wednesday april 20, 2011
We miss it. Daily we miss the priceless, intimate, sacrificial gift that is our worship to The God of the Universe. Within our grasp - a gift that is ours to give to God; a gift to offer HIM, that He - THE ALL-SUFFICIENT GOD - would actually want and cherish... That mere flesh and blood - a woman - YOU and I - hold something that HE - our God - considers of greatest value... seems so incomprehensible - and yet within us so apparently clear. This gift is our will. And delicately poised on the moment of longing we deeply desire to let it go. With out-stretched arms. Open palms. Yielded heart. Complete surrender. Restless, holy moment in our souls - stirring with one question: what would happen if we simply let our will fall into the hands of our Mighty God? Would this treasure within shatter and destroy us - or break open and do what God has promised - emit a fragrance that would bring Him glory forever and pour over our lives insurmountable blessings?
"Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her!" Luke 11:45
Truth, sweet woman of God, truth that cannot be denied; - truth that we must realize and embrace with all we are and all we are not. Daily - to lay down our passionate desires - for God's pure desires - this is true Worship. To let go of a dream so that we might embrace - with our own arms - the reality of God; - to utter words that sever a relationship with flesh and blood - so that we can know in our skin what it means to live by Spirit; - to step into a life picture that is not determined by our own blue print plan - but outlined by an unseen promise that God will show us a life we could not ever imagine; - to cling to a verse with heart, and soul, and mind, and strength - because we believe God alone; THIS is Worship that composes a song even angels cannot sing to The Creator. This is our worship. This is our song. Ours alone.
I want to invite you into someone's intimate moment of worship - by her permission. Listen carefully to the tugging at her heart - to the pull of the Spirit within her - and the struggle of her own understanding. And listen, daughter of the living God - to the moment of letting go - that is her worship - beautiful - pure and holy fall of faith. You, who love Him, you will hear it, because you were made to know everlasting beauty.
Hi, Laura. I didn't get a chance to introduce myself to you at Vintage, but your husband kindly gave me your email address so I can email you my story. So I will start by telling you that I just started coming back to Vintage. It has been a rough walk for me. I have been tested, and failed, and gave up on God. I was in a year long relationship that just ended about a month or two ago. My family hated him, and my friends knew I could do better - but I wanted to help him. Our relationship was based on sex, and lies and in turn I locked up my heart. I finally called it quits and told him everything that a girl like me finds wrong with a man like him. Lack of faith was definitely on the list. I was out of touch with him since March, when recently I texted him to see if he still had something of mine. We got to talking and I told him that I was going to Vintage and how powerful God is and how I realized that I was putting him - my boyfriend - before God and that could never happen. He told me that he had been meditating and praying a lot more, and he realizes how badly he had treated me. He asked for forgivenes... Now I definitely believe in forgiveness, and I definitely know that he is not the man for me, but today he texted me and asked if one day he can come to Vintage with me. I told him, - yes -, but after all the lies in our relationship, I feel it is a scam to win me back considering he knows how much this means to me. I do't want to deny the grace that I feel, but I also don't want him to ruin it for me. You know? I am torn and as much as I pray, my prayers are interrupted by memories of lies - memories of him and I.
Please help! He also wants to go to lunch this week. I am glad a public area and maybe he needs someone to steer him right, but I left him because it got to be too much, and it was so recent. If this were to happen two weeks ago - I would not think twice - but after the message about the man running along side whil I run towards God and I will eventually look over and see him, makes me want more than him - makdes me want someone who has Christ in his life, someone who understands and respects me for who I have become in Christ - and who doesn't look at my past as a mark of who I am today.
So after my venting, do you think I should have lunch with him and bring him to Vintage? I want to be the "better man" and put things behind me, especially for God. Maybe this is what he needs. I don't know. Thanks for your help.
