Wednesday, March 29, 2017

True To His Word

God Is Always True to His Word.
Read 1 Samuel 3, 4, 5

I make plans and then break them.  I commit and then back-out.  I volunteer and then un-volunteer.  Part of these psychotic episodes are simply because I haven't mastered the art of saying, "No."  The other part is the fact that I am trying to stop people-pleasing and start God pleasing.  I am getting better, but I still have a long way to go.

Unlike myself, God is always true to His word.  In 1 Samuel 3, the Lord appointed Samuel to be a prophet.  He called to Samuel four times.  Whenever Samuel finally listened to what the Lord had to say, the Lord gave Samuel important information.  He told Samuel that He was about to do something in Israel that would make the ears of everyone who heard about it tingle.  God told Samuel that He was about to carry out everything He had spoken concerning Eli's family.  God was about to bring judgement on them.  

As you read chapter 4 and chapter 5 you begin to see the prophecy come to life.  As brutal and messy as it was - God was true to His word.  Men died, the Ark of the Covenant was stolen and idols fell - God was true to His word.  Men got tumors all over their bodies - God was true to His word.  It was a big mess and God was true to His word.  

Don't think I'm crazy, but I find great comfort in reading a passage of scripture like this.  I want a God that is true to His word.  I need a God that is true to His word.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Faithful Versus Faithless

God Raises Up The Faithful and Brings Low the Faithless
Read 1 Samuel 2

I am going to attend a funeral at 11 am today.  The funeral of a women (younger than myself) that is a wife, a mother of 4 children, a daughter and a friend.  She is not a woman that I have had the privilege of personally knowing, but she means a great deal to several people that I love.  God is using her life and legacy to impact many people, like myself, even after she is gone...

You know, life is temporary.  It is never more real than when we face death head-on.   I can't help but ponder my life, at a time like this:

What type of legacy will I leave?  
Will I have been faithful to Jesus Christ?
Will I have pointed people to Him?

Then, I begin to think about the lives of people that I love; the lives of people that frustrate me; the lives of family and friends:

What will happen when they are gone?
Are they faithful to Jesus Christ or faithless?
Will they spend eternity with My Savior?

1 Samuel 2:6 says that God gives life and God takes it away.  He gives us life at the moment of conception but He also grants new life whenever we admit that we need Him.  Whenever we admit that we can't handle this crazy world on our own... He offers life.  Whenever we admit that we are not good enough... He offers life.  Whenever we call on the name of Jesus... He offers life.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Pour Out Your Soul Before Him

The Lord Wants You To Pour Out Your Soul Before Him.
Read 1 Samuel 1

For the past 11 years, my husband and I have been trying to have a child.  We never thought that we would struggle with infertility.  Infertility really isn't something that crosses your mind; until you're left standing exposed in a fertility clinic.  A clinic where doctors are still uncertain of why this is happening.

God has been faithful with each passing year.  He has given me strength to press on and accept this beautiful life.  I have been able to love deeply and pour into the lives of those around me.  I've been able to accept the Sovereign hand of God (Psalm 135:6) that lovingly protects me and shelter's me under His wing (Psalm 91:1-4).  I praise God for allowing me to be in this place.  This place of peace and contentment.

Over the past few months God has been birthing in my heart a deep desire to pray.  He has used different events, sermons and books in my life to ignite a passion and conviction to pray.  I even wrote about my weekly prayer phone call (here).  I have been documenting where I see the hand of God moving, working and answering prayer.  It is increasing my faith and quite frankly exposing areas of my life where I give little attention to prayer.

You would probably never believe it; but infertility is one of those areas.  It's embarrassing to admit, but I know that others have prayed more fervently for me than I have prayed for myself.  For whatever reason, this area of infertility has been easier to suppress than to pray about.  It's easier for me to say that God is Sovereign, than to earnestly ask Him to give me the desire of my heart.  It's easier to say that it must be God's will for my life, than to ask Him to perform a miracle.  It's been easier for me to "move on" than to get on my knees and pray, as Hannah did, speaking out of her anxiety and vexation.

God's word says that the Lord closed Hannah's womb.  It also says that Hannah poured out her soul before the Lord.  Then, in due time, the Lord granted Hannah's desire.  It's hard for me to even type these words, but I am asking God to perform a miracle. I am asking God to hear my heart and give us a child (from my womb).  I know that He can.  I just don't know if He will.  Whatever He chooses I trust Him.  But I want to have faith, like Hannah.  I want to pour out my soul before the Lord.  I want to ask Him.  I feel compelled to ask Him.

Monday, March 6, 2017

God Judges Pride

God Judges Pride Because He Is King of kings.
Read Obadiah 1-21

I never knew how truly prideful I was until I walked into Celebrate Recovery for the very first time.  I placed my keys, Bible and purse on the floor, in front of me, as I stared wide-eyed at the circle of women around me.

I'm ashamed to say it, but these are the first thoughts that went through my mind:
"What are you doing here?  
You don't belong here?  
You're a good christian.  
You've been in Bible Study for over 25 years. 
You've been in BSF leadership for 8 years.  
You are not like these people.  
You need to leave.  
You can't learn anything from these women..."

In just a few, short minutes the circle began to speak.  One woman after another made her statement: "Hi, I'm a grateful believer in Jesus Christ and I struggle with______."  The circle was moving quickly and my hands began to sweat.  What am I going to say?  What am I supposed to do?  I felt as if the room was spinning as they were getting closer and closer to my chair.

Before I knew it, I had my mouth open and tears were running down my cheeks.  "Hi.  I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ and I struggle with food issues." I was broken.  The pride that I wore through the doors of that building was cracked wide open and I was exposed!  I was exposed and left standing in the middle of my sin.

I'm not quite sure what happened the rest of that evening.  All I know is that the Holy Spirit told me, "You WILL learn from these woman.  You are just like these woman."  Even though I had known the Lord since I was seven years old; I had to be stripped of my pride.  My pride needed to be exposed so Jesus could further cleanse my life.

Obadiah is book of prophesy.  It explains the love God had for Jacob and the hate God had for Esau (Edom).

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