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Water in a Parched Abyss

For a high school project, years ago, we were assigned to portray our interpretation of how heaven and hell will look like. I remember creating my heaven as a lush forest, filled with life, moist ferns, and moss; a place of beautiful mystery. There was one student who portrayed hell like a desert, and I found that particularly interdesert-drought-dehydrated-clay-soil-60013esting. Although I have never been to a desert, when I think of them I think of dryness, loneliness, desperation, but I also think of illusions or mirages. To illustrate, I often hear and even speak elusive “hope” phrases like, “I hope it doesn’t rain today, or I hope I get this job, or pass this test”. “Hope” in our day-to-day speech is not the same “hope” we find in the bible. In the Holy Scriptures, we see a living and a guaranteed hope, not some elusive, wishful thinking, but promises we can actually know for sure they will come to pass. 1 Peter 1 verses 3-6, reads, “ Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” When I read those verses, I do not hear a wishful thinking tone, I hear a confident, assured hope; a  hope that can make one sleep like a baby at night. I think of our anxiety driven society today, and I think part of the reason for it is because we are not setting our hope in the Lord, the only one that can give us security in this life filled with uncertainties. Rather we are setting our hope in mirages like, imperfect people, our bank accounts, our degrees, our jobs, what we eat, our hope in ourselves and our efforts. No wonder why we are so anxious…all those things vanish like the wind and are not eternal. I recently watched The Mummy (1999) with my brother and there is a small scene where the character Ardeth Bay, says in Arabic after contemplating killing Rick O’Connor, and he says “no, the desert will kill him”. I think a life without the hope found in YHWH, like the desert, is a very frightening place to be. The enemy knows if there is no eternal hope, there is no pleasant future. Satan will, without hesitation, try to distract us from the hope that is found in Christ and instead create empty hopes that seem so desirable to chase, for us to only come to find out they were simply deceptive promises.  It reminds me of the quote from Dantes Inferno of what the souls will read when they enter hell, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”.

tmp749618540671139842My beloved, even in our darkest and driest days, where we just want to give up and our souls of souls sighs saying “what’s the point, anyway”; when we feel we are sinking in a pool of quick sand, look to the Lord, for He will show you the light of His living hope. Friends, the hope that God is offering is not a figment of our imagination for our weary and thirsty souls. It will not leave us empty or disappointed, on the contrary, it will leave us fulfilled, it will give us the ability to stay joyful even in the middle of a desert storm. I believe this is where how we love appears like a sun’s horizon above the sand dunes. If God is our ultimate source of hope, we can love the way God has intended us to love. We can love graciously and humbly, not expecting anything in return from others, we can love without having fear of getting hurt or disappointed, we can love unselfishly, absent of any arrogance…but without hope and not looking to YHWH as the rain for our souls, love will just be a parched desert in our heart, “but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:14

What mirages are we chasing and putting our hope in? If we do not know, will we ask God to reveal any mirages in our lives? My prayer for myself and for you is that we look to God in faith as the source of our hope, the living water and hope for our heart, so that we can love like He loves. My prayer for those who have not received the Lord into their heart, and has not put their faith in Yeshua’s death and resurrection, is to receive this very truth today, because one day it will be too late. “And now these three remain, faith, hope and love” 1 Corinthians 13:13

Below is the song that has inspired me to write this post:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KIhYZQ_ovw

