Thursday, June 28, 2012

Standing On The Promises

Do you ever find yourself struggling?  Are there days when you feel isolated from God?  Are there times when you wonder if His promises will ever come to pass?  I think we all have found ourselves in this kind of situation at one time or another.  I was there yesterday.  Symptoms were high, energy was low and hope had slightly fractured.  I began to doubt God's promises to me.

"I will bring back your health, and heal your wounds, says the Lord."
Jeremiah 30:17
This verse was given to me by God several weeks ago just when I needed it the most and at that time I printed it off and taped it above my nightstand, on a kitchen cupboard and on the bathroom mirror.  Yesterday, I began to doubt that it was really from God.  Just for a moment, my belief began to falter and I took my eyes off the Lord.

This morning I woke at 5am from pain, and discouragement set it.  I found myself heavy with sadness and doubt.  There was that doubt again!  Instead of doubting my doubts I was doubting God's promises.  I came downstairs determined to "walk it out" ~this journey of healing, even though my heart was not totally into it.  And then..........

I turned on the computer to check emails and there was a devotional from Joel Osteen entitleed, "Don't give up!"  Joel wrote , "Are you believing God for something that is taking longer than you thought or expected? If you are praying according to His promises, no matter how long you may have been standing, don’t give up!  Okay Lord, you have my attention!  The verse used was in Galatians.

"So let's not get tired of doing what is good. 
At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing
 if we don't give up."
Galatians 6:9 (NLT)

Then I went to the email prayer group, The Knee Team, that I lead for Linny over at A Place Called Simplicity.  A dear sweet Knee Team friend, K.,  had sent me a note of encouragement that brought tears to my eyes.  She shared a verse that had spoken to her and I as I read it I felt God's love embrace me.

"Yet I am confident that I will see the Lord’s goodness
while I am here in the land of the living. 
 Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous.
 Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”
Psalm 27:13-14

I watched Andrew Wommack on TV and heard him say, God's kind of love never gives up, never loses faith.......Once again I was comforted and encouraged to stand on God's Word and with perseverence, keep moving foward with my eyes on the Lord.

Friends, God loves us so much.  Our Lord is faithful and He wants us to know we can rely on His promises.  We can stand on the promises of God!!!

The title of this post was written five days ago before I began to write, as I had been humming the old hymn "Standing on the Promises of God" and decided to look up the hymn.  I discovered that the composer, Russell Carter, was 30 years old when he was struck down with an illness affecting his heart.  The doctors could do nothing more for him, so he turned to God for his healing making a committment to follow Christ whether he was healed or not.  As time went by he would stand on God's promises for healing every day and eventually became well, going on to live another 49 years!  He wrote this hymn as a result of that time in his life.  The chorus speaks his testimony.

Standing, standing,
Standing on the promises of God my Savior
Standing, standing
I'm standing on the promses of God!

We, too, can stand on the promises of God.  Whatever comes your way, you can turn to His Word and find a promise to stand on.  God, in His faithfulness, will be there for us.  We are never alone and He gives us the strength to sing this chorus too......Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God!
I am linking up with Spiritual Sundays  and
The Beauty In His Grip today.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Look And See

Conversations In The Garden

"Where are you Lord?" 
I had entered the garden during my meditation/visualization time and once again could not see Jesus.  "I'm up here," he replied. 

Jesus was sitting up on a huge rock overlooking the garden below.  He got down, put out his hand and said, "Come with me."  I put my hand in His and we started climbing up a steep, rugged, dirt path together, at times having to avoid larger stones that were on the path. We stopped near the top and Jesus said to me, "Look behind you and see how far you have come." I turned to look behind me, seeing the garden far below.  Then He said, "Look around and see where you are at now" and as I looked around me I noticed the lush green bushes and trees, colorful flowers, and birds everywhere!  It was like a second garden on the side of a mountain.  My eyes came back to Jesus and he said,  "Now look ahead and see where you are going."  As I searched the path ahead, I said, "But only You know the future!"  and Jesus replied, "Yes, but you can "see" with your mind, imagine yourself healthy and well and living an active life! Imagine the kind of future you desire."

This was not the first time Jesus and I had walked together up a steep path.  Whether in my imagination or in "real life" He has been by my side each step of the way, keeping my hand in his firm grip. 

Today in the garden of my heart, I was asked to look back, to remember all that God has done for me and how far we have come together on this journey called life.  Often when I am striving to get better or be better, I am impatient to reach my destination and I forget that I have made progress.  I forget to be still and enjoy the present moment. Do you ever forget?  Andrew Wommack likes to say, "I have not arrived, but I have left!"  We need to remember we have left and we also need to remember to embrace where we are right now.  Sometimes we forge ahead, sometimes we rest in the moment, and sometimes we meander all the while moving forward.   No matter where we find ourselves, we know we are not alone.  God always has a firm grip on us.

"That's right.  I am the Lord your God
and I am not letting go.
I'm telling you, don't panic. 
 am right here to help you."
Isaiah 41:13
The Message

I am linking up to Spiritual Sundays  

Friday, June 15, 2012

God Delights In You!

