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Archive for the ‘June 2011’ Category

Where I Belong

During worship I closed my eyes and felt Him carry me away. He knew I was too broken to feel Him, too weak to be strong for Him, too tired to lift my head to heaven. But He whispered love into my ear and hope into my heart. He smiled as He held me, as if He had no one else to love. And no where else to be but there with me.

I had no plans, but He didn’t care. He just wanted to be there. We sat in my favorite chair and He was more comfortable with me than I was with myself. And though I was already home, I was truly at home. Where I belonged. He asked me questions and intently listened, as if there was nothing else on His mind. As if He had all of time.

I curled up so close to Him that I could hear the beat of His heart and feel the warmth of His arms. And all that mattered at that moment in time was I was His, and He was mine.

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You fight for me

I’m trying to figure out why praises are dancing on the tip of my tongue this morning, only to fall flat. Why my prayers are silenced before I open my mouth.

Jesus, come touch my lips and lift my head. I need to know you hear the unspoken words of my soul. That you save the tears no one can see. My face is dry, but I still cry. I groan inside. Too deep to perceive, yet you hear me so clearly. And you love me so dearly.

Remind me that when I’m least deserving you can best prove your love. The height of your mercy is measured by the depth of my brokenness. Jesus, you hung on my cross long before I cared. You bore the weight that threatens to break my back so I could be free from my past.

I need the gospel today more than when I first heard it. It is most powerful when I least deserve it. I am a mess, yet glorious. I am defeated, yet victorious. I may lose a battle, but never the war. Because when I am weak, you fight for me. Christ, you are my life. When I let go of the threads I hang onto in order to survive, I find myself standing upon a rock. You are my firm foundation and I cannot be shaken. You are my security among my enemies. My soul rests in peace, and you are the reason – even when my eyes still fail to see one.

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Spiritual discernment

‘The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.’ (1 Cor. 2:14).

Christians are not just natural people – we are spiritual people. We have spiritual eyes, ears, thoughts, emotions, relationships, and experiences. Yet since birth the natural is just that – natural to us.

The spiritual is supernatural, and we are simply less familiar with our spiritual senses than we are with our natural senses. And since we have been born again – spiritually born – we need to learn to perceive, relate, think, discern, and feel again – spiritually and not just naturally. We tend to be much younger spiritually than we are physically.

We are surrounded by people and circumstances that have different dimensions, yet we tend to only have eyes for one. Most people try to perceive reality with natural eyes alone, and some try to perceive reality with spiritual eyes alone, but I think we need both to really see. And still, Now we know in part; then we shall know fully (1 Cor. 13:12).

As we try to figure out the people and circumstances around us, we need to remember we only see in part. First, we should thank God we can see at all! And if we would like understand more fully, we can simply ask Him to increase our wisdom and discernment rather than go in circles thinking about it. I know from personal experience how pointless it is for me to try to figure people and circumstances out on my own. I can’t even figure myself out on my own! I need spiritual discernment and revelation every day from the Spirit of God and through His Word.

We may be spiritually immature, ‘But we have the mind of Christ’ (1 Cor. 2:16). And that’s a big BUT! Our spirit has been united to the Holy Spirit, and He is imparting His very own senses to us! Through prayer and renewing our mind according to the Word, we can actually begin to think the exceedingly wise thoughts of God about whatever we are going through. Praise God! ‘These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit’ (1 Cor. 2:10).

Sometimes the only way to see
Is to close my eyes
Sometimes getting down on my knees
Is the only way to rise

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When feeling hurt by others and wondering how to deal with the pain, we can respond in one of two ways… bitterness, or forgiveness. Before we count our own tears caused by another, it is good to consider the number of tears Jesus has cried because of us.

I’ve broken the heart of the one who loves me most. I’ve drawn sweat from His brow and blood from His side. My name was the anguish in His cry. He was crushed by my sin, and ultimately my offense was against Him. Yet all He ever was toward me was Friend.

From that place, I can pray to forgive those who cause me pain. I can’t take back what I’ve done to Jesus, and what I still do, but I can learn from how He forgives me unconditionally, continually, and pay His grace forward. I can pray His grace forward. His kindness leads me to repentance. His kindness in us will have the greatest chance at leading others to repentance too.

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How many of us neglect saying thanks to God for the good things in our lives? How much more the bad? On Sunday in children’s church the lesson was on thankfulness, and I think I learned more than the kids.. It hit me that I couldn’t remember the last time I said thank you for a trial I was going through, knowing full well that God will bring my good and His glory from it.

When I applied the lesson, it did feel counter-intuitive. But God’s ways usually are.. and it actually brought freedom, purpose, hope, and trust into my bad circumstance. So I encourage you in whatever trial you are going through, don’t resist God. Cry out to Him. Don’t turn away in offense. Run to Him. Don’t let bitterness make you numb. Open your heart wide to Jesus. Let Him hold you even in your anger and confusion. And then let this be an opportunity to have faith in what you cannot see. Haven’t we once prayed to be made faithful?

What could be a greater proof of trust than to thank God even for this trial? and to praise Him in the storm?

‘Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus’ (1 Thess. 5:18).

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You are Mine

We tend to depend on circumstances or people for our significance and security. But what if circumstances are leading us to feel insignificant and people are causing us to feel insecure? We should thank God for how He validates us through visible realities like the positions we have and people we love, but they are still not enough to bear the weight of our soul.

Lately I have been walking in such confidence in Christ that I feel a thousand feet above the ground. Yet today I woke up feeling shaken by the fear that my security is in the hands of men and not God. I simply prayed that His voice would be louder. I truly believed that I need His affirmation more than the ones I think determine my security. Suddenly I knew He had spoken to my heart, “These people have far less power over you than even they may think. You are Mine.”

So I want to pass that word on to you today. Who are you afraid of? Say to your soul, “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Ps. 118:6) Your security is not in the hands of men, but in the mighty hand of the Lord. When you let go of the thread you’re hanging onto for life, you will realize it never could support the weight of your soul, and that you’ve truly been standing on the Rock that is our God.

If Satan mocks you and calls you a fool for believing in what you cannot see, respond with the words of Christ, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (Jn 20:29)

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