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Trusting God in a Season of Waiting| By Christina DePino

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“Where is Bella?”

We all looked around in confusion. I suddenly realized I had not seen my 9-year-old Yorkie in the hour since we returned from watching fireworks.

After an extensive search of the entire house, we determined Bella must have somehow gotten outside in all the craziness that is July 4th. To make matters worse, we were in the Ozark Mountains, an area filled with wild animals.

The local “Lost Dog” Facebook pages made it apparent that July 4th week is a super common time for scared dogs to go missing.

My heart ached for our lost puppy, but it also ached with the realization that we are often like this with God.

When God instructs us to wait, but we allow fear to take over, we end up running towards the very things that will harm us.

Sure, “Trust God” is a cute bumper sticker slogan that gets thrown around a lot. However, when times get tough, and it seems that God has left us to fend for ourselves, that is the time when our faith is truly tested.

God promises us that if we will wait on him, He will supply us with the strength we need.

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

When I’m going through a difficult time, I like to encourage myself with words of scripture. One of my favorites is Proverbs 3:5-6:

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he will direct thy paths.”

This verse always reminds me that God created us with limited understanding, and we do not always have to know the answers. We only have to acknowledge that He is in control and allow Him to lead us.

Did you notice how this started out about waiting, but ended up being about trust?

Something the Lord has been showing me lately is that waiting and trusting go hand in hand. Learning to wait on the Lord is learning to trust Him.

Sadly, our Bella was never found. After searching a few separate times and not being able to find her, I had to pack up and go home. There was nothing else I could do.

Fortunately for us, God is not like me. God will never leave us. He will never lose us! He knows where we are at all times. He feels your pain,  and He knows your sorrows. His arms are always open. No matter the mistakes you have made, if you turn back to Him, He will be there waiting with open arms.

“…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5

“And the lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you’ do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

I believe that learning to trust the Lord completely is a lifelong journey. We may have learned to trust God with our finances, but still struggle to trust him with our health, or with our children.

What scriptures do you hold onto in the times or waiting, or when it seems difficult to trust God?

I Am Nobody |By Tori Savoy

UNVEILINGEDEN.ORG (3)Imagine preparing for a big celebration in the middle of town. All the people have gathered in their finest clothes to see the magnificent king parading through town. They have heard of the wonders and miracles he has been doing throughout the region. You wait in anticipation, and to your surprise, this grand king comes riding in on a donkey.

Jesus riding through Jerusalem on a donkey has always baffled me. A king deserved a magnificent white horse, right?

It really never occurred to me how the donkey applied to my life until I came across a meme on social media one morning. (We are in the 21st century now.)

This social media post pictured two donkeys walking through Jerusalem together when one said:

“Just yesterday, I was here carrying Jesus, and the people were singing and shouting and throwing down their clothes for me to walk on. Today, they don’t even recognize me.”

His friend would reply, “That’s because you are nothing without Jesus.”

In that moment, I realized that I am that donkey.

In my short time being involved in this ministry, I have learned one thing – I am nobody.

Now before the “love yourself” crowd comes after me on social media, I am not saying that I do not love the person God has created me to be, by any means. In fact, the Lord has really been teaching me self-love throughout my spiritual journey.

On the other hand, God has also begun to teach me that without Him, I am nobody, which is actually a beautiful thing.

God has always had a calling on my life to write for His glory, but I have never quite felt I would be qualified enough. When Unveiling Eden came along this year, I was in denial for some time that I would be involved any more than just contributing a blog every so often. However, God had other plans, and I am now all in for this ministry.

During that denial process, I kept telling God that I am not qualified. I have never been in ministry in the past, and I have no credentials to earn other’s trust. Should I have gone to Bible college years ago? You have to have a degree and formal education to be qualified in an area, right?

Wrong.

God told me “You do not need credentials of this world. You just need the Holy Spirit, and the willingness to be a vessel.”

Moses was not the best speaker, yet God used him to mediate God’s command to Pharaoh and to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

Exodus 4:11(ESV) reads, “Then the Lord said to him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak’.”

The fact of the matter is, none of us are qualified.

“None is righteous, no, not one;  no one understands;no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good; not even one.” Romans 3:10-12 (ESV)

Yes, on my own, I am not qualified. I am a nobody who needs somebody (Jesus) to fill me with love and His Holy Spirit.

