“Some Day My Prince Will Come”

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“Dip the apple in the brew. Let the Sleeping Death seep through. [the poison on the apple forms a skull] Look! On the skin! The symbol of what lies within.” – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

I remember growing up and reading the Bible and wondering why I was being punished for what Eve did in Genesis. It seems kind of unfair right? I didn’t eat the fruit—why am I being punished? For some reason on November 6th I was thinking about this and put a note in my phone. Again on the way to work this morning I remembered this part of the Bible. The very first woman. And out of the blue it clicked to me in a simple phrase “We might not have eaten the apple but we accepted the lie”. What I mean by this is…the sin wasn’t even really about the apple. It was allowing the lies of the Enemy to enter into our thoughts, change our identity, change how we view God, and in that skewed reality, we act sinfully. You see Eve’s temptation to eat the fruit began in the mind. I imagine her laying fully free in the grass, or walking in the sunshine totally free, totally naked, and totally happy. She was content in who she was. She could walk with her husband, she could be in the presence of God. Nothing was lacking. But Satan slithers by, and hisses deception. He begins to make her question her freedom, her identity, and what God has given her. Her doubt of self starts in the mind.

Genesis 3 MSG

The serpent was clever, more clever than any wild animal God had made. He spoke to the Woman: “Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?”

2-3 The Woman said to the serpent, “Not at all. We can eat from the trees in the garden. It’s only about the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘Don’t eat from it; don’t even touch it or you’ll die.’”

4-5 The serpent told the Woman, “You won’t die. God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil.”

When the Woman saw that the tree looked like good eating and realized what she would get out of it—she’d know everything!—she took and ate the fruit and then gave some to her husband, and he ate.

There’s a few problems here. The first is that Eve already has a distorted vision of who God is. After all God told Adam in Genesis 2 that they were forbidden to eat from the tree. But she goes a step further and basically says, we can’t even touch it. I don’t remember God saying that do you? Now I wasn’t there…obviously. Maybe she wanted to add an extra layer of protection and for her own sake said to herself “Now Eve…don’t even touch it. You know if you even touch it you will be tempted”, or maybe Adam wasn’t paying attention when God told him that, and like a game of telephone when it came time to tell Eve he retold the instructions wrong. Who knows. But part of me wonders if at the heart of it all, Eve was already misinterpreting what God was warning her about.

I think the serpent knows that the woman is vulnerable–not only is she alone, but she might not know her value. Maybe as a human woman this is something we were all capable of from the very beginning. I have yet to meet a woman who doesn’t struggle with her value.

So here is a golden opportunity for the serpent to make his case and he plants another seed of doubt in her mind and says God didn’t really tell you the truth Eve. You don’t die when you eat the apple…you just finally get to see the whole picture..not just what God wants you to see.

Ouch.

I’ve definitely been guilty of doubting God’s wisdom. If we’re honest we all have. Here’s some common things I’ve experienced or heard from others: God doesn’t want what’s best for me..if He really loved me He would give me this job, Doesn’t God notice that I want this relationship, He’s punishing me. God doesn’t forgive me. God doesn’t notice me. God is a jerk, He just likes her/him more than me–I’m not His favorite. God wants me to tithe but doesn’t He know I’m already struggling to make ends meet. God didn’t heal my sick family member–He must not care.

You see as humans, we question our value and importance to God. I think this is something we were unfortunately born with. God wanted to protect us from knowing the bad, and instead of trusting His wisdom and protection we allowed ourselves to feel like we’re missing out. We’re being overlooked. We’re not important enough. Whatever the lie is. And so we take a bite out of what we think we will get if we trust in our own judgement, only to find out that it wasn’t as good as it looked.

God never meant for us to worry. God had it all under control. As a loving Father He wanted Adam and Eve to run through the Garden carefree, exposed to Him, nothing hidden, no shame. They could have everything they wanted–except what would ruin them. And instead of trusting His goodness, they believed the lie. They doubted and questioned who God was. If He really wanted what was best for them. They believed He was holding out.

This reminded me of Snow White. We all know about the young beauty who the Queen was jealous of. To me this is exactly like the Bible. Satan was jealous of God’s creation. Satan wanted to be like God. He was mad and wanted to be worshiped as well. It’s almost understandable that he would be upset that man was made just a bit lower than God (Psalm 8:5) or that God gave man dominion over the Earth. So instead of sitting back, Satan did something about it. He encouraged Eve (Snow White) to eat the fruit (poison apple) that would result in her downfall.

