It’s important to understand community. Also, to understand flowing with God and His will and trust in relationships. To me this is very mysterious. So many people, personalities and purposes.
Community isn’t a building, job or a ministry. Community is people. Those who surround you and celebrate you. They connect with your hearts dreams and desires, and/or you connect with theirs.
Community is sometimes those that are supporting, counseling or walking with you through a trail. This isn’t always your best friend or your leader. Not everyone is equipped nor able to handle your hardships and your heart. Doesn't mean they are less than or bad but we all have our own walks of life and style to support. It makes us unique! This is usually a person who God has ordained to be there for you, He has given them the grace and wisdom for whatever it is you are going through.
Community also changes. It flows as you flow in season and out. Some may follow and be with you in multiple ones and others may only be for one particular season. Some may be intimate for one season and friends that only hang every couple of months the next. Walk with God and trust Him with this!
Connection shows up in different ways as well. Some people feel so close to you as they connect via text or email only. Others may need that one on one time once a week to feel connected. It all depends on their love language. Know them and be grateful for all of those God has put in your life.
Personality. This also has a play with connection. Do they like jokers that laugh all the time, or are they more serious and like to talk about economy or health only. All of this matters with who feels more connected with you and who you feel more connected to. And comfortable with :)
I am sure you have heard of the inner circle. The best description of this that I have seen is Keeping Your Love On by Danny Silk. There's also the life of Jesus. He had a few disciples that were the closest (inner circle) that did more intimate things with Him, but 12 that he walked along side of to change the world in His ministry. So ask the Lord who are the 1 or 2 that can handle your heart and trust Him with that! He knows you better than yourself and He knows your tomorrow!
Being aware of these things will help your heart. It will help you when a transition period comes to look at truth and not be driven by lies of division and judgement. Usually when we feel disconnected we are more abt to listen to an accusation than to give the trust that is deserved or has been earned. The disconnection could be a transition taking place for what God has next in your life.
For example, if God is taking you from a corporate job to full time ministry, you may start to notice some of the relationships changing at work. You emotions could be getting stirred up as you become really frustrated or feeling lonely. Being AWARE of these feelings and KEEPING God in the middle of your life will help you become more aware of what's to come, or the possible transition you are in. We all know God sometimes waits until last minute to fill us in on the plan. So we are to trust when things get shaky! Some call this "the grace is lifting". When something that was once a joy and easy becomes hard, uncomfortable and frustrating. It may be God transitioning you and making room for new relationships and new adventures!
Let me say this as well. *This is not a right and wrong blog post. This is not to see who is to blame. This is to set your heart free and know yourself, your community and your season better! Having understanding is freedom!
MY STORY ON THIS: (very broad version :))
For most of my life I had a perception everyone was to be my friend and connect with me in some way. In school I was a class clown and captain on our cheerleading team. I had soooo many that connected with me on some level and I had called them friends. But not many got to really know and spend time with me, which is my love language and therefore I felt "less than".
As the years have gone by, I asked the Lord “Why are they not connecting with me or why isn’t this relationship working” his response was “I never asked you to give your heart to them!” Woah! Talk about a cut. You see, I thought being a Christian was being open and loving to everyone by opening your heart and revealing it. So when God said that I was pissed. I couldn’t beleive the Lord allowed me to pursue a relationship when it wasn’t to be. Of course this is not His fault but He took the blame. :) So this began my journey to a deeper understand of community, family in the church and relationships.
I still have not the fullness of this and maybe some wrong perspectives that need corrected BUT understanding my relationships and taking into consideration God's opinion is soooo much more helpful and freeing. Get understanding and invite Him in!
On my journey I have been challenged with different thoughts of “not making it”, “not doing enough”, “maybe I need to be more like so and so”, etc. Not feeling like I am being successful.
I have a dream. One that God has even given me. So sometimes I measure my success in life with me meeting, starting or completing something that is exactly "attached" to that dream.
If you ask around some may say success is connection to a “known” person (one of influence), spending 5 hours with Jesus a day, being in a certain ministry, having more than enough money, knowing the Bible, going through college, having a family, having the support of a leader, etc.
