Tag Archives: humility

Not About Survival But REVIVAL!

Praying for my city

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” John 12:24

Survival: “The state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances.”

Revive: “Restore to life or consciousness…regain life, consciousness, or strength.”

For the majority of my life I would selfishly do whatever I could to survive in this world. This ranged from getting a higher education, making a six-figure salary and people pleasing. Whenever I encountered an adversity in my life I would ‘pull myself up from my bootstraps’ and press on to survival. It’s different for me now.

The closer I walk with Jesus Christ, the more is revealed about what is the hope of His calling, and the riches of His inheritance. I have learned my inheritance is not of this world. I am learning to set my mind on heavenly things and to release the white knuckle grip I’ve had on trying to survive in this world. I am no longer comfortable with survival because I want revival!

In order to revive something it must be DEAD first! That’s probably what my Lord Jesus Christ meant when He said:

“…If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” Luke 9:23

The NLT Bible translates ‘deny himself’ to ‘turn from your selfish ways’. This is great news: with a daily death comes daily revival by the power of God’s Holy Spirit.

I am learning the more I surrender my will, which includes my plans, purposes, reputation and schedule, the more God can work in and through me for His purposes. I’m learning to turn from my selfish survival mode to God’s Spirit revival mode:

Survival says: Revival says
*I want to keep my life for myself *I lose my life for the sake of Christ
*I must save myself *I entrust my life to God
*I don’t want to get hurt *I will share in the sufferings of Christ
*I want others to like me *I will share in the persecutions of Christ
*I can’t lose *I will gain Christ
*Promote yourself *I will deny myself
*Hold a tight grip on material possessions *I will give generously and sacrificially
*Clench your fists *I will surrender with open palms
*Cling to the world *I will cling to the Word of God (Jesus Christ)
*Stay on the ledge of legalism *I will float in the depths of God’s grace
*It’s OK to have a callous heart *Pierce and soften my heart God
*It’s about me *It’s about God’s kingdom
*Seek money and things of this world *Seek God’s kingdom and righteousness
*Be a slave to the law *Live in freedom in Christ
*Live safe *Live adventurously yielded to the Holy Spirit
*I must trust in manipulation * I will wait on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit

I don’t want to survive, I want to revive!

But let me be purely transparent with you…it’s not as easy as I say it. My flesh cries out, “survive…it’s about what you want…” This ‘battle’ begins every morning.

Each morning I have the opportunity to be revived when my alarm goes off.  I have a choice: wake up, humble and die to myself and meet with my Father through my Lord Jesus Christ fixing my eyes on Him, to receive His anointing for His kingdom assignment He has prepared for me, or quench the Holy Spirit and sleep in because my ‘flesh’ desires it.  It’s my ‘free will’ choice.

By God’s grace, I’m learning to kindle afresh the fire within me and reap the rewards of crucifying my flesh while yielding to the power of the Holy Spirit, thus experiencing His life abundant!  It is as Jesus Christ has said,

For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 16:25

Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the LIFE no one can come to the Father but through Him!

Authentic revival comes after our death and God’s breath in us. Only then will we bear authentic kingdom fruit, for the Spirit must come BEFORE the fruit!

May we the Church take up the cross daily and follow Jesus Christ not struggling to survive but surrendering and humbling ourselves waiting for God to revive us!

“And it shall be said, “Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every obstacle out of the way of My people.” For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:14-15


A Friend Loves At All Times

“If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15“For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. 16“Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17“If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. John 13:14-17

If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.”  John 13:14-15

It was one of those days…dirty dishes and clothes piled high, filthy toilets and sinks, with a heart heavily burdened by the hurts in the world. I felt crushed and overwhelmed. The phone rings revealing my God given friend asking to stop by for a visit. I say yes!

My pride tempts me to rush around to tidy up the house and heart, and to forge a smile on my face…but I surrender to humility.  When she walks in, the Light is bright and the fire within her is intense for the love of Christ, and she shares Him with me, unknowing what was going on in my heart.  She’s never seen my hands ‘down’ before.

