Big shout out to my buddy RC Sloan for telling me to check this song out awhile back! I usually try to share what I’m going through, struggling with, or a piece of God’s Word that really hit me but when this song came on today while I was going down the road it was just too awesome not to share. There is so much encouragement and hope packed in these lyrics showing how we serve such a powerful and capable God. There was a few lines that hit me extremely hard that I wanted to share.
‘Cause You know my body’s broken
You know my eyes can’t see
You know I’m looking for a miracle
So why not here? Why not me?
Even when it all seems hopeless
Even though we don’t know how
Lord, we’re believing for a miracle
So why not here? Why not now?
We go through this life everyday and the more we live, the more we are shown just how incapable we are. If it was up to us to be strong and see the goodness of God at work all around us, we’d be living a pretty hopeless life. Thank God that even though our bodies are broken, we don’t know how, and all seems hopeless in our eyes He gave us hope and strength through Jesus! We may be incapable but Jesus is more than capable. He gives us strength when we’re too weak to move. He opens our eyes to see His presence all over our lives and in the world around us, constantly opening us up to see the truth in His Word. He gives us hope when everything around us looks so impossible. A hope that gets us out of bed every morning, a hope that continues to push us forward past the uncertainties and obstacles that lay in our path. Jesus Christ, the Son of God lives in us and with us, think about that!! THE SON OF GOD!! To have a personal relationship and identity in Jesus Christ, He gives us the hope and freedom to walk out every single day saying “WHY NOT NOW?” He’s so powerful and so capable, doesn’t that raise your expectations and belief of the miracles He’s capable of doing in your life, whether big or small, Why not now? When things look hopeless, when your situation sucks, when your told you aren’t good enough, your not strong enough to get past your struggles, say “Why not now?” Let your belief in the powerful and capable God you serve raise your expectations and keep moving forward. That simple little question puts everything back into perspective that God is more than capable of doing more than we could ever think or think.
I wanna see the mute start talking
I wanna see the lame start walking
Walking through the darkest night
Shouting out ’cause You bring the light
I wanna see the closed doors open
I wanna see the left out chosen
Chosen from the start of time
It’s ’bout time You let faith arise
““I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”/John 15:5-8
My lesson in class today was on “Abiding in Christ.” This is some really cool stuff and I’m jacked to share it with ya. As much as this lesson helped me out, I pray it can be of some service to you too.
Abiding in Christ sounds pretty simple right? That’s the coolest part, it is simple and in verse 7, He says how available He is to help and teach us how to abide, He literally wants us to abide in Him and live this life as He lived, live it to the fullest, all we have to do is ask.
The lesson was so huge for me because although it’s simple and Christ gives us all the means to do it, there is a lot of the time in my life that I don’t abide in Christ. Why wouldn’t we? Well, I don’t know if you’re like me but I like to drive the car, I like to know where I’m going, when I’ll be there and go at the speed I want. Driving gives us a sense of control on our lives but how often do we ever get to where we need to go when we get behind the wheel? Not often.
Why does it seem so hard to abide in Christ? What complicates the mess out of this truth and command from the Lord is when we try to be the vine and try to drive the car. That’s one of the hardest parts of the Christian life, taking our hands off the wheel and humbling ourselves under the authority of Christ in our lives. Just like Carrie Underwood said it, “Jesus take the wheel.” (Been singing it all day cause of this)
The more I live this life with Christ, the easier it is to see that the times life seems so complicated, I’m stressed out, upset, fearful of worried, and try so hard to produce fruit for Him with no results, those times I’m always left seeing the main problem is myself. I try to be the vine and be in control but Jesus says, step back young buck, you keep running in circles trying to produce fruit that you’re not capable of doing. Knowing our place in this relationship we have with the Son of God makes all the difference in whether our life is full of the most beautiful fruit or just bare and empty, having no fruit. He is the vine, I’m just the branches.
