Sunday, May 29, 2011

This is what I want for my life.

As I sit at work listening to music and contemplating Him, I reach this moment of utter awe and electricity  jumps from my heart; chills run to my neck, down my neck to my shoulders, down my shoulders to my arms; and im warmer than I was a second ago. It felt like time stopped. The Holy Spirit surrounds me, He raises a cup as a toast with the Father and the Son and then dumps the cup, full of agape, all over my head. A subtle reminder that whispers, "There is nothing you can do to make me love you less."

The feeling came through watching a lifehouse video, one which films a skit acted out live as lifehouse plays everything in the background. The skit depicts Jesus as rescuer, healer, redeemer, cherisher; but the strongest message I pulled from it was His intense, unfailing, personal love for each and every one of His children.

This moment came out of nowhere and was so refreshing to me. I've been doing awesome lately in my relationship with Him. But yesterday was chalk full of spiritual warfare and I began to believe in lies. The same lies I always believe in. My patience decreased and my frustration increased, my love decreased and my judging increased, my censorship decreased and my vulgarity increased, etc. On the outside I probably appeared fine, but on the inside I was anxious, afraid, and felt weak. This was the first day in a while that I wasn't walking in the Spirit, and i found the fruit of the Spirit being forced and faked rather than flowing from my heart.

this is all in response to the most incredible day ever on friday. we went to the beach to preach the Gospel. I preached to this group of about 20 high school seniors; 6 of them accepted Christ and were baptized right on the spot, tears were flowing from all of their eyes. This was confirmation for my gift of evangelism, for sure. But I let the enemy creep in that night and the next day, i let him whisper in my ear and instead of rebuking him and holding to what i know to be true, i listened and dwelled on this questions from the enemy.

Are you really a good enough Christian to start preaching all the time? Zach, that will be quite a burden no? What about all of your sins, you know, the ones you always struggle with... Just be comfortable. Relax. Slow down, youre burning yourself out by being so ambitious.

And as a result I lost my peace by warring in my head these questions.

But then today while watching the lifehouse video i was reminded of His love, and how He fought for me, and continues to fight for me, and how He died so that I could live. I was reminded that the only reason I'm here on this earth is to give glory to His name, and that the harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few... and that I am called to be a laborer, to make disciples, to preach the Gospel. "Beautiful are the feet of those who bring the Good News." and "Woe is me if I dont preach the Gospel." I'm reminded of the power and the strength that I have through the Holy Spirit, and that Jesus says if I want to find my life I will lose it, but if I lose my life for Him, then I will find it. I really feel like I'm taking another step deeper in alying down my life, and i think Satan is pissed off and afraid. In this new season of digging deeper into the lifestyle of a disciple, I'm finding it essential and absolutely VITAL to be consistent in my seeking; to daily step out of the world and just be alone with Jesus, to purify my mind and keep it clean from the crap on TV that takes my mind off of my calling, to invest all of my time advancing the Kingdom in my life, increasing my love for Him and increasing my love for others. I really am focusing on being not of this world. I feel strongly that so many christians these days have lost their zeal or their passion because it's slowly become okay for a believer to fit in with the world and to watch the same things, listen to the same music, have the same desires and struggle with the same things.... It's one of the enemies favorite tactics.

Francis Chan has a sermon where he says, "Church used to just happen because believers were so exhausted from living out the great commission that they simply had to meet to bandage each other up and exhort one another, only so that they could back out and share the Gospel."

That's how I want to live my life. I know i have a lot of growth and a lot of progress to make. But, By God, I am not going to let the lies of the enemy make me settle. I will settle and rest in His unfailing love and as a result I will preach the Gospel. He deserves nothing less. He is the King. The Almight God. The Creator. Everything was created through Him and for Him. I can't hold back for Him in order to recieve comfort here on this earth. I can't settle for less than everything I have. Through His power and His strength all things are possible.

Lord Jesus, I ask you for strength. Strength to never give up, to never be comfortable, to never be selfish in my walk with you and to never prevent sharing your love because i dont feel like it. Lord I need more of your love to fuel me. To push me forth into an evermore radical lifestyle. Jesus, please continue to show me the areas where you have set me free from this broken world, but I still choose to dabble in bondage. I want so desperately to go all in for you Jesus. The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, increase your Spirit in me Jesus. Continue to teach me and show me what it looks like to die to myself on a daily basis. Refine me, Lord. I want to suffer for the Gospel, and rejoice in doing so. Thank you for your unfailing love Jesus, I can't wait to see you. Amen

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

(Ortberg, page 55, Par. 2)

