Monthly Archives: February 2013

God Has Taught…

Here are a few of the things God has taught me over the past year, or in times past.

(Speaking to God) You CAN!! You can, and I will praise you!   You can change hearts , turn weaknesses into strengths, accomplish the improbably. 

“NOT BY POWER OR MIGHT, BUT BY MY SPIRIT!!”  We want to see the power of the Spirit, and know that we couldn’t do these things by our power.  We want Him to work things that are only His power!!

BELIEVE FOR THIS MOMENT

 Feel the weight of God’s will descend about me like dew. Let it fall on my shoulders until I take up and share the burden of God’s will with him, His yoke.  Pray and feel in prayer that I am moving along with His will, instead of constantly feeling that I am dragging a load into uncertainty in prayer.  SEE HIS WILL LIKE THE DUST CLOUD FROM GOD’S ARMY AS IT ADVANCES, THE STORM FRONT OF HIS WILL AROUND ME.  Focus on what GOD is doing, not the accomplishments of people.

TAKE A ROAD TRIP WITH GOD TODAY!

 PRAY MORE – At least ½ -1 hr a day.  God, if I give you this time, please work out all of the things that seem to demand my time.

When I am prayed up, that is when things work right.

PRAYER IS THE ONLY HOPE –God’s will is the only way the world will work & good things will happen.  It is the only way for my family, my friends, our lives, our futures.  Apart from Him we can do nothing.

 I pray to not  berate myself and burden myself that I must do so much and do it well.  Instead, let me just PRAISE GOD with uninhibited joy.

Let me not lose heart, to “be negatively influenced with the outcome of experiencing inner weariness,” but HOPE, which gives me energy.  If I believe something is going to happen, I have energy!

Jesus personally went into my slimy pit and paid the only price there was to get me out, paid my penalty.  It is real.  It is personal.  The God of the universe really did this.

 Choose to please HIM today, to make Jesus Lord, let him create my agenda. If I pat myself on the back at the end of the day, I will be pleasing myself, and I’ll never get rid of the many facets of pride.

 KEEP MY INTERGRITY BEFORE GOD.  It’s just me and Him, and I must feel I am right before him and be ready to answer for my choices at judgment day.

 God knows how to put the pieces of my life together better than I do, to create the future I was created for.   I have to give Him  ALL the pieces, every single bit of my life and heart.

 Give thanks for every weakness, fault and imperfection you have.  Accept it as a favor of God…Remember if God has chosen to shrink your swelling pride, he has made it that much easier to enter through the narrow way.”  (Not sure who said this.)

 WAKE UP EACH MORNING AND BE THANKFUL FOR ANOTHER DAY BEFORE GOD TAKES ME HOME.  Why has he allowed me to live?  I must seek to fulfill what he gave me the day for.

 There’s a conduit between me and God through which God is constantly giving to me, Let me give back!  Let me Love him throughout the day instead of focusing on doing.

 LIFE IS A GRAND ADVENTURE!  LET ME GO FORTH WITH JOY AND BOLDNESS! BE INDIANA JONES! There’s a way– BECAUSE GOD WORKS IN A GOD-SIZED WAY –Expect , anticipate, Him to do BIG things!  “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be put to shame but as always Christ will be exalted/magnified.”

Every time I “get out of the boat” I make God bigger.  AMAZE Him with my faith!

 I HAVE TO GIVE THE SPIRIT SOMETHING TO WORK WITH!!  DO things.  Cast bread on the waters!!

 LOVE IS A COMMITMENT, AND GOD IS COMMITTED TO US.  RIGHTEOUSNESS IS FULFILLING THE DEMANDS OF A RELATIONSHIP .  It is either built up or damaged according to how we meet these demands.  God is righteous not because he obeys a moral code, but because he is FAITHFUL

GOD WINS!

 Everyone thinks they are right all the time.  They might have been wrong, but they changed those things and they are right again.  I must fight to not think I am older and I am right all the time. That is why I need discipling and people in my life.  

I must only seek God’s glory.  Remember too, God  didn’t send the gospel to the “sharp leaders”

I also need discipling because there is personal entropy – we tend to gravitate towards mediocrity,not setting and achieving goals.

