Wednesday, January 24, 2018

growing pains + humility (and an announcement!)

For the past few months, I have been learning so many new things about life and myself and the faith that I claim to live in and believe. I feel like the things that are finally clicking in my head are obvious, no-brainer things. For example, I must speak truth and positivity over the negativity in my mind. As I am learning these things, I am tempted to feel less-than. I feel like I should already know and live these things, comparing myself to the sister beside me who is working through seemingly deeper issues that I think I, myself, should be learning. But instead of comparing myself to anyone else, I should look at these growing pains as a lesson in humility for me. When I am tempted to think wrongly about myself or feel like I should know it all, all of the time, but that is truly pride. That's false humility. I'm learning that true humility is accepting what I did not know, listening to what God is trying to teach me and let myself grow and thrive.

There will always be temptations to run past simple truths that we think we already know when God wants us to lower our selves, surrender to Him, and relearn the truth that will set us free. That's what preaching the Gospel to yourself looks like. It's repentance, surrender, trust. And it may look like a short whispered prayer as your in the middle of a chaotic day. It may look like going to a friend or loved one to let them know that you are struggling and you need prayer. It may look like you shutting off your phone or email to get on your knees and as for forgiveness. Repentance is key to growing!

 Is there something that God is trying to teach you, that you think you already know? Is there something you need to repent of in order to thrive and live the abundant life that Jesus died to give you? Chances are, you actually may "know" it in your mind but those things haven't reached your heart and you're not LIVING them. You may know that you are to love your neighbor but do you actively love them? I desire to be a doer of the Word, not only a hearer. And it's only by the strength and power of the Holy Spirit and daily surrendering yourself to Him that we can truly live out what we believe.

Above all of these practical ways to combat fear, believe truth, and speak encouragement over my own mind, I am learning that I, being in Christ, DO NOT have to strive after anything. Healing, peace, joy, security, it's all already mine because I am in Christ. I am not a slave to fear or people pleasing, but I am free and redeemed. I am already forgiven of my sin when Jesus saved me and when I repent on the daily, it's not for my eternal salvation- it's for my daily growth to be more like Jesus (sanctification!) This is truth. 

I may feel weak (and apart from Christ, I am) but my feelings are not God. God is God. Sin does not define the one whose trust is in Jesus. He defines who I am and He says that I (and you!) are perfect, beloved, chosen, set apart, and holy because it's Christ who covers us and lives in us. THAT is what gives me freedom. I just want to encourage you today to let God teach you, reteach you, speak truth over you, and love you. Whatever it is you are walking through, He is truly right there holding you each step of the way and He delights in you!

I am so excited to share that in the late Spring of 2018, I will be launching a podcast show called Truth in the Trenches! It's a podcast full of Gospel-based encouragement for different seasons of life. I'm excited to share more in the weeks to come but I wanted to officially get the news out!