Great and Unsearchable Things

Things the Lord gives me, and then I write them.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Giving up our Perspectives

     I'm wondering this morning, how a person gets a broader perspective on things, specifically on the Body of Christ. When we first went to a foreign country, my husband and I were so excited that we got to see firsthand the ones who were different than us, who lived half-way around the world, who worshipped and loved our same Savior. The little song we had learned as children, "red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight," came to life, as we went and mingled among them.
     When we came back, we naively thought that others in the Body of Christ, here in America, would also want to know about these other members and would be excited to hear about them. Since we had seen them first hand, we assumed others would question us about them, so they too could extend to them their love in some way, if only in showing interest.
     But, like all wishful thinking, it was only a false hope we had; not a living reality. Some said, "well, that's your gifting" or "there are a lot of needs in our own country, too," or even "we give on missions Sunday in our church." They feared that we were holding out our hand, so they would give, but in truth, all we wanted was to tell the Body here, about the Body there, hoping that they would at least acknowledge the world-wide Body of Christ, and possibly begin to love them too.
     Most Christians here, see the Body of Christ, as those who they know within the four walls of their church. Then there are a few more who will at least acknowledge other denominations in America, as part of that Body, (even though they don't mingle with them) but not beyond the borders of this country. Then a few more will go into other nations, in their minds, and will acknowledge their denominations only as the Body of Christ. And, then there are even fewer, who will see every soul, who declares Jesus as Lord, who comprises His Body no matter where they might live.
     Let's expand our vision!!! And, the question goes, 'how do I do that?' Because I believe it's God will for us not to "divide Christ" then, if someone wants to expand their perspective to line up with His perspective, then they just ask Him to break down whatever barriers they have in them to do that,  and mean it.
     Whenever we ask Him to do His work in us, we also know that it might mean painful times ahead. When He chisels and hammers us into His image, it hurts our flesh tremendously, and upsets the "status quo." Are we willing to die so that He might live His life through us? This means giving up our perspectives, so that they will be aligned with His, so that He can be glorified through us. Think about it, and respond accordingly. "Not my will, but Yours be done," was Jesus' response to that.  

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Christ is All

     I am beginning to see Him everywhere I turn; His restoration, His plans and purposes, His love and His provision in every aspect of life. He is our All in All. In Christ is everything we need, everything we hope for, everything we believe in that is true.
     When He consumes the whole creation, death will be swallowed up in Life. Through His children, in ways we know and don't know, He is gaining ground by the second. He has and will overcome! His light is dispelling the darkness.
     God's purposes will be fulfilled (and they are in Christ) and will become manifest, in His way and in His time. By faith, they are so, and by faith, they will be. Not to say that our faith makes them so, but our faith believes it is so, because the One who has promised is faithful. God will carry out all He intends, for His glory to shine on this earth, and in eternity. Again, all has been fulfilled in Christ. He is sitting at God's right hand right now, declaring the victory of God over all things.
     Christ is the beginning and Christ is the end. One hymn I used to sing went-"In Christ there is no east or west, in Him no south or north." This limitless and non-defining Christ extends throughout all heaven and all earth, and will get brighter and brighter as we see the Noon-day approaching.  (Job 11:17, Prov. 4:10, 2 Pet. 1:19)
     What a day that was on the cross, and what a Day that will be when faith will be sight!!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Freedom in Letting Go!!!

     There is an immense freedom in not having to make anything happen, but in trusting whatever happens as being of the Lord in your life. "Letting go" it's been called. Another way of saying it, is that we don't have to control things.
     Why not, one might ask? Aren't we supposed to govern our lives, and be a good steward of them?  While that is true, and has it's place, trying to manipulate things because we want a desired outcome in situations in our lives, is not what He wants, and it's not good for us or others either.  But, until we really trust Him with those things, we will still try and control them.
     I am living in the middle of one of those things currently. Someone has said that they would do something, which involves me, and I really want it to work out because it will not only benefit me but others too, or so I've reasoned. She said she would call me back about it. Whether she does or not, I am good with it, because I trust the Lord. Even though I want this event to happen, God knows so much more about it , (like, EVERYTHING) so His vision and understanding is so much greater than mine. And, I am free of having to make it happen as I think I want it to. (which could be wrong anyway.)
     It is so good to trust the Lord; to put our lives into His dependable hands. And so I praise Him today for setting me free from the burden of trying to make this happen, and I'm looking forward to this becoming a pattern in my life of freedom in Him!!!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

