Tuesday, April 17, 2012

We Are One

For the ladies of Restoration (my home church for the last 22 years), we are nearing this chapter’s end.  However, it is definitely not the end of the story.  Yesterday, I believe I heard the Lord say the heart of Restoration is still beating.  Even as we commemorate the end of this part of our journey, the heartbeat of Restoration continues because it is alive in our hearts.  The desire to see individuals restored to God’s original intent for their lives is something we will carry with us wherever we go.  Some of us are going ahead with CityLife Church.  Others of us will be walking with the Lord into new areas of His Body.  The thing we need to remember is that no matter what, the Lord only has One Body.  Some may be here and some may be there, but we are still connected as the Body of Jesus.  We don’t need to draw circles around ourselves.  Jesus came to break down dividing walls, not build them.  We are still family no matter where we find ourselves on Sunday morning or Saturday night!  In the end, we all have the same destination – the presence of the Lord Jesus. 

Abba Father, thank You for bringing us together.  Thank you for knitting our hearts together in love.  Keep us one in Your Spirit.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Honestly Angry

Have you ever noticed how God likes to speak to our hearts when we are busy doing something else?  Yesterday, I was drying my hair with my amazing jet-engine blow dryer when the Lord began to speak to me.  Some “frustrations” (this is the polite word I use for things that make me angry) began to rise up in my heart.  As my thoughts flowed on, I surprised myself by saying out loud that I was angry at someone.  Wow.  Why was that so hard?  Growing up I heard Ephesians 4:26, “Be angry and sin not” quoted so much that I think I got the idea that you’d better not ever admit you’re angry – especially not at someone.   Admitting I’m angry is like standing too close to the cliff’s edge.  I might fall into that sin if I don’t stay way over here in denial of my anger.  The problem is if I can’t be real about where I am, with myself and with God, how can I invite Him into the situation?  Instead, I wear myself out denying what I really feel instead of bringing it to my Abba Father and getting His help. 

So right there in my bathroom I got real with the Lord and told Him how I really felt about some things.  It’s important to note that I had prayed about this before and tried to forgive and forget, but it is difficult to let something go when you still haven’t been honest about how you feel.  If I’m saying, “Oh it’s nothing.  No big deal,” when I’m actually really irate, I’m lying to myself and to God.  How can the truth come and set me free when I won’t even let myself speak it?  So, I got honest and God did, too!  Just kidding - He’s always honest!  However, He did say some things to me that I hadn’t considered before and they reframed the whole situation.  He gave me a new perspective, one that included my own need for His grace.  It’s remarkable how much easier it is to give grace when the Holy Spirit gives us a little peek at our own massive need for it.  In the course of a few important moments of truth, what had been a huge deal became something I was willing and able to put behind me.  Thank You Lord!

Bottom line:  Getting real with God about our feelings is a whole lot more effective than living in denial.  Be real.  He can handle it. Besides, it’s not like we’re really fooling Him.  He’s God – remember?  And, best of all, He loves us.

Abba Father, thank You for Your amazing, never-ending love and mercy.  Please give us the courage to be our true selves with You.  Thank You for knowing the depth of our sin and choosing to redeem us anyway.  Your grace is amazing!  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.