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Category Archives: Humility

Did you know you’re a superhero?

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IT has been said that our enemy seeks to get us one of two ways…
Either through
Distraction
or
Discouragement.
He knows he can’t have our soul but he sure can keep us tied up.
Either through our ultra busy schedules or his accusations that keep us bound by guilt, shame,or humiliation.
The accuser is nasty and he comes at times when we may least expect him.
Like after a victory or a great accomplishment.
Maybe it’s after a time of intense intimacy with Jesus.

He sneaks in to the party uninvited and starts to whisper in your ear.
“Who do you think you are? You aren’t anything. If everyone knew that you messed up yesterday they would recognize that you really have nothing to bring to this party”.
He keeps us low and discouraged.
He makes us feel insecure and fearful.
Because he knows if we really knew the kind of power God has given us we would tear him to shreds.
So the coward makes us believe we are the coward.
“Don’t say anything….Only perfect people are allowed to talk. Sit in the corner and feel miserable about your lack of perfectness.” Yes he knows that will keep us ineffective.
“Feel sorry for yourself…that will make you feel better”. Oh he loves to make us the victim.
“You deserve to hold that grudge….they need to pay for the way they behaved”. This one is a sure poison eating like a worm at our soul.
“Don’t you dare confess that sin… if people know that about you they will stone you behind your back.” He LOVES it when we keep sin hidden.
“You’re just not as good as…” Oh my! He likes to tempt us to compare ourselves with others!
The accuser attacks us because he is Scared of us!
Why?
Because
He saw.
He still sees.
Not our power and smartness but the power of Jesus.
And that is EXACTLY what he doesn’t want us to use.
Jesus gave us grace by giving us what we didn’t deserve.
And he also gave us power.
Like a superhero!!
The power that raised Jesus from the dead is in the life of every true believer!
It’s the power to crucify the flesh when we are tempted to walk in it.
It’s the power to confess our sins when we fail.
It’s the power to forgive as we have been forgiven.
It’s the power to live life, however hard our circumstances may seem, with a peaceful presence.
It’s the power to move mountains.
It’s the power to stand strong in persecution.
It’s the power to be humble and broken.
And it’s the power to tell the nasty old accuser to hit the road!!
If you find yourself in this place today. Know that you are not alone.
I too, face the father of lies…he is on my doorstep waiting to get his foot in.
…Cause I just kicked him out… yesterday…again.
And I know that I will battle him until the day I am safe in the arms of the one who saved me from him.

And for today?
I am so very grateful for God’s daily sufficient Grace!

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Why Can’t I hear you? Part 2

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So Achan’s sin had been dealt with. The cleansing God required of his people is quite radical in our minds. A stoning of an entire family! That was how justice was brought about under the law of Moses.  While we don’t advocate this any longer since the shedding of blood has taken care of our sin once and  for all by Jesus Christ, we do get a picture of how serious God views sin. 

God gives us grace so we will have the freedom to obey.  It is not the freedom to do as we please.

Speaking to sin can be intimidating. I believe scripture gives us at least two reasons we must call it out. But we must be merciful as God has been with us.

 1. If the individual claims to be a believer.

 And

2. If the believer is non repentant.

1 Corinthians 5:12
It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.

 Sometimes we don’t like to call someone else to accountability  because then we will have to clean up our own lives… and well, that would be painful. So you sin, I sin, we call it a truce. We slap each other on the back and live in our filth and wonder why our lives lack power and our ears cannot hear God. Sometimes we think if we are confessing it that’s enough. I may go to my friends and confess the same “struggle” week after week, month after month, year after year….but I can’t seem to rid my tent of the sin. Is that enough? If Achan had come and confessed but the sin wasn’t removed was that enough? No. I think sometimes we can make confessions without the Godly sorrow that leads us to true repentance. True repentance is the place we recognize the sin we have buried is costly to our soul and our community…whatever that may be.
We live under grace… but it’s not so we can go on sinning. It’s so we can be freed from the captivity of sin.

Grace combined with the Fear of God helps me to realize my master sees all and he will hold me accountable for my actions. This gives me freedom but keeps me from going my own way…to my own destruction.

When someone has repented, we forgive as we have received forgiveness. When we need repentance for our attitudes and actions we humbly Confess our sin and turn away from it.

The second reason we can’t hear from God is found In Joshua Chapter 9.

