God works in so many ways. One cannot grasp them all or even begin to do so. I can’t even keep up with my prayer list and how God is working with each one on it. Every morning as I kneel to pray for the ones on it I am reminded that, “Oh yes, I don’t want to forget this need or that hurt or this problem.” By the time the next morning comes around I find myself thinking the same thing all over again. I’m so glad God is not like this! He doesn’t forget and He also has the entire universe on His Mind. To think we are created in His Image is impossible to fathom, yet He says we are and I do believe it. I look forward with tremendous anticipation for the day to come when the limitations of this sinful world are lifted. Then, we will know and understand SO MUCH MORE.
Today several important chores are being addressed. In taking care of them I don’t want to lose sight of Almighty God in the midst of them. I thank Him ahead of time for already having the details addressed for which I stew over in my mind. I also want to thank Him for being the same God who will take care of every detail listed on my prayer list and the prayer lists throughout this world. He must smile wondering why it takes us so long to let go and allow Him to be GOD of this universe!
The scripture I mentioned yesterday, I Corinthians 6:18-19, says, “…Any other sin which a man commits is one outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” The sexual sins of my brother against me have always been difficult for me to address/admit. He was a troubled young man having learning difficulties and a dad who was humiliated by them. So, dad would beat him unmercifully and I’d see this over and over. Dad would also verbally beat him up the same. Even though I received many of the beatings from dad both physically and verbally, I would steel myself saying I’d not let them get to me the way they did to Rich or to my older brothers. But, truth be known, both got to me deeply and once I began to admit this, I was helpless to do anything about them until Celebrate Recovery and the years of counseling and therapy. The class, Mending the Soul, also helped me to see what happened when mom stayed silent all those years.
The book, I Give You Authority, reveals the evil possession sexual sin has within us and outside us. I’ve never wanted to believe that I’d ever do to someone else what was done to me. However, the evil possession in me was keeping me believing I had no value to God contrary to what scripture tells. I wasn’t going to hurt someone else, I would, all these years, continue to hurt myself with the lies I believed stemmed from my childhood. I’m finding that facing this reality isn’t a small thing. I can’t face it as I did a couple days ago and live easily in it’s freedom. I’m finding that I need to keep fighting the evil lies which want to return each day. This I will do because now God’s truth is stronger in me than the lies had been. Glory be to God my Father!
Yesterday’s message was brief. As I began to write it a gentleman I meet with weekly arrived EARLY. He is the one I’ve been going through the book, I Give You Authority. The chapter we were to address was one for which I wanted to skip. It seemed to have no relevance to me, however, my friend had found much relevance in it so we went ahead and began. It didn’t take me very long to begin to see that blinders had been built in my mind which I needed to address. The blinders were like brick walls I’d built from childhood for which I’d never known to address. I won’t go into great detail, but I will say it ties to Paul’s writings in I Corinthians 6:18-20. Sexual sin impacts us in ways other sin doesn’t. God created us as sexual beings to enjoy with our chosen spouse. Outside of marriage, sex is sin. In these cases the impact of this sin type “affects us within and against our bodies”. This sin gives Satan inroads to our minds and our beliefs. All of this made perfect sense as God began to shed His Light into the sexual sin of my brother with me tied to my dad’s criticisms of the person I was. All of this fueled a belief system in me for which I’ve fought all my life until most recently.
Oswald Chambers said in his devotional today: “We should quit asking ourselves, ‘Am I of any use?’ and accept the truth that we really are not of much use to Him. The issue is never of being of use, but of being of value to God Himself.” This truth that we are each of value to God has never been real for me until recently. Now God is removing for me the “why’s” this wasn’t real. Yesterday I was able to Recognize this lie, Rebuke it, and then Replace it with the truth that God loves me dearly and I am of value to Him.
This value is so true for each of us. If you have struggled as I have, I pray God’s Light will shine brilliantly for you as it is now doing in this arena for me.
Last night’s Celebrate Recovery lesson was TURN. The bottom line for the lesson is to turn your life over to the Jesus Christ as our Savior. The ongoing turn in our life is the daily turning our will over to Jesus as Lord. I’m going to live here the rest of my life!
I wrote yesterday about going back today to the district I was with on Tuesday. I know that the “water runs deep” in this area I’m stepping into. I know how I’d want to handle this if I were the one in charge, but God is making it very clear that my role today is to be present. He is the One who wants to lead this work. He reminded me this morning that I am to be present and He will nudge as I am to respond. I’m grateful for this reminder too. My passion wants to delve into this head first. But, God has awakened in me a passion much deeper than my own. This is His Own passion. I don’t want to lose sight of it within me through HIs Holy Spirit.
