Book of Rememberance

Malachi 3:16

“That’s such a Cliché!”

I’ve been learning a great deal about Gods timing in my life. For a long time for me it was more of an expression that was used or in some ways a cliché trying to explain life, or comfort someone when you don’t really know what to say about why things are the way that they are…or not.

But I have been absolutely in awe about the way God has worked things out in my life and the lives around me. In the past I have always been impressed with how God would put it on the heart of my pastor to teach on a particular topic, and then I might go home and listen to some of my favourite online sermons shockingly be teaching on the same topic, and then I may come across someone else talking about the same topic in a completely unrelated circle… It made me so excited about what God was doing and how He is SO like that! To confirm and be sure that His people are getting the message that He wants us to learn at this time. He is truly awesome that way.

However, when it came to  life situations, “Gods timing” always seemed like a cop out to a real answer, or an excuse to try to explain away feelings, longings and disappointments, death and unanswerable circumstances that we try to reason out.

This isn’t actually wrong. I mean, God is ultimately in control, and all things are contingent upon His Will…. thus His timing.

But the problem for me came when I wasn’t reverent to His timing.  I couldn’t appreciate the blessing of His timing in my life.  I was always questioning Him, and asking Him about when things were gonna happen.

I have been learning through His Word, by committing to apply the Bible to my daily life that there is nothing that can be compared with His timing in our lives. I often remind myself of Numbers 14:39-45 when it comes to appreciating God’s Timing. (for context you may want to start around verse 6)

When I had finally committed my life and my plans into God’s hands and given up the need to control my life and the path that I wanted it to take, I was completely free to embrace God’s Will and timing for my life. This is only through the gift of God’s Grace that I can reflect on this because by nature I am a planner. I have had lists and lists mapped out for my life/timeline since I was a very young girl. Of course that left me with nothing but disappointment and sadness, but none the less I hung onto those, re-adjusting as the years went by (and nothing was coming to pass as expected).  Then, finally I GOT IT! My life is not my own, it belongs to Another. It was bought at a great price. I’m not in control, and trying to be/pretending to be is only causing frustration, stress and anxiety.  I have only ever been able to find freedom from this in submission to the Lord.

Now, I don’t say this because it was easy, actually it was really hard and I have by no means perfected it, or come to the the place that I am able to successfully do this all the time. But through Grace I am getting better.

I actually do not have a list anymore! (Shock to those who really know me)
and though naturally I do have ideals, and things that would “seem to be the best time” but I am constantly bringing them back the Lord and asking Him to remind me that this keeps me from freedom or doing things His way – when He sees fit.

I am not trying to say that we don’t need to have some plans or make provision for the future, that’s not it at all.  (Proverbs 22:3, 27:12) I have hopes and dreams, and things that I have held up against scripture to be sure they are in alignment with His Ideals. But the danger comes when we place that above walking in the Spirit, and being lead by Him to accomplish that which He desires for us to do; instead of trying to accomplish that which I want me to do for me. The Bible says without vision the people perish (Proverbs 29:18) , and that vision is very important, make it plain and write it clearly (Habakkuk 2:2). But do not idolize that vision. Prayerfully consider it, then hand it over to God to bring it to pass and direct you. (Proverbs 16:9, 19:21) Part 2 to that would be also not to be so boxed in to how it is meant to look or be. Most of the things that have been God directed in my life are the heart of things I have prayed for but actually do not look anything life what I had pictured at all.

I had prayed for years to live in a peaceful home – He brought me to Japan. I had prayed for joy in being a housewife – He gave me a job that brings me incomparable joy, I cant wait for the weekend to be over and to get to go back! I prayed for children – He gave me the most precious students that I have ever had the privilege of being around. From toilet training to grade 1 I have never known a love like this before.  I prayed to marry a Japanese and live in Japan forever – He gave me …… (to be continued 🙂 )

God has always fulfilled everyone one of my hearts desires…. yet never the way I imagined it when I was asking!

How much I would have missed out on if He ever listened to me. I’m so thankful He doesn’t!

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Word Up!

My favourite verse of all time is Malachi 3:16-17  Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name. And they shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I publicly recognize and openly declare them to be My jewels. And I will spare them, as a man spares his own son who serves him.

This verse is the very reason I wanted to write a blog. Because I know the power if the Lord of Hosts in my life and what it means to be counted a jewel in His eyes.

When I started writing this, it was for me. To remember my struggles, and the breakthroughs that God has given. How I wish I would have written during the times when I was first getting to know the Lord. The power of Jesus in my life to save me is still shocking! I am in awe that He would choose me of all the people that have the privilege to know Him. I am always asking “why me?!” It makes no sense at all! But I know that His grace makes absolutely no sense at all in any case so I am learning to accept that!  I used to think “how can there be this many things wrong with any one person!” Just thinking about the life that God saved me from is overwhelming. Back then, I came to the Lord brokenhearted in many ways, not just from a love, but I was struggling with years of eating disorders, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, hopelessness and all the effects that that evil can do to a young heart and soul. Truly I say that His Word can overcome ANYTHING! (Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost)

When I first started posting, I was going through a real self discovery time. I was learning not just about the God I serve but also, about myself and the  “whys” behind the “whats”. The Lord brought me through that time, and showed me so much about myself, my personality and really had me question my thoughts, actions, motives and responses to how I related with people and life.

It was so hard!  I was questioning my purpose as a woman, my singleness at a time in my life when I really thought I would have been fulfilling my dreams as a wife and mother. I questioned my decision to live in Japan and to stay here until I knew God was directing otherwise. But then I was also questioning my salvation frequently and my relationship with the Lord. Everything was in confusion and uncertainty during most of 2010.

