I found out yesterday that I have a major vitamin D deficiency and it's slowing down my thyroid function and overall making me feel yuck. There are other things but this is the most major thing on my plate right now. My lack of Vitamin D has me thinking about the sun. And actually it has me pondering The Son...of God. A light in my life, God is an abundant gift giver. As I enter into the Lent season, I am, as always, blown away at the sacrifice God made in sending His son to die on the cross for our sins. In a weak moment this morning, I was feeling bad for me. God in his grace and mercy handed me this verse:
2 Corinthians 1:3-7
3 All praise goes to God, Father of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One. He is the Father of compassion, the God of all comfort. 4 He consoles us as we endure the pain and hardship of life so that we may draw from His comfort and share it with others in their own struggles. Let's stop here. Isn't God good? He cares for us in our suffering, he knows we will have struggles, and He doesn't stop there He equips us to love others who are also struggling. Let's read on...
5 For even as His suffering continues to flood over us, through the Anointed we experience the wealth of His comfort just the same.
6 If we are afflicted with such trouble and pain, then know it is so that you might ultimately experience comfort and salvation. If we experience comfort, it is to encourage you so that you can hold up while you endure the same sufferings we all share. 7 unshaken and unshakable. That’s because we know that as you share in our sufferings, so you will also share in our comfort.
Because Jesus died on the cross, we can know the comfort of salvation. This gift is freely given and continues to flood over us until we go to meet Him. In our pain and suffering we can rejoice because we have a Savior and friend who cares for us. And if I become deficient in the Spirit, I need to be sitting under the protective presence of The Son and soaking in all He has to give me.The darkness is a lonely place. I've been there. Are you experiencing a season of pain or perhaps you aren't hearing from God. I encourage you to sit still, close your eyes, lift up your palms to the heavens and receive a word from the Lord. He is waiting for you. He wants to spend time with you. A little girl told me this the other day, "imagine if you had created something so very special that you loved it very much. And what if what you created decide didn't want to spend time with you. How would you feel?" He's waiting.
In our world one of the best things you can be is a survivor. You can survive being on a reality TV show in the wilderness, you can survive a fall down the stairs, and even a fight with cancer. Being a survivor is glorified throughout our media - including self-help books, songs on the radio, and in the news.
"I am a survivor" is the phrase I used to tout. "She is like a cat, always landing on her feet!" My parents and friends would say. Overcoming obstacles like: losing my job, getting out of a bad relationship, losing my apartment, became who I was. I felt proud.
I look back on that wretched pride and dependence on self, and rejoice. Why? Because I have died to being a survivalist. Let me bold with you, if you feel like "you have survived" and it's because of how awesome you are, brother or sister, hit your knees!It's normal to come out of a difficult situation and feel good. That is deserving. But when I believed solely on my ability to just survive, I was robbing myself of truth and blessings. I became God of my world. We aren't alone in this sin, even Eve was
guilty of it, when she boast of the children "she" alone brought into the world. Even in the depths of her consequence -pain in childbirth, she let pride get before her and God.
As we go through hardships and situations in our life, I have started to lean into the pain of suffering. I know, this might sound crazy to you, but when I am in the midst of trial and suffering, and look for ways to comfort myself ( for instance, alcohol, food, busyness, watching tv etc.) I get in the way of the comfort God gives us. I stop allowing His word to transform me, and I become anxious for a way out.
A friend of mine mentioned recently this scripture: Matthew 6:33
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things will be given to you too.
She went on to say, what that means to her, is to seek God before thinking about what to do. As I've put this into practice God has been faithful to for His provision. He has held me through each trial and I feel His presence and my eyes are opened to the things He wishes me to see.
Are you going through a tough time? Do the waves around you seem to steep to stay above water? Then I am asking you to seek the Lord. Lean into the suffering, because He is faithful to burn away anything that isn't of Him. You can truly be free...you can be a Good and Faithful Servant who has left the life of just surviving behind. I promise you this, you will be given more than you can imagine. Good gifts from your Savior who wants you to be more like Him.
I'm 36 years old, and I confess that to you only because what I'm about to say sounds like a toddler. I want my own way! I want to do things that give me glory! I want to do what I want to do.
