My prayer is that even though you will see me do a ton of things wrong,you will also see a broken women who desperately wants to serve her King in all areas of her life. I am learning to let go, so He can take over....... Broken things let in more light!
"We know and rely on the love God has for us." 1John4:16
King Jehoshaphat had just set judges before all the cities of Judah and brought them all back to Lord saying "Thus you shall do in the fear of the Lord, in faithfulness, and with your whole heart." (2Chronicles 19:90)
Wouldn't you know that after coming back home he found out that several tribes were preparing for battle against him. What does he do? Get angry? complain? No, " he was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord." (20:3) not only that he told all of Judah to do the same. "They all assembled (came together) to seek help from the Lord." (vs.4)
In their time of fasting and seeking the Lord, all they could say was "We do not know what to do, but our eyes on on you." (vs.12)
I love the simplicity of their prayer.
During this time of waiting the bible says they stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, their children. Everyone! They came together in unity seeking their faces before the Lord, coming with nothing. They didn't know what to do, but they knew the one who did!
The Spirit of the Lord came to them and said "Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this greathorde, FOR THE BATTLE IS NOT YOURS, BUT GOD'S." "You will not need to fight this battle. STAND FIRM, HOLD YOUR POSITION, and SEE THE SALVATION OF THE LORD ON YOURBEHALF." They all fell down before the Lord and worshiped Him.
Even though the armies were coming after him, King Jehoshaphat knew WHOSE HE WAS, so he knew this battle was not really against him. He trusted!
Early the next morning Jehoshaphat took counsel with his people and appointed them to "sing to the Lord and praise Him in Holy attire, as they went before the army saying, Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever."
Don't miss this! A group of them went before the army to the people who wanted them dead and sang praises to the Lord!!
What did the opposing army do? When they heard them coming singing praises, they started to fight against each other and the bible says they destroyed one another.
In the midst of our circumstances are we choosing to fight or sing His praises? Are we willing to push our pride aside and say "I don't know what to do, but you do!"
Are we willing to stand firm, hold our position, and watch the Lord move?
I don't know about you, but I always want to fix everything or runaway from it.
Guess what the Lord did when they returned home? " He gave them rest."
We not only fight the battles that were never ours to begin with, we also fight the rest that was gifted to us.
I want to go into battle standing firm and singing His praises, not defending my pride or looking for an escape route.
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." Deuteronomy 6:5-7
Lately I feel like my kids have been sucking the life out of me. (You know you feel that way sometimes too!) The heart issues are coming out in full force. Not just theirs but mine as well. I literally have been passing out at night with exhaustion.
The verse above is what the Lord gave me when He called me to homeschool. He reminds me every year that we are to help them put on the armor of God. Not do it for them, (because we can't) but to teach them how, to show them what it means and then just pray and allow the Lord to work. I have been on my knees praying for the Lord to show me what to do and He keeps bringing me back to this verse. Teach them diligently..... Diligent means; constant effort or exertion, attentive, not carelessly...... I can honestly say I am not intentional the way I should be about bringing my kids and myself back to truth. The world likes to creep in and before you know it, it feels like I am a football player pushing the sleds across the finish line...... and then there's truth..... "Not by might, nor by power, but My Spirit." (Zech. 4:6)
I love to journal!! So today, during our bible time, I had the kids journal WITH me. We read James 3 together, talked about what it meant to each of us, how we can apply it in our home first. Because if we can't treat our own family members with respect and build them up in love, then we can't do it out in the world. You can fake it, but the way you act in the secret places will come out. James 3 says that ours words can effect the WHOLE BODY, not just one person.
After spending time really talking about it, we all journaled together as we played worship music in the background.
Some of our finished projects.
And then we prayed again. We always talk about how we can't just decide to use kind words. It starts from within and only the Lord can change that. After spending this sweet time with my babies we all asked each other for forgiveness.
Raising babies for Jesus can be tough, but when I stop trying to control everything and just let the Lord take over, that is when everything else just disappears and worship happens.
My absolute favorite verse and why I named this blog after it. I have never been more thankful for the calling that God has on my life. It is a calling that I can not do on my own.... not even a little bit.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in
weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ,
then, I am content with weaknesses, insults,hardships, persecutions, and
calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corin. 12:9-10
We HATE weaknesses, don't we?? We don't like to feel
powerless, weak, insufficient. We don't like when others see our
weaknesses and we have very little tolerance for others weaknesses.
(vs.9) Boast.....With gladness...
TRUTH~ Gods word says that our weaknesses are GOOD! He calls us to share openly about our weaknesses with gladness. Not just gladness, but also to be content with them! PROMISE~ ............SO THAT the power of Christ may rest upon me......
I feel my weaknesses are constantly on display, especially when it comes to being a wife and mother. There are days when I literally wake up all ready depleted. Yesterday, as we celebrated Mother's Day, I had a tiny moment of a breakdown. How often I fail more then I "get it right." My heart is to lead them to Jesus and yet, so many times I allow my exhaustion to lead.
Last night I cred out to Lord to help me seek HIM first.... "I don't want to be this person.." I cried out. "I want to be the wife and mom you have called me to be, not perfect, but obedient. Help me to lead those around me to YOU!!" It's tough to do exactly what I ask my kids to do.... "Just pray! Even if you have to stop what you are doing a hundred times a day... Just Pray!"
I get to be the mother to five amazing children and the wife to a man I don't deserve, which means I get to pray them through life. Not fix problems (though wise counsel is good) but PRAY! It's our gift that HE has given us and there is so much power in it. Not because everything will be magically better, but it redirects our hearts to HIS! ...... and that! .... That is what I'm seeking......
This morning, the Lord gave me an opportunity to do just that. One of our babies woke up angry (not uncommon) and just mean (not uncommon) and we always tell this child that they are operating in the flesh and we can't be "good" or sweet, or loving with out HIS power. Let's pray for the Lord to help you, Let's ask for forgiveness and ask Him to help you.... This child would never do it.... and though I can pray for them, I can't make them do it..... This sweet child is only displaying on the outside what we all feel and do on the inside. BUT This morning, through tears, this child wanted too, but was held back.... Not understanding the tears and the feelings behind it.... "I don't even knowwhat to say to Him."...... and we talked and prayed and embraced those tears..... and the prayer just came......
Was everything perfect after that??? Nope! BUT it's in those moments that we know that God is at work. Not because of me, but because of His love for us...... and in my exhaustion ... Those are the moments I want to remember..... (singing) " With the world behind me, and the cross before me"
Sometimes the spiritual attacks can cut us deep. I long to have a heart
that stops in the middle of the mess and say "Thank you Jesus, thank you
for this pain, this uncertainty. Thank you for allowing me to put my
weaknesses on full display so that others may see YOU." What an honor!
What a privilege that I take for granted, every.single.time!
(1Corin. 1:31) "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."
"Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."
I love this picture with the verse showing!! Pastor Joe and hubby were joking about just throwing him in the water.
On Easter Sunday our middle child, Jacob, was baptized at Sand Key Beach. Leading up to Easter our kids were hit hard with the stomach flu. I will spare you the awful details that would make anyone run for the hills, so just take my word for it that it was BAD! My poor daughter had to go to the emergency room twice because of dehydration. Everyone was finally on the mend and then Jacob got it. :( He was so upset. He accepted Jesus in his heart last September and he has been waiting for Easter to get baptized. I am aware that he could have done it at anytime, but he was very adamant about waiting til then and not only that , but he said it had to be at the beach. This is between him and the Lord, who are we to argue?
Do you except Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
He was still to sick to go to church that morning and I told him that the ocean was still freezing. We could plan it another time.... Nope! He said, "It has to be done today." Got to love his determination!
As the Lord would have it, Jacob stated to feel better and he was baptized. The hubby and I could not be more proud. It is an honor being able to pray as we watch the Lord draw our kids to Him.
As I was writing this, I
asked Jacob why he was so determined to wait and get baptized in the
ocean verses doing it at our church. He said,"Because the world needed
to watch. You never know who would see Jesus."
And as only God could orchestrate. Almost seven years ago, I was baptized in the exact same spot when Jacob was 9 months in my tummy.
Yes, Hubby and I were baptized together. When we got married, we both were not living our lives for the Lord.. not even a little bit.. When we both felt called to get baptized, we knew we needed to do it together. It was not only our witness to the world that we were the Lord's, but our marriage would be too. Theologians... no comments. It was between us and the Lord. It just so happened that I was 9 months pregnant with our third child, since we only know our "right now" and God knows our tomorrows, read about what happened a couple of days after this picture was taken.
"For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.We know that our old selfwas crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.For one who has died has been set freefrom sin.Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus."
"Now is the Son of man glorified, and God glorified in him...... Little Children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, "Where I am going you can not come." A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have loved one another." John13:31-35
This verse comes after John saw who was going to betray Jesus. When Judas left the room, Jesus knew that now, now is when he would be most glorified... Can you imagine how John must have felt? Knowing that Judas was going to betray Jesus.... Then Jesus tells His disciples that people knew they were His because they were with Him, but soon Jesus would no longer be here. He tells them to love. So simple, yet so hard. Love one another and that is how people will know Jesus.
I have been pondering this verse for sometime. What does it look like to love? I personally believe there is no one way to love the way Jesus has asked us too. When I first got married, someone said to me to pay attention to the way my hubby loves me, because it will look different then the way I love him. Neither way is wrong if the intentions are correct, but if we are so focused on loving the way we expect someone to love us then we are missing it and not only are we missing it, we are most likely fighting over it.
Our love for each other is suppose to bind the Church body to each other and to Him.
The Lord has been showing me these last couple of months that its not about imitating Him, but we get to participate with Him!. What a gift!!! We are part of the vine. He has grafted us in. Jesus, the light, broke forth into this dark world, WE get to be light bears and break into this dark world. Not imitating Him but participating WITH Him!! We are not copying the Light, we are IN the Light!. Praise be to God to send His Son to die, so that we may live! "Now is the Son of man glorified, and God glorified in Him."
...and just so we are clear... We can do NOTHING apart from Him.
On this rare moment that I have alone time, sitting in a Starbucks trying to get much needed work done, The Lord is beckoning me to Him. I love that! I love that He is always drawing us to Him.
One thing that I have been shown this past year is that I quickly settle for good, or "So-so" When God clearly has a "better"for me. Thinking about in Hebrews when Abraham, Moses, and others walked by faith. not looking back knowing that God had a better for them (Hebrews 11:40)
As I take that into account regarding Christmas and how God literally gave US His best! His son, Jesus. He gave us life, He rescued us, He sees all that we are and yet, loves us anyway. So much so that He allowed His son to die for it. Not just a quick death where He knew He would see Him again, but a long, drawn out, painful, death. For people that would not even see it as a gift. He took the burdens and sins off of me and put it on Him. I can't even comprehend the depths of that.
Because He has given more to me then I can count, I want to give my best in return. We do not have the authority to give life, but we do have the authority to share His truth.
In 1Samuel when the people were begging for a King to rule over them, much as we all do today, they wanted what the rest of the world had. They wanted a "so-so" not a "Better" When Samuel pleaded to the Lord on their behalf He says to him," Only you shall solemnly warn them the ways ofthe King who shall reign over them." You see, the people had rejected God. They were not going to hear from Him, but they did not reject Samuel. Not yet anyways, So he could still speak truth into them. He could still tell them that their desire to be like the rest of the world was wrong and that a True King, something better then you could ever fathom was right there. Though the people still refused to listen, Samuel did as he was told. He walked in obedience proclaiming Christ.
I want to love the people in my life enough to do that. I want to show them, tell them that their is a "better" for them. That there is Hope. So many people have rejected the Lord, but they have not rejected me..yet. With His Spirit in us we can proclaim the good news to everyone we meet without fear. We know where we are going. We know that death has lost it sting thanks to His gift. Others do not. They need to know. We need to stand firm in faith knowing that God has a plan for those He puts in our path. We need to speak boldly, with love, sharing the best gift.
"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness on them light has shined."
"For to US a child is born;
to US a child is given;
and the government shall e upon His shoulders, and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Of the increase of His government and of peace THERE WILL BE NO END."
Father, help me to speak your truth even when its uncomfortable. Help me to speak to those that think they know you. Help me to speak to those that could care less. Help me to love like you. Open my eyes to the people around me who desperately need you and help me to remember that I desperately need you. Like the manna that rots when the suns sets, help me to go to you everyday. Pour into me King Jesus, so that I may pour out.