How we believe and see our position in Christ says a lot about the fruit in our life. The simpleness of all this is that Christ is the vine, He is the driver, He’s got our destination secure in eternity, Christ is telling us to abide in Him, embrace your role in the backseat and He will do the driving. It’s really hard to take our hands off the wheel of our lives and give up control but we have to ask ourself, do I want to drive in circles all day, running low on gas? Or we let Christ drive, embrace Him being the vine cause we are just incapable branches anyways, ride out this life in the freedom, victory, peace and joy He provides. Just think of how nice that is? We have no worries, we’re just chilling in the back seat listening to some good tunes knowing wherever Christ takes us, however long it takes to get there, that’s alright because we can trust that He knows what’s best for our lives, trust that He is in full control, He is providing everything we need to walk out this life abiding in Him.
And the fruit!!! Wait til you see that fruit!!! With our position in Christ as the branches abiding in Him as the vine, the Lord is all about producing that good fruit. Apart from Christ we have zero fruit but abiding in Him, oh man!! He’s talking about some prize winning fruit like those huge pumpkins and different fruits you see at the fair. Christ has the fruit under control. And by fruit, it’s not just enjoying the fruit He puts in your life but that fruit spreads into others lives!
Living in His peace, joy, and freedom that only He provides is great but what’s even greater is that out of this world fruit spread into others lives so we’re all getting to taste what Christ produces! It’s a struggle to admit I’m just a branch and I can’t ever be pleasing to God, I can’t do anything. Unless, we abide in Christ, then we are one with the only One who is righteous before God so in that abiding and riding while Christ is driving, the evidence of whether we are abiding in Christ or not is seen all over our lives. He’s the only way to live a life that honors God, a life that exemplifies the light of Christ in every step we take.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God came to earth to show us how to live and give us life, when we abide in Him, He gives us everything we need to live more like Him. It may seem like a habit at this point in your life to be in control, to drive the car and live as if you were the branch. But you got to admit that Jesus taking the wheel (thanks Carrie), the Son of God being in full control of your life, living in the constant awareness of His presence in your life, drawing the strength and authority we need to live victoriously day by day. Yeah, that sounds way better than me behind the wheel. Abiding in Christ is simple and embracing your position in Christ where He is the vine and you’re just a branch, simplifies everything about this life and relationship we make so difficult. I’m right there with ya in this journey to abide more and drive less, let’s take it one moment and one day at a time, stepping back from the wheel and just riding with Christ.
I don’t know if this will help but it helped me a ton to see some examples of a what happens when a person abides in Christ. This seminary education is coming in handy! Here’s some notes to add:
Abiding in Christ;
-walking in constant/open confession with God confessing our incapableness and our need for Christ at the lead
-means we continuously seek Word of Christ and know the truth
-means a person is constantly experiencing and dwelling in presence and witness of the Spirit
-letting God’s Word abide in their lives
-means person has power to live as they should
-means person dwells in love, unity, and fellowship with all other believers
-means person bears fruit and has very fruitful lives/ we can do nothing in the flesh and please God
-means a person lives for others, live to love and provide for others
-means a person doesn’t walk in continual, habitual sin
-means a person possesses confidence and unashamedness in life that prepares them for eternity
-means a person actively surrenders them self to obey God’s commandments
-means a person loves his brother
-means a person does will of God
-means a person experiences continual presence and anointing of Holy Spirit
Instead of the usual Son-day Surprise, I felt the need to share the story behind these messages. Just in case you ever wonder why I write these long, sometimes “too long”, wild messages everyday I wanted to share my heart and intentions behind these words. This is the background and foundation to the messages about the One who has changed my life forever.