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Voyage on Wisdom Sea

After a long day of thinking about wedding details, relationships, and all the stress that comes with it, all I wanted to do was lay sluggishly on my sofa and watch something to get my mind off of things. As I was switching through the channels, helplessly, hoping something good was on, I stopped at the thrilling music of Hans Zimmer in the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest.” The entire movie was about the pursuit of a heart… and to each one of the pursuers, to capture that heart meant all sorts of things. But the core of the motive was because it was going to make them happy. The heart wasn’t the real treasure; it was happiness. Turning the quarter around, the message of the voyage for happiness has been embedded in us from the day of Creation; it’s YHWH’s desire, so therefore, it’s ours as well. That cardinal 2706_Sailboat-on-the-ocean-Key-West-Floridatruth of the soul has even been engraved in our Declaration of Independence. I researched the definition of “The Pursuit of Happiness” and I found the following: “The pursuit of happiness is defined as a fundamental right mentioned in the Declaration of Independence to freely pursue joy and live life in a way that makes you happy, as long as you don’t do anything illegal or violate the rights of others.” We are all searching for an everlasting happiness, and I am revisiting the truth that wisdom is what I should be pursuing because it is the source of true happiness. YHWH is the source and maker of true wisdom for He is called  El De’ot- The God Of Knowledge and Wisdom. Godly wisdom is the key to the treasure chest that within lies true, untainted, and everlasting happiness. As King Solomon writes with the inspiration of God in Proverbs 24:13–14, “My son, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste. Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.” I must remember that there is also an earthly wisdom (talked about in James 3) which brings forth earthly happiness, and if I know anything about this earth, all withers away as ocean water mists and dissipates in the air; so therefore, I must have God and His vast sea of true wisdom as my compass to direct me and guide me to my treasure.

In proverbs, it also says “happy is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gets understanding.” This is so on the money, or shall I say, on the gold. When I do not understand something or understand what on earth I am doing wrong, then it is to me one of the most frustrating things on the face of the planet. I am reminded of the frustration that Murph, from the movie “Interstellar,” went through trying to break the equation to save humanity and wanting to get her dad back from an uncharted dimension. Or where a desperate father is trying to find the missing link in curing his son from a deadly disease in the movie “Lorenzo’s Oil.” When I do not understand, or there is ambiguity in the way I am walking, without confidence, it is really hard to do anything after that. My mind is unsure and scared, I feel vulnerable in the most unpleasant way… and so who wants to live a life with that mindset? It’s a type of frustration when you keep rowing your ship and it’s going in the direction you do not wish to go.

I have learned how just how salvation only benefits the one who seeks it, likewise, wisdom also only benefits the one who seeks it, and no one else, despite what others think of it. You are doing yourself a good thing when you get wisdom, Proverbs 19:8 says that  “He who gets wisdom loves himself.” I noticed how it doesn’t say He who gets wisdom loves his neighbor.  Proverbs 9: 12 also says, “If you are wise, you are wise for yourself.” And what will happen once we have grabbed a hold of godly wisdom and use it in our lives; what are the effects?  Proverbs 8:32–36 says it, quite perfectly…(with no surprise!) “And now, my sons, listen to me: happy are those who keep my ways . . . Hp367491015-5appy is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. For he who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord; but he who misses me injures himself; all who hate me love death.” Therefore, the loving command, found in Proverbs 16:16 is, “To get wisdom is better than gold; to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.”

My matey, I pray with all my heart and mind that we sail to God and dwell in His Word all the more;  for in Him and His Word lie the treasures of true life, wisdom and all the everlasting joy and happiness that comes with it. I pray that we use His Word as our compass as we sail the mysterious waters of this world and that we desire wisdom as if we will be left shipwrecked if we do not have it. I pray that you and I  have faith that El De’ot will supply it to us by the masses if we genuinely ask.  I know that the tide will be strong at times, and that I am going to make mistakes that are not going to glorify to Him, but God is a gracious, forgiving and loving God who will direct me and you in the correct path and will soon enough calm any storm.

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Telescope Eyes

From as far and as young as I can remember, when I became a Christian, in my heart, I knew that God did eye surgery on me. I saw that my perspective of life– of people and of Heaven– had been beautifully tinkered with. 2 Corinthians 5:16 states “From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.” As this verse reads, I never saw anyone the same; I did not see them as just fleshly physical beings, but beings with a soul, that after departing from earth will spend eternity with God or without God. I remember vividly in the 3rd grade of me sharing the gospel to my friends and talking to them about the love of Christ. I want to think that the desire to share Christ happened because I started to have, by the grace of God, an eternal perspective. When one becomes a Christian, they are graciously given a telescope and a new pair of eyes which allow him or her to see something very far beyond from what is physically present. That view is what we need to hold on to when the ocean of trials come ashore; for it is that acute and much needed perspective that will drastically change our thinking, attitudes, and hearts.

