Book of Rememberance

Malachi 3:16

God Decides

Well, its been a while since I have posted on here. If your curious about why you can check out all the details here.

Yesterdays sermon at church really had me thinking the past two days.  I love when I leave a teaching and  it stirs a lot of thoughts and questions and reflection in my life.  Its the best sign I have for myself to know that I am growing.. or at least that God is trying to grow me up and if I am willing to allow Him then I will be growing!

Allowing God to change me is a whole other topic that I can’t get into here, but needless to say this is the most difficult part of God’s work I am sure! It is a clear demonstration as to why God’s mercy would need to be new every morning. Ever wonder why that might be? Come and meet me and you will have all the answer you need 🙂 Lam. 3:22-23  It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

God is great though! And as is usual for me, my thoughts tend to ruminate around His greatness, our lameness and how we can fit together with such a Holy Lord.

The sermon was short and sweet, but extremely effective!  It brought up some questions that I needed working out, and I am ever so thankful for my very understanding husband to work with me through my thoughts and questions.

Basically I left thinking about our circumstances and how no matter what situation or place in life you may be right now, God is fully in control and the long and the short of it is that He allows you to be where you are for His glory. If one is a born-again spirit filled follower of Christ Jesus, and are walking in a manner that pleases Him as best you can and your ever striving to live in obedience than basically you are where God wants you to be. That made me think about the most simple parts of our lives.

For example if I wanted to change my job….I am free to do so. It is wise to pray before hand but generally speaking we are free to choose our jobs and God has given us the liberty to do so. (1 Corinthians 6:12-20 and 10:23-33 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. ) But it occurred to me that even if I changed my job my overall living arrangements, situation and financial position at this current time in my life will not be improved hardly at all (if anything it would decline) if I changed my job. It kinda makes me laugh. If God wants me to make more money then I will! In the earth there are principles I need to adhere to and in the natural I need to meet these, but If God wants me to make more or less money, move further or closer to home, or be married or unmarried, have children or not…..whatever it is, God is fully in control and at the end of the day He gets to decide! (For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another. Ps. 75:6-7)

It makes me so in awe of Him. How much love He has for us, How strong he is to carry our burdens and give us His, ( Matt. 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.)and how well He can manage our lives even when we give him the mess we made out of them!

It really takes the pressure off! I know that I have to do what I can to meet the goals and requirements of the natural order here on Earth, but in addition to doing my part I have God! No one can do His part and His part will always take precedence over anything else.  This has also helped me to really understand the necessity of prayer and the importance that we must learn to give prayer in our life and relationship with God. (more on that another day.)

So that’s what I have been thinking about!

Talk to ya later!!

 

 

 

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Passion and Purity

This is a book by Elisabeth Elliot. If you are not familiar with her life and story I recommend looking her up….But it is not for the faint-hearted! Let me tell you, her life scared me and gave me new fears I had never even thought about fearing. But its an amazing example of Gods grace and mercy in life so I still recommend it!

I was reading this book, and though I thought it would help me to keep my focus on God while in the midst of a relationship and waiting for marriage, it really didn’t pertain to this type of life. I mean it was still really good and helpful, but I much more suggest this book for those who are still waiting for God to manifest their mate for them or confirm singleness. It would have been a huge help a couple of years ago for me! None the less there is always something to learn.

I just want to share some things I gleaned from the book in the hopes that it will strike a chord in someone else and be an encouragement for those who are growing weary of the fight.

Surrender:

When we are attempting too and striving towards surrendering to the Lord we must keep in mind: an utter yielding of our best. So as long as our idea of surrender is limited to the renouncing of unlawful things, we have never really grasped its true meaning: that is not worthy of the name for “no polluted thing” can be offered. This really made me think. How often I struggle to surrender and yield up the sins I have taken for my own, and the wrong thoughts, actions and emotions to the Lord, knowing they displease Him, I offer them to Him in the hopes of pleasing Him. But isn’t it true that offering Him sin and polluted things is similar to what Cain did when he offered fruits of the ground which God Himself had already cursed?

