What Has He Done For You Lately?!

“No power can stand against You
No curse assault Your throne
No one can steal Your glory
For it is Yours alone
I stand to sing Your praises
I stand to testify
For I was dead in my sin”
Beneath the Waters (I Will Rise)-Hillsong United

There’s something inside of you that you have to let out. You might feel scared, you might feel unqualified, or you might feel as if there isn’t much to it but you have to share your testimony. You have to share the good news. You have to tell people about what Jesus has done for you lately.
Before Jesus ascended to the heavens to take His place at our Father’s right hand, He commanded His disciples (which includes us, centuries later) to “go out into the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15).

But we don’t. We’re numb to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) and tight-lipped towards those who need to hear about our encounters with Him. We don’t want to share because that makes us easy targets for the doubters to criticize and berate our proclamations. And when attacked, we feel as if we need to retaliate with counterarguments. But we don’t have to.

We weren’t called to defend our God.

To preach means to publicly proclaim, to announce. It doesn’t mean to argue or to defend. Jesus asked us to simply share the good news so that everyone can know that they are no longer condemned by their sins, that they have been washed clean by His blood, which allows them to come freely to the Father’s throne and be accepted with arms wide open, no reservations.

The good news itself sounds too good to be true. I can hear the unbelievers shouting out with distrust. I don’t blame people for their skepticism. Christians, the followers of Christ, the people who say that God is love, don’t have the best track record in portraying that truth. We can be hypocritical. We can be arrogant. We can be unforgiving. We can be the opposite of everything we claim our God to be. But what they don’t understand and I pray that you caught the revelation that even on our best days, when God’s grace and His glory shine brightly through us, we are but shadows of the one true King.

“Hypocrisy does not undermine the credibility of the Christian faith.” Corey Widmer

Our God is so much better than us. So much better.

And that’s why God doesn’t need prosecutors, defenders or judges. God isn’t on trial. He called us to be witnesses, to be lights for this very dark world. Besides, God has enough evidence to back Himself up (His Word). He can definitely defend Himself.

In 1 Samuel 5, the Philistines, after capturing the ark of God from the Israelites, placed it in their god’s, Dagon, temple. The next day, the Philistines find the statue of Dagon faced down on the floor in front of the ark of the Lord. They placed the statue upright again but the next morning they find their god, Dagon, in the same position with its head and hands cut off. Then God proceeded to afflict them with so much trouble that the Philistines were desperate to return the ark back to the Israelites with a guilt offering.

So as you can see, God doesn’t need your best defense, your best argument. Nothing can stand against our God. Anything counterfeit, anything not of Him falls at His feet, broken and useless.

What He wants is your obedience. He wants you to share your story of the good things He’s done for you. And don’t worry: no one can negate your experiences. No one can dispute your past. Even if you meet opposition, you need to remember that someone out there, who’s going through a similar situation God just delivered you from, needs to hear that there’s a way out of the darkness, that dawn will break with a new promise after a night full of tears (Psalm 126:5).

Even if your voice shakes, speak. Don’t hide His goodness. Don’t keep the good news to yourself. Speak out and share because your words, your experiences can be a seed in someone else’s life and in God’s timing will bloom into a new testimony and new praise.

Speak and share that seed.

Let Me Introduce Myself Yet Again

Fear plays a big part in my life. I wasn't nicknamed Shook for nothing.

Although (I like to believe) I can give a steely look that can stop a man cold, I get scared more times than I can instill fear into someone. I'm a scaredy-cat that gets spooked by its own shadow if I encounter it on a bad day.

And my fear isn't exclusive to simple things, such as snakes and spiders and tigers and lions and bears (oh my!). No, I may not like the creepy crawlers and things that can eat me but those are eclipsed by my greatest fears (the ones that keep me up at night stressing out and worrying) like failure, lack, and not being good enough.

And that's not half of the story. Fear keeps me landlocked, it keeps me stagnant and stalling. I cannot move if I'm afraid. It makes me sit down, hold back and be filled with regret because I have something to give, there's something I need to say but I don't because I'm scared that I'm wrong, that I misread the situation, that I am not what's needed.

