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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My soul is weary



Some days you wake up weary.  This morning was one of those days.  Now most women who are 28 weeks pregnant, work full time, in Seminary, and have a 6 and 8 year old wake up weary.  But this wasn’t your average, “I’m not sleeping and I could use a nap,” weary.  This was soul weariness. I woke up weary of my own flesh and the choices that arise out of that.  I am weary of the constant hurt I see in the world.  I am weary of seeing my friends and family desperate for Jesus, set up one more false idol in their lives to try and fill the void that only He can fill.  I am weary of seeing lost youth, without a dad in the home, wandering around town making trouble because they have no one at home to teach them otherwise.  I am weary of ministry and feeling like most of the messages the Lord gives to me to give to others seems to fall on deaf ears.  I am weary of the Devil and his plans and schemes; his constant attacks.  I am weary of addiction and how it warps minds, hearts, and lives; how it impacts generations in one family.  I am weary of divorce and daddies who have forgotten the wife of their youth.  I am weary of cancer and the havoc it is wreaking on my own family and on friends. I am weary of reading about one more tragedy.  I am weary...bone weary.

Have you had days like that?  I am sure if you have been on this earth for any length of time that you have woken up to a despair that is so deep in your soul that it is hard to even describe for another person to understand.  For a moment this morning all I wanted was to just give up.  Satan whispered, what’s the point?  There is too much darkness and not enough light so just succumb to the discouragement and just give up battling for what you know to be true.  For a moment, the prospect of just not caring as much or praying as much or entering into people’s hurt as much sounded appealing.  “Rest,” I thought.  If you don’t really care about what happens to the world and you turn a blind eye it doesn’t hurt as bad.  And that is true, it doesn’t.  I could build up nice little walls and create a nice little life for myself where I wouldn’t allow others to penetrate and live that way for the next 50 years.  There is just one big problem with that prospect. It is always the question “Is that God’s will? Is that what He is calling you and me to do?” 

Yesterday at staff meeting, I prayed for the men and women I am so privileged to serve with and God brought to mind, Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  As I told God this morning how tired I was and how bad it all hurt, and do I really need to apologize one more time?  Do I really need to keep trying to train my children in the way they should go so when they are old they won’t depart from the faith?  Do I really need to keep praying for people who don’t seem to care that you go regularly on their behalf to the mercy seat and you intercede for them?  Do I Lord?  Does it even make a difference?  The Lord brought back the words that had encouraged others yesterday and emphatically said Misty, DO NOT give up doing the right thing, regardless of what fruit you don’t see, because I promised that the fruit is coming, IF you don’t give up.  Tears streamed down my face as I felt God ministering to the deepest part of my soul and I thanked Him; thanked Him that His Word is His Word.  I thanked Him for the encouragement to keep going on a day where that seemed virtually impossible.  I thanked Him that He reminded me of what my part is to play.  I do the right thing, regardless of who is listening, regardless of what difference I think it makes, regardless if I see fruit, because He tells me to keep doing the right thing and not to grow weary in doing the right thing and to TRUST HIM for the results.

Don’t grow weary in:

Forgiving others
Showing love to those who can do nothing for you
Reading God’s Word when you feel like it’s just words on a page
Praying to Him when it feels like it’s only going ceiling high
Training up your children to love God and others
Caring for others and encouraging them
Taking a meal to a sick friend
Extending grace to the nasty teller at the bank, the forgetful cashier at the drive thru line, the guy who cuts you off on the road, the Facebook user whose status updates annoy you, the child who forgets their backpack, the spouse who just doesn’t understand you at times
Serving at church when no one else is
Biting your tongue when you could say exactly what is on your mind
Asking for forgiveness when you’ve done the wrong thing
Keeping a grateful heart even when life seems to be throwing you lemon after lemon after lemon
Looking into the eyes of a homeless person, truly looking at them, and telling them they have a worth that is far above the $10 bill you put in their hand and a Savior who loves them; dirty, homeless, and with nothing to offer Him because we recognize in so many ways that’s how we all look to God when we come to the Cross of Christ, seeking forgiveness for our sins.

