Category Archives: Revelation

The Believer’s Fight

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

It can sometimes feel like there is a lot to DO to follow Jesus. If I want to be a “good Christian”, I need to…pray, read my Bible, go to church, volunteer, be generous with my money, be friendly all the time, have my life together and not need anything, serve all the time, and (fill in the blank with your own definitions).  …Exhausting! The aforementioned things aren’t bad in and of themselves, but when they are performed out of a sense of duty or obligation, it is religion, and religion brings death.

Religion is the outward form or appearance of righteous living, but doesn’t necessarily indicate that there has been true interior transformation.

Some read the Scriptures daily because they are proud of themselves for being so disciplined. If they miss a day of Bible reading, they feel bad about themselves (condemnation) and their relationship with God. This is religion and it values form over relationship.

Some read the Scriptures daily because they love encountering God and learning about who He is through the words of the Bible. If they miss a day of Bible reading, they know that the Father is faithful even if they are not always faithful (no condemnation) and they start up again the next day. This is living connection and it values relationship over form.

Here’s the thing about these examples…it is great to read the Scriptures daily! What matters here is the place on the inside where actions are flowing from.

Everything we do flows out of a belief we have on the inside.

A person may have a value of treating others kindly. He might say, “I believe that it is right to treat people kindly.” Then, when someone is unkind to him, he responds unkindly and feels justified in his behavior. His actual internal belief has just been revealed in his actions, which is, “I believe that it is right to treat people kindly, except when they don’t treat me kindly, then I have the right to treat them unkindly.”

This type of scenario happens all the time, and we know what it is…hypocrisy! Everyone hates hypocrisy, and to some degree, we are all hypocrites. What then can we DO? How do we fight hypocrisy in our own lives?

I feel like the Father has shown me a new way of waging war against this internal battle lately. A way to battle that is much more fun than introspection and much more effective than behavior management.

Before I get to the specific battle method, I’m going to break down the Scripture at the beginning of this post…

“We live in the world, but we don’t wage war as the world does”- We know how the world wages war, with physical weapons and physical violence- this is not the methodology that will be successful in the type of invisible battle that Christians have (because we know from the Scriptures that our enemy is not flesh and blood). This is why…

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.”

“On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” The weapons of the Believer seem foolish and weak to the world, but they actually have divine power. Some of our weapons are 1. The Scriptures (called the sword of the Spirit in Ephesians 5:17) 2. Declarations of Praise (Psalm 8:2) 3. The word of our testimony and the blood of Jesus (Revelation 12:11 where believers overcome the devil with these 2 things). All of these things are…WORDS! (Except for the blood of Jesus, but it is “applied” through our words when we pray and speak it out.)

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Arguments, pretensions (a claim to something) and thoughts are made up of WORDS!  These are internal realities and beliefs that then express themselves externally.

The truth is, we can’t help but leak on the outside what we really believe on the inside. “From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45

The primary battle of the Believer is that our internal world (beliefs, thoughts, emotions) would line up with the reality of who God is. This is why our battle is to demolish arguments that are “against” (or opposed to) the “knowledge of God” (the truth about who God is).  We use TRUE words (the weapons mentioned above) to demolish UNTRUE words.

So, here is my new strategy:

When a thought comes into my mind that causes me to feel arrogant or fearful or irritated, I stop and ask, “If this thought is true, then what does it say about my Father?” Or, “Who is the enemy trying to get me to believe that my Father is?”

For example, let’s go back to our friend earlier who has a belief that it is okay to treat people unkindly if he is treated unkindly. “If this belief is true, then what does it say about the Father?”

This belief says that the Father is not able to defend me, I have to defend myself with angry words.

This belief says that the Father is not able to justify me, I have to justify myself before people.

This belief says that the Father is not protecting me, I have to protect myself by being defensive.

All of these things are against the knowledge of God…they’re just NOT who He is! I get to tear down these false beliefs by proclaiming (even literally out loud), “My Father is a Defender, He is the One who justifies me, He is my Protector, my refuge is in HIM! I don’t find my security in other people’s opinions about me, I find my security in being His dearly loved daughter! (see Psalm 18)

When we spot hypocrisy in our own lives, the enemy likes to get us swirling around in the disappointment of our failure. We get caught up in ourselves and what WE did wrong and what WE need to do better. It becomes all about…me, me, me, me, me.

But under the surface, the enemy is trying to distort the way that we think about our Father.

