Today in BSF we learned some guiding principles for getting to know our Heavenly Father. It's very easy to be too busy enjoying creation to find time to get to know the Creator. Easy but tragic.
Imagine being at an art gallery, taking in the view, when the artist is standing next to you just waiting to tell you all about his work, his experience, his vision. And you walk away without noticing him there.
OR - more realistic for me - Imagine you have a 7 year old draw you a picture and you look quickly and move on to your next task while breaking her heart because you didn't sit quietly and listen to what the picture is all about.
So without further delay...here are some helpful tips for getting to know our God:
We can know God because He reveals Himself through His creation and design.
Let’s look around. We can know God through nature. We can know God through storms, through sunshine, through birds and bees. We can also know God through others. He created all humanity and He made us in His image. That is not to say that each of us looks just like God. But some part of each of us does look like the image of him. Maybe it’s our wisdom, maybe it’s our character, maybe it’s our strength or possible our noses. OK - it’s probably none of those things. But I do know we are created in His image.
We can know God because He reveals Himself through His Word.
We are able to read through scripture and find Him. Find His character. Find His will. Find how he treats His loved ones and their enemies. This book is full of verses that teach us all about Him. It’s His love letter to us. We can look for answers to our questions and often we can find those answers. But even when we don’t understand His will or His plans we cannot question His good character. We cannot accuse Him of wrong-doing. And I have to admit this is TOUGH. But if we go back and study His word we will find situations where His people could have, and probably did question what was happening and the reason for it. And we have the gift of being on this side of the cross with the bible in our hands to read a few chapters ahead of His people and their situation and find that God did in fact have a plan and it was in fact a perfect plan. We will never understand all His ways. These tiny minds just couldn’t comprehend the same thing our great God can. The verse that is most comforting to me personally is:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
We can know God because He reveals Himself through His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Jesus was fully man and also fully God. It’s hard to wrap our head around but it’s true. He came to earth and experienced the life that we experience here. The joy, the friendship, the loss, the heartbreak, the pain. He didn’t have to endure it all but He did. For me. And for you.
“I and the Father are one.”
Jesus answered: “Do you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
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A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend the day with sisters in Christ at a women's conference. The speakers there were amazing. Their testimonies took my breath away. Heart breaking to supernatural. One of my mentors shared how she trusted God and knew Him well but asked for many, many, many years one question:
Why? Why does God do the things He does?
I think some of us are more curious to know why He doesn't seem to do the things He is clearly capable of.
During our discussion we walked with the children of Israel from slavery through the wilderness and into the promised land. We learned the Hebrew word for slavery is to thwart, to frustrate, to make low or make submissive. In Exodus 1:11-14 the Egyptian Pharaoh is oppressing the Israelites with forced labor and blatant busy work so that they will be frustrated, weak and unable to fight back. The Pharaoh is distracting them from God's Truth.
But God shows up a few chapters later and reassures His children saying: "I will bring you out from under the yoke, I will free you, I will take you as my own people and I will be your God. Then you will know, I am the Lord." (paraphrasing Exodus 6:6-8).
I was very surprised to learn who led God's chosen ones into the wilderness. It was God Himself. There was a shorter route from slavery to the promised land but the shorter way involved facing war and God knew that the people might change their minds and return to Egypt. So in order to protect and prepare His people God took them the long way around.
Are you enslaved by something or someone?
Do you feel that God is leading you on a journey that could easily be a weekend road trip but instead is turning into a longer season of your life? Could He be protecting or preparing you for something greater?
I would love to hear about it.
PS - not sure if you've realized that I'm drawn to song titles rather than blog titles!! Is that bugging anyone else but me? HA!
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name;
You are Mine.
Isn’t it funny how a day that is dedicated to love can actually leave so many people feeling unloved?
For years I, along with many others I’m sure, have not enjoyed this day.
Ok, I actually despised it. It was obviously made up by the evil doers at Hallmark in order to make piles of money. You should be delivered roses, chocolates and be swept away by a knight on a white horse on this glorious day. Riiiiiiight.
Has that ever happened to you?
I actually have a dear friend who had a dozen roses delivered to her on Valentine’s Day. They were not only the saddest looking bunch of flowers ever but one of the blooms had been cut off and a thorny rose stem was left behind. 11 sad roses; wow what a picture of love!! (Let me be clear, her husband does love her very much. But no flower shop can bring a perfect bouquet, especially on this day.)
Ok, so enough sad reminders!!
Let me be the bearer of great news!!!!
You have a lover of your soul. He will never forsake you.
Never cut short. Never duplicated to every other girl in the office. Never rushed because He has 1,834 other deliveries to make this day.
Imagine if the CEO of Hallmark gathered His best writers to personalize a love letter with your name, your history, your love flowing through it. Then he mounted a perfect white horse and rode into your home to whisk you away to a flowery meadow of sunshine and strawberries. At the end of your day he explains that he has known you before you first knew him. He has loved you since before you met and that he will love you through the end of eternity. He tells you about his most beloved treasure and then explains how he will sacrifice it just for you. To make you perfect and worthy of this kind of lifestyle that he plans to give you.
A lifestyle where blessings abound around every corner.
Our heavenly father asks us not to fear on this Valentine’s Day.
He has redeemed you. He has called you by name. You are His. And being His means He has in store just for you a life so much greater than the one described above.
More than a life... an eternity.
I hope you will enjoy the day praising and worshiping your perfect Love.