God's Pursuit of a Soul

     Help me think this through. On my post yesterday, I was thinking about a young man that I saw from a distance when I was recently in the Philippines, and I felt God wanted me to reach out to him in love through encouraging letters and cards, because he seemed to be troubled and rejected. Well, yesterday afternoon, I was looking at cards in a store, and realized that most of them were "girly" cards; ones who a troubled young man, if he received them would scoff at, and probably even get ribbed at by his peers. So, my thoughts changed. Since he was in the process of becoming a man, I thought a man needs to help show him love, not me, which lead to me thinking of my husband. I plan on sharing this with him tomorrow morning to see what he thinks.
     In the meantime, though, I am waiting to receive his name from the boarding school we visited in the Philippines. When I get that, I will begin praying that God would work the ground of his heart to receive New Life through Christ. I've already been praying, as God knows who He is.
     So, I am grateful that God quickened my spirit while looking for cards yesterday, and helped me to know "His strategy" on behalf of the young man who He wouldn't let me forget. God pursues the lonely, the angry and the sad.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Soul Poverty

     I'm thinking about  a particular young man who I noticed while in the Philippines recently and I am feeling compassion for him, and for those like him. He was one who stuck out to me, whose face said that he was having trouble. He had a scowl; not like some of the other happy and seemingly "well-adjusted" ones.
     These ones, who seem to have soul poverty, are the ones that He is having me focus on lately. All the beautiful people, inside and out, are usually the ones others are attracted to and who get most of the attention and support. But, the ones who for whatever reasons (we would probably we shocked at) are unhappy, depressed, angry or insecure are usually passed over, which only adds to their negative frame of mind. What if they only needed loving attention to begin to come out of whatever oppression they might be in?
     Several years ago, my husband's cousin, was over at our house. He had tried so hard to quit drinking alcohol, but couldn't.  For some reason, we were talking about what people wanted for Christmas and so I asked him what he wanted. I'll never forget what he said- "Just some love and attention." Wow-that took me back and I kept it in my memory bank. (Thank goodness, later the Lord saved and delivered him from alcohol, and he's clean today)
     I like to see a picture in my mind of someone's soul bank which may be empty, or even with a negative balance. In their lifetime, due to hurtful comments or actions of others, or traumatic circumstances in their lives, their value was stripped away, as coins were withdrawn one by one. What was made to be deposited with love, acceptance and encouragement, was instead given hate, fear and shame, depleting their soul of any life. Now, they are bankrupt, just waiting for someone, somewhere to make a deposit.
     So, I see that young man in the Philippines in my mind. What is to become of him? Even though he is now in an environment much better than he probably came from, he may still be passed over because of his angry look and demeanor. Sometimes it takes a lot of love coins to reverse the curse of a lifetime of abuse. Even if it doesn't seem like what we do for someone is changing things, (and I've experienced that a few times with certain people in my life) the Lord is showing me to continue to make deposits. And He's showing me the greater value of this way of giving instead of giving physical money.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Get Down Dirty with the Masses

     I've decided to back off from saying spiritual things. It seems there is an underlying competitive edge in that realm, which distances someone from another. Even if God does show someone something "new and awesome" is it really revealed so that they can share it with everyone they know?
     When a treasure has been given to someone, discretion is the by-word to follow. If someone is too free in broadcasting their vision, revelation or understanding, then it becomes just that-scattered and fragmented. But, if by the Spirit, God directs that person with what He would have them do with it, then wisdom will protect the treasure He gives, and it will be used as He sees fit.
     Sometimes, I think we just blab God's special secrets, because we want others to know or think that we are His special people, which could stir up jealousies intentional or not. I am wondering if I could have subconsciously done that because of my insecurities?
     Well, I am just going to be a commoner from now on, so that I can relate to all kinds of people, and get down dirty with the masses. Jesus did that, and I don't think He can ever be accused of being "hyper spiritual", do you?

