Thursday, February 12, 2015

Deathless and Everlasting

Colossians 3:2 (AMP)

And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.

2 Corinthians 4:18 (AMP)

Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.

I have these scriptures on my heart today. I love the reminder that the things I can see now will last but only a second in comparison to eternity. It's so hard to remember to think on the invisible instead of what I can actually see right now but God always sends circumstances in my life that remind me and I am thankful! He is good! 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Grumbly Spirit

This week I have been convicted, saddened over my spirit of grumbling. I might not complain to others much but I can definitely do my fair sure of complaining to Adam about this and that and sometimes everything under the sun. It's sin. Grumbling and complaining and I cannot imagine how much my attitude must hurt the heart of God. I think about my own children for example, and when they complain it not only hurts my heart but makes me angry because I see the big picture; I see that I am doing every possible thing I can for them with their best interest at heart.

I decided to look up some scripture about the topic of grumbling and complaining and I found this passage in 1 Corinthians 10:

For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual foodand drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.” We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died.We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.
11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us,on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm,be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
The Israelites were delivered from Egypt, from slavery. God's presence was in the midst of them. He gave them everything they needed. However God says He was NOT pleased with them and the scripture gives four examples. They were perpetual idolaters, they committed sexual sin, they tested Christ, and they were grumblers....

In the past, I would say, I don't do those things! Or, how could they do those things after seeing God part the red sea for crying out loud?! But, now I know better. My flesh regularly wants to return to idols; it wants to test Christ and grumble. Oh and if grumbling is in this list of why God was not pleased with the Israelites and therefore didn't let them enter the promise land, I think it is safe to say, God takes a grumbling and complaining spirit seriously.

One thought I had in my processing of my grumbly spirit was the verse "For out of the overflow or the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." (Luke 6:45) Again, I used to think this meant what I "took to heart" matters but now I realize heart is interchangeable with mind and therefore every single thing I look at, read, spend doing is mounting up as that abundance. If I spend way too much time watching tv and hanging out on Instgram my spirit shows that abundance. I am more prone to discontentment, judgement and a sharp tongue. If I choose to read, study, meditate on God's word and  read spiritually encouraging books, If i choose to spend time with friends that are soul benefiting, my abundance is things of the Spirit and it shows in my attitude, heart, and words.

Oh my heart desperately wants to please Him, to choose through the power of His Spirit a heart solely focused on Him instead of a heart of idolatry. I want to be pure, pure in every way shape and form. Pure in heart so I can see God. (Matt 5) I want a heart whose first instinct is to trust instead of question God. desire to live a life of trust and faith in Christ no matter what today looks like, no matter if I am in the heart of the wilderness wandering around or entering my promise land. And oh how I want my complaining grumbly spirit gone. I want to live in the joy, thankfulness and grateful spirit that I know pleases the Lord and is contagious pointing people to the giver of all good things. (James 1) Help me Lord.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

"My Hope and Stay"

Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven! 
Matthew 5:3

Poor in Spirit describes someone who is spiritually helpless, someone in desperate need of God. It's an absolute confession that I am nothing and can do nothing apart from Christ. 

This verse, the first beatitude, keeps bringing to mind the song "Lord I Need You." 

It says, 

"Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here, I find my rest
Without You, I fall apart
You're the One that guides my heart

Lord, I need You
Oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense
My righteousness
Oh, God how I need You

Where sin runs deep
Your grace is more
Where grace is found, is where You are
Where You are, Lord I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

Lord, I need You
Oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense
My righteousness
Oh, God how I need You

Teach my song
To rise to you
When temptation comes my way,
When I cannot stand
I'll fall on You
Jesus, You're my hope and stay"

{LORD I NEED YOU lyrics by Matt Maher}
{My favorite version right now can be found HERE.}

No matter what is going on, on good days when life couldn't be better and on bad days when things look bleak and everything seems to be going wrong may I still remember my desperate need for God. I can only be filled with Him when I acknowledge my need for Him when I am poor in spirit. 

It's absolutely the opposite from what I want to believe. I want to believe I can do it; I have everything under control and that I have no need. But, in my soul, I know better.....

He is my rest, the one who guides my heart, my defense, my righteousness, my grace, my freedom, my hope and my stay. Thank you Jesus. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

"Free and Unfrettered, Careless in the Care of God"

If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
Matthew 6 (Message)

Hoard. Fuss. Worry. I do not want these words to describe the way I live my day to day life yet so many times they do. I convince myself I "need" one more new outfit. I fuss at everyone around me because I'm in a bad mood. I fret about Adam's next month commission check.

When I choose to live this way, I am constantly saying to God, my family and the world that I do not trust Him, that He is not enough for me, and that He cannot provide for us, emotionally or monetarily. 

The message version of the bible provides help for this type of thinking and living. It says in verse 33, "Steep your life in God reality, God initiative, and God provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday concerns are met."

God brought to my heart four prayers to pray today from this verse:

1) God help me soak my thought life in God reality or truth, what's real and true to you God, train my brain to rely on Your word over social media. God help me to see where I am believing lies. Shine your light into the dark places of my heart.

2) God help me to soak my thought life in God initiative-thinking. Help me not to be self serving but others focused today. Guide me in how I am to spend my time today. 

3) God help me to soak my thoughts in what You have already provided for me and supplied for me. God give me the spirit of contentment and thankfulness that I know you want for me to have. 

4) Thank you God. I know when I obey your word you fill me full with your Spirit. And in part, the petty things that bother me, don't seem quite as overwhelming or important. 

I'm so thankful for the truth of His word. He is good and His promises prove true. He is always there, a constant help when I reach out to Him.

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."