Entries on Monday 26th July 2010
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I just returned from the weekend at Ignite Chicago. I have been "muted" on here for almost a month, but today God has prompted me with much to share:
Today's devotion from Proverbs 31.org:
Monday, July 26, 2010
"Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." Psalm 27:14 (NLT)
Waiting: a virtue I aspire to obtain but often fail to achieve. How about you?
In our hurry up, need it, gotta-have-it-now culture, we have been brain-washed into thinking there is something wrong with waiting and we shouldn't have to do it. Within seconds we can know the weather in southern Mongolia, order a cute blouse from a trendy store, or Skype a conversation with a friend on the opposite side of the country. We can instant message a friend or send a tweet to thousands in the blink of an eye; no wonder we believe waiting is hard to do.
The author of today's key verse was no stranger to waiting and knew full well of its difficulties. Out of nowhere, the prophet Samuel showed up at his home to anoint the next king of Israel who was to be chosen from his family. Only one of Jesse's sons would be anointed as God's chosen king for His beloved Israel. The son chosen was David. Scripture tell us the Spirit of God rushed over David and was with him the remainder of his days (1 Samuel 16:13, ESV). With such an anointing one would expect David to run to take his seat on the throne, but the only running David did was back to the pasture to do his job. Thus his wait began.
In the wait, God prepared David for his seat on the throne. The only vocation David knew was shepherding. He did not know the ends and outs of kingly protocol or the rules of royal deity. David did not have the support of the people or armies to defend him as king. He was only a lowly shepherd boy. Instead of taking the position he was promised David waited for God to move him from the pasture to the palace. In the wait, God made David ready for the move.
David learned many lessons about waiting. By examining and applying these truths we can find hope in the difficulty of waiting and determine that waiting in the present is beneficial to our future.
( 1. Even though we are anointed and appointed we may still have to wait. David waited fifteen years to be king of Judah and even longer to be king of all Israel.
2. God's ways are not our ways; His thoughts are not our thoughts. After being anointed and appointed David was called to serve Saul, the king who was sitting on "his" throne.
3. God doesn't waste time; He holds it in His hands. He redeems it by using our experiences to prosper us in each season of life.
4. If we allow it, our waiting will bring us to an intimate knowledge of the Savior that we would not other wise have. Most of David's beautiful and poetic psalms were written while in caves, caverns, and the wilderness, waiting on God.
5. God does not ignore the cries of His children. David cried out, and at times begged God for help, invention, and defense. God never let David down. He did eventually take the throne, didn't he?
6. Our waiting has a purpose for someone other that ourselves. It is not all about us. Just think of how rich our lives are today because of the wait David endured. We have the comfort, compassion, hope, and healing of his amazing poetry.
What awesome instructions David gives for waiting! Waiting is less difficult and the future is brighter when we let God to do His work in our waiting season. When we let our guard and defenses down He proves Himself faithful to bring His plans for our lives to fullness.
Dear Lord, help me wait. Help me wait well. I want to be still and allow You to bring Your plan in my life to its fullness. I can't do this without You. In Jesus' Name, Amen. )
Psalm 27:4, "One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple" (NIV)
Isaiah 40:31, "But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (NIV)
Lamentations 3:24, "I say to myself, 'The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."" (NIV) (My Bible says, "My soul claims the Lord as my inheritance; therefore I will hope in Him.")
1) I had invited you to join me.
2) I was hoping for the "hollywood version" of our reconciliation with you possibly showing up on stage or maybe an announcement to claim you in "lost and found".
3) I left the festival midday Saturday confused and most disenchanted. (hurting)
I went to my motel room and God had some things to make perfectly clear with me:
- I was to remain obedient ........... not like the Israelites that complained and forgot God's provision and promises. (keep going nomatterwhat)
- As I know that I am not to harden my heart, I was complaining of the natural 'atrophy' a cut off love can suffer. In no uncertain terms, God said that was His work to do and I was to trust Him for the trust and intimacy I was fretting over ever returning.
- In addition, it was not about just 'Mike & Hope'; there is much more involved here (likely a Hope4Marriage ministry geared to Christain marriages God's way. The very things I was concerning myself about will be the very testimony (and victory) of the ministry. (gulp)
I did not know if I would have any God experiences at Ignite or not. I had two very big ones:
1) I am always very aware of songs that 'speak to me' that might be for you as well.
1st yr was Voice of Truth (Casting Crowns); 2nd year was Stay Strong (Newsboys); last year was Born Again (Third Day) and this year it could have been several:
"Daylight" (is coming!) (Remedy Drive) (no, I'll take the recorded version ..... which gives me big hope!)
