Tag Archives: trusting in God

The Cost of Obedience

At this time last year, God asked me to leave my academic workload in faith to start His Daily Dose. He gave me the name, the images (including the ubiquitous coffee cup up top), the blog topics, and the words to speak (which He continues to faithfully provide). Having never written a blog post or set up up a website in my life, I was totally lost. Jesus and I were definitely embarking on a new adventure. A painful, life-changing, yet rewarding adventure.

Since its inception, HDD has touched individuals in over 75 countries, and to me this is HUGE. Anytime I hear of an individual reader being impacted by HDD (and the words the Lord gives), that is truly transformational for me as a person. Doing what I do brings me extreme fulfillment, humility, and honor. But, it has cost me dearly, and for me to say otherwise would be completely dishonest. I don’t state that to bring me glory; I am simply stressing this point as a source of encouragement for you.

“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:39

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” John 13:34

Had I resisted His instruction, I would be graduating this fall and excitedly planning for grad school. At times, it’s easy for me to dwell on this fact. Only a couple of years go, Jesus and I made plans for me to become a Registered Dietitian then pursue a PhD. Never would I have thought that He’d interrupt His own plans (at least as I understood them to be).

Yet, because I surrendered my personal dreams to God, others have gained insight, encouragement, and counsel from the inspired words He has asked me to share through HDD. I’ve shed countless tears and battled scrutiny from others (including myself), questioning why I ever stepped off that structured road of academic progress to write blog posts everyday. I’ve been called distracted, lost, confused, unstable, and maybe even weird (and who knows what else people have said about me).

But had I proceeded to move forward with the original plan, ignoring His instruction, then my life most certainly would also have been miserable. Choosing to get into grad school (a glorified goal in my own mind) would have put me outside of His will, and I would have missed out on HDD. That thought prompted me to reflect on the true condition of my heart: What was my perception of real success? Was it to be found in education (or a career with a title)? Or is it found in following Christ (and helping His beloved throughout the process)?

Quickly I realized that instead of worshiping God, who gives me my dreams, I had started worshiping the dream itself. Unfortunately I was also seeking to resolve my identity from it . Over these past several months, I’ve been able to have a serious heart-check. Praise be to God.

“Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” Exodus 34:14

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.” Galatians 5:1 –

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” Romans 12:3

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

Throughout this gruesome, self-revealing process, I’ve come to realize that we often miss incredible opportunities (with great potential to transform this world). Sometimes it’s due to a heart of disobedience, but other times it can be the faith-deteriorating process known as over-rationalism. When God asks for something that doesn’t readily make sense, we may procrastinate, act in fear of the opinions of others (even within the family of believers), or sheepishly dismiss it as not having heard Him correctly.

We can so easily rationalize ourselves right out of God’s will. God is certainly logical, beloved. But there is nothing in the Word that defines God as always being rational to our human minds. Rationalism is very much a contemporary ideology that elevates the mind over the spirit (the very means through which God often speaks words of faith to us). Unchecked rationalism can extinguish the flame of faith, and I’ve experienced this in my walk with Him.

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” 1 Corinthians 13:11

“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8-9

“‘Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool’.” Isaiah 1:18-19

At the end of the day, we will stand before Christ, the risen King of Glory, to give an account for our lives. Therefore, we will have times where we must choose between investing in Christ (being obedient to what He’s asked us to do), or pursuing what appears best to us (what we want to do).

If we truly desire to accomplish great things, it will cost us something. There’s no way around it. If we choose to obey Christ by denying ourselves, picking up our cross, and following Him, we will be criticized. Sometimes those closest to us will do the criticizing. Don’t be disheartened, beloved. God is good, and He will never leave us, forsake us, or lead us down a road of destruction.

Remember this today as you follow Him: Radical obedience requires radical faith with a deeply rooted trust in God. Yet whatever the cost, He will always honor those who seek to honor Him. He is faithful, beloved.

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Facing a Giant

“You are not defined by what you do, beloved, but by who you are. Be what you want to see in the world. Be someone that is remembered by their love and goodwill towards others.”

These are the very words the Father spoke into my heart just weeks before I plummeted into a deep pool of discouragement and discontent. In seeking the Lord to guide me in what to share with His beloved today, He brought me to an old journal. “Write from this,” He whispered into my heart, which made sense because many of the posts you read are a direct reflection of my time with God. Going through the pages, I landed on an entry that had never been shared on this site. Written in April of 2013, it reflects a time when I was really struggling to walk in obedience and faith.

At this time last year, that the Lord asked me to follow Him in starting this blog. “No problem,” I thought. Then He requested that I withdraw from my academic courses to invest in it completely, and I wasn’t so enthusiastic. In fact, I felt incredibly discouraged. Forfeiting my own agenda for the sake of His kingdom was not easy. But it is possible through the grace of Christ. And it definitely carries its’ rewards.

“But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you’.”Jeremiah 7:23

Today, I want to encourage you with the very words God spoke to me one afternoon soon after His Daily Dose was started when I was feeling particularly hopeless and confused. My thoughts were screaming out, “you’re not qualified…you’re weak and ignorant…you didn’t quiet hear from the Lord correctly,” and I sense some of you are in this same position.

“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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Living a life of radical faith and obedience means that we may be asked to perform tasks for which we are under-qualified. When we are confronted with the resulting feelings of discomfort and inadequacy, we must depend on Jesus (which also evokes intimacy with Him). And He is guaranteed to receive the glory because He makes the impossible possible.

Just as He met my feelings of inadequacy, He will do the same for you, whoever you are. Whether you’re in a challenging Ph.D. program, starting your own company in faith, facing an impossible situation with no viable options, making a bold statement of faith in your workplace, or maybe even writing a book or blog like myself, I am confident you will find peace and comfort in what God shared with me.

