Tag Archives: doubt

•Obtain•Remain•Sustain•

Standard

.Deuteronomy 30. (Read)

The Lord put on my heart back in November to read through the Bible – cover to cover. My pastor encourages to “read scripture slowly” so I haven’t been following a “Read your Bible in a year plan” but instead 1-2 chapters sometimes 3 a day. One of the challenges I’ve had over the years is to f o c u s and dig deep into the Old Testemant. I was a skimmer of the OT before but WOW how God has been using it to speak to me and making it come alive and relatable to my today. 

Our Father desires us. ALL of us.

“Ex 34:14  Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”

He wants to prosper us and desires us to remain in Him. God is not pushy or a God of force. He wants us to want Him — above all else. As I was reading Deuteronomy 30 the Lord put three words on my heart. Obtain,Remain and Sustain. So I pulled up google and searched “define…” and typed in each word to dig a little deeper than Jessica’s definition of these words 🙂

Obtain. “to come into possession of; get, acquire, or procure, as through an effort or by a request”

Proverbs 8:35 “For those who find me find life and receive favor from the LORD.”

Remain. “to continue in the same state; continue to be as specified”
John 15:4 “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

Sustain. “to support, hold, or bear up from below; bear the weight of, as a structure.”

Psalm 54:4 Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is the sustainer of my soul.

He is OURS. We GET to serve and live with Him FOR Him. We are priveldeged enough to obtain His salvation. In order to fulfil His plan we must remain in Him — not of this world or fleshly desires. When we remain in Him — He sustains us. He gives us the strength, love and support that we need to walk out His will.

Be encouraged today that HE is Emmanuel — the WITH us God. We don’t walk through mountains or valleys alone because God is the Constant One. 

If you didn’t have time to read Deuteronomy chapter 30 earlier — it’s talking about the ones who are -coming back- to His goodness. God has laid out the paths of life or death. They got to choose…so do we. I love how it mentions it’s not difficult to obtain His favor. We don’t have to ask someone to cross the sea and bring it back – it’s IN Him and He abides IN us now! The same God who provided for the Israelites and redeemed them time and time again is the same God who redeems us TODAY. He is restoration! I encourage you to read the whole chapter.

All He asks for is our heart — pure, deep, aching love for Him that continues so much so that He is the ONLY one who can sustain us because after all we were created for HIM by HIM.

Father,

Thank You for choosing to create me. Thank You for giving me grace and eternity when I deserve hell. Thank You for new mercies every day. Father forgive me for the times I haven’t remained in You. Forgive me for the times I chose my agenda over Yours. Help me to chase after You with all that I am. We all crave something more and God You put that crave there for a purpose on purpose — to continually remain IN You. Help me seek You more. Help me love louder — without demand or expectations — simply because You love me. Be my sustainer in the mountains and the valleys. I welcome You to lead, guide and direct — every area. Help me to keep pure intentions and focused on YOU. Your kingdom come – Your will be done. Amen.

Xoxo,

Jess Fox
PS. If you haven’t read the Bible through — today is the day to start! Transformation in your life starts with saturation of the WORD💛

Advertisements

Contained God

Standard

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

Fight with Peace

Standard

Ok so you’ve read the title and it seems bizzare….when we promote peace we usually don’t fight do we??!?!

I’m going to be open and honest in this post…I feel like someone out there needs to hear this.

