A Royal Identity

Bible Study: Fight Well Week One

What one does when faced with the truth is more difficult than you’d think.
— Diana Prince, Wonder Woman

I’ve never felt like I was much of a fighter. At least not when it came to spiritual things…

Fighting the enemy, spiritual warfare and casting down thoughts were just phrases I would hear in a Sunday sermon but never really were a part of my everyday life. To be honest, I think I used to be a bit scared to “fight the devil.” I mean, it’s the devil. I don’t want to make him mad, right?

But I believe this happened because I had the wrong focus when it came to these things. I had to stop believing that I was fighting to get something or to find something or to prove something. I had to stop thinking that I just wasn’t as strong as other women who seemed so passionate and confident. I had to stop looking through the lens of myself and start looking at what the word of God actually says. And what I found changed everything.

When we realize who we are, and Whose we are, then we are finally able to tap into a deep power that we can’t find on our own. We pull from an ancient strength that doesn’t care how holy or perfect you feel in the moment. And we finally see our enemy for the small, pathetic and un-intimidating opponent he really is.

The problem… most of us don’t know who we are! Or at the very least, we have no idea how that relates with fighting well.

This summer, I want to get into the word and take a look at the battle strategies of a Royal Daughter and how this applies to every single part of our daily lives.

You don’t need to live in fear, anxiety or worry. Instead, you can live free, confident and strong. It’s all within your reach.

Join me for video one of the Fight Well Bible Study and let me show you who you really are.

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6 Truths About Your Identity

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I’m the Kingdom’s lost Princess... Aren’t I?
— Rapunzel, Tangled

This is perhaps one of the greatest moments in all of Disney’s movies, when Rapunzel realizes she’s not a lost girl destined to live out her days in a lonely tower, but she is in fact the lost Princess, beloved, cherished and desperately needed. It’s through this revelation that she finds the strength to stand up to her captor, embrace her true identity and walk out of the prison that held her back for years.

It wasn’t because she was a woman, or because she had a spunky personality. It wasn’t until she realized who she truly was - a Royal Daughter with purpose, power and authority – that she was truly set free.

And this gets me thinking, why are we spending so much time defending ourselves as women, when all of our power comes from something much deeper, more powerful and infinitely more divine than mere gender. What if the keys that could set you free weren’t in how confident, creative, feminine or talented you came across? What if it starts from the inside, discovering Royal roots that tied you and your Heavenly Father together in unbreakable ways? Then, you would walk in all of the freedom, confidence, power, authority, creativity, and purpose than you ever have on your own.

So let’s talk about this. Who are we? What truly lives on the inside of us and how can this help us in our everyday, moment-by-moment lives?

Here are 6 truths about your identity that will bring you into the freedom you long for...

 

1. You were created in God’s image

Isn’t it such a cliché? We mumble off “I’m made in the image of Christ,” without really believing it or, perhaps, not truly understanding what this means.

In the Ancient Near East, it was believed that images actually contained the essence of that which they represented. In fact, ancient kings would put images of themselves in places in order to claim their territory, control, and rule, so their essence would be represented. So the fact that you were created in the image of God means that you are meant to bear God’s essence wherever he has placed you. You were designed to represent God and act on his behalf to this broken and hurting world. You were created to display the character and nature of God to the people He has placed in and around your life.

Being an Ambassador of Christ doesn’t just mean that you’re saved. It’s a mission. It’s an assignment. When people experience you they are meant to experience Him. This isn’t some high and lofty standard that we have to meet or God is displeased with us. No! You represent Him because He lives in you! You bear His image and if you cling to this truth and allow Him to flow through you, the image on the inside of you will begin to impact and touch everyone around you.

It’s not about how good or holy you act. It’s about who’s image you bear. Nothing can or will ever change that.

 

2. You were created in God’s likeness

Usually, we think of the terms “image” and “likeness” as basically the same thing. However, image means essence (God’s character), while likeness means a physical similarity. To put it plainly, somehow, you look like God!

