Fear For Breakfast

I am a breakfast person. Coffee, french toast, bagels, bacon… the works. If I were to pick one meal of the day to eat for the rest of my life, it would be the first meal of my day. You have probably heard people say breakfast is the “Important Start To Your Day” meal. It “sets you up for success or failure”. As a very independent person, I never wanted to believe that something other than me could determine how my day was going to look. I thought no matter what I ate, I would be able to turn my day around through my attitude and strong will. But food is a funny thing. What we consume affects every aspect of our lives. It not only affects our physicality, but our mentality and spirituality.

I’ve been very conscious of what I consume this summer. So conscious that I even gave up unnatural sugar for one month. For the month of July, one month of the year where ice cream becomes my actual friend, I stuck to a diet that consisted of vegetables, meat, nuts, little grains, and little fruit. There were snacks here and there without sugar I would find and treasure. You would be surprised at how much food has added sugar to create an addictive taste!

What I noticed during this month was how much more energized I was during the day. I wasn’t depending on coffee or naps to keep me alert. The days didn’t feel too long or drawn out. I wasn’t day dreaming about going to bed early that night. It was a wonderful thing to actually enjoy my day and the company I was with because my body was feeling energized and capable of anything! All because I was conscious of what I was consuming.

So yes, I am a strong advocate for healthy consumption. It determines a lot and gives us a launch pad with energy for the day. Breakfast is emphasized by health nuts because a good beginning promises a strong end. If I start my day by eating a donut, I might just feel like a donut at the end of the day. Donuts still look good on the outside but lack a significant substance to contribute to one’s health on their insides. If I don’t benefit my health on the inside, how can I be my best self without the energy to do so?

What we consume can change everything. It can change our thoughts, opinions, attitudes, and struggles. And in a season of political importance with many decisions to be made, we need to talk about what we are consuming on the daily.

We are in a culture where we are constantly consuming fear. We eat it for breakfast. We are exposed the moment we wake up and unlock our phones. It creeps in our dining rooms and kitchens when the TV chimes in from the living room. We discuss it in our break rooms and cafeterias. It even comes back around when we gather for family dinner after a long day of work and school. How do we escape this fear when we are constantly consuming it?!

Living in fear is like living with cancer and not doing anything about it; allowing it to creep into every part of us to affect all that we do. It is burdening and toxic to those around us. Fear can be passed down from generation to generation because of the unexplainable influence it has on us. Why are we so easily taken over by fear?

Just like consuming food, we consume many things the media tells us. The media tells us that we should be afraid for the future of our country. The media tells us there is no hope. The media tells us our leaders will ruin our lives and bring despair to future generations. Without going into a political rant, I want to give you a reminder this morning.

Our hope is not in a politician. It is not in a law or an amendment. Our hope is not in fair pay for all. Our hope is not in equality. Our hope is not in man. Humans have messed things up since the beginning of time. Why is now any different? Why do we think now is the time to find some person we can depend on to “save” our country?

Our hope is in Jesus Christ and He is who we look to for these issues we face and so desperately hope to fix. We can hope for equality, fair pay, good laws, and good politicians. We cannot hope in these things. If life hasn’t already smacked you in the face with this truth, let me tell you this: Life isn’t fair! Things don’t always go our way and yes, there are many problems our country and world faces today. We are constantly being confronted with new problems that seem to make our hearts sink again and again. But let us not forget the constant that has always been and still remains to be our hope and salvation.

Jesus Christ is a man worthy of our faith and trust. He is the Son of the one who has a plan to ultimately glorify Him and His people. When there are times of trouble, He tells us not to fear. He has the final say and the ultimate victory in the end.

I once heard someone say, “Fear did not come from the Lord. So where does it come from? The devil. We don’t want anything from the devil! Give it right back to him and receive the courage and strength from God. He has much greater gifts to give than the devil.” If we are to be like God, we cannot hold onto fear because it is not of God. As His people, we must practice trusting in Him and not letting fear cripple us. It is how we can see this world change.

Let us not fear tomorrow! Let us not fear today. Don’t constantly consume messages of fear that want us to tremble and look to temporary things for a distraction. Those things are of false hope. Instead look to the one who wants to guide us through this mess of a world to our final destination of union with Him. That is the hope we can hold on to. That is the hope that should wake us up every morning and energize us to serve others in our lives and be our best selves.

Let’s consume His hope before we are faced with fear. Wake up and open your Bible first before opening your phone. Let’s have more conversations about solutions than about the problems. Pray instead of worrying, and pray without ceasing. And learn how to trust in these times. Learn how to lean on Jesus who is in control of the end of it all.

Don’t be crippled by fear. It is something this world wants us to hang onto. But God commands us to not fear. He instead commands us to be strong and courageous. I’m sure you’ve heard a verse like that before. It is time to start living it out!

Trust in Him and point to Him; our hope and our salvation. Jesus Christ is Lord of all and has conquered sin. Let us remember that in times of trouble.

 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” Proverbs 12:25

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

A Generation That Gets It

July sixteen, two thousand and sixteen is a historic date for America. It is a historic date for our generation. A historic date for the Church. In Washington D.C. there was a gathering of hundreds of thousands of young people who desire to see change in our nation and our world. I reflect on that event today because it has not and should not stop. The spirit and purpose of this gathering continues admits darkness, it’s Light shines through.

The roots of all the problems our world is facing comes from brokenness. We’ve seen how dreams, people, and lives have been shattered because of the evil we see happening like a daily routine. There is hatred that cuts through like a knife in our society. Now we face division in our communities, in our nation, and in our world. We all have come face to face with this reality and have to decide how we deal with injustice. Imagine you knock over a beautiful vase that has been passed down in your family for generations. It was so priceless and so precious to your family because of its history. The pieces that now lay scattered on the ground were once so beautiful when they were together. Today as we face division and hatred, we face this question: How do we deal with the broken pieces scattered across the floor? How can we see beauty when there is so much brokenness?

The One that can bring these pieces together is not a politician, not a pastor, not an entrepreneur, not a motivational speaker, or even a billionaire. There is One who humbly came to this earth from paradise to see beauty rise from the ashes of our world. One who saw the broken pieces on the floor and became the Way to bring them back together. His name is Jesus, Jesus Christ. He is the living Son of God who desires a relationship with everyone and restoration for our lives!

I’m telling you, friends, that Jesus Christ is the only One that can bring these broken pieces, us, together.

Together 2016 was appropriately named for the need in our nation. This gathering of people ages 14-22 represented a generation that wants to see beauty out of brokenness. Hearts were longing for unity in our nation, not out of selfish ambition, but out of love for others. I have never experienced an event so unified and moving.

 

It was such an incredible privilege to represent my generation at this event. A high school student and I, two ordinary people, had the opportunity to pray over our peers about the issues we know we face. I cannot begin to explain to you how overwhelmed I was with the Holy Spirit’s presence that day. From preparation backstage to walking out and seeing the sea of people next to the Washington Memorial, I knew that God was there and He was speaking clearly to us about the future He desires for us.

 

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God used so many incredible communicators to preach the Gospel at Together. Many big names took the stage to remind everyone why Christ followers hold on to Jesus as our hope. His story of redemption was declared so that our stories would be changed. With all the stories we constantly hear in the media that make our hearts sink to our stomaches, we were reminded of a story that we need to be sharing more than anything else! The Gospel needs to be communicated in whatever way, shape, or form God has called you to share it. Especially as a young person! Your voice and your influence can inspire this nation to come together in a time that evil has designed for us to flee from unity. This message was preached boldly on the stage that day for our generation to hear.

While inspirational leaders are used by God to communicate His Word, it wasn’t the people onstage that shaped the event. People like Tim Tebow, Christine Caine, Francis Chan, Hillsong United, and Lecrae didn’t bring people together. They were simply leaders and communicators to usher us into the presence of God. And it was so humbly done. These names were talked about, not highlighted. It was Jesus’ name that was lifted higher than anyone who was apart this event. That is why Together 2016 was like no other event I’ve ever experienced.

When Jesus is the reason for a gathering, in the hearts of those who organized the event as well as those who drove miles to get there, lives are radically changed. God does so much more than we could ever do or ask for.

