I joke around a lot about spring coming. In reality no one wants it here more than I do. I’m always so glad when this last day of February arrives for Spring does come in March. Yeah!
Yesterday was a big lesson day. A week or so ago I posted about God not wanting me to be a beggar, but to be a believer. I’ve tried to apply that in every aspect of each day since then. That was until yesterday. I won’t go into the specifics of what happened, but I very much went into the day begging and not believing. As the day went on I ended up as a beggar–still wanting. I didn’t sleep well last night. God awoke me at 3:30 this am so He and I could work through this. It wasn’t until I got to my journaling that I was instantly awakened to the truth I was lacking. I started to ask God why the day had ended the way it did and He immediately informed me that I had started the day begging as the old me had learned to do. I never even thought of addressing the day believing until it hit me this morning. Even though I lament the truth of this, I am so glad it happened so the seed of believing can now take root. I want this new man to be rooted in believing and not fall prey to begging. After yesterday’s lesson, I know the seed has rooted.
I spend today with a school district. Tomorrow I get to begin the landscape wall I’m replacing in my yard. It has been railroad ties for the past 19 years and it’s time to get rid of them. They became the home for several hornet/wasp nests last summer. I’m excited to get rolling on this. The blocks were delivered late yesterday so I can now go to work. This makes me feel even more like Spring is Here!
Today I started reading in James. I’ve always called this book the one all about discipline. If you were a christian you would do this and do that and hurry up and do it because you are on assignment. Today, however, as I began to actually read it as a new creation, the messages were much more personal and specific. I know that James was Jesus’ brother. I’ve often wondered what it was like for him to grow into the awareness of his own brother being his Savior and Lord? The book of James was obviously written once all of this awakening was done for he truly wants the readers to be on assignment for his Brother–Jesus Christ!
Anger is mentioned several times in chapter one. I’ve always feared anger due to my growing up years and its abusive use from dad’s own out-of-control anger. In reading it this time I began to see anger for what it is–an emotion that we are told can be a sin if misused as well as much other insights. It falls right in line with all the other sin natures.
The other thing this first chapter states is listening to and responding to the Word. As I was reading it I was also hearing the Word through the lens of a new creation where fear wasn’t present. Instead, it was with a heart for understanding. I felt nudges from the Holy Spirit about taking action where He wants me doing so. I’m coming to understand that the nudges from the Holy Spirit aren’t suggestions–they are The Holy Spirit’s commands for us to obey. When I asked God about these nudges He said they are spiritual language. As I become better acquainted with living in the new creation I will get more and more comfortable hearing and responding to them. It seems a little odd but when I put them in perspective, it isn’t odd at all. So, today I’m on assignment for God.
Last Friday I was coming off of an impacting, full day from Thursday. It had left me questioning some of what I do. I had asked God about it Friday morning in my devotional time. I was wondering if I was on target doing what He wanted me doing? He told me to wait until today as He knew my passions were running high and I needed time for my own spirit to calm. I have never had a message from God like this before. My mom had told me to always wait three days before I acted on something important. She said if the desire to act was still present after 3 days then you’d know to act. God’s passion doesn’t wain, man’s always does. God was giving me the same message mom had shared with me so many years ago.
Today as I began my devotions it was clear what I was to be doing. When I get involved with school district’s doing the consulting work I sometimes get overly involved emotionally regarding the needs, etc. I begin to think I ought to be spending more time doing it rather than pulling away from it. However, I could not commit to more time with it unless I cut back on the ministry work I do. In these past couple of days God has made it abundantly clear He wants me doing this ministry work. I want my passion aligned with His and led on by The Holy Spirit. Hebrews 12:29 says God is a consuming fire. His fire is burning inside to help those stuck and lost. So, I’ll remain doing as I have been. To God be the Glory!
I just reread yesterday’s post before starting this one. As I was reading it I thought, “was that only yesterday and the day before that all that happened?” I awoke this morning in a fog. The pollens of spring are starting to appear and I’m allergic to most of them. My eyes burn and my head is rummy. I started my devotions feeling weary. My mind was on a couple of the guys I spent time with yesterday and the burdens they are carrying. While I was into the day yesterday I finished listening to a CD series called BELIEVING GOD by Joyce Meyer. It was helping me frame believing God rather than begging God which I had addressed last Sunday, I think. However, this morning, in my weariness, I was trying to picture believing and wasn’t making any progress. I was too weighted down with my old thinking about my own believing.
