Meditation on Psalm 25:1-2

 Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
The chief part of who I am, the essence of my being is yours Lord. The cry of my depths, every hidden and secret thing, I lay before you. Nothing I hold back. Rather I lift it up – away from myself, away from my own striving, away from my own care. I lift it up so all can see that I give it to you. Unabashedly I lift up my soul to you – the banner of my life – my identity. I relinquish what I’ve spent years crafting, the identity I’ve pursued my whole life. And over me, I plead, spread your mantle, your banner of victory – Your name, your nature impart to me. I accept your Lordship over my life…I even seek and delight in it!

Willingly I relinquish all that I am for I know who you are. You are worthy. Is not the Lamb once slain worthy to receive the reward of His suffering?

O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.
I trust in thee. Because I know who you are. Infinite. Strong. Almighty. Deliverer. My High Priest. My Advocate. My motivation. My example.  And my favorite: Redeemer.

For without trust there is no love. Without intimacy there is no trust. So it all flows out of knowing
you. Beholding you. Drawing near to you. Drawing close. To trust you is foolishness to the world. To lay it all on the altar and not take it back. Yet let not me be ashamed Lord because I have trusted YOU. I have not trusted the things of this world, I have not trusted my own understanding. I stand on you and your promises. I have learned who you are and now pray that you prove every Word in my life. I have staked all on you.

When I chose you, I say no to every other choice. It’s beauty of mutual exclusivity. Just when a pair says “I do,” they say “I don’t” or “No” to everyone else. When I say yes to you – drink of your blood and eat of your body – I say no to every other option. No to everything that the world offers. No to everything I’ve dreamed of myself. No to everything that is good even, though now I understand there is nothing good apart from you. No to anything that is not your will, or your desire. No to everything I could have become. I am ruined for any but you.
The singularity of a yes to you will not lead to shame for I have found the one my soul loves.

It’s easy to trust when nothing really is wrong. But we are in a war. Our enemy seeks to destroy us. On the battlefield with an enemy raging – trust is everything. As bombs explode, bullets fly, comrades die, and even the mountains shake – the life of a soldier is in the hands of his general. To live is Christ, to die is gain.

Trusting in you doesn’t mean that the enemy does not exist. Trusting you doesn’t mean the war ends. Trusting you means I have found my general. The battle is real. The evil one seeks to destroy my life. To kill. Trusting you doesn’t guarantee a long life and health and wealth. I do not seek a long life but a full one. I pray for a life that the future generations can look upon it and see You clearly. And you my God will not be put to shame. You will not be mocked. You will triumph.

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. – Corrie ten Boom

It’s all about who He IS!

Marching Orders

Today I received the orders from the General
“Forward march” He commands
I look around at my battlefield
not at all what I’d imagined it to be,

“Remember”, the Sentinel whispers
“You live for an audience of One
He alone is your pattern for Promised Land living
He alone is your Motivation
And He is your Inheritance, your Reward.”

The General has given you orders,
Soldier will you obey?

“My calling is Jesus.
It never changes.
My position in life can change.
But our focus isn’t supposed to be there -
but on our calling.” –NRJohnson

But the romance, the beauty of life -
it isn’t circumstantial.
It’s relational – it’s not where you go -
but Who you go with.

Do you find Christ utterly and supremely the source of all contentment?
His glory is at stake!

May He stamp eternity on our eyes!!

 

 

Life in Light of Eternity

So I just came home from 16 weeks at Bible school. It was such a precious season in my life – full of sweet fellowship with the saints and knowing Jesus. There was plenty of laughter (no, there was  a TON of laughter), tears, conviction, and repentance. Words are woefully inadequate to communicate all that God did and is.

Today as I was walking around the neighborhood, praying and thinking, I was really challenged by the understanding that I need to be fully engaged at home. My thoughts would constantly flit back to school  – just soaking in the memories.  And while remembering is fine and even important – God challenged me with this quote

 

Yes life comes in seasons. But every season needs to be lived in light of eternity. In light of knowing that one day I will stand before a holy, holy, holy God and answer for my life. God doesn’t just call us to endure and finish the race faithfully. He calls us to life faithfully today.

Anything that may happen one day will fade away. Jobs, career, future marriage, ministry – all of that is temporal. I cannot live for those things. They too will pass away. I must live today in light of eternity. This is the safeguard against idolatry – this is the correct alignment of perspective.

