Sunday, September 30, 2012

Overwhelmed In A Good Way

First from God through the Sons of Korah:
Psalm 84 (ESV)

How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.

Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise!

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
As they go through the Valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
each one appears before God in Zion.

O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob!
Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed!

For a day in your courts is better 
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the Lord God is a sun and a shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you!

Second from me:

The Lord has been moving in my heart and I'm beginning to grasp this truth: 
"No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly". 

He has been turning my heart to make my prayer,
"I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness."

Honestly, I'm positively tickled by the fact that my favorite bird, the sparrow shows up in this chapter! 

Our God is so worthy of our trust and of our praise. He is a sun, bringing light to the world. He is a shield, bringing protection from the enemy. He sees me whole, holy and made perfect through the blood of Christ Jesus, his anointed. And because of Christ, I am brought near to the sinless, Almighty God. I am allowed into the courts of the living God. 

Whenever I meditate on these things, David's exclamation from Psalm 139 bursts from my heart, "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me!"

Knowing I can believe these truths found in the infallible Word of God makes any day a good day. 

Overwhelmed, but in a good way,

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

With a Backward Glance...

Last week I found this written in a journal from November 2008.
“I just now realized my prayer of June 23rd has been coming true. God answered my “growing up” request by letting things NOT go the way I want and making me take [life] by the horns and deal with it. Wow. God answered that prayer, and I’ve been complaining. How stupid of me. I guess this is all just part of the growing process.”

I remember that day, reading backwards through my journals and seeing all the difficulties I recorded going through, and then I found my prayer to be grown written at the very beginning of all of those trials. I remember being hit with the realization that God was answering my prayer and I hadn’t even recognized it.

Thinking about that again today, I am in awe of the fact that God would hang on to me, and continue to work on me, even when I was essentially accusing him for putting me through the growth I asked for. He is so patient and loving, I can hardly believe it!

I love to journal, and while it’s so very important to not “live in the past” (because I’ll miss out on today), some great things that can come from re-visiting where we’ve been are:

  1. We will be reminded of things God has already taught us -- that we may or may not still be applying to life.
  2. We can see where God has taken us from and be encouraged to see where He’s brought us to.
  3. We can use our experiences from times gone by to bless, encourage or challenge others.

It’s always amazing and humbling and encouraging and convicting to read through my own life. There’s times when I thought I had it all together, and I laugh because I SO didn’t. There’s times I was completely broken and depleted and turned to all the wrong sources before turning to God, the true source of healing and fulfillment. It’s hard to read over some of that, but it’s always a helpful reminder to not go that path again. Then, there are all the WOW stories. The times I had faith and God moved. The blessings and even miracles I’ve experienced. The little things God did for me that I don’t always remember off the top of my head. Like a great conversation with a friend, or an answer to a deep question or desire coming at just the right time. Reading all of this brings the desire to get deeper into my relationship with God... and to see what He will do next.

I encourage you to reflect on the work God has done in your life, and thank Him for it! Then press on, refreshed in Him!
 If you can’t see any works, I would encourage you to turn to God with a willing heart and ask Him to work in you. Then, watch as He moves.
If you don’t have a personal relationship with God, none of this will be possible. I ache for you, because without God, life is so empty and futile... no matter how “fine” it may seem right now. I beg you to seek Him. He is so good, so loving, so caring and so much more than I can even describe. And He longs to show himself to you, He desires a personal relationship with you. He loves you.

Mmmhmmm. Mmmmmmmhmmmm.