We may laugh at that, but as I dig my heels in the ground, God is having the laugh, because He knows what's best for me. Lately, I've been hearing God whisper, "Why don't you do what I say?" Now, if that doesn't wake you up, I don't know what will.James 4:17 So if you know the right way to live and ignore it, it is sin--plain and simple.What I'm starting to see, as God reveals Himself more to me, is that He is truly concerned with with even the slightest disobedience. It could be something of little consequence, such as not paying a debt or committing to something you know you can't do. It's been during these times when I hear, that sweet whisper, "Beloved, why aren't you doing what I say?" God sees and hears everything we do. So, whether we admit it or not, He is fully aware of our sin. That can seem hopeless, but in actuality, that is the perfect way to begin an honest and close relationship with God. In fact, He promises to forgive you when you have strayed and you return to him:Jeremiah 3:12-14
12 “Return to Me, faithless Israel.
I will look on you with mercy, not anger.
I will not hold this grudge against you forever.
13 Just admit what you did—your sin against Me.
How you rebelled against the Eternal your God.
How you gave yourself away to these foreign gods in the open, under the trees! How you disobeyed My voice.
14 Come back home, My restless, faithless ones,
for I am your master, your husband (not that other god),
And I will take you in—one from this city, two from that clan; I will bring you home to Zion.
When I choose my own way, I'm missing out on the blessings that come when I listen to His voice and learn His ways. Often when we choose our own way over His there is fear or a lack of trust in the Father. Dearest friends, you can trust God over your own ways. He is good, and He knows what's good for you, and what will bring you closer to Him.
Sit still with God, learn to hear His voice, try to obey and when you don't return to Him, confess and go forward with God's guidance and hope.
There are two things I dread more than anything and it's dental work and auto repairs. It's not just because both can be painful, it's because they are always costly and always come during a time where funds are tight. This week we received word that two out of our three children need a lot of dental work done. It got me thinking about how much I long for heaven.
This is Not our Home
In 2 Corinthians 5:2 it says, "Currently, in this tent of a house, we continue to groan and ache with a deep desire to be sheltered in our permanent home." This life bothers me, doesn't it bother you? That thought used to make me feel so guilty. But, now I see that I'm not made to be comfortable here. It's OK to be uncomfortable, we ache we groan both spiritually and physically and that is a desire to be in our permanent home, with Jesus.
I have Nothing but God
This morning God handed me this verse: "Psalm 73:25-26 For all my wanting, I don't have anyone but You in heaven. There is nothing on earth that I desire other than You. I admit how broken I am in body and spirit, but God is my strength, and He will be mine forever." This verse brought me to tears, all I desire is to know God. I'm reminded that when I hand him my broken pieces in life, He holds them in his hands. The joy that comes from knowing Him is the strength that carries me through dark times and hard circumstances.
Longing Transforms Obedience
CS Lewis wrote in The Weight of Glory, “longing transforms obedience, as gradually as the tide lifts a grounded ship.” As we obey God and trust Him with our lives, the longing gets easier as we experience His goodness and mercy. I long for Him, this longing makes obedience possible as we look to Jesus and Jesus alone.
Let Us Not Get Comfortable
Our lives are set, we go to work, we go to church, we pray, we parent, and we move through our days without a lot of thought. This security allows us comfort, but is that comfort really good for us? I'm considering when we step out of our comfortable lives and obey God by loving others, does that obedience help with the longing for heaven? We are to be God's hands and feet yet we are all together too busy. I am so guilty of filling up my life with meaningless tasks. I want to know God, so I must be intentional being about His business.
CS Lewis also said, "poetry replaces grammar, gospel replaces law." This slow and gradual obedience to God of trusting Him as we look to Him, is freeing to me. I just want to sit at his feet more days than not, serve His church and love those He loves. I want my heart to break for things that break His. I want my kids to learn of His love. I want my work to speak of His work. I want to be healed and out of bondage.
I want God, and nothing else.
I don’t know about you but I often find myself feeling alone in the desert sitting next to the living water, afraid to take a sip. Did you know Hagar found herself in that same situation? In Genesis 16
we see a woman, mistreated, running away, and without a Savior. Let’s look what happens:
So Sarai clamped down on Hagar severely, and Hagar ran away.
