Mountains Moving

Ever find yourself absolutely bowled over by a whisper?

Yesterday while out running errands I had the radio on, going full tilt down I-65 when these words came through my speakers “I’ve seen you move. You move the mountains. And I believe, I’ll see You do it again.” In those words I heard the whisper of God Himself, coming near asking me, “What if you are the mountain I have been moving?

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Y’all. I’ll spare you the details of much of the backstory, but even in that very car yesterday morning I’d been praying a prayer of change, of release on a tight grip of things, of open hands and a trusting heart and mind. A simple prayer but one that needed faith like a mustard seed. Simple but powerful.

When I am the mountain needing moving, it’s not my power or will doing it. It’s all Him. He is fulfilling His promise to be with me, to do good in me and through me. That good may look like desert times and hard winds in battle. It will leave scars and ask for the pound of flesh. But it’s the perfect faith in the power of the One Who wants to move me to the impossible. To the Kingdom now work. To His intimate fellowship and worship.

My eyes, heart, life are removed from focusing on the circumstance, relationship or place and instead intensely aware of my need of Him in my life. Faith in Him, trust in Him, surrender in Him to move me where He knows I should be and can be. In the absolute impossible of life.

Curses, Donkeys and Truth

God is not a man, that He should lie,

Nor a son of man, that He should repent.

Has He said, and will He not do?

Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

Those words from Numbers. Words spoken by Balaam to Balak, a man unwilling to listen. Balak had come to Balaam to curse the nation of Israel, but God has His plans and His words. He used Balaam, who just verses before seemed to be attempting to channel a curse against the people of Israel.

This goes further back to Balaam being summoned by Balak, and thus giving his words to the highest bidder, regardless of their intent or content. Yet God would not allow it. Back in the 22nd chapter of Numbers, God tells him flat out “only the word which I speak to you-that you shall do.” This evolves into the encounter with the donkey and the Angel of the Lord, where Balaam is confronted with the state of his heart on pursuing his own way instead of the one in which God sent him out on.

So we come back to these words here, Balaam’s second prophecy from God to Balak. These words y’all…

I don’t know about you but today my very soul needed to shout them. To myself. He doesn’t lie to us. We may do that to ourselves, but God most certainly does not. And we are really good at lying to ourselves on alot of things that God has never said. Then we turn and look to what He has said and have the audacity to doubt and question if what He said was true. Y’all, I am standing right in this guilt along with you…because we are all guilty of lying to ourselves and then turning the tables on God on what He’s said to us.

I know that there have been times I have put God in human form that is nothing resembling Christ. That I stand in reverence one moment worshiping Him and then turn and act like nothing He has said is true. I don’t love others as I love Him, I don’t honor my parents as I should, I grow jealous of others and their wisdom/platform/ministry. I don’t see the good He’s working in me because I turn my lies into solid truth about all things.

When He speaks, He makes good on it. He has proven over and over again that He is trustworthy, faithful and so very good. He cannot be pulled down to human form as we deem it and then question whether what He says is right, good and true. It’s us that needs the work, that has to rectify that while we cannot understand it some of the time, He is able. He is unchanging. He cannot renege on the promises He has given us. It is our responsibility as those who live in Christ to take those promises as truth, conforming and transforming our thinking to view life through that lens and not the human lies and doubt we so often jump to believing instead.


 

What truths do you need to believe from God today? What doubts have you supplanted in your heart, your mind that He’s told you to have no fear in?

These are things I wrestle with still, but know no matter what your heart and mind attempt to tell you that He is not us, He is God. He is good and true. He will make good on what He says and He will do what He says He will.

A Lesson in Paisley

“You hold me?”

Words from a little three year old I had just met were quite precious. The first words she’d said to me were, “What’s your name?” followed shortly thereafter by those requesting to be held. They came more as a question than a demand.

I had just met the little girl after meeting her mom and siblings the week prior. Her mom was standing next to me, and said “Oh goodness, she’s way too heavy to be held!”

