Sunday, May 15, 2011

"In the Desert with Jesus"

This is a prayer I wrote in my journal tonight:

"I feel so alone on this journey. I feel like Moses in the desert and people just don't understand--and I guess they cannot understand. I feel like I'm constantly battling in my spirit and I just can't rest... I can't stop. Constant tears, constant wrestling--my mind is always racing. Some think I'm miserable and ask, "What's the problem Brenda? You always look sad.. there is no joy!" Maybe they are partly right in the joy part. I try to explain but its of no use. They just don't understand the journey I'm on. In the past, I really thought I was like Moses in the desert. For 40 years he was in the desert alone with You. I would tell people that I think the Lord is trying to get me to a place where I can say, "You Lord are truly enough." And at that time I thought I was in that desert place, but looking back and seeing what I'm going through now, I don't think I truly was. But now I am...(I feel it and its so lonely and painful... its so hard!) But its also good. Because Lord You are trying to get me to that place of totally, pure reliance on You. In the past I had other people to fall back on but this time its different. This time its truly just You and me."

After this prayer I opened my Bible and the pages fell to Luke 14:33- "In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple." In this sense, 'giving up everything' for me is giving up reliance on people and giving up trying to force people to understand the journey I'm on--that control. I'm truly beginning to understand what God is doing..I may think its lonely but actually, with Jesus, it really isn't.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

"I'm Going to Do What I Want!"

This morning while eating breakfast with my kids my oldest says to me, "I don't have to obey adults--I obey Jesus." I proceeded to tell her that Jesus has put parents, teachers, grandparents and other authority figures over us to obey so when we obey them we are obeying Jesus. She then said, "Oh okay, so then when I grow up to be an adult I can do whatever I want." I shared with her that that's called 'rebellion' and it happened in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve.
Then a thought came to mind: I do the very same thing....
For example, after reading 1 Peter 2:1- "Therefore rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind," a minute later I find myself getting angry, then prideful and I start to slander and attack others. Didn't Jesus say to get rid of all those things??
"But wait Lord, isn't it okay to get angry about wrong theology? Isn't it okay to...?" (fill in the blanks). But deep down if I was truthful, I would realize that my anger is not righteous--it is prideful. I would know that I'm slandering people not theology. I'm making excuses for my sin and saying, "I'm going to do what I want to do God!" just like my child. I'm no different..I'm just as rebellious. And so under the Spirit's conviction I fall down at Jesus' feet and repent.

Monday, May 9, 2011

"Standing Before Jesus"

I have to admit.. I don't know where to start. This is my very first time writing a blog and I'm not sure how it will turn out. But God is showing and teaching me so many neat things that I wanted to share my "Journey with Jesus" with you. I hope you will be encouraged as we go through this journey together!
"Abraham stood yet before the Lord." (Genesis 18:22) Such a simple verse yet so profound... 'The man whose faith has been deeply tested and who has come off victorious, is the man to whom supreme tests must come.' ~Selected. 
This verse really jumped out at me.. I guess it was perfect timing for what I am going through lately. I'll start from the beginning. About a month ago I ordered a book called, "What is Reformed Theology?" by Sproul. As I read the book, much of the Scripture that I had read and underlined in my Bible, concerning my 'total depravity', 'my redemption' and 'the call of God', in the past, were starting to come together.  I was coming to realize that my views on how I came to know Jesus, were changing. The more I read and studied the Word of God, the more I was being convinced then ever, that my redemption had absolutely nothing to do with me or my 'decision.' It's like a light bulb has gone on and I'm finding myself more and more humbled the more I read and study. I did nothing to gain God's love or approval. The God of the Universe who did not have to redeem mankind (and He would still be just), chose for 'His good pleasure' to adopt me as His child! I can't put it into words.. it just humbles me immensely.
But even on this journey, I admit, it has been a very lonely one. I have already gotten into not-the-nicest-discussions with friends, had one person I know stop talking to me, and even in my spirit have been wrestling tirelessly, talking and crying out to Jesus: "Lord! I feel so alone on this journey.. can I please have a loved one on the same journey with me?!" And then that verse. "Abraham stood before the Lord." (Genesis 18:22). It was just Abraham and one else. It's like God is saying to me, "Brenda, do you trust Me? Even if no one else is walking this journey with you, can you walk with just Me? Let me handle other people. You can't change their minds or control them. Walk with Me." And so with tears I repent and say, "Jesus, I want to trust You but I can't do it in my own strength. Can You please help me?" And He says, "Yes, my child.. I will."