The Special Messenger of the Eternal One found Hagar alone
by a spring of water out in the desert. It was the spring of water
along the road that went to Shur. Special Messenger:
Hagar, Sarai’s servant girl? Where have you come from, and where are you planning to go? Hagar:
I am running away from my mistress, Sarai! Special Messenger: 9
Hagar, go back to your mistress, and change your attitude.
Be respectful, and listen to her instructions. You’re pregnant, and you need to go home. 10 Trust me:
I am going to give you many children and
many descendants, so many you won’t be able to count them!
Look, you are pregnant,
and you’re going to have a son. I want
you to call him Ishmael
because the Eternal One has heard your anguished cries. Just to warn you, though: Ishmael,
your son, is going to be a wild and rowdy man;
he’ll put his fist in every face,
And everyone will turn against him,
and he will live at odds with all of his relatives.
As a result of this encounter,
Hagar decided to give the Eternal One who had spoken to her a special
name because He had seen her in her misery
I’m going to call You the God of Seeing
because in this place I have seen the One who watches over me.
When my sister was little, she thought that in order to avoid punishment or to hide away all she had to do was cover her eyes. If she didn’t see you, you didn’t see her! Friends, we sometimes operate under that same assumption, that God doesn’t see us. How could he possible know what I’m going through? Doesn’t he know I’m suffering? Then we run away, we pout; we cover our eyes, and become dehydrated. In other words, we have access to GOD, and we refuse to call His name. We manipulate, we cry, and continue pouting until we wake up and realize that nothing will satisfy our thirst like sitting at the feet of Jesus.
Sweetest friends, I know you know what I’m talking about here. Life is often hard and we have become weary, yet dust builds on our Bibles, and people stop looking for us at church, and our knees have become tender, because we are not kneeling in His presence. As we enter into the New Year, let’s not make resolutions rather let’s look at this changing from 2013 to 2014 as an opportunity to renew our faith in the One True King. Let’s grab our journals, let’s open up his word, and let’s get on our knees…let’s drink from the spring. Why? Because he sees you, loves you, and wants you to know Him.
Practical suggestion: wake up 10 minutes earlier tomorrow and before you get out of bed, pour your heart out to Jesus and then be quiet and listen. You can also subscribe to daily readings from Bible Gateway. I subscribe to several of them. You can access them here: http://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/
Start off easy and subscribe to the Verse of the Day (It’s in the drop-down menu). Write it down and see how God uses that to bless you.
Drink up dear ones!
He was following the Lord, and he couldn't believe where he had been. He knew he heard directly from God, but no one really believed him. Elijah was disheveled, he was often thought of as homeless. It had been ages since he had a decent shower and shave, but he knew this is what it was going to take to serve his Master.
Elijah had just spent time in the woods, waiting as God had told him too, fleeing the persecution that had found him during his last assignment. When he heard from God again, he had just used up his last bit of water. He knew he would be instructed to leave soon, why would God have him stay there without water?
"Go find this woman, she's been left by her husband and she will take care of you." Once again he knew he must go, and obey his Lord, but what will people think when he steps out of this forest and into world. He knew the world, and it was a rough place, especially for those who say they hear from God, and in-turn tell people what God says. Elijah, had nothing, no items to pack, he had left them all behind when he made the decision to quit his job and go into ministry full-time. All he had was what the Lord provided. He had even changed his name to Elijah, My God is Yahweh, when he received the call. Yep, people thought Elijah was crazy, he shook his head at the thought of this.
Now, all he hoped was that he could make it on the bus and through town without anyone asking questions. Elijah was cursed by the inability to lie, and the looks on faces when He says he's a prophet was hard to take. It's not like he was standing on the street corner, yelling. Yet, sometimes people couldn't see past their own sin and shame to accept him for who he was, a man of God. He didn't have a seminary degree or a big church with big promises, all he had was the truth God had given him - turn away from your idols and turn to God. The society, the greed, the possessions they craved and idolized kept them from knowing God.
