Sunday, April 18, 2010

Use it ALL Lord

Today is one of those days…again. Hindsight, I can see it in the works the past few days. I will give you a glimpse of grief. There are many great things going on; God’s word is alive and I feel a draw to Him. Good things happening at the house of prayer and my house is getting closer and closer to being ready for us to move into. The last day or two, I start feeling unusually irritable and frustrated. I seem to have less patience for the kids and overall I feel sadness draped over me. THEN, I realize that Scott’s birthday is coming this week. It’s strange how there seems to be an internal indicator that sets in motion before I even seem recognize the cause and effect. I’m sure that part of not seeing it a little sooner is just being too busy and not getting before the Lord when I started feeling “out of sorts”. So last night I made the connection and by this morning I mostly just feel the sadness of it. It's probably been building for a while.  It's especially difficult when Eliya asks questions about heaven and daddy.

Easter Sunday, there was someone playing Jesus at children’s church. Eliya has been told so many times that Daddy is with Jesus, that when she saw this guy, she fully expected to see Daddy too. I mentioned to her that his birthday was coming up and she asked if he would have a party at the park; followed by questions about if you get presents in heaven on your birthday, etc. I usually last about 90 seconds before I have to change the subject.

EVERY single time that the intensity comes like this, God shows Himself to be so tender. It’s just like how sensitive and sweet I want to be toward my children if one of them is hurt. If I, being a good parent, want to kiss my child’s boo boo when they hurt; how much more does a perfect heavenly Father want to make His presence and kiss known when I cry out to Him. I am so aware of how low and needy I am, and He comes near(James 4:8a). In the midst of pain, I love the “cuddling”. God loves to comfort those who mourn and to raise up those who are bowed down (Mt 5:4, Ps 145:14). I often tell the Lord to use every bit of what comes along with my circumstances. I don’t want any of it to be in vain. Use the grief to bring me to Your feet. Use the pain to make me like You. Use the tears to heal the deepest places in my soul. Use my life for Your kingdom and set my gaze on eternity. Let my precious husband’s life and death continue to bear fruit through my life and our children’s lives, In Jesus’ Name! (Jn 12:24)

Listen to this song that continues to speak to my soul: Come as Close as You Want

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Selling our Birthright for Soup?!

Several months ago I was very burdened for an old friend.  This friend was willfully walking in sin and claiming the grace and blood of the Lord Jesus.  I was literally thinking about and praying for this person almost daily and asking the Lord to expose truth and bring freedom. 

One day I took a nap and I woke up and knew I had been praying for this person.  I drifted back to sleep and woke up with the Lord saying this generation of the church is like Esau who sold his birthright to his brother for a bowl of soup.  I hadn't even thought about Jacob and Esau or this story in such a long time I had to look it up to find it.  Gen 25:29-34, Esau comes in from hunting and is famished and weary and Jacob has made stew.  When he asks for some, his brother said first sell me your birthright.  Esau says, if I'm about to die, then what good is my birthright to me and agrees to give his blessing, inheritance and leadership of the family over for bread and soup.  The Lord tied this dream to my one friend who represents the MANY in the church who wilfully make the exception of sin (the passing pleasure) in their lives and believe that there is no contradiction in that and in following the Lord.
  I also clearly felt like the Lord was saying these dear ones are selling their birthright, inheritance as an heir to the kingdom; for the passing pleasure of sin (bowl of soup).  So fleeting that it literally only satisfies a short time.  I haven't known exactly how to write about this because my own beliefs about doctrinal issues (once saved, always saved) have been shifting.  I would hate for those whom the enemy attacks with doubting their salvation to believe this word to "confirm" what they already believed...that they can't be SURE of salvation.  THIS I believe is for those who have hardened their hearts to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and have said to the Lord, I will follow you when it benefits me and is convenient...but in practice I will choose sin over holiness blatantly.  Of course I sin.  Anyone who thinks he is sinless is deceived.  There is only ONE who will ever be sinless.  It is ONLY through His making the  way that any of us have any hope.  God LOVES when in our weakness we are saying, "I am sinning, even stuck in sin, but the position of my heart is that I hate it and I want to be free".  He knows our frame, our weakness.  When my son runs to the potty and tries to go poopy without result only to go in his diaper 5 minutes later...that doesn't disappoint me!  I'm thrilled that he really wants to try the potty and I know that he will be free of his diapers and that it's part of the training and maturing process that he will fail many many many many :) times before he figures it out.  Nevertheless, I love him and I am so proud of him.  God is so gracious...He is FULL of grace and love and mercy and tenderness and gentleness.  If you hate your sin and struggle with assurance of salvation...this isn't aimed at you and you need to ask some prayer warriors around you to declare truth over you and help you get free from the lie of the enemy of your soul who is the father of lies. 

