Saturday, April 30, 2005

... but by My Spirit…

There is an extravegant provision in the heart of my Father. Hallelujah!

"I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their hearts of stone and give them tender hearts instead, so they will obey my laws and regulations. Then they will truely be my people and I will be their God." Ezekial 11:19

"..... new wine must be stored in new wineskins. That way both the wine and the wineskins are preserved." Matthew 9:17

"So now I am giving you a new commandment. Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. " John 13:34

"But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds so they will understand them, and I will write them on their hearts so they will obey them. I will be their God, and they will be my people." Hebrews 8:10

The new spirit is the Holy Spirit in us. The Holy Spirit is the new wine. He can only be poured into a new wineskin. Every person born again under the new covenant is a new wineskin. We abide under that new covenant as we walk in its new commandment. The laws written on our mind and planted in our hearts are summed up and gathered under the final command before Christ's death: "love eachother as I have loved you." This is made possible through Jesus alone: by HIS intercession, by HIS death,and by HIS ressurection. It is no longer I that lives but Christ in me!

Paul declares this truth when He says: " Don't be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you." And what are the results? " THEN you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts. AND you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. AND further, you will submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." Ephesians 5:18-21 WOW !!!! Your Spirit will annoint us to worship you in spirit and truth, your spirit will form in us a content and grateful heart, causing us to see and remember all that you have done and your spirit will place a desire and compassion in us to serve and put other's needs above our own.

“I have frequently noticed that Jesus does not want me to lay up provisions; He nourishes me at each moment with a totally new food; I find it within me without my knowing how it is there. I believe it is Jesus Himself hidden in the depths of my poor heart: He is giving me the grace of acting within me, making me think of all he desires me to do at the present moment.”
St Therese of Lisieux

OH fill me Lord! Intoxicate me! Submerse me! Consume me! I yeild to you. I surrender to your Spirit as Lord of my life. Thank you my sweet Jesus for your provision.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Sowing and Reaping

Fear and worry are hard after the Lords harvest. It is no wonder that my Lord exhorts me not to be afraid and not to worry, but to press on and seek FIRST his kingdom.

" Whoever watches the wind will never plant. Whoever looks at the clouds will never harvest." Ecc 11:4

What is given to me (however small) must be poured out. I can trust you for more. As I learn to trust and depend on you, I am increasingly aware that I have no need to strive. I can offer the love you give me to others - the tenderness, affirmation, hope, joy, provision. And I can offer it abundantly. There is no need to reserve a bit. When you sent bread from heaven for your children they were not to be concerned for tomorrow. The manna is fresh each day! Strength is available for another day. Your mercy new EVERY MORNING!
"Remember that the person who plants few seeds will have a small crop; the one who plants many seeds will have a large crop. You should each give, then, as you have decided, not with regret or out of a sense of duty; for God loves the one who gives gladly. And God is able to give you more than you need, so that you will always have all you need for yourselves and more than enough for every good cause. As the scripture says, "He gives generously to the needy; his kindness lasts forever." And God, who supplies seed for the sower and bread to eat, will also supply you with all the seed you need and will make it grow and produce a rich harvest from your generosity."2 Corinthians 9:6-10

We are called to enter your rest and truely I am at rest when I give no thought to myself, knowing you think of me. "You prepare a banquet for me while my enemies watch. You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows." Psalm 23:5 How extravegant YOU are!

This is key to abiding in you:
"As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in My love. If you keep My commands you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commands and remain in His love. "I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is My command: love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends."
John 15:9-13

"So let us not become tired of doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we will reap the harvest." Galations 6:9

Sunday, April 24, 2005

I am not his judge

"If anyone hears me and doesn't obey me, I am not his judge."

These words of Jesus- the creator and sustainer of the universe, the only perfect sinless one, convict me deeply.

How many times have I not been "heard"? How many times have I lamented at the lack of response? How often have I responded back with an attitude of judgement?

