Thursday, August 5, 2010

Teachings in the Struggle

God speaks. This is what he has been saying to me. I shared this with my woman's bible study last night, and I thought that would share it here too.

Hunger/Thirst

We control our hunger for God.
I always thought the amount of hunger I had came from God. That when I wanted to be hungry I had to pray for it. But God is showing me that I control it with what I satisfy myself with. I can be hungry for God and continually satisfy myself with Him or I can fill that hunger with things~distractions~busyness~or even myself and that decreases my hunger for Him.

If we are not hungry for God it is because we have allowed our souls to be satisfied or satiated with other things~John Bevere
He went on to say that the Lord showed him that "he" was the responsible for his own hunger level. If he wasn't hungry it was because he was already full. Fill with the cares of this world and filled with pleasures and distractions. If he wanted to hunger in the mist of the abundance of things he would need to fast. Fast from the things that would distract, comfort or distress him.

Psalm 107:9 For He satisfies the thirsty, and fills the hungry with good things.

John 6:35 Jesus replied: I am the bread of life whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Psalm 143:6 I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain.

Trust

God is teaching me that Because I love Him, I must trust Him.
He has pushed that with me while we have had no income. While Lily has had lead poisoning, while we have lost children. While I have been dealing with failure, He is telling me to trust him.
Not long ago I was swimming with Lily and she was freaking out about me letting go of her. She had a life vest on, and had let go of me many times, but was still freaking out. I found myself telling her something that I quickly recognized as God's voice speaking to me.
I said:
I love you, and because I love you, you have to trust me. You will be ok. You maybe scared, but I will be right here. All you have to do is come toward me and you will be safe.

God is slowly teaching me, and speaking to my heart about how much I should trust him, if I truly love him. As a mother I expect my child to trust me based on the fact that I love her, and want best for her. As my Daddy, God's love for me makes Him trust worthy. No matter what happens in my life.

Psalm 143:8 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk for I give myself to you.

Psalm 13:5 But I will trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me.


Thankfulness

No matter what life holds God is showing me that I need to be thankful for the things He gives rather than complain about all we don't have. This is hard and I don't think I have even gotten close to where He wants me but I strive.
I plant seeds of gratitude in my heart by keeping a gratitude journal. It's usually the smallest things that go in there and change my perspective of my life.
I have/am also learning that thankfulness is a choice. If I don't choose to be thankful then I am choosing a sinful attitude. It has to be an intentional thing to be thankful.

1Thessalonians 5:18
Be thankful in all circumstances for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.


Intentional Living

Intentional living is doing, thinking, feeling, and saying everything with a purpose For me it is making a choice to live out everything in my life to God's glory. Meaning the end result of everything points to God. Then making everything in my life an individual choice. I can float along or I can choose to be intentional about everything. For example; do I float along while I do my everyday stuff (dishes, drive to work, eating) or do I choose to be intentional and use it as an opportunity to listen to the spirit's leading, and glorify God?

1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink, or what ever you do, do it all the to the glory of God.

1 Timothy 4:16 Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.


Quiet~Slowness~Waiting~Resting

I have filled my life with busyness. Most of what I do can be considered Godly, or good, and glorifying to Him. I know that I am not choosing to be busy with things I shouldn't be. But God has been heavily speaking to me about being slow, and in the quiet. The biggest reason this is hard for me is because I have filled up my life helping other people with their problems just so I wouldn't have to face my own problems and hurt.
I was also (and still am) dealing with the perspective that being slow, waiting and resting is lazy. Not being a busy person all the time in my mind meant that I am a lazy person with mental issues :)
God has spent time showing me that only in the quiet stillness can He heal and restore me. Yes, that means dealing with my own problems, and sometimes hurting. That means my idea of rest and laziness need to change but God has been getting in my heart and working on that. He gives me quotes and scriptures to help me slow down, be quiet, and rest. These things have had the ability to change my thoughts and schedule.

Busyness and constant stresses of life rob me of physical, emotional, and and spiritual strength. Even as I must restore myself physically everyday sleeping and eating in order to give my body the nutrients and strength it needs to live productively, so I must feed my soul on God's words, nurture my heart through prayer, and pull away from life's demands in order to rest. ~Sally Clarkson

The Lord is beckoning me to rest in Him~to cease striving and allow Him to order my days. I had unknowingly placed more trust in my ability to manage than in God's plan for my life. I had allowed schedules and expectations to replace the assurance that God's grace was sufficient~always and no matter what. ~Lorraine Curry

Psalm 62:5 Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him.

Isaiah 30:15 This is what the Sovereign Lord the Holy One of Israel, says, Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.

The last line of this verse reminds me that I would have none of what God was trying to give me with resting, but that if I do all that He asks in this area then the rest of the verse will come to pass.


We must not just act like Christians, but learn to have the heart of a Christian.

If we learn, and let God change our heart it will change our thinking, and then change our actions. But if we just learn to act like Christians with out a heart or mind change then we are no better than the hypocrites of Jesus' day.
In becoming more like Christ my first step has to be my heart and the attitude that is in it. Not the action itself. Otherwise we are doing as Myron (my pastor) said we are just managing our sin.
God wants to change our hearts not just watch us try to manage our sin. We focus so much on acting right~what about thinking right?

I was emailing my pastor about this not long ago and he said:
We learn to do the right things but nothing really changes. Maybe we should concentrate less on what we do and more on who we are becoming. Then maybe our actions will reflect who we really are. ~Myron Bontrager

God has also been showing me that someones actions should not determine my reaction. This I believe goes right into this lesson because it is all about the hear.

Proverbs 4: 20-23 My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Proverbs 22:15 My child if your heart is wise, My own heart will rejoice!

Jeremiah 17:9 The human heart is the most deceitful of all things and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?

I think it is important to look at this verse because it shows us that our heart with out God is evil and only He can change it for good.

Luke 6:45 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

Romans 2:29 No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by God’s Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.

1 comment:

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