Do You Hold the Same Views of the Bible that Jesus does?

Would Jesus say this to you?

“Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭22:29‬ ‭NLT‬‬

In this same discussion, Jesus referenced the Scriptures to the religious people He was speaking to four times. Every answer He gave them for their questions, He used the Scriptures. He also validated that they indeed are divinely inspired when, in the same conversation He declared:

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”-Matthew 22:37-40

And when He said:

“Then why does David, speaking under the inspiration of the Spirit, call the Messiah ‘my Lord’? For David said, ‘The LORD said to my Lord, Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.’”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭22:43-44‬ ‭NLT‬‬

He vouched for the men who wrote the Old Testament by declaring them as prophets, and validated David’s Psalms by saying David spoke under the inspiration of the Spirit. These same Psalms also say:

“The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:160‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Jesus never quoted famous, popular, well-educated, rabbis. He never used anyone else’s words when teaching, only His own and the Scriptures. Therefore, when a teacher in a religious movement, such as Joseph Smith or Catholic leaders’ writings and teachings are upheld as on the same divinely inspired and authoritative level as Scripture, it is because of the very example of Jesus that I balk and adamantly disagree.

That a person or group of individuals’ extra biblical writings and doctrines are as or more authoritative than the Bible is probably the most dangerous false teaching that has wrecked many people’s faith in the Scriptures and because of all of these additional teachings, many “believers” and so-called Christians are utterly confused, at odds, and in disagreement. Only those who are in agreement that Scripture is the only source for divinely inspired truth are the most united and bearing the most fruit, that is, love and true conversions as evidenced by the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5) produced in their life.

I am not saying all protestants have it right–there are many sects under the umbrella of Protestant that are in error because they belittle/water-down/avoid truths in the Bible and uphold a popular man’s teachings with the same or even more authority. And there are many who claim to be non-denominational, but are actually apart of the Emerging Church heresy that discourages people from being fully confident in the Scriptures and has them disbelieving that it can be clearly understood and so again, their popular teachers’ doctrines are held in higher esteem than the Bible and many of their congregants don’t revere Scripture or care to read it much and they live their lives in opposition to what it clearly teaches, indulging in premarital sex, wild parties, drunkenness, homosexuality, immodesty, lewdness, etc.

If you’re a professing follower of Christ, I solemnly ask you to reflect on how you view the Bible. Is there another teacher(s) whose teaching you regard as just as authoritative? Do you share the same views of Scripture Jesus has? What would He say to you about your views and knowledge of the Bible?

blog_love_natasha

What Is the Emerging Church and are you unwittingly apart of one?

I had been attending a very popular multi-campus church in Georgia whose leader is Andy Stanley. When I told this to two older Christian women who I trust and love, the reaction was the same in a nutshell: “Be careful, Andy’s emergent.”

At the time, I didn’t know what that meant so I decided to do some research. I googled “Andy Stanley emergent” and got a better taste for what this whole Emerging Church thing is, but didn’t really grasp it in clear and simple terms until this morning.

Apparently, many Emerging Church leaders identify with “post-modernism,” another term I didn’t know much about until this morning:

“Modernism was a bad philosophy. Post-modernism is another bad philosophy. But in both cases, they assault the Scripture. Modernism made reason, human reason, the king. Reason was supreme in modernism. Thomas Payne, The Age of Reason, The Enlightenment…the Renaissance. Out of that came the worship of the human mind and the mind trumps God. Now, mystery trumps the Bible. The human mind trumps the Bible in modernism, mystery trumps the Bible in post-modernism. It is at the foundation an unwillingness to accept the clear teaching of Scripture…God holds us responsible for a right understanding of Scripture. We are liable before God for what we do with a true and right understanding of Scripture.