But wait, how can this be true! After all, when I look in the mirror, the last thing I usually think to myself is, “oh, hey God. I didn’t notice you there.” No, usually I’m picking and prying, scrubbing, detangling and moisturizing my heart out, trying to get a different kind of image to appear. But even if you don’t have bouncy locks that tumble to the floor, remember, that never made Rapunzel a Princess.

You are who you are because of who He is. He is good. He is Royal. He is Lord. And He chose you.

Before you did anything right or good, before you were even born, God designed you to resemble him. That should give you a sense of great dignity. You are not a mistake. You are not an afterthought. In fact, it’s been said that a great work of art is a masterpiece when the artists put themself into the art. In the same way, you are a masterpiece of God’s own making.

 

3. You were created with purpose

Ever noticed that everything God made was for a purpose? The sun, moon, and stars were created to light the skies and govern the days and nights. The land was created to produce vegetation, and those plants were created to bear fruit. Even water was created with purpose—to keep us alive, and be filled with living creatures.

In the same way, you and I were created with a specific purpose in mind. If you don’t know your purpose yet, don’t worry. God isn’t trying to hide that from you. But don’t forget that this life isn’t just about the destination, for then it would be over. But it’s more about the journey ahead. And Your Father is far more interested in who you become along the way, than simply how fast you get “there.”

But living with a sense of purpose will give you the courage to move forward when other people would rather you stay put. It will bring you peace when this world says worry. And it will be your constant guide when others are loud with their plans.

Like Mother Gothel singing to her dear Rapunzel for fear of her leaving, she reminds her of all the things she is not. How she isn’t anyone important, stunning or of interest and it would be better for her to stay put where she’s safe. In the words of American Author John Augustus Shedd, “A ship at harbor is safe – but that’ s not what ships are for.” Don’t let fear, worry or other people’s opinions keep you from living from your sense of purpose.

 

4. You were created with authority

Did you know that nothing in this world can overtake you if you don’t allow it to? I know that can sound a bit harsh, and I don’ t mean it to! Life is real and it can knock us off our feet sometimes. But I think we’ve gotten a little too comfortable with the idea of being the victim that we hardly ever see any other option.

I’ve got news for you girl: if you’re stuck in that tower (whether it’s with insecurity, brokenness, gossip, envy, strife, stress, unforgiveness...) no one is going to let you out. They want you to stay there. People will support your decision to be the victim, safely locked up away from the world. It takes courage to believe by faith in who you really are, walk out of that tower and live your life free from it’s grasp.

Remember that you are worthy of the authority you possess because He is worthy. Every name must bow to the name of Jesus and you carry His name. Walk in confidence that His authority lives in you. And you are worthy to wield it.

5. You were created for great things

Too often we view the future before us through the dim lens of our spotty past. We take one look at our track record of mistakes, misunderstandings and chapters we wish we could rewrite, and then we project what we feel we deserve into our futures. Or worse, we dream of a bright future full of possibilities, but ache as our troubled hearts condemn the mere thought.

You must believe that you were created for great things despite whatever mistakes might be overwhelming you. It’s not based on what you do, but who you are. After all, this is about your identity, not your performance.

Stop limiting your own future because of your past, your fears, your worries, your doubts or your unbelief. If you believe you aren’t meant for greatness, then your life won’t go very far. Not because God is holding out on you, but faith is the substance of things HOPED for. If you don’t have any hope for a grand and meaningful future, then your faith has nothing to bring into your reality.

The attacks on your life have far more to do with who you might be in the future, than who you have been in the past. After all, Mother Gothel didn’t keep Repunzel locked in that tower because she did something bad. She was the Royal Daughter and Gothel dreaded what would happen if she were to find that out. Don’t be deceived. The enemy doesn’t attack what he is not threatened by and there something on your life that terrifies him.

 

6. You were created for your King’s delight

Have you ever thought about that? You were created to bring joy and delight to your King. Again, not by what you do (although faith does please God) but just simply because you are His daughter.  Did you know if you never did anything FOR God in your entire life, He would still love, cherish and delight in you exactly the same as He does a famous minister? If you can’t believe this, then you will always strive to be good enough to get God’s “special” attention.

