Search This Blog

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Morning!

8/29/11 My journal posts reads: "Faith is always tested.  It is easy to believe God on the mountain top or sitting in a worship service with other believers.  The challenge comes on Monday or Tuesday morning when the grind of life begins.  Be prepared when you say I will walk by faith.  This statement will be challenged.  God is looking for people to endure--to trust Him in the darkness of life."

My faith has been challenged this week.  If we go by feelings, I have felt strange.  Strange thoughts and temptations.  Today the strangeness was intensified.  I woke very discouraged.  I felt defeated.  My morning was spent weeping, journaling and praying.  For the first time in my life, I felt God had let me down!  He had disappointed me.  I am doing my part of obedience but He is not doing His.  Absurd, I know!!  This is one reason we do not live by feelings but by truth!! 

I went over Sunday's sermon notes and found myself dying in Spirit.  Where was God in these thoughts and temptations and why did I feel this way. 

My next journal notes say:
"Jesus-I need You to come and lift this discouragement.  I just don't understand, but that is okay-I walk by faith.  I trust You.  You are my rock and my fortress, therefore for Your name sake lead and guide me.  I give my life into Your hands.  The thing that concerns me most is this feeling I have of You letting me down.  I know this is a lie.  It is not true!  You have NEVER let me down.  I will not live on feelings but on truth."

I am thankful I can see clearly now.  I wish I would have read my previous day's journal entry, it may have spared me some grief. God is good.  His Word is true.  He will never leave or forsake us.  The problem is we have expectations in our mind that are far from His will.  When these expectations are not met we think He has let us down.  What a lie that is.  I hope to never feel this way again.  The temptation scared me. But I am thankful for the Holy Spirit who has overcome all temptations.

"Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.  No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." 1 Corth 10:12

God is good my friend.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Man After God's Own Heart

A man after God's own heart does not mean he is without sin. 
A man after God's own heart does not mean he is never grieved.
A man after God's own heart does not mean he is without temptation to sin.
A man after God's own heart does not mean he never wallows and complains.
A man after God's own heart does not mean he is always worshipful and thankful.
A man after God's own heart does not mean he lives a life without anxiety and fear.

A man after God's own heart looks like this:

 Now it happened, when David and his men came to Ziklag, on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the South and Ziklag, attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire, 2 and had taken captive the women and those who were there, from small to great; they did not kill anyone, but carried them away and went their way. 3 So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. 4 Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. 5 And David’s two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive. 6 Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.
Then David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, “Please bring the ephod here to me.” And Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8 So David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?”
And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.” 1 Samuel 30:1-8

MacArthur says, "Serving as a source through which one could make direct and specific inquiry into the will of God, theHigh-priest ephod, which contained the Urim and Thummim was sought by David.  The distress of the moment drew his focus away from the treasonous thoughts of his men and back to God in his desperation to know what God would have him do."

A man after God's own heart, when sinful, seeks God.
A man after God's own heart, when grieved, seeks God.
A man after God's own heart, when tempted to sin, seeks God.
A man after God's own heart, when anxiety and fears set in, seeks God.
A man after God's own heart, when wallowing and complaining begins, seeks God.
A man after God's own heart, when bitter and full of self-seeking pleasures, seeks God.

I wonder are you strengthening yourself in the LORD?  Are you a man after God's own heart?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Speed Bumps

I like diversity, diversity in appearance, culture, skin color and the likes.  I am drawn to people who are different, people who do not fit into the "normal" status quo.  I'm also learning I like people who think differently than me. people who think outside the "box" and even people who disagree with me. They shake up and challenge my neat and tidy little world.

Our normal tendency is to drive life hard and fast with people who look just like us, people who are going in the same direction as us and people who are driving just as fast as us.  But God!  He puts speed bumps in our way.  How do you react when you come upon a speed bump?  Do you feel the anger, the resistance?

When resistant from your heart raises its head, know it is a place to begin digging.  When your faith is challenged use the anger you feel to dig deep into God's word.  It is essential you know and understand what you  believe and the reason why.  Otherwise you will be carried about with every wind of doctrine. Eph. 4:14  I have been told many Mormons were originally Southern Baptist.  I'm not sure if this true but I do understand how a person not grounded in their faith can be swept away into false belief.  I think having our beliefs neatly packaged and handed to us has caused shallow roots that are easily blown over. 