So the Israelites have found out why God had removed his blessing. They had taken care of that issue and were pressing on. They were headed to Gibeon. Now the people of Gibeon found out they were headed their way and  they were S.C.A.R.E.D! So they dressed some men up to look like they had traveled from miles away. They brought moldy, stale bread. Worn out sacks and old wine skins. They came to trick the Israelites into signing a treaty with them. They said….”We have come from a very distant country because of the fame of the Lord your God.” Joshua 9:9

They proceeded to lie and tell the elders how far they had come and how everything was fresh when they had left home. Joshua 9:14 is the key to our second point…”The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord“.

They didn’t even bother to ask! You’d think after the travesty of losing 36 men and their reputation in the land that they would have wised up. God wanted to direct them. They just forgot to ask which direction to take.

So they sign a peace treaty with these guys who live just miles away from their camp.

How often do I forget to ask directions? I mean really inquire of the Lord. I may throw a prayer up here and there….but ernestly seek the face of God. Pour through the scriptures and spend time silent in his presence as he speaks to me.

 What am I afraid of? Am I too busy? Do I have more important matters to attend to? What keeps us from inquiring?

Do I taste the provisions and in my own wisdom it seems okay to proceed but I completely forget to ask my all-wise and knowing Father for his Direction? 

And so I make a decision based on human reasoning lacking the wisdom that comes from above.

If I inquire seriously of God and he gives me a freedom  in my heart knowing that no matter how this turns out he is with me.  A clear understanding that I have heard from him. It’s a joy in the middle of trials. Or a peace of mind in the midst of a tough circumstance. It’s clear thinking and sound rest even in the middle of the storm.

Because just as God promised his people long ago…He will not leave us. He will not forsake us.

After numerous battles up until the end of chapter 11 Joshua directed by God was successful in wiping out the enemy. Foe after foe was defeated. God was mighty and powerful and his name was made famous through his servants. But it wasn’t until they learned some valuable lessons of obedience and trust.

Joshua 11:23 (New King James Version)

23 So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD had said to Moses; and Joshua gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. Then the land rested from war.

An inheritance.  It’s right there for us. He is waiting for us to Trust and Obey and walk into the battle with him leading the way. The battle may look different for us then it did for Joshua but we are in a battle every day. Until we receive the final inheritance we must be listening with both ears. Our hearts wide open for full examination. We must have feet quick to act when he moves us. 

It’s not always easy…But it will bring about the results we desperately want.

Lord,

Today we seek your face. May we be as Joshua was, on our faces inquiring of you. Give us wisdom that only comes from your hand. We are desperate for your voice. Your touch. Your movement. May you receive all the fame and glory for what you are about to do in and through your servants!

I adore you God of the Jews and now the Savior of Mankind!

Tomorrow I will continue with this topic….Why Can’t I hear you.

On a personal note..

Dear friend,

I have been indulging myself in study lately. It’s been good. Exciting. And Powerful.

 I have been preparing for next weekend. I will be spending the weekend with some sweet sisters close to Columbus Ohio.  I am singing and speaking at their womans retreat. While I am very accustomed to singing….speaking is something I have not done in a formal way.( It’s no secret that I can talk an ear off informally!!) But the preaching is my guys department and I love to hear him. He’s been giving me some pointers. And I’ve  been pleading with God to make me supernaturally endowed with wisdom.  Without him and the spirit he pours I have nothing to offer.

But something special happened this week. Because of circumstances in my life the past few years I have absolutely not been able to write a song. It wouldn’t come. I would try!  I’d start something but I would inevitably get up from my piano walk away, frustrated and sad. I really had started thinking my song writing days were done. And I decided if God wanted to take that, well it was his and he could do what he wanted. But as I was sitting at the piano this week. Boom! A song hit me. I was like.. “really? You’re gonna let me do this again? Okay! Okay!I will get a pen.”

 I poured out my heart and although you can’t hear the melody I thought I’d share the words with you.

~ Who you are~

I didn’t plan for this.

I didn’t ask for that.

I never thought you’d find me here.

I don’t understand, all your sovereign plans.

All I know is that I’ve  found you….

Faithful, you have been faithful to me

Kinder, than I deserve.

Healer, you’re the healer of my heart.

I have come to follow you….For who you are.

In the fiery furnace

In the raging storm

In the lonely shadows of the night

I will not be afraid.

I will not raise a sword.