When crisis hits we are often encouraged (or we encourage others) that everything is going to be okay.Or everything happens for a reason.Are those particularly helpful statements when your world is falling apart?I know they aren’t for me.Not because the person saying the words doesn’t want in their heart for things to be okay.It is because the person saying those words does not have the authority to make the statement true.But when we read these words from the Lord himself in Isaiah 41:10 they take on a whole new meaning.
His promises have never been compromised.God’s Word Never Fails.When we completely surrender to His will we will find a joy that is so immense, so unexplainable, so powerful that even the crises of this world cannot shake us.
So are we going to listen to our well meaning friends for support and hear that everything is going to be all right?Or are we going to listen to God who tells us not to fear?
Did you know the same letters that used in SILENT also are also used in LISTEN?
I hope that you’ll take a moment to be silent and listen to God’s word speak to your heart today.
I posted on 2/3, just four days ago. I just re-read that post and was shocked.
Since then I have done my bible study lessons, read my bible, prayed, attended a Christian woman's conference and I went to church.
And guess what else I've done... I have struggled with doubts. Doubts that I was worthy of my husband's amazing love. Doubts that God really knew what He was getting when He chose me (I must have sneaked in under His radar).
Serious soul shaking doubts.
I tell y'all this for two reasons.
This blog is going to be an open honest space. I'm going to share my thoughts, emotions, and my soul.
To warn you that when you start looking for God in your life and praying for His purpose, His plan, His will, the Evil One is going to be hot on your heals.
I know for a fact that I don't get much of Satan's attention when I'm going about my daily life until I really start trying to live for God. And then the whispers begin.
Whispers that I could never be good enough for Christ's perfect love. Whispers that I don't deserve my husband who has loved me even through the most devastating year of my life and our marriage. These are the little foxes that ruin the vineyards of our lives my friends. Of course we aren't worthy of Christ's perfect love. That is the reason He had to die on the cross. There is no way we could make it to heaven without Him. But just because we aren't worthy does not mean that His love is kept from us.
Only the Truth from Scripture can squash the Lies of Satan. And so I go back to my bible and I pull the verses that I need to remember, the Truth that I need to shout when Satan is whispering.
Keep your eyes open, my friends.
Be aware of the Truth and don't believe, even for a second, anything else.
God is comforting His people.He is their source of strength and peace.He’s saving them and leading them home.Embracing them and knowing their weakness yet lovingly caring for them.They can trust Him to rescue them.Let’s also take courage, find hope.He will return us to Him!
Isaiah is speaking of the awesome grandeur of God; His boundless wisdom and knowledge.God’s overwhelming greatness is the answer to our fears, doubts, arguments and questions.
Isaiah asks 10 rhetorical questions in 40:12-17.Their answers are clear:No one but God!!
He has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand.Have you ever been to the beach?Stood on the shore and felt so incredibly small?All the water on the earth (3/4 of the earth) God could hold in His hand.Think of splashing water on your face in the morning.Now think back to the view at the beach.
Have you been to West Texas?Have you looked breathless up at the stars trying to grasp how many there are and how many we can’t even see?God’s holds thousands of light years between His thumb and pinky finger.
Let’s think about the highest mountains here on earth.Mt. Everest is 6 miles high!And God can hold all the dust from that mountain and more in a basket.He can weigh the mountains and hills on a scale.
Our problems can seem pretty overwhelming at times.Too much month, not enough money; disagreements and disappointments with those we love most; a devastating diagnosis; these are not small struggles.And as humans we can hyper-focus on the army of evil coming after us.But God tells us to look to what is true, what is right, what is noble and praiseworthy and think on these things (Philippians 4:8).
We can read these passages to understand God and deepen our faith even in the dangers, pressures, and tragedies of this world.He is faithful.He does care.
I challenge you today to compare your struggle to His power.And embrace the peace that comes from Him (Philippians 4:7).
Isaiah 40:12-35 teaches us of God's incomparable power, presence and provision.
He is bigger than a tsunami.
He's in more places than the internet.
His provisions makes Vegas buffets look like a snack cracker.
Ok, that was a silly comparison. But really aren't they all?
Let's look at a few awesome attributes of our God.
He's Omnipotent - All powerful - Able in every respect for every work. He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Even the strongest nation or world leader will topple if God were to blow on them. (Isaiah 40:24)
He's Omnipresent - Everywhere-ness - He is in every place at the same time. There is no place He isn't. So those of you who feel you're alone in your own desert: Listen Up!! You're not alone. He's there, take a look-see: (Isaiah 40:26)
He's Omniscient - All knowledge - He knows everything. How to create a solar system. Check. How many hairs on your head. Check. Your deepest, darkest secrets, motives, desires. Check. (Yikes.) He knows all of our problems, every joy, He knows our hearts. Isaiah 40:28
If you're still singing Sinead O'Connor let me help you out here. There is another song that goes something like this: "You alone I long to worship, You alone are worthy of my praise." Have you thought, really thought, about that? God is almighty, all deserving, all worthy of our praise.
In the Old Testament there were folks that worshiped idols. Objects made of silver and gold or even wood. Seems silly, right? Let's see - we can worship the Creator of the moon and stars or... this statue of a calf!
*If you've received Christ into your life and repented for your sins, you are FORGIVEN.
God's forgiveness strengthens His people. He strengthens us so that we can prepare the way for His return. He is true to His word. He alone is our comfort. This assurance of forgiveness and peace that comes from God is a gift. We are still His in spite of our sin. He is bigger than anything we can imagine and His love for us is immeasurable.
It is time to declare His glory with a shout! Praise be to God!!!
*If you had any hesitation in your heart PLEASE GO here.