Jesus, who IS Truth, did not compromise what is true, absolute, and eternal: "Don't suppose that I came to do away with the Law and the Prophets. I did not come to do away with them, but to give them their full meaning. Heaven and earth may disappear. But I promise you that not even a period or comma will ever disappear from the Law. Everything written in it must happen. If you reject even the least important command in the Law and teach others to do the same, you will be the least important person in the kingdom of heaven. But if you obey and teach others its commands, you will have an important place in the kingdom." Matthew 5:17-19

Yes, I am to speak truth.

Jesus always spoke the truth. Not watered down truth. Not veiled truth. Not truth 'that fits our situation', but His eternal perspective. Truth must not, cannot and ultimately will not be adjusted to suit my opinion or my preference. The law is above me. The law is greater than me - for TRUTH existed before I. "In the beginning the Word already existed; the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1 Truth itself is a judge. The law of God alone condems for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses and to bring the entire world into judgement before God. (Romans 3:19)

"The word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It cuts all the way through, to where soul and spirit meet, to where joints and marrow come together. It judges the desires and thoughts of the heart. There is nothing that can be hid from God; everything in all creation is exposed and lies open before his eyes. And it is to him that we must all give an account of ourselves." Hebrews 4:12-13

"If anyone hears me and doesn't obey me, I am not his judge."

Truth must be heard but my yoke is not to judge. My yoke is to love. Speak the truth in love. See through love. Demonstrate love. "Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light." Matthew 11:28-30

Truth is not compromised that there may be mercy. Mercy is unmerited. (John 8) Over and over Jesus has authority to judge and yet he witholds judgement. There is an appointed time. What he did not withhold was love, blessing, healing, deliverance,..... his very life. He gave freely! To all.

Jesus forknew the misunderstanding, rejection, betrayal, denyal, abandonment, and horrifying abuse he would experience and still he withheld nothing. In the face of truth, there is none among us who is worthy of mercy. And yet this is how my beloved chooses to come to me. The way he always has......

"Set the mercy seat on top of the ark and put the testimony that I will give you into the ark.
I will meet with you there above the mercy seat, between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the testimony; I will speak with you from there about all that I command you regarding the Israelites."Exodus 25:21-22

"Stop judging so that you will not be judged. Otherwise, you will be judged by the same standard you use to judge others. The standards you use for others will be applied to you."Matthew 7:1-2

I have seen this principal at work. Whatever I believe and feel I have to do to be loved and accepted by God I have required and expected of others before I would love and accept them.

When I withhold kindness, affection, affirmation, generosity and humble service, I deem the person"unworthy" or "unfit" to recieve. I have believed a lie about my place in the Father's heart and have further cast that view on others. At any point that I withhold, I am sitting in judgement. Judgement towards the heart of my Father and judgement towards my brother. It is impossible to love and judge others simultaneously.

"A new commandment I give you- love one another. Just as I have loved you you should love one another" - Humbly, Extravagently, Sacrifically.

True love is risky. To truely love means being vulnerable to pain. Judgement is safe. It's final - closing the heart and the hand at a distance.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Reckless Trust

Somebody here is hurting
Somebody here is broken
Somebody here is waiting
Somebody here is hoping

For love to come and unlock every door
takes you and me to open up once more
and learn to trust again

Somebody here is searching
Somebody's dreams were stolen
Somebody's arms are reaching
Somebody needs to hold them

I don't know where you come from
I don't know where you're going
I only know the healing starts
when we stop running

Peace Like a river
Joy like a fountain
Drinking the cup of my father
flying over this mountain

Jason Upton (To Trust Again)

Fear is after my trust. This spirit haunts me relentlessly. From childhood on I have been lied to, stolen from and beat down. Wounded, yes, but mostly and ultimately victimized by this bondage of fear. I, like Eve before me, agreed with and believed the lies toward my Father. How crushing the betrayal! Oh my sweet Jesus.....not once, not twice, but over and over your enemy has betrayed you. From generation to generation the betrayal goes on. Lies that blind us to your true heart for us! Lies that hold back all the love you deserve.

