I recently had the joy and the honor of being a guest speaker at the Deeper Connection With God Summit that was put together by Armida Miranda! If you are here because you saw the video, great! I’m so glad you’re here & I invite you to subscribe to keep up with all that God’s teaching me! If you missed the video, have no fear! There is a recording of it that I should be able to post on my YouTube channel soon for you to check out! In the meantime, I wanted to review some highlights from the Summit and give you some Bible verses that tie in to what I was talking about. I hope this encourages you, blesses you, and challenges you to walk in a deeper connection with God (:
In my session, I was explaining a bit of my story with you. I shared that my inspiration for forming a deeper connection with God did not happen overnight, rather the Lord transformed my heart overtime to fall deeper in love with Him. Even though this was a slow process, there were specific moments that propelled me into that deeper connection with God. For example, every time that I felt motivated to engage in a deeper connection, the Lord was calling me outside of my comfort zone, which usually came about through change. In all of the change I have endured, the Lord proved faithful through it all. God’s Word tells us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is consistent in the highlights of life and the low points.
Every time I have been presented with change, there was an opportunity for me to connect, and I had to choose what I was going to connect with. Luke 16:13 tells us that “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.” He then goes on to explain that we cannot serve both God and money, but His intention here is to remind believers that we cannot serve the things of the world and follow Him. Or in the words of Romans 8:4-8, we cannot live in the flesh and in the Spirit. This passage tells us that to serve the flesh leads to death and to serve the Spirit leads to life and peace. Those are two contrasting ideas, and we have the opportunity to choose.
So, to get back into my story… just before my freshman year of high school (Like I’m talking a little over a week before school started!), my family and I moved from Alabama to Arizona. Now, to give you some context, I had lived in Alabama for my whole life up to this point. All of my family lives there, and all that I had ever known previously, was all there. For me to move to Arizona, was a very scary thing because while change excites me, it also terrifies me! I was going somewhere where I would know no one, and in a relational sense, I didn’t have a connection with anybody in Arizona.
I was presented with this opportunity for change. You see, in Alabama it was easy for me to be a christian. I went to church every Sunday, went to a Christian school, and grew up in a christian family. I checked all the right boxes I guess you could say, but my life was not changed for the sake of Jesus. If you had seen me on a weekday, you would have thought I was like any other unbeliever. Moving to Arizona presented me with an opportunity to change that. I did not have a “light bulb” moment where I woke up one day and was radically changed for Jesus. Instead, it was a slow transformation.
Throughout my freshman year of high school, the Lord was reminding me of His deep and radical love for me. I was beginning to realize the depth of God’s grand character and His saving work on the cross. I was starting to put it together that He had scarified His Son, and He loves me with every piece of Him, and He was asking for every piece of me. Freshman year was full of lots of learning. Then in my sophomore year of high school, this is where the Lord did a lot of stirring in my heart. The Lord was asking me to again step outside of my comfort zone, and I just put it aside because I was comfortable where I was at (& my goodness, He just had us move across the country! I was hoping for a break haha!). When I say “The Lord was asking me…”, I don’t mean that I heard a physical voice telling me to step in to ministry. Instead, the Lord was planting these ideas and thoughts in my mind, and they were things that I had never imagined myself doing! I knew the Lord was calling me to ministry which in my case would include writing, speaking, mentoring, etc. My mind was swarming with thoughts and ideas, but I didn’t act on any of it until the summer before junior year. This is when I actually surrendered. I gave in to what I knew the Lord was asking of me. My dad helped me set up this blog page, and I got to writing! I have been writing on this blog throughout junior year, senior year, and my freshman year of college. Since deciding to step out in faith into what I knew God was calling me to, I have also started a YouTube channel, used my social media to encourage believers, spoken at a few events, and have been working on other projects that are still to come (; As for now, I am still doing all of these things, and I am being reminded to daily surrender to Him because He is the mastermind behind all of this.
The Call to Follow Jesus & The Natural Fear That Follows
I have chosen to follow Jesus, and this is a big statement. The decision to follow the Lord entails quite a bit! Matthew 16:24-26 says that “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” Choosing to follow Jesus means daily dying to ourselves (not physically dying! but denying our own desires to pursue the Lord’s). This is not natural, believe me! My natural response when I know the Lord is calling me into a deeper walk with Him is usually fear and anxiety. Maybe you’re in the same boat! If you feel like the Lord is calling you to do something, but you are holding back because of fear, I totally get it!
Here are some verses that I talked about in the video that have encouraged me when I find myself fearful of my calling…
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Friend, did you see that?? The Lord tells us that when we bring our anxieties to Him through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, He promises to replace our anxiety with a peace that surpasses understanding! WOW!!
“There is not fear in love, but perfect love casts our fear.”
1 John 4:18
When we are feeling fearful, let us remember what casts out our fears. “Perfect love” is the One who set the greatest example of love when He died for our sins. The Lord is the one who casts our fears, and there is no fear in Him!
“When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.”
What a beautiful Psalm to remind us that the Lord is a great comforter. When you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, anxious, or fearful, it is His consolations that bring us joy! He cares about us deeply, and my goodness His love for us in unfathomable.
So, if you’re like me and you want a deeper connection with God, I encourage you to step out in faith and build that deeper connection with Him. Spend time in His Word and pray! You cannot have a relationship with someone if you don’t ever talk! That same thing applies to your relationship with God!
Feeling “Too Far Gone”
Now friend, if you want to have a deeper connection with God, or want to do something specific for God’s Kingdom, but you feel like you could never be good enough for that, welcome to the club. Any of the Christian people you admire are sinners just like you and I. Maybe you’re in a place where you feel like you are “too far gone”. Well, let me encourage you with this plain & simple truth: you can never be too far gone. Check out the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32. Jesus uses this story to illustrate how much He loves you. He does not care what you have done, He just wants YOU!
So run to Him today. You can walk confidently in your calling and in your relationship with Him, not because you have it all together, but because you serve an unchanging and perfect God who does. I encourage you to engage in a deeper connection with Him, because my oh my it is so worth it!
If you have further questions or if I am missing something that I told you in the video to look for in my blog, let me know! As always, you are welcome to comment on this post or send me a message through the “contact me” page! You are so loved beautiful people <3