Living Out Your Faith

What does living out your faith look like?  

On one hand, you are sure of God’s faithfulness.  He’s been faithful in the past and will be again. You are certain of God’s direction that is causing this act of faith to be lived out.  You trust that God is working all things together for your good (Romans 8:28).  You know He will be faithful to complete this work He has started (Philippians 1:6) in you and your faith shows its worth as you continue down this path (1 Peter 1:7).

On the other hand there is sadness.  You’re sad to see something ending even if your certain of God’s direction.  You have accomplished great things in that time and place.  You’re sad about the dear people who you will miss interacting with now.  It just naturally happens.  You’re sad because that loop you used to be in is now a place you find so foreign.  And at times you are sad because while one part has ended, the next has yet to materialize so you are lost in the in-between.

This faith step brings you to a confusing place.  Part excitement as you follow God’s lead and part sadness about the things that are no longer…yet all the while knowing that following God and His plans far out weigh the option of disobedience.

Please don’t confuse these two sides as a lack of faith.  

These thoughts and feelings are you working out your faith.  Your heart may feel two different things at the same time…faith and sadness.  You may know in your mind that God’s got you, but still have moments of uncertainty.  Bring all of this to God.  He will help you sort it through.  He will bring you to a better place, a place where He is your source not only for strength, but for truth.  There is no greater place than to find yourself (worth, purpose, identity) in God.

Lord,

Help us to be followers who seek to know and do what You say.  Give us the strength to live it out and the faith to know that You are always with us, working all things together for good.  We choose today to trust You.  You’ve got this and we’ve got You.

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Who’s In The #1 Spot?

The last 2 weeks have been very interesting for me.  As my work at church has ended, I felt that God has been moving me out from under the covering I had as a staff member at my church.  I’ve found myself lost.  Somehow my identity had fused with my employment status.

I found my covering and security in the wrong thing (yet again!).  I found it in a position instead of in God.  Who is the ultimate provider for my life?  GOD.  Who is the one who leads and guides me each day? GOD.  Where does my strength, hope, and peace come from?  GOD.  No position, human, or church can provide that for me.  God leads me and guides me.  If I get my focus off Him and onto a person or a title, that becomes an idol.  It replaces the position God should have in my life.

God,

Forgive me for placing other people and things in the place only You belong. Be #1 in my life. Lead me, my actions, and my words.  My life is so much more than I could have dreamed up by myself.  Thank you for again showing me that I belong to You and that my worth is found in You.

Your loving daughter,

Jill

BIG Faith…New Beginnings

Over the last few weeks my life has completely changed.  I went from living by big faith to living out that faith.  

Bryce and I have both been serving at Canvas Church for the last 2-1/2 years.  I was brought on staff 10 months ago to help with the administration needs.  My main goals were to create systems and structure to help the church as we continued to move forward and grow.  I’m happy to say I was able to accomplish those goals.

A few months ago, God started doing something big in the Moltumyr house.  He was training us in the area of faith.  Last fall, it seemed like every door was closing for my husband’s business.  He was working hard to keep it alive.  Even when the business was struggling God was faithful to provide for us in other ways.  One month we sold a bunch of things we owned because that’s what God told us to do.  Another month we were given enough money to keep us going by some people who listened to God and were faithful to obey Him.  I remember thinking how creative God was because the money seemed to be coming in different ways each time.

He was growing our faith.

It was sure a good thing He was growing our faith because we would be facing even more in the weeks to come.  Last week I celebrated my final day of employment with Canvas Church.  For reasons I don’t understand (yet!) God has moved me on from being on staff.  It was a mutual decision between the pastor, his wife, and myself.  They were feeling like my time was coming to an end and so was I.  Sometimes the fact that God is working all these things together at the same time without people even knowing it is amazing to me.  I hadn’t expressed any of my feelings to them, but I had been praying that God would be working in the situation so that they would be ready when it was time.

Here comes the moment of living out my faith.

I told Bryce yesterday how amazing it was that we are open to whatever God has next for us.  We are literally holding to the promises God has given us.  A dear friend was praying for us months ago and felt God showing her a picture for Bryce and I. All the pieces of our lives would come falling down to the bottom where God would then pick them up and shape them into something new. After He was done, she saw them being shot out like a rocket. I know that this season I’m walking through now is going to be harder than the (hard) season we just walked through.  God has told me that.  That thought gives me a lump in my throat because I certainly thought I could not possibly stretch any further.

