Thursday, January 29, 2009

Need A Drink?

As the deer pants for streams of water; so my soul pants for you, O God. Psalm 42:1

Independence is, at some point in our lives, what we all strive for. Think about it… My four-year-old niece constantly tells me “I can do it Aunt Ran, I can do it by my own self”…. When my sister and I were younger and we were starting school there came that first day of school where we no longer wanted our parents to tag along with us while we entered into our new classrooms. As my niece would say, we could do it by our own selves. Ah yes,… then comes the time when we became teenagers and we worked to get our own cars, make our own money. Eventually we couldn’t wait to move out so that we could truly experience freedom……Independence.

Independence: Direction of one’s own affairs without interference.

Well.. It occurred to me today that I really am not an independent person. I rely heavily…and when I say heavily… I mean HEAVILY on my Faith in God. (I mean, who says yes to an internship without figuring out a place to live, how classes will work around it, or even if I’ll have enough money to do another unpaid internship….I mean, who in their right mind does that sort of thing?) Everyday I find myself more and more dependent on the Lord. I depend on His Word to get me through the day and direct me. I depend on that still small voice to lead me and correct me. I depend on my faith in him, I depend on His promises, I depend on His answers, and I depend on His love. Yep.. I’m very dependent…I totally count on God to lead me. I don’t fight for independence in my spiritual life, because I’ve realized that when I try to do things aside from Christ, I’m no good. Like.. for real. I stink. But yet… I can do all things through Christ (and then I have the wonderful fragrance of Christ!! *wink*wink*)

I’ve realized that the deer and I are very similar. Yep…besides us both being slim, sleek, muscular, and not to mention cute (ha!)….we both pant after what will replenish us. Especially after a strenuous run through the woods….just as the deer can’t live without water…I too am in need of a refreshment… I’m in NEED of God. I can not live with out Him. I can’t even stand with out Him. I look forward to revitalizing my spirit with His every day. Connecting with Him through quiet worship and alone time with Him. Now, I’ve already taken a drink of the living water that Jesus promised, so I‘ll not thirst for that any longer…that is a done deal.

In case anyone is wondering... I'll elaborate a bit …Just as we would be dehydrated without earthly water… we will be dehydrated without living water. Jesus is the only way to have living water (a.k.a. eternal life) ...In fact…. if it were to go long enough and we didn’t drink in the living water… we’d be a little more than dehydrated….we’d be suffocating in flames. (Whew.. glad that ain’t happening to me!)

I’m so glad that I have had a taste of that living water that my sweet Savior supplies. So I know that I will never be dehydrated again. I will never fall short of salvation. I will ALWAYS have that. AND it just blows me away that I can still have those rivers of living water flowing through my soul so that I may constantly have my spirit washed and full. Jesus will always be enough for me. He will always be the One who makes my cup overflow, and He will always be the One who lights my fire on a daily basis. He will always be the One that I love, and the One who will supply my every need according to His riches and glory.

So Yes….I’m happy to announce that I’m dependent on Him. I have complete faith that He has a purpose and a will over my life. So…with knowing that… He makes me just race towards Him… He makes me want to run as fast as I can to His feet…He makes me want to just run the race and fight the good fight and live according to His plan.

...just as the deer pants for the my soul pants after my Lord.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

~So...this is love~

I can’t explain why… but I feel embraced by the Lord tonight. I’m not sure why, because I’m not sad or upset….but, wow.. I can barely stand. I have tears that are just streaming from my face, because I can feel the presence of my Lord holding me and telling me that I am His child. Kind of like I'm in the garden alone with Him. It's so wonderful...

You know? Being younger… I can honestly say that I’ve never experienced real love… that is….until the sweet day that the Lord called my name and chose me to be His. Ever since then my heart has been given away to the One who makes me feel whole. That kind of Love just scoops me off my feet and makes me want to be a better person.

The way He chooses to speak to my heart, the way He chooses to direct me and guide me, and the way He lets me know that I am His…….wow… it truly just makes me weak in the knees. My knees get so weak that I can’t even stand… I’ve finally realized why the common prayer position is on your knees, not just as a way to humble ourselves before God….

…but....with me...because He just makes me want to surrender everything that I that I may embrace the comfort of His unfailing Love ….and, WOW, it‘s a Love so strong that... moments like this, I can‘t even stand… but He catches me when I fall. I’m convinced that He catches me with His hands…only His hands are disguised as my knees, because when I‘m on my knees… there is this strong sense of enveloped comfort that I feel....truly an amazing grace.

