So you might have realised that my blog name has changed. After nearly 3 years I was ready for a change. When I first started this blog, I didn’t really know what I wanted it be, it started as random musings and some short stories. It was nothing major, hence the the name. But as my blog has changed and developed, I felt the name was incongruent with my subject.
One day last year I sat down at my laptop with a purpose. I wanted to write something that was different to my usual blog posts but I knew it was important. I was nervous, I knew that some of the people reading my blog at that time wouldn’t like it, but it was too special not to share. That was when I first explicitly wrote a post about faith and loving Jesus.
That post was appropriately called “Be Bold”. I realised that I had this amazing tool and platform to share God’s love and write down my thoughts on faith and how I find life as a Christian teenager. Writing these posts is something I really enjoy doing and the feedback and encouragement that others have given me has really motivated me to keep going.
However , as I said it was time for a change. Jesus isn’t someone who should be a “little thing” in my life. He owns my life, our purpose on earth is to live for Christ, but how can I possibly do this if he is only a small part of my life?
Im not saying that through changing my blog name that I always put God first and sacrifice everything for Him. I would love to say that is the case, but unfortunately it’s not that easy. Luke 6:45 states “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” As Christians we should strive to have the Holy Spirit fill our hearts and to share his love with everyone.
The thing is a lot of the time we find this so hard. That’s because our heart is so full of other things that there is no room to be filled with the Holy Spirit. This calls us to examine our hearts, to rid it of the distractions which the devil places there and make room for God to fill us with his spirit.
During the summer I was walking by the river in Bushmills and stopped to watch the river. As I was doing so my brother pointed out a fish which had just jumped out of the water, but I missed it. So I continued to watch, and continued to miss the fish, and always just saw the ripples they left behind.
This day came to mind the other day as I came across a quote in the book I’m currently reading, Crazy Love by Francis Chan, which said “Are we in love with God or just His stuff?” This really challenged me and showed me that just like I was missing the fish it’s easy to get caught up on all the little things surrounding Christianity and miss the most important thing, God.
It’s so easy to just focus on the amazing tune of that worship song, the amazing time you had at camp, what mission trip to go on… the list goes on, but sometimes we need to strip it all away and focus on the cross.
In John 15:13 it says “There is no greater love than to lay one’s life for one’s friend.” I feel like this perfectly sums up what Jesus did for us on the cross. Focusing on what He has done and his love for us makes it easier not to get distracted by other stuff. After all “We love because He first loved us.” Our faith stands upon not only what God has done for us but what He continues to do. This little reminder helps me to fall in love with God all over again and focus on Him not just “His stuff”
Everyone has that one place where everything feels perfect, where they are infinite and feel like no one can stop them being the way they want to be, but what happens when you leave it? Suddenly the soft sand that hugs your feet becomes the tiny pieces of gravel that shoot canons of pain through your soles. Once again the insecurity begins to fill up inside of you, and you begin to change yourself to fit the mould of society. But really our place of refuge and comfort should not be a physical place, but instead be God. In Psalm 91:2 David shouts to the Lord saying, “You are my place of safety and protection.” Therefore wherever we are in are day to day lives we should remember that God is always there and that we can always be in our place of comfort if we just have faith.
Sometimes, yes, we fight for our individuality, but most of the time we fight a battle with ourselves, we fight against how we really feel until finally we win and our beliefs become the same as the person next to us, but why? God created us to be bold in our faith and to not be shaken by what others think, but yet we are sometimes scared for people to know how we really feel and what we really believe in.
How I feel on standing strong for God is definitely summed up in Philippians 1 verse 20, “For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ.” This verse really struck a chord with me when I thought about the situation in parts of the world where Christians are being persecuted for their faith. It made me think that if they can stand strong in their faith in the midst of such hatred and danger, what is stopping me?