a glimpse of the Almighty

Lately, I’ve really been experiencing the beautiful tapestry of God’s word in my life. What does that fancy talk mean? Well between Sunday sermons, Monday night Elijah study and BSF’s inductive (to say the least) study of Isaiah, God has been weaving a central theme of His holiness in my life…and what exactly it should mean to me…and how it should affect me.

“How could I be in Your story, the God who was and is and is to come?” -Everything is Different, Shane & Shane

I was in tears the entire sermon on Sunday and it was such a precious morning of tears for me. I had just been reading in Isaiah 6 with BSF and Isaiah describes the vision of the Lord Almighty on His throne…but I’ll come back to that. That following Sunday, Tom preached about Revelations 4 which is very similar when describing God on His throne. He explained how in times of trouble, when life if rough, when it’s the worst it has ever been…we still must praise God. And the only way we can do that is by seeing who He truly is…Holy. As he preached through the scripture, tears rolled down my face as I envisioned my King…my Father. He is my Daddy. The only one I’ve ever been able to call that. What a perfect Father. My Abba. He is so worthy of my affection. He is a King! Look how He is described:

I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.  Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. Isaiah 6:1-4

I can sit here all day and talk about how awesome He is. I could go on and on about how real He is. He is the lover of my soul and He has won my heart. I’m so thankful to have this glimpse of my Maker. Only by seeing His greatness and relying on Him am I able to make it through this crazy world. This world full of sin, death and hatred.

Just as I begin to believe that all is lost and this world will never be able to endure I am reminded numerous times that God is sovereign. When God turns away from His people that have chosen to turn away from Him, it isn’t devastation…it’s about redemption. Throughout the Old Testament His chosen people consistently turn away from Him and He continually redeems them. There is wrath and suffering but not because God is vengeful but because “His wrath and judgment reflect the response of His holy character against sin in all of its forms and impurities. It is the whole being of God opposing all that is evil, unjust, unfair, and unrighteous.”-BSF study. How else could we call Him Holy?

Holy- that which is separated, set apart, treated with special care, withheld from ordinary use, belonging uniquely to the Lord. The opposite of common or ordinary.  (BSF study)

Anyways…so what’s my response to this? Well naturally I begin to feel unworthy. Compared to Him. God doesn’t desire for me to beat myself up about this though. But I still do. The way Isaiah reacts to seeing his King is exactly how I think I would.

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips,and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” Isaiah 6:5

I would immediately recognize my faults. I have to consciously work to not stay in this place. Every. Day. I battle doubt, negative thinking & believing I don’t deserve grace because I am attacked daily with lies from this world that I’m living in. It completely reminds me of one of my all time favorite songs written by Shane & Shane “Embracing Accusation“. It’s easy to get caught in what I do wrong. But bottom line….Jesus Saves.

And that’s what the next verses show.

With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” Isaiah 6:7

God provides an atonement for us. Jesus.

This glimpse of the Almighty has given me confidence. I feel better about my desire to do women’s ministry one day. I constantly worry if I’m doing what I want instead of what God wants. This worry comes from my experience of trying to do what I think is the best choice instead of consulting God on what He thinks and where He would have me go with my life.

Anyways, when you get a clear glimpse of who you trust with your life you begin to grow. I feel confirmed that God has me here in Fort Lauderdale with all the time and opportunity to get immersed in His word and learn from many wise women around me at Rio Vista. I am learning so much…but more importantly I’m falling more and more in love with God. He is so perfect. I can’t explain it. But His word is truly affecting every part of my life. Who He is makes me feel alive.

So as Isaiah receives this glimpse, this atonement…he is now made clean and ready for “duty”. You get a glimpse and you realize your need for God and you surrender your life. Then God calls you to something amazing. Amazing is defined differently for everyone. And yes…my little life here in South Florida IS amazing. My “little” calling is huge. I feel like I’m being equipped for greatness. Not my own greatness. But to glorify God in the way He has planned. He is readying me for something. Maybe it’s not women’s ministry, but this time in my life is precious to me. It’s preparation for something.