If the enemy can tear down and distort the way that I think about the Father, then he takes me out at the same time.

Being made in the image of the Father, if I have a distorted view of who He is, then I automatically have a distorted view of who I am. 

Who we believe the Father to be is the most important thing about us, because only in knowing Him rightly can we know ourselves rightly. As we believe more and more that we are indeed His beloved sons and daughters, our external life reflects the peace, security, joy, freedom, and love of simply belonging to Him.

As the people of God, our song is simple and childlike, and it literally shakes the heavens when we proclaim “I am His and He is mine.”

Walls Down

In my life lately, there has been a theme of “walls” coming down. “Walls” in this context means those invisible (and sometimes visible) barriers that get in the way between us and God, between us and other people. These walls can be self-protection, defensiveness, easily offended-ness, accusation, speculation, pride, fear, fear of man, fear of receiving, fear of giving, worry, anxiety, you-name-that-wall.

Melissa Helser singing about walls coming down…

“Love be in my bones, love shake down my walls… Shake down my walls! Shake ’em down! … I don’t need my walls, You can have them all… do whatever You have to do, I’ve got to get to You! … there’s so much space here with all my walls down.”

God is the God who BREAKS DOWN obstacles. Big Papa, Jesus, and Holy Spirit are FIERCE about ripping down and destroying the barriers that separate humanity from Them… so fierce about it that Jesus left Glory to die a violent death as an innocent Man. The act of Jesus dying on the cross was so violent in the spiritual realm that the earth responded with storms and earthquakes, and the curtain in the Holy of Holies was RIPPED DOWN.

Now we are invited in to the most intimate places with God. To know Him as He really is, to swim in the endless ocean of His grace and love and holiness and justice. He is the Endless Ocean, the Bottomless Sea- there is no end to His being.

I am so thankful today for the new music that was just released 2 days ago from Jonathan David and Melissa Helser: “Endless Ocean, Bottlomless Sea.” If I could make people do things, I would make them sit still for 1 hour to soak in this album. 🙂

I cannot recommend the Helser’s music highly enough. It is the sound of heaven coming to earth. They make sounds and melodies and lyrics that come straight from the Circle of Delight (the circle of God loving us, us receiving His love, and us loving Him in return… around and around we go!).

HERE is where you can find their new album.

Contend for the Promises

What are the promises that God has given to you?

What are the prophetic words you’ve received that burned in your heart when you received them?

What do you do when it seems like these things aren’t reality in your emotional experience or in tangible life?

This is a season to contend- to fight for, to seek with anticipation of breakthrough- the promises He has made to you. We all have been given many promises by God: that God has a hope and future for us, plans to make us successful at the work He has given each of us to do; plans to give us gifts of the Holy Spirt, the highest gift being the Love of God; plans to shape us progressively more and more into the image of His Son, that we would walk on the earth like Jesus did- bringing deliverance to the whole person (body, soul, and spirit).

When the Israelites FINALLY made it to the Promised Land after 40 long years in the wilderness, they were ready to rest. When some Israelite men went to check out the Promised Land, they discovered it to be inhabited by strong men. What was God thinking, bringing them to a land where there were enemies that needed to be defeated? God promised His people that if they stayed close with Him and obeyed Him that they would have the victory. The people needed to experience entering their desired home only by the power of their Strong God, One stronger than the strong men that inhabited the land.

When God does breakthrough in us, whether physical, emotional, spiritual, it feels so real in that moment. As time goes by, the breakthrough moment seems to fade and we can even question if it was real. Were the promises real? Did I really hear from God? Was that a real encounter that I had with God?

Breakthroughs in life are like acquiring new property, new land, new territory. A good property owner who owns land in hostile territory does something to protect that land, he creates a boundary, fashions a fence that says “This is MY home, this is where I dwell, this space has been entrusted to ME.”

When God brings transformation, it is like acquiring new territory in the spirit, it is like entering the Promised Land. We enter the Promised Land to rest and to fight. If we rest in God in the Promised Land, He will bring the victory through for us. We will have to fight, to contend, to stand firm in the Promises that God has given us. We don’t do this alone- God gave us the gift of His family, brothers and sisters to remind us of Truth. We don’t do this in our strength- God puts His Spirit in us that we might stand strong in His strength.