But God wasn’t defeated. Through Christ God made the ultimate checkmate. Google defines checkmate as “a check from which a king cannot escape.” Satan might believe that he is the reigning King over the Earth, but he is delusional. Jesus rescued us all through His sacrifice on the cross, and Satan was thrown from heaven. Checkmate:

Luke 10 MSG:

18-20 Jesus said, “I know. I saw Satan fall, a bolt of lightning out of the sky. See what I’ve given you? Safe passage as you walk on snakes and scorpions, and protection from every assault of the Enemy. No one can put a hand on you. All the same, the great triumph is not in your authority over evil, but in God’s authority over you and presence with you. Not what you do for God but what God does for you—that’s the agenda for rejoicing.”

I think it is always important to guard your mind. If Satan whispered to Eve in the garden he can do that to all of us now. The thing is you can choose whether you give him permission to do so. After all, mankind struggles with who they are and who they believe God truly is to this day. This mindset ultimately sets the stage for what you start to internalize and what you are capable of. No matter what our shortcomings though, Jesus is the ultimate Prince. Fairy tales might not realize this but the first story of “true love’s kiss” was thought up in Heaven when God sent Jesus to wake us up from what Snow White taught us to refer to as the “Sleeping Death”. So many of us are walking through life dead inside but seemingly alive on the outside. Even those of us who have already accepted Jesus as Savior. We need to remember that through Jesus we have been brought out of our “Sleeping Death”—we are wide awake. We can see things clearly now. We know forever that God is good and His promises to be faithful are always delivered. Snow White cutely tells us that one day our “Prince” our “true love” will come and save us. But I think the actual cry of our human hearts through this story is that we all really want Jesus, we want God, to “carry us away to His castle where we will live happily ever after”. Right? Human love pales in comparison to the love of Christ. To the love of God. This story just touches on the actual desire of our human hearts.

Eve might have fallen in Genesis 6 but God only waits 9 verses to deliver His “apple” to Satan:

Genesis 3:15 (MSG)

14-15 God told the serpent:

“Because you’ve done this, you’re cursed,
    cursed beyond all cattle and wild animals,
Cursed to slink on your belly
    and eat dirt all your life.
I’m declaring war between you and the Woman,
    between your offspring and hers.
He’ll wound your head,
    you’ll wound his heel.”

In other words, Jesus is coming to finish this. As one article eloquently states: “Another way to look at the comparison focuses on the site of the wounding, the head as compared to the heel. The serpent’s wound affects the seat of his intellect and control of his powers, whereas the Seed’s wound merely impairs His flesh for a short while, three days and three nights to be exact.” – http://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Topical.show/RTD/cgg/ID/4843/Serpents-Head-Crushing-the.htm. In the Bible God tells Satan Someday Their Prince Will Come, and He is right. Jesus came to save us, and He is coming again to take us.

Jesus thank you for coming to Earth to save us from ourselves. Thank you for not being done with us even though we would have deserved it because we turned our backs on you and questioned God’s goodness. Thank you that Satan will not get the final word and that we have the authority through Your name to resist every assault of the Enemy. All praise to you, forever, and ever. Thank you Jesus for coming for us so that we can live in your Kingdom for eternity. Amen.

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“But I love it God”

Isaiah 30:18 MSG

But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you.
    He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you.
God takes the time to do everything right—everything.
    Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.

When I first saw this picture on Instagram I thought wow–this is so true. People have since then re-posted it and I tried to find it’s origin online and couldn’t.

I think it’s the perfect picture of trusting God because so often we aren’t ready to let go of what is in our hands thinking it’s the best that’s out there. But God always has better. It’s not our faults though and this lack of trust originated in the garden when Eve was so easily talked out of God’s kindness and best intention for her.

Even if our gut tells us–this is the best there is we need to magnify the voice in our soul and spirit that says THE BEST IS YET TO COME. God’s not finished..He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. Good things take time.

Found on Instagram and Pinterest – No specific source defined.

Tuesday Inspiration 10.7.14

John 2 MSG:

She went ahead anyway, telling the servants, “Whatever he tells you, do it.”

6-7 Six stoneware water pots were there, used by the Jews for ritual washings. Each held twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus ordered the servants, “Fill the pots with water.” And they filled them to the brim.

“Now fill your pitchers and take them to the host,” Jesus said, and they did.

9-10 When the host tasted the water that had become wine (he didn’t know what had just happened but the servants, of course, knew), he called out to the bridegroom, “Everybody I know begins with their finest wines and after the guests have had their fill brings in the cheap stuff. But you’ve saved the best till now!”

11 This act in Cana of Galilee was the first sign Jesus gave, the first glimpse of his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

I’ve been thinking about this verse for a while now. So much so that it’s been a screenshot in my phone gallery for months. I was reading it again today and it made me think.

1. How weird would it be to fill pitchers with water knowing that you’re out of wine? Unless the people at the party were EXTREMELY drunk–you wouldn’t be able to fool someone into thinking your water was actually wine. Even though looking back in time we know Jesus was capable of all sorts of miracles–these people weren’t aware. It would have taken a lot of faith to fill a pitcher with water–and carry it across the room–and look down right before you pass it to the host–and see it was still clear, regular, water.

2. In the Message (MSG) version it says clearly that these pitchers were used for washing–not for drinking. I never noticed this before.

Today after re-reading this verse I’m left with this one thought: Maybe God makes you carry your normal, “boring”, old, dirty bath-water, life because He knows that it is in the journey–the walking out, you will be transformed. You don’t see it. Perhaps you feel foolish even because you see the old-state, but while everyone else is expecting the “cheap stuff”, the old, broken, former state of your life, God has the last laugh. One look at you, one “taste” of you and no-one can question that God has saved the best for now–the best version of you. The new creation.

So how about today, instead of focusing on the dirt, the former things, the things we are still waiting for a breakthrough on, we listen to Mary who said “Whatever He tells you to do, do it”. Maybe then, through the journey, you will see a glimpse of His glory through you.

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

Friday Inspiration 8.29.14

 

2 Thessalonians 2 (MSG)

13-14 Meanwhile, we’ve got our hands full continually thanking God for you, our good friends—so loved by God! God picked you out as his from the very start. Think of it: included in God’s original plan of salvation by the bond of faith in the living truth. This is the life of the Spirit he invited you to through the Message we delivered, in which you get in on the glory of our Master, Jesus Christ.

15-17 So, friends, take a firm stand, feet on the ground and head high. Keep a tight grip on what you were taught, whether in personal conversation or by our letter. May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech.

 

Out of nowhere last night I was getting ready to take a shower before bed and I was filled with such joy and an intense desire to jump around that I did. Haha. Think having a dance party of one. Just hopping around like a fool. I don’t know why but I needed to do it in that moment. All of that to say that sometimes I think your spirit is PUMPED and you’re not always sure why. But your spirit knows why. Your spirit knows that you are chosen, you have been reached out to in love, and that God surprises you continuously with fresh favor and confidence and gifts. On a small scale this week I found something I’ve been looking for. I’ve been wanting to go to a sunflower field. Random. But it’s been a year or so and I’ve wanted to go. I know supposedly there are some out on Long Island but any time I’ve tried it isn’t in season or someone who’s gone “forgets” where it is. How do you forget?! Right? So I’ve kind of let it go but am constantly looking. And out of the blue someone posts this beautiful field of sunflowers online and it’s only an hour from where I live. So guess who’s going tomorrow?! Meeeeeeeee! And silly as it sounds..I know it was a God thing. The person who posted it is rarely online and I’m not constantly combing through people’s posts so I just happened to be online when she posted it. God is into surprises. 

I remember years ago reading “Captivating” and being kind of cynical when the author talked about her husband seeing a whale. Apparently he was praying and having alone time with God on a beach and voila…whale. So it was like God was showing him this cool thing so they can have this moment together. The wife prayed for a whale too. Like–hey God–where’s my special gift on our date? And finally she came upon a spot on the beach that was COVERED in starfish. A fun gift, a cool gift, but different than her husband’s. So where does that leave you and me right? Well I think God knows us better than we give Him credit. He knows our passions, He knows that I spend way too much of my time on Pinterest, He knows I lose my glasses before bedtime a few times a week, and He knows I want to see a field of sunflowers. If He orchestrates all things, He orchestrates the timing of all things, and brings them together at the right moment. Someone went to this field, I saw the photo, now I can go. What is something you want to find or see or go to that you haven’t experienced yet? Do you believe that God wants to show, or reveal, or take you there? Honestly? I can admit there were dark seasons where I felt like God didn’t care. I knew in my mind He did but my heart felt disappointed and disillusioned. I feel like on the other side of that in the past few years I’m finally in the spot I hoped to be where I see things God is doing, I hear Him, and I am experiencing Him more clearly than ever. Granted there are more things I hope for, but that’s over a lifetime and doesn’t need to be rushed. 

My prayer today is that you get a fresh revelation of the truth that “God withholds no good thing”. Even a silly sunflower field. He created you. He made your talents. He knows your interests. And He will give you “a fresh heart, invigorate your work, enliven your speech” and create a wonderful relationship with you full of surprises.

Do you believe it?

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

Monday Inspiration 8.25.14

 

Hebrews 10:22-25 (MSG)

22-25 So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.

 

 

I think being strong and confident is always a good way to start off a week. It’s Monday. It’s a new day. It’s a new week. We have the choice whether we want to start the week begrudgingly or with gusto. This verse reminds me that I can do “it”. The “it” can be getting out of bed, or doing a presentation, or going to work, or really anything and we can do those things full of belief. We don’t need validation from anyone but God and He is the only one that can assure us that we’re “presentable inside and out”. We can rest in His affection for us. We can hold on to His promises. It is because we know who we are in Him that we can be creative in how we can encourage and help others. 

