Today I heard you tell me you were pleased with me, and that you are going to make everything in my life work out for my favor as you prepare a table before me with its luscious feast. I stopped and asked myself, “wait, did I even pray today?”. Yes, of course I always pray but today was not one of those days that I felt overly spiritual. I’ve made some attempts to press in yesterday but was met with meditation on things you were doing in my life instead. So I asked myself, what did I do? I searched my memory for what I did to please you and earn your reward of making everything turn out the way I have always hoped. I had a few ideas, but I heard you say, “just keep leaning on my word”. On my commute home today I felt your love again, you told me that you were very pleased with me and that you love me. I pondered about this some more. Even though I myself preach grace and love not works, I myself have an underlying tendency to try to earn your love and approval. It is human instinct? Or maybe just experience of growing up in a desert with little love. I always want to know, what did I do so that I can do it more. I don’t want to lose this love, I don’t want to lose this favor. Of course I want everything in my life to work for my favor. Of course I want the greatest riches I can have, which is having you close to my heart. And then it occurred to me…. I have done nothing to earn this love. You love me because you made me, and I was made to be intimate with you. You are not a formula that is a result of combining ingredients. You are not a riddle to be solved. You love me because I am yours and you chose me. You sought me, you knew me before I was ever born and had me in mind when you died on the cross for me. You did that for me. You came to earth in the form of a man to be despised and tempted like a man, and to be hurt, ridiculed, and broken like a man, because you thought about me. We error when we think that we have chosen you and that we have earned you, no you chose us and you bought us with your blood. You paid the bride price with human sacrifice. You know you, you made me to know you so that I can praise you all the rest of my life. What have I done except to be given the title of the bride of Christ, the child of the most high God. Thank you for being a permanent fixture in my life. I have not chosen wrong.
I do not have to compete for your love. You have made me valuable as I am and you are faithful. How many times had I felt insecure in the past when I had a straying lover, making me feel I had to be better than who I am? I am grateful for the lessons that you have given me Lord that in you, there is not competition. No other lover is going to take away my standing with you, and no matter how haughty a cat may be who shows up and thinks they are going to take the show, there is no need for me to be greedy. Another can have the lime light, it does not threaten my standing with you. If I have a lover who chooses someone better, I still have no room to fear, because in you there is no need to compete. I am no less valuable to you. You still love me the same. When we understand that there is no competition for our place in the kingdom of God, then we can allow another person’s light to shine. It is between that person and the Lord their own heart attitude in his kingdom, as for me I trust the ultimate judge who is more than able to discern the difference between right and wrong. I have experienced many a friendship that turned into a competition in which they tried to outshine me. It is unfortunate that a friend would do that to another but I still stand secure, there is no need to compete before the perfect judge who still loves me perfectly no matter what. I don’t know how many times I have preferred to be a lone ranger so that I didn’t have to deal with people trying to compete with me and snuff out my light so that theirs could shine brighter. At times a person’s light will shine brighter, and they will have greater honor. May I still stand secure knowing that your love Lord is all that matters. Let me respond in love and not be subject to the fiery darts that Satan wants to throw in such an advantage point. May I always trust you Lord Jesus my firm rock. If I error may I be corrected. If I need to do better than let me learn. Keep me secure in your love is all that really matters for I will trust that in due time you will honor each of us according to what you see is right. You will not let your loved one see decay or deliver him to the grave. You are a defender of the weak and uphold the case of the fatherless. You will not let your loved ones be put to shame.