Or at least that's what I've realized lately. This past summer I had the chance to intern at The Vous, the young adult ministry at Trinity Church. It's an experience that I will forever be grateful for but it definitely came with internal struggles.

I had to grow and I hate growing!!! Because with growth, there's failing, one of my dreaded fears! And the thing is, failure was unavoidable: usually with a new thing, it takes a few tries (and a few blows to my ego) until I succeed at it. Being an intern at a church was a new thing for me. And it was infuriating.

There were days that I thought I didn't measure up, leaving me frustrated. Then most days, I became a complacent wallflower and I still ended up pissed. I couldn't win. 

I tried and I failed. I didn't try and I still failed. It sucked!

I was at a stalemate and I had to choose. I am still choosing. It's a daily choice and sometimes I choose wrong but I thank God that He offers me grace for a new start, a new day, a new beginning whenever I need it.

And today, I choose to turn my back against fear and try what's placed in front of me despite the risk of falling flat on my face. I'm really tired of missing out and I don't want to do it anymore.

So by making fear my enemy, I had to read up on it (you have to know what you're up against).
Fear is an emotion induced by a perceived threat which causes people to quickly pull far away from it and usually hide. It triggers a fight-or-flight response, an instinct that prepares the body to either run away or defend itself against the threat. The purpose of the response is to promote survival. And the thing that really sucks is anticipation can provoke the same instinct. You don't even need to face the threat; if you even think it's at the horizon or if it's a possibility in the near future, you'll be filled with the desire to get away fast!
Fear is counterintuitive to everything God wants to do in your life. Fear robs you of the peace that God wants to give you. He doesn't want you to run away. He doesn't want you to survive. He has plans for you to thrive. He wants you to stand firm in His promises, knowing that He will make a way out of no way, that He will never forsake you, never leave you alone.

You don't have to give in to your fears. Let Him take care of that while you face something worth your time.

This whole thing reminds me of the Israelites when they are about to attack Jericho, a fortified city. They were nomads for a whole generation and before that, they were slaves for centuries. The Israelites probably mulled over the enormous task that God gave them and thought that it was a crazy suicide mission. They couldn't possibly win. They don't have much experience at war. They don't have the tools to climb Jericho's walls. They were simply not equipped to conquer Jericho.

But God shared with them something He wants you to find comfort in too:
Get ready... I will give you every place where you set your foot... No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous. Joshua 1: 2-6
You have nothing to fear and even if you do, He is there to take care of you.

Don't let fear win. Go up to it, press against the thing that scares you and know that with God behind you, it cannot stand. You can overcome.

The mountain may look insurmountable but God knows what He's doing. He knows what He's asking of you and if there is anything that you do not have, He knows and will provide it to you once you step out into the purpose He has set out for you.

Trust me, God has a crazy tendency to call people what they clearly aren't in the physical.

Abraham, a man past his prime age with no son, a father of many nations.
Moses, a murderer who had a stutter, a leader who would bring out the nation of Israel from under Egyptian rule.
David, a little boy shepherd forgotten by his own father, the greatest earthly king Israel has ever had.
Peter, a loudmouth who denied Jesus three times, the rock on which Christ built His church.

And the list goes on. It includes me:
Regine Darius, a shy and apprehensive girl, whose name means "queen, rich and kingly."
I know my God knew what He was doing when my parents called me Regine Darius. I may not see it right now in the physical but I choose not to let my present circumstances skew my perception of the future. I know He's gonna do a new and good thing in my life if I just trust Him.

I may be fearful but, today, right now I refuse to let that dictate what type of life I live.

It might take awhile but I will abandonly live out His will, wildly live out my faith, showing His glory through everything I do.

His list includes you too.

I don't know your name. I don't know where you are in life. I don't know what you are facing but I know His truth and His thoughts about you.

And those lies that are invading your space, cast them out of your mind right now. Because if the Israelites allowed their perceptions dictate their actions, they wouldn't have been able to take down Jericho with just their shouts and praise.

