This post originally appeared on the Deliberate Women site September 26th, 2014. I am excited to share it with you now, here and continue the conversation.
I am so thankful that I, as high maintenance as I can be, am never too much for God. It seems like a no brainier statement, but the reality is that there have been times when I have thought that the junk I have is too much for Him and because it's too much for Him how on earth could anyone in my church or my circle of friends handle the truth.
I often share about the disaster that I was because I know that God has done a mighty work and I love what He is molding me into. Yes, still flawed, but a work in progress and a new creation through the power of Christ Jesus!
It took a lot to get me there, but one of the biggest assets I had while being molded was an amazing ministry called Celebrate Recovery, a Christ centered recovery program that started over 20 years ago at Saddleback Church in California. Now, in over 20,000 churches world-wide, Celebrate Recovery addresses that we have hurts, hang-ups and habits and that alone life is hard, but in community and with accountability rooted in the foundation of Jesus Christ, we have healing, recovery and fellowship.
When I thought that what I was going through was too much, that the world would judge me and even now when I struggle, I know that I have a place that is safe, free from judgement and quick fixes. A place that will walk alongside me in my struggle, not trying to fix me, but allowing God through the power of the Holy Spirit to speak, reveal and heal each hurt, habit or hang-up that I am going through.
The lie that what I am going through is too much for the church seems to be a device of Satan to keep me (and you) from reaching out, to keep us in isolation. I don't know about you, but that seems like the worse place to be in the midst of a struggle.
So sisters and brothers, let's remember that we are not alone. There is a place and there are people that are safe that can totally handle the crud that we carry. That same crud that God will turn to victory when we surrender to His will.
I pray that God would reveal those people and places to each of us so that we will feel safe confessing our sins, growing together and watching God do amazing things with our stories as He uses them for His glory!
Here is a song that I wrote for the Movie, Home Run, "You Are Not Alone" Remember that there are people that will walk along side you.
You are not too much, You are not Alone!
Blessings, Mia Koehne
There are times when I look back to the places where I clearly see the victory that God has done in my life and then there are the times when I get stuck looking back to places where I have been weak. Times that I have talked harshly to the people I love, times when I have totally messed up worship leading, times when I play all the wrong notes while playing in the band are the moments where I do not see the victory, only the failure.
Today, this verse is a blatant reminder for me to forget those past mistakes and trust in the grace and forgiveness of a God who loves so deeply that he sent His only son to be the remedy for my sin, a God who can take my blunders and mask them by the power of the Holy Spirit and use them for His glory. Today, I am reminded to forget what is behind and move forward to what lies ahead. And what lies ahead is good in Jesus Christ.
"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14
Today, won't you stand with me as we press on toward the goal, the wonderful prize that God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus?
Whatever tempts you to peak backwards, lay it down at the foot of the cross…daily. I pray that whatever it may be, that it would be would lighter each day until you are able to forget it with ease.
Blessings, brothers and sisters!
I love you in the Lord,
out·wit - outˈwit/
deceive or defeat by greater ingenuity.
I love definitions because they break down meanings for me and help me understand more clearly. As I was reading the Word today, I came to this passage in 2 Corinthians 2:10-11
"Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs."
Outwit-to deceive or defeat by greater ingenuity.
How are we deceived? When we don't forgive! It's that simple, it's that ingenious, it's just that clever of Satan and his ignorant designs to defeat us simply by our inability to FORGIVE.
We hear of the importance of forgiveness all the time. Many of us have the same reasons why we don't...."It will take time....I'm just not ready...Some things just can't be forgiven..." Well, here is the reality, as we sit in unforgiveness...taking our time to release others of their wrongs to us, Satan sits their standing over us in our defeat, deceiving us into thinking it's OK to take our time, whispering things like "you have been so hurt, not many would be able to forgive such a wrong" or he might even say..."when your ready, no hurry, there is always tomorrow."
In that, we have have been deceived. We have been outwitted. Make no mistake UN-FORGIVENESS is serious.
Just imagine if we prayed to the Lord "Forgive us our trespasses (the ones that aren't to big) in time and when you are ready if it's not too hard for you, maybe tomorrow or whenever is fine, just as we sometimes forgive others, but sometimes not because we have been wronged too deeply, and lead us not into temptation......"
THAT, my friends is the way the deceiver would like us to pray, BUT just as Paul said to the Corinthians as they were struggling "I also forgive.....SO THAT we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs."