As I began my devotions I wrote this struggle in my “Freedom” journal by Graham Cooke. There is no room for this struggle in God’s picture of His Freedom. I just couldn’t seem to find it today. My Bible reading was Hebrews 12 (I was rereading it from yesterday. There is so much meat in it I needed to grasp it more deeply.) The 28th verse said, “Let us therefore, receiving a kingdom that is firm and stable and cannot be shaken, offer to God pleasing service and acceptable worship with modesty and pious care and godly fear and awe.” The 29th verse goes on to say–“For our God is indeed a consuming fire.”
As I began my journaling portion of my devotional time I told God I was feeling helpless. After listening to these men yesterday, I was incapable of giving any assistance. Instantly God told me I was placing these needs against my beliefs of me. He reminded me that these needs are to be placed against my belief in HIM. He went on to say that my beliefs in myself were formed from my childhood abuse both from my brother and dad. It was time now to acknowledge His healing of those old beliefs now that I’m addressing believing with Him as a new creation. He began to show me that I’ve been afraid to be touched and to touch due to the sexual abuse. He now wants me to touch and to be touched because this is part of using my hands and arms for His Glory. He told me that I have never seen me doing anything good with my hands due to dad’s verbal abuse criticizing any work he saw me do. God told me to look around my yard and see all that I have built with my hands and have even heard much praise about it. It is time to let God heal these character defects in my thinking of what He is doing for me and my BELIEVING. He is truly awakening in me what the scripture says in Philippians 4:13–“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
God told me one more thing I’m hesitant to put into this blog but I will do it because I’m sensing His urging. He said, “I want you singing. Your singing gives hope to the down trodden. Use it for MY GLORY. There is Light in the gifts I give to My children. Now go, do it My son.” This was most tender for me to hear. My singing has always been my coverup for the lack of anything else worthwhile I could do. I believed God gave this gift to me just for that reason. Today God let me know that this too is another character defect in thinking. I’ve let it go and will believe it is a LIGHT for God’s Glory. How much I love my Father God!
I said yesterday that it was a day of testing–testing to see if I could stay in the new creation I am in God’s Team: God Himself, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit. It was a rather amazing day. The drive to the school is a 2.5 hr drive. I was to be there at 10:00 am. I left my home at 7:20 to allow a small cushion of time. By the time I got 40 miles into the trip I was driving into a blizzard which worsened the rest of the way. Amazingly, I walked into the school at 10:02 am. We got started on the work only to get interrupted 45 minutes later hearing that school is being cancelled for the rest of the day. The drifting snow was making it impossible for buses to run on the country roads. By 1:00 pm we decided to reschedule all that was still needing completed. This was done and I headed home. Luckily, 50 miles into the trip home I was out of the snow blizzard and just facing 60 mph winds. I made it home for the 6:00 pm board meeting.
The board meeting was to be one of stress I thought. Hours prior to the meeting, there were several emails from some of the board and I had two phone calls from them. God held us steadfast so that the actual meeting went extremely well. Far better than I ever dreamed it could. Two of the board members were unable to attend due to their illnesses. They happen to be two of the three members who were making the meeting tense (at least for me).
This morning I have a conference call at 8:00 am so I awoke with work on my mind and emotions stirring about yesterday’s outcomes. I so want to do God’s work but I’m caught wondering if God has been the instigator of all I do or if I’m doing all of it so “I can be doing.” When I asked God this question He seemed to say, “Give yourself time to be quiet. Your emotions need to slow down and be calm. This will allow Us to talk.” I truly needed to hear that.
God is such an amazing God. He never wavers from Who He Is and He is so good at keeping me with Him. I am just now awakening to the truth of this. I now know that it is His Holy Spirit within me that keeps me with Him. In all of yesterday’s storms and meeting time God was very present. I don’t want to pull away from this. The scripture, Proverbs 3:5&6 says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.” Instead of leaning on my understanding I want to lean on God’s and wait until I know His understanding before I act. Thanks be to God my Father.
