Day #19

Jude 24-25

I partied my way through high school, a rowdy, boisterous girl who loved to laugh with friends. And I imbibed in my share of weed and wine to help that happen. A religious conversion at 19 years old turned wild child me into a pin-straight, prim-and-proper young lady that my friends couldn’t even recognize. When two of my best friends from high school came to visit, they stared at me, confused, feeling the urge to say, “What have you done with Jennifer?” 

I’ll admit I came across pretty austere and joyless. The truth was, underneath the severe exterior there brewed a fear of falling back into my old ways. I believed that while God had forgiven me for the past, He now left it up to me to straighten myself out. This belief may have been reinforced by childhood experience with a strict father who, although he placed high expectations on me, found cultivating a close relationship more difficult. 

In reality, the same heavenly Father whose expectations loomed high before me, came alongside me to walk me through the process of reaching them. The impossibility of reaching those standards on my own served to keep me dependent upon Him. And He did not offer the goal of reaching those expectations as a means of obtaining righteousness, but He gave me His righteousness at the outset, as the means of reaching those expectations. Jesus’ free gift of His righteousness told me that He believed I could walk without falling. 

When I first learned to walk, I knew two things: One, that mommy and daddy believed I could—otherwise, why were they wildly waving their arms and cheering on the other side of the room? Two, I knew that if I fell, they would graciously scoop me up in their arms, set me upright, and cheer me on as I tried again. 

God loves you! 

Imagine yourself as a child learning to walk. God stands on the other side of the room, cheering for you. You take a few steps, then stumble. He picks you up, sets you upright, and you try again. Now imagine yourself one day running straight into His arms. 

Dear loving Father, we reject the stern, severe image of You that the enemy tries to put into our minds. And we reject the notion that you don’t care whether we walk or not. You want us to reach our potential! We embrace the image of You as a patient, loving Father teaching His children to walk. Fix this image in our minds, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.” Jude 24-25

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56 thoughts on “Day #19

  1. Mel

    Wow God must be trying to speak to me on this because this dovetails so nicely with the verses I was studying this morning (Philippians 2:12-13) and how we must be fully reliant on Him to perform that which He asks of us. I am really praying to overcome living from fear of what others think. I’m tired of trying to perform for others and just want to love God’s plan for me and live in His love and acceptance of me.

    Reply
      1. Colleen

        I join the rest of you as well. I really need to stand up for who I really am in Christ without concern for how it will be received or perceived. He always knew what to say and never swerved from what he believed and was so solid in His identity and connection to the Father. His integrity and was very evident. I want the Lord to enable me to do the same. I pray God will help us all in this character development so we can walk strongly with Him.

        Reply
  2. MARI-CARMEN

    I need help to release anger and frustration. My local church has been and continues to be very inadequate during the pandemic. Our children have been ignored for months. The pastor closed the church the week before Thanksgiving after the board had voted to stay open. And so much more.

    Reply
  3. Megan

    I would like to see more courage, joy, patience, and strength in my life. To find a genuinely supportive church community (near to where I live), and new friendships. To cross over from surviving to thriving.

    Reply
  4. Valerie

    I resonate with this. I am asking God to help me overcome fear and anxiety, which I have a tendency towards. He’s been teaching me much along these lines through these meditations. So thankful for His promises!

    Reply
  5. Sarah

    I want to know God more, and I want to love everyone as He does––not just the people I know, but even the people I don’t know because so many either don’t know Him or have a misunderstanding of Him, and they are His beloved children. Wherever I go, I want people to know what He is like because they’ve been with me. This means so many things need to change in me. I want all the fruits of the Spirit in my life. I need to understand people better, and I need wisdom to love in ways that will help them rather than hurt them. I also need to better balance caring for myself so that I can truly help others instead of giving without replenishing my own spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical reserves. When I fall, I pray people will still see my loving God as He helps me stand up again and that those falls will not blind them to His character.

    Reply
  6. Daniel Parsons

    Tell us today what changes you’d like to see in your own character and life, so that we can pray for you.

    I need prayer that I will love others as myself. Sometimes my fear kicks in and I feel the need to control or manipulate other people. When I am self-righteous, I am acting like a Pharisee. So grateful to be doing this 30 day Jesus Meditations group.

    Reply
  7. Kristina

    Hmmm, where to start. I am identifying with many of the comments. I would like to learn to be silent and not feel the need to respond always. To be more gentle in dealing with others. To overcome procrastination.

    Reply
  8. Amy

    I long to be free from anxiety and depression. I want to see my own worth in God’s eyes. I want to replace all the negative intrusive thoughts with the truth so I can experience peace and joy with Jesus.

    Reply
  9. Cheryl

    I need prayers to completely surrender my will to God. To accept Jesus’s free gift of salvation and to be truly repentant. To grasp His love, forgiveness and acceptance of me. To know Him experiential, with my heart not with just my head. To know Him. To hear from Him, to feel His presence, to recognize His guidance and His leading. To see Him as a kind, gentle, loving God who is for me not against me. Who is cheering me on. Who is my protector and provider. Who is not punishing me.

    I need prayers for a complete and thorough overhaul of my character. I don’t recognize who I’ve become or maybe have always been.

    I want to be filled with His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

    I don’t have any of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

    I want to stop trying to earn His love and to stop trying to do everything right in my own strength. I need the Holy Spirit to transform me, in my mind, heart, spirit, soul, body, thoughts and emotions.

    I need His love. I have none of my own.

    Please pray for me. I’m so frustrated, confused, lost and more.