Keep going, keep doing the right thing, and don’t grow weary.

As I got into the car to head to work Come to Me by Jen Johnson came to mind to listen. I listened to it 3 times in a row because I believe the message of this song is what allows us to not grow weary and gives us the power we need to keep doing what He has called us to do.  Here are the lyrics:
I am the Lord your God, I go before you now
I stand beside you, I’m all around you
Though you feel I’m far away, I’m closer than your breath
I am with you, more than you know
I am the Lord your peace, no evil will conquer you
Steady now your heart and mind, come into My rest
Oh, let your faith arise, lift up your weary head
I am with you wherever you go
Come to Me, I’m all you need.
Come to Me, I’m everything
Come to Me, I’m all you need.
Come to Me, I’m your everything
I am your anchor, in the wind and the waves
I am your steadfast, so don’t be afraid
Though your heart and flesh may fail you, I’m your faithful strength
I am with you wherever you go
Come to Me, I’m all you need.
Come to Me, I’m your everything
Come to Me, I’m all you need.
Come to Me, I’m your everything
Don’t look to the right or to the left but keep your eyes on Me
You will not be shaken, you will not be moved ooh
I am the hand to hold, I am the truth, I am the way
Just come to Me, come to Me, cause I’m all that you need
Each time I listened to this song, the message got louder and louder.  Oh, that today we could all understand what complete and total access we have to God.   He loves us. He is for us. He is fighting with us and He is THE answer to keep fighting the fight, to not grow weary and to keep doing the right thing.  I’m praying over each of my friends and family today that you will Come to the One who can supply all that you need.  Come to the One who meets your needs.  Come to the One who can give you the grace to extend when you have none.  Come to the One who has the ability to love the unlovable through you, to forgive those who hurt you, and to continue to carry the Good News into the darkest of darkness.  Come to Him today and let your weariness turn to strength, your sadness to joy, your conflict to peace, and your discouragement to bold faith to keep doing the right thing.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Life and Death Stood Face to Face

For the wages of sin are death but the gift of God are eternal life.  Romans 6:23


As I sat in the chapel at Dallas Theological Seminary yesterday, and looked out at the many faces I will be studying the word of God with, my mind was overwhelmed.  Overwhelmed by the fact that I even had the ability to claim a seat in that building as my own.  I belonged there.  God called me there.  I was staring at my future.  Powerful.  And as I sat there and just took this all in, Chaplin Bill who leads us in worship, the entire faculty of DTS on stage, the international students coming to study at the Harvard of Seminaries (as it is known), the diversity of God's creation, the privilege to lead 6 women through their seminary journey as a Spiritual Formation Women's leader, my sweet husband of 10 years still sitting next to me, it hit me, LIFE is happening here. Life is happening to me!  Everything breaths life.  Abundant, Christ filled LIFE!  The kind that gives peace and doesn't come with a price of the soul.  Yes it takes time, effort, commitment, and a lack of sleep but not the price of taking a chunk of your soul once it is over.  And what stood in stark contrast to all this life, of course, my past, my sin, my brokenness...death.  For the wages of sin are DEATH.  Ultimately that meant death on the cross for Christ and for those who don't believe, eternal death.  But for us living in this body being sanctified, what does death look like?  How about a 19 year old girl, who decides to give herself away at a party with a stranger and can barely remember the night?  That felt like death.  Or waking up and realizing something so precious had just been shattered, there's a chunk of the soul gone.  Or what about the look in your child's eyes when you have just screamed at them for some innocent gesture that you didn't have time for, maybe a mistake, a glass of spilled milk, and you see it the moment the words penetrate their tiny beating hearts, a little bit of death just occurred.  Our what about the day, the bags are packed, the family split up, the kids scheduled worked out with both parents, and that final look back at the one you committed forever to and you see it beneath the layers of bitterness and anger, death.  Eye's that once held a gleam for there beloved, there is left a deadness. I've seen that kind of death in my life.  I've seen the death of a childhood without abuse and alcoholism running the show.  I've experienced the death of dreams of being a college graduate due to the overshadowing of alcoholism. Or the death of the dream that marriage was really forever.  Sin, taking it's toll, taking it's next piece of flesh and what looked so alluring, like a beautiful shiny apple ready for a big bite, once the bite is taken, the realization hits that the apple is rotten and full of maggots.  That is what sin is like.  That's what we are so lured by and it takes and takes and takes until death occurs, and all we have is regret, broken dreams, lost relationships and a loneliness of the soul like you've never known before.  Sounds so appealing huh?  Not really.