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Our Heavenly Daddy, help us to see You. Help us to see You as bigger than our circumstances. Holy Spirit, be our circumstance, our distraction, our preoccupation. Strengthen our spirits to be in the prominent place over our bodies and our souls- that we would be led by Your Holy Spirit in everything. Give us divine strategy to bind the “strong men” in our Promised Land so we can have the victory in You. Give us heaven’s perspective, that we would see the promises You have given us as more than intangible ideas, but as real as cities. Bless Your church with stamina to overcome disease, fatigue, and deprivation. Help us stand upright in our identity, as light-releasers and life-bringers. Bring Revival.

Reader Questions: Partnership with Holy Spirit

“How do I work with the Holy Spirit and what does it looks like to be led by the spirit and not my flesh?” 

I love this question because it starts from the place of relationship… how do I work WITH (not “for”) the Holy Spirit. This is a subtle but very important difference and shows an essential paradigm shift. In our self-sufficient humanity, we sometimes look at the Christian life as an act of obedience to God out of gratitude for everything He has done for us. When we think this way, we fall into a trap of trying to “pay back” a debt that we can never pay back on our own (atonement for our sins)!

IDENTITY

Choosing (and learning) to walk in the Spirit is not first about OBEDIENCE but IDENTITY. For saints, ones redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and now considered royalty in God’s Kingdom, walking in the Spirit is the most natural thing. In fact, walking in the Spirit is our truest nature. When I believe that I am who God says I am, it becomes more natural to walk in the Spirit.

What does “walking in the Spirit” mean?

In my understanding, walking in the Spirit means being sensitive to perceiving and then responding to whatever Holy Spirit says. In the most concise language I have so far, it means to “listen and obey” or “perceive and respond”.

 *Sidenote: I call Him “Holy Spirit” instead of “the Holy Spirit” because for me, it helps me remember that He is a person and not an impersonal entity. I think of His name as being “Holy Spirit”. People don’t call me “the Dani”… they just call me “Dani”. Small difference but it is helpful for me. Holy Spirit is not necessarily a person in the sense of being just like a human being, but He is a person in the sense of having a “personality”- thoughts, emotions, and capacity to act.

Just like you, Holy Spirit has times and places where He feels welcomed and times and places where He feels stifled. The Word says to not “quench” the Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19). Have you ever felt like you were in a place where you were not welcomed or heard? Holy Spirit knows what that feels like. We can learn to create spaces/opportunities, and learn to cultivate “space” within ourselves where Holy Spirit feels at home.

PARTNERSHIP WITH HOLY SPIRIT 

Being Mindful of His Presence:

My first favorite thing about Holy Spirit is the reality that HE IS ALWAYS WITH ME. Someone told me once, “Holy Spirit loves to be carried around by you.” I love that! It reminds me that I am a carrier of the Presence of the Living God, by default a releaser of LIGHT and POWER wherever I go. What a PRIVILEGE to be a carrier of the PRESENCE. I desire to be increasingly attentive to this reality of His constant Presence. The truth is, His Presence is the MOST REAL THING. More real than the ground I stand on, more real than the breath in my lungs (thanks for putting that in words, Jonathan David Helser!). One of the ways I do this is say these words out loud: “I am with You.” I don’t ask Him to be with me… He already is! It’s ME that needs to tune in again and again to the reality that He is ALWAYS WITH ME.

Knowing what He is Like:

Holy Spirit often moves in ways we wouldn’t expect- He is infinitely creative! He is FUN! He brings peace, clarity, and understanding. He likes to LAUGH and He is WILD! He likes to snuggle and He likes to dance and run in open fields. He likes to walk in forests and sit under waterfalls. He likes to tell us about who our Father is and what our Big Brother is like. He loves to reveal Jesus. He is HOLY and He is jealous for us to walk in the fullness of our royal identities. He convicts us of sin and even stuff that isn’t sin but just isn’t beneficial for us- He does this because He doesn’t want anything to come between us and Him. He is the COMFORTER and the LIFE OF THE PARTY. Ha!

When we know what He is like, it is easier to partner with Him. We learn to expect the unexpected. He has really good ideas and loves to share them with us! Read John 14 through 16 to learn more about what Holy Spirit is like.

Ask Him Questions, and Listen:

Holy Spirit is counselor, teacher, helper, and the One Who guides us into all truth. How awesome is it to have a 24/7 counselor! Not only did Jesus spare us from sin and death, but He gave us an AWESOME Present… His Constant Presence! You can ask the Holy Spirit about anything and everything. It is good to ask Him about specific things you want to know. It’s good to ask Him for whatever you need. It is also good to ask Him about what He is thinking and feeling, He wants to share these things with us because He is our Lover and Friend.

