Saturday, January 21, 2012

(Day eighty-two) the rat race

Have you ever been to one of those human mazes? Why on earth I actually pay to put myself through torture and frustration like that I'll never know.... and multiple times at that. I remember taking the challenge with some family members AGAIN last summer at some generic theme park in Gatlinburg, Tn. One minute after starting the first injury occurred as I came around a sharp corner and literally ran into a friend knocking us both to the ground. We both immediately got up and started the rat race again... don't ask me why.

It was a madhouse to say the least. People screaming, running, pushing, yelling and stressed.... all to collect some sort of letters and make it to the end with the best time. That's it? In this game there is no: pacing yourself, keeping your cool, pit stops, or helping a brother out. Nope... it's eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth... dog eat dog. Strangers, friends and family are sneaking around you hoping to find the right paths before you do. Any way you look at it, the reality is it quickly becomes a game of selfishness, pride and defeat. It's almost like it was designed that way.....

God, on the other hand, designed a world pleasant and stunning. There was no point in rushing in the garden of Eden... no time limit, no worries, no needs, and no desperation. There was no social ladder to climb and no desire to become well known among God's creation. Peace, serenity, unfailing love, harmony, and flawless beauty where all that surrounded them. Just picture this for a minute. Wow, what I wouldn't give to be THERE sometimes.. ok, all the time. Knowing it's in our eternal future is exciting, but what about now? What about the fast paced, caffeine driven, over-time, over-worked, overwhelmed society we live in?

I don't know about you... but sometimes I feel the pressure of the maze. Since the fall of man, no doubt the enemy has had a fine time keeping us busy with "life" in a puzzle that doesn't make any sense. EVEN Christians with good intentions who desire God's will for their life might find themselves stuck in one of these desperate to keep up with the rest of the world unintentionally forgetting what real quality LIFE is.

I find that when I'm in New Zealand, Cambodia, Thailand, or somewhere in Africa "unplugged" from the system...I am much more at peace with the Lord and myself. Don't get me wrong... it's not necessarily easier to be a Christ follower in another land (per say), but it IS so much easier to FOCUS on intimacy with God when I slow down, cut out most forms of modern technology, and just BE a daughter of the King. It's in this place I become a child again who knows and trusts and loves her papa... regardless of the circumstances. It's in THIS place that i feel more like a human being rather than a human doing.

The most intriguing thing about the maze that day was watching the interaction with my cousin, his wife, their 4 year old, and 2 year old twins. I loved hearing them laugh as they found it more and more difficult keeping up with all three. You see, before too long those little ones realized there was a gap under the walls big enough for them to crawl under which gave them a pretty big advantage to the rest of the adults who were about to go insane if they reached another dead end. Also, because they were children... they didn't seem to care about the letters we were all collecting or about being first. Instead they were having a blast, not to mention reminding others to slow down and enjoy the journey a little bit more.

Another interesting perspective... literally... is when we found one of the stair cases that led us up to a platform where we could see the whole maze. These were God-sends. The crazy thing was you couldn't find them if you were looking for them, but you would always stumble upon them at your most desperate point. From this place you could see all of the human rats running around looking quite ridiculous. For the first few minutes you can't help but think how dumb they all look until you realize you were doing the exact same thing. Doesn't take long for God to put you in your place :) From up there you begin to get it. Ok... so I'm in this journey and one day i'll be out of it... the trick is to be in it but not of it right? So... be a kid, keep perspective, enjoy the journey and show others how to be kids of the King while you're at it!

