Thursday, July 18, 2013

Trust and Obey

"Trust and Obey, for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus, then to trust and obey".  I have had these lyrics from the old hymn on my mind over the last couple of months.  Those two words encompass so much of who we are and what we are about. We are children of God, justified through Christ and heir to his many precious promises.  We have in us the Holy Spirit who gives strength and grace to obey all we are called to do. Yet, it is so difficult to surrender everything and trust and obey.

Matthew Henry in His commentary on Matthew 5 talks about what it means to be poor in spirit. "This poverty of spirit is a gracious disposition of soul, by which we are emptied of self, in order to our being filled with Jesus Christ." The closer I get to the Lord, the more I realize I have yet to empty and surrender to Him. I cling to so much still in this world - my reputation, safety, family, security, material things.

George Mueller says, "I was converted in November, 1825, but I only came into the full surrender of the heart four years later in July, 1829.  The love of money was gone, the love of place was gone, the love of position was gone, the love of worldly pleasures and engagements was gone.  God, God alone became my portion.  I found my all in Him; I wanted nothing else."

That is the emptying of self that I want my life to be - totally surrendered to our Lord and Saviour. That those things in the world will grow dim as I delight in Him.  That I would be able to Trust and Obey in all circumstances no matter the cost.  

I see our great Lord working in my life to help me surrender these things to Him.  I submit today to this work though it may be hard.  I ask that He would burn away those things in me that cannot be used for His glory. That I would be able to come before His and simply trust and obey.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


As I look at this picture it reminds me of how safe I am when I am holding onto the Lords hand through the trials of this life - just as my precious daughter can feel safe and enjoy the waves while she holds on to her daddy.

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.   James 1:5-6

It is of great significance that this verse comes directly after instruction to consider it joy to endure perserverance. My interpretation of that wisdom had been God's direction - something like "okay Lord what should I do next".   This was followed by a sense of insisting that I be obedient to whatever it was that I felt the Lord leading me to do.

I have recently felt like that wave of the sea.  One minute I am doing alright and feel like I am standing on firm ground and following what the Lord is leading me to do.  Then the next minute I am in tears doubting who He made me to be and the steps that I am taking.  What James says in verse 7 is pretty harsh - "he (who doubts) is a double minded man, unstable in all he does".

As I was thinking about this, I realized it is in these times of trial that God's wisdom is of such great significance, not because it is necessarily telling us what to do, but instead it is reminding us of what to believe. 

When going through trials, I often try to figure out what I need to do next to make this trial end.  I again want to take the reigns and take control.  I want this trial to end and I think I know the best way to make it end.  Sometimes, I just don't want to believe because I don't like the way the Lord is leading us. How silly I am to think that I can fix anything on my own or that I know best.  When I start taking things into my own hands or fighting what God is doing, I become that unstable man - doubting my steps and riding the roller coaster of emotions.  

Instead, I believe that many times God is calling me to just endure, wait, and trust in his wisdom and His promises.  He is calling me to believe and not doubt His leading and all His promises.

Last night someone pointed out to me Matthew 7:24-27, which comes at the end of Jesus Sermon on the Mount.

v. 24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. v 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.

What is very interesting to me today about the Sermon on the Mount are the many promises that Jesus gives us during the teaching.  He starts with the beatitudes promising blessing for the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst  for righteousness, and so on.   He tells us in 6:28-34 not to worry but to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.  In 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be open to you.

Is it really as simple as seeking Him and delighting in Him, and then believing what He says is true?  Is that the way to peace and joy through trial and pain?  Is that the wisdom God gives generously to all?  If it is then Lord help me to believe with all I am and not doubt.  Help me to stand on the rock of your promises as the wind blows around me.  Help me to seek you first and delight in you.  Help me to not do or take control, but to trust, obey, and wait patiently for your perfect timing in my circumstances.  Thank you for your many and precious promises.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sometimes I think I have it all together.  Then everything seems to fall apart.  These past few days have been more along the lines of everything falling apart.  On Friday, I reached a point of laying on the ground crying and saying "Lord, I can't do this.  I am so incapable of being a good mom!"  This came after a complete meltdown by all three of my daughters lasting for over an hour.  A result of allowing my children to become overtired and overstimulated.  Not what I would consider good mom points!

