Difference Makers

God calls different people to do different things. That’s the beauty in all of this. 
Don’t you dare feel inferior. 

Don’t you dare feel like your calling is less. 
If you are doing what God has asked you to do, then you are making a difference somewhere, someway. You may feel like you are stuck in the shadows today, but God has a huge prize waiting for you in Heaven. 
“In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” – Romans 12:6-8

A divided heart 

We’ve all felt that tug. The one that is trying to pull us away from what we know is right. The tug that makes worldly things so enticing. The tug that can cost us everything.
Lot’s wife loved the life she was living in Sodom. Lot was highly esteemed, and being his wife gave her the connections she needed to be somebody. Yes, she believed in God, but she wasn’t going to sacrifice good times and popularity for God’s Kingdom. The world reigned over her. This is the epitome of the “Do You” attitude that is running rampant amongst society right now, and it is still as dangerous today as it was in the days of Lot. 
Be careful which direction you are being pulled toward. When things of this world start having more authority over you than God does, it’s time to step back and examine your heart.
Love God more than the tug, and when He tells you not to look back – Don’t. Look. Back.
“No one 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 You cannot serve God and wealth.” – Matthew 6:24

Broken to Beautiful 

Have you ever felt too broken to be put back together? Don’t! God uses broken people all the time to do great and mighty things for Him. 
Just read about King David. 
Broken. Flawed. Unworthy. Sinful. He was living on a roller coaster of highs and lows. Sound familiar? 
But God fixed him. God used him, and God will use us. He can take every single piece, every slither of our broken heart, and meticulously meld them back together in a way that’s even better than before. 
No matter how many pieces your heart is in right now, God sees. If your life is in shambles and you are consumed by the reasons why, God knows. 
He wants to fix it, but we have to let Him. We have to surrender. And when He does fix it – share your story of hope and grace with everyone around you. 
“Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.” – Acts 3:19-21

Bulletproof 

I don’t want to be anything except for what God wants me to be. It’s something I intentionally have to work on every single day. The devil’s sole mission is to distract us from this very feat.
Relationships

Jobs/Bills

Medical issues

Pride

Lust/Jealousy

Social Media/The News
The devil uses all of these things and more as ammunition to get us off track. Good news – not only does God have bigger bullets, He also equips us with His armor.
I don’t know who God is shaping me to be, but I know I want to meet her. So, I will keep moving forward. I will intentionally focus on Him, and I will arm myself with His word.
“To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” – 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

Fearful to Fearless 

God changes people. Hallelujah. 
The Bible is composed of various situations where God changes people from the inside out. He changes Jacob to Israel. Abram to Abraham. Simon to Peter. All of these changes signify something huge – a new identity. 
Angie Smith, author of the Seamless Bible Study, poses this question: If God could change your name from something to something else what would it be? 
Fearful to Fearless. That’s my answer. 
Living with undiagnosed Celiac Disease left me bound in fear and shame for eight long years. It’s not something I spoke openly about. The anxiety was hidden with a smile and excuses of why I couldn’t do certain things. Only my family and closest friends really knew the issues I was facing physically and mentally. 
This trip to Yellowstone has been freeing to me in more than one way. I left Texas knowing that this vacation was going to be different – that I was different. I’ve done things that I would have never even thought about a year ago. Yes, I’ve still been a little anxious – but my faith has been so much bigger than my fear. I’m glad that God is still in the business of changing us from the inside out. 
If you think you’re alone in:

Struggling physically

Struggling mentally

Bound by anxiety 

Bound by depression

Bound by shame 

You’re not. 
God has walked many people through situations that were crippling them in one way or another. Let God change your name today. He will. 
“16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 

-2 Corinthians 4:16-18

God’s Beautiful Promise 

There is something magical about seeing a rainbow. 
God uses this beautiful band of colors as a reminder of a beautiful promise He made with mankind. Though this banner is unconditional, it should bring to mind that we also have made a covenant with Him. 
To do better. 

To be better. 

To make God our number one. 
And if we do that, a relationship as beautiful as the rainbow will be formed. A relationship that illuminates love and grace from the inside out. 
“Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” – Genesis 9:16

The struggle 

Human beings have been battling God’s will ever since the serpent told Eve to take a bite of that apple. You think we would have learned by now that questioning God can land us in a pretty bad predicament. Just look at Jacob. 
Jacob was deceitful, manipulative, and selfish. He was constantly trying to do things his own way, which had some pretty harmful ramifications. He finally made everyone around him so angry that he couldn’t stay where he was, and he certainly couldn’t go back “home”. A lifetime of bad decisions finally got the best of him, and he found himself in a place of solitude. A depression. 
Up until that point Jacob acknowledged that God was his grandfather’s God. He acknowledged that God was his father’s God, but he never acknowledged that God was his God – until he couldn’t hide any longer. He was there. God was there. They wrestled. He struggled. He finally decided he would do what God wanted him to do. 
In that moment he faced all of his fears. He said farewell to pride and self. He admitted all of his failures, and he finally claimed God as his own. 
And God changed him. 
“We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress. He has been with me wherever I have gone” -Genesis 35:3