Your Status Doesn’t Matter: God Can Still Use You

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

(2 Corinthians 9:8 ESV)


What’s holding you back?

Too many times we believe the idea that we need to “level up” before God uses us. That we need to look a certain way first, make a certain amount of money first, figured out this or that first, get (insert a major goal of yours) first.

And trust me, I’ve been there, too. We live in a world that demands certain qualifications before the job, the school, the opportunity, the next step. We often base our value on our resumes or the amount of likes we get on Instagram. 

But what if none of these things really mattered?

Continue reading “Your Status Doesn’t Matter: God Can Still Use You”

Meet Becca | Confidence Without Compromise #38

Becca_CWC feature_38
(Photo Credit: Alyssa Faith Photography)

Becca, Pennsylvania

Founder, Onederfully Created

Meet Becca. A storyteller, adventurer, and follower of Christ. In this week’s feature, Becca talks about healing from insecurities, embracing identity in Christ, and learning the power of our testimony.

Continue reading “Meet Becca | Confidence Without Compromise #38”

Do It Scared

Whenever I am afraid,

I will trust in You.

(Psalm 56:3 NKJV)


I remember my first roller coaster.

It was a warm, summer afternoon at a small, amusement park outside of town.

Among the day campers, families, and tired employees, there it was–

One of the two only rollercoasters in the entire kiddy park. Tracks shaped into small hills, slight turns, and barely-there dips. A train shaped like a friendly, green dragon that glided through it all.

I started to cry.

I was tall enough to ride the coaster, but young enough to be terrified of it.

Moments later, I was sitting next to Dad, strapped in–about to take it head on. Needless to say, I wasn’t ready. When the ride started, I cried so much that the operator stopped it so I could get off.

Years later, roller coasters became one of my favorite thrills. I don’t remember the time I tried a roller coaster for the second time, but at some point I made up my mind to face the fear–again. And as a result, I found something I love to do till this day.

My most precious experiences in life began with feelings of fear. Getting my first summer job. Taking a driver’s test to get my license. Moving out of state for college. Launching a public blog. Becoming a leader in a college ministry. Pursuing a career after college. The list goes on. Although I might have began these situations afraid, they pushed me towards major growth, deepened my relationship with God, helped me discover interests I love, and introduced me to people I would have never met.

Do you stop at the point of fear when an unfamiliar situation arises? Or do you rise to the occasion?

Continue reading “Do It Scared”

Day 11: I created you with purpose | Love Letters

Pur·pose: The reason for which something is done or created; the reason for which something exists.

Here’s another lesson I learned while taking fine arts courses. Art supplies are expensive. Their quality affects the price, but they also get costly because you have to buy so many of them.

You don’t just need paper. You need the right kinds of paper. One drawing pad for charcoal drawings, another for ink. The list of materials for an average class is extensive, but it’s for a reason. From pencils to brushes, every item–although different–serves a unique purpose. What I can do with one tool, I cannot do with another. Working on one piece might require using several materials that have various effects.

When we accept Christ as our Savior, giving our heart to God, we can tap into our very own unique purpose.

We are freed from sin, forgiven by God, and reconciled to our Father, able to live fully in His love. Once dead in the weight of our sins, we are alive in Christ:

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:1-5 NIV).

We are made new, given a new life and a new attitude. God has prepared assignments for you that only you can do: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).

We discover our true purpose, or the reason we exist–to love God not just with our mouths but in all that we do. Good works don’t save us, but they prove whether or not we truly love God and belong to Him. James 2:17 states that “faith without works is dead.” You can talk the talk, but do you walk the walk?

When it came to buying art supplies for class, quality was essential. If I bought new paints that claimed to be of a certain quality, I expected them to be of that certain quality. If they didn’t do what they advertised, I couldn’t even use them!

As believers, we have a common responsibility to show others Christ. To show everyone His love and how He deeply cares for this world. Though we have a common goal, we can live it out in different ways. You might live out this responsibility through your career, a talent or skill you have, the words you say, the hospitality to show, etc.