You have to know that Your Father, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, delights in the mere thought of you. You are not an accident or an afterthought. You are a carefully crafted work of art that God has poured His very image, likeness, purpose, authority and great plans into. He longs to just spend time with you, hearing about your day, your hopes, dreams, fears and frustrations. He wants you to be real, open and honest. He cares about your heart and wants so desperately for you to let Him in.

In a world that is frantically looking for a source of acceptance and love, it’s more important now than ever to know who you are. But you will only find out who you truly are by getting to know who He truly is. When the world says this is who you are, that’s when you punch back and say, “No, this is who I am.” You stand up, walk out of that tower that’s been holding you back and pursue all of the great chapters that are ahead for you.

Rapuzel’s story is so inspiring because she chose to leave her tower. After all, that’s when all the greatness can begin.

There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.
— C.S. Lewis

Let’s leave the tower and take the Kingdom. Know who you are, stand in your identity and you will write the story of your life well.

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Girl Talk with Maren Hamm

From living with Late Stage Lyme Disease, wheelchair bound and in constant pain, to not only living a full life healed but traveling the world healing others, Maren Hamm knows what it looks like to take the word of God and plant it as a seed in her heart, producing MASSIVE results.

She didn’t come from a super spiritual background.. didn’t know much about God at all. It wasn’t until she started to understand who her Heavenly Father really was, and how good He is, that she started to experience all of the amazing things He had in store for her.

Too often we feel like we need to do all the right things, be all the right things, or understand all of the right things to finally receive our healing, freedom, peace, joy (fill in the blank) from God. Maren is no stranger to this but she didn’t stop there. She found that she didn’t need to do anything or become anyone else to get set free. It was simple and uncomplicated. And it can be the same for you!

Her story will inspire you and hopefully, empower you to walk out of whatever “hard things” your facing now, and step into the incredible purpose God has for you.

It’s time to step out of the wheelchair. It’s time to take the limits off. It’s time to rise up as the Daughters of God who don’t settle for what we see, but walk with a Heavenly vision and a determination to see His goodness manifest on this earth.

Grab your cup of coffee and let’s have girl talk with Maren as she shares what shifted in her that led to her complete healing, freedom and purpose.

Don’t give up! There’s more for you than what you’ve seen…

Cheering you on,

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The Struggle to Really Be Good Enough

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Upon hearing that, her accusers slowly left the crowd one at a time, beginning with the oldest to the youngest, with a convicted conscience. Until finally, Jesus was left alone with the woman still standing there in front of him. So he stood back up and said to her, ‘Dear woman, where are your accusers? Is there no one here to condemn you?’

Looking around, she replied, ‘I see no one, Lord.’

Jesus said, ‘Then I certainly don’t condemn you either. Go, and from now on, be free from a life of sin.’
— John 8:9-11 TPT

The beautiful words of Jesus never cease to amaze me.

His kindness, his generosity, his goodness, his faithfulness. He meets us right where we are and yet because he loves us so much, he refuses to let us wallow in our mess. Like a good Father, he picks us up, dusts us off and leads us down a much better path, one that will lead to happiness, joy and peace.

But that’s not quite the story that’s painted for us Christians today…

Like Martha in the kitchen, we leave our Sunday services with a conviction that the more we do for God, the more we are accepted by Him. This may feel fine when we’re doing everything we think is good, but once we make a mistake (whether big or small) the overwhelming stress of unworthiness floods our minds and hearts, to the point where we start to disqualify ourselves from the plans and even the love of God.

We have to stop thinking that it’s what we do that determines how God sees us. In fact, it’s the other way around. What you do affects how you see God. When we mess up or go off in sin, it tends to distort our perception of God. The enemy will use your mistakes to paint a blurry image of a distant God, whose ready to scold your every misstep.

This is toxic thinking and it has to stop before it takes you down a road of bitterness and resentfulness.

When I first got married, I was a never ending mess of tangled insecurities, fears and unmet expectations. The longer I wallowed in my fears, the more of a burden I felt I was to God, to my husband and all of my friends, who had to put up with my insecure mood swings and eye glares.

All along I thought I was the victim but in reality, I was doing all of this to myself! The self-defeating thoughts and attitudes were in my mind by my authority. I chose to hold on to them. I chose to accept them and ultimately, I chose to suffer in my insecurities until one day, I just couldn’t take it anymore.