I used to often think about how broken I was. That I was useless and too big of a mess for even Jesus, how could I possibly be given in marriage to another? If my life is broken when given to Jesus, it is because pieces will feed a multitude, while a loaf will only satisfy a little lad”.

Patience:

I am not naturally a patient person. Actually in Bible study this week we discovered that I am actually not impatient either. I know what your thinking…how can you not be either. But its true! I actually have no time to be impatient! haha

I act so quickly and immediately that truly I rarely have time to feel impatient. BUT this is not a good thing! Slow to speak quick to listen the Bible teaches… I am not very slow at anything at all and this oftentimes gets me into trouble or regret. But it also leads to me being so independent and I do not rely on others very well, because factually its faster if I just do things myself. Patient waiting is an important discipline for anyone who wants to learn to trust. Truthfully it is hard for me to trust anyone because I do most of all things myself. When I do find myself in the place that I need to trust someone else to take care of something, I am anxious (impatient!) fearing they will take too long, or wont do it in time. Now usually I am right. People do tend to do things much slower than me, but I need to be merciful and realize that a) its done just as well and the timing is rarely as important as I make it out to be. b) often its done better because others took the time to look at the fine details that I tend to overlook or miss completely and in the end I am very thankful that someone else took care of it instead of me.

Waiting will not be the same for all people. I hear stories that were meant to be encouraging but was actually terrifying, examples such as “I know someone who was 56 when they got married, never give up!” “My daughter was 49 when she met her husband and she’s never been happier” “I waited 16 years but God was faithful”. The list could go on and on! Me personally? I waited almost 8 years, though I only waited well about 1 year so I don’t know if the first seven years even counted! Each of us will have to take Christ’s yoke upon ourselves and learn of Him. I do know that waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts.It is easier to talk oneself into a decision that has no permanence – easier sometimes then to wait patiently.

This is so so true! When I said I waited well only one year though I was waiting 7 years I meant it. I got myself into situations and relationships that were not pleasing to the Lord, and caused both of us much pain and heartache that could have been avoided if  I had simply obeyed and waited well. Instead I greatly hurt others, and God as well as myself because of my selfishness to make things happen instead of resting in patience.

I will end it here today. I have much more thoughts to share and may do so in the next installment. But for now this is enough for me to chew on again.

Reflect and meditate on Gods word, and HIS definition of patience and waiting well. We can all learn from Him. The True example of Surrender and Patience for us to follow

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God works/ Good works

I have already posted about Ephesians 2:10. Yet here I am again. With a different direction and different thoughts. I think God is really serious about it as I can’t go long in my reading without coming back to this verse specifically. I actually forgot that I wrote about it back in November. So here are my current thoughts regarding this verse.

10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

This scares me kinda.  Theoretically speaking there is a list of things that God has prepared and expected from us each day. I can almost guarantee that on any given day I more than likely go to bed without having accomplished all of them, probably none of them.

I really, really wonder about this. God has ALREADY prepared for us the good works that we are supposed to do. How blind am I? How deaf? How selfish and me centered am I that on most days I can’t really end the day with an example of a “good thing” I did that day.

Now the one saving grace that I do sorta have is that what is a “good work” to the Lord and what we would consider to be a good work may look very different. I am aware and thankful of this. BUT it doesn’t really change the idea that we are here on assignment from God till the day we leave this planet. And there are things we are supposed to accomplish and complete. When Jesus was ready to leave this planet he declared “it is finished, I did what you asked me to do.” (Bree paraphrase) Can I honestly say the same thing? NOPE!

One other thing that I also want to address while I’m on this topic is that I definitely should never feel proud or smug at the end of the day when I do feel that I did a good works for the Lord, because it wasn’t even my idea! Any “good idea” I have is from Him in the 1st place, I’m just following through with it. I can’t boast or be proud at all or feel like a good person, because all that good stuff that caused me to do the good thing ISN’T ME! Its Christ in me! 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose. (Phil. 2:13) So He gives me the brilliant idea and then He gives me the will and energy to do exactly what He wanted done. I am simply a servant, obeying and following orders.