Faith is believing that You are who you say you are and responding with trust and obedience. Faith enables me to trust in your promises because I can trust your heart. Faith enables me to obey your commandments because with trust and surrender, I recieve your empowering grace.

Faith is Generous, Reckless, Trust! Faith is the kind of trust that is willing to risk being hurt and let down, willing to be misunderstood and made a fool, willing to go against the flow, willing to lay down dreams, desires and agenda. Faith is for the child-like! Faith is for passionate lovers!

"Faith (unwavering and steady) shows the world how worthy our Lord is of our trust."
Hannah Whitall Smith
And so this battle....this war for freedom is a fight of faith, to trust you like never before! Will I, like Paul, be able to proclaim: "I have made a good fight, I have come to the end of my journey, I have kept the faith." ? (2Timothy 4:7)

When the Son of man comes will he find faith?

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The secret place

When I look into your eyes
I am lost in everlasting love
resting and secure as I hear your gentle whisper
And the beating of your heart draws me nearer to the place
I cherish most of all
here in your embrace
Face to face
I have finally found my home
my eyes are on you Jesus, you and you alone
closer than I have ever been before
my eyes are on you Jesus, you and you alone
In this secret place I've found
much more than I have ever known
Sacred and so pure
it's everything I've longed for
I have waited for this time to be near you by your side
your presence I will treasure
in your arms forever
Take my heart away to that lovely place.........

Kelly Warren (When I look into your eyes)
Years ago I heard Graham Cooke teach on the secret place. (Psalm 91) At the time it was my first peek into a place of rest....and I was drawn to seek and find. I find myself bringing this call to rememberence:
"The enemy weighs us down with delay, disappointment, deceit, and distraction. When troubles hit us it is difficult in our flesh to have hope and faith and even to love those who the enemy has used as instruments in the day of trouble. We must dare to go against this downflow. Dare to believe. Dare to hold onto vision, wait on him and move out in victory. Rest is spiritual warfare. ( Spiritual warfare is the effect of giving God glory, seeing His majesty and being absorbed in his presence. Our worship and trust in the midst of adversity dismisses the enemy of our souls.) The secret place is the place of safty and rest, refuge and shelter. The secret place is life lived in the spirit, where that which is inside flows out...the spirit of God within us rising up. As Scripture says, 'Streams of living water will flow from deep within the person who believes in me.' " John 7:38

"That is why we are not discouraged. Though outwardly we are wearing out, inwardly we are renewed day by day. Our suffering is light and temporary and is producing for us an eternal glory that is greater than anything we can imagine. We don't look for things that can be seen but for things that can't be seen. Things that can be seen are only temporary. But things that can't be seen last forever." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

"God wants to daily renew our inner man so that we are not looking outside of ourselves for how God will move, our refrence point is our spirit. God will deliver us from our pain and our struggles but he also wants to teach us a more excellent way to sustain and have joy through it. For every thousand pounds of pressure brought on by the outside, comes the equel internal pressure of peace and rest. During human opposition and demonic oppression, we need desperately to learn the place of life lived in the spirit. "I trust you, O LORD. I said, "You are my God." My future is in your hands. Rescue me from my enemies, from those who persecute me. Smile on me. Save me with your mercy. O LORD, I have called on you, so do not let me be put to shame, Let wicked people be put to shame. Let them be silent in the grave. Let their lying lips be speechless, since they speak against righteous people with arrogance and contempt.
Your kindness is so great! You reserve it for those who fear you. Adam's descendants watch as you show it to those who take refuge in you. You hide them in the secret place of your presence from those who scheme against them. You keep them in a shelter, safe from quarrelsome tongues." Psalm 31 :14-20 Nothing and no one can touch us (our spirit) when we are living in the spirit because in His presence we recieve the Lords's perspective and can move in the opposite spirit. We can bless those who curse us, love those who mistreat us, and pray for those who speak against us. Meeting hurt, accusation, and cursing with more of the same is only coming into agreement and partnership with our enemy. We need to live not in defense of our dreams, promises and gifts but find safety and refreshing in the spirit. This is the canopy of God's favor. "You are my hiding place. You protect me from trouble. You surround me with joyous songs of salvation. Selah" Psalm 32:7 When the enemy comes like a flood, engage with God....let the spirit of God rise within you and STAND. We need to be ready, prepared....learning to dwell here because the battle will increase. When God fills our vision, the enemy no longer dictates the battle. God does. "