Telescope Eyes--Elizabeth Faith
A life without Yeshua (Jesus), or a life full of trials and no hope, or a temporal vision, and most especially, a life full of distractions of un-important things can all cause us to not see what is really there. The enemy can cause us to not see what is really important like how light pollution blinds us to not be able to see the stars, which are really there and do exist. It is only when we decide to have a childlike faith that God graciously grants us with an eternal perspective. When this happens, the pollution dissipates and a clear sky full of gracious and glorious stars overwhelm us where we just want to stay looking up, but oh, how the enemy uses our human and temporal selves to weigh our necks down. I can grasp the operose to keep our eyes to the sky named “Future Grace and Glory” (as
John Piper calls it) when things in life are being polluted with struggles, strongholds, unfulfilled deep desire, and unanswered questions. James opens up his epistle with this commandment: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:1-4). You are able to count it as joy when you have an eternal perspective. Take Yeshua for example: Hebrews 12:2 says “who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” You can see the faith of Yeshua making itself visible through obedience by the power of the Holy Spirit, which first comes from an eternal perspective. Christ was focused on the joy that was set before him: future grace, and future glory. This is vital to have for it is this very perspective that Yeshua needed to treasure in order to have faith and obey the Father and to die painfully for the sins of the world. The faith and hope in future grace and future glory fueled by a great agapeo love, that was awaiting Yeshua after defeating death and Satan, was giving Him strength to persevere these horrific, unjust trials and also the ability to obey the Father! As stated in 1 Corinthians 13:13: “And these three remain, faith, hope and love.”

I was talking about a beautiful concept with my significant other of an analogy between the wardrobe
and Narnia (as in C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and the Christian walk. The
wardrobe is a small, constricted, uncomfortable space, but it is only when you have faith and decide
to obey and walk further into the wardrobe that it leads you into the wondrous, vast and wide
Kingdom of Narnia. Similarly, the Bible says that the gate of everlasting life is narrow (Matthew
7:13) and when one obeys His Word, which can only be by the power of the Holy Spirit, and not by
human strength (John 15:5), you shall then walk into a wide space (or open fields of freedom as in
Psalms 119:45). Let us not lose heart, and let us telescopically navigate our eyes upward heaven,man telescope
gazing our vision towards Yeshua– the perfecter and finisher of our faith– and let us retrospect to the cross, into all of His faithfulness and past grace and pull all of that in as we presently walk into His future grace. In by doing so, it will enable us to see everything– past, present and future– completely differently. It is with this perspective of how and why we can call the day that our Holy Savior died on, “Good Friday”, how chains and strongholds can break, and how it can ultimately lead us to sanctification, the goal for every Christian (1 Peter 1:12-15).

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Yeshua’s Symphony 7

Luke 7:47-49 says: “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?”And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

As I was driving home after forgiving someone who had hurt me I asked myself: When other people sin against me and I forgive them, will their love for me grow? Or vice versa? When I hurt someone and they forgive me will my love for them grow? Is pain, hurt and forgiveness in the midst of a personal relationship one of many instruments that God sometimes uses or allows to happen in order to have love grow for one another and to also have more love for mountain-sunset-wallpaper-4God? It made me think of the verse mentioned above. I believe once the offender, as you will, realizes and understands the undeserved hurt that was caused and sees the forgiveness and kindness they have received from the offended, their love, and respect (might I add), will not only grow for the person whom they have hurt but more importantly and more centrally for Yeshua (Jesus) because all sin is sin against YHWH (God) first and foremost (Psalms 51:4, Jeremiah 33:8).

