What is Your Name?

Have you heard gospel singer, Tasha Cobbs-Leonard’s song, You know My Name? Do you believe it?

It’s true. It’s scriptural.

God knows the names of all who are His.

Early this morning as I read John 10, I saw verse 3 in a different light. It says: “To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.”



What was revealed to me was, he not only knows my government name – that name my parents registered me in – but he knows me by the name, “Christian.” That, is also my name.

I started thinking and questioning myself: Am I living up to my name? You see, once we are covered in the blood of Jesus and have a personal relationship with God, then are we truly Christians. Christian is not simply saying we believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit or we are Christian because we attend church and are affiliated with the Christian faith. It’s living out the Christian life in word and in deed from the way we speak to people to how we handle them, to whether we are putting God first…do we love Him and love our neighbours as ourselves?

Don’t they look similar? You can barely tell the difference.



Further, Exodus 20:7 speaks to not taking the name of the Lord our God in vain. That’s not only casually dropping His name as a swear word or in a joke. When we say we are Christian, but don’t live as Christians, that’s also taking His name in vain. It’s like pretending to be a part of the royal family, but not being blue-blooded. It’s easy to dress the part, speak the language and blend in. But when Jesus looks upon us, can He call us by the name, “Christian”?

Just as there is fake news, there are fake Christians. The sad thing is there are those who are tares, growing among the wheat, but the time will come for there to be separation. Let us ensure we are not among those who say in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” However, God responds: “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:23). Lord, God have mercy! For people to believe they are Christians…saved…but in the end, He never even knew them…this is sobering.

So are we living up to the name the Good Shepherd calls us? Let us examine ourselves to see that we are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).




Growing in Christ,
Hadassah

Still Waiting

Have you prayed over and repeatedly for something and still have yet to see it come to past?

Are you tired of praying about that situation, that problem…that desire…that longing?

Are you ready to throw in the towel?

Perhaps one of our issues is we are too focused on what WE want. We are humans and often, it’s all about us and what we desire. But what about what God wants?

My friend, who is a priest, once told me that God is more interested in who we become during the journey as opposed to just getting us to the destination.

As I think about this, it reminds me of a graduation. It’s such a big deal. Lots of bells and whistles. It’s an exciting day…but it’s ONE day. It’s that one day which culminates years of schooling in some instances. And trust me, I love graduations! They are worth celebrating. However, it’s the challenges we overcome, the victories, the failures, the late nights, early mornings, the tears, the difficult professors, perhaps the sitting out a semester for whatever reason…the journey of mountaintop and valley experiences, which all make the tassel worth the hassle. It’s all we have been through to get to that cap and gown, cross the stage, family-cheering moment.

So as you wait on what you have so earnestly prayed for, begin to take your focus off the destination and begin contemplating what God is doing in you during the journey. Is He trying to get you to be more patient? Is He desiring to strengthen your faith in Him? Is He saying, ‘You’re not ready. You want this more than you want me’? Is He saying, ‘My grace is sufficient’?

The reality is waiting can be hard (I know). Waiting can be lonely (I know). Waiting can be frustrating, particularly when we’ve been waiting long AND we see others – including those who do not serve the Lord – receiving some of the same requests we have been praying for (I know that too!). It might be weeks, months, years of prayer for healing, deliverance from low self esteem, a house, that new job, the husband, the baby, the salvation of your son, that scholarship, restoration of your marriage, that financial breakthrough etc. If God were to give us everything we want – and immediately at that – we would have no need to trust in Him. We would see Him as a magician.

So during these early morning hours, as I think about what I am waiting for, I encourage you – while I am encouraging myself in the Lord – to fix your eyes upon Jesus. Do not desire anything or anyone more than Him. Do not compare yourself to others. What God has for you…for me, we will get. Wait patiently. Wait on His timing. Wait faithfully. Worship while you wait. Get busy doing the work of the Lord, while you wait. Don’t waste your wait. Grow through it.


Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. ~ Psalm 27:14

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah

Are you a lukewarm Christian?

You remember how it was when you started dating someone you were interested in? The butterflies in your stomach on that first, official outing or the racing heart when that number showed up on your phone…the long hours of phone conversations.

Then at some point, that excitement wanes. The mountaintop experiences might be fewer and farther between. And if you are not intentional about reassessing your WHY and pushing the reset button, you can end up just being two people who seem obligated to stay with each other. Those flames become really low and in some cases, only the embers remain of a once burning love.

The reality is, no relationship is on a high at all times. No relationship is perfect. But just as we humans might have – or maybe not – done all we could to revive and save a natural relationship, how much more should we strive to bring in alignment our spiritual relationship with our heavenly Father?

Are you lukewarm in your relationship with God? Have you lost your first love?