“These people, like the liberals, deny the clear teaching of Scripture. And I’m convinced that the reason they deny it is not because it can’t be understood, not because it’s unclear, but because they don’t like what it clearly says. And that takes you back to John 3, “Men love darkness rather than light.” The light is there, they hate the light, they run from the light. The issue is not that Scripture is not clear, it is crystal clear…

So I think the motive behind this whole Emerging Church thing, whether it’s a conscious or unconscious motive, is discomfort over what the Bible really says, whether it’s about the gospel or whether it’s about sin, virtue…they don’t like it and so the out is…Well, it’s not clear. This is just another way to set the Bible aside…”-John MacArthur

In a radio show, John goes even more in-depth on this topic, and I’ll just add one more snippet of the conversation because I think it’s powerful:

“What is so interesting about this movement is the Emerging Church sanctifies the culture. The Emerging church sanctifies the post-modern culture as if it is legitimate and says, ‘if we’re going to reach these people, we’ve got to become like these people.’ That’s never been the biblical way…never. The Bible does not change. It’s not a chameleon; it doesn’t shift and change and adapt to culture. It confronts culture. It confronts an aboriginal culture. It confronts an ancient culture. It confronts a modern culture. It confronts every trend with fixed unchanging truth in every situation. And the Emerging Church not only is unwilling to believe the clear statement of Scripture, but it’s unwilling to take the clear statement of Scripture and confront the culture. It wants to let the culture define what Christianity should be.”

To hear the whole talk visit Grace To You.

So the Emerging Church, often subtly, downplays the Bible and strips it of its superiority and authority. Using the excuse that it cannot possibly be understood, they make allowance for sins that the Bible clearly condemns, and makes God a more “accepting” God, which truly, the Emergents just want their churches to be more widely accepted because the bigger the building, the more seats it can fill, and the more seats it can fill, the more money they can make.

And also, simply put, they want to enjoy sinning without the guilt trip. They want to watch porn, or fornicate, or cheat on their spouses, or indulge in greed without being judged by a Holy God for it.

Sounds a lot like the folks the Apostle Paul warned about:

“And some people even slander us by claiming that we say, “The more we sin, the better it is!” Those who say such things deserve to be condemned.”-Romans 3:8 NLT

“And what value was there in fighting wild beasts—those people of Ephesus —if there will be no resurrection from the dead? And if there is no resurrection, “Let’s feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!” Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.” Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don’t know God at all.”-1 Corinthians 15:32-34 NLT

So are you apart of an Emerging Church? I think one of the clearest indicators is their avoidance on agreeing with Scripture’s clear stances on topics such as sex before marriage or living together before marriage (i.e. fornication), homosexuality, transgenderism, and abortion. Since these are big hot-topics in our day, many Emerging Church leaders will cower away from stating what the Bible says about these things and make some excuse for, or evade the topics altogether. Why? Because they’re more concerned with keeping those large numbers/pew sitters than they are about teaching the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth at the cost of possibly becoming attacked, fined, imprisoned, or impoverished. They love their money and comfort more than they love Jesus and others.

Because at the end of the day, the old saying is often true, “The truth hurts,” or as the Bible puts it, “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.”-Proverbs 27:6 NLT

I’m gonna tell someone what I know and am 100% convinced of is unadulterated, divinely inspired truth. If I genuinely believe this incredibly prophetic, historically accurate, scientifically sound, ancient written record of how God revealed Himself to man and what He has to say to us, and I love Him more than I do my own reputation and relationships with others besides Him, then I’ll tell them what it says because I am genuinely concerned for the consequences they’ll face if they don’t know and believe these divine, eternal truths.

Many people have wrong desires: they’re married but they’re desiring to have sex with another person. Just because they have that desire,  albeit it can be deemed a natural one, doesn’t make that desire justifiable or good. The same is true for premarital sex and homosexuality. Just because someone has the desire to be with someone of the same sex doesn’t mean that behavior is justifiable.

A lot of people enjoy wrong desires; indulge in adulterous relationships, in drugs, in premarital sex and homosexual relationships, but it doesn’t mean that it’s right or good in the sight of God. And who on this earth has the authority or revelation to determine what God deems good and what He deems evil? God Himself! But how do we know which God is the true God and which teachings accurately reflect His opinions and commands???

I say, with 100% confidence, there is no other book in all the history of mankind, in all the millions of documents ever written, as prophetically accurate as the Bible, and as geographically, historically, and scientifically sound as the Bible. Even secular expert scribes agree: no ancient work holds more manuscript authority than the Bible, which simply means it is a completely reliable ancient record; what it says now is what it said thousands of years ago.

And again, no book or prophet comes an INKLING as close to as incredibly accurately prophetic as Jesus Christ and the Old and New Testament prophecies. If someone were to research the thousands of prophecies fulfilled in history that the Bible prophesied centuries and even millennia before the events occurred, they’d probably begin to doubt their doubts and start to hold the Bible in a much higher light than its religious peers. There’s no getting around it unless you avoid it.

