Thursday, September 27, 2012

Let Go & Let God

I can stress easily. It's a known fact.

I like my order, agenda book, sticky notes everywhere. You know... they typical schedule-lovin' freak.

How easily though, my head can get jumbled. There's confusion and unclear vision all because I am trying to take on the world and make everything bow to it's knees under the point of my finger.

Why do we like control so much? It is the fact that if we feel like we're in control, we can make our lives go OUR way and have things happen the way WE want?  It's all about US, right? We are in control of our own lives and can make things happen for ourselves.

But there is some error in that.
What happens when things go horribly south? Are we able to fix it? Can we handle the healing process? Or what if we don't get the things we desire and strive so much for? It'll all end in heartbreak and tragedy.

We have free will. God has made it known to us that we have free will. But he does not desire us to live a life in such freedom we stray down the wrong roads simply because we're "doing our own thing." Before I was ever created, even thought of by my parents, God had my life destined. And As Jeremiah 29 says, they were plans of hope and a prosperous future. He had those marvelous plans for me in hope that one day I would choose him and say, "Yes Lord, my life is yours." Those plans are to for things beyond my wildest imagination, bigger than my biggest dreams, and all for his glory and kingdom! Plans that would glorify him and his goodness and also to have me live a life full and complete in Christ Jesus through which one day I would reign with Him. And that day did happen; I did say "yes" to the cross. Through that God has carried out his will for my life, and let me personally testify and say it sure has been something different. It's an adventure! It's wild! It's walking by faith into the unknown which can be the hardest thing sometimes, but God has such big plans for me!

So me the control freak, trying to let go of control and let God work can be hard at times. It's those moments I have to remember that when I try to control things, everything becomes fuzzy and unclear. The moment I let God handle it, my vision is cleared and I see things how he does. He knows what's best; he's the ultimate dad! He already knows the plan and how things are going to turn out. And let me say, as his child he's not going to stray you wrong. Follow him, follow his will for your life. There is more freedom in that than any of the things in this world! The "things of the world" will make you slaves to them. The enemy will use them to reel you in rather than to find complete freedom in Christ.

It's a weird thought... That completely surrendering yourself to God gives you ultimate freedom. And once you're there, you still have a choice. Remain in that freedom or turn way from it. God is so good that he will always give you a choice, but there is one answer that will give you life to the fullest as well as eternal life in heaven. Please don't choose wrong simply because you're afraid of God controlling you or other things seem more tempting. First, God doesn't control you. He loves you and desires the best for your life. He will help you get there! And the things of this world you can say are satisfying. And they are... for a moment. But when they're gone, you'll desire them more, and go to greater lengths to achieve things that never fully satisfy a gaping hole in your heart. Only God can fill that hole because he was the one who created you! He created your heart and made a hole that only he can fill! Won't you let him fill it and lead your life into adventure?

Romans 8:13
If you use your lives to do the wrong things your sinful selves want, you will die spiritually. But if you use the Spirit's help to stop doing wrong things you do with your body, you will have true life.

❤Ariel Christine

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Obedient Jesus

In the book of John, chapter 26 Jesus takes Peter, James, and John with Him to Gethsemane to pray. Once there, Jesus tells the men to pray and watch Him while He goes off by himself to pray.

He said to them, "My heart is full of sorrow, to a point of death. Stay here and watch me." (v. 38)

After walking a little farther away from them, Jesus fell to the ground and prayed. My Father, if it is possible, do not give me this cup of suffering. But do what you want, not what I want." (v. 39)

Then Jesus went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this painful thing to be taken away from me, and if I must do it, I pray that what you want will be done." (v. 42)

Jesus knew that what God desired most from him was obedience; faithful obedience. Jesus was 100% God, but also 100% man. As a man, of course, it's normal to experience pain, hurt, nerves, and much more. Jesus prayed to God about his future death. As read in the verses, He even asked for God to take away this "cup of suffering" if at all possible. In Luke 22:43-44 it mentions, "Then an angel from heaven appeared to him to strengthen him. Being full of pain, Jesus prayed even harder. His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground." But ultimately, He wanted God's will even if it caused His own death. And it is not that Jesus didn't want to die for us. He loved us SO much that He wanted to be obedient to God to rescue his children. Jesus sees our value and worth. He understood that it was a huge task, but if God wanted him to "go" then He said he would go.