Notice that the single act of one person forgiving does not just affect one person, but the body. Paul forgave so that "WE" would not be outwitted. Let's battle the sin of our own individual unforgiveness because it affects the body...it is like a cancer. When we forgive, the body of Christ begins to heal and stand.
Friends, Do not be ignorant of the schemes of satan. Release those who have done you wrong, forgive as God has forgiven you..TODAY.
Unforgivness is serious, it is that place where satan takes us out at the knees and leaves us immobile. It is one of His most ingenious designs.
Stand, friends! Stand against the schemes of satan and if you are holding onto Un-forgiveness, stand in the strength of our Lord Jesus Christ and ask Him to give you the strength to forgive SO THAT you, so that WE will not remain outwitted, but that you will outwit the devil and stand on the Rock, the one who has forgiven you so much SO THAT you can forgive others.
United we stand, divided and Outwitted we fall! The victory has been won, lets stand in it! So along with the Comedian Kerri Pomarolli whose family sings the song "We're Not Gonna Take it, No we ain't gonna take it, We're not gonna take it anymore!" I sing right along! Or we can listen to Matthew West. Either one, but sometimes I just gotta scream it out...depending on the day, depending on the battle!
I love you in the Lord, brothers and sisters. Stand, my friends, STAND!
There are things that I know and there are times when these things that I know hit me in such a profound way that it changes me completely. I sing songs like "In Christ Alone" where I belt out the lyric "The wrath of God was satisfied." I read the Word of God which says "There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" I rejoice because my faith lies in the resurrection and the truth that Jesus died for my sins and rose that I might live with Him eternally. That's good stuff.
But, this past Sunday when the Pastor was preaching he said these words "If Jesus took the punishment of the world and received the FULL wrath of God at Calvary, Is there any wrath left for my sin?' The answer is NO, there is nothing left for me. So, now when I sing these words... "Till on that cross as Jesus died, The wrath of God was satisfied. For every sin on Him was laid; Here in the death of Christ I live." ...I sing them reminded of the depth of His love and the completeness of Christ's Gospel. God has no wrath left for me for I am in Christ Jesus!
There is a special joy in being part of a Sunday church worship team, especially when you do multiple services. We open up the service with music, we worship, we get to listen to the Pastor preach and then we get to do it all over again, but the second time, we lead the worship from a place of having been preached the Word of God and the words we sing take on a new meaning!
This past Sunday when I sand the song "Man of Sorrows" in the second service, my heart fluttered and my eyes welled as I sang the truth of God's wrath being fulfilled with a deeper understanding and renewed passion. If it were up to me, we would have done five more services, listened his sermon five more times and sang the songs with a new passion every time.
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh,could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you." Romans 8:1-11
*In Christ Alone by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty
The importance of realizing that God's wrath has been satisfied in light of this song LINK
There really are not enough words or exclamation points to adequately express how excited I am today!!!! As much as I want to break my Facebook addiction (everything in moderation), there is something awesome in the way it allows us to track down just about anybody from our past (sometimes that's a blessing...sometimes it's a curse.)
Today, it was a blessing!
I have not talked to this gal, Shannon (the white girl in the picture who played the black street smart girl way better than I did in this production, lol) since November of 1998 when we did the show "Little Shop of Horrors" together. I am so grateful and a bit overwhelmed with joy to have been able to talk and share with her the impact she made on my life.
During the run of this show, when I was living in complete disobedience, she was the only one who knew about my sin. She had the courage to tell me I was wrong, that I needed to repent and had the decency to speak truth to me as an ambassador for Christ, all while extending her love and friendship. She was a great example of speaking the truth in love!
In a day when so many are scared to speak truth, this spunky, lover of Jesus, showed no fear in confronting my sin. That seed, her voice, rang in my heart for YEARS. Every time I share my testimony, still to this day, I remember her voice of truth, her courage and lack of fear......Today, I got to thank her for being a light in my journey. I praise God for her and the courage she dared to show in my life.
And if I can quote her as she again encouraged me today and reminded me of the new creations we are and our need for daily renewal...our daily bread.....she so eloquently said........"We all have a floater, that one piece that just won't flush" (I remember why I loved this gal so much.) Thank God that he flushes it away and makes us new!!
So, my friends, don't forget to flush daily.
Remember we have the Master Plumber waiting to renew us and make us new!
You can check out Shannon's career and follow what she's up to these days. God continues to use her in the church, in her family, through her creativity and her gift of entertainment and more energy than I will ever have!
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.