Come to Him…

22 04 2010

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]” –Matthew 11:28

“Many people today are stressed out beyond anything a human being was ever meant to endure. Every person is very different, uniquely created by G-d’s design. What is complicated for one may be simple for another. Don’t compare yourself with other people. But when faced with a problem or difficult circumstance you must ask yourself, ‘what would Jesus have me to in this situation? How would He handle it?’

Jesus was not stressed out or burned out. He was not controlled by circumstances or the demands of other people. In John 14:6, Jesus said, ‘I am the Way.’ His way is the right way—the way that will lead you into righteousness, peace, and joy. Jesus prayed that His enjoyment would fill your soul, and it will when you learn to take His approach to life and its many different challenges.”

-Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”

It can be so hard to live in this world and not stress out. We are so busy. We are so performance minded and defined by what we do. Whether you are graduating college, looking for a job, or wherever else you might be—that pressure to fulfill societal expectation will be following you. I must admit that I’ve struggled with my own concept of adulthood and success and not feeling like I measure up to even my own standards. Christ is the only one that I know that truly does accept us and love us based upon who He is and who we are and not based on what we can do. He sees you and wants to walk with you at all times—when you feel successful and peaceful and when you feel foolish and dreamless. Keep walking with Him. He’s in all our details and His dreams for us are beyond comprehension.

Getting excited about what’s to come,

Mere

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Strong Fortress

13 04 2010

“I will say of the L-rd, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my G-d; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!…You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday.”

-Psalm 91:2, 5-6

“You need to remember you are ready for anything through Christ who infuses inner strength into you. Paul prayed for the Church at Ephesus to be strengthened with all might and power in the inner man (see Ephesians 3:16). He knew if they stayed strong inwardly, they would be able to handle whatever came against them.

When you trust G-d, you don’t have to be afraid of the devil’s sudden surprises that stalk you. He is your strong fortress. No matter what may come against you, you will not be defeated.”

(Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”)

I think that an important detail here is who is the refuge. We acknowledge Him as our Savior and Covering and then He’s the one dealing with our fears and silencing them. It’s not about us getting over our fears; it’s the L-rd extinguishing them. I think the “you shall not” is a declaration over us and not an order. If we are committed to the L-rd that doesn’t always mean dear will completely be non-existent, it means that He will start making the anxiety disappear in the light of Him. That’s why I love the song that says: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” The more He reveals Himself and we come to trust in who He is, the less sense our fears will make. Some of my fears from the past seem completely ridiculous because G-d has liberated me by showing me more and more of Him. I used to fear death a whole lot and have terrible nightmares. Now, I don’t lie awake in fear about it. Certainly, I have fears that are still in my life, but the L-rd is at work.

Don’t feel like a terrible child of G-d (because you are absolutely normal) when you have fear, just know that G-d loves you and is ready to start working out the fear one day at a time.

By faith and hope,

Mere





Stay in Balance

25 01 2010

“I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am.” –Philippians 4:11

“Stability is maturity. To grow up in G-d is to come to the place where you can be content no matter what your situation or circumstances may be because you are rooted and grounded, not in things, but in the L-rd.

Paul was emotionally and spiritually mature because he knew whatever state he was in would pass. He had learned the secret of facing every situation of life, whether good or bad.

G-d wants to bless you and use you as a vessel through which His Holy Spirit can work. But in order for that to happen you must learn how to handle both the good times and the bad. That’s why it is so important to remember that whatever comes your way, “this too shall pass.” The good times and the bad never last forever, but through Christ we can handle either with joy and stability.” (Joyce Meyer, Ending Your Day Right)

The L-rd is the only one that can change our hearts and make them stable, but we have a choice to make. Will we let Him? Will we choose to remain steady? It’s easy in the midst of struggle to rely too much upon our feelings. Often times, we trust our feelings and let them dominate the way that we feel about the situation and ourselves. It’s hard not to dwell on the problems, but if we allow our hearts and minds to wrestle and our mouths to run about our situation, of course, we are going to struggle with being steady and stable. This is so hard. I think it’s a moment-by-moment surrender. If you have a feeling or thought that doesn’t line up with G-d and His control in your life, then banish it in Jesus’ name and refuse to let the lie or doubt take up residence in your heart and mind. This can be so hard, but G-d will come and help if we will only surrender and ask Him to make us steady. I’m moment by moment on this too; so don’t feel alone as you work it out. Remember that the L-rd is good and even in the times that don’t seem like His goodness, He never changed or walked out. Look to Him—He’s the only one that somehow stays stable.

