New Podcast, Christa Sullivan – Song & Strength Ministries, We Aim to Please https://anchor.fm/christa-stigall-sullivan/episodes/We-Aim-to-Please-e3njmo
I love spring! I love that all the barrenness of winter is leaving, and new life is waking up. I am not a big fan of winter, but without winter we would not appreciate spring, would we? Most of all I love seeing the growth and the newness of what spring brings!
Sometimes it takes a season of winter or two ( lol ) to see a ” new thing ” come forth. A new way that God wants to do something in and through us. The only way that we will ever perceive a new way is to do a ” new thing”! Even though I perceive it to be mundane, it could be exactly what Isaiah 43:19 says, a stream in the desert to my soul.
Behold, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.
God is moving; He was moving when Isaiah wrote this verse; God was moving towards the cross. God has finished the final work through Jesus, but He is still doing new things. Still actively moving in us and on behalf of us. I love how this verse says DO YOU NOT SEE IT? Oh! That question hits me, just like the Jews missed Yeshua (Jesus) our Savior! We can be so caught up in our daily lives, daily rituals, the busyness of life, and miss what God wants for our lives. We can be so caught up in religious activities and good works and miss God if we are not actively reading and dialoguing with Him in the scriptures, we can miss Him and miss the small blessings He brings to us daily.
I think more than ever we are losing something spectacular in our relationships with God. It is dialogue, the word of God is going to deal directly with your heart. It is going to speak to places you thought were dead and barren. God’s word was meant to be opened and we are supposed to ask questions and allow Him to answer us with His word. Ask, and you will receive. Seek Him and you will find Him. Knock and He will answer you! ( Matthew 7:7)
This past weekend I went to a leadership conference. I love how God uses these conferences to fill us up and to speak to us clearly through our leaders inside the church. Plus, let’s be honest just getting away and in a new atmosphere can bring clarity in itself. I suppose that is why I love going so very much. It is about God doing a ” new thing” in me and for me.
He used leaders to directly speak to places of uncertainty with the word of God. Directly into my circumstances! That prompted me to ask God more in-depth questions and to confirm His will through His word to me personally. Guess, what He did!
If I had chose to just shrug off what I heard God speaking and go on my way, I will have missed something God has in store for me. I haven’t always been walking with Christ. I would say seven years total that I have had a real relationship with Jesus. For years I believed, and I accepted Christ, but I never accessed our relationship. I simply didn’t think I had too! I missed those years, but I know now I never have to miss Him again! I have heard the loud critics voice in my ear, saying: ” You are taking that out of context!” “God is not saying that or why would He say that to you.” I don’t have the most exquisite way of saying it, but here is what I have experienced with the word of God and the Holy Spirit. The word of God is God’s very breath, all 66 books, from Genesis to Revelation. I believe and want God’s very breath to breathe in my life every day. The Holy Spirit is the power, wisdom, knowledge and understanding that I must have in order to take God’s breath in. I wish that for everyone, but as a person who lives in reality, I know that some won’t. That does not stop me though!!! I love God’s word, for goodness sake, anyone who knows me has seen my library of commentaries and my resource ” stuff ” I am not writing this to defend myself; I am merely writing this to express what God has shared with me and has helped me so much along the way. So here it goes:
English Standard Version
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12 ESV
If we are going to perceive a new thing that God wants to do in us or through us we have to be actively dialoguing with Jesus in and through the scriptures. That means you ask a question and He answers back through the word of God. In the verse above this paragraph, I want you to read that out loud. The word of God is alive, full of God’s spirit, and the word of God divides the lies that life throws us daily. The word of God redirects our motives and our thoughts.
English Standard Version
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2 ESV
The only way that God can transform us is by the renewing of our minds. Sound’s like God is directly saying to us that if we want a new mind He will give it through the scriptures. God radically wants to transform us, but we have to be willing to find it in the word of God.
Do you sense God is wanting to do a ” new thing” in your life?
Are you confused or unsure about it?
What is leading your walk with God?
All three of these questions are easily solved. The answer is to be found in the word of God.
I challenge you this week, ask God a question in your life. A problem that is throwing you for a loop? See, if He will not lead you to the answer! He is faithful! There are amazing conversations to be had with The Lord of the U
Greetings to all reading the blog today. May it be a blessing to you as it is for me sharing.
