When I am Weak, then I am Strong

Blog Post #1-When I am Weak, I am Strong

I want to be transparent whenever I talk to you. Meaning, I am not going to sit at my computer and pretend I am perfect. I am not, and anyone who went to Baylor with me can definitely testify to that. I messed up. Throughout my last two years of college, I was running from God. I mean a full on sprint away from Him.

And I was miserable.

One memory has been vividly seared into my mind. I remember taking a walk with my boyfriend at the time and it hit me.

I hated myself.

I stopped dead in my tracks. I turned to him and said I hated myself and couldn’t understand why anyone else could possibly love me. I hated me, so why wouldn’t everyone else? That moment was my rock bottom. I was done running. So I got in my car and headed to Austin to see my family.

I remember sitting in church that Sunday at The Austin Stone and Matt Carter was talking about salvation. At that point, I was living my life like I didn’t even know the Lord. I was broken. I remember him talking about how once you are truly saved it can’t be taken from you. God will not rest until you are brought back to Him. Tears welled up in my eyes as the impact hit me: my Father was bringing me back. If you are living your life outside of God’s will and you are saved, He won’t stop until you are brought back. It’s like in Matthew 18:12 when Jesus says,

“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?”

I was the stupid little sheep who wandered off. The most beautiful thing is that God loves you enough to make you come back. He cares about each one of you so strongly; He will do anything to bring you back to Him.

One of the most comforting things for me is how God repeatedly uses people who are so far from perfect for his purposes. My favorite example is David. In Acts 13:22, God describes David as “a man after my own heart.” Wow, does this poor guy have a lot to live up to. And he fails miserably. He commits adultery with Bathsheba and then murders her husband to cover it up. Those are pretty much the two worst things by human standards that a person can do. But the thing that is beautiful is that he has a repentant heart. Having a repentant heart means to literally turn away from your sin, it’s not just to say you are sorry. Psalm 51:1 is David’s repentant prayer, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.”

Another person God uses who is a total screw up is Paul. Before he was saved, Paul was a terrorist to Christians. Acts 8:3 says,

“[Paul] began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.”

I don’t think it is a coincidence that God uses men and women to further his kingdom who have made huge mistakes. 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 says,

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

God’s strength is made perfect in our weaknesses. When we can admit in humility our dire need for Christ is when His strength and His beauty are made perfect.

Another good thing to remember is Romans 8:28,

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Even the dark times in college when I was living my life outside of God’s will, can be used for good. It’s important to remember this promise, God will always make good out of bad for those who love Him.

So after reading this, I challenge you to examine your walk with the Lord. Are you striving to live a life worthy of the calling you have received? Or are you wallowing in sin and sadness? If you are dealing with sin, turn to the Lord. He will welcome you back with open arms. Always seek His face. If you are not working towards intimacy with Him, you are inevitably growing farther away from Him. In Jeremiah 29:13, God promises, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

Striving Upward,

Rach

How to Live your Life Radically Radiant

Blog post #1 redo-2nd option     Have you ever thought about what defines you? For a long time, I was defined by my intellect (surprising, right?). I prided myself on my ability to rattle off rote facts or even my ability to persuade and change people’s thinking to fit my mold. I was proud that I could recite Longfellow off the top of my head or amaze my peers with my verbatim, Socratic definition of Rhetoric. Yeah, I know…I was a loser. Another time I was (and still struggle with this) defined by my looks. That’s an easy one in this culture. But even at my thinnest, at my prettiest, something was missing. That’s when I realized just how stupid it was for me to find my worth in something as fleeting as appearance or something as prideful as intellect. After all, there will always be someone prettier and someone smarter. That’s when I realized my self-worth could not be found in something measurable by man.

My worth is in Christ.

Your worth is in Christ.

God decided you were worth it when He sent His only son to die for you.

Now isn’t that better than worrying about having perfect makeup 24/7, being the smartest one in your intellectual circle, or being the best athlete?

This identity can never be taken from you. No matter what.

Now that is power.

What is living Radically Radiant?

Step 1:

It is understanding your immeasurable worth in Christ. It is understanding and believing wholeheartedly Romans 8:37-38

“We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither life nor death, neither angels nor demons, neither the present or the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”

NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US. Did you hear that? Nothing can separate us. I don’t know about you, but I am thankful beyond belief for that. Nothing I have done, nothing you have done can ever separate us from Christ once we have accepted Him as our Lord and Savior. Thank God, because I’ve made some pretty tough mistakes.

Step 2:

Living your life fearlessly, boldly, and radically for Christ.

Christ calls us to live our lives for Him. Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Whoa. That is some strange language. Offer our bodies as sacrifices? When I first read that verse I pictured a volcano with men in loincloths all wailing around a fire in a circle while the virgin sacrifice was made.

Obviously, I was wrong. When Paul tells us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, he means to no longer live your life to please yourself, but to please God. My favorite verse that highlights how we need to live our lives is Romans 4:1, “As a prisoner of the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”

Bam. Straight to the point.

As daughters of Christ, we have been charged to live a life to honor God. We will never measure up to the sacrifice of Christ’s death on our own, but it is our charge to live our lives focused on Christ, that means a life serving God. Our “good works” are not a way to get into heaven, but a byproduct of our love for the Lord.

One thing that I struggle with is evangelism. You won’t find me going up to a stranger on the beach and telling them that Jesus loves them. That has never been my strong suit. God has gifted me relationally. I build relationships and hope my love for Christ is evident. That was how I helped lead my brother, Luke, to Christ. We all have different gifts. My sister in law, Annie is strong where I am weak. She has a bold spirit and regularly witnesses to people. I encourage you to use your gifts to further Christ’s kingdom. If you have been gifted with the ability to relate with kids, teach Sunday school. If you can rally people to action as an encourager, find ways to encourage others through your walk with Christ.

To live your life radically radiant, means being empowered through your identity as a daughter of the King and then using your gifts to live your life worthy of the calling you have received passionately and fearlessly.

Let me know how you are using your gifts to further the kingdom, I’d love to hear from you!

In Him,

Rach