YWAM Furnace

devotional

5 Ways to Fight Fear in Face of Global Crisis

Posted on Mar 19, 2020, in the categories: Devotional
5 Ways to Fight Fear in Face of Global Crisis

You've heard hundreds of sermons on the “do not fear” verses, and you know you shouldn’t be afraid. Even when you’re facing a global crisis. But really, how do you get things from your head to your heart? “Well, what’s between your head and your heart?” my dad often asks, and points to his mouth. What you say out loud has the power to change your mindset and situation, and it’s the first step in fighting fear. But what does it look like in today's chaos?…

When Your Life Feels Like a Construction Zone

Posted on Oct 25, 2018, in the categories: Community Living, Devotional
When Your Life Feels Like a Construction Zone

There’s construction happening right outside our front door. The lot that we live on was subdivided, and now a house is being built on what was our front patio. I’ve had some ups and downs with that reality, as most people would. Almost every day I’ve been sitting at the kitchen table, drinking my morning…

The Secret to Freedom

Posted on Mar 26, 2015, in the categories: Devotional

It’s ironic, isn’t it? Reading a title and seeing the words ‘secret’ and ‘freedom’ in the same sentence. It’s also ironic reading a Bible verse that says, “I will keep your law continually… and I shall walk in a wide place.” Charles Spurgeon said about this verse, “The way of holiness is not a track for slaves, but the King’s highway for freemen.” Jesus said that He came to give us life abundantly. Not a life of rules and restrictions, but a freedom to live as the people we were made to be.

“I will keep your law continually, forever and ever, and I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts.” – Psalm 119:44-45 It’s ironic, isn’t it? Reading a title and seeing the words ‘secret’ and ‘freedom’ in the same sentence. It’s also ironic reading a Bible verse that says, “I will keep your law continually… and I shall walk in a wide place.” Charles Spurgeon said about this verse, “The way of holiness is not a track for slaves, but the King's highway for freemen.” Jesus said that He came to give us life abundantly. Not a life of rules and restrictions, but a freedom to live as the people we were made to be. The Kingdom of God can be a bit ironic, can’t it? How do you find your life? Well Jesus says to lose it. James tells us that the Lord, “lifts up the humble.” One concept that seems backwards is spiritual hunger. In the natural, you satisfy your hunger by eating and then you become full. But in the spiritual, the more you “eat,” the more hungry you become. I think we all have a desperate need for God – not just for following him or being committed to him, but to intimately be connected with him and I think that the more connected we become with him, the more freedom we have! “–Wait, what? How does that make sense? Becoming more connected to something makes me free? Isn’t that the opposite of freedom, being unattached from something?” Not connected to something – connected to someone! I think the more spiritual hunger you cultivate and the greater intimacy you experience with Jesus, the more passionate you are to remove anything that hinders this intimacy. “Spiritual hunger is our greatest asset!” – Josh Cole “But when you had eaten and were satisfied, you became proud and forgot me.” – Hosea 13:6 I look at the people of Israel who had experienced the glory of God firsthand, yet still turned away from him, and I believe it’s because they lost their spiritual appetite for God. They experienced one miracle from God that temporarily satisfied their spiritual hunger for the moment and grew in a prideful independence away from God, thinking that they had “eaten” enough. The Israelites become bound and enslaved to their selfish desires because they did hunger for the only One who could satisfy them. If we want to walk in authentic freedom, we need to pursue authentic intimacy with God. And vice versa, if we want to walk in authentic intimacy with God, we must pursue authentic freedom from anything that holds us back from experiencing His fullness.…

Transparency: A Tool to Freedom

Posted on Feb 19, 2015, in the categories: Devotional

I think if we are really honest with ourselves, we’ve sat in a community or been around people who believed in us but the thought, “If they really knew me…” waves like a flag in our mind. Because there is something we have done or are still doing that we really don’t want to admit to in fear that if we were really known we would be judged, gossiped about, exposed and rejected. Within all of us, at some point or another, there is a leech of bondage and sin attached to us, and we can choose to get help and remove it, or we can ignore it as it steals from us and grows bigger and bigger.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9 So… you’re carrying a secret. Most of us are. The reality is, at one time or another, maybe even now, we have all carried a secret. I think if we are really honest with ourselves, we’ve sat in a community or been around people who believed in us but the thought, “If they really knew me…” waves like a flag in our mind. Because there is something we have done or are still doing that we really don’t want to admit to in fear that if we were really known we would be judged, gossiped about, exposed and rejected. Within all of us, at some point or another, there is a leech of bondage and sin attached to us, and we can choose to get help and remove it, or we can ignore it as it steals from us and grows bigger and bigger. Now the question is posed, “How do we remove these leeches?” Leeches thrive in dark environments so when they are exposed to light, they want to flee quickly. God has given us the tool of transparency to remove sin and bondage from our life. Dictionary.com defines transparency as, “allowing light to pass through so that objects behind can be distinctly seen.” Transparency simply means to allow the light of God to shine through you in order for Him to set you free. Transparency is not just a good idea; it’s a tool God gives us to walk in the freedom of the cross. – Marty Emmett I think one of the reasons why many of us refuse to live a life of transparency is because shame has lead us to secrecy and silence. We have to recognize that though God knows everything about us, he does not pull back from us and he still loves us. If we want to walk in the fullness God has for us, we have to open up and let the light in which means being vulnerable with God, as well as a trustworthy community around us. I know what it is like to carry a secret; it drives you nuts! But something releases when you confess even what may seem like your most shameful secret. I know how it feels to desperately need to confess, like your insides are filling up with smoke and you just have to let it out. I know what it feels like to carry something with you that is eating you alive but I also know the weightless, wondrous feeling of letting it out –like you’ve been holding your breath and now you finally get to breathe again. And probably the most beautiful aspect about God and a godly community is that they give you permission to let it out and to breathe. God loves us in all of our mess, in all of our brokenness and mistakes and His word says that he casts our sin into a sea of forgetfulness, and in my opinion, being transparent with a godly community allows people to put up “No Swimming” signs around that sea so that we may never ever go back to those old leeches. Walk in the freedom of being fully known and fully loved by God and his people. Christina Parker from California says: Growing up I always felt that I had to be perfect; like I was either passing or failing in life. So I felt like I had to wear a mask, even with my own make up, I had to make everything look perfect. But on my journey with the Lord, I’ve realized the need for transparency, of taking the mask off, opening up, being honest and letting the light in. My heart is so for deep relationships, which I have found comes from being honest and getting help when I need it. It’s so easy to put a wall up and not let people know what is really going on inside. But when I’ve gotten really vulnerable with someone, that’s when God has really broken through and a real relationship has happened. Transparency has been a huge tool for freedom in my life!…

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