I’m sure you all have a few friends in your life that constantly make bad relationship decisions. They go from bad relationship to bad relationship over and over again. I used to be that girl. Looking back, I can see the hand of God delivering me from those relationships and I realized that the rejection was actually God’s protection because He had another plan for my life all along. He may have delivered me from every bad relationship, but how come I went back time and time again? The reason was that I was addicted to the unhealthy pattern and destructive cycle.
The truth is we all have habits and patterns in our lives. Some are good, some are not so good. God has already delivered and freed us from the unhealth in our lives, but in order to break free, we also have to also break the habit.
Oddly enough, I’ve found that going back to unhealthy cycles bring a level of comfort. The comfort is usually temporary, but ultimately leads to destruction. The good news is that breaking the habit will bring you life!
Last week, I talked about the change required in our lives to accomplish the big dreams we have for our future. Breaking unhealthy cycles is part of the growing process!
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal and break any unhealthy patterns and habits in your life that are keeping you from the free life.
Do you hear those freedom bells ringing? I do!
How many of you know that when you surrender your life to Jesus, he will begin the transformation process? Maybe that’s why many Christians choose not to surrender, because it reveals the messy, broken, “not so pretty” areas of our lives. Who actually likes to be exposed? But, choosing to be fully surrendered is where you will find the benefits of a relationships with Jesus. His sole goal is to make you more like Him and that includes perfect, total freedom.
I was wrestling with God the other week and heard him tell me, “Ashley, you’re struggling to find freedom because you’re focusing on behavior modification.” What a revelation!
What’s crazy to me is that Jesus already paid for our sin and set us free, but how come many Christians today are walking in bondage and oppression?
This is how it works. We are all broken people and have pain. The pain and brokenness result in us sinning against God and the sin causes even more pain and destruction in our lives. It’s a messy cycle to be in. We hear the Holy Spirit convicting us to let go of the sin, we start walking in obedience, but fail to let God heal the initial pain. There it is, behavior modification without allowing the Holy Spirit to heal you will never result in life transformation and freedom. Are you with me?
2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.”
Let go of the striving, self-earning and controlling and let the Holy Spirit heal you for once and for all. It’s time for the chains to fall off and the Holy Spirit to move in your heart like never before. Surrender it all and see that He will bring you more freedom, in Jesus name!
I was reading a business blog the other day and came across a quote that struck my attention — “Too often You are afraid to do something big because that requires a change. And, in some cases, it requires BIG change. But what do you have to lose?”
BIG vision requires BIG change.
For most of us, the dream itself isn’t actually scary, it’s the change required that is. The issue is not a lack of vision or another brilliant idea — most of us have the vision written deep in our hearts, but we pull back at the thought of what it might require of us. And there it is, the battle lies between what is comfortable and what might stretch us further than we’ve ever gone before.
Commit to personal growth. At your core, God created you to grow and multiply. You will never be satisfied staying in the same place your whole life. And God will always take you as far as you are willing to let Him take you.
2 Corinthians 9:10 says, “Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.”
Your vision will require great change in you, but at the end of the day, what do you have to lose?
Guess what? Today marks 1 year since launching the Purposeful Project & it’s Valentine’s Day! I hope you’ve been inspired to live the abundant life Jesus promises in Scripture, all things purposeful. I’m excited to roll out some new material this Spring so stay tuned!
I want to share with you something God revealed to me last week — the danger in comparing and the power of a grateful heart.
Last Saturday, I had a great day. My family was in town. The sun was shining and we took a duffy out in Newport that afternoon. It was a perfect day, but something deep within was unsatisfied. Considering it was a perfect day, why was I unsettled? I later realized that I was comparing what I was doing to everyone else on social media and neglected to be grateful for what I did have.
The spirit of comparison robs you of joy and blessings in your own life and robs God from the praise He deserves.
2 Corinthians 4:15 says, “All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.”
A grateful heart changes everything and worship is the one thing God cannot give Himself.
If you’re single, married, dating or whatever your relational status, I want to encourage you to remain grateful for the season you’re in. God’s plan for your life is perfect and He has not failed or forgotten you! And most certainly, He is not withholding a single good thing from your life.
Xo Ashley Jacobs
“He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” [Revelation 21:5]
Our God is a God of new things and new beginnings. His end plan is to make everything new not leaving a single thing untouched. He will one day make the heavens and earth new, but until then, He desires to make things new in our lives — if we’d only let Him.
I don’t know about you, but I love when I have the opportunity to start over and have a fresh start. There is nothing like the excitement of new beginnings. Doesn’t it make you want to pause and take in a deep breath?
Well, that’s how I’m treating the new year — a new beginning. And the best part is that 2018 is just around the corner!
Maybe 2017 was full of sweet memories and good things, but for some there are things that you definitely want to leave behind. We are all on different journeys, but I encourage you to spend these upcoming days leading up to the new year and reflect on the past year, and set some tangible goals for 2018. Spend time with the Lord and ask Him what His vision is for the year ahead.
If I could give you one bit of advice, let Jesus take ahold of your life — all of you, not just some of you. It may feel uncomfortable or a little scary at first, but I promise it will be the best decision you ever make. It doesn’t work to put a little Jesus into your life. You need to put your whole life into all that Jesus offers. There’s a huge difference, and it’s the most freeing experience!
Let 2018 not just be a new year, but a new YOU.