Will he (master) thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’ (Luke 17:9-10)

I pray (cry, scream, beg!) that I would be found in His mercy again today. That He would grant me the eyes to see and the ears to hear His Spirit leading me to will and to act in the good works that He has pre-assigned for me to do, today and everyday. God of all Mercy, hear my pray, forgive my selfishness and hardness that I may be found worthy of this calling.   Because it is your great pleasure that I seek and yearn for. Thank you Lord! I love you, and I will seek to have you glorified through my good works just as you taught us it would be (Matthew 5:16 and 1 Peter 2:12.) I Ask all of these in Jesus Name (as instructed in Acts 16:23-24.)

Amen, let it be so!

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What’s the Point?

I’ve been really thinking about a ton of things these days. In regards to my walk with the Lord and my Christianity in general, my focus has been shifted some what and I can honestly say that I have a completely different view about things than I have ever had before.

I am not really sure of everything that may have brought on my change of focus and perspective but I am sure it is likely a combination of factors and people in my life that have helped to lead me here, in addition to books I have been reading ect..

My first thought is about salvation. There are so many times in the past that I doubted my salvation and was not really sure that my motive was blameless and holy at all. In the past 2 years I had pretty much over come that, with faith and placing my security in the cross and blood of Jesus Christ. However, it seems to be cyclical and recently I have struggled again with condemnation and uncertainty about my spiritual health.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. For one, it causes me to really evaluate my life and actions, as well as thoughts and responses. It also helps me to have more fear of the Lord and we can always use more of that! But on the other hand, I think it causes my focus to be off of the Lord and onto myself, and my own life. This is not a pretty place to be!

Now, I have really come to a place where I feel for once that my love for the Lord is more genuine and sincere than it has ever been.  I made an absolute decision that no matter what I was feeling or thinking, I would serve the Lord and honour Him in my life and choices no matter the outcome.

As a Christian this is the basic thought most of us have, and think we have towards God in general, I would guess. If you ever asked me I would be confident to declare this absolutely. However, I came to realize that I did not quite understand the Lord or the motives behind my life.

God is God! He is Amazing, Glorious, Perfect, Wonderful, Loving, Forgiving, Righteous, Holy. I mean the list could go on and on. But how often I had an incorrect perspective about our relationship.

I often hear Christians talking about Heaven. It’s such a glorious place, no more pain or suffering. Heartaches are gone, illness does not exist, bodies are made whole ect.. All the very truthful and biblical descriptions of heaven are always all around us. Oh ya and God will be there too! Isn’t that great?! But I realized that so often we talk about heaven as a place where things are wonderful instead of talking about WHO is Wonderful. The benefits of heaven and the great things we look forward to when we get there are so excellent, but more than that GOD IS THERE!!! Those things are a result of God’s presence. How much more I wish we would emphasize God for HIM, who He is, rather than what He does and gives us.

Frequently,  I hear the fear of hell and wanting to run towards The Lord for Salvation. He does in deed save, but should I not rather fear God than hell and run into His Arms instead of into His Kingdom?

I have firmly decided that I Love God truly, and that I will love Him no matter what. Today, my motive for loving Him is not simply to get to heaven, or even to be with Him one day. I love Him because He is God! He is worthy and He deserves so much more than even the most I have to offer Him. I choose to love and serve Him. Heaven is no longer my goal. Salvation is also no longer my goal because I realized that in the midst of assuming I am actually unsaved I continue to serve the Lord anyhow. The only reward I seek for is to know that I have served the Living God, Worthy and Perfect One as best I can and with all the resources He has given me.

If God has mercy on me and chooses to extend His salvation to me in the end then I will gratefully rejoice. If not, than He is righteous and Just anyhow so I will still be grateful that in my little time here on earth I had the opportunity to converse and serve Him anyway.

I am striving towards God and no longer heaven, I am loving Him because He Is and not for what He can give me or promise me.

 I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. (Exodus 33:19b)

May we all be found in His Grace and Mercy for another day.

 

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Nakedness

This is a Bible Lesson I taught at church a couple of months ago….It really helped me to look at the Words in the Bible  in a different sorta way.

