How to Not Be a Victim of Growth
The Purpose of The Prophetic
Part 3 of our New Prophetic Series
I’m excited about this series where we are focusing on the prophetic and the beauty of serving the one true God who is alive, active, and continually pursuing us! One of my greatest desires in this beautiful life I have been given is to KNOW God. Nearness and closeness to my Father is what my heart longs for—it’s where I come alive. I have given my life to the pure joy of living to know Him and make Him known. I count it the greatest honor of my life to know and love Him. So I invite you on this journey of knowing God and recognizing His voice in our lives. Wherever you are at in the process, I pray you would grow closer to Him and that His voice would become stronger and more clear in your life of walking side-by-side with Him as your Father. Below I have listed the previous articles if you would like to catch up.
Read Part 1 Here: Why Hearing the Voice of God Isn’t About Magic but Relationship
Read Part 2 Here: How to Practice Hearing the Voice of God
The Purpose of The Prophetic
Pursue [this] love [with eagerness, make it your goal], yet earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual gifts [to be used by believers for the benefit of the church], but especially that you may prophesy [to foretell the future, to speak a new message from God to the people]. For one who speaks in an unknown tongue does not speak to people but to God; for no one understands him or catches his meaning, but by the Spirit he speaks mysteries [secret truths, hidden things]. But [on the other hand] the one who prophesies speaks to people for edification [to promote their spiritual growth] and [speaks words of] encouragement [to uphold and advise them concerning the matters of God] and [speaks words of] consolation [to compassionately comfort them]. One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church [promotes growth in spiritual wisdom, devotion, holiness, and joy]. Now I wish that all of you spoke in unknown tongues, but even more [I wish] that you would prophesy.
1 Corinthians 14:1-5, AMP
In the first two articles of this series I talked about the importance of relationship with the Father being the foundation for hearing Gods voice. We discussed the beauty and simplicity in hearing the voice of our Father and how to take practical steps of pursuing God and His voice in our lives. We talked about the practical ways on how to tune our ears and why the heart of this all is about relationship aside from striving and performance. In this third article I want to talk briefly about the purpose of the prophetic. What and who does it benefit? Why is it important? What is the heart of this all? What is its purpose in our life and what does it bring to the table?
While looking at the benefits and attributes of walking in the prophetic ministry that we are called to demonstrate in 1 Corinthians I want to discuss two benefits. The first benefit is a personal and inward perspective and the second is an outward and other-centered perspective. Both of these perspectives at their core revolve around intimacy with God our Father, intimacy with Jesus Christ, and intimacy with Holy Spirit.
KNOWING GOD – the “inward” and internal focus and perspective
The first focus of the prophetic that I’d like to address is an inward perspective where we commune with God. The heart of the prophetic is growing in love with God, living in communion with Him, and learning to recognize His heart and His voice. He trains us to discern His ways, follow His lead, and hunger for the unseen realities of Heaven. This develops an inward focus where, out of intimacy with your Father, you begin to hear His voice and recognize His tone while living a life of dialogue with God. First and foremost, you begin to hear the Lord for your own life before you begin to speak on His behalf to others.
From this place of growing in love with God and creating your own dialogue with Him you create space for Him to speak profoundly into your life in every way and every area imaginable. God is the god of relationship and connection. He wants to speak to you intimately and further grow your connection with Him. This is where you build trust, passion, and receive clarity, wisdom, and instructions. Within the sound of His voice, whether silent or loud, we finally begin to believe that we truly were born to change the world.
Getting to KNOW God is the core foundation of the prophetic. At the end of the day and at the end of my life, “do I know God?”. That is all I want. I want to know Him. I want to hear His voice and recognize His tone. I want Him to know me. I want to be a woman after the knowledge of God and His nature. I want Him to trust me and be able to share His heart with me as I share my heart with Him.
TRANSLATING GOD- the “other” centered focus and perspective
I believe one of the other more important purposes of the gift of prophecy and the prophetic ministry is to rightly communicate and translate the heart of God. In 1 Samuel 2:35 the Lord says; ” ‘But I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul; and I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed always”. Communicating the heart of God effectively is crucial for our day and hour. As it was back in the days of Jesus’ life and ministry in His own flesh. It was crucial in the days of Noah, Moses, King Josiah, Abraham and Sarah, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Deborah, Apostle Paul, King David, John the Baptist, and every other.
