Wednesday, July 27, 2011

letting go...

Saturday, a friend & I were chatting over coffee. I had been sharing how angry I was over a situation that had arisen in class last week. I was angry about an assignment we had to do and in essence I felt like I was having to defend my faith and I felt like the instructor was making GOD look bad. My sister felt my anger stemmed from when I was a child and an attempt to witness to a couple of friends went bad. All this anger & defensiveness rose up in me as an adult that I wasn't able to express as a child. My friend very gently told me that I should let go...

Tuesday I saw a counselor and talked about this whole situation and she explained to me about how our minds imagine situations which may or may not happen and it's as if we are prepared to react before those situations arise....

So basically... I was holding onto a lie... a lie that I needed to defend GOD who doesn't need defending... a lie that I would be attacked again like I was when I was little... a lie that I would be backed into a corner, unable to get out. None of those things happened but my mind and body were prepared for the attack... to the point where I physically ached for a couple of days afterwards.

This scripture has been going through my head since then:

"The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes. He trusts something that can't help him at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask, "Is this idol that I'm holding in my hand a lie?" (Isaiah 44:20)

Today as I was waiting for class to begin I read this from a devotional:

I have a Great Work to Do
(Overcoming being offended)

"Sanballat & Geshen sent to me, saying, 'Come, let us meet together... in the plain of Ono.' But they thought to do me harm. So I sent messengers to them; saying, 'I am doing a great work so that I should not come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?'" (Neh. 6:2-3)

"Our adversary is constantly inviting us to meet with him in the valleys of "Ono". One of the things he want to talk with us about is how we are justified in being offended by the actions of others. Being offended meant that we feel insulted, mistreated, snubbed, or disrespected. All of us will experience things like these. It is important, however, to realize that the mistreatment itself does not cause the offense; but we choose to be offended when we place more value on protecting ourselves than for the call we have and the assignment we have been given."

"...being easily offended causes a "going down" from the high place of God."

"Do you sense God has given you a great assignment to devote yourself to? If you don't, you will be tempted to go to the valley of Ono to dwell on offense rather than on God's vision for your life."

Choosing to be offended... means choosing to hold onto the lie. It's protecting myself against what "might" happen (which is a lie) rather than focusing on the call God has placed on my life (the Truth).

I read a little more of this story in Nehemiah and after several attempts of trying to get Nehemiah to come down to them ... to the point of threatening him even... he replied with, "There is no truth in any part of your story. You are making up the whole thing."

I don't want to hold onto the offenses of the past any longer. I don't want to listen to the lies the enemy whispers in my ears in the valley of Ono any longer. There is no truth in what the enemy says to me! I want to instead focus on the Truth of God's Word and listen to the Words He whispers to me... don't be afraid... I'm right here with you. I will protect you. There's no need to be offended because I will deal with them in My time. Keep your eyes focused on me and do the work I have called you to.

So here I am... letting go of the anger... the fear... the offenses of the past and I turn my eyes toward You Lord and the "Great Work" You have set before me.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

great reminder...

wow... this just made my day!

First... "Even in our weaknesses, the Father delights in giving grace (divine enablement), so we can experience the abundant life."


I don't have to be perfect
(overcoming chronic unworthiness)

"The next time you feel like God can't use you, just remember that...

Abraham was too old
Isaac was a daydreamer
Jacob was a liar
Joseph was abused
Moses had a stuttering problem
Gideon was afraid
Rahab was a prostitute
Jeremiah & Timothy were too young
David had an affair and was a murderer
Elijah was suicidal
Jonah ran from God
Naomi was a widow
Job went bankrupt
Peter denied Christ (3 times!)
The disciples fell asleep while praying
Martha worried about everything
The Samaritan woman was divorced (more than once)
Zaccheus was too small
Paul was too religious
Timothy had an ulcer...
AND... Lazarus was dead!

A poor background [or bad choices] does not disqualify us from a great future or to be used of God powerfully. Everything can change today. Obviously we want to move out of dysfunctional behavior, but praise God, we rejoice in knowing there is hope for all!"

~ taken from Victorious Mindsets by Steve Backlund

Praise God there is Hope for me yet!! I'm so thankful for His love and grace and the fact that His mercies are NEW EVERY morning!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

one of "those" days....

This morning I woke up with a killer headache and was so sore and stiff. Not a good way to start the day. I had class at 9:00 and I think that was part of the problem... I went to bed a little cranky about the assignment that was due today. Basically I was feeling like I was going to have to defend my beliefs and faith in God. First, I'm not a fan of debating how I feel with someone and second... it would be with other people around. I think inside my spirit was stressed and that was the reason behind waking up the way I did. Well... it set me in kind of a cranky mood from the beginning... not a good way to start the day... unfortunately the headache and soreness stuck with me throughout the day.

When I went into work the headache was still lingering and one of the managers could tell something was up by the look on my face. She told me I could leave early so I was thankful when the time came that I could leave.

Now here's the deal... when I was on my way home I had the urge to get some ice cream. It seems to be my current "feel better" treat. I've been asking God to help me with my food issues... to show me when I'm about to cave in "I'm made for more" ... and to make me aware of my triggers. As I was on my way up the hill to McD's to get some ice cream I heard His whisper say, "You were made for more." Just like Lysa had talked about in MTC (Made to Crave). And as I was turning the corner I responded in my heart, "... but I really just want some ice cream and some down time." After I went through the drive-thru I sat in the parking lot and began to eat my ice cream. I pulled out a little devotional book I have in my purse and... it's just like God to do this... my book-marked spot opened to this:

There is a Way
(Overcoming hopelessness and mediocrity)

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape...." (1 Corinthians 10:13)

I was convicted as I read these words.

The devotional went on to talk about how "God has a way to get you from disaster into the blessing of His will.... there is also a way to get out of the temptation to stay mediocre or average in life or ministry."

I realized as I was reading this that I had disregarded the whisper of the Holy Spirit... I had disregarded the way of escape He had provided for me... I had chosen instead to stay in mediocrity... I had blatantly chosen to what I desired over choosing to walk in victory.

As I sat and pondered on these words and on my actions... I realized I had pacified my pent up anger and frustrations of the day with ice cream rather than seeking Him first. I had chosen to get the ice cream first. Maybe if I would have listened to His voice and seen the way of escape ahead of time... if I would have chosen to read the devotional BEFORE getting the ice cream... I could have stepped beyond mediocre and average into the blessing of victory.

I repented... and was truly sorry for not listening to His voice. He paralleled it with when I tell my thoughts to one of my kids and they choose to do what they want instead... I feel disappointed. I knew that I had disappointed my Father... but then... I felt His love and grace. Just like I still love my kids even when they don't listen... I knew in that moment He still loves me.

Once again.... Lord, please forgive me for giving into my flesh and choosing the mediocre way instead of the better way. Please forgive me for not taking Your way of escape. Thank You for loving me and for Your gentle discipline. May I remember this the next time I hear You whisper... "you are made for more" and may I willingly choose Your way of escape instead of my own selfish way.