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Posts Tagged ‘prophet jeremiah’

The Doxology is running through my head today.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow,

Praise Him all creatures here below,

Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts,

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

My family is in the middle of one of the richest seasons of blessing that we have ever walked in.  Some of them are truly huge like restoration with a child you have loved for years, but not quite had the relationship that you wanted.  Others are a bit more subtle like the change in me where the feeling of being “put upon” and overwhelmed by so many chores has been displaced by an attitude of peace and even joy at being able to serve.  Being a bit analytical I really want to understand why this has happened so it can become the norm if possible.  I would also like to share this with others because it appears that most people experience more cloudy days than sunshine and I would like to help them enjoy the sunshine.

First off, we are not people without trials.  We have a broken leg in the house and a Momma who is limited in what she can do.  She is steadily improving, but there are plenty of ways that she could be discouraged.  But she is not.  In fact a number of the blessings flow directly out of Lisa’s attitude and approach to her broken leg.  Even though she has been in a lot of pain, she has not shown it.  The past several days she has pushed herself to do as much normal life as possible.  The result is a growing sense of normalcy for the family, but what they don’t see is the leg swelling and pain at night.  Instead of letting this get her down Lisa is relying upon the Lord more than ever before.  Her words of encouragement from out of her affliction are uplifting.  God is honoring that growing faith in tangible ways.

The prophet Jeremiah was God’s spokesman to the nation of Israel at one of their darkest times – the captivity in Babylon.  In the midst of that captivity God had Jeremiah send a letter to the exiles in Babylon.  This is found in Jeremiah 29.  God dictated this letter not only for the Jewish people of that day, but for all of us who find ourselves is difficult and seemingly impossible situations.  Verses 11 – 13 are God speaking to every single person.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you.”

We are experiencing this in our life right now.

So the reasons we are in the season of blessing are summed up in this scripture.  1) Call upon God, 2) Come to God, 3) Pray to God, 4) Seek God, 5) Seek God with all your heart.

As I look at this list I realize for the first time how the progression is exactly what happened to me at my conversion.  It is also the path I have followed since that time when I have begun to stray from the life God has called me to.  And it is what has happened to us through what we are calling “Momma’s broken leg season”.

Call upon God.  The beginning is to realize that there is a Someone greater than all others.  It can be in recognizing that all of creation with it’s infinite complexity and interconnectedness had to begin with an intelligent design.  It was not a cosmic accident.  To believe in no design is to ignore the obvious and takes infinitely more faith than to believe there is a design behind it all.  If there is an intelligent design then there must be a designer.  Call out to that designer.  He is God and He is patiently waiting for each one of His children to turn to Him.  Calling out to God can be an act of desperation since it often begins when we have run out of other options.  How much better if we do not wait until we are desperate.  A broken leg got us ALL calling out to God.

Come to God.  Coming to God must be by faith and it must be based upon truth.  When we are totally honest we realize that we cannot in our own righteousness approach a holy God.  Now there are a lot of “religious” approaches that we can try in approaching God, but from everything I have observed and experienced, God is not impressed with religion.  In fact religion is often an expression of man trying to fit God into a box.  We do this so we can control God or so we don’t have to deal with the thing that prevents us from approaching God, our sin.  God is a spiritual being who wants to relate to us directly.  He made that possible by becoming a man – Jesus, and living among us.  And through Jesus, God dealt with the problem of sin that keeps us separate from a Holy God.  Through faith in Jesus, we can enter into a living, vital relationship with God.  When we recognise our sin and turn away from it and toward God we can be immediately brought close to Him.  For several of us walking through “momma’s broken leg season” we have been given pause to look at our lives and realize that we needed to come to God through repentance.

Pray to God.  Once we have established that relationship by coming to God through faith in His Son, Jesus, we begin the work of growing in that relationship.  Now no one can expect a relationship to grow without ongoing interaction.  This interaction is found in our conversation with God called prayer.  Fortunately for us, He has given us an absolutely trustworthy account of His will in the written word – the Bible.  Even though God already knows every detail of our life, He enjoys speaking with us about it.  As I have shared before I have experienced God speaking directly to my heart on a number of occasions.  Most of these were when I was speaking to Him and He chose to impress something upon my heart in a way that I knew it was Him.  On a few occasions it was more spontaneous, yet it was still coming from a prayerful life.  Never have I heard anything that contradicted scripture.  I have had some of my religious beliefs blown up, but the scripture has never been violated.  And in most cases what the Lord spoke was directly tied to His written Word.  For Lisa and I we have been reading a wonderful devotional titled “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young.  The Lord has used this devotional and the accompanying scriptures numerous times over the past two months to speak directly to our hearts.

Seek God.  If prayer is talking to God, then seeking God is diving into a deep conversation with Him.  Where prayer is telling God about your day and asking for His help with a few things, then seeking God is laying aside the more trivial aspects of living and beginning to search out God’s purpose for you in this life.  It will encompass a diligent and more personal search of the scripture.  Many people have studied scripture to learn what it says and gather information.  The Pharisees were accomplished at this.  But God wants us to study scripture to meet Him and get to know Him more and more intimately.  We must strive to KNOW Jesus, not know ABOUT Jesus.  One of the saddest things in life is to know the bible and miss the Word.

In this season we have seen our prayer blossom into times of earnestly seeking God.

Seek God with all your heart.  Finally there is the total immersion in loving God and being exactly who He has created us to be.  The best illustration of the difference in Seeking God and Seeking God with all your heart is the difference between courtship and marriage.  While Lisa and I were dating I was convinced she was the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.  We believed that we knew each other well enough to make that kind of commitment but we also knew we didn’t know everything.  In the courtship there was still the option to chose to go another direction.  When we said “I do” we sealed our commitment to each other, and to God, that our hearts were melded together from that point on.  There are no other options.  Lisa has my heart, it is hers.  And I have her heart.  The bible says the two become one flesh.  If we can set aside what man has done in his brokeness to minimize the beautiful covenant of marriage and get the picture of what God was doing when He established marriage, we can see it wonderfully reflects what God wants for us with Him… the melding of our heart with His in a forever relationship.

Back to why we are experiencing such a season of blessing, I believe that God is prompting us in this way so that we will truly seek Him with all our heart.  I believe that together we are closer than we have ever been.  We are not there yet.  We still have areas to be transformed.  And like in the courtship stage where we don’t know what we don’t know, I am sure there are still areas in each of our lives that the Father will bring to light that must be dealt with.  However He is gently, consistently leading us on to that point.  And right now I am just so thankful that He is lovingly at work in my family and me that the doxology keeps running through my head.

By the way Lisa wants me to know that there only needs to be one “Momma’s broken leg season”.  She is encouraged by all that has transpired and the blessings that have flowed forth.  But she said the next time we need this type of spiritual shake up she said it is my turn… Praise God from whom all blessings flow…

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