So, are you apart of a church who downplays the Bible or reinterprets, or condemns its clear stances on sin? And if so, do you agree with your leaders that the Bible can’t be understood and that truth is thus subjective?

Who is right? The prophetically proven Bible, or these smart sounding, passionate men who’ve existed for fifty years or less on this earth and have never prophesied anything that came true to perfect detail?

I hope this makes you think and take stock as to the pastors you’re listening to and consider if they uphold the Bible as the ultimate truth, or downplay it as an ancient book that is only partially relevant now. Because, as the historically accurate ancient record holds, God has once said about mankind:

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being priest for Me;
Because you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.”-Hosea 4:6

 

With sincere love and concern,

Natasha

Don’t let exhaustion make you believe you’re depressed.

I’ve been in a funk. But wait, a little backstory first. I’m usually a bubbly, joyful, passion-infused Cubana (like this).

I strike up convos with perfect strangers without feeling the least bit awkward. I’m energized by going out and being around people. I’m smiley, love  making others smile and laugh, and I make friends easily.

But not so much lately. I’ve been discouraged, irritable, and extra impatient. I hadn’t even the drive to turn up my worship music in the morning and sing to the Lord which I have done daily for at least eight years. And Jesus is my greatest passion and joy. I love and enjoy Him more than anything or anyone. So not spending that time delighting myself in Him is also very out of my norm.

Well, my recently turned one-year-old still wakes up every night at least twice, once at best. In addition to the times I get up to use the restroom, I’m waking up at least three times a night every night, and stubbornly going to bed around or after midnight each night, and then typically getting awakened around 8:30am the latest. Now in retrospect, that’s pretty bad. We need supposedly at least six hours of uninterrupted rest which I never get. After a while, that bad sleep will wear you down (plus I’m hormonal).

But last night, I went to bed around 10:30am, and Braven only woke once, and I didn’t get awoken as early as usual. And I feel so refreshed and more like my usual, happier self.

Sometimes, we just need to rest.

I’m reminded of Elijah the prophet. He was in a pretty bad mood and feeling quite low and down about life at one point:

“Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.””
‭‭1 Kings‬ ‭19:4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

He was afraid and just wanted to be away from everyone. He was on the run and very weary. But God told him to eat and drink. And then he was strengthened and continued on. He brought this complaint to God and God spoke the truth to him, the reality of the situation, because in Elijah’s weariness and crankiness, he wasn’t seeing clearly. He felt alone and thought all was lost, but actually:

“[Elijah] replied again, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” Then the Lord told him, “Go back the same way you came, and travel to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive there, anoint Hazael to be king of Aram. Then anoint Jehu grandson of Nimshi to be king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from the town of Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet. Anyone who escapes from Hazael will be killed by Jehu, and those who escape Jehu will be killed by Elisha! Yet I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!””
‭‭1 Kings‬ ‭19:14-18‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The reality, the truth was that Elijah wasn’t alone. He was tired and weary, and certainly downcast by all the bad things happening around and to him.

So not that physical rest is the be all, end all, but it definitely helps us to stop, rejuvenate, and most of all, get alone with God so we can hear and be refreshed by the truth.

Whatever circumstances we find ourselves in, we can often misinterpret the reality of our situation and just be totally discouraged by it. But God knows the truth of the matter and when we just rest and bring our cares to Him, He is faithful to revive us every time.

But getting to that place is a fight. It’s sometimes an uphill battle, especially when you’re sleep deprived. Elijah traveled in that wilderness all day and was drained, but when he was able to get alone with God, his attitude changed and he was able to snap out of his funk.

My prayer and hope for you today is that if you’re drained and feeling down, get some rest and take time to hear from God in His word and in prayer. He’s always near to us, but sometimes, we’re running past or all around Him rather than to Him, and we are burned out. Jesus said:

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭NLT‬‬

blog_love_natasha

The Good Lesson My Hellish New Year Reminded Me Of

My New Year started off quite hellish. Never mind the fact that obnoxious fireworks blared through the night well past midnight while me and my family and two children under three, tried to sleep and our terrified dog couldn’t control her bladder.

