Are You Slipping Into Darkness?

If many of us think back we can remember being told by a parent/teacher or some adult when we were younger, “Yes, they were wrong for doing that to you BUT you still have no excuse for your behavior… YOU KNOW BETTER!”  My mother would even add; “I’ve taught you better… you know right from wrong.”

At my earliest memory of such rebukes; I still remember conceding with guilt that my mother was right. Often it was a matter of my little brother or younger cousins doing things to me that were outside of the boundaries of our house rules and I would therefore retaliate and in effect break the same rules and boundaries that were established in my mother’s house. I might call someone an ugly name, throw something at them, refuse to share my toys, or fight back in a negative way that I knew instinctively would not be pleasing to Mama. Yet somehow in my mind, my behavior was justified due to a wrong committed against me. If I had made up my mind to stand being justified in my actions my mother always had a final response that totally shut down my program. She’d say sadly, “You are older and your behavior should teach them right from wrong.You should have brought the matter to me when it got so out of hand.”    (I hope you are able to follow this… I am writing it as he puts it on my heart)

The point is this:. God is that kind of Parent and He reacts to His child’s, rebellion and transgressions in this same way. “Yes, they were wrong for doing that to you BUT you still have no excuse for your behavior… YOU KNEW BETTER.” And to some of us He even adds: “It was I myself who taught you better… you know right the Truth and the Way; you are mature in Christ and your behavior should teach them what is pleasing to Me. You should have brought the matter to Me before it got so out of hand.”

I know that God has reared me Himself. The heart of various topics that I post here on this blog are not things made known to me by pastors, teachers or scholars. (Not to discount our need for any of these in our lives). My deepest knowledge of God is the fruit of spending long, lingering intimate moments with Him. Shutting my mouth and allowing Him to speak to me. Covering my ears and allowing Him to be heard in my heart, closing my eyes and allowing him to show me the Truth and the Way.

Therefore finding myself in a state of broken relationships filled with hurt feelings. I took the attitude of “I’ll show them!” Feeling totally justified in doing so because they had broken the house rules. What I did not realize was even though the people who I deemed hurtful had indeed wronged me… I was even more in the wrong, because I knew better. If I’d only taken it to Him in prayer He would have been magnified to all involved. If I had not taken the matter into my own hands and only placed it in His hand; He would have used it to His glory and someone lost may have found Him. Today I say sadly that I blew my inheritance BIG TIME!

Alas, I in that season I’d donned the coat of SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS! As I snuggled up and bundled into my coat, I was not aware that it was separating me further and further from God’s intimate presence. Rooted so deeply in my own justification there was no room for His voice, vision, Truth or Way. (I can’t lie… I DUG IN DEEP.) All of the beauty of the things that He’d taught me and I’d shared with others were tarnished in my own long dark shadow. Cutting to the chase I will tell you this… that little seed of self-righteousness and self-justification took me on a long destructive trip. Finding myself in places where I never want to return, trusting in the ways of people, bargaining and brawling, gambling so much on ME… I lost my shirt. I even felt morally bankrupt once God took my hand and brought me to my senses. (I can identify with Adam and Eve trying to hide nakedness behind a little fig leaf)

Many things come to mind as I write this: Job; The Prodigal; God’s Chastening; Peter at Jesus’ trial… just a lot of thoughts. But I regress. I do know as I write this I am speaking to someone that I probably have never met; who has strayed too far and who understands what this blog is REALLY about. Therefore I hope you have found your way here safely by His mercy and grace.

My eyes are wide shut! My mouth shut tightly! My ears plugged deeply!

God pointed to me and said in an angry voice… There is NO justification in your actions and you’ve nullified your purpose. There is no justification because I personally raised you to know better. No man/woman caused you to know these things you have knowledge of; but it was Me. It was in that very moment I thought of a dear friend of mine and knew the meaning of his saying to me: “Sin will cause you to stay longer than you want to stay and pay more than you want to pay!”

In God’s mercy and great love for me He said; “It is not yet the end, rise up and walk. “

And You found me WORTH DYING FOR!

