Thursday, June 28, 2012


"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,"  Ephesians 2:6

 "If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God."  Colossians 3:1

So yesterday I talked about how it's simply not sinful to ask God for blessings and promises, and I realized later in the day that maybe that post didn't go quite far enough.  I don't want anyone to think that life and seeking God is all about our Heavenly Father being a giant gumball machine or a giant slot machine, where you ask for what you want and then wait for Him to spit it out.  God's definitely not like that.  And I also wasn't talking about asking God for...well, material posessions, though there are places for that, and the Bible does say that God wants to give us the desires of our hearts.

"Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart."  Psalm 47:4

But here's the thing.  The more we spend time with God, the more we spend time seeking His face and His goodness, the more the desires of our heart shift into being the desires of God's heart for us.  It just happens.   I have long had a desire in my heart to live out in the country, to have the ability to homestead and try to do as much as we can on our own.  God knows me, He knows my heart, and yet a few years ago when it was time to relocate, God didn't take us to a country property where we could do whatever we want.  He brought us smack dab into a city that needs Him.  He put us right in the heart of a neighborhood that needs Jesus.  This past winter when we were having troubles meeting our rent obligations, I wondered if maybe we were done here already.  And then I instantly thought of all our neighbors and thought that we haven't had enough time yet to make that eternal impact.  God put us here for a reason, and my heart's desire is not for the homesteading property in the country- it's a hearts desire to stay right where God planted us until we have accomplished His goals for this neighborhood.

That change of heart comes from spending time with Him.  When I look at the verse above from Ephesians, it blows my mind to really read it and digest it.  Because according to that verse, when I committed to serving Christ with all my heart, I was raised up to sit with Jesus.  And then we go further and look at this verse from Colossians.   So there we are, saved and raised with Christ, so our focus should be where we are- on the things above.  Our focus should be on the heart of the Father and what He would have for us.  It's absolutely amazing to think of that.  

The heart of the Father is for us, His sons and daughters, to realize that all His promises in the Bible really are for us.  The "things" that I spoke of yesterday.  God isn't a giant slot machine, where we put our time in and out pops something that we want.  God is about relationship.  When we spend time with Him- by digging into our Bibles, by praying, by spending that quiet time- we draw closer to Him.  We get to know Him better, and then we give Him opportunity to take that closeness further.  And it is then that we see the desires of our heart realized.  Because the desires of our heart become His desires for our heart.  

It's all about relationship.  I'm not going to sit here for days and hours and pray for God to send me a camper, or a boat, or a million dollars.  Would those things be nice?  Sure thing! And while I am certainly believing that God always knows what bills need to be paid and the provision will be there for that very thing, I want what God wants for us.  Maybe someday He will bless us with a million dollars.  We've certainly made enough dreams and plans for the future that those funds could go far in realizing.   But you know, if those dreams and ideas never come to fruition in this lifetime, that's perfectly okay, because I have something better.  I have a relationship with my Heavenly Father, who sees me sitting right there next to my brother Jesus, and has also given me a wonderful relationship with the Holy Spirit, who will help keep me out of trouble and keep me on the right path.

And I want what God wants. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Father's Pleasure

 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom."  Luke 12:32

There are those in the church today who would argue that seeking God and asking him for things is sinful.  They say that we should want nothing, that we should allow our Heavenly Father to give us only what He desires to give us, not what we want.

To those I would suggest thinking on a small child.  Think of a little four-year old girl walking the aisles of a toy store.  She sees so many wonderful toys, in a dizzying array of colors and styles.  Toy after toy- all designed to entice her to want to play with them.  Her eyes alight on the most beautiful little doll- cherub-like, with beautiful blue eyes and golden curls.  The little girl's breath catches as she takes in this wonderful doll, and she realizes that more than anything, she'd like to take this baby doll home with her and care for it, play with it, and make it her new best friend.  She turns to look at her mom who is following behind her.  With eyes as large as saucers she looks up and quietly asks if they could purchase this doll.

Instead of looking at her daughter with love and saying yes, Mom quickly fills with anger.  She grabs her daughter by the arm and tells her that she is shameful.  How dare she be sinful and desire this baby doll.  How dare she ask to buy this doll- she should have known better and simply looked upon these toys with no desire in her heart.  Mom angrily removes the daughter from the toy store, muttering about repentance and correcting such bad behavior.

Sounds a little crazy doesn't it? But isn't that exactly what these people are saying about desiring the good things from God?  Our God is an amazing Father who desires all good things for His children- and I believe he delights when we ask for them.  Just think on that little girl again.  As a mom, I've been there many times before.  I've been in the toy store with my children when they find that one special toy and ask gently if it might be possible.  I never got angry or upset, in fact, my heart would fill with joy for them as I told them yes, and watched with delight as they picked up this toy and carried it around the store with beaming faces.