Now, nearly 2 years later, the changes I can physically see and reflect on are astounding! I am NOT the same person at all. God has completely made me whole, and is in the process of repairing the damaged parts of my personality and heart. I will never stop declaring the power of  His word to cleanse, and renew the mind. His promises to do this are sure! (John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you; Ephesians 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind, Colossians 3:10 have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created it 2 Corinthians 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day)

The Lord has recently opened a new chapter in my book of remembrance. Its been the reason I haven’t been able to write as I used to! I said God is in the repairing process…its still on going. I have fears and insecurities that have been holding me back from sharing the new things that God is doing… But I think it will be regretful for me if I am not reminding myself of how AWESOME God is in the center of this newness in my life. Especially because I am SO Very THANKFUL, and I want to say so! Psalm 100:4  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name!

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Overwhelmed

Wow, its been ages since Ive posted… it’s not even that I don’t have a million things to write about, and so many things that God has been doing in my life; But its just that I have a million things to write about and so many things that God has been doing in my life!

Its overwhelming and I have been having the hardest time putting it in to words even.  But at the same time I lost a part of  the journey from not taking the time to record it.

The purpose of writing this thing when I started was basically to just keep my own “book of remembrance” about everything that God has done for me and in me in order to remind myself in those times when I feel He has left me (even though I know He never has… sometimes that feeling can win over the knowledge) that actually I am His very own and He has everything under control.

A while back I was posting things about the journey that God had taken me on in order to meet… myself. It was horrible! But it was necessary. And since that time I have been so much more open to Him and His ways than I had ever been before.

Its an amazing place to get to when you can actually with ALL Honesty say “whatever Your will Lord, not mine”

I had said those words about various situations in my life countless times.. but never meant it with the degree of sincerity that I learned from last year of getting to know myself.
I’m thinking of Luke 22:62 in which Peter met himself after having denied the Lord. I can kind of understand what happened inside of Peter. He thought he was alright, he thought he was strong and ready… but then he met himself and weeping followed. I also met myself for the first time… and wept bitterly.

But this was an awesome year even though there were some very painful things as well. I learned a lot about my family -especially my dad after my mom died. It helped me to see myself and them from a different perspective.  I continued to learn a lot about myself. I learned that inside this broken heart and damaged soul there was still that same innocence and femininity that I had so bottled up and shoved deep down, away from the world to see.

I learned some weird things about myself, and memories I had long forgotten became so clear and vivid. God is amazing at that kind of stuff… at just the right moments. He reminded me of my girly-ness and how much I enjoy wearing dresses, ribbons and bows. He showed me my old personality, completely void of harshness, cynicism and negativity….this is taking time to get back but I have noticed great changes already. He is worthy of praise!!

Slowly but surely I’m coming back to being that girl once again. I’m starting to remember who I was and who He made me to be. The hurts and pain in my past were very real, but they are just that – PAST! and unless I allow them to, they no longer have any bearing on my current life and future path. I no longer want them to have a say about how I feel in situations, or how I react, how I communicate or how I view other people.

God is preparing each of us for this life and the Will He has for us to live with Joy and Peace and Love. For each of us this road is very different and not all lead to the same ends. But I’m now coming to understand that each place the Lord brings us to really will be for His Glory and therefore our fulfillment because nothing will fulfill us the way that bringing Praise and Glory to His name ever will.

I’m in a brand new place at this very moment, in all areas of of my life. But most importantly the place I am with the Lord right now is the most exhilarating. I am struggling in many aspects but victorious at the same time! I’m pressing in and calling out to Him desperate and hungry for more… but at the same time I’m ultimately satisfied and peaceful.  (Peace being the most unfamiliar experience in my life until now.)

I guess this is what pruning feels like. Its painful! -Shears and clippers are sharp and do damage to some of the things we may not be ready to cut off… but in the end I will produce a greater quality of fruit than I currently produce so I choose to be thankful and appreciative of this time.

The Lord is FULL of surprises! He loves to do that kind of thing I think. I often tell people when you pray very specifically to the Lord about what you want and think you need; He will give you none of it and all of it.  This is the truest thing I have discovered in recent days and every day it becomes much clearer and truer!

Take some time one of  these days to meet yourself. You may be surprised what you learn – but allowing God to reveal you to you will bring nothing short of Glory to His Holy Name in the end. Isn’t that what it’s all about anyway? Selah.

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Trust in the Lord

Yay! I have been really wanting to get on here and write, and now that my Japanese class is finally over I have some time in my life again! I gotta pace myself as God has been working overtime! Not only do I not know where to begin… I can’t even try to share it all!

In the last post which was ages ago I mentioned about what I was learning from Proverbs 3:5-6. I promised to share on that cause it was really exciting stuff!

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

I highlighted specific words in the passage that I want to focus directly on. The definitions and synonyms come from the Hebrew dictionary or Strong’s concordance

Trust: rely on, put confidence in

The definition of trust in the dictionary is “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength or truth of someone/thing.  One in which confidence is placed”.

What am I trusting in?

The overwhelming truth is that God is trustworthy, and unchanging.  An unchanging God makes it possible for me to fully trust in Him and rely on Him without any hesitation or reservations. Because He is good all the time, and all His ways are perfect (no matter how they may appear to me in my ignorance.) The fact that God is in fact unchanging is a core foundation of our trust in Him. It makes it possible and practical!

The question of course is how do I do this with my whole heart? As I mentioned before I have no trouble doing this with parts of my heart and life.. but the whole thing… I struggle with that. However, I am learning bit by bit that over thinking, and planning is the biggest roadblock to succeeding in trusting with my whole heart. If I do it by faith and stop planning or thinking how and when God is going to accomplish such and such and I just take it as it is. God will do it some time and someway. Period. I find that if I resolve to just leave it at that and then fill up my mind with thanksgiving, praise and praying for others it truly does result in peace and it grows my faith also – therefore becomes even easier to really trust God in all of it.

