Psalm 1:3 “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”

I find that if I stay outside working in the garden long enough, God is surely going to reveal something whether I’m looking and expecting it or not.  Such was the case yesterday after a few hours, yes…hours, of watering (we really must sort out our irrigation system! – and no, that wasn’t the revelation!)

This is how I did it!

This is how I did it!

As I gave each  valuable plant a thorough soaking, careful not to simply wet the surface of the ground and move on, but hosed the earth (using the exact technique displayed in the above photograph 😉 ) s0 the water went down deep to the roots, God showed me that just like the life-giving water to the plants, so is His Word life-giving water to His valuable children.

God’s Word often speaks of “watering”, “planted and watered”, “washing with the Word”, and “quenching thirst”.  Soaking in God’s Word brings life, quenches thirst and cleanses believers; but we must drench ourselves with it.  If we do not thoroughly immerse ourselves in God’s Word but rather just taste a snippet occasionally, it will encourage shallow roots.  And this was God’s point – it must be deep watering.  Shallow roots do not produce an enduring church.

Mark 4:17 “and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time.  Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.”

The image of a tree beside a river is a perfect example of deep watering and a constant supply coming from God’s Word.  The verse preceding Psalm 1:3 explains who will be like this tree; it is the person whose “delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His Law he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1:2  This is not just watering the surface, but a saturation!

Just hearing the Word at church on Sundays, glancing at a daily verse on a calendar, or even reading a daily devotional penned by someone else, is not going to encourage the steadfastness and surety in God’s promises that really seeking in God’s Word provides.  I know that after opening God’s Word with a heart to receive from Him directly, I am refreshed and strengthened in my faith.  It is essential, like the air we breathe, and wonderful!

Be open to God’s Word. Seek His counsel in His pages with a heart open to the Holy Spirit’s teaching.  The roots of your faith will find depth and strength so that you will not be shaken in this dry and thirsty land.

Jeremiah 17:8 “For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.”

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It’s been a long time coming…

I’m here, on my knees thanking the Lord for the Grace which brought me here.  Life has been a distraction – excuses abound, busy-ness reasoning my heart away but the truth remains…somewhere along the line, I traded the Lord’s plans for my plans and His strength for my own.  The Well-spring has not dried up but I realise, I haven’t drawn from it for a while, and I’m REALLY thirsty! Now where did I put that bucket?

The last year has seen us move as far away from family and friends as what remaining in Australia would allow, to face challenges of all kinds – some good, some bad, all extremely trying!  When I left familiarity I had a firm grip of God’s hand and knew He was doing the leading.  I relied solely on His strength.  I recently joined a women’s bible study group which is studying the Book of Isaiah.  It’s heavy stuff! And while God’s merciful character and Father’s heart shines throughout all the devastating judgement, I realise just how much I need to sit a Jesus feet and restore my (His) joy in my life.

My children have also been caught up in this chaos that I call life…and while they all know the Lord, I have not been training them for the Lord in the way that I desire to.  My priorities have been reflecting my own plans, not the eternal plans that have been purposed for me.

I read over some of my previous posts and paid a visit to some of my favourite blogs around here (it’s been a while!) and it has reminded me that the Lord’s plans don’t change.   The time is drawing near, this age is coming to a close, and I have been busy “sleeping”!  I hope this post is the first of many, to restore my blog into action and record insights and leadings to encourage and keep my focus on being about the Lord’s business.  I am so thankful for my Brother’s and Sister’s in Christ who I see are still manning the blog-o-sphere and resounding the call, who are good and faithful servants of our Lord Jesus Christ.  May God bless your words and your lives as you continue running this race for Him.

“…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15b  It starts with me.  If I’m going to train up Watchmen for the Lord, I’m going to have to climb that watchtower and take the first watch!  May I “be steadfast and immoveable, abounding in the work of the Lord” 1 Corinthians 15:58 and may my  mind be stayed on Him as I return to my First Love and give Him the fullness of my attention.