I have found my God is with me there.

And He’s faithful! He has been faithful to me.

Kinder, than I deserve.

Healer, He’s the healer of this heart

And I have come to follow him…

I choose to follow in joy and pain.

I choose to trust, that you still reign

I choose to know you for who you are.

It’s here I’ve found you are…

Faithful, you have been faithful to me.

Kinder, than I deserve.

Healer, you’re the healer of my heart.

I have come to follow you, for who you are!

~RosyRose~

The context of this song is simply this… It is so easy to believe Jesus to be whoever we want him to be. But perhaps not the Jesus of the Bible. I want to know him for who he is not who I have dreamed him up to be.

We must recognize that the God of the Bible is not just a Santa who hands out our favorite things.

And so when we face troubles. When we are alone. Or in a storm. ….He is a God who goes into the storm with us and when we come out with him on the other side of that giant wave that threatens us… he is with us still. But sometimes we get lost in the wave because we are so mad at him for letting us face it. Or, we drown in our own sorrows and forget that he is still holding on to us… we have just lost our grip of him.

The People of Jesus day didn’t recognize him as the Messiah either because they thought the Messiah would be a different looking God. They thought when the Son of God comes he would take away the pain. The Yolk of slavery. The bondage of the government. They had read the scripture incorrectly.

And so they didn’t recognize him.

He came to heal the pain. But he didn’t promise to wipe out their oppressors. He instead, forgave all who would come to him. His mission was to be one of Uncommon Kindness and love.

And If I say I follow…I should go in that direction…Uncommonly Kind.

And if I say I want to know him…Then I must know all of him. Not just the fuzzy feel good parts. But the rough and firery furnace parts as well.

If you think of me and the room of women that will be present could you pray for us? I know God can use any cracked pot he desires. I so want to honor him  and speak what he wants spoken.

I know some of you have already been praying and I am so so grateful!

Thank you! Thank you for taking time to share in what’s personal to me!

Love you,

Rose

Confessions…

I don’t know much about Catholicism. In fact I was raised Mennonite. I never talk about my denomination because I don’t really think it’s that relevant to what I write about here. I sometimes get weary with denominations. It’s often another way we divide ourselves from each other.

I’m not saying denominations don’t have a place in our lives. I go to another brand of church now but it’s not what saves me. I would say it can define where I came from or people I have found who I closely identify with theologically.

Here’s a little church history lesson for you.

If you know anything about the Mennonites and the Catholics, you may know that there has been some tension through the years. The Anabaptist movement was started by some Catholic priests who felt like the State church was in error with some of its teachings, one of them being the priesthood of believers. They taught that people actually could go directly to God with their confessions and did not need an earthly mediator, or a priest, to represent them to God.

I don’t know much about confessional except for what I’ve seen in movies and heard from my Catholic friends. I have been thinking about confession a lot lately. About how God likes when he sees his children walk humbly confessing our sins to each other. Because for me, it seems less intimidating to tell him how wrong I’ve been than admit it to the people I hurt. I know he will forgive me. I know he will not think less of me. But pride makes confession to other people who share DNA a little difficult at times.

Turn the corner with me to the world of the internet where everything can be as surface as we want it to be. In fact, If I wanted to I could make up a new name for myself, or post pictures of my neighbors family, claiming them as mine. I could tell you that I am a professional wrestler or a World Class Goat Farmer…and if you don’t know me personally you may just think that is the truth.

Or maybe we just tell half of the truth. The sunny side of our lives and not the uglier underneath that we don’t really like exposed.

Sometimes I think about that when I Send and receive Christmas letters(Please keep sending them..I DO Love them). You know, the ones that tell us how good Jonny is in school and how awesome Katie is doing in sports. How we have wonderful vacations and how beautiful our homes are. We give the best image of our selves.

I’m just sayin’ it’s natural to want to show the Kodak highlights and leave the “behind the scenes moments out”. You know the ones that we forget to mention like… I often have dishes in my sink overnight, and I don’t get up early enough most mornings which makes us run late and I have to work really hard at being sweet because I mostly hate mornings and I don’t want to send my kids off with a sour taste in their mouth about coming back home in the afternoon . You know, the honest truth of what really happens when no one is watching.

But even more than that..I think there is something good about confessing our wrongdoings to one another. And I think that as a representative of Jesus on earth I better be more aware of my sins and quick to confess.

