Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Are you hurting today?

I've been struggling a lot lately. Feeling attacked from all sides and in a perpetual state of brokenness.

Yesterday, while I was stuck in bed with some sort of virus (?), I opened the word to remind myself who God is, who I am in Him, how to pray, what my mind should be focused on, where my sustenance comes from and how God strengthens me.  I read through many of  Paul's letters, looking for how I am to live.  I have learned to seek Him and to praise Him at all times regardless of how things look at the present time.  Giving thanks every day helps me to keep my mind on Him instead of my circumstances. I long for the day I can be at peace and live in joy that comes from understanding.  That day may not come until I am in heaven but I know it will come. 

I believe faith is the central, most important thing in our personal lives. Since "faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ." (Romans 10:17) it is vitally important that when we feel discouraged or broken, we turn to the Word. The following passages from Philippians and Romans were some of the passages that I read to help me through a tough time yesterday. I hope they are helpful for you as well. 

Philippians 4: 4-13
[4] Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. [5] Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; [6] do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7] And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
[8] Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. [9] What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
[God's Provision]
[10] I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. [11] Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. [12] I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. [13] I can do all things through him who strengthens me.(Philippians 4 ESV)

Romans Chapter 8
[8:1] There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. [2] For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. [3] For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, [4] in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. [5] For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. [6] For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. [7] For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. [8] Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
[9] You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. [10] But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. [11] If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
[12] So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. [13] For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. [14] For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. [15] For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” [16] The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, [17] and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
[18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. [19] For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. [20] For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope [21] that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. [22] For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. [23] And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. [24] For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? [25] But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
[26] Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. [27] And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. [28] And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. [29] For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. [30] And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
[31] What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? [32] He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? [33] Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. [34] Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. [35] Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? [36] As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
[37] No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. [38] For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, [39] nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 (Romans 8 ESV)
My hope for you today is that you will meditate on these things. Seek after God in the midst of your brokenness.

Live Positionally, Positively, Possessively, Triumphantly!

Kelley Jo

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Marriage Thoughts

Guest post from Andrew-

There is a lot of confusion about the roles of men and women within the marriage relationship. I do not claim to be an expert or to have all the answers. I have made many of the common mistakes and by the grace of God have been humbled by the realization that I have abused my role as a Husband.

The world makes claims that anything that feels good is right, as long as you are the one that feels good about it. I know that I am not the only one that sees the hypocrisy in this view. This view stems from people seeing everything from their specific point of view. This makes it impossible to be truly subjective in anything that involves me. Praise God that what is impossible with man is possible with God. If, through the working of the spirit, I look at these issues from Gods point of view (or as close as I can comprehend it) I begin to see that the root of these problems is sin. This may be obvious but what is not always obvious is that it is not just one persons sin, it is the sin of all involved. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23

When we evaluate the roles of the husband and the wife, it is common to look at Ephesians and say husbands love your wives and wives respect your husbands. Many formulas and processes have arisen from the desire to equip Christians with the tools to do these things. There is the movement of the wife to be submissive and of the husband to take charge and lead the home.

There is nothing wrong with these ideas but they have to be understood within the context of all of scripture. I believe that scripture teaches that all people are sinful. Christians have been forgiven but the flesh still operates. If a husband goes into a marriage thinking I will love her as long as she respects me, then he has already failed as a steward of the marriage. If the wife goes into the marriage with the attitude that I will respect him as long as he deserves respect, then she has already failed as a steward of the marriage. Praise God for Romans 8:1 " Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

In scripture Paul asks the Corinthians would they not rather be wronged or defrauded than to go to court with their brethren. I would suggest that a spouse should be treated with at least as much care as a brother in the church. Paul also calls on the church to not only look after their own affairs but the affairs of others and to consider others as more important than themselves. If you truly consider someone else as more important than yourself, would you fight for your rights concerning this person? Meditate upon this in context of Christ as the example before committing to an answer. Did Christ fight for his rights? Scripture tells us that he could have called more than twelve legions of angels to defend him rather than submit to humiliation and death.

