The Sacrificial Love Of Christ Poured Out For Me

The Love Poured Out For Me!

The love poured out for me – the Man upon that cursed tree. What great love is this that covers me, that sets me free, that saved me from my sin and shame. This love, it bears the scars of nails on its hands and on its feet. This love poured out for me by the Savior who died on a cross at Calvary.
This great love that gave its all, holding nothing back, to the point of death so that I could have the Father’s love. A sacrifice of love that hung on a cross because of the will of the Father. “It’s the only way,” the Father told the Son, “to restore the lost, the broken, the orphans and the prodigals. To restore each child and bring them back into sonship.
To restore the world so sin infested and grim, back to the perfect love I have always had for them.” And the Son made no protest, or put up a fight, but surrendered to the Father and what would be asked of Him. He shared His Father’s love for the lost and downtrodden, for the sheep in need of a shepherd and the children in need of a revelation of the Father’s love.
So the spotless lamb who knew no sin went to His death as the perfect sacrifice. On His shoulders He bore the sin of the world, all those who mocked Him and beat Him and denied Him because of the great love He had for each and every soul. His death, shameful and undeserved, brought life eternal to all who call on His Name. The cost was counted from Heaven to earth, as the Savior, the Sustainer of life itself, humbled himself to the point of death of a criminal and gave up His Spirit as the ultimate sacrifice of love. By His death, eternal life and uninterrupted communion with God was restored.
What kind of love is this? What kind of love would give everything to save a sinner, to save a world drowning in self-seeking, self-serving, rotting decay? This love displayed in the nail-pierced hands stretched out on the cross to absorb the punishment we are deserving of. How great is the price that paid our debt! how precious is the sacrifice that was made for us! Why would the Creator of the universe choose to die in my place? Why would He give His life for me when it was my sin that kept Him on that Roman cross?
Yet He took it all. He took my sin. He took my shame. He took my place. He took my humiliation. He took the punishment meant for me and the mocking and the pain. He suffered the greatest loss of all, the separation from His Father. As Jesus took the sin of the world upon Him, He could no longer be in communion with the Father.

He experienced complete separation from God so that we will never have to! Now we can always come freely and boldly to the throne of God and more than that, we can have confidence that our Father will never leave us or forsake us. At the cross Jesus endured the most excruciating pain of not being able to commune with His Father, so that no one will ever have to live life without God again.

Jesus took it all. That which I could never endure, the outstanding debt that I could never repay, Jesus, the perfect and spotless lamb, paid in full. And as he hung upon that cross, my heart was filled with sorrow, guilt and pain. He took it all. For Me. A sinner. And with a glimmer in the Savior’s tear-stained eyes, He locked His gaze on mine, and spoke to my heart, “beloved, you are worth all this. It is My joy to die for you because that is how great My love is for you!”

Prayer & Reflection:
Jesus, Your love is overwhelming! It unravels my heart and tears down all of my self-made defenses. Your love, O God, so undeserved and unfathomable, freely poured out at the cross, transforms me until all that I am is a reflection of all that You are in me. All I can say is “Thank You!” With everything I am, I say Thank You, Jesus, for Your Love, for Your sacrifice. For I could never reach high enough to receive Your Love, yet You reached down and became a bridge to the Father; a bridge of love that could never be destroyed. Now nothing, no power of Hell, no scheme of man, no height, no depth, no heavenly being nor anything in all of creation can separate me from Your love. The price You paid to give me life, Your life. And now it’s Your love that covers me, that transforms me, that gave everything for me and asks all of me in return. How could I withhold anything from You when You withheld nothing from me, but offered up Your very life because You said I was worth it? That I could be called the joy of Christ! Being called the joy of Christ leads to a desire to give my all for You, it brings my heart to You as I am filled with repentance. You are my Joy Complete! So all I can ever say is, thank You, Lord, for the cross! For pouring out Your Love for me. For the blood of Your Precious Son that washed me clean, that made me new. I love that Roman cross, for by it, I have been saved,and by the scars on my Savior’s hands, feet and side, I know the power of Perfect Love! So, as You gave Your life for me, I offer my life completely to You as my gift of love to You, my King, my Savior, my Everything.
In the Name of Jesus, Amen!

