Tag Archives: seated

Are We There Yet?

It takes eleven days to go from Horeb to Kadesh Barnea by the Mount Seir road.  Deuteronomy 1:2

Every parent can relate to that ride from home to somewhere that received the inevitable, “Are we there yet?” from the backseat.  Maybe one time would have been acceptable, but for some reason, this question echoes for hours until arrival.  Words that come to mind are patience, patience, patience.  But, because it compares greatly with running your nails across a chalkboard, the likely response is something like this . . . “We’ll get there when we get there!”

I can’t imagine how much of this Moses had to endure!  Forty years of wandering in the wilderness in pursuit of the Promised Land with millions of Israelites.  It was a journey that could have only taken eleven days.  Getting to the Promised Land took more than you or I would perhaps ever truly understand.  But one thing is for certain, it required  a focus, a direction, a compass that pointed and motivated them contrary to their circumstances.  It took a level of faith unlike anything they had ever encountered.  More importantly, it required of them a fix on God . . . and as their minds were no longer experiencing the faith of deliverance into the Promised Land they continued to wander.

Life can often find us circling this same mountain — especially in the midst of crisis, pain or hurt.  Healing and deliverance is desired quickly and all attempts are taken to make it so. But God’s time is so different.  He sees, answers and moves in ways so contrary to our understanding that we find ourselves buckled in the backseat asking over and over again . . . “Are we there yet?”  And from the front we don’t hear . . . “We’ll get there when we get there!”  Instead, we hear Daddy say, “No, we’re not quite there yet, but I can’t wait to show you what I have prepared for you!”

I just know in five minutes I’m gonna ask Him again!

Lord Jesus, I know I’m not there yet — but I can’t help but ask you over and over.  In the midst of my life I know I need to keep fixed upon you with my eyes, heart and mind on you at all times.  Maybe one day, I’ll stop asking if we’re there yet.  🙂  But for now, my faith is strengthened in knowing you are in control and that I’m resting in the knowledge of your sovereignty.  You never cease to be there all the time!

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.   Colossians 3:1-2

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Forever Following

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  Psalm 23:6

Today I returned to an old favorite — Psalm 23.  If you haven’t read it in a while, it is chock full of encouragement and hope.  A great book – a short daily read – that I would recommend is Max Lucado’s Safe in the Shepherd’s Arms.  It’s amazing!

As I was rereading this passage this morning, it struck me how David stresses that goodness and mercy (love) follow me.  Follow me?  God’s goodness and mercy?  Well, depending on your personal theology of God’s whereabouts, this can crash someone’s party if all they think is that God’s dictating from some throne.

This suggests one, if not two things.  First, as implied, this means that God’s not just ruling like we see of the images of Pharaoh.  He is not the unapproachable conductor of all things.  On the contrary, He is personal, relational, compassionate, with an abundance of grace and love beyond our wildest dreams.   Which leads me to the second.  While God is clearly “seated” on the throne, He, through the Holy Spirit, pursues me!  Pursues!  David understands this in his remembrance of God’s presence through the guarantee of God’s goodness and mercy following me every day.  It reminds me somewhat of the old 90’s episodes of Dukes of Hazard when the “good ‘ole boys” were in “hot pursuit.”  They couldn’t seem to cut a break!  I, too, am in “hot pursuit” by my Savior — every day!  And trailing and flanking that pursuit is Goodness and Mercy!

But even in the midst of great news, where goodness seems so obvious, it’s possible for circumstances scratched by the sharp nails of darkness to overshadow our hearts and minds with pittance.  Its unfortunate that such be robbed from our lives, but God still moves!  He still pursues, not sitting and ruling from a throne, but running and guarding, protecting and whispering in our ears at every turn.  Whispering the Truth of His goodness and His mercy that stands firm against the lies of darkness, the thief in the night, and fills me with joy unspeakable, full of His glory!  All this in spite of my circumstances.  Amen!!

Lord Jesus, I’m reminded of my first day of school.  I was so scared, worried.  I didn’t like kindergarten and I wasn’t going to stay.  I remember planning my escape down to the very minute for when I’d make a dash.  Mrs. Mapstone was faster than she appeared as I remember she was a bit older than me — much older!  Remember how I made it out the door and just beyond the ditch before she caught me?  I was so not happy about that!  But as much as I was frightened to be at school, I think the bus was even worse.  I remember looking back over my shoulder more than once to see if mom was still there.  She was.  You’re pursuing me, right?  Life’s bus ride and classroom are filled with so many things.  Some I know, most I don’t.  I’m looking back, if that’s o.k., to see your Goodness and Mercy!  I see them . . .!

