I woke up this morning, after a good night's rest, and soon found myself crying. Curiosity and a sleeping house caused me to hop online to catch up on social media and my heart sank. Hateful comments and posts, name calling and insensitive remarks were all over. I had to log off. I had to go give my sleeping kiddos a big hug and kiss and tell them I love them...
As I sit here on the porch and think about all the hatred from so many people who claim to be fighting for love, and what is right, God points me to His Word...
These are key take aways for me...
1. speak evil of NO ONE
2. AVOID quarreling
3. be GENTLE
4. show perfect courtesy toward ALL people
This message is for me today, as a believer. My job is to accept only He saves... according to His own mercy... NOTHING is accomplished through self-righteousness. And I should be careful to devote myself to good works (insert arrow pointing to the four take aways).
My prayer today is to allow God to show me the things in my heart keeping me from doing good, and to allow the Holy Spirit to renew me in those areas, enabling His love to be encountered by those He has in my life.
I spent some time in prayer a couple nights ago. Time I haven’t spent in a while. Literally in my closet, laying so many things down before God and expressing gratitude for His faithful Love and Grace. What started out as hopefully fifteen minutes, turned into over half an hour, leaving me with a sense of direction and peace that I believe God knew I really needed.
It is one thing to read devotion first thing in the morning, ask God to make it real in one’s life, and then continue on with the day like it was a casual interaction – a task to be marked off the list of things to do, say a little prayer, and move on (yep, I’m guilty). It is quite another thing to take the time to do nothing but enter boldly into the throne room of God’s grace and just rest in His presence, praying. Something I did faithfully at one point in my life, but had moved away from, trading in for shorter prayers and a more constant conversation throughout the day.
Words of repentance, words of gratitude, words of intercession and words professing my fears and insecurities flowed from me like a backed up faucet. He was meeting me there, and I was so very grateful. As time went by, He shared His heart with me. He forgives me, He is happy to bless, He will move on the behalf of others because of my prayers, and I need not be afraid or insecure, because all I ever need is provided IN Him. There was a shift when I shared with Him, what I mentioned in Monday’s blog, “It’s time for me to go deeper with God, now”.
Right away I had a vision of the Promised Land and the giants who lived there. I thought of the “giants” in my life that seem to keep me from truly moving into the promises of God and all that He has for me. I thought of the past few years and how it seems like I have been living in the “desert”, like the folks who came out of Egypt. So many things came to mind that could have caused me to be very angry at God and ultimately walk away (believe me, there were times when it crossed my mind).
But instead, I knew He was the only One I could cling to, to get me through. When it seemed like I was losing my health, marriage, and relationships – He was there. When I experienced rejection from those I expected to never reject me, He continued to accept and embrace me. When I was overwhelmed with uncertainty, He reminded me my future was certain IN Him, regardless of what it looked like. As God took me on a journey of reflecting the past several years’ journey, He also placed a new hope inside my heart.
The ‘desert’ place I experienced will be used for His glory. I learned lessons there, I simply could not have picked up intellectually from His Word. He knows me. He knows I am an experiential learner and I had to experience first-hand what needed to be learned, in order for Him to reach others. How will He reach others through me? I’m not sure. And what I learned may only ever be passed on to my children and husband. After all, they are my ministry. Only God knows if His ministry will ever expand one day. I do know He is stirring in me a series of testimonies to share. Perhaps He will reach others there. But in the meantime the Revelation 12:11 is on my mind, “…they overcame by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony…” Time will tell as to what future posts will look like, but I am convinced renewal of the mind begins with reflecting on all God has already done and allowing Him to empower me to overcome mindsets unlike Him, by sharing my testimony.
Until next time…
Past Blog Posts