Friday, June 21, 2013

Moving Mountains

There's those moments we feel like we're just trudging through mud and rocks to climb up a mountain side. It's a struggle; it's adversity. Some mountains we've come across before. Others present themselves as new monsters to face. There's monster of mountains in finances, insecurities, relationships, etc. 

I will go before you and make the mountains flat. 
Isaiah 45:2a

I will make my mountains into roads, and the roads will be raised up. 
Isaiah 49:11

I can think of multiple circumstances in my life where I was trying to attempt to climb a mountain and the struggle was so difficult. I wasn't sure if I'd ever conquer it. My prayers would be consistent… God get me through this. Help me to succeed, to move past this moment. And by the grace and power of God, he turned a mountain into a road. A road! A flat, easy-going, nothing but straight forward road. How, why God? I'll tell you… simply by his pure goodness. By his love for a daughter he was so loving looking out for. He saw the struggle, knew the need before I even spoke a word, and he provided. It was a mixture of my prayers to him and his sovereign hand providing; a relationship that got a treacherous mountain turned into a road. 

Jesus answered, "Because your faith is as big as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 
Move from here to there,' and it will move. 
All things will be possible for you."
Matthew 17:20-21

Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will be able to do what I did to this tree and even more. You will be able to say to this mountain, 'Go, fall into the sea.' 
And if you have faith, it will happen. 
If you believe, you will get anything you ask for in prayer."
Matthew 21:21-22

If you have faith, it will happen… If I have the faith, it will happen! Jesus is telling us that if we have the faith to believe for the impossible we can move mountains! We can tell them to fall into the sea.  It reminds me of a verse in Matthew 10:8 where Jesus is telling His disciples He has the power to cast out demons, heal the sick, and raise the dead to life. Then He says, "I freely give you these powers." In John 14:12, Jesus states that whoever believes in Him will do even greater things because He is going back to the Father. 

This is how I see it: In the Old Testament, God says he will be the one to make the mountains flat. As the New Testament unfolds, Jesus comes along. His power lives inside us and we become a vessel of His glory. Just as He freely gives us His powers, so we are freely given the power to move some serious mountains through our faith! We can be mountain movers. And it's nothing of our own aptitude, but God working through us and in our lives. His power is displayed in us and through relationship with him comes the strength and ability to move mountains. 

I say no more doubt over that mountain I've been climbing! I will prevail and I will succeed. God is on my side, and he can do the impossible. The power of Jesus is alive in you and it's alive in me to move mountains, and we have a God on our side who can flatten them completely! With God, anything can happen. So rise up mountain mover. Whether you've been climbing a mountain or standing at the feet of one, God can do some pretty amazing things through your faith and belief in him. You can do more than you think. You are a conquer and therefor you can conquer that mountain. 

(Pic via Pinterest)

Have an amazing Friday! I hope only that you would be inspired today to face your mountains with faith and perseverance
❤ Ariel Christine

Thursday, June 20, 2013

You vs. The World

Comparison: The biggest killer of spirit.

It's a tactic the enemy is always on the prowl with. It can get in our heads; eat away at us. It can make us feel unnoticed, useless, inferior, even ungifted.

But that's a big lie.

Do not give the devil a way to defeat you.
Ephesians 4:27

One way I find very useful to deal with comparison, is to look at the bigger picture. What does comparing myself or my abilities to somebody else do for the Kingdom? It does absolutely nothing. It doesn't help anybody or anything except tear yourself apart inside and drive you mad. You are your own person. You're not ever going to be the person to the right or left of you because you were designed uniquely to be YOU! And if you're trying to make yourself more like another, who will play you? Or if you're trying so hard to be better than somebody else, you're striving and that tells the world you are not at rest in your heart. I once read in a book that a woman in Christ does not "strive." A woman in Christ is at rest her heart because she knows who she is in Jesus.

Don't get me wrong; it's not wrong to want to improve yourself and try harder. But if you do, do it for you. Don't do it in a competitive spirit to try and out-do somebody else. You are uniquely you and in the eyes of God, you are equal with that exact person you are comparing yourself against. He loves you both equally; you're both his child. The world needs you to be you. God needs you to be you. He needs you so he can lead you in his ways to fulfill the purpose he has for your life. Your very own distinct purpose that was designed for you before you were even born.

