Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Reason #9 - He is My Own God

I love having this blog. Not because of anything brilliant I have written or come up with (because I haven't come up with anything new - it's all old stuff that I'm just now disovering myself!) Not because I'm hopeful that thousands are reading it. (haha :)) Not because it's a way to show off how holy or self-righteous I am (on the contrary, I hope that whoever does happen to read this will see the exact opposite! I share...not because I think I have already "arrived" at the goal of loving the Lord with all my heart, but because I want to "arrive," though I still have so far to go!)

No, I love having this blog because all throughout the days now, I am constantly on the lookout for new reasons why I love my Lord. It has changed my focus. And do you know what I'm finding? I'm finding that the more reasons I find to love Him, the more I do love Him.

This is a new experience for me. All my life, I've followed a religion. A list of rules...a checklist of things to do, and an even longer one of things not to do. I say this to my shame...I never loved God. And I knew it.

But now for the first time in my life, I am learning to love Him. I have so, so far to go! But it thrills me to see the baby steps of progress that Christ has enabled me to make so far.

But back to my reason #9. He is my own God.

"Then...God, even our own God, shall bless us." ~ Ps 67:6

He is the God of the universe. He is the God of all. But because He sees us each individually, and desires a special, personal relationship with each one of us as a unique individual, He is a personal God too!

Think about this for a minute. The Lord has made each of us so incredibly, distinctly, and beautifully different. He designed each of our unique characterisitics. And the personal Creator of each one of us is also the personal God of each of us!

And so because of this, He can meet each one of us right where we are. What a beautiful realization! What joy! I have always thought - "I have to whip myself into shape before I can approach God. I get my act together first, and then - and only then - do I meet with God." No, and a thousand times no!! Our personal God meets us right where are...as a broken-hearted mother, as a hurting child, as a confused teenager...yes, even as a fool, or a rebel, or an outcast.

He is my own God, Who knows each of my needs, each of my weaknesses, each of my downfalls, and each of my failures. And Who loves me anyway.

This is promising to be a long post, as I would like to close with a poem I wrote up recently that expounds on this thought. :)

The God of Me

A little child lifts her head
She reaches up with an outstretched arm.
A little smile breaks across her face
She trusts that she is safe from harm.
She has a question - she doesn't understand.
She can't give an answer, but she knows who can.

"Daddy, can I sit in your lap?
Can I hold your hand?
Will you tell me a story and sing to me?
Daddy, can I talk with you?
Pose a question to you?
Can you explain it all to me?

When the thunder rolls can you hold me close,
And rock me to sleep in your arms?"

My God is a God of the child
A God of the innocent
A God of the simple, trusting heart.
Because He's not a God for the grown-up
For the professional -
For the self-sufficient heart.
I hold out my hand to the greatest Friend of all.
As a child, I come.
He's the God of the child-
He's the God of me.

An angry boy runs to the door,
Lifting a tight clenched fist.
Without a word, he walks away -
Never dreaming how much he'll be missed.
The prodigal is happy at first, of course.
But soon he finds out the worst.

"Oh please, I need some help.
I've lost my way.
I need a guide to lead me back.
Oh please, can you take my hand?
Don't leave my side!
And bring me back to love?

When the thunder rolls can you shelter me,
And lead me to peace once more?"

My God is a God of the lost,
A God of the wanderer,
A God for the hardened, bitter heart.
Because He's not a God for the perfect -
For the prosperous -
For the self-sufficient heart.
I hold out my hand to the greatest Guide of all.
As the lost, I come.
He's the God of the lost -
He's the God of me.

A woman stands with her head in her hands,
With no one by her side.
Weeping silently, with no friend
To come to with arms open wide.
What is life if not shared with a friend?
It seems her pain has no end.

"Oh please, can I sit with you?
Can I talk with you?
Share my hurt, my fears, my dreams?
Can we laugh together?
Make plans together?
Can we walk down the road side by side?

And when the thunder rolls, can you hold me close,
And let me cry in your arms?"

