Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Reason #13 - He Feeds Me

I am thankful today to serve an awesome God! He is good!

Our family is all participating in a time of fasting together right now. (I know that Christ instructed us to fast in secret...but since this blog is pretty much "in secret" itself, I should be fine!! :) ) I believe that it is during these times that we realize the truth of this verse: "Man does not live by bread alone, but by ever word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." My daily prayer is that the Lord would make me hungry for Him...beyond hungry...starving! ravenous! as I wrote about in my last post. As I give up physical food for my body, I am seeing how precious His Word is to my soul.

It is amazing to me how ridiculously important physical food is to my physical body, and how much I miss food when I'm not eating...and yet how there have been so many times in the past when I could easily go without spiritual food for my spiritual body, and never even think to miss it. I think that most of us as Christians (myself included many times) feast ourselves daily on food and drink for our bodies, and breeze right over the absolute necessity of doing the same for our souls.

"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby." ~ 1 Pet 2:2

"...My soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land where no water is" ~ Ps 63:1

"As the (deer) panteth for the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God..." ~ Ps 42:1-2

How did David get to the point that he longed with everything in him for the Living God? I don't know. I do know that for myself, the more I pursue God, the more I call upon Him to change my heart and my passions, the more time I spend with Him, the hungrier I get.

"Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled." Mat 5:6

"...open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it." ~ Ps 81:10

I used to wonder why my times in the Word weren't fulfilling to me. Why I wasn't hearing anything through those times, or feeling satisfied afterward. Now I am realizing...for all those years, I just barely opened my mouth a crack!! 20 or 30 minutes of light Bible reading and half-hearted praying isn't going to cut it. That's like grabbing a cracker and a handful of raisins in the morning, and expecting that to last us through the whole day.

Open your mouth wide.

And then He will fill it.

How wide am I willing to open it? How much am I willing to pursue Him, to rest at His feet and listen for His voice? This is how much He will fill me.

I love my Lord because He never leaves a truly hungry soul empty. He feeds me.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Reason #12 - He Allows Us to Hunger

One of the "reasons" that I thought of right away to do a blog post on was that my Lord fills me. He feeds me. He satisfies me. Those are no-brainers, right? :) Often one of the first things that new Christians experience is the incredible satisfaction that Christ brings to their lives...a satisfaction and fulfillment that nowhere near compares to anything they ever experienced before! But I'm saving all those reasons for another day and other posts all their own. :)

My reason #12 is in direct opposition - and yet perfect harmony - to all these I just mentioned!

Have we ever realized that not only does He feed us and satisfy us, but He also allows us to hunger? Does it seem like a paradox that the God Who fills us also would empty us? Listen to this story:

The Isralites are preparing to go into the Promised Land to possess it and claim it as their own. They have been in the land of Egypt, seen the mighty Hand of God work unexplainable miracles. They have experienced His power to save them from Pharaoh's oppressive tyranny and utterly humble his "unconquerable" army. They have wandered for 40 years in a barren wilderness, gone through pain, sickness, sorrow, want, darkness, and death. And they have come out victors.

But through their own strength? Through their own wisdom?

Moses pleads with the Isralites "Don't forget!! Don't forget what God has done for you. Don't forget your incredible heritage, and your incredible history. Don't forget God's awesome works and eternal mercy. Don't forget!!

And one of the things he asks them to remember is this: "And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger..." (Deuteronomy 8:3)


The answer is found later in the verse: (I'm skipping over some of the verse because that will be my next "reason"! :) )
"...that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live."

And what a precious lesson this is to learn! What is life, if we are not being fed daily with the Word of God? Will we not spiritually die if we fail to nourish our souls on His Word?

He allows us to hunger.

I read about a pastor who knew of many Christian women who were married to non-Christian husbands. He decided to begin praying this verse over each of the men.

"Lord, make them hungry. Give them a ravenous hunger for You."

And every one of those men came to know the Lord as their Savior.

I am thankful for a God Who provides for the needs of His people. Whether it is to feed them...or to make them hungry.

I love my Lord, because He allows us to hunger.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Reason #11 - He Sings Over Me

Have you ever had anybody write a song especially for you?

I have written songs several songs in my life for special occasions for people that I love. Granted, they weren't necessarily the most wonderful songs in the world, (I have even been known to "rap" through certain parts in some of these songs :)) but they always expressed my heart towards that special someone. Every time that I have presented these songs, the person being honored was always touched. Not because of anything amazing that I had written (heaven knows that's not the case!!) but there's just something special about knowing that someone has taken the time to write a song especially for you.

I have never had someone here on earth sing a song just for me and just about me. But I was so encouraged the other day as I was thinking on this: my Lord sings over me! He sings songs specifically about me! And I wouldn't be surprised if the Inventor of music writes His own songs! :) What a beautiful thought!

Zephaniah 3:17 - "The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty, He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy, He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing."

I have been in a song writing mood for the past couple weeks, so I have written a new song, probably the most joyful one I've ever written! :) which I titled: "He Sings Over Me"

What kind of love is this I see?

What kind of love is here with me?

The God of all the universe

Holds out His hand to me.

What kind of peace now floods my soul?

What kind of peace has made me whole?

With mighty arms He rescues me

And by His blood I'm free.

Now joy and wonder fills my heart

I sing and praise and thank my God.
The Lord has come to be with me

He loves His child

And now-

He sings over me.

What kind of joy is now my song?

What kind of joy has made me strong?

Through sorrow, weakness, fear, and pain

I still sing through the rain.

What kind of grace forgives each sin?

When I am lost, finds me again?

The Lord sees every time I fall

And still, comes when I call.

He knows each star

And calls them by name,

Yet He cares for sparrows

Just the same!

Now joy and wonder fills my heart

I sing and praise and thank my God.

The Lord has come to be with me

He loves His child
And now-

He sings over me.

I love my Lord, because He sings over me!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Reason #10 - He is My Friend

I was feeling discouraged today, and frustrated. There are so many things in life to be grateful for, and yet what does my flesh always want to do? Focus on the negative. On the disappointments. On the frustrations. Ahhhhh - when will I ever learn!!!??

I sat down at the piano, not really for any special reason other than I haven't played in a while and I miss it. I played and sang through several songs, and then playing by ear, I started to sing...

"What a friend we have in Jesus! All our sins and griefs to bear..."

And as I continued on through the beautiful words, I felt my heart softened, and lifted up in worship of the incredible God Who calls us friends. Oh, what a gift we have been given! And how often do I take it for granted??

John 15:14 - 16

"Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you..."

I think of all the beautiful things that friends share in together...late night conversations, secret dreams, unforgettable memories, common interests, "inside jokes", and yes, maybe even most embarrassing moments :). And not only beautiful things...a good friend will be just as present for the hard times and trials in life as the good things.

As a Friend, I am beginning to realize that Jesus wants to share in exactly these same things with us. The fun times, the heart to heart talks, the beautiful memories, the secrets, and the laughs. And also the tears, the hurts, the broken dreams, and the pain.

Jesus Christ...the Friend Who never, NEVER fails us.

Need I even mention that from then on, my whole day brightened up?? :) Need I even mention that I felt a whole lot better after getting off that piano?? :)

I love Him, because He is my Friend - the best Friend I could ever ask for.