One of my absolute favorite things about the prophetic is that you gain Gods perspective – for life, for creation, for yourself, and for others. For instance, when God speaks to you for someone else He is sharing with you some of the most beautiful things about that person. The God of the universe who knows all and see’s all – who is above all – is telling you what He thinks, knows, and loves about that person. That blows me away! God is so good and so intentional.
When God gives you a prophetic word for someone He is giving you your opportunity to partner with the reality of who God says they are. Regardless of what you have previously seen, heard, or assumed about them. You are now out of excuses and have been given Gods divine perspective. It’s a beautiful privilege as believers to hear and know Gods heart for this world. This is an honor and a stunning opportunity to transform our senses to recognize His reality. When we give ourselves to the knowledge of Him we begin to learn His ways. As we discover His ways we begin to see, hear, and think like He does. Our first response shifts as our minds are being continually transformed and renewed by spending time in His presence.
Among the many benefits and attributes of being submersed in the prophetic gifts we have been given access to and are called to in 1 Corinthians, these that I have written of above are the two most dear to my own heart. The most important part of life is our relationship and communion with God and others. Through the prophetic God gives us access to His heart and influence over others by way of connecting them back to His heart and desire for them.
Without a doubt there are many great attributes of the prophetic and we will explore more later but for now I pray that this main idea of being able to connect to God and others on a deeper level would be the driving point for all spiritual gifts. I pray you would continue to draw near towards His heart, His voice, and His face. May you hear His voice speak to you and guide you and may you hear Him speak such things that would cause you to ‘love’ on a whole other level.
How to Practice Hearing the Voice of God
Part 2 of our New Prophetic Series
I’m excited about this series where we are focusing on the prophetic and the beauty of serving the one true God who is alive, active, and continually pursuing us! One of my greatest desires in this beautiful life I have been given is to KNOW God. Nearness and closeness to my Father is what my heart longs for—it’s where I come alive. I have given my life to the pure joy of living to know Him and make Him known. I count it the greatest honor of my life to know and love Him. So I invite you on this journey of knowing God and recognizing His voice in our lives. Wherever you are at in the process, I pray you would grow closer to Him and that His voice would become stronger and more clear in your life of walking side-by-side with Him as your Father.
Read Part 1 Here: Why Hearing the Voice of God Isn’t About Magic but Relationship
How to Practice Hearing the Voice of God
Our first article in our new series on the prophetic was about the importance of relationship with our Father and understanding the father-heart of God. Hearing the voice of God begins at the starting line of family and is rooted in relationship. As I said in my first article of this series, I believe the desire and longing to hear the voice of God stems from a deep place within each of us, which was curated by God Himself, that knows we were made for connection. We were made for connection with God and with others.
While we are growing in our connection with God and as we learn the ways of His father-heart we will begin to hear His voice. Similar to any great relationship, you begin to recognize the others voice, their tone, and even common phrases and words they like to use. Before you know it the dialog is a byproduct of your relationship with Him.
This all starts with us getting to know God and allowing ourselves to be known by God. “Practice makes perfect.” Thankfully, God is not looking for perfection. What He is looking for is relationship. He absolutely loves when we bring ourselves to the table, when we are “all in”, and committed to Him. He simply cannot deny the hungry heart of the one who is passionately seeking His face.
As we seek His face and our relationship developed, we get to tune our ears to the sound of Heaven and lean into what God is saying. Isaiah 30:12 says; “Your ears WILL hear.” God has given us our own ability to train our senses to discern – to tune our ears and hearts. [Hebrews 5:14] In Isaiah 55:3 it says; “Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you.”
Hearing the voice of God for yourself, for others, for the nations stems from connection and relationship. The depth of your precision is increased in the pursuit. Continue to allow God to pursue you and pursue Him in return. From day one of the pursuit – TRUST Him. Trust His voice. It’s not magic and there is no formula but you have a Father who longs to speak to you and draw you closer.
It is always a wise idea to remember that God is Almighty and He is the Creator of the world. He can speak to us however He wishes. We are going to take a look at just a few practical ways we can practice hearing His voice. Some of these practices may seem simple and rightfully so. All of this is beautifully simple. There is no amount of striving that could help you earn His affection or the privilege of hearing His voice. With that being said, the below list is not to limit Him but to show some of the more common ways He speaks.
