Friday, February 27, 2009

God Won't Push Us Out Of The Way To Do His Will

Four weeks ago I experienced something within my family that was tremendously painful. There have been many weeks and months ~ and even years ~ leading up to this very hard pathway. Four weeks ago, before I knew it ~ it had engulfed my heart and spirit. I don’t know that anyone is ever ready or prepared for grievious situations. Sometimes we just have to hang on to the Lord for dear life ~ and pray like there is no tomorrow. I’ve felt so very sad and at a loss ~ yet knowing all along that my Lord never left my side ~ not once.

I’m not here to tell you that there has been a miraculous change in my situation ~ and that everything is well. But I am here to say that though I have been walking in the darkest of valleys, God is still my very best friend and finally my heart and spirit have been renewed.

As I shared yesterday, I began listening to The Pineapple Story series again. I listened to tape #1 twice ~ it was that profound. I am so thankful that God brought them to mind today. He certainly knew how much I needed it.

Through out this tape series, Missionary Otto Koning shares how we must yield many things to God (including his garden of pineapples) in order to reach that true happiness that we can experience only when we give everything to our Lord. In this first tape, he talks about yielding our rights ~ to pretty much everything. He reminds his listeners that we don’t own anything ~ from our car and home to our peace of mind, and health, and happiness. Everything belongs to God. And when we come to that realization and lay it all at His feet (which will likely have to be a daily practice) it is then that we will have everything above and beyond what we need. It is then that we will have true happiness.

Mr. Koning discusses how God wants to make the choices in our lives. We should never say "I am never going to do that" or "I don’t want to live there or work at that job." Because as sure as anything you will find yourself doing that. I remember when I was teaching at a Christian school in the mid 1990's and I said "I will never home school." Guess what I have been doing for the past 15 years? Yes, homeschooling.

He encourages us to give all of our possessions to God ~ for God will take better care of them than we ever could. He said, "Whatever you give to God with the right motives you will never lack that thing again. Whatever He is Lord of ~ whatever He controls ~ He will always do a better job of it than we can." But it has to be our choice. God is not going to push us out of the way to achieve His will. We have to surrender. And if we don’t ~ we will struggle.

And so I gave up my rights today. It wasn’t easy but I have found myself at a place in my life where I need God to do His will in a big way. He wasn’t going to push me aside so He could do a perfect work ~ it was necessary that I step to the side. I don’t know if things will ever be restored in the way that I desire for them to be ~ I don’t know what is going to happen. I just know that I laid down my rights to everything today. And you know what? It was such a load off of my heart. To say "Lord it is all in your hands. It is yours to do with as you please." For the first day in many many days peace has been restored in my heart and spirit. Tomorrow may prove to be a "dickens of a day" ~ satan will attempt to take me back to the pit I was in ~ but God can handle him easily. Until tomorrow...........

Thank You ~ Friends ~ For Your Love and Prayers

It's not always easy to remain in contact when you are walking through a deep valley. I've taken time away from blogging for that reason. I have felt the prayers of my blog friends and have appreciated every sweet email and post comment I have received. Thank you for caring about me ~ someone you don't even know. I look forward to spending an eternity with you ~ my Christian sisters ~ in Heaven.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Yielding My Rights

This morning I pulled out an old set of cassette tapes produced by The Institute in Basic Life Principles. The series is called The Pineapple Story featuring the testimony of Otto Koning’s missionary years in New Guinea. The twelve tapes share Mr. Koning’s powerful witness to yielding one’s rights to God and what a tremendous change that can bring to your life and to those lives around you.

I had listened to this series several years ago when I was away from God. A friend had stopped by one day with a delicious meal and the first tape of this series. I fought listening to the tape because I knew I was away from the Lord ~ this friend knew I was away from the Lord ~ and I wasn’t interested in being preached to. When I finally surrendered to listen to it ~ needless to say ~ it was life changing.

It had been many years since the waters had been stirred in my soul by the Holy Spirit. For way too long I had practiced quenching the Holy Spirit (I Thessalonians 5:19 - Quench not the Spirit). That day after listening to the tape, the flood gates opened and would not close. I cried and cried for hours mingled with prayer ~ confessing years of sin ~ begging God to forgive me. The sobs were so intense I thought at times I would stop breathing. It was such a magnificent time of cleansing. I do not believe I will ever forget it. That was over 11 years ago. Indeed, God used Mr. Koning’s testimony to bring a dramatic change in my life.

This morning when I began to listen to that "first tape" in the series I heard things that I had not heard when I listened to it in the past ~ kind of like when we read the Bible ~ you can read a verse many times and each time get something different out of it according to how the Holy Spirit is leading.

