Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Shut The Door



I want you to imagine for a moment that you are walking through a door. Now turn around and shut and lock it. Turn back and look up. This is your life, what's in front of you. The past is forever locked behind the door and there is no going back to unlock it and relive it. It is finished.

*****
I did something this past Sunday at a church we were visiting that I do not normally do. I went down for an altar call. I do not like everyone staring at me and wondering why I'm walking the aisles, so I usually stay quietly put in my seat and wait for it to be over.

But this was no ordinary service.

The preacher immediately walked up to the stage and started crying. I could tell this service was going to be emotion-filled, and curiously wondered what he was going to say next.

The preacher went on to say he had an entirely different sermon planned. But God woke him at 5 am and told him to scratch it and speak on shutting the door to our pasts so that we can fully live in our anointing and be who we are called to be in Christ.

He said he knew there were people there today that needed to know they have been set free from their sins, their past, their mistakes, their losses. There were people there that needed to know it was ok to be unstuck and move forward.

God had a message for us on living differently despite what our friends and family may say or think. And He wants us to be free. 

The pastor called those that were ready to stop living life their way, those that wanted to confess, those that wanted to recommit, those that heavy burdens and needed a clear discernment from the Lord to come down and he was going to pray for each one.

I'm not sure what got into me. But I knew I had to go down, I needed the words he was going to pray to be for me too.

I scooted myself down the aisle at the horror of each of my family members, questioning eyes staring at me and whispering as I passed, "Where are you going?"and I  quietly told them to MOVE.

(In my house I am the spiritual leader and sometimes I really question myself and worry about whether I am doing enough or doing it right. Being the leader is scary because if I fail to train them up in the way they should go, I'm going to take the blame one day when I stand face to face with God.)

Not only did I need to go down for my own reasons, but I felt strongly that they needed to see me go down.

I'm not sure why. But does the why really matter when God tells us to do something?

Brave is hard, but living safe, well, that's just not living.(<===Click To Tweet)

Sometimes we really do get too caught up in what others will think if we are Jesus freaks but have no trouble acting like a fool at a football game.

"Sinners cannot quench the Holy Spirit, but believers can." Mike Wright, Pastor of Gateway Community Church

This past Sunday morning, God showed me that every day we choose to leave the door open to sin we quench the spirit. Each time we decide we are not enough or strong enough to face our losses and walk in the freedom of Christ that we have been given, we quench the spirit.

The anointing will break the yoke of oppression, depression, and mourning. Jesus and Jesus alone will set the captives free.
Luke 4: 18, "The Spirit of the Lord is on Me,because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor.He has sent Me
to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind,to set free the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor."
Don't quench the spirit. Don't live in a spirit of poverty. We have anointing in us to do more than we could ever hope or imagine. The world says we can't, but no, we can!





We don't have to let our pasts and mistakes, hold us back anymore. We are forgiven and washed clean and made completely new and whole in Christ. Dear friend, let us stopping holding onto what could have been or should have been.

We are right where God wants us to be and He will use it all for His good. We're never too far gone.

God knew I needed to be set free from my insecurities as a leader, from sin that keeps me stuck, and to be reminded that He has set me free to live boldly.

Today, let's shut the door for good, and walk into our future.

Are you ready? Me too.


===> Want to listen to the powerful message that moved me? Click here.
          Email subscribers please click here if you would like to listen.





Linking with: #TellHisStory, ThreeWordWed, Winsome Wed, Thought-Provoking Thurs

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Excuse Me, My Under Belly Is Showing (and why I'm a Christian)



Warning- this post contains lots of over-shares, continue at your own risk. You've been warned :) )
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Can I be honest? I get a little afraid when someone finds out I'm a Christian or a blogger/writer ('cause isn't everyone?!)

Seriously, I feel like there's this expectation of good that people expect from me when they find these things out. And it makes them weird around me. Like they are afraid they will say the wrong thing and I will judge.

Puhleeze.



I am awkward, shy, and will usually say the wrong thing at the PRECISE wrong time.

I'm no goody goody with life and Christ all figured out. I'm just trying to figure out how to get the laundry washed,dried, and put away in one day (it might usually get drug out to two or three days, I like to say they weren't dry enough and set them for another spin ;))

My kids don't always mind and they can get on my nerves when they walk in when I'm watching my show and start talking...or worse start watching!

