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Monday, January 24, 2011

Moment by Moment with God

This is a new type of post that I'd like to start regularly doing.  Over the last several months there has been ALOT going on in my life...especially spiritually!  As a reminder to myself, a witness to my children, and possible encouragement to anyone else who happens to see it, I'm going to try to post the lessons I'm learning here under this Title.

First, there are several scriptures that have been very significant over the last few months...the book of James has been very convicting and instructional...I could post the whole first chapter but I'd like to share just a few here:

James 1: (Amplified) 
     2Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.
    3Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.
    4But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.
    12Blessed is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor's] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.
  26If anyone thinks himself to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person's religious service is worthless.
  27External religious worship that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world.

Now, even that is ALOT of scripture I know...but each part of it has some great lesson and significance (as does all scripture) but God has been using these passages to totally re-haul my relationship with HIM!  

Take today's revelation: 

Let's say this is our life: 
We go through life putting in candles that represent what WE want to do and what WE think is best and what OUR selfish desires are.  But eventually, our life starts to look like this (the flame represents life or activity, the candle represents areas of our life - family, wealth, friends, etc):

Some of our candles burn bright and strong, some of our candles get burn unevenly, and some of our candles just go out!  No life...just deadness!  Some may even get to a point where almost ALL of their candles are burnt completely out!  Some candles may even be put in place but never lit - no life given to it!  And we find, that once we place a candle, it cannot be changed, moved, or altered...we are powerless to do anything but watch it burn or take up 'space' in our life.

When our candles get all disarrayed and uneven, we start to feel hopeless, discouraged, and maybe even depressed that we can't keep our lives in order.  We feel powerless to do anything and honestly get overwhelmed with even trying especially when we want our lives to look like this:
Isn't that pretty...all healthy and all alive...everything in balance and everything as it should be.  That is what we truly want right?  And when our lives look like the messy chaos above, at times, we don't know how to make our candles look this good! Or we realize we have blown it and CAN'T make our lives look this good anymore! Sometimes, we may KNOW God can help us, but we are ashamed or embarrassed to come to Him with such a messy life.  We might not even know HOW to ask God for help in the midst of such chaos.  We think once we get all the candles in order THEN we'll come.  BUT, we can't...we don't have the power to replace the burnt out candles...and even if we manage to get the candle re-lit it still looks worn down and shabby.  And so we are stuck in a hopeless cycle of wanting to be different, wanting to be changed, but feeling powerless to do anything.

What I realized this morning is this:  God wants us to come with our Messy Burnt-Out Candles so that HE can replace them....He can fix them...He can re-kindle the flame...He can overshadow us with His power and might which CAN!  When we let God do the work in us that HE has destined, our candles start looking like this:

Can you see it?  Compare the different pictures...God is 'overshadowing' several of the candles...He is fixing that burnt out blue one that was almost dissipated and was totally burnt-out...He is even bringing life to it...SEE?  Notice...everything doesn't look perfect...everything is not all lined up...but can you feel the difference of HOPE?  Changes ARE being made! is not happening IN MY CONTROL!  In fact, I have given up the control.  I've surrendered to God...asking Him to lead me Moment by Moment.  I let HIM carry the burdens that life brings my way, I lean on HIM to carry me when I can no longer walk the path before me.  I go to HIM when I am frustrated and ask HIM to meet my needs.  In these actions that I CAN DO...I find that HE OVERSHADOWS me.  He fills in the gaps where I fall short, He salves the wounds that I cannot heal. 

My Life becomes Him...not ME!  The HOW is HIM...surrender, control, and choice...each one I DO or GIVE...I surrender to Him, I give control to Him, I make the choice to yield to Him!

My life may never look all perfect again, but knowing that God is overshadowing me and in control, gives me a whole new level of peace...especially in those times of trials and temptations that James talks about.  Let the trial take full course "so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing."  Realize that when we have "stood the test and been approved, [we] will receive [the victor's] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him." And that it is God's will and desire that we "keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world" which can only be done through HIS power.

Our God is Good...All the Time...Let's Trust In Him!