Thoughts

The most meaningful words right now:

Your blood speaks a better word, than all the empty claims I’ve heard upon this earth, speaks righteousness for me, and stands in my defense… Jesus, it’s your blood…

Everyone is trying to define God, to put Him in a box, with a lid on, with instructions to say: do this and you will get this, pray like this and you will get this, fast like this and He will reward you, read your Bible like this and you will please Him and He will give you what you want. It is exhausting. It is meaningless, empty, useless, stale -air.

God Almighty is outside of all our borders, outside of all our boxes, He is uncontainable, He is undefinable, He does not fit into any human box, we cannot fathom Him with our little minds… and yet we never cease trying. Oh, how we fight to understand this Being, who is so unlike us. Because if we can just understand Him, then we can control Him. And if we can just control Him, He will give us what we want.

Disappointment. I am disappointed that God has not given me what I want. As if somehow He should be at my beck and call. That if I pray hard enough He should always give me what I want.

How little we understand Him. How little we understand ourselves. What we really need. How, in His goodness He withholds from us that which is not for our best. How I accuse Him of not being there…. When He is EVERYWHERE. When He has been where my eye cannot see… And still I accuse…

Have you ever stopped to think where you might be if God had given you everything you wanted?

You might be with the perfect husband, and the perfect brood of children, in the perfect house, in the perfect suburb, with a perfectly fulfilling job…

without God…

And still I rage and accuse: that He gave me this physical body and I’m in a physical world and I have these physical world requirements that HE created me with… so how dare He withhold it from me…?

….How dare I belittle the grace of God upon my life? When in an instant He can take this gift of precious life, the very breath that I breathe, from this grumbling soul… and what will remain?

Deep calls unto deep.

God knows.

He knows everything.

He knows every need.

And He knows that at the base of every longing and every desire is our longing for Him. And He knows how we can fill our lives with things, things to dull the longing, things that momentarily satisfy desire, things that occupy, things that fascinate, things that mystify… but only for a moment… And then the longing starts again… “God, a better job… God a bigger house… God just this one thing… God please… I need it… God, I need it!!!”

And so, IN HIS GREAT MERCY, IN HIS LOVING KINDNESS, He withholds

And how it offends me…

.
.

It is grace that I need.

Not a husband, or a better car, or a better life.

What I need is to get on my knees and to worship the Uncreated One, because He is not like me, because I cannot understand Him, because He is outside of time, because He is all-knowing, and all-powerful, and full of grace and mercy and loving-kindness. Because He has not dealt with me according to what I deserve, but He has been gracious to me…

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The consecrated life

If the Spirit takes charge of your life He will expect unquestioning obedience in everything. He will not tolerate in you the self-sins even though they are permitted and excused by most Christians. By the self-sins I mean self-love, self-pity, self-seeking, self-confidence, self-righteousness, self-aggrandizement, self-defense. You will find the Spirit to be in sharp opposition to the easy ways of the world and of the mixed multitude within the precincts of religion. He will be jealous over you for good. He will not allow you to boast or swagger or show off. He will take the direction of your life away from you. He will reserve the right to test you, to discipline you, to chasten you for your soul’s sake. He may strip you of many of those borderline pleasures that other Christians enjoy but that are to you a source of refined evil.

Through it all He will enfold you in a love so vast, so mighty, so all-embracing, so wondrous that your very losses will seem like gains and your small pains like pleasures. ~AW Tozer

Oh, if only we could learn that the garment of obedience to God, though it feels all wrong and upside-down and inside-out, though our flesh rebels and protests against it,  it is the best-fitting and most beautiful garment we will ever wear. It is what we were created for.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:29-30

Challenged…

Now dear Christians, some of you pray night and day to be branches of the true Vine; you pray to be made all over in the image of Christ. If so, you must be like him in giving … ‘though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor’ …

Objection 1. ‘My money is my own.’ Answer: Christ might have said, ‘My blood is my own, my life is my own’ … then where should we have been? Objection 2. ‘The poor are undeserving.’ Answer: Christ might have said, ‘They are wicked rebels … shall I lay down my life for these? I will give to the good angels.’ But no, he left the ninety-nine, and came after the lost. He gave his blood for the undeserving. Objection 3. ‘The poor may abuse it.’ Answer: Christ might have said the same; yea, with far greater truth. Christ knew that thousands would trample his blood under their feet; that most would despise it; that many would make it an excuse for sinning more; yet he gave his own blood.

