Bethany's BlogWords of Encouragement

RebelGrace

 

 

Been looking for You in the still and safe

But I feel You most in the wildest place

In the chaos, the madness, in the afraid

We uncover the reason

The greatest price You paid

Let’s go recklessly

Where the light has ceased

With a life let go I will let them know

This is from one of my favorite songs. It’s titled Rebels by Influence music. I was initially drawn to it because of the title, Rebels. Usually, we tend to look at someone with the label Rebel in a negative way, but many years ago I realized that I was a rebel saved by grace.  It is my inclination to rebel, but God turned it all around for me and showed me His immense grace. I could see that even though I was a rebel, I was a rebel SAVED by grace. Rebelgrace!

This song “Been looking for You in the still and safe, But I feel You most in the wildest place” is so true for me.

Before I decided to follow Jesus with my whole heart, I cowered in fear, and masked myself with lots of protections.  I had to recklessly throw it all at His feet and lean on His grace.

You can find me with the sinners

The rebels and the dreamers

Those hidden in the darkness

A glimpse of light

Take me where it hurts the hardest

How dangerous Your love is 

You can find me with the sinners

Where you gave Your life

You knelt in the sand and You drew the line

But one without sin they could not find

For the broken, rejected, and the saved

You uncovered the reason, the greatest price you paid.

We all have a reason to be saved by grace! We’ve all had times of darkness, where we need to be found, and God promises to show us His light. I have had many a day of being broken and rejected, and many more of gratefulness for the price He paid.

Take me where the hurting heart is

A hunger for the one that’s starving

Show me the ones that need You

The silenced, the see-through

You go running out before me

I’m armored in all Your victory

To bring back Your long-lost family

To the shadows we go

You can find me with the sinners

The rebels and the dreamers

Those hidden in the darkness

A glimpse of light

Take me where it hurts the hardest

How dangerous Your love is

You can find me with the sinners

Where You gave Your life

You can find me with the sinners

Where You gave Your life.

The more I practice the amazing grace of Jesus, the more I NEED to be like Him. 

Jesus rebelled against legalism.

Jesus loved the sinners, He wanted to hang out with the dreamers and the rebels. He graciously and lovingly gave grace to the thief on the cross, a true rebel at heart.

Jesus left His light in every single place He went. He went to the hurting, the wounded, the naked and rejected. He was dangerous with love and grace nothing could stand against it! 

He gave His very life because He was so in love with every walking rebel on earth.  AMAZING to the core! VICTORY through and through. This amazing victory is ours—yours and mine. Victory to carry everywhere we go, every time. 

How are you walking out the gift of victory and grace today?

But God, being [so very] rich in mercy, because of His great and wonderful love with which He loved us, even when we were [spiritually] dead and seperated from Him because of our sins, He made us [spiritually] alive together with Christ (for by His grace-His undeserved favor and mercy-you have been saved from God's judgment). And He raised us up together with Him [when we believed], and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, [because we are] in Christ Jesus, [and He did this] so that in the ages to come He might [clearly] show the immeasurable and unsurpassed riches of His grace in [His] kindness toward us in Christ Jesus [by providing for our redemption].

Ephesians 2:4-7 (AMP)

He Sees

 

 

Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive fails and the fields produce no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls, I will [choose to] rejoice in the Lord; I will [choose to] shout in exultation in the [victorious] God of my salvation! The Lord God is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army]; He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds’ feet and makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my high places [of challenge and responsibility].

Habakkuk 3:17-19

Have you experienced difficult times in your life? Have you had seasons where it felt like you simply didn’t want to get up in the morning, and everything around you was bleak?

For me, I have experienced a few seasons like this. We had a season of financial crisis that lasted seven years. It was very painful as we walked through many losses of worldly treasures. We struggled to buy groceries and clothes for our children. We felt weary year after year as we worked to keep ourselves above water. 

We were overwhelmed with medical crisis, as my body had three surgeries, and long recoveries. Pain and exhaustion, were at times, bigger than anything else in my life.  As I learned to daily surrender to God, He strengthened me and gave me an attitude of servanthood and empathy.

God blessed us through it all with friends that left money on our door or food in our kitchen. As we continually fell before God, trusting that He was good no matter what, we believed deep within our hearts that the season would pass. We opened our hearts to lessons that could be learned, such as the value of generosity, self-love, communication, and praise to God.

God always showed up! Each year as we moved from the home we owned to a rental, drove old cars, ate sparsely, and hung on, God showed up.

 He saved our business. He increased our losses. He gave us courage to move forward. He strengthened our faith and trust in Him. He gave us the ability to walk forward through every challenge, and He listened to every cry. He showed us areas deep within our hearts that needed healing, and again, He accepted every surrender. 

He never left us!

