Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Knots Prayer

Dear God:
Please untie the knots that are in my mind,
my heart and my life.
Remove the have nots, the can nots
and the do nots that I have in my mind.

Eraise the will nots, may nots, might nots
that may find a home in my heart.

Release me from the could nots,
would nots and should nots that obstruct my life.

And most of all, Dear God,
I ask that You remove from my mind, my heart and my life
all of the 'am nots' that I have allowed to hold me back,
especially the thought that I am not good enough.

(Author Known to God)

Last week my father-in-love sent me this prayer.  It has been on my heart and mind all week.  Perhaps you have some knots in your life.  I tend to know they are there by feelings of anxiety, discouragement, feelings of being overwhelmed.  A few knots were pulling tight on me even this morning.  When knots arise, I'm learning to lean myself on the strength of the Almighty and let Him untie them for me.  Here are some of the Truths He used this morning as He smoothed out each knot that had me bound.

Since Karrie is in Christ, by the grace of God...

• Karrie has been justified – completely forgiven and made righteous. (Romans 5:1)

• Karrie is free forever from condemnation. (Romans 8:1)

• Karrie has received the Spirit of God into her life that Karrie might know the things freely given to Karrie by God. (1 Corinthians 2:12)

• Karrie has been established, anointed and sealed by God in Christ, and Karrie has been given the Holy Spirit as a pledge guaranteeing her inheritance to come. (2 Corinthians 1:21;Ephesians 1:13, 14)

• Karrie has been made righteous. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

• Karrie has been blessed with every spiritual blessing. (Ephesians 1:3)

• Karrie has been redeemed and forgiven, and she is a recipient of His lavish grace. Karrie has been made alive together with Christ. (Ephesians 2:5)

• Karrie has direct access to God through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:18)

• Karrie may approach God with boldness, freedom and confidence. (Ephesians 3:12)

• Karrie has been rescued from the domain of satan's rule and transferred to the kingdom of Christ. (Colossians 1:13)

• Karrie has been redeemed and forgiven of all her sins. The debt against Karrie has been cancelled. (Colossians 1:14)

• Christ Himself is in Karrie. (Colossians 1:27)

• Karrie is firmly rooted in Christ and now being built up in Him. (Colossians 2:7)

• Karrie has been made complete in Christ. (Colossians 2:1)

• Karrie has been saved and set apart according to God's doing. (2Timothy 1:9;Titus 3:5)

• Karrie has the right to become boldly before the throne of God to find mercy and grace in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

• Karrie has been given exceedingly great and precious promises by God by which Karrie is a partaker of God's divine nature. (2 Peter 1:4)

Perhaps you have some knots of your own today.  These precious promises are for every believer in Jesus Christ - the Son of God.  You can be free too!

PS.  leave me a message if you'd like to talk further about freedom in Christ!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

What Do You Want As Your Epitaphe?

From a healthy, "relatively young" woman, this may sound like a crazy question but this is where my thoughts have roamed this morning.  As I was reading God's words through the apostle Paul in Colossians 3, I found myself writing in the margins of my Bible "make me into that, LORD." 

The passage reads, "Let the message about Christ completely fill your lives, while you use all your wisdom to teach and instruct each other.  With thankful hearts, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.  Whatever you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks to God the Father because of Him." vs. 16-17

A wife must put her husband first... vs. 18

Parents don't be hard on your children... vs. 21

Slaves (employees)... Do your work willingly as though you  were serving the Lord Himself... vs. 22-23

In so many ways, I fall short of this but THIS is who I really want to be.  I recently participated in a funeral service which, despite the grief of losing a friend, tickled me that her true character was celebrated.  I believe she would have been pleased.  Then I thought I wonder what people will say about me... My heart desires that they would express the words in the verses above.

Let the message about Christ completely fill your lives... I'm struck how it says our "lives" and not our "heads".  If I only learn the message of Christ in my head but never let it filter out into my life, I'm a hypocrite.  I spent the first half or more of my life that way.  What I said with my mouth didn't show itself in my actions.  My life may be the only Bible someone reads.  I want to declare it with integrity.

While you use all your wisdom to teach and instruct each other... Immediately, I recognize that my wisdom is not nearly enough to teach and instruct my children or others that the LORD has placed across my path.  That being the case, I need to be really digging into God's Word for His wisdom to live by and then I'll have something of worth to teach and instruct another.

With thankful hearts, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God... The friend of mine that just passed away had a real attitude of contentment in all things.  I want to have a thankful heart.  I want it to show itself as I sing. 