My God is a God of the lonely,
A God of the friendless,
A God of the hurting, needy heart.
Because He's not a God for the happy -
For the busy -
For the self-sufficient heart.
I hold out my hand to the greatest Friend of all.
As the lonely, I come.
He's the God of the lonely-
He's the God of me.

He's the God of the sinner-
Of the broken-
Of the failure-
Of the lonely-
Of the lost-
Of the child-
He's the God of me.

I love my Lord because He is my own God.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Reason #8 - He Walks With Me

One of my favorite people in the Bible is someone that I really don't know much about. I believe this man is only mentioned 3 different times total in the Bible. (not including the references to his name in genealogies.) He is in the royal lineage of Jesus, and he was one of the two men in the Bible who never died. (the other being Elijah.)

This man's name is Enoch.

And why am I so fascinated with Enoch??

Genesis chapter 5 gives us a genealogy - a long list of men who lived for hundreds of years and "begat" many sons and daughters, and then they died. The average, normal life. Nothing really special to mention about them.

And then in the midst of this list comes Enoch (verse 22). The text doesn't tell us that Enoch lived for however many hundred years. He walked with God.

And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah (his son) three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters... And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

In the midst of millions of individuals currently on this earth who are simply "living" - how many of us as Christ-followers are taking up the challenge to walk with God? I know that too often I'm not. But oh, this is the desire of my heart!! That when I die, people wouldn't simply say "she lived for ___ years." No, that they would say "here is a woman who walked with God all the days of her life."

In the famous "Hall of Faith" passage in Hebrews 11, we are told that Enoch had this testimony: that he pleased God. Here is a man that I want to be like! Oh Lord, strengthen me that my life would also be pleasing to you!

But here is the thing that amazes me the most. Yes, Enoch walked with God. But this also means that God walked with Enoch.

Do we realize what this looks like?? The God Who created the universe, Who holds all things together, Who knows all things and controls all things...GOD HIMSELF chose to walk day by day with a MAN.

I ask with the psalmist, David: "What is man, that Thou art mindful of him??" (Ps 8:4)

And we know that He is no respecter of persons. If He did it with Enoch, He'll do it with me. The choice is very clearly not up to Him. It's up to me.

The God of the universe holds out His hand to each of us. He will walk with us, if we choose to walk with Him.

I love my Lord, because He walks with me.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Reason #7 - He is My Joy

A beautiful flower. A dear friend. A breathtaking sunset. The sound of children's giggles. All these things bring warmth to my heart, and I thank the Lord for the countless good things He constantly gives each of His children to brighten their day.

I heard a quote once that has stuck with me:

"Happiness depends on happenings. Joy depends on Jesus."

How true is that!!? I really do believe that most of us as Christians are stuck living in that first sentence. I know that I often am. If things go well, I'm in a good mood. Sure I'm happy.

But if someone irritates me - if I don't get my way - if I didn't get enough sleep - if a task takes twice as long as I expected it to...

I'm upset. Frustrated. Restless. Disappointed.

And notice that each of these things is the exact opposite of joy.

The common definition of joy is intense happiness. It's more than happiness. It flies far beyond happiness. It's like the never ending flow of water that comes from a mountain stream, always refreshing others, and never running dry.

And God wants to establish this fountain of joy in each of our hearts! I believe that every Christian is capable of not only have a constant joy in our hearts, but also bringing constant joy to everyone we meet.

But even more than that - God not only gives joy, but

He is our joy.

He is my joy.

Is that not incredible to think about?!

Psalm 43:4 "Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy..."

I think a more complete, in depth definition of joy would quite simply be this:


Anybody can be happy. Even broken - hearted mothers and rebellious teenagers and drunken, homeless men can be happy for short periods of time. But I believe that joy is reserved for those who have the Lord. Only God can give joy, because only God is joy.

I love my Lord because He is my joy.

Psalm 16:11 "In Thy presence is fullness of joy..."