James 1:2-4

Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journeyand cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing. James 1:2-4D

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Pain is Inevitable Suffering is Optional

 



 

No matter who you are, where you live, how much money you possess, a profound truth of our human condition, is that we cannot and will not ever escape pain.  It may be emotional pain; it could be physical or even spiritual pain.  Pain is something we cannot avoid in this fallen world.  Jesus tells us this in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

 

Please don’t get me wrong the purpose of this blog post is not to negate your pain, I know that many Christians are experiencing a lot of opposition in their lives right now that is undoubtedly causing much suffering, myself included.  That is why I felt led to write this blog post.

 

This past year has been a year of significant change for my family and I.  I have dealt with many stressful life events that have caused me to feel weary some days. This past year, I experienced the death of a loved one, another family member’s health crisis, a move, the loss of a special friendship, new school for my kids, a career change, a return to college, and the everyday challenges of raising special needs twins as a single Mom.  On top of all of that, I’ve had to deal with my own emotional pain, a mid-life crisis of sorts I guess you’d say. So I understand fully what many of my fellow Narrow Gate soul journers are experiencing.

 

So if pain is inevitable how is it that suffering is optional.  We suffer when we choose not to deal with our pain, instead of taking that journey and trusting in God and not leaning on our understanding, thinking we know better.  Just like Adam and Eve we want to be god in our lives.  There is a lot of pain in the world, and as humans we can’t stand to be in pain, and Christians are no different.  We suffer when we use idols to numb our pain and choose not to accept it and deal with it.  We suffer when we don’t take care of our physical needs, don’t rest enough, are too busy, don’t take our prescribed medication, don’t eat healthy, don’t get enough exercise.

 

Sometimes It’s hard to face our pain and see it as a gift to us; it’s a sign that something in our lives needs fixing.  Just like a toothache, if we ignore the pain it will eventually become abcessed and affect our lives to the point that we can’t function well, or at least not in the way God created us to, in our fullness.   So we choose to numb from it, whether it’s through drugs, alcohol, sex, busyness, and even our stubborn pride.  Jesus didn’t tell us we would have a pain free life, but He did tell us we wouldn’t have to suffer through the pain.  Why? Because he took our pain, nailed it to the cross, and bore our pain.

 

Isaiah 53:4-6 says: Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering,yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions,he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.  We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us all.

 

There it is in black and white, experiencing suffering is a choice.  Just like sinning or going against what God is telling us to do.  We have free will, and it’s our choices that determine our suffering.

 

Some in the Kingdom of God embrace a theology of suffering.  They say that unless we embrace suffering, we cannot embrace the cross and what Jesus did for us.  Perhaps this is somewhat true, and there are times maybe when God allows our suffering to draw us closer to Him and to knowing and understanding our identity in Him, but I do not believe I need to suffer in order know God.  This theology goes against everything the Bible tells us.  Jesus said he came to give us life and life more abundant (John 10:10b) and in John 14:27 he says, “I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

 

We need to be aware of our pain, face it, and with God’s help heal from it, but never suffer to the point that it becomes our identity.  That is not God’s will for His children.  This mindset will open a door in which the enemy can use to bring upon us a very destructive evil plan, to kill, steal and destroy God’s plan for our lives (John 10:10a).

 

I’ve heard many preachers in the Church say that the body of Christ has an orphaned spirit.  I agree with this, but I also think that many in the body of Christ today have also taken on a victim spirit and a spirit of self-pity.

 

Self-pity can cause us to suffer in our pain.  Joyce Meyer says, “Self-pity is actually idolatry because it is self-focus carried to the extreme. When we allow ourselves to fall into self-pity, we are essentially rejecting God’s love and His ability to change things.”

 

We are not victims; the Bible says we are overcomers by the Blood of the lamb and the Word of our testimonies (Revelation 12:11).  Many in the Church have fallen asleep to this Truth.  They have unknowingly opened a door through their unacknowledged pain, which has led to bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness, towards themselves, the ones who have hurt them and even God.

