His urging. I was too busy worrying about not getting another job offer, so I took the first one I got. Even though in my spirit, I felt it wasn’t right for me.

“Rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith,”

Where are your roots? Is there some person or some place you always go to when you need some help or advice? It takes a lot of practice to go to the Lord first, but I guarantee it is always worthwhile. Maybe you won’t notice things changing right away, but eventually the situation will, or you will.

You live and learn. And if you aren’t learning, stop to think why that is. Don’t miss the faith growing opportunities God is giving you. Don’t waste those really hard trials; use them to gain wisdom on how to live in the future.

We become established in the faith by coming through the fire. By being refined by what the Lord is doing in our lives. It may burn some; I know the fires I have had to face in my walk with Christ have left me wondering why the pain, why me? Because He loves us and wants our faith in Him to be strengthened. Don’t give up hope! God is for us, not against us.

Love in Christ,

Ariel

 

So Walk in Him

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7~~A adventure's beginning | view from the top of a forest mountain path | by Hanson Mao~~:

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord,”

How often do I fail to remember that I have received Christ Jesus?

Why do I forget that He is in me, though He is so important to me?

Why do I sometimes let doubt cause me to fear?

I am never alone, never lost or forsaken. And that is something the Lord promises us in His Word!

Just think of how amazing it is that we have the Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, living IN US! Wouldn’t we then be able to face everything that comes our way, if we keep our eyes fixed on Him?

Yes, we can, because of our great God. Will moving forward be easy? To be realistic, probably not. Some days I’m used to having things be more difficult for me; but other days I get so frustrated. Then God stops me in my sizzling tracks, and reminds me who I am… but more importantly, who HE is.

And He is the Savior of the world. The God who sent His Son to save the world from their sins that caused eternal separation from Him. God is loving, forgiving, just, and merciful. Do we always see Him doing those things in our lives? No, we don’t. Because we aren’t always looking for them. And sometimes He doesn’t let us see everything He’s doing.

But remember this; He is working in your life, no doubt about it. It could be a painful or sad season of life. But with a thankful and trusting heart, God will transform you more into the great person He created you to be.

Love in Christ,

Ariel

P.S. Please come back next week for the continuation of studying Colossians 2:6-7!

 

Picture courtesy of Pinterest, search Mountain Path

 

 

Time to Trust

Trust.

Commit

Sometimes it feels like I’ve got it down.

It becomes second nature… until things get turned upside down. You get pulled in a million different directions, and everyone and everything is top priority. It’s nice to feel wanted, and you wish that warm feeling would stay.

But it gets pushed out by the demands. Time squeezes you tighter, and breathing gets harder.

But you know it won’t always be so hard. You look back and see times in your life that weren’t this hectic.

I think that’s why God lets us have seasons when He sends us just a few smaller things to trust Him with. So we can learn to walk in faith, one step at a time. He is training us to be able to take the leap of faith He knows is coming down the road.

Being able to commit your life to someone requires incredible amounts of trust. You have to trust that the other person will love you and care for you for a lifetime. When they love and serve the Lord with their whole heart, this is possible. Not only is it possible, I’ve seen it happen.

I’ve seen this love and trust in the marriage of my parents, fiance’s parents, and grandparents. Through mentors, Sunday school leaders, and pastors. Because Christ is in them; and they are seeking the Lord daily. Their bond is deeper because their love is drawn from the Lord; and poured into their spouse.

Christ is selfless, understanding, and encouraging. He also gives reality checks can remove us from our stupor of self-focus. He cares for us so deeply, so unconditionally.

And that is what He calls us to do for our spouse.

I will be getting married soon, and I am so excited for that day! Joe is a man that truly loves the Lord and serves Him with his life; and I am honored to become his wife. The thing that first attracted me to him is the Jesus I see in him; and I know that love and attraction will only continue to grow. I love everything about him, and look forward to a lifetime of adventures with him!

In Christ,

Ariel

P.S. Thanks for being such an encouragement Joe! Life with you is a grand adventure 🙂