Before having Gabriel I rarely battled with a yucky 5 letter word…WORRY. I was carefree and didn’t really have a worry in the world. See, I grew up in a wonderful Christian home and I don’t recall having to “fight” many battles at all…I had a pretty awesome childhood and not “sheltered” from reality but not going through any major trials of my own. I saw my dad go through many health trials but I hadn’t faced anything “super mega” challenging in my own life…well except if my tan wasn’t dark enough or my hair wasn’t life enough 🙂 I had not honestly seen the “real world” until moving out, getting married and moving away from my sweet little hometown. When you do those three things…you really grow up…fast. (Especially once having children). When my precious Gabriel was born, it’s like I birthed something else into my life…WORRY! At first, it was just “normal” stuff like checking on him a billion times in the middle of the night to make sure he was breathing (because he was a preemie he didn’t wake up screaming to nurse like Natalie does). I do know now with having two children that your basic “motherhood worries” are normal and ease up some after you enter about month 3 or so of babies life…but continue all throughout their lives with different seasons and new worries. (they don’t have to control you though) But…mine wasn’t easing up in my life. It actually grew and grew and grew into fear. I began to think up scenarios of things that “could happen” but most likely never ever would. I became so full of fear I felt paralyzed. I felt stuck. I felt alone. I have been a Christian for most of my life and had never experienced anything like this. I had NO clue you could worry over someone so tiny and small so much. The responsiblity of being a mother is tremendous because all of a sudden you are responsible for someone else’s precious life. My husband was so sweet and supportive during this trial…always praying and encouraging me.(Even though I was probably driving him crazy…I was driving myself crazy haha) I spoke with my Dad multiple times as well and he told me I’m going to have to overcome this battle with the PEACE of God.  It’s that very statement that got me thinking…you overcome trials and battles by fighting back with the peace of God. I began fighting each thought and scenario.  2 Corinthians 10:5 “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”

This verse became my constant meditation. I had it written all over the house. I had it pop up as a reminder on my cell phone, I memorized it, I spoke it all throughout the day. See the enemy LOVES to get into your mind and fill it with junk. It becomes a battle…a constant one. A reoccurring one. I also began reading “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyers…which is an incredible book for anyone to read. It helps you see that God is on our side and He is fighting for us all along…we just have to SUBMIT our minds and OPEN them to allow him to.

God doesn’t desire us to worry…actually fear=doubt. And this is the lesson that God taught me in all of this. I let the enemy STEAL my joy of a having my sweet Gabriel. I had LET FEAR IN. I had allowed my thoughts to run wild and far away from God’s word. I wasn’t keeping them in order or submitting them to Him. I was taking things into my own hands…and well we see where that got me..on my knees! See I am (with the Holy Spirit) the MASTER of my mind. I can either think on things of this world (doubt, fear, insecurities…) or I can think on things ABOVE (joy, peace, love, kindness, JESUS). Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. The awesome thing about our Father is that HE is real. He doesn’t beat around the bush…He says it like it is…and I adore that! He desires us to be the same way with Him. He already knows the thoughts we are having…so speak them to Him and say something like this “Father, I don’t have time to think about this mess…I’m so fed up with the constant chain of thoughts…I’m tired of my life being ran by the what-if’s. I’m just honestly fed up with my mind..please Father take these thoughts away.” And you know what??? The thoughts don’t disappear like you’ve taken a “magic pill”. They are STILL there. It’s kind of like a war. Just because a solider is standing there…doesn’t make the enemy disappear….the soilder has to FIGHT him. Speaking your thoughts to God is step one of the battle. You are now allowing and asking God to fight them for you. Step two is consistently renewing your mind! It’s a multiple time a day event for me. It can be as simple as saying “God I give my thoughts to you…help me to honor you with each thought” A simple way that I began “retraining” my mind was speaking little things like this throughout the day… “Father I love you.” “Jesus give me peace” “Father I’m so thankful for You” “Father You are holy” “Jesus I know you are the beginning and the end” “God I know that no weapon formed against me shall prosper”…I would mix different thoughts of thankfulness and praise…and as I began thinking on those things, I didn’t have time to meditate on silly unrealistic worries. As I meditated on Christ…the worries started melting away. See, the battle was being won! (In my illustration of the war….the soilder was getting rid of the enemy one by one by fighting them) The victory was here. I with Christ on my side had WON my mind…my battle. We FOUGHT WITH PEACE..together!

My challenge for you today is to first, open your lives to allow our Father to fight the battle with and for you. Secondly, renew your mind daily! Take every thought captive and if it doesn’t line up with the Word of God…tell it to get OUT. I still every single day (sometimes multiple times) give my mind to Christ…because worry is a dirty little thing that tries to creep in over and over again. But now that I’ve won a big battle with Christ…the little “fusses” are much easier to overcome. I’ll leave you with this verse.

Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

xoxo,

Jess