In Perfect Submission!

Psalm 119

35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.

The words will not come.  But they are there.  Stuck inside my heart.  My mind can not see them or form them. But they are there.  My heart is heavy with them. Circumstances compel me to try.  Memories urge me to free them from their confined space in the deep recesses.  The Spirit groans from within my soul to intercede on my behalf.  The knowledge that God is with me, ever-present but somewhat silent keeps me sensitive to His movement at any moment.  I am at the edge of my seat. Waiting.

36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.

Waiting on God.  Perhaps He is waiting on me.  Now wouldn’t that be something, each of us waiting on the other to move.  Somehow I am certain that God will not wait long.  He has a plan and nothing hinders Him from executing it with perfect timing and precision.  I see some things ahead in my life that must happen.  The opening of wounds, cleansing of  infections.  Minister and a healing.

37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.

Healing of fear.  The kind of fear that becomes an obstacle.   Fear, as an obstacle, becomes an emotion that binds up.  It keeps you boxed in.  It keeps you from standing up for what is right.  It keeps you from stepping out in faith.  It keeps you from speaking truth in love.  It keeps you from enjoying life.  Ultimately it may keep you from allowing God’s treatment causing greater sickness or pain.  It keeps you hostage.

38 Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.

Hostage to anxiety.  Anxiety is the opposite of peace.  True peace is only given by God.  He says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee..”  Focusing on Jesus, God’s Son, who came to ‘give us peace’ keeps your mind from wandering to painful memories of the past, from dwelling on current heartaches and trials, from taking in all the world chaos or carrying the burden of responsibility for everyone’s failures. Trusting Him gives you hope that all will be well in His hands.  In His hands there is life.

39 Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good.

Life more abundantly.  The sky is more blue.  The music is sweeter.  Your loved ones more dear.  The time you spend with family and friends becomes more precious.  Keeping your eyes on Him, keeps you moving forward.  It keeps you faithful.  It keeps you wanting more of Him.  You do not settle for comfortable, you desire to see His glory.  Seeing His glory means walking through fire.  Fire comes it brings heat.  Heat brings pain but sometimes it brings comfort when the cold winds blow.  Cold winds of death.

40 Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.

Death to self.  Dying to self is perhaps the one thing that we humans can not do consistently.  We try and we fail.  We fall.  We get up and try to die again.  He knows of our frailty but always looks down in love upon us, being patient with us.  He is jealous for us.  We wants our love and devotion. He wants us to fear Him. Fear the Lord. The kind of fear that shows a reverence or great respect of Him. This fear says you know of God’s mighty power.  You know His limitlessness and you do not challenge Him, you trust Him.  You know of his wrath you do not blaspheme Him, you praise Him.  You know of His judgement but you seek and accept His willingness to  forgive, you confess. You repent.  You turn from your sin, your flesh.  And He saves you.  Again, He gives grace.

41 Let thy mercies come also unto me, O Lord, even thy salvation, according to thy word.

Grace falls on you like a spring rain falling on freshly opened flowers.  You accept it and walk in it.  Looking up and giving thanks.  Your heart is overwhelmed by His mercy.  You sing praise with a louder voice.  You raise your open hands to Him giving Him all that was in your heart.  Your broken life, your pieces of burdens, your ignorant decisions, your rash actions, your hurtful words spewed out at others, your molested innocence, your regretful waste of time,  your lustful desires, your shattered dreams.  They are burnt up by His consuming fire.  His consuming love.  He takes the offering of ashes and replaces them with beauty.

The words came.

                   Perfect Submission

        Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! 
	O what a foretaste of glory divine! 
	Heir of salvation, purchase of God, 
	born of his Spirit, washed in his blood. 

        Refrain:
	This is my story, this is my song, 
	praising my Savior all the day long; 
	this is my story, this is my song, 
	praising my Savior all the day long. 

        Perfect submission, perfect delight, 
	visions of rapture now burst on my sight 
	angels descending bring from above 
	echoes of mercy, whispers of love. 
	(Refrain) 

        Perfect submission, all is at rest; 
	I in my Savior am happy and blest, 
	watching and waiting, looking above, 
	filled with his goodness, lost in his love. 
	(Refrain)

Oh Lord Jesus Fall Fresh On Me

November 5, 2012

It is the day before the 2012 election that will be taking place in the United States of America and I am not sure where to begin.   So many thoughts swirling about in my mind.  I have spent many hours reading articles, listening to speeches, watching news stories unfold as they happened around the world. Much of that information has left me disappointed, frustrated and at times angry with the direction our country is moving.  I heard someone say today that after tomorrow the America we remember as a child will never be that America again.  And I do believe that to be true no matter the outcome.