God wants us to desire His gifts and His goodness.  And He has so many of them!  The Bible is chock-full and packed with gifts and secrets that are there only for the asking.  

I don't go to the store and buy an amazing assortment of fresh fruit, only to put them in a bowl for display.  And when my children crowd around the bowl, eyes and mouths watering for the sweet goodness in front of them, I don't tell them no.  I don't say "Look only, that fruit is on display and not for you."

 "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!"  Psalm 34:8

God's fruit is for us, and readily available at any time even.  We don't have to wait for Him to go to the store to purchase them because the purchasing has already been done.  Jesus purchased all that God has for us when He died on the cross in our place.  Every promise in the Bible was purchased Just. For. Us. And it's just waiting out there for us to want to reach out and grab it.  

God's promises are for us, for today!  Like this beautiful promise hidden in Isaiah, that we shall never know hunger.

"They shall neither hunger nor thirst, Neither heat nor sun shall strike them; For He who has mercy on them will lead them, Even by the springs of water He will guide them."  Isaiah 49:10

It is not sinful to desire the fulfillment of God's promises in our life.  That's what God has been waiting for- He's been waiting for His sons and daughters to wake up to the realities that He's already spoken into being.  He's been waiting for His children to realize that the price for these promises has been met in full, and that they are simply waiting to be realized.

God's Word IS for today.  It's for you, it's for me, and it's for every single person who has recognized Jesus as their Redeemer.  It is God's good pleasure to give to us what He desires to give to us, and if gives Him even greater pleasure to see His children desiring His gifts. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Freely Given

"But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give."  Matthew 10:6-8

Well, well, well. It's been a while since I've been here, and gosh, how I've missed it.  So many times a fleeting thought would appear, and I would think that I need to blog that, and then the moment passes, time passes, and days would go by.  In the back of my mind, my neglected blog has been just hanging out, just patiently waiting for me to take finger to keyboard and bring it back to life.  But I almost felt like whatever I had to say would be fake.

What do I mean by that?  I guess I've always thought that this blog is a reflection of my thoughts on various scriptures and passages in the Bible.  But so often those thoughts have been inspired by others.  Inspired by preachers, my pastors, different books, authors, even the side notes in my Bible.  And it felt like I was just sharing other people's thoughts really.  Thoughts I'd maybe adopted as my own- but someone else's thoughts in general.  It's actually pretty easy to get inspired by those around you when you are open to it.

But this past weekend I attended a three day school that completely overwhelmed me, but at the same time, completely inspired me.  In fact, the speaker shared the verse above when talking about the school we were attending.  She wanted us to take everything we were learning and share it with anyone who would listen.  And something clicked.  I wasn't just taking other people's words and giving my own twist to it.  I was trying to share what God was teaching me through His Word and the world around me- because it was freely given to me.  When a pastor gets up and shares his heart on Sunday morning, he's not preaching and hoping that his congregation will keep all his words to themselves.  His desire is that they'll take that message and carry it to others.  

Freely I have recieved, and freely I should give.  

I guess that makes me a selfish little blogger, because I've been hoarding all these thoughts and words to myself over the last months.  I guess I was really caught up in a deception of the enemy, because not only was I keeping everything to myself, but I was telling myself that people out there who stumble on my blog don't really want to read about what I have to say anyway. That they all have their own little bubbles of life, and probably don't believe that the entire Bible is for us today- including all of the miraculous and supernatural.  And maybe there are some who don't.  But I believe.  I believe with all my heart that God's Word is 100% for today.  It was for yesterday, and it's for tomorrow, and I need to get back to chronicling my thoughts here on the blog.

Because this blog is a journal.  It's not about who pops in to read from time to time.  (Though I am very glad that YOU do!) It's about me and my spiritual journey, and what God is sharing with me daily.  It's something that I can go back and read through and feel encouraged by- because boy, does everyone need encouragement from time to time!

So I think this means I'm back.  I have no idea the frequency with which I'll be blogging here.  I'm going to shoot for daily, but right now we're on summer break and I have a little extra time.  I really just need to find a good time to get some blogging and thinking done, and with God's help, I'm sure I'll find it.  I am tired of listening to the lies of the devil, and I will not remain silent in my own little world.  I'm going to keep my fingers on the keyboard and keep plugging away and sharing all that He has to share with me.  Because He sure has things to share- each and every day.  I can't wait to start talking about some of it.