“You will keep Him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3

“Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.” Proverbs 16:3

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 

“Your hands have made me and fashioned me;” Psalm 119:73a

“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.  And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” Psalm 139:16

While I generally consider watching movies a frivolous waste of time (and a distraction from eternal matters which are of far greater importance), it is a past time my husband and I regularly enjoyed and thus when there is a night which work demands are not causing him an excruciatingly early rise the following morning, a movie is suggested.  I shudder at the thought of scanning the video store shelves, trying to remove from my mind images derived in hell as soon as I have passed over them.  To filter through all the gore and find something no too ghastly or provocative, that I might be able to stand sitting through, while still appealing to my husband, is quite the task!  I have somewhat cultivated a tolerance to violence, but things of a sexual nature are far beyond what I can stomach.  I generally look for M rated movies that just say “violence” rather than the plethura of other unsavouries available for the world’s viewing pleasure.

Anyway, having exhausted my sensitive mind and being hardly able to handle the horrid background noise of MA rated movie previews (I stand aghast at the language being played in a place frequented by children!) I chose…Clash of the Titans.  Now, I know…greek mythology…full of spiritual issues…but, I had to pick something!

It was interesting to see the greek mythological explainations of God, of course they were way off, creating a range of god’s instead of ascribing greatness to the one true God.  But watching this movie caused me to consider a couple of things which I wanted to share here.

I tend to see man’s twisted version of the gospel in nearly all movies.  Good verses evil, and the saviour etc.  In this case, it was even more blatant as you are dealing with god (or god’s) and man.  Really, even though the movie had the “good god” Zeus and the “evil god” Hades, the movie portrayed the god’s as that which was evil and man as good.  Herein lies the problem seed planted into the millions of minds who watch it.  Man is greater than God.  There were many other issues that one could point to, as I am sure there are in most movies, but that is not what led me to this post.

The exciting thought that came from pondering on what I had just watched was that God delights in details and there are none that escape Him.  In Clash of the Titans, the saviour (yes, they even refer to him as such a few times) of the movie was a part man part god human, the son of Zeus with a human mother and…he was a fisherman.  I laughed out loud when I discovered this and said to my husband “I guess it would be a little too much if they made him a carpenter!” 🙂 But this detail got me thinking.  There is no detail overlooked by God and the fact of the matter is, Jesus was not a fisherman, but a carpenter.  This did not happen by chance but it was orchestrated by God himself.

There had to be a point then to this detail.  So I thought, what does a fisherman do?  His aim is to catch or trap that which is a live with the view to making it die.  What does a carpenter do?  He takes what was once alive but has died and fashions it into something beautiful and purposeful. Hallelujah! What a great God we serve who is a carpenter and NOT a fisherman! 😀 I’ll take the authentic God any and every day over that which hollywood (and the greeks) can conjour up!

Well, my first Facebook shout-out was sent today. The message was a basic gospel one as showed in my last post.  A couple of responses came quickly. A member of my family requested that she be removed from my sender list.  She “didn’t want to receive messages that didn’t line up with her personal beliefs but really didn’t want to delete me from her facebook friend list”; and another friend from years ago (try 18!) requested the same; she stated that she “found my views offensive”.  Ahh the offense of the gospel…quite something.  What I said really wasn’t that offensive, I thought; I didn’t go on about how people are gross sinners who deserve death and to be tormented in hell – I thought I was quite gentle! Apparently not!

My reply to those who requested that they be exempt from such further “offense” 😛 was: 

“I’m sorry that you feel that way 😦 you are free to make your own choices. The message that I just sent out, is the basic gospel message that everyone has a need/right to hear/read at least once in their life…you are also free to reject it.  And yes, I know, it is offensive to many.

As I stated in my earlier message, I will be sending these out to everyone on my list and you are free to delete them (even without reading them if you want) but, how about you hang in there and see what comes up?

Alternatively, there is only one a week so it shouldn’t clog up your inbox too much. But otherwise, please know that there would be no hard feelings should you delete me. 🙂 I feel so strongly about this, as I’m sure you can appreciate, so I cannot bear to not share it with those who I count as friends (both cyber and in the flesh).”

It is a little hard to take…sad that people so utterly reject even a mention of Jesus. One must remember that:

“15 We are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.  16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.” 2 Corinthians 2:15-16

I suppose the aroma of death isn’t a very pleasant smell 😛 .

I did receive a little encouragement too, but this was by one whom I already fellowship with.  No surprises then as yet, but I shall continue to pray and refuse to be discouraged.

It will be interesting to see how many “friends” I have left next week.  I will update you if I receive any other reponses that stand out.

Thank you to all who stop by here, you are such an encouragement to me, both via your comments and your own blogs.  It’s wonderful that we are able to build each other up in spite of being “worlds” apart.