Dear Heavenly Father, as we continue to grow deeper in love with you, help us, to be aware of those around us needing your love as well. It’s easy to get caught up in “our truth” and lose focus on you. Be BOLD to us when we fall short of the messages you have for us; when we lose our attention from you. May we Lord, glorify you, by reaching out to the ones who can’t seem to find their way. Help us, to reveal to them the only way is through you in our actions and words. Help us, to relate to one another in one accord so that we appear as one army in connection with the Holy Spirit. Let us acknowledge the Holy Spirit when it’s present and declare its power over our lives. I pray these things in Jesus name, Amen.
February 23, 2018. A day like any other day. I woke up to get out of bed, I turned on my children’s lights and woke them up for school. I proceeded to order some products online before I took them to school. I don’t usually do work things before 10 a.m. because I wanted to exercise; I thought that I needed to get this one thing done. Ten minutes from walking out the door my ordinary life took a turn that I couldn’t imagine, I suffered a stroke.
While my children were scrambling to get their things together to walk out the door, I was trying to figure out how to get back in my house from going outside to warm up my car. Finally, making it back in I mumbled, that they needed to call their grandmother, who was only minutes away. The look of fear on their faces. I’ll never forget it. As I stumbled around trying to see correctly, I felt as if I was in a cloud. I felt light as a feather. Everything I was experiencing didn’t seem real. My children were so upset, and I couldn’t get upset with them! I had zero pain or discomfort. I was disoriented and couldn’t see properly, but for some reason I had peace.
It is so hard to describe into words what I was feeling emotionally and physically. I felt as if I was in a different place. My body was here, but my spirit was somewhere else. To see my kids upset usually ignites anxiety in me, but I had no emotions to express. I now understand the words “out of body experience.” I was lucky….or was I?
God’s mercy reigned supreme. I was hospitalized for three days and sent home. I spent twenty weeks in rehab. My body responded as well as it could. I am grateful where I am physically and emotionally. I am a new person, I know I could be much worse. There is a point of which your body and mind will only allow you to do before it literally shuts itself down. It is a science, I wished, I could explain, but I know that there is only one explanation…
God the creator of the Universe!
In many ways, I feel that my life parallels with many others. For instance, I feel as if I somehow can relate to stories I have read in scripture. I don’t mean literally but figuratively of course. The Bible was written thousands of years ago, yet, as I read through it, I’m amazed at the way each story is told and how relatable it is to my truth.
For instance, let’s take Joseph’s story. He came from a large family. He was not liked by his brothers so they conspired against him. His brother’s thought that murdering him would be the answer. Then his oldest brother Rueben stepped in, and he was sold instead. For years he was enslaved then became Potipher’s right-hand man with one request to not have any relationship with his wife. Well, she desired to have a relationship with Joseph but he is a man of God, a man who honored his position under Potipher’s leadership. So she lied and Joseph was thrown into jail. There he gained trust from the warden. He beyond his troubles had favor with God. God gave him the ability to interpret dreams. Pharaoh was very pleased with his gift. Joseph went on to save the people from famine in Egypt. (Read Genesis Chapters 36-46.)
Joseph could have easily, from adolescence age, have made a decision to not follow the calling God had for him. He could have rebelled at each place he was brought to. Eliminating his chances at making his environments better than they were. But, because of his obedience to God, Joseph chose the right side to be on. He made a decision to fight for his dignity by doing things that were pleasing to God. He forgave his brothers.
Through everything, you’ve been through, have you made decisions that could have put you in a good position with God and your neighbors? If not, it’s ok, you still can, you have the same freedom as we all do and the many others before you. Having Faith makes things possible, not easy. You just have to believe that your truth doesn’t define you in any way. That your unique experiences refined you, made you stronger, wiser, and gave you more endurance for the next hurdle to get through.
I’m about to celebrate my “Strokeversary!” That is Stroke Anniversary. 1 year ago this could have been a totally different outcome and yet he has me here sharing with you how you can be your better self. All you have to do is be encouraging to others. Igniting a fire of inspiration for someone who needs it.
I believe my parallel to this is that through it all, being an orphan, living in a group home, many health issues, gaining the trust of those around me through my heart on display, being willing to be obedient at any cost, believing that Jesus is the only way to my happiness. I know without a doubt that my testimony, who I know I am through Christ, is the Truth that I need to survive until he calls me home. What he equips me to be through the process, is his will and I can submit to it. That means I’ll take whatever fire that comes my way in the namesake for the King of King’s and Lord of Lords. I am invested because He is invested in me.