Scripture references:

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!     ~Romans 5:6-10

This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.     ~1 John 4:17

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.     ~Hebrews 12:2

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.     ~Philippians 2:5-8

It is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.  He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.     ~1 Peter 1:16-21

Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands. ~ Isaiah 49:16

Beholding the Brilliance of the Son

5CF94DE2-2232-487E-A3C5-A742B7556491There are few things that capture my attention like watching the colors of the sky change dramatically as the sun rises and sets. And one thing I know is that there is nothing more awe-inspiring than gazing at the Son and beholding His light span across the horizon! If you’re anything like me, you probably tried as a child, and maybe still do, to gaze at the sun as long as possible before you have to look away.

See, we are created to behold the Son and are transformed as we do, yet we can only glimpse at the brilliance of the Son for a moment since He is too holy and infinite to behold fully, as we are but finite beings who are limited in what can be seen.

We can’t touch the heavens but we can witness the splendor painted new every day. Think about how different things look when wearing sunglasses or a hat. Both allow us to gaze towards the sun but not to hurt our eyes in doing so. In the same way, God allows us to look at His Light, His Son, but He protects us as we look upon Him, and hides the fullness of His radiant glory behind coverings like clouds and clefts so that we can draw always nearer to Him.

The sun gives warmth, provides light, and gives life. The Son is the Light of the world which warms our hearts as He breathes His life into us. In beholding the Light of the world, are we not filled with light? In gazing even at the reflection of the Son, are we not transformed to reflect Him too? So then, as Moses stood in the cleft in the rock but beheld the glory of the Lord, so too can we come into the Presence of the Living God since we are protected under the shadow of the Almighty.

“Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by.”
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭33:18-22‬ ‭

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand]. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust [with great confidence, and on whom I rely]!””
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭91:1-2‬ ‭

Sometimes All You Need

9056C681-2D86-4703-976A-8F87EFD8E8CASometimes all you need is to splash through the waves as the wind is at your back and the sun saturates the world around you with warmth and brilliant color. The past few days I have found both the warmth of the Son and the radiance on display before me to be the sanctuary, that I could freely come away with the God of Heaven, as He covers the earth.

Sometimes a moment like this, in the Presence of the King, is all you need to be reminded of the unfailing unending promises of God. As I watched the Son of God transform the sky and recolor the earth with splendor, my soul was quieted as if the busyness of life could not penetrate this moment of encounter. Life outside of this place in time stood still as the sun did when a bold prayer was prayed in the story of Joshua. The heaviness that tries to steal away a precious encounter is easily defeated as the Presence of the LORD grows more tangible and draws us constantly closer.

Sometimes thankfulness is all you can respond with at the beauty surrounds you.

And sometimes all you can do is stand speechless in awe of the splendor before you as it fills your senses.

There are moments where the quietness of life escapes you and it’s there in the noise that the LORD reaches through and places the stillness inside of us… The stillness of His Presence always with us. The stillness that brings peace despite the whirlwind surrounding you that catches you up in its tireless motion. Jesus knew stillness because He knew His need to always come away with His Father. Even when there was a storm around Him, there was a stillness, an unshakable peace that filled Him because He was grounded in the stillness from Heaven and from His Father, His source.

24465F7C-E7BF-4D95-8BDC-D1458FA5235AAs I escaped the noise of life and beheld the majesty of God in both the reflection of the water mirroring the sun, the light reflecting everything it touches, but also just tuning into the soundtrack of Heaven, I felt that stillness that is freely given to us. I felt it as I listened to the crashing waves rhythmically landing on the sand. I felt the peace as I stood motionless in the midst of constant movement. Life didn’t stop around me even though it seemed to slow within me.