The cool thing is that we have the "garden" at our fingertips. It is possible for us to live in the kingdom of heaven while on earth... but we have to know how to be His kids first. How do we do that? By believing what He says about Himself and us in His word... instead of believing the tainted version the world expresses through its brokenness. Man, God sure does love us. God is the most questioned, sought after, rejected, treasured, misunderstood, creative, worshipped, powerful, gentle, frightening, beautiful, mysterious, glorified, known divine creator in the universe and beyond. And He loves you. He desires to restore us and unite us with Him. Can you believe it? When we can stop, sit, and listen to His whisper... we'll begin to have this love encounter that leads us to the one true God. Then... we can't help but walk in humility, faithfulness, love, authenticity, grace, forgiveness, gratitude, and awe because of His presence. And the world will see you... somehow living this out... in the fallen world they are wrapped up in. And almost speechless because of His glory and love, we lift up one arm and point to Jesus.
B90: (Romans 13- 1 Corinthians 13:14) "May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God." Rom. 15:5-7

Take a second to jot down what the church family looks like from the inside-out. Now take a second to think about what it might look like from the outside-in. Or vice versa. Maybe you've had conversations with people about it or perhaps you only know one side of the story. Now go ahead and read verses 1-4 of that chapter. Is it possible we've separated ourselves so much from the world that we've created our own "christian" maze only for people who are willing to follow the rules? Or have we found that balance of truly living in the world but not of it... in harmony with one another with the welcoming spirit of Christ?

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." Rom. 15:13

I pray for us today as a body. That we would let down our walls of preference and be unified. That we would be so consumed with His presence that the busyness of the world drifts away and we are in constant awe of who He is and how much He loves us and the world. I pray we all get a taste of the kingdom here on earth and live in a constant hunger for more. That people come to know the God of this universe by how we love, serve and live as authentic and transparent followers of Christ. I pray we all see the importance Paul saw in being good stewards of all you've given us Lord.... ourselves, the earth, and all that is in it! Let us bless your spirit with our praise, adoration, worship, positive thinking, life bringing attitudes, service and love today. All glory to you!!! Amen.

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do ALL to the glory of God." 1 Cor. 10:31

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Going the distaaaaaaaance

Ok, so for the past hundred and something days I've been doing this 90 day challenge. Thank you Jesus I'm on the home stretch now with only 9 days left! In the beginning I had a lot of time to dedicate to each thing as well as momentum on my side. I would like to say my motivation has remained for the most part, but the transitional life i lead has left me aching for more minutes in the day to complete this task. Nevertheless, I have learned so many amazing things during this like: the blessings of discipline, the joy of digging in the word, how to have grace on myself, dying to self, how to live in the spirit, how to really live out the word, significant things of God's character and nature, and more of who I am in Him..... a daughter of the King.

Now with the end of this season in close view I'm seeing an even bigger picture of WHOLENESS than I ever have before!!! I've also spent some time asking the Lord what is next. Is this over? And the answer I received was a very clear NO.... it is just beginning! So, for those of you who have stuck with me this whole time... first of all I'd like to give you a standing ovation (really, I'm doing it right now) and secondly i'd like to share with you the highly anticipated (by no one other than me) "game plan" for next season. And whether or not you have been doing this 90 day challenge with me, I'd still like to extend a humble offer to join me on this next amazing challenge. If you'd like me to help you with your own personal challenge, I'd love to... just ask :)

The idea and heart behind it is to develop some healthy biblical habits that promote wholeness and health so we can live to the fullest in this fallen world and be the stewards God is desiring us to be with our minds, body, soul... and all He puts in our care.

I've always been a sprinter. Even in Jr. High track I chose sprinting because I knew I could do anything for a short amount of time. As I got older I began to see how that mentality creeped into every part of who i was. Physically I could run hard and fast for brief periods but before too long I would wear out. Mid-2010 was a prime example of this. I had been doing small quick things for God giving Him very little commitment, but lots of passion and gusto. Around the time I contracted Dengue fever in Thailand was when it all began to rapidly go down hill. I saw my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual all collapse within days/ weeks of each other... i was a MESS. Sure, some of the things that attributed to this were out of my control but as I began to get better I realized how every single decision I made actually did matter and how connected everything is. One of the things I was encouraged to do was to start to look forward with more long-term vision... rather than just throwing all my chips in the air and hoping they land in the right place.