Elijah climbed onto the bus, people shifted their eyes. He was hard to look at, he knew it. What could he do? He was stretched thin as it was. He made his way through the aisle, trying to find a seat, and finally settled into a bench without anyone else. Who would let him sit with him anyhow? He felt relieved. Perhaps he would make it to this modern day widow without incident. He said a prayer for her. He knew the trend, women left to raise babies on their own. Times were tough, the economy slumped, what incentive did men have to stay and take care of their families? He asked for favor, and asked for her comfort. She must be broken, this is how His God worked His miracles, he used those cast aside by society to do mighty things. Her life needed saving, and God knew what it would take.
Looking down at the paper he had scribbled her address down on, his hand trembled, he was hungry. Starving, really...not much food the Ravens had given him in the forest but, enough. That is also how his God works, providing just enough. No excess, nothing less than what was needed, simple provision. He sighed, his stomach will have to wait. Smiling at the baby in front of him, he wondered, how this one would come to know God. If he told people how the ravens fed him, would they believe it?
The bus lurched to a stop and Elijah was grateful for his quiet time before his new adventure. He knew the town well enough to not have to ask for directions, and set off on foot. He went to find, Hannah, the one God had chosen him to minister to. As he walked through town, he could see people glancing out of windows, he even heard a couple of deadbolts lock. "OK, Lord...give me favor." Elijah prayed
As he approached the yard, he saw her. She was working on her garden, with the current drought, Elijah saw the sweat on her brow, and the rather empty plot. He entered the yard gently, worried he may startle her. She looked up at him, and said in a very irritated voice, "Yes, can I help you?"
Elijah, full of concern for her, answered, "Could I have some water? I've traveled far." She stood up, heading towards the front of her home. "And...perhaps a bite to eat? I'm hungry." Hannah turned around, ready to give him a piece of her mind and said, "All I have is some flour and oil, I don't even have vegetables anymore. Me and my son are starving. I have nothing, and YOU want me to give you something to eat?" Elijah, startled by her circumstance tried to assure her, "God will continue to provide for you if you help me out here. I know it sounds crazy but your oil and flour will not run out as long as you provide me with sustenance."
She cocked her head, sadness filled her eyes, broken...Elijah knew it! She did as Elijah said and made some biscuits for him and her son, and every day after for the next few days. God provided, and her supplies never ran out. Elijah ministered to the woman as best as he could. He helped her around the house, read with her scriptures, and tried to show her God's love, when the opportunity arose. He told her about how God speaks to him, and he could feel her heart starting to warm up to the idea that perhaps she was loved by her creator.
Hannah's son caught a fever one day. He became incredibly ill quickly. So fast in fact that Hannah and Elijah had no time to get him to a hospital or even call an ambulance. Hannah's son passed away in Hannah's arms. Hannah, justifiably distraught, turned to Elijah and said, "Did your God send you here just to take my son away? Or did he send you here to punish me for my past?" Elijah didn't know what to do, in his sadness, he asked Hannah to hand her son over. Elijah, took him into his room and began to pray. He begged God to save Hannah's son, and laid hands on him and even covered him with his body three times, it was an idea that God had given him. God heard Elijah, and breathed life back into the boy's body. He was healed so fully that there was no sign that anything had even occurred!
Elijah ran from the room, and took Hannah by the hand. He led her into the room, and told her, "Hannah, look our God healed your son, he is alive." Hannah ran to her son and gathered him into her arms. She cried and wept over Him, not wanting to let him go. Her hands felt his face, smoothed his hair, she buried her head into his shoulder and her tears streamed down his neck. He was all Hannah had, or so she had foolishly thought. For she knew she had something greater, richer than her circumstance.
When Hannah was able to speak again, she turned to Elijah, with a makeup-streaked face she whispered softly, "You have been telling me the truth all along. I couldn't see it. I've been so hurt. But, now...now I believe what you said was true."
Elijah smiled back at Hannah, hugged her son and quietly walked out of their home. He was onto his next mission. Again he was full of the Lord, that was all Elijah needed.
(adapted from 1 Kings 17: 7-24
This post is written by my friend and former co-worker Isaac Burren. When I heard his account of this miracle in Bizana I knew I wanted it to be shared. My faith was strengthened and I know yours will be too. God is faithful, dear ones. Thank you Isaac for your trust in Jesus and proclaiming His great works!