I scoffed, put down my bag, and said to her, “You want me to hold you?” She shook her head yes so assuredly, with confidence as she wiped her hair out of her face. So up she came, and I exclaimed, “You’re not heavy! I got you.”

It was about two minutes later that she exclaimed, “You let me down now!” And off she went to play once more. Her mom apologizing for her daughter’s tenacity and intrusion into the conversation several of us were having.

I couldn’t help but think about those brief few minutes and reflect on how we often do the same with God. We ask Him Who He is to us, what Name He is. Then we question tentatively whether He will hold us, unsure of approaching Him or with doubt that He can handle the task of our stuff along with us.

He tells us He is I AM. He then in turn calls us by name, not the name we are used to hearing but chosen, beloved, daughter, son, loved. He swoops down and picks us up, longing to hold us but waiting for the invitation. He grips us tight, even when we feel what we bring with us is too heavy, or like a 3 year old mini-protester, we fight and struggle against being carried, being held close.

But after a time we ask to be let go. We desire to seek our own way, our own path. We may not verbally tell Him to let us down, to release His hold, but we do everything we can to get out of it. We make decisions that take us outside of His will, or we pursue after what we believe is something good only to find it was deceptive in it’s pursuits.

We run off to bounce houses of distraction and folly, only to return exhausted and thirsting for more of the Living Water we left.

We look and see friends doing other things, playing and enjoying life and we believe that to be what we need as well. It comes out as coveting or gossiping because we believe being held by Him is holding us back from those things they have or do.

So off we go…

Paisley taught me that far too often I seek His embrace, but not Him and Who He is. I seek after what He can give me for a moment rather than a lifetime. So today I choose the embrace of the God Who stooped down to bridge the gap of love thousands of years ago, I reach up with arms of surrender and allow Him to carry all of me, the baggage I still carry, the heaviness of brokenness, and know that I will cling to Him even when I am tempted to fight against the embrace of the God Who calls me by name.

God of the Small

Do you ever find that you only look to God for the big? The Noah moments, the Lazarus-level healing, even the Boaz bringing?

Maybe it’s just me. For so long I knew and trusted He was the God of the big stuff. Sovereign in creation, in resurrection. A life-giver and miraculous healer. A God of miracles and wonders.

DSCN1931The insane beauty of a sunset, oh that’s God. Look at the grandeur and working of His hand. He’s all over that.

But my small, day-to-day stuff? That’s not where I have found Him.

Or rather, that’s not where I have been looking for Him, relying on Him and allowing Him to enter in with me. He’s not the God of small, or at least that’s what I have been selling to myself and my “stuff” in the small. Why would the small matter to such a big God? Because God works the small just as He works the big, if we are faithful in the small.

Let me take you to where I saw Him in what I deem the small of life. I am back over in Ruth once more, because y’all He’s doing a work in it. If we are looking ahead to the big ending we miss the small, we miss how Ruth was faithful to go and do the work. To glean in the fields behind the reapers. To do the hard, grueling work in order to provide for her and her mother-in-law Naomi. From sun up til sun down, with a break “in the house” as we are told.

She did the faithful work and God was right there in it. It wasn’t a miraculous boat being built, it wasn’t the falling of a wall by musical instrument. It was getting up, going out, and doing. Day in, day out.

We can handle the small, so we tell ourselves. We cop to the lie that we are the mini-gods of the small, having control in to-do lists and tasks, making the bed and filing reports. But I think it takes seeing the faithful work of Ruth for me to understand God wants to be in the small of a meeting, a phone call, or a task. He wants to be in every single detail of my life, if I choose to relinquish the need for complete management of it.

Yes, He is the God of big, but He’s also the God of small. Of noticing us and being with us, if we step back and invite Him into it. If we remain faithful to do the work before us with Him. Knowing it isn’t for accolades or awards that will never come from grading papers or serving coffee, but about the beauty of Him with us in each moment as we faithfully work for Him and with Him.

