Friday, September 30, 2011

Wholly Surrendered

Matthew 14:31 "Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him saying to him, 'O you of little faith, why did you doubt?'"  Why, why, why do I ever doubt?!  God has made promises and is always faithful.  But yet I find myself doubting it when things are overwhelming.  Like Peter, I find myself looking at the waves & the wind around me and then I start to sink.  I am so thankful that God is who He is no matter what I'm thinking or doubting, and he mercifully continues to bring my head back up to gaze upon Him alone who will walk me through it.
My memory verse this week has been Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will  make straight your paths."  This one has been good for me!  Because I don't get any of this.  It makes absolutely no sense to me.  If God is really in control of everything, then why in the world would God let this happen - and only looking to get worse, not better?!  But that's the point - I will never get it because I'm not suppose to!  God is so incredibly in control of everything, that he is working millions of little things all at once, for His glory.  All I can see is the little patch in front of me, I can't see the whole quilt.  But I can rest in that "for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28.  All I have to do is surrender my needing to understand and just trust in Him.  I have to acknowledge that he is completely in  control of everything and then means I will be ok because He will guide me through the valley.  I don't want to fight God's plan - because what He wants will happen anyway.  So I can either be a Jonah...or a Joseph.  God's will and purpose will happen no matter how I choose to respond so why in the world would I want to be on the wrong side of that!? Why bring myself more anxiety & fear?  Instead, I choose to humble myself before my Savior and accept that His ways are best.  I have been humbled that this is so far beyond my marriage.  A friend said something that struck me... my marriage is a casualty in the battle for my husband's soul.  While I desperately want that to not be the case, I get it - this isn't all about me and what I want & think is best.  Jesus didn't come to save my marriage.  Jesus came to save the sinner! Jesus sent His son to die for sinners, like me, to save us from the death and punishment that we deserve.  Through this I have been brought in to God's saving grace, and I pray for nothing less for the man I love.  I rejoice in the truth that I have no control over this.  This is God's work, not mine.  My trust is in something greater than a man, or in a marriage, my trust is in the Father who loves me.  No matter what.
Hearing KH practice for Sunday while I'm here at work is helping move this blog today, so I'll share...
At the cross you beckon me, 
you draw me gently to my knees, 
and I am lost for words, so lost in love,
I'm sweetly broken, wholly surrendered.

Father, keep me broken and humbled before you.  You are what I need.  You are enough.  I am wholly surrendered to your love and I trust you.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Do Not Fear

Blah, it has been a very rough few weeks.  A few ups, but mostly downs.  I've been on a roller coaster and I've gone back to the basics to help keep my focus where it belongs - on God alone.  So I'm back to my favorite "Always True" promises by James MacDonald.  I can't do anything to change my circumstances and that scares me.  I feel like I am at the mercy of someone who doesn't care about me or anyone else.  But that's the lie!  While another's actions & choices DO cause hurt & pain, I am not at their mercy.  We are all under the hand of God whether we choose to believe it or not - and thank God I am on the right side of that hand!  I am under HIS grace & mercy which He has extended to me these weeks while I am so undeserving, as we all are.  But that's the goodness of his gift!  He took the nails for me!  Yeah God! :) 
My memory verse this week is Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you.  He will not leave you or forsake you."  And there are so many more verses for me to land on...
Exodus 14:13"Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today"
Psalm 23:4 "Even though I walk thru the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me"
Jeremiah 1:8 "Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you"
2 Timothy 1:7 "God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self control"
Hebrews 13:6 "The Lord is my helper, I will not fear, what can man do to me?"
Romans 8:31 "What then shall we sat to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?"

I don't have to be afraid!  I have no idea what is going to happen next.  Sin is abounding all around me and there is nothing I can do to stop it.  I have no idea what the immediate future holds.  But that's ok!  Because I know what the big future holds.  God is on my side, and He is all I need.  I don't have to be scared of anything because in the end, in the place it really matters, I'm on the right side and I will reap the rewards of being a treasured child of God.  God's not going anywhere.  He is fighting my battles and I can trust Him because He is always working for my good.  So while my flesh battles fear, anxiety and control, I have to daily choose to give it up!  By that I mean, not just daily, but sometimes hourly, or minutely (is that a word???).  So this week Pastor James is taking me through dealing with that unknown fear of the future, actually I've spent 2 weeks on this chapter because I really need to fill my heart with God's word & truth about it.  Fear God alone, because He is my refuge, my redeemer, my rock, my salvation, my deliverer, my savior, my everything.  I don't have to fear, I don't have to fight, I don't have to run.  I have to stand in God's presence.  Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"