Monday, September 27, 2010

Rich Joy.

To say this season of life is rich with joy feels like a tremendous understatement.

God is more beautiful to me, His promises more comforting, and His character a greater source of hope and joy than I've ever known before...and it continues to increase.

God does not change. He has not. He will not. He is not spiteful. Or ever trying to "catch me" or "trick me" or manipulate me. He hears my prayers. He sees my heart. He knows my desires. He has promised me His faithfulness. And His leading.

The Gospel is the source of all joy. If I'm in a relationship, or single. If I have money in the bank, or not. If I get married and my future husband ends up being faithful to me. or not. If my marriage is enjoyable. or a constant challenge. If I have kids. or not. If they are physically, mentally, spiritually well....or not. GOD is the same. My salvation is secure. The King rules and reigns! And I will be communing with Him and enjoying His character and delighting in His nature as long as I live. Whatever that life looks like.

While the relationship I'm in right now often (and regularly) serves as a catapult to push me into the arms of God- wrapped in His promises and enjoying His relationship with a boy could never replace my relationship with God. (Though, it can and is an agent that I am so grateful for...and I attribute much of this perspective and the resulted joy to great leadership.) It's funny how though I've heard this a thousand times from people, experiencing it has surprised me.

My life is about worshiping, adoring, and extolling Jesus Christ. THAT...will never change. The fundamental things about my life will remain the same as circumstances surely will be a constant change.


After writing about these things in my journal, I came across Psalm 91- to which I so identified with the Psalmist.
Starting in vs. 14: "Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honour him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation."

AH! Isn't it so good?! The promises of God that wrap around us and hold us so tightly. His character revealed in each one. Such hope! Such joy!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The promised "what" with no "how"...

A recent Bible reading plan brought me to Genesis 12. Here, the Lord has met me, encouraged me, and greatly challenged me. Allow me to share with you my notes.

"Go...I will show you." (This is what God tells Abram to do: Leave his country. And trust God. With no specifics or directions.)

God doesn't paint pictures to explain what our futures will look like. He will show us along the way. This keeps us near to Him and depending on Him and communing with Him.

God promises the "what" to Abram. ("I will make you a great nation and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.") But He doesn't tell him "how."

So He does with us.

"I will never leave you. I will provide for your every need. Good and not harm is your future. I will be faithful when you are faithless. I will act in your life. I will carry you. I will comfort you."

...but we don't know how. What will it look like?

But we read, "So Abram went."

THIS was the man of whom it was said his faith is counted to him as righteousness. THIS is the man who's faith is in the character of God. He did not ask, "how?"...but trusted the "what."

When Abram got to Shechem and the Lord made a promise, "To your offspring I will give this land"....Abram built an altar. I am amazed that in the midst of all of this, Abram wasn't looking for God. He wasn't wandering past Canaan trying to "figure out" what God was going to do, or asking hundreds of questions. He wasn't searching for a specific place to dedicate to his descendants. But God lead him (without him knowing, really) to the exact place God planned to promise to his descendants. Psalm 62 says, "For God alone, my soul waits in silence." When I REALLY heart is silent. I have no questions, concerns, suggestions or recommendations for God. I trust Him.

And an ESV study note reads: "To obey, Abram must trust God implicitly; all human support is largely removed."

Just a few chapters later, Abraham's faith causes him to "rise early" after being told "Take your son, your only son whom you love...offer an offering..."

After passing this test, an angel of the LORD said, "now I know that you fear God."

Oh! May this be true in our own hearts! LORD, grow my fear of you. And in light of that, may my fear of man dissipate...teach me to trust what you say without wondering how exactly you'll be faithful...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Guarding vs. Protecting

So. There's a difference.

Between trying to protect ourselves and guarding our hearts.

When I guard my heart, I guard against sin.

When I protect myself, I protect from pain.

I try to control. I don't trust God. I don't trust that even if He chooses to bring pain, He will comfort me in it and carry me.

When we put our TRUST IN God, and commit our way to Him...He acts. He is our Protector and our Shield. And He is worthy of our trust.

This, I am learning in a new and glorious way as God has been revealing different areas of deep-rooted fear I didn't know existed. A desire to control. Figure out. Manipulate. Have an answer for.

Nope. Surrender is the only option. Well, other than misery.

Rejoicing at what the Gospel reveals about the heart and character of God...and loving that it never changes.