I Will Trust In You

Trust is a hard thing to define. Yes, we have what Webster’s defines it as: a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. But it’s not tangible, it’s not firm in our hands. Often times we misplace it.

Or maybe that’s just me.

That I will put trust in someone and find it’s not founded. Or that the trust is abused.

Then I realize most of all I am not always trusting God, trusting Christ with my concerns and trusting the Holy Spirit to lead me. Oh I say I trust in Him fully, I look to verses like Proverbs 3:5,6 which are great screen art and wall hangings….

But am I truly believing them and living it out? Am I trusting in Him with all my heart and not relying on my own understanding? Y’all, I have to admit I try too much to rely on my own understanding. I don’t acknowledge Him in all my ways, instead I go my own way and ask Him to bless that instead.

It makes a mess of things, a heart that thinks it knows best and a mind set on doing it’s very best in a situation. When I look back over the 18 years of my life as a Christian, I can see that placing trust in Him has been good, it’s been reliable. Yet I still want to think I know better for myself instead of the God who orchestrated the Creation of the world. The Savior Who brought my redemption into reality. The Spirit which resides within me daily walking with me in every single moment.

Frankly I am telling Him that I trust myself more. That’s a hard one to admit, even harder to realize that’s exactly what I have been saying for a while. That my own obstinate mind is far superior in the understanding of life than His. Oof. While I wish I didn’t do that, often times I do. Maybe you do too. (Or maybe you are better at this trust of Him than I am) So I try my own way, in my own understanding in a given situation. I step out of follower position and attempt to lead out. Leading from a place of misunderstanding, pride, limited view and disobedient will to show that I trust in me.

Oh I tell Him I trust in Him, I will tell others and listen as they tell me to “just trust God” in it. But I trust Him on up to this point and no further. It all stems from an ego of fallen nature. My family line of trust that points all the way back to Eve, and I just can’t quite shake it. I inwardly laugh at promises He gives because I simply don’t trust in the God Who has been faithful in every single thing He has said.

So I have to step away from lip service of trust and live in it. Live in the trust I so desperately want to call my own and place within me, and lay it down before Him. I have to give my trust over to Him and understand that He is worthy of all my trust. He is reliable. He is my strength. He is Truth. He is able. I have to keep giving it over to Him when I want to place it back in me, believing I know better or can do it all on my own.

It’s not about just saying “I will trust in You, Lord” but about living it out breath by breath, prayer by prayer, step by step and day by day.


From the Corners

There’s a corner of my guest room that I sometimes go to catch a glimpse of the rising sun just peaking over the trees and rooftops in my neighborhood. It’s the mornings where I need a quiet start, a greeting of a new day ahead.

It reminds me of these words of Jeremiah, as he anguished over the plight of his country. He saw no signs of relief and was focusing on the lack of hope. We see in verse 21 there’s a turning from his lament to a realization of hope.

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”

 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.

Lamentations 3:22-24 (NKJV)

His mercies allow us not to be consumed by what is breaking our hearts. It’s a reminder that whatever trouble or struggle we are in, through His mercies we are not overwhelmed, we are not used up by the struggle. The reason we are given such mercies?

His compassion on us.

His tenderness towards us. His concern and care never fail. When so many other things in this life fail, including our own minds and hearts, our own limited understanding. His does not.

Not only that, Jeremiah reminds us that they are new each day. We don’t get leftovers or what remains from the day before. We get brand new compassion poured out on us, through the never ending mercy He gives.

He is faithful, when I am not. When I am in a struggle or finding that I might be swallowed up, He is faithful with compassion and mercy. He is good, if we but wait. If we believe and choose to wait upon Him.

As we see here, when we seek Him in the corners of life we find Him bringing newness to our days, rejoicing in a hope that never ends, finding our souls are His portion forever.