What an incredible thing it is to know God! Just to know the realness and tangibility of His love is something I continue to experience in new ways everyday.
Today His grace lifted me up out of a pit of weakness, a place where I have found myself living, succumbing to my flesh in the fight against the strong pull of temptations because I was so tired of living a disciplined life, one that I cannot do on my own strength, but rather by leaning on the strong arms of my Savior. He knows my weakness. He knows the temptations and struggles I face. He also knows the schemes and plans of those who work against me to steal, destroy and bring death where He has offered me everything that I have need of in this life, that is accessible to me at any time.
I woke up not feeling well, my voice was weak and in my own strength I knew I wouldn’t be able to lead worship at church. It’s not that I didn’t want to go, but in that moment I just longed to feel differently in my body. For about two years now I have wrestled with a great deal of physical pain. And pressing through it while hoping for a miracle of restoration is not a simple task. Often I feel worn out and weary. And on top of it, I’m walking through a process of healing emotionally. So some days it’s a daunting task just to get up out of bed and start my day, believing that I will make it through whatever comes my way, trusting that God has been with me through it all.
Praise God that I am in a season now where the restoration and healing of my soul, my mind and my body is truly coming to pass! I’m so grateful to God for the people who pray with me, encourage me and stand by me in believing that there is hope for me to be healed and set free because we have a Savior Who went to Hell and paid for my pain with His life.
I opened one of my journals that I began writing in last summer, full of truth about who I am in Christ Jesus and with words of hope to speak out loud whenever I feel lost and discouraged. I read these words:
“God, Your plan for my life is always for me to be blessed and walk in victory! You have an amazing journey of goodness to save, heal and bless me. I know You can help me overcome my addictions and I’m so thankful because I want to be free. Every time I come to You, I win another battle. Help me remember what Your word says: You will never leave me or forsake me, and You love me no matter what. Thank You Lord, for showing me who I am in You.”
As I cried out to Jesus I thanked Him for what He wanted to do today and with that I began to get ready. I turned on some music to worship with and in minutes I noticed that I felt so much better. I was energized and restored and the physical discomfort had left. It was as if the weight of things that have weighed me down were lifted off of me and my faith was being stirred. Hope was growing in my heart and I knew God had a plan for me to be this morning at church.
As I prayed with the sound team and worship band before our rehearsal, I sensed in my heart that God wanted all of us to take turns praying out loud for the service. When they didn’t speak up I knew it was time for me to encourage them with the truth that God wanted to hear the cries of their heart, that He knew they had a specific prayer for today’s service. I was so blessed to hear these young men offer up their petitions to our Savior and knew that it wasn’t a mistake that He led me to have us pray this way.
The time in worship, seeing the beautiful drama and dance that the youth had prepared for today, hearing the word of God about giving all that I am and all that I have to Him, serving in our after-service fellowship were all beautiful reminders today that because God lives in me I am more than able to conquer the things that fight against me, the temptations, the fears, the places where I’ve felt rejection and pain. He IS Alive! He is actively at work in me, changing me with His precious love, wiping away all the dirt and grime that comes from living in this world. He lives in me and because He lives I can face anything that may come, just like the song says:
Because He lives I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future
My life is worth the living just because He lives.
Though there are battles that rage inside of me, fighting against the hope that I have received, attempting to rob me of the joy that is so freely given because I am the one in whom God delights, I know that I can walk in freedom and through any storm that I might face. There is an incredible peace that comes from knowing who I am in Christ and that He is always there.
If you don’t sense that peace within yourself, all you have to do is say “Jesus, I need You, right now in this moment. I am running to You with arms open wide. I want to know Your peace. I want to feel Your joy overflow in my heart. You know what I have to face so I ask You to help me walk through this. My hand is in Yours and I will follow where You lead. I will trust that You are faithful to deliver me from the enemies of my soul and any war that rages within me. You are a gracious and loving Savior Who takes notice of me all day long and Whose love is never in short supply for me. Teach me to know who I am in You Lord. Show me my identity and who You say that I am. Help me to become the person You are calling me to be. Thank You for giving up Your life for mine. I receive all that You have for me right now in this moment.”