Wednesday, May 23, 2012

So Simple

Here is all I know this week:  God is God and I’m not.  He can do anything.  Apart from Him, I can do NOTHING! 

The Amplified Bible says it this way, “I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.”  John 15:5 

I find it very easy to forget I am only a branch.  It happens so easily.  I begin to think I am the Vine and if I don’t make fruit happen, then it just won’t.  Sometimes, I get really crazy and start thinking I am the Gardener and it is my job to take care of all the other branches.  For a branch, this is not only exhausting, but downright impossible. 

So…deep breath…I say to myself, “Hey, you are a branch.  All that frantic activity – mental, emotional or physical – that is not your job.”  Then I hear the Holy Spirit’s sweet still voice saying, “Just live in Me.  It really is that simple.  Lay down your plans, your worries, your cares, and rest in the fact that I am good and I know what I am doing.” 

He said it this way to Jeremiah, “I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  (Jer. 29:11 NLT)

All I really need to concern myself with is living in Him.  For me this means waking up and making the choice to believe I am in Him.  He has brought me through the night and He will see me through the day.  He will lead and I will follow.  That is how simple it really is. 

Abba Father, I’m so tempted to make it more complicated, to make a to-do list of how to be in You.  Please, teach me to simply, humbly live in You, for Your good pleasure and glory.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Step Up and Stand Firm

Do you ever feel like a failure?  I woke up yesterday morning from a dream in which I was sitting in a school desk and in front of me was a paper with a big ‘F’ on it.  It was even circled for extra emphasis!  Realizing this was not the best way to begin the day, I began to cry out, in a rather whiny way, to the Lord for help.  Instantly, I heard His response in my spirit, “You feel like a failure, but your feeler is wrong. You don’t need to be rescued from these bad feelings, you simply need to stand up and believe and speak the truth about yourself.  This is maturity.  This is your call to step up and manage what you have been given.  To walk in strength you must not listen to lies or those who would advise you who don’t share your goal.”  At this point, I had to ask myself, “What is my goal?”  I realize my goal might be different from yours.  I know we are all at different places in our journeys.  For now, my goal is to stand by my husband in training our children to walk in strength and truth.  I also want to walk in strength and truth, myself.  I want to be ready to move on from laying the foundation stones of salvation, forgiveness, and acceptance.  I want to hear His voice and do what I see Him showing me to do – each day.  Being human, especially a female human, means having to deal with a body full of crazy hormones that fluctuate wildly from one day to the next.  I want to know that truth is still truth on the days when I can’t seem to put down the potato chip bag or my emotions are in a free-fall.  Essentially, those are the times when we just have to gut it out, as my husband likes to say.  This means thinking and doing what I know is right, regardless of the total lack of warm fuzzy feelings.  These are the times when going back to the Word and taking in truth as a life-saving substance is so vital.  Yesterday, I found Hebrews 4 and 6 most helpful.  I encourage you to read them.  I will leave you with a few highlights.

“We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It's an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us…”  Hebrews 6:18-20 The Message

“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  Hebrews 4:14-16  NKJV

Abba, thank You, for your Word and for Your faithfulness. Please keep us faithful to You. In Jesus’ strong and mighty name, Amen. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dangerous Territory

Last week as I rushed around trying to get ready to take a quick trip to Virginia to see my parents and bring my baby girl and her baby car home from college, I took a few minutes to mop my bathroom floor.  I’m not sure why, but God always seems to be able to speak to me best when I’m doing something like that.  I had a song playing in my head, the Eagles singing “Take It Easy”.  There’s a line in it that says, “Looking for a lover who won’t blow my cover, she’s so hard to find.”  Yes, I know, this is not praise and worship music, but as those words rolled through my mind, I heard that quiet voice in my heart that I know is the Lord.  Here’s what He spoke to me through those lyrics.  If we get into the dangerous territory of real love we will find that our cover always gets blown.  Am I willing to let people know me?  Not the made-for-public- consumption version, whitewashed and airbrushed, but the real person that lives inside my skin? 

In 1 Thessalonians 2:8, Paul tells the believers, “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.”  Most of the time, it isn’t enough to hear the truth from someone.  We want to hear it wrapped in love from someone who is willing to share not just the truth, but “their very selves” as the English Standard Version of the above verse reads.   Real love is not for sissies.  It requires of us that we push past our fears, and insecurities.  It means being brave enough to have the hard conversations when offenses have occurred.  It means being willing to work through problems instead of pulling away.  Real love isn’t easy, but it truly is the only kind worth having.  Today, I want to encourage you to take another look at your relationships.  Are you still keeping up a pretense with those who should be trusted with your very self?  Do you need to take some hurts to your Abba Father for healing so that you can be willing to be real with those who love you?  More and more, I am coming to believe that in our hearts we are all so much the same.  We all have those same feelings of being different from everybody else.  We have all heard the same lies from the enemy our entire lives.  We all have the option of choosing to hide or coming out from behind our walls and living in the sunlight of true love.  It is scary, but so worth it. 

Abba Father, please give us the courage and grace to love and allow ourselves to be loved.  Please help us bring our hearts to you to have the thorns pulled out of the sore places.  Help us be brave enough to face the pain of pulling them out instead of just living with the ache.  Thank You for being a God of truth AND mercy.  We love you.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Journey Continues

Dear Friends,

Each one of us is on a journey.  One of the things I love most about our Father God is that He relates to us as individuals.  My journey will not be the same as yours, although we may visit many of the same places.  I find myself at the beginning of a new chapter in my life.  For now, most of the page is blank.  I want to write a word of life and encouragement for you today, but in my heart I feel that this a time when I need to keep silent.  The Father is speaking to my heart, but for now, it isn’t anything I am free to share.  I need time to process and time to wait upon the Lord.  Maybe you do, too.  I love you all.  I feel so blessed that you are willing to read what I write.  Please pray for me as I seek the Lord for the next step in my journey as a writer.  For today, I leave you with a prayer from the Apostle Paul to his brothers and sisters in Christ in Thessalonica:

May God our Father and our Lord Jesus bring us to you very soon.  And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. May He, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all His holy people. Amen.

I Thess. 3:11-13

In His Love,
Jennifer Davis