Wednesday, June 2, 2010

and yet I know His love

In this world so many things can rob us of the value that was originally bestowed upon us by God.
But the reality is we never lose our worth to the one who created us.
I cannot be of value to anyone else until I accept the value given to me by God.
I don't have words to say what I want to say.
I don't have words to express what is going on in my head, but I will write the things I can think of to give you an idea of what I have been meditating on...

So often, I feel worthless.
I have nothing to offer

I have nothing

but God has called me Beloved.

"Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders." Deuteronomy 33:12

The worlds lies get into my mind and permeate my thoughts all too often. I start to not only feel worthless, but hopeless and perpetually stuck. I start to wonder if I am just convincing myself of a truth that I have no real grounds for.. but I know these are lies..

I know beyond anything that I have hope.
Real Hope.
I not only know it, but I believe it with my heart.
I have hope.

Hope of eternal life
Hope because I have been forgiven
Hope in spite of suffering

because it is before a slaves master that he stands or falls and I will stand because it is Jesus Christ who has been made my own righteousness.
I will stand because he covers me
I will stand because he holds me up
I will stand not on my own merit, because I have none.
These are not pretty words
this is the truth
(Romans 4:14)

I despise anything else

I hate the way I feel when I am enslaved by my own sin..
It was for FREEDOM that Christ set us free!!
Therefore, do not become subject to a yoke of slavery again!!
(Galatians 5:1)

Freedom does not mean "without restraint"
I am a fish. I am made to swim.
I cannot fly, and if you put my outside of water, I will suffocate.
and yet... I have this longing in my flesh to walk on land... to feel a rush of near death
but I go too far.
I am not what I continue to try to be

I try to be my own god.
to make my own rules
wasn't that the sin for which Lucifer was banished to hell for all eternity?
He desired to be like God

I have been given a glorious position.
I am a slave to my Master
a slave to my King

My gracious, loving, merciful, all-knowing and yet still compassionate, all-powerful and yet meek
King forever
Although He has authority over life and death, He is not cruel.
He rules, but He does not abuse
He is jealous for me.
He is jealous for my love

Why in the world
would he want the love of a wicked, depraved, stupid, human being?
He has legions of angels at his command
He has creatures that their sole purpose is to sit by His throne and say, "Holy, Holy, Holy" for all eternity.

Why would He even recognize my existence?
I came from dust.
I can give Him nothing.

There are thousands of other more talented, more godly, more faithful, more worthy, more pure, more lovely, more righteous, prettier, more successful, humans... who are more willing to give Him their lives

Why does He continue to pursue me?

but that's just it...

He wants... me.

When I sit and feel worthless, and hurt... no one feels deeper pain than my King... My Creator... My Father
When I feel that I have no value or purpose to anyone... It rips His heart.. because He created me, to be His.

and in my heart I know that I was meant for Him.
I was meant to be His alone.
Nothing else satisfies me, because everything I am, every fiber of my being, longs, yearns, desires to be one with Him.

He is what can fill my shredded bleeding heart.
He is the one who can collect all of my tears into a bottle and right all the wrongs
He can take the weak, tired, frail scraps of my soul and skillfully knit them together again...
Time after time
after time
When He fixes me, and I fall again.. and He must sow me back together

He never tires of my inability to live in complete holiness, because my debt is gone.
He never runs out of the threads of grace and mercy that so colorfully decorate the fabric of my heart..
they show where I've been stitched and restitched... and restitched again

but each time there is something new, something beautiful that comes from my broken soul
and each time the master Creator repairs His creation, the more it starts to look less like a fallen soul, and resembles its intended appearance

All glory be given to My Savior.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Fight

A child needs boundaries in which to exist
Only within those boundaries can she be free

I fight.
I fight because I am comfortable
because I am afraid of what a change could mean
I kick and scream
refusing Your love

Your arms, secure around me as I fight to break lose the bonds that will bring me life
I squirm and struggle like a child used to getting her own way
and haven't I? I obey when I want to
when it is convenient

You are holding me back!
my sin gives me comfort
my sin makes me feel in control
but your arms around me as I scream are starting to show me

Restraining my flesh.
Your deepest expression of love
is to hold me back from that which is comfortable

I slowly start to understand
I am not a creature made to rule
I am not made to control

My sin has mastered me.

