I hope you enjoy this from Sylvia Guther's email blast I received this morning. I have been meditating on it and am richly blessed.
What Is God Saying? Part 1
Sometimes it is good to take time to remember and reflect. I wrote the following severeal years ago. As I read back over it recently, it is amazing how timely this still is for 2012. I do not want to waste the lessons of the journey. So I am inviting you to join me and reflect on these core truths.
God is HUGE!
In the little glimpses he gives me as he draws back the veil, sometimes I am absolutely without words, speechless, dumbfounded, and overcome. He is so much bigger than we have ever experienced or can possibly conceive with our finite minds.
Stay low and stay close. This attitude reflects a heart of humility before God and sensitivity to his gentlest whisper. This is the place of brokenness, repentance, and seeking God. It is meekness, bridled strength, the humility of wisdom, having no agenda but God's. It is surrender and devotion, essential for hearing God. The only desire is to please him. When we think we have the victory, beware! There is great danger in thinking we are standing tall and strong (1 Cor. 10:12). Pride goes before a fall. God is stripping us naked, allowing us no covering but himself. He will not allow us to walk in anything but him. Only his life bears life. Another area of staying low and staying close is spiritual warfare. In time of war, a soldier doesn't move without the command of his commanding officer. One step of presumption will be disastrous.
God is radically changing the way we depend on him.
God has been saying, "Stay behind me." I protested, "But God, don't you always tell your friends what you are doing?" He said, "Yes, and I am telling you that you will not be able to know what I'm doing. You know nothing about trusting me. Stay behind me. And don't peek!" I did not want to accept this. My lack of trust had to be refined. Something in me had to know, to do, to see, to understand. God calls it unbelief. I like flying by "visual flight rules." God has called us to submit to "flying on instruments" when we can't see where we're going. We must be convinced in the deepest places that we can trust him. We will depend on him fully only when we come to the end of ourselves. We must learn to more quickly get to the cross with our dependence. Radical Love won't let any person or any thing on earth meet my needs but him, so I won't trust in them.
As important as it is for me to trust God, he wants to know that he can trust me. Paul said, "Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful" (1 Cor. 4:2). Our faithfulness to God in all things, great and small, matters to him. His truth and his righteousness are established in our lives practically and experientially, by being tested one obedience at a time, by learning and application, by training and discipline, in trial and warfare. He must keep my heart tuned to his, or I perish.
The bigger the vision, the deeper the death, but missing God costs more.
The cross of Jesus will sweeten any trial, difficulty, or roadblock. God knows what we need even when we don't (but think we do). We must learn to surrender our expectations of him that he perform according to our uncrucified agenda. The "new" requirement of God is the same as the old requirement: to come and die.
Bless and honor your authorities.
It has never been more important to bless and honor our authorities. The early church was told to trust God and honor the emperor (Matt. 17:25-27, Mark 12:14-17, Rom. 13:1-7). We honor the un-honorable because of their position, not their personality. If we take authority lightly, our prayers will be hindered. We reach for God on the other side of a closed heart and draw from him until he changes the heart. We rest in God's ability to deal redemptively with our authorities, and we get out of his way.
Now It's Your Turn
Take some time alone with God before your open Bible. Let Jesus open up his heart to you in his Word, personally, between you and him. Prayerfully reflect on your life in the Spirit. What is he saying to YOU? Pause and let him review the traces of his hand in your life. Ask him for a word of direction or promise. Make an altar stone of what he says by writing it down and writing it on your heart.
You circle Mother’s Day on your husband’s calendar with red ink. You leave a note with the URL for your favorite florist on the bathroom sink, along with the number for rush deliveries just in case. You tell your children for weeks that Mother’s Day is “mommy’s special day” and have them rehearse the name of your favorite restaurant so they can drop hints to daddy.
Then Mother’s Day comes. You still have to make breakfast. The kids don’t dress themselves. Your flowers don’t arrive and your husband takes the family through the drive-thru on your way home from church. The result—you spend the day stewing, and your family is miserable.
Maybe that’s not how it works for you. Maybe you are one of the few who is celebrated exactly how you want to be each Mother’s Day. But for most, this holiday can often be a major disappointment.
And you know what? Our husband and kids aren’t to blame.
Thinking we’re the center of the universe, even if it’s only for a day, misses a major point—namely that we are not the center of the universe. We are a part of a family, an important part, yes, but not so important that we’ve earned the right to demand adoration, affection, and a one-day Get Out of Jail Free card.
Here are some biblical truths that many of us (yes, even I) need to be reminded of as Mother’s Day approaches:
We are called to be humble.
Matthew 23:12 doesn’t leave much room for tooting our own horn, or demanding that our family toot it. It says, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
Our role as a mother is not a burden, but a gift!
Psalm 127:3 says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.” If you are blessed enough to have children, your gift has already been delivered!
Remember Whom you serve.
I know that your kids probably don’t send thank-you notes very often, and your husband doesn’t always notice all the things you do to keep the plates spinning. But, the truth is, your husband and kids aren’t who you work for. Only when you are working to please your Creator will you find yourself fulfilled.
Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
Service is our calling.
In John 13:12-14 we read, “When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, ‘Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.’”
Serving your family is an important job. It is a way to demonstrate Christ to them and to the outside world, where families are crumbling because they don’t know how to serve each other. Psalm 100:2 urges us to “serve the Lord with gladness.” Losing sight of this mission, even for a day, won’t make for a happy heart or a happy family.
. . . If you still feel like you can’t go on without a thank you this Mother’s Day, may I sincerely thank you? Thanks for being a great mom. Thanks for doing the heavy lifting required to teach your kids about Jesus, and parenting according to God’s plan even when it’s countercultural. Thanks for modeling service every day of every year, even when you don’t feel like it. And this Mother’s Day, thanks for finding practical ways to live like it’s not about you so that the people around you know it’s all about Him.
Here is the daily reading from Ransomedheart.com....my husband sent this to me, and I wanted to share it with you!
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Can Our Lives Be Green Again?
Can it really happen? Can things in our lives be green again? No matter what our creeds may tell us, our hearts have settled into another belief. We have accepted the winter of this world as the final word and tried to get on without the hope of spring. It will never come, we have assumed, and so I must find whatever life here I can. We have been so committed to arranging for our happiness that we have missed the signs of spring. We haven't given any serious thought to what might be around the corner. Were eternity to appear tomorrow, we would be as shocked as I have been with the return of spring this week, only more so. Our practical agnosticism would be revealed. Pascal declared,
Our imagination so powerfully magnifies time, by continual reflections upon it, and so diminishes eternity . . . for want of reflection, that we make a nothing of eternity and an eternity of nothing.
But of course we aspire to happiness we can enjoy now. Our hearts have no place else to go. We have made a nothing of eternity. If I told you that your income would triple next year, and that European vacation you've wanted is just around the corner, you'd be excited, hopeful. The future would look promising. It seems possible, desirable. But our ideas of heaven, while possible, aren't all that desirable. Whatever it is we think is coming in the next season of our existence, we don't think it is worth getting all that excited about. We make a nothing of eternity by enlarging the significance of this life and by diminishing the reality of what the next life is all about.