This was something very difficult for a free bird like me to do. It took a little bit of coaching and a few panic attacks for me to begin to see that this was healthy. More recently (about a year later) while I was in New Zealand I began to run again. I tried and tried to run long distances but I just couldn't do it... in fact, I hated it. In the meantime I was also feeling a bit of anxiety about committing to a few other things in my life (like long-term missions). One day while I was running, it was almost as if God audibly said "Lindsey, your sprinting days are over... I need you to be one of my long-distance runners now." And when the Lord speaks... I answer. I'm telling you it was so clear. And without much thought at all my timid yet confident answer was, "yes dad... anything for you". I know it sounds crazy... but right at that moment I had such a peace run over me. All of the things I had unintentionally worried about (like long-term commitment to places, goals, people... yes people) in the past were gone. And then in God's gracious humor... being freed from this actually broke something in the physical and i could now run long distances with so much more ease!!! HAHA. Praise God.

So what better way than to honor God with a symbol of my new found freedom and victory than to run the music city half marathon!!! April 28 of this year my sister, a few cousins, some other amazing friends and myself will be running to raise money for Hands and Feet Project's orphanage in Haiti. I tell you this not only so you can be praying for us, but to also give you the opportunity to support us if you'd like!!! I'm trying to get 50 people to donate $1 per mile (13.1 miles)... or just throw in whatever you've got in yo back pocket! So for the next 15 weeks I'll be training with my sister learning more about discipline and becoming more fit to serve Him with everything!!! But THIS is only half of the "game plan".

The other half: You know I can never do things the easy way right? Ha. Well, our "official" training begins in about 3 weeks which will give us 12 weeks of intense training up until the half-marathon. The past few months God has been laying the spiritual disciplines on my heart so I ordered "Celebration of Disciplines" by Richard Foster. A few days ago when I opened the book I starting dying laughing when I realized there were 12 of them. It was almost a no-brainer as to what I was supposed to do. So while i'm physically training I'll also be spiritually training as I go through one of the disciplines per week, practice it... and blog about it. I could not be MORE excited for this. I really thing there are some special nuggets of gold God has during this next season... and I'd love for you to come along side me!!!

For the 3 weeks leading up to this I'll be finishing this 90 day challenge and doing some sort of detox to prepare my mind, body, soul and spirit for what's ahead. If you'd like to ask me anything please email me:

One last thing... today as my sis and I were running I was telling her the story I just told you in one ear. In her other ear was a man on her ipod telling her when we should run and when we should walk for our "pre-training". All the sudden we realized how similar life is to all of this and how God's desire is to keep us trained for long-distance by giving us preparation tools and crucial instruction on what's to come. The problem is sometimes the other "noise" is up so loud we are unsure of what He's even saying.

Clearly in the word God desires to produce in endurance in us to run the race... "and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Rom 5: 3-5

and "let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter or our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." Heb 12: 1&2

Just sit and meditate on this scripture for a little while and ask the Lord how He might want to speak to you through them. We take more ground for Christ in the physical when we understand the power of prayer and the victories to be had in the spiritual. The more we commit ourselves wholly to the Lord, the less interference and more authority we are giving Him to MOVE in our lives! Celebrating true spiritual discipline brings freedom in the unseen AND the seen. Let's not let the fallen world beat us down, but let's rise above as son's and daughters and seek freedom in healing for all through Christ!

"... but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord." Heb 12:11-14

Amen!!! And we're off.....

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

(day eighty-one) the unseen.

We live in a fast paced world surrounded by flashing lights, noises, messages and voices constantly competing for our attention, money and time. Over-stimulation drives us to choose the most attractive, loudest, or most profitable option. After all... we must keep up with the status quo not to be left behind in the dust, or at least that's what they so cleverly tell us. Even with the T.V. turned off, my cell on vibrate, and a fairly quiet living space I still find 24 hours in America borderline overwhelming when compared to life "unplugged".

And by unplugged I mean you pretty much either have to be "off the grid" and live in whatever is left of our undeveloped nation, otherwise known as "the sticks".... OR live somewhere outside of the states in a developing nation, third world country, or new zealand :) Going back and forth as I have makes this self-discovery of massive distraction in our boarders a very unpleasant one.