Is this true? Maybe or maybe not! I believe each of these can be yes or no. Depending on your season you may say yes or no. I would like to suggest that success in the Kingdom is being in the Father’s will! Doing exactly what He is asking or inviting you to do. Not what you think or feel you should do in perfection.
So. If your season is one of growing your family, great! If it's growing in influence and favor, awesome! If it's going to college or pursuing your faith growth to raising the dead, wonderful! Doing the will of the Father.... or better, BEING in the will of the Father. Is true success.
So any of those listed in the paragraph above can be correct for you or they can not. If it’s the right season and you are being in the will of the Father, say yes to it and surrender to your success with Him!
No more comparing and stop trying to be what most around you are and be still to listen and hear the heart of heaven for YOU. This will get you further in life. And this is true success. Go ahead is BE in the will of our Father God!
These are some of the most painful questions and acts. The question Why God? And the act of surrendering to Him.
If you’ve been through those tough moments in life with the loss of a loved one or a loved pet, separation of relationships or ministry, sickness, lack of finances, or in need, then you may have asked that WHY GOD question.
Why God am I going through this? Why God am I the only one getting beat up? Why God did that happen to them? Why God haven't you done this or done that? Why God did you do this? Why God would you allow this? Etc.
It’s a question that I believe doesn’t really get an answer on this earth. Or at least by God. If you’re like me, I have tried to answer it with my own logic but God won’t let it stay there. As it’s not truth and sometimes this action ends up in bad theology. (I have had God take me to heaven and show me the answer on some things and then confirmed it with something or someone on this earth. Can chat on this with another blog)
But I do believe there is a way we get past the WHY question. There's a state of mind and heart the Lord is trying to get us to. Which of course brings us closer to Him. It builds our trust with Him..... and brings us to surrender.
Surrender to the unknown. To the moment you’re in. To the pain. Surrender to what’s actually happening, the truth AND the lies. Surrendering to you not knowing all the whys and maybe not getting your answer in the here and now.
Surrender is beautiful. It’s a painful squishing of the soul, but it’s beautiful. It's the most freeing action, once we get there. It’s saying “I will trust”. I will trust Him. I will put my why in Him. I will know Him. I will.... I will trust Him! Amidst the pain, against the heartache and circumstances... I will CHOOSE to SURRENDER to HIM!
It is a choice. It is an action of choosing to surrender. Speaking it against all pain and feelings. As we surrender to Him, He will deal with our circumstances. He can then deal with lies we are believing as we are surrendered. He can act and speak on our behalf as we are surrendered to Him and not placing our own judgments.
So today CHOOSE TO SURRENDER TO HIM instead of living in the WHY GOD questions.
As my previous blog was on guarding our hearts, I wanted to add some points of the importance of being aware of our relationships. Many just go in life and live without ever thinking of the relationship, connections, hearts of others or hearts of themselves. It empowers us more to guard our hearts when we are able to be aware of our relationships. Below are a few random nuggets on this subject.
Galatians 1:10 for do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant to Christ.
This is relating to those walking along side of you. Whether on your team, co-workers, your leader, spouse, friend etc. We are to seek to ONLY please God, not man. We are to be cautious of this as we guard our hearts with knitting with others. (read my previous blog)
I find it interesting in Galatians. Paul spent a lot of time clarifying his motives. Weird I thought. Many people think that you shouldn't waste your time sharing your motives and understanding with people who may be too sensitive. But we must remember our one and ONLY enemy, satan, is named “ACUSSER OF THE BRETHREN”. Even back then the enemy was placing speculations, perceptions, thoughts, rumors, etc. all throughout Gods kingdom. satan knows this will help him keep division and make us be further from unity.
Don't play the enemy's game in this! Don't be an accuser of your brethren! Don't play the game of it being "their issue" and you won't put any effort of clarity. Now of course we don't take them overboard where we have to share everything, but walk with Holy Spirit in it.
Also, being connected, is via the heart. One can ONLY know YOUR heart by YOU sharing it. So I believe he also was bringing an opportunity for people to connect and know him. Think about people on platforms. Why do so many "follow" them or feel they "know" them? Or those that write books or sing? It is usually because they have shared part of their heart. By sharing their life, failures, dreams, lessons, wisdom learned, etc.
