What Do You Believe?

Years ago I was reacting to something. The Lord stopped me with this question. Marilyn, what do you believe about yourself right now? My reaction was rooted in my belief system. A chapter in “Freedom! From Past Hurts” is entitled: Belief Systems.

Our belief systems find their origin in our past experiences. They influence our motives, thoughts, actions, attitudes, and habits. If you don’t know what you believe about yourself, then listen to your thoughts.

Have you ever thought something  like, ‘That was a stupid move, I can’t do anything right, or I’m a failure’? Do you preface things you are facing with the thought ‘It won’t work’ and thus sabotage yourself before you even begin?

Do your belief systems serve you well, or do they derail you? Paul had strong belief systems that served him well. Here is one that I lean on. Philippians 3:13 says, “…one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.”

Learning To Gaze ~ Part Two

Unashamed. Nothing to hide. No fear. No embarrassment. Pure desire. Inner freedom. I love to read about Joshua. After Moses left the tent of meeting, Joshua lingered. Deuteronomy 33:11. Do you linger in the Presence of the Lord?

Psalm 27:8 says, “When You said, “Seek My face, my heart said to You, Your face, Lord, I will seek.” This is how I read Song of Solomon 2:14. “O my Dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the cliff, let me see Your face, let me hear Your voice; for Your voice is sweet, and Your face is lovely.”

Gazers endure. Jesus is our example. Hebrews 12:2 says that He endured because of the joy that was set before Him. He had a point of focus. He never looked back. Luke 9:51-53 says that the messengers entered the village to prepare for Him, “But they did not receive Him, because His face was set…” Gazers resist all distractions.

Our Solid Anchor

This morning I was praying for someone in a very hard trial. As I prayed, “Lord help him to cling to You, like a barnacle clings to a rock as the stormy waves beat against it,” this song came to mind. Some of you know if really well, others may not have heard it before. May it encourage you today

Learning To Gaze ~ Part One

Jesus ascended to heaven before the eyes of the disciples. Acts 1:10 says, “And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up…” In verse 11 they were asked, “…Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven?…”

2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord…” A humble heart is open and unveiled. There is an acknowledgment of our finiteness, in the Presence of One who is Infinite. 

Here are two verses from a new song: I lift my unveiled face to gaze into Your face. Face to face I behold You as You behold me. No veil separates us. No fear of being known. We have intimate communion. Our hearts are knit as one.

I stand O Lord in Your presence unashamed. All guilt is washed away. All condemnation is cleansed. Through the blood. Through the shed blood of Jesus.

Shun Evil~Seek The Lord

We learned that Rehoboam did evil because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord. My dad always had a Scripture car. On the back of the vehicles I remember was Isaiah 55:6. It says, “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.”

What does it mean to seek the Lord? He isn’t lost. Psalm 46:1 says that He is ever present to those in trouble. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

I believe this verse is helping us realize that seeking the Lord is to make Him our priority. First. Predominant. Focus. Center. We can gain this perspective from David’s words. Psalm 27:4 says, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.”

Power Of Humility ~ Part Three

The continuation expressed where Asa’s trust was in the face of his impossibility, “…help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O Lord, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You.”

Chapter 15 is the account of Asa’s reforms. You can read it for yourself. A humble heart pleases the Lord, and He does exploits through the lives of those who trust him. In the end Asa relied on the king of Syria.

2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the Lord Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”

Asa became diseased in his feet. Verse 12 says, “…yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord…” Paul wrote a warning to the Galatians that we need to heed as well. Galatians 3:3 says, “Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, you are now being made perfect by the flesh?”

Power Of Humility ~ Part Two

2 Chronicles 12:14 Amplified says, “…because he did not set his heart to seek (inquire of, yearn for) the Lord with all his desire.” When I read this I thought back to A. W. Tozer’s book, “Pursuit of God.” His prayers at the end of the chapters captured my heart. He would pray something like this. ‘I desire to desire You. I long to long for You. I yearn to yearn for You.’ I encourage you to taste those words on your lips.

Rehoboam had a grandson named Asa. He started out well. 2 Chronicles 14:2 says, “Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God.” He had an army of 580,000. The enemy army had a million men and three hundred chariots. Verse 8. 

Here’s Asa’s humility. Verse 11 says, “And Asa cried out to the Lord his God, and said, Lord, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power….” Humility acknowledges God’s power.

Power Of Humility ~ Part One

After king Rehoboam established his kingdom, he and all Israel forsook the law of the Lord. The king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem because they had transgressed against the Lord. 

In 2 Chronicles 12:5 the Lord indicted the children of Israel with these words, “…You have forsaken Me…” In verse six they humbled themselves. In verse 7 it says that the Lord saw their humility and did not destroy them.

Then He gave them a test. Verse 8 says, “Nevertheless they will be his servants, that they may distinguish My service from the service of the kingdoms of the nations.” Verse 12 says of king Rehoboam, “When he humbled himself, the wrath of the Lord was turned from him.”

Stop a minute and take a deep breath. Verse 14 says, “And he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord.” Seeking the Lord requires a humble heart. It is not a one time event ~ it is a lifestyle.

God’s Way Is Perfect

Here is a great verse that I want us to focus on for a moment. Think of it in light of burying our emotional pain. Proverbs 10:17 in the Amplified says, “He who heeds instruction and correction is (not only himself) in the way of life (but also) is a way of life for others…” The first part is God’s way.

The second part reveals the consequences of self-effort. It says, “…And he who neglects or refuses reproof (not only himself) goes astray (but also) causes to err and is a path toward ruin for others.”

We often bury emotional pain because we don’t want to forgive the one who hurt us. Yet Hebrews 12:15 clearly reveals the consequences ~ no grace. It says, “Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.”

Our life is either a way of life for others, or it is a path of ruin and defilement.

Throw Off! Put On!

This morning I had to interrupt my exercises to write down something the Holy Spirit gave me. Emotional pain is a heavy weight. It impedes and keeps us bent over. The next part is actually a play on words: it keeps us from walking upright. I smiled. 

Upright is righteousness: conforming our thoughts, purpose, and actions to God’s will and ways. A few days ago we read that God’s way is perfect. Psalm 18:30. Verse 32 says, “It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect.” He uses our emotionally painful situations to lead us into His way ~ radically opposite of our self-effort to bury.

Proverbs 10:29 says, “The way of the Lord is strength for the upright…” Psalm 112:4 says, “Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.”

We need to throw off all our self-effort reactions to life’s stresses. We need to put on (embrace) God’s way through our stresses.