why? You might ask. Well for many reasons.
First off, its cold outside!Maybe not cold enough for snowballs. But its COLD and I love it!
Secondly,I get to hang out with some great people tonight, one being Jess! I love her to pieces and it kills me to only see her once (maybe) a month.
Thirdly,I'm walking with a new little "pep in my step."
I feel like a brand new person after listening to Pastor Chris' podcast Sunday night. Its crazy what will happen to ya if you just spend a little time with the Lord. He'll change you.....promise you. In the midst of my busy days its so hard finding that window of time to just sit alone with Him. Well, I did Sunday night and man, was our time good.
Pastor Chris taught on some of the many test/lessons that you WILL walk through as a believer. If you are a child of God, you will face suffering, you will be disciplined, and your faith will be tested. Isaiah 30:20 implies that we need affliction like water and bread. Most of us hate hearing or even mentioning the words suffering or affliction.....we assume their from the enemy and try to escape them at all cost. Well, God, Himself says that we NEED them. Doesn't sound fun or desirable. But He uses them to build our character and our integrity and to remain an effective believer in and out of seasons.
Some of the test that we will face are:
1)The Small Things: prove how faithful we are in the things that we think are not significant. The things we think don't matter are some of things that matter most to God and His Kingdom.
2)Motivation: doing things with the with the right motives.....one of the ways God sees the intentions of your heart is to bring something to you to test you.
3) Stewardship: participating in things that express the Gospel using your money, time, family, energy, passion, friends, mind, gifts, etc. properly and effectively.
4)Integrity: a character challenge. How firm you stand in a dry season. Its the dry seasons that the enemy throws his perfected, sketched out plan at us to try to knock us off our feet. Ability to stand when all hell breaks loose.
5)Authority: Submission to God and to people......true test of our attitudes.
6)Forgiveness: Don't hate people, hate the enemy. Forgive. He let you off the hook.
7)Time: determines our patience. Gal. 6 says that we will reap a harvest if we wait......its tough, but worth it. Enjoy the "NOW."
8)Lordship: whether or not God has the final say in your life.
Let me tell you, after listening to this (which I highly encourage everyone to do on their own, because my notes clearly aren't enough) I felt as if I had a received a BIG fat F- on every single one. It reminded me that I fail Him everyday. My performance will never be enough. But instead of wearing myself out from praying away the enemy when I walk through these tests, I now have the understanding to direct my energy into praying for wisdom, discernment, and guidance to walk through these tests properly. I feel like I waste so much time blaming the enemy for this attack and that attack, when its simply the Lord trying to build a little character in me. I pray that as my awareness increases, my effectiveness will increase as well. The enemy will and does attack, but instead wanting to crumble to pieces every time affliction comes; I want to drink and feast on it so that my character and integrity is pleasing to Him.
and Forthly, Im off to run errands
the Lord has made this day. I will rejoice and be glad! Happy Tuesday!