Friday, December 14, 2012

Building my faith

I attend a wonderful home fellowship at my friend Dan and Athena's house. I am so blessed by it because each time we meet the Lord is gracious to reveal something more of Himself to me there. Tonight we did a little bit of a review ( :-) )and I was able to gather some thoughts that have been meandering in my mind since yesterday. As I shared on Facebook, I was just told that Cannon and I would not be able to move to North Dakota with Matt until the adoption is finalized (sad days...). After having a pout fest I gathered myself and heard a message from the Lord. The message actually came from several different sources and it seems easiest to lay them out that way.

Source #1: My Pastor who encouraged me to cling to Romans 8:28
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."
Such a wonderful verse that I have always known but am now being challenged to truly believe. (The Lord knows our hearts so much better than we do! I thought I did believe this until the Lord revealed my heart in this situation. I BELIEVE that this situation is not just bad luck. It is part of the Lord's plan as he continues to mold me int the image of His Son).

Source #2: Abraham. We are studying him in BSF right now and his faith never ceases to amaze me. When the Lord told him to leave his home in Haran he did so without question. I studied this passage in preparation for leaving as well...but as I am now being made to stay  and I want to stay with the same faith in which I was preparing to leave with. I will patiently wait on the Lord's timing to go.

Source #3: My thoughts given from the Lord (shared with my home fellowship group). If the Lord requires me to be in California a little bit longer, then I will obey Him. I wish my husband and I could be together, but I will submit to my God's will. If he wants to perform a miracle, I will accept it with open arms, for I know He is capable of it. But I do not expect that he will perform one on account of my faith and prayers for it. Expecting a miracle in return for my prayers is not faith, it is an exchange. My faith takes me back to Romans 8:28 and fully BELIEVING it. I know this situation will "work together for good...according to His purpose".

Source #4: More reflection on His word. The Lord kept reminding me of these verses I had (partially) committed to memory (time to fully commit these to memory!).

Romans 5:1-5
"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

As well as this one:

Zechariah 13:9
"I will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say 'This is my people'; And each one will say, 'The Lord is my God'"

Lord, allow my faith to be built up in these times. Help me to know you better because of it. When I became a Christian I was bought with the precious price of your Son's blood. I am yours Lord. I don't ask for a miracle so that I may be comfortable, I ask that you would miraculously comfort me where I am. I invite you to put my faith through the fire Lord--remove the dross from the silver until you are well pleased. I love you Lord.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Magnificent Obsession

I have been distant from this blog for far too long. I know I only have 3 followers (thank you Marilyn, Summer, and Elise ;-) But the purpose of my blog is not to make money or make a name for myself or have a million hits a is simply to glorify God. That's it. Writing it helps me to recognize the many great works He has done in my life, and maybe my testimony will be an encouragement to others.
Today my blog post is really a confession. Anyone who knows me well can attest to the fact that I am a bit obsessive. My obsession is cleaning and organizing. However, if you have ever been to my house you will clearly see I am far from perfect in these areas. If I was anywhere near where I wanted to be, my closet would be organized by color and season, my linen closet would look like a shelf in Macy's, there would not be a spot on the upholstery or a dust bunny on the floor, and my ceiling fans would be clean enough to pass a white glove test. NONE of this is true about my home and each day I endlessly endeavor to draw a little bit closer to that goal...but even the rare times when all the things above have been accomplished I find more to obsess over: Cleaning baseboards, wiping walls, degreasing cabinets in the kitchen...and will I ever get to moving the stove to cleaning the filth that must lurk there?!?!
I truly believed that this was a healthy obsession. Having a clean home is a good thing! I drew comfort from knowing that there was a place for everything and everything was in its place. Seriously, when my house is a mess I can not function. It is crippling because it is the ONLY thing I think about (these sentences are in present tense because I still struggle with this obsession...Lord help me).
I have finally come to the point where I realize I will never have a perfectly cleaned and organized house. Ya, that is actually a revelation for me. But a bigger (and much more important) revelation was when the Lord revealed that cleaning was actually becoming an idol to me. I honestly would put off my Bible study, prayer time, or even leaving the house until I finished my housework. The devil is so very good at twisting what seem to be good things into becoming idols in our lives (especially because these things don't seem to be outright sins). But I have Help wiser and stronger than the Father of Lies: I have my Father in Heaven. My Father is working on me each day to help me leave behind my idols that I have placed above Him. It is a struggle I still face daily. I know I am a "Martha" and the Lord is calling me to be more like "Mary."

Luke 10:38-42
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

I think each of us struggles with our own idols. If we didn't, we would be Jesus - perfectly glorifying our Father in Heaven. Cleaning is just one of mine. Now that I have a son, I see how motherhood can even become an idol in my life. So with this post I am challenging you (three) readers to recognize the obsessions in your life and ask the Lord to replace them with a Magnificent Obsession- Him.