Is It Worth It?

Bottom line, your peace is too expensive to be bought out by the ways of this world.

Just as a for instance, I recently found myself consumed in social media and all that came with it. How many likes did I get on my post? I followed them but why didn’t they follow me back? Am I weird? Am I annoying? Does no one care about me and what I have to say? They liked what someone else posted, why didn’t they like what I posted? Why would they put that on social media for the whole world to see?

I literally was allowing the voice of the enemy to come through and use social media as a tool against me. Against my happiness, and against my peace.

No, social media isn’t of the Devil, but it is of this world. And if I am allowing it to affect my joy, my peace, and my happiness, then it most certainly is a tool that he has used to try and tear me down. And the enemy is so good at finding tools that we use every single day to tear us down and make us feel worthless.

Wanting to feel accepted by everyone is a heavy burden to carry sometimes.

But it’s when you realize who you are in Christ that changes the game.

I turned up my praise and worship music to drown out the enemy. And after a long day of hearing the enemy’s voice, of allowing him to use multiple tools I had in my every day life, and of feeling beaten down, I allowed the Holy Spirit to enter in to all of those places that I felt weren’t good enough.

If what you are feeling about yourself doesn’t line up with the word of God and who HE says that you are, it is a lie from the enemy. Period. His words do not waver and He will never change His mind.

As daughters of the living God, we are not of this world. Therefore, the ways of this world cannot be used against us. Any weapon formed against us cannot and will not prosper.

If it costs you your peace, if it costs you your happiness, and if it costs you your joy, then it isn’t worth it. Cut it out, throw it away, take a break from it. And allow the voices of the enemy to be drowned out and stomped out by the true, pure, wonderful love of God and the truths and promises and amazing gifts that He has for you. Then, allow His love to transform you.

Stay Strong and Stay Golden

Love,

Taylor

Not Perfect, Still Worth It

One of my beautiful sisters in Christ wrote this on her blog. Please go check it out. She is an amazingly talented writer and she speaks the truth.

I love you, Rae!

Christians have often been called hypocrites because they go to church, preach to non-church goers about what they should be doing, and then go and sin themselves.  Well.  We should hold one another accountable for when we screw up.  NO ONE IS PERFECT.  Just because someone goes to church doesn’t make them a Christian and just because Christians believe in Jesus doesn’t mean they aren’t going to sin.

Christians are to turn to the Bible for answers, but sometimes it can be tricky to understand scripture.  We have leaders, such as Abraham, Sarah, Moses, David, and Esther from the Old Testament, whom we are supposed to follow as examples since they were faithful followers of God.  Even though all those that were mentioned are important as role models, they weren’t always the best examples.  If someone had never read the Bible stories or heard of the names I mentioned many Christians know by heart, they may be confused as to why these names are elevated if they do some digging through scripture.

Perfection among humans is an absolute lie.  The leaders that God hand-picked in the Bible even messed up occasionally.  Big, massive mistakes.  God never expected us to be perfect, but He does expect us to strive to be our best.

Abraham was the father of nations and the Jewish people.  His wife was Sarah (their former names were Abram and Sarai).  Even though we know him to be the father of nations, Abraham and Sarah were childless for a long, long, long time.  They thought Sarah was past her childbearing years and that God wasn’t going to follow through on His promise.  So, instead of being patient and waiting a little bit longer, Sarah and Abraham took matters into their own hands.  Not trusting God’s plan?  And we thought we were the only ones to ever doubt God and His timing.  The Father of Nations even did it!

Abraham had an immeasurable amount of faith, but he wasn’t immune to sin.  He slept with Sarah’s servant, Hagar so he could have a child.  But oops.  Not what God wanted!  Abraham and Sarah disobeyed God.  If you would like to read this one for yourself, you can find this story in Genesis 16: 1-12.

Another great leader in the Old Testament delivered the Jews from slavery in Egypt and led them to the promise land.  How did he come to certain duty?

Moses, a Hebrew man but reared as Pharaoh’s daughter’s son, escaped Egypt by running away after killing an Egyptian!  If he would have stayed, Pharaoh would have killed Moses for his crime and God wouldn’t have had someone outside of Egypt to go back (Exodus 2:11-15).  After God sent Moses back to Egypt to save his family, Moses led them towards the promise land, which was a really tiresome and long journey.  He was a murderer, but God used Moses to save His people from captivity.

Moses was  a murderer and coward, and yet God still used his mistakes to turn a terrible situation into something good.

And what about David? The one who killed Goliath the Giant with a slingshot, the runt of his family, the one after God’s own heart and hand-picked by God to be the king of Israel?  He wasn’t unblemished either.

Once he was king, David became lazy and wasn’t fighting as he should have been one day.  His laziness led to gazing at a married woman, Bathsheba, bathing upon a rooftop.  He slept with her and when she became pregnant, David sent Bathsheba’s husband to the front of the line so he would be killed in battle (2 Samuel 11:2-17).  An adulterer and a murderer?  Wow, some great king, right?  David messed up but he also realized his gigantic mistake and asked for repentance.  He didn’t receive a simple slap on the wrist as punishment either.  God is a merciful God, but also a just one.  He couldn’t let the man he appointed as king to get away with what he did (2 Samuel 12:7-14).

However, God still turned this situation around, and even though David and Bathsheba’s first child died, their second child was Solomon.  King Solomon would grow up to be a wise king over Israel.