I am not in control
I never was.

I realize I am still fighting your embrace
I am exhausted from my attempted escape

I'm hurting myself
My legs still kicking
my arms
still thrashing
Still your grip remains strong
You will not let go

I can not fight
Your persistence
Your Love

Within your grasp
You are giving me the boundaries in which I can Live
Truly live.

I feel your arms still holding me
You are not holding to injure
my fight is what is causing me pain

My limbs finally rest within your grasp

I concede.
You have won me

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"True Discipleship" quote

This is a quote on prayer from a book I'm reading...
It's rather fantastic and I've actually been thinking a lot about prayer recently.

You can read "True Discipleship" online at

but until then... chew on this =)

“To ask, ‘In His Name,’ means to be taken by the hand and led to prayer by Him; it means, may I say, His kneeling by our side and His desires flowing through our heart. That is what it means. ‘In His Name.’ His Name is what He is, His nature, and therefore to pray in the Name of Christ must mean to pray according to His blessed will. Can I pray for evil in the Name of the Son of God? What I pray for should really be an expression of His nature. Can I do that in prayer? Prayer should breathe the power of the Holy Spirit, the mind of Christ, the desires of Christ in us and for us. The Lord teach us more and more to pray in His Name. We should not think of closing a prayer, without the very words: ‘In the blessed Name of our Lord,’ but then the whole supplication should be infiltrated by, permeated by the blessed Name of Jesus—all according to that Name”—Samuel Ridout.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

True Discipleship

These are long quotes but read them because they are very good and you'll feel convicted if you don't.

I am currently reading a book by William MacDonald called "True Discipleship."

I just read a section entitled "zeal." A true disciple of Christ is a zealot! Look at Paul =)

There were two very convicting quotations that I wanted to share. The first is a letter written by an American college student who had converted to Communism while in Mexico. The purpose of this letter was to his fiancee to explain why he had to break off their engagement.

"We Communists have a high casualty rate. We're the ones who get shot and hung and lynched and tarred and feathered and jailed and slandered, and ridiculed and fired from our jobs, and in every other way made as uncomfortable as possible. A certain percentage of us get killed or imprisoned. We live in virtual poverty. We turn back to the party every penny we make above what is absolutely necessary to keep us alive.

We Communists don't have the time or the money for many movies, or concerts, or T-bone steaks, or decent homes and new cars. We've been described as fanatics. We are fanatics. Our lives are dominated by one great overshadowing factor: the struggle for world Communism.

We Communists have a philosophy of life which no amount of money could buy. We have a cause to fight for, a definite purpose in life. We subordinate our petty personal selves into a great movement of humanity, and if our personal lives seem hard, or our egos appear to suffer through subordination to the party, then we are adequately compensated by the thought that each of us in his small way is contributing to something new and true and better for mankind.

There is one thing in which I am dead earnest and that is the Communist cause. It is my life, my business, my religion, my hobby, my sweetheart, my wife and mistress, my bread and meat. I work at it in the daytime and dream of it at night. Its hold on me grows, not lessens as time goes on. Therefore I cannot carry on a friendship, a love affair, or even a conversation without relating to this force which both drives and guides my life. I evaluate people, books, ideas and actions according to how they effect the Communist cause and by their attitude toward it. I've already been in jail because of my ideas and if necessary, I'm ready to go before a firing squad."

He's talking about Communism.

Christian, your purpose is much greater than any political ideal. You have something that is worth being zealous about.

The other quote I've been giving thought to is a description by Bishop Ryle of what "zeal" means.

