Friday, October 28, 2016

Fortune Cookies and Jesus

I stopped in Target last night to get a few things for Emily’s birthday party and ran into a friend in the shopping isle. We started talking about a friend of ours and my friend mentioned that she has noticed a change (in a positive way) in this person. We were talking about our hopes and cheering her on. The conversation ended, and we went our separate ways.

Afterwards I headed over to Panda Express across the street to grab a quick late dinner, which by the way is a not an eat in the car friendly meal, not  sure what I was thinking there. On the way home, the conversation I had with my friend in Target came back to mind. I started to pray for her, I had that feeling like I needed to so I did. I tend to have some of my best one on one moments with Jesus while driving in my car. Many of the things I write about are from those moments. Obviously I can’t read my bible and drive at the same time, but seriously thank you Jesus for the E-bible that I can read at any given time. I love the radio and used to never not have it on, but I find myself more and more leaving it off or waiting a while before turning it on. In the stillness and quietness I often times sense God the loudest. Considering I have three children, who are active and busy, I tend to enjoy the quiet time, me moments when I have them.

Back to the conversation… as I was praying for my friend, I started praying for my other friends in a similar situation, which then led to praying for people in general, including myself. I was praying that God would help my friend overcome their comfort zone and just step out of it. That lead to me praying over my comfort zone, and so on. As I’m praying it hits me. That amen moment… that moment when the word comes to life and puts two and two together and it makes sense. I wanted to ‘amen’ my thoughts and I can say that humbly because they were not my own. God was growing his word that we are supposed to hide in our hearts, so it can come alive and shine a light in our dark world. 

I’ve mentioned it a few times before in previous blogs that satan puts blindfolds on to keep us hidden from the truth. He knows what is on the other side of the lies. He knows the life to be had. He knows the victories to be won. He knows. But because he is defeated, and has no victory, no power, and no authority he wants to keep you and everyone else feeling the same.  

So, often times we remain because it’s comfortable. It doesn’t require anything from us, other than to just go through the motions. Like a hamster on its spinning wheel, over and over and over. Life right now may be excellent for you, but at the end of the day there’s still a missing piece that nothing else you’re doing will fulfill.

The truth is, is that when you step out of your comfort zone you then step into the comfort zone that awaits you. The lie that satan wants you to believe is that if you step out of your comfort zone, you don’t know what is on the other side and that is one scary risk to take.

He wants us to be so afraid of what ‘could’ happen; how we might appear to others;  and has us so worried about it making us look and feel uncomfortable. If he can keep us where we are, he doesn’t have to worry about what we might do. He silently convinces us that it is better to live in or own comforts, just to keep us away from the one who IS the comforter. The holy spirit was and is given to every believer to help us live boldly, unashamed, to have the power within to make bold choices AND to live comforted, comfortable in Christ. 

Without a doubt, I believe that more people would surrender up their comfort zones if they could see through the lies of the enemy and into the truth that is found by exercising our faith.  Faith is an action word, it needs to be put to work. The ground has to be tilled in order for seeds to be planted into the ground to grow.  

Here is the cool, shock and awe part that happened to me. After I finished my Panda Express, I opened up my fortune cookie… my favorite part! I don’t believe in fortune telling, or anything of the nature but I do believe that God is all powerful and knowing and can use ANYthing to speak to us. My fortune read: “you are going to live a comfortable life.” Out loud in my car I sad, “WHATTT?” On my entire ride home my prayer was over comfort zones and being comfortable and God was pouring into me everything you just read and then this is what I pull out of a sugar cookie just for fun? 

God is that serious about this that he would confirm his word to me on a piece of paper that most of the time I say, “in bed” after I read it. But that is exactly what he did, because he is serious about you and I. He is serious about chasing after us, and will do whatever he has to, to get and keep our attention. He is serious about us getting out of our comfort zones, so we can reach people that need to step out of theirs. 

When my dad died, I 100% understood the role of the holy spirit as the comforter in my life. A massive hole in my heart happened the second my dad took his last breath. During my moments of heartache and human frustration I have not once been angry at God, or resented what "he did" to my dad. All of this stuff I've believed and do my best to live my  has literally come to life in my dark and most painful moments. I honestly can't explain it. Yes, some days it hurts to my core, but the comfort I feel {literally} is what has sustained me. 

Does it cost us something to follow Jesus, yes it does – ourselves. It cost him his own life. The cost for you and I is great, and maybe it will cost you a certain way you like to live. But the way you “like” to live now cannot compare to the life he wants to give you in exchange. The life that fulfills us when nothing else can. The life that you’re curious about all the time. The life you want to live but are too afraid of. The live you want but don’t think you can have. The life that sustains you and keeps you when your comforts in life are falling apart. The life that right now you don't think you need, but you do. The life that is everlasting and eternal. The life that brings hope and peace where chaos abounds. The life that makes sense when nothing else does.

Following Jesus will may you feel uncomfortable in the most comfortable way. The saying, "don't knock it 'til you try it" ... it applies here, too! 

I would love to talk or pray with you! 

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