It is clear that love was a very important topic to Paul in the early church. I do understand that these things were written in the context of the brethren and not specifically within a marriage; but is your believing wife not also your sister in Christ or your believing husband not also your brother in Christ. I think we have clouded the love issue within marriage because so often we think of desire as being love. True love does not look for its own gain, but the gain of the object of that love. Anything else is an inferior love.

Realize that every man or woman who has ever been married has probably fallen in this area at some time or other, and most likely has never correctly stood up in this area. Again we praise God for his healing spirit that conforms us to his image. I know that I desire to love my wife like Christ loved the church and to consider her as more important than my selfish desires. We can only experience this as the Holy Spirit changes us.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Pride, The Greatest Problem of the Human Race

Pride, I can feel it rearing up its ugly head in me frequently. Since I started this blog, I have felt it come up after I post something. I think, "Oh, this is good, I wonder if anyone is reading this?" I even try to justify it in my mind thinking I'm doing this for the Lord so I am just excited to see what the Lord is doing. Then I proceed to spend precious time looking at my stats and looking at facebook to see if anyone has commented. There are other ways pride comes up in my life. I am guilty of passing judgement of others, thinking 'I'm all that', and much more. I want to confess. I am sick with pride.

Pride comes in many forms. John Piper speaks of these in his message "Justification by Faith is the End of Boasting" 
boasting is the outward form of the inner condition of pride. And pride has been the root cause of all the evils and miseries of the world, described in Romans 1:18-3:20......The truth is available to all people in one way or the other, and instead of humbling ourselves under it, we stand over it and push it down. This is pride. It may take hundreds of different forms - from the most petite and delicate to the most powerful and crude - but the reality is the same: we will stand over the truth and accept what we like and suppress what we don't........
...Then in Romans 2:3, Paul shows the form this pride takes in the morally vigilant: "Do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?" There is such a thing as the pride of the lecherous and there is also the pride of the legally careful, moral person.
There is even the pride of the religious person who uses his knowledge of God to exalt himself. Romans 2:17, "If you bear the name 'Jew' and rely upon the Law and boast in God . . ." and then he goes on to warn them against hypocrisy. The same could be true of any religious group. We are all tempted to make God himself a means of our own self-exaltation.
And when Paul comes to the end of his long indictment of the human race as all being under sin (3:9), he says in climax in 3:18, "There is no fear of God before their eyes." They don't tremble before God. They have exchanged the glory of God for other things. And they have such an overweening sense of their own significance in the world that they can't even imagine trembling before their Maker and Judge. 
boasting is the outward form of the deep, root-problem of the human race, pride. This moral corruption lies behind all the evils and miseries of the world. And, worst of all, this pride has put us at odds with God, so that, as Romans 3:19b says, "Every mouth is stopped and all the world has become accountable to God." We are under his judgment because of our pride and all the sin that flows from it. 
Pride is the the biggest issue people deal with. There are 277 occurrences in the bible on the subject of pride. Here are a few:

"Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." (Prov. 16:18 ESV)
"A man's pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor." (Prov. 29:23 NASB)
"Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment." (Psalm 73:6 ESV)
"By insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom." (Prov. 13:10 ESV)
"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." (Prov. 11:2 ESV)
"In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek Him; all his thoughts are, 'There is no God.' " (Psalm 10:4 ESV)
"And he said, 'What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.' "(Mark 7:20-23 ESV)
So how do we deal with it? What can we do to avoid it? Pride is just one of a multitude of sins. We can't just deal with one, eventually, we have to deal with them all.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. (Romans 1:18 ESV)
If God is so angry, how can we be put right with God?

First, we must understand self.
Self is the fleshly, carnal life of nature, the nature of the first Adam- "dead in our trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1); throughly corrupt before God (Gal 5:19-21); the life in which their is no good thing in the sight of God (Rom 7:18) -Miles J. Stanford "The Green Letters" Ch.10 "Self"
Then, we must believe that we have been justified.