So don’t let your identity be sold by others. Your identity is in Christ Jesus the son of God who came to redeem you in his name. Live out your story with integrity and honor to the one who gave, Jesus, so that you can live forever beside him. The things we endure are not in vain nor are they to define us; they are to refine us. Today is a new day, live in obedience to God and own your truth.
Check out a book about Destiny! Follow the link below
Thank you, Lord, for coming down from your throne in Heaven. Leaving angels perplexed while your plan of redemption for mankind had begun (1 Peter 1:10-12) in your perfect time and in your perfection. Thank you, Lord, for tearing the veil from bottom to top. Paul writes in Hebrews 10:19-20 Jesus’ body was torn so all man could have an eternal life and all His power and glory could transcend to be with the Father. Because the moment when the veil of our Savior, Jesus was torn something radical happened.
Jesus broke the curse of sin and death trampling the enemy with one final blow delivering defeat and handing us the keys to victory and eternity. God descended from heaven all His glory power through the womb of Mary becoming both flesh and God, and he walked wrapped in human flesh with all of God’s glory, Jesus.
He even died in all of God’s glory, and power. Jesus’ body was broken and bruised with all of God’s glory. The same power and glory that was laid to rest in a borrowed tomb. The same glory and power that rose Jesus from the grave on the third day. It is the same glory and power that breathed His first breath in a cold, smelly, crowded stable with a tired young mother and even more anxious father awaiting the cry of their first-born miracle son Jesus. The day that Son of God arrived in all of God’s glory and power and honor; hidden in the flesh of an infant boy born to a virgin. The angel – said His name was to be Jesus.
– Luke 1:31-33
You will become pregnant and give birth to a son. You must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God. The Lord God will make Him a king like his father David of long ago. He will rule forever over His people, who came from Jacob’s family. His kingdom will never end.”
For to us a Child shall be born, to us, a Son shall be given; And the government shall be upon His shoulder, And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
And, so it was His name is Jesus, and as Mary wrapped the cold, infant in swaddling rags. The Heavens and Earth declared and displayed that The Savior of the World, The King Of Kings, and Lord of Lord’s had indeed been born into the world; to save and restore humankind from death to life eternally. Oh, how blessed we truly are to have such a loving Creator. Thank you, Father, for the birth and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, my Wonderful Counselor, my Mighty God, my Everlasting Father, and my Prince of Peace. All I have to bring is my love and a broken heart. I am grateful that is all that you ask because of Jesus Christ. Jesus, you have appeared to us, and loved each of us with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)
This week I have been humbled! It hurts! The flesh wants to live, boy, does it ever! This is the crazy part knowing that no matter what is right and what is wrong; it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that healing takes place and only Jesus can lead in that. There are these few moments we get to share life with people. I mean God says our lives are like a vapor (James 4:14). I don’t know about you but have you seen a mist? I mean it’s there then poof it is gone!
Sometimes, we have just to choose to love when it is hard. We have to allow that spirit of religion and tradition to lay down and let Christ prevail entirely. I know in my ability, I do not have what it takes to love correctly. I have fought all week with my decision. I see God confirmed and I know this is His will. I’ve known that for two years I have been on His shoulders healing from a deep hurt. I know I am relieved and ready. The problem with this is while I was recovering many took it as abandoning. I am not asking for anyone to understand and I know what it looked like, and frankly, I did jump ship. That is so hard for me to say but, it is the truth. I did thoroughly and utterly fail miserably, and when the enemy saw fit to attack, he did. I did not know that it would be so brutal. I underestimated my enemy. I did fight, and by no means was I a babe in Christ. I just was a babe in Christ when it came to spiritual warfare. God, had no choice but to teach me on a field trip of sorts.
I want to speak to those who are wounded right now. I want to acknowledge your hurt and pain in whatever capacity that may be in. Lord, help me to say this without the spirit of offense taking over and them leaving feeling as if someone else just diminished their pain and hurt. I do not want to do that. I know from my past and current situation we will always have a form of wounds. Some will remind us often of our brokenness and others will fade as we mature and we realize no matter what God is with us, and He loves us with a love that we can not fathom. I know everything that I endure, pursue, and engage there is always a risk.
The risk of rejection, hate, coldness, betrayal but, there is always a high reward for forgiveness, mercy, love, compassion, help, and relationship. I know, ‘where you are in the process’ does influence your perception. Being on the other side of a season of being out to sea I have come to this.
When we face a battle, and it seems that we have lost and, we are counted out, discredited, maybe even feel robbed. God can often restore everything if we allow Him to repair. Key is we have to surrender.
