Sunday, May 19, 2013

Speak

There is a place inside of me that longs to be a 'giant' of faith.

I want to feed and furnish that 'giant'  place and starve my flesh that says "I'll do it tomorrow... next time... later."

Do it Now!  
Be Tenacious!
Be Steadfast!

Feed that 'giant of longing' daily.   God will use the giant.

"You say 'But He has not answered."  He has.  He is so near to you that His silence is the answer.   His silence is big with terrific meaning that you cannot understand yet, but presently you will."  (Oswald Chambers)

2:00 a.m.

I finally get out of bed trying to talk with God and something inside me says "on your face before Him."

On the floor, face down... mind rambling... still trying to talk with Him.

"Shhhh.." 

but..

"Shhhh."

Finally, my mind quiets for a split second.

I think (or does God say it?)  "Holy Spirit."

and I am surprised as though I had forgotten He was there.

"Holy Spirit."

and then.... "Remember who you are."

Lord, speak through me.

''for it is not you who speaks, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you."  (Matthew 10: 20)

While He Prayed

His friends were sleeping while He prayed.      

He knew their hearts were hurting and their minds were troubled.  They did not understand what He was doing.  How could they?

In the upper room after the feast of Passover, He had shared with them what would come.  Yet they still could not comprehend the final outcome of His life, His mission. 

They had all boldly and courageously proclaimed that they would never let Him die alone.. not without them.

In the fog of their understanding, His words of life and resurrection seemed to have slipped past them unnoticed.

In the garden, He had asked them to pray as they waited for Him.   "Pray so that you will not fall into temptation."

Yet, in exhaustion from their sorrow at the dreadful words of His portending death, they fell into  the temptation of sleep.

While He prayed for them in that dark night, they slept.   While He pled with the Father to remove the cup of wrath, they slept.   As He prayed obedience  "Nevertheless, not my will, but Yours be done" they slept.

He had simply asked them to pray.   To pray so that they did not fall.   

What has He asked the church, us, me.. to do?   Do we sleep while He keeps His bride lifted up before the Father?

He knows our hearts are hurting.  He knows when we are filled to overflowing with joy!   He knows what we need to make it through the day.   He provides our everything.

He asks us to pray... to avoid the temptation of dark sleep..to remember His words of life....to wake up!    He hopes for our obedience... for our prayer of  "Nevertheless, not my will but Yours be done Lord" 

"The great need of the Church in this and all ages is men of such commanding faith, of such unsullied holiness, of such marked spiritual vigor and consuming zeal, that they will work spiritual revolutions through their mighty praying."  (E.M. Bounds)
















Friday, May 17, 2013

What Do I Do With This Cross

I was wandering around my home trying to figure out what to do with this cross.   My daughter had given me a beautiful wood and metal cross at Christmas.   Christmas had come and gone... several months ago.  

It was way past time to find the perfect spot for it in my home.

I carried it around with me to every room.   I tried it in an empty corner... or on a wall next to a picture.  After about 30  minutes of going in circles in my house holding this beautiful cross in my hands, I finally found the perfect spot.

Yes, the cross has become a decoration.   They are so beautiful!   We hang them on our walls, set them on our tables as a centerpiece, wear them around our necks, on our wrists, on our feet.   They sparkle and shine as jewelry.   They are painted and decorated gloriously!

For quite a while, this has bothered me.    The symbol of Jesus' sacrifice...  the cross which is an instrument of torture and death has been turned into a decoration, an ornament.

I cringe to see a cross necklace around the neck of someone and hear foul language slip from their lips or see unholy actions in their day to day lives.

Profane..  that's what it is....  blasphemous.   

What is that old saying?  "Point a finger at someone and three fingers are pointing back at you."

The question of what to do with The Cross is asked.   Jesus said
"take up your cross and follow Me".      

He didn't say 'take up His cross'.  He said 'take up yours'.   Mine.  My cross.  

Some of us may have a hard time figuring out just what is our cross actually anyway?  Some of us think that our cross is the life that we live, the joy and hardships we go through along the way.  I've heard people say "Oh, it's just my cross to bear" when something goes wrong in their life. 

Think about it.   Jesus' entire life and ministry was  His cross.   His earthly ministry culminated in His death.

It's what He was put here to do.

I have come to determine that my cross is not the life I live.   My cross is the life of Jesus in me.  My cross is the ministry of lifting up and encouraging others as I walk with Jesus.

My cross is not what has gone wrong.  It is the only thing that is right.

It is what I was put here to do.

That is the mission that He has entrusted to me.  Yet it is not my mission.  It is His.

Sometimes it is not easy to be encouraging.  It is not easy to be like Jesus.   Especially when I am not " feeling " it.   Especially when I think that I am the one that needs to be lifted up and encouraged.

Those are the times that I am trying to live 'my' life.  I want to be put on display, praised, to be the center of attention, a decoration in the perfect spot that pleases the eye and enhances.   I, me, my, mine.

In my thinking, that attitude is just as bad as wearing a beautiful diamond cross around my neck and blaspheming God with my words and actions. 

The "me" attitude profanes what Jesus did for me.   I might as well trample on Him with my perfectly pedicured flip flopped feet that are decorated with those pretty little rhinestone crosses.

Jesus had times when he was not "feeling" it.   The night before His crucifixion he prayed "take this cup from me".... but then He said  "nevertheless."


Nevertheless.   That is an entire lifetime right there.  An entire mission or ministry.  Nevertheless.
It didn't matter how Jesus felt at that time.  What  mattered is that He chose to do the will of the Father regardless of what it cost Him.

I confess... it seems I have more of  the "me" life in me than I do of Jesus.   If I am filled with me, there is no room for Jesus. 

I want to have a "nevertheless" life.  A life where Jesus is the center of attention, the beautiful decoration and the focal point; what people see when they look my direction. A life where it doesn't matter what I want but I count the cost and say "Nevertheless, not my will... not my life... not my idea or desire... but Yours, Lord."

Now that's the perfect spot for my cross. 

"...for you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."  (Colossians 3:3)


"Oh the wonderful cross.  Oh the wonderful cross.
Bids me come and die and find that I may truly live."

Precious and beautiful holy Father, please help me to stay hidden in You and live the life of nevertheless... crucified with You.   Amen.