Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Uh Oh! Followed by the sound of a loud swallow.

Sorry people, I try to write short posts. I swear I do. I promise it's worth while. While I did find peace and reassurance in God's word this morning, I also found something else.

I use the New Testament One Year Bible in the New Living Translation as my study guide. A way to break it up into daily edible peaces. I love it. I highly recommend it. I didn't study so much Sunday morning before church, I only read the short section. November 2nd is dedicated to Hebrews 4. (It is my personal opinion that Paul is writing not to the people of his time and to the church of his time but to the modern church; today's church).

In verses 1 & 2 Paul explains that through Christ we have a promise of rest but warns that we should have a fear of the Lord about us because there is a loop hole. Though God's love is unconditional, his promises are not, as pointed out in the old testament in Psalm 95 where God calls his creation to submit. He has called us to obedience and worship. He continues in Psalm 95:8-11 by promising that those who go astray in their hearts, those who do not know his ways...they shall not enter his rest. Obedience is always the loop hole. Disobedience is always the thing that knocks out from under his promises. That's where the "uh oh" comes in. Rest evades me at this time in my life. Something is out of whack. God has asked me to do something that I'm not doing or has asked me to stop doing something and I've continued. Trouble is, I may even know what it is. Which is way worse than ignorance, it's flat out defiance.

Oh when the pieces come together. I had planned to continue verse by verse with Hebrews but suddenly there is revelation. Literally, this is all coming to me as I type. I love that! Learn with me. I do want to add a little caveat here. I am not a scholar. I'm learning the bible. I don't know all these stories, what they say before I read them, and finish the scripture in my mind before I've finished reading it. I do have a relationship with Jesus though and I just follow the book and the little footnotes at the bottom. God fills in the blanks. Make sense? Just so you all know. I'm just like you. Unless of course, you do know the bible way better than I do which is also very possible and more likely.

I've been having a very difficult time with my children lately. A severe lack of obedience, from all of them really. Nothing is more frustrating then when they can't even manage to do even the small things I ask of them. I'm imagining a smug smile must be gripping at the corners of God's lips now. I can see his wavering finger, tsk, tsk, tsk. A taste of my own medicine.

For instance, I asked Tyler to be home for dinner from his friends house at 5:30 p.m. So obviously I had hoped he would show up at 5:30 p.m. However, he is thirteen, I can't honestly expect him to be early or anything. (I hope you all can sense my sarcastic tone here). Instead, he decides to call at 5:29 just to "make sure" I still want him home in less than one minute for dinner. The boy really dances on my nerves sometimes.

This is especially frustrating because he recently wanted a MySpace page. In the sweetest voice I could muster, I gently said "uh, noooo!" Fair enough right? I'm the mom, I don't trust his judgement or his ability to make good decisions so for now, it's a no. He begged and prodded and begged and begged and begged. Obviously hoping I'd give in. Well people, I created stubborn okay. I was not wavering. So he did what any normal thirteen-year-old would do right? He went behind my back and created one anyway! Urgh! Obviously, he got caught. I swear, I do reassure him all the time that I was once thirteen and I've already been there, done that, I'm writing the book (literally) for pete sake! You can't outwit me dude!

This led to a long conversation about obedience and trust. Much like the same conversation the Lord continues to have with me. Let's start with the small stuff first. When I ask you home for dinner at 5:30 p.m. Come home at 5:30 p.m. Don't call a few minutes early and check to ensure I want you home because I do. Home at 5:30, no exceptions. Just do it. If you can handle that for a while then we'll move onto something else. Maybe a sleep-over. Maybe. If his mother is home and I know her better than I do now. But, I do already think I'll like her. She can't be older than me for one which is fantastic if your thirty with a thirteen-year-old.

Tyler would love to go to the movies with his friends, unsupervised, or attend a high school dance in his future. I simply tried to explain the process of things. When I can trust you with the small stuff then gradually I will grant you greater freedom and responsibility and see how you do. But, if we can't ever move past the small stuff, we'll never get to the part where you get more freedom and more responsibility. "So if you want to ever see the inside of a high school dance, you better start coming home at 5:30 p.m. for dinner!" Ouch! Not so pleasant when you realize that you aren't the one speaking, but the one being spoken to. That at the time was for Tyler. Today, it was me getting the scolding.

But, there is hope. I just have to tweak a couple of things. Get into God's will, and this could be one thing or many things, and I will find the rest he promises.

Hebrews 4:6 So God's rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God.
Yeah, we already covered that part, no?
Here is the but...

Hebrews 4:7 So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: "Today when you hear his voice don't harden your hearts." (as covered in Psalm 95)

The story continues in Hebrews 4:8 and goes on to explain that Joshua was obviously unsuccessful in leading the people to God's rest because of their disobedience. If Joshua had been successful, God would not have spoken about another day, still to come.

It gets better. Hebrews 4:15-16 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Today I enter his presence and enter boldly before his throne. I humble myself. I repent. I am forgiven. I receive rest. I receive peace. I receive mercy. I receive grace. It's that easy. I'm sorry. I'll obey. I change my mind about that thing and I'll obey you and in exchange he lifts the load, the shame, the sin. It's gone. As far as the east is from the west, from one scarred hand to the other. It's gone.

I love it when a song rises from your spirit to confirm his word. His word that is alive and powerful. It continues to revolutionize my life and change me from the inside out. Into the beautiful woman he sees as he looks upon me. A woman I can barely stand to look at in the mirror sometimes. Actually, I even shudder at the thought of me even being a "woman." That doesn't yet seem possible. But, in there somewhere is the lovely person (person I can handle) he has called me to be. His revelation is sweet and his peace I am unable to articulate.

If you don't know him today. He knows you. He loves you. He is knocking on your heart. Open the door.

1 drops of sunshine:

Tabbie:) said...

You are indeed found I would say.

Great learning, great sharing!!
Thank you for being willing to share. Wow, your learning just hit me as well.