The Lord your God is with you; His power gives you victory.
The Lord will take delight in you,
and in His love He will give you new life.
He will sing and be joyful  over you."
Zephaniah 3:17 GNB

"The Lord you God is with you
He is mighty to save
He will take great delight in you
He will quiet you with His love
He will rejoice over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17 NIV
I absolutely love this verse.  No matter what translation I read I cannot help but give thanks for all the blessings packed into just one verse! It is filled with so many promises~ love, power, victory, new life, songs, and my favorite~ delight.  The Lord takes delight in you.  The dictionary defines delight as joy, extreme satisfaction or something giving great pleasure.  In other translations of this verse it says the Lord rejoices in you.  Whether we use the word delight or rejoice, the results are the same.  The Lord, our Creator, our Heavenly Father, not only loves us, he also rejoices over us and takes great delight in us the same way we are to take delight in our own children.  Abundantly more I expect!

 "The Lord your God is with you;
the mighty One will save you.
He will rejoice over you.
You will rest in his love;
he will sing and be joyful about you."
Zephaniah 3:17 NCV
In the first part of this verse we are told God is always with us.  We are never alone.  What comfort that brings when loneliness or fear enters into our days.   Then we are assured that God's power is there for us.  In fact,  it is already IN us...the same power that raised Christ from the dead!  And through His mighty power we are able to have victory over every single battle.  Victory!  Before any situation arises, we are already winners!  After hearing how much God delights in us, we are then told He loves us so much He provides a new life for us~ a new life through the sacrifice of Jesus His only son.  At the end of this verse we read that God even sings over us.  Loudly!  A joyful song~ 
"The Lord your God is with you,
a Powerful One Who wins the battle.
He will have much joy over you.
With His love He will give you new life.
He will have joy over you with loud singing."
Zephaniah 3:17 (New Life Version)
This verse packs a powerful punch!  It is filled with an abundance of promises and God never breaks his promises.  Thank you Lord!  We are blessed..

I am linking up to Spiritual Sundays  and Sharing His Beauty

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

When God Is Silent

"Be still and know that I am God."
Psalm 46:10

What do we do when God is silent?  We have petitioned, pleaded, and commanded with prayer.  We have actively pursued and humbly surrendered........and yet........God is silent.

It is at these times we rest and wait.  We look back and remember his faithfulness.  We read scriptures that remind us that we are never alone. Yes, God is always with us, even when the silence is deafening.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Where Are You Lord?

"My heart has heard you say,
'Come and talk with me',
and my heart responds,
'Lord, I am coming.'"
Psalm 27:8

Conversations In The Garden:  I try to go daily into the garden of my heart to spend time with Jesus. For me this means closing my eyes and visualizing a garden where I meet with our Lord and talk.  You can read about that HERE. 

Recently I went into the garden to chat with Jesus and could not find Him anywhere.  I looked in the usual places~ near the bench, the lilac bushes, the vineyard, the path we walk on......but no Jesus! 

Finally I called out~


Jesus answered from far away

I am over here
Right where
you put

His response took my breath away.  Oh, it was so true......I had been worrying ever since I opened my eyes that morning.  So busy thinking about how I was feeling and what was ahead for the day.  I was trying to control what was going on without taking it to God.  Yes, where was Jesus that morning?  Right where I had put Him~ off to the side. 
Too often we waste precious time worrying.  It is as if we think by worrying we can control a situation.  Or maybe it is what I read a couple of weeks ago~worrying keeps us alert to our cirumcstances when we are feeling unsafe.  Whatever the reasons, God promises that He is with us always. He is in control~ He keeps us safe.  "Do not be afraid"  "Fear not"  He tells us, along with the familiar verses in Matthew that tell us not to worry about what we will wear, eat or drink. Our Heavenly Father is there for us!

Our Savior's gentle reminder that morning was such a blessing for me.  It put me right back where I needed to be, walking through my day WITH Jesus.  A good place to be living.  The only place to be living!

I am linking up to Spiritual Sundays today.  Stop over and visit Charlotte, read other posts or link up your own.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Conversations In The Garden

In the mornings I like to read from the Bible, reflect, and then close my eyes and have a conversation with the Lord during what I call "Garden Time With Jesus".  This started about 2 years ago and evolved into this very special time with the Lord where we have conversations and "growing time".  I am often amazed at what comes forth during these times of visualization.  What a blessing!

When I pray for the Holy Spirit to go with me and imagine going into a beautiful garden, I always always find Jesus there.  He is sitting on a bench or the ground, sometimes pruning vines or smelling flowers, walking on a path or recently sitting on a high rock overlooking all below.  I usually have way too much on my mind, but he is patient.  I often ask questions and He responds with love and guidance.  Sometimes we just walk, or a word or two will be given to me.  Other times I listen to Him speak at length.  Often scriptures and devotionals come later that confirm what was said and I always write down our conversations in a special journal.

God never disappoints.  He is always there, and even in silent times He is always loving.  Recently I was reading a post at another blog and came across a statement that just came alive for me.  She spoke of the garden of her heart, and I realized that this is where Jesus meets the garden of my heart.  How precious is that?!

I have decided to share bits and pieces that come to life for me during this special time with Jesus.  Things I hope will inspire, encourage, and give you food for thought. 

Meeting Jesus in the garden of my heart.  I am so very blessed.