This morning I wake up much like most mornings- crying out for the Lord from the moment my foot hits the floor. I look around my quiet, dark, sleeping, small house and think, "Where can I go Lord to find you!? I can't cry out real loud, I'll wake everyone up!"
I look at my closed Bible sitting there with my pen and journal and I almost don't open it for the enemy is right there, from the moment I wake up, blaspheming my God in my ears..."He doesn't hear you! Nothing's going to speak to you in there! You mind as well go back to sleep!" I almost do.
My starvation for the Lord is so great I almost let my feelings override my faith. In a dry and thirsty land, when you thirst for the Lord more than cracked dirt thirsts for rain, two things happen, at least to me: I'm tempted to either make something myself that will give me some temporary satisfaction, or stop moving alltogether....to do like Haggar and just lay down in the desert to die.
This is a season of life, and it has been for the past three years, where the Lord leads me into the wilderness. Like Jesus the Spirit leads me here to be tempted by the devil to see if I'll put my hope in God's word, not in my feelings or perceptions, and to see if I'll wait for the Lord and not make something happen for myself (Matthew 4:1-11).
"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning." - Psalm 130:5-6
The Lord does not call me to be filled right now, He calls me to be drained, to be emptied, willingly, though I could go find something to fill me up a little if I desired to.
As I spoke Psalm 130 out loud this morning I felt like I at least found a shade tree the Lord has provided for my parched soul. And as I sat under it gentle reminders and encouragement came to mind.
I remembered that it's God's word that is sure, not what I feel or don't feel. I said again, "I hope in YOUR word Lord! I hope in Your word, not in feeling refreshed."
I also remembered the story of Elisha's widow, which comes to mind often. Though I don't know it's full application to my life, for some reason the Spirit keeps speaking it to me...so I'm listening.
This morning I thought, "The widow kept pouring her only source of life out (the little bit of oil she had in her house) into... empty, lifeless vessels- with no one watching except her own sons. There was no response, no encouragement, no seen by the multitudes miracle...just keep pouring. She just kept obediently pouring out her life into a bunch of borrowed jars. There was no instant abundance of food and supply filling her cabinets with every tip of the oil jar. There was simply a quiet, unseen obedience and trust in the word of the Lord that was spoken to her. She may have felt like nothing was coming of this but a bunch of oil but her feelings didn't stop her from continuing to obey."
I remembered this morning, as these things came to mind, that whatever the Lord has said He will do! The Lord has promised that I am complete in Him. He's promised to finish the work He started in me. He's promised to use everything for good to conform me to the image of His Son. He's promised to save me fully. And He's also promised to use me to be a rescuing help to this household. His word is true, so I'll keep waiting on Him and not go try to satisfy myself somehow. And I'll keep hoping in His word which is eternally true and never fails!
Lord, I pour all this out this morning and I think of Angie and her dear friend Nicole and my sister Lord. I think of the valley of Baca they walk through...the valley of weeping. Satisfy their souls Lord with glimpses of heaven. Open their eyes to see what will comfort their weeping hearts. Satisfy their longing hearts Father!
"Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Will bring her into the wilderness, And speak comfort to her."- Hosea 2:14
I hadn't heard of John Piper (I know, you're probably wondering if I live under a rock or something.) It's so makes me tremble when I realize a little unknown housewife in Arizona is being burdened and praying for the same things that men of God are stepping out and preaching...and I had no idea! I've just been crying and praying and vidoes like the one I saw at Exemplify and this are like little reminders from God, "I'm sending out my message Sheila. Even if it seems where you are no one is preaching it, keep praying, I'm working."
I'd encourage you to go watch the video at Exemplify and this one too. We don't grow out of our need for the gospel. We grow up in it!!
Next: The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. I've been wanting to read more. I wanted to read a book by Elisabeth Elliot and still have yet to get my hands on one but the other day while doing a search at my library, racking my brain to come up with authors of books I might want to read, I found The Great Divorce. I love C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia series, which I must confess, I've only seen the movies and have a faint memory of seeing the books on my shelf when I was a kid but don't remember reading them. I was hoping to find that series at the library, but, surprise surprise they were all checked out. So I got the Great Divorce. I hadn't the faintest idea what it was going to be about and was a bit disappointed that I didn't find what I wanted, so I was a bit taken back when I cracked the book open the other day and read this (which really captivated the reader/writer/should have studied literature in me):
Wow! I can't wait to get into this book!!!!
And lastly, I found The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee. I purchased this "classic" as I've heard from many an honorable Christian that it's a must have. I've only read a few pages and already am rejoicing and finding myself walking around worshipping the One who saved me with fresh rememberances of what the scripture tells He's done for me!
A woman found by Christ, found in Christ, created by God IS AN EXCELLENT WIFE! And only a woman found by Christ can be an excellent wife. ONLY HE CAN FIND HER! And only He can make her worth riches that are above rubies. It's the price paid to find her that makes her worth so much!
Jesus said, "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45)
Jesus paid a lot to creat me all new! He suffered a rejected sinner's death to make me worth more than rubies!
I was a woman lost, but now I am A woman found!
- 1. To open my life up to others that they might be encouraged by the grace and mercy of God. He has been faithful and has rescued my heart from all kinds of fears and the poisons of various sins. He has given me confidence in His love and I just want to share it!
- 2. I want to store up treasures in heaven! All my earthly riches are dust, but what I invest in souls will last forever! The currency of heaven is not gold or dollar bills, big houses or fancy clothes...in fact gold is pavement in heaven, that's how "valuable" it is there. The currency of heaven is souls! One of the main reasons I blog is to pour out into you (whoever you are) some of the healing oil of heaven God's poured into me. His love is like balm to my soul and a sweet perfume in my life. I can't keep it to myself...I must share it with you. Blogging is one way I can do that.
- 3. To keep me honest. Whatever I say here I'm accountable before God for. "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment." (Matt.12:36) That makes me tremble, but I can't use it as an excuse to not speak, because God expects me to invest what He's given me in others. SOOOOO, prayerfully, I blog to vulnerably open my life up to others with a heart to be like Paul and say, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." (1 Cor.11:1) Not "Follow me because I follow Christ so well." No! Not at all! Rather, as I follow Christ I'm going to fail and stumble, stray and slip, and by opening my life up to others I allow them to see that following Christ is a daily dying to self for a long-eduring journey. I pray that through blogging, anyone who reads what I write will be able to see the treasure of Christ through my broken vessel. "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us." (2 Cor.4:7)
- 4. I can't hold it in! I have to tell someone about the goodness and mercy of God and share what I'm learning as I study His word!
- 5. I find writing to be a worshipful and prayerful time for me. It seems I hear from God best when I'm writing. It even seems I pray better with my hands than my mouth. I don't share it all here. In fact I keep a handwritten journal and have been since I was 8. Much of my time seeking God's face and praying is spent with my Bible, an open journal and pen. But it also happens here at the computer. Most of it is between me and the Lord- private meeting times together. But some of it is not meant to be kept but rather to be shared and that's what I do when I blog- share my prayerful, worshipful, meditative times and my life.
- 6. I enjoy the fellowship of the other bloggers who comment and who's blogs I read. At this stage in my life I'm mostly not hanging out and visiting with people. I do get to at times but because of the calling on my life to be a witness of Christ to my own husband I seek to spend as much time as I can with him. Blogging and reading blogs allows me to fellowship with like-minded women without taking me away from my family for too long. Though, I still have to guard against that. I could easily get sucked into hours of blogging and reading blogs when I need to be snuggling up with my husband on the couch or playing with my kids on the carpet.
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