15 Nov
Locked Love - Week 13

1 Thessalonians 5:14 tells us to warn the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, and be patient with them all. Yes, with them all! Reading this verse again I realize that we are called to do these things because this is what God does for us. He brings people into our lives or uses our situations to reveal Himself, warning us against false distractions. He places small gems in our path for encouragement, provides us with strength to do His will, and is oh so patient with our double minded resistance. He is a light to our footpath and He will lead the way if we ask Him.

A few times this week I started my mornings by asking God to guide me. I asked the Lord to bring me to places of need and to help me align my thoughts with His. Sunday, God faithfully responded by first leading me into a conversation that genuinely moved the other person. Though I didn’t think there was anything out of the ordinary about our conversation or anything extremely special, a 65-year-old man was brought to tears and told me how much that time meant to him. Then on that same day God opened up yet another conversation, which meant a lot to me. This person shared how the Lord pressed upon their heart to reach out to someone I care a great deal about, but someone who I was unable to speak with myself. In this, I could see the powerful truth of God pursuing His children and it encouraged me to know that true love continues to grow regardless of circumstance.

On Wednesday I was blessed to take part in an event for 100 children in need. These children, living in various shelters around Los Angeles, were gifted with a shopping spree from the Rams football team and The Salvation Army. I watched as God put all this together in just under 5 days. He took a very simple question from a very determined man and turned it into a very special evening for these children with support and provision. Not only was I a witness to the leading of the Lord that day, but I was also witness to the control God has over everything.

All day the rain had been falling and the event was about to begin. Three of us gathered inside this massive store and prayed right there in the middle of the check stands. We prayed over the event, asking Christ to fill these children with joy. We joined in Spirit praising God for the opportunity to do His work and humbly asked Him to clear the skies of rain. Faithfully, 15 minutes later the clouds parted, the rain stopped, and the skies turned blue. For 3 hours the skies remained dry. When the event was over, just as the last bus pulled away, it once again began to rain. Now some may say coincidence, but I say power!

Scriptures tell us, “that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15) I’m not one who believes in coincidences but I do believe in the words of Jesus when He says, “I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10) I pray that we all keep seeking, that we all keep knocking, and that we all keep asking so that we can continue to testify about the miraculous workings of our Lord and Savior.

Now clearly the first half of my week was extremely heartwarming, but by the end of it my mood had swayed into myself once again. The worst of this low hit on Christmas Eve and it was quite the opposite of what I was hoping to be feeling that night. Prayerfully I was able to snap out of it for a few hours but my mood quickly returned after a church service that had somewhat disappointed me. It wasn’t a bad service by any means, but it wasn’t what I expected either. I had been looking forward to hearing the Word, worshipping in song, and gathering together to celebrate the birth of our Savior. However, our speaker that night wasn’t who we assumed it would be, the singing was a little off, and the Word was short. I was kind of put off by all these small things but thankfully I still got something from the service.

The pastor that night kept asking the congregation, “Is God with you?” My response was yes! Undoubtedly so, God is with us. But I couldn’t help but wonder, are we with God? Am I with God? Looking back over this week I can see the areas in which I was with God, the times I felt engaged, and the times I felt His leading. Even so, I can also see the areas I wasn’t with God. The times I reached out for flawed male comfort, the times I partook in activities that would dull my feelings, and the times I thought double mindedly about the motives of my actions. I can see my wayward steps on His highlighted path and though I may not have been fully with Christ in all the moments of this past week, I am thankful that He was still fully with me. I am thankful that I can recognize the areas of my life that I need to allow God into and I am thankful for His patience in His dealings with my softening heart. I realize that it’s not a matter of “is God with us,” it’s a matter if we are allowing Him to be. I pray that we all allow the Lord fully into our lives and that we all allow Him to do what He does best. Love us.

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