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FAITH: Are You Willing to Give God Anything He Wants?

Push Up popsicles on today's walk

Push Up popsicles are interesting.  In order to eat more ice cream, you need to literally push up the stick that's connected to the platform in which the ice cream sits.

My toddlers both lack the strength and dexterity to push up their Push Ups, so I have to make myself available to help them out.  One of my boys understands this.  As his ice cream dips below the cardboard container, he'll eagerly hand his treat over so I can push the stick upwards and he can continue eating.  My other boy doesn't yet understand why he needs my help.  He'd rather chew at the cardboard than willingly hand over his treat for two seconds.  Whenever it's time to push up his ice cream, he grips it tight and puts up a fight against me even though my motive is completely for his benefit.  I never take the ice cream for myself, I only obtain the Push Up in order to make it possible for my boys to have more ice cream.  So they don't have to resort to gnawing on soggy cardboard.

This reminds me of the two options we have when the Lord requires something from us - either trustingly hand it over or fight Him tooth and nail.  When we put God first, we trust that His will is superior to our own.  We know that when he takes something or someone from us, even if it hurts, it's for God's glory and to strengthen our relationship with Him.  When we fight against Him, we make ourselves miserable from our own resistance.  On top of that, it puts us at odds against the Lord - our resistance separates us from Him because we have an idol.  
Idols come in different forms, a job, boyfriend, living arrangement, savings account, friendship, etc.  There could be multiple reasons the Lord wants to take something or someone from us, whether it be for refinement, or testing purposes, or we've created a barrier between us and the Lord, for example.  Whatever the reason, if God is our God and we are His children, we know that when He takes something from us, it's for His glory.

In Genesis 21, we see that the son Abraham had been anticipating for 25 years was finally born.  In the next chapter, God tested Abraham by requiring precious Issac.  Abraham loved and trusted the Lord so he was willing to go ahead and give his beloved son back to God.  Up to the day of our wedding, I was telling the Lord that if He wanted me to give up my relationship with Aaron, that I would.  Even though I received confirmations from the Holy Spirit that Aaron is "the one," I knew I needed to guard my heart from making Aaron an idol.  I did so by being willing to end our relationship if that was the Lord's will.  I loved Aaron dearly, I had confirmation after confirmation from God that he was to be my husband one day, I was excited to enter marriage with Aaron, so it would have been so easy to completely surrender my heart to this relationship and let it overshadow the Lord's importance in my life. I did not want to break up with Aaron, but I knew that if that's what Jesus wanted, that I was willing to do so.

I believe that the Lord honored my willingness to put His will above my own and I believe that He will honor your decision to do that same.  

Thank you for reading.  Remember, Jesus loves YOU
- Alyssa

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FAITH: When I Chose Modesty

When I was in my teens and early 20s, I was extremely immodest. While I was getting ready to go out, my goal was to look as hot as possible and collect as much attention as possible. 

I thought that if I could be the hottest woman in the room, I would be able to capture attention and it would be mine for as long as I wanted. It didn't occur to me that the kind of attention I was seeking is a fleeting kind. In other words, it didn't matter if I was the most beautiful woman that guy had ever seen. The kind of guy who appreciated my immodesty had zero standards whatsoever. He'd hang on my every word until someone else's skin flashed by. He'd flirt with me and then turn around and flirt with every other girl as well. This guy didn't care about whose makeup was better, who was witty, who had better legs, who was nicest, etc. The kind of guy who is attracted to immodesty is only interested in one thing and that's not your heart. This dude has no other standards an…