So Much More Than Words 

  • ckstubbswrites

A few moments ago, I found myself curled up in my bed, feeling pretty tired and sorry for myself. I had a bit of a rough day, and to tell you the truth, I just wanted to lay down and wallow in self-pity. I knew that I should push through how I felt and get started on the work that I needed to get done, but I didn’t feel like I had the strength to do it. I felt weak and worn down by this season of my life. As I laid there on my bed, I began to think about all the things that I had to get done that day. The more I thought about them, the more exhausted I felt. Have you ever experienced this? I was literally laying down, doing nothing, but just the thought of everything that I needed to accomplish made me feel exhausted, mentally and emotionally. As I pondered the challenging tasks that I had to accomplish, Romans 8:37 (NIV) came to mind, which says, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” When I first thought of the verse, I disregarded it. Honestly, I hear it so much, that in the moment, I took it for granted. However, I kept hearing it over and over in my mind, and after a while, I knew that it had to be God speaking to me. I knew that He was reminding me that I am more than a conqueror and that no matter how weak I felt, I could accomplish anything through Jesus.

Truthfully, after I was reminded of this, I still wanted to stay in bed and not do anything. I still felt weak and tired. Also, I knew that getting up meant that I would have to work on an important school paper that had been a source of anxiety to me for months. I dreaded pulling up the document. I even dreaded thinking about working on it, but I felt God urging me to take a small step. I felt him reminding me again that I am not just a conqueror, but that I am more than a conqueror. This meant that I could accomplish anything, no matter how difficult it seemed and no matter how tired I felt. So, I took a deep breath, dragged myself out of bed, pulled out my laptop and started typing. I had only planned on writing a few sentences, just to prove to myself that I could do it, but the more I typed, the stronger I felt. I typed until I exceeded my own expectations. By the time I got done working on that document, I not only felt at peace, but I felt God assuring me that I am much stronger than I think I am. He reminded me that I had more fight in me than I thought. I also felt Him reminding me again that I am more than a conqueror, through Him.

Do you feel weak today? Are you struggling, like I did, to face a difficult task? Are you dreading working on something important that’s been a source of anxiety to you? Whatever it is, I want to remind you today that once you are in Christ, you are more than a conqueror and so much stronger than you think. Don't succumb to the lie that you're too weak to accomplish a goal. Don't waste time wallowing in self-pity because you feel as though things aren't working out. You are more than a conqueror. Believe this truth, take a step of faith, and watch God work.

  • ckstubbswrites

I've been thinking a lot about obscurity this week. Scrolling through Instagram, I realized again just how much we all desire to be known. We post countless TikTok videos in hopes of going viral, we spend hours upon hours trying to choose the right filter for our photos. We want to be known by the world and admired. Deep down, if we’re being honest, we’d admit that we all struggle with this. As I spent time with God, I started to think about what the word "know" really meant, so of course, I went straight to Google. I found that to "know" means to "be aware of through observation, inquiry, or information." Another definition stated that to "know" means to "have developed a relationship with (someone) through meeting and spending time with them; be familiar or friendly with." As I pondered the second definition, I thought about how much I desired to be known in this way. Oftentimes, I feel like people make assumptions about who I am, instead of truly getting to know me. I’d always find myself thinking, “If only they took the time to really know who I am, they’d see what I have to offer.” Have you ever felt that way? If so, I know what that’s like. However, the more time that I sat thinking about my desire to be known for who I truly am, the Holy Spirit began to speak to me about God’s desire to be known by us. He revealed to me that just as much as we want to be known for who we really are, God wants to be known. He wants us to know Him, and this comes through spending time with Him, reading His Word, and making room for Him in our lives.

As I thought more about God wanting to be known by us, the Holy Spirit led me to read John 10:14-15 (HCSB), which says, "I am the good Shepherd. I know My sheep and they know Me, as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father." I read that verse multiple times, and kept looking at the word “know”. Jesus was telling His disciples that he knew His sheep (meaning, His people), but the thing that stood out to me is that He said, His sheep also knew Him. When He speaks about knowing His sheep and them knowing Him, it wasn’t just knowing Him as an acquaintance, or someone that they see every week. They knew Him personally; there was an intimacy that they had with Him, a familiarity that could only come through constant communion with Him. When I realized that this is what God meant when He said He wants to be known, I prayed a simple prayer, “Jesus, help me to truly know You.”

Being a Christian is more than just talking about Jesus, or reading our Bibles once in a while. It's more than just going to church. It's about truly knowing God. Knowing His character, making room for Him in our lives and spending time with Him. I know that some of you may struggle in this area, for many reasons. You may feel like drawing close to God is challenging, especially in this day and age, or, you may just not know how to begin. I want to share two simple steps that I implement into my daily life that helps me draw closer to Jesus and develop intimacy with Him.

  1. Be consistent with your Bible reading. Now, I know that this is a challenge for many people. But, spending time in God’s word is one of the best ways that you can come to know Jesus. My mother once told me that when you’re spending time reading the Bible, you’re actually spending time with Jesus, because He is the Word. Learn to be consistent with your Bible reading. Commit to reading a verse a day and ask God to help you remember it as you go throughout your day and apply it to your life. Trust me, the more time that you spend in the word, the more you will learn about God, and the more you will come to know Him.

  2. Make it a practice of talking to God. I talk to God, a lot. And, I do mean a lot. Prayer isn’t always about kneeling down and talking to God. You can literally talk to Him wherever you are. I talk to God in class (probably more than I should), when I’m driving, when I go for walks throughout the day, when I’m running errands, when I’m fixing my hair. Literally, all the time. If you want to draw closer to God, I encourage you to just talk to Him. It may feel a bit weird at first, but once you make it a daily practice, it becomes easier. Talk to Him about anything in your life, nothing is too small or too big. God is always listening. I promise you, the more that you talk to God, the closer you will feel to Him and the more real He becomes to you.

I can tell you many more practices that you can implement in your life, but these two have literally transformed my life and my relationship with Jesus. I encourage you to be intentional about practicing them, and as you do, remember that God wants to be known by you. This means that He’s not sitting in heaven waiting for you to make a mistake or fall short, He desires for you to know Him and He will help you! I can tell you that the best thing about my life is to know God and be known by Him.

Let’s resolve to truly know God today.

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  • ckstubbswrites

A few moments ago, I was reminded by God to be still. I had been feeling scatterbrained all day, trying my best to focus on the next thing. If it wasn't schoolwork, then it was my personal writing. On top of that, I had been ruminating over my future, wondering if the things that I had been praying to God for would ever come to pass. It was a complete mess. Have you ever had days like this? Days when you just feel completely in over your head and it's a challenge to deal with everything? Well, that was my reality today. When I finally allowed myself some time to stop, I decided to go outside for a walk in my father's garden. As I walked the familiar concrete path, I began to think more about my life and how not much about it made sense in this season.

As I walked outside, I spoke to God about the burdens on my heart, until I arrived at a large clearing at the back of the yard. I especially enjoy sitting in this area because I can look out at the ocean. As I stood in the warm evening sun, desperately trying to sort through all of the thoughts in my head, I heard the Holy Spirit remind me of two simple words, "Be still". As soon as I heard them, I felt a mixture of peace in my heart and a deep knowing. I knew that it was God reminding me to just be still and stop trying to figure everything out on my own. I knew that it was Him reminding me that it wasn't my job to figure my life out, nor was it my job to know every single detail of my life. What I needed to do was let it all go, and trust that He has it in His hands. He reminded me that instead of trying to strive and fix things in my life on my own, what I needed to do was to be still and trust Him enough to take care of it. At that moment of realization, I looked out at the water and felt assured that God is in complete control, so much that when He says "Be Still" to the wind and waves, they obey Him. If the wind and waves answer to His command to be still, how much more should we? His beloved children.

I don't know what you're facing right now. Like me, you may be trying to figure your life out, and failing miserably. Or, you may be walking through some other challenging situation and little by little, you find yourself losing your ability to endure. If that is you, I encourage you to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). I love that verse because it reminds me that He is God and I am not. Oftentimes, I try to take the place of God, attempting to fix my life and figure things out on my own. But, I’ve realized that this is why I often find myself overwhelmed and weary. God doesn't want this for His children; He wants us to be still, realizing that He is in control and we can trust Him, completely.

Go for a walk, log off of social media, place your phone on silent. Find time today to be still in His presence and allow Him to speak peace into your weary soul. Be still and know that He is God.

© 2020 by Christna K. Writes