So, here I am looking at my last post; remembering all I have been learning; continuing to seek the Lord daily; and this is what happens.  It is such a reminder of how much I need the Lord and how completely inadequate I am on my own. This is why we need grace and why Christ came to die for us.

2 Corinthians 12:9:
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ's power may rest on me.  That is why for Christ's sake I delight all the more in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.

My weaknesses are so abundant. I see them in all areas of my life and most vividly in my abilities as a mom.  I so often fail to be the mom I read about and strive to be.  Yet, here is the Lord telling me that his power is made perfect in all of those weaknesses - including my weaknesses as a mom!
Does this mean that we do not continue to strive for excellence and obedience?  By no means. But grace is ever abundant and sufficient for whatever situation we are going through.  Let Christ be strong when we blow it.  Thank Him that it is not by our might that we are saved or even that our children are saved, but it is by His strength and power that we and our children are saved!!  Praise be to our God who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us!  It is through His power that our children come to know Him and this power is at work within us.  It is taking us, along with all of faults, weaknesses, and inadequacies and using all that we are for His good.

Lord, let your power be at work in us today.  In our areas of weakness, be strong.  Let our children know you and enable us to raise them pointing to you.  Use our weaknesses to show your strength. Then, do the work in bringing them to salvation and deep relationship with you.  Thank you Lord!  Amen.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Letting God

I am the type of person who likes to be in control.  At least to some degree.  I like to know how things are going to turn out.  I absolutely love formulas.  If I do this and this, then this is going to happen.  I have often joked how I wish I had a manual for each of my children, a how-to, step by step book to help me figure out how to raise them.

Instead, I am realizing that there are so many areas that are out of my control. And as I try to control it, my worry and stress start to increase. Right now it is my children who are my source of worry.  As a mom I invest so much time making sure they are taken care of, they have a good relationship with the Lord, and are children of charater and good morals.  Yet, there are so many things working against these goals for my children.  As I identify these, my worry and stress start to rise.   Then as I look around, it appears to me that so many others have it all figured out, yet many of the things they are doing are not an option for me right now.

So what happens next.  I start to fall into despair and defeat.  I start to believe lies.  The lies that my children cannot possibly make it through all this with a strong faith.

This week in the word, God has been teaching me to:
1. Stay steadfast in my pursuit of Him, seeking to delight in Him.
2. Teach my children His ways so that it may go well with them.  This teaching them both obedience and grace through Jesus Christ.
3.  And finally, but often the most difficult is learning to trust him in everything, especially the areas that are out of my control.

I was reading 1 Corinthians 2 and wrote this in my journal:
"It is not with the fanciest devotions or parenting techniques that bring my children to you. There is no exact formula other than simply knowing you, following your commands, letting your Spirits power work and be a demonstration to my kids.  Lord reveal your wisdom to my husband and I for raising our children and help us to love them the way you love us".

You see, we have a how-to manual - His Word The Bible and we have the Holy Spirit to help us and teach us.  What does the Bible command us?
1. Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older they will not leave it. Proverbs 22:6
2. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Deuteronomy 6:5-8

When those things that we have no control over start to overwhelm us, we need to ask this.  Are we loving the Lord with all our heart, soul and strength?  Are we asking him for wisdom and guidance?  Are we following His how-to manual? We can be assured that he gives wisdom generously, but we must believe and not doubt (James 1).  Are we studying and obeying what His word says with the help of the Holy Spirit?  Are we praying that the Spirit would be working in the lives of those around us?  And are we trusting Him to work all things together for the good (Romans 8:28).

And how do we trust when we can't see the end?  Proverbs 3:6 tells us to "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  Many times remembering how God has been faithful to us helps me to trust Him.