"A zealous man in religion is pre-eminently a man of one thing. It is not enough to say that he is earnest, hearty, uncompromising. thorough-going, whole-hearted, fervent in spirit. He only sees one thing, he cares for one thing, he lives for one thing, he is swallowed up in one thing; and that one thing is to please God. Whether he lives, or whether he dies,--whether he has health, or whether he has sickness,--whether he is rich, or whether he is poor,--whether he pleases man, or whether he gives offense,--wether he is thought wise, or whether he is thought foolish,--whether he gets blame, or whether he gets praise,--whether he gets honor, or whether he gets shame,--for all this the zealous man cares nothing at all. He burns for one thing; and that one thing is to please God, and to advance God's glory. If he is consumed in the very burning, he cares not for it,--he is content. He feels that, like a lamp, he is made to burn; and if consumed in burning, he has but done the work for which God appointed him. Such a one will always find a sphere for his zeal. If he cannot preach, and work, and give money, he will cry, and sigh, and pray. Yes; if he is only a pauper, on a perpetual bed of sickness, he will make the wheels of sin around him drive heavily, by continually interceding against it. If he cannot fight in the valley with Joshua, he will do the work of Moses, Aaron, and Hur, on the hill. (Exod. 17:9-13) If he is cut off from working himself, he will give the Lord no rest till help is raised up from another quarter, and the work is done. This is what I mean when I speak of "zeal" in religion."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Devotional on Prayer- Oswald Chambers


"Lord, teach us to pray." Luke 11:1

It is not part of the life of a natural man to pray. We hear it said that a man will suffer in his life if he does not pray; I question it. What will suffer is the life of the Son of God in him, which is nourished not by food, but by prayer. When a man is born from above, the life of the Son of God is born in him, and he can either starve that life or nourish it. Prayer is the way the life of God is nourished. Our ordinary views of prayer are not found in the New Testament. We look upon prayer as a means of getting things for ourselves; the Bible idea of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself.

"Ask and ye shall receive." We grouse before God, we are apologetic or apathetic, but we ask very few things. Yet what a splendid audacity a childlike child has! Our Lord says - "Except ye become as little children." Ask, and God will do. Give Jesus Christ a chance, give Him elbow room, and no man will ever do this unless he is at his wits' end. When a man is at his wits' end it is not a cowardly thing to pray, it is the only way he can get into touch with Reality. Be yourself before God and present your problems, the things you know you have come to your wits' end over. As long as you are self-sufficient, you do not need to ask God for anything.

It is not so true that "prayer changes things" as that prayer changes me and I change things. God has so constituted things that prayer on the basis of Redemption alters the way in which a man looks at things. Prayer is not a question of altering things externally, but of working wonders in a man's disposition.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Some thoughts on Unity

Why is unity crucial?

God could have chosen to reveal Himself in a number of different ways. But He has chosen to use the body to bring people to Himself. He chose weak people, working together in relationship to show His infinite, unfailing love.

God is relationship. He is the trinity. The three working together in absolute submission and harmony makes up one holy, perfect God. Therefore, it makes sense that we must express our relational God through... relationships!

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us." 1 Thessalonians 2:8

Relationships are crucial to express the character of God and relationships are the foundation of unity: first a persons relationship with Christ, than their relationships with other believers.

To be unified, there must be one truth, one goal, and one purpose to unite around. A body will not see anyone saved if they unite around the purpose of having fun.

The only One to unite around is Jesus Christ!

He is worth uniting around. He gives us purpose. He is our truth. Our goal is to become like Him. He is the basis for all our relationships.

Unity is crucial because it sets Christians apart.

A unified body is like 3,000 lbs of dynamite on the gates of hell. One Christian can be a firecracker maybe, but when we work together for the purpose of the Gospel, we cannot be stopped.

Unity comes when the object is Christ.

I had the privilege of being part of a Bible study last year that was extremely unified. So each person went to the activities not because we always did really sweet stuff but because we wanted to be with each other in the body. So I hate Chinese food, but I’d go with my Bible study because I wanted to be with the body! The object wasn't Chinese food it was Christ! =)

It no longer matters what activity you're doing because the purpose is to bring God glory. Your hobbies become the hobbies of the people you are around, the people you are trying to love and the ones you are serving alongside.

"When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings." 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 (NLT)

Unity requires thinking the best of the believers you are serving with.

Unity will grow when you choose to think the best about your brothers and sisters. Satan will attack your mind on this point. You must guard your minds from thinking badly of anyone, and especially those you are serving with. You have to believe that God is just as real in someone else’s life as He is in yours. If you do not believe God is working and convicting them are you really trusting God?

Commit your brothers and sisters to the Lord!