While there is nothing wrong with getting a formal education in Theology or receiving training in ministry, the Holy Spirit is the best teacher. God calls us all to share His message whether it is behind a pulpit, through a blog, or just at work.

If Jesus can use a donkey of all animals, God can use you too, regardless of your background, qualifications, or even your age. You do not have to be a matured white horse to be used by the King.

If you are nobody, there is somebody waiting for you to embrace Him and share His love with others.

“It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.” 2 Corinthians 3:5 (NLT)

Love Affair| By Jasmine Beard

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I am a child of God. He is my dad, and I am His beloved.

I often see myself sitting on the lap of my Heavenly Father. I appear as a toddler. He tells me secrets, makes me giggle, and dances with me. In this picture, I see that I find satisfaction in the Father alone, and the joy I have is solely because of Him.

I gave my life to Christ 10 years ago. I remember being blown away by the love of the Father. I wondered how and why he would want someone like me. His love didn’t make sense. It was incomprehensible, and I could not compare His love to anyone or anything. I was on a beautiful love journey with my daddy.

But somewhere along the way I got lost.

He became the God I knew and had knowledge of, instead of the God I gleefully giggled with and simply delighted in.

He became routine. He became church. He became my religion.

I read my bible, prayed everyday, never missed a day of church, told everyone I knew about this love I knew – this love I had so much knowledge of.

Still somewhere along the way I missed it. I missed the gaze of my father. I missed why I was even running.

God whispered this into my heart,

“Little one slow down. As you run, don’t forget to look at me and gaze into my eyes and keep that gaze.”

“Don’t run for me, run with me.”

Just like Martha I had forgotten what was important.

Luke 10:39-42(TPT) says,

39 Mary sat down attentively before the Master, absorbing every revelation he shared.

40 But Martha became exasperated by finishing the numerous household chores in preparation for her guests, so she interrupted Jesus and said, “Lord, don’t you think it’s unfair that my sister left me to do all the work by myself? You should tell her to get up and help me.”

41 The Lord answered her, “Martha, my beloved Martha. Why are you upset and troubled, pulled away by all these many distractions? Are they really that important?

42 Mary has discovered the one thing most important by choosing to sit at my feet. She is undistracted, and I won’t take this privilege from her.”

But isn’t God in the works? Didn’t He realize Martha had to get those chores done? I mean, what would her guests think of her? She had to perfect and prepare her home, right?

Wrong.

With that way of thinking, God’s children are sucked into the lie that we have to do for God. We forget the truth that we are to live in a love affair with God all of our life until eternity.

Religion says the romance and fire of a young Christian goes away with age and maturity means less excitement.

Love tells us that our love with God deepens and our fire burns brighter for God over time.

“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.” -1 Corinthians 13:1-2 (MSG)

Works are great, but if it is not motivated by the love of God, it is meaningless – just like chasing the wind. as Solomon would say.

Today, let our pursuit of Christianity be motivated by falling in love with God. Instead of focusing on what we can do for Him, may our desire be to sit on His lap and let Him speak sweet whispers in our ear that make us giggle, and allow him to romance us.

“Love the Lord your God, and love one another. Love one another as he loves. Love with strength and purpose and passion and no matter what comes against you. Don’t weaken. Stand against the darkness, and love. That’s the way back into Eden. That’s the way back to life.” -Francine Rivers, Redeeming Love

When My Steps Fail Me| By Stephanie Cain

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Breastfeeding is hard. Those who have tried know this already, but if you haven’t yet, let me just reassert that breastfeeding is hard. Before I had my son, I had this image in my mind of breastfeeding him. There I was in a softly lit room, my child lying peacefully in my arms, me glowing while I looked blissfully down at him and my hair magically blowing in the same imaginary breeze that is featured in the Pantene commercials.

It was beautiful.

It was also no where near the reality! The reality was that I had a strong-willed, independent child right out of the gate. He is very independent, does not like to be confined, and is strong physically and mentally.

So here is what the reality was more like: me in my barely lit bedroom at two in the morning, trying to guide my sons head to the milk, and him with his head shoved in one direction (inevitably the wrong one). He was convinced he knew where the milk was and how to get to it!

During one such moment, I remember saying to him, “Son, if you would just let me guide you, this would be so much easier! I know where the food is, let me help you!”

I felt the Holy Spirit jump inside of me. He had been trying to tell me the same thing.