When the Isrealities crossed over the Jordon River, God instructed them to take with them stones from the river as a rememberance of what God has done for them.  Looking back at God's faithfulness can help us trust Him as we look forward to an unknown future.

In what ways are you struggling to Let God work and to trust Him?  Are you following His how-to manual and asking Him to help you and teach you?

Thank you Lord, that you do work all things together for good for those who love you.  Thank you for being so faithful in the little and big things of our lives.  Grant us wisdom and diligence in the tasks you have set before us and help us to trust you completely in everything.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I often find myself so easily swayed by all that goes on around me.  Maybe it is the emotions of the day; regrets of my mistakes; illness; financial worries; or maybe someone has let me down.  Some days I just feel down and unsure of my next step.  I have found that I can drown in the circumstances  around me.

Yet, there is one who never changes and who is always faithful despite my faults. It is He who says take heart for I have overcome the world.  It is on Him I will build my house because He is my rock and my salvation so whom have I too fear.

It is in Him that I can trust because He promises to direct all my paths and to use everything for good.  It is Him who has given me everything I need for life and godliness.  On this rock I will stand when the waves of life sway and I will not be shaken!!

Once again as I stand on his faithful promises, he gives me the strength to stay steadfast in the tasks before me.  It is in this daily steadfastness that He builds character, excellence, and strength in my life and continues to transform me into the women, wife, and mother He wants me to be.

Psalm 37:3-7:
TRUST in the Lord and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take DELIGHT in the Lord,
and He will give you your heart's desires.
COMMIT everything you do to the Lord,
Trust Him and He will help you.
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
BE STILL in the presence of the Lord,
and wait patiently for Him to act.

I have found this trusting, delighting, committing, and waiting key to staying steadfast.  Spending faithful time with our Lord in the word and in prayer; trusting his promises, committing all I do and delighting in Him keeps me steadfast.

Thank you Lord for your faithfulness.  Help me to remember your precious promises and to trust you when life gets tough.  Continue to mold me into who you want me to be and help me to commit all I do to you and do it for your glory. Amen.

What promises do you stand on?

(Psalm 127:1, Psalm 62:2, John 16:33, Proverbs 3:6, Romans 8:28, 2 Peter 1:3)

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Priviledge of Delight

Mercies are new each morning.  How true I find that to be.  Each morning I awake with a plan for the day.  Ready to take on the challenges and tasks that lay before me.  The cares of yesterday are
dim and the possibilities of what the day may bring give me hope.
Yet, how quickly those thoughts seem to faulter.  The reality of life hits once again.  Kids to get ready, list of things to do, the chaos of life.  Many days I see my spirits going down quickly with the worries of life.
How easily I can fall into self-pity and despair.

Matthew Henry in his commentary on Phillipians 4: 4 writes "Delight thyself in the Lord (Psalm 37:4) in the multitude of our thoughts within us (grievous and afflicting thoughts) His comfort delights our soul (Psalm 94:19) and our meditation of Him is sweet (Psalm 104:34). Observe it is our duty and priviledge to rejoice in God, and to rejoice in Him always; at all times; in all conditions..."

This is my heart's desire.  To delight in the one who promises to help me do all things through Him who gives me strength (Phillipians 4:13).  In Him who delights in me (Zephaniah 3:17) despite all of my weaknesses.  To remain in the joy of the Lord despite my circumstances of the day.

So, this afternoon, I delighted and rejoiced in Him.  While going about my day and interacting with those around me.  I asked Him to help me remember who He is and who I am in Him. When I started to remember all the things I am inadequate in, I brought them in prayer and instead started focusing on who He is.  As I delight in Him, those cares start to grow dim and the strength needed to accomplish what is set before me returns.  As the song Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus says, "And the things of earth will grow strangly dim, in the light of His glory and grace". 
Thank you Lord for your amazing grace and the priviledge you have given me to delight in you!  Through my failures, help me remember that your strength is made perfect in my weakness. Help me to delight in You!