Fix My Eyes on You Alone

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The noise, the bustle, the lights, the pace,

Turn my eyes from Your face.

The thoughts, the worries, the cares, the fears,

Cause me to forget that You are near.

 

I feel this loss, this emptiness,

When I fix my gaze on circumstances.

This reaching, grasping, longing, searching.

Never satisfying, thirsting.

 

I know Your Word, Your promises,

That if I seek You. You’ll be found.

But it’s so hard, it seems unreal,

To find Your life, I have to yield.

 

True surrender, that’s what You ask,

That I quit clinging to my plans.

So I let go, and let You lead,

It’s here I relinquish hopes and dreams.

 

Now finally down, upon my face,

I catch a glimpse of Heaven’s grace.

New hope, new joys, now flood my soul,

As I begin to see Your will unfold.

 

You’ve asked me Lord, and I’ll obey,

To choose to walk within Your ways.

I do not have to understand,

Nor do I have to know your plans.

 

But I will trust, and I will rest,

Knowing that your will is best.

So keep me, hold me, lead me on,

And I’ll fix my eyes on You alone.

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And God replied, “My presence will go with you.”

I will be with you

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

As I was reading in Exodus 33 yesterday, I stopped at verses 13 and 14, to reread and think about what was being said. Moses makes a request to God, “Now therefore, if I have found favor in Your sight, please show me now Your ways, that I may know You in order to find favor in Your sight…”

It seems like a normal and reasonable request. Moses is leading God’s people out of their slavery in Egypt and into the promise land and he desires to know the ways and the will of God… But it was God’s answer that made me stop and think about what was happening here. God replies to Moses’ request, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

This really made me think…how many times have I requested that God show me His will, how many times, even in frustration have I literally begged God to show me His will for my life? “God what does my future hold?” “Can you show me your will for my life?” “Oh God, who am I to marry?” “God, do you want me on the mission field?” “God make your will clear to me!” “God, show me what my future holds!”

I often feel that God should give me details of what my future holds. I even make it sound spiritual…”God show me exactly what you want me to do, so that I can be sure to obey Your will and to walk in Your ways.”

So when Moses asks a question that I have asked so many times, “God show me Your ways,” I had to pay attention to God’s answer…”My presence will go with You…”

My presence will go with you.

No details of what Moses would have to face in the upcoming weeks or years…but a promise. A beautiful and very precious promise. The very presence of God would go with him. Whatever would come, whatever would happened, Moses could know, and rest upon the fact, that the very presence of Almighty God was with him.

So that was yesterdays thoughts and ponderings…

This morning I flipped over to the New Testament and started reading the book of Acts…and again had to stop and reflect because a question and answer are presented…so similar to what I just read in Exodus 33.

At this point in time, Acts 1:6-8, Jesus has finished His earthly ministry. He has already been crucified, buried, and resurrected…and is about to return back to Heaven.

His disciples are so focused on what is going to happen now, they wonder about Jesus’ will and what will happen in the future. They present Jesus with this question, “LORD, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”

He replied, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Wow. How similar this is to the request Moses made of God. The disciples asked “what is your will.” And His reply was also so similar, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses…My presence will be with you…”

This is a concept I’ve needed to understand for a while now…I really don’t need to know all the details of what God has planned for my future. I don’t need to focus on desiring to know God’s will and His ways…but my focus needs to be on God. Knowing that the very presence of Jesus, the Holy Spirit of Almighty God, is with me.

I don’t need to know what tomorrow holds, but I do need to know the God who holds tomorrow.

He promises to lead me and to guide me. He promises never to leave my side. Such a beautiful and precious promise. Through the blood of Christ I have been reconciled to God and I have access into His very near presence.

He holds my future.

I can trust Him, one day at a time, one moment at a time, His presence will be with me…and that is enough.

 

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall make straight your paths.”

-Proverbs 3:5-6, ESV

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Walk Worthy

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Ephesians 4:1

“I [Paul] therefore, a prisoner for the LORD, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.”