 

The devil wants to make you forget who you are, to make you feel hopeless.  He wants to steal your identity, cloud your mind, so you lose sight of who you are.  You are His beloved, and because of Jesus, you have already overcome everything the devil and his adversaries can throw your way.  We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37).

 

Life is a series of choices, and this applies even when it comes to how we deal with the pain this world dishes out.  For instance, if someone hurts you and you choose not to forgive them then you choose to suffer.  The effects of your unforgiveness will eat at you not them.  Unforgiveness is essentially the same as poking yourself in the eye and expecting the other person to go blind.

 

Psychotherapist Ira Israel says this about unforgiveness, “If we are not willing to forgive someone, it simply means that we are not finished with suffering yet. Unacceptance of reality causes suffering. Pain does not cause suffering. Pain is immediate, and it usually diminishes with time.”

 

I’m not sure where you are right now as you read this, maybe you are battling health issues, you have many choices to make that will determine your level of suffering, for example, you can decide that your diagnosis or disease does not define you.  This doesn’t mean you don’t do everything that is available in this world to “deal with” the diagnosis, but you consciously choose that regardless of what the doctors say, you know that Jesus has already healed you on the cross, and you are healed by his stripes.  You just keep on declaring that no matter what the symptoms say.

 

Ask others to pray for you, and make a choice to tell the devil that you will live and not die, after all, only God knows when it’s our time to go anyway, and heaven is just a glorious beginning for us.  So don’t let the devil scare you, he’s a liar and needs to back off.  Remember, the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy you, and will if you let him.

 

Perhaps you are really struggling emotionally right now.  Depression is overwhelming your soul.  Perhaps a loved one has betrayed you.  I know it’s hard when you are in the thick of things, emotionally I’ve been very sick myself, and the worse thing I did was isolate, and my depression got worse.  So, when possible try to not spend too much time alone, tell someone how you are feeling and everyday pray even if all you can say is one word – Jesus, and don’t forget to remind the devil that he’s defeated and you are already healed emotionally.

 

Beloved, God says it’s time to pick up and dust off your spiritual armour and don it.  In my prayer time, God showed me a vision of the body of Christ.  In the spirit, I saw many believers have put away their spiritual armour or don’t even know they have it.  I could see it sticking out under the bed of saints, or hidden in their closets. God says, “You have forgotten who you are. Wake up my children, put that armour back on and return to the battle, return to life.”

 

As Christians we must remember will always experience pain in this lifetime, but suffering is optional.  Reclaim the JOY of your salvation and walk it out.  You are an overcomer in Christ Jesus! You are a soldier in God’s army, and right now more than ever we need to put on our armour and stand in the calling we have received.

 

Paul in Ephesians 6:10-18 instructs the saints, Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

 

Pick up your armour and allow Christ to put it back on.  Close your eyes and imagine that He is dressing you for battle.  The devil has pushed you into a corner, and some of you have even taken on an antichrist spirit, you allowed doubt and fear to rob you of your inheritance and the knowledge of who you are in Christ.  You are earthen vessels in which the Lord Jesus himself through the Holy Spirit has poured out His sacrifice (2 Corinthians 4:7).  Rebuke those hindering spirits, cast down those idols, and press onward Christian soldiers! (Philippians 3:13-14)

 

May 2018 be a year of overcoming for you.  No matter what you face, no matter who or what condemns you, stand boldly in your salvation, shine your light for all to see.  Come out of the corner, fully equipped in your armour and do what God created you to do, love, heal, bless, praying at all times for those who are stuck in the trappings of this world.

 

May the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ rest on you so abundantly so you can begin to experience complete liberty in Christ.

 

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you that even though we go through the valley of the shadow of death we have nothing to fear because you are always with us.  Lord help us to face our pain and heal from it, help us choose to heal and may we never choose a path of suffering in this lifetime.

 

Laura Sterling - Narrow Gate Traveller Ministries - www.narrowgatetraveller.com

If you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, all you need to do is pray a simple prayer and ask Him to be your Lord then surrender your life to Him.  If you prayed that prayer and would like to chat, please email me at laurasterling@narrowgatetraveller.com

Monday, August 21, 2017

He Knows the Hairs On Your Head



 

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Luke 12:7 NIV

Wow! Such a powerful truth.