When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come. John 16:13
Here are a few ways God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit will speak to us:
1. Still small voice.
1 Kings 19:12 – Impressions, thoughts too great to be our own, feelings, etc
Hebrews 4:12 – The written Word, highlighted verses
3. The prophetic.
2 Peter 1:21 – Works of knowledge, words of wisdom, and personal prophecy
4. Wise and godly counsel
Proverbs 11:14, Proverbs 12:15 – Through wise and loving believers around you who are walking with the Lord
Acts 2:17, Genesis 37, Matthew 1:20-24 – Night dreams and visions, symbolic and literal dreams
Acts 16:9-10 – Internal pictures and scenes in your the spirit of your imagination
7. Five Senses
Matthew 13:16, 2 Corinthians 2:15
8. Audible Voice
“Eli told [the little boy] Samuel, ‘Go and lie down, and if [the Lord] calls you [again], say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”’ And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” 1 Samuel 3:9-10
Isaiah 7:10-16 – Situations, confirmations, coincidences, “signs”, etc
How to Pursue God and Practice Hearing His Voice:
Spend time with God in prayer. Speak to Him. Ask Him to speak to you. Ask Him to increase and grow a hunger inside of your spirit to hear from Him. Thank Him for His willingness to speak to you! What a privilege it is and what delight He takes in His communion with us! Ask Him to train and tune your ears. [Psalms 8:4] “O Lord, You spoke and You speak today. May I clearly discern Your voice in the noise of this world.” Prayer of A.W. Tozer
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3
2. READ and STUDY The WORD
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you in the Word where He spoke to people, how He speaks, the promises of His voice, and the love in His tone. One of the ways He speaks to us is through scripture – in moments where something seems “highlighted” to you.. There will be times where you read a verse that you’ve read a hundred times before yet this time it seems so much more personal.. That’s God making the Word come alive to you. In these moments we want to pause and allow Him to speak. What about that specific verse is standing out to you? Ask God what He wants to speak to you or show you through those verses. “A man may study because his brain is hungry for knowledge, even Bible knowledge. But he prays because his soul is hungry for God.” – Leonard Ravenhill
In our journey and desire to hear the voice of God actively in our lives, it’s so important to practice the art of listening. No one wants to be in a relationship, of any kind, where one person does all the talking. God wants communion and connection. This type of personal and intimate relationship requires two-way communication. God is a great listener. Currently, He’s listening to billions of His children from all over the world speak to Him through prayer…at the same time. He listens, He’s responds, He acts, and He speaks. It is equally important for us to learn the art of listening as much as we talk. “The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard.” – William Hazlitt
Set aside time to sit in God’s presence. Fix your gaze and attention on Him. Be expectant that He wants to speak to you. Then LISTEN. Have a journal ready to write down anything He says to you. Maybe He’ll give you a sense of peace and comfort and that will speak to you of His nature. Maybe He’ll give you wisdom, ideas, direction, etc. Maybe He will show you a picture. Maybe something in nature, music, or even a movie will stand out to you. Tune your ears to listen and hear the voice of your Father. He is eagerly standing by in great expectation for the dialog that you were meant to be a partaker of. “Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue; God’s voice is its most essential part. Listening to God’s voice is the secret of the assurance that He will listen to mine.” – Andrew Murray
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, Ephesians 1:18
The beauty of this all – learning to hear and recognize Gods voice in our lives – is that it all revolves around relationship. There is no measure of striving that can qualify you and no amount of good deeds that quicken the process, only a humble heart of one who loves the Lord and wants to be nearer to Him. I pray your heart would find a home in Him – in His voice – that you would have grace for the process and strength to build and grow in your relationship with God your Father. May His nature overwhelm you, your mind, and your imagination. May a fire and hunger grow, or continue to burn, in your heart for connection and communion with the Spirit. The Lord will speak to you. He loves you. “He loves you because He loves you because He loves you. Because that’s who He is. He is love.” – Graham Cooke
I would love to hear some of the ways the Lord speaks to you if you’d like to share in a comment below. We have more in this new series of ours to come so be sure to subscribe to receive email updates, which you can do so over here on the right-hand side, and check back soon for Part 3.
