A Bigger And Better 2018

A Bigger And Better 2018

Refuse to let the enemy run your year.
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2017 was one of the best years that I have had so far. In January, I went with the girls at my high school to our senior retreat and spent two days with the friends I have grown so close to throughout the previous four years. In February, I spent a day at the beach for Mardi Gras with my best friends (and everyone in the area) and the weather was perfect.

In March, I got to visit my future college with my future roomie and fell in love with my new home. In April, I went to Harbour Island in the Bahamas and came back home to spend my last high school spring break with some of my favorite people – the best week! May was full of celebration and fun – my birthday, graduation, graduation parties, and Hangout Fest. In June, I was able to hangout with my friends that I would soon be leaving and blessed to work with some awesome people. I watched the Blue Angels fly in July, which is always one of my favorite days of the year.

Then came August… From August to December, my family moved me into my cozy dorm. I went through sorority recruitment and talked to some of the most amazing and inspiring people that I have ever come across. I became a part of a sorority and met the coolest girls ever. I did well in my classes and finally learned how to study when finals week rolled around. I started going to an amazing and welcoming church. I realized how grateful I am to be in Tallahassee, but also how blessed I am to be from Pensacola. I understood how important family was on the weekends that I went home. I went to New York for the first time and fell in love with the city.

Needless to say, my year was full of blessings. College was scary to me – but God put me right where I belong. Not only did 2017 treat me well, but it was also a year of internal growth. My relationship with God was tested throughout this year. I feel like when life is going really well, I tend to forget that I have nothing unless I have Jesus. While I had a lot of fun and got to do a lot of things, I grew further from the only thing that can provide me with eternal joy and allow me to do all things. It was not until I attended Passion that I fully understood the extent of how much I need a savior – not just when I feel like I do. I came into year feeling heavy. I was chained to a new lifestyle. I felt like I lost my opportunity to live the life that God wrote for me.

This attitude is exactly what the enemy wants us to have. He wants us to feel like we are too bad, too unworthy, we drink too much, we are too judgmental – there is no way God would want us back. When we let these thoughts take over our minds, we are giving into the enemy. We are allowing him to take control without realizing that Jesus has the victory. When I left for college, my mom started pressing into me that God has a plan for my life but so does Satan.

When I made the realization that the enemy was targeting me, I made the decision to not let him win. When I understood that he was using the things that trigger me the most, I wanted to do everything I could to spot him. I refuse to live another year letting Satan think that he has me in the palm of his hand. I will not let him steal, kill, or destroy any of my relationships, opportunities, or thoughts anymore.

While 2017 will be hard to beat, I believe that God is going to do big things in 2018. Jeremiah 32:27 says, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” By giving God control, there will be nothing that I can’t accomplish.

Cover Image Credit: Whitney Weldon

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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When You Read Your Bible And Pray Every Day You Will See Yourself Grow, Grow, Grow

I notice a difference in me when I don't read my Bible and pray every day.

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Whenever I hear someone talking about reading the Bible every day, my mind goes back to a song I sang in Sunday School. "Read your Bible, pray every day and you'll grow, grow grow." Whenever we said grow, we would stand up taller and taller, eventually standing on a chair and trying to reach the ceiling. Quite funny right? Yes, but how much truth exists in this silly song as well.

A relationship is built on communication between two people. You wouldn't have much of a relationship if you didn't talk to the other person. The same principle exists in your relationship with God. We are able to talk to God through prayer, and God wrote the Bible as a means of communicating with us. Because of this, it is important to read the Bible and pray every day.

I feel really inadequate in writing this article on this topic because I know how much I struggle with consistency in this area. These things don't become a habit on accident. You must practice this on purpose in order for it to become an effective, lasting trait in your life.

I can tell a difference in a day when I don't read the Bible and when I do. I've found myself to be more joyful when I spend some time reading and meditating on a few verses and talking to God about whatever is on my mind. It sets my focus on things above rather than myself, which is something I have struggled with to be quite honest. I find it interesting that so many Christians find it difficult to have a consistent time with the Lord, myself included. It could be a matter of priority and where Jesus falls on that. I know I've been guilty many times of placing other things before God and they thus become idols.

The song then says, "Neglect your Bible, forget to pray and you'll shrink, shrink, shrink." As we say "shrink" we begin crouching down closer and closer to the ground. It's still quite silly, but a lot of truth is evident. It's a good object lesson to what happens when we don't communicate with God in our relationship and become stagnant. We stop communicating with the Lord and eventually our sin doesn't bother us as much. There's not as much conviction there, so we don't confess it. Then, our fellowship with God breaks and we continue to make more worldly choices.

Whenever I don't read my Bible and pray for a day, I notice how much of my flesh is evident. I get angrier a lot quicker and my patience is a lot less evident. Anxiety and worry are often a lot more evident. All these things aren't of God. He gives the spirit of peace. That's not to say that communicating with the Lord well will never put you in a place where you don't feel at peace. We still are in need of God's sufficiency amongst our insufficiency. It just amplifies how sinful our nature is and how holy Christ is.

I hope this is an encouragement for someone in their walk with the Lord. Maintaining a strong relationship with Him isn't always easy, even though it should be a Christian's top priority. It's amazing at how gracious God has been to me in spite of all the times I've failed Him and wasn't as close as I once was. His grace is still good enough for you friend. Believe me.

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