If you want the gold nugget, you must dig.  Gold does not float to the top, it settles on the bottom.  To know the truth of God's word, you must dig and you must struggle-grapple with the Word.  Apply it to life, fall down, get up and grapple again.  Truths grappled with are not easily blown over. 

There is security in sameness.  I get it...My house has looked the same for 5 years and if we still live here, it will look the same in 10.  I have worked the same job for almost 10 years.  Unless I'm fired, I plan on continuing on day after day.  Security!  There is security in routine...yes I get it.  But I also know God is NOT routine at least as we understand routine.  God is unchangeable.  He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  We must to get to know Him. We must understand what we believe. We must find our security in Him as we study, as we learn, as we grapple with His truths. Jesus is the TRUTH. 

Don't resist the speed bumps!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Josh Wilson - Fall Apart (Acoustic Performance)

I think this song captures my heart this morning I've been praying a dangerous prayer." Pray that He would show you and take from your heart every form of pride. "
You can read the devotion on my previous blog. Join me would you?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Andrew Murray Prayer Challenge

Andrew Murray offers a challenge this morning in his devotion.  Maybe you will join me in this?  I wonder what kind of people we would be and look like when God answers this kind of prayer!

God sets Himself against the proud,
but He shows favor to the humble.
James 4:6

There is an infallible touchstone that will teach you the spirit of prayer.  Pull away from the world and all activities.  Stop the former workings of your heart and mind.  With all your strength, spend all this month as continually as you can in one kind of prayer to God.  Offer it frequently on your knees but, whether sitting, standing, or walking, always be inwardly longing and earnestly praying this one prayer to God.  Pray that He would show you and take from your heart every form of pride.  Reject every thought except that of praying in this matter from the bottom of your heart.

The painful sense and feeling of what you are, kindled by the light o God within you, is the fire and light from which your spirit of prayer proceeds.  At first nothing is found or felt but pain and darkness.  But as this prayer of humility is met by the divine love, the mercy of God embraces it.  Then your prayer is changed into songs and thanksgiving.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I Lift My Hands by Chris Tomlin

Boulders Of Truth

I put the "Bah" in humbug this morning.  My head is cloudy and I continue stumbling over a truth. John 14:26 The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. 

Here is my problem.  I am a fixer.  I have a question/problem and I want the answer. I want the full answer and I want it immediately.  I want the beginning steps, the detail process, and the end results. I want them all at once.  I know with my heart this is not walking in faith and obedience but tell that to my brain which is so cloudy with confusion this morning.

As I have continued bringing this cloud before the Lord, He has placed boulders of truth in my path, which I  continue to trip over.  Let me share them with you:

How precious is Your loving kindness, O God!
Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.
They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house,
And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.
  For with You is the fountain of life;
         In Your light we see light. Psalm 36:7-9

In my Chamber's reading this morning, "It is possible to know all about doctrine and still not know Jesus."  Bobbie translation, "I can have all the steps to fix my problem and miss Jesus all together. That would be a tragedy.  Do I trust God enough to wait upon His timing and take one step at a time as He leads?

In my Murray" reading, "Everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Phil 3:8  Bobbie translation, "It is a relationship not a formula.

In my study of Jonah for Sunday School,
Jonah 1:1 Word of the Lord came Arise, go and cry out about their wickedness.  Jonah did not obey. 
Jonah 3:1 Word of the Lord came a second time, Arise, go and preach the message I will give to you". 
Bobbie response, what, no details?  How am I to know what to say?
John 15:15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

A song played on Klove this morning-Chris Tomlin, "I Lift My Hands"

These are big boulders God has placed before me.  As I type this blog, the LIGHT is beginning to burn away the clouds. That is a beautiful picture and another blog.  What great mercy, love, and grace God has for me to cause me to trip over these truths. He has that same desire for you.  Let me leave you with a few more verses.

        Be still, and know that I am God;                                                        
         I will be exalted among the nations,                               
         I will be exalted in the earth! Ps. 46:10

       But the path of the just is like the shining sun,
      That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. Proverbs 4:18

I must go repent of my attitude now. Thanks for listening! Hope my morning encourages you to dig deep, pray hard, and wait for the Lord to move.  One more thing...I don't have my answer to my problem but I don't need it any more! 