The other day I finished showering and I looked down at the reality of aging and my hair loss. lol As I stood there and stared at my hair in the tub this verse came to me.

I believe it was God reminding me that He is always watching over our lives. There are many verses in the Bible that tell us this but I think He chose to bring this one to my mind to remind me that He's in the details of my life too.

Just ponder this reality that the Almighty God himself knows how many hairs are on our heads even after one falls out. He keeps track of this tiny detail so how much more does he care about the big things in our lives?

Trust God for He knows the plans and ways of your life. Breathe deeply and just know He is God.. Let go of any thoughts, people or things that stop your rest in Him! God's got it all figured out, so you don't have to.

Blessings! Laura Sterling - narrowgatetraveller.com

Thursday, August 17, 2017

My Glorious Bride

 

 



 

The Lord spoke to me back in May of this year regarding His Church but I never felt called to release this until late last night (August 16/17).

 

May 20, 2017

 

The Church was created by me and for me.  I dwell there, yes but I also dwell in you.  I am everywhere.  Do not look for me in the Church alone, any Church alone, for when you do you will be deadened by man’s one-sided view of me.  You must always view me within yourself because that’s where the true temple of the Holy Spirit now dwells.  You are a resting place of the Holy Spirit. The Church is an organization of my people – a group of believers and I bless their work because I know when they come together it brings the unity, understanding, oneness, as human beings you desire, you need really.

I tell you do not forsake gathering with other saints but my caution is and always has been: You must, you must, find your worth in me and me alone.  I’m not asking you to walk the way alone. I am asking you to seek me first above all else.  Everything in the natural world is at my disposal and Truth is because you carry my authority it’s at your disposal also.

I will use the Church to bring completion and to show Glory but I never created it to fully define you.  You are defined by me, my love for you and my relationship to you period.  Do you see my Beloved, just like I've asked you to stop getting your worth from people, a job, a role, I am also telling you that you must not seek your worth from the Church.  My Church is this glorious, organic, oneness that I called into existence.  I allowed it and I continue to use it but like anything I created, mankind has the ability to corrupt with its own desire to create meaning for them.  Just like many things my Church is a mystery that only I can truly reveal.

What I really want you to focus on is becoming My Bride.  Many in the Church are saved but they are not my Bride.  They are not one in the same.  Many think they are but, you need to know this, they are not, you are not one in the same.  Just as you are separate, so are they.  I have always intended for the Bride to shine brighter than the institution the world knows as the Church.  The Bride is my true reflection of who I am and who I am coming back for, my clean and spotless Bride.  The question for you is:  Are you aware of the difference and are you ready for my return?  The ones who know the difference, I will know.  My sheep know my voice and I know theirs.

The purpose of my coming back is to gather my beautiful Bride and signal the end of the age and just like my people don’t want to think about dying they don’t want to think about the age to come.  But it is to come.  Many saints before you have prepared for it because they have understood the need to prepare as my Bride for the wedding feast.  Either way, it will happen on earth or in Heaven.  You will celebrate with me.

Do you see, this place is a journey?  A place for you to prepare for me your Bridegroom and the wedding you’ve longed for all your life, that you feared you would miss, it isn’t with an earthly spouse, it’s with me and me alone.  The earthly marriage relationships for that matter are there to mold you and shape you into my beautiful Bride, a spotless Bride just like Adam and Eve before the fall.  You will not become fully complete until you are with me in Glory, but you might come very close, some saints might seem to have, but perfection of my Bride is only possible in Glory with me.  So stop believing you have to be perfect, you don’t and you’ll never achieve anything near that by doing good works.  It’s only through me and the power of my resurrection, that you can even come close to your desire for Holiness.

Isaiah 66:1-2

“Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My footstool.
Where is the house that you will build Me?
And where is the place of My rest?
For all those things My hand has made,
And all those things exist,”
Says the Lord.
“But on this one will I look:
On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,
And who trembles at My word.

