Today, you get to get a glimpse into the heart of one of my favorite people to serve beside, Jennifer Shock. Jennifer and I have studied the Bible together and led multiple discussion groups throughout the last several years. We have prayed for one another during times of longing, tried to encourage each other during loss, and celebrated like crazy when we get to watch the Lord answer our prayers. She inspires me to live in the full victory of Jesus, even when circumstances feel hard. I hope a little of her encouragement washes over you as well. 🙂 -Angie
If there is one thing I’m sure of, it’s that there isn’t enough of me to go around. It’s easy to feel imprisoned by my own deficiency. Perhaps that’s why learning about the fruit of the Holy Spirit in the context of “living beyond myself” appeals to me so much. Living by the Spirit means living in victory! I’m in a season of life in which I greatly desire to live victoriously. I want to say YES to God, instead of (as Pastor Rob King of Vineyard Cincinnati said in a recent message) “No thanks, I’d like to go around the mountain again.”
I don’t want to quench the Spirit by saying no; I want to invite Him to “exert His full influence” in my life.
Part of saying yes to God is inviting Him to fill me with His Holy Spirit. But if I don’t make any room for the Spirit, I’m going to have a problem. There is both not enough of me and too much of me. Not enough of me to fulfill His purpose for my life, too much of me that focuses on things of this world. Not enough of me to lay my life down in loving and serving others, too much of me that is consumed with what I want for myself.
When I pour out these weaknesses to God, room opens up in me to be filled with the Spirit.
God created us to be full, to be satisfied – with Him.
He will give me everything I need,
to do the big things and the little things.
Even though I gave my life to Jesus when I was twelve years old, it’s only been in the last five years or so that I’ve begun to really understand the absolute depth of my need for God, the absolute brokenness I live in if I’m trying to live of myself instead of Him. He has shown me “from what I have been saved.”
I’ve been saved from a life of striving, of competing, of yearning, of loneliness, of emptiness, of endless wondering what it’s all about, of total terror of the grave.
Oh thank you, Jesus, that you rescued me from that life, from myself! You not only rescued me, you gave me your Holy Spirit and promised that He would live in me always. I know that as I continue to invite you to be sovereign in every single area of my life, you will show me how to keep in step with the Spirit. You will ask more of me than what I can do on my own, just so you can invite me to ask for more of you.