Sometimes in order to see clearly, you have to jump in the water and just let the waves crash over you. Where words dry up, let the water quench your soul. At the end of what is seen and what is certain, what is known and safe, is a whole new adventure deeper into the mystery and majesty of the Creator.

Sometimes all you need is to let go, to trust completely with no exceptions, and run into the Sonset as you chase after God. He always meets you where you are and every step of the journey with Him, will always be greater than a journey trying to find, discover, and seek understanding alone. With Him, we find answers, we find new horizons, we find the end of ourselves and we dive deeper into His Goodness, His nearness, His love.

Sometimes all you can do is simply come as you are, with all your insecurities and questions and just fall on your knees before our Savior. That which we seek and long for with all our whole being, is only found as it is revealed; a closer encounter that is ever-increasing, a deeper love that fills every crack and molds us into the most beautiful pottery. And sometimes it takes coming in a still moment as you behold something as awesome as a Sonset painted by the LORD with you in mind, a palette of colors that cannot be truly captured sprawled out before you, the warmth of the Son and the refreshing from His water crashing over you.

For me, this is where I come when I need to find God, yet I am never hidden to Him so I think it’s more accurately where He finds me and draws me closer to His heart.

So sometimes all you need is to be drawn to the Father’s heart by allowing Him to take you away with Him as He meets you in the beauty, in the mystery, in the sound and in the silence. Sometimes all you need is to remember how great, how unmeasurable is the love of God for you and to be reminded of His Love by coming away as you are so that He can fill you with Who He is and Who He is for you!

So wherever it is that is your quiet spot, that you can come away and be transformed by God as you behold Him, go there and embrace the Holy encounter He always desires to bring you into. Come away with Him in a timeless moment and let His Spirit fill you like His glory fills the heavens and reflects over the whole earth.

But one thing I can promise you is that He is Always All You Need!

Lord, Make Me A Wind Chime

04F98CCE-DE9B-4411-86A3-03F91D835C8ALast night as I drifted off to sleep, I was serenaded by the sweetest sound. It was the song of the wind dancing through the wind chimes beneath my window. As I reflected on this more this morning, I thought about how the wind chimes were allowing the wind to create a symphony through them.

I thought about how both components made a sound that joined both the wind and the chimes as if creating a masterpiece made of harmony and yet was created with simplicity. Wind and chimes. The first component moves through the latter and brings it to life. The wind being the “ruach” or breath of God, and the wind chimes simply being hollow, creating a space for the wind to dance through, it how it will. The wind created the most beautiful sound as the chimes were filled with the song of the wind. It created a symphony like no other, one which filled the earth with a song-filled moment straight from heaven.

Hearing the harmonious sound fill the atmosphere, gave me a fresh perspective. If the wind is the breath of God blowing through each lifeless carrier of sound, then I want to be a wind chime filled with the sweet whisper of the Lord moving through me. We are made to echo the song of our God that is inside of us and by doing so, fill the whole earth with His song. A wind chime is a man-made instrument designed to create music, to capture the wind if only for a holy moment.

Lord, like the wind fills the chimes and brings them to life, let Your breath fill us and bring us to life also. May Your song move through us and serenade the earth with Your glory. Make us Your wind chimes that carry Your sound! ~Amen~C9E82641-A209-490D-A5F4-9643EDD15066

Glory Dusted Reflectors

900F22F2-02F6-4014-B19B-4B60C7FE06A1Have you ever been left in complete amazement at how the Lord uses ordinary every day things to get your attention?

The other day I was running around with my 3 year old niece, who would gather handfuls of flowers and hand them to me. As she handed me the first cluster of flowers, I noticed something I had never seen before.

When I looked at the flowers in light of the sun, they sparkled as if covered in glitter. Each flower had the same effect regardless of the kind or color of the flower itself.

However, when I put the face of the flower to the shadows, the glimmer it possessed disappeared. Such an amazing sight that I continuously put the flower in the sunlight, then back in the shadows, to see if my eyes were just playing tricks on me, but the sparkles remained every time they were turned toward the source they reflected.

