So I was reading the Bible one day….and I had a law school moment (I don’t admit it much, but I LOVE IT when that happens). It happened in Mark 9:14-27. There, a story is told of a man, his possessed son…and Jesus. The man brought his son to Jesus, describes the problem, and says “if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” (v. 22) Jesus, being….Jesus, responds and says “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (v. 23) There’s a shift between those two verses that I want to show you today, so come on! Let’s go...
I am the (self-proclaimed) queen of confirmation. I have probably asked God to confirm everything He’s ever said to me. It’s lowkey a wonder that he’s still dealing with me (lol). (*cue…you* “why Valencia?) Well, have you ever heard the phrase ‘if God said it, I believe it, & that settles it’? That if has caused me great concern throughout my life. Because….what if He didn’t? What if my grand imagination just sounds like something I wish God would allow to happen? I don't want to walk around putting faith in the great stories I create in my head; those could fail any day of the week. I want to put my faith in what God actually said. Thankfully, He’s gone to great lengths to show me that He is speaking & that Im not making up a fabulous story. One of those ‘lengths’ is Hebrews 10:23….
Honesty moment: so, when I started writing this, I was convinced that I was going to base it on Isaiah 59:19. Then, I realized that scripture doesn’t mean what I thought it meant (lesson/purpose of this intro: this is why we study the word for ourselves, saints). Yet, I found another scripture that essentially speaks to the same point (thanks God, because I was starting to think I was insane/incompetent). Today’s ram in the bush: Psalm 3:3.
Last week, a friend & I were talking about our shared dysfunction (keep us in prayer, k?). I don’t like to be a burden or a bother, you know? So if (after a period of time), I feel like a burden/bother, or that you don’t really want to talk to me, I stop talking (it’s really terrible lol). Since that conversation, one verse has repeatedly swirled around my mind: “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7). Therefore, I’m here to serve as a reminder of what you may already know: He still cares. (this may be quick, so…let’s go)
When I started this blog, I wanted to break down the ‘code’ that I noticed in church (because church in & of itself is a culture with it’s own language). That’s why I named it Church Decoded. I wanted to take the sermons that we hear on Sunday, and make them…applicable (because it’s easy to shout, and harder to see it through). That’s the inspiration behind these posts: to take the sermon you hear on Sunday, and make it a little more practical. Well, today, we get back to our roots.
Mark 4:35 tells a story that most church people are familiar with, but it's been a minute since I gave a Valencia Version translation, so....walk with me. Jesus has been doing...Jesus things: giving people the absolute business about what God and His kingdom are really like. Once He's done, He turns to the disciples & says "let's take a trip." They hop in a few boats....and all is well...until hell breaks loose (because that's the usual protocol when you do what Jesus tells you to do). They're in the middle of a body of water, and winds get high, water is everywhere (including in the boat), and Jesus.....is asleep.
“At what point did you earn the right to quit?” This…this is the question that summarizes my life lately. In my own little defense, I haven’t completely quit (don’t panic, I didn’t denounce God or anything like that)…I just fell into “the sunken place” of laziness. Life got a little scressful (no not stressful, I passed that a while ago), my schedule changed, hours have this way of turning into days, & days keep becoming months. Eventually, I looked up one day, and couldn’t find my discipline. I couldn’t access that ‘ok…do it anyway…the hustle doesn’t stop because _____’ mentality. Baby girl was TIRED, ok! I used tired as an excuse to fall off…of everything. You may have noticed that it’s been a few weeks since a new post was uploaded. I stopped working out (used my hair as an excuse & everything lol). You may be thinking that I’m talking without purpose, I promise Im not (lol). I’m telling you this because…
Let’s go back….over 2017 years. Jesus is fresh out (of the tomb), and nobody knows a thing. Mary (His mom) & Mary Magdalene get to the tomb, having a chit chat about how this has easily been the worst weekend ever (it’s up there with the day that Lazarus died) and wondering who is going to roll the stone away for them to pay their respects. Ohhhh but they had no idea that the stone wouldn’t be a problem at all, and that they had probably walked right past the living Man they were coming to mourn.
This morning, I read Colossians 3:23, which says “and whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” To me, it served as a wake up call, and I wondered if you needed one too. I get it. It’s March. The new year feeling is long gone. Midnight has lost its magical sparkle. Gyms are empty. Some old attitudes have returned. Relationships that we said we’d cut may or may not be back in action. In some ways, we’ve lost our….umph. Why?
Last week, God fussed at me (He does that occasionally….or often…who’s to say). I had gotten impatient, moved too quickly (I’m really good at that), and stuck my hand in His plan. He made the promise, He gave the instruction, and…I may or may not have been aiming for extra credit, and I don’t think that move had high approval ratings in Heaven. While He was fussing, He said something that…sparked something in me (that’s so God by the way lol). He asked me a question that He now wants me to ask you: do you want it bad enough to wait for it?
Words from the Author
At the end of the day, these posts are the thoughts that run through my mind. These are the lessons I've learned. The doors that I've walked through. The path I've chosen. This is part of what it means to be me. Hopefully, it'll help you be...you. Let's grow together, kay?
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