Our job right now is to pray and keep our eyes open to find what God has for us.  My mind has to remain on the goodness of God, His faithfulness and love, and knowing that there is a promise out there for us.  If I step back into trying to control this, it will not end well.  God’s got me.  I just need to remain faithful to Him.

Walk with Me in holy trust, responding to My initiatives rather than trying to make things fit your plans.  I died to set you free, and that includes freedom from compulsive planning.  When your mind spins with a multitude of thoughts, YOU CANNOT HEAR MY VOICE.  A mind preoccupied with planning pays homage to the idol of CONTROL.  -Jesus Calling April 22

God has told me to live right here, right now and to not be planning for what is ahead.  So we are going to live well right now.  If you think of us, please pray as we are on the lookout for what God has in our future.  We know He is faithful and He has a great plan.

Liar! The Gloves Are Coming Off!

Do you ever have thoughts of beating up the devil?  

Yesterday morning as I was sitting reading my bible, he started dropping horrible lies in my head.  “If they really cared for you, they wouldn’t treat you like that.”  “You are of no worth.  Your dreams can’t come true.  You don’t have the drive.  You don’t have the connections.”

It’s in those moments that we have two choices.

1. Agree with what the devil is saying.  Take the little lies and internalize them.

2. Identify them as lies and don’t pick them up as your own.

We know that the devil condemns, but God corrects.  The devil will say over arcing things like, “you are not loved.  You are of no worth.”  But God will say, “You see how this situation unfolded, you know there was a more loving way to react” or “you see this thing you did, what does the Bible say about that?”  God is loving and kind.  He does not attack us or our entire character.  He addresses specific situations, attitudes, and issues that need adjusting.

So when the devil was lying to me yesterday, I just had to keep my shield up.  I kept looking for the truth.  Is this how God would talk to me?  NO, he wouldn’t.  Then out of nowhere I saw myself kick the devil in the devil parts (I always assume he’s equipped like a man and would still be hurt by that specific self-defense move) and punching him in the face.  And you know what, I’d like to do it again!  Cause he’s a LIAR!  He sucks…literally!  He sucks the life out of people leaving them a shell of what God intended for them to be.  And I REFUSE to let him suck the life out of me!

So, devil…I wanted to let you know that you are mean and you say ugly things.  You better step off or I’m gonna have to beat you down cause I have no time for your nonsense.  The mama bear in me is coming out so JUST BACK OFF!

 

I’m Ready To Live

I just got back from getting a Redbox movie for my son who came home sick from school today.  This little adventure took me driving in an area I’m not normally in this time of day.  So I’m pulling up to the stop sign when I see this man who looks like he’s around 50 years old and most likely looking for a fix (you know what I mean, right?).  Over the years, you’ve probably seen a guy like this somewhere in your travels.  He looked like he was trying to look a certain way with the bandana on his head, big rings on each finger, piercings, clean shirt…but he just had a look in his eyes.

His eyes told me he had a hard past.  His clothes and get-up made me see someone trying to perhaps keep living out the old glory days.  My clenched fists look as though he had to fight a lot with life.  As I’m sitting there analyzing him, God reminded me that this man is simply a man.  That’s it.  He’s a man with a purpose for his life.  He had a life and a purpose before all the ick happened in his life.  And now he had baggage.

But here’s the deal…WE ALL HAVE BAGGAGE.  We all have a past, hurts, and hang-ups.  We all have stuff that keeps us from living TRULY FREE!  But it doesn’t have to stop there!!!

Jesus didn’t die on the cross just to save us from hell.  No.  That is a great gift He gave us, but it’s not the only thing that happened that day.  He gave us a chance to live FREE!  Do you even know what that looks like?

About 6 months ago, I had a great time with God praying about my past hurts and hang-ups.  It was like there was a blockade between myself and God.  I loved Him and I was a Christ-follower, but I had such a hard time living a life free from my issues.  I believed I was always going to be fearful, wandering around without a purpose for my life, and scared to make decisions.  I asked God to forgive me for believing the lies about myself, about Him, and about my future and for Him to take those things out of my life.

After I was able to get rid of those things that were weighing me down, God filled me with words and pictures that showed me the truth about those lies.  He showed me the truth of who I am, who He is, and the purpose for my life.

If you are looking for that freedom, take some time to ask God what from your past is holding you back.  Once He’s showed you those things, ask Him to remove them.  Even ask for forgiveness for living out those lies.  He wants to take the ick away!  Once it’s gone, ask Him to show you the truth…who you are, who He is, and the purpose He has for your life.

