“Do Not Have a Feeling Based Faith.”

“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” Hebrews‬ ‭11:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Feelings are one of the most powerful, shifting aspects of our minds. Feelings can make us want to dance in the puddles after a afternoon shower. Or they can make us curl up under the covers, while watching the heavy rain drops clash against our windows. Feelings are overall dangerous. Especially when it comes to walking with Jesus. If we base our faith with only feelings, we never experience the Truth and will always submit to our flesh. Here's a chart I found that adequately describes feelings/faith.

Look at the left side for a brief moment. Do any of those things match to what is going on in your personal life right now? I have had to examine my heart on a few of them. When we have a feeling based faith, we are not living up to God's standards. We pray, do acts of goodness, and follow God. But in most cases it's for our gain. For example, I went through a season of "forgiveness" last year. I did all the things I was expected to do. I seeked God, I read His word. I still felt impatient. I examined my heart just now on that Melodie last year and I realized that I was doing those things in order to gain what I wanted. That's not what our season with God are supposed to be like! Every season is like a steeping stone towards our true identity, and being closer to Christ.

When Jesus walked the earth, he was selfless. He performed miracles, taught his disciples, and what I love most, drew to lonely places to be with Christ. Jesus led by example of a spiritual based faith. Jesus knew all along that He would be betrayed by the same hands who praised Him. Yet, he still chose to love them and now love us. When we decide to forgive someone, we can't just take it back because we don't like how they're treating us! When we attend fellowship, we can't single someone else out because they don't have that "church attire" look. Let's love on them and embrace them into the kingdom! After all, we are all going out the world the same way as dry bones.

My prayer for you and me today is to stop living a feeling based faith. We cannot just praise God when things are great. We need to seek God even though there are blockages in our path. We need to love other people, despite how they treat us. Because one who loves knows God, because God is love (1 John 4:7-8). Start today by creating a list of things that's keeping you from having a spiritual based faith and begin to ask Jesus to remove the flesh feelings out of your spirit and replace them with His love, kindness, patience, hope.

“Being You.”

I want to start this by saying this: "it's okay." Regardless of the season you're entering or exiting, not by the circumstances currently surrounding you, I mean it's okay just to be you. If you're feeling hollow, angry, or jealous. Feel that way. Embrace it. It's so unhealthy to pretend you're fine when your spirit is mentally dying. There are numerous things taking place in each of our lives that test our strength, character, and health. We need to be so cautious as to what we let into our hearts. This verse came at such a perfect timing in my life and I need to share it with you: “A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.” Proverbs‬ ‭14:30‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I have been experiencing a spiritual exhaustion this past week. I have taken my eyes off of the cross and focusing more on worldly perspectives. If you really want to know how I feel, I feel that my spirit is dying. I feel heaviness in my eyes, and hollowness in my chest. I feel my heart shriveling up because of what I've been feeding it: lies, envy, and anger. I am slowly drifting from the Truth. I am ashamed because I was just recently baptized. How could I possibly be doing this already? Some of the wisest followers I know told me that Satan works even harder to throw us off our paths when he knows we are becoming closer with Christ.

What I am trying to grasp myself is, I literally have the spirit of the living God residing in my lungs. He breathes what I breath. He sees my thoughts. He knows what words I will speak next.

I believe in the power of God. But, as the mere mortal I am, my own mere mind doesn't want to believe I have the power of God too. Now when I say that, I am not stating I have the physical powers of God. That is not true at all. What I am saying is, through the power of God, I can withstand any trial or temptation that comes my way. Correction, WE all do. I feel myself slowly going back into the wilderness of isolation. I feel like my back needs to be faced away from the world, and my eyes set once again on the cross. My hands need to let go of my own strength, and need to be lifted high to the One who gives me strength. It's time that I really face the storm that I keep creating within me. We all cannot control how certain people treat us, feel about us. But we can control how our Heavenly Father sees us. I leave you with this: whatever you believe, wherever you are at, just be you. Embrace who you are. Trust in the God who created you, not what other's opinions want you to be.

“Living with Integrity.”

“The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭20:7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Jesus really went to home on me today on my past. I feel like I've been in a spiritual slump this week, but Jesus took me down a detour of my past sinful self. I was analyzing my thoughts and I actions I displayed before, and I'm not proud of any of it. I realized that I used to be a "personality splitter." Meaning, I acted one way with the groups I encountered. When I was around people who were negative, I'd catch myself saying something downing just to get some feedback. Or if I was with a group who loves to gossip, I'd catch myself rambling words in my brain to create a poisonous outcome just to fit in. And at the end of every day, I'd sit, Bible open, just praising Jesus and asking for forgiveness, just to repeat the same pattern.

I feel so silly for being that way! I was always afraid of being my real self. I wanted people to see different versions of me so I would receive approval. Do you know what that got me? Disappointment. There's just one verse and word I want to leave you with and three reasonings why Jesus wants us to live a life of integrity.