 

Love in Christ - Laura Sterling ~ narrowgatetraveller.com

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Identity In Christ Part 2 - Roles



In my last post (http://www.narrowgatetraveller.com/?p=302)  I talked about self-worth and how our identity should always be in Christ.  Our worth should never come from people, roles or "things" that are here today and gone tomorrow.  Our identity must be grounded in Christ and who He is and who the Word says we are in Him.  So, if we are Children of God first, what is our purpose for being on this planet and what significance if any do our roles play in our lives?

Our roles on Earth are not worthless, they are essential to our spiritual growth, so we must not negate them.  They are part of who we are and they are an important part of our identity in Christ.  They are in fact where our purpose lies, and it is okay to embrace these God-given roles, remembering always that we are children of God first and that we must never get our worth from this world.

God has placed inside our spirits many purposes.  That is why it is so important to become spiritually aware.  If you go through life spiritually asleep, you may completely miss your purpose and not live out the purpose you were created for.  Many do die spiritually dead and that is why we need to receive Jesus and be born again. The minute you accept Him into your heart you begin to awaken spiritually, in fact, a new spirit is born in you.  You begin the process of what the Bible calls sanctification.  Which means "set apart for particular use in a special purpose or work and to make holy or sacred."  We all have that purpose and that is why He created us to be set apart for His glory, to be used to glorify God in this world.  That is our greater purpose the one we all have in us and the one that is fulfilled when we accept Christ and when we begin to walk out our journey with the Lord.

2 Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, [and] prepared unto every good work.

Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

This is where our roles come into play and where our creative God really goes to work.  Within His master plan there are mini-purposes or assignments so to speak.  God put into everyone’s spiritual DNA roles with which we are to fulfill in our lifetime to help us live out His master plan to bring glory to His name and bring His love into this world.

When you see this bigger picture and you begin to embrace that roles are not really about you but about accomplishing this greater plan, you will be able to live in this world with purpose and without anxiety.  We are ministers of the Gospel, conduits of God’s love, that’s who we are.  That saying, "Bloom where you are planted" is exactly what God is asking of you and should always be your guide.  The role you are in right is now is where God has placed you and wants you to serve Him.  If you are in the role of a parent, serve God with all your heart by serving your children.  If you are married then you are called to serve your spouse as if you are serving God.  You may be employed in the workforce or ministry, that is where God has placed you to shine your light before others.  In all the roles God gives to us it is always about seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness.

Matthew 6:30-34  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Do you see?  There is nothing to strive for, just be who you are, in the role God has given you, whether it’s a parent, spouse, sibling, sister, grandparent, friend, geologist, whatever.  Just be who you are until God gives you another role to play, that's who you are, your purpose.  Your role exists to give you the opportunity to serve Christ, not to give you your worth, your worth once again, is found in your relationship with God.

When you approach your roles in life this way, and you know who you are in Christ, know that whether you succeed or fail, are good or bad at your role, you are still amazing and wonderful just because you are you, doing what God has given you to do.

Neil T. Anderson says it this way: “You occupy a unique role as an ambassador for Christ where you work and live. These are your mission fields and you are the worker God has appointed for the harvest there. Your greatest fulfillment will come from accepting and occupying God's unique place for you to the best of your ability. Sadly, so many miss their calling in life by looking for fulfillment in the world. Find your fulfillment in the kingdom of God by deciding to be an ambassador for Christ in the world. Paul said, "Do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry" (2 Timothy 4:5).

I'm in the midst of a huge transition in my life and have no idea what’s next.  I have to daily resist the temptation to go back into my old habit of just doing anything to stay productive and to feel worthy as a person, and quite frankly “pay the bills”.   A good friend of mine said, “You need to ask God what He wants you to do and keep on asking and see what He says.  This is exactly what Jesus tells us to do in Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

The NLT actually captures this text a better to the original Greek.  Jesus wants us to press into Him until we the right door opens.  Literally to keep asking Him, seeking Him and knocking on doors, until the right one opens and leads us into the next season of our life and the role we are to play next.  Luke 11:9 –  “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.