Heart: inner self, conscience, thoughts

Own understanding: minimal, fleshy, deceived

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? This passage is pretty clear that this is the very reason we NEED to trust in God with all our heart because a) we can’t know it and b) its deceitful! I have to agree with Jeremiah, my experiences all these years have definitely proven that my heart easily deceives me and I fall for it more often than I wish to admit!

Proverbs 4:23 Guard your heart! Amen! This is the best way to prevent deceit! Guard is not only a command but it has a strong connotation. Like a soldier or body guard. nothing gets past! Fight the wrong things off – even to death! I’m so thankful that God has provided us with the things we need in order to guard our heart. Phil 4:7 The peace of God. No peace means its time for a fight! Until I have the peace of God I must fight the deception and continue to guard/protect my heart. That means filtering the thoughts that come in and the emotions that may be the most natural. Proverbs 3:27 tells us that our mind is also our heart and because of that the thoughts we allow to think on and take over will greatly affect both the deception and the peace.

all ways: conduct, manner, conversation, customs

Our ways have everything to do with how much we experience not only the peace of God but how much we are allowing our hearts to trust in Him. My actions and manners and customs should reflect my relationship with a Holy God. That means that I am living as holy as I possibly can knowing that God is worthy of all my devotion and He trusts me with His name (1 Peter 1:15-16)

When my conversations, manner, customs and conduct is in accordance with Gods Word then it will be much easier for me to have openness with the Lord and to trust Him with my heart. When I know I have disappointed Him (in times and ways in which I could have prevented or done better, of course I sin and mess up all the time naturally) then guilt and shame prevent me from coming to Him simply and full of faith or boldness.

I especially need to be careful of my manner and conversation. By nature I’m a rather quick person. It is a great gift as I’m efficient! However, this can also get me into trouble if I act too rashly or speak with out thinking. No doubt my greatest guilt always comes from saying or doing things too quickly and not taking time to think about how I affect others.

Acknowledge: Know, understand, certainly know, learned knowing, respect

Knowing God is the best way to combat deception or holding your heart in your own care/trust. If I truly Know God in the deepest way then it will be simple and natural for me to trust Him, no questions asked. But it is in ignorance and busyness that I fall a bit short of knowing Him in the way that will bring me to that place of peace and trusting absolutely.

I have learned a lot from that word actually. His Word is the substance to my life, and it facilitates every other aspect of my relationship with Him. As I read and study His word, then I am filled with wonder, awe, and respect for the God that I serve. My desire to please and serve Him grows with every word I read! It’s this “learned knowledge” of Him that allows me to trust in Him and put all confidence in Him. In Knowing His Word, we can know the character of our Father and there will be nothing to fear and no reason to hold back from Him.
Also, as I read I come to realize that He is the only One who can truly take care of me and my life! I have no idea what I’m doing on my own, but He knows and He is fully capable of handling it. Perfectly.

Shall: Will, Obligatory, Promise

Up to this point the verses put the emphasis on us, the reader to fulfill our part in this relationship and to learn to do just what the passage explicitly tell us to do (which in case you missed it, is to Trust in the Lord with all our hearts, and lean not on our own understanding, in all our ways acknowledge Him) this is our part.

However we hit a shift in this next verse. The emphasis is now taken off our responsibility and placed to God to complete it. Granted that we have done what God asked us to do, He will certainly do what He promises to do!

Shall denotes Gods Will. His plan and intention is to do what He says He is going to do (He lets us know what that is in the next verse) This word in Hebrew has a connotation of obligation attached to it. Meaning that it’s not just a promise made by one to another, but that it involves a partnership and a sort of ” if” along with it. “If you do this___, then I will do this” type of promise.

It’s a partnership between you and God, you do your part and by obligation and His own desire to show His trust and faithfulness He will accomplish the next part.

Gods promises stand forever. They are sure and God cannot lie,(Numbers 23:19, Titus 1:2) so that means what He says He will do – He Will Do! And as I get to the place of trusting in God with all my heart I will begin to have the faith that surely Knows this is true about Gods character and I will easily be able to trust Him with all  my heart.

direct: to do good, right, make straight, pleased, well-fitted, pure

This is Gods direction for us. His direction is always good and leads to good, He will never direct us otherwise no matter how it may look or feel. When I can trust in Gods ways then even the most uncomfortable path can be considered good from the perspective of faith!

I love that one of the synonyms of direct in the Hebrew dictionary is “well fitted” I just love that! that Means we can trust God that He will never lead us down a path that wont ultimately be fitting for us and our personalities ect.. This is so important to get! I think (at least it is true for my own life!) that the greatest hindrance to trusting God in all things with our whole heart has to do with this. I am afraid that God may lead me somewhere I don’t want to go. I used to fear he would send me to a place with big spiders and nasty bugs. The fact is a)God would never send me somewhere that wasn’t fitting to me and b) if he wanted to send me there, I would change mighty fast, get used it and stop being so concerned with that petty stuff when there is a kingdom I’m fighting for!

Gods direction truly will be fitting to each one of us, and it is pure! Nothing will be corrupt, or wrong about it. It may not have been what we planned for our selves (before this study- because we have now learned to give all our ways into His hands right?!)
But it will be perfect and pure and well fitted to us in a way that we will Glorify the Lord and work for Him with passion and a great desire to please Him in all that we do.
paths: way of life, manner of conduct

This is like a full circle because we read above that our ways also involve our manner and conduct, but know: fully trusting and surrendered to God we can finally walk in His ways and His conduct! He promised to direct us in that.  Fulfilling the first half of the verse will result in  the fulfillment of this last part. And that’s what were are all running toward right? Conforming to His image and Glorifying His name in this life we have been given.

