No Attachments

When I first decided to give my life to Christ at age 16, I was completely ‘souled’ out for Him for a good year or so. There were plenty of things I had not yet understood or known but I did understand that my life belonged to this amazing God who loved me so much that He gave His Son to be slain so that I may be saved by His grace and have life more abundantly (John 3:16, John 10:10, Romans 14:7-9, Ephesians 2:8). I knew that God had loved me and that no one else could ever love me like The Messiah does. I also knew that I had a mission; that mission was (and still is) to share The Gospel so that all may know of this pure, everlasting, unshakable love that our holy Savior freely gives.

I had like-minded friends who encouraged me as I encouraged them to thoroughly enjoy this beautiful journey with Christ through life on earth. I was a radical 16 year old when it came to being about my Father’s business. I could not be shaken…so I thought.

Within the next four years of my life, I slowly, but surely, began to compromise…especially in my relationships (friends and boyfriends). In compromising, I lost sight of what and Who was important. I continued to attend church services and bible study groups but at one point, I felt like I was only doing it because I thought I should. My actions became aimless and my life became purposeless.

Soon, I idolized my future career goals, my hair, boys, and so many other things. I can’t even imagine how insulted God must have felt when He looked at me to only see the amount of idols I had accumulated over a short period of time.

My prayer life became weak and I stopped reading God’s Word. I was lost and I eventually felt like I hit a point of no return. I was so broken and ready to call a quits on life and my relationship with God. I would often say to myself, “How could I pray to Him? He probably doesn’t even want to hear from me. I’ve neglected my Lord completely.” Through the doubt, pain, and suffering that I was going through, I then experienced God’s faithfulness and truth in His Word.

Psalm 34:18 reads,

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in Spirit.”

I had read this scripture before but reading it during my time of suffering meant the world to me. It gave me something to hold on to. It helped me to remember God’s love for us.

I then began to share my struggles with my friends, because I couldn’t keep it in any longer, and the Lord used them to so elegantly help me to get back to Him. I decided that, with God’s grace and my effort, I would not make any idols for myself anymore. I needed to honor my holy and faithful Lord with all of me!!! Even if it took all of my energy and breath!

God gave me strength to be diligent and I finally got back to reading God’s Word. One day, I stumbled across the book of Ecclesiastes. I realized I had never read it all the way through so I decided to do it. The revelation God gave me was mind blowing.

Ecclesiastes is believed to have been written by Solomon, who was the richest and wisest man who lived during that time. Throughout the book, Solomon talks about how everything is meaningless without God. He paints a picture of the riches he had, what he achieved, and how he could have whatever and whoever he wanted. He was, what people in our generation would call today, “The Man.” Solomon had it all but He soon realized that none of it meant anything. Solomon made it clear that nothing will ever completely satisfy us unless it is our Lord. His conclusion was to fear God and keep His commandments (Ecc 12:13).

I immediately gained a new perspective on life.

I read Ecclesiastes a second time, soon after I finished it the first time, and I then decided that I wanted to live a life with no attachments to this world. We hold on so tight to things and goals and people and it is so distracting to what is truly important. If God wants us to have something, He’ll give it to us, and if He doesn’t, we need to let Him take it away. He knows best and I know this to be completely true.

Having no attachments to this world doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy life and the people therein, but it means that if I was ever in a Job situation (the blameless man who had EVERYTHING taken away from him), I would know that God is enough for me and will always be, and no matter what is going on in my life or in the world, God will FOREVER deserve to be worshiped and praised solely because of who He is…period!

I challenge you all to read Ecclesiastes and meditate on the things that Solomon is saying. God’s Word is sooooo awesome and I can’t get enough.

Feel free to share your thoughts or questions and if you have any prayer requests let me know. May God bless you with peace and assurance in Him. Love you all.

Thanks for reading!!

~Jaz

In Him I Have My Being

Belgium

Although I’ve been back from The Netherlands for exactly one month and one day now, I often think about the rich experiences God allowed me to have while I was over in Europe. I think about the children and adults I met…both Christian and non-Christian and I think about their lives and personalities. I think about my life’s purpose and why God allowed me to study abroad. What do I share when I return home? How does this trip help with what my purpose is on this earth? Aside from these thoughts, I also think about the Great Commission given to Jesus’ disciples from Christ Himself:

Matthew 28:18-20

18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 [a]Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you [b]always, even to the end of the age.”

After Jesus’ disciples received these instructions from The Lord, they didn’t waste anytime being about their Savior’s business. He commanded and they acted. The book of Acts shows just how radical Jesus’ disciples were and how literally they took His Word. They traveled, they obeyed God, they spread God’s Word to wherever the Lord commanded them to go, they baptized people, and Christ was with them. Many suffered terribly for Christ’s sake. Suffering isn’t fun, nor is it comfortable, but we’ve been called to suffer for Christ’s sake:

Philippians 1:29-30

29 For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

…and what a privilege it is to suffer for Christ’s sake!! Christ, who was slain for the salvation of the people that God so loved….US! Christ, our Savior and our hope! It is in Him that we move and have our very being (Acts 17:28). Christ, who is one with God (John 10:30), died for us. He carried our sins. He took on God’s wrath so that we wouldn’t have to endure it….

How unworthy we are to even face such a King as He but God has so graciously allowed us access to Him through Christ.

