Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Me? Idolatry? Seriously?

"'You must not make any idols. Don’t make any statues or pictures of anything up in the sky or of anything on the earth or of anything down in the water. Don’t worship or serve idols of any kind, because I, the Lord, am your God. I hate my people worshiping other gods.'" Exodus 20:4-5 ERV

Recently, the Lord has revealed something to me. It was very disturbing to my spirit but I had to own it. I'm going to share it with you because I have found, and maybe you have too, that usually when God is working a truth on you, that there is almost always someone else that needs the same gleaning or word of encouragement that we are getting and we need to share. So, here we go.

I am a people pleaser--I have shared that before. I worry very much about how others are perceiving me or what or how I 'think' others are perceiving me. In that worry, I have allowed myself to do or not do things that I am not proud of. I am constantly comparing myself, degrading myself and allowing myself to be talked out of doing something that the Lord may be telling me to do--with my self talk. I tell myself that I am stupid, ugly, fat and how in the world could Jesus really use someone like me? That people will not receive my words that I know the Lord has told me because, "Why, they think I am stupid and God wouldn't use someone like me."

Brothers and sisters, that is wrong! God brought to my heart and spirit the revelation that I need to beware of trying to see myself through other peoples eyes. That I am making what I 'think' others are seeing and thinking the truth over what I know that my God is seeing and thinking  And when I am doing that, I am making them my idol. I am committing idolatry!

Oh, how that sadden and grieved my soul. I had to totally get on my knees and confess my sin and ask for forgiveness. For you see, God doesn't see me as I see me or how I 'think' others are seeing me. God has never said that I was ugly or fat or stupid--never! God has never said that He would never use me--no, completely the opposite. So why am I allowing what I think--(observe the 'think')--others are thinking and saying to control my life? Ridiculous! My God has always told me how much He loves me--in fact He treasures me, and how glad He is that I am His daughter and that as long as I have a willing spirit, He will use me. 

So there--all my yuck is out there on the table. I'm not proud of it but I did it to hopefully get you to thinking--Do I do that? Am I making something that is not god, my God? It doesn't have to be like me, emotions. Your's may be money, fears, outward appearances, superb spirituality--the list could go on. I encourage you to do a self-check. Pray to your Father and ask Him if there is anything that He sees that you are making an idol--to point out. Then receive it. Seriously, it doesn't make you a bad person or a failure or anything else that the devil may be trying to whisper in your ear to make you stay in your own muck. Jesus wants to set you free from all of that.

You know, once I confessed and received forgiveness--I have had such a peace! I can truly love and serve and be and not get all wrapped up with the "what if's"! And of course, I need to say that, in my life, it is a daily battle. But now I am aware so when I feel or hear those thoughts, my spirit tells me it's poison and I then give them back to my God and He rescues me--and He will you! 

What has also helped is having accountability people in my life that I have given permission to speak into my life if they see me going down the old familiar path again. These are people that I trust, that are grounded in the Word and that the Lord has told me to ask. You may think of that too.

Our God is such an awesome Father! Praise Him for ALL things!Even growing pains! 

"A voice came from heaven and said, 'You are my Son, the one I love. I am very pleased with you.'” Mark 1:11 ERV

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Modern Day Moses Moment

"In your unfailing love you will lead
    the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them
   to your holy dwelling." Exodus 15:17 NIV

The scene leading up to this is that Moses and the Israelites had just escaped Egypt. With God's power, Moses had parted the Red Sea, the Israelites all got across and then Moses closed the sea and the Egyptians soldiers, their chariots and their horses all drowned. Can you imagine what that scene was like? The sights, sounds and emotions? Talk about drama!

Afterwards, when everything had calmed down, Moses and the Israelites sang this song of praise--Exodus 15--to the Lord. At that moment, they were so thankful to their God for all He had done for them. Their world would never be the same.

What about your world? Is your world full of chaos? Are you like the Israelites, enslaved to the Egypt in your life? Or maybe your life is in the transition of changing and you are walking on the floor of the Red Sea, half way from the old and bad shore behind you with your focus on the new and good shore in front of you. Or maybe you have totally come across and now you can rejoice over your recovery from the old life that has been drowned out with the Lord's love and strength.

Gather strength from this chapter of Exodus. I particularly love the verse above because it speaks of our God's unfailing love. His unfailing love for me--for you. In a world where there is so much failure. Where there is so many strings attached--the fact that God's love for me is unfailing. Wow! What a much needed truth to receive.

Is it hard for you to totally accept that truth?  Be honest with yourself. Is it? We are so trained that we need to do or be--in order to be loved and that just isn't so with God. I have to be honest and say when I am asked, I say, Oh, I know that my God loves me and its just because He loves me. But then I find myself trying to earn that love. I find myself trying to be or do the perfect whatever I think He wants or try to not be or do whatever. But I do it subconsciously. Is that where you are?

Our God loves us no matter what. There is nothing that will ever separate us from that love--ever! That is what unfailing means--not giving way; not falling short of expectation; completely dependable. His book, the Bible is full of love verses for us. It's like a giant love letter--and it was written just for you. Receive that love. And for those moments that you find yourself--like I do--caught in the trap of bad thinkin'--grab that Love book and find those verses. Better yet, as you are reading each day (and I know you are reading each day), have your highlighter with you and highlight those verses that you come across and write them in your prayer journal to have close at hand. And pray. He loves it when you humbly come to Him, share your thoughts and feelings, stop to listen to what He has to say, and praise Him for His awesomeness.

"Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture...None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us." Romans 35-36 MSG

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tag! You're It!

'"Sing, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
15 The Lord has taken away your judgments,
He has cast out your enemy.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
You shall see disaster no more.'" Zephaniah 3:14-15 NKJV

I don't know if you have ever experienced this or not, but there are times when the Lord directs me to a verse and I read it and then sit there thinking, "O.K. Lord, and the reason is for...."

Well, to be honest, today is one of those days, I prayed and was lead to this verse. Actually, I was also lead to a closing verse which you'll see in a minute.

You know, sometimes we are not always suppose to have everything explained to us. Sometimes the Lord wants someone to point out something to us, but then the responsibility is upon us to read and ponder and sit with Him and talk to Him about it--and I think that today is that day for you.

I'll get the ball rolling with what I received and then it's your turn. What I personally receive from this passage is this--that my Jesus, my God, is here. He has died and wiped out all my sins, all my shortcomings--'all' means the past, present & future--and I need to rejoice! I need to praise Him and thank Him for ALL things! With my complete heart--not half-heartedly. That I need not to get stuck in the feelings of failure, of unworthiness, of falling short. That He has taken care of all that and more. He is in my life and He is my life and while everything is not going to be perfect while I am here in this earth--with Him, I can rejoice! He's got it covered! What a relief!

Tag! You're it! Now it's your turn to share. I challenge you to read these verses and sit, pray, ponder on what God wants you to receive--then listen. Let Him tell you what He has planned for you. Then praise Him. Praise Him for loving you SO much. For having a special message for you. For caring. For even wanting to have an interactive relationship with you. That He's not just sitting up there, bossing us around. He loves and cherishes you so deeply. And if you feel so led--share with someone He brings to mind.

"'The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.'” Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV


My dear Father God, I praise You for loving me. I must admit, that it is hard to comprehend at times that You are actually rejoicing over me! But Your words above tell me so and so I receive that. I ask that You will please use me to share that love--that rejoicing--to the world that You have placed me in. I am gratefully and humbly Your child. Thank you. In Your precious name I pray this. Amen.