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Posts Tagged ‘Drawing Near’

fullarmorofgod

I found this picture searching images on the web.  I loved it!  

I have just finished a awesome book I have spoke about many time here, “Drawing Near” by John Bevere.  It took my about 8 months to get through it.  It involves, at least for me, some heavy studying, a lot of soul searching, much truth and much revelation.  I learned and applied so many things.  

I morning not long ago, I felt this absolute desire to pray, in the Spirit.  It was the very first time that as I prayed, and although I could hear myself, it was as if I was away from myself.  It speaking coming out of my mouth was fluent, full of peace, beautiful. But there was something else happening.  That small voice inside me began to speak.  “Put on the full armor of God, Put on the full armor of God, Put on the full armor.  Put your helmet of Salvation on, protect your mind as there will be things that try to come against your your thoughts.  Your thoughts are for me and of me.  Do My will.  Protect yourself, Put on your Helmet! I am with you!

Put of your Breastplate of righteousness!  Protect your heart.  There will be discouragement, things will try to come against you to try to bring discouragement to the things I have for you to do.  Do not be disheartened.  Put on your Breastplate.  I am with you!

Put on your shoes of Peace.  Stand firm I am with you!  Without your shoes, commendation, chaos, stress, worry will come to you. Put on your shoes of Peace and Stand Firm!  I am with you!

Put on your Belt of Truth!  I am The Truth, know Me.  Come to Me.  Live with Me.  Involve me.  I have a great work for you.  If you know Me, you will know Truth.  Put on you Belt of Truth! I am with you!

Put on your Shield of Faith.  It will extinguish those arrows of the one who has evil intent for you.  Stand firm and raise you Shield of Faith.  I am with you!

Put on and hold on to the Sword of the Spirit!  I am the Word!  Know my Word for it will protect you, guide you, hold you close to me.  If you will draw near to me, I will draw near to you.  Put on the Sword of the Spirit!  I am with you!

I am so thankful that I am allowed to hear, to understand, to be close to Him.  I want to be covered by Him and I want to soar with Him. I want to draw nearer.

Put on Your Armor!  We have battles to fight and He promises, He is with us!

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Just when I think I have had enough, I just can’t handle the pressure anymore, something like this comes along.

Not by accident either.  This was in my local newspaper, a column by Gloria Barr Ford.

The next time you feel like GOD can’t use you, just remember that:

Noah was a drunk.

Abraham was too old.

Isaac was a daydreamer. 

Jacob was a liar.

Leah was ugly.

Joseph was abused.

Moses had a stuttering problem.

Gideon was afraid.

Samson had long hair and was a womanizer.

Rahab was a prostitute.

Jeremiah and Timothy were too young.

David had an affair with another man’s wife, and he was a murderer. 

Elijiah was suicidal.

Isaiah preached naked.

Jonah ran from God.

Naomi was a widow.

Job went bankrupt.

Peter denied Christ. 

The disciples fell asleep while praying.

Martha worried about everything.

The Samaritan woman was divorced more than once.

Zaccheus was too small.

Paul was too religious.

Timothy had an ulcer   AND

Lazarus was dead!

Now!  No more excuses! God can use you to your full potential.  You aren’t the message, you are just the messenger.

  • God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.
  • Dear God, I have a problem, it’s me!
  • There is no key to happiness.  The door is always open.
  • Silence is often misinterpreted but never misquoted.
  • Do the math — count your blessings.
  • Faith is the ability to not panic.
  • Laugh everyday, it’s like inner jogging.
  • If you worry, you didn’t pray.  If you pray, don’t worry.
  • As a child of God, prayer is kind of like calling home everyday.
  • Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.
  • The most important things in your house are the people.
  • When we get tangled up in our problems, be still, so God can untangle the knot.
  • A grudge is a heavy thing to carry.
  • He who dies with the most riches is still dead.

And for those who know me, my personal favorite:

  • GROWING OLD IS INEVITABLE — GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL!

Just when I want to throw in the towel, God sends me a love note!

He is so good!

 

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Alright, how do you do it all?  I write about being balanced but can’t even seem to master one phase of it.  

I spoke with a dear friend yesterday and she was explaining to me the time that needed to be spent networking, checking out the info highway, commenting, chatting.  I thought my cell phone was attached to my hip, is your computer?  

I suppose it is what you are focusing on at the time.  I want to blog, I believe I have something to share with folks.  We are not alone out here.  I want to share my work.  My work is my life.  My art.  It may be a project I have been hired to do or it may be a task God has given me to do.  Either way, He is in it.  All of it.  