Meredith Andrews sings in All Will Fade Away:

Our moments are fleeting
Every breath could be our last

And these things that we’re holding
Will only wither like the grass

There’s no end of time with You
No treasure here compares to You

All of this will disappear
We are strangers here
We will see You face to face
And all will fade away
Yes, all will fade away

Caught up, caught up with You, my Jesus
Caught up, caught up with You forever
In love, in love with You, my Jesus
In love, in love with You forever

And one more from Oswald Chambers to take it away:

“How am I going to find out what the will of God is? In one way only: by not trying to find out. If you are born again of the Spirit of God, you are the will of God, and your ordinary common-sense decisions are God’s will for you unless He gives an inner check. When He does, call a halt immediately and wait on Him. Be renewed in the spirit of your mind that you may make out His will, not in your mind, but in practical living.”

We don’t do life alone. We are in Christ and Christ is in us. Do you trust Him? If you do, you will submit to Him – to His will for you. Oh may the joy of our life be that HIS will be fulfilled, not that ours be met. I desperately do not want to be one that God finally says “Fine – your will be done!” but one that continually says to God “Lord, ONLY your will be done!” I want His will, His way, in His time, laying every desire on the altar and holding every blessing with open hands. How appropriately John ends in 1 John with

“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”

Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s Advice On School

Do get on with your studies. Remember you are now forming the character of you future ministry in great measure, if God spare you. If you acquire slovenly or sleepy habits of study now, you will never get the better of it. Do everything in its own time. Do everything in earnest; if it is worth doing, then do it in all your might. Above all, keep much in the presence of God. Never see the face of man till you have seen his face who is our life, our all. Pray for others; pray for your teachers, fellow-students, etc.

Beware of the atmosphere of the classics. It is pernicious indeed; and you need much of the south wind breathing over the Scriptures to counteract it. True, we ought to know them; but only as chemists handle poisons – to discover their qualities, not to infect their blood with them.

Pray that the Holy Spirit would not only make you a believing and holy lad, but make you wise in your studies also. A ray of divine light in the soul sometimes clears up a mathematical problem wonderfully. The smile of God calms the spirit, and the left hand of Jesus holds up the fainting head, and his Holy Spirit quickens the affection, so that even natural studies go on a million times more easily and comfortably.

As Moses found himself able to use the jewels of the Egyptians in the service of Christ, endeavor to do the same.

A few miscellaneous quotes I loved:

Lord put me into thy service when and where Thy pleasest. In thy hand all my qualities will be put to their appropriate end.

It has always been my aim, and it is my prayer, to have no plans with regard to myself, well assured as I am, that the place where the Savior sees meet to place me must ever be the best place for me.

Choosing Jesus in Bible School

It’s funny how so many people go to Bible College just to get married. But it’s sad when one trades in relationship with God for a relationship with a human. Because as I’ve learned,  you ridiculously shortchange yourself.

Before setting out to Bible school, I was very honest with God about relationships. I told him that I knew that there would be men who were seeking God there. And all my life, above all else, I had been praying for a man who feared the Lord. I tried to make it real easy for the Lord to understand what I was implying.

But when I arrived, there was something heavier on my heart then relationships. I knew that I didn’t love God and this troubled me the most. I remember sitting at the dinner table with some fellow students and staff, and almost desperately pounding the table saying “I know I don’t love Him. I don’t know what to do.” And I remember later on realizing “How in the world can I love an imperfect mChan if I can’t love a perfect God?”

So the very first week God challenged me. Throughout my life, I’d easily given up all the “men” that were, what I’d dubbed “bad eggs.” They were easy to give up because I knew what kind of man I was waiting for. Throughout my lifetime, I’d whittled my list down to three things:

  1. In hot pursuit of Jesus
  2. A leader that was kind towards everyone, especially the unnoticed
  3. Witty sense of humor

So now I was an environment that was filled with men who were all that and more! What was a girl to do I wondered. And God calmly answered. “Give up the good ones too.”

I pouted. Seriously. I argued. I pleaded.

And then I remembered a quote from Oswald Chambers: “The greatest enemy of the life of faith in God is not sin, but good choices which are not quite good enough. The good is always the enemy of the best.”

My good is the enemy of God’s best.

So I relinquished all the good ones. All the possibilities. The ones, I came to realize, that weren’t even mine to start with, I relinquished with great gravity and seriousness.

“See God? Those guys that aren’t even mine? Well I finally agree – they’re not mine.”

What a ninny I am.

And I proceeded to have the best 9 weeks of my life – falling head over heels in love with not a man of flesh and blood, but the man Jesus Christ. Oh as the Shulammite writes in Song of Solomon, “My beloved is the fairest of ten thousand.”

It’s one thing to say and pretend to agree with, and then another to have praise spring forth from a heart of contentment.

I came to realize this:

One day God may add to my life the love of a man. But that love will not make me more complete. I am fully complete in Christ. I am fully happy in Christ. I am not half of a person that will be made whole on my wedding day. My husband is not my other half until we become one. If God wanted me to make room in my life for a husband, He’d send one along. I’m tired of reserving the seat at the head of the table of my life for someone who isn’t even there. I want God to fill it and own it, and when my husband comes – He comes in submission to and under God’s headship just as I come under his headship. And a life walking in submission to God will never violate anything reserved for a future husband. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt 6:33). Seeking the kingdom of God first is the path that sets the right direction for your life. You will never go wrong in doing this.

