Sunday, December 6, 2015

HIS VAST STRENGTH

Ephesians 6:1 "Finally be strengthened by the Lord in His vast strength."
In His vast strength...I have never had vast strength...never. Not as a little girl , being the last to be chosen for the kickball team. Not as the runner I wanted to be in college who could never find a running buddy who ran slow enough to keep up with me. Not when fighting off terror. Not when being disappointed, saddened, mournful...I have not been strong. But I do know that the Lord is strong. And it is in His strength that any thing worthy of the name "strong" has ever occurred in my life.
A failed marriage...you're so strong...no, I'm not. But Jesus is.
A child on an operating table...you're so strong...no, I'm not. But Jesus is.
Life as a single mom, hardship, loneliness...you're so strong...no, but Jesus is.
A baby....a blessing ....gone before I could hold her...strength? No, but Jesus gives it.
Sickness in my family...strong...not at all...but Jesus is vastly strong...VASTLY. I love that word....it implies an unknowing of the entire amount of strength that is available from the Lord for us.
How to get that strength is not an attainment, an achievement...it is a gift. Given by Jesus because you belong to Him and He loves you. And that relationship is a gift given once you ask Him to forgive you, to fill you, to let you serve Him, to be your Lord and Savior and King.
"FINALLY BE STRENGTHENED BY THE LORD IN HIS VAST STRENGTH." - Ephesians 6:1

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Rests Within A Song

The name of this blog is "In The Whisper" and it is based on I Kings 19: 11,12 which says, " And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD: but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice."
These verses to me mean that I need to not be looking for a loud voice from the LORD...for an audible sound or message or voice. They mean that the LORD is mighty in power...His mere presence of passing by in this passage of Scripture caused strong winds which broke rocks! And earthquakes! And fires!
But in all of this the LORD was not in it...He was in the still small voice. The quiet voice of the Holy Spirit.
How can you hear someone whispering if you have a loud TV blaring all the time? Or loud music playing all the time...even Christian music? Or are so busy that all you hear are people and yourself talking?
Many times Jesus withdrew from the crowd to be by Himself and talk with His Father. We need quiet in our lives. We need alone time. Time without noise to sit quietly and listen for what the LORD is communicating to us. We need to study His Word and meditate on it day and night.
Tonight at choir practice we did a song with rests. Musicians know what I mean. You sing....and then you stop singing...no holding on to the notes. You just stop singing...until time to come back in and sing again. The rests are written into the music because they are important...the quiet gives time for the message of the song to sink into the ears and hearts of the listener.
We need rests in life so that we can allow the Holy Spirit to speak to us and let what the Word says "sink" into our hearts.
Life right now is filled with a lot of loud things, shouts for my attention. In order to have peace...the peace of God...I have to spend time in quiet with Him.
Is your life busy and loud right now in the holiday season? Try to make some time to be quiet by yourself ...just you and the LORD.
Today I heard the whisper of God in the rests within a song.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Contrite Spirit...

Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, " says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your thoughts. " Isaiah 55: 6-9
I can get sidetracked by what I think will glorify the Lord. I think that healing will glorify the Lord, so I focus on healing. And healing can glorify the Lord...but His glory can also be found in the faithfulness of one of His children in suffering. His glory can be found in the truth that we do not understand His thoughts or His ways ....and we are not entitled to do so. He is worthy of praise because He is God. Our lives here are to glorify Him and how we respond to circumstances, to trials, to temptations, to struggles will either glorify Him or not.
This week I was faced with a temptation...I knew the answer. I knew what I had to do. But I was tempted.
I had ordered a Christmas present from Walmart. They sent me two. I only paid for one. It was a mistake. The temptation was to keep the other one, sell it and use the money for medical bills. Just being honest as to the thought....but I emailed the company back and told them what had happened.
I got a return email that said, "We will be happy to issue a refund of your money to you." (What?)
I emailed them again, "No, I do not need a refund. I need to know how to return this because I did not purchase two, only one, but was sent two and not charged but for one."
I received another email , "Please allow us to send a replacement item to you. Sorry for your inconvenience."
At this point, I'm thinking ....perhaps this is not a temptation but a blessing! (I'm rationalizing...debating myself...but I know the answer).
I go to my husband and tell him. "Yes, keep trying." I go to my parents and tell them, "Yes, keep trying."
So I sent one more email...hoping they would say, Just keep the item, our mistake.
This time someone knowledgeable read my emails. "We are sorry for the inconvenience. We will send you a prepaid return postage printout. Thank you for resolving this problem. If you would like to keep the extra item, please let us know and we will charge you for it." (No thanks)
So I will be putting it in the mail to be returned. The right thing to do is not always easy even when you know it is right. But would the Lord be glorified if I had not tried to right the mistake? No.
I know some people are probably saying, "Well, is the Lord glorified by your telling that you were tempted?"
I think He is...because He won the battle. He defeated Satan who is the tempter. So He is glorified despite me and my temptations...because He is the overcomer and gives me power to overcome as well.
"Let the wicked forsake his way..."
It is an ongoing forsaking...an ongoing following...a daily dying to self. I am glad that the Lord promises to have mercy on me..
It doesn't matter what you have done or not done....Jesus is willing to save you ...but not just save you...He wants to be Lord of your life... so it isn't just about being "saved". It is about following the Lord. Many people believe in Jesus...even the demons in hell believe in Jesus and know He is the Christ, the Son of God...but they will not be in heaven. Only those who have given themselves to Him as Lord and follow Him in the hard times too.
"For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: 'I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." Isaiah 57: 15