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Praise to God Most High

     Praise you, Jesus, that during the night you healed me. I don't have any more pains in my body this morning. "Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning!"-you proved yourself to me once again, Lord. You are trustworthy. You are faithful. Your light in me, dispels the darkness! You are restoring all things, Lord. All things in me, and in your creation. The transformation you bring is complete and everlasting. I offer this praise to You, for your sacrifice on my behalf, and the resulting victory over all sin, death and the power of the devil. This defeat is our victory, for the Kingdom and an offering to God, our Father. Thank you, for including me in on the fellowship that you and God have; for asking Him that I would be a part of that, and of which, I am beginning to experience, as you grow me to maturity in You. You alone are worthy to be honored for your giving heart on behalf of mankind. Your will is that all people open up to your love and truth, and so be saved. Glory to our God and Father for His purposes which have and continue to be realized in the earth. Amen.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Trusting Him for our Healing

     Healing is a subject that has many varied beliefs in Christian circles. One thing I think all would agree upon is that the Healer is Jesus Christ. We should stick with that which unifies, the who of healing, instead of debating the how. All glory to God anyway, eh?
     Currently, I am not feeling well and I don't know why. I have some ideas, but not really sure. I am surveying my healing day by day, and it appears that I am being healed slowly. Sometimes when it takes awhile to heal, God is after something in us, or is wanting to show us something as we go through the process, and, if we were healed instantly, we would not be able to learn or hear it. So, I'm seeking Him as to why it is taking so long and for what He is trying to say to me or show me.
     Because I have been on a two-week trip overseas, I haven't seen my extended family yet, and have wondered about that. I have wondered why I haven't, and yet I know that it is because I don't feel well, and so I wouldn't be good company if I did. I have been encased with the Lord, and I believe that is the way He has wanted it. I think He's wanting to show me the most important thing in my life; to abide and be with Him. He is my priority, and everything good that comes from me is because of my time alone with Him. Sometimes He has to make it easy for us to do that, even if He uses our lingering sickness.
     His timing for everything is so important to respect and honor, because in His wisdom all things are established. Only He knows what it really going on, not us. When we accept things as they are, trusting that He is in control of them, then we can know all is working out for good, and we can rest in that. When we try and hurry things up, or fix them ourselves, we run into brick walls and frustration results.
     He makes all things beautiful in His time. We are being restored, healed, set free, and transformed -it is true. We can count on Him to complete us in every area of our being, for He who is faithful will do it!!!!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Spirit, Not "Should"

     If someone is raised under the "shoulds and should nots," when they come to the Lord, it takes a lot of cleansing to get that out of them. Transitioning from "what is the right thing to do" to "what is the Spirit saying" in a situation is difficult.
     The old voices of instruction originating from the flesh, either in one's parents or guardians as a child, or from one's own flesh, which seeks to "be right", die hard. The outward appearance the flesh puts on, if perfected, can hinder the work of God on the inside, and attempts to silence the voice of His Holy Spirit within.
     This is the war within us, which, if one allows God to do His work of conforming us into the image of His Son, will lose it's strength overtime. Sometimes this takes a long, long time.  We have inside of us, pride, which wants to be seen, known, admired and exalted. Our unredeemed flesh desires perfection within ourselves, apart from God, so the internal tendency is to go about attempting to "be good" to be seen and heard. It's the Pharisee spirit within all of us, that the very cross of Jesus is after to slay, so that only He can be exalted.
     If we are truly "after God's own heart" we allow the Spirit to do this in us, with much pain and heartache. After all, the pride of the flesh, is a powerful foe, which will resist the move of God in us. It wants to be king! Sad, but true.
     When we pray, "create in me a clean heart, O God," or "search me, O God, and know me, and see if there be any wicked way in me," or "take dominion in me, Holy Spirit," we aligned ourselves with God's intention and purpose in us, and that is to destroy our flesh, that His Spirit may arise.
     Then we begin to walk in the Spirit, and in doing so, we crucify the deeds of the flesh-Praise God!!! The war begins to wane, and the peace of His Kingdom begins to rise. "The Shoulds and Should Not's" cease to control us, with it's need for recognition, and we only want what He wants, so that He can be glorified! What a marvelous work He is doing inside of us, as we submit to His Will-"less of me, more of Him."

