Monthly Archives: August 2014

A Powerful Reminder of Who You Are to God

Attention beloved readers: Due to the long holiday weekend in the United States, we won’t be posting on Monday. Instead, today’s post is twice as long as usual. May you be greatly encouraged by this post. Please share it with anyone that you believe may need to hear this message.

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Today I want to discuss how God sees you. The truth is that He cares for you, and desires nothing but the best for your life. My hope is that this post will greatly encourage you to walk in the truth of who you are in Christ and who He is to you. We serve a very personable and faithful God.

In fact, as I sat in the bright sunshine with tea in my hand and my Bible opened, the Lord brought my attention to the book of Psalms. Psalm 139, to be precise.

Staring at the page, I noticed the old notes and highlights that I had previously made throughout the text at various times in my life. But today I simply read it just as it is, in its full and beautiful entirety.

Through the Holy Spirit, God brought revelation for me to share with you while His scripture marinated in my mind. If you’re looking for a great kick start to your weekend, this is a great piece to do just that. Let’s begin.

“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.” Psalm 139:1

Let’s stop for just a second. What is God communicating here?

God is interested in you. He is taking the initiative to pursue you by searching the most valuable thing you possess – your heart. This is what a loving Father does: He evaluates where you are because He cares about where you’re heading. Are you on the straight and narrow path, or have you taken a detour? He knows that those decisions are made in the heart. Dwell on the truth that God does care about the choices that you make.

“You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all may ways.” v2-3

God knows where we are ALL of the time and in every area (physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually). He knows this because He is interested in us and has made the choice to watch over us. In order to guide us, lead us, and protect us, He must know where we are. Even as an omnipresent and omniscient God, He has still intentionally made the choice to focus on us.

Yet, you can rest assured that when He watches us, it’s never in a Big Brother kind of way. He’s not an overseer trying to impose an iron hand of oppression on us. Our God is a God of freedom, which is the opposite of how Satan behaves. Satan seeks out opportunities to tempt us and then oppress us through sin. Therefore, as believers, we can find peace in knowing that Christ died for us to be free.

God adoringly walks with His children as a gentle and loving Father. Wherever you are, He is with you. He doesn’t have the ability to leave your side. Many of you need to remember this truth today, beloved. Verses 7-10 also serve as a reminder of this truth. As His children, God also knows each of us incredibly well.

“Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely O Lord.” Psalm 139:4

How is this possible? First of all, God already knows everything because He is omniscient. To me, knowing that God is both loving and aware of everything brings incredible comfort. Even with an estimated 7 billion people in the world right now, God knows every single one of our thoughts and what we’re going to say next. Astonishingly, He chooses, desires, and longs to know each of us in such great detail. Talk about a God who loves us.

Secondly, since He already knows what we will say and do, He has also chosen to go before us to extend the grace and mercy that we may need to be forgiven, strengthened, challenged, or exhorted. Even when we are surprised at some of our choices, God is not. He knows us better than we know ourselves. God is always going before us, and at the same time He remains available for us in those still, small moments that are undeniably in the present. What an excellent God we serve!

Before closing this article, I’m going to skip around to two more verses. Maybe this next verse can be earth-shatteringly powerful for you today.

“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light will become night around me’, even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” Psalm 139:12

Any darkness that we face (in the form of physical suffering, marital issues, financial troubles, or emotional wounds) is the result of living in a broken world with a broken enemy. Our enemy wants everyone else to be broken, too. However, your darkness is NOT darkness to God.  Since you serve God, since He is for you, and since He is on your side, God will transform your darkness into light. Because you are a child of God, no darkness will ever overtake you. Because darkness is light to Him, so will it be for you as well.

God’s kingdom is upside-down. It’s radical, and it’s not based on human rationale or opinion. No human theory or logic can fully capture the ways and means through which God carries out His divine plans here on earth. God is not human, beloved. God is God, and His kingdom is the most powerful, influential, life-altering, and eternally enduring kingdom that will ever exist. Nothing matches the Kingdom of God or even comes close to the power of God. God is the Almighty. God is supreme and all-knowing, and He alone possess the intellect, wisdom, power, and insight that we all need.

Indeed, your darkness is as light to God, beloved. If something appears ready to overtake you, rest assured that it will not because God is with you. Give your darkness to Christ. Not just once, but over and over and over and over again, until what God intends to accomplish through it is fulfilled…until your darkness becomes your light…until your suffering produces righteousness. Your mourning will turn to joy and gladness, which is possible through God alone.

Lastly, I adore the fact that Psalm 139 concludes with an illustration of how we should pursue God and draw close to our King.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts, see if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24

Desiring for God to search us represents a true pursuit of holiness, and the choice is ours to make. This is a prayer that I pray everyday because I feel that repentance should be a lifestyle rather than just a one-time thing or even a once a week thing. Why? First of all, each of us is in a daily fight against a broken flesh – every single one of us. Since we have not attained perfection, we will make erroneous decisions and sin, even though we don’t want to sin (as Paul states in Romans 7:15, we do what we do not want to do). We must approach this realistically and recognize that, as Jeremiah 17:9 states, the human heart is deceitful above all things.