Why Hearing the Voice of God Isn’t About Magic but Relationship
Part 1 of our New Prophetic Series
I’m excited to start a new series with you guys! This series will focus on the prophetic and the beauty of serving the one true God who is alive, active, and continually pursuing us! This first article is one on hearing the voice of God in our hearts, our spirits, and our daily lives. One of my greatest desires in this beautiful life I have been given is to KNOW God. Nearness and closeness to my Father is what my heart longs for—it’s where I come alive. I have given my life to the pure joy of living to know Him and make Him known. I count it the greatest honor of my life to know and love Him. So I invite you on this journey of knowing God and recognizing His voice in our lives. Wherever you are at in the process, I pray you would grow closer to Him and that His voice would become stronger and clearer in your life of walking side-by-side with Him as your Father.
Why Hearing the Voice of God Isn’t About Magic But Relationship
Hearing the voice of God begins with relationship and understanding the father-heart of God.
Hearing the voice of God begins at the starting line of family and relationship. God is a Father and He’s also a family man. [1 Corinthians 8:6] Everything He does is for His family and His children. He is supremely God. He is Almighty, sovereign, and Creator of everything. With His impeccable nature He humbled Himself and came in the form of man by way of His Son Jesus. He sent His Son to provide a sacrifice for the sins of the world and save His children. We are His children. [Ephesians 5:1] Through this sacrifice He gives us, His children, full access to the Kingdom and to Him. The keys to the Kingdom are ours thanks to the legacy and inheritance of Christ. This has “family” written all over it!
I believe the desire and longing to hear the voice of God stems from a deep place within each of us, which was curated by God Himself, that knows we were made for connection. We were made for connection with God and with others. Something inside of each of us has a need and appreciation for being known, seen, heard, and loved. All of this happens within connection. The ultimate connection is between man and God. God loves connection and communion. God loves Family. God’s desire is for relationship, pure and intimate, face to face with you! [Exodus 33:11]
Connection demands communication. Every good and healthy thriving relationship is established by communication. It is established by genuine communication which is two-way communication. We talk and we listen. In the midst of true communication there is a mutual conviction that knows both parties are valuable, deserve to be heard, and are worthy of love and so it is likewise in our communion with God.
Jesus died so we could have and live in right relationship with the Father. He died so we could receive the Holy Spirit and be one with the Father as He is one with the Father. This oneness is the epitome of nearness and closeness to God. The book of Hebrews shows us the access we have to God through the life, sacrifice, and love of Jesus.
God designed us for intimacy with Him. Just like human contact and communication is vital in our lives, so is the contact, communication, and connection with our Father who created us. In Genesis 3:8 we see that God’s intentions in the Garden with Adam and Eve were to be close to them. He walked with them in the “cool of the day”.
Jesus says in John 10:27; “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” This is the perfect picture of Him being the true Shepherd–one who gathers His children like any good father would. Not only will He lead you, guide you, bring you home, gather you, take care of you, love you, provide for you, etc…He wants to speak to you too. He wants you to hear His voice. [Job 37:2 & Ephesians 6:17] He desires that you would know and recognize His voice. I love how (in John 10:27) Jesus correlates us “hearing” His voice to us “knowing” Him. “Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say: Here am I… The Lord will guide you always.” [Isaiah 58:9, 11].
This isn’t about magic it’s about relationship.
This all starts with us getting to know God and allowing ourselves to be known by God. Similar to any relationship, it requires both hearts to be “all in”, have pure intentions, be committed, trusting, believing, and willing to put in the time. As a powerful person you get to intentionally seek the Lord and say “yes” to Him pursuing you. No great relationship is built over night. Love, time and commitment are key. I love this quote on the beauty of friendship with God by Kris Vallotton; “I’d like to propose to you that revelation is not the product of laborious study, but it is the fruit of friendship with God.”
If you’ve only met someone in person once you most likely won’t recognize their voice the first time you talk to them on the phone. Stick around, get to know them, keep the communication going, and in a matter of time they can call and you’ll begin to recognize their voice. Soon you will learn their tone and even their vocabulary. Same is true with the Lord. He wants us to seek Him because in the midst of seeking Him we get to know Him as He responds. Up close and personal.
All throughout the Bible we are shown and presented with the beauty of the Lords constant presence and His eagerness to speak to us. [1 Chronicles 28:9] He beautifully reveals Himself to those who seek Him genuinely, with a pure and humble heart. In Jeremiah 33:3 the Lord speaks to Jeremiah saying, “Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you did not know”.