So how then, does Life happen?  How did a marriage that looked hopeless become a marriage full of love and LIFE again?  How is forgiveness even possible when an innocent child is robbed of what every child should have?  There is a bible verse that has had SO much meaning to me in recent days.  2 Cor. 10:4 tells us that we have weapons to fight with that ARE NOT OF THIS WORLD!  Do you hear me, NOT OF THIS WORLD!  We aren't talking about your failing will power or the advice from your neighbor about what to do about a situation or self-imposed measures to keep you from doing what you keep doing.  No, this is something entirely different.  What do those weapons do?  They demolish STRONGHOLDS.  A stronghold, A FORTRESS.  Something built as to NOT EVER be destroyed.  These weapons WERE MADE to demolish a well fortified place in your soul that doesn't want to budge.  They have divine power to do so as the Word tells us.  Does ANYBODY need some divine power today?  Did anyone read the first part of this blog and think, I want, NO NEED, some life today?  The Spirit of GOD who raised Jesus from the dead LIVES IN EVERY BELIEVER, Rom. 8:11 tells us.  Do you understand that?  Every last one of us who have accepted Christ HAS THE DIVINE POWER TO DEMOLISH STRONGHOLDS!  I PROMISE.  I tell you there was a time when I did not want to quit doing what I was doing but even in THAT time, I would pray and ask God to change my desires.  What in the world gave me the power to even pray that prayer?  A power living inside of me that I didn't understand and could do for me what I could not do for myself.  Surrender to this power.  Quit fighting the plan God has for your life.  What in the world are you giving up?  A maggot filled apple?  I had tears of PURE, ECSTATIC, JOY yesterday as I sat in that seat.  JOY, the emotion of GREAT delight or happiness as defined by Webster's.  And it could of been SO different, had I not surrendered, had I not just kept going back to the truth I knew, to the God I knew, to the life I really desired even though this other life looked so alluring.  Had I made a different choice, I WOULD NOT EVEN have a blog to write!  Please hear me, IT IS NOT WORTH IT!  Run and run far...It is a lie when the enemy says anything to do with sin can remotely give us abundant life.  There is only ONE giver of abundant life and His Name IS Jesus Christ!  Fall on your face and worship Him for the grace He has given.  I'm so excited to share in my journey with anyone who chooses to read this blog.  I'm passionate because I'VE been there, too many times to count, and I know the devastation sin brings.  RUN, LIKE NOW! Open the Word and return to the one who so gently calls to us, "Come Home". HE is the giver of Life! LIFE!  LIFE!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"From the first tear cried...."


