this blog is far overdue, seeing as how i attended this service almost a week ago! this has been a busy week for me though. excuses aside, this was my favorite part of the series soul therapy, because i think this is something everyone has struggled with at one point or another.
in the depression part of this series, we learned that what we think is what we become. this feeds back into insecurity as well- “be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.” (Proverbs 4:23)
we let culture and our past define who we are.
"do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you." (Romans 12:3)
highly is an improper view. whether it be you think too well of yourself or not well enough. sober is having a right mind. but the root cause of insecurity: you’ll never be right until you can see right. we think wrong on a consistent basis. but the solution? get close to the one who has the right view of us. and there are 3 steps to achieving this.
1. see God correctly. as soon as we buy into the way God sees us, the faster things change. “my God is changeless in his love for me.” (Psalm 59:10) remember- the essence of poor identity is seeing things from the wrong perspective.
2. see myself the way God sees me (1 Peter 2:9)
3. get around people who see me the way God sees me (Proverbs 27:17). this is one i struggle with on a consistent basis. for the longest time i’ve let myself be around people who are pure poison to my life. i’ve let them make me think less of myself and sometimes less of other people. right relationships help us define who we are and what we become. so surround yourself with people who will build you up when you need it, but who never let you have an improper view of yourself.
i made it! i was reluctant to get out of bed most days, and yes, guilty as charged, i missed a few days, but i made it! i’m so proud of myself.
this morning we just worshipped. no sermon, no scriptural focus, just prayer and worship. we lifted up every region of the U.S., we lifted up countries over seas, we lifted up leaders and authority figures, we lifted up husbands, wives, and children, we lifted up students. we prayed for lower crime rates, lower divorce rates, for illnesses to be gone in the name of Jesus. we prayed for a revival throughout our nation, that we will truly stand “one nation under God”. we prayed for revival all over the world.
this has been such a journey for me. i went from barley being able to pray 5 straight minutes to being able to pray for 25 minutes straight, and that sometimes not being enough time to lift up all the prayers i wanted to. i had to challenge myself to re-word things so i wasn’t praying the same thoughts and words every day. i challenged myself to search for prayer requests, and especially people to pray over.
i found i had 2 main focuses throughout these 21 days- my family life and unbelievers. i prayed for financial peace and prosperity for my family. for them to be less stressed and more stable. for the Lord to be a center of every day life in my home, that they are growing as a family even though i am away. but if anyone feels inclined to pray over either of these things, please pray over unbelievers. i’ve come to find that i’m surrounded by wonderful, beautiful, funny friends, but they are lacking in one thing- knowing the Lord. over these 21 days i’ve been praying that the Lord will wrap their arms around them and make his presence known, while also using me as his mouth piece if he felt so inclined. i’ve yet to be struck with words to speak to all of these people, words to be able to bring the Lord into conversation, but i know if i keep praying over these people that God will bring them home.
there are so many things i’ll take away from these 21 days that i hope to keep incorporating into my every day life, but most of all- Satan is not winning. our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is.
this morning we related Mark 10:13 to having child-like faith in the Lord. the pastor reminded us that Jesus loves the small details of our lives. he loves when we bother him with the little stuff- “for even the very hairs on your head are numbered" (Matthew 10:30).
we achieve intimacy with God when he becomes “daddy” not just “heavenly father”. like in Mark 14:36- “Abba Father, all things are possible with you”.
we must submit to him and tell him everything, because he knows us best. he knows what we’re thinking, what we will think, what we want, what we will receive, absolutely everything from the moment we are knitted in our mother’s wombs. nothing to me is more powerful than that.
finally we were encouraged to keep the same momentum we had on day 1 going into day 22.
what a wonderful message pastor bubba brought to us at ONE this week! we are in the 3rd week of a series called come close, this week entitled love expressed. it was about how God wants us to worship Him according to the Bible. we took a LOT of notes this week and there’s a lot of scripture to go along with it, so if you’re reading feel free to grab your Bible and look some of it up because i’m not going to type it all out.
we started off talking about marriage. pastor bubba was asking is it okay or fair for me to be married to my wife but not express my love for her? the answer was a unanimous no. but if we are considered the bride of Jesus, is it okay to never express my love to Him? no.
worship is love expressed though. this is the way to show our love to Christ. i think we can all agree that when you love something, you’re always expressing that love. we must do the same thing with Christ.
then we read over parts of Psalm 100. expression reflects and moves the heart. we have to remember that God has emotions too and wants to be loved just like we do.
there are 3 hindering attitudes of worship:
1. pride- focus on oneself. this almost always starts with the fear of what other people think. (John 12:42-43)
2. hedonism- if it feels good, do it. we base worship on feelings.
3. spectatorism- yes, pastor bubba made this word up but i frankly cannot put it better either. this is the attitude of, “i don’t have to participate, i just have to be there”. (2 Corinthians 6:16)
finanlly, we went over 7 hebrew words for praise:
1. halel- rave, boast, celebrate (Psalm, 22:26)
2. yadah- acknowledge in public by the raising of hands
3. barak- to bless by kneeling or bowing (Psalm 103:1)
4. zamar- making music to God, to touch strings, loudly (Psalm 92:1)
5. shabach- address in a loud tone, to shout (Psalm 63:3-4)
6. tehillah- exuberant singing (Psalm 34:1)
7. towdah- to lift hands in adoration, to thank God for things not yet received (Psalm 50:23)
i believe the last one is my favorite. from now on i’ll for sure be worshipping with “arms high and heart abandoned”, always thanking for things i have and have not yet received.
on monday we started off reinforcing James 4:7-8:
"submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you."
then we were encouraged to pray for 3 things:
1. pray for forgiveness. constantly, daily.