On the bright side, people are taking note of this across our nation and doing something about it. I've heard of many families recently who are choosing to live off the land, become more self-sustainable, and cut some of the "rat race" out of their lives. This exact lifestyle can not be precisely duplicated by everyone the same, but could it possible that some sort of "slowing down" would be healthy?? Do these "unpluggers" have something right here?

Again, I'm not suggesting we all sell everything we have and live on a farm community somewhere and share chickens and cows... although that does sound mighty fine to me! But perhaps what I am suggesting is that we take the word for face value. It is quite possible to simplify this crazy life in such a way so that the King of Kings has a crystal clear pathway to speak to his sons and daughters. Some of us have unintentionally turned up the volume of life so loud that our heavenly Dad can hardly get a word in. Sadly still some wonder why they can't hear His voice in the midst of the all the chaos.

The more I've slowed down to listen to His voice, the clearer I've heard it. The more I've cut out the noise in my life... the more I begin to see the toxic things I was actually seeing, hearing, and eating that were effecting the way I lived out life! Fact is: enemy wants to make us toxic and wants to keep us busy enough to only see and care about the distractions around us. Because when we begin to SEE THE UNSEEN we become his biggest threat. The greatest victories and defeats are happening right now in a realm we do not see; but are called to be aware of and prepared and trained for. When battles are won in the spiritual, things begin to happen in the natural.

I'm reminded of Chronicles of Narnia... one of my favorite films of all time. Some of my friends and I watched this in New Zealand over Christmas and are still amazed that we've been to the very places it was filmed. Sort of makes me feel like I'm really living out the movie at times. Like most of you probably remember the four main characters are children that have been sent away from home because of war. In some sense they become orphans who are not so joyfully accepted into a new loving atmosphere. After one night of playing hide and go seek the youngest girl (portrayed as the one with the most childlike faith) stumbles into narnia through the wardrobe. The unseen becomes seen for the first time and she is utterly amazed.

Disbelief eats away at the hearts of her siblings while her own heart longs for more. Something is calling her back and no amount of worldly distraction can stop her from fighting to see it once more.... this time her brother comes along but is quickly distracted by the attractive words and powers of the witch. One more time the young girl discovers narnia, but this time with her family close behind. Finally their eyes are opened to a world they never knew existed but had been there the entire time. Slowly but surely you see their disbelief fade away as they recognize their adoption rights and accept their role as sons and daughters. As the youngest boy is still pursuing the counterfeit the witch offers, the others pursue the King. They find their identity and destiny wrapped up in His will for them in this land and become confident in Him as they encounter His love and He mobilizes them with value, worth, and fearless courage. If He is with them, what can stop them?

Shortly after they are given their weapons and accept their calling... the youngest returns back to Aslan's camp with his slave holder- the evil witch. The witch reminds Aslan that she must have a blood sacrifice to pay for his sin and betrayal.... and that's when the King steps in and lays down His own life for this one child who made a string of selfish decisions. In the end of this first film, the battle is won and all the children courageously fight with all they have! The one that was badly injured was the one that had strayed far from the truth and wasn't quite prepared for the battle. Even so... Aslan was right there with them.

I've seen this movie many times, but it wasn't until a year or two ago when it finally clicked! Just like Narnia, there is a spiritual realm out there that we can not see. If we continue to live in this world in ignorance of it, we will continue to believe that we are unaffected by it (which is exactly what the enemy would want us to think). Just read Ephesians 6. As the children walked through the wardrobe, they were given eyes to see this world. They also began to see their TRUE identity in Christ and became fearless abandoned sons and daughters of Him.

There is a whole realm we are called to put on our armor for and fight in with the power of prayer every day! We've got to see the utmost crucial importance in this and begin to position ourselves at the feet of our Lord and walk through that wardrobe every morning to see defeat happen in the spiritual and physical realm. We must put on the armor and STAND FIRM. He will not leave us or forsake us, He does have a plan and we must trust Him for it! I truly believe that the more we are present with God in His kingdom, the more we know and feel His presence on this earth. And on the contrary... the less we STAND in the spiritual, the more exhausted we become of the battles we fight on this earth.

