Thursday, February 26, 2009

Use your faith, not your muscles.

Galations 3:2-5 NLT
2. Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. 3. How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? 4. Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain was it? 5. I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ.

Yesterday morning a friend of mine was heavy on my heart and I felt led to share a few things with her. Her family has been effected by our economy and though she is grateful for the blessings in her life, she is looking to the Lord to meet her needs. I sent her an e-mail and shared a few scriptures and words of encouragement and it filled my soul. This is what I was created for. To love and worship my creator and share his love with those around me. To lay your life down and to be willing to do his will provides such blessing and satisfaction. I'm blessed to have had the opportunity to share his love and my experiences with her and blessed again because should a day come when I need a word of encouragement she'll be the first I'll hear from. I didn't do it because I know I'll need her some day but there is something very rewarding that can only come from a Godly bond.

I continue to stand in the gap for her. My first prayer for her is that she be strengthened and filled with his peace that surpasses all understanding (Phillipians: 6 & 7). Secondly, that he not just meet her needs but that her cup runneth over. That she does not hold tight to her blessings and be held in the bondage of fear and lack but meets the needs of others around her where she can. Luke 38:6 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full - pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. May the Lord no simply meet her needs but exceed them. May he show up and show off so that those around her will see his presence and love in her life and know it is the Lord's hand at work in her life.

The scripture in Galatians reminds me of the many times I have carried my own burdens and tried to do it all on my own. The most recent is a situation of conflict. In the beginning I laid it on the alter, at the foot of the cross. I left it there for a few months but it kept glaring back at me. There wasn't enough closure for me but still I continued to leave it up to the Lord to work it out. Until, one day without even thinking I picked that bad boy back up off the alter, threw it on my back, and stormed outta there to get it done. I took matters into my own hands. Let me just tell you, it didn't work out. In the beginning, I had done what the Lord would have asked me personally to do, I did what he did by example. And though every detail hadn't been unturned, there really was closure and more importantly God's love could shine through. But, when I picked it back up, it soooo didn't work out. I lost all my dignity. I laid on the floor like a two-year-old kicking and screaming and insisting it be my way! I didn't walk in love. Oh, there is closure now for sure. Not the peaceful ending I envisioned and I certainly didn't anticipate making such a fool of myself and an ever bigger mess than there was to start with. Now instead of peace and knowing I have fulfilled his will for that situation, there is shame and regret.

We all need to remember that we have gained so much in this life by faith. Because the Lord is our helper. Because of divine intervention. We can't go around flexing our muscles and trying to perfect ourselves and the things in this life without that same faith, help, and divine intervention. Keep your eyes on him today. Seek his will for your life. And for pete's sake! If he holds up a stop sign, trust me, stop! Wait until he says it's time to go. In the meantime, praise him while you wait. So if you are looking to change yourself, a situation, or anything else in your life. Seek the Lord first and use your faith and patience to get it done. Another thing I shared with this friend earlier this week is that we are not meant to be enough. We are not meant to be all things to all people all the time. We absolutely need his presence and the gifts of the spirit in our lives daily!

I gained much insight into forgiveness this last week and have more to share in the coming posts. Although I am burdened with the way I behaved and may never have the forgiveness I seek from those around me in this life, I'm grateful to have the Lord's forgiveness. I used to just sort of toss around the idea of my forgiveness. But, this week it all became real. His level of grace and mercy and the love required to do so unconditionally is something I can't wrap my brain around but it is who He is. I'm grateful, thankful, blessed, and forgiven. There is no grace for the things we do on our own, or the Lord is at least not obligated to clean up after us. Sometimes, we make a mess and we just have to live with the results.

I added a new song to the playlist this morning. Slow Fade by Casting Crowns. I've been looking inward at the areas of sin in my life and the impact it has had on me, my relationship with the Lord, my marriage, and the example it sets for my children. This song is a reminder of how my life arrived in the areas of temptation to start with. It is indeed a slow fade. It starts with one look, one cracked door, and the process of being desensitized begins and before you know it you are staring temptation right in the face. The journey from your mind to your hands will show up in your thinking, wow, there is so much power and truth in that. There are some things that are just too shameful and too personal to publicize on my blog but know I have held the hand of sin and the whole gamut of emotions that come with it: shame, guilt, and the bondage that ties you there. But, hallelujah! I have found forgiveness and unconditional love! So can you!

3 drops of sunshine:

Close To Home said...

I have completely fallen in love with your blog! Thank you for sharing your heart and thoughts.

I don't have a flickr account, and at the moment I just rely on my blog for my photos. :) one of these days i will be updating my "photo" blog but I don't have the time/thinking skills right now LOL.

thank you for your kind words....

Melissa said...

Oh my ~ that was an amazing post...you sound so strong in your faith that whatever trials you may be going through your relationship with God will only become stronger. That's what's so wonderful about blogging, you can vent out all your thoughts for free and you also help others! Take care...

just1reason said...

Hi Kari:) I haven't stopped by in forever...I was thinking of you this morning and missing you:( Your blog was sunshine for me this morning. I've been MIA from blogland for awhile, I have a couple of updates on now as to why. Just wanted to stop by and say hi...and your photography has become so much more beautiful!! Amazing what you have done with your gifts:)