A simple request for a sandwich from my children brings a flow of anxiety and she ‘sees.’ She sees my brokenness and overwhelmed heart—the Holy Spirit in her takes over.  She makes my children lunch, washes my dishes, cleans my daughter’s room and even braids my daughter’s hair.  I share with her convictions in my heart and she listens.  She doesn’t try to ease those convictions or make me feel better but allows the Holy Spirit do His work in my heart.

She doesn’t try to say I’m a good person but washes my feet with God’s Word reminding me of Jesus Christ, what He has done, how we are dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  She lifts my weary arms to worship reminding me of the living hope we have in Christ and the joy that is ours. She takes me to the throne of grace and helps me to touch the robe I wear.  We pray, confessing and asking for godly sorrow and repentance knowing God’s grace is there for the taking. After we pray my Light is shining bright, and I am stirred to love and good deeds. I remember whose I am.

I see.  I ‘see’ brokenness is good.  Brokenness reveals and exposes my weaknesses and brokenness allowed me to see just how much love has been poured out in my friends’ heart. I’m thankful for this gift of friendship and for the love my friend has for Jesus Christ…and for me. Thank you my ‘pink friend who loves red letters‘ you are blessed indeed!

 “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17


R.I.P ‘Today’!

“Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen” Romans 15:33

Rest In Peace (RIP) is an acronym most often seen on tombstones at cemeteries.  The truth is we don’t have to wait until we are physically dead to rest in peace, we can have rest for our souls in God’s peace ‘Today’! Jesus Christ said:

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”(Matthew 11:28)

Rest is defined, “to cause or permit one to cease from any movement or labour in order to recover and collect his strength; calm, refresh

If we come to Jesus Christ and walk and learn from Him, we will find rest for our souls! Jesus uses the word picture example of yoking ourselves to Him.  A yoke is “wooden beam used between pair of oxen to enable them to pull together on a load when working in a pair.” Jesus says;

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)

This rest for our souls is not laziness or stagnation or free from burdens, but rather resting in the finish work of Jesus Christ.

We join Jesus in lovingly plowing and preparing the hearts of others to receive the seed (God’s Word) and working alongside Jesus in the plentiful harvest.

If your souls are not resting in peace there are many possible reasons; here are a few:

“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you…”Acts 3:19-20

  • You have not turned from your ways and to God’s ways and rested in Him (Isaiah 30:15)
  • You are not waiting on the Lord, asking for His path and walking in it (Jeremiah 6:16)
  • You have hardened your heart to the voice of God going astray in your heart and do not know God’s ways (Hebrews 3:7-11)
  • You are being disobedient and unbelieving (Hebrews 3:18-19)
  • You are not being diligent to enter into the Sabbath rest for the people of God; For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath (Hebrews 4:9-11; Matthew 12:8)
  • You are not connected to Jesus Christ the One True Vine that brings the fruit of the Spirit (John 15:5 Galatians 5:22-23)
  • You have a proud heart, haughty eyes, are involved with great matters, or things too difficult for you, and have misplaced your hope–you have placed your hope in yourself, other things or people and not in The Lord (Psalm 131)

I can share these Scriptures because these are the ones God has used to slice me open to show me the thoughts and intentions of my heart, to show me when and why I am not resting in the ‘Guardian of my soul’. I am praying we rest in God’s perfect peace on the finished work of the Cross; Not what we do but what’s been done! I rejoice my name is written in the book of life, love has been poured into my heart and I can’t help but mourn for those that do not yet personally know the One True God and Jesus Christ Whom He has sent.

By God’s grace I get to join my Savior in step with His Holy Spirit to be a worker in the harvest ~ that is a worker empowered by His Spirit knowing it is God who works in and through me for His pleasure for He also does not wish that any should perish but that all would come to repentance and enter into His rest.

Yoke yourself to the Lord of Sabbath and you will feel His presence inside and “By Your Side”.

