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

 

 

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