When we come to a fork in the road or a difficult situation, our human nature is to pick what we think is the right direction and go head first down that path. However, we cannot see all the way down those paths. We can’t know for certain what comes from going “that direction” in our lives. The good news is that we are in the hands of the One who does!

The Bible says in Jeremiah 29:11 that the Lord knows the plans He has for us and that they are plans to prosper us, to give us hope, and a future! It also says in Isaiah 58:11:

“The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”

The Lord is ready, willing, and oh so capable of guiding our steps. However, we have to allow Him to guide us. We have to relinquish that tiny bit of “control” we feel we have. It is a hard thing to do, but if you think about it, whose hands would you rather your future be in? Yours or the hands of the Creator of the Universe?  

We, myself included, have to make the daily (sometimes moment by moment) decision to remind ourselves to rest in Him and in His promises, to seek Him for guidance, and to trust that He is faithful in all things. It is not always an easy thing to relinquish control and trust in the Lord. I struggle with it daily. BUT if we do, there is joy, overwhelming love, and indescribable peace that will flood our spirit like an overflowing fountain and an abundant life waiting for us.

Your Wasteland is Your Wonderland| By Heaven Harris

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February 7, 2007. A day seared in my mind forever. This was the day that I found out my dad had committed suicide. I woke up that day like any other day, and by the end of it, I felt like a freight truck had hit me at 100 miles an hour.  I was broken, lost, confused, angry, and sad. So many emotions, and life just seemed to stop for me in those moments. My grief overcame me and blinded me to even see that God was in my midst. My once good life was now laid barren and broken before me, and I had no clue what to do with those broken pieces.

What could God possibly do with an orphan daughter and how could He possibly use such a tragic situation for any good at all?

How many times have you asked such questions? Maybe your wasteland came from the loss of a child, or the job that fell through, or maybe the countless times you hoped to see the plus sign on the end of that pregnancy test. Maybe you are living the single life longer than you ever anticipated, or maybe it’s the divorce that you feel like follows you like a scarlet letter.

No matter your questions, no matter your wasteland, first thing is first…

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalms 34:18

The next thing I will tell you is Romans 8:28 tells us that He works ALL things together for good.

You may be wondering how that is even possible. Believe me. I have been there. You may be there now.  You may be wondering how such pain could be good for anything. Know that it is not wasted. You may just be in a place that requires a perspective change.

We all know the quote, “One person’s trash, is another person’s treasure.”

I have heard it my whole life and always knew it referred to perspective, but until I began to truly serve God, perspective was something I focused very little on.  As my maturity in the Lord grew, so did my understanding of how important it is to have God’s perspective on EVERYTHING. As seasons pass by, as the storms rage and trials blindside us, without proper perspective, sinking sand is our foundation. As a result, we end up wandering in our wasteland.

Unfortunately, as human flesh would have it, I have become narrow sighted too often and found it extremely difficult to walk in God’s perspective of every situation.  Some situations hurt too bad or seemed to impossible in human form. There were times when I couldn’t see the purpose in the pain and was demanding all the answers NOW.

As I was walking through the season following my father’s passing, I read an analogy that really opened my heart to God’s ability to turn it all around with just a little perspective change.  I realized in that moment that my wasteland was God’s wonderland.

The analogy was about two clay vases. One is in immaculate condition with not a single scratch or hole in it; a beautiful piece of pottery. The other one is not so beautiful on the surface.  Its edges are rough, there are big gaping holes all over it. It looks like something you would throw away without hesitation.

If I turned the lights out and placed a lit candle in each vase, something interesting happens.  In the first vase, perfect in form, the light from the candle shines beautifully out the top of the vase.  Now the second vase, once the candle is placed inside, through every hole and scratch, that light is illuminating its surroundings.

It’s all about perspective.

You, my friend, are the vase.  You aren’t perfect. None of us are. You have gaping holes in your life as it has side swiped you and broke you down. But the light of Jesus can shine so much brighter through those rough places and empty spaces.

“Your lives light up the world. Let others see your light from a distance, for how can you hide a city that stands on a hilltop?” Matthew 5:14 (TPT)

God’s desire is to set you apart and use even the hurts and pains of life to glorify Himself. If you will just allow Him to shift your perspective, you will realize that we don’t serve a moderately big God, but a God that is GRAND!!!

Your wasteland is God’s opportunity to write your story.

