Posts Tagged: trust

Reduced to Prayer

Luke 22:39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed Him. 40 When He came to the place, He told them, “Pray that you will not enter into temptation.”

41 And He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, where He knelt down and prayed, 42“Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me. Yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

43 Then an angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. 44 And in His anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground.c

 

Conversation, smallest unit of trust,

on which faith’s DNA is shaped into obedience.

In the garden heaven multiplies cells of lush truth

while relating to our God.

Willing clay shaped by willing love.

So that, when we are tempted to despair, we are never alone.

The Infinity Puzzle can Only be Solved by God

Psalm 139: 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

I love jigsaw puzzles. The bigger, the more intricate, the better. I don’t just put the pieces together with the picture in mind, I separate, organize, divide the puzzle into manageable sections. It helps that the picture is framed, no matter how challenging it always has boundaries. My life on the other hand . . .

I have a lot of pieces, but I’m not sure how they fit together. Right now, the health of my family lays before me–my son in particular. I have stared at the minute details until I am cross-eyed and frustrated. Each doctor finds a new aspect Daniel is struggling with, but no one will frame my child as a whole person. No one sees how he fits together . . .

God does. I keep looking for man to answer my questions, but the Creator framed Daniel, He designed in the human body a puzzle so intricate, cells so complex that the doctors,  I want so badly to help my child, can’t even begin to scratch the surface of the body’s complexity. They do not have all the answers to my son’s illness, and neither will I, if the only thing I lean on and into is my human knowledge and understanding.

So, Lord I lay Google search at your feet and trust you more deeply. Amen

God has a purpose for Daniel, and I can either miss out on the glorious joy of watching the puzzle unfold, or be angry that I can’t fit all the pieces together. Here are some of the things I notice about my son. Even though he is scared by what is happening to his body, he praises God. When he struggles with one more blood test, he laughs and faces his giants. He sings, dances, and meditates on the promises of God. He laughs, encourages, grieves, and hurts. He is a whole person, made in the image of God.

Jesus came that Daniel would have life to the fullest, and it is in this frame that I now place his illness. I open myself to the pleasure of a picture of infinity pieces, and only one who has put it together from beginning to end.

It is Not About Our Circumstances

Scripture:

Romans 1:15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome. 16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,first to the Jew, then to the Greek. 17 For the gospel reveals the righteousness of God that comes by faith from start to finish, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”…

Thoughts:

If faith in Jesus Christ were dependent upon where we were born, who our parents are, or what religion we were brought up in, then the divisions in our beliefs would be concrete walls that were impenetrable. But trust in God, belief in His son Jesus is found throughout the world. Why?

  • God desires a relationship with his creation
  • Creation itself testifies that he is God
  • Men and women testifying to the nations about what they have seen and heard of Jesus
  • The Holy Spirit goes ahead, directs and softens, prepares, convicts and inspires
  • The truth of Christ is emboldened by persecution rather than crushed
  • We can test and see that God is good
  • His word does not go out and come back void

Prayer:

Father, I praise you that you want to be known! You are not an inactive, distant God. Your will is done on earth as it is in heaven. Thank you for letting me be an instrument of your will. May my testimony of what I see and hear of you encourage all who cross my path. Amen

Sold Out for Heaven:What does Heaven Treasure?

   Matthew 6:19“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and ruste destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Garage sales are a chance to cleanse, and a nice distraction for me today (Wrote this Saturday). Recently I heard that a family may have found pirate treasure in their attic–complete with mummified hand. Gives me chills, just thinking about it. Case in point that you cannot take the treasure with you . . . and apparently you can’t always take your hand with you either.