Precious Father in Heaven,

Your presence is my comfort.  When I sense these moments of sweet love that You shower upon me, I know that they are beyond all other moments.  How I love You Lord!
When I am feeling doubt from fear You break through the lie to remind me that You are my Protector and Strong Tower.  You lift me up above every circumstance that this life and world would hurl as obstacles on my path.  You gently invite me to walk on the water with You and amazingly I can achieve this as long as my gaze is fixed on Your glorious presence.
It is through you that I can do all things. Lord Jesus it is only in You that I find the confidence to stand firm in my resolve to live in and uphold Truth.  You are Truth and there is nothing else that a man can add to You Lord!  How I adore You my gentle Master!
Because of Your just, faithful and consistent Love for me, I understand much clearer who I am; which allows me the freedom to truly Trust Who You are, for it is in You that I live and move and have my being!  I am Yours and You are truly mine.

There are many in the world who say that I am simple and not worth acknowledging in a conversation. Others say I am not worth the effort of their time and company.  Many think I am not worth being in their community or neighborhood. Some have said I am not worth living for.
Precious Father, I will be content today to let them say what they will.  I want to remain on the road where You have placed me.  Thank you for raising me out of the ignorance of caring what others think or being concerned with the futile and hopeless values and worth with which they assess one another. 
It’s ALL about You my King!  And You found me WORTH DYING FOR!
I thank You Lord, as I submit myself unto Your service and good pleasure today; body, soul, mind and spirit.  Father there is nothing humanly possible to utter that would attain all that You are to me.  I do know that I Love You so deeply Lord, I adore You beyond my own comprehension!
In the Name of Jesus, I therefore humbly ask that You accept this simple offering of loving praise. 
Amen

Aha! Keep it Simple!

In trying to find the answers to life’s purpose and where God fit into my life, I had to learn a great truth: “Keep it simple”.

When beginning my search for a deeper more initmate walk with God, it seemed to be paved with so many obstacles. Filled with things I could not accomplish or overcome. It was at the very moment that I believed I had my footing and was grounded in deep that I would no sooner slip or fall. It was just all so complicated. I wanted a deep closeness with God that gives us the ability to be at peace in every chaotic and heart palpitating circumstance.

After much tireless effort and many disappointments I just gave up. I knew the scriptures and God’s promised salvation. Yet it was all just a big mystery that I’d start to believe could never be attained in this life.

Then it happened… that great “aha moment”. I suddenly knew that there was more to this life right here and now. I could have the closeness to God that I craved and that I could have it NOW! Had He not promised to give us life and that more abundant? Didn’t He promise to give exceedingly above all that we could ask, expect or hope? I needed understanding… I needed the peace that surpassed my own understanding. In this moment of clarity I knew undoubtedly that God COULD NOT break His promises; because He can not lie. AHA! A very simple truth.

The first thing I was to actually DO was Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” In applying this Truth to my life I found the errors in my past failures. Everything I did was driven by my own human efforts. AHA!

All believers agree that Jesus died for us and paid the wages for our sins and we are grateful. Often after we realize it, we go off with heartfelt gratefulness slipping and falling on our faces. (Well at least I did).

The “aha moment” for me in this instance was not only had He paid the price of my many transgressions against God; but He had paid the price for me. I am not my own. I belong to Him. I was bought at a price and therefore I must honor God not only in mind and deeds but to surrender to Him my entire physical being as well. Even my body belongs to Him. (1 Corinthians 6:20). I was a slave to the rhythym of man’s understanding of God. Thereby I attempted to live by a faith fueled only in human striving. Once understood that it was not mine to do because ownership of “ME” had been revoked. I had surrendered all titles to myself to God in Christ. (1 Corinthians 7:23) AHA!

God gave me this simple understanding. “It is like you have sold your vehicle and surrendered the deed and title; but you came back in the dark of night to illegally repossess it and use it.” In His light it was put to me just this simply.

How could I possibly drive it effortlessly? Afterall when He’d taken possession of it He restored the tarnished finish, renewed everything under the hood with perfect parts and the right upgrades. Even the old user’s manual was made obsolete. It could no longer be operated properly by the previous owner.
Aha! Not complicated at all. When God is in total control:
1.) He is at the helm of our life and the center of our being;
2.) We are fueled by the Spirit of God.
3.) A deep intimate bond is established with Him

Now I’ve found the ability to be at peace in every chaotic and heart palpitating circumstance. In the very eye of every storm we can be at peace and rest with Him in the stern of the boat. He is the Master of the elements; the One who cries out, “Peace! Be still!” and it is done.
Keep it simple… AHA! Let go and let God!