2. pray for purified hearts. this struck me because you can pray every day for forgiveness, but then continue to make the same mistakes. that doesn’t help us if we do that. Psalm 139: 23-24 says, "Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!" also in relation to this, Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” this brings back the point from one of my former posts that we’re glancing at God, not really seeing him. when we pray for a pure heart we will SEE him.
3. finally we are to pray for separation from the world.
we finished with Romans 15:13- "May the God of hope fill you with all the joy and peace in believing so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."
i’ve fallen completely behind on these posts. this doesn’t mean i haven’t been dragging my butt out of the bed in the morning and going, but school is just catching up to me to the point where i’m never home long enough to post any more. lousy excuse, i know. so anyway, this is the post from part 3 in our current series called soul therapy. it dealt with anger.
there are 3 attitudes we get, especially when we’re angry: my way, your way, or halfway. in these situations we must remind ourselves that it’s not about them, it’s about me.
Psalm 139:23-24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts, See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
then we began to discuss Matthew 16:21-25. this is the part of the Bible where Jesus is encouraging everyone to lose their lives in order to find it, and to take up our crosses daily to follow Him. today, taking up our cross means letting go of something in my life that is too alive and needs to die. if we are struggling internally, there is something we’re holding on to. pastor Chris reminded us of a little saying- “the man on his face can never fall from that position.” if we are always on our knees crying out to the Lord, we will never fall from his good graces. we will never fall away, we will never fall into the traps Satan sets for us. but in order to do this, there are 3 things we need to do, and do daily.
1. crucify self (Galatians 2:20 & 1 Corinthians 15:31)
2. crucify my flesh (Galatians 5:24, Colossians 3:5, & Romans 6:6-7)
3. crucify the world- how connected to the world am i really going to be? (Galatians 6:14 & 2 Corinthians 6:17-18)
finally, we were just reminded that if we seek life, if we seek the world, we will never find it and always be disappointed. but if we seek the things above and forget about finding our life, we will always find it.
so i’ve dropped the ball on this a little bit. i went to ONE Wednesday night and am just getting around to posting about it now. yesterday i overslept on accident, and this morning i didn’t have a pen and was unable to take notes, but hopefully i’ll recall from memory and post on that later.
ONE was on POINT Wednesday!! we are continuing in a series called come close, and this week’s lesson was about the heart of worship. we were encouraged to do 3 things while in worship: look, listen, and learn.
look- we often glance instead of truly looking. we’re worried about singing off key, about the people around us, about whether it’s appropriate to lift our arms, sway, jump, etc. we must learn to focus on the face of God and not be “A.D.D. worshippers”. we were also reminded to never tell God how big the storm is, but to tell the storm how big our God is. if we look at the glory of God, our lives will reflect that same glory.
2 Corinthians 3:18- "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."
next is listen. this step is pretty self explanatory, but pastor bubba gave us a handful of verses to go along with it: Psalm 100:2, Psalm 9:3, Psalm 16:11, Acts 3:19. he also reminded us that when we come close, we get refreshed.
last is learn. for this step, we focused on Mark 12:30-
"and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."
this lead us to 3 key ways to change our worship: 1) worship with all my mind, focusing my attention on God and God only. 2) worship with all my heart and soul, expressing my affections to God. 3) worship with all of my strength, using my abilities for God.
i feel the roots of change forming in me. my days are starting off better and are tending to be more pleasant. i’m more productive, i feel more considerate, and i just feel better about myself in general.
but really the best part is all of the days are tying together so perfectly, and reinforcing one another’s messages, which brings me to this morning’s message.
"I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:3-6
i thank my God for waking me up every morning these last 11 days. i thank him for the strength he’s given me to go on this journey, to look inside myself and seek inner change. i thank him for reminding me that if i get out of bed and go to prayer, He wins, but if i don’t, Satan wins.
this passage reminds us that god is a finisher and a completer- the author and finisher of our fate. we must be in partnership with God every day, trusting him with everything.
last, pastor hamp left us with this: we mark success by intimacy- how well do i know God?
last night was the first service at my campus ministry for the spring semester. we started a series called “not a fan”. our introduction was DTR, a phrase most people my age run from- define the relationship. our theme verse for the series is Luke 9:23-
"If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."
we started off asking ourselves- am i a fan of Christ, or a follower? a fan is defined as an enthusiastic admirer. we can’t answer this question with words though, only with actions and the way we live our lives. our love for him must be paramount over everything. we also went over Luke 14:25-35, which i’d encourage you to meditate on if you’re reading this.
finally we were left with 3 DTR questions: 1. why am i here? why am i in this place at this time listening to nate preach about this particular subject? am i here for myself? my friends? boyfriend/girlfriend? to socialize? 2. am i all in? or am i living a form of customized Christianity, picking and choosing what i believe and what i participate in? there are no magic words you speak so you can be saved and continue to reign control over your own life. 3. am i owning it? calling ourselves followers but not following is good for nothing. take up the cross every day.
today’s post will be short!
when praying, we are often passive. example- “God, if it is your will”… but when we do this, we’ve already answered our own question. instead, we should pray with more conviction- “God, it IS your will”. we must be bold and trusting in our prayer life. if God says he will do something, we have to trust that it will happen, just in his own timing.
so finally, we need to seriously ask ourselves, “what have i been tip-toeing around that i need to boldly ask for?”
"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16