“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” [John 16:24]
Last Friday night, I went to our women’s group at church and many of the women were asked to share their one Christmas wish this year and why. Their responses were powerful, and the one common factor between all of their answers was that they were wishing and praying for something that money couldn’t buy. They weren’t asking for new shoes and handbags, they were asking God for miracles and for God to do the supernatural in their lives.
I love this scripture in John 16:24 because it is a call to action for us to ask our Heavenly Father for what we need, what we long for, and our deepest desires. I love that receiving from God and the fulfillment of our prayers being answered will give us complete JOY.
This morning I want to challenge you to think about the things your heart desires and the things in your life you need an act of God. We live in a world focused on the material and surface-level during Christmas, but I want to encourage you to dig deeper to find the real meaning and purpose of the season. Jesus came into this world not to only dwell among us, but to live in us. He is capable of changing hearts, circumstances and making the possible out of the impossible.
What is the one thing you are asking God for this Christmas season and why?
Ask your Heavenly Father. He delights in giving His children good things that will complete our JOY.
This Christmas season, the theme for Words of Wisdom is going to be centered around JOY. This week I’ll be sharing about what it means to be joyful. Next week, I’ll be sharing about the things in our lives that stifle joy, and the week before Christmas, I’ll be sharing about the joy that comes from the Christmas story (the birth of Jesus!).
What’s interesting about joy is that it often gets confused with happiness. Joy is actual a fruit of the Holy Spirit and is supernatural. Happiness is the “fleshy” version of what true joy is, and it is temporary in nature while authentic joy is long-lasting.
Today, I will be sharing about what it means to be joyful. First and foremost, joy comes from loving Jesus. 1 Peter 1:8-9 says this — “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
We are able to truly love God because He first loved us. Discovering the love of God is unexplainable, and there are no words to explain it. To experience joy comes from loving Him and discovering the love that He offers. God’s love is unconditional. Jeremiah 31: 3 says this — “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”
There is absolutely nothing you could ever do to earn God’s love or to get him to love any more or any less. His love is unconditional and it does not change based on your actions. I don’t know about you, but to be loved by God is the best thing I’ve ever known.
Let His love fill you with inexpressible and glorious JOY!
“Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.” [Joshua 21:45]
When I was twenty-three and living in LA, I was driving to work one day and I heard God whisper to my heart, “Ashley, you will not have a boyfriend again until you begin dating your husband. And the man you marry will have a gentle spirit.” I knew that I heard from the Lord, but I carried on with my life. Right when I turned twenty-seven, this promise God made to me came to pass. I look back and think, “Wow, when God speaks His word never returns void.” God is faithful and His promises are as sure as the rising of the sun.
There are things God has spoken to you too. Desires that he has placed in your heart. I want to encourage you to talk to Him about those things. Proverbs 25:2 says, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” There are promises that God has concealed that he desires for you to uncover because God wants you to get wrapped up in Him. True riches come from getting quiet and with Him alone and letting Him speak to your heart.
My favorite verse right now is this — “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived– the things God has prepared for those who love him.” [1 Corinthians 2:9]
Friends, get lost in love with Jesus. Let His words change the trajectory of your life, and don’t forget the things He has spoken to you already. Surely, if He has spoken, He will deliver in due time.
“Look here, you people who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to such and such a town, stay there a year, and open up a profitable business.” How do you know what is going to happen tomorrow? For the length of your lives is as uncertain as the morning fog—now you see it; soon it is gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we shall live and do this or that.” Otherwise you will be bragging about your own plans, and such self-confidence never pleases God.”
“Remember, too, that knowing what is right to do and then not doing it is sin.” [James 4:13-17]
If you’re feeling stuck, I want to ask you, are you being obedient to what the Word of God says and are you walking in God’s will for your life?
Obedience is everything — it aligns us into God’s world. It’s impossible to try to put God into our world and expect great results. Instead, we need to step into God’s world and align ourselves to His plan.
Obedience before understanding, always! I’ve found it’s better to say “Yes” to Jesus regardless of how I feel because I know that my feelings will eventually catch up with me.
I find we plan out our entire lives and follow our own desires, but give zero space for the Holy Spirit to move. At some point, we have to give way and allow God to lead our lives. Too many people want extraordinary results, but aren’t willing to count the cost and give up with God is asking them to leave behind. In order for us to pick up the new, we must get good at throwing out the old in our lives.
Obeying God is actually a blessing and it is a privilege to walk in His ways. Those that really choose the narrow path find everything they could ever look for and then some. If you’re looking to live an extraordinary life and craving more, it’s time to start laying down what you thought your life was going to look like and pick up God’s dream for you.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” [2 Corinthians 5:7]
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” [Hebrews 11:6]
For my husband and I, buying our first home was a faith journey. We weren’t sure if all of the details would align, but we kept hearing God tell us to keep moving forward so we kept taking baby steps forward. Step by step doors kept opening, and little before we knew it, we had keys in our hands. Was there some fear involved? Yes. Were we worried it wouldn’t work out and we would get our hopes up for nothing? Yes. But, it was worth the risk because we are now blessed with our own home.
I’m afraid too many times we walk by what we see in front of us verses by faith. The things of God are not found by waiting for the perfect moment where all of the details align. Real faith requires risk and it requires you to count the cost. Faith will ask you to give up convenience and comfortability. Keep taking baby steps forward and obeying what God is telling you to do, and you will always end up right where you need to be. True blessing will always be found through a life of faith and obedience.
What is one step of faith you can take today?