Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I Want You, Jesus

I want You, Jesus - My hearts cry
I want you, My child - The heart of my Heavenly Father 

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 
1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)

Love. Love is not just a feeling, a heart attitude, it is a Person, it is Christ. And Christ, who is Love, who is our example for how to live, is described here...

 Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Philippians 2:1-8 (NASB) 

Am I humble? Do I give up the selfish desires of my heart for others? No, no I don't. I am a selfish being, I am one who wants what I want. But I have died to that way of life, I am a new creation, one who is one with Christ. When I choose to not listen to Him, which happens more often than I would like to admit, and go my own way I fall back into my prideful and selfish ways. I choose to ignore the calling of Christ, to live life by His example, to bring glory to Him and not myself. I fall off the "Christ wagon" and jump onto the "me wagon" and I think it's great! Until I become empty, lonely, desiring a fulfillment in life that only a life empty of myself and full of Himself can offer. My loving Father takes me back, He calls me to Himself, His arms open wide calling me to come rest, to place all my worries, all my fears, all my selfishness, all my joy, all my love, all my desires into His loving care. To trust Him, to follow Him, to stop trying to live in my own power. I can never be the woman, the wife, the mother (some day), that He wants me to be by living in my own strength. Only living His way, letting Him lead, letting Him be the one glorified, letting Him shine through my weaknesses, my scars, my life in His good, pleasing and perfect way(Romans 12:2).

 Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4 (NASB)

Delight. I love the word delight. When I think delight, I think weightless, I think sunshine, I think joy. 

Father I want to delight myself in You. I want to let You open my eyes to Your Love that is displayed all around me if I will be willing to see. I want to let Your life rule in me. I want to find my every fulfillment in You. Father thank you for Your Love that you freely give, and that You will give to others through me if I will give up my selfishness and let you reign in me. 
You are my King, You are my All-powerful God, You are my Comforter, You are my Peace, You are my Guide, You are my Example, You are my Love, You are my LIFE. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

His Grace Freely Given

"You cannot stay where you are and go with God at the same time."
"Obedience is costly to you and to those around you."
"Obedience [to God] requires total dependence on God to work through you."
Experiencing God Study

These statements have given me new insight and freedom from guilt as I think of the different paths my life has taken over the years. Sometimes I would look back and think, God why did that happen? Or why did it happen that way? It seemed so painful for me and for those around me. Sometimes I knew that I was disobeying God, and other times I knew I was following Him. And yet many times, when it seemed to hurt the most was when I was truly following and obeying the Lord. I never understood why that would be and it led me to many fears and doubts. 

"O God, it is You who knows my folly,
And my wrongs are not hidden from you."
Psalm 69:5

"Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way."
Psalm 139:23&24

And yet God knows my heart, He and He alone can truly know my heart and give peace where He sees purity and conviction where He sees sin. What a blessing to believe in His Sovereignty, to truly believe that His ways are not my ways, and that He is able to make all things beautiful in their time. Not my time, but His time; not my ways, but His ways. Will I trust Him? Will I live out my belief that He does all things well? That there is always beauty in the midst of chaos, thankfulness in the midst of the pain, and joy, there is always joy to be found in the character of Jesus Christ. The One who died for me and washed me white as snow. The One who calls me to Himself, who is always with me, who loves me with an everlasting love, and who intimately knows my struggles and never leaves me to fight through them on my own. What a friend I have in Jesus. What love that is freely given. 

Jesus You are God and I am not. I have been living in a state of guilt when I think on my failures during my times of running from you, and even during my times of obedience that didn't turn out the way that I thought they should. Forgive me for not living in light of Your Healing touch, for not acknowledging that You can use anything for Your glory, and You have. Oh you have! Thank You for opening my eyes to Your forgiveness, Your power, Your grace, Your provision, Your love.

Jesus thank You...
...for Your revelation.
...for Your grace freely given.
...for the freedom that You offer if I would but take it, and I claim that freedom now Father.
...that You are God and that I am not.
...that You see the whole tapestry while I only see a corner.
...for being Jehovah Shammah "the LORD is there".