Wednesday, May 28, 2014
The passage from ifequip today was, again, very poignant. The Lord has been encouraging me and giving me the ability to not worry about what others think right now. I'd rather obey God, then men (Acts 5:29). The more confidence I have in my God, the less I care what others think. But, there is still that part of me that wants to convince others that we aren't crazy! That we aren't deceived! To somehow convince them with my words that this is from God, and make them see His Word the way we see it. But, I know that, that doesn't work. I was there just a few short months ago. I was the one my husband was trying to convince, and I wouldn't hear it. It didn't matter what he said. If I didn't want to believe it, I wasn't going to. But, the Lord was working. I called out to Him and asked Him what is right and what is wrong? Which way do I go on this issue? He didn't answer my specific question. He knew that if He did, I still wouldn't believe. I'd still question the answer and think "is that really what He meant?" He doesn't want my mind. He wants my heart. And so, His answer was simply, "My daughter, obey me." I knew what was very clear in the Word and the things that I knew I was not obeying Him in. As I began to obey Him in those areas that I did know, He began to open up the Word to me and reveal things to me that I'd never seen before. He began to confirm His Word in my heart so that I didn't just think I knew which side of the issue was right, but I knew and believed deep within my heart. He wants me to trust Him fully, and He dug down to the root of my fear and unbelief and planted His Word deep and strong. He could have just given me the answer, but instead gave me belief in Him and confirmed the answer deep within my heart so that I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is from Him.
We still have so many questions, but as my husband and I walk this out, we won't need to convince others with our words because they will be convinced by our fruit. Like this passage in Acts 5 when the apostles were brought before the religious leaders, one of the Pharisees told them not to worry about the apostles and what they were doing in the name of Christ. He said if this is from men, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop them. Basically, they will know if this is from God by their fruit. What an amazing thought! God's plans will not be thwarted no matter who comes against. If God be for us, who can be against us! This is exactly how we feel right now. We are deeper with the Lord than ever before! We are experiencing peace when those around us are all tied up in knots over this! We are hopeful for how God is repositioning us for ministry! We may have lost one ministry, but God doesn't see it that way. He sees it as the next step of the straight path He can see from beginning to end! What a great God we serve! May we continue to be rooted deep down into Him, firm and secure, growing in Grace and knowledge, bringing others to Christ and glory to Him!
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
"All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers." - Acts 1:14
Thanks to a friend, I learned about an online study called If: Equip. They are going through the book of Acts right now. This weeks passage struck me in a whole new way. In light of my current situation, this passage is just so beautiful!
This passage is right after Jesus appeared to them, gave them instructions, and then ascended to heaven. Then 120 of them gathered together, constantly praying, in one accord. They had to make a decision on whether Mathias or Joseph would be the one to take the place of Judas, who betrayed Jesus and was now dead. The Spirit led them to choose Mathias and not Joseph.
They were of ONE accord, devoted to prayer! If only all believers could devote themselves to prayer and go forward in one accord. If only all decisions in life could be made in this way, totally led and moved by the Spirit of God!
The main thing that really struck me though was this...
Jesus gave the apostles very specific instructions right before He ascended to heaven...to WAIT! Did they run out and do their own thing anyway instead of waiting for the Spirit like Jesus told them to do. Did they sit there and analyze what Jesus said and say, "Well, did he really mean that? or maybe we were just interpreting him wrong and he really meant this…” No! They just heard what he said and obeyed! They gathered together in one accord in prayer to move forward in obedience to the Words of Jesus.
We are called to be obedient to the Word regardless of the opinions of men. The only opinion that matters is God's. Do I want, when I come face to face with Jesus, to have any regrets? No! I want to come face to face with Jesus knowing that I risked my life to be obedient to His Word and His calling on my life.
It’s so hard to sit back and listen to others tell us how wrong we are and that we are the ones causing disunity, when we are merely wanting to follow Christ and go forward together with one purpose. Like I said in a previous post, Priscilla Shirer said it well when she said, “Unity is not sameness. It is oneness of purpose.” Unfortunately, not everyone sees it that way. I have to trust that God has a HUGE purpose in this!! Just as Mathias was called to that particular ministry, and Joseph to something else, God is calling us to a particular ministry even though we don’t know what that is yet. Just as these men went forward in obedience to God and were rejected and attacked by others for it, so I will go forward in obedience regardless of the attacks of men.
I can think that the purposes of men have ruined my life, or I can remember that God uses even the "wrong" choices of men to do His purposes in and through us, and dare to say that God chose them to reject us so that He could re-position us for His purposes and His glory!
I feel like everything in our life up until this point has prepared and positioned us for this very moment. We are at a pivotal point in our journey, and the Lord has us in this time of waiting and prepartion as He works in us to prepare us a little more for the next step. Like He told the apostles to WAIT before He unleashed His Spirit, so I will WAIT before He unleashes His plan for us. Oh what a joy it is to be right where HE has positioned us to be! What a joy to risk it all for the sake of Christ our Lord!