Wednesday, October 26, 2011

waiting

I just want to be in love.
This feeling hits me occasionally and usually makes me depressed (because of the fact that I don't have a 'significant other' and am nowhere near having one). But tonight, for some reason, it just leaves me happy. Hopeful. Optimistic to a fault. I think part of the reason is because today, God had the victory. My day was his, completely. And it changed it, from the past weeks that I've been living for myself for the majority of the days. I've been happier.
Anyway, I was on Pinterest wasting time (story of my life), and stumbled across all these fantastically lovely pictures of couples in love. holding hands. kissing. being coy. all that wonderful stuff that couples do. and I just want a man in my life. I mean, I'm on this "guy fast" so obviously I can't have one now. but I feel so ready. not that I want to rush God's timing... I will wait. I just want it now.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

omniscience!

what a fantastic word. when you get all literal and take it back to its Latin, you're looking at two parts: "omni" which means 'all', and "science" which means 'to know'. to know all. quite literally. 
and how cool is it that our God is omniscient? he knows all. He knows what is racing through your mind and pounding in your heart and burned into your memory. He knows what happened on December 13, 1675 (random date, no importance). He knows what will happen on February 25, 2401. He knows the number of hairs on your head, the last time you cried, your deepest fear, your favorite memory, and your decision you most regret making. 
Basically, he knows what His plans for our individual lives and for the world in general are. and not only does he know them, he is calm. At least, he always has been in the past, so I'm assuming he's sticking to his usual nature. Isaiah 6 says it this way: "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple." I'm not really sure who King Uzziah was, but I'm pretty sure he was important and his death was not celebrated. My bible commentary says, "Uzziah has been a good king, now he is dead. It is the belief of many that he was the last great long of the southern kingdom of Judah and that after his death the glory of the Lord was no longer to be seen." TRANSLATION: Isaiah sees that since Uzziah has died, the nation of Israel is lost. There will be famine, depression, and lack of prosperity, most likely. If I were Isaiah, I'd be in a tizzy. I'd be freaking out and crying and trying not to drive myself insane (no, really). But Isaiah goes to the temple. He goes to meet with God. 
And when he gets there and gets on his face before God, he sees God. ok, um first off, let's just stop there. he sees God! maybe not literally but still. even to "see" God, figuratively, is a big deal. it's a life-changing moment; you cannot come close to God without being changed. and you must be close to Him to see Him, no? I just love that it takes Isaiah hitting rock bottom to see God... it reminds me that this awesome prophet was a human, just like me, and sometimes took God for granted and didn't remember that He is all-powerful until bad things happened and he was at his wit's end...
and when he sees God, I find it interesting that Isaiah notes that he's seated. not standing up, gripping the edges of his throne in confusion over how this could have happened. he's not surprised or taken aback in the least, he knew it was coming (omniscience!). and he's just seated, ready to speak to Isaiah. 
and there, seated and unworried, God looks out from his throne where he sits, high and exalted. doesn't this just drive home the point of His omniscience? HE IS GOD AND WE ARE NOT. That's why He's on the throne, not Uzziah or Isaiah. God is the one who is really in charge of it all, though sometimes we lose sight of that and only see the people that we think are at the top, here on earth. He knows all, He knows what he is doing, and He is in control of it all, ruling calmly from His throne. {which doesn't mean He is distant... if you are a born-again Child of His, His throne is also in your heart.}
And later, when the Lord is looking for someone to go talk to His people, he simply asks: "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" No yelling, no running around begging someone to go. He just asks. He doesn't even stand up and cup his hands around his mouth and take a deep breath before venturing to ask the question. He just speaks. 

I love that God is calm, cool, & collected. He is omniscient! I keep telling myself again. He knows what he is doing. That's why HE is God, and I am not... and saying that always reminds me of a little song I learned here at MC, back when I was 9 and before I knew my life would begin here. it proclaims: For YOU are God, and I am not, so give me understanding to know Your will and seek Your way. For You (point at yourself) are God- NO YOU'RE NOT!  YOU (point to Heaven) are God. For You (point to neighbor) are God- NO YOU'RE NOT! YOU (point to Heaven) are God. 
I claim these biblical truths over my life right now, God. I know that You know all and I am not God, and I am so grateful for that. But some of these sudden changes in circumstances are scary. Help me to trust you, that you've known what you are gonna do since the beginning of time. Because I know you have. Teach me to be calm and rest in the peace of Your will. As You Wish.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