Romans 3:21-26 says:
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 
God sent His Son to die in the place of sinners in order to repair the damage done to His glory through our pride and sin. God's wrath was absorbed by Christ instead of us because Christ gave Himself as a propitiation (mercy seat). The ransom was paid to release us from our guilt of sin and now we are justified, which means on the bases of what Christ did on the cross we are declared righteous!

"Paul says in verse 24: "[We are] justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus." The redemption price - the ransom - was paid by Christ outside of us in history. This unleashed an avalanche of grace toward us, and the form that grace has taken is the free gift of justification. Verse 24: "we are set right with God as a gift by his grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus." -John Piper from the message "Justification by Faith is the End of Boasting"
Finally, we must STAND in our position.

"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 ESV)
"even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus," (Ephesians 2:5-6 ESV)
"Our position, the source of our Christian life, is perfect. It is eternally established in the Father's presence. When we received the Lord Jesus as our personal Savior, the Holy Spirit caused us to be born into Him. He created us in the position that was established through His work at Calvary. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation)" (2 Cor. 5:17). This is an eternal position in which every believer has been placed, whether he is aware of it or not. The Christian who comes to see his position in the Lord Jesus begins to experience the benefit of all that he is in Him. His daily state is developed from the source of his eternal standing." -Miles J. Stanford "The Principle of Position" Ch. 1 "Position Defined and Illustrated"
"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God." (Colossians 3:1 ESV)
When the Holy Spirit reveals sins in my life, I confess them. Pray something like this- Lord, Thank you for revealing to me what I am doing. I confess I have been prideful. (I try to be specific. If I don't know exactly what the sin is, I say what I have been doing. The law is written on our hearts so you will know when you have sinned) I hate that I have hurt my family/friends, I hate that this issue has caused a wedge between me and my family/friends. I do not want this sin to come up again. I pray you will continue to point out to me when I act this way and that you will help me understand what I need to do to stop it from happening again. Thank you Lord for forgiving our sin. In Jesus Name, Amen. Accept that your forgiven and then BELIEVE you are justified. Finally, STAND on your position in Christ.

"We take our position, not by attempting to get it, but simply by seeing that we are already positioned in the Lord Jesus. We abide in Him by resting in this fact. We have been in this risen position ever since our new birth. As we come to realize this truth and to "stand in this standing" in Him, we begin to experience the daily benefits of our life that is hid with Christ in God. Our attitude becomes, "I see my position in the Lord Jesus, and I abide there; I rest in Him, not only as my Savior, but as my life." Faith in our position will be growth in our condition." -Miles J. Stanford "The Principle of Position" Ch. 1 "Position Defined and Illustrated" 

Here are some links I have found helpful:

Justification by Faith is the End of Boasting- message by John Piper

How To Fight the Sin of Pride, Especially When You Are Praised-Ten things I do- Article by John Piper

Live Positionally, Positively, Possessively, Triumphantly!

Kelley Jo

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

O Wondrous Love

Words and music by Steve and Vikki Cook

O wondrous love, that will not let me go,
I cling to You with all my strength and soul.
Yet if my hold should ever fail,
This wondrous love, will never let me go.

O wondrous love that's come to dwell in me!
Lord, who am I that I should come to know
Your tender voice, assuring me,
Your wondrous love will never let me go.

I'm resting in the everlasting arms,
In the ever-faithful heart,
The Shepherd of my life.
You carry me on Your mighty wings of grace,
Keeping me until the day I look into Your eyes.

O wondrous love, that sings of Calvary,
The sweetest sound this sinner's ever known;
The song of Your redeeming Son,
Whose wondrous love will never let me go.

I'm resting in the everlasting arms,
In the ever-faithful heart,
The Shepherd of my life.
You carry me on Your mighty wings of grace,
Keeping me until the day I look into Your eyes.

O wondrous love that rushes over me,
I can't escape this river's glorious flow.
You overwhelm my days with good.
Your wondrous love will never let me go.

O wondrous love, O wondrous love.
Will never let me go.

 I learned this song a couple of years ago during a woman's bible study called "Glimpses of God Revealed Through His Names" By Debi Pryde.  I hope you linger on the lyrics a moment and reflect on how much God loves you!

