I plug in and connect to God in many ways. Currently through and online Bible Study hosted by Proverbs 31 ministries called Stressed Less Living, also with an email devotional called The Word for You Today and a Joyce Meyer devotional called Trusting God Day by Day. I also meet in a small group bible study on a regular basis and listen to my local Christian radio station. While each provide encouragement and relevant insight into my life and circumstances I find, that God often touches the depth of my heart through songs of praise which prompt me to go to His word and seek to get to know him better.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to grow in Christ and share my vulnerabilities with people after God's heart. Here is an example of revelation I received after one of my bible study group meetings.
It still amazes me that once I confess a fear outloud just how easily God renders it powerless and it loses its grip on my mind, heart and actions. Glory to God.
Following my confession that my fear of not belonging was hindering me from taking bold steps- no sooner home, God began unravelling the lie and revealing his truth...I do belong. I belong to him. To his kingdom. To his people. No need to long for belonging or fear not belonging. Glory to God.
Then when I woke up the next morning, I was already praising him with the following; “I am not home yet-this is not where I belong-take this world and give me Jesus-I won't keep searching for answers that aren't here to find” (lyrics to where i belong from building 429) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=he32vwlKQPY
By the end of the day and my his grace alone his words finally sunk in and dropped the short distance from my mind to my heart- a process that doesn't always happen so quickly. Glory to God.
Finally, he revealed to me the assurance of belonging no matter where I am or who I am with because he has blessed me with an eternal perspective on belonging- my heart is filled with joy and anticipation for a hope and a future of belonging eternally; afterall, life on earth passes in the blink of an eye. Glory to God.
As I sought deeper understanding of this fear and confirmation for his word I came across the following http://www.jennyraearmstrong.com/2012/12/02/good-christian-fears-is-fear-crippling-your-walk-with-christ/
It was particularly interesting to read about the fear of my own potential then to go on and complete an exercise asking God to help me identify fears I have, lies I believe and shame I carry. Then I searched Scripture for truth and posted it on my fridge, mirror, at my desk and in the car so that I could call it to mind often and allow it to soak in my heart.
I am so thankful to God for his unrelenting faithfulness and for pouring his word into my spirit through the sweet sweet sound of music and lyrics. I pray that God reveals the truth of your fear this week and that by his grace you can walk freely and boldly through the things he is calling you.
In the meantime, I share with you other songs that have personally touched my life- the experience of which have created such powerful joyful memories that when I hear these songs I am reminded of God’s unconditional love, faithfulness and grace.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdjRmM0Q0qs By your side – Tenth Avenue North (at a time in my life when I was heartbroken over a lost love)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCJ3eHYs3vI Seventh Day Slumber – I am not the same (as I prepared to live a stressed less life in my job and immediately prior to my water baptism)
2 Corinthians 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
John 16:33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFld2jeqKfw We won’t be shaken – Building 429 (following a decision to explore a different path in my career and to grow in my commitment to Christ and God’s purpose for my life)
Psalm 62:2 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress (a place of safety where the enemy cannot follow) where I will not be greatly shaken.
Psalm 16:8 I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qtg9axTtNLg Already There – Casting Crowns (when anxious thoughts began to take over despite proclaiming that I am free from worry and anxiety)
“God is not bound by time as I am. All I see is the here and now and things often look random and out of control-God is standing at the end of my life looking back on it. Jesus will bring this world together for good- it makes no sense from here but we have to remember that Jesus is Already There.” Mark Hall Casting Crowns. Jeremiah 29:11| Romans 8:28|Matthew 25:14-30| 2 Timothy 1:9
This last one also ties into my take away from Chapter 5 of Stressed Less Living by Tracie Miles:
“The truth is, no matter how strong we think our faith is, we can never live up to the standards and perfection of Jesus. We will never be able to handle stress with holiness as he did. We will never be immune to the temptation of reacting to stress in negative ways, but we can rest in knowing that Jesus understands our shortcomings.”
May you be richly blessed.