Monday, October 28, 2013

I'm tired of not obeying

The past several months the Lord has had me into what I suppose is a Refiners Fire.  If you have been there you know it is quite painful to the flesh.  It started with me telling Him that I wanted to experience a move of God, a Revival.  He showed me too much to fit into this blog, so perhaps it will all come out later but summary would be this:  A revival starts with repentance.  Usually we are drawn out into the “wilderness” and God deals with our flesh.  I cannot pray for revival unless I pray it start with me.  So I asked the Lord to begin showing me my true self that I might begin the repentance and refining process.  One thing He showed me is that I am lukewarm and I don’t truly follow His word.  I call myself a “disciple” in word, but If I line up my life with HIS WORD I am fooling myself.  (He said it a little kinder than that!)

Matthew 25: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 40 And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'

I had to ask myself how many hungry people I have fed lately?  How many strangers I have welcomed?  How many prisoners have I visited?  I used the excuse that maybe that was not my “call”.  Great excuse except for the fact that I never heard God call me to feed myself this morning, yet I ate anyways.

Matthew 22:39 says that I am to love my neighbor as myself. . .So I guess that means I am called to feed those who are hungry even if I didn’t receive a personal text message from God inviting me to do so.

I have been convicted by the fact that I am a great "studier" of the Word but not a very good “doer”.  I read Isaiah 58 and memorize Isaiah 58.  I can even look it up in the Hebrew.  Does all of that matter if I don’t do what it says?  I heard a great message by Francis Chan.  He compared our bible studies and scripture memory to a parent asking a child to “clean the room”.  The child memorizes that request, translates the request into Greek, and even calls friends over to discuss what if would look like if he/she cleaned the room. . .but never actually DID WHAT WAS ASKED.  Wow!  That convicted me! 

So I am trying to share 2 months of God’s heart in a short blog and I can’t.  But here is what I want to ask any Christian reading this.  Christ calls us to lay down our lives and pick up His.  He says if you love Me you WILL OBEY MY COMMANDMENTS.  Not just study them.  So I am going to take up the challenge to live as a disciple (by His grace).  I have some upcoming opportunities to serve the homeless, visit the elderly, share the GOOD NEWS.  My plan is not to buy peanut-butter and crackers to hand to those in need but to offer them my best.  This will include home-cooked meals and perhaps time out in the cold to serve them.  I would like to go to the prisons as well but haven’t found a resource to allow this yet (please contact me if you know of one!).  I am asking anyone who lives in my area to join me!  If you live elsewhere I challenge you to ask God how you can start a life application movement of His word in your area or find something already going and join in.

Email if you would like to join me in any way. Baking, helping financially, or attending to serve.

Luke 14: 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Choice Vessel

This afternoon I was out walking and just talking with the Lord.  I have been praying a lot for direction in what His call is for my life.  I read a book recently that said we should think of ourselves like "extra's" in God's movie.  The movie is NOT about us.  Many of us live like it is. . . just like the "extra's" in a movie feel they are big and important.  BUT, as extra's in God's movie, it's all about HIM.  It's our job to point to HIM, to lift HIM up, not to try and make things about us.  So as I was out walking I pondered what He has for me to do.  I thought of a ceramic mug.  It's only a vessel that holds something else.  Coffee, tea, hot-chocolate, etc.  (In my house it holds coffee!) The ceramic mug isn't really important, it's what the vessel holds.

2 Timothy 2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

In our house we probably have at least 30 coffee mugs.  Everyday, however, I chose one of two mugs to drink out of.  These are my two favorite mugs ("vessels")  to use.  In fact, if both of these mugs are dirty, I will stop to clean one of them rather than use anything else.  Why do I like these two the most?  Well in thinking about it:

#1- they have the thickest ceramic so the coffee stays HOT much longer
#2- the thickness gives it a sturdy and "lasting" feel (not easily broken)

As I pondered this on my walk today I told the Lord, "I want to be on of Your chosen vessels.  The one You will "cleanse" in order to use.  The on that burns HOT and is steadfast and hard to break." 
I want to be the vessel the Lord wants to reach for each day.  I want to be poured into and poured out of daily, not to sit on a shelf collecting dust.

The other thing about these two coffee mugs is that neither of them are the most "glamorous" mug that we own. So really this shows me again, just like the movie analogy, that our life is not about us!  The purpose of the mug (vessel) is to serve/contain the substance that people drink.  It's not about the mug it's about the coffee. . .it's not about us it's about God.

