rocks

Let's start off with a little story...

There once were two nations, the Israelites & the Philistines, that were constantly at war with one another. Our story begins when they both were preparing for battle. (Setting: two hills/mountains with a valley separating them) Everyday, a huge Philistine named Goliath would threaten the Israelites. The Israelites and their king, Saul, were terrified. This huge Goliath dude decided to cut them a deal: send one of your men to fight me...if y'all win, we become yall's slaves...BUT, if we win, y'all become our slaves. All seemed hopeless. Who could possibly defeat this giant!?! No Israelite soldier seemed prepared for the job. Saul was scared. And, the Israelites were scared. But, a little shepherd boy named David was ready. Strong in the Lord, David stepped up to the task. David knew that THE LORD WOULD ALWAYS BE BY HIS SIDE, so there was NO REASON TO FEAR. However, King Saul feared for David and tried to protect him with heavy armor. David wasn't very keen on the idea. Finally, David went out to a little stream in the valley and collected 5 smooth rocks. With God, a rock, and his sling, David defeated Goliath. The Israelites were free! (see 1 Samuel 17 for biblical version)

In this passage, we clearly are exposed to the main difference between King Saul & David. Saul was a worrier, but David was a warrior. These two characteristics are essential to how we live our own lives: you can be a worrier or a warrior. A worrier ultimately doesn't trust God's perfect plan & always looks to the future with fear of failure. On the other hand, A WARRIOR TRUSTS GOD'S PLANS & LOOKS TO THE FUTURE WITH BOLDNESS & HOPE. God uses Goliath to expose Saul & Davids character. Similarly, GOD USES "GOLIATH'S" (hardships) TO EXPOSE OUR HEARTS.

When I was in Israel recently, I had the opportunity of visiting the stream that David picked up his 5 stones from. This moment was very special because I too picked up 5 stones. I have 4 in my bedroom and 1 in my backpack. Each day, I see these rocks, and they always remind me to be a warrior for Christ. They are so little, but they speak so loud to me. I also encourage you to find something that reminds you to be a warrior for Christ! 

Comment below how you remind yourself of how to be a warrior for Christ !!!

// Questions //

Are you a worrier or a warrior?

Do you live by fear or by faith?

words

Words build worlds.

In Genesis 1, we see that God spoke things into existence & created this world. Similarly, when we speak, we either create beautiful worlds or we destroy them. Translation: The tongue has the power to build people up or tear people down. Also remember, the tongue is difficult to control, and I personally, as a talker, struggle with this. However, the more time I spend with the Lord definitely influences how I respond and talk to others (for the better). Know that the way you talk to others won't just change over night...it's a process, and it isn't that easy. I constantly have to rely on the Lord to filter how I want to respond from how I should respond, which should be in love. Responding in love to others is hard, especially when they have offended you, but be the bigger person & turn the other cheek. Remember, you are either reflecting Christ through your words, or you aren't. Choose to build worlds, not to destroy them.

"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger...The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit." -Proverbs 15:1;4

"Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell." -James 3:5-6

"With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?" -James 3:9-11

" Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." -Ephesians 4:29

// Questions //

If your tongue were to be judged today, would you stand the test of faith? 

Before speaking ask yourself...

How would God want me to respond? Am I responding in love?

 

control

Coolest thing just happened! I was looking through old notes, and I found some that I had taken over a book called "Once Upon a Tandem". Anyways, I was reading them, and I realized God was definitely trying to point out that our relationship has not been going in the right direction lately. The past 3 weeks have been a complete blur, filled with late nights, tons of homework, and grumpy attitudes. God is definitely trying to steer me back on a course that is focused on Him, and I have finally caught sight of that. It's crazy how God uses little moments like these to send you messages! I would love to share the notes I found with y'all! Hopefully these might encourage you as much as they did for me :)

Where is God in your life? A) He is not present. B) He's there, but just riding in the backseat. C) He is still in backseat, but He is whispering direction (sometimes you go where He wants to go). D) He has taken complete control.

Isaiah 42:16 "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.”

What would life D look like?

• You would be taken down paths you never would have imagined for yourself. God has a unique special plan for you! It's most likely something different than what you had in store for yourself.

• the places He takes you are SO unimaginably beautiful! God's plan (when He is in control) is 100% far more better than your own. You will be used for his glory, and amazing things will come out of it.

• Sometimes He will take you through quick sand, mud, or dark tunnels...but when you trust him He gets you out safe and sound. God sometimes takes us through some rough times/situations, but if you rely on Him, He will comfort your distress. You must go through ugly "tunnels" in order to get to the beautiful places. Similarly, we must preserver through hardships and persecution of our faith. These obstacles are in place to grow our faith and grow our trust in God. God will ultimately use our suffering for His glory! (as weird as that might sound...)

• Life is straight out prettier, more peaceful, and more meaningful with Him driving my life. Giving up control to God is the most rewarding decision.