"A disciplined follower of Jesus--a "disciple"--is not someone who has " mastered the disciplines" and never misses a daily regimen of spiritual exercises. A disciplined follower of Jesus is someone who discerns when laughter, gentleness, silence, healing words, or prophetic indignation is called for, and offers it promptly, effectively, and lovingly."

i really like this book. a lot. it's answer to prayer in a lot of different ways. its cool how God uses books to speak to us, how humble is that! its rad.

im only on page 55 but i love what ive read so far and im excited to finish the book.

relating to the quote above, this is revolutionary to me and now, looking back, it's so obvious this is what discipline is. i always thought of discipline as like rigid and unenjoyable and boot-campish. i thought of discipline as cleaning my room on thursday every week from 8-9am. and reading my bible everyday from 5:15- 6:25am and then eating cereal from 6:26- 6:32 (by the way i tried a new cereal this week, the eggo waffle and yeah i thought of discipline as that. and then as far as spiritual things go, if i felt i needed discipline in listening.... i would try my hardest never to talk. and if i wanted to work on hearing words from the Spirit, i would forcefully and very frustratingly try and play psychic with everyone i saw (embarrassing i know) and if i needed to focus on being light hearted i would find myself stressed cause i wasnt light-hearted ALL THE TIME. it's a great revelation and perspective that discipline is learning how to be discerning when to act and behave a certain way. and that way is centered around what others need at that particular moment of time.

i also loved the concept of "training and not trying." im not just going to go "try" and surf a 100ft wave. now most likely i would be a natural and get a massive barrell and be fine, but if i did fall.... i would surely drown. the way to become a big wave surfer is not to just TRY, but to traiiiiiiiin. to swim and practice holding your breath and all that stuff. same with following Jesus. gooooood stuff. love you all. so pumped for the retreat. im at work i gotta go clean the coffee maker now! until next time

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." Matt. 3:11

 the exact cries of my heart. it's all i want. it's all i need. it's my only prayer.

All Consuming Fire
you're my hearts desire
Living Flame of Love
come baptize me
come baptize me

Let me, fall more, in Love with You

i want to know how high, how deep, how wide
Love Love Love


Friday, May 6, 2011

White Castle Employee of the Month 1971

i don't do my laundry very often. i wear all of my clothes until they are all dirty and the search for a cute outfit in the morning reaches about 10 minutes. Then i do all my laundry and start over. so last week, after i ran out of clothing, i was looking through my dads closet when i found a t-shirt that said "White Castle Employee of the Month 1971." I couldnt believe the treasure that hung before me. it was as if i saw a new color. i was in awe, i was confused, i was well pleased, and i was shocked all at the same time. but then i realized that although extremely random shirts are in style right now, White Castle Employee of the Month 1971 is crossing the line. i couldn't pull it :/ but i'll probably wear it to circles just for kicks and giggles. this has nothing to do with my walk with God right now. i apologize if you were pre-emptively(?) trying to uncover some hidden metaphor ;).

the Bible says it is impossible to please God without faith. Hebrews 11 is often called the "faith hall of fame" and it talks about the best examples of faith from men and women in the old testament. how they did great things because of their faith in God and His Word and His promises... faith is such a huge part of our... faith.

  • we walk by faith, not by sight.
  • we're saved by faith.
  • we're justified by faith.
  • we are instructed to keep our eyes on Jesus who is the author and perfector of faith.
  • "I have been crucified by Christ, it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me; and the life which i now live in the flesh i live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."
  • "and without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him."
when i recommitted my life to Christ my junior year of high school, it took a lot of faith because i was terrified of telling all my old friends i wouldn't be partying with them anymore, or even seeing them very much; but i knew it had to be done in order to follow Jesus. it's a scary thing sometimes, acting on pure faith. but that's exactly what is most pleasing to God. i feel like throughout the Christian life it's a series of cliff jumps. God is speaking; softly, gently, powerfully; "Jump." And I am standing over the edge looking down at the jagged rocks of doubt and all sorts of possible outcomes saying, "Lord.... look at those rocks!"


and then when I do jump it's still scary while  in the air but He always catches me and teaches me and blesses me and He is glorified.

i'm falling more and more with love with Jesus, but a lot of times i lack faith, i lack trust; in His plan for me, in His characteristics, in everyday life. i find myself having faith in the good times, but then leaning on my own understanding in the bad times.... still, much too often; i try to understand every little thing... it's not very hard for the enemy to throw me the perfect lie and it just cruises right through my faith and causes me to overanalyze. im over it.

Jesus, LORD, abba! pleeease give me more faith. i need it. i want it. i want to sprint and gainer off of the cliffs of life knowing your LOVINGKINDNESS always, always, always prevails; even when it completely doesnt look like it. Amen.

PS i love you guys. circles continues to rock my world week in and week out.