“…the LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.  For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.” Isaiah 30:18

“Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.  But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end.” Hebrews 3:12-14

“So Jesus said to them, ‘Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you’. And when He had said this He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” John 20:21-22


Repented of Salvation Ambition: Remembering We Sow, He Grows

Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.” (Ecclesiastes 11:5)

My son recently lost his first tooth! When it was first loose I asked him if he wanted us to pull it out and he gently replied,

“No mama, I want don’t want anyone to mess with it. I want it to come out when it’s time.”

Those last few words stayed in my heart: “when it’s time…”

I thought of how I usually don’t ‘wait’ for the appointed time whatever ‘it’ is.  I’m usually eager to get ‘it’ done! It is from this habit I have another confession…

Confession:

I can become easily distracted and try to rush the salvation of others.

I never thought witnessing could turn into selfish ambition but it can—I now call it “salvation ambition.”  I realize it’s harder with my family because I want them to know God and Jesus Christ so badly, I sometimes over step my boundaries by looking away from Jesus Christ to myself or to their walks with Him.  I anxiously want to know my role, my part in their salvation.

I receive God’s gentle correction when I read John 21:1-23:

Peter had just told Jesus he loved Him and was given instructions to tend and shepherd the lambs and sheep of Jesus Christ and to FOLLOW JESUS but Peter still asks:

Lord, who is the one who betrays You?….Lord, and what about this man?” (20,21)

Peter gets distracted…

What was Jesus’ response?

“…If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!”

God has been using these passages for the past 2 years to help discipline my walk with Him and stop looking at the walks of others.  Jesus is the path—the Way the Truth and the Life and I need to watch Him and do not look to the left or right but keep my eyes fixed on Him, the Author and Perfecter of faith.

Examining and ‘judging’ the walks of others in my flesh has been a temptation and distraction and I repent…that is one of the reasons I am off Facebook.  God has convicted me to put my face in His book and write about my faith in a book for my children {my journal} to share the stones of remembrances He has given our family.

God has reminded me my role in evangelism and making disciples is to share the Gospel, tend His sheep and lambs, and follow Him.

As I follow Jesus Christ, will there be distractions? Yes! They come in many forms; one for me is selfish ambition.  For example I want my children to be saved.  I ask Jesus, ‘will they be the ones to betray You?”  Jesus responds, “If I want {them} to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!”

I humbly say to my Savior since nothing is hidden from Him:

But I’m their mama and I love them, and their salvation matters to me because I want them to love and know You, I want them to live with you forever.” There was the selfish “salvation ambition”:

I. Want.

Jesus Christ reminds me the cost of being His disciple:

“…If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”  Matthew 16:24

Did you catch that? BEFORE I can FOLLOW Jesus Christ I must deny myself…take up my cross (crucify myself) THEN Follow Him.  That means deny my ‘selfish ambitions.’

I ask God, “what about when you say to make disciples of all nations?”

He reminds me the making of disciples is not done in my strength but true disciple making is done in His power, the power of His Holy Spirit.  He can use me when I am obedient and empty myself and am filled with His Spirit.  When I am His vessel filled with His Spirit my utterances are His; I don’t move until He tells me to move.

I have a new perspective…

·         My vision is Jesus Christ

·         My goal is obedience to God

·         The strategy: The Holy Spirit

The goal is not forcing salvation on others like my children, the goal is obeying Jesus Christ by humbling myself everyday and following Him.

I must follow Jesus Christ, listen to Him, trust and obey Him so that I can tend the lambs (my children) He has given me and I can intercede and pray for them and ask God to give me opportunities to share the Gospel in deed and truth with them, knowing only He enlightens people, and shines into their hearts giving them understanding of His Word.  Only He draws others to Himself.  God does use human vessels (believers) but it is done in His strength so that the “surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves”.

So what is my assignment?

The truth is, God wants them to come to Him too {Matthew 18:14; 2 Peter 3:9;}. I need to trust in God, hope in Him, wait on His timing and be patient and pray. When the opportunity to be the hands and feet and mouth of Jesus Christ comes I am compelled to sow and water the seeds as He leads praying He will cause a growth.

Jesus I am resting, resting…

So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.” 1 Corinthians 3:7-9


Incredible Hulk or Incredible Walk?

