Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fun Guidelines to Live By...

Praise... until the spirit of worship comes.

Worship...until the glory comes.

Stand in the glory! 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Christmas is Coming!

I remember one Christmas when I was a little girl wanting a specific doll. I had seen it in a catalog and knew my life would not be complete without it. Even at the age of 7, I wanted to be a mother! I circled it with a big magic marker and laid it open to the page on my parents' bed. My mom was always a sucker for buying me and my sisters dolls, so I knew once I made it known the doll would be under the tree. I never faltered. I never worried. A few weeks before Christmas, the presents were wrapped and I got to look at the tree and dream for several days until that doll was mine. I remember gently snooping, so as not to disturb the arrangement of the presents, to look for the doll shaped box. Sure enough, it was under there. It was as good as mine...but not mine yet. I was so excited that morning to open that gift and finally hold the doll that I had requested.

For me, looking back, this is a reflection of what our relationship with the Father can be, or should be. I'm His child and I'm filled with desires. Some of those desires are selfish and some of those desires are dreams that He has begun and is anxious to make happen. Once these dreams are made known to Him or He makes them known to me, it's equivalent to the doll-shaped box being under the tree. Those dreams will happen, but there is a timing, a "Christmas Day" that must be waited for before they can be opened. Once God speaks a promise, the fulfillment exists. I never once wavered in my trust in my parents...would they give me that special gift or would they withold it from me? I just slept peacefully in my feety pajamas and joyfully expected it to come. How much more is my heart to rest in the assurance of my Father's goodness and joyfully expect that He is true to His word? As great as my earthly parents are, He is so much greater! And yet, I waver.

Today I found myself asking the Holy Spirit to give me the gift of faith. Faith brings pleasure to the heart of God (Hebrews 11:6). In fact, Scripture says it is impossible to please God without faith. But faith comes at a high price. In order to have the gift of faith, you have to exercise faith which means situations that require faith. These situations are never easy.  These situations can bring much turmoil and travail. Why does faith please Him? I don't know the full answer but it seems that He must understand how difficult it is to exercise. It means having self-control over my thoughts and my emotions. It means not allowing my circumstances to dictate His character. It means being unmoved in my belief that if God has spoken, His word will not return to Him empty without fulfillment. It means rest while the storms rage around me. It means being assured and confident that though I don't see it now, I will. I want to trust God far more than I trusted my parents for Christmas presents. The promises He has spoken to me are already under the tree and today, I am one day closer to fulfillment.

Thank You, Jesus, that one more day is down and behind me! I'm one day closer to opening up that fulfillment, that great gift You've spoken. May You find me joyfully expectant and not daily disappointed in the waiting.

Monday, February 8, 2010

God Desires Us To Know Truth

In my quiet time recently, I spent time meditating on John 16:12-13 which reads:

"I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come."

These verses make me hungry. Imagine you have Jesus physically in front of you and He tells you that there is much more to say, but He's withholding because you can't bear what He has to say. You can't handle what He has to say. I can't tell whether this is Jesus' kindness to not overwhelm His disciples or if it's a sign of weakness on the disciples part that they are unable to hold anymore truth. I've been asking God today what is my truth-bearing capacity? If Jesus has truth He wants to share with me, I want to have the strength to bear it. God, increase my ability to bear truth and revelation!

Jesus then drops this amazing gift into our laps by saying that the Holy Spirit is coming...and He's coming to lead us into ALL truth. Not some truth. ALL truth. 1 Corinthians 2:10 says that "the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God." He is still doing this today...running to and fro discovering the thoughts, emotions, secrets and desires of God. This is the truth that He's come to lead us into - the very depths of God, His character, His heartbeat, His passion, His righteousness.

Paul goes on to say in 1 Corinthians 2:12 that "we have not received the spirt of this world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God." So, this Spirit who searches the very depths, the inner-core workings of God, resides within me. How much truth does your Holy Spirit have access to??? A few verses earlier Paul writes that "no eye has seen, no ear has heard, nor the heart of man imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him." The Spirit searches the deep things of God. Is it possible that you are found in the depths of God, that you're on His mind, in His heart? He has thoughts and plans for you and the Holy Spirit, who searches everything, lives within you. It seems to me that God is passionate about revealing these things to us.

What has God prepared for you? If you can think of it, it's too small. If you can imagine it, your dreams are too minute in comparison for what God has prepared for you. Dream big. Think big. You have the Holy Spirit, who searches everything of God, dwelling within you and He's a horrible secret-keeper! He wants us to know. Your life is not small, but rather, you're a walking tabernacle of the Holy Spirit. What a job! What a purpose! What a holy calling! God desires us to know truth.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I believe this is true...

Unbelief says, "My life is slipping away from me; I've got to do something different." 
But faith says, "I'd rather die than stop contending for the promise." 

Faith prays until the answer comes.
The meaning of prayer is answer.
                                                                       ~Bob Sorge

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fear of God OR Love of's all about perspective.

I was spending some time in the book of Hebrews last week and stumbled across a verse that has been wonderfully haunting since. 

Nothing in all creation is hidden from the sight of God, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account.    Hebrews 4:13

Verses like these make me want to run and cringe sometimes...or, all the time! God sees everything. He knows everything. All those thoughts and behaviors that I work so hard to keep hidden from view HE is taking them in. His eyes are fixed on me. Where are my fig leaves???

As I was reading this verse and whimpering time stood still as I heard Him say, "Hol, aren't you glad that I AM the God that has this ability?" In a moment a verse, a truth that brought upon the fear of the Lord was now superceded by the love of God. I'm not saying that the fear of God was gone. However, in a moment the realization of His love became so much bigger than my fear of Him. What if we served a god who had no love in his heart for us and who could see everything about us? There would be no grace, no mercy, no compassion, no forgiveness, no rescue. Unbelievers in Jesus Christ live in this reality. Thank You, God, for being who You are. Thank You, God, for being the One who rescued me. Thank You, God, that you see me completely exposed before You and You still want me. It's beautiful. It's humbling. It's the kind of God I need. His ability to see everything about me, the good and the sin, coupled with His great love makes Him safe. Come in, Father, and see my sin because I know that in Your love, You will remove it for my good and You will not leave me as I am. You are good. 

I believe that having reverance, fear and awe of God is vital to our relationship with Him. Scripture says that it is the beginning of all wisdom. However, fear should never keep us from His love. I think often we can spend much of our time trying to DO the right thing out of fear that God won't accept us otherwise. This is backwards. It is His love that propels us to do anything. We stand accepted. We don't have to fight for this position. He is captivated by us. He has given everything to have us. In a true love relationship, you DO things for a person because you love pleasing them and because you know they love you. Why do we treat God any differently, worrying about His thoughts towards us? Today is my Sabbath. I plan on spending it entering the rest of His love for me.