The “God Gold of the Day” got it’s start when a close friend asked me to help him stay accountable in the Word and life. Being new in my faith, I had no idea what I was doing but it didn’t take long and the pure Gold God revealed to me turned my world upside down. I was coming into these messages and His Word for the first true time in my life. I had grown up in church throughout my younger years but being a “Christian” was nothing more than a title I walked around with because it looked good on my reputation. I had no idea what being a follower of Christ really was or how awesome a relationship with Him would be. Coming from a life of living in whatever way pleased Jordan the most, always trying to be so different than the status quo, I thought I was really living. It turned out my thought of what “living” was and being “different” led me into a lot of dark places and pulling others down with me as I went. When Jesus opened up my eyes to see that He had been there the whole time with open, loving arms, carrying me through my years of wild, worldly, and careless living, I was stunned at how wrong I was but most of all by His love. No matter what I tried from the buffet the world offered I always ended up with that empty feeling, a void that I couldn’t seem to fill until Jesus. He filled that void like nothing I’ve ever imagined, the empty brokenness turned to freedom and hope. Jesus blew my socks off to see what a true “Christian” was which was so much different than the image the world painted for me. I had wanted to be different so badly that I ended up swimming downstream with the rest of the fishes of the world, comfortably floating with the current. I was jaw dropped when I realized that following Jesus was more different than anyone could get and after learning of the truth that He loved me enough to die for me and give me a another way of living, another LIFE, I couldn’t help but want more. Jesus turned my world upside down, I went from spending my time in places, doing things that let’s just say, they weren’t all that great, to walking into a life of ministry. WHAT?!? Yeah, I was probably more shocked than anyone and to be honest it’s still hard to wrap my head around it. I obviously hadn’t spent much time in the Word and had no clue what to do in this new life with Jesus or even what page of God’s Word to start on. I had a lot of old habits and demons to fight from my old life and the start of these messages, where it was taking a piece of Scripture then just writing whatever God brought up. These messages, seeing the truth and power in God’s Word and God in general, He transformed my life, completely took me apart, broke down my old ways of thinking and began to rebuild. I share that part to let you know that its not about what you know, it’s all about Who you know, and its amazing that He can take the most broken of people, people much more broken than I was and make something so beautiful. If you are just getting started and don’t know where to start, start with His literal Word spoken directly to you and He’ll take care of the rest.
So my buddy asked me to start an accountability message with Him and I wasn’t sure what to even say in the message but we just started sending stuff back and forth. It was simply sending a daily text to him sharing experiences, a piece of scripture, then really digging in deep to what God was speaking through that. As much as I was learning from those messages, I figured I would keep hitting send and if somebody gained anything from God’s Word and my experiences then it’d be worth sharing! It’s funny looking back at it, I had no intention of making these messages a thing because I just couldn’t stop doing them after the mind blown learning God was taking me through. If it was up to me I would have never kept hitting send or sharing messages everyday but thank God it’s not up to me. God had other plans and continued to grow the number of people receiving the God Gold message. I still just sit there kind of stunned when someone asks to receive the God Gold but it’s a testament to Christ and what He’s capable of doing even in a dude as clueless as I was and still am. I never in a million years thought I would be sending out messages like this but because of Jesus Christ and the work He continues to do daily in my life, everything I thought I’d be doing before 22 pretty much got thrown out the window. The only mission I have now is to share Christ in whatever way I can. Instead of pulling others down into the darkness with me He’s given me a second chance at LIFE. To walk out my days with Him and help show others that despite their past, the addictions, the hopelessness, they too have the same chance for Christ to lead them out of the darkness and into the light of His eternal LIFE.