 The Spirit is actively CREATIVE. With it I purposefully swirl beautiful colors, shapes and designs across the canvas of God’s will.  **Each opportunity is a chance to paint colors through this dark, dead world.

 THE WHOLE GOAL IS TO BECOME GENUINE IN HEART,  GENUINELY LOVE GOD AND ONLY SEEK HIS WILL,  AND GENUINELY CARE FOR OTHERS.  I CAN ONLY DO THIS WITH THE SPIRIT.  “Purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good”  “I will give them an undivided heart, my spirit, a heart of flesh.” (Steve Kinnard said “Be perfect” means “Be genuine.”)

 But I can only do this as I truly understand God’s love for me.

 One of the biggest impediments to the Spirit is the lack of gratitude and praise.   Sin is also an impediment to the Spirit working, and my relationship with God, my wellbeing

 “BUT AS FOR ME, I WILL ALWAYS HAVE HOPE.  I WILL PRAISE YOU MORE AND MORE AGAIN”  (Ps 71:14)

What do I SEE the Father doing?  “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

The truth is that this world is all like wax that is melting away; a façade. God is the real solidity.

I am the salt of the earth.  I show people what is real and lasting.

 If I am restless it’s about me, if I’m restful it’s about God. 

“Peace:” “Shalom” Complete, soundness, wholeness, safety, contentment, wellbeing (Being in sync).  THAT  is what it is all about to me – what I want to share with others,  peace, beauty. He orchestrates

 “Every secret breathing of pride, self seeking, self will, self confidence and self exaltation is just the strengthening of the self which cannot enter the kingdom or possess the things of the kingdom.” (I am not sure who said this either — I think Andrew Murray?)

 I AM WILLING AND GOD IS ABLE – AND GOD/JESUS IS WILLING TOO!

 Loving is speaking God’s language! Prayer is a language of love  PRAYER IS LOVE WITH WINGS

At that place where I was so full of anger and hurt that I couldn’t think of something good, that place where I was full of melancholy and there was no way to feel better, at that place where sin was  in taking me places I shouldn’t go,  at the place where I didn’t want to be with anyone or give to anyone, at that place where I was so far from being worthy of saving, like a despicable criminal on death row, the slime of the earth, EVIL in heart, only selfish, and leading others to temptation, unfaithful, foolish, willfully selling my soul to Satan, that is where I NEEDED AND NEED A SAVIOR and Christ saved me. That is where his righteous faithful commitment to me extended.  It was like he was rescuing a demon.  I need his divinity.   Romans 5 is exemplified.  Time stopped, history changed at that moment he had to die for me

May I walk fast enough to keep up with optimism and the Spirit, and slow enough to love those along the way

MY HOPE IS IN GOD TODAY, THAT HE WILL REVEAL SOMETHING NEW TO ME, GIVE ME AN EXCITING INSIGHT, GUIDE ME THROUGH CHALLENGES, RESOLVE THE UNRESOLVABLE, MAKE PROGRESS IN A SITUATION, GRACE ME WITH MOMENTS OF PEACE, BESTOW HERE AND THERE A TREASURE OF A BLESSING.

I MUST TAKE TIME IN PRAYER EACH DAY TO BE QUIET AND LET GOD SPEAK TO ME

“You will fill me with joy in your presence.” I have to resonate w/God, not w/the anxieties around me.

 TODAY IS THE DAY!!!  It could be the day that I meet my new best friend, that someone’s life is changed forever

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Habakkuk 2 – Faithfulness and Knowing God

Notice their arrogance— they have no inward uprightness — but the righteous will live by their faith.  (Hab 2:4)

Another translation of this is (combination of translations): Behold, his soul is puffed up. They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.

Literally, it can be translated, Look at the puffed up/proud person, his soul isn’t going in the straight, right way.  But the righteous will live faithfully.