By faith and hope,

Mere





Choose G-d’s Secret Place

9 01 2010

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no foe can withstand]. I will say of the L-rd, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my G-d; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!”

-Psalms 91:1-2

“This scripture holds the key to overcoming worry, anxiety, discouragement, disappointment, depression, despair, and disease. It is simply trusting G-d.

Perhaps you want to trust G-d, but it seems you just don’t know how. Trusting G-d requires knowing Him—knowing His character and having experience with Him. Going through trials with G-d by your side builds your faith.

So when you face problems, you can choose trust or torment. Choose to trust G-d and dwell in the “secret place”, enjoying divine provision in the midst of attacks and walking through dark times in His presence.” (Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”)

Surrendering to G-d and coming into the secret place is the best decision that you can ever make and you probably will have to make it over and over again. I know that I constantly have to keep laying down my struggles before G-d and asking Him to be the covering. The L-rd is waiting and ready to take you into a place of healing and hope, but we have to choose to let go and trust Him. What a wonderful gift it is to know that our G-d is in control even in the times when our lives make no sense to us. One of my favorite scriptures is Romans 8:28—“for we know that in all things, G-d works for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose.” This verse has brought me comfort in the midst of confusion and turmoil many times. The L-rd is not surprised by the trials that you are facing. I heard Beth Moore speak recently and she reminded me that everything that happens is either caused by G-d or is allowed by Him. Based upon this knowledge, she gleaned this truth from Romans 8:28—“Nothing can happen that will not give glory to G-d and be for your benefit and equipping. If it was permitted, it is vital to your equipping.” Beth has seen throughout her life how the trials have prepared her for the big plans that the L-rd had for her. The L-rd has big plans for each one of us and the trials might be getting you equipped and ready to face the exciting plan of the L-rd G-d.

Walking in faith and hope,

Mere





An Eternal Perspective

12 08 2009

brideAn Eternal Perspective

“But the day of the L-rd will come like a thief, and then the heavens will vanish (pass away) with a thunderous crash, and the [material] elements [of the universe] will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up. Since all these things are thus in the process of being dissolved, what kind of person ought [each of] you to be [in the meanwhile] in consecrated and holy behavior and devout and godly qualities, while you wait and earnestly long for (expect and hasten) the coming of the day of G-d?…Be eager to be found by Him [at His coming] without spot or blemish and at peace [in serene confidence, free from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts].” -2 Peter 3:10-12, 14

“This passage of Scripture should invoke reverential fear and awe within you. It is a waste of time trying to impress people—what matters is what G-d thinks of you. You must keep an eternal perspective. The world as we know it will one day vanish and Jesus will return. We should spend our time in this world preparing ourselves to enjoy eternity in G-d’s presence.”

-Joyce Meyer, Ending Your Day Right

I think we need to get excited about the L-rd’s return. Think of how wonderful it will be to be able to love on G-d and serve Him without having to be constrained by our human will! His return shouldn’t be taken lightly, but we should also remember that it will be our happily ever after with our Bridegroom.