Here are the words verbatim from my journal. This is what I heard the Lord speaking:

“Christy, this is your Father speaking. I intentionally choose those who are not qualified to do the task. Think about this. If someone is qualified and already knows what they’re doing, then it’s expected for them to perform the task. There is nothing superb about this: kinda like loving those who in return love you – it’s expected. But, loving your enemy is not expected. Doing good to those who hurt you is not expected. It’s radical. Just as it’s radical for Me to call you, Christy. You have no degree in Literature or Business, nor have you written formally in your entire career, yet I have called you to start a blog site (which you also know nothing about) and write daily for the public to see. Who then gets the glory from that?

Stop trying to earn a spot in all of this. No matter how much you write and how you improve the blog, I alone am still the One who has called you to this – I bring the people and I give the favor, the ideas, the encouragement, the discipline, and the growth. I am watching you to see how well you steward this in preparation for what’s to come. Please don’t think I’ve turned my head to more important things. I am watching to see how you respond. Christy, I know that you don’t know how to create graphics or a website or file a 501(c)(3). I have been with you all this time. There is no need to convince me. Be excited about this! Boast about Me – in the fact that you have no idea in what you’re doing, but I do! That we are doing this together! That you are dependent on Me!

Please, beloved, there is no need “to try” and earn the approval of others by striving to fit into this bloggers’ world or making excuses. Be confident in who you are. The reality is that I asked you to do this – all I want you to do is to be faithful with the little I entrust into your hands. You don’t have to force anything to happen. Christy, I don’t want you to use [a famous blogger’s] template. Do what you’re doing. Allow Me to guide the content and the image. Trust in Me. I have an overflowing amount of grace set aside for you. I’m expecting you to fall at times, but you’re growing. Let Me encourage you in this – You’ve done an exceptional job with what I have given you! Yes, you have made some mistakes, but you’re learning from them. Talk to Me about the book and the blog all the time. I want to be included. In fact, I need t be included because I’m your Director – giving you instructions on what works and what doesn’t. You’re still making the choices, but I have the knowledge where you don’t. Trust in My guidance beloved.”

May He alone receive the glory in your lives and your vocations. May His will be done as you include Him in your everyday decisions and trust Him even when it’s hard or seems to make no sense. God is always faithful, beloved. 

Please pass this along to anyone who could use this as a source of encouragement. Thank you for choosing HIs Daily Dose today!

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Victim or Victor: How Perspective Dictates Our Reality

Have you ever felt like a victim? Or, on the other hand, when have you felt like a victor? Interestingly, our tendency to feel one way or another is heavily dependent on how we choose to perceive our circumstances. In His incredible gentleness, the Lord has been reminding me of this truth once again. Allow me to share what the Lord whispered to my heart as we strolled among the morning dew.

“Christy, you are not a victim to the schemes of the enemy. Is the devil bad (and evil)? Yes. We know know that. Is he against you? Does he oppose you? Yes, we both know this as well. But, what about Me? Am I not the Victor? I have conquered the grave.  I am the Victor. I hold the Victor’s prize (crown). I am victorious. I am the Victor, Christy.”

“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57 

“For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.” Deuteronomy 20:4 

Earlier this morning, I had woken up groggy and apathetic about the day because of eery dreams that plagued my sleep. As soon as I arrived at my destination (to meet the Lord and spend time together), my car died again (briefly). I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t feel discouraged and distracted. Then, as I walked to a quiet spot surrounded by the sounds of flowing water and birds chirping, my hot coffee spilled on me. My focus had shifted from Jesus (who I desperately needed) to my circumstances. I felt frustrated. Or, more accurately, I felt victimized by the whims of the enemy.

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7

“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

As I plopped onto a bench and opened the Word, I cried out to the Lord and asked the Holy Spirit to guide me through His truth. And guess what passage screamed from the page?

“Shout for joy to the Lord; all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. ” Psalm 100:1-5

Talk about serving me  a piece of humble pie. I had forgotten that the best way to combat feelings of defeat was to praise God. Instead of concentrating on my challenges and the fact that the enemy was out to destroy me, I needed to be thankful. There was so much to be grateful for in that moment, and I just needed to shift my focus back onto the positive…back onto God.

This is what the Lord continued to speak to my heart:

“Do you want to focus on the person who has lost the game or the One who has won it? Satan is already overcome, Christy. His power is limited. But, I am not. I am the Great I AM. I have all power. I have all abilities, all knowledge, all wisdom, all the resources and encouragement that you could ever need. I am that One – Jesus Christ. And I am the winner. I have won this match over life and death. Don’t believe for one minute that you are overcome by his tactics, because you are not. Why? Because I live in you. The people that focus on the loser, Satan himself, hang their heads down low in defeat. Too many of my children do this. They’re always focused on being attacked and place entirely too much emphasis on the devil’s schemes to get them.

What about Me? I am the Victor and I live within you. Because I live within you, you must focus on Me. Remember, I take what the enemy intends for harm and I use it for your good. I alone have the ability to do this because I am the Righteous One. I am God. Stop fretting over what the enemy has done, and focus on what I have done. Meditate on My ways; spend time with Me. The devil is a con artist, a phony, and a liar. He tries to present himself as though he has already won, as though he has all the power, BUT he doesn’t. I do. And I live in you. This is incredibly powerful, beloved.”

“Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 

We all have a choice in how we perceive our reality. May you be encouraged with the knowledge that Jesus is the only One worthy of our undivided attention and the meditations of our hearts. When we focus on Jesus – who He is, why He died, why He (as part of the Trinity) created us, how He (as the only Truth) sees us, and how He has designed us to live on this planet – everything else falls into perspective.

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31 

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

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