There are three points here:

  1. That pride means puffing up — it means giving myself more importance than I really have.  It is egocentricity.  I often act as if it is my responsibility to hold things together.
  2. When I put too much emphasis on myself, this warps my soul.  I don’t conduct myself in thought or in action in the way I was intended to, in humility before God, depending on Him.
  3. The way I should live is to be  steadfast and trustworthy, to have fidelity. This is the definition of faithfulness.  It means that I am not like unproductive soils in Jesus’ parable.  I don’t quit when things get hard.  I don’t get distracted by other things.  I continue to serve God.

In Habakkuk the prophet is talking about the Babylonians, and asking if they will get away with their wicked and cruel self interest.  God’s answer is that even if it takes a long time, the Babylonians will be brought down for their sins.  This vision is for a future time.  It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled.  If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently,  for it will surely take place.  It will not be delayed…..But soon their captives will taunt them. They will mock them, saying, ‘What sorrow awaits you thieves! Now you will get what you deserve!

My other favorite part of Habakkuk 2 is verse 14:

For as the waters fill the sea,

the earth will be filled with a knowledge

of the glory of the Lord.

In the days of the prophets, much about God was still a mystery.  I live in an age where, “He made known to us the mystery of his will.”  (Eph 1:9)   No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. (Jer 24:34 and Hebrews 8) “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” (Jer 31:33, Hebrews 10)

This is my goal, and should always be my goal.  That I can KNOW God.  It is so hard to separate doing good deeds for their own sake from a relationship with God.  My desire is to know Him, but I find myself consumed with doing things all day instead.

What will move me toward this goal?

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…You need to persevere.  (Selections from Hebrews 10)

  1. Draw near to God with full confidence that I am beloved, desired, and right with Him.
  2. Know He is faithful, so I can always have hope.  Hope every minute of every day.  I can be faithful in hope because He is faithful.
  3. Help others to be faithful as well.

Knowing God means seeing His glory, His majesty and all encompassing splendor.  It means I am amazed at His creation.  I am in awe that He sent His son to die for me.  This is a story that can astound the nations — that there is a God who loves so much that He would sacrifice so much for each individual.

It also means that I realize the wonders He does every day in my life — the people who are coming to Women’s Day, the conversation I had with someone who is miraculously coming to faith, progress I see  in others who are struggling, and so much more.

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Utterly Amazed

I would like to have the mindset that I am excited to see what God is going to do.  That he has been planning great works, and I will be amazed when I see Him work.

This has happened so much in the past.  We have been amazed to see how God has worked here in Auburn, the number of people who have studied the Bible and gotten baptized.  I have been amazed to see how God has worked in the lives of my loved ones.

Often, though I feel that I am in a rut where I just expect God to conform to the pattern I am used to.  I invite people and reach out to people, but they don’t come.  This becomes my unconcious expectation, my way of thinking, my definition of life.  I really want to get out of my rut, find a new way of doing things, a new pattern of thinking.

I have been studying the prophets in chronological order, and just finished Zephaniah.  Since Jeremiah preached for many years, I have been going back and forth with this book, and haven’t finished it.  Today I read Jeremiah 36, where Jeremiah has his prophesies written on a scroll and taken to be read to the king.  The officials seem to take the prophesies seriously, but the king burns the scroll in the fire, bit by bit, after he reads it.  Jeremiah writes the same words on a scroll again.

I want to say that I would never be like that, that I would never ignore the Lord’s words.  But if I am stuck in a rut, do I not become unbelieving of God’s promises, insensitive to what He is doing?  Jehoiakim does not believe bad things will happen.  I do not believe good things will happen.

Yet the word is constant.  Jeremiah writes it again.  The truth is not going away.  No matter what my feelings say, God is going to act, and He is going to act in a great way.  But it could be somewhere else that He acts.  It could be that He can’t do many miracles around me because of my unbelief.

Look at the nations and watch—

and be utterly amazed.

For I am going to do something in your days

that you would not believe,

even if you were told

I am moving on to Habakkuk.  What a perfect verse this is, that I just read in Chapter 1.   I started writing this entry about amazement, and I hadn’t read this verse!

Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish. (Isa 29:14)

God’s works will always be more than I can plan for.  I want to plan the future, put it order myself.  But in the process, I become entrenched in the limitations of my plans.  I am only carrying out things in my way, and I am hampered by my weaknesses, which define the paramaters of my efforts.  But when I look to God, there are no limits.  My wisdom is my handicap.   My reliance on having to be the organizer is the thing that keeps me in the rut, keeps me in the realm of feeble attempts.