Whatever you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus... Well, this covers an enormous number of things!  I think I can understand it best by "if Jesus were here... would I say this?  Would I do that?"

As you give thanks to God the Father because of Him... In all that I say and in all that I do, I want to have an attitude of gratitude!

A wife must put her husband first... I want my husband and those around us to know that I really love him.  Love is not just an emotion.  It shows itself in our choices and actions.  I want it to be evident that after the LORD, he is my number one!

Parents don't be hard on your children... I love my children - more than I ever knew possible!  But raising children is hard work - much harder than I ever knew possible!  I want to be full of love and affection, consistent in discipline, but never hard on them which the Bible says can cause them to give up.

Slaves (employees)... Do your work willingly as though you were serving the Lord Himself... It even adds working hard to do the job my employer desires even when they are not watching.  God is watching.  And you know, it also says that God rewards. 

What about you?  How do you want people to celebrate you?  Are you that person today or are there some things that you'd like to change in order that you would be remembered differently.  We'll never become something different in the future without taking steps today.  I don't know how many years, months, weeks or days I have left to leave a mark upon this earth. I hope it's lots! But one thing is for sure, if I want things like this to be the hallmarks of my legacy, I need to start letting God do some work in me today.  And if I let Him, I know He will!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

"Whatever"... What a Promise!

O the love of our Lord! The promises He holds for us! The blessings He bestows! They are infinite! So much more than we would dare to imagine... Don't you just love His Word?! The logos or the whole of it and then the rhema or those scriptures which the Spirit brings to life as He writes them on the pages of our mind and heart. When the Lord gives a rhema, we can trust Him for it! He expects us to act on it just like the good and faithful servant given the talents. When we do, He gives more. If we don't, we run the risk that even the little that we have will be taken away from us.

Awhile back, the Lord led me to 1 John 5. He was taking me on an amazing adventure of "against all hope - hoping" in believing prayer. He is so awesome! I thought that I knew this chapter. O the blessings that pride must keep me from. I read, For the [true] love of God is this: that we do His commands [keep His ordinances and are mindful of His precepts and teaching]. And these orders of His are not irksome (burdensome, oppressive, or grievous). (vs. 3) I love that! When we surrender our ways to walk in His, we really do find that His yoke is easy and His burden is light - no matter the situation. It was when I got to verse 4 that I did a double take. The verse didn't say what I thought it did...

For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world even our faith. I always thought that it said "whoever". Whatever... what was that all about? I pulled out "Strong's Strongest" concordance. At first, I was dismayed to find that "whatever", or "whatsoever" as the King James Version puts it, was found in the appendix. I had never researched something in the appendix before, but the Lord is faithful. When He has a Word for us, He leads us through to get it.

The word "whatsoever" comes from many Greek words indicating whenever, wherever, whoever, no matter how large, incorporating: if, also, and even though, no matter the kind nor the manner, encompassing a wish or possibility. Whoa! The Lord had asked me to believe Him for something HUGE in the life of my children. In fact, humanly, what I'm to believe Him for is impossible! But the Lord showed, through numerous scriptures, that He was capable of just such a miracle. He's asked me to labor in prayer for it and He's made it clear that it's going to be a long journey, but I know without a doubt that He's given the desire and the plan. So what was this one word "whatever" saying to me?

Whatever wish or possibility born of God is victorious! No matter the what, when, how big, even though, etc.! When God gives it, we can - we MUST - put our faith in it! Who is victorious? The one who believes and trusts in the fact that Jesus is God's Son! Against all hope - hoping - in believing prayer that the Son of the Most High is able!

I do not call you servants (slaves) any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing (working out). But I have called you My friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from My Father. [I have revealed to you everything that I have learned from Him.] John 15:11

Child of God, what has He asked you to believe Him for? Are you acting on it? He's already working it out! Hear Him answer all of your "buts" with "but God..."! No matter how improbable or even impossible it appears, if the Lord gave the Word, He's good for it! Who will be victorious? The one who believes Him for His whatever...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

He Knows Our Heart

The Lord God is so gracious and amazing! He knows my innermost thoughts - my deep desire to please Him intertwined with my often confused notion that somehow I can earn His love. I struggle with perfectionism. Not that I get things perfect - far from it - but an incredible pressure that I place on myself to get "it" right... no matter what "it" is.