“For we are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Eph. 2:10

There is a song out right now that just blew me away the first time I heard it, Britt Nicole’s “All This Time”.  It came on when I was headed to work one morning and I sat mesmerized in my car for several minutes thinking about the truth that Britt so effortlessly conveyed in the lyrics of this song.  Like usual, tears flowed down my cheeks as I meditated on the line, All This Time from the first tear cried till today’s sunrise and every moment in between, you were there, You’ve been walking with me all this time.  I’m going to share something personal and hope I don’t offend anyone but I just need you to feel even an ounce of the grace I have experience by a relentless God who said, NEVER WILL I LEAVE YOU, OH NO, I WILL NOT FORSAKE YOU.
I was called into this amazing relationship 9 months after God literally pulled me out of the dark pit of alcoholism and drug addiction.  I knew something big was going on.  I would wake up at night hearing my name called and no one would be there. I prayed and asked God what Lord? What am I missing and then it hit me with hurricane force, HE was calling me, me of all people, into a love relationship with Him.  I was floored and it was like He took over from there.  I got baptized a month later and I truly was so incredibly in love with my Savior. I kid you not, it was like the Bible was an entirely new book that I had never read before.  It was open and alive and I was enthralled with it.  I would drive down the road singing Praise songs at the top of my lungs, crying my eyes out over this new-found grace I was experiencing and thinking, Lord, give me a rooftop and I will shout it to the Heavens that we really really do have a Risen Savior.  I was taken by the one who said, you love because I FIRST loved you.
Fast forward about a year and a half later.  I was still very much a new believer and I was desperate to please God. There was just one problem, I was wrestling with sin and wrestling big time.  Actually I was getting beat by sin and not much of a battle was ensuing.  It was the perfect picture of Romans 7 and I hated myself for saying over and over again that I wouldn’t go “there” again, that I would prove my commitment to God and my love for him.  One particular late night, I had failed miserably, AGAIN.  I was driving home down Main Street in Duncanville and I remember crying out to God not to punish me, please, that I was desperate to obey but that my flesh was just so weak.  I had snagged the role of the Virgin Mary in our church Christmas Play and was supposed to sing that weekend.  I just knew God was going to allow me to fall flat on my face in front of everyone to teach me my lesson and I was begging Him for His precious grace one more time.  I had the radio on and the song Mercy Said No came on and God spoke in my spirit and said listen my sweet girl to MY message.  The song goes like this:  As evil tried to stop redemption's Flow, Mercy said No, I’m not going to let you go, I’m not going to let you slip away, You don’t have to be afraid, Sin will never take control, Life and Death stood face to face and darkness tried to steal my heart away by thank you Jesus, Mercy said NO!  Guys, mercy is STILL saying No in my life.  I wish I could tell you that that was my only bought with sin and darkness in my Christian walk but it just has not been.  You’re not born into brokenness, poverty, alcoholism, dysfunction galore and come out unscathed. And the enemy knows our weaknesses and what lies we believe over others and He has continually taunted me with them through the years but God’s message that night to me 10 years ago is still His message: MERCY SAID NO.  God has never let me go, NOT ONCE.  It’s what Britt’s song reminded me of again today, every single step in between, from the first tear I cried at the hands of an abusive childhood, to the day here recently I stood in the hallways of MBC shouting for joy because I got my acceptance to DTS, He has been with me the whole way.  Never letting go, never letting sin take control, constantly reminding me to Fight the Good fight in His Power and that He has good works prepared for me to do before I was ever a thought on my mother’s mind, He had a plan.  I stand amazed, absolutely astonishingly amazed at the love and grace God has poured out on us.  If you are wrestling today with sin, or the enemy is pounding you with lies, please read this testimony (that did not happen without a test as a good friend of mine says) and TRUST the faithfulness of God.  BUT, be proactive with Him.  The bible tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.  Getting saved is not the end all be all.  So many people say to me, I wish I had a relationship with Jesus like you do (and trust me, I say that with no boasting at all, just extreme gratefulness for the relationship He has allowed me to have).  Guess what?  God earnestly seeks that deep intimacy with you as well.  I wish I could give you a step by step guide to this relationship I’ve been given but I can’t and I seriously doubt it would be something you would want to follow anyway.  I do know this.  Willingness is a huge key.  Willing to pray every day even when you don’t feel like it.  Willing to seek an answer in His word first before we go to a human.  Willing to be fed by Him and the Holy Spirit instead of what this world has to offer.  And the willingness to pray for willingness when we fight our flesh tooth and nail to even spend time with Him.  God answers the prayers of His people and I know anytime I have asked, God refreshes my soul, speaks to me, teaches me, shows me the way, and ministries to me as a loving Father and He has never ignored me.  Not once.  He longs to do that for us.  We are His dearly loved children, not some nuisance that He wishes would just figure it out already.  If you take anything from this, take that He IS WITH YOU…every single step of the way.  Go to Him today, exactly where you are, dry as a bone, or filled to the brim, and ask what He wants of you today.  Good works prepared that ONLY YOU can do, not me, not some other person you are convinced is a better Christian, you only.  Go!  There is so much at stake and He is so faithful and full of love and compassion and gives us the power we so lack!
“My Lord and God, If I could praise you anymore than I know how to right now, I would.  You astound me.  God we have been called by you to be used by you.  Don’t let us believe the enemy.  You’ve promised each of us has a life to live, In you, that will glorify you and brings so much more meaning than the day to day living we try to do in your Name but without Your power does.  Help us to be obedient to the call and willing to watch what you can do with one surrendered soul.  You give us more than this entire world could offer us.  We ask for YOU today.  More of YOU and less of us.  In Jesus’ Name,  Amen.”