Jesus constantly amazed people.  They were amazed at his teaching, and at his deeds, All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!”  (Luke 4:36) 

Some of it has to do with perspective.  I should be more amazed at the daily ways God is working in my life, by each Bible study I have with someone, each person in my life, each victory, each thing that works out.  I should be amazed as I remember what He has done in the past.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken  (Luke 5)

This story is such a great illustration of what I am studying today.  Simon hadn’t caught anything in his nets.  He was in a rut of believing that there were no fish to be caught.  Jesus told him to cast his nets in a different way, on the other side.  Perhaps it is that I carry things out in the same ways, and have no success, and I think it is useless.  But Jesus just wants me to try something a little different, to try again in a different way.  That means I will constantly be getting uncomfortable.

The key is that Peter fell at Jesus’s feet when he astonished by how Jesus had worked.  I need to stay at Jesus’s feet.  I need to stay utterly humble.  Peter went on to follow Jesus.  I need to follow Jesus, and I will be amazed at the things that happpen in unexpected ways.  But if I lead the way, it will be like I have fished all night and haven’t caught a thing.

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Thoughts on the Will of God

Lately, I wonder so much — what is God’s will for me, and for Ken and me, in the coming years?   Should I get a job?  Am I using my time and talents as I should? How should we invest money and prepare for retirement?  How much should we help the poor?  It seems so hard to discern what is best.  Sometimes I wish He would just pick me up and carry me in a direction with the force of His will, not have me choose.

The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.   (I J 2:7)

That is the verse I was looking for when I wrote yesterday’s blog!  I just found it!  All powers built on man will cease, but the one who seeks to be humble and do the will of God will endure.

Today I came across some notes from Doug Jacoby’s lesson on the will of God.  This verse was his conclusion:

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Rom 12:1)

Do not conform – Do not fashion ourselves after the model that is the world.  Do not let myself be molded into the world’s image.  For instance, last night when I went to a class on social media I wanted to look like the world’s definition of success — dressed a certain way, having the trappings of technology.  As far as the will of God goes, if my mindset is to conform with the world, I am not thinking along the lines of God, and I won’t be able to understand or discern His will.

But be transformed by the renewing of your mind —   I have been thinking a lot lately about how many versions of Christianity today teach that you just need to believe, and love God, without completely leaving your old life behind.  And then because people haven’t completely left their old life, they fall back into some of the same sins, or continue the sins they never gave up.  Then they experience all kinds of grief, and cause grief to others.  Christianity is ineffective to them.  This passage about renewing your mind reinforces that you have to leave your old life behind.  You have to think new thoughts in your mind.  As it says in  Colossians, “Set your minds on things above.”  Or in Romans 8, “Those who have their minds set on the Spirit

I will not be able to discern God’s will without pushing aside in my head all of the thoughts that reflect worldly thinking — “I need to be successful,”  “I need to look good”  “What will people think of me?”  “I am a failure if I don’t…”  Each one of these thoughts pollute my thinking.  How can I know what God’s will is when all of these thoughts pull at my mind?

So Doug stressed that we need to read the Bible to renew our minds.  For me the key to this is remembering the scriptures throughout the day, recalling my quiet time, thinking of verses as situations arise.  This puts me more in line with God’s mindset.  It steers me away from the worldly tracks of thinking, and creates new paths of thinking for me.

In this new year, one of my main goals is to start each day with the remembrance of the cross, and how I am just someone who was stuck in the slimy pit of my own making, and Jesus came and rescued me.  This powerfully renews my mind.  When I think of pleasing God, making Him smile, it renews my mind.  When I remember to love, it renews my mind.  When I reflect on the nature of God it renews my mind, that he is love, joy, peace, patience and all the fruits of the Spirit.  That He is righteous and trustworthy.

Then you will be able to test and approve God’s will — Then I will see whether something has the aura of God around it.  I will see with different eyes, eyes that can discern.

