Tag Archives: Kari Jobe

A Closer Walk: Renunciation and Following Jesus

I have thought on the word “discipleship” a great deal in recent years.

If I had to describe, in one word, this journey of mine it has all come down to the word: RENUNCIATION.

The dictionary gives this simple definition of renunciation: abnegation, denial, forsaking, giving up, self-abnegation, self-denial, self-renunciation.

Tough words. Sometimes painful. Always challenging.

I smile when someone refers to a Christian as “wimpy.” (Truly, they haven’t got a clue!) Of all things required to pull-off a set of words like the above? Wimpy is certainly not one of them.

obedienceFollowing Jesus is definitely not for wimps!

Discipleship is the act of daily “laying your life down,” sometimes literally, as we have seen in our news headlines, but always, always, in absolute fidelity.

And here is where the struggle comes in—at least for me.

Perhaps there are those who joyfully follow wherever Christ points without the slightest questioning. For me—there has always been the struggle—especially when it is something that seems unfair, unjust, or illogical.

And, I suspect all the talk about the many folks going out the back doors of our churches confirms, I am not alone.

For a dedicated disciple of Jesus, life will come down to obedience—always.

American ChristianityFollowing Christ is choosing to obey Him in ALL THINGS.

We don’t pick or choose.

We don’t get a vote.

We are required to sacrifice anything and everything—if He wills it. We renounce our rights to ourselves, and renunciation, is where many walk away believing the price is just too high.

Discipleship means tough choices and giving up our right to any refusal (perhaps this is the toughest choice of all,) but that is why Jesus said to us, “Count the cost.”

Discipleship is very costly at times.

I imagine Non-Christians wonder, “Why would anyone choose this?”

For myself, I had to think hard to know how to answer that question:

I suppose, first, it is the JOY of learning that you are thoroughly LOVEDjust as you are.

All the broken, unworthy stuff, forgiven because He wants us; just as He finds us; in spite of all our mess.

Then, there is the PEACE He gives.

A peace that will overcome and rule any situation. (How could you possibly put a price on that?) He is the Prince of Peace, and when He comes to dwell in a heart He brings His peace with Him.

There is escaping hell and it’s judgement. (No explanation necessary here.)

There is His STRENGTH and the HOPE He gives.

There are all the PROMISES that He absolutely makes good on, either now or in the life to come, because He is completely TRUSTWORTHY.

He never lies. Never betrays. Never abandons.

daily renunciationHe is a King.

This world belongs to Him.

Make no mistake about it, He will never ask your permission.

He is a ruler.

He is: The Ruler.

(Something this world will soon discover!)

He will not spare for our crying, yet He will always acknowledge our suffering, for no one is more compassionate, or kind.

No one is more forgiving. But—He is laser-focused and unrelenting in His goals for our lives!

Does following Christ make you a wimp?

My answer—try it—see for yourself.

journal

ONLY WE TWO

We are going somewhere, you and I!

This, all of this, will be transformed into glory.

Remember? I give grace and glory.

(This we have talked about many times.)

Ah, but the cost we rarely speak of.

So today, let’s speak of it.

This chafing you feel? This constant, dragging, irritation? This is from Me. The things you think you cannot bear? The things that try your nerves, and scrape, and grate, on your soul? From Me—all from Me.

(How long?)

Just a little more.

Just until your nerves don’t grate and your heart can bear.

(Oh, that look!)

“Never.” you say?

(Oh, I don’t know about that!)

My child, I don’t smile at your discomfort. I smile because I see what you are becoming. I see the seeds of glory beginning to sprout.

(Ha, I knew it!)

Soon, you will be a luscious garden of graces, filled with the fruits of My Spirit. All this grating, chafing, misery, will dwarf in comparison.

As you begin to fulfill your destiny?

Oh, the healing that will flow from those lips; from your heart. Your life will burst into bloom and blossom and the world will marvel at what you have become.

Only we two will know what it has cost you—what you laid down and sacrificed to bear this fruit for others.

Only we two.

a closer walk“After you have suffered a little while, our God, who is full of kindness through Christ, will give you his eternal glory.”

1 Peter 5:101 Peter 5:10
English: World English Bible - WEB

10 But may the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

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A Battle With Head and Heart

I have no idea who “R” is but this guy nailed it when it came to the battle that was often going on inside me.

My faith seems to reside in the “think and be logical” part of my head, while my trust, it lives in the “tender and vulnerable” places in my heart.

All is well, until, they both meet up with “Mr. R” which is a perfect illustration for the troublesome addition of RISK.

When a decision that involves risk comes into play, then the conversational quote from above becomes my inner dialogue—and the battle ensues.

Yet, if we are honest with ourselves, then we must admit that much of our lives and our choices are bound up in risk.

Taking chances.

Going for the gusto.

I have always liked Luci Swindoll’s, “Give it the Koo-tash!”

Whatever language you like to couch it in, RISK and FAITH and TRUST are all bound together, like it or not.

But, who doesn’t want to love wildly, passionately, and fearlessly? The rewards are tremendous, yes?