4D0E01E2-30EF-4196-BFF8-DFC2A0AE58FEMy first thought was that the Lord has so much fun creating things that reflect Him and display His beauty. But I then realized that these flowers were actually covered in His Glory dust as they reflected their Creator!

This ordinary flower was displaying majesty by simply facing the sun. However, since the flower was uprooted and placed in my hand, it quickly began to wither. The longer the little plant remained in my hand and plucked up from it’s bush, the more it wilted and the faster the life faded from of it.12D7C697-CBF3-4F8E-B140-D054CEE4DECC

The flower is a beautiful picture of spiritual life. When we behold the Son, and the more we do so, the more we reflect His glory and majesty. Like a flower that cannot help but to reflect the glory of the One who created it, neither can we help but reflect the glory of the Son as we behold Him.

The small handful of drooping petals shows that there is life in us only as we keep connected to the vine. In John 15, this idea is used by Jesus to illustrate that we need to abide in Him and He in us, for without Him and apart from His life, we cannot live, nor can we bloom without being rooted. Yet in the same way the flower fades as it is taken away from it’s source, so too do we fade when we are removed from the Son’s light and life.

D794BC45-9A05-4C34-90D2-3F5829AFC036In life, it is so easy to get caught up in the news, in the busyness of routine, and before we know it we are sent in a thousand different directions trying to keep up. But what would happen if in the craziness of life, we simply turned our face to the Creator and for a minute, maybe a short prayer, beheld the Son of God? In a world that never slows down, we can find peace, renewal of strength and refreshing for our soul by simply calling out to the Lord and inviting Him to take over, to bring rest in exchange for our weariness.

A flower is made as a glory dusted reflector that reveals so much about it’s Maker, and if a flower can reflect the majesty of our God, then how can we learn how to the same since that is what we are designed to do?B0569C7B-F70F-41C0-81BF-6474D9DA0CD7

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

~John 15:1-5~

“For he will be [nourished] like a tree planted by the waters,
That spreads out its roots by the river;
And will not fear the heat when it comes;
But its leaves will be green and moist.
And it will not be anxious and concerned in a year of drought
Nor stop bearing fruit. 

~Jeremiah 17:8~

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

~Psalm 1:1-3~

Consider the lilies and wildflowers, how they grow [in the open field]. They neither labor nor spin [wool to make clothing]; yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these.

~Luke 12:27~

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

~2 Corinthians 3:18~

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord

~Psalm 150:6~

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

~ 2 Corinthians 4:6~

16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love.

~Ephesians 3:16-17~784798FF-FCB6-4C55-8D00-22DE8C93B012

A Stirring In My Heart in the Early Morning – 3 AM Revelations & Reflections

How do I put into words that which is incomprehensible? That which is felt deeply and known, rather than able to be explained. As if I was wrapped in the warmest blanket and could feel it warm me completely, was how the love of God that I found so tangibly covered me in this moment. Before my eyes I saw a scripture I never known before. As it was read, each word was highlighted and poured fresh fire, and hope into my spirit. This scripture though was but a glimpse of an eternal God and by seeing it, the Living Word was revealed through the written word.

This one scripture spoke of every characteristic that God is, that He is for me that which I need Him to be at that exact moment. But more than that, as the Words of Life floated before my eyes I saw the characteristics of God that others needed. This scripture revealed Him as a stronghold and strength itself. As a fortress and defense. As peace and as rest. It revealed Hi as our hope secure and the One who never fails us nor forsakes us. His mercy, goodness, grace and unfailing, unconditional love all present in this one scripture. Everything that we need God to be at any given moment was written here before me. Everything. It was literally the all-encompassing nature of the Living Word echoed through every promise of Who God is.

How do I explain the character of the One Whose definition is greater than the unknown? The One Who cannot be explained because He is beyond comprehension. Him who lives in me Who gives me peace and rest, Who restores, redeems, and sets free. Him who pulls me closer to His heart and wraps me in His love. He Who is outside of time, yet inside the very heart of the matter of my earthly situation. The One Who lives inside me as my Comforter, yet is also a piercing sword that cuts my heart. His perfect covenant brands me with His fire and there is an imprint of love that I am marked by.