It’s a very fine balance. We do need people. But we only need Christ. We do receive from people but Christ is the ultimate giver. We do walk along side and serve people but Christ is our master. God gives us our call and opens the door but man is who we and He, also partners with. (Galations 1:7-10)
So how do we balance all this? What do healthy relationships really look like? On all levels and depth of the heart? This I don't fully know.... One thing I am sure of, is our responsibility to learn and grow in our TRUST IN HIM! This will keep us at peace in all of our relationships as we can TRUST HIM who has placed us where we are and with who we are with.
TRUST HIM. YOU ARE HIS FAVORITE. YOU ARE HIS BRIDE. NOT JUST YOUR CO-WORKER, FRIEND, LEADER, ETC. BUT YOU ARE HIS BRIDE! YOU ARE HIS FAVORITE!
Paul states in Galatians 2:5-6 God shows personal favoritism to no man for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me. Those who were known in the body of Christ heard of the grace given to Paul and Barnabas and only desired that they take care of the poor.
God will reveal the grace in you to those who you are to connect with for that particular grace! Not all you have is for all you are around. And not all of what others have near you is for you! Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal where you are to place your pearls, grace, gifts, talents, skills, etc. You do it unto the Lord and not unto the man. Trust Him.
Truly we are righteous and able to live in Christ because of Christ. Nothing we do or others do. We are to remember Gods love for us never changes. He is for us in our weaknesses and in our strengths. Success in the kingdom doesn't always look like fame, celebrity, mass influence, writing a book ,singing a song, etc. Success in the kingdom is simply.... love. Being like Jesus to those around you. Walking with Holy Spirit in all that you do as He guides you to release heaven encounters.
Keep loving. Keep empowering. Stay real. Share your heart.
First let me share why "guarding your heart" is important. It makes a safe place for you AND for those around you! By knowing who YOU are, what YOU need and knowing who others are and their needs, creates a safe place.
Guarding your heart seems a mystery. Many have different perceptions on this. Some negative and some positive. Lets look at each of them.
The unhealthy (negative) way of guarding your heart usually starts off with one of these statements: "I am never trusting them again", "they won't ever hurt me!", "I am never giving my heart again", "they hurt me", "they are such liars, I can't trust them". If you start to guard your heart with either of these words, it is out of pain, fear or unforgiveness. It is for self protection and removes the trust in God.
Guarding your heart healthily (positive) is courageous and It's saying YES to you before anyone else. Yes to you, so you can say yes to others. It's a courageous act out of a desire for unity, wholeness and the fullness of what God has for you and for what God has for those around you!
Are WE guarding our hearts or something else? "Don't let anyone near your heart", "my heart is yours and no one elses", "my kid has all my heart", "my husband is everything to me", "I am in covenant with...", "I couldn't live without _____", and on and on. I believe these are some statements that reveal who or what is guarding our hearts. It reveals what or who we have allowed to have access to our hearts. We have let down our guards. Is this bad? I do not think it is always, BUT I do believe God needs to be a partner with you to decide who has access to your heart. I do feel it may be a lot fewer people than we think.... or what I have thought. ;)
So what does it actually mean? Guarding your heart. I will list three things here: 1. being AWARE of what's actually in your heart, 2. having the tools to MANAGE what's in your heart, 3. know WHO is allowed into your heart. I may have some different perspectives than you have heard, so share any insight in the comments!
Knowing what is in your heart is a full time job. It's staying AWARE of your emotions and feelings and digging in on what created them (some may call this the root). For an example, I realize I have been frustrated. I say to myself, "seriously, would this stupid peanut butter jar be aggravating me this much to get open?!?!". Of course not. There is something deeper. I think at times it may really be my house being a mess and I had no time to clean, a disagreement with my husband that isn't settled yet, or maybe a bad choice of food, etc.
So what do we do? Our biggest tools are Jesus' blood that took back all power and dominion. It states in Revelation by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony they overcame! Revelation 12:11. So let us FORGIVE ourselves or others, INVITE wisdom, knowledge and understanding to apply in your circumstance, and declare our TESTIMONY! Using my example in #1, I forgive myself or the expectation I set and didn't meet, for any perfectionism in my heart or whatever lie I may believe. I receive the forgiveness provided by the blood of Jesus and declare the truth. I do at times need to battle thoughts that may come back with truth. 2 Corinthians 10:5. Manage your heart by managing your emotions & thoughts.