  1. A life of integrity leads to a hopeful future: "The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them.” Proverbs‬ ‭20:7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

That verse speaks volume to me. I have been striving to be a woman that resembles integrity. To be an example of a woman who exempts godly measures. To pray for my enemies, to not only read the word, but to apply it physically to my life. As I become a wife and mother one day, my children will see the path I've lived, and I'm praying right now they would want to live that way too! Our children need to be showing a life of respect not neglect!

2. When we show our enemies integrity, we show Jesus's love: "I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me. Because of my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever." Psalms 41:11-12. It is one of the most trying acts of faith we endure daily of choosing to show integrity to those we have resentment. I have learned from personal experience that showing complete hatred to someone we have hurt is literally murdering ourselves. We burn a hole in our souls with Jesus and strip our true identity away when we show any act of worldliness to our foe. I recently, actually today, realized living that way is so exhausting. We all know that acting out purposefully towards someone who has hurt us is doing nothing. That person does not know or care about how you feel. But, Jesus does. And he told me and now you, love your enemies, be kind to your enemies, and pray for them. Showing that act of integrity grows your heart to love more and it grows your heart closer to Jesus.

3. A heart of integrity beats the strongest:“People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed.” Proverbs‬ ‭10:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬
The enemy is never at rest, even when you are. When your bible is staying closed, collecting dust, your heart becomes more vulnerable to his devious plans. Your mind begins to create thoughts that do not come from heaven. We need to stay near our lord, my friends! It's better to be on your knees in prayer, than on your feet in despair. Let Jesus guide you down the path of integrity and strength. Let God shape your mind, heart, and spirit to be of heavenly things, not earthly.

Let us all remember this: we are a chosen few. Following the challenging, narrow path God has created is not easy, ever. It takes hard work, discipline, and faith to conquer every trial. Just when you survive one, another creeps along. Each trial we face tests our character, builds our strength, and grows our integrity.

“There’s Mercy in Your Anguish Prayers” 

“I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭116:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Are you going through a "dry spot" in your life at the moment? Are you reading your bible, knowing you see the words of Jesus, but they're not affecting your heart at all? Are you sitting on your knees, with crossed hands, just trying your hardest to spew out words of prayer to our invisible God? Let me tell you, friend, I have been there. There have been numerous moments in my walk where I have been considered "spiritually dry". Where every passing moment I spend with Jesus, I just don't feel anything affected in my life. I have had moments where I read the word for 10 minutes, and I see a notification light up on my iPhone, and I'm more intrigued by how the world sees me instead of God. Then after that spur of the moment ends, I'm right back to feeling hollow. 

What is important in this post today is this simple statement: faith in God is not run by our feelings or circumstances, it is run by the intimate connection provided constantly by the spirit of God. What I mean by this is, it's very easy to worship God when our life has had great things come along. Like for me, I finally was granted a full time job with weekends off so I can attend Sunday service. I have been very happy about that, but then a storm came over me. I just recently found out that someone I was once so intimate with has taken the heart of a former close friend. I have had feelings of betrayal, anger, and disappointment. Which I don't want to have those feelings. So my prayers and reading time have been cut short due to my heart being so entangled with sadness. 

God spoke to me deeply yesterday about being "spiritually dry." We cannot depend our own emotions to stay in tuned with the spirit. God wants us to pray at his feet when we cannot say the words we need to say. The word of God is our shield against evil, our love story with Jesus, and it speaks truth of our identity. Satan has been pressing into my brain that I need a man still to be loved. But I read these words this morning in Psalms 117 and I felt the love of God fall upon me: “For his unfailing love for us is powerful; the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever. Praise the Lord!” Psalms‬ ‭117:2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

My dear friend, God loves you forever and always. He loves you when you are distant. He loves you when that person is the center of your attention. He loves you when you are questioning your existence. He loves you because He made you. Go through your day knowing that the mighty lord of heaven has your best intentions💛

“My Baptism.” By: Melodie Rose Jordan. 

The day appeared. I awoke that Sunday morning with a smile on my face and a beautiful hymn humming in my brain. My heart fluttered at the thought of the event I was about to embark on. I entered that wonderful church, stepped into the pool, and before I knew it, my body submerged into the water and I came up as a wet, but redeemed person. 

My baptism that occurred only two weeks ago was the best day of my life. I can’t help but to replay the whole day in my head. Dozens of embracing hugs and thoughtful messages given to me. My beautiful family sitting in the front row, showing their love and support. Most of all, being so connected with my glorious God. This baptism is HUGE to me because it symbolized just how far I’ve come. I went through the desert season, the rainy season, the lost season, the pain agonizing season, to finally reach my season now: peace. All I have is peace, compassion, and gratitude. There isn’t a single day that has passed within this year that I wish I didn’t go through. I am so honored to have gone through the loss, because I would have never been truly found. I am happy. I am a Christ follower. I am living loved. 

“You Were Worth the Torture.” By: Melodie Rose Jordan.

During this week we are all in remembrance of Jesus, and how He came into this world, knowing that He was going to have to be beaten, flogged, and crucified by His own people. It is important that if you do not know just how much an importance you are to the Prince of Peace, let me inform you today. We are going to read and soak in the compelling words of Isaiah 53, so you can really absorb the truth about how much of the pain Jesus went through, was for a worthy cause.