 

What can you do today to start your week off right?

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Etsy.com

Thursday Inspiration 8.21.14

Aslan: Lucy
Lucy: Aslan?
Aslan: What have you done child?
Lucy: I don’t know, that was awful.
Aslan: But you chose it, Lucy.
Lucy: I didn’t mean to choose all of that, I just wanted to be beautiful like Susan. That’s all
Aslan: You wished yourself away and with it much more. Your brothers and sisters wouldn’t know Narnia without you, Lucy. you discovered it first, remember?
Lucy: I’m so sorry.
Aslan: You doubt your value, don’t run from who you are

More often than not I find myself being a “Lucy”. It’s hard not to compare yourself with others. At various times I’ve felt that I was not worthy, beautiful, noticeable, talented, or whatever—enough. If only I were more beautiful, or talented, or [fill in the blank] then my life would look like [fill in the blank]. The danger in that is that you sell yourself short. Short enough that you are no longer bold as you are intended and expected to be as a child of God. Short enough that you are giving Satan ground. Short enough that you miss potential areas to be blessed or to bless others because of your own insecurities.

So today I want to remind myself and you that this is what God thinks of us:

Ephesians 1 The Message (MSG)

1-2 I, Paul, am under God’s plan as an apostle, a special agent of Christ Jesus, writing to you faithful believers in Ephesus. I greet you with the grace and peace poured into our lives by God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ.

The God of Glory

3-6 How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

7-10 Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.

11-12 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.

13-14 It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.

15-19 That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!

20-23 All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.

In short: God planned for us being in His family before we were ever born. Back when He formed the Universe He was excitedly planning for our creation and release into this world at this time. He created me and you as the focus of His love. Even Paul, long gone, is thanking God for us believers. All of this—is mind-boggling.

An excerpt from Romans 5 MSG:

We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.

I love the idea of opening our door and finding that God is also standing there with His door open. We’re not waiting for Him to open His, waiting outside and wondering if anyone is home, He’s anxiously waiting for us and therefore doesn’t waste a moment and flings His door wide open. “We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand”. Therefore although I am a “Lucy” at times God already sees me as a beautiful “Susan’. To Him I am already talented, noticeable, and beautiful enough. 

Photo Credit: http://ashesandbeauty.wordpress.com/

Monday Inspiration 8.18.14

 

It’s hard as a woman to not be lead by your emotions. Maybe that’s unfair to say–I’m sure men struggle as well. But I’m not a man so I can’t speak from experience. Ha. I think it’s human to get wrapped up in your emotions and what you feel is best or just simply what you want. I’m actually struggling with that right now. Sometimes when you want something that for whatever reason you can’t have, you worry that you’re missing out. But God is a Father of opportunity and we need to remember that there is not a shortage. If we can’t get one thing we want–it’s not like He can’t provide another of equal or greater value. With that being said I think there are two good reminders to take away.

1. If we are lead by your emotions, as we all typically are at one point or another, we need to make sure we are feeling out of a positive place, meaning one of value and assurance of our position with God so we are not acting out of desperation or a desire to fill some void.

“We are to love our neighbors as ourselves. The verse does not tell us how to love ourselves, it assumes we already love ourselves and tells us to love others the same way.” – Good Morning Girls  Devotional

 

I think the above quote is important because it reminds us first and foremost to love ourselves. The Bible assumes we have that together in order to properly love others. We are to overflow in love and give out of abundance but if we are experiencing a drought and cannot love ourselves–we need to work on that first. 

2. If we are lead by your emotions, we need to make sure we are listening to God’s words and feelings for us and not our own, or anyone else’s. The Father sees us more clearly and more lovingly than anyone else.

 

“The Father sees you, He wants for you far more than what you can conceive. Don’t miss out on His whispers because you have filled your head and heart with your own words. It is never too late to ask God to begin to clear away the distractions and to focus your heart on knowing His will. It’s in these moments where your ability to help others do the same will develop. After all, you can’t lead people to a place you’ve never been. It’s a simple prayer, but it will change the way you live and the way you lead, forever. Father, today I trade everything for you. My wants, my desires, and the things I’m pursuing. As long as they are desires born of this world, I know they will pale in comparison to your plans for me. Please renew my mind so I can know your will. I desire a life full of You, a life full of knowing You. Father, some of the things I have been yearning after for years have sunk roots deep in my heart. If there is anything that needs removing, I pray you begin that process by filling those spaces with your spirit and align my mind with your will. Clear away all of the distractions so that Your vision for me life with be clear to me. May I begin to hear from Your voice so that my actions and decisions reflect a God who is intimately involed in the details of my life.  Amen.”  – Cataylst Devotional