So today know this, that when you are truly seeking God and waiting on Him, for your next role or for a purpose, what He gives is a divine assignment and you are called to go and do it with all your heart and do it as unto the Lord.

Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

This is what I heard the Lord saying about our purpose:   Put your trust in me and I will open doors.  I will move you into new beginnings, new purposes, and opportunities to be ambassadors of Christ in this world.  Know that when doors close it’s an end to what was and that’s why they need to stay closed.  What was can never be again and what is here and now is all you have, it’s what you are – it is your purpose.  All the doors of your life combine into your great purpose which you may not realize until I show you the full picture when we meet in my Glory.  You see Child of God, there is one big purpose for your life but there are also many smaller ones, as you walk out your journey, they all will unfold.  They become my masterpiece which will culminate at the end of your time on earth.  You are being trained for something so much greater, but you must not let that be your motivation in living your life.  You were created to live each moment as if it was your last.  Love as if you’ve never loved.  Laugh with deep unending Joy.  Your purpose is all around you.  Embrace today’s assignment with zeal and do not worry about anything, what you need will come to you as the next door opens, just watch.

Prayer:  Thank you Father, that you are the author of our story and you have a created purpose for each human being.  Help us to trust in you and not our own understanding, to follow you and you alone.  Lord, may we represent Christ well in this world today.  We humble ourselves before you and ask that you show us the way.  Thank you for your love and for the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon us today.  AMEN!

If you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior but want to,  pray a simple prayer like Jesus I need you, come into my heart, and make me new - Amen! If you prayed that prayer - email me at laura@narrowgatetraveller.com so I can celebrate with you, and help you start your journey to finding your identity in Christ.

Laura Sterling – narrowgatetraveller.com

Monday, June 19, 2017

Identity In Christ

Many people struggle with personal identity, they don't know their worth or value in this world. Physiologist who study child development have learned that by age seven one's self-image is formed. Who we believe we are and how we perceive others see us is created at this very early stage of our development. One area that deeply affects our identity is our relationships and how they play out in our lives good or bad.

 

We must realize that no matter their effect on us relationships are a gift to us from God, as they help us grow spiritually. Whether it is a romantic relationship, a friendship, or our children, relationships are given to help us learn how to love and serve others and how to fully love God. We must not get our worth from them good or bad, as they do not define who we are.  

Our relationships can truly challenge us and help refine our character but they must never define us. This is a profound truth that God shared with me and that I've had to learn in my healing journey.

 

The devil (Satan) wants us to believe a lie, that we need these relationships to tell us who we are.  So often we get wrapped up in our relationships, we label them, we claim them for our own. We become so focused on the person and finding our worth from them, we forget who we really are and what the purpose of the relationship was in the first place. When we live this way, we become toxic and so do our relationships.  Without most of us realizing it, this gift of a relationship becomes about them giving us something so we can feel worthy, and no longer about us giving to them.  We become attached to something which was never meant to be owned.

 

The real danger in living like this is that there is another dynamic at play that's even more powerful than any diabolical plan the enemy of our souls can muster up. It's the work of own soul which is often innocently very egotistical and so unlike our spirit, is very selfish and self-seeking.

 

The soul defined as our mind, will, and emotions, longs for knowledge, power, and importance, to be known and feel significant. Our spirit longs to know the truth of who we are, and what our purpose is and to be in fellowship with God our Creator.  The spirit wants an intimate relationship with God, but the soul and flesh will work on their own apart from the spirit, thus allowing Satan access as well.  Jesus warned us of this himself in Mathew 26:41 Watch and pray, that you don't enter into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  

 

As a narrow gate traveller, we must learn to walk in our spirit and bring our soul and flesh into obedience to Christ.  It's easy for us to fall asleep or take the easy road on the journey of finding one's deepest self.  This journey is long and often arduous, and in our pursuit to truly know ourselves and our creator, we can tire easily and we often want to just fall asleep and let something or someone else tell us who we are.  It's easier to attach ourselves to a person or a thing and let them define us.