Resting in His everlasting arms,
Kelley Jo

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Out Of Focus? Go Back to the Beginning!

"Many a hungry-hearted believers are struggling to get into the experience of Romans 8 when they are not yet resting in the facts of Romans 3. They feel guilty because they fall far short of the heights of Ephesians and Colossians, when in fact they do not adequately know peace with God in Romans 5, to say nothing of identification with Christ in Romans 6. The Experience of Romans 7 is well known, however. It is absolutely necessary to allow the Holy Spirit to take us along in God's sequence of scripture, as each plane of truth is foundational for the next. Skip over one, and firm footing for the next is lost. 'Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not' (Ps. 17:5)"
This is the passage from "The Complete Green Letters" book 2 "The Principles of Position" that was key in pointing me to what was missing.  It spoke to exactly my problem of feeling guilty of falling short.  I felt like I was at a precipice. I'd been here before, many times.  At the brink of despair.

I just. didn't. get it.

I wasn't happy.  I wasn't satisfied.  I didn't know why "things" weren't working out in my life. And I couldn't figure out why I wasn't joyful.  I mean, shouldn't I be?   I knew I was blessed beyond what I deserved.  I was very aware that I had nothing to complain about. There are so many people who have it worse than me.

Than you. 

Think about the family that just lost a baby, or the mother who's child just left home on bad terms, or the family who's house burnt down last year and they were left with nothing.  Look at people in third world countries. 

for just one second think about Africa... or Asia.

Their troubles are so large, just the name of the country can bring up images of famine, communism, war or worse.

But having that pointed out to me just made me feel more guilty.  Knowing there were many who had it worse than me and still feeling joyless.  There was really something wrong with that.  With me!
I wondered if I was really a Christian sometimes.

I knew there was something more. I had met Christians before who were secure in there position in Christ. My parents are among them!  I was brought up with these principles and still didn't get it!  When that realization hit me, it made me fret.  What was wrong with ME!

Then finally, and in His perfect timing, The Lord came to my rescue.

He used the passage above to show me something really important. Something I was lacking in my understanding and it felt like a light was turned on in my brain. I immediately read Romans chapter 3 to see if I could figure out what I was missing.

The beginning of Romans basically says- No one is righteous, every one is doomed and you can't do anything under your own power to fix it.

"Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin." (Romans 3:19-20 ESV)

But now

"But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." (Romans 3:21-26 ESV)
 and I thought, 'I know this stuff already...  It can't be this simple.... can it?' I decided I needed to ponder this for a while and determined to read it a few times over.

It wasn't until a week later that it became real for me when it all came to a head again and I was losing control. I was so full of fear over our financial situation that I became irrational.  I shut myself up in my room and read Romans 3 through 7, along with three chapters of the Green letters called Faith, Rest and Help.  God was revealing to me that the problem was that I didn't believe  that I was justified!
"The meaning of justification is to pronounce righteous, not to make righteous; what is imputed is not, in fact, imparted. To be justified means that the believer is viewed in Christ as righteous, and is treated as such by God. The righteousness of our position in the Lord Jesus is increasingly manifested in our condition, as we 'grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ' (2 Peter 3:18). 'But of him are ye in Christ Jesus who of God is made unto us...righteousness, and...redemption' (1 Cor. 1:30)" -Miles J Stanford

Simple, right!

How could something so simple elude us?

"Until we clearly see the positional perfection of our justification in Christ, our conception of , and faith in, all the other aspects of our position will be out of focus." Miles J Stanford
John Piper has some wonderful messages on this subject that really helped me.  Take some time to listen or read  "Jesus is Precious Because He Removes Our Guilt".

May God bless you today!
Kelley Jo

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Valley Experiences in Our Life

Sorrow in the midst of joy.

The Lord has made some dramatic changes in me over the last year yet I still feel sorrow over the way I have spent the last 17 years in depression.  I lamented over the waisted time I spent wallowing in self pity, and the way I purposely separated myself from my kids and husband.  Living in the same house yet not engaging in their lives, Finding ways to occupy them, or occupy myself in order to avoid them,

because I felt so guilty.

