This post was written for the #FiveMinuteFriday prompt Unite:
John 10:10 NIV
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
I am someone who loves to think, dream analyse…to never stop exercising my mind. But while this can be a wonderful thing, it can also make me incredibly susceptible to attacking thoughts that cripple me from doing what I love to do, the desires I believe God has placed within each one of us, to pursue community: a United Body of Christ.
There are three main ways I have pursued this community in the past year:
- by inviting other Mums from my new church and their children into my home via the Mums’ Together monthly meet ups,
- by following God’s nudges to speak to strangers on the street and at church,
- through my writing.
Each one of these pursuits was almost hindered by “the thief”, who worked hard to sabotage my confidence.
The first one was extremely difficult because I come from a culture where new people are automatically singled out and invited around, but Dutch culture encourages the exact opposite- newcomers are most often expected to make the first contact. Even after 12 years of living in the Netherlands, I am still not used to this cultural difference. And so, I am extremely susceptible to enemy thoughts such as: “They’ll just say yes to be polite.”, “You’re being much too forward.”, “They really don’t like you at all, just look at their closed posture and frowning expression.”
The second one was way out of my comfort zone. “Seriously, LORD, that woman on the side of the road? Really, her? But what’s she going to think of me?” And then, after getting to know them: “What difference can you even make in their life? You don’t know the hardship of being a refugee, of facing abuse, of true fear. They’re probably getting sick of you by now.”
The third was horrendous. “Who do you think you are? Sharing so vulnerably with complete strangers. Your story is much too trivial to make any difference. You’re an embarrassment. Who’s going to want to even read what you write?”
Are you facing similar battles to stand united with your (future) brothers and sisters? To pursue God’s people in loving kindness? Then, might I encourage you with the Words God has used and continues to use to remind me that our united body of Christ is built up and flourishes, where we lean into Him when the enemy attacks us from within. Let us speak out against such thoughts of the thief in the boldness of Jesus’ Name, as overcomers of all fear and anxiety that attempts to shackle us from moving toward uniting, toward pursuing others in and through the Love of Christ:
Zechariah 4: 6 (NIV)
So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.
Psalm 139: 5
You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
1 Samuel 16: 7
7 But God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
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.
Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Colossians 2: 10 (NIV)
and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.
Phillippians 1:6 (NIV)
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Matthew 25: 40 (NIV)
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Matthew 18: 20 (NIV)
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
May God strengthen and sustain you, as you seek first after His Kingdom: a united Body of Christ in the power of His Spirit and Word of Truth.
I am releasing Love Embraced, a book about my journey in and through suffering into God’s mighty arms on May 8th (Mother’s Day: in honor of her Mum, who passed into heaven on April 8th 2014, and God’s shining Light in her). For more information about Love Embraced: A Journey in and through Suffering, head on over to my author’s Facebook Page. If you’d like a free copy in exchange for some help in spreading the word on social media, come join our Launch Team: just leave me a note via a comment.
My dear friend Emily Stephenson is also promoting the book with beautiful handmade jewelry, inspired by #LoveEmbraced. Below is an example of what you can find at The Wildflower Heart: