Sunday, October 6, 2013

Ordinary to Extraordinary

I will never forget the moment that I accepted Jesus into my heart.  I will never forget the pain that I had been going through.  I will never forget those first moments as I stepped inside the Lakeside Auditorium at Willow Creek Community Church.  I will never forget the tears that fell freely from my eyes, and the relief that began to wash over me.  I will never forget holding my husband's hand, whom I was ready to divorce, and to shut out of my life forever.  I will never forget the power of the word's that were spoken to me.  I will never forget just how much JESUS loves me, and how HE saved me from my darkest hour's.  

This morning I am going back to Willow Creek for the first time in eight years as a completely transformed christian.  I am going back to the first place I ever called home.  I am going back to a life changing church that when I left, I was a young woman of faith, I was a baby christian.  I am returning today as a strong woman of faith, who has been through so much these past eight years, whose faith would grow by leaps and bounds.  Who would be shook upside down, and dumped out.  I have gone from being an ordinary christian to an extraordinary christian.

This morning all of this was revealed to me through my current read.  As I read, these word's really spoke volumes to me: "Radical obedience is not just following a list of right things to do.  Non believers can do that and call it "good."  Radical obedience is choosing to exchange what is "right" for GOD'S righteousness.  Only the pursuit of GOD'S righteousness leads to HIS best."

Two short years ago GOD placed our family into another life changing church.  Elevate Church was a breath of fresh air when walked in.  It brought us back to our roots of Axis at Willow Creek.  It brought me back to the first moments where I found JESUS.  Two years ago, I began a journey of coming back home.  Home to JESUS, home to HIS word, HIS truth, HIS heart, and HIS plans for my life.  Two years ago, I began a radical transformation.  Two years ago I prayed for a total renewal of my heart, soul, body, and mind.  Two years ago my Pastor began to challenge me in a way that I had never been challenged to walk in my faith.  Two years ago, I would begin to see the transformation of my family going from being ordinary to extraordinary.

This past May I knew that I needed to change things BIG in my life.  So as my Pastor had been challenging me every week, I prayed boldly and BIG.  I prayed that GOD would use me BIG.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined just how BIG HE would use me.  Yesterday was another one of those little nudges from GOD showing me that I am being used BIG, and I am doing what HE has called me to do. HE sent this confirmation that I am being a radical christian by revealing the stats of my blog.   I am so honored to say that HIS Daily Teachings is now being read in 16 different countries.  Yesterday alone we had over 35 hits, that means 35 lives were touched by the hands of JESUS through my words.  Words that are written by me, but through HIS HOLY SPIRIT.

Throughout my life I have met many people who know JESUS is their SAVIOR, however GOD has revealed to me that so very few people really know HIM as LORD.  Therefore, today I will seek HIM earnestly, and I will ask HIM to teach, lead, and guide me through every single moment of my day.  I will answer HIS calls, and heed HIS "whispers."  I will acknowledge HIM in everything I do, as I know none of what has been happening in my life wouldn't have been possible without my saying YES to GOD!

I am learning that saying YES to GOD means surrendering every single day even when I don't "feel" like it.  I know that in saying YES to GOD I am called to be set apart.  I am called to be not of this world.  I am to seek HIM daily to transform and renew my heart.  I am called to seek HIM to create in me a heart for people, to love them just as JESUS loves them.  I am called to go from ordinary to EXTRAORDINARY!

"The love of CHRIST compels us to choose obedience."

Because I love HIM and I trust HIM, I choose obedience.  HE has proven time and again to me that HE knows what is best for me.  I know that HIS plans for me are to  prosper me, and to give me HOPE and future.  I know this to be true, as I am living proof of HIS very words.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Four years ago I read a book called "You Were Born For This" by Bruce Wilkinson.  This book is all about being extraordinary, and though I wanted so badly for GOD to use me in that way, I wasn't able to fully surrender.  I wasn't at a place in my walk where I was strong enough to fully surrender.  Unbeknownst to me I had so much more growing to do, and so much more strengthening to go through in order for GOD to use me in such a BIG way.  

When I first became a christian, I was what you would call a "closet" christian.  I had my faith, and I kept it to myself.  I was too afraid of people disagreeing with me, and arguing with me.  I was too weak in my faith, and too new in my walk to withstand harsh judgement.  Many times I found myself "under fire" about my faith, and I crumbled each and every time.  However, throughout the years, GOD has been strengthening me, and showing me how to be bold in my walk.  

So many people have said to me, "You are such a strong woman of faith."  I usually just smile and say, "thank you," when inside I'm thinking, "I am?"  Today HE  has revealed to me just how strong I have become in my faith in HIM.  HE has let me know that I only became strong by seeking HIM, and surrendering all of me to HIM daily.   

This is not to say that I don't have rough days.  Days where I mess up, where I say things that are less than GOD honoring.  Day's where I just want to eat my words, and my actions.  I mess up daily, but because I keep HIM at the center of my life, when I do mess up, I know all I have to do is ask JESUS to lead me, and HE'S right there loving me, and showing me either how to change it, or how to seek forgiveness and learn from my mistakes.  HE always meets me right where I am repenting, loving me, and filling me with HIS grace.

Lysa Terkeurst poses these four challenges in her book "What Happens When Women Say YES to GOD" 

~ Do I really want this freedom, this life of ministry that now lies before me? ~my answer is a resounding YES!!! I most certainly do, I can't imagine my life being any other way.  

~ Do I really want to be interupted in the middle of my busy life to see GOD, hear GOD, and pursue GOD? ~ YES!!! YES I do, as I know that it is when I am busy that HE is my calm, HE is the source of my true inner peace, HE is the one who loves and knows me best!

~ Do I really want to be compelled by the love of CHRIST? ~ OH my LORD JESUS YES!!! HIS loving is greater than anything I have ever known.  HIS love is beyond my wildest dreams.  HIS love is what captured me, and saved me from the darkest pits of hell.  HIS love is what keeps me on the path that HE has set before me.  

~ Do I really want a LORD for all of my life? ~ I am humbled and honored to say that HE is my LORD, and HE is my KING!  HE is the leader of my life.  HE is the CENTER of my world.  HE is my EVERYTHING!  I know that without HIM I am nothing!

All of these very confirmations are so comforting to me, to know that I am doing what HE has called me to do.  I am honored that HE has been leading me for the past ten years of my life, and who has taken me from being ordinary to EXTRAORDINARY!

I pray today that if you too are struggling with living boldly in your faith that you will seek HIM and ask HIM to create in you a heart of courage.  I pray today that you too will want your faith to go from being ordinary to extraordinary.  I pray today that in seeking HIM, you will be filled by HIS peace, and that HIS favor and blessings will be poured over your life through your obedience.


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