…. reinforcement & transparency

Today, I skipped out of regular service to see what was going on in youth church and was literally b l o w n away! I am sooo proud of our youth department, The City, the youth Pastor, the youth music department, ALL they are doing just based on what I experienced today. It was amazing. HOW they are doing it is even more unique and tweeked just for them. It’s perfect.

Without going into toooo much detail about the sermon, the youth pastor was delivering a message on essentially trusting God in your relationships, character building, and just connecting the dots between us, our relationships on Earth, and Christ. He spoke on the relationship between Rebecca and Issac and HOW their marriage came to be. A sweet love story centered around a woman who lead a Christ centered life, a beautiful character, and meek spirit and a man who loved God and trusted Him for what he needed. Beautiful, sweet story.

I went back with a few of the ladies who came during alter call and spoke with them along with a few of the leaders of The City (our church’s Young Adult ministry) and helped out a bit there. We were able to hash out a bit of what they were going through and I really appreciated and took in that time with them. It reinforced issues I was dealing with myself and kind of brought me back to what I know logically that is tough to put into practice daily. Trusting God. For everything. EVERYthing. EVERY. thing.

We read the last bit of 1 Samuel 8 where Samuel is dealing with the never satisfied, always complaining Isrealites. Backstory, if you need a history lesson, is this: Isrealites (Jews) were enslaved to the Egyptians for about 100 years –> God rescues Isrealites from Egyptians by way of Moses (baby in a basket, Pharoh’s daughter found & raised him) –> Isrealites roam around the wilderness forever (really about 40 years) —> Isrealites complain, God delivers –> Isrealites complain, God delivers —> Isrealites complain, God delivers –> that cycle repeats over and over. And, over again. Ok… All caught up. Now, the Isrealites are complaining again about not having someone over them to lead them because Samuel’s sons aren’t even concerned about taking after their dad’s work. Fine. Samuel tries to let them know how displeased the Lord would be with their request but goes to God anyway letting Him know what’s going on. God tells Sam (v.6-9) to basically not worry about their decision… don’t feel bad about them wanting a king bc they’re really rejecting Him as their leader & replacing Him for other gods…. and to essentially “give the people what they want”. God then tells Sam to warn the people about what they’re really asking for. This replacement they want so badly isn’t really what they want. Every verse from vs. 11 to 17 warns the Isrealites of this king they want….. Every verse begins with “he will take your….” Every verse. ((Sidebar: realize that when the Isrealites are complaining to God about not having someone to lead them, that’s exactly what God has been to them AND more…. go figure. Kind of a slap in the face. RUDE.))

The message and conversation were centered around relationships – that’s where young/late teens are. That’s their focus. Which is absolutely fine and appropriate ESPECIALLY because relationships are how we show Christ to the world. ((Let them figure it out early so they can be awesome leaders and examples for younger kiddos later in life!!)) I’m talking to these young girls about their relationships with their parents, siblings, whoever, and explaining to them how they’re in such awesome positions to grow and mature in Christ… to trust God in this stage of their lives/growth as He is preparing them ultimately for His glory…. and to keep going because everything they’re dealing with now is growing their faith and allowing them to be used by God now….. all of these wonderful amazing things. They’re coming back with their own stories and frustrations and we’re telling them – trust God. Every situation you are in right now is a matter of trusting God. Every relationship you’re involved in you are to show the love of Christ. You are to mirror Christ’s love. You are to be a light and salt ((bright & useful!))…. People will be drawn to you because of the Christ in you so that you can share Him with them…. Truly ingenious!

While you could see the information settling in with these teenagers who deal with so much – the information was resonating with me.

Making me deal with the information I was telling them….. Making me double check myself.

Am I trusting God for EVERYthing? I am trusting God IN everything? … I am looking for replacement gods to fill voids, satisfy needs, or entertain me when I’m not feeling a certain way or doing something I THINK I should be feeling or enjoying?? This does mean by stopping by Target for “something” because I had a bad day at work or getting candy, a Berripop, or WHATEVER because I want a little pick me up.

Are these things BAD in and of themselves? HECK NO!

But, when used as a TEMPORARY replacement and void-fill for what only God can give me – it becomes diasterous.

Everyone’s temporaries are different. Everyone’s temptations are different. Everyone’s guilty pleasures are different. What are yours? What do you replace God with?

We…. I… have to learn to trust God for everything…. in everything….. our little pleasures are fun but when used in the wrong way, for the wrong reasons they end up TAKING from us. Taking. Taking our health, our time, our joys, our peace of mind, those things we’ve worked so hard for, our future, our everything. Just like the Isrealites king would take from them. All because we are NOT looking in the right place for what we so desperately (and legitimately) want and need. ((Hope I’m not allegorizing there……))

Trust God to feel loved when you feel completely unloveable. (Romans 8:39 , John 15:9, Matthew 18:12, Romans 5:6-8… )

If you’re looking for a love note… this is how much God thinks of you —-> Psalms 139: 8-18. Talk about someone who loves you so deeply, honestly, and will never leave you. How could He love you so much and NOT care about your hurts, thoughts, desires, or whatevers?

Trust God for acceptance… my new anthem – NEVER be ashamed of who you are, how God created you, or His plans for your life…… Read Psalms 139: 8-18 again.

He took His time and created me, fashioned me. The same guy who painted the sunsets. The same one who spoke and created light. The solar system. The elements of the Periodic Table. Ants. Sea weed. Freakishly small (and large) innate, detailed creations. He most certainly did NOT just throw me together. He most certainly did not create these THINGS with such detail and care only to create & toss me to the side, be unconcerned with my cares, and just let me go to the wayside without a way out. He is always there.

Everything in it’s purpose. In it’s time. In it’s season. When it’s right, when it’s from God – it’s perfect. Until then, know that as you deny yourself tempies that you are discipling yourself, you are building your faith, you are trusting God – you’re building your character.

…. here’s to character, learning to trust God, and reinforcements!

p.s.

I don’t know how to link a page to a word yet but to read about what I am trusting God for, go to the “our prayers” link at the top of the page. Feel free to pray with me/us!!!

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About Alaina

Wife. Daughter. Sister. Aunt. Friend. feel free to walk beside me. support. encourage. comment. pray. bestow wisdom. advise. follow. subscribe.
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