 

I once realized I was getting my worth from my daughter's accomplishments. She was taking a  swimming lesson again that she had already failed once. The teacher said, "It's not looking good, I may have to fail her again." I somehow twisted what was happening in her young life into a lie that I wasn't a good Mom because she wasn't as good a swimmer as the other kids. At this point, I was new in my walk with God and had no idea who I was in Christ. I was upset at myself and my daughter for not being a good swimmer. Wow!

 

I wanted to share this example because these are the traps we get caught in. It certainly didn't make her any less of the beautiful person and a blessing to me that she was.  I was insecure, getting my worth from my parenting and I was allowing her life situation to define me, that was until God got a hold of me.  While lamenting to him in prayer, he first showed me that this was how I was raised and why I thought it was ok to act this way. I then realized that failure was a normal part of life and it doesn't define her and certainly not me.  My job as a Mom was to just love her through it no matter the outcome.  I changed my attitude and my daughter went on to pass and became a good swimmer.

 

So many families live under this curse of perfectionism because they do not truly understand who they are. It's okay to set goals for ourselves and our kids but we can never find our worth by ours or others accomplishments. In God's eyes, we are valuable no matter what we do. He loves us unconditionally and this is how we are to love the people God gives to us, especially our families. Not easy I know, but possible with the spirit of God operating in us.

 

Others find their identity in their career or a title, or perhaps a nice home, or degrees on their wall. These things, in reality, become false gods that society says are how we define our worth.  The soul believes that these temporal things are who we are, that they define us.  These things are nice to have and are great accomplishments, but they are not who we are.

 

The Bible says that those things are rubbish (one translation even says dung) compared to knowing Jesus.

 

Philippians 3:8  Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.

 



 

When we use things and people to define ourselves this causes us to hold on and control, instead of receiving them freely. So when people (or things) disappoint or don't live up to our expectations (and they will) we suffer and we feel lost and unsure of ourselves, because our identity is dependent on that person or thing.

 

When we get laid off and lose our job we feel afraid and discouraged, without that label we can feel worthless.  When the kids leave home or the bank account drains, we stumble around no longer able to find our way.  When our spouse or a friend doesn't show us the love we need, we grab for something else to help us feel better, a substance that helps numb our pain, or we just replace the job or the relationship with a new one.

 

2 Corinthians 4:18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

 

What we really need,  is to know the love of God, expressed through Jesus Christ.  God in His wisdom gave us Jesus and when we enter into a personal relationship with Jesus, when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we truly begin the journey to know our true identity.

 

Everyone was created by God for a purpose. We all have a God-given mission. When we begin our walk with Jesus we begin to figure this out.

 

Isaiah 55:11 So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

 

You see, when it becomes about what we want, we lose sight of who we truly are and what we are here to do.  We are here for only a short time to give, to love God and to love others.  To serve others and not just to be served. When we look to people or things and not our creator to define us, we become lovers of self not lovers of others.

 

Today, I challenge you to check your heart and ask yourself some honest questions.  Where do I get my worth from?  Is it from people and roles I play in my life?  Do I know who I truly am in Christ?  As a believer in Jesus Christ, you are so much more.

 

If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior here are just a few things the Bible says you are: (from Neil T. Anderson, Identity In Christ)

John 1:12 I am God's child.
John 15:15 As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:1 I have been justified (declared righteous).
1 Corinthians 6:17 I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 I have been bought with a price and I belong to God.
1 Corinthians 12:27 I am a member of Christ's body.
Ephesians 1:3-8 I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child.
Colossians 1:13-14 I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
Colossians 2:9-10 I am complete in Christ.
Hebrews 4:14-16 I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:1-2 I am free from condemnation.
Romans 8:28 I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances.
Romans 8:31-39 I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 I have been established, anointed and sealed by God.
Colossians 3:1-4 I am hidden with Christ in God.
Philippians 1:6 I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me.
Philippians 3:20 I am a citizen of heaven.
2 Timothy 1:7 I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.
1 John 5:18 I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.
John 15:5 I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life.
John 15:16 I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.
1 Corinthians 3:16 I am God's temple.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 I am a minister of reconciliation for God.
Ephesians 2:6 I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm.
Ephesians 2:10 I am God's workmanship.
Ephesians 3:12 I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

 

Today, may you know that this is who you truly are.  Print this list off and the next time your old soul wants to find it's worth in this world or the devil is speaking lies to you about your identity, read over this list.  Better yet look these verses up in the Bible yourself and memorize some of them so you can speak them out loud and take every thought captive, no matter where it came from.

 

Have a blessed day!

 

Prayer:  Lord, help us to not define our worth by temporal things but to define ourselves by what the Word of God says about us. Show us any areas in our lives where we have defined our value by people and things.  Lord make us a vessel of your honor and love today, may we clearly see our relationships as an opportunity to give back, just as you did. In Jesus Name AMEN!

 

If you don't know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior yet, then pray this: Jesus I want to know who you say I am and not this world. I give you my life today, come into my heart and make me new. AMEN! If you prayed that prayer for the first time today you are now born again in your spirit, please message me and let me know you prayed this prayer. laurasterling@narrowgatetraveller.com

 

Laura Sterling - narrowgatetraveller.com

 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Father's Daughter



Today is International Women's Day and I thought what a great day to celebrate being a daughter of God and to share a personal word I received from the Lord recently while in deep prayer.God has been speaking to me lately about how I am His child and I know He is re-parenting me.

During my prayer time, our Heavenly Father spoke to me about how I had some faulty thinking about Him that he needed to correct.  He showed me how a lie I had learned from my own parents had created a wall around my heart.  This lie was not only making it hard for me to receive love from others, it was especially hard to receive the truth about how much God loves me.

You see intellectually I understood that God loves me and that he was a good God who wanted to prosper and not harm me. I've read it in scripture after scripture, but it hadn't truly been received in my heart.

God in His beautiful grace showed me that I was taught by my own parents that to be punished meant they loved me.  I had taken this on as a belief system about God.  So when bad things happened to me, intellectually I knew God was good and not the author of bad things, that the devil or my own flesh was likely the culprit, but I was subconsciously defaulting to this thinking that God caused it and was punishing me to teach me something.

God showed me that because of this belief system there was a deep root of fear.  I was subconsciously afraid that something bad might happen or I was afraid of messing up basically, I was letting fear in instead of love.

The Bible says that perfect love drives out fear.  1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

I took the time through prayer and meditation on this scripture and some tears, to pray through this lie and I began to take this thought captive to the obedience of Christ and bring it into the light.  Thank you Father, for revealing this!

Here's what the Lord spoke to me during this very intimate time with Him, I share this in hopes it may help you also:

Daughter, I am good.  I don't need to use bad things to teach you stuff but I do not allow those things that cause you distress to go to waste.  I use them to help you grow closer to me and to your true calling.  Know this, I am good,  period, end of story.

All the bad things that have happened to you, happened because the devil does not want you to realize who you are in the Kingdom of God.  Evil is part of this world.  There have been times you have chosen to walk out on your own and I could not always protect or stop what was happening but I was always there, I never left you.

Daughter, I need you to trust me now.  Just like a little child.  Trust me that I know what you need and I will give it to you, just don't lose hope.  Sometimes there will be delays and opposition, but you must know what I say I am going to do, I will do.  What my Word says, I will do. Do not stop believing, do not fall back, go forward in my Holy Assurance that I do and will keep my promises.

You are not alone.  I am with you always, until the end of the earth.  Therefore do not fear, do not be dismayed daughter. Everything is going to be okay.  I am the one man who has not and will never abandon or reject you. When you feel weak, my Grace is sufficient for you, when you feel weak, know I am near, know my presence goes with you.

There are powerful words you've heard about me, it's all true my daughter.  My Spirit is real and it lives in you. You are a daughter of mine, filled with a supernatural ability to heal the world and those around you.  I want to be your hands and your feet.  I want to walk this life out for you, will you let me?  Will you trust me to manifest my power through you?

Your doubt and fear are a by-product of the abandonment and rejection of earthly men.  You will always struggle and feel the pain of this when you take your eyes off of Jesus.  I sent Him for many reasons.  One reason is so my daughter, you would always have a way to find me when you are lost in the darkness that surrounds this world.  Haven't you noticed that no matter what the world does Jesus always stands out as a testament of Love and Truth.  He is the compass, He is the guidepost, the lighthouse.  Look to Him at all times then you will remember who you are my daughter.

My daughter, I long to spend intimate time with you in the supernatural realm of my secret place.  Come to me often there.  Let your walls down daughter, let your inhibitions down, come beautiful one, come to me, come let me love you.

Prayer:  Thank you for your love and that you are a God who desires to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us a hope and give us a future.  Lord, may we always know the love that you have poured out for us, and may we willingly manifest your presence in our lives.  Help us Lord, to draw near to you every day because we know the more we abide the more we will know our true selves.  In Jesus name Amen!

If you don't have a personal relationship with Jesus and want one.  Just say this little prayer.  Jesus, I need you, please come and be Lord of my life.  Amen!  Email and let me know you prayed that prayer, I'd love to celebrate with you and help you connect to the family of God - laurasterling@narrowgatetraveller.com

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Love One Another



In order to fulfill this commandment of Jesus we must receive God's love and grace for ourselves first.  Do you know how much God loves you?I mean really know the love of God?

For years I didn't. I thought in order to be righteous - I had to do something. The truth is there is nothing we can do, we just have to accept the truth that what needed to be done to make us right with God and others was done by Jesus on the cross. Our job is to receive this precious gift of love - the gift of salvation which Jesus died to give us.

We can't give what we have not received for ourselves first. When you truly receive God's love you will become a conduit of His love which will naturally flow from you and then you will be able to fulfill your highest purpose in God. To love others as He loved you.

 

 

 

Happy Valentines Day!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Journey



 

When you listen to your heart, do not allow others judgement of you from a far to impead your journey.

For they have no idea where you are heading and that your journey is bringing you closer to God and a deeper awareness of who you truly are.

So keep on believing in yourself and never look back. For the road behind has been washed away by the changing tides of life, and the road before you has yet to be rebuilt.

The only solid piece of ground upon which you can rely, is the one under your feet right now.

Therefore, walk forward one step at a time, fully aware that life is happening right NOW in this moment.

Keep walking and trusting that as you move forward, the road will appear built just for you by God himself, and that with each new step you take, He will give you just enough light to see your way.

~Laura Sterling~ narrowgatetraveller.com

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy 2017



 

Happy 2017 - the Spirit of Lord is moving mightily in this earth! It's all around us! Do you see it?! Do you hear it?!

Today I heard the Lord say: my beloved child - I declare 2017 a year of abundance in the Kingdom of God - in every area: healing, wealth, salvations, sanctification of believers, deliverance, restored relationships, return of my prodigals back to my side! Not looking back but pressing forward together in the unity of my Spirit. Together in love!

Yes!!!

Not for us Lord but for your Glory - to shine your light into the darkness. Equip us, anoint us for this year of abundance. May you BE glorified Mighty God!! Amen!!

Now is not the time for us to shrink back but press onward to our high calling in Christ Jesus! Press in and keep moving! Let's just Love one another as He loves us - because God is love!  ❤

I challenge you this year to commit to doing one act of unconditional sacrificial love a month - more if you like. So much better than a resolution don't you think?  Many of you already do this, so keep on shining His light and be encouraged. God sees your heart and He is well pleased with you.

Prayer: Lord help us this year to press into to all you have for us. Thank you Lord for the work you are doing in the world right now, may we be a part of this work and all that you will do in the days ahead. Thank you for opening closed doors and closing the ones that should be closed in our lives. May we know your voice and walk in it fully this year. Thank you that when we trust you and surrender our lives you are glorified and lifted high! In Jesus name Amen!

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” - John 13:34-35 (Jesus) 😇

Blessings - Laura Sterling - Narrow Gate Traveller Ministries www.narrowgatetraveller.com