Who We Really Are in Christ {Significant!}

If you’ve ever felt unheard or invisible, I can relate. I grew up in a family lacking healthy relational interaction and where, unfortunately, many basic needs for my siblings and me often weren’t met. It felt like we didn’t matter. Like I didn’t matter.

Nothing makes us feel less significant than when we don’t feel heard; when our hearts and desires and even our basic needs feel disregarded, disrespected, and dismissed.

I’m so grateful that the Lord not only knows our pasts, our hurts, and our feelings, but He truly understands us and deeply values us. He not only is able to bring healing and wholeness, but He assures us through His Word that we are in fact deeply significant to Him.

The truth is we matter. We are significant to our God because we are His! He chose us (John 15:16), and He loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).

The next time we’re tempted to feel insignificant, let’s meditate instead on the truth: God knows us. Intimately. Completely. He knows every single thing about us—because He loves us, we are significant to Him, and He desires to know us. (I love that part!)

Our first verse to focus on proves it:

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. (Psalm 139:1) (NLT)

He knows where we are, what we’re going through, and the secret issues of our hearts. He knows our hopes and dreams and every one of our issues. He even knows the number of hairs on our heads (Luke 12:7). We are well-known because we matter to God. He treasures us and values us.

Our second verse reflects the Father’s heart toward us. It’s reassuring and comforting and clearly reveals how much He loves us.

You are of great worth in My eyes. You are honored and I love you.  (Isaiah 43:4a) (NLV)

We need to meditate on, breathe in, memorize, and read these verses aloud daily. Let’s breathe in truth and exhale lies. Let’s dare to believe His Word. Let’s dare to believe that we are significant to our heavenly Father.

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Who We Really Are in Christ {Confident!}

Confidence has always been sort of a wrestling match for me. So when God first nudged me to begin this crazy writing for publication adventure, I couldn’t fathom I had heard correctly. After all, how could God use a high-school drop-out to write and (eventually) get published?

As my journey progressed I began to understand that my confidence was misplaced. And that God frequently uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27) because the truth is His power works best in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

The official definition of confidence is as follows: the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.

Authentic, holy confidence means we can rely on the Lord; that when He leads us to step out in a certain area we can be assured He is able, even when we’re not so sure.

The good news is God is working in us and through us. He doesn’t expect us to drum up the ability to accomplish anything in our own strength! As Philippians 2:13 states:

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. 

Our confidence cannot be in our own abilities, but must remain on the One who is able, faithful and who we can utterly trust.

It’s time for a confidence shift. We no longer have to wrestle with our insecurities, our inabilities, or our own lack of confidence, because we’re shifting our focus and our hearts onto His ability.

Repeat after me:

I’m confident not in my ability, but in His.

I’m confident that God is orchestrating and establishing His will.

I’m confident that God is faithful.

I’m confident He is at work in me (thank God! He won’t leave me a hot mess!)

Here are two verses on confidence to meditate on, declare aloud, and pray for the next two weeks. 

But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. (Jeremiah 17:7)
 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6)

Who We Really Are in Christ {Brave!}

I hope you are enjoying my "Who We Really Are in Christ" study! Keep up the good work of praying, meditating on, and declaring each post's verses daily!

For much of my life I have not been brave. I have allowed fear to intimidate me, talk me out of God’s leading, and keep me rooted to the same spot instead of moving forward. Clearly I am entirely too familiar with fear and its tactics. Throughout the years I have fought nothing, nothing more than I have fought the spirit of fear. And it is a spirit:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7) (NLT) (Italics mine)

As far as I can tell, fear comes from three places: our circumstances, our flesh or the enemy.

When our circumstances make our knees shake (and let’s face it, we’ve all been there) then here’s what we can do. (1) Pray, get clarity, and ask the Lord what, if anything, we are to do; (2) Breathe. Remind ourselves that God is in control, in spite of how things look; (3) Commit it all into His loving, faithful, capable hands, and (4) Stop staring at the situation and declare Scripture over ourselves. The more we focus on it the bigger it appears, and the last thing we want to do is create more room in our souls for fear.

I know. It’s hard. But I promise you that shifting our focus changes everything.

Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. (Hebrews 12:2a) (AMPC)

When our flesh freaks out and makes us tremble, then we must focus on increasing our trust in the Lord and training our hearts to run to Him when we’re afraid, instead of giving in to fear and allowing it to control, hinder, or pester us. As King David said:

When I am afraid, I will trust in You. (Psalm 56:3)

We increase our trust in the Lord and put on our BRAVE by meditating on His character and growing in our understanding of Who He is. He is faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9), trustworthy (Psalm 22:4-5), nothing is impossible for Him (Luke 1:37) and He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), for starters.

And finally, when it’s the enemy harassing us, we can, equipped by the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, find our BRAVE, stand up to fear, and command it to go. The truth is that fear is a bully. Fear wants to intimidate us into shrinking back and going the other direction. Fear wants to stop us. Fear wants to get us so focused on it that we completely ignore truth.

Instead, we will embrace the truth of God’s Word and ignore the spirit of fear. We will run to and dwell in the secret place, where fear has no power. We will be BRAVE.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. (Psalm 91:1) (AMPC)

It’s not that we will never sense fear. We will. Stepping out into new areas is scary. Sometimes obeying God is scary. Standing up for ourselves can be scary. There’s no lack of scary scenarios in our lives or on the earth.

But God is greater than our fears. He is with us, in us, beside us. He goes before us and behind us. Because He is ALWAYS with us, we can be BRAVE.

Here are two personalized verses to meditate on, pray, and declare out loud daily to help you fight fear and cultivate your brave!

I will be strong and courageous! I will not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord my God is with me wherever I go.” (Joshua 1:9) (Personalized)

The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. (Psalm 18:2)

Reading this via email? CLICK HERE to go to Julie’s blog and leave a comment. 

Who We Really Are in Christ {Faultless!}

I’m so happy you’re here! My heart is thrilled at the prospect of investing this time together in 2017 to meditate on and pray Scripture about who we really are in Christ. What an honor. What a joy!

As we kick off our year together, it is important to remember that the fire of God’s Word burns away every lie. The hammer of His Word breaks the most stubborn resistance (and I don’t know about you, but sometimes my heart can be exceedingly stubborn!).

Is not My word like fire [that consumes all that cannot endure the test]? says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks in pieces the rock [of most stubborn resistance]? (Jeremiah 23:29) (AMPC)

As we meditate on and pray specific verses in 2017, God’s Word will burn away the lies and infuse us with Truth. It will break the stubborn patterns in our minds, our emotions, and our hearts (can I get a Hallelujah?)

Fresh out of the gate the first issue we are tackling is where our hearts stand with God. If we’re uncertain where we stand with Him, then our faith is shaky at best. We need the firm foundation of the Word made flesh, and when we meditate on and pray Scripture the foundation of our faith is strengthened.

Though the enemy wants us walking on shaky ground, with crumbling foundations, and our though hearts are deceitful above all things (see Jeremiah 17:9), we are rising up to embrace Truth. The enemy’s lies and the deceptions that our hearts knowingly or unknowingly embrace are poison to our faith. We are focusing on the antidote to these poisons.

And the antidote is Scripture.

The overarching theme for the next two weeks is that Jesus is the cornerstone of our faith (Ephesians 2:20) and our firm foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11), and though you are welcome to add those verses to your journal or spiral notebook (they are in mine), they aren’t our primary meditation and prayer focus this week.

One of the first things to write in our journals or binders is this question:

Where do I stand with God?

Take some time to think about your answer and where you feel you stand right at this exact moment. Is everything good? Do you feel guilty? Is your heart shrinking back? Is the enemy hammering at you, stepping between you and God? Is your heart embracing falsehood on any level? You can write your thoughts in the form of a prayer, if you'd like. 

Our first Scripture verse

(And the answer to where we really stand with God!) This is powerful and so worthy of meditation because it brings divine perspective, particularly on those days. The days we fall short. The days we struggle to love well. The days our attitude jumps all over our spouse. The days we flub it and not only drop the ball but kick it clean across the room. The days we wonder how God can put up with the likes of us.

Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. (Colossians 1:22-23a) (NLT)

Here is the personalized version to declare out loud:

He has reconciled me to Himself through the death of Christ in His physical body. He has brought me into His own presence, and I am holy and blameless as I stand before Him without a single fault. I will continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it.

What a stunning thought. We are holy and blameless and stand before Him without a single fault. It’s enough to make me drop to my knees in gratitude. But here’s the key: we must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it (vs 23a).
Our second Scripture verse
 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. (Romans 5:2)

Here is the personalized version to declare out loud:

Because of my faith, Christ has brought me into the place of undeserved privilege where I now stand, and I confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

BOTH verses reveal where we TRULY stand! 
  • We stand without a single fault. 
  • We stand safe in the place of undeserved privilege. 

Christ is our access. He is our foundation, our cornerstone, and through Him our confidence and joy are intact.

Ready, Set, Go!

Let’s meditate on these verses and declare them aloud daily. Write them, speak them, pray them, breathe them. Let’s allow our hearts to marinate in truth. Let’s allow God’s living and active Word to infuse us with holy perspective, so that no matter what our circumstance, we will always truly know where we stand with God.

I will be praying for you as we embark on this Scripture journey together! I hope you'll join me in praying for our little community. 

Reading this via email? CLICK HERE to go to Julie’s blog and leave a comment.

Who We Really Are {And a Give Away!}

What if we dared to believe that we really are who God says we are? That instead of feeling less-than, or lame, or inadequate, or (fill in the blank), we recognized those thoughts and knocked it off? What if instead of aligning ourselves with rogue, untrue beliefs, we asked God to bring our hearts into alignment with His Word? With the very truth that holds the capacity to free us?

Lately my heart has been so stirred. So many of us so often live under the crushing weight of the enemy’s lies concerning who we are. What if we stirred our hearts and asked the Lord to give us a fresh desire for truth? What if in 2017 we immersed ourselves in Scripture so that who God says we are and how we feel about ourselves come into holy alignment?

I want to dare to believe that God’s Word is more powerful than how I feel about myself at my worst moments.

CHALLENGE: I invite you, sweet friends, to join me this year for a bi-monthly journey to focus on knowing—really knowing—deep down, who we are in Christ. Grab a notepad, your prayer journal, or some 3x5 cards, because we are going to meditate on, personalize, and pray over two specific Scriptures monthly. We will allow our hearts to marinate in truth. We will capture rogue thoughts and give truth the place of preeminence in our hearts and lives.Then when the bad moments (or bad days…or bad weeks) come, we will walk with our heads high and our hearts secure in truth. Secure in who we really are.

As we meditate on Scripture, we will be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We will be setting our minds and keeping them set on things above. We will know that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that His banner over us is love. And if we stick with it, by year’s end we will be different. Transformed. Our hearts will be filled with truth and we will hold an awesome, unshakeable, deep knowing of who we truly are in Christ.

Are you interested? Are you willing to make the time to invest in yourself—and in God’s Word—this year? I hope you are. I hope you will join me. I hope God stirs your heart and you run out and find the cutest little notebook or journal (or even an inexpensive spiral binder) and show up here on the first and third Tuesdays each month. Let’s do this together!

I’m excited to start this journey with you. May this time of setting ourselves apart to meditate on and pray God’s Word bless us beyond measure. May it change us and fill us and push out the ugly and dark while bringing in His beauty and light. May it transform us into women who know we are in Christ. Unshakeable. Rooted. Immovable. Glorious.

A New Year’s Prayer

Lord, I bow my heart before You and honor You. As 2017 begins I desire for you to direct my steps, to open the doors for me that You want opened, and to give me grace for all that I will face. Please give me divine opportunities, divine appointments, and divine relationships. Bring my heart into alignment with Your truth. Help me to know You more, to love you more, and reflect You better. In the awesome name of Jesus Christ my Lord, Amen.

Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:19) (AMPC)

GIVE AWAY! I am giving away one signed copy of my devotional, Prayers for a Woman’s Soul, because the New Year is the perfect time to begin the holy habit of praying for yourself. TO ENTER, please leave a comment AND PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL. A random winner will be chosen and notified via email the week of January 9th.