Wretches or Royals?

According to the Word, we are called chosen, royal, holy, His own, and worthy of proclaiming His excellencies. We’ve been called out of darkness, into His marvelous light.

God calls us His children. He’s very much associated with us. He’s crazy about us. He came up with the idea of us!

Why, then, do we approach Him and tell Him that we’re junk?
What do you think it makes Him feel when His kids think they’re worthless, lost, ugly, idiots, poor, and miserable?

He says “no no no no no honey, you’re not! You’re wonderful!”
I have to believe that He’s right. I have to believe it.

He tosses you the keys of His Kingdom. He trusts you. He takes you back. He isn’t even mad, much less surprised. He knew and knows ahead when you’ll stumble along the way. He chooses you. He loves you without condition.

Even if.

Even when.

Even then.

Even more.

And THAT kind of love is the stuff that changes us. That’s the kind of love that makes us fall in love. It’s the stuff that rewires the heart, somehow. The things you thought you’d always be plagued with might even go away in that love, because it’s a love that loves you through it and in it. Unconditional.

Stop thinking that humility means worthlessness. That’s false.
Stop thinking that having a past or a struggle makes you a lower-class child of God. That’s false.
Stop thinking that you can’t trust yourself. That’s false.
Stop thinking that you’re destined to fail. That’s false.

You can make great decisions. The Holy Spirit instructs your heart. You have a great compass. You’re not lost. You’re not broken beyond repair. He is right with you. And He’s singing about you being wonderful and worthy and how much He trusts you.

Line up with His song. Let Him tend to the conditional stuff. Let Him affirm the unconditional stuff.

If you’ve fallen down, congratulations.  You’re alive! Scraped up your heart? Kudos. You’re very alive. If you’ve made a mistake before, okay, join the club! You can taste the sweetness of grace and forgiveness. You get to accept the thing we sing about and get in His arms.

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Living is the most dangerous thing you can ever, ever do. Without grace, living is absolutely lethal, because you will make mistakes. You may someday say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing. If you can’t forgive yourself, darling, how will you survive?

Stop tearing yourself apart. Stop agreeing with the lies that say you’re weak when the strength of God is even now rising up inside you. His grace is sufficient to cover you, to make you royal and holy. Indeed, you already are.

Ask yourself why you would doubt your worth. Ask the Lord to reveal the lies along the way that shaped your way of thinking. Ask Him if His grace is enough for you.

That last one is just so you can hear His yes.
Yes, love, yes.

Trained for War

The LORD is busy with me.

We are training for war.

Blessed be the Lord, my rock,
who trains my hands for war,
and my fingers for battle.
Psalm 144:1

It’s awesome. It’s also raw and terrifying. What kind of war? Not the physical kind. He’s instilling in me what it will take to remain standing at the end of a long day of ministry. He’s showing me how to rest in Him. He’s reminding me of how I should steward His blessings. He’s talking to me about marriage and parenthood. He says stuff like “see, you wouldn’t be doing this right now if you had a husband… how would this situation be different if you had two little ones?” and He makes me think and be grateful for the moment, but also prepared for what’s next.

He’s been training my trust by taking things away. Can you relate to this? The fun part is that I know if it’s in my Father’s hand, it is still mine. How’s that for peace?

Papa, please hold this for me? Thanks. Hey, Papa, can I have it again? Awesome, thanks. 

How’s that for trust?

I’m looking at this holy shelf, like it’s full of blessings that are mine and they’re stored. And just because I’m not holding everything at once, doesn’t mean that I don’t have access to it. It’s all just there. RIGHT there. I can just point and He helps me reach the top shelf. I’m feeling a lot like Ariel. You want thingamabobs? I’ve got 20.

Actually, there are 13 thingamabobs… but who cares, no big deal…

Do you KNOW how much you have access to in the Kingdom? We read in the parable of the prodigal son that the elder son was all bummed out because he didn’t realize everything the Father had was his too. Do you find yourself missing the party to sulk about what isn’t yours? Baby, it’s all yours. It’s yours.

This is why I’ve been asking God to train my hands to steward ALL this. It’s more than I know how to manage. I am learning the ways of royalty. Not for mad cash, but for treasure. Lives of people who trust me. Hearts. Ears listening to what I say. God help me, it needs to come from HIM! Eyes watching me live my life, waiting to read my words. Oh what a treasure! Priceless, absolutely priceless to be able to love and pour into other people. How precious are their hungry hearts! They encourage me.

So many faces to meet, and bodies to hug. Laughs to hear. Hands to hold. Thousands. Millions.

Vision is like a flame. All-consuming Fire loves to share dreams with His children.

Jesus, increase our capacity to receive from You.

Train our hands for war.

Awkward Cinderella

You know when there are only so many chairs, and someone has to sit at the corner of the table, with the edge jutting out toward them? I find myself there. The edge of the table isn’t a comfortable place. I think sometimes I short myself from everything I have access to. Maybe I think that it’s too crowded, or I tell myself that I don’t mind the trouble, someone else can have a place, I’ll be fine here.  Again, the Father reminds me that I have a place, with everything set in front, and there’s no need to sit at the edge. How silly is that?

I have to hold myself in higher regard. I have to accept the ways that others will lovingly serve me when they’re supposed to, and I shouldn’t fight to serve myself and I shouldn’t get up to do another task. Sometimes God’s harshest words to me are sit down and receive, woman. Just sit and receive. Let someone else take care of it for you.

Strangers are uncomfortable at the table, but when it’s your family table, there is no discomfort, right? When you’re staring at people you don’t know, and having to be close to them, it’s natural to feel a little awkward. Sometimes I feel watched, and it weirds me out. But we are watched, by heaven and by others. We are always watched, and the way we carry ourselves is reflective of who we think we are. Is the Kingdom table your family table? Does it feel comfortable? If not, why? What makes you think you don’t belong? You definitely belong.

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I used to enjoy the thought of being like Cinderella, rising from the ashes to the palace. The humility of Cinderella is great, but you bet that she faced a big transition having servants at her palace. She no longer had to scrub the floors. She probably never enjoyed it, I bet it felt foreign watching someone else go through it and not help. I bet it felt selfish! How uncomfortable to allow someone else to pass through the similar struggle and not come to their rescue, and relieve them of their duty! Even in a poofy gown, it probably took everything in her to not run up and take the mop and bucket by force from the hands of another girl.

Maybe at times, we are called to step in the way, like Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. Yet we also understand that Jesus is King of Kings and He no longer gets beat up. Does He no longer have a servant’s heart and the goodness and willingness to scrub dirty feet? I think it’s all still there. Same Jesus. Yet His circumstances have shifted: He is rightfully enthroned, as people sing Holy Holy Holy all the time to Him, and He doesn’t tell them to stop.

It’s okay to have times when life is hard and work is hard and everything is hard. It’s also okay to have times to sit and receive, times when we don’t have to scrub the floor, but rather are called to sit and enjoy the feast with the Father. We’re called to serve others but also called to be royalty. One call isn’t of greater honor than the other, not with Him. Funny thing is that sometimes we don’t allow ourselves the easiest one of the two: to know we are worthy of receiving.

We are to love others as we love ourselves. How are you loving yourself? Are you taking good care of yourself? Are you mistreating yourself with the guise of being selfless? Does it make you feel awkward to receive gifts, words of affirmation, or acts of service? It’s just love. Are you letting others love you? Are you letting God love you?

Don’t fight it when He calls you to sit and receive.