I very much relate personally with the woman who is mentioned in the biblical passage in Luke. I have made a lot of mistakes, I have sinned very heavily, and I have hurt my soul, my relationships with loved ones and my relationship with my wonderfully kind God. And even with all my constant, daily short comings, He still immensely loves me and calls me His beautiful bride (Isaiah 62:5). What grace! What love and kindness! My gosh!  And it only “becomes” grace, love and kindness —in a personal sense, because He is gently showing me (also a gift from God) the burden of my filthiness and sin, the battles He went through, the betrayal, the spitting, the mocking, the misunderstanding, the scourging, the nailing, the thirst, the coldness, the nakedness, the shame, the blood, the beautiful and perfect bond that was broken with the Father…He went through all of that with joy, in order to forgive me, to take my crown of brittle thorns and adorn my head instead with precious stones of salvation (Isaiah 61:10). I watched The Passion of the Christ the other night with my significant other and while watching the movie with tears falling down my face, I kept asking God in my head…”why, why did you do this? I don’t deserve this Yeshua…why????” and the only reply I received was “because I love you”. That’s when a genuine love and delight for Christ violins its way into one’s heart. When one understands how undeserving they are to be truly forgiven by God- who is pure and perfectly good and understands what needed to happen in order to be forgiven, they stop being tuned deaf and begin to hear the heavenly, echoing sounds of His perfect, unremitting love. Those sounds begin to fill the blank music sheets of your heart with intricate and sophisticated piano gardennotes of deep gratitude and a love for Him you know you can never mimic or play back to Him or to others perfectly. Have you ever listened to a piece of music and wanted to mimic the song with a piano or violin? My memory takes me to the piano pieces in the song Clocks by Coldplay or All of Me by John Legend…it was really tedious and difficult to learn how to play those notes perfectly, I was just able to learn the chords and that was hard in itself, but when I played them right, joy and excitement entered my heart.

There is also another symphony arrangement at work here… knowing how much one has been forgiven, one can now forgive a person who has hurt them all the more quicker— easier said than achieved, by all means. And I ask myself why… why is this so important to you, YHWH? And one word boldly comes to mind: Humility. He wants us to play notes of humility. The reason being is because God can not use one who is proud; His Kingdom was made for the humble. Jesus says in Matthew 5:2-3  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” The very first words of Yeshua on His very first sermon on the mount was about the humble spirit.  Scripture also tells us how God gives grace to the humble, and it is that very grace that saves.

I see an array of instrumental attributes of love, grace, humility, forgiveness, pain, and conviction composed into perfect harmony playing different tunes, all to create a celestial masterpiece called the Christian Walk. What notes are we choosing to play as we walk thru His garden? My only hope is that each step we take acts as beautifully played keys, and the more we better yield to the notes on display written by God, with the help of the Holy Spirit, the better it will sound, all for His glory and the more joy we will have in our hearts.

Romans 6:1-2, 12-13 says:  “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.”

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A Match Made In Heaven: The Holy Spirit & The Law

“Oh, how I love your law. Your law is my delight” – Psalms 119

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” – John 1:1

The whole concept of the Holy Spirit living in someone has been one that intrigues me and always has had me thinking about how genuine obedience is perfectly linked with the Holy Spirit. I find it truly remarkable how acutely vital the Holy Spirit of YHWH (God) plays a role in my life and in the relationship to God’s Holy Law.

I recently watched an incredible moving picture with my significant other: The Revenant. It was filmed during
the harshest months The-Revenant-Landscapeof Winter. While watching the film, I couldn’t help but realize the absence of color, life and growth. I believe when we deliberately choose to disobey God’s commandments, our hearts turn into a winter-like state. Our relationship with God and the Holy Spirit becomes cold, fruitless… lifeless. The rough and striking cold winds of disobedience hit us and we respond with our stubborn heads down and arms folded tightly, not wanting to move or budge. The word “revenant” means: one that returns after death or a long absence, and that is exactly what happens when we love God through our obedience of His Word. The Holy Spirit melts the snow away, awakens us from our deep slumber, and introduces us to Spring. It is where gentle wildflower fields of blessings and joy begin to stem, and leaves from the glorious trees, which provide security and relief, start to stretch once more. I am swiftly reminded of this Bible verse: “And the effect of righteousnessrays_and_shadows_by_morgan_lou-d6zwyii will be peace and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever” -Isaiah 32:17. My gosh, it is startling that when you actually put to practice the Word of God, you start to realize how infallible His Word is. But all of this capability of obedience is solely because of the work and power of the Holy Spirit in me (Ephesians 3:16); my flesh is way too fragile, way too sinful to rely on, and so is my own strength too weak to obey the Words of my King. The desire to fulfill the Law in which I have grown to love and delight in, creates in me more of a need for the help from the Spirit. “And now, Israel, what does YHWH your God ask of you but to fear YHWH your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve YHWH your God with all your heart and with all your soul” -Deuteronomy 10:12. The Spirit helps me achieve this very fundamental commandment. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,  even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” -John 14:14-18

