(My bad – 9/15/13)
9 “Don’t be ornery like a horse or mule that needs bit and bridle to stay on track.”
10 God-defiers are always in trouble; God-affirmers find themselves loved every time they turn around.
5 (When) I let it all out; (Confess it out loud…) I say, “I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.”
Suddenly the pressure was gone— my guilt dissolved, my sin disappeared.
6 These things add up. Every one of us needs to pray; when all hell breaks loose and the dam bursts
we’ll be on high ground, untouched.
‘The Message’ says 8-10 If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.”
13-15 Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing. Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master. Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you’ve sinned, you’ll be forgiven—healed inside and out.
16-18 Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.
In the safety of the Savior’s arms.
I found myself a hiding place
I found myself a secret space
In the refuge of the Father’s care
In the cleansing blood of Jesus there.
I will run to the hiding place
I will run to the hiding place
Draw me ever closer to look upon Your face
I will run to the hiding place.
Though my fears may overwhelm me
And troubles, they surround
Though the wind rise up to take me
My hiding place is already found.
I have found myself a hiding place
I have found myself a secret space
In the shelter of Almighty’s love
In the safety of the Savior’s arms.
I will run to the hiding place
(Yes, I said marriage).
DISCLAIMER: in posting this, I am not implying that I’m having problems with my spouse or my marriage. I have committed to look deeply into my life this year. This is one of the commitments I have made in 2014. To work on having a more AWESOME marriage. Starting with me!
Dear Abba, I ask for your forgiveness for any wrongs I may have committed against You and my marriage. I ask for your protection as I embark on a spurt of learning with Your help and the help of some great books*. If there is anything that would distract me from the truth, I ask that you would keep it away, that you would open my mind so I can see how I can change to make things better. In want YOUR goals accomplished in my life and in my marriage. Amen.
“Fitness Is a byproduct of personal integrity.” Orrin Woodward.
“So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-10 The Message.
Mmmm “bountiful in fruits from the soul”.
Deep thoughts. You cannot be satisfied with loving others until you are satisfied with loving yourself; who you are, and happy/satisfied with that. We’re often times self loathing because we have let ourselves down in some form or another. We have a mental picture of how we want ourselves to look and be. When we have those momentary glimpses of who we really have become, sometimes in character and sometimes in physique. We realize that we have let ourselves go, allowed ourself to “give in” even though we know what’s good for us. And we become depressed and hopeless. Thinking we have no control over it.
That feeling if dissatisfaction bleeds onto others… And sometimes it’s not pretty.
The thing is : WE DO HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE IT. All it takes is the realization of that, and a strong resolve to love yourself enough to hold to your wisdom; the self-control you know you need to commit to, that will give you “the fruits of the soul” that you long for in yourself.
Establish what is appropriate, sincere and intelligent; make the decision to live like that in public AND in private. Simple as that!
I resolve to live my life circumspectly: (deliberate and guarded), and exemplary: (admirable, blameless, with character, honorable); a life Jesus will be proud of.
* I am worthy of the best, worthy of being satisfied that I have personal integrity that, when I “catch a glimpse of myself” through someone else’s eyes, I am satisfied that I’ve been true to myself.
(This deep moment was inspired by:
1) the instructors in Bikram Yoga who often say: “Be honest with yourself.”
2) Orrin Woodward in a LLR cd, in explaining personal integrity, said “Fitness Is a byproduct of personal integrity.”
3) The words that are spoken of me when I get up to speak to a group.)
Never say that it is not God’s will to give you what you ask. …….. Do you have to say to the Lord, “I have been irritable and cross, but I still want spiritual blessings”? ……… We mistake defiance for devotion, arguing with God instead of surrendering. … Ask yourself…. Have I been asking God to give me money for something I want, while refusing to pay someone what I owe him? Have I been asking God for liberty while I am withholding it from someone who belongs to me? Have I refused to forgive someone, and have I been unkind to that person?
This is Olivia playing in a ‘waterless’ water play set while I was watering some dry patches in the garden.
It got me thinking. Sometimes our lives are like that… We have everything we need – we think! But there comes a time when we wonder, is there something more?
If we had just one more component … Life would be complete. It could be in any area of life… Faith… family… Finances. ..Fitness… Fun… Freedom… Friends… Following…
If this resonates with you… Go check out http://www.lifesuniversity.com
Then, I was especially blessed when the Beatitudes came to my mind and I looked them up in The Message…. it’s awesome…
3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
4 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
5 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
6 “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
7 “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
8 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
… and then further down in verse 13 it says:
Salt and Light
13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.”
