Saturday, August 17, 2013

Waiting on the Lord

This excerpt is taken from the Streams of the Dessert devotional.  This devotional for this particular day really spoke to my heart and especially where I am right now in life....waiting on the Lord and trying to be patient.  Also, when the wait is over it might be hard to say yes to where God has called you.

"I waited patiently on the Lord." Psalm 40:1

Waiting is much more difficult that walking, for waiting requires patience, and patience is a rare virtue.  We enjoy knowing that God builds hedges around His people, when we look at the hedge from the aspect of protection.  But when we see it growing higher and higher until we can no longer see over it, we wonder if we will ever get out of our little sphere of influence and service, where we feel trapped.  Sometimes it is hard for us to understand why we do not have a larger area of service and it becomes difficult for us to brighten the corner where we are.  But God has a purpose in all of His delays. "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord" (Ps. 37:23).

Next to this verse, in the margin of his bible, George Mueller made this note: "And the stops too."  It is a sad mistake for someone to break through God's hedges.  It is a vital principle of the Lords guidance for a Christian never to move from the spot where he is sure God has placed him, until the "pillar of cloud" (Ex. 13:21) moves.  

Once we learn to wait for the Lord's leading in everything, we will know the strength that finds its highest point in an even and steady walk.  Many of us are lacking the strength we so desire, but God gives complete power for every task He calls us to perform.  Waiting--keeping yourself faithful to His leading--this is the secret of strength.  And anything that does not align with obedience to Him is a waste of time and energy.  Watch and wait for His leading.

Must life be considered a failure for someone compelled to stand still, forced into inaction and required to watch the great, roaring tides of life from shore? No--victory is then to be won by standing still and quietly waiting.  Yet this is a thousand times harder to do than in the past, when you rushed headlong into the busyness of life.  It requires much more courage to stand and wait and still not lose heart or lose hope, to submit to the will of God, to give up opportunities for work and leave honors to others, and to be quiet, confident, and rejoicing while the busy multitude goes happily along their way.  The greatest life is: "after you have done everything, to stand" (eph. 6:13). J.R. Miller.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My Prayer

My heart is aching for those who don't have Christ or know of His true, unfailing love and how he died on the cross so that we can have abundant life.

My prayer is that God would use me for His Glory.

My prayer is that God would continue to grip my heart for His purposes.

"You won't relent until you have it all, my heart is yours"

God is stirring up a fire in my heart for the poor, for those that do not know Him, for the downcast, the sick.......for His lost sheep that He longs to bring home.

My prayer is that I will listen in those moments when you, Lord, tell me to go.

Lord, prepare the way.

Lord, Your will and not mine.

My Soul Longs for You

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Part 4: Lost, Alone, Isolated

It never ceases to amaze me how, in my life, God uses devotionals to speak exactly to my heart in the exact way I needed it for that day.

Yet again, this is another devotional from Amy Carmichael's, "I come Quietly to Meet you".

"In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice... He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet... He made darkness his covering, His canopy around him...out of the brightness of His presence clouds advances...He shot His arrows and scattered my enemies, great bolts of lightning and routed them." Psalm 18:6, 9 11-12,14

"There was one who was unafraid of any evil that might rise against her, unafraid of even the hint of bad news.  Her heart stood fast, believing the Lord, trusting in the tender mercy of God for ever and ever.

How often He had arisen as light in the darkness! How often she had called upon Him from the very center of trouble, knowing that He heard her the instant each storm broke upon her, knowing that He would come at once and deliver her.  He had been so full of love, and she had sung and proclaimed His goodness, saying, 'Who is like the Lord our God- who has His dwelling so high, yet humbles himself to take part in the things that are far below him in heaven and on earth?'  But now...

She found herself standing alone, isolated, looking into a great gray mist.

Fold after fold, the hills lay before her, but always in impenetrable mists.  She could see no path. Only a little track in the valley below.  She felt quiet alone.  For a while she stood. Listening.  Feeling inward isolation and uncertainty harder to bear than any other acute physical pain had ever been.

Softly, voices began to speak within her.  Now stealing her courage, now filling her with courage again: 

"My heart and flesh shall fail..."

"But God is the strength of my heart, and the good portion that is allotted to me forever!"

"My closed friends avoid me, or else they have no idea what is happening in the depths of my soul.  And even my own family does not understand..."

"Nevertheless, I am with you moment by moment, because you have reached out for my strong hand."

"My tears have flowed day and night, while unbelievers look at me and think, where is your God now?"

"You shall answer for me, 'The Lord is God!'"

"Why are you so cast down, O my soul- and why are you so unsettled within me?"

"Hope in Me, your God! For you shall yet praise Him, who gives the very blush of health to your face."

"No path I am forced to walk is hidden from God..."

"I know the ways that you must walk.  All your ways are before me.  As for Me, my way is perfect and I make your way perfect.  The people never thirsted even when I led them through the desert.  Will you faint, though I lead you through the mist-clouded hills?"