So today I want to confess to you that even though I feel bad for the poor and sick and hurting, I don’t do near enough to take care of them. Some days I don’t feel like giving anything to anyone except myself and so I am selfish and buy and eat too much. I tell others to be who God has called them to be, but some days I wish I were someone else. I have thoughts that aren’t always honoring to Jesus when I’m driving and someone cuts me off. Sometimes while I try to be fair, I blame my kids wrongly. Some days I don’t feel like apologizing for the pride that I know has crept in. There are times my tongue can work faster than my brain and I regret what is said.

And while you may think followers of Jesus never should do anything bad…because we usually get labeled hypocrites and Pharisees for not always being who we profess to be, you need to know that we are people just like you. And while we say that we love others I am sorry that we have often looked down our noses when you were just trying to belong and we made no place in our lives for you.

We are people who realize we can’t save ourselves because we indeed are the worst of sinners. We are simply people who realize that Jesus is the only one that makes a difference between our life and yours. Just imperfect people who have a place to run when he shows us we have chosen a path of destruction. Travelers who have chosen the road less traveled.

And if you are one of the followers of Jesus that has trouble confessing your attitudes or actions which are not representing him well, maybe these words will give you the confidence to say along with me that we could all be a little less judgmental of others and own our own stuff a little more quickly. We could be more forgiving and less critical if we daily look inside our temple and see our own dirty heart.

We can come to him and ask him to keep changing us to be more honest and humble ambassadors. Confessing to him and asking him to clean up the filth we have once again dragged in. Broken and willing to admit our sinful actions to him and the people we wrong.

We walk blameless not because we are without blame but because Jesus has taken that upon himself. He is mediator, intercessor, forgiver, sacrifice, and Savior. It’s not a cheap freedom. It came with a price. And when I fully embrace that thought it makes me want to be more like him. To know him in ways I never experienced before. To work out in my own life the salvation that he offers freely.

 Beyond confession, It inspires me to represent the Jesus of the Bible more authentically to those around me.

1 John 1:9 (New International Version, ©2010)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Not too big, Not too small… Just Right

The children worked long and hard on their little cardboard shack. It was to be a special spot….

A clubhouse

Where they could meet together,

Play,

And have fun.

Since a clubhouse has to have rules, they came up with three:

Nobody act big

Nobody act small

Everybody act medium.

Isn’t that great?! I don’t know where that story originated but I think it makes a lot of sense!

Everybody act medium.

It’s a concept that seems undervalued in our world.

Is this not where all selfishness really lies?

I have an important position so therefore I must be important.

Or I feel like a failure so I could never make a difference if I tried.

Very opposite opinions of oneself but they have something in common…

both are self focused.

For people who feel too big…

Learning that titles are really not that important.

Recognizing our position before almighty God.

We are just ordinary people who fall down and get up.

A life of preferring each other.

Listening to another’s needs without making sure ours are met.

Admitting we are imperfect and acknowledging that in our weakness sometimes we cause pain.

We apologize and ask for forgiveness when we realize we have wronged another.

Giving of ourselves as servant leaders.

Asking the question…

What can I do for you…no strings attached…

Instead of

What will you do for me?

For people who feel too small…

Recognizing we have value and worth because of who we belong to.

Learning to live beyond our circumstance.

Making time each day to thank God for all he has given us…Name it.

Not envying another position or calling but living out the call we have been given…even if it’s wiping snotty noses or cleaning toilets.

While not pretending life isn’t hard…don’t play the victim either.

Giving to someone else. Giving, no matter how big or small changes something in us.

Luke 14

7 When Jesus noticed that all who had come to the dinner were trying to sit in the seats of honor near the head of the table, he gave them this advice: 8 “When you are invited to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the seat of honor. What if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited? 9 The host will come and say, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then you will be embarrassed, and you will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table!

10 “Instead, take the lowest place at the foot of the table. Then when your host sees you, he will come and say, ‘Friend, we have a better place for you!’ Then you will be honored in front of all the other guests. 11 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

12 Then he turned to his host. “When you put on a luncheon or a banquet,” he said, “don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors, For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward. 13 Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14 Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.”



Just a little bit of medium living…

In a me driven world.

How about if we give our attention to someone who does deserve to be exalted above the rest?

Taking time to consider shifting the focus from Me

To Him

and then You.



How about it…



Not too big

Not too small

But

Just right.