Sometimes we get too focused upon the clearing out of our junk and miss the second part of the verse. Store up treasures in heaven. What does heaven value? Heaven values anything that lasts for eternity, has ongoing results, and is not limited by sin. A few examples are found in Jesus’ prayer:

A personal relationship with God

  • We call him Father
  • His name is backed by the power of his holiness
  • results occur on earth and in heaven when we call on his name

God’s will

  • He desires good things for us (Jeremiah 29:11)
  • His will is trustworthy
  • Obedience always works to the good of his creation

Forgiveness

  • We have a sin debt we can’t pay
  • He paid it for us,
  • So pay the debts others who owe us

Purity

  • He sacrificed a spotless lamb for us
  • Delivers us from the grip of the evil one
  • Shows us how to live an abundant life

 

Are we sold out for Heaven? When we know how valuable the kingdom of God is, everything else is. . . well . . .rusty.

Invited into the Garden of Trust: Jesus Trusted His Heavenly Father Completely

Matthew: 26: 36Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watchd with me.” 39And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

I’ve been invited into the garden. Not for a girly tea party, nice as those are, but invited to drink a cup of my Father’s will. Two years ago, the Holy Spirit began leading me to the garden, I thought it was teach me forgiveness, but now in the midst of grief, confusion, and a loss I physically cannot bear I finally understand. God was inviting me to trust him completely.

What does it mean to trust God completely?

  • Putting God’s will first (vs. 36)
  • Obedience ( vs. 39,42)
  • Seeing that God is sovereign in ALL circumstances (vs. 39, 42)
  • Allowing the Holy Spirit to lead me (vs. 41)
  •  Acknowledging my will as well as his (vs. 39)

Jesus was in the habit (discipline) of praying in the garden! (Luke 22:39), How many of us, when facing the most difficult trial stick to our routine of talking to God? He went to the garden not out of sudden desperation, but out of steady consistency.  His prayer was raw, real, and vulnerable. He gave insight into his state of mind, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” Sometimes our will verses God’s will takes us to the brink of death. Our flesh wants its way! This isn’t some lightweight battle, the enemy of our soul knows exactly what he is doing! It is okay to ask the heavenly father for our will to be done, even while we submit to His will completely. The Holy Spirit ministers to us in our weakness. through prayer, keeping watch, discipline, even with those we long to support us fall away in their own weakness.

From Psalm 37 I learn these building blocks of God’s will:

  • Trust
  • Delight
  • Commit
  • Be Still
  • Wait patiently
  • Refrain
  • Turn
  • Hope
  • Consider

As I practice these 9 steps I will find that forgiveness happens out of my God given new spirit, and as I am in the garden, I will be able to trust in everything that I have learned about my heavenly father. Then I will be able to drink the cup of his will completely.

What is my happily ever after?: Finding hope and abudant life in Jesus

Once upon a time . . . Last night I fell asleep watching episodes of Once Upon a Time. I am hooked (all pun intended) and am well into the third season. I have loved fairytales, fables, and Greek Mythology since I was very young. Taking the characters from many of our beloved stories and giving them real world experiences fascinates me. “Does happily ever after really happen?”, seems to be the question asked by the writers. For Emma, the lead character life has been very, very hard. It doesn’t matter that her parents are fairytale characters.

Jesus declares that I have come that you may have life, and have it to the fullest. Seems like a happily every after statement, but remember that he speaks of thief who comes to destroy that abundance in the very same verse. (John 10:10) We have an evil enemy who doesn’t want us to have our happily ever after. He is going to make our life difficult and try to destroy us. So how do we keep going no matter what our enemy tries to do to us?

Snow White declares that one of our strongest weapons is hope. She says that the moment she gives into despair she gives up her happily ever after. Therefore she presses forward with the firm belief that their happily ever after will happen. When others would throw in the towel, Snow trusts that good will always defeat evil.

I declare with every fiber of my being that there is a happy ending to my story. The impossible is a chance for my heavenly father to part the sea. Since God has power over even death nothing is impossible for him in writing our story. He will turn my desert into a lush garden of his glory. The story of my life is fraught with battles and I am weary in fighting. But I know that the victory is mine in Jesus Christ, and I refuse to give up hope. That is enough for me to keep believing in my happy ending.