One of the things I do is write down things I feel like Holy Spirit tells me- things from His word, dreams He gives me, pictures of interacting with Him, and little phrases of encouragement that I feel He whispers to my heart. I don’t always write everything down, but I hope to get more and more faithful with this. It is such an encouragement to look back and see how God has answered prayer and just read about the history of our romance together.

Hope this is a good start to answering the question of what it looks like to walk with Holy Spirit.

Looking forward to more questions!

-Daniella

Joy Center

There is a phrase that I have heard before called “walking alongside one’s self”. This is a state of being where there is a too much thinking going on about one’s self and one’s circumstances. Instead of being able to enjoy the present moment, there is constant evaluation of situations, of the self, and thinking about other things (future plans, concerns, etc.). Too often, I find myself walking alongside myself instead of living from the center of who I am.

For me, I notice that walking alongside myself or living from the center is an issue of TRUST. When I try to be my own shepherd and keep myself “in check” by my own strength, that’s when I find myself walking alongside myself. When I rest in His leadership, trust Him to shepherd me, and remember His words to me “I want to be responsible for you”- that’s when I live from the center of who I am.

When Papa said that to me, “I want to be responsible for you”- He means that He is able to take care of me. I can trust Him to communicate to me what I need to hear, to remind me of what I need to know, to help me with what I need help with, to provide for me what I need.

When I live from the center, it feels like joy. A very tangible marker for me if I am living from the center or walking alongside myself is how easy it is for me to laugh and smile. When I am feeling serious and prone to defensiveness, this is an indicator to me that I am walking alongside myself and not living in trust. When I am quick to laugh and smile and be playful, this is an indicator that I am closer to living from the center of my true identity as His beloved daughter.

I have heard it said before that one marker of emotional maturity is a person’s ability to remain in joy; and when they are “bumped out of” the place of joy, how quickly he or she is able to return to that joy center.

It boils down to this:

Walking alongside myself looks like having my eyes fixed on myself. Living from the center looks like having my eyes fixed on Him.

This is the lifelong journey of walking with Jesus… do whatever it takes to keep your eyes fixed on Him. In whatever season you are in, whatever your circumstances are, search out what it looks like for you to fix your heart, mind, and eyes on Him. Then look again and again and again and again…

Jesus, thank You for being the Lifter of our head and the Lifter of our eyes. Thank You for being our Helper, Holy Spirit. We trust You.

Heart held Hostage

Hi, there! I’ve been a little absent from the blog world the last week and a half. I’ve been spending time outside, soaking up these scattered-here-and-there remaining sunny and warm days that the year has to offer. Now that it’s a rainy Monday, I’m back!

It has been a season for me lately where connecting with God in ways I have in the past isn’t “working”. There are certain songs that used to help “usher” me into God’s Presence almost automatically (it seemed). As I have tried to engage in ways I have in the past, it has been feeling more like a formula instead of meeting with a friend, so I stop, and then I ask, “Jesus, how do you want to meet with me right now?”

I really believe that He wants to be with me all the time, but it looks different at different times. Sometimes it looks like dancing and skipping and playing, sometimes it looks like being quiet and resting, sometimes it looks like study and really engaging in dialogue with Him, sometimes it means silence and just meditating on His loving gaze towards me.

I can get caught up in thinking that religious activities are the key for me to meet with Him. Should I pray? Should I sing? Should I write music? Should I read the Bible? Should I, should I, should I…. ?

And then I remember, HE is the KEY. And when I turn the gaze of my heart towards Him, He is overwhelmed by my love (even though it is weak love!).

“You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride. You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes…” Song of Solomon 4:9

This is amazing… that I hold Jesus heart hostage (!!!) when I turn the glance of my heart (when I think of Him, remember Him, talk to Him) towards Him! This is scandalous, that the uncreated God could have such desire for dust like me. But it’s true, that I am scandalously loved by the Living God, and you are, too.

In times when it seems like a game of “hide and seek” to find the Presence of the Lord, I remember that He is madly in love with me, that He is trustworthy in His leadership of my life, that if He wants to communicate something to me, He will. I remember that the reason He feels distant sometimes is that He wants me to search Him out and journey deeper with Him in our love affair.

Imagine if every Friday night, my husband wanted to take me on a date to the same restaurant, order me the same meal, and come home afterwards to watch the same movie. I would get bored with that after a few weeks! I would say, “Husby… where’s the romance?! Where’s the adventure? C’mon, let’s jazz it up!”