I definitely understand comparison can be one of the biggest mountains to climb. It reoccurs in my life from time to time. It takes prayer and consistency to keep it away, and when I do that, it really does. I won't let the enemy get in my head and make me look down upon myself. I won't allow him to make me feel inferior. There's a reason God did not make anybody the same. There's no other Ariel Christine like me and there is no other person like you. No matter how similar we may get at times, it's not worth the comparison and competition because for a fact, we are different. And we are all called to the same body for the same purpose. Remember, what eternal purpose does comparing yourself with another do for the Kingdom? Nothing good. There's a world out there in need of light. If we are to spend our time dwelling on our jealousies and resentment of one another, we are simply misusing our time. A kingdom divided against itself cannot go forward. We need to be united and have our eyes set rightly upon Jesus.

My suggestion: Try praying to have genuine love in your heart for the people you compare yourself to. Pray not that you would be envious and jealous of them, but genuinely excited for the great abilities and opportunities God has blessed them with. See them through the eyes of God and think of them as Christ would about His fellow brothers and sisters. Sometimes it just takes a shift in mindset and seeing people through a different light. Besides, you might not see beyond the surface the struggles and valleys others have tread through to get to be where they are at. You just be you and set your eyes on Christ. He is the only One whose opinion of us truly matters.

If each part of the body were the same part, there would be no body. But truly God put all the parts, each one of them, in the body as he wanted them. So then there are many parts, but only one body.
1st Corinthians 12:18-20

The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the foot, "I don't need you!" No! Those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are really necessary. And the parts of the body we think are less deserving are the parts to which we give the most honor. We give special respect the parts we want to hide. The more respectable parts of our body need no special care. But God put the body together and gave more honor to the parts that needed it so our body would not be divided. God wanted the different parts to care the same for each other. If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts suffer with it. Or if one part of the body is honored, all the other parts share its honor. 
1st Corinthians 12:21-26

Together you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of that body.
1st Corinthians 12:27

I hope this post has encouraged you. As I wrote this, I feel like I am preaching to myself. Have an amazing week! Truly, the best is yet to come. 
❤ Ariel Christine

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Taking the Road Longer Traveled...

When the king sent people out of Egypt, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was the shortest way. God said, "If they have to fight , they might change their minds and go back to Egypt." So God led them through the desert toward the Red Sea. The Israelites were dressed for fighting when they left the land of Egypt. 
Exodus 13:17-18

Recently hearing a podcast reviewing the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt, this particular verse jumped right off the page to me. One verse it may be, but it speaks heavily.

God did not lead the Israelites through the shortest, most convenient way. He knew if he took the people through the Philistine country, there was a chance they would turn around. If they turned around, they would of never gotten out of Egypt and traveled to the Promised Land! God had great things in store for the future, but he didn't go about the easy way of making it happen. 

So often we look at our futures and want things to happen now. I'll be the first to admit it; so many of my plans and dreams I just want to pop into existence now! But God sees the bigger picture. He can see how it'll effect me if his plans for my life would happen as soon as I asked and he made them appear. I could be underprepared, wouldn't learn a thing, won't grow, or maybe not even reach my fullest potential. Sometimes to take the route of the easy way, we skip out on so much more. Sure things happen quicker and faster, but it might just end up being unsatisfying and nowhere near what it was meant to be. Great things take time. It's like a garden: a garden only gets better with time. Every season, it becomes bigger and more fruitful. It doesn't start off that way. 

Don't be disheartened if you feel like God is leading you "out of your way" or taking longer than expected. He already knows the plans for your life and they're already set in action! Each moment he leads you to is preplanned to take you in the direction he has for your life. Yea, it might seem long... but the Israelites were in the desert for 40 years! God took them the really long way around, but it was for their own benefit and to take them where he wanted to bless them. He has a reason for every action he takes in your life; you never know what tribulation God is protecting you from by taking a longer path. He wouldn't want you to face adversity and run back to a place of no freedom or excitement.

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June is the anniversary month of Eternal Bride! It's been an amazing year to blog and speak the things God reveals to my heart. I hope every post has been nothing but encouraging, uplifting, and insightful. I am constantly growing and it amazes me to read over my blog post from this time last year. SO much has happened between then and now. God is faithful to his promises and sensitive to the desires of my heart. No place else I'd rather be than in his will and for Jesus in my heart.

Have an amazing Thursday everybody!
With much love and appreciation,
❤ Ariel Christine