Enough to share

Colossians 2:6-7 (AMP) Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in [union with] Him [reflecting His character in the things you do and say—living lives that lead others away from sin], having been deeply rooted [in Him] and now being continually built up in Him and [becoming increasingly more] established in your faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing in it with gratitude.

As I was reading these verses yesterday, three things jumped out at me: (1) I need to reflect His character, when I do this I can lead others to Him; (2) Being deeply rooted in Him helps me accomplish number one; and (3) This will result in me becoming increasingly more established in my faith.

John 15:1-8 (TPT) I am a true sprouting vine, and the farmer who tends the vine is my Father. He cares for the branches connected to me by lifting and propping up the fruitless branches and pruning every fruitful branch to yield a greater harvest. The words I have spoken over you have already cleansed you. So you must remain in life-union with me, for I remain in life-union with you. For as a branch severed from the vine will not bear fruit, so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to mine. “I am the sprouting vine and you’re my branches. As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you—but when you live separated from me you are powerless. If a person is separated from me, he is discarded; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire to be burned. But if you live in life-union with me and if my words live powerfully within you—then you can ask whatever you desire and it will be done. When your lives bear abundant fruit, you demonstrate that you are my mature disciples who glorify my Father!

I have to be attached to the vine (Jesus). His roots run deep! Rooted there I am going to grow. When I grow I will begin to produce fruit. The amazing thing about this fruit is that the nourishment that comes from it is meant to be shared. When I share my fruit from this vine, others will want to see where it is planted and will eventually become rooted as well. This is what increases my faith. My expectation and passion will grow. I start making more Kingdom impacts. I am beginning to reflect His character.

The amazing thing about this fruit is that the nourishment that comes from it is meant to be shared.

Whenever I think of reflecting God’s character it makes me think of His glory. We are to glorify His name when we pray, when we worship and when we talk about Him in the streets. It also makes me think of Moses and how his face glowed after being in the presence of the Lord. I came across this verse, 2 Corinthians 3:13 (AMP) and we are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the Israelites would not gaze at the end of the glory which was fading away. The glow from Moses face would eventually fade. Then we go a few verse down, verses 17-18 (AMP) Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty [emancipation from bondage, true freedom]. And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit. I am no longer bound to my mistakes and my short comings. I like how it says that we are “progressively being transformed.” This year my goal is progress. Part of that progress is coming out of my comfort zone. I am an introvert by nature. I feel awkward when I have to start a conversation ( I feel like our teenagers today who do not know how to answer a phone). When I see the fruit of what my God encounters do bring, it increases my faith.

I want to lead others to a fulfilling relationship with the Father like I have. In order to do that, I need to reflect His character. I need to be attached to the vine (Jesus). Growing in God is so very rewarding. Giving nourishment to others will increase your faith. The Holy Spirit will draw those to you, but He cannot do that if we refuse to leave the comfort of our homes. This is me too. I need to get out more and I need to step into more serving opportunities (outside of my church). Fruit is meant to be shared. People need to see that it is not perfection He is after, it is progress. They need to see me mess up and depend on Him in my recovery. His glory does not fade anymore, like it did from the face of Moses, it radiates through me because I am in Christ (whose glory never fades).

I pray this encouraged you today. Wherever you are in your walk with Christ, know that we should never feel pressured to be at any faith level, just keep making progress. Keep growing. Stay rooted in Jesus, He is the vine. Take a step to give nourishment to others, it will increase your faith when you see fruit growing in their lives.

Please feel free to message me at amanda@desiringformore.org if you need prayer.

In Oceans Deep

Psalms 61:1-2 TPT “O God, hear my prayer. Listen to my heart’s cry. For no matter where I am , even when I’m far from home, I will cry out to you for a father’s help. When I am feeble and overwhelmed by life, guide me into your glory, where I am safe and sheltered.”