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Everlasting Love

I have so much I want to share at this moment that it is almost overwhelming to me. Getting my acceptance to Dallas Theological Seminary today has just really blown my mind. It's what I have felt so led to and had so much confirmation yet I thought what I'd I'm wrong what if I didn't hear the rift thing, what if I get rejected, how will I handle the feeling of not being good enough one more time. I felt like God was fighting for me. I had no credentials of my own to assure me that I was the kind of student the seminary would love to have. As I watched a dear friend of mine son get accepted the lies of the enemy set it. Of course they wanted him. He's a guy, he has an undergrad degree, his dad is a DTS grad, he was on the mission field for goodness gracious sake, no doubt there, he was seminary material All I had was the assurance from the Holy Spirit that He was calling me. Nothing else, recovering alcoholic, my dad an abusive drunk who didn't graduate High school, me without finishing my undergrad degree, years Of struggle, yeah right, there Going to want me. Yet I said God you are my Father, you are my advocate, all that stuff no longer defines me because I bear YOUR name and my Heavenly Father has called me and I know I don't belong there if it were Strictly worldly standards. But He reminded me Misty, I CHOSE you! And I'm just so humbled and I just think oh my Jesus, my sweet, tender Jesus, how I desperately love you. I've never felt so in love with him. He has been to me what no man ever has been to me and I am protective of my relationship with Him now. I don't want the world to come in and knock me off focus like it so easily Does. I get so mad at my flesh for it's instance to take over and take my eyes off of Him. But He is just so faithful. He reminded me today of Jeremiah 31:3 I have loved you with an everlasting love. He gave me that verse around 4 years ago at a women retreat when I so desperately wanted to believe that He loved me no matter what and that His love want based on my performance and I remember sitting in the shade of a huge tree crying and going God will I ever get it and He so sweetly said my precious girl, yes you will and I cried and walked hand in hand back to the dorm with Him knowing that one day I would fully believe that. And today of all days He brought me to that verse and so very much has happened in four years that has proven time and again that no matter what He loves us with an everlasting love. There are times I have no words to Convey the deep satisfaction that brings to my innermost Being. I feel like I'm so full of His love that I will literally explode. How does He continue to be ao good to me? I can't wait for all of this to come together and how He is going to use all this somehow but I'm so ready And excited and just in love with Him that I can't hardly stand it. What a gift He has given me in this time of deep romance almost I've had with Him. I want everyone I encounter to know this love. It is transforming. Pray Fervently for me. I know the enemy is MAD but I want to remain focused 100% on the plan He has and I don't want to waiver for a moment on this path. I want that beady eyed focus that Tim Wallace spoke On one time. Intentional on not being distracted From this call. Y'all we have an INCREDIBLE Savior just absolutely incredible. I pray you don't doubt that fact for a minute. Praise His Holy Name! He is Beyond deserving!! (sorry for all typos, it's after midnight, I'm on cold meds, and I'm doing this from my Iphone, but I just had to do some preaching! Lol)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Pregnant and Seminary?????


 Pregnant and Seminary????

