Humble and Hopeful

As 2017 ends I look back at all the heartbreak of the year, the loss of loved ones, the struggles financially, emotionally, mentally and even spiritually.  I think to myself that I NEVER want to go through another year like this one again and that 2018 needs to be a year of MAJOR change in my life and especially in me.  I also look back and remind myself of the good as well.  The beautiful laughs of my gorgeous and loving grandsons, the start of a beautiful and wonderful new adventure in my schooling and my walk with the Lord, but most of all the humbling that I have learned.

The last week or month has been one of major humbling in my soul.  You see I have REALLY messed myself up on some stuff.  I have not been a good steward of the things that God has blessed me with.  My finances have been topsy turvy more than normal because I don’t know how to tell some people (including myself) NO on things they want.  I have allowed my car to run into the ground so bad that it is literally NOT moving at the moment (although I love the bus rides and may leave it sitting most times even after it’s fixed). And I have allowed my space and peace to be taken and not found a way to get it back.  Because of all of this I have felt like my life is spinning out of control and it is because I haven’t given it to God.  I am going to school to be a better person for Him and yet I haven’t completely given myself to Him.

He hasn’t left me, though, and this has humbled me.  I am literally 7 days from finally being financially back on track.  A week and a half from being on the track of emotional and mental control again but most of all He has sent angels where I least expect them to be.  My future son-in-law, whom I have been horrible to and not extended my own grace to, has stepped up and is fixing my car for me with no questions asked.  An angel bought my baby boys presents so that they would have something under the tree from their Babcha and another angel is helping with a bill so that I don’t get any worse.  My pride has been lowered and I am crying with joy and humbleness at the drop of a hat.

Not only is He is humbling me but He is reminding me of the word HOPE.  I know that my issues above to some may seem stupid or for others they are laughing because it all is small compared to their problems.  We all have issues and problems, some big and some small, depending on how you look at them.  Which leads me to ask:

Ever wonder what life would be like if we didn’t have God?  I see dry, desolate land, and birds eating on things unspeakable.  When I read chapters in the bible like Isaiah 34 or Revelations 18:1-3 I can see what this world would be if we were left to our own devices completely.  Not just the financial issues or the other “trivial” issues we have.  No this is a world that is just black and left with no Hope at all.

I know some say, and it actually came to my mind, to look at the other side of the world and I will see these things and they are right.  BUT that still isn’t life without God.  We still have hope!  Even those that are literally living in hell on the streets or in shacks drinking dirty contaminated water still have hope.  Even if they don’t feel it they still have it.

You see in my mind God isn’t just our creator.  Jesus isn’t just our savior.  They are our HOPE.  Life can be dark and dingy and we may not be able to see a light at the end of the tunnel but as long as the Lords people are moving there is hope for a better future.  We have so many organizations out there that can and do help with the contaminated water or the starving children.  We are fighting for God’s children.  Unfortunately, yes, it isn’t everyone all at once and it seems slow or an impossible task but it is still giving people hope.  And without God this all wouldn’t be happening and therefore there wouldn’t be that hope.  We wouldn’t have those angels like my son-in-law and daughter or my friends.  We wouldn’t have those angels like Compassion International, Feed the Children, the Mission here in Bakersfield, or even the many many homeless shelters across the US.  Without God we would be nothing.

So for 2018 I plan to keep myself on track and always remember the humbling that has happened.  I will be learning to hear Gods voice and follow His leading.  I will find ways to become HOPE to others in this world and show them that God is here for ALL of us in one way or another.  God is HOPE and He is here with us.  What will you do to spread that hope to others?

Advertisements

Do this Do that

 

‘“Who is it he is trying to teach? To whom is he explaining his message? To children weaned from their milk, to those just taken from the breast?   For it is: Do this, do that, a rule for this, a rule for that; a little here, a little there.”   ‘Isaiah 28:9-10

How many times do we feel like the Christian walk or life is nothing but rules, laws or like we are puppets?  We want to walk with God, we know it is the best walk we could possibly take but it starts to get hard.  Our past lives look so much better and easier.  We start to find ourselves rebelling and sinning and things seem good for a while but then you realize what you are doing and your world is going to start falling apart again like it did before or your soul isn’t happy and you just know something isn’t right in what you are doing.

God isn’t trying to be a puppet master or to rule with an iron fist.  He’s trying to be a parent, our Abba, and trying to keep us safe.  He’s trying to keep us from a path that He knows will be an eternal death to us rather than the eternal life that He offers.

Now don’t get me wrong there are some “religions” where it seems like its nothing but rules and laws and do this or don’t do that.  These are religions, though, not relationship.  God isn’t wanting to be a ruler He’s wanting to be a Father.  He wants our love because He is good not because of terrifying fear.  Those rules and laws are man-made not God made.

Remember that yes His message is for children weaned from their milk.  We are being weaned from the way of this world and given fresh wonderful living water.  Living water that wants to live with you.  Just listen to your soul the next time that you feel like it’s all just to strict or like you just can’t seem to have fun.  Listen and you will hear God telling you “Hey let’s do this or let’s do that”.  He is right there with you to do whatever it is He is asking of you, with you.

Obedience

‘In the year that the supreme commander, sent by Sargon king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and attacked and captured it— at that time the  Lord  spoke through Isaiah son of Amoz. He said to him, “Take off the sackcloth from your body and the sandals from your feet.” And he did so, going around stripped and barefoot.    Then the  Lord  said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot for three years, as a sign and portent against Egypt and Cush,    so the king of Assyria will lead away stripped and barefoot the Egyptian captives and Cushite exiles, young and old, with buttocks bared—to Egypt’s shame.  Those who trusted in Cush and boasted in Egypt will be dismayed and put to shame.  In that day the people who live on this coast will say, ‘See what has happened to those we relied on, those we fled to for help and deliverance from the king of Assyria! How then can we escape?’ ”’

 

Isaiah 20:1-6

https://www.bible.com/bible/111/ISA.20.1-6

 

How can we say our lives are good and prioritized when we can’t even put God first?  How can we say we have our children’s best interest in mind when we can’t leave them in God’s hands?  How can we change our world and our lives when we can’t even change our habits to include the Lord in everything?  We rarely even follow His instructions.

In Isaiah 20:1-6 the Lord is telling Isaiah to take off his clothes and sandals and be naked.  He is using him as an example of how this is what is going to happen to Egypt and Cush to put them to shame and to show those who put their trust and lives in their hands rather than the Lords, how people can be brought to the lowest and the only true one we should escape to is the Lord.  Not man because man can be taken out in a blink of an eye but the Lord is eternal.

What stuck out to me the most though was the fact that Isaiah did EXACTLY what the Lord said and it says he did this for three years!  Now THAT is obedience.  We say we are being obedient.  We sing to the Lord and pray to the Lord that we are all His but are we?  Would we be as obedient as Isaiah who walked around stripped bare for three years?  I honestly don’t think very many of us.  I can honestly say at this moment I would have a hard time and would very much say a big fat NO on the walking around naked thing.  (EW)  I believe that I would die for Him but not walk around naked.  (I know for some that is weird but I just can’t stand the thought)  Most of us would completely brush this type of calling and some others off as if we aren’t really hearing it from God.  Because our flesh would take over and we would be prideful because He asked us to do something we would never do.

Let’s face it and ask ourselves a very hard question.  Are we REALLY obedient servants of God if we won’t do certain things?  Or are we just going through the motions?  Are we ready to reprioritize our lives, change the world by changing our habits, truly giving our all to the Lord???