God wants to speak to us-to you. The best place to start is to know God as your Father and learn what it means and looks like for you to be His son or daughter. Learn to know and trust
your Father. Ask Him to speak to you. Attach yourself the His nature. He is always good. He is always faithful and loving and true. He is always near. He promised to never leave you nor forsake you. He has promised you that if you seek Him you will find Him.
Hearing God speak to you isn’t about magic at all. There is no amount of striving that could help you earn His affection or the privilege of hearing His voice. No past can disqualify you. No contingencies can hold you back. The only thing you have to do is position yourself as a daughter or son and trust the pursuing heart of your Father. Rest in His unfailing love and His voice that calms the seas, knowing and expecting to hear from Him.
May His voice be the sweetest and most powerful one in your life. I pray the expansion of your heart would create an abundance of space for you to soak up all the grace you need to get close to God and fully see Him for who He IS. He is your good good Father. May your capacity to grow near and intimate with your Father cause you to fully rest and believe every word He speaks and every second of His embrace.
This is just the beginning. Where ever you are on this journey in your walk with the Lord and learning to recognize His voice, there is always more. We will spend eons in eternity hearing His beautiful voice and encountering the truth of each word He whispers. In the next article of our prophetic series on learning to hear the voice of God, we will talk about some of the ways God speaks and practical ways to practice hearing His voice.
Brand New Blog Series
New Blog Series On the Prophetic and Hearing the Voice of God
I’m excited to start a new series with you guys! This series will focus on the prophetic and the beauty of serving the one true God who is alive, active, and continually pursuing us! This first article is one on hearing the voice of God in our hearts, our spirits, and our daily lives.
One of my greatest desires in this beautiful life I have been given is to KNOW God. Nearness and closeness to my Father is what my heart longs for—it’s where I come alive. I have given my life to the pure joy of living to know Him and make Him known. I count it the greatest honor of my life to know and love Him.
In this series I want to address various aspects of prophetic ministry ranging from how to hear the voice of God to recognizing His voice. Topics like:
God as a father.
The importance of relationship.
How to hear the voice of God.
What the Bible says about God speaking.
How to tune our ears to hear.
How to hear God for ourselves and others.
How to encourage others.
The Basics of prophetic ministry.
How the prophetic impacts hearts and nations.
How God draws people to Himself through the prophetic.
So I invite you on this journey of knowing God and recognizing His voice in our lives. Wherever you are at in the process, I pray you would grow closer to Him and that His voice would become stronger and clearer in your life of walking side-by-side with Him as your Father.
Love & Blessings,
I’m excited to update you all on the minor changes happening around the blog here. As you may have noticed, I’ve changed the name and address of my blog to be more easily accessed! I said goodbye to our name, “The Hem of His Garment” and switched it to a name a bit more personal. (If I do say so myself.)
Welcome to my new blog, sarahgwalsh.wordpress.com. This change should not affect your current subscription and ability to receive updates IF you are already subscribed via email. If you are not, now is the time to do so!
I don’t always post articles on social media venues. With that being so it is a great idea for you to subscribe by way of email. You can do that over here [->] to your right! Somewhere along the right side of this blog is a box where you are able to type in your email address. Doing this will send you personal updates and all recent articles that are published here. Right to your inbox. Just for you!
Thank you all for your constant support. We would love for you to subscribe, send our URL link to your friends, share our blog on social media, visit us often, engage by commenting, etc.! Come join the family and stay in contact! Feel free to suggest topics and ideas for future articles in the comment section below this post. We’d love your input and inspiration!
P.S. A new blog series on the topic of the Prophetic is coming soon! Stop by and visit us to check it out.
Love you all,
Choosing Love Despite Response
It’s more commonly said these days that “love is a choice“. And rightfully so. Love is definitely a choice we make. Daily. Love is an action. And actions require intentionality. Thus, love is a choice we get to make. Whether in giving or receiving, loving well requires us to choose. To choose love. Always. When it’s exciting and when it’s terrifying. When it’s undoubtably a “yes” and when it’s a painful “no”. When it feels good and when it’s cold raw reality.