Today is a day of testing for me. I’m completing two main assignments which man would call stressful. The most time consuming one is a school district I’m working with today in the central part of our state. It has some major issues needing addressed. So, I’m leaving in a short while to spend most of the day with them. Tonight is the meeting with our Aslan board and another board about possibly partnering in the work of Aslan–taking girls out of the sex-trafficked market and providing them a safe haven and completing their education. This meeting has had red flags from the start for half of the Aslan board and has had nothing but green lights from the other three on it–thus the stress of walking into the meeting and heading it.
I awoke early today, 4:30 am. I knew there would be no more sleep and God was wanting to visit. The message I needed to get clear in my head for all of today is that I don’t go into any of today as a beggar. I am a believer. He wanted me to envision what today would look like with me taking my eyes off of the people involved in each part of the day and to see Him in the midst of the day instead. He also informed me that what I see as big and stressful, He sees as just a task of man. Man’s nature dealing with another man’s nature is what makes all of these issues tough. When man takes his eyes off of his selfish intent and looks at what God’s Light is showing, all the stresses disappear. Instead, we see what God is creating.
It was amazing to awaken at 4:30 feeling the stress of the day and starting to sense the anxiety of addressing them. Now, a couple hours later, I am eager to walk into both events and watch what God’s Light will expose. I can do this because I won’t be coming into them as a beggar, but as a believer in the One True God who already has His answer in place waiting for us to grasp it and go to work. I like working for Him!
Today I find myself moving into the journey again. The past few days I’ve felt as though God was needing to prepare me for living daily as a new creation. Today I’m taking steps into it. What started this for today was the fact I have several things to get done today–work related and then emotionally I’m prepping for what could be a controversial meeting tomorrow night. My old self would harbor anxiety and fear all day today about tomorrow night’s meeting. I’d surrender it numerous times and be the beggar rather than the believer (message of last Sunday). This morning God is challenging me to live in today and do the work of today as a new creation. Tomorrow I will be this new creation in the tasks of tomorrow. I write this sensing a freedom I’ve not known. I do thank God for this.
Scripture says God sees Christ in us when He looks at us. This is when we have accepted Christ as our Savior. This morning I asked God how I am to see Christ in me when I face issues like tomorrow’s? God assured me that my assignment is to live today before I seek out tomorrow. Part of living a new creation’s life is to trust tomorrow’s work. God is working on tomorrow, today, but my work is only for today. All I can do for tomorrow is worry which is a sin. I don’t want to go there. I do thank God for the clarity He’s given. I’m going to walk out of this den this morning the new creation I am and complete what is on today’s plate and let tomorrow take care of itself. I’ll do my part in tomorrow as it arrives. To God be the Glory!
I think the journey is still on pause, not that I’m doing nothing, but God is wanting to solidify some fundamental Spirit Kingdom facts. I’ve already hit upon many days worth of new creation items. However, in order to live fully in this new creation I have to let go of some character defects I’ve had. Another one of these defects were pointed out today.
Christ lives in us–our heart is His throne. The Holy Spirit is now within us to empower us as we surrender to Him. I’ve known this most of my life but have hugely questioned its strength in me. I realize “His still small voice” is reference to The Holy Spirit’s voice in us because of I Kings 19:11-13 where God spoke to Elijah in a still small voice after an earthquake and fire. I think most of us, if not all of us, know this voice. Man calls it the voice of our conscious. Now the truth for me–I’ve always thought this was a weakness of God. This still small voice did give good advice, but it never stopped the abuse of my past and it doesn’t stop the abuse that continuously takes place throughout the world. I’ve wrestled with this my entire life. Today, I asked God why His Holy Spirit’s voice is ALWAYS a still small one? His response was immediate. He asked me to recall what He gave to man at the time of creation–CHOICE. His still small voice is always present to give us the guidance of His Kingdom, but He will never interfere with our ability to choose the message of this voice or the one from our own selfishness.
Once this message was clearly in my mind I could immediately see the STRENGTH which is right behind the message of the still small voice. The voice is small so it doesn’t interfere with choice, but if we choose to follow the message of the voice, the power of Heaven is kicked into gear! Wow, I love the mental picture I see as I meditate on this. When I lived in the old self who was abused and beat down, The Holy Spirit was dis-empowered and weak. I could rarely rely on any strength from the message. I’ve spent most of my life here. However, today, as I live in this new creation God has given me, I have this growing awareness of the real TRUTH behind “this still small voice”. I’m so glad God never gives up on us (me)!