I've recently returned from a mission trip to South Africa this December, and I want to share one experience that has changed my life. We were in a rural area called Bizana; no running water, no electricity, outhouses for bathrooms. We were conducting a two-day medical triage and we brought enough supplies for less than one hundred people. We also had eyeglasses, but we lost half of them somewhere in our travels. By the end of the first day we had seen nearly 150 people, so all the supplies were running low. We had only reading glasses left and our chief pharmacist, Emmanuel, said that we had MAYBE enough to last us until lunchtime the next day. A major storm was due in and we had already seen a lot of people, so we felt it would be a light turn out anyway. And we were very wrong.
When we arrived the next day there were so many people already there that I could not photograph them all in one shot, and the rain was light and sporadic. Uh-oh. We began serving, but a couple of hours later we were so packed that it seemed like we hadn't served anyone at all. I felt horrible. These people had to have come from miles away. There were about a hundred children there and they every disease in the book, from ringworm to HIV. Most of us that had an opportunity to look up and absorb the entire scene were praying, but I was breaking. I told God that these people needed Him. That we had traveled thousands of miles in His name and these were His kids.
I told God that I needed Him to do something for my own faith's sake. I needed Him to do what it was impossible for us to do. We were totally dependent upon his action.
A moment later, and I mean a moment, one of our leaders came in with a box. It was the missing glasses we'd lost! A pastor from the community just happened upon them in our van. I could have wept. It was then nearing lunch time, and our leader asked me to hold the patient line so that we could eat. I went to Emmanuel and told him we were thinking of breaking for lunch, but it didn't make since to me if we were almost out of meds anyway. He stopped and looked at me(he was really moving at the time) and he told me that the Lord was multiplying the medicine right now!! We high- fived and broke for lunch. We didn't stop serving until everyone had been seen; it was about 5 pm. All told we served 422 people over that two days; and at the end of that day we had medicine left over!!
I know how hard this will be for some to believe, and I don't blame you. But I am telling you the truth, I am not lying. I believe God allowed me and the other 17 people on our team to experience this miraculous act for the comfort and encouragement of those people in Bizana, for us who were there, and for you. Jesus Christ has come for one reason and one reason only, to find those who are lost and want to be found.
Are you lost? Do you need to know that God loves you, that He sees you, and will act for your good, even miraculously if need be? Then open your heart to Him; sincerely ask Him to show Himself to you. I am writing this because God cares for you, and He does not want you to miss out on the greatest love you will ever experience...Isaiah 64: 3-4
: We remember that long ago You did amazing things for us
that we had never dreamed You’d do.
You came down, and the mountains shook at Your presence.
Nothing like that had ever happened before—no eye had ever seen,
and no ear had ever heard such wonders,But You did them then for the sake of Your people, for those who trusted in You.
4 Tell those who worry, the anxious and fearful,
“Take strength; have courage! There’s nothing to fear.
Look, here—your God! Right here is your God!
The balance is shifting; God will right all wrongs.
None other than God will give you success.
He is coming to make you safe.”
5 Then, such healing, such repair: the eyes of the blind will be opened;
the ears of the deaf will be clear.
6-7 The lame will leap like deer excited;
they will run and jump tirelessly and gracefully.
The stutterer, the stammerer, and the tongue of the mute
will sing out loud and clear in joyful song.
Waters will pour through the deserts;
streams will flow in godforsaken lands.
Burning sands and hardened wastelands will become pools, shimmering with life;
the thirsty ground will drink deep from refreshing springs.
Abandoned villages where predators once lurked will become grassy playgrounds.
Dry, arid land will turn lush and green.
I've often heard that in ancient times a Shepherd would break the leg of a wondering sheep, one that wouldn't stay with the herd, and one that made life rather dangerous for them all.
I used to hear of this primitive practice and cringe, until it was explained to me further by a country Pastor preaching at my Great-Aunt's funeral. He said that this practice did two things for the sheep. One, when the Shepherd would break the sheep's leg, he knew it was his responsibility to carry the sheep until it was healed, thus keeping the little lamb safe. Secondly, the sheep would learn his voice, so in the future, when he called out, it would return to the fold safely.