It starts with the Lesson outline and then I add my comments and explanation to it at the bottom half. I included all the scriptures I used, The main Scripture of the Lesson was Revelation 3:17-20.

Revelation 3:17
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

1. What is biblical nakedness?
Biblical nakedness is described as shame in a number of verses:

example Is 47:3, Rev 3:17, 16:15

and we can see it from the beginning in Genesis 3:10-11 And he said, I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.And He said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

One way to keep ourselves from Shame before God is to know His Word.
2 Tim 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Our nakedness and shame is always before God, not man. No one wants to be ashamed in life but so much more so not to want to be ashamed before God Himself!
Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

2. We do not want to be found naked
Revelation 3:17 And white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear

2 Corinthians 5:3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.

Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Matthew 22:11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

3. The solution to our nakedness

God has out solution already worked out!

Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:

Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

Revelation 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Psalm 132:9 Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy. ( See Rev 1:6, 1 Peter 2:9)

4. Our part/responsibility:
Isaiah 55:1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

Matthew 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Romans 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Colossians 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

Revelation 22:14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.

EXPLANATION:

These above verses tell us our part and responsibility to DO something in order to prevent shame and nakedness before God. The Bible tells us to put these things on. This is an imperative command. It also is an ACT. we must DO it.

The solution is that God HIMSELF will provide our clothing for us (see above verses in section 3)

You do not have to pay for it (Is. 55:1) but you will need to BUY it! Sounds contradictory, But I believe that the cost to us to buy this is TIME with God!

In English we say things like that all the time don’t we? “Spending time” “spent time” “how much time was spent” “time is money”  ect.. ect.. There is a reason we use this analogy I think and God is making use of it also. Is 55:1 tells us to buy without price….So you BUY but it is not money or a price we are using, but time!! HEARKEN, INCLINE, HEAR… You can’t do these things without devoting time to it. Spending time with God will cost you time else where…..we are all given the same amount of time. That means none of us have an advantage over another. There is no one “richer” in time than another. We are all given the same 24 hours and it is up to US to use it the best we can.

Basically I came to the conclusion that God provides us with everything we need to keep from being naked and ashamed. He HAS provided the clothing, now WE must put it on.That is our part/responsibility.  The fact is we can’t really do anything if we are naked! I mean you don’t want to leave your house naked, and I don’t know about most people but I don’t rarely leave my room or bathroom naked without at least some covering.

That being said if we are going to go out in the world we wouldn’t even want to leave our closet naked! That’s where we will find out clothes! In Matthew 6:6 God reminds us of this very thing! Go into your CLOSET, shut the door and pray!

Then when you leave your closet after having spent time alone with the Lord you will be able to open the door and leave CLOTHED with the robes and raiment that Jesus will give to you …. I feel that this is really important also because in Rev 3:20 Jesus tells us He is standing at the door knocking and He wants us to open the door and invite Him in. I feel this is when we will be given our clothing!

My conclusion is simple. Now you are naked, you don’t want to be, go into the closet with God and come out clothed with the clothing He picked out to cover you. Then you will not be ashamed and your intimacy with God will allow you to have the right attire on for the Wedding He wants to invite you to. BUT you need to be clothed correctly. Just anything wont do. You can’t pick what you want to wear to THIS event. There are things you can be dressed in that are NOT acceptable. There is a dress code the King is expecting to see (Matthew 22:11-13).

I pray that we will all be dressed with HIS righteousness and not our own. That we desire to be dressed correctly and not stand naked or ashamed before Him…or worse try to hide from Him in our nakedness or choose our own clothing that is not acceptable or appropriate. I thank the Lord that He provides for us and that we can count on Him to clothe us well.

Praise His Great Name!!!

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Weird!

Its a weird time in my life. I am absolutely on top of the world! But its almost like my emotions are so overwhelmed I cant even think to write or know how to express them.

Its been nearly 3 months since my last post. So much has been going on and one would think that I would have so much to say and so much to write about. It’s true I do!
But instead of having all these ideas and thoughts and great posts to write (haha) It seemed my brain shut down and I could only enjoy the emotions I was experiencing but never articulate them.