It’s God’s will for everyone to have an opportunity to know Him, to have access to His freedom and eternal life in Him.

Can you imagine the major losses if we don’t live up to this responsibility?

There are consequences for not walking in your purpose. You have a story that nobody else can tell. Your life is a story that someone needs to hear. Others are counting on you to be served, to hear how God has changed your life, to be encouraged, to know Him for themselves.

God created you with intention. He knows the impact you can have on this world. He knows your personality, your patterns, your strengths, and your weaknesses. You’re not an accident. You are loved and made to be on this earth intentionally.

Don’t compare yourself to others. You’re not made to live out someone else’s purpose; you’re made to live out your own. So, be encouraged.

God has a job for you to do, and His love means He’ll help you accomplish this job. Whoever you are–a student, an employee, an entrepreneur, a friend, a sibling, a daughter–simply a living and breathing human being, you have opportunities to influence other people for good.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 NKJV)

Love Letter 11

14 days of learning God’s love. Learn about the Love Letters here.

Read Day 10

Read Day 12

 

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Day 2: You can give Me your burdens | Love Letters

Bur·den:

  1. Something that is carried.
  2. Something that is emotionally difficult to bear; a source of great worry or stress.
  3. A responsibility or duty.

[Source]

You were not made to carry everything. But it’s quite easy to think you’re supposed to.

We live in a DIY culture: Do it yourself. Make it happen. Figure it out. Find a way. Solve the problem. Don’t wait for anyone.

Now. There is some value we can take from these thoughts: Don’t just lean on anything. When the storms come, you discover what is made of substance and what is not. A house set on an unstable foundation is bound to crumble when a natural disaster strikes. A boat built with weak materials will sink when it’s tossed to and fro on the ocean.

We need to stand on something with substance–something that is stable enough to hold us up, to keep us afloat no matter what.

Leaning on yourself can’t do that.

Have you ever been in a situation where you stop and think, Wow. I can’t do this…? Have you tried pulling an all-nighter to meet a deadline only to realize you fell asleep hours in? Have you promised a friend a favor only to realize days later, I can’t believe I forgot to do that!

We get tired, we get faint, we run out of energy. We fail, we break promises, we forget. It’s normal. But it shows how human we are.

You were not made to carry everything.

God provides access to Him because He knows this. We can go to Him freely. God takes joy in talking to you. He loves providing a way for you, opening doors, and seeing you fulfill your purpose. He sees you in your challenges, and He wants to help.

It’s not your duty to carry your burden on your own. Whatever you’re carrying today, give it to the Lord. What does that mean? Go to Him about it. Talk to Him about it like you would talk to a friend. Humans can only do so much.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7 NIV)

Love Letter 2.png

14 days of learning God’s love. Learn about the Love Letters here.

Read Day 1

Read Day 3

 

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The Reason You Are Unfulfilled

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. 

(Revelation 2:4-5a ESV)


I’ll tell you a juicy secret.

I’m guilty of something. And I realize that every believer is guilty of this, too, at some point in their faith.

In the midst of all the losses and gains in our lives, we forget our first love. standing alone_edit

A fulfilling relationship with Jesus Christ can easily stop at the moment of salvation. By that, I mean we invite Christ into our hearts, acknowledging our need for Him for eternal life. This saves us and secures us for heaven. But we need to know that salvation doesn’t stop there. It continues now in our relationship with Him. Just as you desperately needed God to save you from sin, you still desperately need him to be everything–above any earthly desire you currently have.

Are you finding it difficult to really give something to God? You can pray and pray over and over, submitting it to the Lord. And you should. We’re taught to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), to come boldly before the throne (Hebrews 4:16), to test every spirit–any thing or person that comes our way–to see if it is really from God (1 John 4:1).

But if you’re struggling with unfulfilled desires and deep longings that seem to remain unmet time and time again, you may be missing a crucial thing.

