I finally gave in. After years of this desire, and a few attempts to get the ball rolling this past year, I’m going public with my blog! I desired to write a fresh new post as I went live at the start of the year. As I head back to work tomorrow the window to get this posted is closing in. So here it goes!
My verse for the week highlighted a lot that I've been processing with God lately so felt it was the perfect topic. Studying the book of Mark with First5 has been amazing for me. It's a book I never gravitated to but now digging deeper into it; it's one of my favorites.
A few weeks back God revealed how I live ashamed of him. It was a sad reality when this conviction hit. I've felt it before, but this time was different, it went deeper compelling me to action. I've spent the last couple weeks trying to stay aware of the areas in life where I fall victim to this. While studying Mark 13 this week, verse 13 leaped off the page providing more context as I process the battle of living unashamed of Christ.
"You will be hated by everyone because of my name, but the one who endures to the end will be saved." Mark 13:13
I live ashamed of Jesus because I don't want to be hated by anyone. God quickly pointed it's because of my desire for approval I have a fear of being hated. This was quite eye-opening to have this revealed. I did a quick google search for the definition of approval.
Approval: the belief that someone or something is good or acceptable.
I'm sad to say, I fall victim to this over and over. I look to the world for its approval, and when I don't get it, my confidence is shaken. This is a topic God has been working on in me as it ties into my last blog post, Just Believe. God doesn't call me to a shaky foundation but firm one. If I want to live my life for him, I'm not going to gain the approval of the world as the verse states. In fact, I'm going to be hated. Ouch.
I did another quick google search for a verse on approval which led me to my verse of the week. It carried an equal dose of truth that my heart needed.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
Isn't that verse so good? I'm overwhelmed by the beauty of how he revealed this truth to me in such a tender way. It's like he could see me wrestle with the fact I live ashamed. Instead of shaming me, calling me to live more boldly even if I'm freaking out on the inside. He instead lets me wrestle with the idea for a little while. Then reveals His perfect truth. Letting me know, I'm going to be hated. It may sound odd, but it brings such rest to my soul. I can divorce myself from living for the approval of the world. The world is looking in on itself. It isn't capable of giving me approval my soul needs. Only God, the one who created me, is capable of providing security like this. And then He takes it one step further revealing, if I want to live as a servant of Christ, I can't live for the approval of man. I have to accept this truth to live for him and have eternal life.
I found this topic so fitting for my blog post, as I'm wrestling with the fear of sharing my blog with the world for the very first time. This has been a secret desire for so long and when walking in faith collides with the world, there's always going to be a battle. For me, it's the battle against my fear of writing and my desire for approval.
"Fear attacks us where we're made for greatness. We are to walk in the love and strength of the father, so fear has no power." - Jonathan David
So here I am. Stepping out in faith. Am I scared? Yes. But thanks to my 2017 word of the year, brave, I've grown to step out in faith and do things scared. I'm able to be confident and assured walking in faithful obedience to my Father because my hope is in him and not the world. So if I look past my fears, I'm so excited for this journey. Beyond thrilled to be honest. I have such a passion for sharing what God is revealing to me and feel this will be the perfect avenue. I plan to post a lot more on Instagram and have a few blog posts a month. Will I fail at this? Oh, most definitely! Will God still use it? I know that he will.
So I hope you'll follow along and be encouraged in your walk. May you live as a servant of God, for his approval and his alone.