I miss posting! I really truly do. There were so many times I thought I had some great material to share or insight I had learned but every time I tried to type it…. I just couldn’t!

Well I hope that today that wall has come crumbling down and I will be able to get back to writing and posting like never before!

Thanks for all your messages of support and waiting for the postings! I hope it was worth the wait!  (Yikes!)

 

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Concerning Discerning

There are some things in life and about my life that have often puzzled me when I take the time to think about them… or am faced dealing with them directly.  One of those things that has been keeping me up these days is the differences between feelings and emotions. In fact it took me until just the other day to realize there was in fact a difference between them. At least there is for my understanding and purposes.

The definitions are as follows:

emotion  e·mo·tion (ĭ-mō’shən)
n.  An intense mental state that arises subjectively rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes; a feeling.

feeling                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    n.  An affective state of consciousness, such as that resulting from emotions, sentiments, or desires.

According to these definitions, feelings and emotions are connected and are often in many dictionaries synonyms of the same expression.  For our everyday purposes this works and makes perfect sense. I am often using either word interchangeably when having conversations. However for expressing my spiritual self it doesn’t work the same way. Now maybe I just don’t know the word I should be using, or the one that is meant to express that which I am often trying to understand myself, but either way I need to clarify the differences.

I want to show a difference between them because I am a Christian and I trust in the Lord to lead and guide me in His Word and in His ways. This is still a great and amazing mystery to me!

I struggle sometimes with my emotions. Those unconscious reactions to what is going on around me. These are always for me situational and subjective. My emotions are fickle. They change very quickly depending on whats happening and what I’m doing. I can not choose an emotion nor prevent an emotion from rising up in me. But I can control the emotion and control my physical response to that. ( Well at least theoretically I can, the reality of me doing this is not always the case). I can shut up when I want to scream, I can run when I want to fight, I can clean when I want to cry.. you get the idea.  I also believe that our thoughts can add or take away from  the effects of emotions.

If I am angry thinking about the thing that made me so angry always makes me angrier. When I’m sad continuing to replay the sadness makes it nearly impossible to stop the tears but on the other hand of I  think of something else, even neutral, I can tuck those emotions away and go on with my day.

So where do feelings come in I guess you may be wondering…and whats the big deal of talking about why they may be different…

Well,  when I have been at a critical point and a very specific decision needs to be made, and I have prayed for Gods direction.. there is that moment when I know what God has told me to do. How do I know? I don’t know!!! It’s just  a very deep peaceful feeling that I know what the right action is to take.  I have a feeling of peace though the situation may not be peaceful. I have a feeling of confidence in the choice though I may not know the outcome. Sometimes its directly against the thing I want to do… in that case it’s bizarre to have a feeling toward something that I want and yet a different feeling toward that thing I feel God is directing me toward. I can not explain this. I hardly understand it at all. How does that work?

Now this is very important to be able to distinguish between a feeling and emotion. Especially for  me as I go to a rather charismatic church and though my pastors are not overly emotional the congregation can often respond that way. It’s important for me to differentiate when the people are flowing out of emotion and when the spirit is flowing freely.  I am blessed in that I have a rather critical heart..and in comparison to others I too am not overly emotional. I never enjoy experiences but always want the lesson that God is teaching. But I can not say with certainty that at times I don’t mistake my emotion with feeling that God is leading me. It happens! I wish it didn’t but I have no perfected discernment.. on the other hand I have gotten more deliberate and take time to act or speak to be as certain as I possibly can when I feel God is talking vs when I know its my emotions just on a rampage! I have gotten better at discerning and continue to grow as God provides me with lessons and situations.

I hope to have a more biblical understanding of this as I study about it. I know that God has provided the answers to my questions through His Word and when I take the time to search it He will teach me along the way. (Proverbs 25:2)

Maybe next time I will be more capable of discussing the differences between confidence and  confirmation.

Blessings 🙂

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Free will is not free.

Some things I have been thinking about these days:

Free Will (is expensive!).

Ephesians 2:10.

Good works.

Timing.

