Wednesday, January 30, 2013

His Word Melts Ice

He sends forth 
His commandment to the earth;
His word runs very swiftly...
He sends out His word and 
melts ice and snow.
He declares His word to me.
Psalm 147
The promises of God are good.
They speak of abundance, peace, 
pleasures, healing, faithfulness, provision.
Sometimes my feelings tell a different story.
My feelings sometimes lie about God's promises.
They want me to line up with lack.
But His word melts ice and snow;
it melts feelings and everything
that is not in alignment with
His thoughts and His truth.
"Let God be true this day
and every circumstance and feeling
be false and a liar"
that He may be glorified.

I am grateful for His words which have helped
melt wrong thoughts, wrong focus and lies.
May the words of my mouth and the 
thoughts of my heart bless Your name, Lord.
And may all these pages be as psalms--
the expression of a heart wrestling through
all of life to continually discover 
the truth that is found in You.
May Your words continue to melt
any hard and cold places in me.
I want to live out of that
grateful and humble place of worship.
Lead me beside still waters.
Refresh and restore my life.
Lead me in the paths of righteousness
for Your name's sake.
Surely only goodness, mercy and unfailing love
shall follow me all the days of my life,
and Your house will be my dwelling place.
And by Your grace and mercy, 
I will be a dwelling place for You.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

I Turn My Eyes

Lord, I look up to You,
up to heaven, where You rule.
I turn my eyes toward You.
As a servant depends on his master 
and a maid depends on her mistress,

so I will keep looking to You, O Lord my God,
until You have mercy on me.
Be merciful to me, Lord, be merciful.
Psalm 123
I keep hearing the Lord say,
Look only at Me.
I am preparing a release of blessing
that you cannot see in the natural plane.
You have prayed and you have stood,
and now I am answering.
Continue to look to Me and
pray into the dimension where I am.
Circumstances in the natural want to
dictate your attitude and deflate your faith.
But I say, your faith belongs
to a different dimension.
And I am authoring a new chapter of faith.
Because I am going to allow you to see
from My vantage point.
Although this release may not be 
in this moment tangibly,
it is of this moment spiritually.
Through your prayers, I will connect
heaven and earth so that
the tangible and the spiritual merge.
Wow, I have a sense of knowing this in my spirit,
when I am sitting with Him and hearing His voice
and sensing His presence and His love.
But then I stand in the day
and see the rain, the gray, the routine,
the challenges and the trials,
and my thoughts don't line up with this knowing.
Nothing can really break through all this.
It really isn’t ever going to look much different.
As often as I must, I disagree with those thoughts.
And I rehearse the psalm over and over.
I turn my eyes to You, Lord.
My faith in this moment matters.
You are all I need.
And anything good that I want
must come from You.
It is the only thing that 
brings no regret
and has eternal purpose.
Lord, have mercy on me.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Guarding My Heart

Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance 
and above all that you guard, 
for out of it flow the springs of life.
Prov 4:23
The Hebrew word for heart is leb and is translated 
throughout Scripture as heart, mind and will.
The Hebrew mindset never separated
the heart from the mind.
We need to guard our hearts, 
which includes our minds,
because everything flows from
the way we think or feel.
I need to be on guard today.
There are so many thoughts
 vying for my attention.
In the presence of Jesus,
I am filled with peace and hope.
But I can get distracted even in the midst 
of presence, and thoughts of discouragement 
and anxiousness come flooding in.
I refocus and ask for His grace
to hold me in the moment.

I am struggling to keep my mind fixed today.
There is a narrow path my thoughts must walk
and I am fighting to stay on that path.
There is much encouragement and direction
to be received from His Word,
both the written and the softly spoken rhema.
He whispers to me that He is able to walk me 
along the path of right thinking today.
And He points me to Philippians
to rehearse strategy and get a game plan.
Whatever is true, worthy of reverence, 
honorable, just, pure, lovely, lovable, 
kind, and gracious, 
if there is any virtue and excellence, 
if there is anything worthy of praise, 
think on and take into account these things: 
fix your mind on them.
I choose to fix my mind today
according to His word.
Resting in His mercy and enabling grace, 
I will guard my heart above all else, 
trusting that He will cause abundant 
springs of life to flow this day.
Lord, bind my wandering heart to Thee!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Only Jesus

But the person of faith who can go alone 

into the wilderness and get on her knees 
and command heaven—God is in that. 
The one who is willing to put herself 
in a place where she must get the answer 
from God and God alone—
the Lord is in that... 
AW Tozer, Faith Beyond Reason

There are times when God
clearly orchestrates circumstances,
and I know that I know that 
it really comes down
to me and Jesus.
I cannot go to anyone for answers.
I cannot search out counsel from friends.
I cannot allow myself to sit in the noise.
I need to get into the wilderness
and get on my knees,
to a place where God
is the only one who can speak.

I know this on many levels.
But today I am knowing this
on a level deeper still.
No one can help me.
Not because my issues
are too big for anyone else.
But because God has orchestrated
circumstances not meant for anyone else.
He means for me to come to Him.
To be still before Him,
with my eyes fixed on Him alone.
I don’t need to do anything.
I just need to be,
believing that He is ministering
to my soul at a deep level.
Bringing His peace and His rest.
Pouring out His bread of life and
rivers of living water.
Be still my soul.
Your God is near.

For He satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.
Psalm 107:9

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Loving Our Enemies

But I say, love your enemies! 
Pray for those who persecute you! 
In that way, you will be acting as 
true children of your Father in heaven. 
He sends rain on the just
 and the unjust alike...
You are to be perfect, 
as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Matthew 5:44-48
Jesus tells us to love our enemies 
and pray for those who persecute us 
so that we may act as Father' children. 
He then commands us to be perfect.
The link is love.
When His Father causes the rain to fall,
He doesn't orchestrate it
to touch only those who love Him.
He doesn't keep His enemies in the dust.
"He comes like the rain."
Hosea 6:3
He continually demonstrates His love, 
unoffendable and unmoved by others.
He orchestrates circumstances and 
allows us to be offended and moved by others
that we might learn to make a decision to love.
Those decisions hold us until He can
form in us the nature of love.
That we may be like Him.

He IS love, consistently sending 
sun and rain down on all people.
We are to be a demonstration 
of this same love-- 
so attached to the principle of love,
that we can easily give His rain
to everyone we meet.
Whether friend or foe, 
whether like us in every way 
or as far as the east is from the west,
we love them as His children,
perfect even as our Father is perfect.

We do this impossible thing
by fixing our eyes on Jesus,
author and finisher of our love,
alive to all He wants us to do
and all those He wants us to love 
this very day.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Keeping Our Minds Set

Since you have been raised with Christ...
set your minds, and keep them set,
on things above, not on earthly things. 
See things from His perspective.
For you died, and your life is now 
hidden with Christ in God. 
He is your life.
Colossians 3:1,2,3
You really don't have to remind 
dead people that they are dead.
Physical death is one time announcement.
But Paul is not talking about physical death,
and he is having to remind the people 
that they have died.
Remember? Remember you died?
Our minds have a mind of their own.
We resurrect ourselves on a daily basis.
We died and our life is hidden with Christ.
We resurrect and our life becomes our own.
And we don't always know 
which life we are living.
Since I have been raised with Christ...
I have died and He is my life.
I cannot afford to have another perspective.
I know this in my "spirit mind."
But my "going through the day mind" forgets.
I need to not only set my mind;
I need to keep it set.
When I say, Jesus, You are my life,
I want a witness with the life I am living.
So today, I remind myself as often as need be
that my life is hidden with Christ,
and I want to see everything 
from that vantage point.
Every single thing that crosses my path,
every single thing that crosses my mind.
Lord, may I not resurrect my dead life today.
Help me keep my mind set on things above,
where truly I am seated with You.
You are my life.
I don't want that to simply be my confession.
I want that to be the life I live.
It is the only one worth living.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Answer to a Different Question

As He passed along, He noticed 
a man blind from his birth.
His disciples asked, Rabbi, who sinned, 
this man or his parents, that he was born blind?
Jesus answered, It was not that 
this man or his parents sinned, 
but he was born blind in order that 
the workings of God should be 
displayed and illustrated in his life.
John 9:1-3
The disciples came upon a blind man
and the first question was,
Whom shall we judge?
They asked Jesus the "complex question."
It was based on an affirmative answer
to a question that hadn't been asked.
It apparently didn't cross their minds to ask
whether judgment was even needed.
The disciples only saw two options:
The man sinned or the parents sinned.
They asked their Teacher.
His answer was shocking.
It wasn't A or B.
It was from a whole different answer key.
He answered the question they didn't ask.

He was born blind that God might have
one whom He could display His workings.
That option wasn't even in the
realm of possibility for them.
God was displaying His workings
in the blind man and they were blind to it.

We are like them in so many ways.
We see others that are different
and we immediately want to judge.
We often ask the wrong questions.
He doesn't always answer 
the questions we are asking.
He answers the one we need to ask.

The disciples were simply "passing along."
And God was trying to display His glory.
Am I willing to look for His glory in others
as I am "passing along" in my day?
My confession is that I am 
most often the blind one.
My prayer is that I begin to see
the glory that passes me by every day.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Life of Love

God is love...
In this union and communion with Him,
love attains perfection because
as He is, so are we in this world.
And this is the command from Him:
that he who loves God 
shall love his brother also.
1John 4:8,17,21
Loving God and loving man
are so intricately connected that God says 
you can't have one without the other.
We have all had those days when we said,
God, I love You.
It's people that really get me.
It is definitely easier to be holy alone.
But God wants us to be like Him,
and He loves people.
As He is, so are we in this world.
That messes with me.
If God IS love, 
my expression of Him must BE love.
In fact, He commands me to love like Him.
If you love Me, you must love your brother.
This great truth I know:
I cannot do that, not 24/7.
But, this great invitation:
Come and die that you might truly live.
The degree to which I allow His life
to be expressed through mine
is the degree to which I am like Him.

If any person wills to come after Me, 
let him give up himself and 
take up his cross daily and follow Me,
conforming wholly to My example.
Luke 9:23

We get so caught up in political agendas
and cultural mountain climbing;
we forget that we are the expression 
of His love in this world.
I desperately want to see 
His Kingdom come on earth.
Jesus taught me to pray for that.
But He commanded me to love.
And to die that I might follow Him
and conform to His example.
His grace points me to the cross.
I am so grateful that He made a way
for us to truly live a life of love.