I am not reluctant...AT ALL... to say that He has my heart, my whole heart…. And the way that He can strum the strings of my heart…..brings passion unlike any other. Makes me want to stay in the garden with Him. Always.

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear, falling on my ea
rThe Son of God discloses

And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known

He speaks and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing

And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known

I'd stay in the garden with Him'
Tho the night around me be falling
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling

And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Work of Your Fingers

I love looking at the clouds. Each one has a unique shape, and a unique form. Some are beautiful, full and fluffy. Some are long, elegant, and whispy. And some have shapes that cater to each imagination that dares to dream upon it. I guess the phrase “head in the clouds” can be tacked to me. I’m always staring up at them… always looking at the shapes… always admiring the beautiful creation that forms in the sky each day. Oftentimes, I’ll pretend that it’s a canvas. Sometimes when I look up… I don’t see the sky. If I close my eyes and re-open them…. There is the most beautiful ocean that anyone has ever seen. The white ripples of the tide lay stationed in place, adorning the sky with its ever still, breathtaking beauty. Isn’t it wonderful? The Artist who formed man from dust and fashioned woman… is the same One who created the beautiful masterpieces that frame our lives every day. The One who is the Keeper of all creation and the One who lets His wonderful works be displayed throughout all the nations. He chooses to let His splendor linger everywhere.....even in the clouds!

Everywhere. Wow, think about it? That is a vast range of places, yet it is where we can always find the presence of our LORD. In Psalm 139: 9-10,

“If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

King David, Israel’s greatest King, revealed that God’s presence isn’t that of a spectator. He doesn’t just stand on the sidelines...instead…He prefers to be attached at the hip, I think! God was always at David’s side with extended arms. He was always there to lead, guide, correct, and direct him. God’s right hand was right there… ready to hold him up. Isn’t it awesome that He is the same way with us!! One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 41:10 (the second half)…

“…I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

I want that kind of strength in my life! You want to know something funny? Just yesterday I saw a cloud that reminded me of this verse! Ha! No joke... it looked like a hand… and the way it was angled... you could so tell it was a RIGHT hand. And it was ironic that I saw that and was reminded of that verse… because I was driving from Milledgeville; where I had met my friend who is watching my Chihuahua, Tipi, for the next four months. It was a very hard drive for me because I LOVE that dog. She’s my baby, and it was just tearing me up that I had to send her away. But, in my heart, I believe that was God’s way of reminding me that’s He is everywhere, that He is with my doggie and that He is with me, and He will hold us both up as I venture off and try to live in His will.

Get this.... this is so fun!! Did you know that God is omnipresent?! God’s omnipresence means that God is present in ALL places. There isn’t a place that doesn’t have the presence of God, and not only do all places have the presence of our great God… but He is completely present in every place. You don’t just have Him there half-hearted upon your life. He is right there, and He has His whole heart wrapped around your life and wrapped around my life. Yeah, don’t even try to think about it… it is beyond us and you’ll probably get a headache if you try to understand it with human reasoning. Ha! It’s not just what King David penned through the words of the Holy Spirit upon him….it’s the same thing our Savior said to the disciples before He descended back to heaven after His glorious resurrection that gave us His righteousness and freed us from the bondage of sin. Jesus said,” And surely I am with you ALWAYS, to the very end of the age.” Matt 28:20 ……

Immanuel: “God with us.” Isn’t that awesome?!?!?!

That is definitely a Word of encouragement as this New Year begins… to know that no matter where this year takes us… God is always right there with us, so why worry? Just listen to the first half of Isaiah 41:10

“So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God…”

Lord, The work of Your fingers (Psalm 8:3)...even in the clouds... is SO incredibly awesome to me! Thank You so much for everything that You are and everything that You do. Thank You for Your awesome omnipresence. Lord, may I always remain in You, so that You will remain in me (John 15:4). May I always draw near to You, so You will draw near to me (James 4:8.) May my eyes remain fixed on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of my faith (Hebrews 12:2) so that I may never miss a moment to recognize His splendor or bring glory to His Name. May I remain in Your Word to receive direction this next year, and may I not just be a “hearer” but a “doer” (James 1-22.) As Beth Moore says, I want a Jesus-year! Lord, I want to witness scripture being fulfilled in my own life and being obedient and faithful to Your Word, living it out, and trusting Your commands …and by doing keeping at it… I know that I will receive the blessings that You have to offer! So, I will not fear what this New Year brings…for I know that You are MY GOD! WoO hOo!! In Jesus’ name… Amen!