I know there is a ton there. One topic alone could take up multiple posts! But these are some things that weigh heavy on me recently.

Free will, and how we use it. Wow! what a massive responsibility God has given us. The best thing I can think to do with this is just give it right back to the Lord! I don’t want it and I can’t afford it!! It terrifies me to think about every choice I make and the results and consequences that come from each and every one..Pricey!

Most of the decisions we make in a day may not seem to have any huge impact on our lives as a whole, but it’s in those moments when it is that very decision that proves to be life changing or costly that we stop and think about “what if I did___ or didn’t___”.

My favourite line from one of my favourite songs from one of my favourite albums: 🙂 “Just an ordinary day, like when I met you. It’s funny how life can take new meaning, you came and changed what I believe in….”

I love it! But seriously. When I stop to think about how many of the little choices I make each day actually have huge effects on my life; it’s scary to think of the responsibility God has given us with free will.

Ephesians 2:10 talks about the good works that God has before ordained that we should walk in them. Yikes.

I think about this a lot. I think God has great and awesome plans for our lives, and I also think that when we pray and turn to Him for direction that He is very faithful and He will direct us..at least one step at a time (even if He wont show us the whole map, or destination before we start.)

But when I combine this verse with the reality of free will, the responsibility grows even more in my heart. I truly believe there are things in particular people’s’ lives that God has in mind for them and he puts things in our hearts and personality that enable us to live these plans out in a fulfilling manner.

I really don’t think God wants us to be miserable, and He knows that when we are satisfied we will be the most productive. For example, I think about Paul’s writing about marriage. He wishes all could be like him (single), but he knows that some do not have the gift to be satisfied in that.. so for those people he writes instructions.  Jesus also talks about this (Matt 19:10-12)So there are some who must due to their lives, and some who have chosen to live alone for God, but then those who would be much more satisfied and productive in a union: Free will!

I also believe there are people who God has a plan for in a specific way and He knows that they would be best with another particular child of His in carrying out this work. But as a general idea, I do not think that God has one specific person for me to marry that He has planned from the beginning. (I may or may not be right, it’s just my opinion) However, by using the wisdom, discernment and Word that He has given I can make a Godly choice and follow His leading to either be single and work and live for the furtherance of His Kingdom in that manner. Or, I can marry a mighty man of God, who is also seeking to further the Kingdom and we can together look to God for His direction and seek His blessing on the relationship. Both are scriptural, God centered, and will- in their own way bring Glory to His name. (Which no matter what is always the goal!)

The good works God has planned for us to walk in is kind of center to all of our choices and actions. This can be successfully carried out alone, or in unity. I think that overall this is the greatest responsibility. Look to God for the works He has planned for us and then Do them! Alone, with a spouse, with friends, as a church…Whatever!   God has given us free will, but also His Word for direction, and as a standard to hold each one of our decisions up against to be sure it fits. Wisdom also, is given to make the right free-will-choices to serve the Lord.

I may be wrong but I think half the things we worry about as far as whether it is in God’s plan or not are not really that much of a concern to God. Follow His Word, look to Him for direction and go forward. We have the free will to choose within the boundaries and  guardrails He has provided for us. If we do so in a way that is honouring to Him, He will bless it and be a part of it.

I think we should stop asking “is this Gods plan/time?” (that’s what praying is for!) and start really asking. “What good works did God plan for me? What am I suppose to be walking toward? Who am I meant to be helping?” “How should I spend/use my time and money?” “Where can/should I go?” These are the things I believe that God will be looking at when he looks at how we used our free will.

You and I are created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.  So take a step and start walking, I’ll see you there!

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**Just in case: I want to clarify that I do not take marriage lightly. In fact I think it is the second most important decision one will make besides choosing to Follow Christ. But what I meant by having free will is just that if you meet a mate that is living their life for the Lord, you have prayed about it extensively and you have complete peace about the person; there are no signals or nagging uneasiness about him/her, you do not feel God saying “no”. Than there is no reason to fear that God will not be a part of the union if you invite Him to be. He will bless it if it lines up with His Word!

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“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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