Reply: Hi! Thank you for writing - for trusting me with your heart. As I read your message, it was very clear to me that you know what you need to do, but you are afraid to do it. "The purposes of the human heart are deep waters, but those who have insight draw them out." Proverbs 20:5 As you are processing with me your new connection to your boyfriend - you are realizing yourself, what you remember about him and the two of you together: "A relationship based on sex and lies". This is good insight. God blessed YOU with that. "Maybe he has changed" - this is where your doubt is ruling over your God given insight, and wisdom should always rule over doubt. ALWAYS! Wisdom comes from God - in light of His Word - His instruction. Just check Eve in the garden of Eden. She went against wisdom - what she knew - and WHO she knew gave her truth. She doubted - but she gave it a try anywway, because MAYBE it would be okay, right? Genesis 2. Doubt vs. God's Word. God's Word was right. And God's Word won - and is still winning today for you and I. "Do not lean on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5-6. "Maybe he has changed - Maybe he will change" this is our own understanding. He is telling you that he has been praying and meditating. Sounds good, right? Buddhists pray and meditate. Prayer and meditation is not salvation through Christ; it is a religious practice many are familiar with. You already know what the two of you together is like. In light of what God has been teaching you - you now have wisdom being poured over your past. Why would you want to re-enter the arena that God has so clearly shown you is destructive to your life in Him? Turn your face forward, using the truth God has given you to wash over yesterday. There is nothing in the past to revisit. Today is your brand new life. I hesitate to be so blunt with direction - but I know in my own life - when that advice was founded on God's Word it has served to strengthen my faith. So, my sister, I love you - and here is my advice:
You told him about Vintage. He can go if he wants to. He doesn't need you to get him there. If he is really pursuing God on his own - he needs to do this on his own. Ask yourself, what would lunch profit? It is simply an invitation to revisit the relationship. You are communicating that you are open to that invitation by going to lunch. You are making the idea of YOU a possibility. My advice - and you can take it or leave it - truly! Don't go to lunch, and don't bring him to Vintage with you. Lunch is a date, and you do not need a date with this man...been there - done that - and you have been rescued. Your own words, "I definitely know he is not the man for me." WISDOM! pure WISDOM, Baby! And as far as this young man's pursuit of Chris t- Vintage or not - He is God's, not yours. You do what God has asked of you, and for right now that direction stands with love and protection over you his daughter, "Do not be yoked together with an unbeliever." II Cor. 6:14. Check it out. And please, will you also read John 14 and 15 when you get a chance? Guard your heart with this truth as well so you know what makes a man - a man of God.
In closing - Psalm 32 washes over my thoughts in the midst of where you are and where I once was...God has forgiven our sins. This is clear...turn to this Psalm, with me right now, okay? Our sins are forgiven! OHMYHEART!!! soooo good to my soul! Then check out verse 8, "I (God) will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I (GOD!) will counsel you with my loving eye on you." YOU, my friend, are hearing counsel from God's word! so beautifully!!! so gently!!! and you know it! I hear it in your message to me. Now check out the next verse..."Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding, but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord's unfailing love surrounds those who TRUST HIM." OHMYSOUL! how I love that!!! You choose. I choose. We get to choose the love of God - His direction - that is apparent for us - and TRUST HIM. Would He really smash that trust? ReallY? He has never - EVER - failed. NOT one time. My friend - there is no doubt with God. There is only absolute life. What will you choose? This is your greatest worship! This is your full life! "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great unsearchable things you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3 We have no idea what is in store...will we let go of what is our own understanding to embrace the promises of God? Unsearchable things - you were made for these! Praying for you to answer your God with trust!
Her final reply: Thank you so much, Laura! I think, as I was even re-reading what I sent to you, that I knew my answer too - but it was much more clear after your reply. I have been told by my family that I am attracted to those men that I can help. It's in my nature and heart to be a kind and gentle, helping person. You are right, GOD is right. It is not my job to bring my boyfriend to salvation. The guilt that I have accumulated over the past year is hard to get rid of. I was doing so well not talking to him. I was leaning on God again and again and spending more time with family and friends. Those verses really hit me hard and I have still tears in my eyes thinking that I really am not alone in my struggle...and that I am not the oly one to fall for such things. It is because of that I want you to post this on the Vintage View. I know I am not the only girl struggling on this walk, and the other girls need to read this as much as I do. Deep down we know the truth and WHO gives it, but sometimes we don't hear God as loud as we hear the voice of our desires. It's hard to distinguish the two. I have to tell you - that I read this week's egroup bookmark guide - dated 4/8 - in Psalm 51. When I read it, it was exactly where I was at that time. That is how I know God is listening and it was then that I heard HIM the loudest. Thank you again. God bless you.
posted by laura lewis