I love reading this passage. It's rare to find moments in the word when Jesus is asking God that if it's at all possible, to not let this plan of suffering to go through. But you read Jesus say, "But do what you want..." What could be harder than Jesus dying on the cross? Sometimes I tend to freak out over little, microscopic things. When I compare them to what Christ had to do, they seems so small, some even insignificant. Jesus was so obedient to God even in the hardest situation. Surely, I can be obedient to God in anything less. And if Christ is in me, then I'm much more confident I can be obedient to God in the things he calls me to do. The One who was obedient even to the point of death is within me, then most definitely I can be obedient and with a confidence and help from His Holy Spirit.

Obedience is a choice. I can choose to not be obedient or to be obedient. How this passage speaks to me though is when it seems hard to be obedient, it can still be done. God's spirit is working in me and for me. Maybe to some this passage doesn't speak as much; maybe to some is reveals so much. It revealed a lot for me. I haven't read anything about Jesus like it. The prayers he asked were almost shocking to me. But He was just so selfless, humble, and God-fearing.

Do what you want, God.

Who am I to tell my Creator how my life should go?

❤ Ariel Christine

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Crisis Mode.

This week has been... interesting. Or I can say it's been hectic, overwhelming, upsetting, stressful, basically anything but calm. The best way to think of it (and this really isn't the best way to say it) is I feel like I am going through a mini-identity crisis......

I know, weird.

God has definelty put a shift in my spirit. I know that he's leading me somewhere new, but I don't know where. And I am the kind of girl that when any type of problem or situtation is placed in front of me, I need to find a solution immedicately. I like to know what's going on around me and always having a plan. Not knowing where God is leading right now can be very stressful moments to me, but to him they're moments of teaching. Why it feels like a "mini-identity crisis" is because with this new direction I'm questioning my calling, my future, and my dreams. "Is what I thought God called me to really something else? Is this area of ministry really where I am being lead? What about my dreams and goals? Am I to think of new ones? Where are you taking me, God?!" That's been my week. Constantly questioning those things.

In Philippians 4, verses 6 & 7 are verses I have always loved and read over numerous amounts of time. However, this time it's different. They spoke right into my craziness: "Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. And God's peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."

My Conclusion: Yes, I am being led somewhere new and different. It's reality and it's happening. How to deal: God's indescribable, incomprehendable peace. His peace is so great it's almost hard to understand just how peaceful it truly is, but that peace comes and it stays. Peace from God himself is what has been getting me through this week. I prayed constantly for his peace and he brought it. And it wasn't a peace that I knew where he was leading me, but a peace that everything is really going to be okay. I know that God is for me and is with me. To not be at rest knowing he will lead me would be not trusting God. In Jeremiah he even spoke that he has plans to set me up for a good future; plans to make me prosperous and to have hope. Why Philippians 4 spoke to me so much is because I know surrendering to God and praying to him releases these worries and stresses of life. Once the prayers are lifted up to him, they're in his hands. He is in control and we are not to live day-to-day with the world's stresses on our shoulders.

I feel like this post has been difficult to write, but then again so has this process. It's definitely a journey and reading this post you might be able to relate and you might not. If you can, I'm sure you could agree God leading your somewhere new is very exciting and it could be difficult. You're pushed outside your comfort zone and my learn to rely on faith. Sometimes not knowing where you're going can bring about an adventurous feeling, yet apprehensive. But God can be trusted, and when that happens, I truly believe the apprehensive feelings go away. It's just that initial step towards completely relying on him. As read in Philippians, he will give you that peace and then can you truly rest in Christ knowing he has the ultimate control. Why would God ever set you, his beloved child, up to fail?

With love & care,
❤ Ariel Christine

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Leader Who Was

I'll get you I swear
You won't fare against me
I've been at this for years
No chance of victory.

You're the Lord's finest
They all follow you
But I'll have you yet
And they'll be lost too.

Why bother with those,
Already in grasp?
You're what I'm after,
You're my whole task.

Here's how it goes:
I've planned it all out,
Your religion will crumble
Of that there's no doubt.