Sin creates a gap in intimacy between us and Christ. If you want to be really close to Jesus and mature as His disciple, then repentance must be a lifestyle, beloved. The more that you practice repentance, the more easily you’ll be able to recognize when you do fall. And you’ll learn to fight tooth and nail spiritually to keep yourself close to Jesus.

What I love about these last two verses is that Jesus never forces us to seek Him or to repent of sin. By praying through these verses of Psalm 139, we are giving the God of the universe the permission to rule in our hearts and to make us better. With His righteousness, he will polish us so that we can be closer to Him. What a beautiful process!

For me, I don’t want to wait until I arrive in heaven to really get to know Jesus. Why wait? I want to know Him today, to operate in His kingdom today, and to sit in His presence today.

May you heart be encouraged with this truth, beloved. And may you enjoy your weekend!

Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose! Are you currently a subscriber? If not, we would absolutely love to have you as a part of our family! Just click HERE to begin receiving daily encouraging posts sent straight to your inbox each morning. Thank you!

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Secrets to Wise Dating: What Jesus Taught Me About The Process

As Keith and I just celebrated three incredible years as husband and wife, I began thinking how dating and engagement can be valuable preparatory tools for marriage. At least they certainly were for us.

Since we’ve been married, the Lord has graciously brought many women and couples that are seeking wise council in this area of dating to me. Perhaps He opened these doors because I am married – and very happily married. Or perhaps because anyone who knows me well also understands the gruesome trauma I endured years ago in a former relationship.

In the aftermath of that pain, the Lord guided me in making exceedingly wise decisions by fully evaluating what it would mean to date another man. In particular, the need to examine my own heart emerged during this time, which required tremendous humility. Praise be to God that this humility is available through the grace of Jesus Christ. And praise be to God that He led me into the arms of the man that He had always intended for me to marry while forgiving me of my erroneous ways.

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” Psalm 30:11-12

In the past, Jesus wasn’t included in my love life. Howevertoday He is my love life. Whether you are a woman or a man, this is the single biggest difference between choosing a healthy, sustainable relationship or settling for less.

Today, I am speaking solely from my heart. These are my opinions about dating relationships. And these ideas were birthed through wise counsel from my God-fearing mentor, Christian counseling, biblically-based studies on marriage, prayer, fasting, studying God’s word, and my own personal experiences with Christ. Thankfully, God equipped me with the wisdom to make some great choices, which I am abundantly enjoying the fruit of today. Here are a few points of wisdom that I have developed through my own journey concerning dating:

1. Get healed. Focus on inner healing as preparation to offer 100% of yourself instead of looking for someone to fully complete you. Have you endured a traumatic experience in your past (divorce, the death of a parent or sibling, any form of abuse and neglect, unhealthy romantic relationships, porn addictions, drug or alcohol abuse, etc.)? We all generally have something that we are dealing with.

If we haven’t allowed Jesus to fill the voids within us, then the person that you date will soon become your “temporary fix”, almost like a savior of sorts. This is dangerous territory that quickly drives individuals into unhealthy habits. Other people cannot heal us; Jesus heals us. Marriage cannot complete us; it compliments us. Marriage is a full-time ministry, and dating is a gateway of preparation for what lies ahead. Any issues that remain unsettled before you wed will undoubtedly emerge during marriage, demanding countless hours of time and energy that could be spent elsewhere.

For the sake of you and your future spouse, please get with Jesus and get your life together before you involve another person. This is loving and very wise.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

2. Know what you want before you set out for it. Proactively list out the things that are most important to you (and to Jesus) in your future companion. Don’t date anyone that you could not marry. Let that soak in deep.

Months before I even knew Keith, Jesus and I sat together and wrote out my “non-negotiables.” These were the very characteristics that we (Jesus and I) felt were most important in my future husband. I trusted that if God welcomed this activity (of planning in faith), He would be faithful to provide the man that would possess them. And He did. Be specific in what is important to your heart.

“The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” Psalm 37:23

3. Date with the intention of being married. Dating is often described with terms such as courting, becoming more than friends, seeing each other, going out, or going steady. No matter what words are used, the implication is that an intimacy will be developed between two people. However, if you are not really ready for commitment, then what’s the real motivation behind pursuing an intimate and romantic relationship?

In my opinion, dating “socially” without a pathway that leads to commitment is an absolute waste. A waste of time, emotions, financial resources, mental space, and the very heart that God faithfully entrusted to you. Shouldn’t we be faithful stewards (managers) in every area of our lives? I’m not saying that you must talk about marriage during your first few dates, but I am suggesting that you should be intentional with how you spend your time and where you invest your heart. This is just wise.