Who and what has access to your heart? Who. Your parents, spouse, kids, co-workers, yourself, etc. Our heart has only so much space, "energy", to pass around. We need to know who has access. Sometimes we give this access without knowing, sometimes it's a given and sometimes you intentionally give it. 1. The times that it is without knowing. You may have started watching this amazing show and it's grabbed your heart. You know how your heart being tugged on daily by the show. You can't wait to see it. Of course you didn't say, "I am going to give my heart to this show" but you end up doing it as your heart opens up to those in the show, even from afar and with non realistic characters. 2. Sometimes it's a given. Like our child we just received from heaven. This is a healthy God ordained connection but some of us may turn it into an idol. "I can't live without my kid" "they are everything to me", etc. Again invite God to help you manage this. 3. We give it. We intentionally have prayed and invited God to guide us on how we give out the access to our hearts. For Him to show who should have our heart, for how long, in what season and to what level.
Have courage and stand strong! Know and manage yourself so that you can be a blessing to others and be a safe place for them!
I pray you received what was helpful, spit our what wasn't and continue or start your journey for a healthy guarded heart!
We Christians have a saying.... YES LORD! YES Lord we say YES! What a fun saying to say.... surrender, trust, depth of Him, a knowing of Heaven's reality, surrendering to Him, to the unknown. BUT do we really know and understand what this entails?
I don't know about you but when I am saying YES LORD I am not thinking about the future relationship I may have to give up, the tv show God may ask me to stop watching, the hours to give in writing or the food I need to add to my diet.
Too many times I have seen Christians say this and then run away as they come against the very thing they said YES to! Let me give an example.
For instance, you say "YES LORD use me at this church". Then your leader, all of a sudden becomes human, (what?!?) and wounds you. They forget your phone call, they didn't say yes to your request, they didn't let you bring your ministry to the congregation.... the most famous one is, they aren't doing what you think they should be doing.... so you RUN AWAY, you ABANDON, you FORSAKE and make an excuse... ahem I am sorry I mean, ACCUSE... :) and then run away.
During this, we may not take time to understand our emotions...what's speaking... our enemy or God? I mean, if God brought you to "it" (church, person, ministry, relationship, job etc.) why would he be shocked and say "oops, I had no clue this would happen", "I made a mistake you should just ABANDON my people, I mean these people", "They hurt you, so it's okay." Seriously is this our God? Is this your God? Would you want to be abandoned when you failed or have someone run away from something that was created to be your biggest blessing?
So what does saying YES actually mean? In my opinion it is
-letting go of Selfish desires; desires you may have
-letting OTHERS go HIGHER in the position you "know" or felt is a great fit for you
-NOT running from the pain; FACING IT!
-NOT running FROM THE PAIN; FACING IT!
did I say -NOT RUNNING FROM THE PAIN AND FACING IT!
Seriously, I am so going through this. I have many times in my walk. As a pioneer the Lord sets me in places of "new beginnings" to pour out into someone else's dream. Into the people He connects me with. But then, there seems to come a time..... where some form of "separation" happens.... for those that know me and know my heart for relationships, well you might as well just yank my flipping heart out of my dang body! Cause IT SUCKS! lol just so you know!
So what should we do in this?!?! What do we do when we have said YES and the going smoothly, gets TOUGH. We HAVE TO REMEMBER! We MUST keep what HE SAID at the beginning of this particular journey. What did HE say we were to do? What words have came during this time? What words are in your treasure chest (journal) about you and your life?
I can almost bet you, it's not "RUN AWAY" "FLEE" "OH CRAP your stuck!" "Now you have to MAKE something happen!" nor does he say "RUN FROM YOUR ENEMIES?!?!" lol NO WAY! If we are to love our enemies, how come we make someone in our church/ministry, our enemy (bc they mistreated us) but we don't LOVE on them... we run from them and create another ministry or church?! Then we say, oh it's okay God released me..... (another blog to go into this one)
Now lets look at what we can do:
1. Get your mind back on the battle to win. You are here to REVEAL HIM and know Him known. So do that daily in your hardship! Do that with the people in your place right now of influence... bathroom cleaner? YES, you influence your team lead and the guests that attend, etc.