Even though I’m on this journey, God has put a temporary halt to any forward motion until I get this new creation He’s given me operational. Yesterday I posted several new findings about being a new creation which were found in Hebrews 4. Today in Hebrews 5&6 God is talking about righteousness. It is my word of the day. As soon as I read it this morning I heard that voice within saying: “This is a spiritual noun”. I knew it was one of those words that has substance in God’s Kingdom–His Spiritual Kingdom. I’ve been told in my younger years, “you just think you are so righteous.” It was an insult. Whoever said it to me thought I was trying to be better than they. That sure wasn’t true. It was more about not wanting to drink booze or something along that line.
Today God is making it clear that righteousness is His Gift of giving us The Holy Spirit and His Son Jesus. When we accept Christ as our Savior we get the benefit of His work on the cross–our sins are forgiven once and for all. When we awaken to our need of having Christ be our Lord as well as Savior, righteousness takes on a role of significance within. I’ve known this a long time, but this morning God has been wanting me to awaken to the fact it is true for me and I am to now live it, walk it and be it. I’m not doing it from my effort. My spirit is no longer my selfish one, it is The Holy Spirit who is already Righteous. The added part that Hebrews 6:11 states is to be diligent about it.
When it comes to diligence in human terms, I am quite diligent. When I’ve made a commit to do, I will do it. However, in the spiritual realm, diligence has had a very different picture. I’ve been committed to daily devotions for over 40 years and journaling for over 20 years. This has been because of my human diligence. But, to be diligent about righteousness? I couldn’t do that. I was so tarnished and as soon as Satan would throw it in my face, I’d fade into the lie that I wasn’t righteous. Today, however, God is taking care of that once and for all. He said, “Yesterday you walked out of this den a new creation. Today you are going to stand, walk and be a new creation who is righteous. You will be because the blessed Holy Spirit–my Gift–is within you.” You can weep with joy with me in this too! It makes my cry again typing it here.
I don’t have much grounding in this “noun of the Spirit Kingdom–righteousness” but I know I will because God doesn’t start a work and leave it undone. He is the Father of persistence. I’m looking forward to growing in this for the rest of my life.
God is truly bringing me to a reality He has wanted for me all my life. This reality is the one of me being a new creation in Him from the work He did through Jesus Christ on the Cross. In my scripture reading today: Hebrews 4, it states in vs.s 12-16 the following:
- the Word that God speaks is: alive and full of power
- it is sharper than any two-edged sword
- exposes, analyzes and sifts the very thoughts and purposes of the heart
- Our High Priest–Jesus: sympathizes and has a shared feeling with our weaknesses
- has been tempted and tested in every way as we are
- did not sin during these tested times
- Let us come fearlessly, confidently, boldly to the throne of grace
In an insert after these verses Joyce Meyer writes the following: “When you and I pray we need to make sure we approach God as believers, not as beggars….”
In the topic of homosexuality, as I’ve been bringing to light these past days, I’ve only dealt with it as a beggar. I’ve begged God so many times throughout my life to remove the abuse of it and the torment of it, I’ve lost total count. Today however, as a new creation, God’s word spoke to me as the new creation I’m becoming more awake to. As a beggar I’ve never known God’s strength–I’ve just wished for it. Today, God tells me to come as a believer. I, a new creation, can believe in this topic.
As I was journaling, following this scripture reading, I suddenly had a mental picture of me standing as a new creation. I had Christ within me and The Holy Spirit throughout me. (I have had this picture before). Today, however, this person walked out of the den, where I have devotions, as a new creation. This person was standing and walking and believing. This morning my step study lesson is READY. Today I am ready for God to remove this character defect I’ve carried my whole life. I am standing, walking and believing I am a new creation and I will never be the same again. Wow, cry and rejoice with me. I pray, if you struggle with a character defect similarly, this is true for you too. The bondage is removed–this is what a beggar lives with. I am a new creation living and believing while I stand and walk into this day.