Trusting Jesus my Refuge AND Friend — September 21, 2016

Trusting Jesus my Refuge AND Friend

The house is shaking, swaying, swirling me into the sea of fear and doubt again. I thought we were done with this. It had been nearly been a year since the monstrous earthquake rocked my new country of residence and my self-set security.

I run to check on the baby, who had finally given up the bed-time battle but was now wide-awake, shocked and sweaty.

I pray a silent, stressed-out prayer. In my reality, I had run up the stairs. But my weary soul that dictates my steps ran them right to the Refuge I had never utilized as such until it was my last resort at rest. I’ve lived under His unshakeable shelter ever since. What else can I do?

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He’s my Refuge.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof (Psalm 46:1-3).

The quake that tips the Richter scale doesn’t hold a flickering candle to the power my God possesses.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust(Psalm 91:2).

I can weather the storms that will inevitably rage. Not because I’ve crafted a tempest-tested vessel, but because the Christ who humbly let death momentarily defeat him conquered it three days later.

His power walked His once lifeless body out of the tightly shut tomb, but His love for me kept Him shamefully still on the cross as His last breath escaped His colorless lips.

He’s my refuge.

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But He is also my friend.

And isn’t that the best kind of friend to have? A trustworthy treasure, a selfless safe place, a reliable Redeemer.

I can shoot a text to my BFF who may roll her eyes at my latest conundrum as she seeks to untangle the fears and temptations that weave tightly around her own soul. Or I can cling to the hand of my soul’s indweller as He leads me to my only true confidant, my best friend for eternity.

He’s been called a friend of sinners. And, rightfully so, since he’s a friend of mine. The benefits of this relationship so lavishly extended to me are as freeing as they are mind-blowing.

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love (1 John 4:16-18).

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He equips me, in His love, to live fearless and free resting in His refuge yet enabled in boldness that draws others in for an introduction. As I invite them into my safe place, I can trust that the Holy Spirit that guides my steps to the Cross time and time again will pull them in with power and grace that comes not from my weak attempts to convey His worth that speaks for itself.

I can’t force people into the Refuge or pressure them into a relationship with the most precious Friend they could ever have. But I can proclaim with unwavering faith forged in His providential power that He is the only One who can save us from death and set our feet on unshakeable ground.

How empowering it is to serve the Savior! How sweet it is to call Him friend!

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Hidden In My Heart — July 29, 2016

Hidden In My Heart

This post is part of Five Minute Friday link up hosted by Kate Motaung. I am enjoying being a part of this writing community and putting together these little posts and getting to know these wonderful people!

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When the car crashed.

When my son died inside.

When the visa was denied.

When an earthquake broke my home and shattered my security.

When the toddler suffered a 10-foot-fall.

There it was. Hidden in my heart.

Too shocked to seek.

Too broken to pray.

Too lost to ask for direction.

Homeless. Heartbroken.

Stuck in traffic en-route to the hospital. Trying desperately to keep her awake.

There it was. Hidden in  my heart.

Whispers of Holy words reminisced from Sunday school classrooms and quiet times with the Savior I had slowly gotten to know. I didn’t intentionally plant seeds of scriptural significance in anticipation of moments like these.

And, yet, they bloomed at just the right time.

Thank God, they were hidden in my heart.

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Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes. With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word…..Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous worksMy soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word (Psalm 119:11-16,27-28).

My time with the Lord — October 15, 2012

My time with the Lord

I just wanted to share the way I have been doing my devotions for the past few months. I was in a “slump,” where I felt like I was not “getting much” from my time with the Lord. I was reading in the Old Testament at the time, and I was discouraged with just reading and not taking much away from my time in the Word. As a result, I struggled to be motivated to read my Bible at all. I would put it off throughout the day and would get to the end of the day without having spent any time with the Lord. I knew it was affecting my heart and my attitude in my home, and I knew something needed to change!

Part of what I have changed happened kind-of on accident. One night, the Lord had just really shown himself to me. I had been having a very “poor me” attitude and had just been feeling down-in-the-dumps (most likely from my lack of time with Him). But he put some friends in my life at just the right time to encourage me and be a blessing to me. I was so blessed, I just felt bubbly and…well, I felt like I was “walkin’ on sunshine!” For the first time in a few weeks, I WANTED to read my Bible! It wasn’t guilt that was driving me…it was desire! So, I thought, “If this desires comes from thinking about how good God is, maybe that’s where I need to start every day.” So now, I start my time with the Lord in Psalms, meditating on how good God is and telling Him so! This has radically changed my devotional experience. It spurs a desire to spend more time with Him and to learn more about Him in that time.