"And so, Dear brothers and sister, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you.  Let them be a living and holy sacrifice-the kind he will find acceptable.  This is truly the way to worship him."  Romans 12:1

So I’ve been meaning to write another blog for weeks now and time seemed to keep getting away from me.  Between sickness, teeth needing to be pulled, pink eye, thinking I might be pregnant, and LOTS of time at work, I haven’t found a moment of silence to get on here and write.  I’ve had so many topics come to mind that I wanted to share about and for the life of me, not one will come to mind now.  I am going to have faith that those were inspired by me, myself, and I and NOT the Holy Spirit and therefore they never made it onto this blog.  There is one thing in recent weeks that has had my mental wheels spinning and that is just how much God has grown me in my relationship with Him.  For those close to me, you knew that here recently I had a strong feeling that I might be expecting our third precious baby.  I was beyond excited.  I love me some babies and not just my own babies.  I love ALL babies!  I envy Michelle Duggard.  I really do.  I believe that love isn’t divided, it is multiplied.God showed me that principal was true when my second child came along.  I realized that as much as I LOVED my precious Maddy girl, when I had Max, I loved him JUST as much.  Isn’t God amazing?  He gave us such a capacity to love.  The greatest gift He could bestow on us, and so reflect His heart, is to commit to love someone outside of ourselves.  So obviously with that revelation the thought of having another one to love on was immensely exciting to me.  There was just one small problem...I’ve been REALLY excited about something else God has laid on my heart, and that is this call to full time ministry and seminary.   I can honestly say each thing excites me to the fullest. So, I was perplexed and wondering, "Lord, why have you allowed such two strong, Godly desires to be placed on my heart at the same time"?  I wish I could tell you that I have the answer to my wondering and I am about to lay some full blown wisdom on everyone, but I don’t.  What I do have is one more experience to confirm that this past two years of pain, pruning, and struggle have truly brought good about in my life and has grown my relationship with the Lord so much that I even stand amazed at my reactions to circumstances in my life.  The Holy Spirit truly is the power of Christ living in us.  Let me try to explain this in a way that makes sense.  This last bought of darkness, struggle, and brokenness that I went through, brought me to a place in my life I’ve never been, a life completely and wholly surrendered to God.  Out of sheer and utter gratefulness to my Savior for, ONE MORE TIME, picking up the pieces of my choices, my wrecked life, and showing me undeserved grace, love and mercy, left me with a heart that said God, whatever. Whatever happens, whatever you want, wherever I’m supposed to go, I’ll go.  Y’all I’m scared to even write that on paper for fear that He will send me to like some place without a mall or Starbucks and were people don’t have manners, but I’m serious.  My life really does belong to Him.  Now, trust me, I’ve asked "God, in your grace, I would love to not have to go through x, y, or z, BUT, You have shown me what a great plan you have and I want to be a part of that plan".
So the possibility of me being pregnant enters the equation!  Man,I can't deny the part of me that wanted to beg God and say, "PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, let me put seminary off for just a couple of years to have one more", but I knew better.  So instead I said "God, whatever".  He knows the desires of my heart, and better than even that, as Beth Moore said, He knows the HEART of my desires…more than I do, what’s underneath and what isn’t swayed by emotion or time or circumstance so I am choosing to trust Him.  Well two weeks passed and I just had a feeling I was pregnant and I was telling everyone and I was crying and getting excited because what a story it would be.  First off, God redeemed mine and Matt’s marriage. Second, I knew the day we conceived was on Easter and it was going to be this New Birth story, and it was going to bring the glory HE so richly deserved and I was going to tell EVERYONE….and then "it" showed up, a half a day late and guess what? I WAS OKAY!  I truly was and I thanked God because HE KNOWS!  Right! He truly does.  And the day I found out I was for sure 100% not pregnant, an email comes from the Seminary, reminding me I have an unfinished application that has a 30 day window or I’ll have to resubmit it!  Not the day before I found out I wasn’t pregnant, not the day after I found out I wasn’t pregnant, no, mere minutes after I knew I wasn’t pregnant I get the reminder.  Here is my gracious God gently leading me, "Daughter, finish what I’ve set before you to do.  I’ve promised you, I’m bringing good and I am.  Just be obedient".  And what amazed me most was several women who knew that I thought I might be asked me if I was mad, or sad, or disappointed. And y’all, I could honestly say, no I’m not, and how could I be.  MY Jesus knows what He is doing and I know that if it was in His plan for me to be pregnant right now, I would be writing this blog eating chili cheese Fritos and bean dip.  But instead I’m back on a diet, tears streaming down my face, and thanking my God for LOVING THIS broken girl so much.  I can’t express to y’all how MUCH He loves us.  It blows my mind when I meditate on it for too long.
So, IN VIEW OF GOD’S MERCY; Let me offer this body as a living sacrifice.  This body to do with as He wants.  I just want to bring Him glory.  I don't think anyone can know this side of eternity, HOW MUCH God has saved me from.  Please trust Him with all your heart today.  I promise you, He will NOT fail you.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

