Thursday, May 14, 2015

When we think God thinks like us....

If I were God and had to handle me on a daily, let's get real, second by second basis, I would handle me a lot differently then he handles me.

I would spank me more.  I would shake my head (SMH) more at the things I think, the things I do, the things I believe about myself and others.

If I were God and I had to deal with me, I would be frustrated more.  I would be embarrassed to be seen with me.  I would avoid being around me when I'm acting like I act when I'm not trusting him or not listening to him or not believing him.

If I were God, that's how I would be.

But thank God!  I'm not!

Because the real God, the God who I often forget is really in charge says this about himself:

Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced.  Therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.  

Isaiah 50:7

That's just ONE promise He's made to me.  Just one.  But does it come packed with a punch!

Because the Sovereign LORD (Yhwh - the Covenant God) helps (azar - help, support, to be helped) me (sassy, bossy, doubtful, annoying, faithless), I will not be disgraced (kalam - to be disgraced *to cause someone to feel ashamed; to cause someone to lose or become unworthy of respect or approval,  to be humiliated).  Therefore have I set (siym - to set, put, establish, plant, set down, appoint) my face (paneh - to turn, face, front, presence.  Since the face can be an obvious indicator of human emotions it is used in conjunction with expressions of anger, fear, sorrow) like flint (hallamiys - flinty rock, hard rock), and I know (yada-to know with every fiber of your being) I will not be put to shame (bos - to be ashamed feel ashamed, be confounded, be disappointed, make ashamed, disgrace, keep waiting, deceive, act shamefully.  The word often occurs in context of humiliation, public disgrace and shattered emotions.  Bos denotes confusion, embarrassment or dismay when things do not turn out as expected).

See?  God doesn't think like I think.  He doesn't think like you think either.  And if and when we do think unlike him (see the intro) it's not Him that's thinking about us what we think about us. 


See the promises of what he "will not" do again.  He will not let you be disgraced, he will not let you be put to shame.

The only thing you have to do is set your face like flint and call to him for help!!  Flint can take a lot of punches.  It can be broken down and sharpened.  It can be used to start a fire.  But in order for it to be used in those ways, it has to be used!

So be flint!  Let God sharpen you, let him start a spark with you in your life.  He will NOT let you be put to shame when He does!

He promised!

I'm so glad he doesn't think like me.


Flint knowledge

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What Does He See?

When I think about you
thinking of me
I can't help wondering
What do you see?

In this fallen broken heart
That you came here to die for
What do you see
That I cannot see?

Do you see the sun in my eyes?
Do you see your Father's smile in mine?
How can a love like yours
Ever be compared to the smallness of mine?

What did you see that brought you here to die?

You knew I was going to hurt you
You weren't surprised by my fear
Yet you gave it all up for me so that
I can see you through my tears

What is it about your gift
That you paid such a high price
Why was your life worth giving
For those who will never think twice?

And you sing to me....

I see freedom in you
Freedom to play and
Freedom to sing
Freedom to walk with me in the cool of the day

Prison doors opened wide
You walking out free
Arms opened wide to live
what I created you to be

Free from the traps of sin, fear, and pain
Free from despair that falls down like rain
Free to walk tall,
Free to stand firm

I see you free to be mine, free to be new
Free to be whole
Free to be called
a sweet Child of God

No task master to serve
Only a shepherd whose rod
is gentle and kind
and keeps me from falling,
keeps my heart free

Who else loves me like
There's only me?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Why God deserves more than a Wow

Because He does.

Because He's God.

Because He's worthy.

Because He is more than a Wow.

He's beyond Wow.  He's beyond awesome.  He's beyond all the poetic words I could ever hope to put down here or sing in a song.

He deserves more than our measly wows.  So much more.

But maybe that's all we can give while we're here on earth.  Maybe the big words of praise are waiting to be learned up there, with Him.  Maybe that's where the words our hearts try so desperately to convey here will be translated from babble to fluency there.

Maybe the praise and glory and honor we will give him when we see his gentle, smiling face can only be spoken there, not here.

For now, my wow will have to do.  But my heart is trying to voice so much more.



Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Frank and Elvis know Whose Way is the best Way

However you want to label it, be it a "decision" or "giving your life to Christ" or "the lightbulb turning on" or simply "I give up, God.  You're in control," in the moment of surrender, something happens to you.  Something happens to the relationship between you and your Lord.  God smiles, you sigh.  Maybe you both do a little of both.  (And I think the angels say, "Finally!")

There comes a moment, sometimes it's a moment-by-moment moment where one surrenders or decides or gives up over and over and over again, moment by moment by moment.  Or you may have a date that says, "Ah yes, this is the day I gave my life for Christ!  This date, right here."  For some, you may think of your confirmation day or your baptism day or the day you walked down a church aisle as the congregation sang "Just as I am Without One Plea."

I'm not talking about that day or that moment.

I'm talking about the moment you and I are in right now.

Are you going to decide right now to surrender whatever it is you are struggling with to the will and purpose of the God who made the universe?

Are you going to choose right now to follow what Jesus did or would do in the same circumstances you are facing at this moment?

You can give it all to him right now, or not.

Or, think of it this way.  What did you choose to have for breakfast this morning?   Cereal or just coffee?  You get to choose what you eat as much as you get to choose if you're going to surrender or not.  Jesus' will or my will?  Do I want peace?  Or do I prefer chaos?  Do I want joy or do I enjoy fear?

You can rest on your actions from five years ago, twenty years, or seventy five years ago.  You can.  He'll let you.  But those dates, those moments, aren't the same surrender you did then that needs to be done now.  You are not the person you were then that you are now.  You have changed.  You have grown (hopefully the inside can be seen on the outside).  You have matured (again, hopefully).

Each moment is a new moment that needs to be surrendered to the will of God.

Sidebar:  I am NOT saying that if you are not surrendering moment by moment that means you are not saved or you are in danger of losing what has already been done for you on the cross.  I am NOT saying anything even close to that.

But I am saying this: 

 Don't rest on one or two or three actions of your past and think your part of your relationship with Jesus is in no need of a fresh surrender today.  

The choice I made five minutes ago to seek his will for the circumstance five minutes ago is now null and void for the circumstance I am facing now.  I can say I am a baptized-confirmed-surrendered-to-His-will-Christian all I want.  I can give you the date of my infant baptism.  I can tell you the date of my confirmation and even tell you my confirmation verse, but none of those are what is needed right now, in this moment.  They are certainly good reminders, but they are not active surrenders.

Will I give up to His will again?  Right now?

Here's the good news:  whether you surrender or not doesn't change the wonderful truth that He still loves you.  He gets the struggle.  He gets it.  He knows the struggle you have.  He felt it.  He feels it.   It is impossible for him to love you any less because you keep fighting against His will for your life.

This is what I know to be true:  The surrender is worth the blessing that comes after.  When you surrender you get a blessing.  You may not recognize it immediately, but that peace you suddenly feel when you do surrender or decide or choose or give up cannot be created artificially.   You may not reap anymore reward in that moment except His beautiful peace, but somewhere, someday you will suddenly look up and know - It's because I surrendered my will to your will THEN, that I am receiving this abundance of blessing now.

Take a chance.  Give Him a chance to prove Himself to you.  Wave the white flag.  Wave it again if you need to in five seconds or five minutes or five hours or five years.   Let Him carry you.  Let Him.
Really, what do you have to lose except a lot of white flags.