So I decided I can apply this scripture in my life to confirm that I am taking the right steps to following God’s will for my life. There is no magical equation by ANY means. But this is just how God is meeting me where I’m at. I needed to be affirmed that I’m where He wants me…not where I think I should be.

Anyways, here is how I broke down the application: (Maybe you will find it helpful in your life too??)

Again this isn’t the only way to discern God’s will. Nor am I an expert. Maybe this is the wrong way to apply this scripture so literally in your opinion. But this is just where God has me. Sorry to reiterate that again but I want to ensure you know my heart on this matter.

Praying & Observing to confirm God’s will & calling

  • He will give me a high view of Himself

-Do I see Him exalted in my life?

-Am I recognizing myself as His servant?

  • He will give me a sense of need

-Do I recognize that I need Him?

-Do I see the need of the people?

*Humility: Do I know and recognize that I have the same need and that I

am no better than they are.

  • He will cleanse me before He calls me

-Have I repented of all my sin?

-Pray that God has revealed unknown sin to me

  • He calls those that are humble and willing

-Am I being prideful? Do I think I’m better than the people God has called me

to minister to?

-Pray that God confirms humility in me

-Pray that when I’m called that I recognize the invitation & I am willing & not

afraid.

-Pray that I am watchful to His “rhetorical questions”(Isaiah 6:8) that He

knows the answers to. His way of stirring my heart to action.

  • RESPOND “Here I am. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)
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Published in: on October 19, 2010 at 10:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

puzzle piece

This past Sunday at church, I was able to pay attention to the sermon for the first time since Randall was a newborn. I put him into childcare and got to hear a great message from the story of Joseph’s life.

I always find it difficult to not try to secretly take control over my life everyday. Of course it’s never the case since God is in control even when I think I am. But life IS so much better when I surrender my life wholeheartedly to the Lord. When you wake up and say “God, this day is yours…not mine”  it always turns out best. So, yeah…I try to keep short accounts with God all day long to keep my mind…well…really my heart….where it needs to be, In God’s Hands. Am I successful everyday? Absolutely not. Thank God for his mercy and grace with me.

I’ve always used the same analogy with regards to “trying to take over/control my life”. I always picture me coming over God’s shoulder while He is painting this beautiful picture that is my life. As He is painting, I say “Why are You doing that?” A fair question in my mind at the time of my disobedience and unwillingness to trust Him. “Well wait, stop…no I don’t want that. That doesn’t look good?…that hurts…wait, why are YOU doing this…WHY??”

It’s a pretty good analogy in my mind to remind myself that I don’t see the whole picture that God is painting. I don’t know what the next day or season of my life looks like. Ever. But God does. He not only knows, but He is also doing what is best for His glory and for me. Me, the little girl He calls His Beloved. He wants nothing more than to love me and have a personal and intimate relationship with me. speechless.

but not for long, b/c I need to get to my point.

So our pastor spoke about how God’s design for life here on earth is a puzzle. GREAT! I LOVE puzzles!! (right Ashley & Jessie ;)) He continued to explain that we each are one piece to the puzzle of his master plan. Seemingly so small, but the puzzle is not complete without you in it.

So, I’m lovin’ this sermon. I’m relating to his wonderful analogy. Then I begin to realize that my analogy kind of stinks. Comparatively speaking I guess. But, I realize that not only is it ridiculous for me to stand over the Master and Creator of the universe and ask Him why he paints this or that…It’s ridiculous because I am the paint on the canvas, not at all knowing and understanding enough to STAND over His shoulder and see what He is painting. I’m living it. I’m the paint..or the canvas?..haha I sound crazy. It would be like a puzzle piece jumping up on God’s shoulder to take a look at what the entire puzzle is looking like. Doesn’t make any sense because puzzle pieces can’t do that. Even though I know it won’t work, I try to understand…I try to control…I try to beg Him to reveal everything or something to me-this little puzzle piece of a girl. His plan for me is not to understand the plan but to trust in the plan…in Him. That He does have EVERYTHING under control.

