My mind has been reeling...in a good way...thoughts on top of thoughts, digging deep, standing on solid ground and praising, questioning and finding clarifications...
I know have mentioned that I am trying to learn to BE STILL--find joy and thanks in being STILL, slowing down
BUT also to do what the Lord asks of me.
These seem two separate worlds, how do I merge them??????
God was so good to give me to two sermons in a row, some song lyrics, and a M&M session that all talked on the subject, as well as things that have been said on this very prayer group postings.
I am amazed every single time when God plants right in front of my nose what I need to hear or learn at that moment.
I am going to write out my thoughts( some parts are summary of sermons) I feel led to share, but it may be long-just warning ya!!! (God has made me in a way that writing out my thoughts is the only way I figure things out)
SO here I go, please come along with me if you please-
Sermon titles two weeks in a row at LPC:
week 1: Don't just do something, SIT THERE.
week 2: Run for your life!!!!!!!!!!
At first glance its back to my same thoughts-what I have been wrestling with- how do I merge being still and running the race?????
Wow was I blessed here with so much information coming from all sides!!!!
Its all about JUSTIFICATION and SANCTIFICATION-- two totally different things,
but we MUST HAVE BOTH
Justification--this is our status before God---here by Faith we receive what God so graciously gives, and GOD DOES IT ALL- completely apart from any works by me. ---
I can BE STILL, as nothing I do will every measure up- I am saved by his SAVING GRACE alone.
Its GRACE because never will I be good enough, do enough.....
God not only FORGIVES - he also CREDITS us with all that he HAS-- HE FILLS US UP!
-and as I was reminded in M&M this week:
FAITH is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
Faith is knowing God is who he says He is, has what he says he has, will do what he says he will do--THEN, putting myself in a position where life depends on it.
(an excerpt from a song- Dear Refuge of my Weary Soul )
Thy mercy seat is open still,
Here let my soul retreat- With humble hope attend they will
And WAIT beneath Thy feet-
Thy Mercy Seat is open Still
Here let my Soul Retreat- with humble hope attend they will
And Wait beneath Thy Feet.
I can BE STILL and wait at his feet. I can soak it in as HE fills me up!!!!!!
but lets not forget…
and then there is SANCTIFICATION---- RUNNING THE RACE SET FORTH FOR US BY HIM
here is where one can get confused…..but just keep reading.
While we must first be Justified, He also Sanctifies!!!!!
Through GRACE again- we are called to RUN---but remember
the CHRISTIAN LIFE IS A MARATHON, not a SPRINT
Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us THROW OFF everything that HINDERS, and the sin that so easily ENTANGLES and let us RUN WITH PERSEVERANCE the RACE MARKED OUT FOR USLet us FIx our Eyes of Jesus, the author and perfecter of our Faith, who for the JOY set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and then sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful man, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
in Pastor Clay's sermon he said
God wants us to
THROW OFF what can easily be avoided ,
GET RID OF SIN ADMIRED (feels good sins),
GET RID OF "My PET SIN"-what I personally fall too easily to,my fallback
GET RID OF what is DANGEROUS-"playing with fire", could be deadly
also said --- IT IS IN THE RUNNING THAT I LEARN WHAT TRIPS ME UP--
(HUGE TO ME)-
THE RACE IS MARKED OUT FOR US-He Set the path ya'll!
Its not always gonna be sunshine and roses, there will be trials, difficulty and PAIN.
but HE will be in the trenches with Me.
I have been through some storms, I am in the midst of some rain- knowing this, being reminded of this is the world ya’ll.
and, AND-- THERE IS THE PROMISE of NO DIFFICULTIES EVER AGAIN EVENTUALLY (When He calls me home)
Even still---So often I worry - I am not good enough, I am not growing fast enough, I forget so easily that NOTHING I CAN DO WILL EVER MEASURE UP-
I forget that I am JUSTIFIED -saved by his Grace alone- and because of this I am SANCTIFIED through FAITH by his GRACE alone.
SO I can BE STILL, and wait beneath his feet quietly and with HOPE.
while at the same time ----
RUN the MARATHON that is the christian life- SANCTIFICATION PROCESS!!!!!!
IT is because I can rest at His FEET, TRUSTING FULLY in HIM, knowing that nothing I DO SAVES ME-only through HIM-
it is because of this that I can go out UNENCUMBERED , FIXING MY EYES ON HIS ALONE, and RUN my MARATHON without any fears.
and sometimes I will even get a Runners High-- BLESSINGS along the road
------sometimes in the deepest, rawest moments of pain EUPHORIA comes.------
JOY through pain only comes when I fix my eyes on him--
REMEMBER- It is impossible to look in two directions at one time.
God gives me the strength to endure whatever I may encounter on my Race.
This song below- these lyrics have meant more to me in the last months than I can say.
So when I feel like this, I listen to this song. Its great.
I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face
’Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.
I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.
Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part.
Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.
Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
“’Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
I answer prayer for grace and faith.
These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.”