I know this is simple, but I hope that you also would desire to be a Chosen Vessel for the King.  A vessel that His hand reaches for daily.  A vessel that remains hot and is useful for the Master purpose.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Never Just a Mom

In the past week I have been given the opportunity to speak to two different groups of women.  The word of the Lord for right now seems to be for "weary" moms.  I am posting a prayer and also the 20 minute clip of the Word the Lord gave me for moms who are feeling overwhelmed.

As the angel told Mary, I want to tell you that in the Lord’s eyes you are all blessed and highly favored!  After all, it was "Just a mom" that brought to us EMANUEL!
(a prayer for you!)
Dear Father in heaven,
I come before you weary and beat down by this long day. Being a mother can be so hard. I often feel helpless and inadequate. Part of me wants to complain, but then I remember the extent to which you were beat down, and I'm struck quiet. I remember that you are the Man of Sorrows and that you understand just how hard life can be. I also remember that you collect all my tears and care about my troubles, trials, and fears.
The Book of Hebrews tells me I can come to you in confidence and find the grace and mercy I need. And so I come to you now to lay all these burdens at your feet. I feel so overwhelmed by the details of life. It seems like I can never get ahead. Just when I clean up one mess, another one pops up somewhere else. Some days I wonder if I'm really cut out for motherhood.
I know I failed to glorify you today. I failed to love as you love me. I failed to extend the grace you've given me. Forgive me for striving in my own strength. Forgive me for not finding my complete satisfaction in you and seeking it elsewhere. Each of these failures reminds me of just how much I need a Savior. Today reminds me that I need Jesus more than I did yesterday and that tomorrow I will need him even more.
I'm so thankful that there is so much of you to give. You're never tired or weary. Even while I sleep, you remain at work. Nothing happens outside your knowledge and will. You're never stretched beyond what you can handle. And the well of your grace never runs dry.
Because of what Jesus did for me, I ask that you create in me a clean heart. Renew a refreshed spirit within me. Give me gospel strength to get through the day. Open my eyes so that I see your hand at work in the mess of my life. Be my constant in my fluctuating emotions. Keep the gospel ever before me and make it a reality in my daily life as a mother.
I pray that tomorrow you would be with me in all the muck and mire of motherhood. Help me to find my joy in you and not in my circumstances. May I remember that even when it feels otherwise, you are always with me, will never leave me, or forsake me. Tonight I'll sleep in peace knowing that even when I lose my grip, you never let go of me. And I'll open my eyes in the morning to find mercy, fresh and new, ready for the taking.
It's because of Jesus and in Jesus' name that I pray, amen. 
                                              (20 minute word to moms)


Friday, October 4, 2013

A Clean Heart

The fast few weeks the Lord has been speaking to be about Repentance; because I have been speaking to Him about Revival.  I want to know what it takes to have a move of God.

Psalm 24: 3 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart.

His repetitive answer to me is: Repentance.  Today He showed me what true repentance looks like using one of my children.  I picked one of my sons up a little early today and I asked him about his day.  He looked at me and tears started to well up.  Then he told me what had just happened on the playground. . .

All the boys were playing tag-football.  One of them was playing too rough and decided to “tackle” instead of “touch”.  My son was tackled and I guess in a moment of anger he said a “bad-word” that was heard by the tackler. “I didn’t mean it at him Mom; I told him I was so sorry and asked him to forgive me.” 

All the way home my son cried.  “Why did that word come out of me Mom?” 

I talked to him about God’s Word telling us that from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.  Sometimes when we are pressed hard ugly things come out.  That’s when we need to do what David did when he sinned against God with Bathsheba.  He prayed and cried out to God:

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit”.

When we got home I asked my son to read all of that Psalm out loud.  (Psalm 51).  He cried as he read, and then he prayed.  He asked God to forgive him, and he also prayed that “the tackler” would not be offended or hold it against him.

I realized I had just witnessed TRUE REPENTANCE.  My son was grieved that he had grieved the Holy Spirit in his words.  He was grieved that he had offended his brother.  He was grieved to know that something “un-clean” could come out of his mouth.  He not only sought God’s forgiveness, but he sought the forgiveness of the one whom he had offended as well.

Matthew 5:22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

(I wonder the “witness” his apology may have had on this other kid?)

My son took repentance to the full measure by ALSO confessing his sin to me.

James 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Lord, I want my heart to be as tender and pure before you as my sons was today.  When I know I have offended You, let my heart be grieved that I might seek out Your forgiveness immediately.  Let me not cast off the attitudes of my heart as if they are nothing.  Let me see my sin against Your holiness and allow it to move me to repentance”.

When we draw near to You through repentance, will You in turn draw near to us and revive us once again?


(Side note:  if you know my children I ask you not bring this up. . .I did not write it to embarrass the son in the story. . I wrote it that we might learn from a child).