Our journey with Jesus is an adventure- the best one! Today, I’m asking Him that He would reveal to YOU how He is romancing and pursuing you in new ways.

Anointed with Joy

Last week, my friend and brother in the Lord, Stuart, spoke about Psalm 45 at IHOPE House of Prayer.

Psalm 45 is a “wedding psalm” and has a lot of language about Jesus being a warrior bridegroom and His people being a bride. This “bridal paradigm” of understanding our relationship with Jesus (individually AND corporately) is SO important to the church being strengthened and standing in her rightful identity. Here are a couple of the foundational aspects of the church’s relationship to Jesus being like the earthly relationship of a husband and wife:

The mutual sharing of everything. A husband and wife both have full access to every part of one another’s life. EVERYTHING Jesus has is accessible to us and we choose to make EVERYTHING we have and are available to Him. He is SO amazingly humble to receive our brokenness and sin as a GIFT to Him (more on this later).

Being equally yoked. This concept is AMAZING to me, that Jesus invites us, His Bride, to be EQUALLY YOKED to Him. He is able to do such a transformative work in us that we will be able to love like He loves and do what He does. This, of course, is only possible by the powerful work of the Holy Spirit in us. CHURCH, listen up! WE ARE A PEOPLE OF HIGH PRIVILEGE! (And BTW, being privileged doesn’t mean we are arrogant, it should mean that we are the most humble and thankful of all the people on earth.)

Back to Psalm 45…

One of my favorite descriptions of Jesus is Psalm 45 is this one:

“You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” vs. 7

Often times in our life, we feel most joyful when things are “going our way” and our life’s circumstances are favorable. This is a very shallow understanding of joy and especially a very shallow EXPERIENCE of joy. We are invited to something much deeper, and much more STABLE than the shallow joy of having a comfortable life.

Let’s consider the above verse in more depth…

First of all, in your mind, picture Jesus DRIPPING WITH JOY!  Being “anointed” means being covered, drenched, in oil. This picture of Jesus totally rocks our view of how Jesus has sometimes been portrayed in media… the somber fellow staring out into the distance, people around Him wondering what He is thinking but afraid to ask Him. NO! Jesus is SO PERSONABLE… and, He is FUN! People loved to be around Jesus, and kids felt comfortable running up to Him… we all know that kids don’t run into the laps of grumpy and somber looking people. The disciples weren’t sure it was appropriate for children to be playing with Someone so important, but Jesus said “let them come to me.”

And why is He dripping with joy? Is it because He is ignorant of the pain of the world or turns a blind eye to suffering?

Here is a great mystery… That Jesus sees and comprehends the depths of suffering and injustice and still ultimately remains in JOY. He HATES wickedness, yet He isn’t grumpy or condemning. He LOVES righteousness, but He isn’t arrogant or religious. WOW. Jesus, there is no one like YOU!

Because Jesus is in perfect alignment with His Father, He is filled with joy. Because Jesus loves righteousness and hates wickedness just like His Father, He is anointed with JOY!

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JESUS, Joyful One! I LOVE YOU! Help us, Your Bride. Bring us into alignment with You and Your Father. We want to be with You where You are- and You are in the place of JOY! Bring us into Your reality. Help us stand in Your reality. Give us a the HIGH view You have of Your Father’s ability to redeem and restore so that we aren’t unnecessarily weighed down by the shifting sand circumstances of daily life on the earth. Help us have eyes to see YOUR BIGNESS compared to ANY problem or pain on the earth. And bring Your Kingdom quickly, so suffering will end. Things aren’t okay on the earth without You, Jesus- so please come home soon. The Spirit and the Bride say “COME, JESUS!”

Does Unconditional Love Promote Sin?

Lately I have been reading this book and meditating on different aspects of the Love of God. God’s love is unfathomable, uncontainable, but we are invited to come and search Him out anyway.

“This mystery is so great that it requires effort on our part to approach it, since we have no concept of what an ‘infinite love’ might be.”

Even the word “infinite” is something beyond human comprehension. We have no grid in our experience for something that NEVER ENDS and is truly BOUNDLESS. Even the word “forever”… what does that even mean?! Here is one of the descriptions of God’s love that we can behold…

“Because God is infinite, His love is not divided, with each of us receiving but a portion. We each receive the totality, the fullness of divine love, twenty-four hours a day, every day of our lives.” p.92

What does it feel like to be loved like this? What would it look like if we remained in this place of perfect love all of the time?