Then, when I finally get out of bed in the morning, baby number two is crying and screaming, and hubby and me are failing miserably at consoling him. So I decide to give our tantrum/tired/sick one-day-away-from-one-year-old a container of hot cocoa powder to play with. He drops it. It spills. Good, high quality, brand new, unopened, never-before-tasted organic hot cocoa powder is now in a huge heap on the floor, and soon, baby boy is cranky pants again. I salvage less than half of the goods, and once he’s calm, I decide to make some hot cocoa for big-brother-not-yet-three-years-old. I ask him to drink it at the table, thinking that’s more spill-safe, but I was wrong. He knocks it over and it spills everywhere; on the table, on the floor, on the walls. But it gets better. As I’m cleaning yet another mess, baby number two is nearby. The thought crosses my mind that he must not get to the spilled hot cocoa on the floor. He’s what I thought was a good distance away, but like flipping Flash, he’s suddenly on all fours, crawling in the chocolatey liquid and then splats, face-planting into the stuff. He flops over and is screaming while wallowing in it. And now big brother is crying himself to sleep, resisting a nap, about to wake up his already sleeping baby brother.

Well, that’s how our New Year began. It was an unusually rough morning and afternoon. But me and hubby both came to the same conclusion; it’s a reminder that we are in a spiritual war.

There’s a serious battle raging in the heavenly realms and we, my friends, are the center of it. We are the goal, we are the prize for either side, and both want us. God wants to rescue us, Satan wants to destroy us and the battle is vicious, and bloody, and cruel, and in fact, way worse than a supremely stressful morning and afternoon with two toddlers.

I was giving Satan a foothold with my anger. With big brother pestering little brother and all the messes I had to clean while being myself sleep deprived among other things, I was definitely upset. And one blow after another, I wasn’t the most graceful. However, before the chocolate attack, I closed the bedroom door and prayed. I asked God for forgiveness and repented for my angry attitude and impatience. And right after that, the cocoa powder and liquid form of it spills everywhere and baby has a tantrum. I know it was a test. And I did better, thanks to the Holy Spirit. But we don’t always see frustrating circumstances as tests that grow us, that burn away the sinfulness and the ungodliness in our lives and refine us into something more beautiful. We just think about how annoying the problems are and stay there.

I don’t know how your New Years played out, but I do know this, no matter how good, or bad, we Christians have an enemy lurking in the shadows, waiting to pounce or fire flaming arrows. We are always hated, even though we are also always loved. But God is on our side, and He gives us weapons to combat this vile villain. We aren’t helpless victims. We aren’t weak. But we can be ignorant. And it’s our ignorance that leads us to defeat.

Before the second stress wave hit, I took up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word–rhema–of God. It’s literally the “utterance” of God’s word. I proclaimed out loud the truth that God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. It helped me overcome the first battle, but then in the midst of the second, did I take up the rhema, the sword of truth to combat the onslaught? Nope. Instead, I declared my own angry words: “This is a test!” I repeated that phrase several times and a few different ways, but I did not declare the truth of God’s word, like how Jesus did in Luke 4 when the devil was trying to tempt him. Did Jesus come up with his own clever phrases, or declare his opinion about what he thought was going on? Nope. He simply quoted–out loud–the Scripture. Whatever divinely inspired truth applied, He spoke it and immediately after each time, that lie was cut down and the devil moved on to another one until after the third strike, he retreated altogether “until another opportune time.”

I’m just learning and putting to practice this weapon we’ve been given in Ephesians 6. I obviously still forget to wield it at times, but when I remember, I win, and the devil flees.

So that’s my encouragement to you. Start off the New Year with this resolution:

I won’t gripe my way through battles anymore, but I’ll fight through them, using the only effective and efficient and most powerful weapon I’ve been given: the rhema “spoken word” of God.

This New Year, fight on, soldier. Fight on.