This reminded me of something that happened to me in the fifth grade. I was home for the summer, and my friends had called asking me to go on a bike ride. I called and asked my mother's permission. She said I could go but I needed to eat breakfast first. Anxious to join my friends, quickly, I ran into the kitchen and drank a glass of orange juice, feeling as if that satisfied the bike-ride requirements my mother had set. Off we went, a caravan of fifth graders riding across our little town, in North Texas. As the sun rose further, and the heat set in, I pricked my finger while changing gears on my bike's handlebars. All I remember was looking down at my blood-dripping finger and I woke up on the side of the road. Luckily, I had passed out in front of a nurses home, and she was able to keep me safe until my mother picked me up. I had a good bump on my head and only required a few stitches to the spot in my leg where the bike pedal went into the skin. The only lasting effect was a jagged scar on my calf. But, mark my words, I've eaten breakfast every day since then!
In my life, Jesus has broken me over and over again. This may seem harsh but in John 10: 27-30, Jesus explains how important it is for us to know Him, and just how important we are to Him:
27 My sheep respond as they
hear My voice; I know them intimately
, and they follow Me. I give them a life that is unceasing, and death will not have the last word. Nothing or
no one can steal them from My hand. My Father has given the flock to Me, and He is superior to all beings and things
. No one is powerful enough to snatch the flock from My Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.
I can look back on times, like my arrogant bike ride, or when I've lost a job, or when a friendship has been lost, and rejoice because I know the Great Shepherd and He has broken my leg, carried me, and I am learning His sweet and gentle voice.
Another Ancient shepherding practice was a shepherd would build a temporary pen for his sheep at night. He would allow only one opening, there he would lay across, acting as the gate. There have been many times where there was something I wanted and I couldn't either have it, I've received a big "NO!" in response to a request, or someone was removed from my life. These times Jesus has acted as a gate, a barrier, allowing nothing to pluck me from His hand.
Friends, what will it take for you to know that God will do anything to keep you safe? He wants us to know Him so intimately that we never stray. Maybe we should list some hurts, some wounds, some stresses that we've been carrying, in our journals, and then spend time with Jesus recognizing His work in each of these situations, and praising Him for being good to us. He wants you to hand all of that junk over to Him, and trust Him!
I praise Him for you, and I'm here, praying for each person who reads this blog, and that we return and stay safely in our Shepherd's arms.
I've been receiving daily, Advent emails from biblegateway.com
in The Voice translation. A few days ago, the following passage came across my email:Malachi 3:2-3 The Voice (VOICE)
Can anyone live through the day when He arrives?
Will anyone be left standing when He appears?He is a purifying fire;
He is like lye soap.
Like a refiner of silver,
He will purify the descendants of Levi--
Until they are pure, unalloyed gold and silver. Then they will draw near to the Eternal One,
Presenting offerings with righteous, clean hands.
As I mentioned in my previous post, Advent has been a time of repentance. So, when I opened this email. I felt God had shown me why. We know that Jesus is coming, that we can believe is true. But, are we ready? I've started to think, perhaps I'm not, or I'm starting to realize what God wants from me.
I have often swept things I've done, situations I've been through, under the rug. I have had an attitude of independence from God, as if I do not require His redemption. This stubbornness keeps me in the place of worry, doubt, and fear. There are walls I can't move, and there are walls I can't tear down.
I need his purifying fire. In ancient times, this form of refining involved a craftsman sitting next to a hot fire with molten gold in a crucible being stirred and skimmed to remove the impurities or dross that rose to the top of the molten metal.(1
) Times where life is hard, I feel wounded, or times when He is ripping sin from heart. I know that this process, as hard as it is, is removing that which keeps me from having an abundant relationship with Jesus.
I need him like lye soap (or Fuller's soap as in other translations). Also in ancient times, people would bring their wool to the fuller and he would use soap to clean the wool and remove the impurities so that what is left is pure wool. (2) I like the idea of bringing to God my impurities, that I must do that before I can be used. You can't use dirty wool. This reminds me of fasting. I must remove everything that would prevent me from serving such a great God.