For I will then restore pure speech to the peoples so that all of them may call  on the name of Yahweh and serve Him with a single purpose  (Zeph 3:9)

It has always been God’s will that we will be holy, a people set apart as His own.  It has been His will that we will be unified.  We are to have undivided hearts, “I will give them singleness of heart and action.”  (Jer 32:39)  We are to be sincere.

God’s plan was to purify people from their crassness, selfishness, greed, independence.  I want to know if I should get a job, or invest money.  God may work through all of that, but ultimately He wants me to be more holy.  That is His will.

And His will is that all men would be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.  This earth is only a proving ground.  We are only here for a short time.  His will is that we are the yeast of love in the world.  His will is that we let our light shine, doing good deeds.  His will is that we be thankful, joyful and pray always.  (I Thes 5)

There is much more to understand here.

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Justice In the Morning -Zeph 2 & 3

They will receive the wages of their pride,

for they have scoffed at the people of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

Although God punished his people, he is fiercely protective of them as well.  Just as no one can mock God, no one can mock God’s people.  This is a great statement of His love for us now, those of us who are His chosen people, his royal priesthood, his sons and daughters.  God is wrathful towards those who mistreat us.  He has our back!

The Lord will terrify them

as he destroys all the gods in the land.

Then nations around the world will worship the Lord,

each in their own land.

How has God destroyed the gods of the land?  He shows that they are not powerful at all.  There is no country today that has been made powerful because of its gods.  No world power that exerts power because they are helped by a god.  Indeed, the countries who have risen to power have done so by greed and ambition in the hands of a few.

God reveals, and ultimately anyone who relies on a source of power aside from him will find it revealed to be worthless.

And meanwhile, Christianity has spread to every nation, and every nation can worship God at their own location, without traveling to Jerusalem.  It truly shows that the mountain of the Lord has risen to be chief among the nations.  Those who rely on God are those who have the real power.

This is the boisterous city,

once so secure.

“I am the greatest!” it boasted.

“No other city can compare with me!”

But now, look how it has become an utter ruin

Those who exalted themselves were humbled.  And this will always be the case.  As it said in the beginning of Zeph 2, it is only by humility that someone has a hope with God.  Humility is where true power lies, because it allows us to be in favor with God, and He who has the real power,  in His mercy, will help us.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.

But the Lord is still there in the city,

and he does no wrong.

Day by day he hands down justice,

and he does not fail.

I love this!  Day by day literally means, “in the morning, in the morning.”  It has also been translated, Every morning He brings His justice to light.  Every morning God seeks to right the wrongs done by the those in power on the earth.  Every morning God reveals what is real power, and what is not.  Nations are toppled.  Rulers are deposed.  And when I see the sun come into the window, I can think of God working, showing arrogant leaders that they are nothing, and reciprocally, helping those who seek him.  The passage reminds me of Lamentations 3, “His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning.  Great is your faithfulness.” 

And God “does not fail” in applying justice.  There is nothing lacking.  Anyone who sets themselves up as a power without God will ultimately fall.  The prideful will always be deposed.  But the humble will endure for eternity.

Ken and I were discussing the Arab Spring this morning, and the desire throughout the Middle East for social justice.  Power is in the hands of a few, but it is always changing.  One ruler or party will hold power for a few years, and then another will.  And whoever is in power oppresses the masses.  And the masses are rising up and fighting for justice.  I was reading about Egypt for my class on foreign policy, and the reading said that one of the main ways the U.S. can help is to show the people of Egypt that we want to help them achieve social justice.  People long for action to be taken to bring equity.

The U.S. tries to help, and often they muddle things up when they do, but God is constantly addressing injustices.  That is his nature. He certainly addresses injustices against his people, but he cares about injustice everywhere.  And He expects us to act as he does.   Administer justice every morning; rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done–burn with no one to quench it.”  (Jer 21:12)  We should be as vigilant as Christ, who opened the scrolls to the passage about breaking the chains and setting the captives free.

And so will I sit back when people are harassed and helpless, led astray by false shepherds?  Will I be ignorant about the people in other countries, separated from me by an ocean, who are physically oppressed?  May I have the heart to hand out justice, day by day.

All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen. (Jude 1:25)

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Desert Wastelands and Flowing Springs

Some wandered in desert wastelands,

finding no way to a city where they could settle.

They were hungry and thirsty,

and their lives ebbed away…..

Some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom,

prisoners suffering in iron chains,

for they had rebelled against the words of God

and despised the counsel of the Most High.

So he subjected them to bitter labor;

they stumbled, and there was no one to help…..

He turned rivers into a desert,

flowing springs into thirsty ground,

and fruitful land into a salt waste,

because of the wickedness of those who lived there.

He turned the desert into pools of water

and the parched ground into flowing springs;

there he brought the hungry to live,

and they founded a city where they could settle….

he who pours contempt on nobles

made them wander in a trackless waste.

But he lifted the needy out of their affliction

and increased their families like flocks.

Whoever is wise, let him heed these things

and consider the great love of the Lord.  (Selections from Ps 107)

What an amazing passage on the contrast between the prideful and the humble, between those who rely on their own efforts, and those who hunger for God and receive His mercies.

Zephaniah 2 follows this same theme:

Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land,

you who do what he commands.

Seek righteousness, seek humility;

perhaps you will be sheltered

on the day of the Lord’s anger….

Gaza will be abandoned

and Ashkelon left in ruins.

The land by the sea, where the Kerethitesa dwell,

will be a place for shepherds and sheep pens.

It will belong to the remnant of the house of Judah;

there they will find pasture.

In the evening they will lie down

in the houses of Ashkelon.

The Lord their God will care for them;

he will restore their fortunes.

And then we have Bobby Lee’s message yesterday.  He said we need to be a fighter, a finisher and we need to be faithful.  It’s all about finishing.  In order to finish, we need to change the conversation we have inside.  He referred to a book called “Three Seconds,” and how taking an extra three seconds can change a negative thought into a positive one.  He read Phil 4:8 and talked about how this can help our internal dialogue.

He talked about how we need to “engage the train.”  We need to train to be godly, beat our bodies and make them our slaves.  We need to take the personal responsibility to grow.  When we want to quit, we need to be a “one more” person — I’ll just do one more thing before I quit.  God is not disappointed when we fall, He is disappointed when we don’t get back up.

He read II Peter 1, about making every effort to add to your faith, goodness, and to goodness knowledge — we need to know out Bible so we can study the Bible with someone.  Then we need to add self control.  We need to persevere. Winning is the only option.  We need to add brotherly kindness.  Are we engaged?  Do we have our brother’s back so Satan can’t take him out?  Finally, we need to add love.  Love is what we do, it is who we are.

We are here to make a difference!  God does not need more than a small group to get His work done.  Pray every day that God will use us.  Throw off everything that hinders (Hebrews 12).  The race I am running is hard because I don’t want to do it. I am letting something be an obstacle, and I need to throw that obstacle off.

I keep thinking about the verse, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.  But he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”  In Revelation, it talks over and over again, “To him who overcomes…”  The real battle is against loving the world.  The older I get, the more I want to relax and be comfortable.

The real battle is also against doing things instead of knowing God.  I can make myself very busy doing things for God, and not really seek Him.  It makes me works oriented, and I have a negative internal dialogue because I tell myself I am not doing enough things.  This is one area that needs to change.

Last night I received a text from someone I have been studying the Bible with on and off.  She talked about how she is realizing that everyone has an insatiable ego, an emptiness that cannot be filled.  This is what I need to remember, and what the verses in Ps 107 and Zeph 2 refer to.  We are drawn to fill our life with the wrong things.

Yesterday after church we got with a couple who drove a long distance to come to church, just because they were hungry for God, for His truth, for fellowship.  They are in touch with their hunger for God.  They live in an area without any disciples, and they know the truth about what will and will not satisfy.  Where is my hunger, and where is it driving me?  It must drive me to know God.  It must drive me to find my refreshment in God.

They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.  (Jer 2:13)  I need to remember what I posted at the beginning from Ps 107 — He turned the desert into flowing waters and parched ground into flowing springs.  There is never-ending water for me to drink, still waters of peace, waterfalls of joy.

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