I confess…I am on facebook! 😛 I rarely log on, but the fact remains…I have a facebook page.  When I woke up this morning, I had a thought;  I have 103 friends, most of which are not my friends, but were known by me at some point in my life (this is ridiculous, I know, but such is the facebook phenomenon!) It is obvious also, that most of these people know not the Lord Jesus.  I have therefore decided to send a message to all of my “friends”.  I will continue to send short scriptual morsels of truth weekly to all linked to my page.  Those who do not wish to receive them…can delete me as a friend 😛 as I will not select some and not others!  This in itself will represent a physical manifestation of the heart attitude – they will literally have to reject me to fully reject (stop the receiving of) God’s message.  It will be interesting to see who puts up with my weekly messages.

I suppose I desire to make Facebook a useful forum, as really it is such a total time waster/distracter to all who get sucked into the pseudo reality it offers.  It will be interesting to see the response of those who I haven’t even spoken to in over 14 years. Why and how these people end up as “friends” is beyond me…but who knows, perhaps it is so that this message may be received?  Perhaps one may read and repent, such is my prayer.

I have written the following as a first message to go out, what do you think?

“For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

The good news of Christianity is “what God has done for us.” “Believe” in the above scripture means “trust in, rely on, and cling to” not merely an “acknowledgment in the existence of”. The bible says, “even the demons believe (know) and tremble” James 2:19.

To believe in Christ is to make Him Lord of your life. What is lord of your life? What is your motivator each day, and what do you trust in? Is it your job, your government, money, family, your own abilities (self)? Everyone has a lord in their life. Are your answers to these questions Jesus Christ? If not, your eternal future is in peril; but this can be changed! God has made the Way, “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

If you have been considering what is the truth about God, life and death, please seek for yourself; it is the most important and urgent thing in your life. Get your hands on a bible, and before you open it, talk to God (pray) and ask that He would open your eyes to the truths contained therein, that you may see and understand. He is faithful to be found by those who seek Him (Luke 11:10).

God’s people are those whose hearts are wholly turned toward Him. “Establish your hearts (today!) for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” James 5:8

“Incline you ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge; for it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; let them all be fixed upon your lips, so that your trust may be in the Lord;” Prov 22:17-19

As we ponder on the sayings in God’s word, the simplicity of the Gospel becomes a stark reality. Jesus has done for us, what we were unable to achieve for ourselves. God made the Way and we are now equipped to walk in it.

Discussions at our gathering yesterday revealed that the Christian walk comes down to one thing – the state of our hearts. Are they wholly set on God? While this post touches on two topics, they are really inseparable. Firstly, the futility of trusting in earthly assurances, and secondly, what it is that enables us to walk securely in Christ.

That night, as I meditated on the truths presented in our meeting, and sought God as to what to post here, the following words were planted in my heart:

“Let go of anything whose roots are in this world. (James 3:14-15) Let go of anything which has been elevated to a level of importance above God. These things will be shaken. Your trust, security and faith must be rooted in God alone lest your heart fail you. Your heart must be wholly His.”

“Lest your heart fail you…your heart must be wholly His”

The securities originating from sources within this temporal world will be shaken so as to reveal to us (God already knows) the true state of our heart. Many of us have not had to totally rely solely on God for our provisional needs. It is easy for our hearts to remain in a state of deception. Thankfully, God will not allow this to remain, and will cause the true affections of our hearts to be exposed lest we deceive ourselves. Let us therefore, examine our hearts thoroughly so we may stand boldly and confidently during any time of trial, trusting steadfastly in the faithfulness of our God.

Right through the Word of God, we see a common cry of God; He sought a people whose hearts were wholly His. (2 Chronicles 16:9, Jeremiah 24:7) This is the heart of a Christian. A Christian’s heart is Christ’s. A heart that is wholly God’s, is one that desires continual fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Yes, there is a time for solitude and waiting on the Lord – essential to renew our strength and gain wisdom from above (Isaiah 40:31); but the heart that walks with the Lord is one in communion with the Holy Spirit.

We often talk of the Fruit of the Spirit and living righteously – we cannot produce this. The righteousness we are called to display, is the righteousness of Christ and the Fruit of the Spirit. These only become evident in the lives of those who are willing to listen and obey the Holy Spirit moment by moment.

