What a whirlwind these past few months have been. I often reflect how not too long ago, and for the first few years I lived here, I felt very much isolated, and very much alone.
It was in that journey of isolation and aloneness that You once again brought me to the end of myself to not only learn, but experience, two things.
First of all, I'm never alone. When I would feel the most alone and my heart would begin to crack and the tears would begin to fall, You'd fill me with Your holy presence and peace...Your promise to Your children, and evidence of Your faithfulness to us also, reminding me that I was never, ever alone.
Second of all, You used the isolation to cause me to have no where to turn, no one to turn to, except You. I think that's where my relationship with You really started to take off running. I had nothing else...all I had ever known had changed, and quite frankly, it was very hard at times. Even then Father God, You were molding me, smoothing out the rough edges of my life, teaching me things, doing a work I would never have been able to do on my own. But most of all Father, You taught me how to turn to You.
In the past, I'd for the most part, only turn to You in emergency. You were my spritiual 911 and so many times when things got beyond my control and I felt intervention was critical, I'd come tearing into the heavenlies through prayer, begging, pleading, asking, hoping, You'd answer those prayers.
But let me tell You something...and this has been laying increasingly on my heart as the days and weeks go by...these days everything has changed. Just yesterday as I sat in my sunroom talking to You, I told You over and over from the bottom of my soul that You are all I have...I told You about the deep need in my heart that's like a craving that while sated at times, is never satisfied. I told You how much I want You and need You desperately in my life, and while I do have You...while You are my God, my Heavenly Father, my Savior, my Everything...I want and need more.
Sounds crazy, doesn't it? But I know it isn't crazy because I could open my bible right now and go into Your Psalms and read where David cried out to You the same exact way, over and over, year after year of his life, You were his object of affection...inspite of his successes and failures, his heart always longed for You. That's how I feel Father, and it often brings tears to my eyes because I feel and know it so deeply.
So here I am Father God, doing the next study in Romans. I was just thinking about how between the Ephesians study and this Romans study, that it has chronicled my relationship with You. From one extreme to the other I have gone, but the Cornerstone, the core of all the prayers I've written in these studies have expressed my love and need for You.
You have, these past few years, penetrated to the deepest part of my heart, my soul. There have been a couple of people who have gotten kind of close to this area of my heart but You are the only One who has struck it like a bullseye, and the interesting thing is that in this most vulnerable place of my heart, You are the only One I know I can totally and freely trust. So You've hit a nerve per se...perhaps You've tapped into a spring that causes my heart to gush towards You, freely flowing without ceasing and I have a peace with it all.
On and on and on I could go Father. I know there will be some that will read this and who knows what they will think but this is truly how I talk to You...it's what You do to me and words are so incredibly and woefully inadequate to express how You fill my spirit, my soul and my heart.
Bless the study today. Like I said at the beginning, it's been incredibly busy around here...the 3 pigs I took into butcher, I brought home yesterday so I'm innundated with curing bacon, making sausage, salt pork and a variety of other things. The bathroom that I'm having gutted has become a far bigger job than was expected, but there were major issues going on that nobody knew, but You. You were faithful to bring these issues to the surface Father, to protect me and my children that live here so thank You for that. But the point is, I barely had time to eat yesterday and wasn't able to get the Romans study done. I had contemplated last night, wondering how I'd be able to get it done today, and wouldn't You know it, and this makes me laugh, but I woke up at 2am, wide awake, thinking "oh noooooo...can I please get some sleep Father? lolol".
You will finish this study because it is Your honor, Your glory, Your faithfulness and Your perfect will for my life.
I love You so very much.
In Jesus Name I pray,
17. Render to no man evil for evil. Take thought for things honorable in the sight of all men.
18. If it be possible, - as much as you lieth, be at peace with all men.
In the 17th verse, Watchman Nee comments on the words "take thought for things honorable" and states, "Since we are living not only before God but also before men, we need to take forethought for things honorable in the sight of all men."
The rvbv writes in regard to the 17th verse: "Render to no man evil for evil - This takes for granted that some will do you evil. Satan and the world hate God's saints who walk with Him; and will do them all permitted evil. Now do not lay it up against the doer, if evil has been done you. Alas, some real believers are thoughtless; some jealous, some envious, some possibly even spiteful. Put far away the expectation of "getting even" with anybody. "If any man have" - really have - "a complaint against any, even as the Lord forgave you, so also do ye" (Col. 3:13). The Lord forgets, as well as forgives! (Heb. 8:12).
Taking care by forethought for comely [or seemly] things before every one (literally, all men, - whether Christians or not) - "Before the eyes of all men taking care for what is good" (Meyer). This exhortation has no special reference to "making provision for ourselves or our families in an honest manner," as some have thought (from the Old Version). It means to take careful forethought for such a course of Christian behavior ("honorable things") as will commend itself to all - whether Christians or not. We forget, most of us, thus to view our lives as a whole, day by day, detecting and rejecting whatever in ourselves others might criticize as not honorable.
Verse 18: If it be possible - as much as in you lieth - be at peace with all men - Paul himself did cause trouble everywhere, as did our Lord, who said, "Think not that I came to send peace on the earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." But neither Paul nor his Lord was ever the selfish cause of trouble. it is not always possible for a Christian to be at peace with all men, but he can be a peace-lover; a peace-liver; and often a peace-maker, among men. As james says, "The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by them that make peace." Perhaps the most fruitful cause of trouble for a Christian is his claiming "his rights," forgetting Paul's description of us Christians throughout this dispensation:
"For Thy sake we are killed all day long;
We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter."
(One who had visited the Chicago stock yards on a slaughter-day said to me, "Our guide took us to where the swine were being slaughtered. Here there was squealing and grunting everywhere, and the moment the men laid hold of one for slaughter, it gave a wild shriek, and the uproar was terrible. By and by we approached another building and heard no sounds; and we found that here the sheep were being slaughtered, without complaining - in silence!")."
This song has been playing in my heart and mind, over and over the past couple of days, so this is my prayer for today:
Bless the Lord o my soul
And all that is within me
Bless His Holy Name
In Jesus Name I pray,
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Posted 12 June 2010 - 07:56 AM
"One day, we’re going to stand before the gates of Heaven. Some of us want to be able to walk up there in a white robe and we want to sing Abba Father and Amazing Grace and we want to say to the Lord, “I worshiped You.” But I want you to think about this: Heres the way I want to enter the gates of Heaven. I want to come skidding in there on all fours. I want to be slipping and sliding and I want to hit the gates of heaven with a bang. And when I stand up and I stand before Christ, I want there to be blood on my knees and my elbows. I want to be covered with mud. And I want to be standing there with a ragged breast plate of righteousness. And a spear in my hand. And I want to say, “Look at me, Jesus. I’ve been in the battle. I’ve been fighting for you.” Ladies and gentlemen, put your armor on and get into battle. God bless you." ~ General William G. Boykin, U.S. Army (ret.)
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