Friday, October 18, 2013

And the Two Will Become One

     Something happens between people when you give money to them, and I'm not so sure it's a good thing. I'm referring to supporting others in a foreign country. If you give monthly, or a one time love gift, or even if they just know you have it to give, the relationship starts to be about that only. I don't want others to look at me like that. In fact, if you are supporting someone in their work for the Lord, you begin to wonder if there really is a relationship, or if it's because of your giving to them that is forming the basis for the relationship. The waters get muddy. I'm not saying that it's anyone's fault, but it's just human nature to "be nice to someone" (after all, that's the right thing to do) that is supporting you. If the money was removed, you don't know if there would be a relationship at all.
     I should have listened to my husband, many years ago when he wanted to give anonymously. He ended up surrendering to my wants, and then trouble later ensued in a ministry we were giving through. Then I could see his reasoning. This time, having learned the hard way, I am in agreement that giving anonymously is the best way. Perhaps under the surface,I wanted the recipient to know who was giving to them, maybe to get some sort of "credit" for it in their eyes. (I shudder to think of my prideful motives!)
     God uses all things that happen, to teach, and to help us see a better way, as He has done in my case, as far as giving is concerned. Now, I am even getting excited to give privately and still have a relationship with the people we are giving to. I can advocate for their needs to others, though, which I will be happy to do.
     So, lesson well learned. Also, as a result of the trouble I referred to, God has used it to help me to listen to my husband first, and not have to learn the hard way. He's shown me that even though I don't see why to do something, and don't understand my husband's perspective, that I can join him in faith believing that God is directing him in his decisions. That is a huge growth Christ has done in me, if I am able to do that in the future. This is yet another example of how everything (even our stubborn will and pride) is used for the good of them that love God.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Living Epistles

     One of the benefits of going on a missions trip (as I recently did to the Philippines) is that it gets you out of your own world, and puts you in another realm. Your horizons definitely broaden, which shakes up your limited view of things.
     If one remains entrenched in their world, they see only what they see, and then think that's the way things should be. Close-mindedness can result, which can contribute to prejudices and judgment of others, which is contrary to the heart of Jesus.
     Sometimes when we go to another country, we take with us our way of doing things, and then try to enlighten people as to a better way; our way!!! It is true enough that as far as hygiene and things like that are concerned, there are universal principles we can pass on, but only if others are receptive to receiving them. But in other things, respect for others must be maintained. In fact, many times, if we are opened, we can learn something new and different from them.
     One of the things I observed while in a foreign country, is that patience is a way of life. Because they haven't had things at their command, they have accepted the fact that they have to wait on things, and they usually do so with kindness and grace. At times one of my desires in going to a foreign country is to go so I can see this quality displayed, and in seeing it, can emulate it myself. It looks a lot like Jesus' heart and mind.
     We've often think of ourselves in a superior way in America. Since our country has been saturated with the Gospel, we tend to think that we can come riding in on a white horse to "tell it like it is" so that they can learn the true way. While it's true we have had the Word of God, and been able to read it freely (thank God) we then can begin to think we are the experts. But when I see God's people in third world countries loving God and serving Him unabandoned, and seeing His character being formed in them, I wonder who is teaching who?  A living teaching of Christ-likeness speaks volumes!! I am blessed to have been put in this position of seeing Him in this way in the Philippines.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Faith, Not Sight

     Today I am suffering (?) from jet lag. I just returned from the Philippines yesterday, dodging typhoons and earthquakes along the way. Seriously, while I was there, we experienced a typhoon, and then upon leaving behind me was an earthquake, and then a cyclone in Tokyo where I had landed in one of the legs of my journey home. But, as I put my trust in God as I went, He parted the Red Sea before me, and gave me safe passage.
     At first I wanted to know everything about the weather, as I had heard another typhoon was coming to the area we were at, but then I remembered that God was helping me "not have to know" and to trust Him instead. It seems like, in the past, I had put much trust in my knowing about things, as if the knowing would keep me safe. Not! In fact, I am finding now, that it only robs me of my faith, by making me doubt.
     For instance, when I heard that another typhoon was coming, I began to ask people about it. We had limited access to the internet while there, and so I couldn't find out for myself. After bringing it up in conversation a few times, and no one else seemed to be concerned about it, God quieted me. He was training me to operated in faith, not sight. (or sound or knowing, etc.)
     During my stay there, the school children that were living at the compound where we were staying, had written a Scripture verse with a beautiful card for us, as we were leaving them. The one I received said for me not to fear, that God watches over me as He does the sparrow. Of course, He has given me that one before during the course of my life, and so it brought me great comfort. Only He could know the fear that was trying to grip my heart during these tumultuous weather times while there.
     In the middle of hearing the typhoon rage that night, after I gave up trying to get rid of my fear, He dropped a verse in my spirit. "Ten thousand will fall at your feet, and five thousand at your right hand, but nothing shall come near you," I heard Him say. I had just given a talk about how we can trust God at His word, because He who is faithful is the One who will do, or perform it. Now, here I was in the situation, where I  could believe Him or not. I choose to believe Him in my fearful state. (Even our ability to choose to believe, is His provision) And so, I was not afraid anymore. He had calmed me by telling me that He would protect me, and so it stood. I praise Him for His provision for us in every way! In our weaknesses, His strength is made perfect!!!!