For me, that wasteland became a platform for me to share my heart with others who have not only found themselves struggling with family or friends who deal with suicide, but I have also had the opportunity to share the love of God with those who directly deal with depression and suicidal thoughts.  God has opened so many doors in my pain for His love to not only heal those I was reaching, but also my own heart.

When I felt like trash, God was right there to remind me that I am His treasure, and so are you.  You are God’s treasure and His love for you is immense.

I encourage you today to hand Him over your trash and let Him turn it into His treasure.

Let Us Return to the Lord| By Tori Savoy

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“Just give up on me. I am not worth it any longer,” I told, or basically yelled, toward God.

My guilt had overwhelmed me, and I felt as if I would never be good enough to be loved by a perfect Savior. Even though I knew God gives us forgiveness, I could not quite forgive myself enough to accept God’s love again. I kept failing Him time and time again. I did not feel deserving of His love. All I felt was shame.

But Romans 8:35-39 (NLT) tells us differently.

35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?

36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)

37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.

39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The love of God is something we could never earn, and if we cannot earn it, how could we lose access to it?

One of the most impactful books of the Bible for me is the book of Hosea. A prophet of God, Hosea was given instructions to take Gomer, a prostitute, as his wife. Yet, over the course of their marriage, she remained unfaithful and went chasing after her lovers.

Eventually, she became used up and worthless to the point no man wanted her. However, Hosea bought her back for a costly price.

“She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, “I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.'” Hosea 2:7 (NIV)

“When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, ‘Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the LORD.’” Hosea 1:2 (NIV)

This story is a representation of God’s love for us. We have chased after our lovers whether that be a person, money, or success to fulfill us. God knew before we were even born that we would rebel and be unfaithful to him. Yet, He willingly chose to go to the cross and pay the highest price for our souls.

“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Yes, there will be consequences to our decisions, but God is always waiting with open arms to forgive and shower us in love.

“Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.” Hosea 6:1 (NIV)

The Devil will fill your heart with shame. But God will shower it in forgiveness. The Enemy will make you feel hatred for yourself. But God will reign down His love upon you. No matter how broken you return, God just wants you back in His arms so He can mend you.

If you are dealing with guilt over mistakes you have made, God is calling you to return to him. He is waiting with open arms and unending love for you. Nothing can separate you from that love, and no love of this world can compare to the love of a Savior.

Not Meant To Walk Alone| By Jasmine Beard

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War is not an easy task, and believe it or not, we are in a war every day as Christians. The war is not against man, but against the Devil who is scheming and desiring to destroy us at any chance he gets.

I do not say this to scare you, but to give you a true depiction of the enemy’s schemes that are not always visible.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 NIV

You may see his schemes through illnesses, financial hardships, relational problems, the way you view yourself, and the way you view God.

One of the biggest tactics the enemy schemes against me in is in my relationships with others. Ever since I can remember, I have been a chatterbox and always loved meeting new people and making lasting friendships.

I remember right after high school I started attending a new church. Everyone there was super nice and welcoming, but I still felt very alone even though I had made new friendships.

The enemy would whisper lies to me like:

“They don’t really like you.”

“They’re just being nice because they have to.”

And after sometime I started to believe the lies of Satan.

I began leaving church early and just crying about not being loved and wanted. This was all part of Satan’s plan. He loves Christians to be divided and out of fellowship. Our relationship with other believers is pivotal to our walk with God. Without it, we will likely perish spiritually.

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the others can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NLT)

While Satan had plans of destroying me through isolation, God had other plans. A girl named Megan befriended me from my church, and I began going to her small group. Through that time, I recognized that I wasn’t alone. I was actually loved and that Satan was just lying to me.

If you are feeling attacked or like you cannot go on another day, I want to encourage you to remember that we were not meant to run this race alone.

God has made every single one of us with an innate desire to know others and to be known. As people, we must stop fighting each other and start warring together against the schemes of the enemy.

Today, remember that people are not your enemy. Do not be afraid to reach out to others when you need prayer, a helping hand, or just someone to lean on. God has created us for community to ensure that we do not walk or fight this race alone.

 

Bring Your Brokenness| By Rachel Lukinovich

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Do you remember back in your childhood days, when you were just learning how to color?

Wasn’t it fun to scribble all over that white paper and make whatever your little heart so desired?