Through the night last night I keep awakening to thoughts of this journey I’m on–the journey of recovery. God seems to be awakening more and more the journey of “living for Him”. So much of the journey of recovery needed to focus on my past. Now, the journey of living for Jesus focuses on today without the bondage of my past screaming messages to me inside my head. I’m so grateful for this miracle for which I now get to live. Our God is a Loving, Healing God! I use to long for this kind of living. Little did I know God was waiting for me to take the necessary steps addressing my fears so He could then be the VICTOR He already is. The voices still try to enter, but, the armor of God is so much more in place today addressing these lies of Satan. Praise be to God my Father!
Yesterday I went into a half day meeting wondering how God would work and what I was to do other than listen. This meeting went seemingly well. I contributed where it seemed appropriate and as I left I offered to give assistance in an area that seemed void of expertise needed. Before I got home and onto the rest of the day I had an email from the superintendent asking for me to step into this area of need. I responded thinking after Thanksgiving we could tackle it. However, after a couple of email exchanges, I’m going back tomorrow to get started. I’ve now been with this district for two years and this is the first time the door seems to be open.
It is amazing to watch how God works. Relationships and trust are always needed in order to do the best we can do. I am reminded that this is exactly the way God is with us. He waits for us to build our relationship with Him so we Trust Him enough to give our areas of void over to Him. It is then that He can shed Light where only darkness prevailed.
Today’s journey, I want to say has me on my knees, but in reality, it has me standing with arms upstretched towards heaven. I asked Jesus what He wanted me to know from Him for today as I do each morning at the end of my journaling. His response was to pray His Light would penetrate the darkness so many have surrounding them and within them. Instantly I wrote down the names of several for whom I know this to be true. It seemed I was not to pray on my knees but with my arms raised to the heaven, to God my Father. His Light is the penetrating Light to all darkness. I could call by name, the darkness–evil for which each person faces and I did this. I recognized the darkness, I rebuked it and I asked God to replace it with His Light of Truth which is the POWER to annihilate this present darkness!
We men are so prideful that we believe we have the power within the flesh to overcome and defeat whatever is before us. This is true all over the world. There are those who know this lie and we know it well. God is asking us to declare this lie of Satan and to rebuke it in the name of Jesus Christ! Then, the truth of God’s Powerful Light can penetrate this present darkness. GOD is the answer not only for each one of us but to the community of us. I stand with my arms raised towards heaven declaring this truth to God my Father for HE alone is THE GREAT HEALER of all darkness!
As I begin today I am reading some horrible events in Judges. The behaviors of man are pitiful when man is left on his own. It seems we are so easily swayed when there is no moral compass in front of us. The people of Israel were told to keep their eyes on God and obey the commands they were given. However, if they didn’t have another man telling them to do this, they quickly lost their way. I don’t think we are any different. Our leaders today are telling man to look to man to find their answers and look where we are. This is a history repeating itself.
I don’t know how many readers there are to this blog, but I do want to be known as someone who points man to Jesus. He is man’s answer to every trial we encounter: personal or in community. Lets all join forces and point man to Jesus Christ our one and only Lord and Savior.
Today’s journey starts as all others, in the den with my two devotionals, my bible and my prayer list. My bible reading had me reading the account of Samson in the book of Judges. In spite of Samson’s lifestyle, he was a man got anointed from conception. As long as he was obedient of God’s leadership in his life, God was Mightily at work using him to overcome the oppression of the Philistines. This message resonated and aligned so well with my devotional which was all about our obedience to God.
Within the past couple days I’ve found out about 4 of my greater family members who have this virus. Along with that, there are others battling their own grief. I was notified yesterday afternoon so I could pray. I was told that God hears my prayers and those of my wife Kathy. I’m always troubled when I hear this message because the weight of it seems too daunting. Yet, the title of today’s devotion is: “Am I My Brother’s Keeper?” A short excerpt from it says, “Has it ever dawned on you that you are responsible spiritually to God for other people?” It goes on to say, “Our sufficiency is from God…” and God alone.” II Corinthians 3:5.
I’ve always struggled with that sense of worthiness to carry someone else’s burden to God. The weight of my sin’s filth had me believing I was too unworthy. I would pray hoping God would hear the prayer in spite of me. Today, I realize that all of this is true. God hears my prayers in spite of sin done to me and those of my own choosing. My sufficiency or lack thereof does not make my prayers meaningful. It is God’s sufficiency in me which makes them meaningful. So, today I prayed for so many who are hurting. God seeks our obedience and sees us through HIs Sufficiency. Thanks be to God! Our God is Mighty to Heal and Save and I praise His Name for this!
My journey continues down this path I’ve written about yesterday and before. The beauty however, began to show forth yesterday with a phone call. The call said the issue is done. The source of the evil I cannot mention here is recognized and will be dealt with as such. Someday I’d like to tell this entire story but today is not the right day for telling. However, it is the day of thanksgiving for seeing God’s Almighty Power at work. There is something magnificent about our Father! I want to and will praise His Name for the rest of my days.