The day began early with a 5 hour drive to South Carolina to celebrate my best friend’s surprise birthday party. I decided against getting a hotel that night and would make the drive home. When it was time to head back to my house, I used Siri for directions like I always do. I was certain she knew the address and would find the best route.
I spoke into my phone, “Siri, get me directions home.” She responded confidently, “Getting directions home.” As we began the drive back to Kentucky, I got lost in a flowing rhythm of praise music and praying. Before I knew it, I had listened to Siri’s step by step directions and was headed on a road that I just knew wouldn’t lead me to my home.
As the miles kept passing, I began to become panicked and anxious. I was tired and already regretting not getting a hotel room that night. I pulled off on the road to breathe and reassure my direction.
Destination: Another address that I’ve never been too.
I quit my current directions and said, “Siri, get me directions.” Without delay, she did to the same unknown address. Sure enough my home address has been changed. I assume my four year old altered my settings somehow.
As I manually typed in my home address, the only thing I could think was how ridiculous is it that I trust this phone so much to get me home and how comfortable I am to just say, “Hey Siri, get me directions home” and not even look to see if the right address has been selected.
When I looked in my rear view at my sleeping child all I could do was laugh that he was probably the one who got a hold of my phone and changed the settings. Yet, he was sleeping as if nothing happened.
With a deep breath and the right directions, I started the journey back the way I came to get on the right road to head home. I couldn’t be mad at myself because I knew God allowed it to happen and for my benefit and for my safety especially for the safety of my child. All I could do was continue to praise God for His faithfulness and goodness. After all, I was stopped and looking at the most beautiful view of the sky. If you look closely, it even looks like a hand in the clouds. The ironic part is I have been asking God if my last year has been a detour but even if it was, it’s been beautiful. I’m content and that concern has been washed away.
It’s such a relief to know that God is in control and is the ultimate guide that will always lead us home. Even when we wander and drift away from our road map for life – He already has our u-turn planned. He is waiting for us to make that decision to accept His intervention. Even when you are lost in the rhythm of life and notice this doesn’t quite feel right, He is there to guide you back at home. There is even beauty in the detours because it gives us our story and it guides us back home to the Creator.
When we ask God for directions home, we can be certain He will always give us the right directions.
Last October, I surrendered everything I had been holding onto to God. Within a matter of days, my life changed and since then the only thing I have been able to hold on to is God. He began a new work in me that is uncomfortable, scary, and frustrating. Though this process seems so dark, I have been learning to trust and depend on Him more than I ever have. During this time of my life, I realized that He is answering my prayer to go deeper and on another level with Him. The deepness that He is taking me through requires a trusting faith, a real faith without any room for doubt or another plan, and a faith that can’t be measured by expectations of even human comprehension. A faith that is completely reliant on God to carry out His Will, His Way.
The Call – This was not a part of the plan
I’ll never forget the Sunday Morning that I audibly heard God begin to answer my payer and confirm that I was to go to Greece on a mission trip. During the prayer at the end of service, I audibly heard God tell me that my sign to go would be “eating Greek food”. Of course, God does not answer prayers like this. Right? Apparently, if you pray for a sign to hit you over the head like a cast iron skillet, you do get your answer and it is never in the way you expect but ironically in a way that is real to you.
During this time, I remember replying to God as if we were having a conversation that I wouldn’t be going because we do not have Greek food in Eastern Kentucky so of course, I knew I would not be going to Greece to be a part of this mission trip. End of Story – I tried, I sought, and did my part. What a relief! Although I felt relief, I must admit that I was disappointed as well. Isn’t life funny sometimes? I was even rebuking myself for having thoughts of eating Greek food in church – I had never tasted Greek food so why was I even thinking like that?
As we were getting in our car to leave, a friend came up to me and handed me a container of food. I thanked her and asked, “What kind of food is this?” Her response caused my breath to stop as I heard her say, “It’s Greek.”
In the moment, I realized that was indeed God’s spirit talking to my spirit and I heard the audible voice of God. I explained everything to my husband, of course, with a “you’re not going to believe me!” and in the church parking lot my fate was sealed – I was going to Greece and God had answered my prayer in such a way that I could not deny it, nor could I say no.
I was going to see the process through and would do everything in my power that I was supposed to do to follow through with my commitment to God and the plan He has for my life. It has been a bumpy journey – I have been stretched in ways I could have done without, but my faith has soared and is continuing to a new level. There were many times I questioned if I could even be able to go due to time off, increase of the cost of the trip, deadlines to have a percentage of the trip paid for, and the dates of the trip being adjusted due to unforeseen circumstances. Family and friends have questioned why I am even doing this and have suggested that it is not the right time. God put a Rhema Word in my heart and He audibly told me the sign I would receive before it happened, so I have been clinging to that Word and trusting God to provide. When our trip price increased, I was experiencing many sleepless nights and one night when I woke up, God reminded me, “God’s Will, God’s Bill.”