One day, I know we will get to see the whole puzzle complete…the whole picture painted…forget silly analogies that probably don’t make any sense. one day. i get to see my Heavenly Father and spend eternity with Him and His son Jesus…who died for me.

I trust and believe that God has a timing for my life and the world that is so much bigger than me. I like being small. I like seeing a few specks or spots on a puzzle piece and not understanding what part of the puzzle I am exactly. I love the mystery that is the Love of my God. (someone remind me that I said this later on when i’m having a meltdown about my future)

I’ve had this on repeat while writing this post:

Worthy of Affection- Shane & Shane

Deliverer you brought us out of the miry clay
You set our feet upon a rock and you made us say
Holy is the Lord
We would declare your thoughts about us one by one
It’d be too many to count so we simply come
And sing of your great love

So we sing..We lift our hands and sing!

You are worthy of affection
Your the radiance of all of His glory
Let adoration fill this place
You hold everything together
By the word of your immovable power
We sing a song of praise!

We are the broken down and we are the beaten up
But what could stop us from a song of unending love?
Holy is the Lord

You are the treasure, the hope, the Bright and Morning Star
You are the lover of our soul and you’ve won our hearts
We sing of your great love
So we sing
We lift our hands and sing!

You are worthy of affection
Your the radiance of all of His glory
Let adoration fill this place
You hold everything together
By the word of your immovable power
We sing a song of praise!

Worthy are you Lord
Worthy are you Lord
O worthy are you Lord
Of all Praise
All Glory to you Lord
All Glory to you Lord
All Glory to you Lord
Forever More
Forever More

You are worthy of affection
Your the radiance of all of His glory
Let adoration fill this place
You hold everything together
By the word of your immovable power
We sing a song of praise!

Holy are you Lord
Holy are you Lord
Holy are you Lord

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

i love you Jesus.

Published in: on July 27, 2010 at 9:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

barren heights

“…Then he went off to a barren height. God met with him…” Numbers 23:3-4

Sometimes God brings you to barren heights to meet with you. I’d imagine back in those days Balaam didn’t want to go somewhere barren by himself. With the danger of wild animals and no one around to help you in case of an attack sounds pretty scary to me.

But beyond that, I find it interesting that God brings Balaam to a barren height. I’ve heard of and experienced meeting with God in a barren valley. I’ve been broken and felt helpless and God has met me there. But I wonder if I can think of a time that God has met me in a barren height. Is that when you are on top of the world but still feel empty without His presence? In this instance in the Bible, Balaam is looking for guidance and has already learned once that he shouldn’t even budge without God’s permission and guidance (Num. 22:21-35). Balaam is also considered blessed by God since Balak says that anyone he blesses is blessed and anyone he curses is cursed. The first time Balak sends the princes Balaam immediately exhibits his trust in the Lord by asking God if he should go with them back to Moab. So this man must be “on top” in his walk with God to be in such a close and trusting relationship with God. So, he meets God in a barren height. He is close to God in a barren place. cool.

Just trying to work this out today God. I am not sure if I am hitting on anything here. I might be completely off in my interpretation but I like being close with You and talking it out with You. I love You. Make me more like You. Thank you Abba, my Daddy for your word and love.

your princess,

crystal

Published in: on July 9, 2010 at 10:00 am  Leave a Comment  

new challenges

so i have not been blogging as much on this as i would like. I’ve finished Genesis. and since I’ve finished Genesis I have thought of many different things I would like to blog about but then I never sit down and get it out while it is fresh on my mind. I just tried to skim through and see if anything popped back out to me.

the reason it has been hard is because I have challenged myself by not allowing myself to go on facebook and now on blogs too. Not until I have read the entire Bible. Instead of spending time on those things I am spending time in God’s word.

I pulled out my “Bible in 90 days” for umpteenth time to try and accomplish this. I am up right now to say that I am a half day behind. So right now before I go to bed I am going to try and catch up on that.

