Saturday, August 25, 2012

What Is He Up To?

So the hectic schedule returns and my summer is quickly coming to an end. In the past week I've gotten new roommates, went on a retreat, and volunteered at a 5/10k run. Sounds simple, but much work went into each event! The highlight was most definitely retreat, also known as Summerfest 2012...

My school, James River Leadership College, has a retreat at the beginning of each semester to take time away from the busyness of life and get with God. Every night was filled with incredible worship and during the day we competed in tribes all while getting to know one another better. Boy, did God do some great things. I'm already beginning to see some prayers answered I lifted up to him during my summer. He spoke to me about my year ahead and built my faith for the great things to come.

I can have my moments of struggling with fear. I never want to fail and I'm always determined to succeed. But sometimes, life doesn't always happen that way. I've had my moments of, what felt like to me, defeat and those moments have scared me. But I know fear is not of God. And at retreat, it was as if God whispered right into my ear, "I'm going to deal with this right now." Scripture after scripture kept revealing itself before my eyes. His word says in Isaiah 43:2, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. When you cross rivers, you will not drown. When you walk through fire, you will not be burned, nor will the flames hurt you."

He is with me. He is with me and he is for me. His very word says I can pass through rivers without drowning and not be burnt by fire. He is holding my hand in protection. My mind would then go back to a verse in Songs of Solomon which declares "...You have thrilled my heart..." God is constantly winning over my heart everyday! His word is speaking truth into my life and I am declaring it! I need not to be fearful because God is with me and no matter what he has a plan specific for me. This plan has been designed perfectly with every little detail worked out before I was ever conceived.

One of our wise professors stated, "Opportunity is from God." I'm always on the prowl for opportunity. And when it doesn't come my way, that fear settles in. That fear of not being good enough or not ever getting the opportunity to shine. But that is not the truth! What I learned at retreat is that I shouldn't be chasing down the people who I think will sprinkle a bit of opportunity my way. No. Opportunity is from the Lord, and whatever is placed before me I should work diligently at to complete giving God the glory. Then in his timing that opportunity, I believe, will truly come. Matthew 6:33 mentions to seek God and his kingdom first above all else, then everything else I need will be given to me. Besides my cravings for opportunity, God also spoke to me that it's not just about Ariel. Ultimately, advancing the Kingdom of Christ is the goal and I do not need to place all my efforts on finding opportunity for me to shine. Isaiah 42: 6-7 claims, "The Lord says, 'I, the Lord, called you to do right, and I will hold your hand and protect you. You will be the sign of my agreement with the people, a light to shine for all people. You will help the blind to see. You will free those who are in prison, and you will lead those who live in darkness out of their prison.'" I remember learning last semester in my missions class that 40% of the world have yet to be reached. That's 40% who have yet to experience Jesus setting the blind free, releasing those who are in bondages and prisons, and for them to see the light! Yes, God will use me and he will use you, but it'll be for his glory and his kingdom. I don't need to worry about if I am being seen because it's Jesus who needs to be seen. I understand better now I must work for Jesus to be seen and that opportunity will eventually roll around, and it'll be in his timing and for his glory. The verse even says that I will be a light; I don't need to strive to make myself a light because the Lord will do it as he works through me. I am not to ready myself for man, but to let God ready me and when he wants to reveal me he can do so.

There's just so much more I could say about all that God has revealed to me during retreat. But hey, I'm still trying to meditate on it all of it because it is just so good! Just like Papa... so good.

Glory to God for all that he has done, is doing, and is going to do!
❤ Ariel Christine

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