Hi guys! Hope you all are having a great week so far! Sorry I have been so infrequent in my postings lately – it’s been a very busy [and really fun] summer so far. Last weekend my aunt and uncle were here visiting from New Zealand! They are going to be in America for a bit, and we were their first stop on their trip. We had such good time hanging out, showing them around Dallas, and just spending some quality time together. It’s always so good to see them! I’m in the process of editing some of the photos from the weekend, so I’ll be doing a post on all of our adventures soon here on the blog:)
In the meantime, I thought I would do something a little bit different. As some of you might know, I have been working on an inspirational type book for the past couple of years, and am in the final stages of editing and read throughs. I hope to release it as an e-book in the VERY near future, so if you think of it, I would really appreciate your prayers as I am finishing up the process. Seeing as I am still in the editing stage, and am in need of some feedback, I thought it would be a good idea to share a portion of the first chapter with you all here on the blog. I truly value your opinions [you are me readers after all – I write for you guys!] and would appreciate any and all feedback you can give me. So without further ado, here is a portion of the first chapter of [RE]volution YOU. Let me know what you think!
Sneak Peek of [RE]volution YOU, chapter 1:
Did you ever think you were one person only to fall asleep and wake up realizing you had actually been someone completely different all along? Up until this point, you had been living life according to the world’s standards of “usual” or “normal”, when really there was no true meaning or fulfillment behind what you had accomplished. Often, in this past life of yesterday, you would find yourself wondering “Is there really something more out there?” Yes, you believed in God and tried to live a Christian lifestyle, but at the same time God always felt a little distant. At times you’d hear a faint whisper telling you that there WAS more out there, and that God had plans for your life that were bigger than you could even imagine—plans to stretch, grow and mold you into a person full of purpose and drive.
But, you were comfortable where you were in life and this “stretching” sounded painful. Life was good to you. Well, at least this is how it appeared while looking through the eyes of the world. You were popular. You had all the friends you could possibly want and countless opportunities to live life as if it were a giant party with no end in sight. Anyone from the outside looking in would have automatically assumed you had everything going for you- life was definitely on your side. You lived for yourself everyday, and made choices that always ended up benefiting you. With life this good, why on earth would you ever want to listen to that small nagging whisper in your ear?
Why would you ever want to change and be molded and shaped into someone new?
As the days went on, you realized that the small whisper in your ear was definitely God trying to speak to you, yet you still ignored it. You asked yourself, why would God want me to be different? I mean, He wants me to be happy and live each day to its fullest right? According to you, this was exactly what you were doing, so you continued to turn away.
However, at this point life became more difficult. As you continued to pull away and attempted to go about life as “usual”, that little whisper in your ear turned into a shout. “Hey! Listen to me…I want to use you for my glory—I desire for you to follow me”. Daily life began to drag on, and you began to slowly question your choices, actions and most importantly your motives and underlying reasons for living. As the whisper turned from a shout to an earsplitting scream, you began to lose hope in the life you had been living. Your life seemed like a horribly long and cold winter, without any promise of life-giving spring at the end. You began to feel depressed.
What was the point of living, when you could no longer find a purpose?
What you once thought to be so important seemed almost childish now. You lived in a zombie-like state—merely existing. You thought to yourself “God can’t use me, I’m not good enough. And besides, changing would be too hard and I’m not strong enough or brave enough.” It’s a good thing we have a persistent God who never gives up on his children—the ultimate parent. Even when we have ignored his voice for ages, He still continues to speak.
Suddenly, as if only hearing it for the first time instead of for the hundredth, you remember that there is an earsplitting scream resounding in your head. “Child,” He said, “Don’t forget that I am still here. Don’t be afraid, I want to use you for my glory, I want you to touch the hearts’ of many—please, follow me”. Scripture floods into your head from the book of Matthew; “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25). Everything was beginning to make sense. In the same way Jesus called his disciples to follow Him, God was calling you to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow His plan for your life.
He wanted you to give Him TOTAL control of EVERY aspect of your life—not just the parts that were convenient to you, like Sunday mornings. He wanted the WHOLE THING. NO strings attached.
You shuddered as you thought of the things you would have to change, and the courage it would take to make those changes and stand up for what was right in the eyes of God. You didn’t feel quite ready or experienced enough to handle what God had in store for you, because you could tell it was going to be something significant. However, God’s comforting words came to you– “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). You had heard these words before, but never thought much of them. However, the word “young” really stuck out to you this time, and God’s word began to become clearer and more relevant. Perhaps “young” did not necessarily mean a young person, but maybe it meant someone who was young in their faith, or young in their own personal journey with the Lord. This was definitely you. This piece of God’s word filled you with a ray of hope. God truly DID want to use you, and even though you knew it wasn’t always going to be easy or popular, you finally decided it was time to stop ignoring that little whisper (now earsplitting scream), take up your cross, and follow God’s plan for your life no matter where it may lead you.
Have you ever felt this way before?
Actually, the “you” in the paragraphs above could have been replaced with “me”. I KNOW I am not the only one who has ever felt isolated, afraid of, or confused by God’s plan for their life. It can be scary to take that leap of faith into the unknown, allowing God to take full control and trusting that he will catch you and hold you in His arms. It can be especially hard when you feel comfortable with the place you are at in life. It’s easy to want God when things are bad, but it’s not always that easy to want Him when things are going your way. When times are good, it can be easy to lose sight of Him and foolishly think that you are the one in control of your life and your future.
However, God makes it clear that He wants to have full control of our lives – He wants to be a part of EVERY aspect and every detail. There should be no part of our lives that we attempt to keep secret or separate from Him.
In order for God to be able to do His work in us and use our lives for Him and his glory, we must surrender full control over every aspect of our lives to Him.
This being said, how is it that we come to a point of full surrender to God? James 4:7-8 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts you double-minded.” By coming to a point of full surrender to God, we are submitting our whole selves to the purposes and plans of God. Only through full submission and surrender will we be able to resist the devil’s temptations to fall into what the world has to offer us. When we draw near to God, through complete surrender and submission, he will draw near to us and keep us safe. He will give us the strength, courage and boldness we need to resist the devil, as well as the sinful patterns of this world.