One of the things that can come up in the human heart when considering the infinite, unconditional love of God is the question which is the title of this post. “Because God loves me no matter what, does that mean I can do whatever I want and He doesn’t care?” “Because God’s love is SO HUGE, does it mean that He pretends I don’t sin or ever fail?”

In a word, the answer to these questions is “No.” God does not smile at our sin in any way.

With the understanding I have so far, I believe that there is a big difference between knowing about the unconditional love of God and personally experiencing the unconditional love of God. It is the difference between reading the menu and eating a meal. We all start in the same place…

“…we begin from zero- we, like the rest of humanity, have lived our lives entirely unaware of God’s longing for us.”

When we read about unconditional love solely as a concept or theological point, we are in danger of misunderstanding this amazing grace as a “cheap grace” that allows us to live disconnected from relationship with God. But when we press in to unconditional Love as a Person, intimate relationship with the Person of Perfect Love is not optional- it is essential- it is life to the soul as water is to the body.

Here is the difference between knowing about and beginning to taste of the infinite love of God…

“He longs for you. He thirsts for you…. My Children, once you have experienced the thirst, the love of Jesus for you, you will never need, you will never thirst for these things which can only lead you away from Jesus, the True and Living Fountain.” Mother Teresa

 

MAGNIFY

This message of the Love of God has been burning in me. To convey something I have barely tasted of myself is difficult and my words often feel so weak. As I prayed before a message I delivered on Saturday night, the words that were coming out of my mouth were from Psalm 34… “Magnify the Lord.”

When I think of this word, “magnify”, I think of zooming in, like you do in photography when you want a close up image. When you zoom in, the things on the periphery fade away. Let’s zoom in on Him! Let’s remember how big He really is. Our “magnifying” Him doesn’t actually make Him any bigger than He already is, it just brings us into alignment with what is already true- that He is the biggest, greatest, most loving Dad in the whole world.

I just want to scream out from the rooftops, “Let’s make Him BIG! Let Him be BIG in your life, in your world! Let’s zoom in and get a close up of this One who is All-Consuming Love!”

What seems big to you right now? Earthly responsibilities? Relational distress? Suffering in the world? Sickness? Pain?

He is BIGGER!

Remembering His bigness does not negate what is going on around us, and it is not an ignorant escaping into a world where we don’t face  problems or work through conflict- it just means we do those things from the right perspective. When we are relentless in setting our gaze on Him, we have everything we need to walk through any situation we face.

Come! Magnify the Lord with me! Let’s make Him BIG! Let’s remind each other of how GREAT He is! How weighty, how significant, how substantial and permanent He is! Let’s look at Him- again and again and again. Let’s turn our eyes to Him TODAY.

Love Journey

Learning to love with 1 Corinthians 13 love… is not for quitters. Learning to love with 1 Corinthians 13 love is the journey that transforms fainting hearts into warrior lovers.

The Love of God… is always PATIENT and not in a rush…

always KIND and sincere…

never ENVIES or compares…

never BOASTS or brags…

is not PRIDE-FILLED or self-elevating…

is not easily ANGERED or provoked…

KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS and doesn’t hold a grudge…

never rejoices with EVIL or when others fail.

LOVE…

always PROTECTS- is careful with and considerate of the other

always TRUSTS- keeps confidence in the other

always HOPES- does not give up on the other

always PERSEVERES- keeps moving forward in the journey

And just to be clear, this isn’t a checklist that you “work through” in your own strength. It’s really a better prayer list than self-improvement project. Transforming us into His image is HIS DEAL. So, what’s our part? Our part is the surrender, the leaning into Him, in the daily. The coming again and again to Him and saying, “I’m Yours, have Your way in me.”

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Papa, come transform our fainting hearts into the hearts of warriors. Teach us how to guard the wellspring of life that You put in us by Your Spirit. Teach us how to remain in and fight for love- the highest and most valued commodity in Your Kingdom. We lay before you and say, “Come and wash us with the water of Your word. Come and purify us, make us presentable to Your Father.” (Ephesians 5)  Thank You that You delight in washing and preparing Your Bride. Thank You that Your blood is enough. Thank you that You are able to transform us and present us as perfect. We trust in Your good work, Your ability, and we throw all of our confidence into You. ESTABLISH US IN YOUR LOVE.