B90: (Romans 1- 12:21) "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained ACCESS BY FAITH INTO THIS GRACE IN WHICH WE STAND and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. " 5:1-2

Some of my favorite verses in the bible surround this one, but this really stuck out to me tonight. The ones that follow (3- 5) are probably more widely known and quoted...but now are even clearer to me after tracking back to verse 1 and taking a longer look at it. Every single thing about it is unseen. Take a look over that again and meditate on it for a few long minutes. Tear it apart if you want. Do you REALLY believe everything it speaks of? And if so... does it make a significant difference in the way you now see the physical realm we call our temporary home?

Now take a quick look at Chapter 8: 1-11 with particular attention on vs. 5-7. If we live according to the spirit that IS (or desires to be) IN us, then we will set our minds on the things of the spirit... which is life and peace. The spirit within us IS our backstage pass into the spiritual realm giving us eyes to see the unseen, and wisdom, discernment, compassion, courage, endurance and strength! The times when this world tries to get the best of me are the moments I know the only place I can find life and true peace are at the feet of my Father... and in that second I know again He is who He says He is and I know who I am in Him. That simple posture will bring defeat to the enemy's army every time.

"For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!". The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs- heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him." 8: 15-17 ... Wow! This is some powerful stuff ya'll. The Spirit within us is what tells us we are adopted royal kids of the most high King along with Christ whom we will be glorified with. Dude, that's serious biz.

I recently heard a pastor say, "Christ didn't die so we could have a relationship with God.... He died so we could have HIS relationship with the Father." Again, wow.

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God..." vs 18 & 19. EVEN creation is waiting. This is another picture that was portrayed so beautifully in Chronicles of Narnia.

"....and not only creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For IN THIS HOPE we were saved. Now hope that is SEEN is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience... likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. for we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. " 23-28

My prayer tonight is for those with disbelief to find truth in the King of all as they put their faith in Him. My prayer is that those with faith in Him will choose approach the throne with confidence and sit at His feet in complete humility as a child of the King. My prayer is that we begin to soak in the word, meditate on it... and let it become reality in our daily lives. I pray that we begin to see the crucial importance of the unseen... and our role as sons and daughters! My prayer is that we don't settle for the easiest route in life, but intentionally choose the path few may ever tread.

More time at His feet and in His word = less effected by worldly distractions = more defeat of the enemy and his army = more victory in the unseen Kingdom = more seen victories in the natural and more glory of God revealed!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

the source of consumption

As I purge, clean, detox, simplify... I see that for so many years (32 to be exact) I've been collecting things that have come from somewhere. But where? What is the source from where they were created and sent out... and how many people actually had a part in the making and transportation of this thing before it was placed in my hands. This is part of the problem: we have NO EARTHLY IDEA who or what is at the source of what we are consuming. And most importantly their intention. We are a culture (christian or not) who wants what we want, when we want it... and if that doesn't happen we throw a little fuss. Don't deny, we've all done it. I can't say i'm very proud of myself in those moments... but the more I've become aware how important the source is, the easier it has become for me to deny certain things knowing God has BETTER than I could imagine!

When we are speaking about tangible things the "story of stuff" is almost a physical representation of what we experience when we accept the world's version (i.e. counterfeit) instead of seeking the gifts of the TRUE source and the LIFE He offers with His LOVE.

As I began following the trail backwards from the clothes that I bought, the food our purchased, the books I read, or the movies I watched... My eyes began to be opened to many things: the amount of injustice that occurred just for the one thing to reach my hands (even sometimes "christian" products), the idea of an over-consuming society that I was very much a part of (no matter how much I compared myself to others wealthier than I), sometimes the subtle message that was being told through that thing I was ingesting, and the intention of the source of that thing and how it had effected me when I was unaware. Then I began to think about all of the other things I was missing out on God was offering that were coming directly from Him whose intention was for my good and for His glory.