I absolutely love the account of this truth in the scriptures (2Chron 20) It is worth reading in it's enterity:

"Later the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites came to wage war against Jehoshaphat.
Some men reported to Jehoshaphat, "A large crowd is coming against you from the other side of the Dead Sea, from Edom. The crowd is already in Hazazon Tamar" (also called En Gedi). Frightened, Jehoshaphat decided to ask for the LORD'S help. He announced a fast throughout Judah. The people of Judah gathered to seek the LORD'S help. They came from every city in Judah. In the new courtyard at the LORD'S temple, Jehoshaphat stood in front of the people. He said, "LORD God of our ancestors, aren't you the God in heaven? You rule all the kingdoms of the nations. You possess power and might, and no one can oppose you. Didn't you, our God, force those who were living in this country out of Israel's way? Didn't you give this country to the descendants of your friend Abraham to have permanently? His descendants have lived in it and built a holy temple for your name in it. They said, 'If evil comes in the form of war, flood, plague, or famine, we will stand in front of this temple and in front of you because your name is in this temple. We will cry out to you in our troubles, and you will hear us and save us.' "The Ammonites, Moabites, and the people of Mount Seir have come here. However, you didn't let Israel invade them when they came out of Egypt. The Israelites turned away from them and didn't destroy them. They are now paying us back by coming to force us out of your land that you gave to us. You're our God. Won't you judge them? We don't have the strength to face this large crowd that is attacking us. We don't know what to do, so we're looking to you." All the people from Judah, their infants, wives, and children were standing in front of the LORD. Then the LORD'S Spirit came to Jahaziel. (He was the son of Zechariah, grandson of Benaiah, great-grandson of Jeiel, whose father was Mattaniah, a Levite descended from Asaph.) Jahaziel said, "Pay attention to me, everyone from Judah, everyone living in Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat. This is what the LORD says to you: Don't be frightened or terrified by this large crowd. The battle isn't yours. It's God's. Tomorrow go into battle against them. They will be coming up the Ziz Pass. You will find them at the end of the valley in front of the Jeruel Desert. You won't fight this battle. Instead, take your position, stand still, and see the victory of the LORD for you, Judah and Jerusalem. Don't be frightened or terrified. Tomorrow go out to face them. The LORD is with you." Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face touching the ground. Everyone from Judah and the people who lived in Jerusalem immediately bowed down in front of the LORD. The Levites, descendants of Kohath and Korah, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with very loud songs. They got up early in the morning and went to the desert of Tekoa. As they were leaving, Jehoshaphat stopped and said, "Listen to me, people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem. Trust the LORD your God, and believe. Believe his prophets, and you will succeed." After he had advised the people, he appointed people to sing to the LORD and praise him for the beauty of his holiness. As they went in front of the troops, they sang, "Thank the LORD because his mercy endures forever!" As they started to sing praises, the LORD set ambushes against the Ammonites, Moabites, and the people of Mount Seir who had come into Judah. They were defeated. Then the Ammonites and Moabites attacked the people from Mount Seir and annihilated them. After they had finished off the people of Seir, they helped destroy one another. The people of Judah went to the watchtower in the desert and looked for the crowd. Corpses were lying on the ground. No one had escaped. When Jehoshaphat and his troops came to take the loot, they found among them a lot of goods, clothes, and valuables. They found more than they could carry. They spent three days collecting the loot. On the fourth day they gathered in the valley of Beracah. Because they thanked the LORD there, that place is still called the valley of Beracah [Thanks] today. All the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned to Jerusalem. They rejoiced while Jehoshaphat led them. The LORD gave them a reason to rejoice about what had happened to their enemies. So they brought harps, lyres, and trumpets to the LORD'S temple in Jerusalem. The fear of the LORD came over the kingdoms in that area when they heard how the LORD waged war against Israel's enemies."