Love is intentional. Love is kind. Love is fierce. It doesn’t hold the need to be right. It’s doesn’t thrive on having the last word. Love doesn’t compromise. Love speaks up for others; but not against. Love is pursuing. Love is patient. Love takes the initiative. Love chooses peace. Love knows how to rest. Love doesn’t give up, let go, or quit. Love has a powerful yes, and no. Love is committed. Love shows respect. Love is rooted in honor. Love sees beyond the visible. Love doesn’t operate from a place of fear. Love isn’t always comfortable. Love is safe. Love manages it’s time well. Love values excellence. Love is visionary. Love respects boundaries. Love is generous. Love is soft spoken, yet loud. Love doesn’t “one-up” others. Love doesn’t look down on itself. Love is steady. Love is loyal. Love creates a home.
One of the most powerful things about love is CHOICE. Love is a choice. In every situation in life, I get to choose love. In every relationship I have, I get to choose love. In every conflict, I get to choose love. In every victory, I get to choose love. In tragedy, in failure, in moments of extreme pain and uncertainty, I get to choose love. I get to choose to be a woman who loves well. I get to choose love–to respond in love, with love, and as love.
As a woman who is committed to being intentional about living a life of loving well…. I get to CHOOSE to love people regardless of whether or not they will love me in return. (If you don’t get anything else I have said in this article, please hear this one statement.) It sounds a bit painful and honestly, sometimes it’s IS. Never the less, It’s actually the privilege of love.
The privilege of love is that we get to choose love itself. Really choosing love is choosing to love with no agenda. Love doesn’t allow strings to be attached. Love is not contingent upon response. Love isn’t determined by the lack of rejection. Love doesn’t require agreement or approval. The measure of expressed love doesn’t rely on the one it’s being given to.
Is it nice to be loved in return? Is it nice receiving an equal or even greater reciprocation? Is it nice when your love and expression of love is rightfully celebrated? Absolutely! Loving is beautiful. Being loved is beautiful! I can’t imagine us arguing the fact that being loved in return, especially in extravagance, is a sweet gift we were all made to experience on a regular basis.
Even still, there are times where reciprocation isn’t guaranteed. When the response you’re looking forward to isn’t ensured. There’s a chance they won’t appreciate your love or even want it. In these moments, choosing love can be painful. It’s often exhausting. It’s even more often overlooked. Most people around you won’t get to see this choice of yours. It’s a choice made in secret and relationship with God. He’s our model and demonstrator for how effective choosing love can be to those around us. It’s a matter of the heart. It’s not necessarily in the words that we speak or the actions we make. He’s where we learn to choose love.
Relationships, of any kind, are one of the hardest areas in life when it comes to intentionally choosing love. It’s also the most powerful. It’s easy to like, love, and pursue someone when you know they feel the same way. When you know they love and value you..just as much, if not more, than you value them. Knowing this seemingly removes the risk of rejection, misunderstanding, abandonment, and pain. “If I knew they felt the same way then I’d make a move. I’d be more intentional. I would be more vulnerable. I would allow myself to be seen. I’d be willing to give more of myself.” Or, “If I knew they’d say ‘yes’.. If only I knew how they felt. If I could just know what they want. If I knew I couldn’t fail..” The list goes on.
This is a “safe-zone” that many powerful people often hide in. Where the odds of being rejected are severely limited due to the lack of risk. It’s also the place where we hand over our power to the outcome and results while we stand by powerlessly waiting in the land of “IF”.
But wait. Love doesn’t withhold itself. Love doesn’t hide. Does it? If love truly doesn’t limit itself based upon the response of others than this type of attitude towards love is hindering us severely. This is fear masked as “wisdom”. This isn’t an example of “choosing love”, but one of submitting to fear. Being dangerously surrendered to fear.
And that, my love, is scary! We are not called to be people who hide in the face of fear, determining every move of love based on the response or approval of others. No, no, no. We get to choose love! Every moment. Every day.
We get to be the ones who say, “regardless of how you treat me, respond, answer, approve, etc., I am choosing to be a woman/man of love. And it’s in my nature to extend love. Whether you choose to love me or not, I choose to love you. Just because you exist. It’s actually the privilege of my life to be someone who loves well. And I choose to spend this privilege on you. You’re worth my love. Even if you don’t love me like I hoped you would or expected you to–I get to choose to love you. Unrestrained. Extravagantly. Without limits.”
I choose love.
