I Will Push On

Scripture: “Sometimes I say to myself, ‘I will ·forget about the Lord [L not remember him]I will not speak anymore in his name.’ But then his message becomes like a burning fire ·inside me [L in my heart]·deep within [L shut in] my bones.  I get tired of trying to hold it inside of me, and finally, I cannot hold it in.”  Jeremiah 20:9

Observation: Even when we want to give up and walk away, God won’t let us do so without calling us back to Him. Once we know the Lord, feeling weary or doubt to may come but to reject Him and disobey is always a decision.

Application: During a very dark season in my life, feeling empty, alone, and worthless, I would say similar words to Jeremiah, ‘I’ll just leave – leave my husband, my kids, the church… and stop standing up for what is right. It’s so hard and I’m so tired of doing the right thing, I just want to do what I want to do,’ and just like this passage says, I heard the Lord speak to me, ‘I am faithful, even when you are not.’ He proceeded to warn me to turn back, to stop the way I was going… but I was deceived into believing I was crazy; deceived into believing I might become a paranoid schizophrenic due to the diagnosis my mother never actually received despite what I was told by my sister J.

However, He didn’t leave me in my confusion. He continued to pursue me and I had to make an active choice to reject Him and disobey. I believed I was paranoid and didn’t listen to His warning. As a result, I faced the heartache and despair that comes from such a decision. Just like Eve, I had been deceived and tasted the fruit, giving me a new understanding of evil. I could not walk away from Him, from what was right, from my family. I was more weary outside of His presence and His will for my life, with these beautiful people by my side, than I had ever known. I’d rather find joy in doing good, than know such despair like that again. So I won’t contain what He’s shown me. I’ll speak. I’ll reveal His glory. I might grow tired, but I will push on. It is worth it.

Prayer: Father God, that time in my life was so painful and so confusing. I never want to be that far from You again. I will walk this path that can be challenging in so many different ways, but that is always good, useful, manageable, and bearable. Continue to help me through it, growing despite the weakness of my flesh. When I want to sleep instead of work, give me supernatural rest; when I want to hide instead of face the day, give me boldness and courage; when I want to give in to the pressures around me, give me strength. Continue to use me Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Actively Doing What the Lord Prefers

Scripture: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

Observation: “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 ~ Before everything, earnestly hold fast to our esteem for one another because preference and goodwill for one another veils a great number of failures. (broken down using Greek translations of each word from bible.cc)

agapaó: to love
Original Word: ἀγαπάω
Part of Speech: Verb
Phonetic Spelling: (ag-ap-ah’-o)
Definition: I love, wish well to, take pleasure in, long for; denotes the love of reason, esteem.
HELPS Word-studies

Cognate: 25 agapáō – properly, to prefer, to love; for the believer, preferring to “live through Christ” (1 Jn 4:9,10), i.e. embracing God’s will (choosing His choices) and obeying them through His power. 25(agapáō) preeminently refers to what God prefers as He “is love” (1 Jn 4:8,16). See 26 (agapē).

With the believer, 25 /agapáō (“to love”) means actively doing what the Lord prefers, with Him (by His power and direction). True 25 /agapáō(“loving”) is always defined by God – a “discriminating affection which involves choice and selection” (WS, 477). 1 Jn 4:8,16,17 for example convey how loving (“preferring,” 25 /agapáō) is Christ living His life through the believer.

Application: “live through Christ” with one another… actively do what the Lord prefers… God is love.  Love in these passages are not the noun that we know in the English language meaning an intense feeling or deep affection. It’s a verb to be actively done: living through Christ, embracing God’s best offer for our lives, and obeying His choices through His power. Christ is to be living His life through me.

What Love Should Look Like:

  • Christ living His life through me.
  • Actively doing what the Lord prefers.
  • Embracing God’s best offer for my life.
  • Obeying His Choices through His power.

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8

And so we ·know [have come to know] the love that God has for us, and we ·trust [believe; rely on] that love.  God is love. Those who ·live [abide; remain] in love ·live [abide; remain] in God, and God ·lives [abides; remains] in them.” 1 John 4:16

Prayer: Wow… this is stirring something in me, Lord. I’ve been loving all wrong!! Help me to apply this to my life, Father! I surrender to You and what You are doing within me, Lord. Help me as I walk this out! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

What You’d Have Me Accomplish

Scriptures: ·Give yourselves to the service of [L Circumcise yourself to] the Lord [C a metaphor for obedience]and ·decide to obey him [L remove the foreskin of your heart;9:25Deut. 10:16] Jeremiah 4:4a

·The way you have lived and acted [L Your path/way and your deeds] has brought this trouble to you.”  Jeremiah 4:18a

Observation: I had a lot on my mind yesterday, as I was preparing to leave and I was thinking of all I had to do and how hard it was to do it all. I was intentional about squeezing in my reading, but didn’t journal. However, I noted the Lord telling me that my days of busy are that way because it’s what I’ve chosen to do. I didn’t feel coddled by the Lord, but I also didn’t feel condemned… He just spoke to me realistically: my unstructured days have in large part, created a lot of the struggles that we deal with on a daily basis.