I want to blog, I want to network, I want to see my work sell.  I also want to have a life, like, with my family.  My grand kids.  I want to enjoy what time I have.  We are not guaranteed tomorrow, or even the rest of today.  And it’s difficult to find peace and enjoy life with all this stuff happening in our world.  But it can be done, with His help.  See, I just don’t believe I can do anything without Him in the forefront of my life.  I have tried it way to many times.  But you know, every time I, on purpose, include Him in my decisions, or include Him in my thoughts or just start my morning off saying, “Hey God, thanks so much for being with me.  I need You, and I love You.”  Well, the day can go so much better.  He is there, I acknowledge Him.  

I have had my grandson ignore me when I came home.  I’ll walk in, so happy and excited to see him, and he is to involved in what he is doing.  Even though I have been out of town, and haven’t seen him in over a week, what he is doing at that moment is far to important to leave to run to me.  I understand, I do, he’s just a kid, but it hurts just a little too.  I want him to come running to me shouting “Nana, Nana!”  Then go back to his playing…..just acknowledge me.  I can’t believe, after everything God has done for me, and I’m a grown -up, that I can still forget, or be too busy, or not what to stop long enough to just acknowledge Him.

So I want to do all this stuff, but time doesn’t allow me to.  Time for God and Family, friends and work, dreams and pursuits, and rest.

Perhaps you could share how you do it, or don’t!  **wink**

Love to hear for you!

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When truth hits you square in the heart, you know it.  I have reading this book, Drawing Near by John Bevere, just at the right time in my life.  My desire to draw nearing to God.  When you pick a book up, get all excited that it might answer your questions, give you a a. b. c. to do list, the key………only to find out it does answer the questions, it does give you the abc’s and it tells you the key.  It’s not what you wanted to hear, it’s not what you what to do, but deep down, you know it’s the truth.  His truth.  You asked for it and He so graciously gave you it.  It’s great that you have not become so hard-hearted that you can’t even see the truth, you can, but what will you do with it?  Who is more important?  What is more important?

In Matthew 16:24 it shows how costly discipleship is.  Jesus tells his disciples, ” If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.”  So many people distort this verse in so many ways.  I am even guilty of that at times.  But it is so simple and we complicate it so much.  

I want to draw nearer to Him,  I want Him completely in my life.  But what must I do?  Deny myself?  Deny myself what?  Today He has enlightened me through His word and other books about His word.  Deny those things that press on me, desires for worldly things, desires for love and acceptance and gain and so many other desires.

This is a paragraph out of the book, Drawing Near; chapter: What Hinders True Intimacy?.

You’ll discover when people lack the fear of the Lord, they may call on Him but they gravitate towards fleshly appetites and the flesh is enmity with god, for it is not subject to the will of God (see Rom. 8:5-7). They are disobedient to His desires even thought they call on His name, profess knowing Him, and believe He approves of their behavior.  Their lack of obedience stems from a heart that lacks holy fear; the root of all disobedience, and the misconnect is clothed in the deception of “knowing Jesus.”

I read this and my thought was, “Oh shoot! Is it always going to be this way?   There is so much junk in me that needs cleaning up.  I want to be in His presence.  I want to hear from Him.  I want His will.  But how can I have that and have what I want too?”  You can’t!  Deal with it, I tell myself.  His timing is perfect.  Here I have been asking and longing for Him to guide and direct my steps, all the while He was.  I was the one off track but I wasn’t ready to hear, to really hear Him.  Have I a lack of the fear of Him?  I don’t mean fear as in scared, I mean have I diminished His glory and holiness?  Have I forgotten to revere Him?  Psalm 25:14 The secret [of the sweet, satisfying companionship] of the Lord have they who fear (revere and worship) Him, and He will show them His covenant and reveal to them its [deep, inner] meaning.  I have, just like John explains in that paragraph above, I have somehow, deep inside, lost the awareness of His awesomeness.  I haven’t however, lost the ability to see my wrong.  Or should I say, I have chosen to listen to that still small voice inside me yearning to put me on the path I so desire.  Only I got to get cleaned up.  He is cleaning the closet out.  Now on the very verge of something big, I see clearly where before I was in a fog of my own desires.

This was a hard paragraph to read and soak in from the same chapter in John’s book:

In Ephesians 5:5, Paul again says a covetous man is an idolater. It is clear that idolatry is defined as covetousness; so let’s define covetousness.  Webster’s defines it as a “strong desire of obtaining and possessing some supposed good”.  In prayer I asked the Lord for His definition.  His response was, “Coventousness is the desire for gain.”

