June 14, 2011

Remembering God's Faithfulness

This one is more for me than for anyone else. I use this blog much as others use a journal, as a remembrance of things past, and lessons learned.w I write today first, to recount what God has accomplished, and second to have a marker of God's faithfulness once we reach the other side. Yet, I also hope that this still speaks to someone else out there. I pray that these words encourage someone to keep moving, and to keep trusting in our God, our Savior.

Today I find myself between a fulfillment of one promise, and at the same time on my knees asking for His continued faithfulness. Yesterday, I interviewed for a job, and shortly after was hired. I have prayed for a job for many months now, and have been waiting for God to provide one of His choosing. And Yesterday I saw that fulfillment of a promise from Him. Today though I woke up and checked my e-mail and saw my financial aid for this coming year. Immediately, my faith was again put to the test. I cannot see if this is either an attack from the enemy, or a solidification of God's lesson that I have already begun. No doubt it was Satan's intent to break me, and my trust in God, but how can I so easily rip my faith away from my Father when I just saw Him work out my issues? How can I have sat in this dorm room for the past month, jobless, knowing that my God would provide a job for me, yet not trust Him to take care of my school finances? As one of our school's old professors said,'The zeros at the end of the check (or bill in this matter) make no difference o God.'

He is faithful, and He is true, and He WILL provide for His children. And what is more, He always has.

I choose to put my faith in Him. Where else do I have to turn?

June 9, 2011

God's Love

Over the past month or so, God has been teaching me something that I have known for a long time, but never correctly understood.

The concept that God is good and faithful to us despite what we do. He has been showing me my imperfections, and wiping the lie away that His promises won’t be fulfilled if I am not completely perfect at ever moment.

Yes, we will be made perfect, but we are not perfect now. That’s something that Satan loves to twist. He loves to tell us that we need to be perfect always for God to love us, for God to bless us. Then Satan shows us all of our imperfections as an accusation.

He shows us our imperfections out of hatred, but our Father shows us our imperfections that they may not hinder us from coming to Him. He actually means them to be a means to propel us into His arms, into His mercy, into His grace, into His blessing.

I now know that when I screw up, God won't take away what He has promised to give. But most importantly, I now know that He loves His work in progress, just as I am, just as you are, where we are.

Just a thought I wanted to share.

June 3, 2011

Listening to hear His voice

I wrote this post because often I had asked people what God’s voice sounded like. I hoped that somehow if I knew the characteristics of His voice, that I might be able to start hearing him. All I got back was, “Well, it’s a still small voice.” What does that mean? How am I going to sort a voice like that from my thoughts?

So I started my own journey. I made it my goal to hear His voice, and by extension to know the characteristics of His voice. It has been a long journey, and I have learned much along the way, and still am.

What can I say about His voice? How can I put into words, the things I have learned? My base came from this scripture:

You may be asking yourselves, "How can we tell if a prophet's message really comes from the LORD?" You will know, because if the LORD says something will happen, it will happen. And if it doesn't, you will know that the prophet was falsely claiming to speak for the LORD. Don't be afraid of any prophet whose message doesn't come from the LORD.
(Deuteronomy 18:21-22)

This passage is talking about God using a prophet, and how to test whether he is from God or not. The part I am interested in though is right in the middle:

‘You will know, because if the Lord says something will happen, it will happen.’

Over the past years, trying to hear His voice, I have found this to be invaluable. Often I have heard other voices in my head, and I wondered whether or not the voice belongs to my creator. I don’t usually think it’s from me because it’s not something I would suggest to myself. Some things I have been told will happen, and others I have been told to do. I came to recognize His voice after each event came to pass. Like when I heard that He would take care of my GPA. Now that I see that my GPA was taken care of, I believe in that voice.

Sometimes I have waited for months to see the outcomes, and other times I have waited for only a matter of seconds. Each time though His voice becomes more and more solidified in my mind. As well, my faith in Him is strengthened every time.

Even this blog post was an exercise in hearing His voice for me. I can honestly say that this is the most difficult one I have written thus far. I have written, rewritten, scrapped it, and started fresh. Also, the past two days have been some of the more difficult ones spiritually because I knew God wanted me to write it, but have allowed myself to be distracted. Do I know His purposes for me writing this blog? Not yet. He could just be using it to build me, or to strengthen one of His children, or something totally different.

As a final thought, I would like to say that the act of listening, is really an act of obedience. Many think they can’t hear Him, but truly they aren't willing to do what He says. If you are truly willing to do what He says, He will speak to you, and you will hear Him.

May 20, 2011

Thoughts on the Rapture

So with tomorrow being the believed rapture (by some), interesting thoughts came into my head.

Whenever this comes up I first think of the scripture that says we will not know the time, and of course I'm a bit skeptical and think how misguided they are. But then I realize they have something right that we generally don't. They're in the perspective that they should be preparing for Christ's return. Albeit I don't believe that the motivation is right, but that's how we should be living our lives. Regardless of the hour we should always live every moment to His glory, and in preparation for His coming.