“God”, I pray, “Give me Your words”, all the while I neglect to open my heart to understand His Word. But Jesus is the Living Word that is alive in me… Alive in each one of us. We know life because we know the Sustainer. We have hope because Jesus did rise up from the grave when He defeated death forever and now nothing could ever keep Him down and if He is alive in us, then nothing will ever hold us down either, but we are victorious by His Blood! If Christ conquered death and He lives in us, then how can our lives not be lived for Him? For it is by His Spirit inside of us that we have the reason for breathing. In the Name of Jesus, there is life abundantly and that will never end! In Him, there is a love that is stronger than death and nothing can ever separate us from and a hope so secure that can never be overcome or rendered defeated.

So like the vision of the written word that revealed the all-encompassing nature of the Living Word, we can take heart and know that our God is everything we will ever need Him to be in every situation and in every season!

He’s what we need and always so much more.

Soaring into Joy

I love flying. I love traveling by plane and getting to where I am going. I love looking out the window and seeing a view of the most captivating sight. I love flying through the clouds and watching sunbeams dance across the different layers of the fluffy covering. I am also that one person who enjoys turbulence. It’s strange but I find every aspect of flying is a time where the Lord fills me with increased joy.

Usually when I fly, I focus on finding the sun, or rather the Son, outside my window, but this time, I felt led to focus on the clouds and shadows they produced. So I did just that.

On top of the clouds, the rays of the sun danced across the layers of clouds and jumped from one to the next. Watching this fun spectacle filled me with inexpressible, uncontainable joy. It also made me think about Joy itself.

On the top of the clouds, the warmth of the Son is tangible and the joy rises up from through the clouds. But what about beneath the clouds in the shadowland below?

Where there is shadows, there is usually a dark covering. It is the same in the spiritual realm too. When there is shadows in our hearts, it is hard to be joyful. It is hard to dance when we don’t see the Light like we do when we are enveloped in the sunbeams on top of the clouds.

But that’s what is so amazing about our God. He is our joy complete. When we find ourselves rejoicing as we dance with sunbeams above the clouds, it is because He is filling us with His joy. When we are searching with no success for the sun to shine beneath the clouds’ shadows, He gives us His Joy in knowing that His Light shines inside of us so there is no darkness stronger than Him in us, which means we are filled with His light wherever we go.

Therefore, our joy is not dependent upon seeing the Son or feeling His warmth, but our ability to be joyful when the shadows block our view of His radiant light. Joy is an outlook that shifts our perspective. It is a lifestyle that does not rely on what we face or what shadow we find ourselves shaded by, but relies on an internal knowing that the Light inside of us can never be stolen, no matter how dark the covering over us is.

Joy is a way of seeing life through a heavenly perspective where we can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is faithful and He is transforming our darkness into His marvelous light. Joy is the supernatural strength in the midst of the trial. It is the knowledge that God is always greater and no matter how hard the rains fall, He is still with us, bringing us through in victory. Joy is the constant reminder that in Him, we are overcomers and every trial we experience is not going to deplete us but will be a testimony of how God always comes through!

Let that sink in next time you find yourself under the clouds. Being under the clouds does not mean that God can’t reach you. If nothing can separate us from His love, and He is a joyful God, then what storm can be greater than the infilling of the fruit of the joy that He gives us as a weapon of war?

I think the shadowlands remind us, that we are cloud dwellers and to come up higher when the clouds get lower. Sometimes finding joy in the midst of the storm is the only way to get through that trial.

We are meant to focus on the Son but need to learn how to find Him when all we see is darkness over us for even in the darkest hour He is with us.

So whether you find yourself dancing on the clouds illuminated by the Son, or seeking breakthrough from the shadows that threaten to steal your joy, know that the One who fills you with His joy never runs out and will provide you what you need wherever you find yourself. Just ask!