I'll start in your mind,
Make you question His laws
You'll excuse all your sin
Then you'll be in my claws.

Once in your mind,
The reasoning will start,
Why give your whole life?
Why give your heart?

I'll find all your weak spots,
And hit you right there.
I've re-wired your thoughts
So you won't think about prayer.

And since you're so strong
You won't need any help
Even when others,
Ask of your spiritual health.

I'll be so cunning
I'll be so subtle,
You won't see it approach
Till you're in serious trouble.

And when you wake up,
And see what's been done
I'll deceive you again
I'll make it seem fun.

Why bother with rules?
Why do what's right?
It's much too costly
And harder to fight.

You'll right yourself soon,
Of that there's no worry
I whisper again,
"There's no need to hurry."

Then I'll unleash
All of my worst.
The timing is perfect
It wouldn't work at first.

But the pattern of sin
Won't fail to decay
The power of a Christian
Who leaves the perfect way.

You'll be so far gone
The leader who was,
That no one will recognize
The one you've become.

Why go through all this?
Why bother with you?
Cuz you're at the top,
Your followers fall too.

I've blinded again
Of this you don't see,
That because of your fall
Others will flee.

And because of my work
I won't have to fear
Of what you can accomplish
When the King draws near.

I'll laugh to myself
For only I know,
You could have been great...
But I stopped the show.

Written By Jessica Grove
Ephesians 4:27
Do not give the devil a way to defeat you.
God Bless.
❤Ariel Christine

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Well... the first week of school has gone by. I have survived, but I'm still working on adapting back into the school atmosphere. I would consider myself studious and pretty "on the ball," but it does always take me an extra amount of time to get back into it.

Along with being back at school, I have my certain expectations for the year ahead. I have expectations for myself, for the school year, and for events to play out. I can make expectations on anything really, but ultimately I don't know what is to happen. I mean I do hope for the best and will try to achieve any expectations that fall under my realm of control. However, there are things that are not under my control and could really go any which way.

Ariel List of Expectations & Goals:
-Grow deeper in my relationship with Jesus Christ
-Grow as a worship leader and into a better musician
-Learn on to be a better leader when placed in any area of ministry
-Develop more of a servant's heart and extreme faith
-Go deep in my friendships and relationships
-Become more of a people-person and a better communicator
-Work out 3 times a week and eat healthy
-Good grades

So there you have it: my list of expectations and goals. I can say those things and accomplish them. I could also not; it all depends on what I will do with my time. I had a lot of expectations on myself last year. All I attempted, but not all were reached. Those ones not reached were the hardest to deal with. Praise God for such a freedom that released me of my failure mindset. But today's post is not to preach at you about how past failures don't define me today or to keep on trying. No. Today is to remind myself and let you hear it as well that there is One greater to put your expectations into. And what happens when I do that? My expectations list doesn't seem so frightening or in-accomplishable.

Maybe this thought to some people seems so familiar, but when I take time to really break it down and meditate on it, there is such comfort brought to me. I think to myself: I can waver this year on what I expect and what I want to do. But then I have to perform and if things don't go my way, I'll be hurt, upset, and broken because it'll be my own fault. If my expectations I surrender to God and say. "Do what you want to do with them Lord. What do you want to do this year?" Then it's God's expectations I look for. And let me tell you something about God's expectations (more like what he already has planned): I do not know them. And when I don't know the expectations, it makes anything seem possible. I don't know what God wants to do this year, but I know that his word says he works for the good of those who love him, so it must be good things. He has plans that are to set me up for success and to be prosperous as read in Jeremiah. I have my expectations of this year, but my heart is ultimately after what God wants for this year. To me, it makes me feel like there's no weight or pressure on my shoulders.  In Isaiah 45:2 God says, "I will go before you and make the mountains flat. I will break down the bronze gates of the cities and cut through their iron bars." God is for me, has gone before me, and already has a plan. So I will place my hope and trust in him for the year ahead. I truly believe he has great things ahead and as in Matthew 6, I do not need to worry about tomorrow. My everything is in the One who created everything! Imagine that.

Photo taken by: Bulger Photography.

Hope your weekend is going marvelous!
❤ Ariel Christine