Oh, my dear Christians! If you would be like Christ, give much, give often, give freely, to the vile and poor, the thankless and the undeserving. Christ is glorious and happy and so will you be. It is not your money I want, but your happiness. Remember his own word, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ~B.B Warfield

Thirsting for life

To be content in all circumstances God has been speaking to me through this quote of C.S Lewis that if I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy, I can only conclude that I was not made for here.

We were made for God. And whatever we think we need in this life, whatever we think will satisfy- it will not. We were made for Him, and only He can satisfy.

So I realise that even if in an instant I am given everything I think my heart desires- but I lose God- I have nothing, I am the poorest of all, if I have not my God and all His Glory.

The very essence of sin/evil is being offered the Fountain of Life, but turning away and scratching at the earth and eating the dirt, in the hope of finding something better, and more satisfying than God himself. ~John Piper, Rezolution 2010

Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Luke 6:21

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14

I am with you

It is an incredible thing  to realise that the God of the universe promises to be with us. So often we hear the good news about God so much that it no longer takes our breath away.

Imagine in a time of fear and difficulty, a dear friend, a husband or father looking you in the eye, grasping you by the shoulder, and saying: Do not be afraid, I am with you, I will help you, I will hold your hand.

Imagine what peace it would bring, how the clutches of fear would lose its stranglehold on your neck, how you’d be able to breathe again- knowing that you are not alone, someone is there with you. Someone greater and stronger, someone who cares, someone to bear the burden, someone to make things right.

If human strength can offer such support and hope, how much more the strength of our Father in heaven. Our Maker. The Creator of the universe, He who holds stars in is His hand, who stretches out the heavens like curtains!!

Why would we not trust Him? He who said ‘I want you to build a tabernacle so I can meet with you.’ The one who said: ‘I want you to know me… I want to be known by you.’ Who sent His Son, who came down from Glory, to die. On a cross. So that we may know Him.

Why would we not trust Him who laid down His life for love?

The only one who is intimately acquainted with every part of our being…

The Lord looks from heaven, He beholds all the sons of men;

From His dwelling place He looks [intently] upon all the inhabitants of the earth–

He Who fashions the hearts of them all, Who considers all their doings. Psalm 33:13-15

He promises to be with us.

Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice. Isa 41:10

For I the Lord your God hold your right hand; I am the Lord, Who says to you, Fear not; I will help you! Isa 41:13

Fear not, for I have redeemed you [ransomed you by paying a price instead of leaving you captives]; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you. Isa 43:1-2

Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Josh 1:9

For He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] Hebrews 13:5

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Isa 54:10

Walking on water

I’m realising how many of my decisions are determined by fear. Fear of the unknown and of losing out. Fear, because I am not certain that the One who holds my life, knows what is best for me. And I want to be in control of my momentary happiness.

And I was thinking about this and saying to God how I just wish He would show me the future. That I could know everything is going to be ok. And I wonder how different my life would be if I did know the future. Would I still be making the decisions I am making today? Because my decisions are made out of fear and striving.

And I felt like God reminded me: ‘You do know the future. But do you believe it?’

Because the Bible tells us clearly that God’s plans for our futures are good and filled with hope, that He has given us everything that pertains to life, and when we look back we will see that nothing that could have added to eternal happiness has been denied us.

So why the fear?

Because of the unbelief.

But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Matthew 14:30

You don’t speak my language…

I don’t understand
I can not grasp
His perfect form of Love

The Arms I don’t feel
The Hands I don’t hold
What kind of love is that?

And so I search
In wrong places
Because His arms I don’t feel
His hands don’t hold
What kind of love is that?

While He stands with arms
Wide open
I walk right past
Because I can’t see this kind of love
I don’t see the scars in the
Hands that don’t hold

And I settle for less
Because at least that
I can feel

And I don’t see the
Name engraved
On the hands that don’t hold
I don’t see the arms
Reaching
As I walk right by

But after all is said
And done
When there are no more arms
To comfort
No more hands to cling to
When it is only me
And that never ending
Darkness
Underneath it all
At the lowest point
Those everlasting arms
Are still there
Open
Welcoming
The arms
That keep giving
The love
I don’t get
The hands that keep reaching
The palms that keep showing
The price
That was paid
In the name
of Love.