“You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”

Psalms 16:11

“rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,”

Romans 12:12

“For you will go out with joy And be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

Isaiah 55:12

“Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.”

Psalms 126:5

“These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”

John 15:11

“and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,”

1 Peter 1:8

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,”

Galatians 5:22

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,”

James 1:2

The song that was the inspiration for this:

The Final 30%

The other day as I was finishing up my workout, I felt like my lungs would give out on me. My parched state threatened to get the best of me, forcing me to conclude my workout earlier than anticipated. Every third minute or maybe every 30 seconds (it felt like three minutes had passed), I would have to remind myself that I was so close to reaching the goal of completing the workout I was doing. The last 30% of the workout felt like it lasted forever and it was a matter of either giving into everything in me begging me to end the task at hand or push through every plea of my body. I’d like to say the choice was easy to make but with every step, one more appeal to quit was made.

What kept me going was the little notification that would pop up telling me how far I had to go, which compared to what I had already completed, seemed easy. It wasn’t. That final push was the most difficult part of the entire workout.

When I finally did reach the goal, I was amazed. I looked at how much I had done and suddenly all the strain and pressure to give up before I reached the end was replaced with the feeling of overcoming and finishing strong.

Although the last 30% was harder than the whole workout up until this point and my ability to push past the pain was growing dimmer each moment, I closed my eyes, said a prayer for strength, and gave the final stretch into God’s hands. Then the coolest thing happened, He brought me through. I imagine it was like I had given my all, and when I was ready to give up completely, that is where the Lord came to my rescue and took me the rest of the way.

Asking God to help me did not just make the final distance easier, but I knew that it was possible, despite the pain crying out for me to stop the torture I was causing myself. I realized that by prayer and surrendering my pain to Jesus, I could reach the finish line that seemed so close, yet so far. And it was the longest 30% of my life but I finish strong because I didn’t finish in my strength but God’s!

Have you ever felt like this? Like you would not be able to reach your goal because your physical state would win against your will to persevere? Have you ever felt like you want to just give up because what is ahead looks impossible to overcome?

It is in those moments when everything is telling us to give up, that hope whispers, “you’re almost there, don’t give up now. It’s all going to be worth the pain if you just keep going!” However, when every fiber of our being is screaming to stop, it can be hard to hear the tiny voice saying the opposite.

But something important to remember is that when we are almost at the finish line, that is when everything we face becomes the most challenging. It is when the sun is about to break through that the clouds seem that much more unbearable. It is right before the top of the mountain finally comes into view that the path seems the steepest and roughtest.

When we reach the end though, doesn’t victory seem that much greater? Doesn’t the road we traveled down up to this point seem so far behind us once we reach the peak? Doesn’t water taste so much sweeter after being in the desert for so long?

So when we are faced with obstacles and opposition, may we remember that breakthrough, the thing we were striving and reaching for is closer than we know.

I want to challenge you right now to think of something in the past you had to deal with or go through and I want you to think about how it was that you got through that season. It wasn’t because you had the determination although that played a part. It wasn’t because you are strong although you are. It was the abundant grace of a God who takes us through the fire because He knows our dross holds us back and takes us through deep waters because He knows the devil can’t swim.

Where we are now, is solely because God loves us so much that He takes us to higher heights and further horizons by asking us to trust Him in the process, no matter what that looks like. A cool thing about the Lord, is He will NEVER take you 70% of the way only to leave you for the last 30%. He will not do that! Ever! Instead, our God will take you as far as you can go physically and then take you the rest of the way in His strength. It is when we reach our limits and cannot go any further that Jesus takes our burdens, our weakness, our tired state and grants us his supernatural strength to finish the race we started. We can only complete the race in the strength and grace of our God, a God who runs the remainder of the way with us on His back.

So now let me to leave you with a few questions:

What is it you are moving towards right now?

What will it take to get there and at what cost?

Are you willing to push past the pain and difficulty of getting there?