Yes, it sounds crazy but if it wasn't ridiculous, outrageous, scandalous, impossible then why would God be in it? If you could do it yourself, then why would you need God?

Dream bigger.

The things I'm pursuing, the dreams He has placed onto my heart have God written all over it. He's the One who's going to bring it about. I cannot do a thing if I relied on myself. But if I trust Him, all I have to do is step out in reckless abandon and surrender it all, die to my instincts, die to my need to run and hide (fear will still be there to stare me in the face but I don't need to react to it anymore) and understand that the One I give it up to is faithful and unshakable. My God will never fail.

You have to have faith in Him. He's not asking you to do anything He wouldn't do. He went first and did everything just so you can follow Him.

I know He's been talking to you, sharing His plans, calling out things that aren't even in being yet. But you shake it all off as wishful thinking.

It takes a while to soak in such a tall order God is calling you to but mediate on His thoughts about you. Think about His promises to you.

And make a change. No more excuses. No more doubts. Let it all go and embrace the reality He has for you. Walk with Him. It will be hard but you'll never regret it.

Truth Revealed 3.0: The Good News

Inspiration is everywhere for me.

My family and friends inspire me. My God inspires me through His word and His world. Books inspire me. And music definitely does.

Time blurs (I really can't believe it's August) but I think it was a few weeks ago that I heard this song and actually listened to what it said. And I fell in love. Hard (this song has been on repeat ever since).

This is a story about the Son of God who hung on a cross for me. But it ends with the Bride and the Groom in a wedding, with shouts of joy ringing throughout the celebration for all eternity.

And I cannot help but sing out, "Holy, Holy!"

This song echoes the Gospel so perfectly.

As you all know, it didn't take Adam and Eve too long to screw up paradise for all mankind. Taking a bite out of the forbidden fruit severed the intimate relationship we had with God. Then sin, shame, condemnation and death furthered the divide between us and God. We were alone in our mess, doomed and destined for hell.

But God intervened.

Jesus came down to us and died for us. He knew what we have done, He knew what we would do and He willingly went to the cross and offered Himself up as the ultimate sacrifice so that we all may be redeemed from death's grip once and for all. 

But please, you have to understand this: Jesus died for you. And He would have still gone to the cross if you were the only one in the world to save. My God loves you that much. Don't believe any lie that causes you to think that He died for the good people or that it didn't cover you or whatever junk. He did all this with you, your past, your hang-ups in mind. Trust that.

You may think that you're worthless but God thinks you're worth everything!

And the good news doesn't even stop there. Not only did He die for our sins, Jesus rose from the dead!! Death could not hold Him back. Jesus bankrupted the devil by breaking out of the grave to sit at the Father's right hand for all eternity, watching over you, ready at the first sign of distress to send help your way.

Isn't He mighty to save?!

The devil, jealous and conniving, planted a seed of doubt in Eve's mind causing the fall of man. Satan thought that was it, that he won, that God would turn His back on us like He did to him but no. God pursued us with such an unfailing love that He gave up His one and only Son to have a relationship with us. We are His forever, you are His beloved for all eternity. He's never gonna let you go.

Unfortunately, the devil is a persistent m'fer. The devil is going to do his best to make you think you’re still chained up by your past, failures, lack and insecurities. He’s going to sweet talk you into carrying burdens God already bore on the cross. 

Don’t let him trick you into thinking that you are still a slave. Instead pick up your bible and cut down those lies, cut down those strongholds. Call on the name of Jesus and send the enemy running. 

But don’t stop there! Stay in His word. Stay prepared. Stay prayered up for the next battle, the next storm. The enemy knows how precious you are to God. He’s gonna still try to knock you down. 

But when you strengthen yourself in The Lord, when you hide yourself in The Lord and His word, nothing can touch you. Nothing can keep you down!

Because when Jesus came, he didn't come to level out the playing field. He didn't come to give you a head-start on the devil. He came with victory. Jesus came to give you an advantage that can never be overcome, that can never be taken from you.

This is why you can look up to God and praise Him! No matter what is going on in your life, the score is known.

You have already won. Walk tall, warrior! Walk worthy.