Also, so I don’t get bored because as God knows I am a girl that has to keep things constantly changing, I am reading a chapter here and there from 3 different books. (Redeeming Love, Power of a Praying Parent, Passionate Housewives Desperate for God)

OH I remembered something! just the other day I had finished reading about Moses telling God he didn’t think he was the guy to lead everyone out of Egypt. Which of course I can relate to. But then I read a part of Power of a Praying Parent and a Mother’s prayer devotional and they both were talking about feeling unequipped for what you need to do. It was so perfect. Because everytime I think about doing women’s ministry one day all i sit there and do is talk myself out of it because I am a horrible writer and reader. All great speakers write books and read and research. But surprisingly I am finding my time in the Word and books so fulfilling. i remember feeling like this before but as I tend to get caught up in life I lose track of that.

Anyways. I am going to work harder on blogging on this blog more than our family one and doing it the day I read the scripture!

Published in: on May 16, 2010 at 10:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

what faith!

“Some time later God tested Abraham…Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.'” Genesis 22:1-2

I’ve read Genesis 3 or 4 times before, but never have I related to this story before the way I do now. What if God said to me or Richard “Take your son, your only son, Randall, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” I’d say, “wait…what!?!?” And I would get hysterical and then start bargaining by asking questions. I would question God’s every motive and direction for me. But what does Abraham do? He obeys. One second I’m asking myself, “Abraham, what are you thinking!?!? Didn’t you learn from the first time to not tell kings that your wife is your sister!? You’ve already made that mistake. Shape up or ship out!” But then his faith is tested by God and not only does he obey, but he obeys with honor and respect to God!

Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”

“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.

“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” Genesis 22:7-8

Wow. I am speechless. I don’t even know how to work this out in my head. Everyday, since the moment Randall has been born I have had to remind myself that he is not mine. Even though the first words I said to him were “You are mine.” He is not mine. He is God’s gift to me to take care of. He is a part of God’s plan to teach me of His undying love for me. He is God’s way of showing me how God desires relationship with me just like I am going to desire relationship with Randall when he starts making his own friends and life for himself. I am going to want to know what Randall is doing and want to be a part of his journey. He is also a way for me to understand God’s love for His Son that He sacrificed for me…for us. God sacrificed His Son…whom He loved. Abraham did too. Isaac was saved from this once Abraham’s faith proved true. Christ was not.

There might be a time in my life where Randall, or another child God might bless me with, will have to be placed on an altar as a sacrifice for God. He might get sick. He might be called to come home to Jesus before me. He might be called to a life of sacrifice in some way that I can’t even think of right now. But I will have to keep my faith in God. And that is my prayer today, because I do not have faith in myself to be that strong for God’s will.

Abba Father,

Thank you.

Thank you for my son. For my husband. For my life. For rescuing me from myself day in and day out.

I plead with you now that you will give me the faith and strength to endure the trials to come. The sacrifice it will take to be your daughter. Your beloved bride. Your princess.

You love me more than Randall or Richard. More than my mother or anyone else on this earth.

You care for me and set out the best for me.

I plead with you to give me the faith I need to trust you wholeheartedly with my life, my son’s life and Richard’s life too.

I want to love and trust you with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.

Thank you.

Published in: on April 23, 2010 at 11:06 am  Leave a Comment  

He means it

A sobering lesson. When God says leave, He means leave. In my previous post I talked about Abraham having to leave everything behind to follow God’s will for his life. This time, it is Lot’s life on the line in Sodom. Fortunately, he has Abraham to plead for his life to God. It’s shocking to me that they (Lot and family) literally had to be dragged out by the angels.

“With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, ‘Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.’ When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. ” Genesis 19:15-16

Even after all the pleading to stay or not go to the mountains God is still merciful to Lot and his family. What a patient God.

“But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” Genesis 19:26

When God is delivering you from death, a life of misery, pain, comfort or whatever it is He is moving you out of, He doesn’t want you to look back. Apparently Lot doesn’t show much interest in being saved during the angels’ pleas. Lot’s wife must have been extremely reluctant to leave to look back after the angels specifically told everyone not to.

