Addicted To Joy

It was about this time last year when God gave me a first glimpse of what true joy feels like.

I can remember it very well. I was at United Dairy Farmers and when I when I swiped my debit card I felt a surge of energy that I had not experienced before.

Since that moment, I have not experienced that feeling, but I now I know it is there. I cling to that moment in my moments of depression. I cling to that promise from God that I am just scratching the surface of this unchartered territory into joy.

As believers, we should all be living lives full of so much joy that it spills over to the people that we encounter. We need to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Whether you are aware of it or not, God has a plan for your life. It’s the best plan. It’s a plan that will fill your life with so much joy that you can’t wait to give it away.

We can change our world if we find all find our joy. I know too many people that are going through the motions of life. They wake up, go to work, come home, have dinner, have a beer and call it a day. There is so much more to life than that.

If you have never asked God to show you His plan for your life, I encourage you to do so. I gurantee it will start you onto the path to a life of joy. Let us be part of that remnant that can change the world.

 

The Consequences of Running From God

Over the past several months, I’ve felt God’s presence in my life begin to dwindle as compared to earlier this year. The question I have to ask myself is what has changed. Has God changed or has Marc been trying to play God?

The latter is obviously the correct answer. I’ve tried to take back control of my recovery by my own actions instead of surrendering that control to people that will spiritually lead me through.

Instead of waiting on God’s timing, I have wrestled with God’s timing. All that has led to is, fear, anger, sadness and guilt from trying to run from God’s plan.

You see it finally hit me what my suicidal thoughts are rooted in a few weeks ago.

I am afraid of God’s plan for my life. I’m afraid of not being capable or qualified. And my “escape” choice is to have suicidal ideation. And I feel I can take back some control by doing so.

It wasn’t until a few weeks ago, that I totally surrendered to my therapist a few weeks ago and trusted her spiritual guidance through the coming months.

It was like having a clenched fist and the harder I tried to keep it intact, the harder God had to pry it open.

It has led to me going in circles for months until God got my attention once again.

Do yourself a favor. The next time God asks you to do it something do it right away. And remember, partial obedience is still disobedience in the eyes of God.

When God Asks Us to Do the Unreasonable

Why is it that God asks us to do the unreasonable? I believe the answer to that question is to further our personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  If God did not have challenging moments in out lives, where would our dependence be.  The answer would be on ourselves.  We would be tooting out own horn saying things like:

“I got this one”

“I don’t need God for this challenge”

“I don’t need God in my life at all”

God can also asks us to do the unreasonable to test our faith level.  If you asked God to bring in the man/woman of your life into your life, and He does. Your faith would increase.  But what if God doesn’t bring you that significant other,  Do you pout and scream and say, “where is God? I thought God loved me. Some God this is.” May I make a suggestion.  God heard your prayer the very first time and is already aligning the pieces into place.  You just need to have a little patience!

The unreasonable often seems unreasonable because it goes against our culture.  We live in a culture of not only if we want it now, we can have it now. Advertisements flood the papers and airwaves convincing you that you are not good enough unless if you buy this $100 facial cream that guarantees to make you look longer.

How can a believer stop these attacks from the enemy, The first thing is to get into the Word of God and see how Almighty God sees you. Next, surround yourself with other believers that are wanting to walk the Christian life.  Lastly, I will post 30 Life Principles from Dr. Charles Stanley, that is beginning to take root within my mind.

Have a blessed night!

Grace and Peace,

Marc Kutylowski

Spiritual Warfare

Throughout my depression that I have gone through, I never really stopped to think that there might be some kind of spiritual warfare going on in my heart and mind…….that is until this week.

For the past 6 months or so, I’ve developed my personal relationship with Jesus Christ to the point of being able to ask “yes” and “no” questions. If my heart has long slow beats that symbolizes a “yes”, if there is no heartbeat response that symbolizes a “no”.  It has allowed me to make some pretty difficult decisions despite when human reasoning seems more logical.

Well earlier this week I was thrown in for a loop.  I don’t remember what the question was, but I believed the answer was a “yes”.  Next thing I know I am hand-cuffed, sedated and back in a mental health facility. Definitely not the answer I was expecting!!

No worries, God can change any situation around.

As I laid in my bed, I began reading Matthew 17:18-21

And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”

20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief;[a] for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.