I thought to myself, “This isn’t working. I’m miserable. Either I need to change or it’s only going to get worse.”

Falling into insecurity and fear is a tricky thing, because the more time you spend as a prisoner in it’s chambers, the more you start to doubt if you’re worthy of being rescued. The freedom you long for so desperately is the one thing you discredit yourself from every receiving.

Mistakes don’t define you, but they can refine you… but only if you let them.

You weren’t saved because of something good you did or some merit you received, but because of who you put your trust in. The Christian life is a continuous journey of learning to trust on him for everything you need, want and dream about, not because of what you’ve done, but because of whose you are. “Grace” isn’t just a five letter word that got you on the nice list this year. It’s a deep magic that bound your tired soul to God’s everlasting peace and life. You are sealed by His love, bought with His blood and cared for by His faithfulness. Nothing you do will ever change that.

Should we want to do great things on this earth for Him? Of course! But not so that our picture can earn a more prominent spot on His fridge. You do that and your life will be full of stress and worry, never really knowing where you stand.

Don’t put your trust in something as fickle and uncertain as your performance. We all have bad days, seasons, years… God knew we couldn’t do it all on our own. That’s why He came on the scene and established a plan to get us back to Himself.

Like the Pharisees did with the woman caught in the act of adultery, this world will always try and tell you who you are. But if you’ll listen (or read His word) you’ll see someone else on the scene, whispering what He thinks about you. The question is, who are you going to listen to?

One condemns you without offering any solution to help, but the other bends down, lends a hand and gives you the power to live a life bigger than you could ever imagine. Jesus’ words to her are His same words to you, “Go, and from now on, be free from a life of sin.”

This doesn’t mean you won’t EVER sin. We all make mistakes because on this side of eternity, we’ve still got some old ways, thoughts and habits to deal with. He’s not expecting perfection from you. It’s an invitation to a life fully trusting in His ability, and not your own. He’s asking you if you’d like to join Him on the journey ahead, instead of sitting in our mess.

You make mistakes. You are not a mistake.

Stop caging yourself in to what other people have said you can and can’t do and start listening to the one voice that truly matters. Allow Him to untangle you from what’s held you back and start writing the story of your life well.

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How to Overcome Chronic Comparison

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Comparison is the thief of joy.
— Theodore Roosevelt

We’ve hear it a million and one times… comparison is the thief of joy. It won’t make you happy, you’ll be miserable and it will keep you trapped to other people. And yet we still do it… ALL THE TIME! It’s one of those issues we all agree is wrong and detrimental, and yet it’s also one of the most widely accepted habits in our world, almost to the point where it’s considered normal and part of everyday life.

Yes comparison is something that everyone has or is dealing with, but it didn’t originate with our modern technological world, like so many would like to believe. “It’s not our fault! It’s our modern society!” Absolutely not… Comparison is an ancient problem that’s been around since the days after the fall of mankind. When Cain and Abel both offered sacrifices to God, Abel’s was accepted but Cain’s was not. Immediately Cain began to compare himself to his brother and this led to quite the turn of events.

Cain talked with Abel his brother [about what God had said]. And when they were [alone, working] in the field, Cain attacked Abel his brother and killed him.
— Genesis 4:8 AMP

Now, this might seem a bit extreme, but comparison doesn’t produce any life in us, but rather discontent, frustration, greed and possibly even anger. It’s a ploy of the enemy he’s been using since the beginning and his goal is to steal away your strength and in turn, disrupt your future.

We all know the famous words of Teddy Roosevelt, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” We know, we know, comparison doesn’t make us happy.

NO! It is literally stealing away your joy!

But why is that important? Let’s compare this quote with scripture…

...for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
— Nehemiah 8:10 ESV

So now if comparison is the thief of joy, and the joy of the Lord is your strength, then that must mean that comparison ultimately zaps you of all your strength and energy! Can you see the subtly in this! We all know comparison usually makes us unhappy with ourselves, but I bet most of us haven’t ever thought of it stealing away our own strength.