I have really been feeling restless lately. I have been trying to figure out God’s will for my life and have not been getting an answer. I feel that I am in a “waiting” phase of life and I so desperately want to serve God and I want to know what my future holds. After reading this verse I complained to God in the quietness of my heart…”But I do not know Your calling on my life…how can I walk in it?”

Well…the next two verses deeply convicted me. I suddenly saw that God has already given me a calling…a calling that has been right in front of me this whole time. I have not been walking in a manner worthy of this calling…but in the strength of God I will.

Ephesians 4:2-3

“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

I do not have to know what God’s will is for me 5 years from now, or even tomorrow. He has given me a calling for today; and in the strength of God it is a calling that I can choose to walk worthy in.

I am called to humility

To gentleness in my interactions with people

To patience

To love

To maintain unity in the Spirit

To peace

I am called to know God

To daily seek to know Him more

To love Him first

To love people

To share the truth of Christ

I am called to serve

To be faithful in the small things

To trust God, even when I do not understand

To give thanks always

I am called to be filled with the Spirit of God

To put off my old self, the old way of life

To walk in righteousness and holiness in Christ Jesus

To put away falsehood and to speak the truth

To kindness and to forgive others as Christ has forgiven me

I am called to walk in the Light

To put away the works of darkness

To be wise

To sing- making melody in my heart to the LORD

I am called to be strong in the LORD

To put on the whole armor of God

To stay alert

To pray at all times

To stand firm in the Word of God

To boldly proclaim the Gospel

This list could go on and on…God has given us each a calling for today. Instead of longing for His will for tomorrow we need to choose to walk faithfully in His calling for today.

The first thing we are called to is to know God; to seek Him daily, by reading His Word and spending time in prayer; to love Him with all our hearts, our souls, and our mind (Deuteronomy 6:4-5).

The second thing we are to do is to love people; to point them to Christ.

Matthew 22:36-39

“Teacher, what is the great commandment in the Law? And He [Jesus] said to him, You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and Prophets.”

This is the true calling upon the lives of believers. These are things we are called to today. Let us walk worthy in the calling God has given us. Let us walk worthy…Today.

Matthew 6:33-34

“But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own troubles.”

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A Reflection on Psalm 124

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A Reflection on Psalm 124

Psalm 124 (ESV)

“If it had not been the LORD who was on our side- let Israel now say-

If it had not been the LORD who was on our side when people rose against us,

then they would have swallowed us up alive, when their anger was kindled against us;

then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us;

then over us would have gone the raging waters.

Blessed be the LORD, who has not given us as prey to their teeth!

We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken,

and we have escaped!

Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made the heaven and the earth.”

Psalm 124 is one of my favorite Psalms. I “discovered” it while going through a difficult time in life, when a situation seemed almost hopeless. This Psalm so clearly displays our desperate need of God. That we have no hope on our own selves, or in our own strength; He alone is our only hope. What joy and encouragement it is to know with all confidence that the LORD is with us that He is on our side, that He is fighting for us!

The Psalm contrasts the lives of believers with the lives of unbelievers in a time when the enemy attacks. Psalm 124 starts out by describing what would happen during an attack by the enemy- if the LORD was not on our side. The Psalm uses phrases like, “they would have swallowed us up alive,” “the flood would have swept us away,” “the torrent would have gone over us,” and “over us would have gone the raging waters.” This gives the picture of a man drowning, with no hope of survival.

Oh, but what a glorious contrast there is for the man who has the LORD fighting on his side! “Blessed be the Lord, who has not given us as prey to their teeth! We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped!”

This picture of a bird escaping a snare displays such freedom, only because that bird has known what it was like to be caught in that snare. In order to escape, one must first have been snared.

Let’s take a moment to compare this picture of a bird caught in a snare to a man caught in the snare of sin, without hope of salvation. Remember back to the picture of a man drowning, “then over us would have gone the raging waters.”

Salvation becomes so dear to the one who has first known the depravity of his own soul, and then sees the greatness and majesty of God reduced to man and nailed to a cross to rescue him from the raging waters of hopelessness.