Ah, but so are the risks. Just ask the guy who has crashed and burned and is trying to put the shattered pieces of his heart back together again! Ask him to “trust again” and what sort of answer do you think you will get?

He may have a real battle getting his head and heart to sync up again.

Walking by faith. Taking a bold leap. Both are impossible without risking the heart and trust.

So what are we to do?

ignore your headThe world says you can break all the rules and follow your heart. It will all work out.

But our faith says that though risk is an essential part of living a full and rewarding life, breaking the rules God has put in place for our protection, will definitely break us!

And that is a truth that I can testify to.

Yes, we are to walk by faith, but soberly. We are not to check our brains at the door! Proverbs has a great deal to say about the fool and the wise man.

wisdom from ProverbsGod wants us to bring our decisions to Him, seek His wisdom by trusting His word, and wait for clear direction.


Confident HopeSeeds of Trust #3:  To find true hope you have to go the distance between the head and the heart.

Emilie Barnes, A Cup of Hope

THE GARDEN: God’s Heart For Relationship With You by Kari Jobe

Imagine…

It’s a beautiful morning. The orange glow of the rising sun paints itself across the expanse of the sky as you awaken to the beautiful sight, laying on a bed of soft, lush grass.

In the background, you can hear the rushing water of a flowing river that is sweet and refreshing. You can feel the breeze sweeping across the garden, constant and comforting. You can see the flowers and trees dancing with the wind, surrounding you in beauty.

You can hear footsteps, familiar and sure. You can sense the warmth of His love as He opens His arms, welcoming you to a new day in the garden.

I love thinking about what it must have been like in the Garden of Eden.

That Adam and Eve would wake up every morning in such a place, walking and talking with the Creator of Heaven and Earth amazes me.

Yet what God intended to be an eternal experience became a painful memory after the fall.

Sin entered the world and the intimacy and depth of relationship once experienced in the garden with God . . . was no more.

It must’ve been heartbreaking, not only for Adam and Eve, but also for God. After all, that was His heart – to walk and talk with His creation, His children, His beloved.

 

But the good news is, the separation is gone. Because of the finished work of Jesus Christ, our intimacy with God has been restored.

The garden no longer has to be a dream of what was. It can be a reality for your life today. Yet that can be a hard truth to remember and believe when we’re driven to grief by loss or brought to our knees by tragedy.

God’s goodness and love can seem difficult to trust in those moments.

As I started the process of writing for my newest album, The Garden, I went through such a season as my sister and her husband experienced the loss of their baby girl, James Ivy.

I still remember getting the call while on a business trip with my husband. At the time, I was pregnant with my son, Canyon, and it had been a dream come true to be pregnant at the same time with my sister.

But James had been born stillborn and in that moment, all I could think was God, I don’t understand.  

Perhaps you know this feeling. Maybe today, you are seeking God for comfort because of the loss of a loved one, friend, or a bad health report.

If so, I want you to know it’s okay. God can handle your disappointment. He empathizes with your feelings and He doesn’t question your sorrow. He longs to be in that place with you and surround you with His love, joy, and peace.

Personally, the more days I experience as a mom, the more aware I become at just how much our Heavenly Father loves us.

I love Canyon so much; more than he will ever know.

And to think that God, so majestic and glorious in all His ways, would love us in ways so high, so deep, so long, and so wide that we can’t comprehend it . . . it refreshes and comforts my heart in the difficult seasons.

Realize, we may not understand everything that happens in life.

There may still be questions. But that doesn’t change who God is, how much He loves us, and the destiny He has for each of our lives.

You see, God is always tending to the details of our hearts and souls. Like a gardener, He knows what to prune and what seeds to sow. He’s not distant or disconnected from our pain. In fact, He’s right there the whole time, turning ashes into a heavenly picture of beauty.

It might not happen in a day, much like a flower doesn’t grow in a day. But just like a gardener is sure that what he plants will grow, you can be sure that what God touches, He will bless and bring forth life from.

It’s been a difficult journey healing from the loss of my niece. But if there’s one thing I believe, now more than ever, it’s that God is good and His love never fails and never forsakes in every season life brings.

Even in the loss, you can focus on your God who will carry you through it. In spite of the struggle, you can worship your Heavenly Father who is greater than any and every attack of the enemy.

What Adam and Eve experienced in the Garden of Eden you can experience today.

God is good, He sees you, He calls you His beloved child, and He is working all things together for your good. He desires to meet with you right where you are.

I pray that you would experience the intimacy, comfort, and beauty of the garden today.

Faith is rising up like ivy,
Reaching for the light
Hope is stirring deep inside me
Making all things right
Love is lifting me from sorrow
Catching every tear
Dispelling every lie and torment
Crushing all my fears

From “The Garden”

Kari Jobe

Kari is a singer, songwriter, wife and mother. Since her first album in 2009, she has received one Grammy nomination and four Dove Award nominations, three of which she won. Kari is also a worship pastor at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.

FROM: PROPEL WOMEN.ORG