Words have power. Written words provide proof. You can read them, and reread them whenever you want. They can speak life to someone who needs encouragement. They can speak death to someone who is being deceived. The choice lies within you. How is it that you want people to remember you? Encourager...that is the gift that God has laid on my heart. To use my written, spoken, and/or sung words to lift people up. To be one link in their road to healing, restoration, joy. I have been without those things, and I claim them to be mine again. If you want me to seek God on a prayer for a specific situation...that is why I am here. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to pray God's Word of Life over you.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Relevant Reflections (Dec-Week 2)
My reflection today is going to come in two parts. The first from Sunday morning and the second from that evening. Any chance I’ve been getting lately to spend time with God…He’s been revealing new truths to me. (Or reminding and reinforcing ones that I already know!) I am grabbing and holding onto each nugget of wisdom as if it were treasure.
Think about that. God’s Word is supposed to be treasure to us. Bring to your mind something that you treasure. It does not have to be expensive. Some of my most treasured possessions are notes from my family. (Go figure…I love the written word! Haha!) What do we do with the things we treasure? We usually try to keep them safe. We know where they are and we notice if they are missing. Do you keep the Word and instruction of God hidden in your heart? Do you notice if there are lies covering over the truth that He has given to you? Speaking of treasure…let’s go to a section of verses in the second chapter of proverbs. In Sunday school this past Sunday we were given material with these verses listed.
Proverbs 2: “1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,3 and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.6 For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
Notice how many actions those verses list. Accept. Store. Turn. Apply. Call out. Cry aloud. Look (as if it were silver). Search for it (as for hidden treasure). Understand. Find.
Doesn’t it seem worth the first part of that list to get to those last two? Knowledge and understanding! Whew…that hits home. Do your part with the Word and God. Use it for your life. Apply it to your specific needs. And you will gain what you are looking for! It is right there. Black words on white paper…or in this case…pink words on a gray screen. Powerful realization!!
Okay…on to the point of this post. Sorry I tend to ramble a bit. Sunday after worship, Pastor Les has us listen to a powerful song by Chris Tomlin. Click here to listen to it on YouTube. Please, for your sake, pay close attention to the words!
Here’s my favorite part…
“I know Who goes before me.
I know Who stands behind.
The God of angel armies, is always by my side.
The One who reigns forever.
He is a friend of mine.
The God of angel armies, is always by my side.”
Don’t those God-inspired words help stir the confidence in you? Whom Shall I(We) Fear? Name, in your own head, someone/something that you fear. I won’t tell…go ahead. It does not have to be a physical fear…but maybe a mental one. Maybe it is someone who makes you feel tiny and insignificant when they talk to you, and you fear having to see them. Whom SHOULD you fear? No one and nothing. I know it is easy to say and hard to do…but let’s try to gain wisdom so that we can
follow the example of Jesus. It will be worth your effort, Promise!
Here are the words that God spoke to me about fear. “What do you fear, Vanesa? Whom do you fear? Is it fear of rejection that keeps you silent? Is it failures of the past that keep you seated when I’ve asked you to stand? Or…my daughter…do you fear the Creator on judgment day?” OUCH! I needed that. I needed to be reminded that I fear God over man. I want to walk in His light even if it is a new path.
As for Sunday night, we watched a video about aviation. I have to admit I was not excited when I heard what it was about. No offense intended. God has just wired us all differently…and it seemed as thought it was not going to ‘float my boat’. (Guess I should’ve said ‘fly my plane’. Hee hee.) Wowza, how wrong I was. I got it. I got the message the he delivered. It stung a bit at first…but I received it with open arms because I knew that God was all through it. And he had me laughing throughout the night. (I love laughing. It is my favorite. Haha!)
I won’t get all of the terminology correct because I am not at all interested in aviation. It scares me. But the message can be understood the same. Here is my shortened version of what I understood. The man in the video is a pilot of a high-tech war craft. He teaches and instructs the ‘young guns’ on how to operate these aircrafts for their first solo flights. Right before they go out on their own he gives them a final briefing.