God’s mercy to Lot should console me. When I am slow to get His point, scared to give up what is actually dangerous to me, and constantly trying to bargain with God over my life and path…you would think He would get frustrated and just give up on me.

Character Sketch of Lot’s Wife from my Women of Faith Bible:

Lot and his wife had enjoyed following along with Abraham, Lot’s uncle. God had blessed Abraham with great riches, which Lot’s family shared. But, unlike Abraham, Lot’s family had not connected with the God who gave the blessing…Abraham’s prayer on behalf of the city was the only thing that stood between Lot’s family and utter destruction. And though angels escorted them, they argued. One of God’s demands was nonnegotiable, however. The break from sin must be complete. No looking back, no baggage from the wicked past-all of their wealth was left behind. But it appears that Lot’s wife regretted leaving Sodom and all its comforts. Her backward glance suggests that even in the very presence of God she longed for the life and the things that led to destruction. She didn’t believe, and she disobeyed the angel’s command. God remained true to his word. Lot and his family flirted with temptation and lost everything. We too are swayed by our culture in ways we don’t even realize. It’s not enough to be a good person, to associate with other good people and to share in their blessings, as Lot’s family shared Abraham’s prosperity. In the face of God’s judgement, only Jesus stands between us and eternal destruction. Only Jesus can cover all the refuse of our lives and proclaim us righteous.”

Published in: on April 15, 2010 at 12:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Leave

“The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” Genesis 12:1

Leave everything you are comfortable with behind to go somewhere you’ve never been. To a place where you don’t know anyone. Leave your family that you love being around everyday. Leave the land you are so familiar with. The places you have grown to know and love and make memories in. Leave it all behind for Me.

Wow. Ok, God let’s build an ark. But leave? Leave everything that makes me happy and comfortable?

Wow, again. That just shows that I am searching for satisfaction in ALL the wrong places. But it feels good to be around my family. There is a comfort there. A trust. I could leave Randall with my family when I need to get things done. I look at Fort Lauderdale as so temporary, so I can deal with it. But I don’t truly want to deal with it. I want to thrive here. Richard just asked me the other day on our date (which was a blessing, Thank you God for my mom…please bless her for her servant heart) What do you want to accomplish while you are here? And I went off. I want to learn from the women here that I meet. I want to take this opportunity that I have to not be able to fill my time with family and best friends. To me, I think this is the time where God can build up in me a foundation in His word so that later I can speak with truth and knowledge. I want to eventually do women’s ministry so I need to build my spiritual tools up. What better way to do that than being here without anyone I know to distract me. I should be having time with my Abba Father EVERYDAY. I should be praying more. I should be getting involved in the church. I told Richard that I really want someone to disciple me. The best times in my walk with God have always been when I have had someone to bounce my questions and ideas off of. I need a mentor. So we are praying more. It is so precious to me. Last night, after Richard and I put Randall to bed we went upstairs to go to bed ourselves. I, of course, wanted to watch American Idol before I hit the sack and he proceeded to go to bed. I had just started the show and watched the first performer so I was now hooked and didn’t want to be distracted. Richard turned over after the first performer and said “Pause it!”. I said “ugh…why”. He said, “Let’s pray”. I was like ouch. That was a pierce to my distracted heart! It was the sweetest time of prayer. And to think, I almost got upset about having to pause my silly show.

This time with God in scripture has really opened my eyes to the thought of truly trusting Him with our future. We assume that in March of next year we are going to Orlando because that is the easiest, most convenient and comfortable route. What if God has something better? He always has. Everytime Richard and I have tried to plan our lives out it has gone the exact opposite way. That is God reminding us that He is in control and for us not to get ahead of ourselves with planning.

To be honest though, I am having the hardest time getting out of my house and meeting people and getting involved at church. I am not keeping it a high priority now that I think about it. I can’t even keep my house together, so getting out of the house feels wrong since I need to do so much at home. But then I get cabin fever and bitter towards Richard for having friends and a life outside our house. I am learning. Slowly but surely, I will get there. With God’s help.