But then, all of sudden, you accidentally pushed down on that crayon a little too hard and maybe a little too fast. Then pop, your crayon breaks, and man are you bummed. You’re a smart kid so you ask for some tape and voila, the crayon is back to its former “whole” self. Or, maybe you don’t have any tape, so you just throw those crayon pieces right where they belong – in the trash.

Does this bring back any memories?

A few weeks ago, my 2-year-old daughter Ava, and I were making creative little pictures. Just as she goes to finish the round edge of her circle, snap — you guessed it, her crayon broke in two. She, like most small children, feels very similar about her crayons, and within minutes, this was our dialogue-

Ava: “I can’t use these crayons, mommy, they are broken.”

Me: (not wanting to waste and throw away anymore crayons) “You can still use them, even though they are broken.”

If the Holy Spirit didn’t slap me in the face, I don’t know what did! Instantly, it was brought to my attention that too often we treat ourselves and sometimes others like this crayon. Our minds have somehow come to believe that once broken, we need to quickly slap a piece of tape on our brokenness, and if that is not doable, we are no longer usable for God’s kingdom.

For years, mainly after giving my life to Christ, I believed the lie that I had to seem perfect or altogether, but over time, the Lord freed me of this and spoke truth into my heart. It is okay to be and appear broken, as long as our brokenness is being handled in the hands of our Father. Others might see our broken crayons like pieces of uselessness, but Jesus sees a perfectly capable art tool that He’s thrilled to create a beautiful story with.

Have you ever thought that maybe our broken crayons are what will make our story so beautiful? When we are broken, it is guaranteed that God gets the glory because our own strength simply could not hold us together.

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Too often, we believe we need to quickly fix ourselves and tightly wrap some type of reinforcement to hide the brokenness – Why? Because a whole taped crayon looks so much better than a obviously broken one. Yet, reinforcing the crayon will only hold its strength for so long, and despite what its appearance may show, it’s still completely broken on the inside. The outer splint will only last for so long.

Our past hurts and mistakes do not define us, but that doesn’t mean we should slap a bandaid over a festering wound and call it a day. Wounds, mistakes, failures, shortcoming, hurts, – they all cause us to break one way or another. Brokenness takes time to be mended, a healing that can truly only be completely made whole and well by the grace, forgiveness, and love of our Father, Jesus Christ.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalms 147:3

We may want our whole story to be written with a perfectly whole crayon, but at the end of the day, if we keep our eyes on Jesus and let Him write our story, it will be so beautifully written, regardless if the crayon was whole or broken.

Instead of seeking quick fixes to tape us back together, let us keep our eyes fixed on our Savior and King, and let Him do the mending back into shape, even if it means we have to go through the fire to be melted down and reshaped. After all, we are His work in progress and we are His masterpiece.

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6

He Who Promised is Faithful|By Tori Savoy

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“Oh are you expecting? I’ve noticed you’ve put on weight.”

This question was like a knife through my heart. No, I was not pregnant. Yes, I had gained a lot of weight. I thought people had enough sense to not ask that question to a woman.

I smiled politely and replied, “No ma’am, I have just been dealing with some health issues.”

Driving home that night, the tears hit me. Any woman who has been asked this question when they are not actually pregnant knows how belittling it makes you feel.

But then another fear shook me and made me want to cry even harder. This health condition I was faced with decreased my chances of having children at all. What if I never got to experience pregnancy and motherhood?

God swooped in on my wandering mind and reminded me of His promises.

But when the promise is not in sight, how do you maintain hope?

I have found I must remember first, what God has already done for me. Secondly, I must hold tight to those promises with full faith.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23

WHAT GOD HAS DONE

In my life, God has brought so many promises to pass, and sometimes I forget those. For one, my husband was a promise I had to wait patiently for. We had been friends for about 6 months when God began to affirm to me that I would marry Brandon one day. Unfortunately, I was only 17 at the time, and it required A LOT of waiting. We dated five years before getting married, but “He who promised is faithful.”

When I was 12, God told me one day He would be using my love for writing to bring him glory. Here I am, at 24 years old, writing for Unveiling Eden that is being read in over a dozen countries. He who promised is faithful.

If for one moment I forget how faithful God has been in my life, I will be left wandering in the wilderness of doubt and fear just as the Israelites were unable to obtain the Promised Land because they failed to remember all of the promises and miracles God had done in their life leading up to that point.