Continue reading “The Reason You Are Unfulfilled”

The Choice

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

(John 10:10 NIV)


I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure how to start off this post. It’s going to be a bit more personal than my previous ones, but I do hope and pray that sharing my experience will bless and encourage whoever is reading in some way.

So, today I started my summer internship, and well, it was hard. I was able to spend the first few hours of the day meeting other interns, which was definitely my favorite part of the day. I met undergrad and grad students, and I always find it fascinating to learn about other people, especially their goals and dreams. At this point, I was convinced I was going to love this place.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t love it now. I really appreciate the fact that I am here and what my assignment is. My co-workers are very kind, hardworking, and friendly. What shocked me was my workload, however. I expected to have assignments, deadlines and projects, but I just wasn’t expecting to get so much work so soon. I felt I entered this internship fairly, with an open mind, but now I was thinking, “God why did you bring me here? I can’t handle this.” The last thing I needed was stress in the summer.

Let me now trace back to a blog post I wrote a couple weeks ago called “The Power of Encouragement.” One of the points I expressed  was that I’ve seen God use other believers in my life to encourage me in different ways that I knew had to be from Him–often times, He uses these people to meet me right where I am.

Over the weekend, preparing for the internship, I naturally felt nervous, yet I was able to see how God provided for me while I was stuck in this emotion. A ministry leader I hadn’t spoken to or seen in years messaged me just to say that he’s been keeping my brothers and I in prayer during the past few years. A friend from a past retreat also reached out over the weekend to share a scripture that was on her heart and just to say she’s praying for me. Words cannot express how much I needed their encouragement. I wouldn’t have even thought that these two would have reached out to me. Nevertheless, I think this is a great example of how obeying God’s direction and acting on the commands that He places on your heart can greatly minister to others and ultimately reflect His awesome love.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.  (2 Cor 1:3-4 NIV)

Looking back to this moment after a long day gave me encouragement.

But then I started thinking, what if this never even happened? What do we do when we don’t clearly see encouragement in our lives? How do we gain hope when there seems to be none or nobody in sight? Although God is always present, sometimes it’s hard to be reminded of His goodness and comfort. It’s easy to feel distant from Him.

In those times, I think it’s important to remember and understand one, simple fact:

God is a good God. No matter what is happening in life, God is a good God. This is a fact that never changes.

We have access to a good God as believers. But Satan can catch us in a snare–that is, a trap–of disappointment and discouragement. It is essential that we understand that this is not of God. Negative thoughts, fears, and insecurities are not of God. It’s not enough to even acknowledge that these are attacks from the enemy–we must reject these emotions in the name of Jesus. There is power in that name.

We may be asked to do big tasks on this earth–ones we feel completely unqualified for. Yet God has equipped us to do all things that come in our path. He’s equipped us with the grace to get through the day before it has even started.

This is what encourages me. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but God hasn’t given me life to worry about it. He’s given me rest to rejoice in it.

Now it’s hard for me to obey. It’s hard for me to accept this truth I cannot always see, but faith itself is the hope in things that are not seen (Hebrews 11:1). So I’m taking a stand to hold onto the Lord’s promises, remembering that He has provided for me before (even this past weekend!)

In all of this, I realize how essential it is to submit my way to the Lord. My way–my mind, my actions–and He will bring it to pass. I have a long summer ahead, but I’ve already been thanking Him for all the breakthroughs, strengths, and lessons that will come to pass. I realize how much my life is not about me at all. I’ve been so worried about my performance that I became caught in the enemy’s trap of despair. But when I realize that there’s a reason God has placed me in this particular experience, my performance is no longer this heavy thing looming above my head–rather it’s my performance for God that counts. I don’t know why He brought me here, but I trust that if I submit my ways to Him in all things, He will bring this to pass and in some way, me being here will glorify Him.

My experiences all come down to a choice: falling into the enemy’s trap–where my fears and my doubts reside–or serving God–my Rock, my Redeemer–instead.


I thought I’d end this post with a song I feel fits the topic. Listen and read the lyrics–I feel it has some serious, thought-provoking ideas to take away.

Jaeson Ma | Glory