Friday, October 28, 2011

The Time is Now.

Every day I'm being challenged to put my faith in Jesus Christ into action. Cedarville is sort of a Christian bubble but there are opportunities to reach out to people here and the surrounding area and I'm taking them. I'm involved in a ministry to inner city girls in Dayton and God is using me there but I want to do more. Today I'm thinking a lot about how much God has blessed me and how we are blessed to be a blessing. Period. My friends and I are discussing sponsoring a child through World Vision or Compassion International, which is something that I've been feeling like God wants me to do, but I haven't yet because I don't have a regular job. BUT I do have a job, and I make more than $1 an hour, which is more than the amount of money that 1 in 6 people live on every day. That's so crazy and saddening. Obviously I have more than enough to be sharing with other people, so I really am praying about making a difference in a child's life and sponsoring one with a couple of my friends. This video is really convicting. If that's not enough, Scripture makes it 100% clear that as Christians we ought to give.

If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? -1 John 3:17

Please pray that God would lead me to ask the right people that he desires to join me in sponsoring a child and that God would guide us in choosing which child to sponsor. Also pray that we would be committed to giving generously and faithfully praying for the child. Pray that all believers everywhere would see the need in the world and respond in Jesus' name. 

May Paul's words be true in our own lives and may we be filled with a zeal for the gospel that never dies!

We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. -2 Corinthians 6:3-10

Friday, October 7, 2011

Awaken the Dawn.

For the past month or so, I've been struggling to feel God's presence, just to know that he's beside me, fighting for me. I craved his presence so badly, but he seemed distant for a very long time. 

David's words in the Psalms sum up how I felt:

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night you hear my voice, but I find no relief. -Psalm 22:1-2

Like David, I called but couldn't hear an answer.

My life is poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax, melting within me. My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay. My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead. -Psalm 22:14-15

Tuesday night I spent time delving into the Bible and seeking Christ passionately. My devotions for the night focused on Psalm 57:7-8 and it was all about David, who made a decision to awaken from the darkness surrounding him in a very dark moment. He cried out to God, declared God's refuge, love and faithfulness, and reminded himself that God's ways are above our ways.

The words on the page lit up the darkness creeping into my heart, and I literally felt as if I'd just come out of an intense, long-lasting battle. I didn't have to fear as long as Christ is with me, living in my heart as I know he is. My response in a spiritual winter or darkness should be to remain steadfast, worship, pray, and awaken the dawn with my words. On top of that, I should shine God's light for others to see and awaken my soul to sing.

I've prayed fervently, continued reading the Bible and kept on praising and worshiping him no matter what my mind tells me. On Wednesday morning we had a Praise and Worship chapel so we spent the entire time singing and praying. I was so blessed and encouraged as God's living words washed over me like a mighty ocean wave. God loves me. He sees me. He rescued me from a horrible past. In this moment he loves me still. I have a personal relationship with him. Pursuing Christ is the choice I have made and I will not let go. My heart will trust in my God and I will stand firm in the truth.

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. -Psalm 57:7-8

Are you in a spiritual winter? Do you feel like you're fighting a battle against spiritual forces and you don't have anyone to back you up? Choose to awaken the dawn and sing of God's love and faithfulness. He is always there and he will fight for you!

'Do not be afraid of the nations there, for the LORD your God will fight for you.' -Deuteronomy 3:22