I had a conversation with my mother the other day about my childhood.  I remembered that we were a very active family. My mother took us to the park, the zoo and roller skating.  Mom and Dad belonged to a bowling league a few times in their life together and we went along.  They belonged to church baseball leagues and we played, too. They took us snow skiing, both downhill and cross country.  They took us camping,  water skiing and cross country motorcycling nearly every weekend. I can't think of a sport we didn't do.

When I look back on our family life, there are just a few times we did things together. Just our little family of 5.  We did do things and thank God for our extended family because they were the ones who would plan things and we tagged along with them.  I used to blame my husband for not wanting to do anything but the truth is.

The ugly truth is.

I used it as an excuse to continue in my complacency.

If I complained loud enough that he was the cause of it, then no one would think I was the one. How sick is that!  

But now, He is changing my heart! 

The sorrow in the midst of joy is actually a blessing!  Because the changes going on in my heart prevent me from falling into a deep depression anymore.  The Holy Spirit reminds me of the lessons I have learned while I am in the midst of the sorrow. He did that for me on Saturday.  I lamented over the past with my husband and he stayed with me, ministering to me while I cried and I remembered that God taught me how to love again and the amazing BLESSING those years of depression turned out to be.

But God wasn't done showing me how much He loved me.  Sunday morning, we did something we rarely do.  We watched a sermon on TV.  And we were blessed even more. 

The following message is by Charles Stanley.  It is on the 23rd Psalm, one of the most loved passages in the Bible.  He teaches us that we learn more from our valley experiences than our mountain top ones and He covers why our trails are so very important to our Christian walk.  Please take a moment and listen to his message or read the notes or sermon outline below.

God blesses you in the valley.  We come out of it with more than you can ever imagine!

Kelley Jo

The Valley Experiences in Our Life- VIDEO 

No one can completely escape all suffering in life. But as believers in an all-powerful, loving God, we can face difficulties with confidence.

The Valley Experiences in Our Life- NOTES

The Valley Experiences in Our Life- Sermon Outline

Friday, January 28, 2011


I woke up this morning with my mind full again. My mind was captivated by this blog! What I wanted to say, when I should schedule writing, if I would be able to stay away from the computer until then. Because that's one of my biggest problems, staying away from the computer. I started to pray, then my mind wandered..... back to praying, mind wandering....... Praying!  wandering.......

I was thinking about what caused me to stop depending on God in my early twenties.  I haven't figured it all out yet but I remember being totally satisfied in Him at one time of my life.  At that time I LOVED time spent with the Lord.  I used to jump in my car and drive for miles on the back roads Praising Him, singing out loud  in hallelujah choruses whenever I could.  All I wanted was to learn more about Him. To know Him more!

Then something happened that changed all of that.  I haven't been able to put my finger on it yet but have some thoughts on it.  I think it was a subtle thing, really. I allowed myself to worry, doubts started to take residence in my mind, depending on God somehow flew out the window as I tried to BE who I thought I was supposed to be, who I thought everyone else wanted me to be. The Bible collected dust on my shelf and pretty soon, I was doomed.  I think it started after I had my first child.  I was. so. afraid. of not. measuring. up.


It's a pretty big deal in my life. I would bet it is in your life, too.

I remember feeling unaccepted from a very young age.  I think most people struggle with this in childhood.  I was running the race of the "not-good-enough" the "how-can-I-please-you", and "what-do-I-need-to-do-to-make-you-pay-attention-to-me", "love me" .

I wasn't satisfied with what I was getting at home so I sought it out in boyfriends.  I didn't have many but I chased boys in desperation to find someone to provide for me what I was lacking at home. Later I learned that even my parents couldn't have ever provided what I thought I needed from them.

When I was a kid, it seemed I could easily brush off what others thought of me because I was going to do what I wanted anyway and it didn't matter to me what they said. Just don't tell me to stop having fun!

But evidentially, what they thought about things did matter because when I grew up and decided to "settle" down, I became super sensitive to every movement and decision I made for my kids.  I became so consumed with anxiety that I basically became house bound.  I didn't want to visit anyone for fear of being ridiculed in some way. I just never knew when I was going to get an earful from someone. I didn't even know what I was really afraid of.  I became irrational. It was ugly.

