Yesterday I spent a couple hours with the man I mentioned. I wouldn’t have known him if I had to choose from two people on the sidewalk. The last time I’d seen him he was a young, vibrant man. Yesterday, he was a broken person living life one day at a time sharing a home with over 10 other broken men. As he told me his story I could see the spirit rising of the youthful man he once was. Then, another tragedy and it would disappear. Yes, the choices he made in his lifetime brought about tremendous damage to his body and spirit, but he wants to find God and find a purpose for living now. I had little to offer him except that God is always interested in helping us find Light again–His Light. He is getting daily help which is good.
Today I go back to one of my schools. There is much to do but I will be doing it alone and sharing my work through emails since the principal is quarantined due to his exposure last week. These times are troubling to say the least, but each day when I’m at the schools and see the children coming to learn, I am always motivated to work through whatever obstacles are before us. We cannot let months and years go by lessening what we offer our children in this area of their education. God always has a way and we will find it with Him.
Well, it is just a cold. I thought I knew that, but in today’s climate, I also knew I needed to confirm it so I’m glad I did.
This morning I am meeting with a man I haven’t seen for many years. I’ve stayed in touch with his parents, but he has been out of the picture for quite some time. He reached out to me Sunday evening and this morning we will meet. I know there is troubling news for him. He has struggled for many years with addictions and more recently he lost his only son which almost took him over the edge. I’m praying that God will use this time for His Glory and Honor. I have no idea what this will look like, but I know God does.
Last night a young man came for dinner with Kathy and me. He had exciting news he wanted to share. That then led into some very troubling news he also wanted us to know. I won’t go into the details of this, but God is God! This morning my first devotional reading was from II Timothy 1:7. It reads, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” The author goes on to write that in today’s troubling situations, we can become overwhelmed with fear knowing we ought to do something, but what? It is during these times that God’s quiet voice often speaks with a message. If we listen and obey the clarity comes. It may seem challenging when we hear it, but this message carries with it the power, love and sound mind which God promises us. I took a picture of this and sent it to last night’s guest. God is always so good!
I am getting a later start this morning. I rose at my typical time to head to the school district I typically visit on Mondays. However, I could tell through the night that a cold is settling in my head–(my weak spot for colds)! With everyone trying to be very careful these days I knew I shouldn’t go with these symptoms. I’m headed to the health clinic when I’m done writing this just to make sure this is just a cold. I come in contact with too many people to do otherwise.
Yesterday after church I made a visit to my prayer warrior. I wanted to tell her of the recent victories God continues to provide. It has been so amazing to me that she suggested the book I mentioned yesterday for its help for my friend. Yes, he is getting lots of help from it, and I am too! Little did I know just how many doors I still had locked away in my memory bank holding onto things I just didn’t know how to address, so I hadn’t. When I told this to my warrior, she said it is no surprise to her, God is still helping her see her own humanness in areas of her life. Our God is so relentless in His Abiding Love.
The weight of sin on each one of us can be so subtle that we don’t know it is there. This is what I’ve been experiencing for the past several weeks as I’ve been doing this book study I’ve mentioned numerous times. Once again, it is: I Give You Authority, by Charles Kraft. This book was suggested to me by my spiritual mentor/prayer warrior. The author’s main purpose in writing it is to help the reader not only know that Satan’s demons are real, what they do is real and what they do in society today is still as real as it has been since creation.
Recently, what I’ve been reading has exposed the beliefs I’ve had about God’s creation of dad, my bother Rich and myself. I’ve never gone there in my thinking nor has any counseling session taken me to this point. My abuse from them started before conscious memory began for me which has left me with an insecurity about who I am and why I was created. Even though I’ve forgiven them for the years of abuse, if I saw their faces in my mind, it always triggered the memories of abuse. Yesterday’s meeting with my friend brought out the ugliness of this and the bondage it had on me. God has been helping me to to not only love myself and appreciate myself, but He has been steadily helping me to have confidence in myself. So, in yesterday’s meeting I was able to address the bondage called “lack of confidence”. As I addressed the truth of this bondage in me and saw it as a tightly closed closet within me, I was able to open the door on which Christ was knocking. The demon had to flee in Christ’s presence and I am free today. I am free to see Rich as my brother and to see dad as my dad. Yes, they sinned, but Christ forgave them of this. Now I no longer have the weight of their sin upon me–Praise God!
I don’t think I’ve ever written so late in the morning. The man I usually meet with Thursday am came today right as I was starting to write this. I now know why God wanted me to wait in writing it as He wanted me to recognize more of His Work before hand. God’s promises are SO TRUE–as though anything God says isn’t true! Knowing the truth, believing the truth and trusting it in all areas of my life have taken a lifetime and a long lifetime for me. No matter–I am just so grateful to finally see the cleansing blood of Jesus cleaning every aspect of me. In so doing, it is also helping me to see and know my brother and my dad as genuine human beings who struggled with aspects of living their own lives. Instead, until now, l have seen them as abusers who were human. God is so AMAZING and I keep seeing more and more ways that this is true!