Our generation gets it. We understand that there is brokenness and problems that don’t point to any logical solution. But as I saw hundreds of thousands of Christ followers stand together in our nation’s capitol just few weeks ago, I was reminded of our solution. Our solution is to point to Jesus Christ. As a generation that longs for justice, longs for peace, and longs for love to conquer hatred, we need to continue to stand together under Jesus’ name to see beauty rise from brokenness.

Let’s give Jesus the broken pieces and see restoration in our land.

2 Chronicles 7:14- Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

Deuteronomy 30:3-13-  3 God, your God, will restore everything you lost; he’ll have compassion on you; he’ll come back and pick up the pieces from all the places where you were scattered. 
4 No matter how far away you end up, God, your God, will get you out of there 
5 and bring you back to the land your ancestors once possessed. It will be yours again. He will give you a good life and make you more numerous than your ancestors. 
6 God, your God, will cut away the thick calluses on your heart and your children’s hearts, freeing you to love God, your God, with your whole heart and soul and live, really live. 
7 God, your God, will put all these curses on your enemies who hated you and were out to get you.
8 And you will make a new start, listening obediently to God, keeping all his commandments that I’m commanding you today. 
9 God, your God, will outdo himself in making things go well for you: you’ll have babies, get calves, grow crops, and enjoy an all-around good life. Yes, God will start enjoying you again, making things go well for you just as he enjoyed doing it for your ancestors. 
10 But only if you listen obediently to God, your God, and keep the commandments and regulations written in this Book of Revelation. Nothing halfhearted here; you must return to God, your God, totally, heart and soul, holding nothing back. 
11 This commandment that I’m commanding you today isn’t too much for you, it’s not out of your reach. 
12 It’s not on a high mountain – you don’t have to get mountaineers to climb the peak and bring it down to your level and explain it before you can live it. 
13 And it’s not across the ocean – you don’t have to send sailors out to get it, bring it back, and then explain it before you can live it.

 

 

We Need This Revelation.

I am 17 years old, a senior in high school, and have never read through the book of Revelation. It was always too scary for me. I didn’t want to think about it. So I never read through it. Not until this week.

Two weeks ago, I picked up my Bible and a verse in Matthew was staring at me. It was loud and clear that this verse was pertaining to me. My Bible was open to Matthew 26, where Jesus was praying in Gethsemane, and he found his disciples asleep outside of the garden. They were waiting for Him but became tired and dozed off.

Matthew 26 says this: 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

This verse really challenged me that day to give more time to Jesus, even when I’m tired. I often brush aside the thought of digging into the Word when I get home from school because I can barely keep my eyes open. But His Word says, ‘The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak’. It was right in front of me. And I needed to respond. I needed to give God an hour everyday. That is what I committed to do this weekend.

On Monday, I failed. My body’s weakness overcame that boldness to devote this hour to God. I went to bed early that night and had the mindset of, “I’ll do it tomorrow”. That is an awful thing to say. Especially about time with God.

I was being hypocritical that day because I’ve been flustered with how many of my peers say that in youth group every week. They say they need to get in the Word more, every week. And all I’ve wanted to say to them is if you need to, why don’t you?

And then there I was. Face to face with my warm, consuming, comfortable bed that begged for me to lay my head down and forget about the world for awhile. Yes, I failed. I am not proud to say that I made a commitment to God and didn’t keep it. The next day, I knew that this couldn’t wait any longer. This challenge, to pray and spend time with God for an hour everyday, is something I did two summers ago and it turned my life around. I felt like I got brand new eyes and ears after that experience.

That challenge was only 21 days and God showed me so much in those 21 hours. Honestly, though, the hour goes by so fast that I usually spend an hour and a half to two hours in the Word and in prayer. I wish more people my age would devote more time to God. We give our time to plenty of other things.

I wish people my age would read through Revelation. It is something that really scares a lot of my friends but it is so real. It is more real than the television shows we watch. It is more real than Instagram. It is more real than school and money and things… Because all of this stuff here will fade away. We forget that sometimes. Revelation is a book that has totally changed my perspective on life and how I view things. Do I have an eternal mindset? Do I worry too much about being comfortable? Because we are never promised that. Not now. And definitely not in the future.