Application: I need to give myself over to the service of the Lord and discipline myself to be more obedient in my every day tasks. Obeying Him with small things are just as important as the big things… and I need to remember Matthew 11:30, which says that His yoke, the burden He asks me to accept, is easy (serviceable, good, useful); and the load He has given me to carry is light (manageable and bearable). If it’s useless or overwhelming, it’s because I’ve added to the burdens that which I shouldn’t have, and as such, I’ve been disobedient.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for Your loving correction, full of grace. I often beat myself down for not doing things right around here, but You don’t make me feel that way at all and You’ve surrounded me with friends who encourage me like You do. I’m so thankful for Your leading and guidance.  Help me to do all You’d have me accomplish today… and *only* what You’d have me accomplish for this day. Help me to know what that is and when I need to rest. Help me to know how best to utilize the time I have. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

I Am [Not] Only a Mom

Scripture: But the Lord said to me, “Don’t say, ‘I am only a ·boy [child; youth].’ You must go everywhere I send you, and you must say everything I ·tell you to say [L command you].  Don’t be afraid of anyone, because I am with you to protect you,” says the Lord.   Then the Lord ·reached [L sent] out his hand and touched my mouth [C to consecrate it; Is. 6:7]. He said to me, “See, I am putting my words in your mouth.”  Jeremiah 1:7-9

Observation:

Instructions to follow –

  • Don’t say ‘I am only a child’ or in my case, don’t say I am only a mom, wife, etc., as if to say God can’t use me because of these things; or that these mean I am uneducated, ill-equipped, or deficient of some kind.
  • Go everywhere He sends me
  • Say everything He tells me to say
  • Don’t be afraid of anyone because He will be with me to protect me.

Promises –

  • Before He made me, He knew me
  • Before I was born, He set me apart for a special work
  • He has put His words in my mouth

Application: God sees me and knows me. He’s not making a mistake when He calls me to something. It’s foolish of me to question Him and ask Him if He’s sure, as if it’s possible for Him to be mistaken. He knows what He’s doing, even if I don’t understand it. He made me, knows me, set me apart, and has put His words in my mouth. I will follow! I am a child of God! I will go where He sends me and say everything He tells me to say! I will not be afraid of anyone because He is with me! Amen!

Prayer: Lord, I come before you humbly and with the boldness You’ve given me – use me in the ways You’ve set me apart for. Lead me and guide me and may Your will be done in my life and the lives I touch as I walk it out. Thank You, Lord! Give me Your wisdom, Your timing, and clarity in walking out these things. Thank You, Father. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Trash the Pulp

Scripture:  “Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel!  Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!  The Lord has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies.  The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil.  On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: ‘Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak.  The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.  I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival, so that you will no longer suffer reproach.  Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors.  And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.‘” Zephaniah 3:14-19

Observation: What God speaks to us – Sing; shout; rejoice; exult (become jubilant); let not your hands grow weak.

What God speaks of what He’ll do: We will never again fear evil; He will save; He will rejoice over us with gladness; He will quiet us by His love; He will become jubilant over us with loud singing; We will no longer suffer reproach (scorn, shame, disgrace); He will change our shame into praise and renown (fame, repute) in all the earth.

Application: I was talking to my husband last night and I told Him how I wasn’t sure what to do with the emotions that I have no control over – the things that are happening or that have happened that I can’t change and that have no value left in them in how to help me grow or heal or change…. after some prayer and meeting with some wonderful women who also prayed over me, I feel resolved to break it off. The Lord does not have any use for this negativity in my life – it’s now useless. I have addressed the heartache in my life to go so far as to use every bit of it available to me to allow God to use it for the good in my life and to bring Him glory.

I envision it like a juicer, and all the good has been grated from the produce, turned to pulp, and spinning all the juice that can be extracted out of it. This juice is where the good is found and what is left as pulp has no more use (in this analogy haha). God, as I’ve been praying, has spun out every last drop of my experience that He could use for the good in my life and for His glory. Now it’s time to trash the pulp and to not pick it back up again. It’s time to move forward. It’s time to allow wholeness to penetrate my whole life.

I realize there will still be moments of struggle, and I’ll address those as they come, but the time spent addressing these heartaches are coming to an end. What happened to me doesn’t define me, it’s not a mark of how I live my life because it doesn’t control me. It effects me, it’s something I wrestle with, but it is not me. It is not what leads my life and where I’m going, or what I’m going to do.

Prayer: Wow… thank You Lord!! You are so faithful and so loving. You truly are so kind to me. So I will lean on You to strengthen my hands, I will SHOUT and I will sing! I will become express and rejoice in the triumph that You’ve brought me to! I am not a product of what’s been done to me or my past mistakes – I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and Lord, you have searched me and know me!! Thank You, Jesus!