I will finish now with a few verses to meditate on in regards to Gods promise to fulfill the direction of our paths. They have helped to give me purpose and live this life with passion. I pray they inspire you in an even greater way!

Proverbs 16:9  A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.

Psalm 25:8-9 Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will He teach sinners in the way. The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way.

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

Isaiah 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. (my fave!)

Isaiah 48:17  Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.

Blessings!

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Finally!

Finally! A chance to get on here and write some thoughts down! Japanese class is currently taking up all my “free time” (whatever that is?) but I’m thankful for this evening to share some thoughts and prayers.

I feel like I’m climbing a mountain these days and as I’m making my way up this mountain I periodically get stopped on various levels.  I am currently stopped at the level/plateau I will call “Proverbs 3:5-6”  At this time I feel at a complete stop. There is nowhere to go and I have no ability to climb anymore until I accomplish whatever it is that God is wanting me to learn at this current place on my journey.

Its been such an awesome blessing from God that I have a couple of friends I can meet with during the week to do the bible study with. It’s a great thing to get together and talk about what we think it means to live out verses in our daily lives.

That’s mainly what I am all about and what my own journey with Gods Word is focused on. I am desperate to learn and understand how to apply Gods Word to my every day life and how to live at the level and in the expectation that God has for my own life. I can not do this alone! And God has provided me with a great couple of friends who are helping me learn to how to apply the verses in a way that God is living through me… at least that’s the goal – I have yet to succeed 100% but Praise Him for His patience 🙂

I go through so many cycles and ups and downs. It’s frustrating to feel that I have finally broke through in an area and moved past struggles or hang ups ect.. only to find that a few months or even a year later I am back in the same thought process or slump again. Though I have seen much progress in the work that God is doing, I also see how much I need to rely on Him and trust in Him to complete the work in me that needs to be done.

I just wanted to get on here and share these thoughts, in order to prepare my mind and heart for my next post which is in progress – talking about what I am gleaning from studying Proverbs 3:5-6. I have been studying these verses for about 3.5 weeks now with at least one more week on this study if not longer depending on how it goes. God has been gracious to illuminate things for me and allow me to see my life through these verses.

Though I haven’t quite understood all that Gos has for me through these verses, I am thankful for the little bit He has helped me to grasp through the study and small group discussions. It has also been a great way for me to see exactly where I am…and not in my walk with Him.

I already know trust is a bit of a difficult thing for me , mostly when it reaches to the depths of my heart. A lot of it has to do with pride, its easy for me to trust God in things that I have more control over…. those other areas where I have little to no control, I struggle with trusting Him completely and its a constant fight for me to learn to surrender and give them up to Him.

One of my friends voiced very clearly the fears within my own heart when it comes to trusting God. Because of course I trust Him to a large degree, I trust in Who He Is, and His strength, wisdom, ability, goodness, and character. I also trust in His Promises…. so whats left you ask? Seems I got it all covered .

But the truth is in understanding which of the promises of God are for me specifically. Not all are and I need to accept that and appreciate the promises that God has made to me and spoken over my own life, and not compare and think about the promises of God that are not apart of His plan for the life He has in mind for me.

Its a terrifying thing for me to pray to God and be open to hear what He has planned for my life, its much easier for me to pray to God about what I would like to see happen in my life and leave it at that. I am striving to push through this stage in my walk with God, and mature to a higher level with Him.

Please pray for me as I have quite a lot of growing to do!

My prayer also is that the Lord will allow His Word to become active and living in my life so that I may use this life for His purpose and Glory and surrender all the parts in me I am still refusing Him access or even partnership in. I thank You so very much Lord for your patience and ask You to help me also to be patient with You and Your timing in my life God. I ask You in Your mercy to not allow me to get ahead of You or even myself Father, But that I can rest in You and wait for Your perfect Will in all things. In the power of Jesus Name I commit these words to You and seal them with a grateful heart and appreciation for your love and commitment to my life. Amen.

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Love The Lord Your God

Love the Lord Thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength. Mark 12:30

When I came to this verse, I have always taken it for granted that I, by default of my love for the Lord would naturally be fulfilling this command. However, it was really insistent to me that I study it and be sure that I am not just assuming but truly do fulfill the greatest commandment.

I took for granted that if I love God then I love Him in all of these capacities. But that is not necessarily the case.

The definitions of each area of life is defined below. I study from  Strong’s Concordance and looked up the definition in both Hebrew and Greek for the meanings.

Heart: is the being or inner self including the conscience. but also includes thoughts and courage.

Soul: defined by emotions and desires

Strength: is power and ability, however in Deuteronomy 6:5 the command is Love thy Lord with all thy heart, soul and might. The word might, speaks more about quantity rather than physical power or ability. synonyms being great, exceedingly, very.

Mind: is choices, and the processing of information into understanding.

Once I knew what was expected of me I could clearly see that I myself was not living up to this at all. In fact I had my heart in another mans hands, as were all my emotions thoughts and choices focusing off the Lord and onto a human.

I asked the Father to show me examples of living this out in the Bible. I myself always find things to be a bit too spiritual and need more practical everyday approaches to the scriptures. I am so thankful that the Lord wrote the bible for people like me! If we but come to Him and His word in Childlike thinking we will clearly see His Word to be direct, and easily understood.

Love in this verse is not a feeling or emotion at all, but refers to active love. The love of God for His Son and His people. We can see this in 1 John 3:18 Love not merely in Words but in deed. John 3:16 God so Loved the world that He gave His son. Luke 9:51 Jesus steadfastly set his face to Jerusalem. These are all actions made out of Love. Jesus knowing what would befall him in Jerusalem set his face there anyway. For us. Even before the cross and the praying in the garden we see that Jesus is choosing actions out of His love for us fully knowing what was to come from them.

Following are the examples I feel the Lord gave me in order to see clearly the act of Loving in each of these capacities:

#1 Love the Lord your God with all thy Heart:   Job.

His conscience was God focused. He was jealous for the name of the Lord so much so that he sacrificed for his children just in case! Jobs courage rested in the Lord.  We see in 2:10 that he was willing to except calamity from God, not just the good. This is a dangerous declaration! Yet he trusted that no matter what he would accept it as long as God was dealing with him in one way or another. Either Good or bad he didn’t care he just wanted to be on Gods radar. His heart was truly set on the Lord. Notice also that Job only spoke good of God. He gave no credit or glory to satan. We typically say “good from God, bad from satan” but that’s not the truth is it? For we know God is all-knowing and all-powerful and in complete control. Satan has no power accept what God allows and he can do nothing without Gods permission. Everything that comes to us is filtered through Gods loving hands first. A very good reason to rejoice and praise Him for His goodness! Though He may also set you up! 🙂

I do not believe Job was set up because of sin though, otherwise you can simply set me down with Jobs “friends” and I can attack and judge him as well. The Bible says in all these things Job did not sin. Job 1:22, 2:10. In fact God was angry at his friends, saying you did not speak right of me as my servant Job has 42:7.

No I believe Job was given a heavenly assignment, that  he alone could be trusted by God. He was the only man God could use for such a great purpose and the only one God knew would respond appropriately to the task he was given. How we respond to tragedy is vitally important to God and may in fact have eternal/heavenly significance. I believe that’s why the opening of the chapter took place in heaven rather than on earth with men. God is showing us something that Job was not privy to, which didn’t matter but we need to know that this situation with Job was directly from Gods throne and Jobs response truly did have repercussions though he himself didn’t know that. Jobs response and the tragedies that befell him had more to do with heaven and the Father than Jobs own life. Job was counted worthy to suffer for Gods name and that is an amazing assignment in itself that many of us do not have the privilege of experiencing.

#2 Love the Lord your God with all thy Soul: Woman at the Well.

Remember this is about emotions and desires. The example can be found in John 4:7 the Woman at the well. We see in the previous verse that it was the 6th hour. Think desert in the middle of the day when the sun is the hottest. Not many people venture out at this time of day. I think this is why the woman came to draw water at such a time, when she would be left alone and hardly noticed. I’m sure she had a reputation and I am sure when people saw her they whispered about her promiscuous lifestyle. But I find this story to be amazing as she went to draw water with her bucket, yet after a brief chat with Jesus left the well and her bucket! Jesus had promised her living water and she got exactly that – so much so that she had no more need of the bucket and the purpose for going to the well that afternoon. The questions she asks Jesus herself are clear indications of her desires. She is waiting desperately for the Messiah and even more so she is so very eager for it to be Him! 4:20 says Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. She is testing Jesus to see if He may be the one she’s been waiting for. See it again in verse 25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messiah cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Another challenge – shes wanting it to be Him and she just wants to be sure. Her desire for the Lord was so much so that she even forgot her shame! But openly preached evangelizing nearly a whole town in 4:29. Her soul, emotions, desires were so in Love with God that people took notice of that even over her reputation! Not only was she a woman preaching to the town but she was a questionable woman. In most cases this type of woman (if even a woman) is not trusted at all, especially to be teaching a man – yet that’s exactly what we see here! She was flowing with the Love of God, the living water pouring out of her all over the town evangelizing and bringing the Messiah to many. John 4:39, 41, 42 if my love for God could be as great as this – to the changing of a whole town and the many people I meet each day. Her Soul was truly devoted.

#3 Love the Lord thy God with all thy strength: Peter in the Garden.

Luke 22:36-38 Then said Jesus unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And He was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And He said unto them, It is enough.

The example of strength I have taken is from John 18. Peter in Gethsemane. This is not typically considered Peters shining moment of strength, Many claim his greatest weakness. But I cant see it that way. Peter was willing to Love God with all that was within him. We see in verse 3 that a band of men with weapons were sent to take Jesus. Peter loved God so much that his first instinct was to protect his Lord. Peter didn’t care about the consequences he only cared about Jesus well-being. Peter misunderstood Gods plan but even so his greatest concern was for the Lord he loved. Now little fisherman Peter with his sword is going to protect God. Its amazing! I wonder if Peter knew how to use it? What about the guy with the other sword what was he doing? Obviously he was too scared to fight . But Peter was ready to take on (according to some commentaries) over 1000 men! By himself! He put it all on the line for Jesus and I think that in this case Peter is the strongest man I have ever heard of.  I too wonder if my own love for God is nearly that strong that I would fight for Him at all costs and against all odds?

Later Peter denied Christ John 18:15-17 But I don’t think it was out of fear really. Personal opinion. But we know John was there too – no fear in John in fact he was calling the shots – ordering for Peter to be brought in. If there was a threat for Peters life I don’t think John would have brought him in at all.

We see the scripture records the girls words ALSO one of his disciples. Also means as well as , in addition to, too. They knew who/what John was and he was doing all right, they were just wondering about Peter and how he fit into the mix to be called into the closed gate at such an hour.

in verse 17 I think it reveals Peters real issue. The question given him was “this mans disciple” because of Peters misunderstanding Gods plan and how Jesus was going to reign as King I think we was thinking NO! Not THIS man, the man I have followed for 3 years is the Son of God, King of Kings, the all-powerful God, the Messiah who will save us — but this man? Taken? and arrested without a fight? No, this is not the man I thought I was following!