Growing up I heard sayings like “It’s as American as apple pie.” and “America is baseball, hot dogs and Chevrolet!” As a kid I believed America was about The Pledge of Allegiance, Stars & Stripes,  Star Bangled Banner & fireworks, Pilgrims and Indians, White Christmases & Jesus in the manger.  It was hot summer days eating bologna sandwiches, swimming in the neighbor’s pool and warm evenings chasing lightning bugs in the front yard.  Politics? Don’t think I ever really knew much about that except occasional overheard conversations.  I do remember watching Nixon give his resignation speech on  television but don’t remember what my thought was about it.   The symbol of politics for me was the image of Uncle Sam with a tall hat and extra long stilt-like legs.  I remember seeing elephants and donkeys but not understanding what they meant.

As a teenager, it became something a little different.  I remember my parents taking me to a Jimmy Carter campaign rally.  I did not much like it nor do I remember why.  I became a little more aware of the role of our president and what his job was but really did not pay too much attention to it all.  It was over my head.   The most I recall is the media making the public aware of the antics of the president’s brother, Billy, who drank a lot.  President Carter had a Georgia accent which was kind of distracting when he spoke.

Then came Ronald Reagan.  I knew he was an actor but did not know much about him then.  I liked him and thought he was genuine.  I liked that he did not back down and he had a sense of humor.  I paid more attention to him though I still was not into all that.  From my high school years to early adulthood I was pretty much focused on me, myself and I.  There were a few years in there where I did not watch much television other than the current sitcoms or read many newspapers.  I was not informed nor did I care at the time.  I had opinions perhaps some were passed down from the previous generation but for the most part they often were formulated by the current music and film culture.  I am sad to admit that.

It really was not until I joined the Air Force that I began to take notice of the events taking place in our nation and the world.  I began to understand the bigger picture in regards to the United States and where it stood on the world stage.  My first assignment took me to Europe.  And it was there I got to see my country from another perspective.  There was a growing patriotism rising up within me.  I saw history up close and personal.  For the first time in my life, at the young age of 23, I not only appreciated the fact that I was American but I experienced what being American meant.

Over the years since then I have become passionate about our country and its history.  Probably too passionate as some would say.  Age and experience have given me a better perspective on world around me.  Christianity and motherhood have a part in that as well.

November 6, 2012

Today is election day! Finally it is here.  I have had a quiet soul this morning coming to work.  So different from several weeks ago.  I was anxious about all the back and forth, up and down the crazy, horrible division that has come with it.  Our pastor said something that changed that for me.  “No matter who is elected President, God still wins!”  How profound that is.  It sort of yanked me back to earth so to speak.  Since that time I have searched my heart and realized whatever way it goes it is all in His plan.  America is changing and will continue to change.   Changes coming from all directions and mostly not for the good.  But what will not change is a Holy God who has it all in His hand.  By His providence we, the United States of America, began from a small group of folks looking for freedom of worship.   Freedom to study His Word and live it out in their lives.

America was great, because God was great to America.  He is no longer great to many and is no longer known by many.   God blessed us because we, as a nation, stood on the principles of His Word.  Change has taken us far from our roots, it began many, many years ago.  Sometime after WWII we took God out of our schools and out of our government.  Men twisted the words of our founding fathers and hid them away from the generations.  Truth is gone in many textbooks and replaced with lies.  Holiness is gone from our churches and replaced with feelings.  What was good is now bad and what was bad is now good.

I have often wondered how things have gotten so mixed up and ludicrous.  I sometimes wish I could shout truth from a mountain top or tall building.  I want to scream, “STOP!!”  I shake my head and am right back where I started with a question.  “What can I do?”  I recently listened to an audio book called Holiness by Henry Blackaby and my heart fell under conviction.  So heavy and yet so needed.  My heart has wanted to see God move, wanted to see revival.  And I wanted my family to experience God as well.  I wanted them to witness His power!

To witness His power and be in His presence  is one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced.  There are no words to describe it.   It only happens when we pursue holiness.   I have done that before.  I have experienced it.  I have no excuse for not being there now.  Life happened and I let it.  But I yearn for it again.  I so want the Lord Jesus to fall fresh on me, on my family and those that are in my life.  Being in the presence of God moves your heart  to share the love of God with those around you.  It just spills out.  You can not stop it and you can not control it.  It is truly God’s Holy Spirit controlling you.    People see God through you for that is the only way they will see.

It begins in my repented heart.  When holiness is pursued my heart will change and there will be fruit.  It will then effect change to those around me,  my family.   The change in my family will affect change in my church.   The change in my church will affect change in my community.  I want to see that!

When I arrived at work this morning my devotional calendar for November 6 said

‘God’s purpose for us is holiness, His own holiness, which we are to share.’

 

And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.  

1 John 3:3

When you ask God for wisdom, He gives it in sometimes not so subtle ways.  He waits but not forever.  He waits so that no man will perish.  Regardless of the outcome of the election God will still be on the throne, the world will continue to turn and we will still be left wanting.  The only true way to change our country is to make a change in our hearts.  A change of direction, turning away from sin and toward the one who forgives our sin.

Change comes from one person. Just one person standing up for what is right.   For that matter, kneeling down for what is lost.

Grace to you,

Shell