2. KEEP SAYING YES! Don't turn your yes into no because it's hard! You FIGHT to OVERCOME!
3. Get the EYES OF JESUS! Ask to see them as HE does. IF the person who "hurt" you truly is wrong, then sow seeds of truth and love. Communicate if possible and PRAY! Spiritual impact is much bigger than our mouths! (side note: do not trust yourself fully when you are hurt. lots to say here, but not for now.)
So lets keep our yes a yes and not run to NOOOO when we are hurt, sad, mad or confused. Fight through it. Get understanding. Gain wisdom... Say YES. You CAN do it!
JUST SAY YES!
Walking in that "in between" moment. The moment of what IS and what SHOULD be. What you know and what isn't. This blog isn't speaking about the promises of God but the relationships around you and the new revelation you receive.
As the picture below shows, it can be tight and tough to see the end of this moment and see into the beautiful depths of God's goodness for the next.
I believe there are FOUR things that can get us STUCK and stumped in this "in between" moment. We cannot let these snare us! Let's dig into them below!
First, I want to share some examples of what I am speaking of from my life. In March of this year the Lord laid on my heart that there was an inheritance that wasn't brought to completion from my family's past generations. He said that these can be brought forth and released now and into Cayden and future generations. He confirmed it with a book I bought randomly earlier in the year, Keys to Heaven's Economy by Shawn Bolz. As I picked it up, the first chapter read "restoring desolate inheritance". I was like, "yeah buddy!" So I should be seeing things shifting NOW as I am believing it, writing my declarations and saying prayers of thanks and KNOWING it's done! Of course, that was not so. So I have had to learn how to handle the "in between" moments with this.
Another example is with my friends. Let's say I see the "potential" in my friend. That they are called to be an apostle, spiritual mother, singer, youth pastor, etc. I see what they are created to do and see the 'power filled' talents in them. But they may not see the same, they may be in process or they are dealing with fears and lies from the enemy. So handling the in between moment of what you know should be and what is now with them. Staying connected and loving them through it (& myself) is the answer instead of agreeing with one of the snares below.
So here are the snares that I have struggled with through my "in between" moments.
1. Abort & Give up. We may say, "this is too hard & crappy", "that person cannot possibly be the one for me", "there is no way they will be called to do that, insane!", "this revelation is such heresy I won't even listen to it!" So we stop short of completing the transition, in between moment, and we walk away.
2. Bitterness & Resentment. We begin to look at and blame others and ourselves. We make statements like those in #1 and we get bitter.
3. Judge & Accuse. We begin to bring judgement to those around us and accuse them of their incompetence. This, of course, in turn brings judgement to us and isolation.
4. Rebel & Get Loud. We act out for attention. We try to make it happen, get people to see and change. We rebel and it can get ugly!!! This can be loud or quiet. Manipulation is manipulation. It's done with words or with no words. Again, this is U G L Y!
So how can we WIN with the "in between"? How can we make sure all those around us become and stay RICH relationships for us!? How can we handle the revelation that has been given to us? Here are three points below:
BELIEF. UNDERSTANDING. TRUST.
A. BELIEVE. Let's remember our spirituality. It seems many who are in the "in between" forsake what we believe in. The cross of Jesus & HIS trust in you & in me for this world to be redeemed! He is on our side. He is interceding for us and He has sent Holy Spirit to REVEAL and LEAD us into all truths! ASK HIM about your emotions, feelings, and the things in the "in between".
B. UNDERSTAND. GET understanding.... it's not always an instant revelation. So it will take some ACTION on your part. SEEK it. ASK the other person for it. ASK Holy Spirit for truth and SEEK the scriptures that divide between soul and spirit :) 1 Tim 6:20
C. TRUST. This is a hard one. There is so much to learn about trust with God and with those we walk with on earth. Trust doesn't always have to be EARNED. If that was the case, we wouldn't need FAITH. So just as we have FAITH to TRUST in God we need FAITH to TRUST in GOD for those He puts us with. Our peoples, those we serve and those who serve us.
Hope you enjoyed this blog and have found it to be helpful! If you are totally upset with me and disagree, AWESOME! Please please let me know! I love having opportunities to talk with those that have another perspective and possibly some insight on where I can learn or where I may be wrong. So SPEAK UP!