In All Things, Good


“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”  Romans 8:28-30

 God has spoken these verses over my life for the past year too many times for me to even count or retell you at this moment.  It has come to me at times of great sorrow and weeping when I have thought surly nothing good can come out of this brokenness.  It has come to me at times of great hope that God is indeed restoring my past and can do something remarkable with my life.  It has come to me at times of anticipation, looking ahead to what God has in store for me in this season of life.  I am convinced that there are no coincidences when we are talking about God.  If a verse comes to you in various ways several times in succession, you better perk up and listen to what He is saying.  And trust me, sometimes what He is saying isn’t any fun to hear but if we remind ourselves that we have a God who loves us so much to get our attention, then in view of THAT fact, we owe it to Him to take heed of what He is saying.  Always remembering, He does EVERYTHING, out of divine love for us.

So with that thought in mind, let me tell you why I had the strong desire to write about this to you all today.    God has just brought me out of the most difficult season of my life yet.  And trust me, there have been a lot of difficult seasons in my 32 years but nothing compares to the magnitude of this particular season.  I have been steeped in bondage, in bitterness, in fear, in the very clutches of our adversary with the thought on several occasions to just succumb once and for all and to quit fighting the good fight we’ve been called to fight.  That is wasn't worth it.  I was so weary.  Have any of you been so weary that even the thought of one more battle made you buckle at the knees?  God's so amazing though because all the while I was struggling, God would whisper Romans 8:28 to me and send that sweet reminder that He was working even though I could not feel it or see it.   And so I sit here today a free woman with a new love for my Savior that is hard for me to express in words.  I have a calling on my life that I can’t even put into words because God hasn’t revealed it all to me.  I am thinking of entering seminary because I tell you I genuinely cannot get enough of His word.  And I have the strongest urge to tell every person I know the great and mighty works God has done in my life.  That God has a calling on my life, that He is and has brought good out of my bondage, bitterness, and brokenness and He can do that for you too!  The verses that follow say nothing can separate you from the love of God and nothing is bigger than God and if He, God Almighty, The Great I AM, is for you Misty, WHO can stand against you?  And through the power of His holy spirit and His word He has brought me forth out of this most difficult season, WHOLE AND HEALED AND A FREE WOMAN.  Do you believe He can do that for you?  I don’t just believe it, I am claiming that for your life too.  As humans we want to bring God down to our level so we can wrap our head around Him and so we feel like we have an understanding that is suitable for us but ladies, that is NOT what we NEED.  If you are facing a giant do you need someone your size to face that giant with you?  Or do you need someone BIGGER than the giant?  The Word says, His ways or not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.  If you are going through something difficult and you feel like at any moment you will be overcome by this giant that is so much bigger than you, then you need a God, a Savior, that is bigger than the one you have right now.  You need to get some renewal going on in your brain that the Holy Spirit brings about when we don’t conform to what this world says but we delve into His word and we let Him remind us just how BIG he is!!!  Do you know in scripture His unfailing love is mentioned 35 times!?  Have you ever had someone tell you in 35 different ways at different times that they love you unfailingly??  And could you believe them?  Do you need something or someone that WON’T fail you?  When it feels like everything in your life is failing you?  I know sister, I have been there!