It’s time we stop allowing the world, what we were taught through our lives and the pains we have endured dictate what we are going to do.  It’s time we stop allowing all of our junk to distract us from what the ultimate goal of this life, ALL OUR LIVES, is.  It’s time to strip off that sack cloth and toss aside our sandals and walk naked for our ABBA FATHER!

Fire

I was crying out to God this morning that this waiting in this life of mine that feels like Hell most times HURTS!  I seriously just feel like everyone’s punching bag or a plastic bag that can just be thrown away.  I feel most days like I am the only one trying to make our life around us better, trying to keep the peace or trying to reach out to others when they won’t reach out to me or check on me.  I feel like I can’t have a day’s peace without upsetting someone just because I sigh to heavily or I look at them wrong or I say the wrong thing.  I feel like I am in HELL and no amount of breathing exercise or praying to God for it to stop is helping!!!!  Even my alone time in the morning with God feels like a turmoil because my brain won’t stop thinking about what might be next.  I feel like I am on fire, but not in a good way, until I sat down this morning and thought about that word.

Fire.  So many images come to mind when you think about this word.  You think of Hell, you think of it burning things to ash, you think of destruction.  Others may think of a beautiful smell of it as a camp fire or something that you are cooking in it.

This word has been one of my BIGGEST fears my entire life.  The word paralyzes me when I hear it or if I smell smoke from it.  It brings up images of a trailer on fire when I was just a kid and the lack of knowing if my friends escaped before it started because no one could find them.  It brings the memory of the smell of burning hair when someone lit a firecracker and caught someone else’s hair on fire.  Or the many times I was chased with firecrackers burning as a child.

This morning though I was shown a different use of fire.  I was shown how beautiful fire can be and what it NEEDS to be in our lives.  In the Bible we see God using fire in many different ways.  He used it to destroy nations like Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24).  He had people use it as a tool for sacrifices like with Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22:7).  He used it to speak to Moses in the burning bush (Exodus 3:2).

Isaiah 48:10 – Look! I have refined you, but not like silver, I have chosen you in the furnace of misery.  This verse is used during a time when He’s punishing a nation for what they did but can also be used to show how He removes our impurities and restore us to Him.  He is refining us and chosen us from the furnace of misery………..  Let that sink in a minute.  A furnace is full of fire.  Fire is misery.  Our lives are misery.  Our lives are refining us for whatever it is that God has for us.  Yes we have made the choices that got us where we are but God can use our bad choices to refine us and shape us.  God will say “ok you want to do it the hard way?  Let’s go then…..”  Or maybe you didn’t choose it.  God knows how to use it anyway.  God knows what it is going to take to get you to the exact point in your life that He needs you in.  And maybe you know what that point is or maybe you will never know what it is until you are at His feet.  Doesn’t matter.  We still have to walk through the fire for God.

A Blacksmith will use fire to mold and refine a sword.  He dips it into the fire over and over again getting it hot enough to pound out the impurities in the metal and to sharpen it into a mighty weapon.  We are that sword.  God is that blacksmith.  He is dipping us over and over again into the fire in order to get out the impurities and sharpen us into His mighty weapon.

Pearls, diamonds, beautiful vases, and so many more objects of beauty have to go through a fire and/or through pressure beyond our comprehension in order to be created into the beauty we tend to take advantage of.  We are those pearls, diamonds, vases, and swords to God.  We are the beauty He is creating.

All must go through the fire and pressure to become what their creator needs them to be.  The fire or Hell we are living in our lives is preparing us for the battle that is yet to come.  We are to be used for a purpose and we have to walk through these valleys in order to become exactly what HE wants us to be.

Be patient.  Be still.  Bask in the heat and the pressure knowing that all the burns, cuts, and bruises the world will give you is worth it in the End.  This is what He is saying to so many of us and what He is putting on my heart today.

 

Lord, let this be our prayer today.  May we be still, be patient, and bask in your heat and pressure today, knowing you have got it all taken care of no matter what is going on.

 

 

Zechariah 13:9 ‘This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’ ”’