According to the Strengths Finder test, my top strength is POSITIVITY. I scored 100% on that one. I can tell you why: I am borderline delusional in faith.
I think that’s what Jesus asks of us half the time, though, right? To count it all joy? To be thankful in every circumstance? To have faith to see the unseen things? To hunt for shapes in the clouds and strain our eyes to see if this just might be the most glorious sunset or sunrise yet? Because it truly truly could be, right? It could be my last one, for all I know.
So I have endured quite a few ridiculous parts of life, where most people would have just found a bridge to jump from, and I found myself grasping, white-knuckled, rigor mortis- style to JOY. I made jokes in the middle of terrible things. I laughed at things that weren’t even funny. When Satan would torment me, and I mean TORMENT me with songs, words, names, memories, every kind of thing he could get to remind me of PAIN, I would snicker and think that it was a funny coincidence and start talking to Jesus. I went through things people get depression from, and take medicine for, and I never once thought my life was hopeless. Not one time. That, my friends, is a miracle of joy. Joy was and still is my strength. Or as the Strengths Finder calls it, positivity.
I gotta admit I became somewhat ridiculous in the process. I am often misunderstood. I sometimes say the completely wrong thing, and make a joke at inappropriate times. The world does not get me, or laugh with me. It never will. I am still tenderhearted, and goofy, and brave. I still stick out my neck for people and give give give. I am not consumed with bitterness or entitlement. I am not walking around expecting the worst of people, although it does take me longer to trust people. I am rich rich rich, even though I am still working through paying off my debts, even though I don’t have medical insurance (yet), and even though the world says I am poor and I have nothing. That is a lie, and I do not need the world to acknowledge just how loaded I am.
Jesus says I am blessed, and if you’re in my boat, you are blessed.
When we have nothing here, you can be sure that He is our inheritance, because we are worshipers and ministers of God. I challenge you to take authority to declare over yourself that you are rich and blessed, because even if you are poor or broken in spirit, Jesus declares you blessed. You cannot yet see the crowns and the treasures laid aside for you in heaven, because if you could glimpse the richness of His presence, the lavish nature of the Creator, you would not walk in a spirit of poverty. Walking in that kind of faithlessness is not walking in a matter worthy of the calling you have received. Take authority.
Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“I am to be the only inheritance the priests have. You are to give them no possession in Israel; I will be their possession.”
You have the authority to walk in such a confidence, with your head held high and a smile on your face. Bathe yourself in the truth of scripture. Lather, rinse, repeat. Lather, rinse, repeat. Take authority.
Jesus says I am rested and I have peace, and if you’re in my boat, you are rested and you have peace. When you are tired and exhausted here, you can be sure that He is carrying you and opening His arms toward you, and if you are always tired or stressed, something is wrong. If JESUS SAYS that He gives you rest if you come to Him, and He does not lie, then you are either not coming to Him AT ALL or not coming to Him ENOUGH. It is a promise you are not taking authority of, and you are shorting yourself of the promised rest of having no burdens, and walking in His righteousness.
I saw myself becoming WEARY of doing good, and it was such a red flag to me that I am not resting in the presence of God enough. You better believe I am taking authority over this, and binding myself to the Word of God and His promises. I am well-rested. I do not complain of the promises I fail to take authority over, but instead I take authority over the rest I am promised in Christ. He says “if you want it, come and get it, for crying out loud.” Otherwise, we cease to stand out, cease to shine like the stars, fitting in with the tired, weary, Jesus-less crowd. They have no rest. We have Jesus and do not fit in with them, because we have holy rest. Take authority to stand out.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
Jesus says I get what I want, and if you’re in my boat you get what you want. If you don’t know what you want, it stinks to be you, because you can’t ask for it and get it. For those who know what they want, they get what they want. Jesus is FOR YOU and not against you. He loves you and He delights in you. If you want something for the wrong reasons, you’re not gonna get it. If you want something outside of His timing, you’re not gonna get it. BUT (oh the sweetness) if you want something that aligns with His perfect will, which you are taught to discern and desire, you get what you want. It’s what He wants too. And He’s pleased as punch that you asked, because YES is one of His favorite words to sing over you. Are you listening?
The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
God moved in me today to admonish His people about being joyful, blessed, rich, rested, and getting what they want. He desires to have His children come to Him, comfortably, because He is a sweet Father. He wants praises on our lips about how GOOD He is to us, and the GOOD gifts He gives to us. Even in the middle, when we don’t have all the answers, He says “praise Me anyway” and He speaks all the answers over us as we do come to Him. He does not tempt us or withhold from us. He is kind to us even in the waiting.
He has called me to reach for your hand with my words and declare God’s healing over you. Do not harden your heart. Engage in God’s presence and He will show you how to love and how to take authority. Do not starve yourself when the feast is ready for you. Repent if you have been hardhearted and have not been walking in faith and love. Just turn around, redirect, take hold of His promises. Take authority.