Photo by Flickr
I have come to the realisation this morning that I am different, that I am changed. When I was in my deepest darkest days, I would cry out to God and beg Him to do something, to fix whatever wrong with me, to lift off the awfulness I was feeling. But I realised this morning that that is exactly what He has been doing. It didn’t happen with a bang as I thought (or hoped!) it would, but a truth here, a revelation there (and not necessarily a big one), building me on a sure foundation, brick by brick.
I had been looking at all that needs to be still fixed in me, and despairing, instead of looking at what He has already done and how far I have come. And for that Lord, I truly thank You, from the bottom of my changed heart.
The Lord your God will drive those nations out ahead of you little by little. You will not clear them away all at once, otherwise the wild animals would multiply too quickly for you. Deuteronomy 7:22 NLT
I recently ‘inherited’ some Bible devotional books from my mother-in-law who passed away last year. Inside one of them was a scrap of paper where she had written down an
Photo from Flickr
entry from another devotional that had touched her. It touched me too, not only because she had written it, but because of the truth it contained. (I don’t know what devotional it came from)
“Forgive us Lord for ever waiting to see the results of our praying before thanking You. For instance (and she had written: the drought broken, the work came in). The Lord won the victory on Calvary. Thy victory is all inclusive. The secret is to look up and praise Him. Satan is a defeated foe. Thank You Lord You didn’t do it by half measures on Calvary. You were all victorious. You said, “It is finished!” Praise Your Holy Name. Whether it was sickness or finances or whatever, it was all dealt with on Calvary. Your words were, “It is finished!”
So we praise You Lord for all things are ours in Christ Jesus. We struggle and strive to get our needs met instead of praising You for the finished work. Trying to do it in our own strength instead of walking in the Spirit. Forgive us Lord for being like the Israelites, doing it in our own strength instead of trusting in Your faithfulness. May 1″
Hoping it touches you too.
One of a kind. Photo Flickr
When we have our own children, by birth, we can’t really choose who or what we will end up with, unless of course we have some genetic engineering of some kind. We cannot choose what sex they are, what colour eyes or hair they will have, whether they will be brainy or artistic, or whose nose they will have. It’s a bit like a surprise package!
But God….. He chose us. He knew what He was getting already, and He still chose us. He knows our end from our beginning, our faults, failures and our noses, but He CHOSE us. He adopted us as His own beloved children with full knowledge of what He was getting up front. And still He picked us out for Himself, in love. Rather boggling, that is. Should even make us feel rather special.
Check it out in Ephesians 1. (and thanks to Joyce Meyer for giving me this idea)
Compost. I can’t say I have had much success with it. It never seems to turn out right. Until this time – it had broken down beautifully and looked just the way it was supposed to look, according to the expert on gardening, Mr Google. So I spread it on my vegie garden.
You should see my vegies go! Amazing how one can put scraps and rubbish in a bin, stir it occasionally, and it breaks down into something that is so good for plants.
As I pondered this, I felt that this is like our lives, well mine anyway. We have all made mistakes and a mess [to a certain extent] of our lives. We may feel like we are a failure and a disappointment to God. We may even feel without hope. But if we are able give him our failures, our scraps and rubbish, and allow Him to put them in His ‘compost bin’, then in time it will turn into something that will be ‘nourishing’ to those around us. And the less we interfere, the better it will turn out. Truly He can make all things [that includes rubbish and junk] work together for good, for us and for those we rub shoulders with.
Apparently there is a day in the northern hemisphere (where it is now winter), called Blue Monday. It is typically the 3rd Monday in January. This is when Christmas and holidays are over, the weather is miserable, and the debt from Christmas has kicked in. To top it off, our New Year’s resolutions – our decisions to be better in some way, we have not been able to keep, no matter how hard we try.
And that’s just it – we cannot keep our New Year’s resolutions, unless we have a will of steel. We cannot ‘fix’ ourselves and improve ourselves in some way, just because we make a resolution. If we do, we are doing it in our own strength and are destined to fail.
On the other hand though, if God puts His finger on something in our lives, then His grace, strength and anointing will be there to help us. His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
I was constantly trying to improve myself, and I didn’t even need a New Year to do it! More like an All Year resolution. If God hadn’t told me to look at a certain area in my life, and I was trying to improve myself in some way or stop sinning in some area, there was no anointing on it, and I failed every time. Then comes the guilt and condemnation because I failed.
The key? Let God tell usif there is an area He would like us to work on, let Him direct our paths, and He will be there to hold our hands and encourage us to get back up when we trip.