I stopped right there.  My heart ached.  Tears fell.  Oh God how have I let this happen?  Why am I so needy?  Why can’t I be satisfied?  “Covetousness is the state we find ourselves in when we’re not content.” (John Bevere)  I had to ask myself, what are you not content with?  Look around, hasn’t the Lord blessed you so much?  That worldly fleshy side of us, my earth woman, wants and wants.  The desire to gain.  Covetousness.  I began to think this through after the initial shock of the truth sunk in.

I have a need of acceptance, a desire of affluence.  So I had to ask myself, “What is your main reason you what to sell these paintings you do?  Sure I have donated a lot of money to great and needy causes, but what’s the motive behind it?  To look good, to make money, what?”  I do what to help people, that’s true in my heart.  But I saw that I wanted other stuff too.  I will sit and daydream about adding on to the house because I feel cramped, fixing the yard just so, having people help me around the house.  I dream of making it big, being noticed for my accomplishments, speaking and helping people.  So what was really the motive?  God’s will for these paintings or mine?  He did give them to me, the visions, He does what people to see them, they are His paintings after all.  But my lack of being content has clouded up His will.  And I seem to have a hard time cleaning it up.  Thank God He will help me.

 I can just hear Him, “You ready?”

 “No, not really.” I say.

 “I think it’s time, I will be right here with you the whole way through, you’ll see, it will be fine.  Do you trust me?”

 “Of course I trust You, haven’t I alwa…….., I mean, yes, I trust You. How do I start, where do I start?”

 “You just did”

As I prayed yesterday morning after acknowledging all this to Him, I began to think of being content.  Today I made a cup off coffee. I have electricity! A coffee pot and water.  I walked up my stairs into my bathroom where it is was warm and out of the weather.  I ran a hot shower.  Hot water and soap and smell good stuff.  I dried my hair, I have hair! Beautiful hair that He gave me.  I put clothes on.  Clean clothes washed in a washer and dryer.  I have a choice of the clothes I want to put on.  Went downstairs and made some toast.  Bread, fresh bread and butter.  I looked outside and saw my studio.  I have a place to paint.  To work.  I have a car.  I can drive.  This continued as I walked outside and began to be so thankful for all the blessings God has given me.  How could I ever want or desire more?  

Easy, I have a spirit woman and a earth woman.  We are in this world and have the battles of this world, but we are not of this world.  My flesh still desires.  I began to question even more things in my heart.  I needed to dig even deeper.   Col. 3:5-6  Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  

“There is so much to clean up God”

“There always is, but you are seeing it now arn’t you?”

“Yes, it’s aweful, I am so ashamed, I don’t want to face all of it.”

“You’ll be okay, I promise, stick with Me.  Come on, lets keep going.”

Why do I want to lose weight so bad?  To feel better?  To look good?  To see if I can still attract  attention to myself?  How will I dress myself?  Modestly or slightly seductive?  What has always been behind looking good?  Well, the honest truth is feeling better was just one of the fringe benefits.  Everything else was more true.  Why?  Because I have always been so self conscience. As a young girl I always needed to fit in but never did.  I always tried to be something or someone I wasn’t.  That desire has changed faces as I have gotten older, but it is still the same at the core.  Attention, approval, attraction and what I could do with it.  What happens when I do lose weight? (And I have, but now have put it back on and want to lose it again.)  I got exactly what I wanted.  If I had not been so blind by my own desires I could have seen where God could have taken me.  But no.  Then losing weight lead to another area of discontentment.  Relationships.  More people wanted to be around me, but not all were  ones I should be around.  I was having fun, I thought I deserved it. After all, I have worked so hard, taken care of everyone, done all I could do, it was my turn.  Wasn’t it?

There so much more God and I are going through.  Relationships, marriage, friendships, my body His Temple, tattoos, money…….

If you like to, walk through this journey with me.  Please feel free to comment and share your stories of Truth, your thoughts.

As the morning begins:

“God, there is so much, I don’t think I can do this, it’s too hard.”

“Do you remember my promise?”

“Promise?  Of course I do.”

“Then why the fear?”

“I don’t want to disappoint You.  What if I stumble and fall again?”

“You will stumble again, but you will never disappoint Me.  I am here to pick you up.”

Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]  Amplified Bible  Hebrews 13:5

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