“…walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” Galatians 5:16

One day as I watched my son play with the Incredible Hulk action figure, I asked myself:

“Are my kids seeing the incredible hulk or an incredible walk?”

When I was a little girl I was nicknamed ‘little hulk’ because anytime I would get angry I would get a stiff neck, clench my fists, shake and growl.  Instead of turning green I would turn red. My sisters would give a warning to those around, “watch out here comes the incredible hulk!”  My sisters and I look back and laugh at those days…the days I was a strong willed child and did not submit easily.

Today I am not that child, and behavior like that is inexcusable because I have been reborn and I am spiritually alive! The day I submitted to God He gave me a new heart and put His Holy Spirit in me and tells me the way to walk.  I want to be a witness for God and pray my children remember an incredible walk with God, not the ‘incredible hulk’ in me.

This is easier said than done because I still struggle with my flesh…my pride and own selfish desires and expectations, but the more I seek God the more He equips me to identify the signs of when the ‘hulk’ in me is coming out. When my neck is stiff, heart races, hands begin to clench and my voice changes I know it’s time for me to step away and be alone with my Heavenly Father.  I fall on my face and cry out to my Abba for help, asking Him for the grace to walk by His Spirit and to obey Him.  He ALWAYS helps when I am not stiff necked and humble myself–ALWAYS. It’s up to me whether I unclench my hands to receive His grace or not.

God’s Word washes over my heart and reminds me I have already been set free:

“…you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.  But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.  If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.  But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.  So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Romans 8:9-14

I am a daughter of God.  I am made holy by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I am not in the flesh because the Spirit of God dwells in me.  I am to walk by the Holy Spirit because He lives in me! This is a disciplined life, a life of a disciple of Jesus Christ, one who walks with Him.

Today my children are learning through me what it means to walk by the Spirit.  They are learning the Spirit must come before the “fruit.” We are learning together the ‘incredible walk’ is not a perfect walk but a walk of humility, discipline and faith.  I tell them, “Mommy feels the hulk coming on, I’m going to go pray and be alone with God, I’ll be right back.”  They understand.  I pray one day they will be blessed with the spiritual understanding and knowledge only God can provide.

I am praying for you reader.  If you are still in full bondage of being a hulk I pray God shows you His power and love of what He has done by sending Jesus Christ as an offering for sin, condemning sin in the flesh.

For those that are already children of God, my brethren I pray these Scriptures for us:

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” Galatians 5:16

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25

“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. “1 John 1:8-9

*More Bread to feast on: Romans 7 Romans 8; Galatians 5:16-25; 1 Corinthians 13:11


Which Way Do They Go?

“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”Proverbs 22:6

We were at a closing ceremony for Vacation Bible School when God reminded me how He has blessed me with two entirely opposite children.

The impeccably dressed kids were parading down the aisle of the Church, when my daughter comes out in a beautiful dress walking with proper posture, smiling and going into her assigned spot in the far left corner.  My son on the other hand, wore cotton pajama shorts and a white T-shirt with flip flops and bounced down the aisle heading to his assigned spot in the far right side.  As he tried to move next to the only other boy, two girls created a wall and he joyfully accepted their refusal and turned around and nearly knocked over a huge vase next to him.

When they began singing my daughter sang loudly, doing the hand motions perfectly and smiling with the exception of when she found the time to tell the older girl next to her to scoot over because she needed more room.

My son. He was trying to keep up with the hand motions but you can tell he had a hard time hearing, and he turned around at one point and faced the children and began to pick his bottom in front of the entire audience.  When it came time for the team cheer my daughter said it in unison.  My son was oblivious when his team cheered and when it was silent jumped in the air and yelled, “Go Judah!” All. By. Himself. The audience roared with laughter.

My reaction?

Laughter. I am thankful I was able to laugh. I am thankful it was a day I was not prideful as a mother but humble.  It was a day I chose not to make it about me, or what others thought.  It was a day I chose to accept my children for how God uniquely created them.