I feel the need to go deeper even still and discuss you as a lover. You are such a good and faithful lover. You will not allow others to speak deceit and put down your lover. You do not involve yourself in evil talk about your little ones and will punish and correct those who speak ill against them. You will defend your little ones and protect them from the powers that would rise up against them. We will not be put to shame. You are the good Samaritan who stood up for the beggar who was left abandoned and mocked on the side of the road. The poor men who had no shame and called out to you because they were in need, you ignored the righteous man near you and you came to them and helped them with their needs. You say, “whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me”. You say, “I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink”.. oooh you love the underdog. You protect the lowliest person and you uphold their cause. Let us who think we are better repent so that we can be like you. Let us stoop down off our pedestal as the king of the world came to serve and not be served. This is the type of Lord that we serve, the one that would give a drink of water to a beggar while the rest of the world will say, “stay away from them, they just want to buy boos, they deserve their lot in life, they are just lazy and need a job”, you say, “away from me I never knew you” to the wicked who ignore the fatherless and the lost. You care about the fatherless I thank you for this. Thank you for the poor in the world are really the rich in the kingdom of God, and the foolish things of the world confound the wise. Let us never forget who you are and the lessons you have to teach us. Let us become lowly so not to offend you and have the wisdom to walk in true love always. Amen.
It is true that there isn’t always an immediate fix. As a matter of fact there is not an immediate fix for a reason, because you don’t change. To think that we need something new, or something to change before things can be different for us, is to think that God made a mistake in the first place. He made the world and everything in it including us. To say that we are not enough is to say he made a mistake, and God does not change. Rather than trying to change things in our lives, we should change our outlook. Rather than looking for something new to make us happy, we should appreciate what we have already been given. True happiness starts with being happy with where we are and with who we are with. The grass is only greener on the other side, because that person has been watering and taking care of it maybe. Maybe we need to embrace what we have. I am so grateful that no matter what happens in the life, you Lord remain the same. Your words are constant no matter what we face, your word says do not worry, do not be afraid. Appearances might tell us that things won’t be ok unless we jump rock to rock, but your word says that You are the constant rock. It is not you God that is the problem, but it is our choices. We are told that the greatest commandment is to love you with all our heart, soul, will emotion, strength, yet how many of us obey this vital command. That command alone would resolve every problem that we face on earth. We would have world peace and no more wars. We would be happy and whole. We would have no more world hunger, if every person on the planet simply just obeyed the single most greatest command. I cannot solve world hunger, but I can however choose you. Please help me to mold my will to yours. Help me do what you command and always be willing.
If I wait upon you and obey your commands according to my strength then I am fulfilling your greatest command. This is that I do it to my fullest ability, it does not require perfection, but rather true effort and determination. We cannot attain perfection, there is nothing that we can do that will ever come close to being good enough, however because you love us you credit our faith as righteousness always. You look at our actions which show you our love, and you will justify us and then glorify us. Because you are good and faithful. Your word does not tell us to seek perfection, but what it does say is to seek you first, to concern ourselves with your kingdom and your righteousness and all that we care about will be added unto us. You are faithful I know this.
When I wait upon you this means that you are my source of security. If you are my rock I will not be shaken. As soon as I get my focus on something else such as my home, my job, my partner, my friend to be my rock, I find that those things can be shaken. On my own self as well, this too can be shaken. I am reminded lately that you are the source of my strength and that I cannot even rely on my own strength. My work is to seek you and obey you. That is my part and the rest is yours. Do I trust you? Then I will show it be waiting upon you and obeying you even when I am afraid, even when my head screams that I am foolish. I will keep my trust in you as my source and my security alone. The world will tell us a different story always. Your friends, family members, teachers, even fellow church members will tell you to put your trust in something else, and maybe suggest that putting all your trust in the God of earth is foolish, however God has a way of proving his word. His word will not return void. Lord please let anything that I ever think to place my trust in be shaken. I am so grateful for my relationship because it teaches me that you are a solid rock and foundation and my reliance on anything outside of you will prove to be shaken. I am so grateful that you promise to not abandon your loved ones to the grave. Whatever is consistently you, that I can trust.