Have you ever woken up ready to take on the day? You get inspired by new ideas and you can’t wait to implement them into your blog, brand, business, home or life. Then you open Instagram and the scrolling begins. You pass over photo after photo of insta-perfect lives with their insta-perfect kids, the perfect fishtail braids and perfectly scripted captions (perhaps just what you were wanting to share that day, but now…) You start to compare yourself to the numbers under their profiles and slowly you begin to question if your ideas are really that good after all.

You go about your day with a little less enthusiasm as before and by the day’s end, you’re exhausted and mentally drained, yet you really haven’t done much. Or is this just me?

I would get super excited about what I wanted to do and the things God was showing me, but then I would log on to social media and without even fully realizing it, I would compare myself to every other blogger out there… “well she’s got this program, maybe I should be doing that. Well she’s got this many followers on her podcast, maybe starting one is a stupid idea after all… “ It’s a never ending cycle of comparison that is quite quickly chipping away at my own strength. Before I know it, I feel as though I’ve worked an entire day and it’s only lunch time! My ideas seem small and insignificant and I quickly dismiss them as child’s play.

Although this is an age-old problem, our modern society has definitely made it a million times easier to make comparison a daily part of our lives, like drinking our morning coffee. But if this habit of comparing ourselves to other people in our lives (and usually those we’ll never meet) is truly this troubling on our souls, then what’s the answer? How can we combat this comparison game in a cyber world?

Hannah was a woman well versed with comparison…

While she held the heart of her husband, his other wife held their 10 children, leaving Hannah with a lonely spirit and a sense of failing as a wife. Everyday, she had to look across the breakfast table at Elkanah (her husband) and his “other” wife as they got their children fed and ready for the day. She probably noticed the look on Elkanah’s face as he looked into his son’s eyes. She could also see the look on his other wife’s face as she gloated under the admiration of the man they both loved.

But Hannah's breakthrough didn't come while stalking and sulking over what she didn't have. She turned to God for her answers and got back more than she could have possibly imagined. She brought her petitions to Him and trusted God to be her defender, provider and ultimately, to get her sense of worth and value from the One who made her.

Scripture records these next five words which I believe God is trying to speak to all of His daughters today…

...and the Lord remembered her.
— 1 Samuel 1:19

Hannah went on to have a son named Samuel who became one of the most well-known Prophets of the Most High God, anointing both King Saul and King David to the throne. God’s plan for Hannah was quite unique, but it didn’t come to pass until she gave her worries, comparisons and frustrations to God, allowing Him to speak His will into her existence.


God has a plan for your life but it isn’t going to look like HER life or HER calling or HER purpose.

And you won’t find His plan for you by looking at someone else’s life, comparing your insides to her outsides and competing with someone who isn’t running your race. If the shoe isn’t fitting right, then it’s probably not your size! And if you’re tripping up and not getting very far, then you’re probably trying to run someone else’s race.

We need to stop getting so distracted by what’s going on around us and begin to press in to what God is speaking to us individually. He formed you for a purpose, crafted you for a reason and scribed the story of you life in eternity. But it doesn’t happen automatically. God partners with us to accomplish his will and we are joint heirs with Christ to do good works on this earth.

Here’s a crazy thought, do you realize that your race doesn’t finish after your life on this earth? We will be spending an eternity with God in his Kingdom and if we don’t learn to run our race well here, then we’ll certainly learn to there. I don’t know about you, but I want to give it my all down here so I can experience everything God intends for me in this life and the next.

That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.
— Galatians 5:26 MSG

You are an original and you won’t live up to your full potential while you’re trying to look like someone else. Fight the habit to compare and give yourself a mental detox. Refocus and realign your thoughts on God’s thoughts and listen as he whispers to your soul, “I remember you. You’ve never left my mind.”

In a world of cyber comparison, be the exception and give others a reason to find value and worth within themselves.

Live original,

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Feeling stuck in your bible reading and unsure where to begin?

 
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I totally get it! Check-out my Drawing Near Bible Reading Plan that will help you lean into God’s presence and understand the true heart of your Maker.

Whatcha waitin’ for girl, let’s get started!