To spare you reading such a lengthy post I will continue tomorrow with how Mr. Koning’s testimony inspired me today ~ an inspiration I was desperately in need of ~ thank you Lord. See you tomorrow blog friends.

Monday, February 16, 2009

They Burned The Church Down

As I have read through the Chronicles in the Old Testament, I’ve thought a whole lot about the Jews and the tragedy of their ultimately going into captivity in Babylon. For all those years, they had thought that they knew what was best for them ~ to have a king to lead them. Most of the kings were very wicked; and the final one ~ King Nebuchadnezzar ~ had the temple, which King Solomon built, destroyed. In II Chronicles 36:19 it says And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. My heart hurt when I read that verse - trying to envision the darkness of that day when the temple was burned to the ground.

Under the leadership of many evil kings, the Children of Israel continued to make very poor choices. II Chronicles 7:22 says Because they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshiped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them. In the end, God’s chosen people were taken into captivity for 70 years.

This very account reminds me of the "falling away" of the church today. For some it is just about stage entertainment. They feel if you don’t entertain then folk won’t come. For others they have gotten away from preaching the Word ~ of telling about Jesus and how to be saved from our sins. And yet for others it is meeting to eat or socialize in place of preaching. The church has fallen away. And these situations don’t even include the many folk who call themselves Christians and they don’t even attend church.

I believe that in the same way it grieved God in the days of King Nebuchadnezzar ~ it grieves God today that His church ~ His people ~ are not about the Lord’s business. We live in a very wicked time and I believe it is directly related to the falling away of God’s people. In many ways we are already in captivity to the sin that lies around us.

What can we do to help strengthen the church? That’s a whole lot to ponder ~ isn’t it. Stay in prayer and stay in the Word ~ and we will be well on the pathway that we need to be on.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

He's All I Need

For many many months now I have been in the battle of my life. It has surely been noticeable that many of my posts are about leaning on the Lord. It seems I've had a great deal of experience doing that lately. Thank God that He promises that if we draw nigh unto Him that He will draw nigh unto us (James 4:8). And what a promise that is. Certainly one which constantly gives comfort.

I don't know what tomorrow holds but I do know who holds tomorrow. Someday I will look back on these darker days and be able to see each and every move that God has made. Someday I will be able to help someone who is walking the same path. Someday I will be able to testify with an exuberance that God is all I need. I hope you will take the time to listen to He's All I Need by the Kingsmen.

Friday, February 6, 2009

What Satan Fears Most

What satan fears most is a man on his knees ~ not vast marching armies with great weaponry. He knows he can stand against the power of men ~ to engage us in battle is mere sport to him. But a man on his knees with his head bowed in prayer is something quite different to the prince of the air. For when he sees us in prayer to our God most high ~ he knows we have seen through his devilish lies. That’s why satan fears most a man on his knees ~and we’ll keep him trembling if our prayers never cease.

We need to realize that there is a war constantly going on in the spiritual realm. The devil does not want you happy, blessed, and rejoicing in the Lord ~ but rather depressed and blaming God for all the wrong that is going on in your life.

The enemy will try anything he can to separate you from having a relationship with the Lord and he is very successful at bringing problems our way in order to keep our mind from anything and everything except God. That is why it is important to have a strong and committed prayer life. If the devil constantly sees you in prayer and always asking for guidance and wisdom from the Lord, then the enemy knows his power has become ineffective against you.

Just as you would fight to get a burglar out of your home ~ you need to fight that spiritual war by praying ~ by fasting ~ by speaking forth the scriptures of authority and rebuking the enemy in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

A person who kneels in prayer will be able to stand up to anything.

I could not have put it more simply than this. This powerful poem and devotional was submitted to Dwayne Savaya Ministry by Daryl Jackson.

Monday, February 2, 2009

God Is Thinking ~ But Are We?

How much do you think God thinks about you? In Matthew 10:30 it says But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Hebrews 4:12 says He is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Both of these verses certainly indicate that God thinks about us. Psalm 40:5 talks about God’s thoughts and if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. Imagine that. God thinks more about you and me each and every day than we can even number. Psalm 139:17 reiterates the same truth about how often He thinks of His children ~ O God! How great is the sum of them. That warms my heart that my God feels that much love toward me.

And so the big question is "How much do we think of Him each day?" Do we give Him a second thought as we go throughout our regular routine? When we walk past His Word do we pick it up and spend some time with Him? Do we go to Him in prayer praising and worshiping Him? How much do you think of Christ these days? Can we say what King David said in Psalm 42:1~

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

For so much of my life I would have had to answer weakly and feebly to those questions above. But I finally got it - I finally realized what I was missing by not reading and praying on a regular basis. May our souls pant after God every day we remain on this earth.