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Holy On A Rainy Day

Feelings are a tricky thing.  Navigating what is connected to the truth of your emotions and discerning those things connected to false beliefs is a practice that involves intercession from the Spirit that lives within me.  Engaging a dialogue with my Helper is critical in living through He who rests in His temple.  No, I’m not speaking of the church down the road or the synagogue around the corner — I’m speaking of the temple of my body:

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  I Corinthians 6:19

Following this understanding then comes the realization that if He rests, resides — takes up residence — in me, then He goes where I go, does what I do, enjoys the things I enjoy, hurts in the pain I feel and rejoices in life with me.

But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.  I Corinthians 6:17

We are one!  And if we are one — follow me here — then I am holy — even on a rainy day!  This is a tough one for me and I don’t believe I’m alone in this difficulty.  Believing such truth, when the world and maybe even people within your own circles are communicating a different message makes it all the more difficult to believe.  But, the truth of the truth is that it doesn’t come, all the while, in your feelings.  Bad, rainy days happen, but Truth withstands even the worst of them.

Having a hard time believing through the fog?  I understand that one better than anyone!  Here’s what I read to remind me of who I am — my identity — despite my weather:

John 1:12   I am a child of God (Romans 8:16).

John 15:1,5   I am a part of the true vine, a channel (branch) of His Life.

John 15:15   I am Christ’s friend.

John 15:16   I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit.

Acts 1:8   I am a personal witness of Christ for Christ.

Romans 3:24    I have been justified and redeemed.

Romans 5:1   I have been justified (completely forgiven and made righteous) and am at peace with God.

Romans 6:1-6    I died with Christ and died to the power of sin’s rule in my life.

Romans 6:7   I have been freed from sin’s power over me.

Romans 6:18   I am a slave of righteousness.

Romans 6:22   I am enslaved to God.

Romans 8:1   I am forever free from condemnation.

Romans 8:14,15   I am a son of God (God is literally my “Papa”) (Galatians 3:26; 4:6).

Romans 8:17    I am an heir of God and fellow heir with Christ.

Romans 11:16    I am holy.

Romans 15:7    Christ has accepted me.

1 Corinthians 1:2   I have been sanctified.

1 Corinthians 1:30   I have been placed in Christ by God’s doing; Christ is now my wisdom from God, my righteousness, my sanctification, and my redemption.

1 Corinthians 2:12    I have received the Spirit of God into my life that I might know the things freely given to me by God.

1 Corinthians 2:16   I have been given the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19   I am a temple (home) of God; His Spirit (His life) dwells in me.

1 Corinthians 6:17   I am joined to the Lord and am one spirit with Him.

1 Corinthians 6:19,20    I have been bought with a price; I am not my own; I belong to God.

1 Corinthians 12:27   I am a member of Christ’s body (Ephesians 5:30).

2 Corinthians 1:21   I have been established in Christ and anointed by God.

2 Corinthians 2:14   He always leads me in His triumph in Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:14,15   Since I have died, I no longer live for myself, but for Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17   I am a new creation.

2 Corinthians 5:18,19   I am reconciled to God and am a minister of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:21   I am the righteousness of God in Christ.

Galatians 2:4   I have liberty in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 2:20   I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I am now living is Christ’s life.

Galatians 3:26,28   I am a child of God and one in Christ.

Galatians 4:6,7   I am a child of God and an heir through God.

Ephesians 1:1    I am a saint (1 Corinthians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:2).

Ephesians 1:3   I am blessed with every spiritual blessing.

Ephesians 1:4   I was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before Him.

Ephesians 1:7,8   I have been redeemed and forgiven, and am a recipient of His lavish grace.

Ephesians 2:5   I have been made alive together with Christ.

Ephesians 2:6    I have been raised up and seated with Christ in heaven.

Ephesians 2:10   I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ to do His work that He planned beforehand that I should do.

Ephesians 2:13   I have been brought near to God.

Ephesians 2:18   I have direct access to God through the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:19    I am a fellow citizen with the saints and a member of God’s household.

Ephesians 3:6   I am a fellow heir, a fellow member of the body, and a fellow partaker of the promise in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 3:12   I may approach God with boldness and confidence.

Ephesians 4:24   I am righteous and holy.

Philippians 3:20   I am a citizen of heaven.

Philippians 4:7   His peace guards my heart and my mind.

Philippians 4:19   God will supply all my needs.

Colossians 1:13   I have been delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of Christ.

Colossians 1:14   I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. The debt against me has been canceled (Colossians 2:13,14).

Colossians 1:27    Christ Himself is in me.

Colossians 2:7   I have been firmly rooted in Christ and am now being built up and established in Him.

Colossians 2:10    I have been made complete in Christ.

Colossians 2:12,13   I have been buried, raised, and made alive with Christ, and totally forgiven.

Colossians 3:1   I have been raised with Christ.

Colossians 3:3   I have died, and my life is now hidden with Christ in God.

Colossians 3:4   Christ is now my life.

Colossians 3:12   I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved (1 Thessalonians 1:4).

1 Thessalonians 5:5   I am a child of light and not of darkness.

2 Timothy 1:7   I have been given a spirit of power, love, and discipline.

2 Timothy 1:9   I have been saved and called (set apart) according to God’s purpose and grace (Titus 3:5).

Hebrews 2:11   Because I am sanctified and am one with Christ, He is not ashamed to call me His.

Hebrews 3:1I am a holy partaker of a heavenly calling.

Hebrews 3:14   I am a partaker of Christ.

Hebrews 4:16   I may come boldly before the throne of God to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

1 Peter 2:5   I am one of God’s living stones and am being built up as a spiritual house.

1 Peter 2:9,10   I am a part of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of God’s own possession.

1 Peter 2:11   I am an alien and stranger to this world that I temporarily live in.

1 Peter 5:8   I am an enemy of the devil. He is my adversary.

2 Peter 1:4   I have been given God’s precious and magnificent promises by which I am a partaker of the divine nature.

1 John 3:1   God has bestowed a great love on me and called me His child.

1 John 4:15   God is in me and I am in God.

Lord Jesus, may I live the Truth of your Word in my life.  I want to dance with You in all ways, in every moment — I want to dance in the rain, because I am holy!  Let’s do this — together!

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The Beauty Of The Cross

“Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth.  The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.”  Isaiah 65:17

He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!'”  Revelation 21:5

I serve a God that says, “Behold, I will make all things new!”

This past week I watched more football than I have ever watched in a single week.  For those who know me they would be amazed.  In those games I heard and witnessed coaches in victory, defeat and frustration.  Players were exhausted, discouraged while others were equally energized and enthusiastic.  Victory and defeat.  Those in victory fed like a frenzy off the encouragement and belief in their coaches to “press on” and finish strong!  Those in defeat required a bit more propping up.  A tough task even for the most experienced coach.  But in that locker room, on that side-line, in the huddle, I can assure you there is no backing down of what could be.  There is nothing withholding the reminders, the reflection, the truth of what got them on that field.

God gave us a reminder, an image to reflect upon — the Truth of what got us in His loving arms day in and day out.  Something to constantly and forever ponder in those moments when we tend to forget about who leads us into victory and who is seated on the throne, by our side, when we feel a sense of defeat.

God is standing in the locker room and huddle of our life and getting our attention . . . “Behold!”  It’s a locker room, half-time pep talk, if I’ve ever seen one!  “Behold, I will make ALL things new!”    VICTORY!!!

But I spin around to see the win, find the scoreboard, check the yards and time till the buzzer sounds.  The lights are bright, the stands have cleared, the roar is dim . . . but I no longer see the hash marks, the field rises to the end zone and in place of the goal post . . . is the beauty of the cross!  Whether in victory or sensing defeat, the cross is ALWAYS there!

The straight way to a perpetual newness and freshness of holy youth is to go to Christ again, just as we did at the first. A better thing still is never to leave him, but to stand for ever at the cross-foot delighting yourself in his all-sufficient sacrifice.

They that are full of the joy of the Lord never find life grow weary. Getting near to Christ, you will partake in his joy, and that joy shall be your strength, your freshness, the newness of your life. God grant us to drink of the eternal founts, that we may for ever overflow.

Charles Spurgeon

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Rejection And Sorrows . . . He Understands

“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.  He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.  Isaiah 53:3

I’d like to think it was a silent night on the night of our Savior’s birth, but I believe Bethlehem was far from quiet that night.  When people travel from all over the world for the Olympics, is the Village quiet?  When thousands descend upon a stadium for a game, are the roads, hallways or arenas quiet?  During the days of Mardis Gras, are the streets of New Orleans silent?  The answer to each of these is a resounding, “No!”  It was the busiest night in Bethlehem.  The census was underway and people had traveled from miles around.  So many had flooded the streets, overnight accommodations were slim to none.  Everyone was busy, so busy they missed the arrival of God himself in their own backyard.

