Bethany's BlogWords of Encouragement

Mighty Warrior



The Lord is with you, mighty warrior. 

Judges 6:12

The day that God approached Gideon with the identity of "mighty warrior" Gideon was hiding in a winepress, threshing out some wheat. He was discouraged.  Everytime Gideon and his family made any progress, it was stolen away from them. Due to his circumstances he lived a life of frustration and doubt.  So, how on earth did God come to the conclusion that Gideon was a mighty warrior?  As far as Gideon was concerned that was the furthest thing from the truth.  He even asked the angel that approaced him, "if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? The Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian." Gideon's response did not deter the angel, he simply replied by saying, "Go in the strength that you have and save Israel out of Midean's hand. Am I not sending you?"

But, Gideon is NOT feeling strong, and he feels inclined to let this angel know.  "Pardon me, my Lord, but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family." Have you ever felt like Gideon? Gideon thought he knew himself, he had a clear definition of who he was....weak. He based his identity on performance, the past, and what other people saw and defined. None of this was "mighty warrior"!

God, on the other hand, created Gideon to be a mighty warrior, and that is exactly what He saw.  

So, of course, I ask myself, who did God create you and me to be, what does He see?  Does your identity that God has given you match up with the one you have given yourself?

Sometimes, God and I are not on the same page when it comes to this issue!  I know who He says I am, yet I believe something else.  This is not fun for me or anyone else.  So, today, I bless you with the knowledge of knowing and believing that you are exactly who God says you are. I bless you with steps to walk in this knowledge and to move in the heart of God.


What's Written About You?



Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.

Exodus 4:10

Moses felt pretty incompetent on the inside, the verse above is how he described himself.  He did not feel that he was capable of the job God was calling him to. Yet, in Acts 7:20-22 a different picture is portrayed: At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child. For three months he was cared for by his family. When he was placed outide, Pharoah's daughter took him and brought him up as her own son. Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptian and was powerful in speech and action.

Moses was not able to see how God viewed him. Instead he defined himself by the fears and the failures he experienced.  His view was inaccurate.

God, on the otherhand, had an eternal view of Moses.  He did not define him by the external or internal circumstances. 

What about you?  What is the eternal view of who you are? How does God describe you, and how do you describe yourself?  Which description do you believe most often?

This is something I've processed with God for a long time. It is a long process as I've discovered that what I believe and what God believes about who I am does not always match up so well. And, I've discovered that my belief of what God says needs to be a heart belief.  I can know it, but that doesn't necessarily mean I believe it until it's rooted in my heart.

The Word of God reveals to each of us who we are. Sons and daughters, salt of the earth, light of the world, etc.  When we press into those identities and begin to ask Holy Spirit for a more detailed identity of who God sees, a beautiful adventure of identity begins. 

When God looks at just you, who does He see?  How does He identify you personally?

Someone recently told me that God sings "You are my Sunshine" over me.  It warmed my heart.

What song is He singing over you today?

To Praise

I bless God every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise. 

Psalms 34:1

This week has been a week of praise.  It has been amazing to be with so many people that raise their arms to God in devoted, loving praise.  Intimacy with God and others can be developed through the act of worship.  David is known for his ability to worship God with all his heart. He poured his soul and heart out to God and through that act, he was changed. When he was full of joy, he praised God. When he was distraught, he praised God.  When he sinned, he still came to God and he praised Him!

On the first day of this conference, someone came up to me and said that I had a David annointing, there was fire in my blood.  I like that, and it has given me a few things to think about and ask myself key questions. When I am full of joy, do I give God the praise?  When life presents me with trials and pain, do I still raise my hands to Him and praise Him?  Does He have my praise on the days that are hum-drum?  What about you? Is your praise to God consistent through life, or does it change depending on how life is going? What moves you to praise His name? When you do praise Him, does it change your heart?

I have a lot to think about after a week of praise. 


Reality Is....

.....the reality, however, is found in Christ. 

Colossians 2:17

One of my favorite books is the Velveteen Rabbit. I've read it numerous times, and read it to my children. I've related to the rabbit's question, "Am I real?" I use to ask myself that question all the time, and I truly wondered if the very essence of myself was real.  Then, I came upon this line in the Bible, "the reality, however, is found in Christ."  It was with that one statement that I began the quest to know Christ, believing that if I could know Him, I would know me.  My persistant question of being real would be answered.

Last night, my daughter and I were listening to music, and one of the songs was titled "Im just trying to be real." The song was heartfelt and emotional, but didn't mention the connection with Jesus.  It did, however, bring me to a place of review.  The artists singing this song were dealing with an onslaught of feelings and memories and through that they were trying to be real. I recognized that everyday, as I encounter Jesus, being real has become my reality too.  As I embrace the reality of Who He is, I embrace the reality of who I am.  Just like the rabbit, as he embraced himself, the worn ragged self, and surrendered to that reality, he became real.

I am broken and imperfect, yet so whole through the reality of who Jesus is. 

Is your reality embracing the person of Jesus?  Are you deeping the essence of who you are through the reality of who He is?  

Do you have a deepening reality in your heart, mind, and soul today that lines up with the reality of Christ?

Reality is Christ!

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