“The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps.” Proverbs 14:15 

Here are four steps that I would suggest to anyone that is serious about seeking a committed relationship:

  1. Know what you want in a spouse beforehand and begin praying for that person. This immediately establishes ‘Jesus as Lord’ over the entire relationship.
  2. Establish a solid, respectful, and maturing friendship long before you pursue a romantic relationship in courtship.
  3. Before you become an official couple, engage in honest and open dialogue. Seek to understand the other person’s intentions and motives in desiring a relationship with you. Never make assumptions in this area, beloved. Then seek to understand the Lord’s intentions with the relationship (by praying individually and together). Remember, God will never misdirect you if you are actively including Him in your relationship. He will tell you to continue pursuing it or to walk away. Even if it hurts, we must listen to Him. It will save years of devastating heartache.
  4. Surround yourself with a loving and God-fearing community. It’s extremely wise to have friends and family that will hold you accountable in your relationship. Actively surround yourself with people who have healthy and mature relationships.

“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10

Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose! May you each diligently seek the Lord in your dating pursuits so that perfect His will may be made evident in your lives.

Are you currently a subscriber? We would love to have you! Just click HERE to begin receiving daily, encouraging emails sent straight to your inbox each morning. Thank you! To God be the glory!

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Kicking Rejection to the Curb – Part 2

Rejection is an issue of misplaced identity, beloved. Instead of understanding our true identity in Christ, rejection leads us to look to others, to ourselves, and to the world. 

If you’re just joining us today, check out yesterday’s post HERE before diving into this second part.

Today, we’ll begin by continuing to confront the lies of rejection with God’s Word.

Rejection embraces self-pity, but God says that he will neither leave you nor forsake you.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”” Deuteronomy 31:6

Rejection fuels pride and retaliation, leading us to think things like, “How dare they reject me!” Yet Jesus was betrayed, rejected, spat on, and hung on a cross for the entire human race. He is our Lord, and we must follow Him.

“Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.” Luke 10:16

Rejection fuels feelings of worthlessness, insecurity, and hopelessness because our trust is placed on the unstable ground of others. Yet God says that He will place our feet on a rock and give us hinds’ feet to be on high places.

“God is my strong fortress; And He sets the blameless in His way. He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, And sets me on my high places’.” 2 Samuel 22:34

Always remember that rejection is simply the product of a misplaced identity. Whatever God is calling you to today or in the future, you are His child. Understanding that your identity is rooted in Christ is a prerequisite for pursuing and experience a mature walk with Christ.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9

None of us can operate in the fullness of Christ if we do not accept who we really are in Him. Check your mindset by asking yourself a simple question: “Who am I?”

What comes to mind? Often it may be your church affiliation (e.g. I am a Baptist), your marital status (e.g. I am the spouse of …), your occupation (e.g. I am an engineer), or where you’re from? Our minds tend to gravitate naturally to what we do or how the world defines us.

But you and I are children of God first and foremost. I am a child of God. I am a daughter of the Highest God, my Creator and Father. I am a cherished princess and bride to the King of kings and Lord of lords. I am forgiven, washed clean of sin, and made pure and spotless through Christ.

If you were to repeat what I shared (changing that terms as necessary if you are a man), would you believe it?

Many would not. In fact, before Christ freed me from various strongholds of rejection, I could not do so either.

If you want to understand who you are in Christ (your only true identity), then follow the following three steps:

1. Identify your trash. Look through the list of rejection’s lies in today’s and yesterday’s post and identify the ones that you struggle with personally. Prayerfully consider the situations in which these feelings of rejection emerge in your life. Write down a list of people that you feel rejected by, both today and in the past.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

2. Make the choice to take out the trash. This exercise consists strictly of repentance and forgiveness. Forgive everyone on the list from step 1 that has rejected you (Matthew 6:14). As you go through each lie rooted in rejection, ask God to also forgive you for having believed them. As you forgive all of your offenders and seek healing from His hand, pray that He would break the spirit of rejection from your life.

“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.” Psalm 34:17-20

3. Ask Jesus to pick up your trash. You need someone skilled and trained to remove these nasty lies, and Jesus is the One for the job. For this to be effective, you must do two things. First, you must renounce (in the name of Jesus Christ) any attempt by Satan to occupy your life through the lies of rejection that you had believed. This is VERY important. While this may appear simple, it is extremely powerful in the spiritual realm. And this must come after forgiveness and repentance. Here is an example: “In the power and authority of Jesus Christ as my Lord, I renounce the lies that I am rejected and that I deserve to be rejected by others. I rebuke all attempts of the enemy to work in this area of my life any longer, in the name of Jesus.”

Next, you must ask the Lord to pour out His truth upon you. He can clean up after the trash with a permanent spiritual deodorizer (so to speak). Pray for the Lord to make you pure and clean by washing you with His truth, which states that you are accepted in the fullness of Jesus Christ.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rootedand established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19 

Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose today! To God alone be the glory!

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