There are so many different kinds of restoration that it would take me all day to hit every point. Sometimes, that recovery comes full circle, and you and the other person can walk hand in hand. Sometimes, that restoration only comes with you on one side, Christ in the middle, and the other party on the other side but, still, there is peace. You can not walk together right without Christ in any relationship; without it ending up like a battleship. Abandon and desolate with no signs of a crew or captain; underwater, alone and at the bottom of the sea.
My point is no matter what kind of restoration occurs it is always Christ that is in charge of it, and He knows what is best for you, and He knows what is best for the other party. We need to get that down deep in our minds, hearts, and souls. ( I will repeat that and then wait for that to hit your heart) Restoration in relationships is not our responsibility; Christ is solely responsible for the repair of our relationships. We can not force it, We can not want it and have it in our time. It will come when and as He see’s fit.
For, my friends that are in hopes and waiting for that miracle of restoration with a loved one or just with a fellow brother or sister in Christ or a wayward child. I know you desire it so, and don’t you dare lose hope, keep praying and asking God for His will to be done. God is a God of restoration, and He desires for there to always be restoration, especially to reconcile one back to Him. This is the amazing thing about grace! Amen!
This is God’s heart toward every man, woman, and child! That their souls would be restored back into the hands that knit and weaved their flesh together. Wonderfully and carefully in the hidden place of their mother’s womb. But as you know different kinds of restoration go way beyond our understanding.
In my life, I have often questioned: “Why Lord?” “Why can’t I be around and in their lives anymore?” “Why am I willing and they are not?”, These are all brilliant questions to ask God, but even though we pray, we should respect the fact of God’s answer. Even if it is not what we are looking to hear. I know this is hard; that is why I am writing about it today. I want for just a moment in all your wondering and questioning if you could only see it from His perspective. Like I said this might not apply to you but, if it does then, please hear me out.
When people chose to allow the flesh to overcome (on both sides), there is always extensive damage. I am sure you all have experienced this on some level. I would like to for a moment just say putting the option to be on the right to the side and setting the same possibility of being wrong to the same side, only allow the situation to be. For a minute just imagine the Lord seeing no wrong and no right here ( I know crazy idea right. I promise there is a point) Just imagine seeing two people who He genuinely loves; hurt. In ways only they have expressed to Him; both injuries are valid and painful to hear. He has to ability to see in the future. He knows after an amount of time passes, healing and, lessons must be learned apart from one another. Because, if they remain together they will only see the conflict of their flesh and fail to see the faithfulness of God through their weakness and frailty and keep repeating the same cycle. Looping the same sequence of destruction without any signs of getting off the hamster wheel of self-torture and self-pain. After the separation, only He knows when it is the exact right moment for two hearts to be reconciled; He is aware of their hearts and minds and souls.
So, the Lord is sovereign and only good, and He hold’s no ability to lie or deceive (1 John 1:5). You see this is God’s and only God’s expertise and knowledge in our relationship’s. He is the God of timing. He is the God of restoration and love. He is what heals the world of sin and gives us hope and life (John 3:16). He sees all and know’s all (Hebrews 4:13, Psalm 33:13) and believe me He knows how to restore’s (Psalm 23:3). He is in the process of rebuilding all of us; we are all in this together. We must learn and trust Him in all things! Even with the painful and ugly stuff that we bury and hide. He promises if we follow Him that He will never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He vows to give you beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3), He promises to provide you with a future and hope (Jeremiah 29:11) just like He promised Israel, He promises that by His stripes we are healed spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally (Isaiah53:5). He pledges to rebuild the desolate places and the ruins of your life even the areas that have long been devastated even the ones that have been destroyed for generations (Isaiah 61:4). He says He will keep you in perfect peace as long as your mind is steadfastly upon Jesus because you trust Him (Isaiah 26:3) He vows to redeem all parts of you if you believe upon the name of Jesus Christ as your Savior from sin. Probably, my favorite is “Though the mountains are shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has had compassion on you. (Isaiah 54:10) Those are just a few promises, and I will tell you this these are the promises for everyone if they will only believe in their hearts that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and ask Him to come in your heart to do precisely what His word say’s He came to do through Jesus Christ.
I am praying for you, and I am praying that God would do a mighty work in your life! He has mine! I am a stinking miracle! I am forever grateful that nowhere in the Bible says:”He gives up!!” The whole theme of the Bible is His Faithfulness and His story of redemption! Praise God! Never forget He is the keeper of our heart’s, He is the lifter of our heads, and most of all when we slip and stumble in our humanity; He is always faithful and true. <3