what jesus has been teaching me lately

Long-time no faith post. I've taken an unplanned hiatus from posting on social media which as someone who's livelihood is online seemed like a weird thing to do and something that I never actually ever envisioned myself doing. I've never really viewed my social media usage as toxic or a distraction but having a week out of pressurising myself to keep posting content that I thought other people would enjoy was actually very enjoyable and the world didn't implode. SHOCKED FACE! I say unintentionally because during this time I was desperately scouring my hard drive for pictures I could post that I hadn't yet but then I caught a grip of myself, slowed down and thought 'Why am I really doing this?'. 

Authenticity is key! And me posting a photo from summer when in reality I'm stuck in my house revising for exams does not scream authenticity to me! So many times you can get so caught up in busyness but most of the time, it's not even busyness it's actually laziness and procrastination that masked in the noisiness and brashness of social media. 

Getting away from the hustle and bustle of keeping up with my Instagram feed meant I was really pressing into Jesus this past week and here are a few things that He's really put on my heart.


Trust in His plan
I'm doing a year-long devotional this year, specifically Women of the Bible, and we're only 3 weeks in but it's already hitting me with some hard truths! Week 2 was focused on the story of Sarah and how when she tried to take God's promise for her into her own hands it ended in disaster. She was barren and was promised a Son so sent her husband to sleep with her servant to act as a surrogate. It was a plan, it worked, but it wasn't God's plan for her. Sarah grew jealous of Hagar and ultimately sent her away along with her son. But God intervened, He didn't give up on Sarah and fulfilled that promise to her. He brought her Jacob, which means laughter. When she took the plans into her own hands, it ended with pain but when she handed it over to God she was rewarded with laughter! How often do we take God's plans into our own hands and get rewarded with failure! 

Reading this reminded me (super randomly might I add) of one of my favourite songs, Los Dias Raros by Vetusta Morla. The last line of the song is 'It begins with cellophane and ends with an echo'. So many times our testimonies can begin by us being blessed with a gift, God working in our lives and if we take that gift and use it, we'll echo God's love for us all around us. 

Contagious
While I was on my hiatus I was also watching A LOT of Queer Eye and every time I watch an episode of Queer Eye I'm struck by how evident the gospel is. It might seem weird that a show about 5 gay men making over (or making better) someone from the deep south of America could be considered the gospel because it's such a far cry from what we expect the gospel to be. We're familiar with the gospel, it makes sense to us but for the religious rulers and the people of Jerusalem at the time that Jesus was telling parables it was not. We've grown so accustomed to the teachings of the Bible that God's grace doesn't shock us anymore, we don't always see the miraculous things that He's doing in front of our very eyes!
"Forgiveness is  something that's contagious, Freedom is something that's contagious"- Karamo Brown
We are forgiven so that we can forgive and we are free in order to free others. Our pictures of what we think a Christian should look like can sometimes taint us from doing our job in evangelising. If the boys from Queer Eye can make someone loveable, think about how much the love of Jesus could impact someone's life!

Back to our First Love
So often we can completely miss the point of Christianity. It becomes more and more about going through the motions, striving for growth, striving to see breakthrough that we can forget that the foundation of all of it needs to be Jesus. Our first love isn't the first thing we loved, it's the thing that we love first, before anything else. Jesus should be our first love. Everything else we do should flow from that place of loving Jesus above all else and that's when we'll start to see the blessings flow. Start 2020 (albeit it a little late) on the right foot, with Jesus at the centre.


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