Friday, April 15, 2011

Time + Conflict

Without going through the Journey there is no building of strength. Without being put through the test there is no skill developed. You know, those are not my favorite words that I've ever written. Going through the Journey is hard, and being put through the test is scary.

"The War between the house of David and the house of Saul lasted a long time. David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker." 2 Samuel 3:1 

But what would David have been like if he had taken the throne over the entire house of Israel the day Samuel anointed him? He was just a kid. Would he have grown into the man that God would eventually use as the line in which to bring Jesus? Would he have been the brilliant warrior that he was? Would he have been able to write the Psalms? I think not. It was the time + the conflict that made the man. God was faithful to complete the work in him, even if it meant pain.

I don't exactly love the time + conflict equation. How about you? But just like God did with David, he uses the conflict to strengthen us and build in us the spiritual muscle we need to win the race. So he chooses to have us go through periods of conflict, and times when we think we will die from the waiting. Pain is a close companion at times.  But honestly, when I look back on past hard journeys that I have been through with the Lord, I realize that I wouldn't give them up now. What he has developed in me through those seasons, I greatly treasure.

"God is never in a hurry, but spends years with those he expects to greatly use. He never thinks the days of preparation too long or too dull" ~ Streams in the Desert
Thank you Lord that you are able to complete what you have begun in me. I look forward to the day I stand before you and can see all things completely.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Power of Words

I love John 1:1-18. It is probably one of my very favorite passages of Scripture. I feel the stirring of the spirit within me when I read this poetic and beautiful description of who Jesus is. He is the embodyment of the very words of God. He is God made manefest in his words.

" In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning." John 1:1-2
Have you ever thought about how when God speaks he can't just speak idle words? His words BECOME. They become a creation. His words have power to create, and whatever he speaks just IS.

When I speak things aren't created. I can't say, "Let Dinner be Prepared" and have it appear in front of me. Oh how I wish I could ~ don't you? But my words still have power. He gave us that power from the beginning in the Garden. It says,

" He brought them (the animals) to the man to see what he would name them: and whatever the man called each living creature, that was it's name." Gen 2:19

God wanted to include Man in a bit of the creation process. We were, after all, made in the image of God. He wanted to see what we would do, and show us that our words have power. I am thinking today about how powerful my words are. And how I might use them. If I saw my words BECOME would I be more careful? If I really thought my words had that kind of power, how would I use them?

Jesus said
"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Mat 18:18

Our words do have power. And we are wise to use them to do the work God intended. We are wise to loose those things that cause healing, and hope, and Bind those things that cause doubt, anger, and fear. Lord I pray you give me the right words to speak today.  Words that heal, and proclaim your glory!
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. Oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:14

I think my personal world would be more at peace, If I thought of every word that came out of my mouth as this powerful. Don't you?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Treasures From the Beach

Something happens in me when I hit the Beach. Have you ever seen the Pacific Ocean on a cloudy/sunny day? When the water is that stormy green color so unique and so powerful? When you can look to the horizon and see the sky meet the ocean for as far as you can see? Where the wind is blowing immense waves that crash against the rocks and spray high in the air? Where the sandy beach is littered with huge water worn driftwood and sand-smoothed stones? The awesomeness of it all makes me feel so small, and problems become irrelevant.

I am a beach comber. I love to see what treasures have been washed ashore by the sea. I adore the rocks that have been smoothed. I fill my pockets with the most special . Hours can be spent doing nothing but searching the rocks for just the right ones, creating sculptures and giving thanks for the beauty of such small common things. However common they may be, I consider them treasures.

As I was standing on the beach taking in this scene yesterday something relaxed in my soul.  Something I didn't even know was tensed. With all this splendor, with all this awesome raw power, I felt so small, so insignificant, so utterly powerless. Yet God says he treasures me (and you) above all things. We are his treasured possession. We are the rare beauty he loves.
"The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord." Psalm 45:11

The awesome power and wonder of the immense ocean is something to behold and I see my LORD in it. How powerful the crashing waves are, yet how beautiful and somehow gentle, soothing, and calming. Glorious.

I feel so small and so frail compared to these surroundings. Yet infinately more powerful because of  who remains in me. Because we were chosen, and empowered by the ONE who created the sea and gave it it's power. We know that when we remain in HIS power we will not be subdued by the things of this world, but we will subdue it by the power of the ONE who wills it to be so. The One who is our first love, Jesus. Thank you Lord for these Treasures from the Beach.