Rare events, properly interpreted, have been the source of much progress. Some evidence has suggested that in order for mankind to move forward and change, there needs to be a catastrophic event.
It’s true that in our lives when we have a “crisis of belief”, we find ourselves re-evaluating what we have done, and reframing what we are going to do in the future.
In science, most of the time it’s the ever so “Slight Change” that makes the difference and causes the desired outcome.
So it is in our lives. We have to know that it is the small choices of our daily habits and routines that cause us to be where we find ourselves today. If I desire something different on January 1 2014, I must embark on evaluating what my “slight edge” will be during 2013.
When you “get that”, it could be construed as a “rare (catastrophic) event”.
Use it to your advantage.
I pray you will be ever mindful of “the slight edge”.
Having a baby grandchild in my life has given me so many “Ah Ha” moments of joy and exuberant realization of the potential that lies in each of us. To watch Olivias open mind absorbing every little experience, experimentation, determination, tenacity and persistence is nothing short of an awesome miracle. This 14 month old just gives me so much inspiration and insight into what we can do if we just try.
For a long time now, I’ve let you in on the way I work:
I told you what I was going to do beforehand,
then I did it and it was done, and that’s that.
I know you’re a bunch of hardheads,
obstinate and flint-faced,
So I got a running start and began telling you
what was going on before it even happened.
That is why you can’t say,
‘My god-idol did this.’
‘My favorite god-carving commanded this.’
You have all this evidence
confirmed by your own eyes and ears.
Shouldn’t you be talking about it?
And that was just the beginning.
I have a lot more to tell you,
things you never knew existed.
This isn’t a variation on the same old thing.
This is new, brand-new,
something you’d never guess or dream up.
When you hear this you won’t be able to say,
‘I knew that all along.’
You’ve never been good listeners to me.
You have a history of ignoring me,
A sorry track record of fickle attachments—
rebels from the womb.
But out of the sheer goodness of my heart,
because of who I am,
I keep a tight rein on my anger and hold my temper.
I don’t wash my hands of you.
Do you see what I’ve done?
I’ve refined you, but not without fire.
I’ve tested you like silver in the furnace of affliction.
Out of myself, simply because of who I am, I do what I do.
I have my reputation to keep up.
I’m not playing second fiddle to either gods or people.”
Did you hear about the man who was sick of his wife and wanted a divorce? He went to see an attorney in order to get some advice. The attorney asked the man if he really wanted to hurt his wife badly in the divorce. The man replied, “Absolutely!” The attorney said, “Then here is what you should do. For the next thirty days I want you to go out of your way to be nice to her. Send her flowers, call her every day, take her to her favorite restaurants, take her to movies that she likes, and go shopping with her. Do everything in your power to show her how much you love and care about her and want to meet her needs. Then, after thirty days, when she is madly in love with you, that is when we will file the divorce action. It will totally catch her off guard and will hurt her deeply.”
Well, when the man heard this, he was delighted. He thought that was great advice. So, without any hesitation, he went into action. For the next thirty days he poured his time, effort, attention, money, resources, and everything else into his relationship with his wife. They went to movies, plays, concerts, out to eat, took trips together – it was incredible! He showered her with kindness, love, gentleness, and words of encouragement daily. At the end of thirty days, the attorney called and asked if he was ready to file the divorce action against his wife. The man replied, “Are you kidding? Why would I want to divorce this woman? She is the woman of my dreams! I am so in love with her I can hardly wait to see her every day. Why would I ever want to divorce someone as wonderful as this?!”
Although that is a humorous story, it does press the point I am trying to make. You see, when the man changed the way he was behaving towards his wife, everything changed. He no longer focused on what she was doing wrong; rather, he focused on what he could do right. In other words, when he became the right kind of person, the situation began to change. He also learned the truth found in the principle, “Where your treasure is – there will your heart be also.” I honestly believe that is the key to a happy marriage and a happy relationship. It is not trying to control another person or force them to do what you want them to do; it is simply making yourself do what you should do in order to demonstrate love to the other person.
We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the ‘natural order of things.’ we are different from other creatures God created. We were made to HOPE
Make your day a “Shay” day today.
At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:
‘When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.
Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.
Where is the natural order of things in my son?’
The audience was stilled by the query..
The father continued. ‘I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.’
Then he told the following story:
Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, ‘Do you think they’ll let me play?’ I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.
I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, ‘We’re losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning..’
Shay struggled over to the team’s bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.
In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay’s team scored again.
Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.
At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?
Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.
However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay’s life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact…
The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.
The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.
As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.
The game would now be over.
The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.
Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.
Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman’s head, out of reach of all team mates.
Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, ‘Shay, run to first!
Run to first!’
Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.
He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.
Everyone yelled, ‘Run to second, run to second!’
Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.
By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball . the smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.
He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher’s intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman’s head.
Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.
All were screaming, ‘Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay’
Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, ‘Run to third!
Shay, run to third!’
As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, ‘Shay, run home! Run home!’
Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team
‘That day’, said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, ‘the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world’.
Shay didn’t make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!
We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the ‘natural order of things.’ we are different from other creatures God created. We were made to HOPE
So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people, and responses could mean life or death of a human spirit. You have Two Choices every time you make contact with another human being.
Do we take the chance and pass up this challenge to follow in the natural order of things as was intended by our creator.
…… or do we continue pass up opportunity upon opportunity and leave ourselves and others we could touch, struggling for survival in the process?
May your day, be a “Shay” Day.
I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t go back to sleep. I started praying as is my practice when this happens. My mind went to my precious children, one by one, praying my Lord would meet them in their hour of need, show Himself to them…. And I had this thought flash through my mind … “For such a worm as I”. Mmmm. Where did that come from.
My mind went to my dear husband across the ocean on a distant shore. Thinking how he is waking up in the African morning… Same sun that warmed my skin as I stood outside today is the same sun that kisses his face, as he looks out on the African side of the Atlantic Ocean. I love marveling about just how small the world really is. The wonder of his bravery, his courage to go after the dreams and visions given to us (even though we ignored them for a time, would not go away) by the Spirit; his tenacity though thick and thin. Praying that God would give him the strength and wisdom to fight through the fear and doubt that often come, making him wonder about the promises he has been given …there’s that thought again… “For such a worm as I”… ?
My prayers went to a young man who shared with me today that his mom had tried to commit suicide for the 3 time today. He was sitting in class and got a call from the police. They had to pump her stomach. They’re thinking of sending her to a state hospital to try and deal with her depression. Then he also shares that he’s going to court next week for some big thing, he can’t afford a lawyer so he’s taking a minister to speak for him and the changes he has made since those poor choices… I pray for His “crisis of belief”, that it is going to be a good one, that he will be turned in the right direction! What brings a person to try to take their own life? Do they not give thought to those whose life such an action will touch? … I pray for her, her name is Drew. ….ooooo ….. “For such a worm as I”. Trying to ignore it now.
I thought of a quote I heard today: “it’s the losses/failures that teach you the lessons you need to move on. You will learn more in your failures than you ever will in your successes.” I must remember to tell my honey that in my email tomorrow. And the verse a young friend discovered and excitedly texted to me too… Romans 8 :28 “for we know that all things work together for good for those who love God and our called according to his purpose”. Wow. Those two quotes certainly go together…could be a whole sermon right there. Oh no. For such a worm as I. I’m going to have to get up and go find that hymn if it comes one more time.
What is that? I had this vivd memory of my Dads face as he conducted the choir at Germiston Baptist church, giving me “the look” because I couldn’t help giggling every time we sang the line in the song … “For such a worm as I”… I smiled. What is that hymn?… What was it again … “Were that an offering far too small”? Ummm “His hands His feet….” something, something.
My mind went to my dearest cousin Valerie who recently lost her husband of approximately 40 years. She had watched his once virile, expert tennis-playing body wither away to nothing during a very long battle with cancer. Grief stricken, she forgot to eat for SEVEN WEEKS! And I thought I had some struggles. Meet her Father, at this point of such great need… There it is again again …. “For such a worm as I” …. Oh no man, this is starting to bug me now!
Having grown up in church there are a few things that often fly across my thoughts when I’m meditating and praying… Like “Happy day that fixed my choice, on Him my Savior and my God” or something like that… “Take my silver and my gold, not a might would I withhold”. I remember thinking what a weird one that was. “I surrender all, I surrender all, all to Thee my precious Savior I surrender all”. Ooo and my absolute favorite, the one that always brings my fathers face to my mind…”When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And has shed his own blood for my soul. It is well, it is well…..with my soul”. And the one that only sprung to life in my understanding in more recent years : “Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow”. So… There it was again… Thank goodness for google. And I-pads.