HOLD TIGHT TO THE PROMISE

God has been preparing me for motherhood my entire life. You see, since I was a young girl, motherhood was all I dreamed about. I was the oldest of four children as well as the oldest grandchild in my family. All the adults called me “Mama Tori”, even when I was as young as 5 years old. I was always taking care of a baby in my family.

Around high school, God promised me I would raise up children one day for His kingdom and told me not to chase after any job that may prohibit me from investing in my children the way He planned for me.

Have you ever made a promise, and you closed the deal by joining pinky fingers? Or you “crossed your heart and hoped to die”?

Yet who hasn’t broken a pinky promise?

People will fail to keep their promises, but my God is faithful. He does not seal His promises with just a simple gesture, but with something much stronger. His promises are sealed with the blood of Jesus, who was also a promise to all of mankind.

“When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, ‘I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.’” – Hebrews 6:13-14(NIV)

“God keeps every promise He makes.” Proverbs 30:5 (GNB)

No matter what words of fear this world or the enemy try to throw at me, I must let my faith in his promises be stronger than my fear. I must hold tight to those promises.

If you are struggling to believe in his promises, remember where He has brought you out from and have faith that He who promised is faithful.

An Open Invitation|By Heaven Harris

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Have you ever tasted something for the first time and instantly thought, “How in the world have I went this long without this in my life?”  

It opened not just your pallet, but your life to something new and different. Something refreshing!

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” Psalms 34:8

This has always been one of my favorite scriptures. Reading it always reminds me of the passionate pursuit of God for us as His children, and it honestly brings me back to the day I gave my life to Christ.  I remember it vividly. I was 15 years old and sitting on the edge of my seat while the pastor preached the love of God.

In those moments, even though I may not have known this scripture in its entirety, these are the very words Jesus was speaking to me, “Taste, see that I am good for you.  Let me open your eyes to my goodness!”

My favorite thing about God is this very aspect., He is always in pursuit, and He is ALWAYS a gentleman. Our God is no harlot, and the God that is love is the very one that knows exactly how to pursue.  He invented the very concept. His strategy is an open invitation.

“Come and taste… let me show you who I am and what I have for you.”  

“Taste and See!”

Sound familiar?

Same words, different context, different motive.

Let’s take a journey back to Genesis 4 in The Garden of Eden, the oasis of perfection God created for us.  There was a sly enemy, whispering to Eve those same words… “Taste and see! See that the Lord has been withholding from you.  Taste and see that He is not really for you the way that He claims He is. Taste and your eyes will be opened.”

It was a trick, a curse. Eve tasted, as did Adam, and yes, their eyes were open to the world and shame in a way God never intended for them, and the enemy was sure he had won. He thought this was the ending to the story, but he was wrong then, and he is wrong now.

God, knowing end from the beginning, knew what He would have to do, and He did it with our names written on His heart. He sent His son, His one and only, to reverse those words that were used to trick all those years ago.

”His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!” Hebrews 12:2 (TPT)

To imagine enduring the cross with joy is a pure display of the true love that Jesus has for us.  

I am now 31 and if I am being honest, I have not always stuck by the God who is love. I have been the prodigal daughter more times than I care to admit.  Almost two years ago I found myself in a marriage that was falling apart after only seven months and like Eve, I thought maybe God was holding out on me. In my pride, I tried to take control of my own life which led to divorce and a child out of wedlock.  

The day I found out I was pregnant was one of the hardest days of my life, but it was also one of the most redeeming. I sat in my car crying and crying out to God asking why now? Why this way?  

Feeling defeated and angry with myself, God sweetly whispered, “I will show you my love in a whole new way with this child.”

In what felt like a whirlwind of failure that I would never recover from, God opened His arms wide and beckoned me to taste and see what He had for my future.  In that moment, I chose Him. It’s all He has ever wanted anyway, in our freedom, to choose Him daily. In that moment, and the days that followed even into the here and now, He redeemed this heart of mine and is daily showing me how amazing He is.  What seemed like my curse, God turned it around as my most precious blessing.

Genesis 50:20 says that what the enemy meant for evil, God meant for good. (paraphrased).

His invitation has no bias or conditions.  His goodness, His fullness, His promises are for us all.  No matter where you are, I encourage you today, God is near to you and extending His invitation to you.  He is standing at the door knocking, like a gentleman, waiting for you to open the door to your heart. He is waiting for you to taste who He is. Only then, can your eyes be opened to beauty that encompasses His very nature.