Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me. I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm. But I call to God, and the LORD saves me. Psalm 55:5, 8, 16
“The witch is mean and I don’t like her.” - Madison
When my three year old niece Madison encounters anything scary, like a Disney villain, she instinctively keeps her eyes fixed on the fear, but places her hands over her ears. She silently soaks in every moment, until the scariness passes. We only have two hands to block out one sense, which do you choose?
What about when the horror is every moment of our lives? For example, disease, death or divorce? I think we respond like Madison. We sit in the dark. We stare at the terror. We scream at the situation. We cry fear instead of faith. We focus on the moment instead of His face. We watch fear like a hawk; we miss watching our Father like a child. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18
Not only do we continue to focus on our fear, but we also choose to cover our ears to God’s calming and comforting peace. When we refuse to listen to Truth, the nightmare grows darker and darker with lies.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33 Real life nightmares will come to be our reality. Yet, Jesus tells us to take "heart" that He has overcome each one. We must hear Him to believe Him; never more urgently than in the middle of the storm.
My choice is always from my heart: stare fear in the face with faith, speak praise over pain, and listen to truth over terror. I will cover myself in garments of righteousness, lifting trembling hands before His throne of Sovereignty and Peace. This is my only hope in my present trouble. It may not take away the terror, but it will shelter me in the storm.
Enjoy Him, Michelle
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
"Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain" Revelation 5:6
Seeing is not always believing; but touching erases all doubt. By design, intimacy requires closeness, and the closest human experience is touch. I know this, well…first hand.
The most powerful moments in Israel came from a simple touch.Viewing the Jordan River was beautiful. Immersing in the Jordan River was breathtaking. Approaching the Western Wall was intriguing. Touching the ancient stones was indescribable. Moments of touching authenticity brought an intimacy that my heart could only know through my hand. There is a time where we watch from a distance, but then there is a moment when we touch for ourselves. From doubt to destiny.
I know Thomas understands. The name “Thomas” is synonymous with the word “doubt.” Yet, Thomas was the only one invited into intimacy for his honesty. To touch His Wounds...what a powerful moment!
From this moment through all of eternity, Perfection Glorified chose to keep these scars. Everyone doubts. Could His eternal scars be, so that we all "see and believe"?
Turned from Upper Room to Throne Room, my moment stands with Thomas’ moment: My decision in faith, leads to my declaration of glory, and my blessing in belief.
My Declaration of Jesus as Lord: Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" John 20:28
His Declaration of me Loved: Then Jesus told him, "Because you (Thomas) have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those (me and you) who have not seen and yet have believed." John 20:29
The paradox is that we won’t touch these eternal scars unless we first believe…for Jesus brought to us a much greater gift – He brings us the touch from within.
“Reach out and touch My scars whenever you doubt Me at any time, in any way. Stop doubting and believe, again and again and again. Place your hands here…and here. Feel the scars, pressing you against My pierced side. I will never leave you, but I will intimately touch you now and through eternity.”
His scars testify of one word: Believe.
Enjoy Him, Michelle
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
A stain. I’m not sure how it got on my new shirt, but it’s there and it’s obvious. No problem. I will just spray on the stain remover solution, let it soak in the detergent and wash. Three times I “washed and repeated,” but yet it remained. Now I’m not sure which is more irritating: the stain or the removal process. Getting a stain out requires more than just applying the removal solution. The solution must be rubbed in. This takes participation and persistence. Only then can the stain dissolve to be washed away.
“…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Philippians 2:12-13
God noted the same thing in my own stained heart. My heart is cleansed in His Blood, but it daily contracts stains that require confession for cleansing. He wants to talk to me, very specifically, personally, and sometimes painfully, about my stain. I must participate with Him until His peace comes. I may stare at the stain, talks to friends about the stain, and even reads the label on the "stain removal Bible". But to rub in the solution feels more like salt in wound than a healing balm. It's too much to touch.
Enjoy Him, Michelle
Monday, May 3, 2010
How often this describes my sin life. Being a Christian forgives my sin nature, but does not exempt me from sinful behavior. Though my intention is sacred, my attention is scattered. Keeping with the law is good; keeping with the Lord is freedom. With sinful action I am not exempt from consequence and cost. My confession doesn’t remove my guilt, but it does bring it before the One forgives.
After sinful behavior, my first thought is: “Who was watching? Who will condemn me?” Then I am relieved to see that no one was around to “catch me in the act and charge me for my actions.” Oh, but there is the only One Who is ever right to judge the sins of my life – Jesus. Not to punish, but to teach. Lord, give me grace. Grant me what I don’t deserve, Your mercy.
“Do you know what you did?” “Yes, Officer, I do know.” “You know you have to pay the fine because there are consequences to shattering the standard, but the points will be removed from your record.” “Why, Officer?” “Because you acknowledged your wrong action and the Chief of Police has agreed to take on the ‘permanent record’ of anyone who confesses and accepts his forgiveness of all offenses. Whether or not you were intentional, the law remains broken and someone, either you or the Chief, has to reconcile it. Either he fixes your record for you, or you pay for it forever. There are no other options, and if there were, they wouldn’t satisfy fixing the broken law. These are not points of punishment, but options of forgiveness. ”
Wow. How much more am I apt to focus on such Giver of grace? How quickly do I forget the reality of grace and eternal costs?
Sin may seem like our minor infraction, but that’s because we are deceived into thinking its severity is based on our determination of “right and wrong.” Sin is not based on the moral mind, it’s based on the heart’s holiness. There are no “minor and major” offenses because there is no “minor or major” separation from Holiness. There is no “time served or parole based on crime severity or good behavior.” The penalty is death and we choose the ruling – “death already served or death for eternity.” This is a very real choice we all make. Ignore the citation, but someone still pays.
Most of us know the salvation, but forget the Saviour. Most of us pay the fine but forget the cost.
Lord, help me to know the severity of my sin to know the wonder of your grace.
Enjoy Him, Michelle firstname.lastname@example.org