So if we believe that love truly is a choice then the question is, “are we willing to pay the price of what seems like a sacrifice: loving people so radically that our love is not limited by their acceptance or reciprocation”? Is being someone who loves well enough of a reward for us? Is the fruit of loving well enough to draw us into a lifestyle of being ones who choose love? Will we be conscience of love–consciences of choice? In every situation or season of life, will we be the ones who choose to love with the deepest, purest, and truest kind of love? It’s risky. It’s sacrificial. It’s extravagant. It’s powerful. It’s unconditional. It is LOVE.
“If equal affection cannot be, let the more loving one be me.”
—W.H. Auden, “The More Loving One”
I have been fascinated by questions lately! God has been speaking to me a ton by just asking me questions throughout my day. What I love about God is how strategic He is. He is so intentional. He knows what He’s doing. He always knows what to say. He knows what questions to ask. He always has the best advice to offer. You have to admit – He is good. So, with that being said. I have a question for you. This is one I’ve been going back and forth with between the Lord and I.
What would it look like for you to be YOU?
I made a big move back in September. I moved to Redding, CA – a new city I now call home. It’s been quite the adventure. I moved here to attend ministry school. I really had no clue what this all would look like. For the first time in my life, I actually was looking forward to not knowing what was going to happen.
I’m the girl who loves to plan. I love to have my whole life beautifully organized. (Doesn’t that sound amazing?!) This time though… I had no clue. All I knew was that God was about to take me on a journey. This journey would be centered around my heart and His. What I knew was that He and I would be drawing up the blue print map for how I would choose to love, live, and lead in life.
That’s all I knew and I was excited for the adventure we were about to embark on. Let’s just say this journey has been exactly what He showed me. It’s been all about the heart. So far, it’s been heart surgery. And it has been amazing!
I’ve learned more in the last few months since I’ve moved here than I know my heart and mind can comprehend right now. The greatest revelation I have had during this season of heart surgery (and am having) is that Gods ONLY expectation of me, while I’m on this earth, is to be fully me. That is all. Gods only expectation of you is for you to be fully you and to fully bring yourself to the table in every area of life.
I am as much fulfilling my calling and “destiny” when I am fully being ME as I am when I am doing what is required, needed, and expected of me.
If I can figure out who He’s created me to be and do that well then I’ve succeeded in life. My greatest purpose on earth is to be who He has called, created, desired, and longed for me to be. Nothing more and nothing less. All the dreams in my heart and the passions I believe He has placed in me can only flow out of this place. These dreams can only thrive in the garden of me being me.
If I’m not ME, which is who He created, I am nothing. Because who He created me to be is in Him and could never thrive apart from Him. Me being fully me looks like daily becoming and loving who God has made me to be. It looks like me committing to my process and promising to enjoy it. Just BE. Me being me is rooted in Christ and from that flows the life of worship I know my heart was fashioned for.
This is the resting place of vulnerability and identity. It’s the dwelling place where dreams and reality form a sweet union. Where opportunity seeks you. Where favor knocks on your door. Where you ditch the fear of man. Where you rid yourself from all unnecessary expectations. Where you break down gross standards that are not rooted in the heart of the Father. All striving ceases. All self-promotion finally reveals itself as pointless. There’s freedom. There’s breathing room. There’s clarity. There’s excitement. You finally begin to see the YOU inside of who you thought you had to be this whole time.
It’s a vulnerable place – allowing God to fully expose the beauty of YOU. It’s the exposure of all the greatness, power, influence, passion, joy, fierceness, resilience, and loyalty that’s inside of you. It’s scary! It’s exciting. This vulnerable place requires you to give God permission to expose you to yourself and have His way. It’s scary because once you know who He created you to be, there’s no turning back. You can’t un-see the greatness He’s now exposing in you. It’s complicated and yet, fairly simple. It’s a journey of becoming you. It’s a journey of allowing God to be God and giving Him what He wanted, what He gave His Son for… YOU.
I find it so funny the way God chooses to speak to us sometimes. He’s been asking me questions when He could obviously just tell me how it is. That is the beauty of Gods nature – He wants to know you not dictate you. I find it funny because this whole question asking thing of His is pure genius. How do you get to know someone and vise-versa? You ask questions! You ask them open-ended questions hoping to see more of who they are and what makes them tick.