In those detailed chapters, there is talk of fire and pain and regret for those who don’t know Jesus. I instantly thought a friend of mine that doesn’t know Jesus. We’ve been friends for a very long time and I know that she doesn’t want to have anything to do with God. These verses brought sorrow. I kept thinking, She doesn’t know what is going to happen someday. How do we tell people about Jesus in such an urgent way but with gentle love? The message that sits, waiting in the Bible needs to be spoken of. People need to hear about what Jesus did for them. We can’t say, “I’ll do it tomorrow.”

I want to see an awakening in my generation. Some people are in a deep sleep and they need someone else to tell them the day has begun, its time to get up. It is so important. I hope you feel that way as a Christian. I sincerely hope that you have hope in Jesus and that you want to share that with your friends who are lost in darkness. I don’t believe Revelation is a book that we need to scream from the streets to people that don’t believe. I believe that book is motivation for us believers. It gives us a picture of what we’re up against and a hope that as followers of Jesus, we have victory in the end. He won. But there is still a battle that rages on.

Revelation is our reminder to keep going and to trust in Jesus. And I really think it serves as a reminder that our friends are dying. Do you remember when you received new life? Do you remember where you were yesterday? Last month? Last year? Years ago? Jesus gave you new life. He wants to do the same for the people placed around you in your life.

Read Revelation. For people my age, I really encourage you to do so if you haven’t. Or read it again if you already have. This stuff is scary, but its so real. We can’t be scared anymore. Jesus won. He has defeated the grave. Read this book with that hope in mind. This scary stuff is real, but so is Jesus. And so is the blood that He shed to save us. Take a journey with Jesus today and go spend some time with your real Savior.

Revelation 3:20

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with them, and they with me.

Revelation 21:8

“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Revelation 1:5

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood

Revelation 21:4

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Revelation 22:12

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what they have done.”

Walking on Water.

On Thursday mornings I get the privilege to pray with amazing Christian friends before school starts outside of our cafeteria. We gather in a circle and thank God for the day and what He is doing in our school, but we also ask God to do more of His will in our school.

Today, my friend Jesse was having a conversation with God and He was remembering how this morning he was reading about Jesus and Peter walking on the water. He prayed that we could all do the same in our schools, that we could let go of doubt and fear to walk on the water, because we all have them.

Many of us have our own story of “walking out on water”. Whether you were one who stepped out and walked with faith, stepped out and let fear pull you under the waves, or you even were a disciple that stayed in the boat. We often forget about those people but are often exactly like them when we are faced with the decision to step out of a boat.

Could you imagine what the story would have looked like if Peter had walked out to Jesus and stood there with Him without falling? What could have happened? Would the other disciples have walked out with him as well?

We might find ourselves asking that same question. What could have happened? What if I had stepped out of the boat? What if I had trusted in God and kept my eyes on Him? Would others have seen it and followed?

Maybe I wouldn’t have sunk.

Whatever it is, we are all called out upon the waters. The water is vast and deep. It can be dark or clear (depending on where you are in the world). There may be life boats nearby or you may have to swim. But no matter what anyone tells you, you can walk on water. Whatever that thing is that God calls you to, you can do it. Jesus is calling you. He wouldn’t call you if He didn’t have a plan and a purpose.

Matthew 14:28-31

‘Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.

He said, “Come ahead.”

Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!”

Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, “Faint-heart, what got into you?”’

Oceans became a fear of mine when I had a nightmare as a child. I was in a big pool of water and a shark was swimming underneath a floating device I was seated on and had its mouth open wide ready to chomp down on my little head. I cried out, “Mom! Help! Dad! Help!” But they sat outside the water talking to some friends. They couldn’t hear me, or didn’t want to hear me. And all I could think was I was destined to be engulfed by the water I had wandered out into.

As I grow up, and I wander out onto the water, I don’t always know what is in the water. And my parents aren’t always going to be able to save me. Though I know I’m probably not going to get eaten by a shark, the unknowns are scary.