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8

This point from Oswald Chambers daily devotional "My Utmost for His Highest" stuck with me: Sometimes God lets you know others weaknesses for the sole purpose of getting you to pray for them. You may not be able to do anything about it, but it helps your own heart to commit them to the Lord.

Unity requires taking your trials to the Lord first.

I know personally that no human being can handle the rage of emotions in my heart. The chaotic explosions in my heart can only be calmed, sorted, can only be cured and put at peace by the promises of God.

If you are asking others to handle your emotions, and be your source of comfort, you commit idolatry. Putting anyone besides Jesus Christ, between you and God is idolatry.

(See last blog for more about idolatry)

Your relationship with God does not depend on anyone else.

“For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus.”

1 Timothy 2:5

Monday, August 10, 2009

Trust. Quietly, expectantly anticipating God's goodness, or Fear?

" Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone.
He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your heart to him,
for God is our refuge."
Psalm 62:5-8 (NLT)

It seems that before school starts each year God breaks me and shows me how weak I really am. So... These are the things God has put on my heart in the past few weeks...

Change is difficult, but without change the passion and excitement of following God is sucked from your life. In my experience, when a Christian becomes comfortable with their situation they slowly cease to step out in faith and therefore end up being less effective. As a wise great commission pastor once said in a sermon, "if you want to see God come through put yourself in a position where you're in real trouble if he doesn't." Comfort is dangerous.

I think that sometimes I have a difficult time distinguishing between comfort and support. Support is often times comfortable. I've been emotional exhausted because of all the changes going on in my life this summer. They're good changes, but hard changes. So my emotions of being jealous and upset bring on emotions of frustration because the first emotions can't be cured by logic. I've been falling apart and I couldn't figure out why, but I have come to the conclusion that I was lacking support because I was not searching for my support from the right source, the only Source.
I have a tendency to put unreal pressure on the people closest to me to hold me together during difficult times. I want those people to act as funnels for me, and have them feed me strength from the Lord, however that is not only impossible, but it is actually idolatry.
Jesus Christ is the one mediator. We have access to the Father through Jesus alone! When I treat people in a manner that asks them to lead me to the Father it is putting the redeemed in the place of the Redeemer!
(I do believe that other people can direct me towards Jesus and in turn to the Father, but I am pointing out that in my life I have the tendency to ask others to do the work for me instead of actually seeking out the Father for myself.)
I want people to be my constant, but people change!
God must be my only constant, my only source. He is the only one who has the ability to enable me to live a life pleasing to Him!

The second thought I have been thinking about quite a bit in the last two days is how easy it is for me to freak out about things.
The world is utterly chaotic. People change. Relationships change as the people in them change. People's attitudes, likes, and even personalities change. Growth, which is commonly accepted as a good thing, is change! Many of the changes I've been experiencing seem to be so good for other people and so detrimental to my life. Yes, this is quite a selfish point of view. But I've felt left behind in a lot of ways and very alone. The devil likes to feed me these kind of lies, but this is what God has given me to overcome them!
God has promised me that he loves me. He loves me. He loves me.
He is also in control, whether or not I feel like it. Nothing happens outside of His will, because He is a master designer and planned all of this before the world began.
And finally, God is good. God = good. It is not just a characteristic, it is His very nature. He cannot be bad, because He is only good!

There is no problem that I can freak out about if I really believe what the Bible says about my God! So instead of coming at a problem and thinking, "Oh my goodness, what am I going to do when _____ happens and I can't handle it, and I'm alone and I feel deserted!" I can approach a problem with an attitude of, "I know that you are in control, I know you are good, and you've promised to take care of me, so I am excited to see how you are going to work this for your glory and my good!"
I have found that when I decide to trust in God's character I have an unreal amount of joy!! And the things that caused me so much pain, and all this insecurity are the things that I am the most excited about! I get to hold onto my Father's hand as He leads me into something new!! New friendships, new depths in my current relationships, and new trials that continue to refine me.
Most of all I am excited to understand how deep my Father's love is for me.
I have come to understand more of my own wretchedness and there is more than enough love pouring into my life from my Father to cover anything I could ever do!!
"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)

I am daily convinced more and more that He is the only reality and the only Truth.
Praise God!