I love the 3rd person of God: the Holy Spirit. And I do not want to grieve Him with disobedience. The Holy Spirit has given me life and has freed me from sin and death. The Holy Spirit has given me the ability to love as Yeshua loved. The Holy Spirit confirms that I am YWHW’s daughter and lovely princess. He guarantees my salvation and protects me from being deceived; He helps me recognize the True Shepherd’s voice. The Holy Spirit also aids me in my prayers. I was thinking about it the other day: there are always two gathered when I pray by myself, because the Holy Spirit is with me. It’s an amazing and humbling gift that God gave us the Holy Spirit, and I can honestly say that I can do absolutely nothing without the_great_beech_tree_by_navannaHim (John 15:5).  The Law that binds and the Holy Spirit that gives freedom seem like complete opposites that can never work in perfect synergy, but side by side they are a perfect match.

Allow me to encourage you with a passage that waters my soul! (See if you can count how many times the word “Spirit” appears).

“There is, therefore, now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” – Romans 8:1-12

 

 

 

One can receive the Holy Spirit when they place their faith in Jesus Christ as their only Lord and Savior.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16

We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and because of that we are subjected to God’s wrath, judgement and eternal separation from Him. There is nothing that we can do to earn or pay our way into receiving the gracious gift of eternal life; the bible says that even our good deeds are filthy rags. But God, who is so rich in mercy and grace, loved us so very much that He sent His son to live a sinless life in order to be a perfect and spotless sacrifice to pay for all of our sins. Because Jesus Christ was human, He could die; and because He was also God, His death had an eternal and infinite value. Jesus bore the wrath and judgement of God on the cross on our behalf so that He can have an inseparable relationship with us. He then rose from the grave in 3 days proving that His sacrifice was sufficient as payment of our sins.

Once you receive these truths in faith the bible says you are now a new creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” And you now can have an eternal and intimate relationship with your Creator. I pray that you come to put your trust and faith in the one who came to die so that you may live and start living a life for His glory with the help of the Holy Spirit who now lives in you because of your faith in Him. As Yeshua himself said in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Into the Smog

Into the Smogmisty forest

“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world… But it gives the only opportunity the bad man can have for amendment. It removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of the rebel soul.” – C.S. Lewis, in The Problem of Pain

Have you ever had a random painful memory of the past? Have you thought about why? Have you noticed what do you do afterwards? From what I have experienced, when God is the one who brought up a memory of the past, my human nature, out of fear and shame, not only dismisses the pain but also denies it. As I have learned when a memory surfaces, that it is sometimes God screaming “Stop…look!” What begins to happen often after stopping and looking, is a softening of my heart, and with tears, affirming that the event mattered, that it hurt and has left me deeply wounded. The time presents itself where I need to make the frightening and painful decision to surrender all fear and enter into the smog in order to forgive myself and the people involved.  When I enter inside the heavy fog,  I hear screeching lies saying “You deserved this… or you are an idiot, a failure, you will never be good or pretty enough, you are pathetic and insecure, no one will ever understand you, or no one cared…”  I also see the sad truth of my heart’s condition at that particular moment. I see with some memories whom I wrongfully gave the authority to validate me as a woman. But with the squinting of the eyes and the tuning of my ears, I see God being my Braveheart Warrior passionately cutting open those horrid lies and speaking truth.

