Another day of working out my sanctification....
This morning God really spoke to me and my current trials using the book of Galations, and I wanted to share with you what He showed me and laugh with those of you who go to my church over how He would choose Galations, the very book our pastor just began a series in this past Sunday! God works in mysterious ways! ;) Guess this study will be particularaly helpful for me...!
Anyways, the chapter I was led to after I sought the Lord in prayer was Deuteronomy
Chapter 8, a chapter about obeying God's commandments so that it will go well with you, because the Lord is bringing you into a good land, and we must remember that this is the work of His hands and not our own, lest we say in our own hearts " My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth" or,like the nations God made perish for His people, so they will perish, because they will not obey the voice of the Lord God.
How kind of the Lord to lead me to this scripture!,on the heels of the last few days when have had to *force* myself to obey Him about some things, obeying against every fiber in my sinful being at some points,knowing what is right, and wanting what is wrong! This has been on the heels of conflict, and a talk I had
with my Care Group leader's wife to seek her council;she talked to me about Redemption. Well,God showed me such a beautiful picture of Redemption in this chapter and in chapter 9!I think I see a theme here!;)
He saves us not because we deserve it, but because He set His heart in love on our fathers and chose thier offspring after them, we above all peoples, Deut.10:15, and
from the day we came out of Egypt until we came to this place, we have been rebellious against the Lord,Deut.8:7.
Oh how I needed to hear this again today as I set myself prostrate before the Lord in prayer, offering up my prayers and petitions to the Lord in the best
thanksgiving I could give and all the joy that I had, knowing that He would be faithful to give me the peace that surpasses all undertstanding, because His word says that he will, Phil.4:6&7. I told Him all about what He already knew was in my heart... LordI still am finding it hard to forgive some things,Lord i am so hurt,I am so nagry still about some things,I feel like I should be past this by now, when will these *feelings* go away? and etc., all the while asking Him to make stronger the feelings of redemptive-love that I *do* have also, mixed in with all of the other,ugly stuff. His answer to me was one that showed me why He saves (Deut.9) and what He asks us to do in light of our salvation(Deut.8) and showed me that all He asks he puts in place so that it may go well with us(!
What kindness, what mercy, what LOVE! And then He talked to me about the crucifiction, and how it feels for Him to have the lukewarm believers we have today as His son's and duaghter's. Jesus died for people who were mocin Him; God saves us and then so many of us honor Him with our lips in private and then act ashamed of His word and His commandments out in public, inciting his grief and anger to where He says to us that if we are ashamed of Him, then He will be ashamed of us.
I am seeing how hard it is to obey sometimes, and how hard it was for God to send Jesus to die, how it was for Jesus to die, for sinners such as us, more and more as time goes by, but I am also graciously and lovingly being shown the promise that comes with obedience: just as we tell our children about Eph.6, so we must remind ourselves also, sothat it may go well with you. And, honoring the Lord with our whole hearts, our whole minds, our whole souls, with our lives,our word and deed, our thoughts, it all.
Taking thoughts captive and forcing yourself to obey is hard work, no doubt about that. I just cannot believe how much more wonderful the rewards are compared to the work that is put in!!!
I watched the movie Amazing Grace on dvd with Ty yesterday afternoon, a movie our pastor told us on Sunday that he enjoys very much, and a line from that movie is sticking in my head as I write this. A man in Parliment says to Wilbur Wilberforce,
"When the world thinks of great men, it will think of men of power, like Napolean, but it forgets men of peace. Napolean will return from his battles in pomp and power, but when he rests his head at night he will be haunted by the blood on his hands. But a man like Wilbur will go home to his family and when he rests his head, he will know peace, knowing that the slave trade is abolished."
This is the reward when we obey even when it is hard: peace. Peace is worth far more than any ounce of power you could ever offer me!
And let me rot as I deserve before you let me be ashamed of your name, my God. Let me open my mouth and have your word in it all the days of my life, especially on the occasions when your word is being called into question. Whether it be with my child, in the town square, with family, or with freinds, let me always honor you above myself and let me uphold your commandments whether it will make me well liked, or not liked at all. Give me that spirit of boldness even more I pray, so that I can boldly speak your word in confidence,in love,allowing me to always love, as You do, always love, especially when all I want to do is turn away from love; bind this easily wandering heart Lord! In Jesus powerful name I pray, Amen. Amen!