I love Peter's experience of walking on the roaring sea with Jesus. But the thing is, Peter's story is often misunderstood. Do you have a step you need to take?
Listen to this message I gave at a women's retreat to gain the fresh perspective you need to see Jesus in a new way! My FREE gift to you!
I sat with my PowerSheets 2019 Planner open to a page that made my heart sink. On one side I was to list the blessings and things that went “right” in 2018. On the other side, I was to list events and items that didn’t work out well. In my mind, before my pen even touched the page, I knew my “didn’t work out” list was going to be miles longer than my blessings list.
It’s like that moment you find yourself awkwardly sitting in the dentist’s chair. You know what’s coming. You know it will benefit you and your oral health. But at the end of the day, you would much rather be sitting in the ice-cream shop ordering your favorite dessert with friends. But you open wide and see it through anyway.
I decided to press on. Open up and say “ah…”
I began adding items to both sides. Just as I had predicted, my list quickly became one-sided.
Just as my eyes began to roll and I had grabbed my bag to put this mess away for another day, God grabbed my heart.
I stopped in disbelief honestly.
As I quieted my emotions and my thoughts, I simply asked Him to speak to me in a way I could understand. I already felt defeated (I do an excellent job allowing my inner critic to beat me down to mere nothingness). I was hoping somehow, He could bring me out of this pit I had written myself into very easily.
In this quiet moment, He gave me two tasks:
1 – Reread Ephesians 1:3 (this was my verse for the week) and…
2 – Look on my camera roll for 2018 memories (you know, the ones you edit and save because you actually want to remember them?)
So, I jumped in.
God had moved my heart in such a way as 2018 came to a close to begin a year-long journey through the book of Ephesians. Why Ephesians? Honestly, I have no clue, but I can’t explain it any other way. It’s like all of December, God would bring verses and passages to me that would perk my curiosity. I wanted to go deeper. Rather than just rushing through another Bible study, God slowed my rhythm and challenged me to simply digest one verse a week in 2019. I will hit every verse in Ephesians twice and have 14 days to break the words apart, think about the meaning and allow God time to speak Truth into my life.
Keeping it real here – it has been amazing so far!
The very key struggle I seem to be battling, God uses the very passage I’m on that week to give into my mess head-on. It’s so incredibly powerful and exciting! It’s completely refreshing, Spirit-driven and just restful.
Ephesians 1:3 (NIV) – Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
“has blessed us” – that’s past tense. We aren’t needing His blessing. We don’t earn His blessing. No! His blessing is right here, right now, in our very hands!
“every spiritual blessing” – not just some or as much as we need. He has given us EVERY spiritual blessing!
That week, I had been asking God what “spiritual blessings” actually looked like.
As I began to scroll through my camera roll, I began to smile as faces lit up my phone screen.
My conclusion? I am filthy-stinkin‘ rich! God has allowed me to walk through some pretty dirty places, filled with sin, anger, pride, loneliness, fear and tons of failure. I’m filthy from all of the mess I walked through and let’s be real here – devastated from the wreckage I cause as well. Yet, I’m so richly blessed as I see the people and places I dearly love and how God has used these faces to plant deep spiritual roots into my life.
Clothes can be washed.
Smells eventually fade.
But God uses dirt to plant the roots of deep spiritual blessings only He can grow His way.
It’s worth the filth.
It’s ok to get dirty.
And here’s the real kicker – He ain’t done yet! He wants to do so much more if only we will keep our eyes on the eternal rather than the temporary. With God’s help and the pictures, I have strategically now printed and placed into my life, I am going to have a more eternal focus this year. I never want to miss what He is doing.
I may be filthy from the places He takes me, but I’m so richly blessed in return!
Dare to do more than just survive, step out and thrive!
Hello and welcome to Step Out And Thrive Ministries! My name is Bethany Boring and I am proud to be called a child of God before any other title or role. I am a mom to 3 amazing boys. I enjoy writing for this Step Out And Thrive community and walking with you as we venture through the ups and downs of life together. I am an ICF trained Certified Professional Christian Life Coach (Christian Coach Institute Graduate), Motivational and Inspirational Speaker, mentor, Certified Human Behavioral Consultant (DISC Personality) and an author. As always - dare to do more than just survive, step out and thrive!