Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My heart's desire...

Jeremiah 17:9 (Amp)

The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it [perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind]?

I often try to decide what it is that I want out of life. I try to plan what I want to become and what I will do, and I only become frustrated that I can't seem to "see" clearly my motives and goals. I was reading the scripture above when it clicked. The reason God is always saying to trust Him and not to worry about the future, is because it will only bring confusion. Trying to "figure things out" is the wrong approach, rather I should be spending my time looking and listening to what God is doing and saying, and spending time praying to understand God's wisdom, as it mentions in the following scripture.

Matt. 13:13b-17

"Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or

In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

" 'You will be ever hearing but never
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
For this people's heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.'

But blessed are your eyes because they see, and you ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it."

I think of all the time I've spent looking for a quick fix. It's the fad diet mentality. I'm always trying to maintain control and "find" the answer, only allowing God to play a part if He will make things easier. I'm sad to admit, I've been seeing and hearing, but not understanding or perceiving. As it says in I John 1:5-10, if I am not experiencing all of the good things of God, I am not walking in fellowship with him. It says nothing about doing anything, but simply spending time in the presence of God. Time and time again, it seems the answer is so simple. There is no 10 step program. Just one thing, fellowship with Him (glorify Him, worship Him). Satan is so good at using guilt to convince me I am not doing enough, only to keep me from understanding the simple truths that would set me free and make me truly righteous in God's eyes. Jesus has already paid the price. I know that is said so often, but when it truly sunk in that God loves me as He loves Christ, I felt so free from sin and guilt, and close to God. I'm starting to realize that it doesn't matter how "good" I am. I cannot know what I want, or more appropriately what I need, because my desires, without the influence of God, will always lead me down a path of dissatisfaction and distress, but when I am close to God and allow Him to lead me, I am at peace.

Mark 7:6b,21-22

" 'These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me...'

For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly."

Eph. 4:18,22-24

They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

When I allow my heart to lead, it makes me feel that I am trying to do the right thing, but at the same time discouraging me that I will never get there. The heart is truly deceitful. Which is why I believe it says "to be made new in the attitude of your minds". I must make the choice to take on Christ instead of myself without regard to how I "feel", so I can "be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Feeling and emotions are such a huge part of how I value myself, when I should be valuing myself on the righteousness of Christ Jesus.

Father God,

Thank you for sending your Son, Jesus, to free me from sin and the bondage of guilt, shame and lies. Forgive me for trying to fulfill my own desires. Forgive me for looking and hearing with earthly senses and allowing my emotions and feelings to determine my path. Be with me through the day, so I can live in Your presence at all times. I want to be in Your will and glorify Your kingdom through my actions and thoughts at all times.

In Jesus' name,

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Treasures In Heaven

It seems Matt 6 has been my inspiration this month. First praying, then fasting and now blessing. I feel the Word says it best, so I'm just going to share some scripture with you this morning. I know most everyone is going through some sort of hard time right now. This scripture really spoke to me and gave me peace for today, and I hope it does for you as well.

Matt 6:19-34

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart is also.

The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness, how great is that darkness!

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 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."

As Paul talks about in Phil 4:10-20, I feel I have renewed concern for the Lord. I have a new understanding of what it means to "be content whatever the circumstances." "I can do all things through Christ which strenghteneth me!" I pray God will give me the opportunity to increase in giving to others that which he so amply provides for me, so I can glorify and honor Him in my success.

Jehovah-Jireh, My Provider,

Thank you for supplying all my needs exceeding abundantly above all that I ask or think (Eph 3:20). Forgive me when I worry about tomorrow and doubt Your awesome grace. Send your Holy Spirit to remind me of Your love and provision when Satan tries to sneak in with worry and doubt. May Christ dwell in my heart by faith; that I will know the love of Christ and be filled with the fullness of You (Eph 3:17-19) I pray for strength in my inner being (Eph 3:16) I pray for the opportunity to bless others, and be an example of Your abundant grace. I put all of my cares in Your hands, and I glorify You for Your faithfulness to provide. Your grace is sufficient for me!

In Jesus' name,

Monday, January 12, 2009

A tree planted by the water...

I have been wallowing in self loathing this week, but I'm back, and my caffeine detox has finally completed. I spent this last week mourning my morning coffee, well, and my afternoon and evening coffee, too! But in the midst of my misery, God finally got through to me yesterday, sitting in church. It's not about what I have to give up, it's about what I have to gain. It's not about giving up what I love, it's about loving God so much that I couldn't let anything take away our time. So I have an analogy...bear with me.

I've been trying to make myself grow. The pastor was standing on the platform yesterday attempting to "grow". He's standing there, making all these grunting noises. His example was to show that the lilies of the field do not worry about growing. They aren't in the field stressing about how to grow. They just soak up the sun, the nutrients in the soil and the moisture from the rain, and they grow. How much more does God provide for me! I am more valuable than a bird or a flower. (Matt. 6:26-32) I just need to soak up the "Son", plant myself firmly in the Word and be renewed by the Holy Spirit! My walk with God will grow if I allow God to provide for me, then He will prune me for perfect growth.

In I Kings 3:5-15, God asks King Solomon what he wants. Solomon had so many needs; finances, fame, etc., but he asked for wisdom to know God's will in all things. God says because he asked for wisdom, he would also have all his other needs met. Solomon was one of the wisest, richest and most famous kings that ever lived. His namesake was talked about throughout the land. (I Kings 10:1-7). I need only to be concerned with wisdom and God will provide all my needs. If I want wisdom, I need only to ask.

James 1:5 (Amp)
If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproach or faultfinding, and it will be given him.

Father God,

Your are my provider! I give you all the glory and honor and praise. Thank you for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ to fill me with your light and life. Thank you for your Word to fill me with Your wisdom and Your will. Thank you for Your Holy Spirit to guide me and teach me. Forgive me for worrying and being controlling, stubborn and prideful. Give me wisdom and discernment to make the right choices that would glorify your kingdom. Take my life today and make it Yours. I submit to You today. I will not worry about trying to grow, but allow You to tend to my needs because You love me and have made me for a purpose.

In Jesus' name,