Menu Close

Category: Seeking God (page 1 of 3)

Stand Firm in Faith

Stand Firm. That’s become my mantra this year. It started around springtime when I was reading my bible and came across these words highlighted in blue. It said: “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.” Julianne, stand firm. God continues to tell me this. Okay, I say. I’m doing it. I’m standing firm. By the way, what do you mean? Stand firm? Stand Firm.

Okay, I will. I am. Standing Firm.

I’ve come to realize that I need the Holy Spirit to help me to stand firm, which is good because guess what? That’s who was sent to us after Jesus left the earth to go be with God, the Father. We don’t talk a whole lot about the Holy Spirit, but he is available to you and me.

Did you know you can ask the Holy Spirit to pray on behalf of you, if you don’t have the words?

I’ve also come to realize that ‘standing firm in the faith’ means getting on my knees a whole lot more than I’m used to and asking for help because I cannot do this life on my own. I want to follow God’s path for my life, but my humanness gets in the way. Sometimes I want to go my own way.

Many times, I have to ask for God to shape me, to bend me toward his ways, to get me out of my own way. He has been teaching me about humility and yet, I still struggle with pride. It’s deeply ingrained in us as humans. Another thing that is deeply ingrained in me is this thing called people-pleasing.

I’m starting to believe it is actually a sin to try to please others. I struggle with that, pleasing others. The more I learn about Jesus, the more I realize he didn’t carry the fear of rejection as I have. He didn’t worry about what others thought about him. He cared way too much about building God’s kingdom than about people’s opinions of him.

Oh to be like Jesus.

Recently, I read this short story out of the book of Matthew in chapter 16 verses 21-24. The subheading says: Jesus Predicts His Death. Jesus knew he would have to die in order to build God’s kingdom. He began to prepare the disciples that he must be killed, but that he would be raised to life.

This upset Peter (one of Jesus’ disciples) and he rebuked Jesus “Never, Lord!” “Never would this happen to you!” But Jesus told him otherwise, and then some. He said to Peter, “Get behind me Satan!”

He pretty much told one of his closest friends he was of the devil. If my friend wanted to protect me from death, I might not refer to him as my enemy. But I think I understand what is happening here. And shoot, no, I didn’t look at any bible commentaries. Here’s the thing:

Jesus knew it was his calling, to die! For mankind to have a relationship with God the Father, sacrifice was just a part of it. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for you and for me. Jesus wanted to follow through and he did, but I imagine the human part of him struggled with the thought of it.

Just like the serpent said in the Garden of Eden to Eve, “You will not surely die,” Peter was saying this same thing to Jesus. Eve had the opportunity to say, “Get behind me Satan!” as did Adam, and they did not, but Jesus was not afraid to say it.

Although Peter is far from being the serpent in the garden, he had the things of man in mind, just as Adam and Eve did when they were faced with the choice to follow God or not.

When God calls me to something difficult and I want to follow through, I cannot concern myself with the plans of others. Jesus says to Peter, “You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

I often pray that I will not allow my human thinking to be a stumbling block to God’s calling on my life. I hope this post encourages you to forget about pleasing others, but only God.

He is with you. Stand firm, my friend.

How Do I Find Rest?

One morning at YoungLives Camp, I made my way over to the Orchard Inn. It was where I led a small team of nannies who would help care for eleven adorable and very busy toddlers. I wanted to make sure our group was fully prepared so instead of walking, I began to run. Something in my spirit told me there was no need to run. I sat on a nearby bench to pray.

Read more

Running to or Running From?

Yesterday I wrote about how I used to be a runner. Today, in church, I learned I am still a runner. That is, figuratively speaking. As humans, we are always running, either toward or away from something. I like to think I’m running toward God’s plan for my life and not away from it, but it’s not always true. And when I say God’s plan for my life, I’m referring to the big picture of what I am called to do as a follower of Jesus.

  • love my neighbor
  • forgive peeps
  • share my resources
  • show n’ tell Jesus

Today at church, we had a guest speaker-Luke Crosby. He talked about the story of Jonah. That story used to make me cringe-not because it was a weird story about a whale swallowing a man, but because it was about obedience. Jonah pretty much ran as far as he could away from Ninevah, a place he was called to preach by um, God. He was afraid to do what was asked of him because, well, those people in Ninevah, they were known for killing people like him.

He didn’t want to die.

I shared earlier in the year about my own obedience story. It was about confronting my dad and telling him the truth that I stole money from him. I was scared to tell him, but it weighed heavily on my heart and mind… for a lot of years. To the point where God was like, We gotta do something about this.  My guilt was holding me back from a lot of good things. God was asking me to trust and to follow Him. It took faith in turning and running toward Him.

Every single step was worth it.

But that Jonah story is different. He didn’t steal anything from the Ninevites. And my dad probably wasn’t going to kill me, even though I thought he might. In a way he did kill me, except it was with kindness. He said, Of course I forgive you. If I believe in Jesus, I need to forgive others as he forgave me. There was no hesitation in his words. But ONLY love.

He didn’t want the money back and even paid for my lunch.

During all those years of holding onto that guilt, I disliked the story of Jonah (even the veggie tales version!) because I knew in my heart, it was an obedience issue. The guilt was strong too and the Lord wanted to free me from it.

Perhaps He wants to free you too.

Is there something you are fearful of doing? Maybe you feel like you don’t have what it takes to follow through. God knows you do. Trust Him with it and He just might surprise you.

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9

The Race of Faith

I used to be a runner. Back in December of 2009, I ran my first training mile. If I remember correctly, it was a bone-chilling 22 degrees and it took me 17 minutes. I was inspired by the TV show Biggest Loser and decided the night before I wanted to run a full marathon. Twelve months later on November 27th, I did just that. I ran 26.2 miles with a 12-minute pace.

Read more

The Father’s Love

I was born in Seattle and have lived in Washington all my life. I am pretty familiar with this state, especially in regards to the rain and we’ve had a lot of it. It’s what makes our state so green and for that, I’m thankful.

Read more

How to Bloom When You Feel Broken

Last month, I went to a women’s brunch. A friend of mine was speaking. The last time I heard her speak to a group of women was in 2006. Back then, she talked about brokenness, reconciliation and a stolen stereo. I remember it well because her story resonated with mine.

Read more

The Day I Chose to Obey

It was a beautiful spring day. The opportunity had come, the timing was more than right. It was perfect. I knew I had enough courage to follow through with it—not because of my own doing, but because of the strength given by Almighty God. It is a journey I look back on often, as a reminder of his faithfulness.

Read more

Good + Right

Hello! Happy New Year! I’m only 33 days late. Are you surprised? I’ve had so much to say, but so little time to say it, which is probably a good thing. I am ALL FOR the sharing of our hearts and minds and think it is good + right to stand up for what we believe in. I never did get around to sharing my thoughts on the American flag, why black lives actually do matter and whether or not I think George Dubya is a drunk or just a silly old man.

Read more

Day 26: Jesus, No Ordinary Man

Okay enough about me and my security issues. Let’s talk about Jesus and his security. Yeah I know. Jesus, God, God, Jesus. Still. Actually, I shouldn’t assume everyone reading this believes Jesus was or is God, but even if you believe he was just a man, you can learn from his ability to handle criticism.

Read more

Day 9: Strong Enough

I didn’t really want to talk about this tonight, but I’m going to get it over with. It’s been a nagging thing in the back of my mind and I guess that means I should talk about it. It seems like such a silly thing but it’s something I really want to fix about myself. My name is Julianne and I am…

Read more