Through that dark season, I often asked Him to not leave me, I pled for change. Then, one day I heard His Spirit clearly say to me “Bethany, I have always been here, look for me in the beauty around you. Doubt in my presence is blocking you from seeing me.”

My doubt had closed my eyes. I had based God’s presence on my earthly position and comforts. As I turned my praise towards Him for all the beauty that I did have, more beauty came. The immense blessing of a loving husband, incredible children and grandchildren, dear friends, a home to live in, a car to drive, a pet, and so much more.  My spiritual confidence increased with every blessing I praised Him for and with each doubt I buried.

God has now given us another wonderful home to own, more amazing grandchildren, strong confident children, a busy business, a reliable car, loyal friends, and best of all He has showed us His loving heart towards us in times of pain and joy.

It is challenging to rejoice in the Lord when times are lean and we are struggling. I have learned that the focus of my heart in all times makes all the difference in the world!

Worship

It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth.  That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself-Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.

John 4:23-24

As Christians, we worship, right? What exactly is worship? My Webster says this: To honor or show reverence for as a divine being or supernatural power. To regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion.

Sometimes, we get a little messed up in our priorities and we start to worship someone or something else. We might worship our children, leaders, money, time. Anytime we place someone or something above our worship for God, we have a problem.

Sometimes, we think of worship as the time in church when we sing praises. We do it once a week, and then there’s not a lot of thought given to it until the next week.

Worship. I’ve asked myself what it looks like for me, and I’ve concluded that worship for me is complete surrender of who I am.  The truth of who God says I am. I may feel or think I am one way, but until I pursue the truth about what God says, I am not fully real and honest with Him. 

This last weekend, I got really angry with someone. It was unexpected. I had to work hard to sort through the way I felt with the reality of who God says I am. To do that, I had to be completely honest with God. I had to surrender the turmoil inside of me to Him, admit that only God has the supernatural power to show me truth, and worship Him through the process. As I did this, I began to settle down and instead of anger I felt the intense power of Holy Spirit rest upon my heart. I felt worship deep inside of me! I experienced intimacy with God.

Everything comes from him; everything happens through him; everything ends up in him. Always glory! Always praise! 

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Romans 11:36 (MSG)

When we worship God, we experience intimacy. When trouble comes our way, we trust that God will help us. When we are sad, angry, hurt, happy, joyful, etc we worship God because He is our most intimate friend.

I will exalt You, my God, O King, and [with gratitude and submissive wonder] I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You and lovingly praise You; Yes, [with awe-inspired reverence] I will praise Your name forever and ever.

Psalms 145:1-2 (AMP)

I don’t know what may be happening in your life right now. I do know that there are some pretty tough situations to walk through, and when we are able to surrender the heartache to God in worship, something happens inside of us.  When we are able to believe the truth of what He says over the facts of our lives, He swells within our hearts. Worship of Who He is, opens new doors of hope and gives us the courage to walk on.

So, today I declare the surrender of worship over you, and I praise Him for the truth of who He has created you to be!

Conversations with God

 

 

 

And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Exodus 33:14

Moses was the kind of guy that talked freely with God. He didn’t hold back, sometimes he even challenged God. I like Moses a lot, because God was very visible through all of his doubts. Moses didn’t think that he was the right man for the job of leading the Israelites, God on the other hand, saw the truth. Moses didn’t think he had the ability to speak well, God saw eloquence in him. Moses was caught up in the facts of his life, which led him to believe many lies. God, gently enabled him to see the truth about his life, and Moses became the mighty leader he was designed to be.

In verse twelve and thirteen of this chapter, Moses confronts God: “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”

Then God answered him by promising His presence and rest.

Moses didn’t stop there. He continued by saying: “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.”

Moses did not want to be where God wasn’t. 

Moses and God often had conversations that seemed like a negotiation. God is speaking one thing and Moses is coming back with a counter, a question, or a challenge. The beauty of it all is that God trusted Moses, and He wanted to hear his view. They were friends, companions, soul-mates. The relationship they had with each other was based on love and grace. It was a friendship of freedom.

What are you saying to God today? Is the relationship you have with Him a deeply intimate friendship? Or, do you think of Him as a dictator, always there to tell you what to do and where to go? Do you feel the freedom in your relationship with Him to ask questions and share your point of view?

Moses knew that when the lines of communication were open with God, He would have rest and peace.  God stayed right beside him, and He gave Moses rest, just as He promised.  Rest is good.

For me, I’ve been practicing freedom in my conversations with God for several years now. He has given me rest and peace in return.  I’ve learned that God can take it. He wants to hear the endless questions I have for Him, He wants to know my ideas, perspectives, and thoughts. He is eager to spend every day with me and enjoys any interaction, even when I challenge something. I have come to a place of knowing that I can trust Him and rest in Who He is because He loves me. Yes, He loves me. All. The. Time!

Talk to God today, and don’t leave anything out. 

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