Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Revelation 7:17

"For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”   

Today is many many things. It is my Sunday... my Sabbath... my day of rest... It is a day that I start something new and exciting and totally overwhelming... It is a benchmark day in my personal timeline... not celebratory, but significant. It is also a day that the Lord made; I will rejoice and be glad in it!

However, if I am being totally honest, today has mostly sucked!

It started off great, with revelations and new light and quickly turned sour. I let what this day represents capture me. I succumbed to the the normal weightiness of this natural world, with it's complications, imperfections, and indirection. I found it hard not to have tears streaming down my face off and on for several hours. The temptation to just sulk and let it spill into the next few days was strong, but God spoke.

Let me start with what God was trying to teach me before I gave up on this day...

PEACE

I began my day with a sense of really wanting to discover the definition and importance of peace... It is something I've totally overlooked and underrated until this morning when my subcounscious was singing "peace so unexplainable, I can hardly think" from the song 'Good Good Father' by Housefires.

Google: freedom from disturbance; quite and tranquility
Vocabulary.com: stress free state of security and calmness
biblestudytools.com: Hebrew root slm = to be complete or to be sound
verb - to be whole, to live well  
noun - salom (4 meanings)
1. wholeness of life or body
2. right relationship - harmony
3. prosperity, fulfillment, success
4. victory

Isaiah 54:10 "For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

John16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have
tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

ROOTS

So after learning a little about peace and running a few errands, I was on my way home and struck by the idea of how we respond or try to fix our fruitless trees. I had so many ideas and pictures criss-crossing in my mind that I had to come home and map it all out before I could totally understand it.

Matthew 7:15-20; 12:33-37

Problem: Our tree doesn't bear fruit
Solution: We make false fruits and hang them on the tree as some type of ornamental display

The real problem: Our tree isn't bearing fruit because it is DYING!
The real solution: Instead of decorating and changing the appearance of the tree, we need to water it... with Living Water.

John 4:14 But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

PROMISE

After mapping out my fruitless tree, my little world came crashing down for no apparent reason. I felt like I was falling apart and that all I wanted was a way out. God truly does work in mysterious ways, because the most random song was implanted in my head. "Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior." Initially, I didn't even acknowledge it, but I came across a video lesson by Christa Black Gifford about living in fullness. The fisrt major point that she made was that we are constantly begging God for what we already have. Even in worship, we cry out for things that He's already promised to us. I cry out that I need God, and He simply reminds me that I already have Him.

This song was not just in my head to remind me of His promises though; it was a battle command.

... and then she addressed peace, saying "Peace is a weapon" because the enemy doesn't know what to do when we are at peace...

... and then she addressed the fruitless tree with, "The fruit of my life changed because I let Him love me at my root." The emphasis being on "camping out under God's love" instead of focusing on the behavior you are trying to change...

God is good, and personal, and echoes of His love are everywhere.

If we are to be strong in battle, we need to be fully equipped. We cannot find peace or stand firm on the promises of God if we do not know what they are...

Joshua 1:5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you, be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Psalm 37:23-24 The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.

Ezekiel 36:26-27 And I will give you a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

Galatians 4:4-7 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts crying, "Abba! Father!" so you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

1 John 3:1-3 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. beloved we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

Romans 8:37-39 No, in all these things we are more than conquerers through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Psalm 103:8-13 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will He keep his anger forever. he does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him.

Revelation 7:17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

These are just a few... remind... meditate... and equip yourselves with these truths...

Let him "love you at the root"

"God is not trying to convict you of your sin, He is trying to convince you of your righteousness... He's already dealt with your sin" Christa Black Gifford.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The thing about love...

I cannot make anyone love Jesus anymore than I can make anyone love me... but I can love everyone...  because Jesus first loved me... just like He first loved them.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Thing About Trials...

2 Corinthians 7:10 "For Godly grief produces a relevance that leads to salvation without regret whereas worldly grief produces death.

I welcome the trial.. the refinement.. because I want everyday to be a shaping and a molding to His glory and will... but as much as I want more and more, I constantly reject it.. because the trial is never what I think it should be.. it comes in forms that I hate... it comes by way of sin... I guess for my ultimate shaping... the deterioration of my pride and the strengthening of my humility.. I feel weak against sin... but he is strong in our weakness...

2 Corinthians 12 "So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,[a] a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

There comes a point almost daily.. when I am too tired to continue running from the God who is chasing me... and because I could never actually outrun Him, immediately I am completely caught up and surrounded by His greatness and kindness... and LOVE. Truly.. truly... everything else in the world PALES in comparison to this great love... 

Friday, July 4, 2014

A Video Game with Never Ending Levels...

Wouldn't that be amazing!!.. I mean, I guess... if you like video games.

What I do like is the love of God, which I've only recently REALLY discovered has never ending levels; each one is more complicated, more difficult to understand, and more rewarding than the one before. I am constantly overwhelmed by our Creator, Savior, Friend who loves us so deeply that He shows us in ways that are just as diverse as we are! Daily I struggle to trust, and daily His response is a love I don't deserve sans Christ. Thankfully, we are not "sans Christ"; we are co-heirs with HIM!

Romans 8:32 (mirror word)
"The gift of his son is the irrefutable evidence of God's heart towards us. He held nothing in reserve; but freely and undeservedly gave everything we could ever wish to have; this is what our joint sonship is all about."

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Thing About Waiting On The Lord...

What if... What if?... What if waiting on the Lord is not some grand display of patient anticipation of a greater future, but a walk. Just a walk... With God, where we are willing to go at His pace... Stopping to admire, smell, or wonder at the things He created... A walk where He gently pulls us by the hand to lead us where He wants to go..., a walk where we are willing to go slow in order to enjoy and delight in the things that He enjoys and delights in... not a walk where we are bruised from clearing the path ourselves because we are so certain and in a hurry... Not a walk where we begrudgingly beckon Him to keep up!... and not a walk where we are too many paces ahead to even look back to see Him picking a dandelion, blowing the pedals, and marveling at the way they float through the air before He changes directions, without our hand to hold, and we miss it...

Monday, May 19, 2014

The thing about failure...

Most of us never try because we are convinced that we will fail. This was my belief when I started my journey, but I put it aside because the Lord had taken charge. Somewhere along the way, I became convinced that I couldn't fail, which is just as dangerous. When the normal human mistakes began popping up, I almost lost my mind. "How could this be? What does this mean? Everything is ruined!" Then I became obsessed with my mistakes, turning them into some DaVinci code like puzzle that would give me some secret answers to life. WRONG!! Reality: I'm a human with the natural instinct to sin, and mistakes happen (I wouldn't need a Savior if this wasn't true). Just like there is no secret to eating healthy, and being fit, there is no secret message hidden in my mistakes. Cheers to letting go, and moving forward! 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Thing About Pride is...

... Pride is like trying to capture a wild animal: It doesn't belong in your home, and it will continue to attack you until you let it go.