Here is my sweet reminder for the day though:

“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you” Genesis 12:2

The blessing. After all the difficulty and discomfort of leaving everything and everyone behind, you will be blessed. Keep your eye on the prize Crystal. The prize is Christ.

Published in: on March 21, 2010 at 8:48 am  Leave a Comment  

God Remembered

Noah walked with God. God asked him to build an ark. Noah obeyed God. God shut him in. God caused the flood. God remembered Noah. And finally, God blessed Noah.

So Crystal if you walk with God. He will ask you to build His “ark” for His glory. Your “ark” being your purpose. Your way to bring glory to God. God is the only one that can call you to this. He will be the only one who can give you the perfect directions for building your ministry, your godly home, and a glorifying marriage. Should you choose to obey, God will shut you into the ark of your purpose. He will seal you into His perfect will. Things will get rough and there will be resistance. There will be difficulty. You will get “cabin fever”. You will face personality conflicts with the people he locks you in the ark with. You will have to be a zoo keeper at times. You will deal with loss, death and wishing that they were in the ark with you. You will face opposition. Satan will try to tempt you to give up. But then, as God continues to allow the floodgates of heaven to pour out over your life and you float there waiting for deliverance, for an answer, for something…He will remember you. He will close the floodgates of heaven to allow your flood to recede and the Son will shine over your life. Drying up any tears, fears, worries and disappointments. Not only will He remember you. He will bless you. For obeying Him. In the process, He has built character up in you and you have learned to withstand resistance. You can now master sin. You can trust your God because He delivered you to where you are now. You are now in a trusting and loving relationship with your Creator. Your Abba Father.

He loves me.

Published in: on March 8, 2010 at 9:35 am  Comments (1)  

My Flood

Obeyed God. That’s what Noah did. He obeyed God. What “ark” would God ask me to build if I obeyed Him? How can I be righteous in this generation?

The one thing I’ve neglected to notice about the story of the flood up until now is in Genesis 7:16.

“The LORD shut him in”

This raises many questions and thoughts in my head. At first, my reaction is to look at my life and ask myself what I would do if the Lord shut me in. Have I been shut in before? Am I shut in now? Being shut in sounds pretty scary. I would be terrified if I were in that ark. But with character like Noah had, I would have complete faith in my God. That’s what he had. He trusted God so much he built an ark exactly how God asked and obeyed His every command. What ark is God waiting to ask me to build?

I want to build a women’s ministry. I want women to feel like beloved daughters and bride’s of their God and Christ. But what does God want for me? I want to move to Orlando and be with my family when Richard is done with his first two years of med school. I want a house on a lake with canopy trees leading up to it. I want a house full of children. But what I want doesn’t matter. It is such a leap of faith for me to say I only want what God wants for His glory and for myself. I think I even said that I wanted what God wants in a previous post. But when I sit here and list all the things that I want and think about none of those things being in God’s plan for me, I hesitate to trust Him. Again. I hesitate to let Him have all my dreams and desires. But I hear Him saying right now:

Crystal, delight yourself in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

Yes Father. I am trying. Keep me on track here.

So God, will I trust You when you shut me in? Only You know. I am expecting to learn something during my flood that You will call me to. I want to have unwavering faith like Noah did. I want to be righteous in Your eyes so that You will call me to greatness for the sake of Your name and kingdom. I want to obey You and love You with all my heart, soul and strength. Teach me Your ways Lord.

The other interesting thing about that phrase is that it doesn’t say that the Lord shut “them” in. “Them” being everyone else besides Noah. His family, the animals etc…no. God shut Noah in. This was definitely intentional to me for God to be so specific. It’s a constant reminder that God put Noah right where he was supposed to be. God wants me to focus on how Noah’s walk and journey with Him is so specific and thought out. He shut Noah into his destiny. Noah didn’t do it himself. It would be easy for me to focus on how righteous and respected Noah was by God. I could sit here all day long trying to gain that same respect from God. God has spoken to my heart and given me peace about my future and the unknown. I am so much like Peter. I can take that initial step of faith onto the water and believe. But once that water gets rough, I begin to doubt my God. Help me Lord, with my unbelief.