The main purpose for spreading God’s Gold in bigger and better ways isn’t for any personal gain or to have my name anywhere near it. Besides, Christ is the only good part about me so I pray He will be magnified above all else. It’s all about Christ. The mission is to spread the Gold, spread Christ and the Gospel to as many as possible so that one life at a time can be impacted and transformed by the amazing love of Jesus Christ the way mine has been. I still type for myself and the learning God grows me through in His Word and experiences but as the Lord continues to move, seeing the opportunity to spread Christ even more and help other fellow believer’s in the similar struggles we face together. I’m amazed and so thankful to be able to type and send these. As the messages will always be the same, the mission continues to grow and whether that is through these online platforms or taking the God Gold to the streets as forms of outreach. However God decides to do that is good with me but I just want you to know how big of a role you play in this mission. Your support and the sharing of God Golds is doing a mighty work in my life and the Kingdom. Also, when you share and support this mission, don’t do it for me, do it for Christ and the spread of His Good News to reach others in need of hearing it because He’s the foundation, He’s the only reason these get sent out and He’s the only part of the mission that matters in the God Gold, our lives or any other ministry with Him at the lead. I pray that these devotion messages are an encouragement to you and move you closer to Christ as you walk out this adventure of life with Him and I pray for each and every person who reads this. Also, please pray for me to keep this foundation front and center as I type each message. I’ve seen how easy it can be to lose focus on Who all this is really about and there’s too many lives at stake to take the spread of this Good News lightly. Funny thing is, I still have no clue what I’m doing but the Lord continues to amaze me each and every day.
“You have tested us, O God; you have purified us like silver. You captured us in your net and laid the burden of slavery on our backs. Then you put a leader over us. We went through fire and flood, but you brought us to a place of great abundance.”
You know after sending a message yesterday about believing and living the gospel. Prioritizing Jesus in our lives an the truth in who He says we are and the victory He has won for us. When I wrote it out and when I read over it, I know it’s the truth that will turn my life upside down in the best ways imaginable. God has told us and showed us the difference it makes when we keep our hearts and minds upward on Him, eternity and walking freely and victoriously in His abundance. He turns our world upside down the more we continue to believe the truth but what’s really hard once you get back into the mundane, busy lifestyle, being influenced and tempted with everything the world has to offer. It’s sounds real easy to just believe and you’re good to go but actually believing and putting your faith in the Lord is much harder than what it sounds like in a nice pretty little God Gold. I sound upset because I took this truth to heart, I took it with me to work this morning, I took it with me most of the day but as soon as life in all it’s nastiness really hit, I this truth behind. It was a lesson for me to dig deeper in my faith and see that when we have those moments where God opens up our eyes to see His truth, the mountain top moments when we’re all jacked up, His truth can’t be left in those moments but we’re going to have to pack it up and take it with us on this journey of life. At any moment just when we think we’ve got it all figured out, BOOM!! Maybe it’s just one thought that’s lurking around the corner sneaking in to your heart and once it gets to where it needs to be, that thought of doubt and fear begins to multiply and before long if we let it stay there without putting our eyes upward. It will explode and believing in the truth feels nearly impossible when it’s fought with all the lies.
I had a quote today that fit like a glove, “faith isn’t exercised in a vacuum. Faith is exercised in the hard-core circumstances of life.” God had showed me the truth, I was on fire and felt invincible then life hit, hit a few more times and before I knew it I was on the verge of being knocked out with no memory of the truth God had laid before me. So we see how Paul says, “Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.”(Colossians 3:2) Yeah that makes a lot more sense to why God put that Word there. If our faith was exercised and truly grown in the confines of a perfect world then would it really grow? Nope. In these verses from Psalms, the mentioning of being tested, going through fire and flood, then they came to a place of God’s abundance. It’s easy to believe God’s truth that you’re a victorious freedom fighter and a child of His but when you start becoming tested and hit by all the world can throw at ya. Having faith becomes extremely difficult. Why should we keep our eyes upward? Because the moment we lower them to the surrounding circumstances of our lives, the lies and temptations thrown in our path, that’s when having faith becomes difficult.
I want to believe God’s truth, live in light of the gospel and eternity, keep my eyes directed upward and my thoughts on Christ, I want my faith to be stronger, I want to truly experience God’s abundance. What Christian wouldn’t want that? Faith comes at a cost and faith has to be exercised by floods, fires and storms. We may want those things but at the end of the day in our fast food, comfortable little lives, are we willing to count the cost of walking through the fire. Majority of the time the fire comes in my life and faith is left far behind, I immediately run back to the pleasures of this world to comfort me.