We must never speak or act from outside the secret place...our thoughts and emotions must come under the rule of the spirit. Living in the spirit allows us to respond instead of react. We are more than conquerers in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Sarah's daughters

Jesus loves the servant-heart. Through his servant Paul he addresses and encourages the ones he loves....the ones whose position of service comes by means of His placement. They are words that sting the wounded and abrasively brush pride. But they are words that we, with open eyes, and ears to hear, may recieve the dignity and glory found in letting go and walking in his likeness. Again, my beloved calls me away. Away from fear- away to true life, the place of oneness with his heart.

" You servants must submit yourselves to your masters and show them complete respect, not only to those who are kind and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.
God will bless you for this, if you endure the pain of undeserved suffering because you are conscious of his will. For what credit is there if you endure the beatings you deserve for having done wrong? But if you endure suffering even when you have done right, God will bless you for it. It was to this that God called you, for Christ himself suffered for you and left you an example, so that you would follow in his steps. He committed no sin, and no one ever heard a lie come from his lips. When he was insulted, he did not answer back with an insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but placed his hopes in God, the righteous Judge."
1Peter 2:18-23

"In the same way you wives must submit yourselves to your husbands, so that if any of them do not believe God's word, your conduct will win them over to believe. It will not be necessary for you to say a word, because they will see how pure and reverent your conduct is. You should not use outward aids to make yourselves beautiful, such as the way you fix your hair, or the jewelry you put on, or the dresses you wear. Instead, your beauty should consist of your true inner self, the ageless beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of the greatest value in God's sight. For the devout women of the past who placed their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful by submitting themselves to their husbands. Sarah was like that; she obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are now her daughters if you do good and are not afraid of anything." 1Peter 3:1-6

There is nothing more beautiful than rest and peace. There is nothing that can bring this rest and peace but a secure and absolute trust.

"Happy is he whose resting-place is in the secret of the Lord, and under the shade of the wings of the Most High; Who says of the Lord, He is my safe place and my tower of strength: he is my God, in whom is my hope. He will take you out of the bird-net, and keep you safe from wasting disease. You will be covered by his feathers; under his wings you will be safe: his good faith will be your salvation. You will have no fear of the evil things of the night, or of the arrow in flight by day, Or of the disease which takes men in the dark, or of the destruction which makes waste when the sun is high. You will see a thousand falling by your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it will not come near you. Only with your eyes will you see the reward of the evil-doers. Because you have said, I am in the hands of the Lord, the Most High is my safe resting-place; No evil will come on you, and no disease will come near your tent. For he will give you into the care of his angels to keep you wherever you go. In their hands they will keep you up, so that your foot may not be crushed against a stone. You will put your foot on the lion and the snake; the young lion and the great snake will be crushed under your feet. Because he has given me his love, I will take him out of danger: I will put him in a place of honour, because he has kept my name in his heart. When his cry comes up to me, I will give him an answer: I will be with him in trouble; I will make him free from danger and give him honour. With long life will he be rewarded; and I will let him see my salvation." Psalm 91

Monday, April 18, 2005

My beautiful Family Posted by Hello

He came not to be served, but to serve

".... If one of you wants to be great, you must be the servant of the rest;
and if one of you wants to be first, you must be the slave of the others---
like the Son of Man, who did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life to redeem many people." Matthew 20:26-28

Fear as my fortress keeps me focused on my needs. Fear reasons that if you hold on to your rights, your interests, your desires, even your needs.... you can protect yourself, protect your destiny....but fear is also a deciever. Fear is never a fortress.

