In the Pit!

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Gasps for air between desperate cries deliver her message without words.

She has come to the prayer group because her child has fallen into a pit.

As we prayed it became evident, her son was in this crater for a moment in time, for his own protection. A short season, to avoid a plummet to death over an unseen cliff. We praised Jesus for the pit and His infinite wisdom and mercy during this time.

Excruciating for a mother’s heart to see but necessary as the Lord instructs and moves. This pit creates a crisis of desperation. In the dark, you are forced to ask where will I turn? You have reached the end of self-reliance, all the old strategies have failed. Now what?  If your child is under the discipline of the Lord do not attempt to “save” them no matter how painful it is for you to watch. Pray for discernment to know when to bind the enemy and when to rest in the sovereignty of His discipline.

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In the Bible see (John 10) Jesus is compared to a good shepherd who wields his shepherds’ hook with mercy and love. Let’s look at a shepherd’s hook. It is a long, brutish device designed to clobber, restrain and move the sheep. Yet when used in the hands of the good Shepherd it guides, protects and disciplines His chosen people. I concede I am a mother completely untrained in the wielding of the hook. There is no doubt in my desire to rescue, I would kill them.

When we attempt to “save” our children impossible questions come to taunt us. At what angle should the shepherd’s hook be created to ensnare the animal’s neck, how will I not crush the larynx in the process? How do you pull them out of a pit without falling in yourself?  You are their mother not their Savior. You were not designed to have all the answers. Your job is to take your desperation and pain to the Lord. We dare not trust in the hook itself but fully trust in the Lord- the good Shepherd.

The Creator has intimate knowledge of His creation; our shortcomings, struggles and the very things we need to survive. His knowledge of us and His wisdom of How to guide, protect and save us should not be bypassed. Do not run ahead and attempt to clear the way for your child, those “obstacles” train their hearts for battle.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil.” Proverbs 3: 5-7

Who or what do you run to when you are in trouble?

If your answer is the Lord you know the process is painful but ultimately freedom will be found. Allow your child to find this freedom.

Prayer: We ask for Your wisdom in this time of anguish to know, is this pit a location for surrender or a plan of the enemy. We submit to Your design for this pit and bind the designs of the enemy in Jesus name. You have our permission to use the shepherd’s hook to guide, protect, discipline, and steady us and our children. We do not know the future but you do. We hear Your voice, help us to obey it. We acknowledge You have the better way. Lord Jesus, we praise You for pouring out Your Spirit on our offspring and for blessing our descendants. So that they spring up like trees amid the grass, their roots run deep to receive the Living water You freely give to Your redeemed. We praise You, Jesus. Amen. (Isaiah 44)

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What does chicken have to do with it?

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“Ugh” I lay my head down on the steering wheel. The cold rain spits on my windshield blurring the view of the over-crowded Walmart parking lot. I want to cry.

My four-year-old from the backseat blurts, “What’s wrong?”

“We forgot to pay for the chicken.”

“Okay.” she gleefully announces as she throws off her shoes and demands a drink of water.

“Honey we have to go back into the store.”

“Why mama?”

“We can’t take the chicken without paying for it that’s called stealing.”

The thought of wrestling her back into her shoes and coat before braving the cold spitting rain seemed so horrible. I stopped and thought Why do I need to go back in?  Why is it so important not to steal even if you got away with it? It’s just a chicken. No one knows? Certainly not my oblivious daughter.

So I asked the Lord to help me to understand why sin even little ones are so horrible.

“Because when you choose to sin you choose to spit in the face of Jesus who paid a horrible price for your sin. Do not belittle the great work of the Cross.”

Somehow the misting rain didn’t seem so bad anymore.

Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for teaching us so much in the little things. Continue to teach us and bless us with Your wisdom.  You give us real-life object lessons to teach our children. Help us to take full advantage of these moments. We repent of the times we have not. Thank You for Your mighty work on the cross. Continue to teach us the full knowledge and power of the cross and Your wonderful blood. I praise You with all my being.  Thank You, for the cross.  Amen.

 

Ouch!!!

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Acts 26:14 (NIV)

 We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic,‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

They all fell down which means they all felt the power of the Living God but Jesus only spoke to one.

He speaks to Saul the man in active, vengeful and deadly pursuit of those who claim Christ as their Lord. Asking why did he continue to kick against the goads?

Goads are a long stick with a horrible metal hook at the end designed to steer an oxen in the direction he should go. If the oxen kicked against the goad it would impale the beast. This of course would be horrifically painful.

The maker of the Universe was not only interested in stopping the persecution of His church but also  in the life and pain of the man who was doing the persecution.  This kind of love is scandalous, outrageous and absolutely delicious.