I must confess that’s not always the case, but I’m thankful for God’s inspired Word that reminds me:

“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”Proverbs 22:6

This does not say to train up a child in the way I think he should go.  I have fought many useless battles with my son and daughter to try to conform them to the way I think they should go.  The majority of these battles derived from my pride.  I cared what others thought of my children and of me as a mother.  I let my insecurities of motherhood dictate how I raised my children, until I remembered: we all belong to God.  Since He is the Creator I asked Him, “which way do they go?”  Especially since I have two completely opposite children…how do I know which way is the ‘right’ way? Again, God answers through His Word:

The word “Train up” means:

“To narrow; discipline, to dedicate of a house or temple”

And “in the way he should go” means:

‘according to his way’

This means to train them, discipline them in the way God has uniquely designed them.

I have pondered what this means for my children and this is what God has revealed to me:

That has been the foremost training my husband and I have been focusing on for the past two years.  We have dedicated our children to the Lord and have made a vow to train and teach them as God commands in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. We are teaching them the primary ‘Way’ to go, leading them to Jesus Christ each day.

However, God has also uniquely designed them, and blessed them with talents He wants them to use to glorify Him.  He has created them with a purpose and He knows the plans He has for them, but how do I know ‘the way they should go’?

The best way for me to know how He uniquely created them is to pray for wisdom and ask God to show me.  I ask God for wisdom on how I can cultivate an atmosphere to encourage and help flourish the talents and gifts He has blessed them with. I ask God for strength to help me to ‘pay attention’ and be present with my children to listen, to watch, and be around them.

God has taught me, when I listen to my children, I am listening to their hearts because out of the heart the mouth speaks.  What is their heart saying about what sort of discipline they need? All of these are questions I ask my Father in Heaven and when I humbly ask, He gives me the grace to raise them.

I realize by the power of the Holy Spirit I can teach my children about God and Jesus Christ and show my children the ‘Way’ to go, and lead them to the gate and they may still choose not to walk in the way of the narrow path, but I have comfort knowing the Lord hears my prayers and the Words I share with them now, His Word will watch over them even in their sleep and one day when they are awaken God’s Words will talk to them.

My son, observe the commandment of your father and do not forsake the teaching of your mother; bind them continually on your heart; tie them around your neck.  When you walk about, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk to you. For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life.” Proverbs 6:20-23


His Giving, His Glory

I was in the car handing money to my children to give for a Church offering when my daughter objected, “Mommy, that’s MY money! I don’t want to give that to anyone!” I gently asked her, “Who owns everything?” She responded, “God, but that’s mine and I don’t want to share it! I love my money.”

I could feel my pride as a Mother and tension rise up within me.  I had to remember, this is not about me.  I humbled myself and God brought to my remembrance His Word:

The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.”2 Timothy 2:24-26

I said a prayer and asked for God’s wisdom and grace for this moment and to help me not to be quarrelsome with her but to correct her with gentleness.  He reminded me how difficult it is for me to let go of things I call ‘mine.’  Empowered by His Holy Spirit I was able to speak to her with compassion:

Praying I can wait on God to prepare her heart for His glory

“Baby girl, it’s not always easy for Mommy to give away things she wants to keep but we can pray and ask God for His help and He will help us. You said correctly ‘everything IS God’s’ and God gave you that money through Grandma and you can do what you want with it and I am not going to force you to do something you don’t want to do.  However, I am going to pray for you, that God will soften your heart and give you the grace to give cheerfully.”

She just held onto the money tighter.  That was the end of the conversation.

Five minutes later she bounced up to me and with a huge smile and whispered, “Guess what Mommy? I want to give my money to the orphans.”  My soul sings out: To God be the glory!

Oh one more thing…immediately after my prayer for her heart was answered we walked into the sanctuary and the message was:  “When you need help, God is with you” and the key verse:

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

How kind of God to allow my daughter and I to walk out that truth together…


A Restored Heart Reveals

"...But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man." Matthew 5:18

Out of the heart the mouth speaks…
Out of the heart the pen writes…
Out of the heart the fingers type…

Out of my heart thoughts form into words, and these words sometimes come out of my mouth…on pen and paper, and occasionally online…in all cases it reveals a lot about the state and condition of my heart.