In the meantime, we should act like a bride preparing for her upcoming wedding. In my time around brides, I have noticed their focus—every detail perfectly arranged for the special day, and this is more than just decorations and stuff for the ceremony, they are also preparing themselves. Some women begin a healthier lifestyle right after they get engaged so that they can become the best they can be (at least physically). Take this same type of vigor and focus it on our Savior Bridegroom that shall return. We can’t fix our hearts and feelings, but we can be obedient and take actions to try to live like we believe that this day is a big deal. One important aspect of a wedding is the guest list. You would never dream of leaving someone near and dear off that list…so why would we not do everything we could to make sure that all our friends, family, and the people around us are going to take part in the feast with our Lamb? We need to live with an eternal perspective so that we do not put off sharing the hope that we have with those around us. Do you have someone that you want on that list that doesn’t know yet? I know I do and I wish that they were already there. The end of the passage mentions being “at peace” when He returns. I believe this is speaking of many facets of peace. Not only is this referring to our inner peace, but I also believe that it implies at peace with people as well. Are you in some sort of conflict with someone? As far as it depends on us, we need to work towards resolution. Do you really want to have to explain to the Bridegroom why you were letting conflict with someone get in the way of your commitment to Him? This is such a challenge, but we need to live with a sense of urgency so when the Lamb comes back, we are ready to party!

Amazed,

Mere





Let G-d have Control!

2 06 2009

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 “Aim at and seek the [rich, eternal pleasures] that are above…And set your minds and keep them set on what is above…not on the things that are on the earth…kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire…[and all that is earthly in you].” -Colossians 3:1, 2, 5

     “It is a natural desire to want to be in control of your life; however, it is not an attainable goal. Assuming you can control all the people and situations that come into your life is an unrealistic expectation–and one that leaves you frustrated, angry, and exhausted. G-d has a good plan for everyone that includes a life far superior to anything the world has to offer, but attaining it involves dying to self. G-d relentlessly pursues the flesh–our human nature–and is intent on setting us free from its control. The process of letting go and giving up control can be painful, but the end result is worth it. So let go of control and let G-d be G-d in your life.” -Joyce Meyer

I also came upon a quote that I wanted to share with you:

“Worrying is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” -anonymous

G-d has shown himself to be faithful and so why should we doubt Him now? It’s easy to say that we give control to G-d as long as things are going as we want, but the defining moment is when something that we don’t like happens. G-d sees our lives and His scope of vision allows Him to see how everything will play out. Despite the fact that we know that He can see everything, we still try to reach for control. I think that the key is that we have to live in continual surrender. I have heard people talking about taking up your cross daily or daily surrendering to G-d, for me personally, I think it has to be a moment by moment surrender. Some things in our lives are easier than others to surrender, but we have to trust that G-d loves us more than we love ourselves and desires our best–a goodness that is beyond our comprehension.

Step at a time,

Mere





Sanctuary

15 05 2009

Isaiah 30:15 – “For the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said: ‘You will be delivered by returning and resting; your strength will lie in quiet confidence.”

Psalms 91:1-2 – “The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’”

In those brief moments of rest from the hectic thing that we call our lives where do we seek sanctuary? Seeking sanctuary is the idea of trying to find a place of safety amidst a dark and dangerous world. The medieval concept of sanctuary, where the Church was a place that you could seek refuge from your enemies, actually comes from the Mosaic law of the Old Testament. The people of Israel were to appoint cities where those who had unintentionally killed another person could be safe from the vengeance of the deceased person’s family and friends. If they were found outside this city before the presiding high priest died, they were not guaranteed safety from the revenge of the deceased person’s family or friends. This is, however, only in the case of unintentional killings. Murderers were put to death.

You can imagine the relief that a person would feel upon reaching one of these cities of refuge and knowing that they could at last rest without worrying about being killed. In much the same way God is our refuge from the worries and struggles of this life. He is our rock and our fortress.

The Words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – Matthew 11:28-30 – “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

The question then, is this, “Where do you seek sanctuary?” So often when we are struggling we try to persevere by keeping busy, spending quality time with friends, reading a good book, playing sports, or in general just doing something that will take our minds off of our pain, but that is not what we are meant to do! We do not need to ignore our struggles. We need to overcome them by laying them at the foot of the cross; we need to seek sanctuary in Christ.

Then, and only then, will we truly understand that joy and peace are not to be found in our own wholeness, but rather in our brokenness before God, from whom, through whom, and to whom are all things, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

-Sean