You see... it's easy for us to talk about all the things we believe in, sometimes easier for christians to argue about the things they don't believe in. But what God has been revealing to me is how often we are "buying" into these things we don't even believe in... and how much they are actually influencing our body, mind, soul and spirit. Before you know it, we have a hard time believing God is who He says He is... and in turn see counterfeit as more of a reality and essential to our lives rather than an "option" that will eventually leave us empty and alone. If we think we don't have a choice because of money, time, or variety.... then we are very wrong and have believed lies somewhere along the way. And sometimes we have to spend a little more, take a little more time, or look a little harder at first.... but He's worth it and WILL provide.

I'm not necessarily suggesting you throw out everything you own and start from scratch, but I'm just asking that we take a deeper look at where our "stuff" is coming from and the effects it could be having on us. There is an epidemic growing in the western world of supply and demand. We demand and in turn the poor broken world supplies, no matter the cost. When you look at it that way, we are sittin' pretty in a comfortable world talking about Jesus and His love for us... while the world (that He very much cares about) is hurting and dying. Yes God cares about their salvation... but as you read the gospels you can clearly see His heart for their well-being in addition. "Whatever you've done to the least of these, you've done it unto me..." Matthew 25. Not only does He deeply care for each and every human being, but He's calling us to be good stewards of everything He's given us as a gift.... Our body, the world and everything in it... especially the people.

So the question becomes: Are we being good stewards of what He's given us according to the word or according to the world? I know that we can't possibly follow everything that we have back to the source... that's missing the point. More so I believe God is calling us to cut out the source of things that are toxic to us and others involved. (Even if the world tells us the economy will crash...don't we trust in Him above all that?) The enemy is the ultimate source of these things or has taken something good and tainted it along the way.

Cutting off the source of these things is half the battle. Not only will we be demanding less counterfeit, but we'll be fighting for more justice, life, love, and truth. And God- the true source- is the ONLY one that can and will supply these things. Eventually you will see how you've saved lots of effort, time, money, etc by buying into the truth. And honestly, God doesn't even see that as important compared to YOU. He wants ALL of you. And as we cut out the source of toxic things... we are making room for Him to nourish us. We are to be the vessels to make God's glory known throughout the earth, but how can we be those proper vessels if we are packed to the rim with counterfeit. He desires us to be a constant flow of His goodness- SURE of who He is and confident in who He created us to be as sons and daughters of a KING.

So let's end this blog by reflecting on the choice that's been around since the garden of eden. Are we going to go to the source- the tree of eternal life, or are we going to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? You see.... God gave them a choice then, and He gives us a choice now.

Genesis 1:
8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.....

15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Then, when they were deceived and ate from the very tree God had warned them against what happened? They were banished from that garden. My first thought of God was then one of punishment. But over the years, as I've taken a closer look at this... my eyes were opened to God's heart for adam and eve, even His heart for us. I began to see His LOVE... and this is what changed me. Now take a look at this....

Genesis 3:
21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side[e] of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

God knew that if they then ate from the Tree of Life, we would all be doomed living in a fallen body in a fallen and broken world FOREVER. Wow, in this moment of revelation I was blown away by His love... and am every single time i read this.

Then He sent His son.... who became the new TREE OF LIFE for all to eat from. We need food daily to survive. What are we feasting on spiritually... and is it feeding and cleansing our spirit man or is it just momentarily taking our hunger pangs away? Are we producing fruit that is revealing God's love daily... or are we still just feeding off of a tree that is feeding us lies of the enemy? Just because we may have made one decision to follow Christ doesn't entirely mean that it stops there... we are consuming something daily (constantly making decisions), what is it and where is it coming from? Does it contain the nutrients we need to be strong and fit for the present spiritual battles we face daily for the Lord's kingdom or does it contain unnatural things created by the source of lies that is weakening our spiritual immunity every second? Think about it. Pray about it. And do something about it. By doing "nothing" we are actively choosing for the enemy to have more authority in your life and in this world. Because if we don't detox His crap out and let God come in and nourish us... then He will be happy finding a home in every area God is not present. This is why God wants ALL OF US.... not just our "spiritual" lives.