  • Is it a heart of stone unwilling to mold and change or a heart of flesh soft and teachable?
  • Is it an unforgiving heart holding on to grudges, or a heart choosing to extend grace?
  • Is it prideful, arrogant and unrepentant or humble, broken and contrite?
  • Is it greedy unwilling to share, or generous and gracious ?
  • Is it a heart seeking the favor and trying to please others, or a heart seeking God’s Kingdom and bond-servant of Jesus Christ?
  • Is it insecure, envious and jealous or secure in Jesus Christ, thankful and content?
  • Is my heart divided and indecisive or whole and convicted and led by the Holy Spirit?
  • Are God’s commandments on my heart?

Each time I turn the computer on, I take a spiritual inventory of my heart and search it and ask, “am I reading and writing from the new heart God gave me or the old one?”

My words, whether written or spoken reveal the color of my heart. Is it green with envy or red covered by the blood of Jesus Christ–Pure.  My greatest desire as a writer is for me to write only when my heart is pure, when I can write Who I see–God.

Unlike talking and speaking (which I also enjoy), when I write there is a longer “grace” period between heart to thought to delivery; I can pray more fervently BEFORE I write, I pray AS I write, I pray again before I press “publish” and I continue to pray for the hearts that will read. With writing I have my ‘editor in chief’ (AKA: my husband) review and approve each entry.  I realize I can do that with talking too…think before I speak~”Taking every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ” (my Eternal editor in chief).

I truly understand David, a man after God’s own heart when he wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)

So what does your heart say about you these days? I put some ‘bread‘ below for you to chew on…

Almighty Father, thank You for allowing me to share what You teach me. Its been 6 months since You called me to write on this blog, please continue to help me to write by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Thank you for my new heart, a whole heart devoted to You, may I quickly confess and repent those days I forget you gave me a new heart or when my heart changes color or hardens. I want to please You. I am Yours. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Deuteronomy 6:5-6

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.”

Luke 6:45
“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”

Ezekiel 36:26-27

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you;
I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be
careful to keep my laws.

Ezekiel 11:19-20

I will give them an undivided heart and will put a new spirit in them;
I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.
Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be
my people, and I will be their God.


The humble won’t stumble

I did it again…I fell into the snare of “self entitlement” and I didn’t even realize it until God showed me what I looked like through my little girl.

My 4-year-old daughter and I went on a ‘date’ but the excitement was crushed by her discontented and ungrateful spirit fueled by her attitude of self entitlement.  She felt she was ‘entitled’ to have many things I could not give her and she had to be disciplined.

When we came home I reflected on her behavior realizing she does not have the Holy Spirit in her to help to her obey, all the more reason I need God’s wisdom and discernment on how to discipline and train her.  Knowing my Father uses all things to sanctify me, to conform me to the image of my Savior Jesus Christ I asked God, “What are you trying to teach me through my daughter? I don’t whine and complain like that…do I?” Then my Father through the conviction of the Holy Spirit shows me:

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45)

The other day when my husband went back to work I had an ‘opportunity’ to serve God by being my husband’s helpmate serving him in love. I stayed in bed. The next day God asked me to get up again—again I stayed in bed.  For one whole week God asks me and I disobeyed.  I chose to sleep instead of serve.

Jesus said to him, "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." Matthew 8:20

Daily question: Will i sleep or serve?

The following week again God asks me to serve my husband and I begrudgingly rolled off my bed on my face and complained to God. “I am tired. My daughter got up several times last night. I have a cough, I deserve rest”…even as I write this my eyes fill with tears for talking to my Creator so disrespectfully.  Who do I think I am? I am the created not the creator! I get up and I serve my husband, not in love but in obligation and with much resentment.  Even though my husband had no idea, God did. God knows my thoughts and intentions and I was not pleasing to Him at all.  I was being disobedient, sinful, and haughty.