But the amazing thing about the strength Peter had at this time is shown in the fact that despite it all – he never left! His love was still strong even though he was confused, hurt, worried and unsure. Peter – the Rock. I myself would probably have ran home and hid, cried and doubted the last 3 years of my life. But Peter in all the uncertainty stayed nearby just waiting to see how God would unfold His plan. He resolved to do it Gods way through confusion and disappointment and maybe even fear. 🙂 Waiting on God, especially in confusion is a great way to actively show your love for Him with all you have!

#4 Love the Lord thy God with all thy mind: The Bereans.

This is choice, and processing of information. This is beyond merely thoughts but working out and processing what to do with those thoughts. Acts 17:11 Bereans. When you love God that much you want to know everything about Him! They searched out the scriptures. Their love is more than just traditions and emotions. I’m sure Paul was an amazing preacher, they had goosebumps and the anointing presence of the Lord Himself in that place yet they went beyond all that to examining for them selves what God said. This is a love that “works”. and puts in effort. There was no computer to cross reference or concordance to look up the verses – not even a book! I can easily find things in my bible I remember the pages, and about where in the middle or beginning of the page or paragraph to find what I’m looking for – yet they just had scrolls! It was tedious and time-consuming to examine all the Scriptures yet that’s just what the bible says they did! They were driven by their love for God to know Him more and deeper than ever before. Truly they are demonstrating their whole minds in love with God!

Conclusion: Gods love is action! and involves all of our capacities, every part of us consecrated to Him, submitted to Him. Everything I do, think, feel ect.. do it in Love for God – 1 Corinthians 116:14 than I can be sure I am loving Him the way I am meant to!

Blessings!

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No Expectations

A few weeks ago, as God began to reveal through His Word, things about my life that were not quite in alignment with His Word. I started this new journey on my daily life and routine. I began to study about the words I speak, the thoughts I think and the attitudes I carry. Also to take a clearer inventory of my feelings and the way I react to how I feel.

God will never stop amazing me I know, but seriously WOW! He is more and more incredible the more I get to know Him! (Job 9:10)

I shared in my last post about Proverbs 31:12 and how that significantly changed my life. It is still having continuous effects on me as a whole person. Gods Word is just that way – it’s the power to change us and brings life, and hope to our current living.

The next thing God began to put His finger on was my attitude and thoughts as well as my words. (as I briefly shared in a previous post speak-now-or-forever). I was challenged about expectation and hope. Actually, I didn’t have any! I was not expecting truly for God to intervene in my life in order to bring into manifestation that which I had been praying for and I had lost pretty much all hope. After all I am in Japan and there are no Christians here and my church is all women and ect ect… All the reasons to possibly lose hope – if you don’t have Jesus! But I do, and that means I have the miracle-working God on my side. There is always reason to trust, believe and hope! God is faithful and trustworthy and He loves to bring into manifestation those things which we have sought Him about.

Living without expectation is an insult to God. Its assuming He either can’t or wont do what we have asked of Him and rightly we should not think that we will receive anything. (James 1:7, Mark 11:24)

This idea of expectation came up a few times over the past few years of my life and I was kinda dense to only just sort it out now… but better late than never!

It was about 3 years ago at church camp, the two woman who came really spoke a number of prophetic things into my life and confirmed some things… told me things to come (one of which was this very blog – which if you knew me at that time it was the most ridiculous thing she could have said to me; yet here it is!) During that camp I didn’t go with any expectation of what I wanted God to do those three days. I thought I was being more “holy” because I wasn’t directing God or telling Him what I wanted. However, she told me that by not expecting God to move I was going to get exactly what I expected – nothing.  This annoyed me at the time and so I ignored it 🙂 but it turned about to be nearly accurate.

Shortly after that, I heard a Joyce Meyer teaching entitled “Expect a Move of God in You Life?” and she pretty much said the same thing! So I have changed that thought that now at least when we have an “event” at the church that  I began to pray about what I can do for God and others and also what I would like to expect from making my self available to the opportunity.

Now a few years later God is on me again about this! I felt that He wants me expectant all the time and not just for “events” I was challenged to wake up everyday expecting God to move in my life, answer prayers, speak to me, lead me and use me. (Proverbs 23:18, 24:14)

So living my daily routine of  life with expectation has made my days much more exciting! I wake up everyday and get ready to face the world saying out loud “today is the day that I’m going to meet my husband!” (Romans 8:19 – couldn’t be more accurate!!) [For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.] One of these days I’m bound to be right and everyday I am expecting it to be that day! (Ps. 62:5)

When I first started doing this I thought at the end of the day I’d be sad/depressed if my expectation wasn’t fulfilled, but actually the opposite has happened. I am now more open to see the hand of God in my life and have countless things to thank Him for at the end of each day! A thankful heart is a happy heart (Col 3:15) and for the first time in ….EVER! I am able to be single and HAPPY!

I don’t particularly enjoy being single. I sometimes feel really lonely and useless when I pray because I am unable to meet the requirements of  Matthew 18:20 “when two or three are gathered in my name” I’m only one LORD!!!! But through Faith I know that He is fully aware of my position and is just so pleased that I want to commune with Him and through Faith choose to believe that even though I may be one on my own – together with Him I become 4! Now that is reason to rejoice!!!

So I challenge you also.. What are you expecting? Is your hope in the Lord and His desire and ability to answer prayers? (Phil 1:20) I pray that it is and that everyday you can wake up and say today is the day God will________” and End each day with thanksgiving and appreciation for what God accomplished for you and through you that day.

Today is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it! (Psalm 118:24)

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Responsibility…….Responding to ability

I have been studying a lot about surrender, and humility. Trading my plans for Gods and trying to learn to walk by the Spirit and live my whole life for God.

Its been a struggle and adventure. There are things I learned I needed to give up and blessings I never expected to receive. God has never ceased to amaze me with His giving and loving and closeness to every situation.