So what would it look like for you to be you? To cease striving to live up to the gross expectation of who you assume others want, need, or expect you to be. What would it look like if the only expectation you lived up to was the one that your Dad has of you being the beautiful you He created before the earth was ever formed?
Something inside my heart says that’s all He wants for you and I. Seeing as though, we are all He wants. This is the resting place of vulnerability and identity and being firmly rooted in the heart of the Father. God wants you. Not the person you think or feel you need to be in order to achieve the most, look the best, fail the least, etc. He just wants you.
You are more than enough. You are exactly who He wanted. God longed for you and couldn’t wait any longer to have you. So, He made you! And now, all He wants is for you to be you and enjoy all He has in store for you. Be yourself. After all, you are created in His likeness. Thus, you are amazing!
If you haven’t answered the question yet, I dare you to.
What would it look like for you to be fully you? I pray a grace over you to be able to fully rest in who God is and who He’s empowered and created you to be. May your heart and soul come alive like never before as you learn to love yourself the way God loves YOU.
Another year. Another chapter of life closed and going down in my book. I wish I could accurately put into words what 2015 has meant to me – what it’s been for my heart. It hasn’t been easy, but oh how it’s been worth every moment.
The last year has been one filled with a lot of change, challenges, opportunity, stretching, growth, and dreams I would have never imagined coming to pass. It’s been a sea of emotions that has washed me up on the most unexpected shore at this point in my life. The best part: there’s no place I’d rather be.
I feel like a completely different person. I feel more like me than I have ever been. At times I don’t recognize myself in the most beautiful way possible. I even look more and more like ME every day.
I started 2015 off by flying to one of my favorite nations, HAITI, and lead my very first missions team on a 10 day trip to Carrefour. Taking people to other nations and creating opportunities for others to be apart of what God is doing in the nations is a huge passion and dream in my heart. I would have never expected to be able to begin doing this at only 19. God pays attention to your dreaming heart, be sure of that.
I turned the big awaited “21”. That alone felt like a major shift in my life. I’ve never felt much when it has come to age and getting older. Another year, another birthday. Yet, this one was different. I had a feeling that this 21st year would be one of defining moments for me and between the Lord and I. It’s been completely and overwhelmingly accurate so far.
I returned to another one of my favorite nations over the summer, the Dominican Republic, and spent a month interning for my favorite missionaries. I was finally able to see my beautiful Dominican god-children after five long years! It was beginning to feel like I’d never see them again. Kids grow ridiculously fast, so you could see why me not being there in five years was a problem. They may be out growing me, but they will never outgrow my abundance of kisses for them. Never.
I moved to a brand new city at the end of the summer. A place I’ll be calling home, until the Lord says otherwise. Here, I began my first year of ministry school! Another dream that I hadn’t expected to come to pass so soon. I’ve grown more in the last few months of school than I ever could have imagined. My first year at BSSM is reaching that half way point. I would start over and go back to day one of school just so I could re-experience all that God has done so far. It’s been a beautiful roller coaster.
One thing I’ve always admired about the Lord is how He outdoes Himself EVERY time. I knew it would be good, but I didn’t imagine it to be this good. Absolutely incredible and not at all easy. Isn’t that the story for most great things in life?
This year has been one for the books. It’s stretched me beyond what I thought I was capable of. It’s left me stronger than I thought I was. It’s carried around with it a mirror, causing me to see who I really am. Not only see, but love. This year has awakened some of the many dreams in me. I’ve always been a dreamer. Lately, I’ve kicked it up a few notches. This has caused me to realize that even my craziest and wildest dreams aren’t accurately sized in proportion to how good my God is. It was clearly time to step it up.
One of my favorite things about God is how extravagantly faithful He is. My definition of Gods goodness and faithfulness is expanding, yet again… This has caused me to reexamine how I dream and how I prioritize pursing my dreams. There have been countless moments this past year where I have seen how sweetly and how closely the Lord has paid attention to the desires of my heart.
He has completely and utterly out done Himself.
He is constant. He is good. He is faithful. He is trustworthy. He is extravagant. He is powerful. He is strong. He is unchanging. He is full of surprises. He is aware. He is fierce. He is proud. He is true. He is kind.
2015 has been a year of countless opportunities for me to know God deeper. This is the one thing in life that I want more than anything….I want to KNOW God.