I go to my room and write to God telling Him what He already knows. I tell God I can’t hear His voice and I want the intimacy I usually have with Him. I wondered how could I have this great growth in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ one year ago, and today this moment be a forgetful hearer?  My loving God responds though James 4:6-10:

“But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”

His living and active Word slices through my pride revealing my thoughts and intentions of the past two weeks and I fall to my face and mourn and weep.  By God’s merciful grace I am sorrowful.

I ‘see’ how this happened, I chose not to “remain” or “abide” in my Jesus Christ—I went away from Him…a slow drifting tide drowning me in deep waters.

I had been exhausted because I had been staying up late doing wasteful things; my time alone with Him seemed to be shorter, I began meditating on the things of this world and not His Word. I took my eyes off of Him and put them on others, and on myself.  I was disobedient and prideful doing things in my own strength, falling into the thorns and snare of “self entitlement” choking the growth of His Word that was sown each day.  I needed to ditch the self entitlement attitude.  I needed to humble myself under the mighty hand of God. I needed to get low and stay there.

After my confession, I receive His forgiveness and cleansing and He knows I am ready to listen and obey Him. He takes me to John 13 where Jesus Christ washes the feet of His disciples.  I read and ask Him questions.

After reading the Bible I listen to a recent sermon from Pastor John Piper titledFor His sake and for your joy go low” I felt like John Piper was talking to me, in fact he even used the word ‘begrudgingly’! His preaching “just so happened” to be out of John 13 and confirmed what God had been teaching me that morning.  I didn’t get to finish listening because God gave me an opportunity to serve, this time my daughter.  After we eat breakfast I grab the Bible to read to my daughter when my 6-year-old son joins us.  Just as I was going to tell them where we would read he interrupts,

“Mommy, can you read John 13:3…it’s good, I haven’t read it”

It didn’t hit me yet, I thought it was cute he was making up verses to read until I open and read…of course it “just so happened” to be the same place I was in alone with God…so what did God have to tell me?

“Jesus, knowing the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God,” John 13:3

  • Jesus knew God the Father had given Him all things
  • Jesus had come forth from God: In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Jesus ‘came forth’ He was not created. I was created—Jesus was not. He is God.
  • Jesus knew He was going back to God
So Jesus, the Word made flesh, God made flesh, had “come forth” from God.  He always existed, He is the beginning and the end; all things had been given to Him and He knew He would return to God in heaven and how does Jesus act with all this “entitlement”? I see in verse 4
  • …got up from supper;
  • …laid aside His garments;
  • …and taking a towel, He girded Himself…

Why?

“..to wash the disciples feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded” (v5)

He humbled Himself.

Like many times before, my loving Father used my children to show me what I looked like but also He used them to wash my feet with His Word. I am so thankful.

The humble won’t stumble because they will already be on their face fully surrendered.  The days I literally humble myself and roll off the bed on my face to worship the Lord and surrender my agenda, telling Him as I told Him the first day of my walk, “I will serve you Lord, I will pick up my cross and follow you”—those are the days I hear Him.  Those are the days I listen and obey Him.

The days I stand up and forget to acknowledge Him I stumble and fall.  I say acknowledge Him because He is always there…as I read earlier journal entries before this fall I see God had warned me through my daily readings of His Word:

 “Do not love sleep or you will become poor. Open your eyes and you will be satisfied with food.”
Proverbs 20:13

 “…he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come forth from the presence of the Lord”           Acts 3:19

One more thing that ‘just so happened’…the day my daughter and I were on our ‘date’ she asked to buy a book, you’ll never guess which one:

Jesus washes Peter’s feet from John 13

I’m so thankful to know the true living God.  I’m thankful to know He speaks through His Word (the Bible), people (even little ones like my children), and circumstances and there are no such things as “just so happen” or “coincidences” because every decision is from the Lord.

Thank you Lord for washing my feet with your Word, cleansing my filthy sin and unrighteousness.  Thank you God that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  Help me to remain in Christ Jesus always walking according to Your Spirit. Thank you for loving me so much to refine and discipline me and bring me back to my first Love.  Help me to deny myself. Die to self. Take up my cross and follow Jesus’ I ask in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

I am praying Philippians 2:5-8 for you and I…

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

Philippians 2:5-8:

 


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