I have been seeking Him for years for a husband. I so badly want to be in love and experience all that side of humanity. Yet, He still has yet to come through in this particular area. It is frustrating to be believing God for something only He can do. I say that truly as I live in Japan and my church is about 97% woman, there are a few men all of which are married and or about 10-15 years older than myself or they are about 10-15 years younger than myself. I’m 29 so you can see my aggravation with the numbers!

But God lead me not only to Japan but to my church, and He planted me here so it’s really all up to Him at this point! I can’t make the people I meet Christian or make nice christian men come to me…and in this country they are rare to meet at all.  With very few Christians, and even fewer christian networks its pretty much All up to God to deliver!

As I was once again praying about this and reminding God that I’m 29 and not getting much younger, and all that stuff we woman say/think/feel. I was lead to Proverbs 31. Yikes. I read that and KNOW why I’m not married 🙂 Seriously does that women ever sleep?! ?! Moving on.

Verse 12 really struck me. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. Wow! Read it again! She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

I read it a million times but for some reason I always read it this way: She will do him good and not evil all the days of her married life.

That’s not what it says though. No, I’m not married but I also have not been living my life in order to do Good to my husband all the days that I have been alive. In fact I have done many things that would be considered harm to him – whoever he is. Once God showed me that, it changed my perspective! I have been living so short-sighted. I have not walked in faith or hope at all but I have walked disappointed and resentful to God for not answering my prayers when I asked Him to, and not doing things the way I wanted and how I wanted them done when I wanted them done.

But there is some responsibility He wants me to take also. I have not lived the way He wants me to and I have been lusting after a husband for so long its adultery in His eyes. It is selfish and ME centered instead of God centered. I forget that’s not the only purpose God has for my life. Yes it’s a big one! I’m a women and there is some poor handsome man out there running around without a rib! BUT Gods plans are so much more extraordinary than just that! He wants all that …Plus, Abundant, More than, Overflowing ( Psalm 23:5, Malachi 3:10, John 10:10) and He doesn’t want me to settle for just one aspect of the wonderful plan He has for me as a woman but also as a son of God. (Gal 3:26, 4:7) [In this case I use son to mean no longer a child but an adult heir, ready to walk in the responsibilities as a mature child of God]

When we focus on something outside of God He is reluctant to give it to us no matter how much we pray and hope. He will never give us anything that will take our devotion away from Him. I lived so long without giving Him my whole heart, mind and strength. Because I was always focused on my heart needing human love and touch, and my strength coming from a man and my mind was focusing on what I did not have but wanted… more than I even wanted God to be in my life. Though I would never have said that – it is exactly what my prayers were making perfectly clear.

God is so wonderful and gracious, forgiving and loving. He has opened my eyes to see that Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matt 6:33)

Living all my days to do good to my still unknown husband has made me think differently before I step and more cautious to be fully at peace with where I believe God is leading me. I take more responsibility now and it has made me shift my focus off myself, and my dreams and turn them to Jesus who will guide me every step of the way and keep me planted firmly. That’s the only way I can live fully surrendered to Him and wanting His plans in my life while learning to forfeit my own. Because I have learned to face the truth – I am actually not that smart (and my plans never seem to work out!)

Proverbs 31:12 is only one of many things that God has been showing me this month about my choices, and paths I have taken in life and my responsibility to be led by Him. That is my God-given ability to respond to His leading. He has equipped each of us that through the Holy Spirit. We must respond to that ability within us and take each step prayerfully.

In the next post I will share what God has shown me about expectation and hope. It has changed so much about my daily life, routine and attitude., it’s almost not even me anymore!

I Praise You Lord for You are the Only Wise King!

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And the Story goes……

I feel like its been a crazy couple weeks! God has been pouring in thoughts and ideas from every where around me and I have no idea where to start!!

I have a bout 6 started/unfinished postings I want to work on and I’m just a big jumble of thoughts and ideas!

This one tonight is rather close to my heart. I can’t talk as much about it without going into some details about my experiences and my life. bear with me.

God has been working with me on many issues in my life since moving to Japan. He brought me out of my comfort zone, and away from everything and everyone I knew in order to take hold of my life and set me on the path He wants me to go. As I have discovered this very humbling truth and witness God’s hand on my life I can do nothing but be in awe at what He’s done and who I have become through Him.

My perspective on life has been rather one-dimensional for pretty much my entire life. Its weird when I think about it but I have been “planning” to be a wife pretty much since I was about 3-4 years old. That may sound crazy but its the absolute truth. I lived for my cabbage patch dolls growing up, I would “be pregnant” with them for a week or even two at times! id “give birth” to them, “breast feed” and live my life as a “mommy” while my imaginary husband was off at work. Sometimes he would come home and Id fix dinner for him and tell him all about the day I had with our baby.

I vividly remember being in kindergarten and having dreams about marrying the love of my kinder-life! But my dreams weren’t fairy tales and castles and all that, they were grocery shopping and gardening together!

Fast forward to about 16 years Old. I met the love of my life, we fell hard and were madly in love for 8 years, we planned futures, weddings, babies, houses, careers, moves and money management.  All the big stuff was worked out…. except God of course. He had yet to be invited into this mix and as wonderful as it seemed, it was ordinary. It was the picket fence and the bay windows but it had no spirit.  It would have been a nice life, full of love and I would have been pretty content. But it was lacking the passion of the God giving Spirit, the drive to further His kingdom and my will wholly surrendered to Him.

So he squashed it. done. nothing left to hold on to. barely hope for future possibility.