We should always focus on the great commission as our goal.

I know I'm not the first to come up with this idea, but I think it's still important to bring it to the surface. I also believe that a lifestyle of living as if we are in the last days is completely do-able. If we listen to God's voice and let Him guide our actions instead of expending all our energy running around doing what we believe to be His will.

He moderates our life, giving us the actions to take, and the strength to carry them out. We are also refreshed in Him. His yoke is easy and His burden, light.

May 15, 2011

The Pure and the Twisted

This is as interesting one. Everyone has seen, but not everyone realizes all the good things that God has made that the Devil has twisted. Pick something, and I can almost guarantee that there is a twisted version of it. I know that for me personally this has created almost a fear to do anything. I also just realized that I subconsciously had begun to believe that the devil had won in the world against God's creation. I started to believe that there were more twisted and demented versions than the real things left.

Then the other night, I was just letting my mind wander before going to bed. As happens, some corrupted thoughts fell into my head which I did not want. I began my regular process of giving it to over to God, and it was a little more difficult than usual.

But then something unexpected and beautiful happened. God took the twisted thought, and untwisted it back into the pure thought it came from.

It was so remarkable, seeing God change something evil into what it was meant to be. I had to stop and just wonder at God and how awesome He is. It gave me hope for what God has for me and the world.

It was so nice to, because it was a conscious change of thought. I have been asking God for about the last semester to give me the correct view on many things that are viewed as corrupt. Slowly, but surely He has in so many areas, but this is the one that made me realize how very much He is working in me to create this.


I pray that this speaks to someone!

May 11, 2011

Learning to Live by Faith

This is really the story of this past semester.

Before the semester even began I knew by the classes that God had me take that I wouldn't be able to do it on my own. "Tough but good", was the semester's motto. It came to the point that it literally wasn't possible to do it on my own, not a few times either. With classes, and being a prayer team leader my life could have easily been scheduled from the time I woke up every morning to when I went to bed.

Often I would be brought to the point where I had to trust in God’s voice. The trouble is always questioning whether or not the voice is really from Him. If it wasn't God, I would have been crushed by following that voice. I would sink into a deep hole that only God would be able to get me out of. It felt like jumping off of a cliff, realizing full well that if God’s will was not the one telling me to jump it might end terribly. But that's what faith is isn't it? Stepping into the unknown with God at the head. Psalms 23 says it well.

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
(Psalms 23)

There is so much truth to this passage. When I stepped out in faith there was a peace about it. Knowing that no matter the outcome I was in His hands. I could be jumping into a pool filled with rocks just below the surface, or to my eyes there may appear to be rocks when there are none. It doesn’t matter though, because he is leading me the whole time.

So how does this relate back to my semester? I needed a certain GPA to fulfill scholarship requirements. As said before my schedule was nuts, and I am a person that needs times of rest. I get worn out easily, and then I simply don’t function until my body can take some more.

There were times were I felt God’s voice saying to relax even though I thought that it would cost me points in the class. At the end of the semester though I knew it was His voice, and that His voice was true. I ended with the exact GPA that I needed. And throughout the semester He would give e rest when I was over taxed (sometimes through my own fault). Other times when resting was not an option He gave me strength and inspiration to finish job.

May 9, 2011

What is most important?

First off, welcome back! It has been two very long hard semesters of college, but I am done now. I hope that again this blog will be revived, and that it will bless and speak to those of you who read. Also, I have a lot of blogs that have not been completed from throughout the year. Hopefully these will be finished soon, especially in light of different experiences that will add to these posts. Expect to see a few new posts in the near future. Thanks for reading faithfully!

So the idea behind this post came from when I was finishing off my last assignments for the semester the other night. As usual with the last assignments I was pretty stressed and on edge. I piled through the last minute details, and cut some things that I usually would not have. I ended up finishing most of the major parts to the class, but needed to go back to campus to complete the rest. On the ride back I was still pretty stressed. It had been my brother's birthday as well as Mother's day. This led me to start thinking "What brought me to the point of putting homework before my family?" It made me sad that I had put more time into my studies than time I felt would have been appropriately spent with my family.

I began to realize though that it is situations like that that make my family so important to me. Times when I am stressed out, when I can't hold on any more. These are the times that my family takes care of me, as they did last night. The situation allows them to display their love to me.

Earlier that morning I had written a note down in church about love:

The amount you love is determined by the amount you give.

I saw how true this statement was in relation to my family. Usually, I write from things that I have given to others, but this time I saw this displayed though my family. I only hope and pray that I can give back to them, and to you, when it is needed most. I don't pray that those times come by any means, but these are the times in which we see God's love for us the most.

To my family. I could never ask for a better display of God's unfailing love to us.