When her inner struggle ceased, she looked again at the mist- and saw that a great light was growing in its very heart.  At once, she knew she was not alone, had never been alone.  God was her refuge and strength, present with her, ready to help in tie of trouble (Psalm 46:1)

Suddenly, He was all about her path. He would make good on His promises of lovingkindness toward her, and He comforted her.  He would not let any of her hopes be disappointed.  Nor could she fear any longer, for those gloomy paths that lay ahead, through the folds of the hills, they were open ways to Him.  So it was enough for her to see only the next few steps.  He would go before her and make His own footsteps a way for her to walk in.  She was filled again with assurance : The One whom she followed could see through the mist all the way to the end of the path.

And as she walked the misted way, she was given a song to sing: "You my lord, never fail those who seek you!"

As she walked and sang, others who she did not see because the mist lay heavy all about her, heard her singing.  And though she did not know it, she gave many comfort and helped them follow in the path of His footsteps too- all the way to the end."

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Part 3: He Allows Me to Hunger

This was taken from Amy Carmichael's' devotional, I Come Quietly to Meet you.  You can read about this devotional on my post before this one.

Day 15

O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body long for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. . . . My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you  Psalm 63:1,5

"The son found himself in a barren place.

His Father said, 'In this place I will give you the peace you are longing for.  Here I will give you spiritual food that will nourish you.  You are always with Me, no matter what the circumstances, and all that I have is yours.'

Then the Father with great gentleness, drew the son to himself. Quietly He said, ' I am the one who allowed you to come into these humbling circumstances and who allowed you to hunger,  I did this so that I might feed you with manna- My bread from heaven!  Only in this way could I help you to know that you cannot live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from My mouth.'

The son said, ' Give me this bread always!'  And when he grew thirsty he learned to cry, 'The light of your face is my life!'

Later still, the son wondered why one like himself, who was so richly fed and cared for at times, should at other times feel so poor and needy and thirsty.  His Father replied with four questions:

'Can someone who has never thirsted know how precious is My living water?'

'Can someone who has never discovered rivers of these living waters flowing on barren heights-can he ever lead his thirsty friend to those rivers?'

'Can someone who has never walked the deep valleys of the spirit help a friend who is fainting- or lead this friend to the well-springs that will save the life of his soul?

'Can someone who has never seen burning sand in the wilderness turn into a refreshing pool- can he speak in praise of My marvels, or My power?'

Prayer:  My father, I've been struggling within because of some of the places life has led me. . . and struggling with you, too . . .

I come to you today, Father, I ask you to begin refreshing and nourishing me soul again."

For more information about Amy, I found this video about her:

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Part 2: Comfort

" I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing" Ezekiel 34:26

The devotional books I am reading recently are Streams in the Desert by L.B Cowman, I Come Quietly to Meet You by Amy Carmichael, and a Women of Faith study guide called Living Above Worry and Stress.  These three readings have been an incredible daily reminder that God is working on my heart and is speaking to me through these books.  So, I wanted to share some things from these books that have really touched me where I am right now in life.  I hope it also encourages you!

To tell you a little about these books, Streams in the Desert was written by a pioneer missionary to China and Japan in the early 1900s.  Cowman wrote this compilation of devotions out of her experiences with her husbands death and illness.  I am convinced this book is anointed!!  Secondly, I Come Quietly to Meet You was written by a missionary to India in the early 1900s.  "Her work centered around rescuing girls from cult prostitution, and provided a safe haven for both boys and girls from those who would seek to harm them."  In the beginning pages of the book, it says one of the girls she rescued was one of thousands and thousands that was "dedicated as an infant to service in the temples of Hindu gods."  These devo's totally blow Max Lucado's devo's out of the water!  And lastly, if you struggle with fear, worry, and stress like I do then the last study guide I mentioned is great.  It has helped me tremendously and it has incredible verses on fear.

Over the next couple of posts I will write the devo's that have truly spoken to me in my time of frustration, despair, and questioning what God is up to in my life :)

January 11th from Streams in the Desert

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God  Isaiah 40:1

" Store up comfort.  This was the prophets Isaiah's mission.  The world is full of hurting and comfortless hearts.  But before you will be competent for this lofty ministry, you must be trained.  And your training is extremely costly, for to make it complete you too must endure the same afflictions that are wringing countless hearts of tears and blood.  Consequently, your own life becomes the hospital ward where you are taught the divine art of comfort.  You will be wounded so that in the binding up of your wounds by the Great Physianm you can learn how to render first aid to the wounded everywhere.  Do you wonder why you are having to experience some great sorrow?  OVer the next ten years you will find many other afflicted in the same way.  You will tell them how you suffered and were comforted  As the story unfolds, God will apply the anestheic He once used on you to them.  Then in the eager look followed by the gleam of hope that chases the shadow of despair from the soul, you will know why you were afflicted.  And you will bless God for the discpline that filled your life with such a treasure of experience and helpfulness.  

God comforts us not to mak us comfortable but to make us comforters. -John Henry Jowett