From the scripture we can read that apparently Jesus had been goading Saul to go in the correct direction and up until this point Saul had ignored it. Then something drastic happened he was thrown to the ground and was blinded for three days.

I have seen it in my life and in those I love that claim Christ as King that they kick against Jesus’s goads and directions only for so long before Jesus takes drastic action. Blinding us for three days? …  Maybe.

 

Will you choose the pain of the goads or the freedom of Christ? 

Prayer: God, Your mercies are great. We stand in awe of Your love and ask that You deepen our walk with You. We desire to hear Your voice only, loud and clear so that we might respond with immediate and complete obedience. Your will is great, wise and holy. Help us to lay down ourselves so that we might pick up Your greater life. Help us to live a life of worship.  Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Yes and Amen

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For as many as are the promises of God, in Christ they are [all answered] “Yes.” So through Him we say our “Amen” to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 1:20 (AMP)

Both parts of this verse just blow me away.  First, when I think of all the promises of God I feel small and yet infinitely blessed. Second, our only obligation to Christ is to say “Amen” to be in agreement with His glory, His lordship over our lives. Then we get to walk in all the promises of God.

All we have to do is acknowledge Him in all things and let Him make the decisions in our lives great and small then all the promises of God are released on us.

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                    Yet… In my daily life, the pain, busyness and monotony —- the sheer exhaustion seems to suck out the “Amen” from me before I can utter it.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You deserve all the praise and I desire to give it to You. Teach me of Your ways, reveal Your heart to me, take me deeper and deeper so that I might dwell where You are in my everyday life. Reign in my wandering heart and mind to keep them focused on You and Your promises. Teach me what it is to dwell in the secret place and abide under Your shadow in every moment not just those I deem sacred. You have given me my life and every moment of it. I acknowledge You have chosen me and set me apart for Your good pleasure remind me; that all time is Your time. I surrender my moments to You have Your way Lord, Jesus. Amen

 

Psalm 91:1-2  (KJV)

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

His face shine upon you!

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Photo by Aditya Saxena on Unsplash

Prayer: I put the name of Christ upon myself and those I love and He will bless us. The Lord will bless us and watch, guard and keep over us; The Lord make His face to shine upon and enlighten us and be gracious( kind, merciful, and giving favor) to us; The Lord lift up His(approving) countenance upon us and give us peace(tranquility of heart and life continually). We agree with Your word God and seek Your face. Put Your name upon us and we will be filled with joy. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Prayer adapted from, Numbers 6:24-27 (AMPC)

Are you a tool?- I am

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Will anyone pray with me for God to know you are His?  I am sure I will get some amens, but will you submit yourself to be a tool for God?  Maybe, not. In reality both questions hinge on your understanding of who God is.

2 Timothy 2:19-21

Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use.  Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

Do we believe that God can really know us?

If you are staring at this question and don’t know, I beg you to ask the Lord to enter your fortressed heart and allow yourself to know God and He you.

Matthew 7:21-25  

I Never Knew You “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

 

Once you begin to see a glimpse of the glory of the Lord your desire to be used by the Maker of the Universe will become a driving force in your life. What greater thing can there be than to be a part of His will (even in the small things)? Allow God to cleanse you so that you might be a partner with Him in miracles. I promise you, you won’t be bored.

 

Prayer: Lord Jesus, search me and know me. Cleanse me of everything holding me back from You. I submit it all to You- even that which I thought was good. Order my life Lord Jesus. Use me a willing tool for Your will. Prepare me to do any good work. Interrupt my day with divine assignments. Your plans are always greater than my own. I desire to know You and be known by You, above all things of this earth.  Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Squeaked by…

Revelation 21:19-21  

The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald,  the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. (NKJV)

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Photo by Dmitry Bayer on Unsplash

Wow! If that’s what heavens gates look like just barely a glimpse within. No wonder people just want to squeak in. Salvation with a big sigh of relief. “Just made it”- victory dance and more than a few high fives.

Is there more than just the gates?

Why work for a closer relationship to Christ?

I too am guilty of just seeking His glory and am frightened to trust deeper. I refuse to live by fear but instead cling to His promises.

1 Corinthians 2:9  (NIV)

However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
    the things God has prepared for those who love him

 

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I acknowledge You in all things not just at the entrance but in the journey. Walk with me and teach me my heart. Open my eyes to the movement of heaven on earth. Search me and burn off what is chaff. Embolden my life to seek after what quickens Your heart. I desire Your throne room and not just Your gates. Thank You, Jesus in Your name. Amen.