Well, God's plan was to move us to another town before my daughter turned 2 but I didn't leave my issues in my hometown. I took them with me.  Even though I didn't know anyone in our new town, I took whatever steps necessary to avoid people. I was protecting myself. and I stayed that way until about a year ago.

You see, I have learned that when a person has trouble with people accepting them, they also have trouble believing God accepts them, too.  But the one that REALLY matters is our relationship with GOD. When has a person EVER been worthy of our trust. Have we EVER found a person who could be depended upon to accept you and NEVER stop?  Only God can provide that kind of acceptance. When God accepts us, it becomes less important whether our peers accept us or not.  "rejected indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious" (1 Peter 2:4 ASV).  That's how we can live in PEACE, totally accepted by our loving Heavenly Father.

Miles J. Stanford writes in his book "The Green Letters" Chapter 3 "Acceptance"
"Every believer is accepted by the Father, in Christ. "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). The peace is God's toward us, through His Beloved Son -- upon this, our peace is to be based. God is able to be at peace with us through our Lord Jesus Christ, "having made peace by the blood of his cross" (Colossians 1:20). And we must never forget that His peace is founded solely on the work of the cross, totally apart from anything whatsoever in or from us, since "God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)."

We have peace with God when we believe in His Son without having to perform in any way to receive it! The key is to rest in this fact.

Stanford quotes J.B. Stoney
"The blessed God never alters nor diverges from the acceptance in which He has received us because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Alas! we diverge from the state in which God can ever be toward us as recorded in Romans 5:1-11. Many suppose that because they are conscious of sins, that hence they must renew their acceptance with God. The truth is that God has not altered. His eye rests on the work accomplished by Christ for the believer. When you are not walking in the Spirit you are in the flesh: you have turned to the old man which was crucified on the cross (Romans 6:6). You have to be restored to fellowship, and when you are, you find your acceptance with God unchanged and unchangeable. When sins are introduced there is a fear that God has changed. He has not changed, but you have. You are not walking in the Spirit but in the flesh. You have to judge yourself in order to be restored. 'For this is my blood of the new testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins' (Matthew 26:28). But if your sins are not met there, where can they be met? 'Now where remission of sin is, there is no more offering for sin' (Hebrews 10:18). God has effected the reconciliation; He always remains true to it. Alas! we diverge from it; and the tendency is to suppose that the blessed God has altered toward us. He certainly will judge the flesh if we do not, but He never departs from the love which He has expressed to the prodigal, and we find that when the cloud, which walking in the flesh produced has passed away, His love, blessed be His Name, had never changed."

His. love. never. changed.

"Our Father is fully satisfied with His Beloved Son on our behalf, and there is no reason for us not to be. Our satisfaction can only spring from and rest in His satisfaction. It is from God to us, not from us to God."- Miles J. Stanford

J. N. Darby was very clear on this: "When the Holy Spirit reasons with man, He does not reason from what man is for God, but from what God is to man. Souls reason from what they are in themselves as to whether God can accept them. He cannot accept you thus; you are looking for righteousness in yourself as a ground of acceptance with Him. You cannot get peace whilst reasoning in that way."   

"....The soul has to go on until it finds there is nothing to rest on but the abstract goodness of God; and then, 'If God be for us, who can be against us?' (Romans 8:31b).?" 

If God be for us, who can be against us? 

When I look back on those 17 plus years of suffering through unbelief, I can certainly see that I could not find the acceptance I so desperately longed for in people. I was looking for it in the wrong places. In fallible people. Leading to uncertainty without a solid place to stand.  
"For if the trumpet gave an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?" (1 Corinthians 14:8). Until the Christian is absolutely and scripturally sure of his standing, he is not going to do much standing."

"Stand therefore" (Ephesians 6:14a).

To read more about acceptance, follow this link to "" and there online version of "The Green Letters", first book in a a series of five. Chapter 3, "Acceptance".