How to become best friends with Jesus

When you’re knocked down…

I lie in the dust; revive me by your word.-Psalm 119:25

When you’re crying from heartache…

I weep with sorrow; encourage me by your word.-Psalm 119:28

When you need advice…

Your laws please me; they give me wise advice.-Psalm 119:24

Sometimes–often times–when we aren’t regularly, daily in the Bible, we lie to ourselves…

Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions.-Psalm 119:29

We think our sins are better or more pleasurable than obeying God. We don’t realize that it’s a privilege to know His instructions. God isn’t a corrupt, selfish boss. He’s perfect in every way; perfectly good, perfect in truth, perfect in love, perfect in wisdom; so when He gives us an instruction or command, it comes from perfect knowledge and unfathomably good intentions. Literally, God is so good, we cannot even comprehend every aspect of just how good His purposes and plans for us are. I can always come up with a number of reasons as to why God commands us the things He does, but knowing how much higher He is than me and how much holier, and perfect, and wise, I know I’m missing tons more.

How many times have you gone to your mom or best friend for advice? Why do you go to them? When seeking advice, you usually go to the people you trust the most and believe love you the most. These people typically have only lived as long as we have, or a few decades more, but still sin, make mistakes, fail, forget, disappoint. But Jesus is perfect. He never fails, forgets, sins, makes mistakes. He loves us in such a more full and perfect and complete way than anyone on this earth possibly can. He died for us when we were still sinners and cleanses those who trust in Him alone for their salvation and brings them to heaven. So if He is SUCH a better advice-giver, why do we so often side-step or walk past Him and run to a faulty sinner instead?

The best reason would have to be a lack of knowledge. We don’t really KNOW Him like we THINK we do. Just because you believe you have a neighbor living down the street, doesn’t mean you KNOW that neighbor. You may even know her name, but how much time do you spend with her? How often do you talk to her?

Now what about your best friend? How often do you hang out with her? How often do you speak with her? Who do you trust more? Your neighbor down the street or your best friend? Who do you love more?

See, the same outcome is true for our relationship with God. Just because we believe or know He’s there, doesn’t mean we know Him closely, like a best friend. We may know Him more like a distant neighbor, and so it’s no wonder we don’t go to Him first or often for advice. Trust is built more and more over time, isn’t it? Did you instantly entrust all of your deepest and darkest secrets with the person who is now called your best friend? Even if you trusted her after your first conversation, you grew to trust her more the better you got to know her, right?

If you don’t regularly spend time getting to know God through reading the Bible, He will always be that last resort, distant neighbor you call on when no one else is available. Since the majority of your advice is coming from imperfect, sinful humans with knowledge limited to a few decades of life and loaded with bias, your life and decisions will often be fueled by lies rather than the truth. But the more truth you know, the more Jesus you know, the more your choices will be guided by truth and the clearer and more certain your path will be.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.

Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.

 Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
Then you will have healing for your body
    and strength for your bones.-Provers 3:6-8

I pray you begin to regularly open your bible and make an effort to become best friends with Jesus for your own good, and for His glory! Here’s how to begin:

How can a young person stay pure?
    By obeying your word.
 I have tried hard to find you—
    don’t let me wander from your commands.
 I have hidden your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you.
I praise you, O Lord;
    teach me your decrees.
I have recited aloud
    all the regulations you have given us.
I have rejoiced in your laws
    as much as in riches.
I will study your commandments
    and reflect on your ways.
 I will delight in your decrees
    and not forget your word.-Psalm 119:9-16

1.) Try hard.

2.) Hide His Word in your heart by reading it regularly.

3.) Recite His Word, read it aloud, and quote it to others and yourself.

4.) Rejoice in His Word; be thankful for His precious promises and instructions to you.

5.) Study His Word; ask Him to teach you about something you want wisdom for and search for the answers in the Bible.

6.) Delight in His Word. Remember, reading the Bible is an absolute privilege; it’s the wisdom and knowledge of God! And not everyone has it so easily accessible, and many get imprisoned or killed for reading the Bible!

Keep me from lying to myself;
    give me the privilege of knowing your instructions.
 I have chosen to be faithful;
    I have determined to live by your regulations.
I cling to your laws.
    Lord, don’t let me be put to shame!
I will pursue your commands,
    for you expand my understanding.-Psalm 119:29-32

In essence:

Choose, determine, cling, and pursue. What guy, dream, school or career is better than Jesus? So choose and determine to pursue Him, and then keep clinging to Him all of your days. Trust me, the only thing you’ll regret is not having done so sooner.

