Devoted Blog

Stretch Marks Part Three

December 27, 2017

Based on a message spoken by Ps Sharon Kelly on Nov 29, 2017

Blog by Rachel Campbell

Living here on the West Coast and pastoring Wave Church Los Angeles is a bit too far to stop by Sisters’ on a Thursday morning. Thank God for the internet where I can easily click on to the church website and listen in to Pastor Sharon or some of our other great leaders teaching! It’s so life giving for me, and helps me feel connected to my church home throughout the year. So this week, I got my 3 kiddos off to school and cleaned up the trail of messes they had left behind. By the way, I have decided to embrace those messes since they are a sign of life and I love the loud and crazy happenings around my home… most of the time! Anyway, back to what I was getting at, when the house quieted down I logged onto Pastor Sharon’s latest message on Stretch marks. She was talking about what to do when life feels like it’s pounding down on you.

It was such a great message and I was happily nodding and agreeing with the good points she was making. Something about her sweet voice and Aussie accent just brings peace doesn’t it?

All of a sudden, she said one sentence that dropped into my soul like a lead balloon. Don’t you love it when the Holy Spirit speaks to you so personally through just one sentence someone else says?

It was this simple sentence that gripped me so fiercely: “Self-reliance is really just idolatry.”

So this new conversation with God began in my head. Wait. Hold on. God, I don’t want to have any form of idolatry going on in my life. I know that I put no other God’s before you. I know that I love you more than I love the world. I try my hardest to keep you front and center in my life and I position my kids to see me putting your first as their example. I don’t participate in idolatry do I???

But the truth is, Every time I put my tough “I got this” face on without stopping and acknowledging God’s grace, I am putting my trust in myself. I am striving and pushing myself to places where I could easily break. The only thing that can keep me safe through the harsh demands of this life is the grace of God. The greek word that Paul uses for this grace is charis: God’s supernatural ability beyond my own.

I love how when Mary, the mother of Jesus was greeted by the angel and told that she would be pregnant with the Messiah and deliver Him to the world, she didn’t waiver. She was fully aware of her young age, marital status, her rank in the family, and so much more. Those things never stopped her from coming into agreement with God’s plan for her or His grace that was available to carry out the task. She simply responded to the angel’s declaration with this scripture verse in Luke 1:38, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord, let it be unto me according to your word.”

I love that! Mary declared that she was here to say “YES” to whatever God was asking, and then she followed it up with one of my favorite sentences in the bible, “be it unto me according to Your word”! God never asks us to do anything that He isn’t going to help us do.

For me personally it’s more about the fact that I want to show God that I am one of His strong ones who will get a lot done for Him without complaining. You know, so that He can be focused on the bigger problems of this world. Have you ever thought that you just want to be low maintenance for God since there are so many people with much more important needs? I bet that is pretty frustrating to God, since it’s really His strength and He knows that when I come to Him for help, I am really saying that I need and want Him to be my everything. Needing Him is not a bother to Him, it’s our most beautiful form of worship, really.

So this Christmas, let’s purpose in our heart not only to place God in the front and center of our lives. But let’s also remember that it’s not a fruit of the spirit to push through and tough out the hard stuff without the help of our Almighty God!

Let’s pray. Father God. I am so thankful for your grace that empowers me. I come to You right now and I say once again that I am in need of You. Help me to draw near to You through every season and rest in the fact that Your strength is always available to me. Just like Mary, today I say, “I am Your servant. Let it be unto me according to Your word.” Amen.