I've been known to have a drink or two, on occasion. I can be crude (sometimes).

Well put together people (or those with A-type personalities aka, very organized with endless energy to get the job done) make me nervous and itchy. I'm more of a go with the flow, don't over plan because there needs to be nap time scheduled somewhere in the day. 

I laugh when I shouldn't and yes, sometimes snort, which I know my husband thinks is very sexy ;)

I'm not very good or exceptionally smart at a lot of things, this is why I write. It's what I do. I'm what 'they' would call a creative.

I don't know if I'll ever make any money from it, and that's ok. Because I believe when you find something you love and are semi-good at it you keep on doing it regardless of the money it brings in (ever hear of the term starving artist? Yep that's me without the starving part)

One of my many weaknesses is I'm a people pleaser, I'm not nearly as bad as I used to be, but still, if I know I'm disappointing someone it hurts my heart.

I've been known to hold a grudge and not forgive, but now I know these things only hurt me more than the other person. So I let it go. I don't want to grow old AND bitter. 

God's been growing my faith and love for Him because I asked Him too. One day I realized I had heard my entire life how much Jesus loves me, but did I feel the same way about Him? I wanted to. I wanted to know and love Him the way I saw others do. I wanted a passion that life couldn't douse. 

And wouldn't you know? He did.

He started getting real personal with me. Answering prayers that only I knew I had prayed about. He bent down real low, (even lower than normal 'cause I'm short) and whispered, "I love you, just as you are. You are special to me." I've only ever wanted just a glimpse of how much He loves me. I know that loves changes a person. It makes you want to be better than you've ever been. Do more, be more. 

My heart hurts for those which are hurting. For the weirdos and "less-than's" of the world, because it's how I've felt most of my life. I want to cup their chins in my hand, look deep into their eyes and tell them this, "You are more, and if you'll let God will prove it to you, He will. Don't you dare for one minute believe the lies of others. Just because they have believed what others have told them, you don't have to. Stand out, be you. And be brave!"

Early in my walk I teetered on a legalistic view point, because I wanted so much to show God how good I was and how much I had indeed changed. And I wanted everyone else to see it too, look how perfect I am. But I wasn't.  I was nothing more than a polished up cup, trying desperately to earn my faith.

But, oh, how it can't be earned. And it took me a while to fully grasp this.

I am a Christian, still me, but a better version of me. Grace is some thing freely given with no strings attached, the way presents should be given. People still hurt me and I get angry, things don't always go my way.

I know that not in my will or might will I get anything done. God is my rock and my fortress when life threatens to take me down.

I hope that those I meet are able to see the light in my eyes and know there is something different about me and want to know more. I hope they feel relaxed enough to drop their guard and know I will not judge them. 

I know how very needy I am. That's why I need Jesus, every day more and more. It's the reason I wake up and open my Bible. It's not to brag or look holy, it's because I desperately need Him before I start my day. I need His peace that surpasses all understanding to wash over me, His perspective, and His patience to better deal with my people and whatever the day plans to throw at me.

I am a Christian because I tried life on my own terms before and it only led to ugliness and many bad decisions. I was angry and didn't know why. I tried hard to make life work out the way I wanted and only ended up frustrated and hurt from disappointments.

I'm not perfect nor will I ever be. I will walk the road to sanctification as long as I have breath.

What is your why?






Staying needy,
Alecia

Friday, October 31, 2014

It's Time to Face The Monsters




Fear

Insecurity

Doubt

What you think you lack…

What you think you don’t have…

Who you think you aren’t…

These are the monsters that keep you from living the life you were meant for.

Am I right?

They tie your hands behind your back and make your feet feel like they have been planted in cement. You don’t move forward -  too afraid of the what-ifs. You can’t go back. So you live somewhere in the middle of what you want and where you are.

There’s a reason they call fear a form of bondage. Because it is.

What if, though? What if you swallowed down that lump in your throat?

What if, you said a brave yes and took a leap of faith forward. Trusting that there would be someone there to catch you if you fall.

What if, everything you had made up in your head – all that could, would, should happen, didn’t? What if, you were wrong?
“If you’re not afraid, you’re dream isn’t big enough. Your dreams should scare you."  Want to know why? Because they need to be "ridiculously crazy so that the only way they will ever succeed is if God intervenes." (Mark Batterson)



Today, I am guest posting over at God-sized Dreams, won't you join me?




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