Ever heard of Queen Esther?  What did she do?  She saved her people from being killed by being brave and courageous, but um, she didn’t exactly jump at the chance originally.  She hesitated and thought of what danger it would be to herself (Esther 3:9-14).  Yeah, Esther first thought of herself before her own family.  A little selfish, but she was human! Can you fault her too badly for it?

Esther’s cousin Mordecai left her with a little food for thought:

And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

-Esther 4:14

In other words, he was telling her, “Who knows?!  Maybe God created you for this specific moment!” We were all created for a purpose.

Esther wasn’t perfect, neither was Abraham, Sarah, Moses, or David.  They all were probably wondering, why God?  Why did you choose me?  They knew they weren’t perfect.  They knew they had made mistakes, and yet God was still able to work through them for His purpose.

No one’s sin is greater than another’s. All sins are seen on the same level in the eyes of God.  So that person I gossiped about just yesterday, or that time when I thought I was better than someone? It’s just as bad as committing murder like Moses and David.

God uses our blemishes and trials to turn lives around.  He turned my moments of weakness into a testimony for others to hear.  I once was shy and God said, “we’ll fix that,” and He sent me on several mission trips and a summer job where I became a local summer missionary.

We can be used in multiple ways, just like the imperfect role models from the Old Testament.  There are many others I could mention from the Bible as well, but then this post would be much longer…

Regardless, the leaders we look up to still sinned and messed up.  They are not idols to be worshipped because they are not perfect like God; however, their imperfections give us hope.  They were human just like you and me, and they were able to continue to do many great things for the Lord.  It should inspire us to do the same.  That’s why they are role models and people we should look to as examples.  Jesus didn’t arrive until the New Testament, so during the times of the Old Testament, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, David, and Esther, along with a few others, were the only role models people had.

Even today we can still learn valuable lessons from these leaders and their stories.  The leaders we have today aren’t perfect either and my prayer for the ones in power is that they keep in contact with our Lord and don’t lose sight of His purpose, and to not further their own agendas.

 

via Not Perfect, Still Worth It

When You Think That God is Not Here

Have you ever wondered why bad things happen to good, Godly people? Have you been wondering where God is when all of the terrible things have been happening in the United States right now and over the past decade… hell… over the whole existence of the US? How could God be present in this country… in some of these people? Why does He make me go through the struggle of finding my soulmate and all the people I’ve had to deal with to get there?

There isn’t one right answer.

Nobody truly knows why bad things happen to good people, but you’ve got to take a faith-based approach to it if you’re wondering why God is not present. The thing is… He is.

Sometimes pain awakens us to God. The painful experiences that we go through can help us become closer to God or to be good people in general. Think of all of the horrible things that have happened in the United States. God has brought good out of the rubble. When hurricanes and tornadoes wipe out entire cities, people from all over get up the courage to go help out. When 9/11 happened, it increased our security and love poured out from all over the country and all over the world.

Evil is a choice. God is all-knowing, but he gives us the power to make our own choices. Some people choose to give into the evil, but to be honest, ALL sin is evil. Even the most righteous of people are subject to evil and sin on a daily basis. You have a choice whether or not to do the right thing and for a lot of us… that is a hard thing to do.

God will not give you more than you can handle. Everything you go through is a challenge from God to make you stronger. Think about it… have you ever been in one of your lowest times and you feel like you’re about to give up and then all of a sudden something happens to make it better? For example (even though it’s a simple one), have you ever just given up on finding a good person to date and then all of the sudden a few days later someone comes into your life that you could see a future with? These things don’t happen by chance.

Now I was saying that God never gives us more than we can handle, but that’s just not true for Satan… for the evil in our lives. Ever wonder why someone attempted suicide? It’s because the evil in this world never stops. Satan never stops trying to undermine God… to make you feel worthless. These beautiful souls are no less people than you and I. I’m so sick of people believing that you are going to Hell if you commit suicide. Depression is NOT a sin. Depression is Satan’s way of getting you to let in all the evil that he sets forth in the world. Like any sin a believer can commit, suicide can be forgiven. I promise you right now that my grandmother did not go to Hell. I know people are going to argue about this, but there is no way that God let that woman or any of these children who just couldn’t take the burden of bullying go to Hell. He is not a cruel God. He is a merciful and loving God.

Enough said.

Stay Golden,

Emily

 

Keeping a Relationship With God in College

I didn’t grow up in a crazy religious family. My family always kept me exposed to God, but we really didn’t go to church. And that’s OK! I do not feel like church is central to having beliefs or to living a Godly life. My parents are some of the most respectful and giving people I know.

When I went off to college, I was really scared, but that didn’t stop me from having a relationship with God. It is completely possible, even with the busy college lifestyle.

First and foremost, I surrounded myself with a faith-bearing community. A lot of my friends are God-fearing, and that made it easy. From a lot of my roommates to a Christian Service Sorority, I found myself surrounded by love and support from Godly women.

Also, I made sure to set aside time to have a devotional daily, or at least weekly. Whether this was by myself or with other people, I made sure to keep this a main part of my life. Now for me, it was unrealistic to expect myself to find time every day, so I made it a point to have a devotional at least weekly. My favorite daily devotionals come from the app: The First Five. It is an amazing app to give you devotionals that you can relate to, and they are easy to understand.

Online Sermons are available when you can’t find a church that is right for you. It is okay to be wary of churches. It is okay to search for the right one, but in the meantime, make sure to keep up with your favorite online sermons.

All in all, it is very important to keep up with your faith no matter what, and it is feasible.

Stay Golden,

Emily