HE is the One who is perfecting and completing the good work He has begun in us – we just need to get ourselves and our self effort out of the way. We just need to co-operate with Him and then He gets all the glory. There’s a rest and an ease in that.
2 Corinthian 12:9; Psalm 37:23,2; Philippians 1:6;
There is a lot of talk at the moment about abortion, both in Australia and the USA.
How do we know that the baby that is being aborted is not going to be Prime Minister of Australia, a person who finds a cure for cancer, the next Billy Graham?
I was going to be aborted myself, and it makes me wonder, if I was, would it change the course of history as it were? I would not have married my husband, I would not have worked or gone to school where I did, and I wouldn’t have the friends and family around me that I do. To them, I wouldn’t exist.
And what about my children and future grandchildren – would they cease to exist? Heaven forbid.
Just makes me wonder…..
As Christians, Jesus has cleansed us from our sin, not because of His hatred for sin, but because He wants us to have relationship with Him, here and now. Sin just got in the way. So He so very kindly removed it from us, at His own very painful expense on the Cross.
He wants us, and for us to be as Adam and Eve were originally with Him, walking with Him in the cool of the day, before sin came into the picture. To be best friends. BFF.
So the focus is not so much about the sin, (and neither should ours be) but on the fact that He has dealt with our sin once and for all so we can have relationship with Him. What a wonderful God. Blows my mind actually.
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God………. 1 Peter 3:18 NKJV (emphasis mine)
Do you have a call on your life for something big? Have you had words spoken over you or felt God tell you directly that He has a huge plan for your life?
I have, and straight away I started to get myself ready by researching the topic that I felt that I was called to, bought books of people who are doing the same thing, and dreamed big plans. I now realise that I was doomed to failure by doing these things.
Who was it that called me anyway? Was it me or was it God?
So many times I can get caught up in the destination and forget about the journey with Him to get there. So if I stay close to Him, learn to live in His presence day by day and be led by Him, then He will get me where He needs me to be when He is ready, and I am too. I will be exactly where I need to be in 6 months, 1 year or even 6 years time. There is learning in the journey, just walking and abiding with Him. No pressure.
I was stewed up. I didn’t know which way to go, what to do. Going around in circles. Trying to reason it out. The only sensible thing I did at the time was to journal with Father about it.
It took a while, but I heard His whisper about being troubled and anxious about many things. Hmmm, where is that verse, Lord? Google helped me out with that one.
38 Now while they were on their way, Jesus entered a village [called Bethany], and a woman named Martha
Martha, Martha Photo Flickr
welcomed Him into her home.39 She had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was continually listening to His teaching. 40 But Martha was very busy and distracted with all of her serving responsibilities; and she approached Him and said, “Lord, is it of no concern to You that my sister has left me to do the serving alone? Tell her to help me and do her part.” 41 But the Lord replied to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part [that which is to her advantage], which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10 AMP
I was definitely being Martha-ish – being concerned about what I have to do, what people will think, what God will think etc etc. But Jesus said only one thing is necessary, and that is sitting at His feet, and listening to Him. One thing Lord, only one? Really? Sitting at Your feet? Sounds wonderful, peaceful and stressless.
And so I became more Mary-ish. I just sat at His feet, and ignored the yelling in my ear of all that needs to be done and all I should do. I only need to do one thing – Jesus said so! And it was wonderful, peaceful and stressless. And I got my answer.
I will get it eventually – He seems to keep on telling me about intimacy. One day it will sink in. I will keep you posted – it will be a red letter day. 🙂
God can speak in unusual ways. He has spoken through the fleece of a sheep (Judges 6), through a burning bush (Exodus 6) and even a donkey (Numbers 22). I would like to add to the list an unusual way that God spoke to me – a Stampin’ Up! catalogue.
It was just a normal everyday day. Then something triggered a panic attack. But before it could get a hold on me (praising God usually helps) my eyes fell on to the open Stampin’ Up! catalogue. It was advertising a stamp set, and one of the stamps said:
You’ve Got Courage
You’ve Got Strength
You’ve Got ME
And that broke it, but I was still a bit wobbly. So I sat down to browse through the catalogue to keep my mind occupied. Lo and behold, and few pages later, another stamp set:
Good things are going to happen
You’ve got this
I’m here for you
It blew me away to think that He would use something so insignificant to get to me. Years ago, I had a friend whom God spoke to through the paper church bulletin – the number of the bulletin and the date on it!
If He needs to tell us something, He can make it happen. He can use even the small things in our lives to tell us something monumental.