Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Thirsty Land

This post was written in 2009 after an intense time of wrestling through a season of unbelief, believing that my acceptance and approval had to do with my performance for God instead of God's performance for me. The irony of this was that during this season of struggle I became further aware of the sin below the service oops surface (funny that I would accidentally type service, I'm just going to leave it there in case it speaks to you. I meant surface but many perform service thinking that service is what justifies us before God.) It was a further realization that the sin that resided in the dark recesses of my heart could not be changed by my behavior. I needed a reawakening. I was praying for more of the Holy Spirit when Christ tenderly reminded me that I have all of Him. I didn't just have some of the Holy Spirit, I have all of Him and He is completely perfect and capable to help me in my times of trouble. What I needed was to take hold of, by faith, in what I already had. It was my unbelief that kept me from taking hold of Him. It was only then that I began to realize that no matter how hard I tried I could not change my heart, only Christ can change the inner man. He also showed me that the more I focused on Me the less I focused on Him and His unfailing love for me. The temptation to make my salvation based on what I do instead of what has already been done for me is the temptation to believe I am saved by what I do instead of what Christ has already done for me so that I can then do. It was His desire to free me from myself so that I might then serve Him from a pure heart out of abundant gratitude for all He has secured for me. In light of what He has done for me, the therefore's of the Bible are not burdensome but an outpouring of my faith and love for Him.
For I will pour out water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring and My blessing on your descendants; and they will spring up among the grass like poplars by streams of water. This one will say, 'I am the LORD's', and that one will call on the name of Jacob; and another will write on his hand, 'Belonging to the LORD,' and will name Israel's name with honor. Isaiah 44: 3-5

Jesus, stood and cried out saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.' " But this He spoke of the Spirit. John 7:37-38, 39

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." Isaiah 58:11
Sunflowers in bloom-1
Are you parched? Is your Spirit in need of refreshment from the only well that never runs dry? So often, I look to the wells of the world to satisfy. I look to what the world offers and wonder why I'm exhausted, run down and discouraged. With my head hung low, I slowly come to the realization I need to look up and realize where my help comes from. I need to look up and see Him as He is and put Him in His rightful place in my life, which is in the forefront of everything. He is everything. His provisions are perfect, His water overflowing, His Spirit within me COMPLETELY PERFECT. His Spirit is more than satisfying and His Word is the means by which He satisfies. He has made provisions for every one of my days and it is up to me to trust in and take hold of these blessings, not for my glory but to be used by Him to bring Him glory and to let the Living Water within me overflow into the lives of others. Particularly my children who are walking in my footsteps and my husband who is leading the way. May my hands not tear down and instead be used to build up my family and those the Lord puts in my path. Living water, which is alive within me and bubbles up to overflowing. A fountain of grace, for no other Name could have set me free and placed my feet on the solid Rock of Jesus. His love never fails, His mercy is new every morning and His grace sufficient in weakness. As the world grows darker may my light shine brighter and the living water within me refresh those He puts in my path. May I declare with boldness all He has done for me to those who have no hope within themselves. Are you barren within, parched? Jesus has the power to satisfy and water the areas within you that are dying. He will pour down his blessing in abundance to all who ask, the blessing of Himself in the form of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit who is alive and active within us and turns our barren desolate souls into lush gardens of grace. He is our Comforter and Helper. The One who was poured out like a drink offering is the only source of life for the barren soul. The One who has declared the end from the beginning, who knew every one of our days, is the same today, yesterday and forever. No matter how dark your life is right now, He is the everlasting light. His glorious light is a beacon in darkness. For you, He has set His sights.

"Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ' I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me. ' Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, from the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming and the events that are going to take place. 'Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it? And you are my witnesses. Is there any other Rock? I know of none." Isaiah 44:6-8

Monday, January 9, 2012

In the Dessert of Busyness

As a deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirst for God, for the living God;when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been food day and night. Psalm 42:1-3
My feet are dusty from trudging through the desert of busyness. My mouth is parched by the lack of water found in this valley. Like a cactus, doubt grows and flourishes in this environment. The scorching sun and lack of living water, cause weariness to come upon me and I lose my footing stumbling into a cactus of unbelief, it pricks and leaves a scar.
The snake slithers and hides below the sand, two eyes visible but body hidden. Walking through the valley of busyness, where doubt flourishes and complacency resides, the snake is the most dangerous threat and his lies whisper..."God is not pleased with you."
Where did that thought come from, I wonder, as my feet continue down the path of complacency. Those eyes, they are on me, waiting for me to journey further into his territory. He waits just below the sand, keeping watch as I continue to put one foot in front of the other. His voice slithers..."God will never use you, just give up"
Suddenly, a sand storm comes upon me and I become confused. It is hard for me to see, the sand is swirling all around me, my vision impaired. He comes out of his hiding place, exposing himself ..."You are not forgiven, do you really believe He loves you and died for you, what have you done for Him"
My heart quickens and my mind swirls...."could it be that I missed the call of salvation" I cry out to God for help...
I hear a different voice, one that is quiet, and His words defy logic. At the sound of His voice the sand settles and the wind calms.... "I love you with an everlasting love. Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop doubting and believe, dear one, for it is finished." He looks at me tenderly and I hold onto Him tightly, His grip is strong as He reassures me of His love, I put my head down and rest in His embrace. He shields Me from the deadly bite of the serpent while crushing his head with His heel. He leads me out of this forsaken land to the abundant waters He provides in the wilderness. I drink deeply from the living water He provides in the desolate desert. While the sand still covers me and my eyes still burn from the desert storm, I'm once again reminded that He will always satisfy and yet I yearn to never be satisfied but always ache for more of what He provides. I yearn for more of Him, who splits rocks in the wilderness and gives us abundant drink like the ocean depths. Psalm 78:15

I cry aloud with my voice to the LORD; I make supplication with my voice to the LORD. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path. In the way where I walked, in the desert of busyness(my words)...I cried out to You, O LORD; I said, "You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living. Give heed to my cry, for I am brought very low; deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me. Bring my soul out of prison, so that I may give thanks to Your name; the righteous will surround me, for You will deal bountifully with me" Psalm 142:1-3,5-7

Saying to those who are bound, 'Go forth,' to those who are in darkness, 'Show yourselves.' Along the roads they will feed, and their pastures will be on all bare heights. "They will not hunger or thirst, nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down; for He who has compassion on them will lead them and will guide them to springs of water." Isaiah 49:9-10