Help me trust in you in depth. Please expose the times I might be reaching for something other than my secure rock and remind me of your life and faithfulness. Sitting on this rock might prove challenging until we find that it is actually comforting to trust in you. To rely on you. At first the rock seems hard, cold, silent. Over time we begin to feel your warmth, your attentiveness, your care and your ever enduring love. What is even more is that we find that even if we slip and fall off, or even if we choose to get off the the rock, this rock will seek us, and it will find us because there is nothing, no height, or depth, or width or power, no magnet, no distraction, no other love that can separate me from this love. The magnitude of that love is so important and powerful for us to understand. So much so that we have been prayed for so that we will know how high, and deep, and wide is your love for us. Because you are love. Even if we are unfaithful you will remain faithful. Lord I don’t know if I’ll ever truly be worthy of your love. But right now while I’m of sound mind I am saying thank you. Help me learn more about the depth of your love. Help me always choose life and be willing to loose my life so that it will be saved. Amen
Oh boy, I am tempted to say this week has not been a success, however that would be incorrect. Success depends on what you are using to measure it with. Have I gotten gluttony beat yet? Umm I wish I could say yes but that is a big fat no. Today was the first day that I managed some self control in not overeating. However, I’ve had some other successes this week. There was a time yesterday that I was tempted to eat when I wasn’t hungry, but I said no and abstained. Later on however I ate more than my fill, however when I was tempted to feel like a failure that still small voice rose up in me and said “you were successful, you evaded temptation earlier” and then I got to thinking “yes, that’s right!”. It doesn’t take a spirit filled person to understand the value of positive thinking when we are trying to accomplish something new in our lives. When we are attempting to overcome an addiction such as overcoming cigarettes, alcoholism, drugs, overeating, anger fits, whatever applies go ahead and fit in a work of the flesh. You see, these things are all works of the flesh I feel lead to get biblical here so I’m going to go with it. Hmmm reading in Galations chapter 5 we are told to be lead by the spirit and we will not fulfill the works of the flesh. It talks about the flesh vs walking in the spirit I won’t post the entire chapter but I will post the first verse because it is powerful and what I want manifested in my life right now Galations 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm , then, and do not let yourselves be burdened by a yoke of slavery”. Now my initial thought when it mentions being burdened by a yoke of slavery I assumed it meant the yoke of slavery to the flesh, but that is not what it is saying. That did excite me but I know enough of the word to know that as Christians we are already free from the yoke of slavery to sin (different passage of scripture). Instead, what this verse is referring to is a yoke of slavery to trying to attain the Lord’s approval through works. Interesting that this is where I’m lead, because what this means for me is that when I try to overcome the flesh by the power of the flesh, I will surely fail. Thank you father for leading me to this place. You know, as I was sort of mentioning, success has many different faces. This week I did not obtain the success that “I” wanted to obtain such as complete freedom from over eating, however I obtained by God’s holy spirit and his grace a different form of success, and that is understanding once again that my value is not measured by the shape of my body, but rather it is measured by the contents of my heart. And though the Lord himself cares about the shape of my body because he knows it effects my emotional state, my self esteem, my energy level, my witness and so on and so forth… he will help me accomplish overcoming in this area being how it is his spirit that stirs this desire to be free. However, he is much more concerned about the deeper things. He wants me to know I am loved right now, I am valuable right now. And he wants me to rely heavily on him during this time because he is the one that gives us the grace to overcome. Now, if you are not a Christian or are a Christian but think this is a bunch of phooey that we should only rely on ourselves, let me inform you that despite your proud mindset, you only have the mental strength that “you” have because “he” orchestrated your life and your genetic make up so that you will have it. Beware that you do not give credit where credit is due. God can make you lose your mental capacity in a moment’s notice, he’s done it before to a man in the bible, he can certainly do it to you. However, God loves you and simply wants you to look to him because he wants a commune with you. I however have learned to be very grateful for my weaknesses because although they are challenging, they have caused me to be ever so strong in his power and might. 2 corinthians 12:9-11 “for when I am weak, his power is made strong”.