Thursday, September 27, 2012

On the prowl - Mark 1:12-13, Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-15, John 1:19-2:25

Next Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test. The Devil was ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting forty days and forty nights. That left him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger, which the Devil took advantage of in the first test: “Since you are God’s Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread.”

Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”
(Matthew 4:1-3)

I was "chewing" on today's reading while running errands.  I feel this is probably the strongest example of how essential it is to utilize God's Word in all of the Bible.  Christ didn't bring out a sword, or order His army of angels to win over satan - He simply used God's Word. 

Just as Christ was in the desert, so are we.  As we proceed in our journey through this wasteland called "the world" onto our home in Heaven, we too are often in a state of extreme hunger and exhaustion.  We are made in His image.  He created us to have one on one communication and life with Him.  I don't know if I would have done exactly what Eve did, probably.  But, it caused His perfect plan to change.  Death and separation came into the world.  And also a void.  A void that only He can fill.  Without Him as the center of our life, we are going through the motions of living while in extreme hunger.  I have been reading through His Word every year since 1998. It shames me that even though I am in His Word almost every single day, I still let self be my god. 

Times when I decide my words are smarter, cause more pain.  When I feel life isn't fair - which often it is not - and take up my words in revenge.  Three different times in the scriptures today satan tempted Christ.  And each time He quoted God's Word.  Each time.  Not a sermon - just a verse.  Just a fact.  Just truth.  It was all about God.  Nothing about Himself, His own glory.  All about His Father - my Father.  The many times God doesn't make sense I have learned to not wonder "why", but to just "do it" His way.  When we are at our weakest - He is at "our" strongest.  Rely on Him, not self. 

Again, all that Jesus used to fight back was God's Word.  How well do I "know" it?  How much of it is tucked into my heart at the ready?  How often do I fight back with it?  satan/self like to fool us into believing that when we are at our weakest - we are the most vulnerable.  And satan is there, like a lion on the prowl, watching, waiting, knowing that we will become weak from hunger of not being fed by God's Word.  He will and does attack.   Because when you are His, satan never has you out of his sites. 


But, neither does God.  The one that is in control.  All knowing, all powerful.  Already won.  That's my Daddy.  The one who sent a personal love letter to me called the Bible. 

The love letter with the "secret code" to fight the battles while in the desert and to come out on the winning side. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Machete = wrong turn - ‎09/25/12 - Luke 1:39-2:40, Matthew 1:18-25

"Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him."(Luke 2:14)

Since deciding to take the "high road", I have felt the true joy and peace that can only come from God.  What a blessing to experience this instead of the heaviness, dark, sick feeling that comes with bitterness, anger, and revenge.  Which always comes when I decide to take "my road". 

Even with all the good intentions, intimacy I feel with God after worship time, how quickly I can slip.  Yesterday, after writing and praying in thanksgiving for Curt, even right up to walking out to the truck, I changed course.  He offended me and I became defensive.  Very defensive. 

So much for taking the "high road".

So much for visualizing about being on the mountain, winding my way to the top.  There I was going off into the brush, using my tongue as my machete to knock down anything in my path.  Including my husband.  Why do I do that?  It isn't easy to walk His way all the time, but it is far easier than trying to get through all the obstacles of the "self" road.  The destructive obstacles. 

How thankful I am that God takes time to knock me up side the head and kick me in the arse - putting me back in the direction of the "high road".  It's still my choice, but He isn't about to let me go without a fight on His part - or to walk alone.  He is always with me.  We both know it's all about self/satan wanting to be god instead of Him.  And there are times, often times, that I have to live through the consequences. 

Thankfully, He is at the center of Curt and me.  Harsh words turned into prayers with each other.  Turned into gentle words of love, lifting each other up and apologies.  Only because of Him.  Through Him. 

I think about how my heart has been singing since loving those who offend me to Christ, instead of lashing out in defense.  How He is changing my heart to pray for others outside of Him, my eyes to see that they are lost souls, opening my ears, mind, heart to love as He does.  Not taking everything personal (as often) and seeing this for what it is - spiritual warfare.

I feel, see, know that pleasing Him brings peace.

It's that "mountain top" experience that comes with taking the high road........

Monday, September 10, 2012

My Truth Hero - 09/10/12 - Daniel 10:1-12:13, Ezra 4:24-5:1, Haggai 1:1-15

He said, ‘Don’t be afraid, friend. Peace. Everything is going to be all right. Take courage. Be strong.’(Daniel 10:19)

Do it just for me. Honor me.(Haggai 1:8)

The ongoing battle of focusing on Him or me. 

Struggling with my place as a mom again and my place as a warrior for Him.  Feeling like I really don't matter.  Desire a closer family, more calls, more time, more words.  Just so miss being more of a part of their lives.  Is that wrong?  Keep thinking about the saying, love something and set it free - if it comes back it was yours to begin with. 

Sometimes, I feel like pulling back completely just to see if they'll call me, miss me, want me in their lives.  Hard to hold back the tears. Tired of putting into this relationship and not getting back.  Tired of having my heart hurt.  I just want a close family unit. 

And then He lets me see that when in my pity party - my vision isn't accurate.  He brings into my focus how many, many times He put into our relationship and I rejected/neglected Him.  How He always has/is there for me....He never rejected me.  How much more He has invested into our relationship and I haven't any right to whine as I do about earthly relationships that "aren't fair".  He lets me see that they are busy living life, it isn't out of neglect that they don't call more often.  It isn't that they don't miss me.  He helps me see that I am taking things waaaay too personal.  I am directing everything toward me. 

They are happy - they are where He needs them to be planted at this time.  They are what they are today because not only of Him and their dad, but also because of their

He brings to mind the many, many times they do show and tell how they love and miss me.  The many, many memories planted in my heart of the hugs, laughter, kisses, looks, time spent - that I am important to them. 

They walk with God.  They are independent.  They are providing for themselves.  They are happy and well adjusted.  They have goals, plans and are striving to live them out.  Would I rather they were living at home, dependent on us - no. 

Just wish there was a better balance between the two.

I am thinking that my 53rd birthday coming up next month, obvious signs of summer coming to an end, my mom turning 71.  That this time of having your children be adults and having their own lives - it really sucks at times.  Leaves me feeling confused about my place in their lives. 

Events that are signaling that time is marching on are really playing on my heart. 

Too fast, too soon. 

Thanking Him for His verses today - that not once, but twice He tells me not to be afraid - that He knows my hearts desires -  that all will be more than okay - it will be all right.  To take courage in Him - to be strong in Him.  and lastly -

Stop focusing on me.  Focus on Him - that all I do - including being a mom - do it all for Him.  For His honor - not mine.  To let go and stay strong in His promises.  To stop taking everything so personal.  It isn't all about me. 

My job isn't finished as a mom - the responsibilities have changed and I am adjusting.  With Him as my leader.  My friend.  My Daddy.  My teacher.  My Helper.

The truth is in Him. His Words. His promises. 

‘don’t be afraid. From the moment you decided to humble yourself to receive understanding, your prayer was heard, and I set out to come to you.(Daniel 10:12)

"and I set out to come to you."