Despite everything telling you to stop now while you are ahead, can you hear the little whisper of hope pushing you to keep going?

When you can go no further, remember that there is a strength in you that is not your own; you have the strength of Jesus inside you. In his strength, nothing is impossible and the pain you feel now, will be worth it all. Don’t give up, for you are so close and after you cross the finish line, you will be stronger in the Lord because He brought you through!

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7

They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

“And not only this, but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship (distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance;”
‭‭ROMANS‬ ‭5:3‬ ‭

“Rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:12‬ ‭

I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.
‭Philippians‬ ‭4:12

My Breathe is Eternal

You have replaced My life breathing air with temporary breathing devices. Instead of taking a breath of fresh air, you have settled for what will not last, and that which can never give you life has become your source of existence. I am the Only True Life-Giving Source and only My breathe in your lungs will satisfy the desperate need that you have.

Photo credits Daniela Suarez my beautiful friend!

Cough up the breathing tubes. This is not the life I want for you, beloved. I have True Life to breathe into you, but artificial air is in the way of Me reaching you. Stop breathing in polluted air. You have been breathing in dead air.

Imagine holding your breath until you can no longer. When you do this you are rejecting fresh air. Air that breathes life into your lungs. My breath is life to your being and life without Me is like holding your breath, yet expecting to breathe. It is a contradiction and living like this is living in foolish ignorance. There is so much more life for you to receive than this!

My Precious Child, what I have for you is beyond every physical limit of this world; what I have for you is True Life. I want to breathe My life for you into your lungs. I am the One who breathed life into you in the beginning, and who has always sustained you and will always be your source of being sustained. You have replaced My life breathing air with temporary breathing devices. Instead of taking a breath of fresh air, you have settled for what will not last, and that which can never give you life has become your source of existence. I am the Only True Life-Giving Source and only My breathe in your lungs will satisfy the desperate need that you have.

Beloved, before you breathe in My life into your lungs, you need to exhale and release all the artificial air you have allowed to clog your lungs. It is not My design for you to breathe in death. Some of My children do not realize how much death they have allowed in their souls by holding their breath and not letting My Spirit fill them again. The saddest part is many do not understand they are excluding My Life-Giving Nature at all. It is so easy to get stuck in a cycle of taking shallow breathes and thinking that this is all that there is. How it grieves Me to stand on the outside looking in, as they search for My provision but reject My Presence.

Take deep breathes of Me, fill your lungs with all I have for you. Fill your being with My love for you, My faithfulness, My unfailing nature. Fill every crevice of your heart with the sacrifice I paid for you so you could live eternally with Me.

Are you ready to inhale My life and breathe? Precious child, I have so much more for you than you have settled for. I want to breathe life everlasting back into your lungs. I want to breathe My plans into your mind. I want to breathe My love into every crevice of your soul. I want to breathe My heart into your heart if you will only let Me fill you and be your breath. Will you let me breathe fire on the coal of your heart altar?

The Heartbeat and its Symphony

“A sovereign hush quieted the earth as all of creation waited expectantly upon its King.”

As I laid cozily in my blankets, the Lord kept telling me to capture what these words meant through creation’s beauty.

“It’s so subtle that it can’t capture it. You can see the heartbeat of God but you can’t actually capture it in all it’s glory”

I love waking up and watching the sunrise, but on this morning, wanted nothing more than to snuggle back into the warmth of my blanket. When I did finally get up, I understood what God was trying to show to me.

The water was moving as if it was gently breathing. The trees joined in the song the wind conceived, in a melody that seemed to capture both the stillness and the noise of the environment.

In this timeless moment, my senses came alive at the scene painted.

The earth was brought to life as part of a symphony that was being orchestrated before my eyes in the calm. A masterpiece was being spoken into existence at the command of the King.

All of nature readily answered the Conductor’s invitation to join in the great ensemble carrying the Lord’s symphony throughout the earth.

Each piece in creation had a crucial part in the song that was being written. Each part added something unique to the sweet sight and sound.