Unnoticed by many, Christ was born to be noticed only by a few.  Those who listened, those who trusted, those who believed in something bigger and more hopeful than themselves — they came, bringing gifts, proclaiming the arrival of the King, welcoming the One they had been waiting in the courts to arrive.  A subtle entrance, a grand reception — but only by a few . . . the rest would reject Him, hurt Him, fill Him with sorrow.

It’s difficult to believe He understands the pain of rejection.  It’s not easy trusting the human sorrow He experienced to know the deepness of my own sorrow.  The truth is however, He does understand.  He understands and promises to heal the brokenhearted.  But, like those in Bethlehem that night, I all too often forget to listen, forget to notice, forget to see, forget “to taste and see that the Lord is good and His mercy endures forever!”

Lord Jesus, rejection sucks — that’s me being brutally honest!  You have promised to be my Comforter, my Healer, and NEVER reject me!  Your love for me is not conditional and never weakens!  You are seated upon the throne and I am seated with you!  I know you understand every ache in my heart!  Continue to refine me — burn off that which is unrighteous as I strive to be holy as You are holy! I’m so glad you understand!!!!

 

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In The Face Of Impossibility

“Jesus replied, ‘What is impossible with men is possible with God.'”  Luke 18:27

Certainly reading the scripture invokes the thoughts of the impossible becoming possible.  Story after story, from Noah to Jonah, from Adam to Moses, from Esther to Sarah, from David to the blind man.  But no story captivates the trust, the belief in the impossible more than Mary, the mother of Jesus.  It is a riveting moment of wonder, curiosity and faith.  Mary had no clue how the impossible would become possible. Why might that be?  Because all things impossible by man is beyond possible by God.  Mary simply had to trust that despite what appeared unlikely, through He who promised would become a reality.

“‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’  The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most high will overshadow you.  So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.  Even Elizabeth you relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.  For no word from God will ever fail.’ ‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’  Then the angel left her.”  Luke 1:34-38

I find myself asking as did Mary . . . “How will this be?”  I doubt and question the nature of things, events and circumstances in my own life where and when it appears impossible.  But I know you are seated on the throne today and I know that you have made promises.  Promises to keep me and sustain me, to give me strength when I am no longer able to keep my step, to give me wisdom when I don’t know the answers, to provide when all is gone, to love when love is unrecognized, to embrace me when a heart is long unheld.

Lord Jesus, remind me of these promises.  It is your will I seek and your sustaining grace that I consume.  Remind me often that despite my flaws, I am free, so very free and whole!

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Broad Shoulders

As a part of my study yesterday I read a post from one of the blogs I follow from Scotty Smith out of Nashville, TN.  It was though this prayer was written for me.  I wanted to share it with all who read my blog in that you may learn too of the broad shoulders and loving heart of Lord Jesus.

I am posting it below, but if you would like to learn more about the original author, I have placed a link to his blog here.

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A Prayer about Jesus’ Broad Shoulders and Loving Heart

     For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. Isa. 9:6-7

Dear Lord Jesus, knowing the government of the whole world already rests on your shoulders profoundly humbles me and gladdens me. It fills me with a joy second only to knowing your shoulders fully bore the sin of the world, including mine. As this day begins, I raise my shoulders and face to bask in the radiance of your glory and the wonder of your grace.

Lord Jesus, in you are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. You are Wonderful Counselor. I look to you for knowledge of great mysteries and insight into things eternal; but you’re also the one to whom I look for counsel on handling fresh disappointments, dealing with old hurts, and stewarding unfulfilled longings. You care about everything.

Lord Jesus, you uphold all things by the power of your Word. You are Mighty God—the one who created and sustains the entire universe by the power of your word; the one in whom all things are being summed up. You’re also the one who gives me power to humble myself when I’d rather stay proud, and strength to boast in my weaknesses when I’d rather be self-sufficient. You are Lord of all things.

Lord Jesus, to see you is to see the Father. To know you is to know the Father. In this sense you are Everlasting Father. You care so tenderly for the needs of the world—even the flowers of every field and the birds in every sky; but you also care about me. You didn’t leave me as an orphan. Through your work, I’m not only declared to be righteous in God’s sight, I’m able to declare God as my Abba, Father. You bear all my burdens.

Lord Jesus, no one else can pretend to be the Prince of Peace, for you alone paid the price of peace on the cross. Even as you are presently “shaloming”—bringing the increase of your government and peace to all things, so you are advancing the reign of your grace in my life. Forgive me when I look for wholeness, contentment, and healing somewhere else, for it cannot be found except in you. You don’t just give me peace, you are my Peace.

For your broad shoulders, big heart, and coming kingdom, be glorified, O blessed Messiah and Redeemer. So very Amen I pray, Lord Jesus, in your matchless and merciful name.

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