That is the role our great Shepherd desires: He is the good Shepherd. He wants to pour His blessing on us and keep us safe. So much so that He is willing to give up His very life that I may find shelter in the bosom of my Father! "The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my mountain where I seek refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18:2 He is MY Shepherd....and I shall not want ANYTHING! Everything I need is in him. He sees. He knows. I have no need to be concerned for self. Jesus gives to me. He serves me! I am his little lamb and he really, really loves me. He carries me close to his heart.

"You call me Teacher and Lord, and it is right that you do so, because that is what I am.
I, your Lord and Teacher, have just washed your feet. You, then, should wash one another's feet. I have set an example for you, so that you will do just what I have done for you.
I am telling you the truth: no slaves are greater than their master, and no messengers are greater than the one who sent them. Now that you know this truth, how happy you will be if you put it into practice!"
John 13 :13-17

"Don't be concerned only about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others. Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Although he was in the form of God and equal with God, he did not take advantage of this equality. Instead, he emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant, by becoming like other humans, by having a human appearance. He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." Phil. 2:4-8

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered." Proverbs 11:24,25

I can serve and give extravagantly. I must! There is no other way to abundant life. Whoever trys to keep their life will lose it, but whoever will lay down their life will find it!

I have one mission;

to come and die

and I will be a fragrant burning

I'll wash your feet with my tears
my love will be a poured out offering to you

Derek Loux (Fragrant Burning)


Saturday, April 16, 2005

Facing the "big" ugly monster

"Then the time came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom"
Anais Nin

"You were made for adventure"
Words spoken from Truth himself, my own creator. Words that feel more like a knife when I ponder them. Feelings that unveil a wound. It's been safer not to dream. Telling......that I should expect pain. Funny how when you think you are ready to fight for freedom, you can easily run back to what is familiar. The unknown feels more dangerous than your captor.

The words came as a simple answer to the question, "why am I so afraid of the unknown?" The answer is proof of the reason for my capture....and a challenge to face the monster. Someone greater dreams for me, more than I refuse to dream myself. Will I believe it?

" A wise bird knows that a scarecrow is simply an advertisement. It announces in the most forceful and picturesque way that in the garden which it does its best to adorn, some very juicy and delicious fruit is to be had for the picking. There are scarecrows in all the best gardens. every thoughtful bird learns in time to regard a scarecrow as an invitation to a banquet."
-Frank Boreham-

"Wake up, wake up; put on your strength, Zion! Put on your beautiful garments, Jerusalem, the Holy City! For the uncircumcised and the unclean will no longer enter you.
Stand up, shake the dust off yourself! Take your seat, Jerusalem. Remove the bonds from your neck, captive Daughter Zion."
"Go now, leave your bonds and slavery. Put Babylon behind you, with EVERYTHING it represents, for it is unclean to you. you are the Lord's holy people. Purify yourselves, you who carry home the vessels of the Lord. you will not leave in a hurry, running for your lives. For the Lord will go ahead of you, and the God of Israel will protect you from behind."
Isaiah 52:1-2, 11,12

" Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart's desires". Psalm 37:4

Friday, April 15, 2005

When you were a child

Flying kites, playing tag, camping out, laughing, quickly I've forgotton how much I enjoy these things. And yet - how hard it is for me to allow myself to enjoy these things. This breaking free, this letting go, this struggle.... this emergence of you is nothing more than the death of me. But it is familiar. Like a place I've known deep within.

When you were a child
I called you my own
you were mine

When you were a child
You could not stand alone
but you were fine

When you were a child
the world was the unknown
but you were wise
to simply trust in me
that I would never leave and hold on tight

I want to know that child again
Maybe time has changed
but love remembers when
you called my name
and like the wind I carried you away
seems like only yesterday
when you were a child

Jason Upton (Remember)

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Pursuing His Face

For the first time, sitting with my children last night, I encouraged them to seek the face of Jesus.