A Snowflake of Refreshment: The Gift of Frienship

Proverbs 25:13 Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him; he refreshes the spirit of his master.

I dreamed about my son Jonathan last night and awoke in deep heartache; the world of the present was difficult to embrace. I walked outside to take the kids to school and saw this snowflake hung from our Jonathan tree.

At just the right moment, when my soul needed refreshment friends brought it to me. WE NEED FRIENDS! I spent the majority of my young life pushing people away and isolated. When Jesus showed me my need for him, my need for friends soon followed. Jesus was not a lone wolf, he started his ministry by calling disciples. He called them friends! The God of the universe called broken man friend. Amazing. So don’t wait until you have it all together (never happening) or mankind has it together (also never happening). I let my friends down, they let me down, but the cool thing is that I now see it as opportunity for grace, growth, and maturing together in faith.

Ecclesiastes 4:9Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. 10For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. 11Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?…

Guided by the Comforter: Learning to listen to God’s voice

Acts 4:31And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.

Daniel wanted Jonathan to be a part of Halloween. So we took the huge poster that the funeral home created and stuck it in the window with a talk bubble. I had to smile at Daniel’s insistence, and that my spirit so readily agreed to it. I’ve had more of those moments this week. A calmness has infused my being that certainly wasn’t there a week ago. I have no illusion that I am no where near the end of grieving, but what is happening is that I am having more and more moments of genuine joy. It was a pleasure to take the kids trick or treating.

Even though the disciples had Jesus back for forty days, they still had to grieve the loss of their friend after he ascended to heaven. But boy the difference in how they grieved. They went from locking themselves in a room and hiding away to praying together, celebrating the resurrection and waiting for the comforter (the Holy Spirit) to come. They didn’t have to wait long before things began moving and shaking. The Comforter had arrived!

In my previous posts I have mentioned that I am allowing the Holy Spirit to lead me. This isn’t rocket science, but it also isn’t simple either. Just like the disciples we need to spend time with Jesus, get to know his voice, his character, and his love for humanity. Otherwise, we will may find ourselves being guided by our own selfish desires or the voices of others who do not have our best interests in mind. These voices will always lead us away from God. I love the song of Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns, it describes the struggle we have with knowing the Shepherd’s voice. Since I was a little girl I’ve had a lot of voices in my head (don’t laugh, unless you’re my siblings) and the loudest was my overpowering, obnoxious critic. Nothing I did or ever could do was good enough. It got to the point that I stopped trying and quit a lot of things I actually enjoyed.

A couple of year ago I really began asking, ‘How do I know God’s voice?’ My question sprung from John 10:27 Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” I began discerning what the Holy Spirit sounded like and practicing stepping out in faith and acting upon that voice’s direction. Amazing things began to happen, and a power that I had never been able to tap into began surging through my spirit. Following the direction of the Holy Spirit takes practice and a solid knowledge of the other parts of the Trinity. I’m still learning and growing in this area, but since Jonathan’s death, the fear that had once held me back from trusting the Holy Spirit’s direction and acting on it is getting kicked out.

I had a bit of fear when I approached a complete stranger on the prompting of the Lord. I held back, but the urging became even stronger, and she kept looking at the books I had on the table as she waited for her coffee. I felt awkward, but managed to introduce myself and a new connection was born, very much in line with the previous connections that God has been forming since Jonathan’s death.

Here is the criteria that I follow:
1. The voice of the Holy Spirit will never contradict the other parts of the Trinity (revealed in scripture).
2. I will never have to rush in, or be impulsive, the Lord is not limited by time.
3. The Holy Spirit will always be affirmed. (Example: The woman at the coffee shop thought that we might be in the same field)
4. Pray and be open each day.
5. The Holy Spirit always has humanity’s best in mind. He will strengthen us and bring the resources for us to help others.

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