Back when I was first learning about my identity being in Christ, I would read about David (who was also a type of Christ) and his faith in God and his heart for Him—and the craziness of his life.
Reading about David’s diligence to turn to God in and his belief in God’s ability to lead him through the most chaotic and draining situations of his life blew my mind.
If David, who did not have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of him, was able to encourage himself in the Lord (1 Samuel 30:6) and lean on Him in the midst of being mocked, abandoned, grieved, hunted, and attacked, how much more are we in Christ (with the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us) able to encourage ourselves in the Lord and receive the joy and peace needed to strengthen and uplift us during challenging circumstances?
Well, praise God for His Holy Spirit who is ever ready to remind us that the answer is always way, way more.
A few months ago I shared about being encouraged by family in Christ and also encouraging family in Christ at an interview I had with a company in the automotive industry.
The interview itself had gone really well.
After a month had passed without definitive word, a somberness had started to tug at me again.
Baffled, I asked the Holy Spirit why I was feeling unsettled again.
He spoke one word into my heart, “Subsiding,” and I understood.
Sometimes all it takes is one word. One word to encourage us. One word to jolt us out of numb-numbville.
And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus—Matthew 14:29, KJV
I started to doubt God’s timing to lead me through and started to sink back into and adjust to the countenance of my circumstances again.
Simply. I wasn’t continuing to encourage myself in the Lord.
There is a sort of quieting that happens in times like this for me—and it’s not the good sort. I turn my voice off and in little ways start to withdraw relationally.
I am an encourager in Christ and when I stop encouraging others, when I stop using my voice, or encouraging myself in the Lord, something wonky happens with my receptor, or my heart—and I don’t like it.
The gift of prophecy, or exhortation, is a precious, wonderful gift (1 Corinthians 14:3).
I am thankful and blessed that our Abba Father would fill my mouth with His life giving words, a sweet speech to speak to His beloved sons and daughters, and to His glorious human creation.
I am thankful and blessed to be on the receiving end of this gift too.
In the same way this gift works to build up the Body, when we spend time being quieted in the restful peace of Jesus, being in the garden with Him, walking through His word with Him, we know that He is God—and we are strengthened.
When we choose His joy, we are strengthened.
When we choose to believe that He is faithful, we are strengthened.
When we remember how mighty He is, we are strengthened.
When we remember that Jesus Christ has defeated the power of sin and death in our lives, we are strengthened.
When we remember that Jesus Christ has made a public show of our enemy and that we are in His victory procession, we are strengthened.
When we remember that greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world, we are strengthened.
Stay encouraged, beloveds.
I got the job, but I didn’t take it. I’ll save that story for another day.