Experiencing the abundance of God and having an enormous amount of faith sounds pretty ideal right? We can experience the building of our faith and His abundance everyday but to experience them in His fullness, it takes time. It takes time of constantly, day by day taking the hits, taking the moments of failure when we let the lies run wild in our minds and not sitting and sulking. Not running back to our old life to the buffet of pleasures that used to fill us up, maybe temporarily if that. God produces faith in us by “refining us like silver”, where He melts us down, brings us through circumstances that we aren’t strong enough to get through on our own and teaches us how to learn from our failure. He takes us to nothing, what looks like to us a messy liquid form then He begins to apply flames to our mess. Keep your thoughts upward, it may burn and hurt for a little bit but we can trust in the fact that God is growing our faith and bringing us into His abundance. God is renewing our thoughts daily, molding us to where we look a little more like that finished piece of expensive silver, in the image of Christ. Keep looking upward, the more it looks messy in our horizontal vision, keep your thoughts on God’s truth. Look vertical and He’ll show you the goodness and amazing work He is doing.
God refined me today by showing me His awesome truth, helping me live it for a little bit but the fire came and when I began to crumble, He showed me how we have to walk through the fire with His truth also even when it hurts. It’s a constant battle of fighting off the lies and distractions with God’s truth and faith in His truth. You may see a mess but God sees the beginning of His masterpiece. See life in His eyes, pour in His Word and no matter how hot and painful the fire gets continue to seek Him even harder and trust that He is in full control. Trust that He is bringing you closer to the life of abundance, where walking in His freedom and victory becomes your first instinct. It’s such a long, painful and hard process but He’s so more than worth it!
To be real with you, I’ve been going through a season of hopping to whatever job will have me, taking some hits that has brought me living paycheck to paycheck. I’m getting married in a little over five months, I’ll have a bigger responsibility to provide, I’ll have way more bills to pay than I have now. The hits have hurt along with the progress of my employment, as much as I trust in Him to provide its gotten extremely hard to believe when I take a look around. It may look like I’m way out of my league and cause some worry from others who see this but looking to others opinions and the surrounding mess only causes more mess. I almost didn’t type these facts of my situation for that very reason but what God is doing in my struggle is too good not to give you the messy part because if it can help one person see His goodness in our weakness then it’s well worth it. God is taking me lower than I’ve ever gone and through pain I’ve never experienced but I tell you this to show you that I too struggle to believe at times. I want to see abundance but it seems impossible. I also tell you this because the lower God has taken me and the more I’m melting by the fire, He’s allowed me to experience His abundance in ways I’ve never imagined. He has taught me how to lean not on my understanding or the worlds but lean on Him. I may not be where I want to be or where I thought I’d be but thank God for all He’s taught me in this time, He’s teaching me how to keep my eyes more upward everyday, He’s teaching me how to carry His truth as a constant reminder in good times and bad. Sometimes you have to become a complete mess and take a lot of hits to see just how much you have with God. I pray for me and you, whatever process of being refined you’re going through or if you think everything is hunky dory, I pray that God will teach you of life in His abundance, life lived with void of fear and worry. His refining may be different for each of us but when the pain comes I pray that God continues to teach us and renew us everyday to trust in Him, trust that He is in full control and that He teaches us daily to keep our eyes upward so we can see our circumstances that look bad and impossible through our eyes and see them though His eyes, with peace, patience, and joy for the masterpiece God is creating us to be.
“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.”/Colossians 3:1-3
“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.”/Colossians 3:15-17
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving today! Between all the good food and hanging with the fam, it’s hard not to be thankful. The cool part about Thanksgiving is the perspective change that takes place as we get the chance to step away from all the busyness and mundane of our everyday lives. We get to sit back, enjoy time with family, eat like we’ve never eaten before and just enjoy the day that the Lord gave us for everything it’s worth. The hard part about days like today, is going back to work in that same ole busy, mundane lifestyle tomorrow. Why can’t we enjoy tomorrow like we enjoyed today? Why do we let the circumstances of our life weigh us down?
