Discernment: Power in the Pause

“I just have a pause in my spirit.”

I can’t count how many times I have said these words—in reference to making a commitment, engaging in a relationship, receiving from a sermon, or even just discussing a specific topic.

And I’ll admit when I felt that pause, I got in the habit of just saying no, avoiding the person, ignoring the message, or shutting down the conversation. Then I would go about my merry way, patting myself on the back for being “discerning.” After all, Ephesians 5:10 exhorts us to, “discern what is pleasing to the Lord.”

But in the recent (humbling) year, I’ve learned that discernment is not just recognizing the pause; it’s learning what to do with the pause. It’s taking the time to ask Holy Spirit why the pause is there.

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Peace. Be Still.

A boat doesn’t sink because of the stormy waters around it, but because of the water that gets inside. It’s not about what’s around you. It’s about what’s within you.

Over the past month, I’ve had a lot of emotions trying to take root in my heart. Hurt. Anger. Bitterness. Frustration. Sadness. All of those emotions began fueling what felt like a hurricane in my soul. A raging storm that wanted to drown me in hopelessness. But a few months ago, the Lord asked me to draw a line in the sand and refuse to ever call any situation, person, or relationship hopeless when speaking to the God of Hope.

So, instead of giving in to the storm, I began feeding my peace.

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The One He Loves

I am the one He loves.

I regularly remind myself of God’s love for me because it is the only thing that gives me the confidence and boldness to do everything He’s called me to do.

I feel like I’m good company because I’m reminded of John, who called himself, “the disciple that Jesus loves.” I sometimes wonder if John believed—the same way I do—that receiving the love of God is often the beginning of everything you will ever do for the Kingdom of God. After all, we love because He first loved us.

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Butterflies Don’t Turn Back Into Caterpillars

Who do you worship?

Is there a relationship in your life that you idolize, adore, or glorify? Often, the important relationships in our lives can slip into a place of worship without us even realizing it. The problem is that our identities are shaped by who we worship. So, when we worship another person, we actually become that person’s image of us.

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Is God Really Good?

“I’m just not sure if I see God as good. I see Him as holy but not necessarily kind.”

Someone said this to me a few days ago, and it immediately brought me back to my teenage years when I had the exact same thought. I was trying to read through the Old Testament, and I remember being so confused by God’s responses to His people. In Exodus, He responded to the Israelites’ grumblings in the wilderness with grace time after time. Then suddenly in Numbers, He responded to the exact same grumblings with curses and serpents.

I found myself wondering: Did He just run out of patience? Does that mean His grace for me also has limits? Why did He keep blessing Abraham and Moses, even though they made so many terrible choices, but then didn’t show that same continued grace to His people when they were wandering in the desert? Does He have favorites?

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