"Born Again" by Third Day (no) (actually Cry out to Jesus touched me more)
"Walk on the Water" (Britt Nicole) (no) ( Jeremy Camp "There will be a Day" encouraged me a great deal more)
There were no such song or words right into the closing act of MercyMe......................
2) I was rocking out (jumping) to David Crowder and my cell phone escaped my very deep pockets. I realized it when I went to my vehicle right afterwards to go get something to eat. Yes, it is my lifeline to you and many other things, but I gave it's prospective return to God. It can be replaced (same # or not) and "if God wants Hope to find me He will return my phone to me or direct Hope accordingly."
I returned during Toby Mac to learn that no one knew where "lost and found" was; there had been a cell phone found, but no one knew where it was. I had lost my phone amongst 10,000 people, I was not going to let it ruin my day or miss 'being up front' for the closing act MercyMe.
I must say that none of MercyMe songs are elite-special to me. I thought there were no more 'impact' songs left until ...... if lights could speak, they certainly said "this one is for Hope" ......... I knew immediately by the stage lights (colors of you) that I was to share the next song with you (yes, before they played it!). I thought, this is crazy, I have never even heard this song before. (it did not matter to God, He wanted obedience, not discretion) The song was/is (You are) "Beautiful" and I also did not know there was a youtube of it, but of course God did: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eq29Owv_8yU
I can only assume there are lyrics and images here that God had in mind for you Hope .... the silhouette at 3:10 minutes is definately you!
Know this dear Hope: You have always been beautiful in His eyes ........ and mine ....... He even moved bones in your face for the one He chose for you.
I was tapped on the back during MercyMe by the guy who found my cell phone. Out of 10,000 people he found me (Yes, how? is a great question). I picked up my phone on my way out of the stadium. Two hours later driving home around 2am, I heard BRAVE and thought, "Yes, she can call now .... I have my phone .... praise be to our God of provision, promises and hope!!!
I was a little concerned about the last slide that "You are wonderfully and fearfully made (in His image) ......" but I believe you are to go to Psalms 139 to read for yourself and draw your own conclusion ........ besides ........ I was brought into your life to help you stomp on your fears (amongst many other reasons) so 'fearfully' now means "in Him".
When God prompts me to post to you here, He gives me a blast of content that He wants shared. In addition to the P31 post and Ignite stories, this is my devotional for this day from:
"Streams in the Desert" July 26
By faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope (Galatians 5:5)
There are times when every thing looks very dark to me -- so dark that I have to wait before I have hope. Waiting with hope is very difficult, but true patience is expressed when we must even wait for hope. When we see no hint of success yet refuse to despair, when we see nothing but the darkness of night through our window yet keep the shutters open because stars may appear in the sky, and when we have an empty place in our heart yet will not let it be filled with anything less than God's best -- that is the greatest patience in the universe. It is in the story of Job in the midst of the storm, Abraham on the road to Moriah, Moses in the desert of Midian, and the Son of Man in the Garden of Gethsemane. And there is no patience as strong as that which endures because we see "him who is invisible" (Heb. 11:27) It is the kind of patience that waits for hope.
Dear Lord, You have made waiting beautiful and patience divine. You have taught us that Your will should be accepted simply because it is Your will. You have revealed to us that a person may see nothing but sorrow in his cup yet still be willing to drink it because of a conviction that Your eyes see further than his own.
Father, give me Your divine power -- the power of Gethsemane. Give me the strength to wait for hope -- to look through the window when there are no stars. Even when my joy is gone, give me strength to stand victoriously in the darkest night and say, "To my heavenly Father, the sun still shines."
I will have reached the point of greatest strength once I have learned to wait for hope.
Since the day I met you in Madison and said in my first words from my eyes into yours, "Oh, you are so pretty" I have been telling you that you are beautiful. It amazes me that God would bring this song to you (from me and He) right now. A song I had never heard and agreed to share before I even heard it just because I felt it was God's will. I believe it has messages for you from both God and me. For me, you are still beautiful. We can get past the whatever. You are forgiven and much loved as I obediently wait for you Hope.
PS: You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His ......... (and mine ;o) ......... pssssssssssssssst ..........You are beautiful !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My "Jesus arms" are extended to you ............. just come as you are. ..... "You & Me" were chosen for so much more than all of this....
Praying for: <>< Truth ><> Revelation <>< Forthcoming ><> Communication <>< Forgiveness ><> Healing <>< Reconciliation ><> Restofourlifesong to honor You.