4666ba09720688c939b6d5b1fdf20f7fAs the haze of deceit evaporates, God is then able to be what He truly desires to be for me… my “intimate Counselor” (Isaiah 9:6). It becomes clear to see His truth and His grace in that past memory. I find some understanding in the confusion; questions are being answered.  Any validations are now being transferred over to Yahwh. I also learn, depending on the memory, a new perspective on how my selfish actions may have wounded someone else. The sharp reality that I, myself, am a factor of someones else’s foggy forest is not a nice reality but a needed realization in order to repent and evoke change. Any sins  I committed in my heart and/or wounds and hurts which I inflicted on others are being taken to Him. Forgiveness is sought after (in a relational sense) and I begin to walk the path of repentance. (All my sins have been forgiven and paid for already on the Cross; positionally I am forever redeemed.)  It is His masculine protection and His never-bending faithfulness that become the conquering flag in this fortress, waving Victory, Life, and Truth. Psalms 119:71, 81 says “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes… In your steadfast love, give me life.” It is only after that I lay a hold of all of His revelation, tears act like springs of healing water that rush into my heart cultivating and watering a deeper and intimate relationship. Psalms 119:136 says “Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed.”

If God is the one bringing up the memories of the past, go hike with Him into the smog; be not afraid. If you are not sure if its God, hear the tone of the voice of the thought. Is it condemning and filled with regret or is it filled with grace and gentleness?  John Eldridge says that “we will not find healing in the midst of the Matrix.” Be still and vanish any distractions and tune into His voice, open His Word and allow God’s Holy Word to become your counselor so that He can mend the broken branches in your heart with words of truth, grace and love. This is one reason why the Sabbath’s rest is so delightful; it allows for Psalms 23:2-3 and 119:24 to become such a glorious verisimilitude in one’s life: “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul,” and “Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.”

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As for me, I know it will take more than one eerie hike with Him and at times, lots of tears, but there is progress and I am glad that He is with me every mile, saving all my tears in a jar (Psalms 56:8) as we walk through the thick murkiness of my past.

 

I wish to give credit to the Ministry of “Ransomed Hearts” and the authors of “Wild at Heart” and “Captivating.” They have been a staple to my growth, healing and understanding of Yahwh’s Warrior Heart for me.

Sabbatum

 Exodus 5:4-9 4 But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people away from their work? Get back to your burdens.” 5 And Pharaoh said, “Behold, the people of the land are now many, and you make them rest from their burdens!” 6 The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their foremen, 7 “You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as in the past; let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8 But the number of bricks that they made in the past you shall impose on them, you shall by no means reduce it, for they are idle. Therefore they cry, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.’ 9 Let heavier work be laid on the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words.”

Reading that passage, one cannot only fully understand the motive behind why Yahwh gave His people the Sabbath rest, but you can also see His grace and character. The Israelites did not stop working, they were slaves to work… it was about getting things done, being and staying productive under the rule of the Pharaoh. And we see the same robotic-like pattern in today’s fast paced, overtime grabbing, possession and promotion seeking, anxiety driven, restless culture. Sigh, just typing that makes me want to take a 10 minute nap! But why the need for non-stop? Where is the Lord in all of this? Who and what are we putting our trust in?  This is so noteworthy to me because in one’s life filled with a long scroll of errands and anxiety filled hearts, Yahwh, in the clutter of our to-do’s is trying to tell us to trust in Him and to rest. “To the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith will be counted as righteousness” (Romans 4:5).

sabbatum picThe core of the Sabbath rest is a perfect illustration of God’s self-reliance and steadfast power to provide for His sheep. How can God feed His sheep if we keep running around town? How can He heal and tend to our wounds if we are never sitting still? When Yahwh freed the Israelites from exile, He wanted to lavish them with His powerful character in their lives. The Sabbath rest was established in stone so that they can stop and mesmerize on who He is and remember what He has freed them from. “I am Yahwh your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” (Exodus 20:2). He wants the same for you and for me.  Hebrews 4:9-10 says “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.”

I have come to understand that we have an amazing King who actually says to His bride, “honey, do not worry. I will meet your needs. Just relax and sleep in a little longer… you have worked hard enough and after you do, let’s talk and read together.” My gosh, how romantically beautiful and gentle of Him! You think it would be easy to grab a hold of this gracious gift of rest, but the resistance just proves to me how I have been strongly influenced by the world and business of this culture. I still have to remind myself to put the phone down. I have to remind myself that it is OK to end the text conversation a little sooner, and that it is perfectly fine if I have a missed phone call or two…if it is an emergency they will call twice or three times.  The reason He graciously tells us to rest is because it is only good for us. As Psalms 119:68 says, “You are good and do good.”

My whiskey bottle still stinks…

Before leaving on a trip, God used intuition to whisper quite warningly, “Elizabeth you are going to see your dirt, be Ok with that.” Friend, the dirt displayed for all to see! It was during a trip that the Lord unveiled to me by my conscience and through a faithftwisted treeul friend how my speech can use a smidgen of fine-tuning in the sense of gentleness and graciousness when patience is being tested. Nothing is closer to the truth when C.S Lewis writes in one of my favorite books, Mere Christianity….“When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him.” One morning conversing to Yahwh about the still tightly twisted and tangled vines of my heart, I sat down with the Bible on my lap and opened it to Colossians 4:6 (After going to the concordance). It reads, “Let your speech always [Yeshua pauses there…always…always…always] be gracious, and seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”  It does not say when you are having a delightful day, it does not say when you are glad and feel light as a feather. It says…always. And I ponder, Oh dear…how I have let precious moments just slip between my fingertips to be gracious with my words and tone. All that missed glory to my King… all those moments in the past where I could have been such a testimony…but how kind is He who refuses to let me dwell and stay in the ruins of my past… by the power of His redemptive and healing grace, He turns my neck slowly so that I may focus on Calvary, and He sweetly reminds me of His love and forgiveness and that He is not finished gardening.  Selah.

I would like to share with you an excerpt of a sermon I listened to, called “The Speech of the New Man” that is based off of Colossians 4:6. I hope you enjoy it and that it blesses you as it has and will continue to bless me.

“You’re a new man, did you know that?  And along with those other things, with your new lifestyle should come a new speech.

The problem with us new people, new creatures, is not that we have two natures, the good and the bad, the old and the new.  The problem is the new nature, the new I, has been so strongly influenced by the flesh that it just can’t shake it.  An illustration.

You might take a whiskey bottle and dump out all its contents.  Empty it of all that rot that’s in there.  And you know what happens?  Smell it.  It stinks.  The odor remains.  You want to know something?  That’s not unlike a Christian.  You are a new creature; the old contents are gone, you are new, but you know something?  Some of the old stink is there. You pour into that whiskey bottle that you’ve got there a fresh water supply, and then you pour it out.  And you pour more in, you pour – and you just keep filling it, keep filling it. And little by little by little by little, the smell will fade.

How’s it going to be removed?  Look what he says.  “Put off some things,” remember those?  Chapter 3: “Put on some things.”  Chapter 3, verse 15: “Let the peace of Christ rule.”  Verse 16: “Let the Word of Christ dwell.”  Verse 17: “Let the name of Christ rule.”

Take care how you live in the family; wives, husband, children, father, servants, masters.  Take care of your mouth, as we saw in our study, from verses 2 to 6 of chapter 4.  And when you take care of all of those things, in the energy of the Spirit of God, then the new man is going to be the man that God created the new man to be. Listen, beloved, Christ is sufficient, isn’t He?  He’s sufficient to make you a new creature.  And when you’ve been made a new creature He asks that you have the aroma of a new creature, and that means taking care of some of those old things by the cleansing agency of the filling of the Spirit of God as you yield to Him.”

http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/2151/the-speech-of-the-new-man-part-2

 

Beloved, thank God that He has given us the Holy Spirit to enable us live a life that it may be a sweet monet-irises-monets-gardenaroma of a blossoming garden to Him and to those who walk along beside us. Let us all yield to Him more and more each day, have His Word dwell in us richly so that we may abide by His Word, and bloom…for His glory! In Yeshuas name, Amen!

 

 

Λόγος

Λόγος

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Much more than the most searing gold
Much sweeter than honey on a comb
Oh Yhwh you are what I grip so dear
My Fortress of wonder whom I want ever so near

Converts the gloomy heart to intone
Enlivening the dry ensnared soul
The never motionless longing to hear thee
My mighty Warrior whom I will grasp ever so tightly

Allow me not to drift from your Word
Make me wise so that I may see and be unfurled
For it is too immense for me to soley unfold

My King, incline to my desperate groans and cries
My hope is that they be precious in your holy sight
Make wide my eyes to see that your law is right

 

Inspired by Psalms 19&119