5 years ago I left that life behind, moved far away and started over. With excruciating heartbreak, disappointment and confusion I can’t even begin to explain. It made no sense on its own. None.  Nothing went wrong. There was no fight or infidelity. There was no disagreement or compromising dreams. It just ended. I know now it was God. He had enough of the ordinary and He wanted extraordinary for me. How I hated Him for months after falling in love with Him! It’s a bittersweet feeling if you never had it. I was 24 when I got born again and on fire for God. Bringing to Him my heartbreak, pain and hurts…only to find that the one who was able to heal me was the very cause!  More healing needed to come!

Now I am so grateful, forever thankful for the Wisdom He has. I don’t know exactly what my life would have been but I know it would have been lonely without my Savior. Without Jesus there. It would have been average and pointless.  But God stirred things up that’s for sure!

However, I find that I’m still trying to live this new life with many of the same hopes and plans that I left behind. My dream to be married has never ceased. My desire to create a life inside of me has only gotten stronger as I have gotten older. Yet I am no closer to these dreams then I was 5 years ago when I left them shattered and broken in Canada. In fact I came to the most Non-Christian country – there are very few men of God to choose from here. Yet..here I am. I have made wrong choices in great guys since then, each of them amazing but no closer to Gods plan then the first one. You’d think I’d learn!!

Its been a hard couple of years emotionally. Trying to understand God plans for my life and work them out as best I can..while still trying to convince Him of my own! But this past month I have gotten a different direction.. or rather perspective from God.  I don’t know If I will ever get married or have a baby but I do feel that God has revealed some things to me that will provide more hope and possibility if that is His plan.

The next post or two will be about this quest I have been on to surrender my life including my hopes, dreams AND PLANS for His in my life. I have learned many things these past couple weeks and its been wholly (HOLY) educational.

I have learned that sometimes we are part of the reason for our situations and the places we find ourselves. God gets the credit be we take the action.  He is in control but He has never controlled. The things about my life that I wish were different are greatly due to the fact that I chose my own ways and paths. God is now showing me a different view/angle and I hope that I am smart enough this time to take the correct steps!

Thanks for reading!  Please stop by again next week so you can get the point of why I was sharing all that! 🙂

Blessings!!

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Nice to meet You, I like what your wearing!

Seems like my “writers block” has finally come to an end! I was actually planning on writing about something completely unrelated to this topic today… but I have heard a comment twice this past week and it has struck me hard both times.

While having lunch one day a friend says to another friend “Did you know so-and-so was a Christian? ….I didn’t know that! Isn’t that cool!” and at the time it really hit my heart! Can it be that one’s life is so the same as non-Christians that others may not actually know something so vital about you?! It made me think about myself! I also thought wow, I wonder if she told that to him… was he so insulted? I mean what could be a bigger insult to a Christian than “I didn’t know you were a Christian.” Terrifying.

I didn’t think too much about it until today when another friend replied in much the same manner about their acquaintance. Now at first glance it may seem a bit.. likely that an acquaintance maybe wouldn’t be able to see the Christ in you….and if this was a short little meeting and or a passing hello I would possibly agree. However when meal eating is involved it should seem impossible that someone who loves Jesus wholeheartedly would somehow manage to elude another of whether or not their devotion was in fact wholehearted.

Immediately my first thought was “what about me?!” Oh no! Could it be that I am one of these people? I don’t know these other people whom Christians apparently can’t tell if they are Christians but I know me! and I know this is a serious question I need to ask myself. What do people see when they see me? Who do they meet? Do they meet Jesus? I always remember the very famous saying “you may be the only Jesus people ever meet” (like wise “you may be the only Bible people ever read”) But it is very true!

Now I feel inclined to mention that I do not think talking about being a Christian is the answer to this. I know and have been in the past that kind of christian! You know the one with the cross necklace and the “I’m a Christian” banner…but no fruit in my life, my attitude was all wrong, I was not living my life abiding in the Word, and though I managed to get onto the narrow path in those areas I still had one huge disobedience – I was deeply involved with the sweetest most amazingly unequally yoked man of my dreams! To put it straight I was living outside of Gods Will and trying to make it all fit together anyhow.

Telling people you’re a christian is not the solution, this only causes hypocrisy if you are not in fact living as you should… and outsiders know this, They wont be fooled by your words!

No, Jesus says they (everyone else!) will know you by your fruit. If you are a disciple of Christ, then it will be plain as day. They will SEE the Christ in you (actions you do or do not do), they will HEAR the Christ in you (things you do and do not speak about) and they will EXPERIENCE the Christ in you (you bring Him into every situation.)We are commanded to put on Christ. (Romans 13:14) What are you wearing today?

Still worrying about this, I  did some checking… you know just to be sure! I asked others about their 1st thoughts about me before we talked… many said I was a very friendly person and the most welcoming or helpful. Nothing that really encouraged me too much. (many don’t need Jesus to be kind or helpful.) Another said she knew I was a Christian immediately (I didn’t ask about my Christian-ness at all, I simply asked what their first thought of me was whether we talked or not) but she said she overheard me in my classroom talking to another student who was misbehaving and she said she knew right away I was different because she heard me say to the three-year old “aren’t you a man of integrity? How do we treat others in our class?” and she said that could only be a standard of behaviour expected from a Christian who truly believed in God. That was coming from a self professing non-Christian! So at least for the moment I was satisfied with the answer. But honestly, Jesus gives us a strong warning-that we will be known by our fruit (John 13:35, Mathew 7:16) and we show Him we love Him if we obey His Word. (John 14:15, 14:23, 15:10 1John 2:4)

I hope this will stir something in your heart today also, and cause you to step back and ask…. Who do people meet when they meet me?

I pray the fruit of Christ will be evident in our lives and we will make Jesus known to those around us just by simply being there! Through Jesus who gives us all the power and strength to live abiding in Him. (John 15:4) From Him who does all the workings of God….making us what we ought to be! (Phil 2:13) In Jesus name.

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