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I love Jesus more than life, and I mean that. I have been entrusted by God with an amazing family. A husband who I am madly in love with and our three kids! My main goal in raising them is that they will grow to know Jesus, love Him and care about the burdens of His heart.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"How is it REALLY?"

I got to go to a house concert tonight to hear two of my favorite people play. Karla Adolphe and Eric Kilgore. Eric is local and it was at his house. They shared some of their songs and hearts with about 20 of us there. Karla and her husband Gary said they have been asking that question a lot. The question is, how is it really. How is it through Kingdom mind and Jesus' eyes? Eric shared a little about when Lazarus was sick and and his sisters, Martha and Mary, sent word to Jesus that the one that He loved was sick. Jesus said that the sickness would not end in death. Well, the story in John 11: 1-44, tells us that Jesus remained where He was for 2 more days and Larazus DID die. Jesus went to Bethany and it says that when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet Him, but Mary stayed at home. I literally feel sadness and pain in this story as I wonder what was going on in her mind and heart that she knew Jesus was coming and chose to stay behind. Verse 2 of this story says THIS Mary was the same one who poured perfume on His feet and wiped it with her hair. She had a history with the Lord and in this hour of crisis and need, maybe she was offended at the Lord. Maybe she was angry. Maybe the pain seemed too great to even be in the presence of the One who knew everything about her. Maybe she was disappointed because her circumstances didn't turn out the way that she thought they would.

In the natural, it seemed as though Jesus had let her down, broken His promise and maybe not even cared enough to respond sooner. Her anguish is evident in that when He called for her (Jn 11:28) she went to Him and fell at His feet and said if He had been there her brother wouldn't have died. Jesus was a real man with real emotions. Jesus wept at their pain from loss. Those watching said, "see how He loved him!" Others watching the same events said could this one who opened blind eyes not keep this man from dying. With the "How is it really" question in mind and the end of the story laid out for us... we know that Jesus didn't break any of His promises. After four days of being in the tomb, Lazarus rose from the dead at the command of Jesus.

In my life and in my circumstance I am learning to lean heavily on how is it really. That specific way of stating the question is new to me, but not the concept. I have to REJECT the notion that I have to be able to use my five senses to believe in a God that I cannot see who sent a man that I have never met to die for me and pay for the wickedness of my own heart. It takes FAITH. Without faith it is impossible to please God. There have been many things in life that haven't gone the way I thought they would. I intentionally set my heart to the eternal and not just the part that is staring me in the face all day every day and assaulting my senses. I choose to believe that God's word is supreme over any of my own thoughts or emotions concerning any topic. God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8). God is not man that He should lie (Num 23:19). His Word is the measuring stick. His Spirit leads us into all truth. By God's grace, no matter what I walk through in this life, I will do it all the while with Jesus, staring at His face or lying at His feet, whatever I have to do just as long as it's with Him. I think it is so tempting or easy when we don't understand how to walk through pain with the Lord, to just shut it off and close that door. I don't know all the reasons why God didn't heal Scott... I know that He is able to do anything. I don't know why many other believers have to walk through painful experiences and loss. There are even those verses that seem to promise long life and goodness and it's hard to understand sometimes when our circumstances don't measure up how we think they should.

If you are one who loves the Lord I just want you to ponder two encouragements, RUN TO HIM NOT AWAY FROM HIM. Let the Word and the Spirit be your Counsel. The Lord is good, He is loving in all His ways and kind in all of His deeds. He loves you. Your pain is not unnoticed by Him. He is the only one who can heal your heart. Search your heart and ask Him to reveal any offence at Him or incorrect view of who He is. Secondly, THIS IS MOMENTARY. This life is like a vapor. Here today and gone tomorrow. THAT is hope for the hurting. The physical tells me that my husband is dead and I'll never see Him again... this is reality, final and there is no hope. But the Word says that absent from the body means present with the Lord and there is life after death for those who are His. That means that Scott has only preceded me and his children to the presence of God in seconds. We already planned on that destination together, he just arrived a little earlier than I expected but I'm only 5 minutes behind. We're all only minutes behind in view of eternity. So I will walk different, I will live different, I will think different, I will see different. When my mind is assaulted with the logic of the physical realm... I will ask the Lord, How is it really?!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Major Oil Change