Ah, there it is… “Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed?” by Isaac Watts, and the old lyrics are as follows:
“Alas! And did my Savior bleed?
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that Sacred Head
For such a worm as I?”
Now, here’s a surprise I didn’t expect to find. Did you know there is a whole “worm” theology. And, and they say this kind of derogatory statement is not politically correct these days! Later versions of the hymn have changed the objectionable lyrics “for such a worm as I” to “for sinners such as I?” Because nobody in this day and age of promoting self esteem and positive self images really appreciates being called a worm??? Hogwash. We ARE worms! The lot of us! JK.
But now back to my repeated remembering. Made me think of Samuel. God spoke to him 4 times before he realized it was God. So I say…. “If this is You Lord, speak to me?” How do I relate to a worm anyway? Green, squirmy, and I hate to say this, but kind of ugly little things that just look like, well, worms.
But if you examined the worm or caterpillar’s DNA, it would tell you that this, a worm has all the makings of a butterfly. He may look like, feel like and act like a long hairy, slimy or leaf eating little pest, but he is indeed, a butterfly. Even though doesn’t exactly look like a butterfly at this stage of its life. No matter how much you tell the worm he is a butterfly, and no matter how much he tries to hurry up the transformation, it will not happen until it’s time. No sooner, and no later.
Despite my wormy appearance, in II Corinthians 5:17, God tells me that I AM a new creation, because I am IN CHRIST. And there’s certainly no doubt about this, because Jesus tells me so. He says in John 5:24 “if anyone hears my words and believes Him who sent me, that person has eternal life, and will not be condemned. That person has crossed over from death to life.” And I’ve done that.
*STOP. I went around and around with all sorts of possibilities of what God could possibly be saying to me with this repeated remembering. But then I realized I was doing it again. Over analyzing. (see some of the drawn out thoughts below if you’re interested.) I do that ALL the time. I have come to understand that more often than not, there’s no deep meaning in the things God says to us… He makes it pretty simple really.
So, self, keep it simple. How to keep it simple? Keeping it simple…. (After all this busy thinking) I remembered what Pricilla Shirer said in the study I am doing:8″Discerning the Voice of God”. (Coincidence?) ” we have to RETRAIN ourselves to let our Spirit-led conscience be our guide and dominate our (logic) decision making. We are naturally more body conscious, mind conscious and emotion conscious than spirit-conscious.” “I have to foster an environment where the Spirit can flourish, fill and clearly speak to me”.
I believe His prompting with “such a worm as I” was just a nudge. A confirmation. That I can still hear His voice, even though my “wormy brain” was trying to tell me otherwise.
The child attitude to my loving Father should always be, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.” If I have not cultivated this devotion of hearing, I can only hear God’s voice at certain times; at other times I am taken up with other things – things which I think and say I must do (that shout louder). They make me deaf to Him. Its like living in the same house with my dad, and never hearing him, never listening to him, ignoring him.
Yes, I heard God’s voice today. My brain tried to send me on a goose chase; my feelings of unworthiness tried to tell me, “Nah, it’s just silly ol’ me, God wouldn’t be wanting to tell me anything”; my business and urgency to pray (ironic isn’t it?) tried to make me brush it off as a nuisance. Yes, I did hear God speak to me today.
I learned the lesson Pricilla Shirer. You reminded me that in “developing Spiritual ears” I have to take some guidelines into consideration… 1. Look for the MESSAGE of the SPIRIT. Really listen for the Holy Spirit. Turn your attention toward what you are sensing, does it carry the weight of God? Or is it the unsure, unsteady voice of your own conscience? 2. Live in the MODE of PRAYER, submit what you are hearing back to God. Listen for what He sends back to you. 3. Search out the MODE of SCRIPTURE. Does what you think you are hearing contradict the scriptures or the character of God in any way? If not take it as a Word from your Father.
4. Submit to the ministry of ELI. Seek counsel (like Samuel did) with a more mature believer who has shown evidence of discerning God voice in their own life. 5. Expect…. Expect… The VOICE of confirmation.
There is really no mystery in desiring to know and hear From God throughout the Spirit. He desires you to know His will, and for you to hear his chidings and encouragements. It’s no secret.