It’s like a felt a nudging from God that I needed to start fasting.  It’s kind of ironic because I always pushed fasting aside as something that only “crazy” people do. I talked to two of the elders from my local church and they explained how I may be going through spiritual warfare from the enemy.

I always find it fascinating how God and bring you right to the correct scripture verse when facing a serious dilemma.

Less I, More Him

Since the start of the year, I’ve noticed in my talking and writing less “I” statements. Looking back on some writing, I was amazed how almost every sentence started with an an “I” or “My”. It’s taken a concerted effort, but the benefits have been instrumental.

After all, it really isn’t us living on our own, but the spirit living in us that guides us. Sure we have free will, but more often than not, our spirit can control our thinking.

For example, I’ve stopped beating myself up when I misplaced my car keys for a meeting and end up missing it.  You see there was a reason why God wanted me to miss that meeting. Often God that is a signal that God wants me to spend more time with Him. And as a bonus when I do, I find my car keys.

The beauty of brokenness is I am starting to realize it was never me living in the first place, but the spirit within me. It’s a humbling place to be, but it does bring about more peace.

My prayer for all of us is that we begin to realize how God is involved in every aspect of our lives. From missing car keys to the long traffic jam. Just maybe there is a purpose you couldn’t find your car keys this morning. Maybe God had your best interest at heart.

God’s Plan For My Life

If God told you to sell everything you have, would you? Would you walk away from the woman/man of your dreams with no promise of being reunited? Would you trust that God would spare your life from a suicide attempt? Would you move to a different city without a plan? Would you listen to God no matter what the cost?

These are the questions that I had to answer at one point in my life. And in each step I had to walk in obedience and trust that God had a plan for my life.

And this weekend, I will be returning to the place where I first got a glimpse of God’s plan in my life.  It was at First Baptist Atlanta where Dr. Charles Stanley preaches. On February 1st, 2015 I went to FBA to hear him preach.  There I was sitting in the church that seats around 4,000 and I got the sense that Dr. Charles Stanley was looking directly at me.

Convicted that he was, I took out a piece of paper and thanked In Touch Ministries for being a great resource before and after my suicide attempt. After service,  it was Charles Stanley who came up to me and asked where I was from. I handed him the note and we chatted a bit.

The following week before Charles Stanley started to preach, he asked me to stand in front of the church and shared our encounter. It was a very humbling experience.

After service many people came up to wish me well, but one particular person stood out. Sitting directly to the left of me was the Executive Ambassador for In Touch Ministries.  Long story short, we went out to dinner that week and I couldn’t shake the feeling it was an interview of sorts. Since that day in February, I am convinced that I will be starting my new career at In Touch Ministries in Atlanta.

This weekend I return to FBA for a special weekend. You see I can’t shake the feeling that the Holy Spirit is going to fall upon me where it all started this Pentecost Sunday.  After all, it was at FBA where I got a small 5 second glimpse of the “peace that surpasses all understanding” back in February.

Holy Spirit I invite you into my life. I’m ready now.

In fact, In Touch just put up that video of Charles Stanley’s message from February 1st when I sensed Dr. Charles Stanley . looking at me. Here’s the video, I can be seen around the 19:20 mark. I’m wearing a red shirt 5 rows back:

http://intouch.org/watch/steps-to-gods-guidance/listening-to-god

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The God Who Keeps Me in the Valley

Being in the valley doesn’t sound like a very fun place to be and also doesn’t sound very safe. But it is.  This is how God can operate at times.  Sure I would rather be in on the mountain top right now, but God is still refining me day by day, hour by hour and minute by minute.

Psalm 23:4 says, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” It’s a verse that gives me great comfort even though all hell SEEMS to be breaking loose.

As I continue to work through the trauma in my life more and more unpleasant feelings are naturally coming up, I MUST maintain my presence on the Lord. It is very easy for me to drift off to a place where I feel like God is abandoning me.  It is a feeling I am starting to learn to embrace instead of trying to push it away.

Pushing away the negative thoughts only invites them to come back. Often more forcefully. By embracing and experiencing the negative thoughts/emotions, I can finally set them free.

While I am in the valley, I can’t help but thank God for protecting during this process. He has always provided for me even when my limited mindset tries to tell me otherwise.

He has always comforted me. Again, even when my limited mindset tries to tell me otherwise. I’m so grateful for this process. Even though breaking out of this cocoon I am in can be painful, it is turning me into a Godly man.

Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”

I want to share a song with you that has kind of become my anchor song during this valley experience for me. Take a listen: