Thursday, September 11, 2008
Isaiah 6:13b Israel will remain a stump, like a tree that is cut down, but the stump will be a holy seed that will grow again.
Something I read this morning.....
Isaiah 9:2 For God will break the chains that bind his people and the whip that scourges them.....
Isaiah 9:10 In their pride and arrogance they say, "Our land lies in ruins now, but we will rebuild it better than before.....
**what He breaks, He does not want ME to rebuild....rest in Him, and He will rebuild it as He intended in the first place.....before I messed it all up.
2 Corinthians 12:9 Each time He said, "My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me.
**rest in His gracious favor...it's all I NEED.
HIS POWER is made known in my weakness.
Break me down, Father....whatever it looks like.
I pray an open heart, obedient to what you call...
Rebuild as you will.....make me anew in You.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
“For love is as strong as death, and its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame. Many waters cannot quench love; neither can rivers drown it.” (Song of Songs 8:6b-7a, NLT)
May this be an encouraging reminder of His pursuance of your heart and desire for your affections…
Know that the first time I read this, I was bent to read it with worldly eyes…desiring what any woman wants from a man that pursues her heart…which are all good things (a strong, enduring, purifying, unquenchable love that will not drown, but withstand the test of time…one that challenges us…edifies to make us holier). But as I prayed through it, allowing the Scriptures to read and align my heart with His, I realized God was wanting me to see a picture of how HE is a pursuer of my heart. Humbled and incredibly thankful, I re-read with new eyes…and received a fuller heart.
A few personal thoughts here…
Love is as strong as death.
Death is final. Complete. Nothing halfway…when it’s done, it’s done.
He died on the cross for me. This is love. True, final, complete Love.
Its jealousy as enduring (unyielding; NIV) as the grave.
We cannot stop the grave from coming…each second, one second closer to our death. No slowing it down. Love’s jealousy is the same way…unyielding, that it will stop at nothing. The Lord is jealous of our hearts being anyone’s but His. He wants our deepest desires, innermost longings, and uninhibited affections…and he will stop at nothing to draw us nearer to Him.
Love flashes like fire.
His love is passionate…like the roar of flashing fire. Ever just stared at fire? Amazing.
His love purifies us. His wrath-absorbing sacrifice on the cross makes us holy and blameless in God’s eyes… a saint. His love, a refiner’s fire.
Waters cannot quench love.
I pray my thirst for Him is never quenched. I was once told in VBS when I was little, that I had a “God-shaped hole in my heart that only God could fill.” It’s shaped only for Him to fit. Nothing can “quench that thirst” or “fill that hole” (if you will) but Him. Until the day He calls me home, I’ll long for the fulfillment and completeness of my One True Love.
Rivers cannot drown it.
A river’s flow is of a definite course…but even it’s strong current cannot drown or wash away this Love.
Nothing I do can separate me from the love of Christ Jesus. Nothing. Period.
Thank you, Lord, for being an intimate pursuer of my heart…and for teaching me what the pursuance of my heart should look like.
Strong, intentional, unyielding, passionate, pure, withstanding all…a love that makes me holier.
Your Love for me does not have to be worked for, but rested in. You’ve already fought for my heart, and now long for the return of it’s affections.
I pray you have ALL of my desires and affections…my WHOLE heart. Be my Beloved.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Again, I haven’t posted here lately. I’m always reading. Always writing. Always having good conversations. Always learning. I desire to be better at sharing on here…
Within the last three weeks, my summer vacation ended with a screeching halt. If you know me, you know that this past summer was a summer of rejuvenation for me…mind, body, and spirit. I read, read, read…worked out…spent MUCH quality time with old/new friends…lots of lunches and coffee shop time….lots of just sittin and thinkin…just learning to live in each moment and took life as it came. Was amazing. Refreshing. A good season for me…and one that was overdue. And then school came. I must admit I’m usually a fan of structure and organization…however, this summer I really got used to “taking things in stride…moment-to-moment.” So, with the rush of starting school and becoming extremely busy with the “to-do’s” of life, while getting my wisdom teeth extracted and attending the Launch Retreat right smack in the middle of it, I began feeling that my summer of rejuvenation was being quickly depleted and sleep deprivation a constant companion.
However, all that to say, my heart remains at peace.
Amongst the chaos of life around me, the busyness of “to-do’s,” the lack of sleep in the last few weeks, etc., I have an inner-calm. A peace that transcends all understanding. A peace that guards my heart and mind. I have Him. I can’t remember a time of late that I could honestly say this. And say it with full conviction. PTL, my friends. My summer of rejuvenation was a summer of stillness at His Feet…a summer of just “being.” The intimate time spent just being with Him, and nothing of my doing or attempting to attain (which I’m all too guilty of), results in my ability to claim Philippians 4:4-7. I rejoice in Him.
So…as not to write an entire novel, and attempt to stay in theme, I will give a small nugget of something He revealed to me at Launch.
We spent time in Jonah…discussing how Jonah ran from the Lord and His call of him into Nineveh, escaping towards “Tarshish.”
“Tarshish”—Jonah’s place of “hiding” or “comfort”
What is my “Tarshish?” I asked myself. Well, my place of “hiding and comfort” for nearly 20 years of my life was just that…“hiding.” Hiding in who my friends and relationships told me I was, rather than just being me. It was more comfortable to just be what they needed, rather than run the risk of being myself and not being able to live up to their standards and needs/wants, perform adequately for their acceptance, or just “fit in.” And I questioned and came to realization within the last year, whether it was truly my friends/family who had these standards set before me, or if I am really just my own worst enemy?
Ok, so God sends a storm…and Jonah sleeps.
God pressed upon and stirred within my heart so many times….praise Him that while I “slept,” knowing He was calling me to awake in His truth, HE IS FAITHFUL…because I was not.
And the storm gets worse. Should Jonah be thrown over, as to save the other men on the boat from harm? Jonah would rather DIE than conform to the Lord’s call. Rather DIE, or risk death, than go to Nineveh.
I lived a life of death before knowing Christ. Materialistic, self-centered, hope in fleeting things…chasing what I was told would produce happiness and fulfillment, but only full of emptiness (oxymoron, it seems), disappointment, and despair. I thought it was living, but LIFE I was far from.
So, they still attempt to row forward in their own strength, against the will of God, but it is useless.
I’ll just say “self-sufficiency.” Have to come to the end of myself EVERY morning….humbled that I can’t, and thankful that He can, will, and does.
So, finally Jonah is thrown overboard and swallowed by a large fish. It was there Jonah PRAYED to the Lord his God….Jonah 2 (don’t just read it…personally pray this one on your knees…it’s a good one).
Now the Lord commanded the fish to VOMIT Jonah onto dry land. And finally, at the Lords’ second call of the same thing, Jonah goes to Nineveh.
My Nineveh…stepping out of hiding due to my own insecurities, and BEING who He’s designed me to be. Period. Security in Him alone. I will not be ashamed of who I am, because I am His…and I stand proudly, yet completely humbled (another somewhat oxymoron) in the fact that He’d have me as His own.
**Thank you, Abba Father, for being a pursuer of my heart…faithful to take me to whatever ends you must, in order to get my sometimes stubborn, many times selfish, and always war-waging heart to be broken and open to what You call…and to helping me to know how to BELIEVE and TRUST in your promises to the point of FOLLOWING and PRAISING with a heart and spirit of JOY.
It’s your turn, friends…
What is YOUR “Tarshish?” And YOUR “Nineveh?”
And you know me, I’d love for you to share your story…