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Monthly Archives: May 2010

Put the wallet away…

1 Chronicles 5:11

Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.  

The word says to seek the Lord’s face continually and there should be a determination in our hearts to seek the face of the One who has loved us so completely.  And the truth is, that seeking is intensified in times of trial and in the midst of circumstances that are out of our control.  And sadly for some, it’s only in those moments that His face is sought.   And the face that we seek is the face that we know and most recognize.  That familiar gaze that meets our needs. But have we limited God in this?  Have we stopped to ask Him, what do you really look like in this situation?  That’s a challenge…I know…but what He really looks like may just surprise us!

Would it come as a surprise to us, if when we were seeking God’s face that He didn’t look the way we thought?  Many times, we can mentally ascend to the idea of who we think God is and especially what we have known Him to be and there is nothing wrong with that. But would we accept it if after we have sought Him, formulating “His face” in our minds eye and expectation for a certain outcome, that when His will is revealed, it wasn’t how we imagined it? 

I have an analogy to this that maybe you can identify with.  It’s not all that often that you get to see your relatives.  You are a great distance away and the last time you saw them, it was nearly three years ago.  While you were together, you took pictures and exchanged photographs to put in your albums and wallets.  Oh, you’ve spoken time and again…sharing many heart to hearts.  But today, you were astounded.  Your family has paid you a surprise visit!  Your grandmother has died her hair red to cover the gray and looks younger than ever!  Your cousin , after having little Lucy, has put on a little weight but wait a minute.  Is that really Lucy? She’s walking now and that coal black newborn hair has turned platinum blonde! What a gorgeous child! You had no idea!  This is not at all how you have pictured them!  Somehow, you’ve been stuck in the past communion with them.     

What do we do when His face isn’t like the snapshot we carry around in our wallet?

Yes, God is the same yesterday, today and forever!  He never changes. He is always the same!

And He is “all” ways the same. 

Deuteronomy 10:12 says, “And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul….”

Have we discovered “all” His ways?  Or have we found the ones which we are comfortable? 

God may never change but the world around us and our circumstances change moment by moment.  Just like my left side appearance differs from the right, so does God’s and with our circumstances, we may find that we are looking at His left one moment and in an instant, it’s His right, the front of His face and even from behind sometimes as He leads us. 

And here’s another thought, we may find ourselves ahead of Him and so often we hear the cliché “don’t get ahead of God” but it seems to me that if there is an account in the word, as there is in Isaiah 30:21, And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.”, then there will certainly times when we will be ahead of Him, when we can’t see Him at all. 

I would say those are most precious times that spur on our desire to see Him all the more!

My husband carries a picture of me in his wallet and you know, I know it’s because he loves me and remembers the time he first fell in love with me that he still carries it.  It’s an act of endearment when he opens it and shows it to his co-workers and friends.   I know that.  But I also know that John can’t expect to come home and see me as I was picture day in 1994 because even though I carry the same heart for him, I have a very different look now and my face today is what he needs to see and love.  And if he constantly shows that picture without sharing the day to day life we share and how he saw me this morning, the perception might be that I’m going to be looking, doing, or acting in a way that I’m not right now.  Can I ever look like that again?  Possibly…but not today. (Let’s face it, I’m human and it would definitely be a supernatural feat.  It’s a miracle! Yay!)

Can God ever look like that again?  You bet and there are times He will but there are also times when we have to quit pulling out the wallet and get the camera instead to take a new snapshot!

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Wipe that look off your face!

Today…actually over the past few days, there has been an awakening going on in me. A time of reckoning began for me weeks ago and it continues even now but it seems with greater emphasis.  It’s more a time of “wreck”oning than anything. 

Ever had a paradigm moment when “the way things were” were wrecked? Well, yeah. That just about sums it up! “The way things were” is no more for me.  The way I think..wrecked! The way I feel…wrecked! The way I hear…wrecked! The way I speak…wrecked

And today, as I was driving into work, it’s as if my eyes were opened.  I was getting on the freeway and I noticed a woman walking on the on ramp, with a back pack. In her hand was a coffee cup and as I approached, she dropped the cup and littered the ground.  My first instinct would be, “pick up that trash” and then as I continued, I realized that she was walking toward 18 wheelers parked along the on ramp as well and that this woman was going to try to get a ride, in a truck, most likely with a man she did not know.  All of the sudden, the trash didn’t matter and my heart broke for the implications of that and the life she was living.  Who noticed?  I was only shallow enough to see the trash…

There is also some road construction going on and I found myself waiting to turn onto main street today.  As I was, the traffic would make room at the intersection because some would need to be turning there.  A man approached and needed to turn and it took him a moment to realize that the traffic was allowing room for him to go ahead.  When he finally turned, I caught a glimpse of the woman’s face in the car behind him and she shook her head and looked at him as though she despised him.  And what for?  A short delay?  For reasons I do not know, it made me cry. 

Proverbs 6:16-17 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud  look…

 That’s number one folks! That’s one first place ribbon I don’t want to wear!  

Not only that but Psalm 138:6 says, Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.

 I have described to you two situations.  In the first situation, I was the one demonstrating the “proud look” and where did that put God in proximity to me?  Afar off.  It made me no better than the woman who looked at that man with hatred and believe me, I’m guilty of countless “hateful looks”. 

And I’m reminded of the times when my Mom would say to me, “You better wipe that look off your face.”  

How often have I over looked someone? 

How often have I murdered someone with my thoughts, a look or even a spoken word? 

I know God is speaking to me…wipe that look off of your face!  He wants the world to see His face!

 
 

Soul Food

Proverbs 11:30 “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.”

When was the last time you were hungry? 

When was the last time you were filled?

When was the last time you were wise?

I think in terms of true “soul food”, there’s plenty to go around. 

Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”

 I think it’s interesting that the fruit of righteousness is a tree of life.  That’s seemingly backward isn’t it?  Isn’t the tree usually first? 

No…when we sow righteousness, which is for the saving of souls…the fruit will be a tree of life.  Psalm 1 trees, planted as we go!

To hunger and thirst for righteousness, is to hunger for the fruit that will save souls?

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.”  James 1:5-6

If any of you lack wisdom…because he who saves souls is wise…let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally…IT SHALL  be given him.

Lord, give us souls so that we may be wise! Give us wisdom!