Tag Archives: Christ

Be Curious.

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Is it possible that the modern Christian has put “parameters and limits” to our Creator? I mean we all dress up, get our nice warm cup of joe, put on our happy faces (as we pull into the church parking lot because nothing went right that morning) , attend service, worship, tithe and go home. I am a strong believer of attending and being connected to the body of Christ (definitely not bashing the church) but – why are we so close-minded? Do we have a “surface relationship” or an “intimate relationship?”

When I fully understand something, I tend to get bored with it. It just becomes apart of my routine – becoming thoughtless or second nature. If salvation is the only thing we seek to learn about our Father, we will get bored – not that salvation is boring at ALL but it’s the first step. God has called us yes, to first MEET Him, ACCEPT Him and then KNOW Him. You can a l w a y s learn something new about someone, always.

When I say “be curious” I don’t mean questioning God’s Word because what’s written,stands. Be curious about your Creator, what He likes and what he doesn’t. You wouldn’t buy your husband a Duke jersey if he’s a Tarheel fan (that would be a nightmare in my case) It’s a relationship, not a list of do’s and don’ts. We all know a “that Christian” who preaches all the things you “can’t do” but why not be curious about the things you “can do?” Yes I believe the entire Word of God should be preached and that there are things you shouldn’t participate in but to me it sounds like a shallow relationship, focusing on don’ts.

Let’s play this scenario out into a marriage – it would be like constantly telling your spouse, you can’t look at that woman, you can’t have thoughts about another man, you can’t sleep around, you can’t have a hobby – you don’t have time, you can’t be alone with another woman, you can’t have coffee with another man, you can’t, you can’t…. boundaries should be set (according to God’s word) and reviewed BUT how shallow would this relationship be? It’s merely a list of “don’ts.” There’s no intimacy. There are no ebbs and flow. There’s no room for “love or trust” because you feel as if you’re walking on eggshells waiting to mess up. It’s bound by force, rules and regulations. Our God is a God of FREEDOM and LOVE.

1 Corinthians 13 The Message

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

Love doesn’t strut,

Doesn’t have a swelled head,

Doesn’t force itself on others,

Isn’t always “me first,”

Doesn’t fly off the handle,

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,

Doesn’t revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything,

Trusts God always,

Always looks for the best,

Never looks back,

But keeps going to the end.

8-10 Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

11 When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.

12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

God desires us to love and walk in freedom. 1 Corinthian’s makes it clear that we are to love and to put away “childish thinking” – which to me is do’s and don’ts.

We should strive to be relational and have conversation with our Creator. Think of it this way, toddlers don’t sit still long. Yes, they can engage in conversation but it’s usually pretty direct and predictable. Now fast-forward twenty years and you can sit and focus for a much longer period of time. Not only that but you can enter deep conversation and even tap into emotions (multiple ones) We should never feel as if we aren’t “good enough” to go deeper with our Father. He DESIRES us to be holy as He is holy. (1 Peter 1:16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”)

Ask God questions. Ask Him to show you how to deepen your relationship with Him (moving forward from infancy in Christianity – pursuing holiness – life and what to do after salvation, it doesn’t just stop there. We never reach a “final destination” here on Earth.

Father, thank You for salvation. Thank You for giving the BEST gift ever given. I pray You will help me to open my mind to walk deeper with You. I pray You will help me to not have a “surface” relationship but to have an “intimate” relationship. I want to KNOW you. I desire to live a deeper life of holiness. No one knows the answer to everything You do or have done – God help me to stay curious, desiring to know and learn more and more. Help me not to have a spirit of contentedness but stretch my knowledge and deepen my walk with You. Thank You God for the freedom that comes in my walk with You. Amen.

xoxo,

Jess Fox

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Contained God

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We dress up and look our best to hurry and get to church each Sunday morning. We may fuss with our family all the way up to the driveway of the church. We yell and get upset with the slow drivers we encounter “making us late”. When we park the car our masks go up and we paint on that huge smile. Yes. We’ve all been there – Maybe multiple times. We. Are. Human. Surely there’s more to it then this. Surely it’s beyond two or three services a week. Surely it can’t be contained.

God is chasing YOU. “We love Him because He first loved us,” explains the apostle John (1 John:4:19)

We have shoved God in a box. We’ve allowed ourselves to become “churchy churchy”. We’ve created a “culture” of bondage. We need to break free.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:7.”

We “wear” Jesus, but do we really have Jesus. I mean we must because we post uplifting bible scriptures on Facebook, beautiful scripture pics on Instagram, have the latest worship album, drink coffee from our cross mug and have our cars decked out with “Jesus”. But do we even know him? Or do we just advertise His name. See, God wants your soul not just outwardly appearances.

I’ve learned at an early age by experiencing it first hand (not at all at the church I currently attend) that church can be about a man and not The Man. It can all be such a fad – contemporary building, coffee lounges with the latest greatest, our perfect pre service music mix, trendy outfits, our big fake smiles, over-exaggerations and so on. All pointed to a man and not the Son. Of. Man. I think it’s wonderful to have nice facilities! Why shouldn’t God’s children have an appealing place to worship?? The issue is when it stays in and never goes out. When it exalts man and not the Father.