I have also turned my Bible-reading into more of a Bible-study. I read commentaries and devotionals written on the passages I am reading and try my hardest to squeeze some sort of application out of it! I will read until I feel the Lord has spoken to me. I take notes and journal on how the Lord speaks to me each day. It’s not always life-changing, sometimes it’s just a little uplifting encouragement. But I always, always try to learn something about my God or be reminded about something I already knew about Him! In addition, I try to pull something small out that I can keep with me throughout the day. It is amazing how that one tiny truth can be utilized in a single day! I figure, I plan to keep reading my Bible through in order throughout my life, so I don’t have to learn everything today!

It is still a constant struggle to maintain my daily walk with the Lord. The devil wants to keep me from my time with Him, and I just have to fight for it! I have found that when the devil ALMOST wins, and I reluctantly spend my time with the Lord, God is faithful to remind me why it’s worth the struggle by blessing me with precious truths from His Word to me!

Complaining v. Praising — October 10, 2012

Complaining v. Praising

“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (Psalm 34:1)

One of my most constant temptations is the temptation to complain. It’s quite unsettling how easily these complaints roll out of me. “I’m hot/cold, hungry/tired, bored/lonely.” I don’t want to do this or that, and I don’t want to go here or there. Complaints are continually in my mouth. These complaints flow from a prideful heart, always concerned about my needs and wants. Psalm 37:4 tells me that if I delight in the Lord, He will give me all my desires and meet all my needs. If I have a heart that is seeking the Lord first, I can be fully satisfied in the Lord. I can be fully content with the circumstances of my life, and I can replace my complaints with praise. I can bless Him at all times. Praise can continually be in my mouth. I can trust my God to meet my needs because He is a good, gracious, and loving God.

 O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing. (Ps 34:8-10)

I desire to replace my complaints with praise and my restless heart with a contented one in Christ. It won’t be an easy task, but I pray that every day He will let me trust Him a little more. That every day, he will show me a little more of  His goodness whether it come in the form of a blessing or a burden. I am looking forward to resting in His perfect love!

Foolish.Weak.CHOSEN. — September 13, 2012

Foolish.Weak.CHOSEN.

Sometimes, I just feel inadequate, incapable, and honestly, good-for-nothing. In just the two weeks since beginning deputation, these feelings have been intensified. There is a constant, though unspoken, usually self-inflicted pressure on deputation. You want to leave a good impression. You want to represent yourself and your family well. More importantly, you want to present your heart for the country the Lord is sending you to and the work He would have you to do there. I often feel like our church planting and training goals are lofty ones, and people must be laughing inside thinking Paul might be able to do it if he had a more outstanding wife. These thoughts are not from the Lord.

I know this because I remember, God uses weak people. Gideon was “the least in his father’s house” (Judges 6:15), and Samson, the strongest man, was only strong when the Holy Spirit was upon Him. I am, and everyone else is right that I am not the help my husband needs. What he wants to do, what we want to do can only be accomplished through HIS power, not mine or even ours. In doing so, The Lord receives the most glory because we can’t say, “Look what we did!”. We have to say, “Look what God did!”

I am small and inadequate. I am a good-for-nothing, broken vessel, but He wants to use me if I will allow Him to work in my life. He gives me purpose, and He will help me accomplish His task for me. He would not ask me to do something he would not enable me to do. In his power, I can be a help to my husband and a servant who brings glory to my Father’s name. Praise Him for His power and goodness! I can’t wait to look back on our life and our ministry and say, “Wow! Look what God has done!” Whatever it may be, I know it will be far beyond anything I could have done. After all, I am good for nothing. So thankful He is good for everything, for everyone, all the time and that his strength is MADE PERFECT in weakness! It is just amazing to me that he would use the weak, like me, to do work for his kingdom! We serve a an incredibly gracious God!

1Co 1:26-31  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Goodness — November 14, 2011

Goodness

Just something I am thinking about today. This morning, via my Facebook status, I caught myself saying “the Lord is so good to me.” I know that this is something that I have said before, and while it is true that he is, indeed, good to me, he’s not just good to me…he’s just good! He’s not good to me because I deserve it, and, of course, I don’t. He is good to me because he is just inherently good. It is outside of his nature to be anything but good. I am so happy to reap the benefits of the goodness of my Creator.

O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psalm 107:1)

Thankful, foo, that God is not a “respecter or persons” (Acts 10:34). Even I get to experience his goodness!

Thank you, Lord, for your goodness today and every day.

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