I have seen the form of the one who loves me so....I hear his voice, I know his embrace....but now I must see his face. The very spirit that will be rooted out if I should seek His face is what holds me in chains and keeps me from pursuing his eyes. But I'm getting tired. Tired of living in fear, reacting in fear, thinking through fear.....tired of this spirit that thinks it owns me and trys to control me. My offspring know the fruit of fear. They have tasted it as I have struggled for freedom. They too must be restored. They too will need to seek His face.

Its in your eyes that we will find unconditional acceptance. You alone will restore that basic trust, the place where we can look with adoration: "How beautiful you are, my love; how your eyes shine with love!" (Son 1:15) and know that you will look back with adoration: "How beautiful you are, my love! How your eyes shine with love behind your veil..." (Son 4:1) I must know the most intimate of places. There is nothing here for me. Fear is empty.

"I look to the mountains; where will my help come from? My help will come from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let you fall; your protector is always awake. The protector of Israel never dozes or sleeps. The LORD will guard you; he is by your side to protect you. The sun will not hurt you during the day, nor the moon during the night. The LORD will protect you from all danger; he will keep you safe. He will protect you as you come and go now and forever." Psalm 121:1-8

I may be the living Much Afraid...but I am on the journey up the mountain. Oh my sweet shepherd I am coming!

"He hides me in his shelter when there is trouble. He keeps me hidden in his tent. He sets me high on a rock. Now my head will be raised above my enemies who surround me. I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy in his tent. I will sing and make music to praise the LORD. Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud. Have pity on me, and answer me. When you said, "Seek my face," my heart said to you, "O LORD, I will seek your face." Psalm 27:5-8

There's a secret place I'd give my life to find
Where I hear you say that "I am yours and you are mine"
Jesus its your love that I pursue
let my life be an abiding place
a dwelling place for you
When you said "seek my face, I answered: Lord you're face I'll seek"
I want to know you Jesus much more intimately
you are the treasure of my heart
and my prayer will always be:
may the current of your love flow strong
in the deepest part of the deepest part of me
Where else can I go to be satisfied
there is only one true spring of everlasting life
Jesus you're the fountain that I choose
as the deer pants for the water
so my soul longs after you
Kelly Warren (When you said seek your face)

Friday, April 08, 2005

A call to trust the Lord

" Listen to Me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were cut, and to the quarry from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain. When I called him, he was only one; I blessed him and made him many. For the LORD will comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places, and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and melodious song. Pay attention to Me, My people, and listen to Me, My nation; for instruction will come from Me, and My justice for a light to the nations. I will bring it about quickly. My righteousness is near, My salvation appears, and My arms will bring justice to the nations. The coastlands will put their hope in Me, and they will look to My strength. Look up to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and its inhabitants will die in like manner. But My salvation will last forever, and My righteousness will never be shattered. Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, the people in whose heart is My instruction: do not fear disgrace by men, and do not be shattered by their taunts. For the moth will devour them like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool. But My righteousness will last forever, and My salvation for all generations. Wake up, wake up! Put on the strength of the LORD's power. Wake up as in days past, as in generations of long ago. Wasn't it You who hacked Rahab to pieces, who pierced the sea monster? Wasn't it You who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, who made the sea-bed into a road for the redeemed to pass over? And the ransomed of the LORD will return and come to Zion with singing, crowned with unending joy. Joy and gladness will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee. I--I am the One who comforts you. Who are you that you should fear man who dies, or a son of man who is given up like grass? But you have forgotten the LORD, your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth. You are in constant dread all day long because of the fury of the oppressor, who has set himself to destroy. But where is the fury of the oppressor? The prisoner is soon to be set free; he will not die and go to the Pit, and his food will not be lacking. For I am the LORD your God who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar--His name is Yahweh of Hosts. I have put My words in your mouth, and covered you in the shadow of My hand, in order to plant the heavens, to found the earth, and to say to Zion, "You are My people." "
Isaiah 51: 1-16

The journey back to my first love comes with a call to begin to is a call, and with a call comes the need to LISTEN. IT ALL BEGINS WITH LISTENING.

"Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works for 40 years. Therefore I was provoked with this generation and said, "They always go astray in their hearts, and they have not known My ways." So I swore in My anger, "They will not enter My rest." Watch out, brothers, so that there won't be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that departs from the living God. But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin's deception. For we have become companions of the Messiah if we hold firmly until the end the reality that we had at the start. As it is said: Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion. For who heard and rebelled? Wasn't it really all who came out of Egypt under Moses? And with whom was He "provoked for 40 years"? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? And to whom did He "swear that they would not enter His rest," if not those who disobeyed? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief."
Hebrews 3:7-19

Listen.....Trust.....Obey.....a REST awaits!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Streams in the desert....the journey back to first love

"She doesn't believe that I gave her grain, new wine, and olive oil. I gave her plenty of silver and gold, but she used it to make statues of Baal. That is why I will take back my grain when it has ripened and my new wine when it's in season. I will take away the wool and the linen that I gave her to cover her naked body. I will show her naked body to her lovers, and no one will rescue her from my power. I will put an end to all her celebrations: her annual festivals, her New Moon Festivals, her weekly worship days-all her appointed festivals. I will destroy her grapevines and fig trees. She said that they were gifts from her lovers. I will turn her vineyards into a forest, and wild animals will devour them. I will punish her for all the times she burned incense as an offering to other gods-the Baals. She put on her rings and jewelry, and she chased after her lovers. She forgot me," declares the LORD. "That is why I'm going to win her back. I will lead her into the desert. I will speak tenderly to her. I will give her vineyards there. I will make the valley of Achor [Disaster] a door of hope. Then she will respond as she did when she was young, as she did when she came out of Egypt. "On that day she will call me her husband," declares the LORD. "She will no longer call me her master. I won't allow her to say the names of other gods called Baal. She will never again call out their names. "On that day I will make an arrangement with the wild animals, the birds, and the animals that crawl on the ground. I will destroy all the bows, swords, and weapons of war, so people can live safely. "Israel, I will make you my wife forever. I will be honest and faithful to you. I will show you my love and compassion. I will be true to you, my wife. Then you will know the LORD. "On that day I will answer your prayers," declares the LORD. "I will speak to the sky, it will speak to the earth, and the earth will produce grain, new wine, and olive oil. You will produce many crops, Jezreel. I will plant my people in the land. Those who are not loved I will call my loved ones. Those who are not my people I will call my people. Then they will say, 'You are our God!'"
Hosea 2:8 -23

"In the struggle we all live -between fear and freedom - there is a force, a love, that is stronger than us." (Jean Vanier)

"God will bring us into true freedom, and use us to set others free as well. We have gone to His house. We have experienced His Presence. But it is not until He comes to our house, to where we live, and our heart is touched by the Holy Spirit, that we more fully enter into our proper place of freedom in God. That is why it is good to do nothing before that time.But, once freedom invades our spirit, nothing less will do. Freedom comes in stages. God will first deliver our head, then our heart, and finally our hands from the domination of legalistic religion":

1. Romans 12:2 "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." We get the idea. We see that it is possible. And scary as it may be, we receive new insights and begin to think outside of the religious box in which we have lived.
2. Then He touches our heart, our feelings, and our frozen emotions. We feel as we have never felt before. God is jealous over our heart. Sometimes emotional loyalty can keep us in prison, but He does not want us dominated by any person, or system. He wants us to sing the song of the heart set free.
3. Finally, He frees our hands to flow in who we are and what we are called to do. We walk into liberty. Hallelujah!
(Ken R. Anderson, excerpt from "If the Shoe Fits, wear It")

Come break the chains, the chains that hinder love
all that remains of yester year
Come break the chains, the chains that pull me down
come break the chains and draw me near
Let your fire burn consuming me
Let your jealous flame come take away everything
Let your fire burn consuming me
Let your jealous flame come write your name apon my heart
until all that remains is the light of your countanence
and I will be satisfied when I awaken as a lover of you.
I want to be free from everything that keeps me from loving you!
(Misty Edwards- Eternity)