   {I’m so thankful I attend a church that believes in getting out into the community. They believe in loving on others and not just     hosting little “Christian group events”.  (I do believe it is very important to be connected with the body of Christ. It helps you grow and mature as a follower. The issue arises when you allow yourself to be consumed with being “inside the walls”) The church I attend believes in sending out of the “storehouse”. The Word is preached and not just the stuff that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. I believe conviction is necessary for growth.}

We are this amazing “being” while in the church but when we leave, we rip the masks off. We fuss with our families, we talk trash about the lady who looked her best at church, we fuss about the song selections, we fuss about the sermon, we harp about anything and e v e r y t h i n g we can. We become the “real us” and it’s scary.

James 1:8 “Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”

I may get some negative feedback on this comment but – I believe people of double mindedness are just as much in trouble as the lost person of the world. Why? Because we have “tasted” His goodness and have chosen to live a different way. We have experienced good and choose evil. Heb 6:4-6 “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”

We are all going to make mistakes over and over again. But choosing a lifestyle over a relationship with your Creator is wrong. Choosing to contaminate your mind with money and social status is wrong. Choosing to bash others and constantly fill your social media pages with negative information is wrong. We look at the “people” (who are God’s creation) in the world and judge them when we have no business doing so. Are we praying for them as much as we are talking about them? Why not highlight God’s successes instead of the world’s failures. I agree our government and society is entering and has entered a scary stage but what are we doing to change it? Blasting social media does – n o t h i n g. Speaking harshly – n o t h i n g. Praying and loving? Does e v e r y t h i n g. I’m not saying to sit back and “allow” things to go on. Yes, we need to stand up for what is right BUT in a Christian manner. At the end of the day God is God and He rules over ALL. With that said…

What would happen if we let God “out of our box”. Is it fear that reigns in our society of letting the Holy Spirit be in control? We weren’t created to control, we were created to submit.

“Psalm 37:5 Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.”

We have “limited” God. We allow Him in sections of our lives but other parts??? We want to control and we fail but our God never fails. I don’t think we’ve even scratched the surface of how great our God is. We sing about Him, we make posts about Him but how is it behind closed doors – when nobody is watching. That is what counts.

The Lord has been dealing with me on my personal relationship with Him and how crucial it is. It’s not optional it’s vital. We are DEAD without Him. As I was flossing my teeth last night, I wasn’t even thinking about God or really anything- just simply flossing. I had a thought put in my head that said “When you don’t floss your teeth daily, plaque builds up. It starts out as a small amount but it accumulates until it forms a cavity. You then have a “bad tooth”. You see, your relationship with me is likewise. When you skip a devotion here and skip a prayer there you create a wedge between us. It becomes easier and easier to skip Me. I become disconnected from your routine. I want to lead and guide you – each step, each day” 

Wow. What a flossing session! (HAHA) I began to pray and asked my Father to take control of every area of my life. I prayed that His Spirit would reign in my life. I prayed that He would set me free from living “inside the walls” and that He would help me lead “outside the walls”. I prayed that His Spirit would direct each movement I make and every thought I have. He is no longer “visible” on Earth but His Spirit is alive and dwelling among us.

Romans 8:9 “You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.”

I believe miracles still happen, I believe the Spirit still leads, I believe His voice can still be heard. Do you? My challenge (for myself as well) is to allow the Holy Spirit to direct your life. Allow Him to flow through your lips and actions outside the church. Speak to the person who is all alone and look in need, give a jacket to the cold child walking the streets and warm a meal for the hungry. Start all of this in your own home, serving your spouse and children, speaking His words and not worldly words. Sing His presence over your home, neighborhood, city, country, nation. Allow His Spirit to move – out of the box.

xoxo,

Jess Fox

Rhythms of Life

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“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11: 28-30

Life throws us many, many different rhythms…just as a drum has many beats & tempos. The rhythms of life can depend on what we are yielding ourselves to and where we are letting our minds wonder. (“Set your minds on things above.” Colossians 3:2)

We all tend to get super busy and I know I’m guilty of this…letting the things that really matter slip. Like cleaning in the evenings whenever I should be resting or getting on Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest when I could be doing something productive. It’s wonderful to be involved and be “busy” but it’s important to have balance and not become burned out. So many times people miss the true concept of being a believer. Being a believer/follower of Christ does not mean slaving away at a church (although it’s GREAT & I encourage you to volunteer & be active in one)…it means having a relationship and walk with Christ, serving others, loving others, building the church (God’s Kingdom not the physical building) & having fellowship with one another. The enemy would love nothing more than to get you busy doing “STUFF” (religion) rather than having a RELATIONSHIP with the one who created you. It’s obvious that religion is not the answer. With religion it’s easy for things to just be a big “hype” & easily becomes “man-made” self gratification. And with that follows…burn out, competitive spirit, exhaustion, confusion…and those things are definitely not of God. But with a Relationship comes…rest, peace, comfort, joy, love, forgiveness. “Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

See the enemy tries to fill your mind with the “rhythms of the world”. In the world you have a chaotic beat/rhythm but in Christ there’s consistency. Although their are and will be trials to come…Christ will remain constant.

I feel so blessed to know that the Creator of the Universe is asking me to run to Him & cast all worries, fears, insecurities, burdens and so on to Him.

My challenge to myself & to others is to walk with HIM & keep your mind on things above. Don’t be tossed and turned with the rhythms of life but seek the constant beat with Christ.

xoxo,

Jess

Listen to this song below…Run to You by Kari Jobe!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twldmf8QEeY