While the oceans that we are called to may be scary and unknown, there is a God waiting for you with His hand stretched out wide. But you need to step out. Remember in the story how the disciples were caught in a storm when they were in that boat? Sometimes God calls us during storms. When Jesus told Peter to walk out to Him, they were probably all thinking, ‘Now? The waves will knock him over! He could never do it in this kind of storm.’

His timing is perfect. Maybe He wants someone else to see you walk on water.

Whether you choose to be the person in the boat or the one who steps out, there will be people that see your decision. That decision could inspire them. If you walked out on the water and stayed afloat, how could that effect the rest that stand in the boat? Would they step out too?

Don’t grip the sides of the boat and wait for the storm to pass. Walk out to Jesus during the storm. He is calling. Let go of fear. Let go of doubt.

You can walk on water.

Enlightened.

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It was my freshman year when God first planted a seed in my mind about something that is now called “Enlightened”. All I can remember is a vision of my peers worshiping in my auditorium. Their hands were lifted high and the beautiful song “The Stand” was being played. The thought took me by surprise and I didn’t know what to think about it.

That would be cool, I thought. But that could never happen at my school.

That thought was pushed to the back of my mind for 3 years.

During those three years I learned a lot. I felt heartache, lost a lot of close friends, learned what kind of boys NOT to date, I started leaning on God, and learned a lot about myself. High school is a place to grow up. Its a place to figure out what you want to do by what you’ve learned and acquired in your life. And I figured out what I want to do with my life.

I figured out that I want to do whatever God asks me to do with my life. Wherever I go to college and whatever I end up doing, I want it to be for His Kingdom and for His glory, not mine. These past few years have made that so clear in my life.

So this summer, while I was home, God started poking at me. One night we had youth group at church and I was leading the musical worship. So before the service started, I snuck away to the prayer chapel.

I prayed for the night, the worship, and all the students that would be at church that night. I prayed for an awakening through worship and what would happen in that room. Then when I was going to keep rambling on, feeling prompted to listen, I just stopped talking and started listening. Thank the Lord that I did. He said something that changed my life forever.

“Worship” was what I heard so clearly. At that moment, peace fell upon me and made me sure that worship is something I need to do for the rest of my life. But I didn’t just want to stop listening there. I wanted to to do something about this calling now. So I asked,

“What can I do right now with worship, God?”

I will never forget what He said:

“That vision that I gave you three years ago, about worship in your school’s auditorium, needs to happen this year. Now is the time.”

So there I was, in the beginning of the summer with this dream and something God was asking me to do and my family was leaving for a few days to start traveling for NTS camps. All summer. I would be gone for a little over a month. That would not leave me a lot of time to plan. This night needed to happen soon, in the beginning of the year, as to say “We’re going to start off this year right”.

My adrenaline kicked in and I started messaging and talking to a few close friends that went to my school as well as my Dad. I told them my idea and asked what I should do about it. Leaving for a month put me in a tough spot to plan this event. One thing that the vision was clear about was that the room was full of students worshipping. It wasn’t just a few people in a worship club. This was to be an event with a room full of people on fire for Jesus. I knew that some people needed assurance that they weren’t alone at school.

This was not going to be easy to get together.

When I got back from camp, it all began.

First we got the OK to use my school’s auditorium for a Sunday night service.

Emails were sent to dozens of youth pastors around the area to bring their youth groups.

My friend Kaley and I were reading through Matthew 5:13-16 and God gave us the name ‘Enlightened’ after about 3 hours of having no idea what to do with this night.

Then we gathered together 10 more students from my school to help plan and lead this night.

The theme of the night is ‘Enlightened’ because as students, we want to encourage our peers to shine brightly for Christ in our schools. There are a lot of broken and lost people that need love during high school. We don’t want to just sit back as Christians and dismiss ourselves when something is out of comfort zone. We want to step out and do what God is calling us to do. And that is going where “my trust is without borders!” Sometimes we don’t even know what we’re singing. Enlightened will serve to be a reminder to Christians that school is a mission field and a very dark place that needs a lot of light.