I want to be completely surrendered to God and His will. I want my life to reflect His holy Son and His majesty. My plans, my dreams…I leave them in God’s hands. I want to be a radical disciple like Paul and Peter were. I want to glorify God with my life…what’s stopping me?

What’s stopping you?

I pray that God continues to reveal Himself to us and His will.

I pray that we are strengthened daily by God.

I pray that we recognize the distractions in our lives and what is keeping us from the Father and ask Him to take them away.

I pray that God gives us a heart after Him, and Him alone. He deserves everything! He deserves our lives.

I pray that we can be diligent in seeking and serving the Lord and doing all that He asks of us.

I pray that God reveals to us what matters and what doesn’t…what is foolish and what is True.

Pray for the body of Christ. Intercede for our brothers and sisters. Pray for salvation and understanding. Read God’s Word and pray continually.

God loves you!

 

My Trip To The Netherlands

My Trip To The Netherlands

Here I am, back from The Netherlands and missing it as if it’s been a year since I’ve been there (it’s only been a week exactly today). My short time there was amazing and I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world. I met great people there, I went on some awesome adventures, and I saw some really cool things that can only be seen in The Netherlands. I am so thankful that God allowed me to go on this trip. He was so faithful in helping me fund the trip and protecting me.

The picture I shared is of one canal we passed when we visited Amsterdam. Amsterdam is filled with canals and beautiful architecture. I loved every second of being in that wonderful city and I hope to visit again soon!

My Life is Christ’s

My Life is Christ's

I haven’t lived very long but I’ve lived long enough to have had experiences that caused me to think more deeply about life. Life. What is it? Who is it lived for? What is my purpose? Those answers can be summed up into one word, or name I should say: JESUS!

I’ve lived long enough to realize that nothing else matters except Jesus and pleasing Him! Not pleasing some unworthy man in this earth that can only satisfy temporarily; not indulging in some career that will eventually end, either in death, retirement, or termination; and definitely not serving other gods! I want to be God’s Ride-or-Die!! Yep, I said it!!! To live is Christ and to die is gain anyway (Philippians 1:21) so what else matters? I want to take up my cross and suffer for the Lord! I want to do God’s will on this Earth and spread His word all over the Earth! I want to forsake all for Christ!! Am I ready? Am I prepared? Probably not but I’ve had some recent experiences that have showed me that only God can give me joy!

God is the ONLY person who is perfect and has kept me in perfect peace while I went through the motions! God is faithful and I see that more and more everyday. God forgives when we repent! I can testify to that! I turned my back on God for two years and He still welcomed me back, yet again, WITH open arms. He loves us more than we can imagine…LITERALLY!!! I am tired of having one foot in the world and one foot in God’s will when I know a God who is better than life itself! God is better than the air I breath!!! Jesus is worthy of my life and I have decided that I will live for Him. No more compromising, no more disobedience, and no more hiding who I am in Christ!

I thank God for His love, grace, mercy, peace, and joy! Happiness can’t hold a candle to God’s joy that He gives!!!! I am so thankful and I will strive to be the woman that God wants me to be. My life is Christ’s and I will strive to be perfect (Spiritually), because my heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48)

A Reflection…

This year has been very eventful and all around wonderful for me. I’ve gained and I’ve lost. I’ve learned so much about myself and lots of other things and people. I was challenged this year, in more ways than usual, and because I had never challenged myself prior to my sophomore year in college it was rough. I’ve experienced lots of ups and downs as well as victories and defeats. I had to make very important decisions for myself that changed a lot of things in my life. Nothing was life threatening but everything was life changing…even if it was just a little bit. Everything counts! Growing as a person involves learning and being a student in just about every situation imaginable. Until we can come to grips with that fact that we don’t know everything and there is always someone wiser and more experienced, we haven’t really embodied what it means to be a learner. It is a humbling process that’ll take time to master but everyone is capable. Even the greatest leaders know that it is important to never stop learning.

I’ve been in a state of reflection for a few months now and I am truly grateful to God for all of my losses and gains. He is the reason why I have not lost my hair when I was stressed. God is the reason why I am able to be so hopeful in everything when circumstances around me don’t look good. God is truly my rock that will never crumble. There were times this year when I couldn’t understand why God continued to be there for me. I didn’t and still don’t deserve His love and grace. He is perfect and I am not. I am thankful to know such a King as He. God continues to unravel my passion and the plans He has for me in the future right before my eyes but I’ve learned that I must be obedient to reach them. After all, obedience is better than sacrifice (Proverbs 21:3). To believe Him, to trust Him, to love Him, to reverence Him and to live for Him is what my life has become…and much more. God loves all of us more than we could ever fathom but it’s up to us to choose Him over everything else. This state of reflection has been great. It was frustrating at first because I felt lost but God never fails and He answers prayer. If you ask and believe, He’ll give it to you (Matthew 21:22).

This year has showed me to not give up and to keep pushing and believing; to love and appreciate those around me like tomorrow isn’t coming. Complaining changes nothing…except it pisses people off and that’s never a good thing. Nothing is impossible when you have a God who is just waiting for you to believe and ask Him anything! I am truly thankful for this year and I am looking forward to an even better one. God is faithful and He loves like no one.

Believe in yourself and don’t let your faith waiver! Much love and peace.

Romans 15:13- Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.