Someone who changes from “spiritual” living, to clear outbursts of the flesh does not have a heart wholly turned to God. When James states “My brethren, these things ought not be so” (James 3:10) he is saying that a Christian whose heart is wholly turned to God, just as it should be, will display righteousness and speak life. This is reiterated by Paul in his letter to the Galatians (5:16) and John in 1 John 3:6.

Those who have committed their life to Christ, have committed to following Him. Their heart’s affections are set after Him alone. A love for God will be evident by a willingness, or even more than that, a desire to listen, obey, change, forgive, love.

Friends, let us all examine our hearts, that we may let the Light of Christ expose every corner. (2 Corinthians 13:5) Let us also be in continual fellowship with Him, listening and obeying His promptings. This is how we prepare and make ready for the moment we all long for; that moment when we will stand face to face with Him who holds the world in the palm of His hand. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Our Life.

“Nevertheless, the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” 2 Timothy 2:19

Pride. It’s ugly, and it comes in many forms, often subtly disguised as something else.

This post is a confession. I have recently finished the book “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan and found it to be a perfect articulation of all that has been on my own heart for the last couple of years. I highly recommend it and encourage all to read it, slowly and reflectively. There were a number of points made in the book that stirred my heart and caused me to again, examine myself.

I am a person who feels with all my heart, the call to forsake all that the world has to offer. Should my husband join me on this page, I would be ready to pack up, sell up, load up the kids and go wherever the Lord leads…even into the depths of a poverty ridden, oppressed nation, to minister to the needs of the people there. To risk all for the proclamation of my Lord’s name. But…my husband is not quite on this page, and when a shiny, big, fast, loud (in more ways than one, as you will see) tough, four wheel drive, became available, his eyes clouded over. This truck is the epitome of all that the world has to offer…and I hated the sight of it! Not only is it big and flashy, but as a result of this, it turns heads every where it goes.

Arrgghh! I am attempting to stand out from the world, forsaking all for my Lord and Savior, and now, I am forced (forced, because it is the only vehicle we have running at the moment) to drive around in, well…

Tonka Truck

Whenever a comment came, my answer was, “*eye roll* It’s my husbands…” and there were plenty of digs at his expense, it is pink after all! But the biggest slap in my face came when I jokingly (many a true word is spoken in jest) said to my dear Christian friend aka BB that “my humility can’t be seen in this truck!” At that moment, the true colour of my heart became evident. It was not about honoring God with my finances, or about forsaking the things of this world; it was about appearing to be humble. Yuck! Pride rears it’s ugly head!

That evening, I read a comment in “Crazy Love” which asked, “Is this the most loving way to do life?  Am I loving my neighbour and my God by living where I live, by driving what I drive, by talking how I talk?” This question hung in my heart even as I slept at night, and as I awoke, I realized, that it wasn’t the flashiness of the truck, or the (in my opinion) ill allocated funds it represented that was distasteful to God, but rather the pride in my heart and the disrespect and dishonor that I was showing my husband.

So…I repented and diligently, lovingly and carefully, (with a happy heart), washed and vacuumed out the “Pink Panther” as it has been fondly nicknamed by some.

As I drove around yesterday, I had men, on two separate occations, start up conversations with me about the ute. It occurred to me, that the attraction of the vehicle brings with it grand opportunities to share the Lord. Should my husband get instep with God (I am praying and watching the Lord work in him), he will find that the opportunities to share the Lord with men in particular, will come thick and fast! Hallelujah!

One never fully knows the Lord’s plans, and all things can be used for His glory if we allow it. I know for sure, that by refusing to listen to the Lord and obey his word (I was doing this by not submitting and honoring my husband in spite of my opinions) I was stifling the Lord’s work. We can disagree with our husband’s ideas, but we will quickly remove ourselves from the Lord’s good pleasure when we go against His instructions in His word. We can disagree, but we must still obey God.

Anyway, officially, publically, I am sorry to my Lord and my husband for my pride and dishonor. I post this as a reminder to myself, that God’s way is always the best way, and He can work in ways that we do not expect. One day, I may have the chance to literally forsake all for the work of the Lord, but I will not be able to do this, if I cannot even honor Him with what I have already.

May God continue to illuminate the things in my life that need repentance and I pray that the Holy Spirit guides me into all truth, that I may walk in the way of the Lord in all things.