Recently, my mind has been on Revelation 2:4-5. It is a message to the church of Ephesus and to many of us today. God told them they had “left (their) first love” (4). What’s interesting here is that God did not leave them; they left Him. He continues to want to be in relationship with us.

This state is similar to the church of the Laodiceans in chapter 3, of whom he told in verses 15 and 16 that they were neither hot nor cold – and He would rather them be one or the other – but instead, they were lukewarm. In that case, he would spue them out of his mouth. Very strong, serious language here.

Look, I know what it feels like to be dry in my relationship with God. I recognize that this has happened at times when I am distracted. I get so busy with life. I put God on my to-do list, but He’s not first. I squeeze Him in, but don’t give Him the attention He deserves. And I can tell you that when I’m not getting in the Word in a very intentional way and spending time with God in a meaningful way, I feel empty. I could tell the difference. I become spiritually malnourished. I need food and water. Once I recognize this, I confess where I am and am intentional about getting back on track. Staying in that condition is spiritually dangerous.


Like a natural relationship, sometimes we have to regroup. Revitilization might be necessary. Here are a few tips:

1) Confess to God how you are feeling.

2) Ask God’s guidance on the way forward.

3) Study the Bible in a different way. Instead of trying to get through a whole book right now, perhaps study a particular character. Can you identify with that character? Can you learn from that character’s mistakes and/or triumphs? How about studying who God says you are in Christ Jesus? Maybe study the miracles of Jesus or study all events leading up to Christ crucifixion, comparing and contrasting the details in the gospels.

4) Begin studying with a Christian friend or a small group for new, fresh insight into the Word. Pick a day and time, and stick to it. You might be surprised at what others outside of your regular study crew might reveal through the Holy Spirit.

5) Make it a point to literally stop what you are doing and pray throughout the day. Connect with God, not only when you need Him or during morning and night devotion. For example, I LITERALLY pray audibly when driving. I sometimes have church all by myself! I sometimes intentionally stop what I’m doing at my desk and pray. You can even decide on lunch time prayer meetings with a friend, family member or colleague. It doesn’t have to be in person. Use WhatsApp to voice or video call, or hey, there’s Zoom too! Walk outside, go to your car…whatever is convenient.

5) Play worship music when you can, throughout the day – whenever possible. If not, quietly sing songs or hymns.

6) On your lunch break, listen to a short sermon by one of your favourite pastors.

7) Fast. It’s a way to draw closer to God, as you seek His face. And it’s not just about not eating; it’s more about hungering after God and doing His will. After a focused fast, we should feel revived in our spirits. After all, dry bones can live again.

So just some thoughts worth sharing as I know all too well that there could be some dry spells during this Christian journey. However, there’s an oasis right in front of you. Drink. It’s a well that NEVER runs dry.

Growing in Christ,


Hadassah

Less Me. More God!

It’s been long. Far too long. I have not posted anything in this space in nearly three months.

I am led now though to share some thoughts: God has been doing a wonderful work in my life. I am growing in Christ and it is but for the grace of God!

The growth is evident because in recent weeks, I’ve experienced a shift in my atmosphere. Notice, I didn’t say a shift in the atmosphere, but a shift in MY atmosphere.

My thinking has changed. It has evolved. I find myself more interested in doing God’s will than my own. In fact, during my evening worship today, I sang along with William McDowell as he belted out the simple, yet profound words of, ‘I Give Myself Away.’ The lyrics resonate with me:


Here I am
Here I stand
Lord, my life is in your hands
Lord, I’m longing to see
Your desires revealed in me
I give myself away

I give myself away (I want to be used by you)
So You can use me
I give myself away
I give myself away
So You can use me

Take my heart
Take my life
As a living sacrifice
All my dreams all my plans
Lord I place them in your hands



Truly, I am at the point in my spiritual walk where I am beginning to divest myself of things I have really wanted… yearned for. I am at the point of: Not my will, but THY WILL be done…whatever that will might be. There are earthly things I desire, but I have decided: Even if you don’t give them to me, Lord I will still praise you, I will still worship you…I will still serve you, for you are God – and God ALONE! I want nothing or nobody more than I want God.



My life is no longer about me. It’s less me and more God. I am more interested in being a light and the salt of the earth than attaining things, accolades etc.

I am here to serve God, sharing the unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ, in person and on social media. I am reminded of wise King Solomon, who surmised that all of the things in the world and of the flesh are vanity and vexation of spirit. In the end, we can’t take a thing with us. God won’t ask us about our degrees, our followers…our awards. As Jesus commanded: “Occupy till I come” (Luke 19:13); however, we are not to become so occupied that we give Him a backseat to our lives, only telling Him to hop in front or drive when we are on rough terrain. We must allow Jesus to take His rightful place in our lives.



Anyway, just thought I’d give someone some inspiration by sharing my heart. Join me in realizing: Our lives are not our own. Let’s give ourselves to Him…fully. His way or no way.

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah