Expectation

The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away.

Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God!

In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever! Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold.

We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away. But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth.

And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand. But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
2 Corinthians 3:7‭-‬18 NLT

My grandchildren have an expectation that when they are at Mimi’s house they will go to church. Yesterday I had a women’s meeting and when I came home I was met with “Why were you at church? We get to go tomorrow right?” Or when they have called me from home while I was at church, they asked similar questions. I love that they love church. They expect that they will be with me if I am at church.

Today I woke the grandkids up to get ready for church and walked back into my room to finish getting ready myself. A few minutes later, I heard a terrible cough; it sounded like a seal. Then I heard sobbing. I went to inspect, and discovered my granddaughter was devistated because her mom had said she couldnt go to church. She was at the point of making herself sick because she expected to go to church. Her brother and I prayed that she would feel better. We told her she could come with papa if she felt better.

As I drove to church, I thought about my own expectation level. Not just for going to church, but about really entering into His tangible presence, or in walking in the presence that is already available. Moses’ face shown with the glory, but we were intended for God’s glory because we exist from Him and for Him. Do I expect God’s glory to be seen in me? I think too often I am willing to settle like the children of Israel for witnessing His presence instead of experiening it like Moses.

I allow myself to be satisfied with veil covered glory instead of truely entering into His presence and expecting God to move. When I have a genuine expectation of God showing up, He does. It doesn’t usually look like I think it will, but it is always worth the time of preperation.

He wants His children to come to Him with bold expectations. He wants us to be confident of our position in Christ, as children of God. He wants us to expect His glory to show up, and to not settle for anything less. We should press in until He shows off. Our disappointment should move us to seek Him until we have His tangible presence.

When we press in, we will find a peace and freedom that comes only from Him. When He shows up, we can not help but be changed. We can not help but show off His glory when we meet with Him with great expectation.

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Obedience

obedience Obedience is better than sacrifice.  This portion of scripture found in I Samuel 14:22 kept playing through my head as I thought about the sacrifice I was feeling, being out in cold rainy weather.  I would have preferred to stay cuddled up in my nice warm home with warm blankets.  Relaxing in comfort was what I wanted after a long work week and busy schedule outside of work the week preceding.

Every scripture I read and journaled over the week pointed towards obedience, even when at first glance it had nothing to really do with obedience. The focus of the scriptures was supposed to be how God knows me, but the question I kept coming back to is “If I know that God knows me, why am I not obedient to Him?”

If I know His heart is for me, and He wants what is best for me, even if something is outside my comfort zone, why would I not obey?  If I know God’s ways are higher than mine, and that He has a perfect plan and purpose for my life, why would I need be obedient to His leading.

When I made it back home, and was in the comfort I had “sacrificed,” the question in James 2:20 just ruminated in my soul. But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? If my faith is in God’s Word, why is my obedience not showing it?  Saying I believe something means nothing if there is no an action behind it.  Faith without action is dead.   Faith requires obedience.

Growing requires obedience.  Romans 1:17 says “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”  It is in the gospel that the righteousness of God is revealed.    If I go from faith to faith, then faith requires action on the revelation of the good news of the gospel.  Faith is the realization of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).  At the moment I can see it, feel it or experience it, it is no longer faith.  I must act on what I am hoping for before I will see it.  I have to live out the revelation of the gospel in my life in order to grow my faith and go from faith to faith.   Faith can not grow without obedience.

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Distracted Focus

We were sitting in prayer, as we do most Sundays that my grandchildren are with me, praying before the service starts.  Typically one sits on each side, and they will cuddle up, but are peaceful.  They know that if they are going to talk during that time it is to God, not Mimi or each other.  We used to have a clock in the back of the room that they would sit and watch as they knew the numbers on the clock that would mean that prayer time was over.  At times, when the clock was still there, they would get a little anxious as the numbers started getting closer to 1-0-1-5 and start to tell me when the numbers changed.  This day was not like that, they wanted to talk the entire time and they were restless.  They were fussing at each other.  It was very distracting to me.

As we gathered to pray in a circle, my granddaughter continued to fidget with my watch, to pull on my clothes, and try to talk with my grandson.  He looked up at me at one point, I gave him “the look”; he then stood quietly and still, holding my hand and leaning in to me.

I thought about how their actions were a reflection of how I am with God at times.  He longs for me to be intimate with Him.  For me to press in to His presence, to sit at His feet, to find peace and rest in Him as I linger in communication with Him.   Just like I love those times with my grandchildren, He loves me to do that too.  He does not pull away if He gives me “the look” or has to correct me.  He enjoys my longing to be with Him, for however long that lasts.  He is, I am sure, hopeful that I will long for increased time with Him; yet, He never makes me feel guilt or shame when I cut it short.

distractionAnd yet, there are times I want to be doing anything or be anywhere else besides in communion with Him.  Regardless of how I know it feels to be in His presence, I am restless and my mind is anywhere but with Him.  I allow outside things to keep me from entering into His presence.  I am concerned about the time.  I am focused on external conditions like the temperature in the room or the weather outside.  Or I am meditating on the circumstances that I have faced throughout the day or week.

I allowed my granddaughter to distract me from entering into His presence fully.  Yet, I can not blame her, because it was my choice.  I have a choice on where I place my focus.  I can choose to focus on the distraction, or I can choose to focus on God.  I know that when I turn my attention solely towards Him, everything else will fade away.  Not that it disappears, but it just becomes less important in the moment.  She was not being disruptive drawing my attention, she was just being a typical 6-year-old little girl.

I could have chosen to press into God even in that moment.  His Word says draw near to Me, and I will draw near to you.  I could have chose to draw in to Him, like my grandson did to me.  My grandson’s look back told me he was ready to go get a doughnut, but he pressed in to me anyway.  God is not offended by our distraction, He just wants us to choose to press in any way.  He is okay with me letting Him know what I would rather be doing, or hearing about the things going on in my world, He just wants me to communicate with Him.  If I stay talking to Him, I will eventually get it all out so that I can give Him what He wants, my praise and worship of Him.

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Wheat vs Straw

I had to look up the differences between wheat and straw. I read that wheat is a grain, used to replant or to make foods. Straw is used to keep animals warm. It is the waste product.

Christ gathers the wheat, those that are reproducing and those who are feeding others. Both purposes cause growth. We are called to make disciples, to grow others in the image of Christ. We are called to share what we have, feeding others, helping them be nurtured and grow individually. Other times we plant what we have and it is multiplied. What a powerful picture of how the Kingdom of God was called to operate.

Yet, too often we are satisfied with the straw. We want to be comfortable and keep those around us comfortable too. We provide the warmth that allows them not to feel the fire from the gates of hell that is surrounding them. We let others stay comfortable in thier sin. We don’t speak the truth in love.

We must feed people the truth of God’s Word. We must plant the seed of God’s Word. Everything else will one day burn up

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Lessons from Glass

I love that I get amazing spiritual lessons from the most unconventional methods. My husband and I went and watched the movie Glass (2019) recently. I have seen the other movies in the trilogy. I honestly didn’t remember them, other than that Split was psychological in nature. Before the movie, I asked my husband if it was a drama, suspense, thriller. I am not into scary movies, so I was a little bit taken back by one of the previews.

glassFrom the start of the film, I felt a spiritual message, correlations to the story line and where things need to go spiritually. That the villain would make quotes that would speak so sharply to my spirit, just goes to show God can use anything to speak if we are listening. As I walked out of the theater, I thought, “I might be the only person who teared up during this movie.” Continue reading

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I love being in the presence of God, whether it is in my prayet closet, my car, in corporate church service, or while going about my daily life. Knowing that He is near, and being aware of His presnece changes my perspective. I recently read a book about the revival on Azusa Street and testimonies from those who were present and participated in the might move of God during that time.

Several talked about the tangible presence of God that was seen and felt all around the revival. They talked about fire fighters responding to the fire of God falling and smoke alarms sounding despite no physical fire. Multiple witnesses talked about the fog of glory. True Stories from the Miracles of Azusa Street and Beyond: Relive One of the Greatest Outpourings in History that is Breaking Loose Again by Tommy Welchel will stir the faith and expectancy of anyone praying for a move of God. The book made me consider what that will look like in this world me live in now, some 100 plus years after that great move of God.

As I was driving out of town with my husband today, I noticed what in the distance looked like clouds of smoke. Upon closer look, it was snow or frost covered trees on the rolling hills. The trees closer to me are brown and any remaining frost is hidden from view. My car kept coming up with weather alerts, but our path was clear.

I thought about how that is also true with God’s presence. There are times, where those around me are excited about His presence and yet I see and feel nothing. I have let life’s weight and circumstances block what God is doing.

There are times when God’s presence is so near and yet there are people all around unaware of the move that is going on around them. They may hear the news, but they can not see in evidence in their own life.

I dont want God’s tangible presence to be far off. I want to encounter it. I don’t just want to hear or see about it. I want to expereince Him, His power, and His glory.

I want to see a move of God. One that is so evident the world around is transformed. One where there is physocal evidence pulling others in to His presence.

I would love to see God’s presence fill His temples, not just the buildings but His people. A presence that can not be denied, not be fabricated, and not be stopped. I want to see the miraculous healings and lives transformed. I want to see a move like that of Azusa Street in my own community and in communities all around the world.

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The Journey

I love long drives. The open road, scenic picturesque views, the journey to reach an expected destination. My mind eventually clears and I can think on things that really matter as I leave my everyday life behind. Today I’m riding, so it lets me also pause to put fingers to the keyboard.

As I look at the road before me, I see many different vehicle types, colors, sizes. We are all headed in the same direction. Sometimes a car will get off on a exit. Then it seemingly catchs up with us as we travel miles down the road. Or we will get off on an exit for food, gas or to stretch only to catch back up with a car we were traveling by.

As Christians, we are all on the road stretched before us to advance the Kingdom of God headed towards a final destination of being united with Christ in Heaven.

Some days we feel like isolated beings on our journey, absorbed by the pressures of life. If we stop and look around we will see others traveling around us, dealing with much of the same obstacles.

Too often we compare our journey to others, they are ahead of us or behind us. Someone else’s route looks different than ours. Someone else has more or less than we do. That is not our business, unless we can help them in the journey. If someone spills thier load, I might be in a position to help them clean it up, carry it on for them, or at least take them to connect with help. Or if someone has a breakdown, I can stop and help them get back on the road.

I can look at what they have, but it is dangerous for me to start comparing. Looking to long at where others are or what others have distracts me from where I am traveling, what I am doing, and what I have been blessed with. My focus need to be on the road before me. My focus is for what I can do with, and in, the space around me. I have to stay in the moment, prepared for what may come my way.

Some people, or even myself, may take some detours. God may need to do a little work in an area so as to prepare one for the next leg of the journey. He may need to bring nourishment because all available resources have been expended. He may need to take one to a place of rest or a place of stretching so they will not grow weary in the journey.

It is important to remember we are not in a race against someone else. We are called to be a help to those we encounter. We are heading the same direction, but our journeys and the vehicle in which we travel may appear different. We can not loose sight that we are all in this together.

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Even when I don’t understand

I often fail in my purpose

out of fear,

but when fear passes,

what I regret

is the missed opportunities.

God is faithful to His promises,

I am called to stand

in faith

for what He is asking of me

and faithfully obey,

even when I don’t understand.

 

I read the Scriptures, 

and I wish that

the next script of my life

could give me the meaning of things

as they happen.

But scriptures were written

long after the events they describe.

It is likely that the prophets

had to take the first steps

in obedience

without the understanding

that we have of their purpose.

 

God is faithful to me,

I am called to be faithful to Him

even when I don’t understand.

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Reveal

Search my heart God,

that has been the cry

of my heart

and on my lips.

Asking God,

Searchme“Reveal the things in me 

that are not of You

and to give me eyes to see

Myself as You sees me.”

 

Christ took it all upon Him,

but it is so easy for me

to continue to carry things

if I allow myself

to identify with them

or at times

even fight Him

to keep the very things

He is trying to strip from me.

 

As things are revealed

that have long been

a part of my life,

I have to choose

to lay them down

at His feet.

Stripping away things

that I have held onto

without realizing

they are the very things

that keep me

from pressing into Him.

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Stable

StableI have always told God

“I needed one stable piece in my life”

so I could stay stable

even in the shaking.

Be it work,

or family, 

or friends, etc.

I realized,

God wants to be my stable

even when everything else

is changing,

including me.

God is the Rock.

He is the firm foundation,

I need to weather

any storm life brings.

He has always been there

in the storm,

That I have known,

but He wants to be

the anchor

that holds me steady.

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