God’s hand has been over all of this because we miraculously have 16 churches connected and 6 schools that are advertising on their own! As we started praying about numbers, we were praying for 500 and it looks like we’re going to have more than 500 people there that night!

The band is all students and the speakers are students. Enlightened is led by high school students for high school students! God is using a lot of amazing leaders to make this night possible and its been an incredible blessing to be apart of it.

As you are reading this, I hope you are encouraged and as excited as I am about this event. In this post, I wanted to get the word out but I also wanted to say something even more important: We need prayer.

Here are some things we need prayer for:

1. For God to speak to many students that night to do something to be a light in their school this year.

2. For the band and the speakers and the ones planning it, its a very busy and stressful time (the date is October 5th-very soon!)

3. For candles. A church has already donated a few hundred fake battery-powered, white candles for something special during the service. But with our numbers growing, we’re praying for more!

4. For no technological problems.

5. For the worship that night-that the Spirit moves.

6. For the word to spread like wildfire!

Listening to God has been an incredible blessing and we haven’t even had this event yet. I encourage you to listen to what He has in store for you and to follow the path He has set out for you. It could change the world.

I cannot wait to share what God does at Enlightened on October 5th!

Pray with Mouths Closed and Ears Open.

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Prayer is so important to me. I want friends that pray, I look for a guy that prays, and I love how much my family prays. I believe in a God that answers prayers.

Last summer, in 2013, I met a wonderful lady who was an author and a pastor at her church in California. We met her and attended her service on the beach. I was in awe of the service and the authenticity of the songs and the stories shared that day. Her voice was so convincing when she spoke. The story she told about how she came to know God was so inspiring I could’ve listened to it over and over.

Needless to say, I really respected this lady and looked up to her immensely. Then I heard her talk about this book she wrote called, “The Burning Heart Contract”. If you have not read this book, go buy it now and you’ll see how inspiring this woman is with her words.

She challenged me and many others to take this 30-day challenge. The challenge was to pray for an hour everyday and see how God transforms you over that 30-day period. An hour was a stretch for me while we were traveling for NTS camps that summer, but I wanted what she had. I wanted to pray like that.

So I, probably the youngest one accepting this challenge at 16 years old, committed to an hour of prayer everyday for the rest of my summer. That was the month of August, sunny and scorching. My family and I were in California for our last camp and for family vacation when camp was all over.

Those few weeks changed my life. My Bible became my close friend as I had my time alone with God and throughout my day. The words effected my prayers and how I viewed each day. Prayer became an easy conversation that I was privileged to have with the Lord for an hour of my day. I talked to Him but most importantly, He talked to me. I listened for a change.

God spoke so clearly to me about my youth group that summer and a change that was needed. I saw a need for something new and exciting for high schoolers at my church. We had a great program at church, but God was speaking to me about something else. There was a fire burning in my heart for this idea to start something, and it didn’t die. I was anxious and ready to go home during camp just so I could tell everyone what God was speaking to me about. But I couldn’t leave, so I prayed and prayed and prayed some more.

Prayer is so powerful because we are speaking to the God of the universe. Max Lucado’s quote is so true because its not about the words we say, but the God who hears it.

For me that summer, it wasn’t about my words at all. It was about listening. The time I had everyday set aside for prayer was for hearing what God wanted to do and speak through me when I got back home. The time I had everyday set aside for prayer equipped me for what I needed to do when I got back home. And let me tell you, I needed that because going home is not like summer camp where you’re surrounded by Christians encouraging you all day. Going home is always a journey, but being home is also a journey.

Time alone with God drew me closer to Him. When you grow closer to someone, you become more like them. I notice that after I hang with some of my good friends that I start talking like them and saying things that they said. It happens to all of us!

What if you worked on getting closer to Jesus and becoming more like Him? Saying the things that He would say and doing things that He would do… That takes prayer. That takes hours in His word; reading and studying and listening. We can’t just open up our Bibles once a week to read Jeremiah 29:11 or John 3:16. We know those verses. There is so much more to discover and so much more God wants to show you through His word and through prayer.

Be encouraged and go talk to God. He wants to listen. But you must remember, He also wants to speak to you. Will you be willing to listen?