There is a worship song that was really popular a few years ago titled "Oceans." Some of the lyrics: You call me out upon the waters 
The great unknown where feet may fall
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest on Your embrace

There is often the visual of Peter walking out on the water to meet Jesus. For me I have a different visual. If you have ever seen the show Grey’s Anatomy, there is an episode where Meredith gives up once she falls into the water, and drowns. I often think what a state of mind to be in, to just give up. Life and circumstances can feel like an ocean, with waves crashing over head sometimes.

If we are not grounded in Christ, life can become overwhelming. Measuring up to others can become overwhelming. Let downs and disappointments can become overwhelming. When we become overwhelmed, the place we look to is for comfort. We can seek comfort in may different ways.

For me comfort comes when I feel secure. I like a routine and order. There are certain days when I will do a task, and that is the day that task is done. My boys and I have a routine every morning before school. My oldest and I get up at 5:30 so that he can run four miles (he wrestles on the high school team so he has to maintain a certain weight), I have used that time to start walking in the mornings. Then at 6:30 I wake up the youngest and cook breakfast. After breakfast they finish getting ready for school and we sit down to do a devotion. Finally, we are out the door at 7:30 for me to drop them off at school. I take the same route every morning. Then I am off to the gym for whatever workout I have planned for that day. My day continues like this.

If I have in my mind that this is my not get out of pajamas day…I will put on my pajamas after my after-workout shower and I do not plan on leaving the house again that day. This causes a problem when my husband asks me to do something that requires me to leave the house. This is an area in my life that I know I have to work on. Now I have unsettled the balance of the peace in my house because the comfort of my routine has been messed up. Notice I said my routine. I have centered my comfort now on what I want to label as “comfort.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Praise be to the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

When it becomes all about me, the comfort that I once sought after is really dysfunction. The devil wants us to run for comfort and cover in places outside of what God has called us to do. I silence the power of God in my life when I love my comfort more than compassion. Then the guilt tries to overwhelm you. God will disrupt my comfort to pull me out of my dysfunction.

God will disrupt my comfort to pull me out of my dysfunction.

This summer I spent a lot of time reading the Old Testament. When I got to first Samuel and read when Saul was anointed, I wept. I wept because I grieved for Saul. I knew his great potential. At the time that Samuel was announcing the king, Saul was no where to be found. Why?

1 Samuel 10: 22 MSG “Samuel went back to God: ‘Is he anywhere around?’ God said, ‘Yes, he’s right over there – hidden in that pile of baggage.'” Why was this such a prophetic statement? Let’s look at Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Saul let what other people thought of him weigh him down, the actions he took because of it cost him his anointing.

How does this fit in with me not wanting to get out of my pajamas? What if I missed an opportunity to share the love of Jesus because I wanted to remain “comfortable” all day. Yes, I spent time with Jesus in the Word that day. What if He wanted to do something more through me, but I refused to leave the house? What if Jesus wanted me to show His love to my husband, but I huffed because I had already planned in my mind that I did not want to leave the house. Of course when I start thinking this way, guilt wants to rise up, and I know that is not God. Then we become overwhelmed in our dysfunction all because we scream for comfort.

Like Paul, “I admit that I haven’t yet acquired the absolute fullness that I’m pursuing, but I run with passion into his abundance so that I may reach the purpose that Jesus Christ has called me to fulfill and wants me to discover. I don’t depend on my own strength to accomplish this; however I do have one compelling focus: I forget all of the past as I fasten my heart to the future instead. I run straight to the divine invitation of reaching the heavenly goal and gaining the victory-prize through the anointing of Jesus. So let all who are fully mature have this same passion, and if anyone is not yet gripped by these desires, God will reveal it to them.” Philippians 3:13-15 TPT

Thank you, Jesus, for correcting me and pulling out of my comfort zones, so that I can see more of You working in my life. Thank you for reminding me that I am valuable and I do make an impact in Your Kingdom. Every day is important. I thank you for quickening in me to have an expectation for more than I could ever imagine. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.