the spirit of prostitution (a caramel-macchiato-induced-self-realization)

you learn something new every day. apparently, you can have a spirit of prostitution. who knew? I always thought of a prostitute as a woman who sold herself to men, physically. well God has some pretty HUGE things to say about spiritual prostitution in Hosea. if you've never read Redeeming Love (which is based on the book of the bible, Hosea), the storyline is this: man of God is seeking God's heart to find woman to marry. God says "Look, a prostitute. your future wife." (not kidding) and Hosea ACTUALLY MARRIES HER. She leaves, comes back, leaves, comes back... many times. Until finally between Hosea's unconditional love for her and Christ's pursuing her, she goes back to her husband for good. Originally Hosea was written as a metaphor for how Israel would desert God over and over again and then expect to be back in good graces with Him while His wrath was burning against His people whose hearts were so far from Him. Yet every time, God's unconditional love won over and He forgave and redeemed His people again.
are you seeing the connection here, friend? I do believe God wrote the story of my life in like 12 B.C. I claim that I am after His heart. I claim that He is my First Love. I claim that He's my number one.
YET.
I search for love from others before love from Him. I seek the admiration and applause of my peers before seeking His affection. I value the respect and reputation I have with others higher than personal righteous living through a holy God. 
how wrong is that?
Day by day, I have been selling myself to this world. Little by little, in small enough increments and innocent enough pursuits to keep the red flags from going off in my heart. But something clicked today. I've been slowly working through Hosea for the past two weeks, and realizing how far I've been from My Love. But tonight, I got it.
"Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD until he comes and showers righteousness on you. But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception. Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors." (Hos. 10:12-13)
I almost skipped right over it, but something with the word "deception" caught me, and reminded me of Jeremiah 17:9 (at least I think that's the reference...)- The heart is deceitful above all else, and desperately wicked; who can know it?
and BAM, there it was, like a sack 'o bricks hitting the floor. We all plant wickedness, evil, and deception. I may not be an axe murderer or sex trafficker but every day that I choose to set anything or anyone above God, I am planting seeds of wickedness in my heart. I am deceiving myself when I say that this one crush on a guy isn't going to effect my relationship with God- when in reality it takes over my thoughts and slowly tugs me away from His heart. and that's not how it's supposed to be AT ALL.  I am planting evil when I let pride control my thoughts, actions, and words. When I think of myself as better than others. When I decide that fear will conquer my dreams for Christ, before even trying. When I let convenience dictate how radical I will be for Christ today. 
Geez, I'm convicting myself now. Do you get my point, friend? I try to exclude myself from this passage in Hosea and try to pretend that I'm not a prostitute to this world in my spirit, but I am. and I KEEP GOING BACK FOR MORE. I depend on my own strength to power me through the day and take care of my future hopes and plans. Yet that will only lead me to destruction, how well I know it; and still, I seek to control myself and not yield to my Creator. 
It is time to seek the Lord until He comes,
not until I get tired of waiting on Him, or until I find other entertainment. until He comes. until He redeems me. until He buys me back out of prostitution to this world and calls me His Own again. (I'm in no way inferring that I've lost my salvation... if you're confused, please comment).  Hosea 2 talks about God restoring Israel: "Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor (Trouble) a door of hope, There she will sing as in the days of her youth..." (2:14-15) and what a beautiful picture that is. and, HALLELUJAH, Christ is going to do that for me. He'll come and lay me to waste so I can be restored and redeemed and made whole again. So I can sing again. So I can find hope again. "Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds (Job 5:17-18)... Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, HE WILL APPEAR; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth." (6:1&3) 
And finally, after all this has passed, I will be His again. He says: "I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord." (2:19-20)
Is there any more beautiful way to say it? After I have wandered and sold myself to those who should never have owned me, and now have been redeemed- I am bought back! I am His and He is mine, we are betrothed in righteousness, justice, love, compassion, and faithfulness. The perfect relationship. The perfect love story. The perfect God.


"There's no such thing as perfect people, there's no such thing as a perfect life. So come as you are, broken and scarred; lift up your hearts, and be amazed, be changed by a perfect God."

welcome to midnight.

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