I’ve also been reading where the Israelites come to Samuel and ask him for a king over Israel. And God tells Samuel “They haven’t rejected you, they’ve rejected ME.” A question came to me – do I ask God for a husband, a “king”, in my life because I am rejecting God as my husband, my leader, my king? Is God’s leadership sufficient in my life? Or am I rebelling against it by asking for a man who’d be easier to manipulate and cajole? This is serious stuff!!

I may not marry or I may marry and I may lose my husband – wedding vows do not make people immortal. Are you aware of that? Are you ready for that? Do you have open hands with the understanding the Lord gives and takes away? Will you still bless His name? Or a third option, I may marry and have a long happy life. Regardless of all three, I cannot base my identity and hope in my husband. He is not mine – he is God’s first. He cannot be an idol in my life, especially before he even gets here!!

Submission is key. Submitting to God’s will. Submitting to God’s plan. Which teaches you to submit to the man that God one day brings. So the real question is: Do you trust God?

Remember, the handiwork of His hands is beautiful. It’s good. Oh how beautiful is everything that bears His mark.

The mark of my handiwork is, more often than not, brokenness, messes, chaos, and pain.

It’s really not a toss-up between the two. At least for me. :)

Here’s a little poem I put together throughout this time:

“What have I to boast of? Everything good you have given me. Grace upon grace, mercy upon mercy.

For this is my story, this is my song – Praising my savior all the day long!

You hold my future in your hands –To you alone do I commit all of my plans.

I don’t worry about the past –for at the foot of the cross all my burdens I have cast.

I don’t worry about what lies ahead – for your mantle covers me, your lordship is my head.

I don’t care about finding love in earthly men– for I have found the one my soul loves and delights in.

My example, my love, my knight in shining armor – who laid down His life for me without a murmur.

He’s given me everything necessary for life and godliness – the ultimate provider.

He’s tenderhearted and abundant in loving kindness – the ultimate lover.

He’s created galaxies and stars to show himself to me – the ultimate teacher.

He never leaves and constantly upholds and lifts up– the ultimate companion.

Every tear He’s caught before it falls and every wound He’s healed – the ultimate Father.

Every desire He understands and every plea He hears – the ultimate benefactor.

Every day He shares His heart and cares for mine – the ultimate best friend. “

He has Never Forsaken You Yet

“What must you do when you make a mistake? Must you cut it out or start from the beginning?” And the student said, “No, our teacher is such a great artist that when we make a mistake he uses that mistake to improve the beauty of the pattern.” And that is what the Lord does. We must just tell the Lord our blunder, and you never know what He does with your blunder. – Corrie Ten Boom, Tramp for the Lord

Jesus heard when you prayed last night.
He talked with God about you.
Jesus was there when you fought your fight.
He is going to bring you through.
Jesus knew when you shed those tears so you did not weep alone.
For burden you thought too heavy to bear, He made it His very own.
Jesus Himself was touched by the trial which you could not understand.
Jesus stood by as you almost fell and lovingly grasped your hand.
Jesus cared when you bore that pain. Indeed, He bore it too.
He felt each pang, each ache in your heart because of His love for you.
Jesus was grieved when you doubted His love, but He gave you grace to go on.
Jesus rejoiced as you trusted Him, the most trustworthy One.
His presence shall ever be with you, no need to be anxious or fret.
Wonderful Lord, He was there all the time. He has never forsaken you yet

Jesus, My Everything

What have I to boast of? Everything good you have given me. Grace upon grace, mercy upon mercy.

For this is my story, this is my song – Praising my savior all the day long!

You hold my future in your hands –To you alone do I relinquish all of my plans.

I don’t worry about the past –for at the foot of the cross all my burdens I have cast.

I don’t worry about what lies ahead – for your mantle covers me, your lordship is my head.

I don’t care about finding love in earthly men– for I have found the one my soul loves and delights in.

My example, my love, my knight in shining armor – who laid down His life for me without a murmur.

He’s given me everything necessary for life and godliness – the ultimate provider.

He’s tenderhearted and abundant in loving kindness – the ultimate lover.

He’s created galaxies and stars to show himself to me – the ultimate teacher.

He never leaves and constantly upholds and lifts up– the ultimate companion.

Every tear He’s caught before it falls and every wound He’s healed – the ultimate Father.

Every desire He understands and every plea He hears – the ultimate benefactor.

Every day He shares His heart and cares for mine – the ultimate best friend.

 

And to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:19