I am thankful for prayer and the ability to ask for the Holy Spirit to enter my time in the word and guide my learning. Thank you God for that privilege.

There is something sweet to knowing that no matter how much work and effort I put into my “ark” God will be the one who sees it through. He will put the finishing touches on my life, on my goals and on my purpose that He has for me. That’s a relief.

Published in: on March 2, 2010 at 12:12 am  Leave a Comment  

Sin

“Since the fall, we all feel a…sense of loss, and our relationships are tainted by mistrust and fear. Even in the most happy, fulfilled moments of our lives, we, like Adam and Eve, quietly long for something more…Before the fall we had a perfect place on this earth, and now we do not…Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2). This is our hope and our final destination. Until that day we have each other.

Here and now, the only part of eternity that we get to touch is each other. As sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, we tend to live as isolated beings, locked into the invisible walls of our mind. We need to reach beyond our fears because we need each other; right beside us is another soul who longs for home, another soul who can help us discern the signs along life’s road, as they give us input and as we reach out to them.”

-Sheila Walsh, Women of Faith Study Bible

I begin this entry with that message because it is refreshing and makes me have hope here on earth. As I previously mentioned, I struggle with wanting to give up because I am constantly cycling in and out of a fear driven life. I don’t feel like what I do is good enough for God so I might as well give up. Today I read Genesis 4-6 and the part that God really highlighted for me was when God was talking to Cain after his offering wasn’t good enough. Oh Cain, I struggle with feeling unworthy and jealous of others’ contributions. I am with you here.

“Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your doors; it desires to have you, but you must master it.'” (Genesis 4:6-7)

Crystal, why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?

God, it’s because I constantly let fear drive my decisions and life. I am concentrating on the past mistakes I have made and allowing them to rule my future. I am scared of the next time I will screw up. I don’t want to mess up. But I do. Will you forgive me? I feel defeated. I am comforted in thinking negatively and knowing that I will sin because at least I won’t be disappointed when it does happen. I knew it would happen and counted on it so it won’t hurt so bad when it does happen. How will I find hope? How can You have hope in me? How can I trust You to take care of me when I do fall again? Teach me. I want out of this pit of shameful thinking. I want to trust You fully and completely with my life, my decisions, my family and my safety. EVERYTHING.

If you do what is right , will you not be accepted?

Yes, God. I want to do right. Accept me. You alone are worthy of all that I am. I don’t know why You would want anything to do with me. You must really love me. You must love me no matter what I do. Unconditionally. I think I understand that now, because I think of Randall messing up all the time and I know I will still love him the same. I feel that you are opening my eyes to how amazing, healing and powerful Your love really is. Come into my heart and heal the brokenness that has brought me to Your feet again. I surrender my life and everything you have blessed me with. My baby boy, my husband, my money…take it all. Open up my heart so I can love You more. I want to serve You my King. You are the only one who can make me do right. So I have to surrender myself. So here I am. Open my mind to everything You need me to know. Open my eyes and ears so I can see and hear Your face and voice. I cannot do this alone. So enter my life and it make it glorifying and a sacrifice to You. Jesus, make me like you.

But if you do not do what is right Crystal, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.

How can I do right? Make me a new creation today and teach me how to walk blamelessly with You. I feel Satan crouching at my door waiting to trick me into not believing in who You say You are. Just like he tricked Eve. How can I be ready to capture sin before it captures me? Will You guide me through this life and keep me safe? Will my security be in You? I want to trust You with all that I am. You created me. You can do anything You want with me. I want to be Your creation and I don’t want to have anything to do with how I turn out. I don’t want to do things on my own. I want to rely on You for everything. I need to know You more so I can truly trust my Maker. If I knew You and your character more, I would believe You. I want to know and study Your many names.

Knowing You=Trusting You=Believing You=Obeying You=Hating Sin=Mastering Sin

Published in: on February 24, 2010 at 8:27 am  Leave a Comment