I'm not sure I can even adequately communicate what the Lord did today, but I will try. Today was very exciting. We expanded the House of Prayer hours and are now open from 9am to 9pm (12 WHOLE HOURS!) on Thursdays. It is so encouraging and exciting to have made such a big step forward. We are now "keeping the fire on the alter" for 15 hours a week! So this morning I woke up so excited about today. I have scheduled to be at The Well from 11-4. Within minutes of being there, the Lord suddenly began stirring my heart. I hadn't been emotional at all, and in His presence became weepy and wanted to confess sin. Literally, my Bible opened to Psalm 73 and I saw a verse I have thought of so many times, v25 "Whom have I in heaven but You, and besides You on the earth I desire nothing". It is a comfort and a challenge all in one. I HAVE Him, but I want to desire nothing but Him on this earth. He was already working in me. After maybe half an hour though, I looked at my watch and thought, "now what?". My mind was sort of reeling through all the things I needed to do, and the first thing was that oil change I had forgotten about several times in the past couple of weeks. I wrote it down so I wouldn't forget, but hopefully not be distracted by it. It was just about then that the Lord said, "you are in for two oil changes today!". So I started thinking about oil changes :) It is extremely important to the life of the engine and it's purpose is to flush out of the impurities that collect in the oil and replace it with fresh, life giving, life sustaining oil.

My mind started going to all of the biblical oil references I've heard over the years. I thought about Jesus having the oil of joy (Ps 45:7). I thought about the 10 virgins and their lamps (Mt 25: 1-13). I also thought about what it represents and how it was used. Oil was an expensive commodity in ancient days, it was used for cooking, medicine, cosmetic and as a lubricant among other things. It was used to anoint someone, to represent the Holy Spirit. It was also used to anoint things (Gen 28:18). Because of it's cost, when it was poured over something, it showed that thing was valued. When the Lord reveals His love and pours it out over me, over us... He is showing how valued we are. He anoints us with His presence and with His love. When we sit before Him and love Him in return, pouring out what little we have; we are reciprocating that love and saying YOU ARE VALUED MORE THAN ANYTHING, MORE THAN EVERYTHING ELSE!

This alone was great today. I felt like there was (and still is) more that I need to understand that the Lord is trying to say about oil. A couple of hours after I had been pondering the oil, a friend brought me something someone had given her. It was an encouragement for the House of Prayer, but the Lord so pierced me to the heart. It was about the widow in 2 Kings 4:1-7. She was widowed and in great need (her sons were soon to become slaves to pay off debt). She cried out to Elisha (a prophet) for help and he asked what she had in her house. She said "nothing at all...except a little oil". What she had was seemingly insignificant to her, but his instructions were to collect as many jars from neighbors as she could and to close the door behind her and pour her small quantity of oil until all of the jars were filled. Her small quantity of oil continued to pour out until she ran out of jars to pour it into. The sale of this oil paid her debts and supplied her needs. While I recognize this is a great word for our house of prayer (supply, anointing, etc.), personally this meant so much. Many have said oil also represents intimacy with the Lord. The house of prayer journey began just before Scott passed away. I have entered into this very needy and broken without much to offer the Lord or anyone else. I came to His feet again and again because of great need and knowing He is the only one who can do anything for me. I identify very much with the widow in saying, "I have nothing at all... just a little oil". Oh the promise IS that as we pour our oil out before the Lord that it will multiply and fill many, many jars. Psalm 34:10 says The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

Oil is so important. We have to cultivate the oil of intimacy. We have to value the Lord enough to pour ourselves out in worship, devotion and prayer. It is NOT one sided. We are so valued by the Lord. He, who is UNcreated, Created because of love. He is spoken of as a husband and a father many times in the Bible, because we who are truly His, are in relationship with Him. I go to the prayer room with the intent to pour out all of my oil, and I end up coming home with more jars than I can carry! It's beautiful and wonderful to be in His presence and have Him fill you with fresh oil! I need more oil changes like today. Instead of every so many miles, it has to happen every so many hours!

If you're wondering if I got that oil change in the natural (b/c it def. happened in the supernatural), I did. The guy told me about a new synthetic oil that doesn't break down and lasts for 15,000 miles. When he asked me if I wanted to try that kind, I was definitely over enthusiastic and said YES, I'LL TAKE IT!!! I thought about trying to explain my excitement about the better than synthetic oil I received from the Lord, but he was really busy ;)

"Lord, flush us and give us fresh oil today and every day! You are so good. Reveal the true character, nature and love of God to us so we can rightly value that time with You. Draw us to Yourself, let us cultivate the oil of intimacy as we offer so little to You...You continue to multiply what we bring as You give us more of Yourself. Thank you Jesus!!"