I’ve sat here typing out words, backspacing, typing, back spacing, I don’t have a clue how to live everyday in the same peaceful, joyful attitude as I lived with today but thank God for His Word shining light on our tomorrows. Paul says we have new life in Christ, from the moment we first believe and everyday after we are living in this new life with Christ, the life of eternity. We may not feel like it, our surroundings may not look like it but the truth in the good news of the gospel is that Christ has paid the price for our lives here on earth so we no longer have to live in the attitudes and traps that our earthly lives and circumstances bring. We wake up today and every day after in the truth that our old life is gone and we get to walk in the new life that Christ has given us with Him.
I like so many of us have to go back to work in the morning. I’m already having thoughts that are very thankful. Which brings the second part of the verse out in all of its light. It’s an instruction to keep our eyes set above, not on things that surround us here on earth. Why would we need to do that? If you are constantly thinking about the to-do list you have tomorrow and the job you have to go to that you don’t enjoy, your attitude is probably going to reflect it. When we set our minds on things above, on Christ and the new life He has given us, the truth that He’s walking with us and in us, your attitude will be a whole lot different. Living in the total worship mentioned in the second set of verses, the peace that only Christ can provide, living with thankfulness in everything we do. Those are natural actions after seeking and constantly keeping your minds filled with Christ and the eternity He has given you. How often do we get distracted and overlook these truths about our relationship with Christ, our new life for eternity there, here and now? How often do we make a point and priority to seek Christ and keep our minds above?
I type this because I make those mistakes daily and the way I live, the attitude I have shows it. I know if I don’t make that priority to seek Christ and stay constant in seeking Him then when life hits down here I’m going to act as if earth is my only home. No peace, no joy, I’m definitely not thankful. Who wants to live like that? We’ve been given so much, we’ve been given LIFE, a life of freedom and eternity, a heavenly connection with God Himself. He’s given us more than enough to be thankful for because He’s given us Himself. And to think that it says we are in Christ and then Christ is in God, wait a second, does that mean?!? Yep, it sure does. We are one with Christ and in this new life with Him we are one with God, the creator of everything we see around us. We have that powerful and awesome connection with God. I don’t know why my mind isn’t always looking above.
When I started typing this, I was thinking, “how can I live in this peace and worship mentioned in the second part of verses? What can I do?” Then verses 1-3 came in front of me and I realized there’s nothing I can do. By believing in Christ and what he’s already done by raising me out of my old life and my old way of thinking and living, I’m more thankful than I’ve ever been. I could care less about work tomorrow because I’m in Christ and He’s in me, what can happen that He can’t handle?
It struck me how much of a priority I need to check myself and keep my mind above in the truth of the Gospel because He changes everything. His truth and sacrifice reverses the offer the world can give me, instead of worry He gives peace, instead of fear He gives strength, instead of depression and selfishness He gives an abundance of joy and thankfulness that just makes you want to do nothing but worship Him in the fullness of what He deserves.
It’s crazy that we usually act out of our strongest belief, of what we put the most value on in our lives. If our strongest belief is in Christ and we value Him and the gift of eternity and freedom that He gave us to live in not one day but TODAY. He teaches us how to live in that belief. What do you believe about yourself, about what Christ has done for you and says about you? Do you value things of this earth more or the things above? When you believe the truth of the gospel your life reflects Christ, your values reflect eternity, your attitude changes, He brings you to be at peace, worshiping with joy, and in thankfulness of Him. Give thanks to Him today, raise your minds and eyes, prioritize Him, value your new life in Christ and this life of eternity more than anything else, it’ll be wild how He turns your world and others worlds all around you upside down. Let’s wake up worshiping tomorrow for He’s given us more than enough reasons to.