What a wonderful time it will be to draw near to God presenting clean hands? He's not asking you to be perfect, just willing to allow Him to remove the sin you carry so tightly. I want to hold on. I want to hold on to being right, judgement, anger, self-pity, darkness, that's comfortable for me. But He is asking for you to and I to let go of all of that. It's junk and he is going to be faithful to give you something far better, love, joy, peace,
Jesus! I want to present to you clean hands. I want a life that honors you. Show me my sin, allow me to see it clearly. I want nothing more than to know you better. We look forward to your coming with hope in the One that will never fail. I pray for my brothers and sisters, that visit here, they will draw near to you, allow your light to shine in the darkness. God, thank you for sending your son. Your humble son, who died on the cross for my sin, even though I am among the mockers.
I've been having emotional talks with Jesus and about Jesus with dear friends. The tilling of soil is continuing in my life. Remember when Moses goes up the mountain to spend time with God? He wants to behold God's glory, but God knowing what's best for Him, only allows Him to see a glimpse. Yet, Moses is forever changed.
When thinking about this blog post, I had thought I would title it, "I know who he is", but that bothered me so much so I scrapped the blog post. Why did it bother me? Because I have not seen Him fully, and if I had I wouldn't be here to tell you about it. But, what I've seen is a glimpse, the hem of his robe, and I'm forever changed.
As I've mentioned before, my desires used to be and sometimes still are pretty selfish, as I tried to make God more pliable and palatable to me. Having grown up in church I typically know all the right things to say, all the Christian sayings, even how to hold my hands up in worship. But the only things these evidence is a desire to please those around me, not the Father.
What I want to share with you is the glimpse I've been given. And if I never seen anything more of God, I can come down from the mountain and hopefully you will see I've been with the Eternal.
God is Merciful
If you've been a reader of this blog you may remember a journey I went through in Hosea. It was there that God confronted me with my sin, in particular the unfaithfulness I had exhibited in my marriage, and He showed me grace and forgiveness as he renamed me with His mercy:
I won’t just restore the agricultural abundance; I’ll sow into My beloved land and plant the people in the land and make them My own. To the one who has not been shown mercy, I’ll rename her Mercy. I’ll tell Not My People “You are now My People!” and he’ll respond, “You’re my God!”
Knowing this about God has enabled me to show mercy more often to those who have wounded me, forgive myself and make amends for wounding others, and move away from a time in my life I thought would never be healed.
God is Healer
As I mentioned in my previous post
I can rejoice in my past. And just as I have seen His mercy, I can also see His healing. I no longer carry wounds around like a blankie, protecting myself from the world while using them as an excuse.
28 We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.
God is in Control
The past couple of years have been about change. I've changed jobs twice, we've moved twice, and we have joined a new church. While these changes can be nerve wracking, I see God's hand as he send us
. He gives me the tools to let go, to be less of a control freak and allow Him to do His work as I learn obey.
Isaiah 6: 8
Then I heard the Lord’s voice. Eternal One: Whom shall I send? Who will go for Us?
God is Love
Isn't that something we learn as children? Jesus Loves us and God is Love. I can hear the songs in my head now as I type this. I read recently a quote that said, "A well defended heart is looking for a fight." If I come to the throne of the All Mighty with heart that is guarded, not only do I miss out on a love I will never experience anywhere else -I fight against Him. Among the fruits of the Spirit we gain from glimpses of God is unconditional love
. I don't know about you but my love can be conditional. That love feeling we get is often dependent on someone's actions or even who they are to us. But God is able to see past our dirty hearts full of sin and see a desire to know Him. That love is so powerful that when we know it, we can pour it out on everyone we know.
: The Holy Spirit produces a different kind of fruit: unconditional love, joy, peace, patience, kindheartedness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
God is Redeeming
When I confessed to the world, or those who read my blog rather, that I had been unfaithful to my husband, I was able to do so standing firm with Jesus holding my hand. When I confessed that I had left my faith behind, turned my back on all I knew of God, I did so standing firm with Jesus holding my hand. We are the redeemed my friends, and when we learn to live in that truth, He is able to show us so much more of Himself!
"In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling."
Remember this: "So expensive are you before the King of Glory that Christ died on the cross in your stay."
What do I know of God? What do I know of His Holiness. Not enough, but He's pursuing us dear ones, and we must be still to listen to his call. Spend this season of Thanksgiving and Advent and reflect on who YOU know who God is, and what He wants you to learn about Him. I pray that we can never give up on the truth that is our Savior.
I love you, but he loves you more.