From that moment on, I chose to have faith that God would carry out His provision for the spoken word I received. God has given me these moments to have something to cling to when the doubts and questions come in and when my mind races. I always go back to that Sunday in the church pew. Now, it is less than a couple of days that my bill is due, and I only owe $184. God is faithful, and He does provide. His ways are higher, greater, and as humans, we just can’t understand.
The Day I Died
This season of darkness has not lifted but the beautiful thing about walking through this time in my life is that when God does speak it is audible, loud, and clear. It can not be denied that it is God. As the days approaching until our team leaves for Greece, I must admit that I am beginning to have my reservations as questions run through my mind. Am I doing the right thing? Is it selfish of me to leave my kids and potentially risk my life causing them to not grow up without their mom? I can’t help but remember the pain of losing my dad at 19. Leave my husband widowed? Leave my mom with her worst fear coming true? My heart tightens with deep pain thinking about these scenarios.
The truth is even in today’s society, no matter where we go as Christians, we have the chance of being persecuted and that is growing every day. People lay down their lives willingly every day. Am I truly ready to lay down my life? As I have been asking myself this hard question, I have come to realize that yes, I am. In the face of the unthinkable, if my wonderful Savior has the unthinkable apart of His great plan then I will trust His heart. I will be joyous that I was given the opportunity.
Sometimes I must take a deep breath and move forward. I’m not sure what circumstances await me, but I do know that I will be forever changed. I’ll gladly go, dying to self every day if that is what it takes. He called me. Life does not exist apart from God and through Him, I am alive.
Seeking to go deeper with God has taken me into the darkness but during this time I am learning His voice, who He is, who I am, and hopefully, discover another part of me that is waiting to be unleashed. Even though I am blindly following, I can’t wait to see what is about to happen – not just in my relationship with Jesus, but on this trip, and in the next season of my life. For now, I’m trusting His good, good heart because He is worth it all.
Jonah 4:2 NLT |So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people.
You have been uniquely crafted by the hands of the Creator for a specific purpose that only you can fulfill. But what if we don’t like where God is asking us to go or do? What if it’s too scary? Perhaps, you don’t feel qualified?
Jonah’s life teaches us one thing and that is this: God will have His way.
You have the power to choose to take the way God desires for you or you can take the way you desire. In the opening chapter, God doesn’t waste any time in telling Jonah, “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
Then there is a but.
Jonah decided to hop on a boat and head in the opposite direction, away from God. We quickly see that Jonah’s life is being interrupted by God – the very One he was trying to flee from because he did not like the mission that God called him to. Once the sailors realized that Jonah’s God was causing the great storm, Jonah told them to throw him overboard so that the storm would stop.
If Jonah would have simply said, “Okay God, You know best” and set out to complete his mission, a lot of time could have been saved and he would have avoided putting himself and the lives of others in danger and being swallowed up by a fish. Instead, it took being inside the fish’s belly for three days to finally understand that God’s plan was going to happen. I know I have found myself stuck inside the stomach of a fish until I came to God’s senses. Once Jonah finally makes it to his destination and completes the mission God gave him, the people immediately repent of their sins and turn their hearts back to God.
God is so gracious and compassionate that when we truly repent and seek His face, He is faithful to forgive us of our sins – regardless of how dark and rotten our hearts are. Here is the other but: Jonah wasn’t happy. He would have preferred the entire nation be judged, condemned, and destroyed. All through the mission, Jonah’s heart was not compassionate, and he is treating this great calling like a task that has to be done. Even at the end of the story (Jonah 4:4), he is more worried about his reputation and says, “it would be better for me to die than live.”
Whatever God has called us to, He has equipped us, and He has prepared the place and people that we will serve and witness to. It’s so much easier to allow fear, doubt, and our own selfish desires to overrule our judgments and plans than to listen to God because it removes “us” from the equation. It’s important to not Listening to God requires us to die to self and choose God and His plan over the desires and dreams we may have for our life. Sometimes the hardest thing we have to do is to be compassionate toward someone we may feel they don’t deserve grace.
In the grand scheme of things, the plan God has for your life is oh, so good! His purpose is to work everything for the good of those who love Him. If we fully submit to Him and His will, we are guaranteed this promise! Just as we see in the testimony of Jonah, God’s compassion for us is continual and even when we don’t listen the first time, He will provide another chance.
Romans 8:28 | And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
So next time God sends you on a mission, do a heart check and go with a joyful heart and a willing spirit to serve!
1. How many buts are you going to let come between you and your
purpose that was uniquely hand crafted for you?
2. What is God calling you to do but your heart is not in it?
3. Will you allow God to work on your heart to prepare you to go with a heart of joy?
I thank You for creating me specifically for the unique purpose that You have called me to. I ask that You continue to shape me into the person You created me to be so that I may fulfill the call You have on my life. Make my heart match Yours and the desires You have for my life, guide me as I walk closer with You and discover my unique purpose. When the buts come, remind me of your grace and that You have called me for such a time as this. In Jesus’ Name, I pray, Amen.
The last few days I have been pondering the life of Judas and how sin grew in his life to the point of turning Jesus over to be crucified. The weight of his actions were enough to drive him mad with shame and guilt to commit suicide.
But I don’t want to talk about that. That’s not what has blown my mind. This is what has blown my mind:
Jesus loved him. Jesus still taught him. Jesus still treated him like a disciple. Jesus washed his feet at The Last Supper. Even though He knew Judas would betray Him.
Perhaps Judas’ life is not just a testament of what not to do in life but a grand picture of God’s unexplainable and never ending love and grace for us – no matter what we have done.
We have all fallen short and have sinned against God but I know at some point we might be thinking, “at least I’m not Judas.”
Your consequences may not have led to the death of our Risen Savior but the reality is this: We are all Judas and we all have the potential to do great harm to those around us if we have unconfessed sins and a rotten heart.
I believe that our Sovereign God allowed this to happen to show that no matter what we do in our life, there is always another way. His grace and love awaits us through it all. He never leaves us and even though He knows we will betray Him at some point in our life, His love is still unexplainable and never ending.
After all, He was still willing to wash the feet of the one who betrayed Him.
We can learn a lot from the life of Judas especially what not to do but we can also learn how deep the love of God is for us regardless of what we have done.
Not only does this lesson lead into the greatest historical moment known to humanity, but this betrayal led to Jesus dying in the cross for us so that we might have everlasting life with Him.
1. In your own ways, how are you like Judas?
2. Is there something that prevents you from feeling worthy enough to surrender your life wholeheartedly to Jesus?
3. After doing a heart check, will you confess any sin to God and turn from it? This will prevent a rotten heart and allow for change in you life.
The battles in life that you fight, the circumstances that you experience, and the overwhelming emotions you try to drown out can leave you crippled. You may be exhausted from carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders or you are discouraged because something didn’t work out the way you thought it should. Maybe you are on the verge of losing your faith for a breakthrough that you have so desperately been seeking Jesus for.
Maybe it’s the plaguing, deep, dark, and dreaded thoughts you have but can’t seem to get rid of them. Perhaps, it’s the overwhelming emotions that seem to suck the life out of you.
Utterly Broken. Shattered. Hopeless. Doubtful.
But there is hope in Jesus Christ.
John 10:10 NIV | The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
His sacrifice on the cross was far too great for us to be overcome with the things of this world. We are free to choose a life apart from the emotions and bondage that comes from our circumstances. When we are washed in the blood of Jesus, we have the same power that raised Him from the dead in us.
But we have to start in The Roar Room.
Just as the devil prowls around like a lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8), you must be ready to face him with our own powerful roar that has been cultivated in us in The Roar Room. When you meet with Jesus here, He prepares your spirit, mind, and heart with the strength, wisdom, guidance you may need. As you read God’s word and spend time in prayer, you fill your spirit with God’s truth instead of the enemy’s lies. He will give you the power to roar louder than your circumstances and louder than the chains that hold you down. Yes, His word is that powerful!
1 Peter 5:8 NIV | Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
You may be weak entering in your private room with God but when you come out you will be a Roaring Lioness. Your broken bones will be turned into bones on fire. A new sense of renewing will fill your spirit, a new joy will spring in your step, and hope will once again be alive. Doubt will begin to fade away as you learn the truth about how the Father really feels about you. Your purpose and your calling will be cultivated as you seek Jesus.
When life gets overwhelming according to the world’s standards, you will not be moved because your hope and your trust will be deeply rooted in the truth found in God’s word and the relationship you have built with Him.
Utterly Complete. Hopeful. Confident. Loved.
All from The Roar Room. And if life outside of the Roar Room starts to allow the things you are fighting to overcome to creep back into your mind, put a Praise Roar on it and praise your way through it!
I come before you thanking you for the great plan you have created for life. Though I am struggling at the moment, I know that my strength is from you and from nothing else. I trust the plan you have for life and I know you such a good, good plan to prosper and not harm me. You are such a good, good Father! Teach me Your ways, LORD and draw me close to You. In Jesus’ Name, I pray, Amen!