A garland of grace and a crown of beauty. Proverbs 4:9
Yesterday, while I was working on the work that God led me to do with “Crowned with Everlasting Joy”, I was searching in Isaiah for a certain scripture, and I came across this in Isaiah 49: The Lord’s servant commissioned.
“..The Lord said to me, ‘You are my servant and you will bring me glory.’ I replied, ‘but my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet I leave it all in the Lord’s hand; I will trust God for my reward.’ The one who formed me in my mother’s womb to be his servant, who commissioned me to bring [His people] back to Him. The Lord has honored me, and my God has given me strength. He says, ‘ You will do more than restore [my people] to me. I will make you a light to the gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.’”
The Lord grabbed my heart and told me to receive this scripture as my own. He knows what my heart has dealt with since the moment He led me to into this new season. As I’ve shared in my writing, I’m not one to usually care about things like what others think about me and the approval of people “to an extent”.
I’m not perfect, but the social acceptance of “likes”, etc hasn’t ever bothered me until I started sharing for a purpose on a “bigger level”. A level that required more humility and obedience to what God says without any care for how others respond or don’t respond.
One of my best friends, who also is my Pastor, encouraged me to just be me. To know that God chose me for the work He gave to me and to be confident in that regardless of anything or anyone else.
See, i found myself measuring my success of carrying what God gave me well based on how many people responded by reading, liking, or commenting about it. Dumb.. i know.. But, in all honesty, I just felt like I needed encouragement from people who are dear to me. Old friends, new friends, best friends, work friends, family, etc.
Like a child learning how to walk- it’s new, it hasn’t been walked out before and encouragement helps the child to keep going even when they fall down. Granted, I’m not a child and i don’t need encouragement to that extent, but this year has been a new season from day 1. Circumstances and “land” that I haven’t been in before.
I found myself looking inward and hurting in this new, uncomfortable and unfamiliar season instead of looking ahead to The One who led me here. To the one who has equipped me for this time! This season! This hour! To the One who has gone before me, preparing the way and who surrounds me on all sides for His divine purpose! Crazy, because I was so excited to begin, but I soon discovered that with each new season of growth, i can’t “wear the same clothes” or “use the same tools” as I did in the previous one. I have to keep going with the foundational truth that He led me here because He chose me for this work regardless of “how important or helpful” others view it and choose to read it or the fact that most of those in my circle choose to not read it. The enemy tries to get us to look at who doesn’t demonstrate value, which in most cases is a lie. God leads us into the truth that our purpose is greater than we can see. Our purpose impacts and helps more people than we know.
The fact is I will continue to write, I will continue to share, I will continue to grow in humility, I will continue to grow in unconditional love, I will continue to resist the spirit of offense, and I will continue to be thankful for each of the relationships that has been gifted to me with no strings attached. Sure, would I love for each one of them to want to read my writing, yes. And not for the purpose of making my name known because that’s not my heart; but instead for Godly conversation starters and revelation expansions with others, for sharing the power of God’s word to be received in their own circumstances, and for releasing the fullness of God’s saving word in their God given connections.
We can’t cultivate kingdom culture alone. We need each other. We need each other’s gifts. We need each other’s connections. We need to be poured into and we need to pour into others. Each of us carry power that others need. Honestly, I’m comfortable doing things alone to an extent, my 35 years of life circumstances have molded me to be more comfortable operating independently (with God) versus dependently on other people (with God).
It’s ironic to me because I love loving on people! I love encouraging people! I thrive on being WITH PEOPLE! But yet… human nature teaches us that people disappoint us, so we live with a wall up to various degrees of thickness.
I remember when our Pastor shared this revelation, “our love for people has to be greater than our expectations for them”. I love how God gives us word not only in season, but also in advance for the next season. A layer of foundation that we need to keep walking toward our purpose and destination. This was one for me!! I’m thankful for those who extend this grace to me too!
So after God highlighted that set of verses in Isaiah 49 and showing me that I am walking in His plans, I saw an incredible post from somebody else that I’ve never met (through someone sharing it)! It referenced a scripture around this current Co-vid-19 pandemic. The post was beautiful and at the very end – almost seemingly less important there it was… she referenced how “corona” means “crown” in one of it’s definitions. Light bulb went off in me! Wow! A crown!
God directed me to write for the purpose of spreading His word and cultivating a kingdom culture, right. God gave me the title for this cultivating tool (this blog): “Crowned with Everlasting Joy”, which as yall know from my homepage is founded from Isaiah 35! This is the scripture that God gave me to prophecy in the last season and to expect in THIS season! And then the subtitle to this blog found on every post is “A garland of grace and a crown of beauty. Proverbs 4:9”, right! God guided me to use this because it references God given wisdom! We know that God said in His word that “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge (they don’t know me)” Hosea 4:6.
So… Is anybody else seeing the correlation or what God was showing me?! The world who does not know God, says there is this deadly weapon that is known as the coronavirus= a “crown of virus” to destroy people, BUT GOD says He has given us a crown of what…. Everlasting Joy, Grace, Beauty, Wisdom, Salvation, Health, Blessing, Life which is an even more powerful weapon-deadly to our enemy because the name of Jesus WINS!!
God says I set before you the choice of life and blessing or death and cursing, what do you choose? What crown will you choose to wear?
Jesus traded His heavenly golden crown of blessing for an earthly crown of thorns and cursing! Why? Why did He take on the curse of the earth- all disease and death as a result of sin? For our salvation! So that we can wear His righteous crown of life and blessing! He wanted to bring us salvation (deliverance from the curse) so that we don’t have to “wear the coronavirus” even though it mocks us and stalks us. We rise up, take our place, honor wisdom, fight with God’s word, send the enemy’s armies to flight with praise, and choose to receive the promises of God found in Isaiah 35, Psalm 91, and all the other scriptures He has given to us!
He is such a good, good Father! We are His chosen sons and daughters! We get to trade our earthly crowns for heavenly crowns AS WE LIVE HERE ON EARTH!!
Much love, Sara