Friday, August 15, 2014

Lord, I want to know You

Here we are, at the very end of our study.  To those of you who committed and stuck with it, I am so proud of you.  This study was different than most and there were days it was difficult to pull something from it. But, I hope that as you wrapped it up the Lord revealed something, even just one thing, that can stick to your heart.  I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately.  This isn’t the appropriate time to spill it all, but I’ll share this one tiny thing.

Not every experience has to be “blog worthy”.  Not every bible study or vacation or chat with a friend is going to adequately wrap in a pretty post with beautifully lit photos.  And if we are rating our experiences in bible study on the ability it has to be spun into a beautiful post we are totally missing the point.  Just because it doesn’t come together in all the right words and with all the right graphics doesn’t mean that the Lord isn’t using it in your life.  Don’t compare your quiet time to what you’re able to produce in a post.  I know this almost sounds silly since this was a blog bible study and we must talk it out to communicate with each other.  But, I don’t want you to think that this study was a fail if you couldn’t put your thoughts or feelings or convictions into words.  That’s okay.  It was your quiet time.  It was your time with the Lord.

As we wrap up this study, I’ll share the one thing that sticks with me from all of this.  We have a personal, loving, invested God who loves and cares for us in personal ways.  I just think of all the ways that He ministers to us in our times of need.  He meets physical need, spiritual needs, emotional needs.  He’s El Roi when I need to be reminded that He sees me and He’s Jehovah- rapha when I’m praying for the cancer to go away in my friend’s body.  He’s Jehovah-shalom when my mind is tempted to fear and He’s El Elyon when I’m humbly on my face recognizing His might and power in my life.  There is no need that He cannot meet.  There is no place in my heart that He cannot go.  There is no thing that He does not know.  He is sovereign and He is great and He is Lord.  I am weak and I am small and I am dependent.  I pray that knowing these names of God will encourage me to call out to Him in those intimate and personal ways.  That I would cling to Him instead of my own failing strength.  Even as we end this study, my heart cries out Lord, I want to know You.  I still have so much longing in my heart for God to move and do radical things in and through my life.  I leave this study longing for more and ready for more.  I leave knowing He is Jehovah-shammah, the Lord is there.

He’s there.  He’s right where I am, right where you are.  All I have to do sit in His presence.

As we close, I don’t have any pin-able graphics or photos that make my post “more interesting” or show that I’m a blogger who “knows the rules”.  This is my heart, this is where I am.  Blogging has been a sweet thing in my life.  But now... the Lord is showing me it doesn’t quite have a place.  Maybe next month or next year or never again.  That’s to be determined.  But, I leave this space knowing that Jehovah-mekoddishkem is sanctifying me all the way.
Lord, may we look more like you.  

Friday, August 1, 2014

#namesofgod2014 vol. 5 + AN ANNOUNCEMENT

“It is one thing to know about God and another to live in the light of that knowledge.”

That statement is one I highlighted the minute I read it.  The Lord has been convicting my heart of so much lately and He’s been reminding me of the difference between routine and devotion.  My routine says open my bible, but does my devotion come with it?  Or do I know about God without actually living like I do?  I do not want to finish this study and it be one that I just shove on a shelf and forget the content.  I want to remember these names of God and use them in my walk with Him.  I pray that you do, too. 

This week has been my very favorite.  The timing of it all is so perfect for some things the Lord is bringing to light in my life.  All the talk about the flesh being our “first and constant enemy” was a lot for me to think and meditate on.  Kay says, “The flesh must constantly be put to death. It can’t be tolerated, catered to, or spared in any way.  If it is, it will devastate you.”  My flesh competes with the Spirit.  I cannot have both.  I cannot have both what I want, and what God wants.  It cannot happen.  There is a constant struggle there.  Wanting what I want while also wanting to obey the Lord and be filled with the Spirit.  I think my problem is forgetting grace.  Forgetting that salvation had nothing to do with me.  Forgetting that it isn’t my goodness that gets me closer to God, but the blood of Jesus.  I did absolutely nothing to deserve salvation.  I did, however, do everything to deserve Hell.  God extends grace and mercy to us and that is such a beautiful thing.  So, if God extends grace and mercy, why do I try to “fix” things by myself?  I cannot battle the flesh on my own.  I MUST see that God is the one who can have power of my sins and strongholds.  I MUST see that it is by His power, not mine, that am set free.  Kay says, “Apart from Him you can do nothing.  Only by abiding under the power, the standard, the banner, the ensign of your Jehovah-nissi can you have victory over the flesh, the world, and the devil, your enemies of God."  Oh, there is just so much goodness there.  I pray that it soaks into my spirit. 

And then we hop into the chapter about sanctification and my name is written all over it.  Y’all, did anyone else just loooovvveeeee this chapter!?  I felt the Lord speaking so much to my heart.  I feel like you can’t stop the conversation about overcoming the flesh without talking about sanctification.  An idea that God brought up to me was that sanctification requires sacrifice.  I have to sacrifice my flesh in order for the Lord to sanctify me.  That’s a big thing. 

The Lord is getting ready to work this out in my life big time and I’m so excited to see what He does.  How did this week’s study work in your heart?  Do you feel God calling you to make changes in your life?  Do share. :)


We are moving our final post date to August 15th instead of the 8th.  We did this because if we post on the 8th, we still have a few days of bible study left.  This way, we can finish it, reflect on it, and post some overall thoughts on what we’ve learned.  I hope you’re doing it with us.  

See you on the 15th! 

Friday, July 25, 2014

#namesofgod2014 vol.4

The Mary Kay giveaway winner is Sarah!  Congratulations! Kristy will be emailing you soon about your prize. :)

This week’s study on “The Lord Who Heals” was so good and challenging.  I’ve really been challenged through this study.  There are some days where I just really draw a blank and I’m digging to get something out of it.  Then there is another day when the Lord is just screaming things at my heart and it is so good.  I think a study like this is good to strengthen our walks with the Lord.  

Sometimes it is so easy to see Christianity as just something pretty.  Something that makes us feel good.  And then we read about how some of our sickness is tied to our sin and we just don’t like that. It doesn’t “feel” good.  I pray that my views on my God continue to change over the course of this study.  So many of my views need to be rocked.  

We do know this.  God is in charge of our sickness and our healing.  Our God is All-Powerful.  Our God has His hands in every little detail of our lives.  He hears our prayers.  He sees our tears.  He forgives our sins.  He makes us well.  I love that throughout the chapter we looked at different verses that show us different things about God healing.  I LOVED that we ultimately see that Christ is our healer.  He is the ultimate miracle for our disease-filled hearts.  He took on my sin, my sickness, my punishment.  Sometimes, sickness isn’t directly related to our sin. Sometimes, we won’t see healing like we want to.  Sometimes the Lord will choose to use our sickness or the sickness of a loved one for His glory and to display His works (John 9:1-3).  Sometime healing will come through death and life in Heaven.  I love how the Lord made it so obvious to me that His ultimate healing comes through eternal life.  Healing comes one way or another. We can be thankful for that. 

I’ve loved seeing others participate in this.  It’s been so neat to see how God has used this study in each of our lives so differently.  I know He is blessing us!

I just wanted to give one more little note before I sign off for the day.  I’m so thankful to be doing this study and to be doing it with you.  I’m going to continue to do these posts on Friday until our study is over.  But, I will be stepping back from blogging indefinitely.  I just wanted to give you a little heads up before you worry.  :) Until next Friday... keep up the good work, ladies!  So thankful for your commitment to this study.