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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Did It Right - and yet....

I have been faithful in my devotions with my children. I have continued in the good fight and if you remember not too long ago I was ecstatic at how God meets me supernaturally in those places. There are times it seems impossible that I will get done what I need to, and yet, I do. There is no doubt that God does allow the supernatural to happen in our lives...and yet - there are those days.

Yes, those days where I do it all right, at least I think I am, and it all falls to pieces. My little bubble of contentment manages to pop and I land right on my tookus, a little surprised at how I got there.

There are two conclusions I have come to about those days. I am not really depending on the Lord and in my pride have been tripped for my own good so that I will look up, or I really am doing it right and am in the middle of spiritual warfare.

Either way - I can be encouraged.

James 1:2, 3
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

1 Timothy 1:18, 19
18Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, 19holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.

John 16:33
33"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

The three scriptures I have given above give me clear and concise reasons for my struggle.
1. trials bring perseverance
2. We have been given instruction so that we can fight the good fight
3. We do not have to be discouraged in the midst of our struggles. God has overcome the world.

These things bring hope! They make it easier to get up and do it again the next day - to not lose heart, to not weary in well doing!

Enjoy those days that you see the supernatural hand of God in your life and the excitement and joy it brings but do not let it bottom you out when the struggles come. Remember that they are for your good regardless of whether you mis-stepped or you are in the midst of a spiritual battle.

Praise God for it and hitch up your britches! Move on sister!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

In Whom Do We Trust?

It has occured to me that I have my securities in the wrong place. I will tell you over and over that my trust is in the Lord. I know my life is dependent on him. And yet, I live, and worry like it is somewhere else. It is a bad time to have your security anywhere else. This. Is. The. Truth.

Isaiah 9:

6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.

Listen to this - "of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. HE WILL REIGN on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it WITH JUSTICE AND WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM THAT TIME ON AND FOREVER. "

Did you hear that? What standard have I set for myself? In the United States and the government that makes decisions based on being elected next term? On this economy that has absolutely no hope of ever satisfying a security for my soul? How wrong have I been? What dream world have I been living in?

God in his graciousness and as a loving Heavenly Father has caused us to re-evaluate where our true security lies. It has not been in him as it should have been. No wonder I can't sleep at night and wake up trying to make a plan. No wonder I am so devastated by this election Tuesday and the choices that we have in front of us.

But friends, we have a hope, and it is not in McCain/Palin, nor is it in the Stock Market finding its footing again.

2 Corinthians 1:9-11
9) Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10) has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11) as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

My heart is full to overflowing...We go through these things so we will rely on God and not on ourselves...or in our economy or in our government - but in CHRIST ALONE!

My hope has been reset. I have no need to worry - because the God who made this world and everything in it is in control. He holds both McCain and Obama and our economy in his hands. His will won't be thwarted. On that I can depend. Praise be to God. My prayer is that I will claim this over and over again in the months and years to come - that I will instill it into my children. God is my refuge and strength...(Psalm 46)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I have a choice

There is not a moment in the day that I don't have a choice to behave godly or worldly. The chances come moment by moment. This morning I initially failed - I was confronted with a situation and I decided to wallow in self pity - for about an hour. Did it make me feel better? No - actually I went down, down, down and felt like shutting down for the day. This is not healthy. This is not how God would have me react.

My joy and my strength are found in him. Not in my circumstances, not in my family, not in my own worth - IN CHRIST ALONE. So, thankfully, the Holy Spirit prodded my heart again and again - I was confronted again with a choice to get up - to rejoice IN THE LORD and be glad.

I think of a young girl who was in strange and scary circumstances. She was betrothed to be married and given the news by an angel that she was to give birth to God's son. She was a virgin and would give birth to a child that was not the child of her betrothed. Practices in those days were to stone women who had been unfaithful. Her circumstances were precarious at best and yet, though I am sure she was scared, she was unsure about the future - she made a choice -

Mary's Song
Luke 1
46 And Mary said:
"My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
even as he said to our fathers."

She trusted God and saw that he had blessed her. She chose to see the blessings in her circumstances and not the bad in them. She had faith that God would take care of her. She knew her value before the Lord. She remembered God's promises and stood firm on them.

That is the kind of woman I want to be.

I do believe the more we practice making choices based on our faith and not our own feelings that it becomes a habit. Our response to failure is not to give up but to keep practising our faith and see it worked out in our life. This is encouraging to me. I am being sanctified moment by moment. My choices to stand firm on the Word of God will cause me to be stronger and stronger in my faith. I will be more like Christ. I will begin to see him more in my decisions. This is what I want. I pray that I will remember that when confronted with these choices. And when I fail that I will not give up but make the right choice to take up the Cross that Christ has laid before me and to walk on.

Praise God for the ability to do so. Without him, I am truly lost.