Saturday, August 13, 2011

No Accidents

Moreover whom He predestined,
these He also called;
 whom He called,
these He also justified;
and whom He justified,
 these He also glorified.
Romans 8:30

You are a created being.  God knew you before you were ever born.  He had a plan and purpose laid out for your life even before He created the world.  Think with me a minute about God sovereignty in your very creation.  He had to specifically know and plan your parents meeting and marriage, for you to be conceived.  For me, He had to know and plan the Eisenhower family to  move from Germany to meet the Cherokee Indians in the United States.  A man's heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps. Prov. 16:9

Know you are NO accident.  God planned for your birth and He went to great extremes to make it happen.  You are blessed and dearly loved!

A New Start

A truth was spoken into my life this past week, that has brought godly fear, humility, and determination. 

Determination to set my face as flint toward the Lord-to listen to His voice and obey.
Determination to study and Know the Bible.
Determination to find the people,unashamedly, I want to sit at their feet and learn His ways. 

Isaiah 50:4-7 is the Messiah's soliloquy about being perfected through obedience and sufferings.  So sure was He of the Lord God's help that He resolutely determined to remain unswayed by whatever hardship might await Him. (Macarthur)

The Lord GOD has given Me
      The tongue of the learned,
      That I should know how to speak
      A word in season to him who is weary.
      He awakens Me morning by morning,
      He awakens My ear
      To hear as the learned.
       5 The Lord GOD has opened My ear;
      And I was not rebellious,
      Nor did I turn away.
       6 I gave My back to those who struck Me,
      And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard;
      I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.
       7 “ For the Lord GOD will help Me;
      Therefore I will not be disgraced;
      Therefore I have set My face like a flint,
      And I know that I will not be ashamed.
I have to remember this is a life long process.  A life long process of surrender and obedience.  Thank God for friends who see things and speak truths into our lives. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Small Messes

How can a home become totally out of control in two days?  Laundry and dishes are a never ending problem along with dust and unmade beds.  I look around my home with the laundry on the couch, the dishes in the sink, the groceries on the bar, and the papers stacked in my office and I want to walk away to leave for someone else to clean up. 

I wonder about our spiritual lives.  How many days (hours really) of neglect would it take for our lives to become out of control? People do not wake one morning and decide, today will the day, I will commit an immoral act or I will murder someone.  Big sins begin with neglect of the little disciplines of the Christian life.

If you are not feeding your spirit with the meat of the Word and drinking deeply from the Vine of life, your life will show signs of neglect.  Small sins of omission or disobedience will rob you of blessings but will also quench the Spirit living inside of you.  One small sin left unchecked will lead to larger sins.  One day you will awake (come to your senses) and wonder how you ended up in this location. 

The most awesome thing is we (humans) are all alike.  This problem is universal to us all.  But God in His great mercy and love has made a way for us to return to a kept spiritual life.  He-Jesus is the keeper of this life. 

I must take the time to clean up small messes in my home before they become large messes.  Such a word picture for our spiritual lives. When we spend time in the Lord presence being washed by the Word and prayer, we have power to say no to the temptations and thoughts that come our way.

Begin your disciplines today. 

Must tackle my house now.  I hope you tackle your time and surrender before the Lord.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Absolute Dependence Andrew Murray

The Christian life is a life of absolute dependence.  At Hampton Court there was a vine that sometimes bore a couple thousand clusters of grapes.   People were amazed at its productivity.  Later the secret was discovered.  Not too far from Hampton Courts flows the River Thames.  The vine had stretched its roots hundreds of yards under the ground until it came to the riverbed.  There, in all the nutrients of the river bottom, it found rich nourishment and moisture. 
The roots drew the sap all that distance to the branches.
The vine had the work to do. The branches simply had to depend upon the vine and receive what it gave.
That is exactly what Christ desires you to understand.  Christ desires that in all your work, the very foundation should be the simple acceptance that Christ must care for all.
As you depend on Him He supplies your needs by sending down the Holy Spirit.  Jesus wants you to be dependent as you serve Him.  Day by day, hour by hour, in everything you do, simply abide before Him.  Live in the total helplessness of one who can do nothing.
Absolute dependence upon God is the secret of power in work.  You and I have nothing unless we receive it from Jesus.