This message is for the other group.  I only want to be faithful to the Lord in what I feel He has spoken to me. 

Hebrews 10:19-39 is a sobering passage and I think speaks to this very topic of willful disobedience.  It begins by speaking to the brethren of the confidence we gain through the blood of Jesus and His sacrifice that brings forgiveness and freedom. It encourages the brethren to stimulate one another to love, good deeds, meeting together and encouraging one another...FOR vs. 26 "if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.  This message to the brethren, the church, believers says that ones who willfully go on sinning trample under foot the Son of God ad has regarded the blood of the covenant that sanctified him as unclean.  Vs 31 says "It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God".

I really believe that we are moving into a place where ones who have loved God in times past will have the fire in their hearts rekindled and will want to let go of every besetting sin and thing which hinders love.  I believe that many who have really struggled with sin issues and hated it and haven't been able to get free will be freed in a moment!  The Lord is so good and is setting so many free in the body of Christ right now. (LINK TO TESTIMONIES OF FREEDOM)  When we get even a small revelation of the love of God and an understanding of the kingdom, we can begin to understand our birthright and inheritance is so much greater than the temporary thing we are clinging to now.  Vs. 33 and 34 speak of a people who through tribulation and reproach they joyfully accepted the seizure of their property, knowing that they had a better possession and a lasting one. 

Romans 6 talks about how we who have died to sin cannot still live in it.  Rom 6:6 "knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin." 

We have got to pursue holiness.  We have got to get free from everything that hinders love.  There is a King who is worthy of a pure, spotless lamb.  He will return for her.  It will be difficult, but so so worth it.  HE IS SO WORTH IT.  There is nothing, no earthly pleasure that you can ever lay down that you will regret when you are in His presence.  One of the gifts of what I have walked through in the past year after losing Scott was a more eternal perspective.  This 70 year stint on Earth is a vapor compared to eternity and there is reward for faithfulness and for dying to your own desire and choosing obedience. 

So to the one who is struggling in marriage and just biding your time....ENDURE and persevere until freedom comes.  To the one who is playing with sexual immorality...BREAK every tie and agreement you have made with the enemy in justifying your sin...BE HOLY FOR HE IS HOLY.  He is worthy of our pursuing Him.  To the one with the constant ungodly desires...Set your mind on things above WHERE CHRIST IS SEATED.  Cast down every thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ. 

"let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Do Not Grow Weary!!!  For the joy set before US we can and will endure.  Jesus said He would return, and He will.  In just a little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay! (Heb 10:37). 

Lord, give me an understanding of the cross and what my freedom cost you.  Help me know how you feel towards me (Eph 3:17-21).  Give me an eternal perspective so I can walk in a manner worthy of You! (Mt 6:10, Mt 25:34)  I know that if I see you the way David did (Ps 27:4), the way Mary did (Luke 10:42), the way John did (Jn 13:23) then I will have no difficulty giving up all for the One who is Love.

Listen to THIS SONG.  He loved me til the end.  It's like a battle song to keep your eyes and heart focused!