Welcome to Friendship Friday!! Today’s guest post is from my sweet friend Julia. She’s so full of grace, I’m sure you are going to love reading what she has to say.
He Leads Me Beside The Still Waters
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside still waters,
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the
days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Psalm 23 (remember this)
When Elesea asked if she could feature me in one of her blogs I was so honored and thrilled! I started praying right then that the Lord would give me what He wanted me to write on. This may be a little scatter brained but the Lord has been doing so many things in my life here lately, and teaching me some pretty big lessons I might add. I will start by introducing myself a bit 🙂
My name is Julia Moody. I am married to my wonderful husband (of 1 whole year!!!) Josh Moody. We are in our second year of seminary here in Fort Worth and loving our life and all of the people in it (including our wonderful friends John and Elesea ;)). Mine and Josh’s story seems to be very common here at seminary. You know, the whole know each other for 6 months then get engaged, then get married 4 months later, then move to seminary 1 WEEK later. Can you say whoa baby!?! Yea God really threw our life into fast forward there for a while. But am I so thankful He did.
Yep and there He is. I can’t seem to talk about my life very long without my Savoir making His entrance into the story. Maybe that’s because He wrote it first. After all, scripture does tell us, “All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be” (Ps139:16). How comforting is that?
I have been going back and forth thinking about what to write on for a couple of weeks but one thing always lingered in the back of my mind. And that is our Saviors amazing and unconditional love for us. This is a lesson the Lord has been teaching me for a few months now. Another lesson He’s teaching me is, as Christians, we need to be as transparent as possible so….. here I go.
I have been struggling with condemnation over past sins and struggles for a while now. Thoughts like, “How could God ever love me after that?”, “How could He ever forgive me for that?”, “I’m never going to be the Christian He wants me to be.” What a load of honky Satan!! Because GOD tells me, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 He also tells me that there is absolutely nothing that can separate me from His love (Romans 8:38-39). Halleluiah!
That’s what I really want to talk about. His love. Oh how sweet, precious, and indescribable it is! It is a love that absolutely none of us deserve yet it is as free as it can get. I look back at my 21 years of life, 10 years of spiritual life, and I see my Lord’s loving hand in every part of it (the good, bad, and the ugly). There were many times when I tried to do life my own way and in my own time. Boy was that a horrible decision! I have learned that, if we don’t have the Lord guiding us every single day of our life, we’ll run right smack dab into a brick wall! But, praise His holy name, Gods plans for us are unwavering. He tells us, “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.” Psalm 37:23-25
So, my question has been, “How? How could a God so perfect, so flawless, so…. HEAVENLY, love a filthy sinner saved by grace such as I?” But scripture tells us He does, and not only does He love us, but He calls us His beloved! Doesn’t make a lick of sense huh? The thing is… God has been teaching me it’s not supposed to. You see, this whole time I’ve been trying to wrap my head around a heavenly love, a love so perfect and so strong that He would be willing to send His own son to die a horrible death on a cross for ME (and YOU). A love so amazing that the King of the universe would humble himself and take on human flesh for MANY though only FEW would believe. Scripture tells us, “…Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” There is no way this lost and dying world could grasp such a love, because it is not of this world. It is of something so much higher! The Lord is teaching me that, at some point, I have to accept His love for what HE says it is, not for what has been given to me in the past by other people, not for what has been given to people that I hold near and dear to my heart, or even for the love I have given to others. But for what a God so indescribable tells me it is. After all, God doesn’t love, that’s right I said doesn’t. He is the DEFINITION of love! My question was, “How am I supposed to accept this love when I am so lost in self condemnation?” The Lord just gave this scripture to me today. 1 John 3: 21-22 tells us, “ Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we will have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.” The first part is key. We have to ask the Lord to remove that self condemnation from our heart before we can get to any of that other good stuff. So that’s where I’m at. I’m asking the Lord to remove that condemnation. He has already won that battle.
Remember that scripture at the top of my entry? That is something a very dear friend brought back to my attention the other night. I encourage you, if you’re story is similar to mine or even if it’s not, to read that passage and MEDITATE on it. It is the very essence of our Saviors love and what peace it brings to my soul.