Jesus Loves Me so Don’t Judge Me

“I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in a way that is not good, According to their own thoughts; A people who provoke Me to anger continually to My face…”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭65:2-3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

The bible says God doesn’t change; He is steadfast, eternally the same. His character has always hated evil and loved good, and it always will. There are things we do that provoke Him to anger continually. Indeed, God loves us, but hates the sin we commit. To use, “He loves me,” as a defense or justification for not repenting of what He calls sin and what He hates, is to trample underfoot His sacrifice on the cross for your sins.

“For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The LORD will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:26-31‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

I know way too many Millennial Christians who use the, “Jesus loves me,” tactic to fool themselves and feel okay about engaging in sin. They don’t want to humble themselves and repent: they want heaven, God’s acceptance, and their sin. But Christ is a sword-bearer who demands a sharp divide and says those who love the world make themselves His enemy. For us to think this holy God who hated sin so much He sent His Son to be brutally punished for it and die in order to cleanse those who would later choose to trust in Jesus and repent, is to create your own false version of God; a god of your own understanding that is cool with whatever you do and accepts you anyway; an unholy god, opposite to the one in the bible. If your god doesn’t care if you sin, then don’t call him Jesus. Don’t blaspheme and lie about the holy character of God and deceive others into following your false version because you’ll just be heaping up even more judgement for yourself in the end.

My prayer is that some, even just one person reading this will admit to themselves and God that they’ve been making excuses for their sin and creating their own god that makes them comfortable and not accountable to change. That you would realize that your god is fake and powerless and that you clinging to this false idol of Jesus will only harm you and others. Christ offers so many glorious things in exchange for our repentance: forgiveness, fellowship with Him, power to transform and help others change. He gives us power over demons, power over satan. But you give all that up when you choose to deny holiness and cling to your sins.

There is nothing more delightful than experiencing Jesus FOR REAL. Because getting emotional when you sing at church doesn’t mean you’ve experienced Him, and experiencing Him goes way beyond that and overflows into every area of your life. It is not mere feelings and emotional highs, it is undeniable evidence of Him transforming you, leading you, speaking to you, teaching you, answering you, helping you.

If you’re not experiencing increasing holiness and power over the sins in your life, if you’re not experiencing a greater desire for Jesus and His truth and a lesser and lesser desire and eventual hatred of sin, then you don’t have a real, surrendered, right relationship with Him. You are not His follower, you’re just His fan who visits Him at church, but doesn’t seek to obey Him. You’re not a child of God, you’re sorta religious. And what a tragedy, when Christ calls us to such a more meaningful and incredible life; to true life. You have no idea what you’re missing out on and that is why you’re holding onto the sins in your life rather than forsaking them and knowing following Jesus is SO much worthier and better for you and others.

It angers God and breaks His heart, and as someone who loves God and people, I’m telling you truthfully, He does not accept you if you continue to love sin. He just does not. This is not Natasha’s teaching, it’s the bible’s. And if you’re a professing Christian, you’re supposed to believe and seek to obey that book; not just listen to the parts that are nice and easy to accept; you don’t just accept as much of Jesus as you’re comfortable with, you let go and surrender all to Him and embrace everything He desires for you. And then your life will really begin.

Why Not To Chase A Name For Yourself

Are you hustling to make a name for yourself? If you’re putting anything above Christ—career, school, auditions, a boyfriend or girlfriend, etc.—Jesus has some tough words: 

    “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”-Matthew 10:37-39 NKJV

    If you’re trying hard to make a life for yourself, accomplish what you want to accomplish, and that comes first in your life, then you’ll lose it. But if you lay down everything and say, “Jesus, whatever You will for me because You deserve all of me since you gave all of Yourself, You withheld nothing, not even your own life for me, how can I not in turn surrender my will and desires to You who have PROVEN You are worthy to follow. No human being is more worthy than You. No one else died to set me free, to forgive me when I wasn’t even seeking forgiveness, but was loving my sin. No one offers me heaven, everlasting peace, joy, and power to overcome the devil. Only You do. So I will do what You want me to because You are perfect goodness and love,”—if you have that kind of heart, Jesus promises you will find your life. 

    Many are lost because they haven’t discovered their true life and purpose is hidden in Christ and only by seeking Him can it be found.

    And many are deceived into practicing selfishness in the name of, “God wants to bless me!”

    Too many are chasing fleeting things and forgetting to chase Christ. The kingdom and glory of this world is FADING fast, but God’s kingdom is the only one that will remain. 

    What will you choose to chase?