I’m telling you, THIS is the life God has for you.  True freedom.

What’s Your Perspective?

Last Thursday I was able to attend the ladies bible study at my church where my dear friend Lauren was speaking.  Her message was too good to not pass on!

We have been reading in Deuteronomy about Moses and the Israelites.  Each of them had a different way of looking at what was going on while they were on their journey to the Promised Land.  Lauren presented the thoughts of an Israelite mother who didn’t understand how she was going to feed her kids or how to deal with the stresses of mobile living.  Weren’t they better off being slaves?  At least then they had food!  How about Moses’ view of these whiny people who seemed to always have a complaint.  They had seen some of the largest miracles in their journey, but yet they were still so unfaithful to God!  And what was God’s perspective of these people?  Their unbelief caused a longer journey than God had for them.  It caused Moses and the other generation to never cross into this Promised Land.

They were all experiencing the same situation, but the perspective from each person was so different.  That happens to us as well!  You can have three people walk through the same situation and all come out of it with a totally different take on what happened.  This happens because we all have different filters through which we see the situation.

Here are 4 filters we all have that shape our perspective:

1. Our personality (who we are definitely determines how we view our circumstances)

2. Our past events or experiences (each of us have lived out different situations that have formed and shaped who we are)

3. Strongholds in our lives (past hurts, family issues, our past that has become a stronghold)

4. Our personal beliefs (views of God and how He works, views on life)

 

Our table then had some time to chat about three questions.  They were:

1. How do you respond during stressful situations?

2. Are there any things that affect your perspective? (past hurts, personality, beliefs)

3. What benefits have you seen in your life when you have asked God for His perspecitve?

 

The conversation that followed was so inspiring.  We’ve all walk different paths and have so many different experiences.  These experiences have shaped our lives, but there are common threads that help us understand one another.

I’ve always been amazed at the common thread of fear or insecurity.  It seems to run rampant in people of our generations.  There are far too many people that have a past hurt that has plagued them for years holding them back.  I so badly want to help them walk our of that hurt so they can find themselves in a whole place where God has healed their wounds.

I’m also amazed at the large amount of trust and faith that I hear as people tell their story once they are on the other side of whatever they have gone through.  Some have lived through a stressful situation and come out on the other side with greater faith than before.  That faith has strengthened their ability so that next time (come on, you know there will be a next time!) they need to walk out their faith, they are able to do it with a bit more certainty.

Each of us has a story and that story has developed our perspective.  How has your life’s story helped form who you are today?

 

If you want to hear more from my friend Lauren, she has a ministry called Held Ministry and she blogs here.

I Need The TRUTH!

I remember watching a Veggie Tales video about Gideon when my kids were younger and thinking how much faith it would take for George Mueller to trust God to provide everything.  I mean, everything!  At that time I was still living under a lot of ick (read condemnation!) and thought I was a lesser Christian because I could never live with that kind of faith!  A few days ago I was thinking of that story again.  Perhaps it was because we were living that kind of faith out on a VERY small scale…and God has been very faithful, but that’s not the reason I write this.

My concern is that we have allowed other people’s expectations and condemnation (real or not real!) to dominate our lives.  What words have people spoken to you or over you (saying you are this way or that) that have SHAPED who you are today.  Have they brought God’s truth into your life or sucked out whatever truth you had in you?  Has what they said changed the way you hear and see yourself?

Who is the ultimate authority in our life?  If we make God the one in charge, I can guarantee you that He does NOT condemn us.  He will correct our behaviors and even guide us to the proper path, but He does it in such a kind and loving way.  He has expectations for you that are not outside your reach, especially when you are listening to Him and letting Him take the lead.

When people start speaking into your life, ask yourself if what they are saying is hurting or helping, but more importantly ask yourself if it is true.  I am constantly asking myself if what I’m thinking or hearing is a lie (and perhaps going to hurt me) or if it’s God’s truth about who and what He is asking of me.  Many times I go back to the Bible and test what I’m hearing.  I also journal, so I’ll go back and see if what I’m hearing lines up with what I’ve come to see in my past.

What are some lies that you’ve believed that need to be stopped?  Once you get rid of that lie, what is the truth in that situation?  It’s not enough to simply get rid of the lie, you must replace it with truth or the lie will try to weasel it’s way back into your life.  Find the truth.