    Reply
  10. Jane

    The changes I’d like to see in my life include: experiencing God as One who loves me rather than the lie that He tolerates me, seeing myself and others the way God sees us, and successfully bringing glory and honor to God. I know these are BIG requests, but we serve a BIG God! Praise be to the God who is able to keep us from stumbling and longs to see us reach our full potential of giving and receiving His love!

    Reply
  11. Sharon

    I’m not sure how to explain this clearly… Several commenters have mentioned fearing what other people think of them, and trying to meet others’ expectations. I resonate with this, but for me it goes deeper, and perhaps in a somewhat different direction. Having been raised with no choice, I let other people do my thinking and make my decisions for me, even when deep inside I don’t truly agree with them or their way is unmistakably opposed to what God has clearly said in the Bible. Basically, I put other people, who generally aren’t good role models to begin with, in the place of God. I’ve never seen it this way before, but as I’ve gone through the last few meditations, it’s become obvious that’s what I’m actually doing. I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to put God back on His throne, and let Him be God in every sense. And I want to stop waiting for someone else to tell me to do it. I want to obey God, not man.

    Reply
  12. Katrina

    Hi Everyone
    I appreciate the thought that others will be praying for me and that I can pray for others.
    I think the biggest thing for me is my thinking. It affects me as a person. I appreciate what Jennifer said in the intro about Gods love being promted just as much by failure to perform.”
    Thank you Jesus!
    Peace

    Reply
  13. Nowelle

    I need more sanctification! I just read about how perfect Jesus was as He was growing up in DA ch. 9. I got done and said “well, I’m a horrible person”. There is such a stark contrast between the life of Jesus and my own. I don’t know what to ask prayer for except that I could become more like Christ more quickly! I was actually thinking I had come pretty far in my journey, now I can only see how far I have yet to go! I think the key is staying focused on what He did for me at the cross, and in Him covering me in His perfect righteousness. Wow, what a Savior!

    Reply
  14. cree

    …for God to restore the years in my life that the locust has eaten … for me to know Him deeper. I’d like to be able to keep my eyes fixed on Him, & not be easily distracted or discouraged by other things/people/events 🙏🏽

    Reply
  15. A J

    What changes would I like to see in my character and life? To learn how to embrace love, joy, peace. To laugh and seek fun moments. To simplify my life, thought patterns and need for perfection so I have room and time for joy and can give joy to others.

    Reply
  16. Ann

    Not only do I struggle with anxiety, I struggle with a critical nature. It’s not becoming. When you said to write what we wanted God to help us with, that immediately came to mind. I believe through you, God is working on my heart.

    Reply
  17. Karen

    The changes I would like to see in my character are: 
    to be fully recreated in God’s image as He designed me to be, 
    to have more knowledge of the Bible and it’s principles to be at my core philosophy,
    and a complete commitment to following the Bible and living out those Biblical principles, 
    and instead of thinking about me, I want the focus to be on Jesus, 
    to have that abiding trust in God, 
    to release my family to God’s care and keeping instead of constantly worrying about them, 
    to obey God in all that I do, think and say to the point that I put a smile on Jesus’ face. 
    I want the faith of Abraham and the faith of a martyr, 
    the perseverance of Paul, 
    the wisdom of Solomon and Abigail, 
    the commitment of Daniel even though so much was taken from him, 
    the ‘living for God attitude’ that Joseph displayed despite all his trying circumstances, 
    the bravery of Queen Esther, 
    the ‘heart after God’ that David displayed 
    and the ‘praising God & trusting in God’ commitment that Job displayed despite terrible circumstances.
    Thanks you so much everyone for praying for me!

    Reply
  18. Sabrina

    Jennifer, I connected so much with what you said about having a strict father with whom it was harder to build a close relationship. My dad showed his love to his daughters through providing for our physical and financial needs, but he never really knew how to connect with us on an emotional level. Plus, he was strict and struggled with anger outbursts. I don’t think I realized how much I projected who my dad was onto God until more recently, and it’s taken time to separate those two pictures in my mind. I really love the picture of God being like a Father who is cheering me on as I learn to walk–brings a smile to my face!

    A change I’d like to see in my character is to be more warm, loving, and sensitive to those around me. I also want to find my satisfaction more fully in Jesus so that I don’t seek it from the wrong sources.

    Reply
  19. Shirley Mann

    I really want a closer walk with God, to get to know Him better, and to fully surrender everything in my life to Him.

    Reply
  20. Sandy

    The flower 🌺 analogy touched me. There are days when everything seems to be going ok and my feelings both inside and outside matches up. Then days when nothings does. I’m accepting that Jesus is working on me still as a flower that will fully bloom, and no matter how fully in this life it’s going to be unimaginable in the next.
    p.s. Empathizing with you Jennifer on eating disorder. I’ve cycled thru many on my weight loss, self esteem, self worth journey. 👊🏽🤎🙏🏽

    Reply
  21. Tara

    I would like more balance and fewer all-or-nothing days. If I miss a week of exercise because it’s a week full of responsibilities, for example, I don’t have to throw in the towel completely and give up. I can pick up where I left off after things calm back down. I need to learn to give myself grace and remember that His mercies are new every morning. Just because yesterday might have been a flop doesn’t mean today has to be as well.

    Reply
  22. Vanessa

    I’d like to offer myself more grace than I do – a grace that encourages me to keep pressing forward into the arms of Jesus, no matter how I low I get.

    Reply
  23. Ericka

    definitely i want to see changes in the way i respond to my kids, and interact with them more positively, i want to see changes in the way i just want to be left alone and am selfish with my time, i want to see changes in how i sulk instead of speak up, but also that i am fully understood and heard when i do need to speak up…

    Reply

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