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Jesus–He Will Never Leave You

Psalms 34: 4-10, “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing,” (NIV).

Recently, the Lord has been dealing with me about letting Him work in my life. Sometimes I can be a bit, shall we say, over-responsible. I try to get everything done and be responsible for all the things in my life that need attention. Now, that’s not a bad thing all by itself. However, the problem is when I try to do it all myself–without letting the Lord lead me. I get overwhelmed, cranky, and basically difficult to live with.

My husband had to go to Brazil on a business trip. Of course it was a wonderful opportunity and I was glad for him to go. Many, many wives have to deal with these things and are fine staying at home with the kids. Well, I missed him (not a surprise) and I didn’t sleep well. So, I tried to stay up late so I’d be tired enough to sleep. Unfortunately, I kept going to sleep later and later, and still getting up at the same time. As I got less and sleep, I started to get just a little impatient with my sweet children. We were all having a tough time dealing with Daddy being gone. (It’s been many years since he’s gone on a business trip. This particular one was part of his new job here in Chicago.) So, there were lots of emotions to deal with. Anyway, a dear friend of mine put her arm around me at our prayer meeting and prayed for me. The Lord spoke and told me that just as she was here for me, He had never left me–and He never would. Stop trying to control things and just trust Him.

Our pastor preached about lambs staying close to their shepherd and following him. Sometimes, when lambs get to wandering too much, the shepherd has to do something drastic. He breaks the legs of the lamb, carefully binds them so they can heal, and carries it on his shoulders. In this way, the lamb feels the shepherd’s heart beating and hears his voice. Once the legs are healed that sheep never goes astray.

The Lord showed me a vision of myself as some crazy lamb with its legs broken trying to pull itself around on its own. I had to chuckle. I am that goofy to try to do something like that. I am so glad that He patiently just picks me up and puts me on His shoulders. I want to be near Him always. I want to depend on Him and not try to do things myself. It is so good to trust the Lord. He won’t leave me.He won’t leave you either.

Isn’t it wonderful that the Lord would talk to us personally? He wants to speak to us throughout our days. We just have to learn to listen.

As I give up control and learn to trust the Lord more, I am so blessed. I get to see Him work amazing things around me and even through me. What could be better than that? I get to be the mom and wife that I yearn to be, all because I finally let go. It’s good to be carried around for a while. I like sitting on my Lord’s shoulders. There’s no safer place to be.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2012 in encouraging posts

 

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Building Walls of Faith

Have you ever been hurt? I know I have. It seems the defense mechanism of choice is to build a wall, so you can’t get hurt again. The problem with walls is what do you allow in? And, what are you keeping out?

In prayer this morning, I realized that those walls are actually good things–when used properly. Instead of building walls of FEAR and keeping everyone and everything out, we need to build walls of FAITH. Let our Lord be our help and our hope. Let Him be our rearguard. Hide ourselves under His wings. Use that shield of Faith!

Instead of building walls because we don’t want to be hurt again or just simply don’t want to have to deal with things, we need to build walls in our lives to glorify the Lord. In fact, we need to work together with Jesus to build those walls–of faith, love, protection, hope, and joy!

When we set out to build walls by ourselves, they become defensive and keep out those who love us. These kinds of walls prevent us from becoming the people who our Lord desires us to be. Another problem with building walls by ourselves is that there are often holes in them that Satan’s fiery darts can get through, thus making us even more alone, and more miserable.

Recently, I’ve been purposefully allowing the Lord time every day to just love me. It’s not an ego thing, rather, it’s a reality thing. There’s no pride, just love. I can tell you that it is making all the difference in the world. Because I am getting a greater grasp of God’s love for me, I can give more and greater love to the people around me. The other night, as we sang ‘I’m not ashamed of You’, I realized that He was not ashamed of me. It’s so easy to have super high expectations of ourselves to the point that we think God is going to reject us, when just the opposite is true. He loves us with an everlasting love. He loves us in spite of ourselves. We know we’re not perfect and so does He. The thing is, He has the power to change us, if we’ll let Him. He doesn’t condemn, He loves and transforms.

Rom 8:1-2 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death,” (KJV).

When we build walls of Faith with Jesus, rather than walls of Fear all by ourselves, we are set free. God’s kingdom has come into our lives and it keeps getting bigger. Those walls protect us and free us to create and build and do all those great things the Lord wants us to do. And, we get to do all this with Him and those precious people around us. We are fulfilled and energized to do more than we ever thought possible. We get to live the way we were meant to live, bold, joyful, hopeful, and fulfilled.

What has the Lord spoken to you about recently? How has He ministered to your heart? Let me know in the comment section below! 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2012 in encouraging posts

 

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How Do We View Ourselves?

Recently, I received a review of my book, Defeat Fear Forever, that was a little shall we say, less than positive. One of the things the reviewer didn’t like was what he thought of as ‘elevation of humans’. He didn’t like the idea of us humans having what I call a horizontal (meaning eye-to-eye) relationship with God. He didn’t like me saying that Jesus was going to put those who overcome on His throne with Him (Revelation 3:21).

Now, let me be clear. We do not elevate ourselves. God, Himself, elevates us, through His own grace and mercy. He is God and we are not. However, He calls us His bride. By calling us His bride, He elevates us up to His level. He is still the king, yet we are welcome, in fact invited, to rule and reign with Him. We don’t and won’t have His power. He will always be God and we will always be His creation. Yet, He chose to love us. He chose to breathe into us His very breath of life. He chose to make us in His image. He chose to give us a choice as to whether or not to follow Him and His ways. He gave us the choice of good or evil. Then, even after our evil separated us from Him, He offered us a way back through the sacrifice of His very own life’s blood.

It is so easy for us Christians to think less of ourselves. We are sinners saved by grace. This is absolutely true. Yet, what about the ‘disciple whom Jesus loved’? That was John and that was how he refered to himself. Was one of Jesus’ very own disciples referring to himself wrongly? Do we believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God or not? If that is so, then we must accept the way John refered to himself, not as arrogance, but as a simple acknowledgement of fact. Why did Jesus love John so much? Because John loved Jesus so much. Because John went out of his way to sit next to Jesus, to be close to Jesus, to hang onto His every word, to just be near Him. 

The ‘disciple whom Jesus loved’ was the way John refered to himself. If we realize that this is not a bad thing, what do we do with that? How does this change us? John was no more beloved by Jesus than any of the other disciples. Yet, John understood something profound. John got it! John not only understood God’s love for him, he turned it around and understood God’s love for everyone around him. Then, because John loved Jesus so much and wanted to be like Him, he turned around and started loving the world the way God did.

Jesus says we are to abide in Him and He will abide in us (John 15:4). What does that mean? It’s not just something academic. It’s not a groveling, lower than dirt, situation either. Jesus invites us to abide in Him. He offers to fill us with His very own Spirit. He wants to abide in and with us!

We aren’t called to be just God’s children. We are also to be His bride. I don’t know about you, but in my marriage, we are equals. My husband doesn’t want to be treated like my daddy, he wants to be treated as my husband. He doesn’t need another child, he needs a partner.

Many of us Christians don’t walk in the authority we have been given as God’s children, much less as His bride. We live beneath our privileges. What queen in her right mind would choose to live in a cottage when she could live in a castle? What queen chooses to view herself as a penniless peasant when she is wealthy royalty? When we learn to walk in the authority we have been given, we will see the signs and wonders following us. We will have a boldness we have never known before. We will realize just how much we are loved and in turn learn to love others in a supernatural way. We will be a force for change in ourselves and in the lives of those around us.     

It is not wrong to view ourselves as ‘disciples whom Jesus loves’. In fact, that’s the right way to look at ourselves. It’s humbling to be so honored by the very King of kings. Yet, that is what Jesus wants for us. Take a look for yourselves in Scripture and start learning to look at yourself the way God views you, very loved and very precious–even ‘to die for’!

P.S. Just wanted to give a plug for Response To Grace Ministries. They offer terrific Bible studies and ‘Beloved Disciple’ is where I got a lot of ideas for this post.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2011 in encouraging posts

 

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Defeat Fear Forever

Writing a book has been a crazy ride. As I wrote each chapter, I preached it to the prisoners at the Federal Medical Center here. I figured that would give me the best feedback. Their response was great. I also let other friends and family read it as well. Anyway, it’s funny, now that the writing is done, it seems the hard part is here! I’ve learned how to format it for an e-book (at http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ChristinaLi) and how to put it into print through Amazon. It’s great having the technology to do these things, but it’s a little scary to actually put my book out there. My goal is ultimately to help others get the same victory I’ve gotten. Praise the Lord for His timing. The ride is just starting and, unlike a roller-coaster, I’m not sure where I’ll come out in the end. I’m sure it’ll be some place amazing!

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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