Luke chapter 7 talks about sinful woman who comes to Jesus with an alabaster box, weeping and washing his feet with her hair. When Jesus is rebuked for interacting with this woman He told this story,

 “‘A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?’ Simon answered, ‘The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly…Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.’”

Like the woman who was forgiven much loved much, so it is when a sinner is forgiven. When he is released from the snare and snatched out of the raging waters. Our hopelessness turns into sudden and complete joy. May we realize how desperately we need Christ, and how great a thing it is to have been given freedom through His blood.

Let’s look again at the last 3 verses of Psalm 124,

“Blessed be the Lord, who has not given us as prey to their teeth! We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped! Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”

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I Don’t Want to Waste My Life

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Saturday January 10th 2015

This morning I was struck once again with a familiar thought, “I don’t want to waste my life.” I graduated high school in 2008 and ever since then time has been flying by so fast that I can barely keep up.

I did a little research and discovered the average life expectancy for an American woman is 81 years old. I turn 25 this month…meaning if I live an average life I only have 56 years left on this earth. Reality = I have already lived about a third of my life. That is such a strange thought.

So…back to my morning though…I don’t want to waste these next 56 years. I don’t want to wake up on my 81st birthday and have the reality hit me that my life was a waste. That it was meaningless.

This year is important. This day is important.

I have discovered that if I live life for myself, then my life is a waste.

There are two things worth living for and worth fighting for and worth dying for.

I believe Jesus says it well in Matthew 22:36-40 when He is asked “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law? And He said to him, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

  1. Love God (With all my heart, soul, and mind)
  2. Love people (By showing them the love of Christ and pointing them to Him

This is the simple truth. Life is about loving God….loving Him first and foremost with all of my heart. Seeking Him and knowing Him. Then following Him wherever He leads…loving people and declaring His salvation to them. This is the purpose and meaning of life. To know Him and to make Him known.

“LORD, make my life prosperous, not that I achieve high station, but that my life may be an exhibit to the value of knowing God.” -Jim Elliot

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2015…To Be Steadfast in Christ

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2015…the new year. It starts now friends!

I have always enjoyed making new years resolutions. I usually try to make an effort to ponder life…I do not always enjoy looking back on the person I have been, but it does cause me to pray that God would make me into a stronger woman, more fit for His Kingdom. One word that has really stood out to me these last few months is the word STEADFAST.

If I could choose one word to describe my walk with God in this new year it would be STEADFAST.

As I read through the Psalms this summer one of the characteristics of God that really stuck out to me was that He is steadfast. He abounds in steadfast love.

“But You, O LORD, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” -Psalm 86:15, ESV

Steadfast is an adjective which means “resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering.”

I so desire to be “resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering” in my walk with God. I desire to be steadfast in prayer, in my study of Scripture, and in proclaiming the Good News of God’s salvation. I have not always been faithful in seeking after God with all that I am, but it is my deepest hearts desire…that I may know Him more.

I have been thinking of the word steadfast for a while now and have been collecting some synonyms (you know different words with similar meanings).

Here is what I have come up with:

STEADFAST…

Faithful

Disciplined

Consistent

Focused

Single-minded

Immovable

Diligent

Confident

Determined

Resolved

Unshakeable

Established

Strength

Assured

Relentless

Adamant

Unyielding

Abiding

Firm

Unfaltering

Whole-hearted

Sure

Resolute

Definite

Unwavering

Stanch

Unbendable

Self-controlled

Pledge

Promise

Covenant

Permanent

Enduring

Remaining

Continuing

I am sure there are even more words similar in meaning to STEADFAST. (Leave a comment if you think of more.)

Reading through this list makes me see how my life is lacking. But it truly makes me want to live a life of steadfastness before God. We are called to be steadfast. To keep our eyes on Jesus. To walk in His ways, without turning to the right or to the left. We are to be single-minded, living for the glory of God for the advancement of His Kingdom. Steadfast, immovable, unshakeable.

So, this is my new years resolution…to be STEADFAST…will you join me??

To know Christ; to make Him known.

To love God; to love people.

“Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His steadfast love endures forever!” -Psalm 118:29, ESV

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