Sunday, January 30, 2011

This one's big.

This one is hitting so hard I can't even write without bawling. Ready for an amazing thought?....
Guess what? It's okay to struggle & wrestle with God over issues, over our circumstances. Over our life. Not only is it OKAY, but God WANTS us to wrestle the thing out. Think about it. Wrestling with someone is actually pretty intimate. In order to get down & wrestle well, you've got to get right up in the other person's face. At least when we choose the wrestle something out with God we're face to face with Him, locking eyes and keeping our focus & gaze on His every move. 

We can learn some important things from Jacob. He's famous for wrestling with God. They were raw, honest, and face to face. I believe God wants us to learn from Jacob's encounter that if and when we DO wrestle things out with God, we need to continue wrestling and refuse to give up until God gives us a blessing. He promises if we see the issue through, He WILL bless us. He WANTS to bless us. 

How tenacious are we in the spirit? Have we let go to a sense of nothing-ness, or hopelessness? If we have let go, we need to go hang back on again. If we gave up hope, go back to where we set it down. God is still right there, where we left Him. Struggle the whole thing through. Don't let go of God! The blessing IS coming.  When we wrestle ALL THE WAY through the thang, we become re-defined! Anybody else need this today?

I do. I need to wrestle out the deep issues. I may have been firmly grabbed and lifted from massive pits and curses to be redeemed, healed, chosen, and a breaker of chains and sin. But there are still issues I struggle with. Issues deeper & crazier that I may ever show signs of dealing with. And I NEED to know that God is going to bless me if I continue wrestling them out face to face with Him. When He wins, when He kicks butt on my behalf (not "if", but "WHEN"), that means I win. Automatically. Instantly. Victoriously. And permanently. Amen!!! Whew. Let the sweaty, tear-stained mat hold up a while longer while I ask the Spirit for a second wind to begin another round. And another. And another..............

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lessons from Abraham.

Honestly, sometimes I have a difficult time with the story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac. It can appear on the surface that God was simply being cruel. However, upon close inspection, we can learn quite a bit about what God thinks of US from this event. I really had my world shaken up today by listening to Beth explain things in a new light. I thought I'd paraphrase & share. Hopefully somebody out there runs across this and is as blown away as I am. I really needed this today.....

  For starters, God never intended Abraham to actually kill his son. In the first verse of this passage, it says, "and God TESTED Abraham." Well, that's good to know. Thing is, Abraham didn't know this was only a test. Likewise, when we go through a tough time, God doesn't always broadcast to us that this is a test. But it certainly may be! And another thing....each person has their own test. Thankfully, God works uniquely in each life & we don't have to (or get to) go through other people's testing. We have our name and our name only on ours. ("And God said, "Abraham, I want u to.....")

Here's the cool part for me. Ready for this?....God already knows the outcome of our testing & trials. He doesn't give them to us in order to find out what'll happen or how we'll handle it. Crazy, huh? You know that age old question about why God allows bad things to happen to amazing people? Here's an answer that'll blow your mind....Perhaps it's to show us what we have in us. What we're made of. Those things that we're always so afraid of going through, or handling, we swear that if they ever happen we'll just destruct? Sometimes He may allow those very things to happen to prove to US that we're so much stronger, tougher, capable, & more beautiful than we know or believe. He's saying "You keep shrinking back from that. Child, don't you know what you can do and handle if you just trust me?"  I never thought of tests or hard times as God proving something to ME. Something about myself.  That's pretty incredible. That really blows my mind. That helps. That makes the intensely difficult situation bearable. That gives me hope. That tells me it's a test. And tests do eventually end. And I'll have learned a whole lot about myself from it. If I buckle down and Believe Him, the things that are possible are endless! This speaking to anybody? Because I think I just got me a word. And it just made my world so much better!