One day, in particular, the Lord sweetly showed me a valuable lesson about this! We were enjoying a wonderful day together. Our time in the morning had been so sweet. His Presence lingered almost tangibly as we went through Our day. I was cleaning in the kitchen when I noticed that my two small cutting boards were put away in an unusual spot. Immediately I found myself saying, "oh, my precious baby!" I knew that my little daughter had decided to help her mommy and had put away the cutting boards in this spot because she was unable to reach up beside the microwave where I normally keep them. I was so blessed by the fact that she would want to help me put the dishes and such away.

Then He spoke. "Does it matter that she didn't put them in the RIGHT spot?" No! She had thought of me and tried her best! And I was blessed - even though she hadn't done it how I would have. I knew what He was saying to me. How much more is our Heavenly Father blessed by our attempts - even when the outcome is "wrong"...

His words were such a kindness to me. A friend and I had just talked, about our struggle with condemning ourselves when we didn't do things "right". As if this were not enough, only a little while later, while I was cleaning my children's rooms, I was thanking the Lord for the great enjoyment that I was getting from this day. Again He spoke. "Does it matter to you that you are going behind them and cleaning up after they have already tried to clean their rooms?" You see, they had already made their beds and tidied their desks but I was following behind them doing a more thorough cleaning. And NO, it didn't matter! I was singing and rejoicing in what they had done and it didn't matter a bit that I was doing the things that they hadn't seen.

How much more our Heavenly Father? He sees our hearts! He knows our good intentions! And He knows what we're capable of! He love us. He loves me! And He has assumed full responsibility for me - His daughter! And in His infinite mercy and grace, He rejoices over me with singing... even when He's going behind me cleaning up my messes!

Friday, October 1, 2010

He Leadeth Me

Oh, I was desperate for a Word! I came before the LORD, longing only to hear His voice and to hear it above the roar of the day before me. I needed my course to be corrected. I had gone off course and I knew it but I didn't know how to fix it. I needed the Master to place His nail-scarred hands over mine and redirect me. I called to Him. I reminded myself of what He had told me... "when you pray, I will listen. You will find Me when you seek Me, if you look for me in earnest." (Jeremiah 29:12, 13 LB) "And if you leave God's paths and go astray, you will hear a Voice behind you say, 'No, this is the way; walk here.'" (Isaiah 30:21 LB)

The LORD took me to Psalm 78. I love that psalm! He has spoken precious promises to me through these verses. Today, these verses held fresh, new insight. Isn't that just like our God?!

"For He divided the sea before them and led them through!" (vs. 13a) I asked Him to please do this with the load that overwhelms me.

"In the daytime He led them by a cloud, and at night by a pillar of fire." (vs. 14) I could trust Him to lead me.

"He split open the rocks in the wilderness to give them plenty of water, as though gushing from a spring. Streams poured from the rock, flowing like a river." (vs. 15, 16) O LORD, I am so thirsty!

"He gave them bread from heaven! They ate angels' food! He gave them all they could hold." (vs. 24b, 25) May I feast on You and be satisfied, O LORD.

"But it was only with their words they followed Him, not with their hearts... They did not keep their promises." (vs. 36, 37b) Oh... I didn't like the sound of that! How LORD?

You see, the LORD has really been teaching me about living intentionally - walking circumspectly. He has had me revisit my core values and the verses that prompted them pretty much daily. He wants them to so resonate in me that they become the signposts of my choices. Yesterday, in the midst of good intentions, I dismissed a pledge that I had made to the LORD as being too difficult to carry out that day. Before long, I also dismissed a knawing in my soul. The result? I spent my energy on a "good" thing and missed out on the best. On top of that, I wasn't the only one who paid the consequences. My children paid too. "...I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life that you and your children may live." (Deuteronomy 30:19) "Again and again they turned away... and limited the Holy One of Israel from giving them His blessings." (vs. 41)

So where does that leave me? In the midst of grace! "Yet He was merciful and forgave their sins... He remembered that they (I) were merely mortal men, gone in a moment like a breath of wind." (vs. 38, 39)

The LORD has shown me the path through the waters of my responsibilities. It's a dry, clear cut path but it takes trust. Each morning, as I sit and wait upon Him to direct the course of the day, He sets the pillar of cloud before me. In the evening, He leads by a pillar of fire. The values that He has set out for me are His. They help me stay the course when the waves pound on the sea of life. I need to trust the Master when earthly "wisdom" would suggest a different course. My heart must choose to follow. I must not forget His power and love or "like a crooked arrow", I will miss "the target of God's will." (see vs. 57) Just like the Israelites, He is bringing me to the border of "His land of blessing", to the land He has made for me. (see vs. 54)

And today... His mercies are renewed. Just like they will be tomorrow and the next day. I'm learning - by His great faithfulness!