“My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. Isaiah 53:2 

Jesus came into the world in the form of a baby, just like you and me. I am sure Abba would have wanted Jesus to ascend down to heaven on a radiant, white horse with angelic melodies playing behind Him, but no. He was born in a ragged stable. God appointed Mary as a symbolic image of purity, and she was given the privilege to bore God’s own Son. As time went on, Jesus was still unknown to many parts of the world. Every new city he discovered, no one seemed to recognize His true identity. He appeared in the form of man, but was truly a God. Jesus chose to have His human shape be more of His image because he wanted to relate to us, to connect and be vulnerable with us. He did not want to come off as intimidating or unapproachable. Nothing about His old, brown sandals and cloth robe oozed the appearance of a Messiah. I think the keen message that Jesus displayed is, the heart of a person is greater than the looks of a person.

“He was despised and rejected—-a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.” Isaiah 53:3

Jesus’s whole mission was to be a servant. He vowed that He would use His human days to be working for God, to carry out His will, and to make sure that every single person that crossed His path knew of the unconditional love and the power of God’s Word was bestowed inside their hearts. Yet, though He was good and kind, many people, especially synagogue leaders despised Jesus, and made it their life goal to make sure He and His teachings were put to death. They, or we, could not understand that if we choose to merely live on our choices, we are sinning against God. No one likes to be told they are in the wrong, so we try in our own power to destroy that. We despise the fact that when we look into our own reflection, we have to face the ugliness within us: pride, greed, pain, fear, lust. So many bad attributes that should have never resided within us, that make our hearts black as dirt. We thought our own man-made laws were good, and Jesus’s was not worth the trouble.

“Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.”

Think of that moment. Think of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, being tormented by his immense anxiety, wanting it to all stop. Yet, he knew he had to complete the mission. Think of that moment. Where Jesus was chained to a wooden stake, beaten horridly by a spiked flog, literally skin being ripped off of his back. Yet, he knew he had to complete the mission. Think of that moment. When Jesus was carrying that heavy cross. That cross was full of our sin, our lust, our shame, our pain, our guilt. He carried every weight of the world on his bare shoulders, knees weak and eyes blurred. Yet, he knew he had to complete the mission. Think of that moment. When the nails pierced into Jesus’s bones and His chest being ripped apart for being hanged for hours. When he looked to heaven and asked his Father, “My God, my God? Why have you forsaken me?” Yet, he knew he completed the mission.

And, with his last breath, the veil that separated us from God was stripped away. We can now enter the glorious presence of God, because of Jesus. You were worth the torture. His love for you outweighs anything in the world.

“Trials in the Wilderness.” By: Melodie Rose Jordan.

It is that time again: lent season. It never occurred to me just how important lent is until my later teenage years. I have always heard in sermons or around the block, “make sure you give up something, it’s lent season!” It just never crossed my mind that what I would give up would benefit God. Today’s lesson comes from Matthew Chapter 4, and I want to show you the importance of what sacrifice is. Matthew 4 opens us up to Jesus being led into wilderness to fast and pray with God. The key idea I want you to see in this is Jesus fasted food and water for 40 days. For forty days and nights He fasted and became very hungry Matthew 4:2. Not only was Jesus led by the Spirit, He was also to be tempted by the devil. I don’t know how I could give up food and water and on top of that, being tempted by Satan? Jesus willingly endured trials. The three things Satan tempted Jesus with were food, testing God’s power, and worshiping other idols (in this case, Satan himself.)

Tempted by Food (our pleasures): Satan had seen Jesus and could sense His hunger, so he said to Him: “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread. But Jesus told Him, “No! The Scriptures say, People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:3-4. There are a lot of times I feel like materialistic things or even food will fill the emptiness within my soul. Jesus reminds us here that only thing that will strengthen us and fulfill us is the word of God, holy and love breathed. It prepares our souls for the battle and to fight off the enemy’s attacks.

Tempted by power (control of our own lives)Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the temple , and said, “If you are the son of God, jump off! For the scriptures say, ‘He will order His angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone’.” Jesus responded, “The scriptures also say ‘You must not test the Lord your God.'” Matthew 4:5-7. I don’t always trust or see the good in circumstances I can’t control, and there are times I try to seek out my plans on my own, but Jesus reminds us that God is faithful to the one He loves and we can always trust Him because He is greater.

Tempted by idols: “Next the devil took Him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.” “Get out here, Satan, Jesus told Him. “For the Scriptures say, You must worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.” Matthew 4:8-10. This world is filled with things, people, and substances that try to sway our hearts to follow them. This world is filled with empty promises and broken hearts. Jesus reminds us that God is forever, and He is above all. He is the one who created and us and saved us by giving us Jesus. He conquered temptation through His fast, we have the will power and strength to do so as well. We are all in the same wilderness, with Satan luring behind us. We have the courage to know Jesus endured, so can we! We are never alone. Happy Lent!

“Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭4:11‬ ‭