And wow. I turned to my favorite devotion that often inspires great though nuggets…. Today is Feb 12, the topic is “Must I Listen?” Feb 13 is “The Devotion of Hearing”. Feb 14 is “The Discipline of Heeding.” Mind boggling! Talk about confirmation on confirmation! How does He do that? Go figure.
I can’t tell you how grateful I am that my Abba, Father, is, in fact, providing me with courage and strength to walk in the imprint of His footsteps, right behind Him! One step at a time.
*The long drawn out thoughts on “being a worm”.
Okay so…? So what else could it be? Recently, through books I’ve read and a study, I have come to realize how damaging self-berating, negative self-talk is to your growth and personal development. I have realized just how fearful I have been of listening to God, because of some bad experiences of obedience AND disobedience incidences that has caused me to shy away from fully submitting to Gods promptings… There, I think I may be onto something. So? Worms and hearing God? Mmm what do they have in common?
Here’s a thought, despite what I may think about how far I’ve come in my journey, I still look and act very much like a hairy, slimy caterpillar/worm/sinner – I sin, I stumble, I’m selfish, prideful, arrogant, demanding, fearful etc., yet my New Creation DNA says that I am a beautiful new creation! I am who God says I am, despite evidence to the contrary!Hebrews says, “Without faith, it is impossible to please Him”. It’s easy for me to fall into the trap of trying to please Him by trying to be “good enough”. By trying with all my might to get rid of my worminess. By believing the lie that because I still stumble and sin and mess up and very much resemble a worm, that I probably AM just a worm, secretly. All Abba really wants out of me is a little faith, to truly believe what He says He will do. . To truly trust Him, lean on Him (He really doesn’t need all my self-effort). It is my very FAITH that pleases Him, my trust in Him that He is able to complete that which He has started in me. After all we ARE human BEINGS not Human DOINGS!
Heres another train of thought…. I believe we do not consciously disobey God, we simply do not hear Him. God has made His will very clear to me, but I simply do not pay any attention to them, not because of willful disobedience but because there is a sense in which we do not love and respect Him. “If ye love Me, ye will keep My commandments.” Have I been “disrespecting” God all this time, if so, I am covered with shame and humiliation because I have not obeyed Him.
“And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” Exodus 20:19. We show how little we love God by preferring to listen to His servants only. We like to listen to personal testimonies, but we do not desire that God Himself should speak to us. Why are we so terrified to be still enough to hear God speak to us? Is it possibly because we know that if God does speak, either the thing must be done or we must tell God we will not obey Him. If it is only the servant’s voice we hear, we feel it is not imperative, we can say, “Well, that is simply mans own idea, though I don’t deny it is probably God’s truth.”
Ignoring God? Am I putting God in the humiliating position of having treated me as a child of His while all the time I have been ignoring Him? When I do hear Him, the humiliation I have put on Him comes back on me – “Lord, why was I such a dimwit and so obstinate?” This is always the result when once we do hear God. The real delight of hearing Him is tempered with shame in having taken so long to realize, to “hear” Him.
“For such a worm as I”…well, I DID used to be a worm. But now, I want to walk this road of trusting Him along with my fellow Christians who are also tired of trying to LOOK good enough. There was a time when EVERYTHING I did was governed by “what would people think if they know who I really am?”. It took a year, but I went through a veer healing time with some very loving ladies who were willing to tell it like it really is, and who were also ready to shed their masks… Wow. What liberation. Life has been so much easier since then. My favorite quote from that period of my life: “If we only knew each other’s secrets, oh what comfort we would find.” — John Churton Collins
(politically correct version…)
294. Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed
Text: Isaac Watts, 1674-1748
Music: Attr. to Hugh Wilson, 1766-1824
Tune: MARTYRDOM, Meter: CM
1. Alas! and did my Savior bleed,
and did my Sovereign die!
Would he devote that sacred head
for sinners such as I?
2. Was it for crimes that I have done,
he groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! Grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!
3. Well might the sun in darkness hide,
and shut its glories in,
when God, the mighty maker, died
for his own creature’s sin.
4. Thus might I hide my blushing face
while his dear cross appears;
dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
and melt mine eyes to tears.
5. But drops of tears can ne’er repay
the debt of love I owe.
Here, Lord, I give myself away;
’tis all that I can do.