I am no theologian, but this morning’s devotional time took me into what I believe would be a theological moment. As I’ve written a couple days ago, I’m reading through Leviticus and journaling the promises of God as I find them. Today I was reading about the blood sacrifices and their purposes in chapter 17. It was there that I read a reference to Genesis 2:7 when God breathed the breath of life into Adam after he was created. Adam was already alive at the moment, but the breath of life which God breathed into him was the breath of eternal life–God’s Spirit. The created body of Adam now carried the life of God in its blood flow. This is what separated him from the animal kingdom. This is also why Christ’s shed blood on the Cross was so important for you and me. Adam’s blood was polluted when he sinned. Christ’s blood was not.
I have never pictured in my mind the truth about this blood sacrifice and the blood’s importance to me (each of us). What really took me back for a moment was that I have the life blood of Jesus flowing through me cleansing and nourishing every part of me. This body of mine which I’ve struggled with all of my life has the continuous cleansing blood flowing through it! This body of mine which I’ve always viewed as abused and tarnished throughout has been cleansed completely and I today can see it this way! Is this theology? I don’t know, but what I do know is that I AM CLEAN by the blood of the LAMB–JESUS CHRIST! What a revelation of truth!
Today’s lesson for me is simple, but profound. Yesterday I spent the day with a consultant working with a district I serve. Today I will be with her again and tomorrow also. We spend time after observing instruction to analyze what we see so we better offer what is needed for the staff. The human reasoning is always at work. So, what does this have to do with my lesson of today? In my devotional reading it focused on the difference between human reasoning and spiritual obedience. In the world of flesh we try to use our reasoning skills to better prepare for today and tomorrow. In our spiritual world we don’t usually know, if ever we do, what God is going to have us do if we are obedient to His Spirit’s nudge/s. Reasoning often gets in the way of our simple obedience, at least it sure does for me.
This seems like a simple lesson to put into place, but…. The devotional went onto say that following our obedience we are able to discern what obedience allowed to take place. Obedience coupled with faith/trust is key. A simple lesson, but so profound.
It is amazing to read God’s Word from the perspective of living today rather than to know about what took place so many thousand years ago. Today in Leviticus God was giving Moses directions for the Israelites about eating. Following the directions there was another promise which is found in Leviticus 11:45. It says in part, “…therefore you shall be holy for I am holy.” Not only did God promise from yesterday’s reading that the glory of God would appear to all of them, He now tells them they will be holy because He is holy.
These promises of old are not dead promises. In fact, they are even more accessible for us today because of Jesus Christ and His promised gift of The Holy Spirit. I don’t just want to know this, I then want to believe it and lastly to live it out day by day in how I live each day. These promises, for which I am only starting to see are real for me, are right here for you and me. It is as though blinders are being lifted from my eyes. I love this! Thank you Jesus!
As I was journaling this morning I was telling Jesus that the Old Testament I’m reading through has so many rules and regulations. Since they don’t really apply to today since Jesus did His supreme sacrifice, do I need to reread them again? I was nudged to instead look for God’s promises in His Word. So here I am reading in Leviticus and right in the chapter I started in I saw Leviticus 9:6 “…The Lord will appear to you.” and then in the same chapter, Leviticus 9:23, “…and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people.” I felt nudged to take a small notebook and begin to write down the promises God gives man throughout the Old Testament.
Things weren’t working out for today the way I’d hoped they would. I wrote yesterday about the meeting with the pastors which only one was coming. I’m still going to meet with him later this morning. I had one other meeting I’d hoped could take place this morning which wasn’t materializing either. I write this and realize just how much I want each day to go my way instead of walking into each day wanting to go God’s Way.
When we do God’s Will He will appear to us and after we do God’s Will His Glory appears to us as is promised in Leviticus 9. God’s Word is AMAZING! I’m glad to have my eyes opened to a greater learning.
This new week begins. Tomorrow I’m to meet with the pastors in the neighboring town to see if there is interest in beginning the joint Celebrate Recovery from their churches. We met with them a month ago and planted the seed for this. I heard yesterday from the lady who is hosting the location for the meeting that only one pastor is planning to be there. I want to jump ahead and translate this into my meaning which isn’t a good one. However, as I had my devotions this morning it was clear that I’m to move forward without my expectation. This is God’s Work for which He has me doing mine–obeying. I can’t interpret God’s timing and I sure can’t know the future He is planning. What I can do is obey for today and I know this is what He is wanting of me.
God is such a GOOD GOD. I want to please Him by obeying as the day begins and continue throughout the day. In reading Leviticus 5-9 this morning I read that Moses sacrificed the ram to purify his brother Aaron and Aaron’s sons. In so doing Moses put the ram’s blood on the tip of the right ear, the tip of the right finger and the tip of the big, right toe. Joyce Meyer writes that this is to signify that they would hear God’s voice, do what He asks and go where He wants them to go. We are to do the same for the blood of Jesus Christ was shed for us. I loved this clarity she provided. This is obedience. This is my assignment.