Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The You of "I Do" - Looking at yourself before looking at marriage ~ by Amy Vest

Sweet Friend, I wish for this blog post, we could be sitting together over warm mugs of cocoa for a heart-to-heart talk. 

I am thinking of you - precious you - so deeply loved by Jesus, kept in His care, and for whose life He 
has a breathtaking plan.


I invite you to listen closely and ask Jesus to meet you in these next moments.

The things we are going to look at are an invitation to the life Jesus created, redeemed, and called you for.
This is crucial for you to understand and embrace the life you were created for - whether you are married or not.

You don't want to settle for anything less than all Jesus created you to be and do in Him! 

As you live in this, you experience the fulfillment, joy, and purpose you were meant to experience. 

You are called to live a full life - right now.
When you understand who you are, the life God has called you to live, and are living in this, you are in a healthy place to consider joining paths with a guy on the same path.

It can be so easy to focus on finding the right person - the qualities of the guy you desire, or the right way to consider marriage, etc. - and miss being the right person - the person Jesus is calling you to be.

You see, you need to know who you are and the life God has called you to live before you know if the guy you are considering is who you should marry. 

The goal is to look to Jesus and then look at you, before you ever consider who you will marry.

Does that make sense?

Are you ready to look at you?

A theme verse for my life has been Mary's response to the Lord's call for her - "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." (Luke 1:38)  May our hearts pray, "Lord, I am Yours - do in, with, and through my life all that You desire!"  As we look to, listen to, and are lead by Jesus, as His, He will lead us into the life He has in store for us - and nothing compares. 

Let's look at your life with Jesus:

The areas are powerful.  There is much that could be said about each one - and I encourage you to do further study yourself!

~ Whose you are - You must know whose you are before anything else.  Have you become Christ's through seeing your sin and need for a savior, trusting in Christ and His death on the cross on your behalf, receiving His forgiveness and life, and turning from your sin and giving your life to Him? (More HERE.) 
If you have, you are His - you belong to Him, you are loved, forgiven, eternally rescued, and spiritually alive.  You are His, He will keep you eternally, and your call is to follow Him with your life.

" are Christ's..." (1 Cor. 2:23)

~ Who you are in Jesus - Understand who you are in Jesus.  He alone has the right to define you - not what others say, your feelings, your relationship status, etc.  Listen to Jesus in His Word, discover who you are in Him, and seek live in that reality.  This will bring a security and humble confidence.

" Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." (2 Cor. 5:17)

~ Whole in Christ - See that Jesus alone can complete and satisfy your deepest needs.  While longings for marriage can be very real, and a guy can be a great gift, only Jesus can satisfy your deepest needs and complete you.  He alone can also bring the freedom to your soul, cleansing from your sin, and healing from your past.  Allow Him to meet you, complete you, heal you, and set you free.

" Him you have been made complete..." (Col. 2:10)

~ Who God created you to be - God has a beautiful plan in who He created you to be and how He fashioned your life.  Your personality, spiritual gifts, passions, strengths and weaknesses, etc. are incredible things when yielded to Him for His glory!  Don't try to be someone else, or try to be what others want you to be - be you.

"I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well."
 (Ps. 139:14)

~ What you believe and why - Look to Jesus and His Word to receive and know what YOU personally believe.  Ask yourself WHY you believe it.  Is it because you have seen it in the Bible and Jesus?  Or is it because someone you respect said or believes it?  You must receive it from JESUS - and then seek to live it with all of your heart!

"...your word is truth." (John 17:17)

~ What life you are called to live - Receive from Jesus the life He has called you to live. 
Let's look at 3 different aspects:
1. The life all Christians are called to in His Word - as you read His Word, the Bible, you discover this call!
2. Your call as a young woman - there is incredible freedom in understanding Biblical womanhood and the beauty of femininity for God's glory and your blessing!  I encourage you to study and live this with joy.
3. God's individual call for you - this is always in line with the first two and is the specific way He is calling you to walk with Him and share Him with the world.  As you follow Him in obedient surrender, He will unfold His vision for your life and lead you into His beautiful call.

Live fully where He has you right now.  Love and walk with Jesus, love and serve people He has in your life, encourage all sisters and brothers in Jesus, live the life He has called you to - right where He has you today.

"Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him." (1 Cor. 7:17)

~ Working with Jesus on growth - Jesus calls us to growth.  We will never be perfect this side of Heaven, but Jesus is working to grow us more into depth with Him, His likeness, and effectiveness for His use.
1. Our walk with Him - is a relationship that He longs for us to deepen every day of our lives as we respond to His pursuing our hearts by loving Him in return, spending time with Him, learning from Him, sharing our hearts with Him, and so much more!
2. Our heart condition - He is committed to working in our heart to transform us into the likeness of Jesus - for our good, His glory, and the blessing of those around us!  It is so powerful to welcome His work and pursue the heart of Jesus being formed in us.  Then increasingly people will see Jesus in us!
3. Our skills and habits - these are areas of our life to be cultivated that can help us in more effectively walking with, living for, and sharing Jesus.  This can include life skills and habits like hospitality, organization, cooking, wise use of money, scheduling, etc. - and relationship skills like communication, thoughtfulness, humility, etc.

We are all in the process of growth and will be all of our lives.  Staying teachable, humble, and growing are beautiful things!  Our blessing is Jesus working in our hearts and lives to grow us to be more like Him and live more fully the life He created us to live in Him.

" is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." (Phil. 2:13)

I encourage you to pause and talk with Jesus about each of these areas, friend.  Let Him lovingly speak to you, pour His grace on you, and lead you as you respond and follow Him in the life He has created you for and called you to in Him.

As you live as Christ's, walking closely with Him, secure and satisfied in His love, growing in Him, shining His light and building His family, living the life He has called you to, and following Him in faith, you are fulfilling your deepest purpose.

You experience incredible joy, God is glorified, and people are blessed in a way that ripples through eternity.
In God's time and way, He can attract a godly guy to you who you both to realize shares the same love for Him, vision for life, and passion to follow and glorify Jesus - and you can continue the journey together!

And whether or not His plan includes marriage, you are living fully the breathtaking life in Him you were created to live!

Does your heart echo this desire with mine?
“I want to walk closely with My Jesus, grow in Him, follow His call, and shine His light right where He calls me – and trust Him to bring someone to do this with, if and when He sees best!”


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