 So if God almighty who cannot lie, tells us He has loved us with an unfailing love, and that His ways and thoughts aren’t like our own and He is promising us, even though our frail vision can’t see it, that He is working all things together for the GOOD of those who love Him and that NOTHING can stand against us, do we need to despair?  Do we need to stay hid out in the bed with the covers over our head scared to face what today might hold?  No ma’am we do NOT.  We need to get up, stand on the mighty promises of God and go out and let HIM be glorified in our hardships, let HIS story be told through our TRIALS and let HIS SON shine through us so other’s might see Him and be saved.  Don’t let the enemy lie to you sister about what you are going through, that it’s for nothing, that God has forgotten you, that He doesn’t care.  Go to scripture and fight BACK with the very WORD breathed out of our Lord’s mouth.  Victory is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord!  AMEN!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Possessed

"Not that i have now attained (this ideal), or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own." Philippians 3:12

When I immediately think of the word possessed, it brings up all sorts of negative connotations.  I am reminded of images from horror movies where heads spin backwards or of ex-boyfriends who are possessive and mean or being in possession of something you are not suppose to have.  So when God brought this verse to me today and decided to turn all of this upside down, I was bewildered.  In the NLT (New Living Translation) it says we are possessed by Christ. Now we have heard we are Christ Treasured POSSESSION, but this possessed thing, made me think of something different that I couldn't quiet put my finger on. So I do what always helps me, I went to my dictionary app and looked up the word posses to better wrap my brain around thinking of that word in a different light.  Here's what I found:  to have as belonging to one; (POSSESSION, got that one) to maintain control over; to occupy or hold.  
Interesting!! Of course being a treasured possession wholly owned by the One who has sealed me with the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption is marvelous and gives me the warm fuzzies.  But there in that occupy, to hold, to maintain control definition, hmmmm, no thank you.  But God, said wait a second, that's the world definition, I can take what looks like a negative and turn it into a positive.  I never like thinking that someone could control or have a hold over me. But we are talking about someone we are talking about THE SOME ONE! JESUS, YES! PLEASE keep hold of me, occupy me, my thoughts, my ways, my actions, my attitudes.  And maintain control of this pesky flesh that seems to always be causing problems when I am controlled by it.  So we are POSSESSED!!  Gloriously possessed by the One True Living God of Love.  And why is He possessing me?  To perfect me!  To make sure I am fully developed and lacking nothing (James 1:4)!  So don't wallow in your imperfections.  Or allow the enemy to make you believe those mistakes are evidence that God is NOT at work.  Hold fast to these verses that say, when he first lay hold of us, he had a plan and that plan was that we would be made perfect for His use, His plan and His Glory. Reach today for the Author and PERFECTOR of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).  I think a lot of times I get confused and when I make a mistake and mess up or make the wrong choice that God is so disappointed in my imperfection or surprised by it but He isn't. And He is at work, constantly teaching me, changing me, equipping me, and making me look more and more like Jesus.  It isn't an easy road but oh how worth it it is! He says just keep reaching beloved.  It's in the reaching for righteousness I'm well pleased, because that means you're reaching for me.  I have no righteousness of my own. NONE, ZERO, ZILCH!  And I fool myself if I think I do.  It is when I live out in that possessed state, under the control, command, and will of The Spirit, that all sorts of remarkable things take place. Of myself I am NOTHING, but possessed by My Jesus, I'm being made perfect, being conformed into His imagine so one day in Him, I will lack nothing.  So lets walk around possessed today shall we!  Possessed by Our One True Love, Jesus Christ!

Lord, possess us today, all of us.  Every thought, every attitude, every word, every action, every dream so that we may bring you glory and help us to submit to the process of being perfected, so we will lack nothing.  We love you Lord so much and we pray in Jesus Name.  Amen.