How would you respond to a final briefing? Would you sit back, barely paying attention, with complete confidence because you knew it all already? Almost as if this ‘old man’ had nothing he could teach you!? OR would you hang on his every word? Would you trust that he had been in this position once before and he was successful because he was, after all, still alive! First, I need to make it clear that I WOULD NOT EVER BE IN THIS POSITION…because as I said…I am not wired that way. But IF I was going to fly a high-tech war craft…I would be the one feverishly taking notes.
Several times in the video he said the following words, “I am here to brief some of you today.” It was me. He was talking right to me…I’m sure of it. He gave an example at one point of a professor from college. This professor was the first one ever in this man’s life to care about him other than his own family. He was concerned about his spiritual well-being. Who has been that to you? And who is God leading you to? Just a simple conversation can mean the world to someone in need. Let’s be intentional on looking for and listening to people that need the truth of Jesus!
At the the end of the video the man spoke about dreams. Can you think of some of your own? Things that you long for? Things that cause you to be discontented because you are always waiting and wondering. I believe that there is a difference between a dream and a vision. I am not talking about dreams at night. I know that God can pack some powerful wisdom in our dreams. I am talking about the things you daydream about having, or doing, or places to go to. What are you over looking because you are in waiting for……….
Here are two quotes as I remember them from the video. Keep in mind these are from a man who had dreams of being exactly what he became. He got all he wanted and yet…
“Dreams…when not from God…are just a tragic disappointment in the waiting.”
“Dreams can become a memory…in an instant.”
As I said above, when I say the word dreams I am not talking about visions that God has given us. I am talking about the ‘dreams’ that we hang onto and wait for. They occupy our time and energy. They keep us from moving full-force into what God has for us in the now. These dreams can set us up for disappointment and failure if they are not what God has for us. Even if they are good. Even if they are for Him…if they are not from Him…let’s vow to go with His plan instead. Make sense?
By the end of Sunday night these are the nuggets of wisdom that God gave to me. You, as a heir to the throne, right now, hold in your hands and in your heart…the key to help someone else to salvation and safety. What will you do with that reality? God has called us to be His hands and feet. The heart of God sends people to your path so that they might come to know Him when they meet you. Can you rise up to that call? Can you see people through the eyes of Christ?
Did you ever have a vision from God that you are just so so so excited about seeing come to reality? That is where I am at right now. And I literally get butterflies in my stomach every time I think of it. Like Christmas morning-when I used to open my eyes as a child and see that my stocking was filled up and laying by my door, begging to be opened-butterflies. I am trying to be patient…but I’m just so excited and about to burst with God’s promise. Romans 8:28 is at work. The things of old are making sense. I’ve been asking. I’ve been crying out. I’ve been searching for truths to cover the lies that I was expected to believe. And Proverbs 2 is making sense in a new way. Knowledge and understanding of God’s ways and His perfect path are coming into view. *squeals* I am ready God. I’ve been preparing for what is to come…and I trust where you are leading. I have NO reason NOT to trust You.
Right now I am praying for you, my friend. I pray that the knowledge and understanding of God will flood your life. And I pray that you will search for it. Cry out to God. Seek God and God’s people. Find people that inspire you to be who God intended you to be. Speak life and surround yourself with people who do the same for you. It works!
To close…let me end with some of the people that God has sent us to recently. Our new Pastor Les and his wife Jennifer. They are the real deal. They love without condition. They are authentic. They have a passion for God AND His people. They have hearts that are willing to serve. And they are contagious. They are inspiring me to write. They are inspiring me to sing. They are inspiring me to love without condition. They are inspiring me to serve. And tonight…they helped inspire an acoustic guitar worship session in my house. You may or may not have any IDEA how huge this is! Just know that God is absolutely faithful. I've believed it. I've prayed since August for it to be evident…and I trusted that God would hear my cry. Oh, and that Christmas morning excitement…just got even more intense. I can’t wait to see it all unfold. Amazed…I sit back and