Abandoned By God

prometheusofficialposterMy husband and I went to watch ‘Prometheus’ earlier this year. I’ve never been much of an ‘Aliens’ fan but I did find the premise behind it quite interesting. It was one in which man goes in search of God, in the case of this movie “the gods” to discover why he has been created. There was an underlying hunger to know their makers, to understand where they came from, why they were made and why they had been left without any communication. It may have been a sci-fi movie, but I found this portion to be true to life.

I think most of us have wondered at one time or another if there is a God, and if there is, where is He? Why can’t we see Him? Why don’t we know Him? How can we know Him? What is He like? Why doesn’t He interact with us? Does He want to know us? Does He even care about us? Has He abandoned us? Every religion has a different answer to the same questions, ‘Where is God?’ and ‘Who is God?’ Our curiosity reveals a great gnawing distance between us and God. It has often been said, that the absence of God is the deepest hole in every man’s heart. It is a hole that he spends his entire life seeking to fill or to explain away in one way or another.clip_image002

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Two Mountains

Moses on Mount Sinai Jean-Léon Gérôme -1895-1900

We are as close to God as we want to be.

I can’t remember where I first saw or heard that statement, but there is a lot of truth in it. It is quite convicting. God is always present.  He doesn’t change positions on us. We are the variable, not him. Our coming closer to God, is much like the Israelites coming to Mount Sinai with Moses. Continue Reading

In Times of Darkness

“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.” – Jer. 29:11

Candles2 The verse from Jeremiah 29:11 has been standing out to me lately.  “”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.”  It’s the “I know” part that I keep getting hung up on. He knows. I don’t always get to be in the know but He knows.

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Avoiding Idolatry


Bobble Sometimes it may seem that God is a big blank face in the sky and we can paint any face on him that we like according to our culture, according to our experiences, according to popular opinion, according to our personal opinion. This makes the opinions of what God looks like as numerous as we are because each one of us decorates God differently in our mind. Most of us wouldn’t argue about the existence of God, unless we were atheists.  Acknowledging the existence of God or a “Higher Power” is one thing, knowing what God is like is another.  The problem with this is that since no one has ever seen God how do we know who is right in their description of Him?

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God’s Great Promises

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature,2 Peter 1:3-5

AM150 Something keeps telling me that God’s promises are meant to be more than a distant vision, more than a beautiful work of the heavens that we can only gaze on from a distance and admire. Something tells me his promises are more than ideology but are intended to be realized.

Some of God’s promises seem this way to me at times. They are quite wonderful and extraordinary. They stand out like a bright shining star placed high in the night sky above me and captivate my attention. My eyes keep coming back to them, to enjoy them, study them and take them in; but as beautiful and as real as they are, that is as far as my possession seems to come. I have yet to pull them down from the heavens and make them mine. They are too far away, too good to be true, outside my realm, outside my reality, but always within my vision high above my head calling me to look up.

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Dying to Know You

We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete – 1 John 1:3-4

Why does John and the other apostles find it so important to tell us what they have seen and heard regarding their interaction with Jesus? So important that they would constantly risk their lives and eventually lay down their lives to make sure we heard their testimony?

All the apostle except for one, John suffered violent deaths. They had an easy method of escape, simply recant and renounce their testimony. However, all of the apostles choose martyrdom, intense horrific torture rather than recant their testimony.  Both Andrew and his brother Peter were crucified, with Peter being crucified upside down.  The apostle James, John’s brother was beheaded as was Mattias & Paul. Bartholomew was skinned alive and later beheaded. Although the apostle John, who wrote this book, is believed to be the only apostle who died a normal death from old age, it wasn’t from a lack of trying to kill him. He too faced horrific torture but miraculously survived being boiled alive in oil. Since this didn’t kill him, he was then imprisoned on an island.

Why? What was so important and valuable to them that not just one of them but all of them would endure such suffering and not just once but continuously? This wasn’t a onetime event for them, but a chosen lifestyle of suffering for a message to be heard by us and for a person to be made known to us.

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The Abundant Graciousness of God

Source: Flickr.com I was reading in Esther the other day about King Xerxes. He was the King that Esther married. As I was reading I was really amazed at the abundant wealth of some of these Old Testament Kings.

This particular king, King Xerxes threw a banquet for a full 180 days, that’s a 6 month long party, to display his wealth to all the various military leaders, princes and nobles and then afterwards a week long party in his enclosed garden for everyone else from the least to the greatest of people and they were all allowed to drink as much wine or as little as they wished because by the king’s command the royal wine was to flow abundantly in keeping with his liberality. Read for yourself Esther 1:1-8. That’s pretty wealthy and that is pretty gracious. I can’t imagine what that would like in today’s culture. A six month party for all the national leaders to display to them how wealthy we are. Who could afford such extravagance? But it was common for these kings to throw these outrageous parties of generosity to display their wealth and splendor. And I was reminded of the fact  that King Xerxes wasn’t even the wealthiest king. He wasn’t nearly as wealthy as King Solomon was. King Solomon was the wealthiest and wisest kings ever and he loved to throw these huge parties also. Just take a peak at 1 Kings 4:22-28 and read about his daily provisions, it’s insane.

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Out of Place

As a result of the Fall, not only was our relationship with God broken, but all of our relationships were broken as a result of this one relationship being displaced.

When I was a child, I loved playing with those slide puzzle games.  They had the individual square puzzle pieces with one square missing. You had to put the alphabet, numbers or a picture back in their proper place by shifting the squares one at a time. It was often grueling and frustrating trying to get everything to line up and in their proper order. If one square was out of place, they were all out of place.

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A Love That Will Not Let Me Go

Have you ever tried to warn someone that the person they were  in love with had some serious flaws? This is a conversation that never  seems to go well because love is blind. You can only stand back and silently wait for the inevitable and  be there to pick up the pieces when it doesn’t work out.

In many ways sin can be much like a bad long-standing relationship that we have given our hearts to. We see and maximize all of the good points of our activities while blinding ourselves against all the flaws & minimizing their seriousness. The large amount of time, resources, energy and emotions that we have invested into these  activities  make them even more difficult to walk away from.

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God’s Will: our dwelling place; Andrew Murray

God's Will This book will be in my top 5 list for favorite and most influential books that I read this year. It’s organized in 31 Chapters for 31 daily devotions for meditating on understanding and doing the will of God. In it he emphasizes and teaches that this is the very essence of true faith, the path and foretaste of the glory of heaven – which is a place of  “unhindered manifestation of the working of God’s will.”

If we have no interest in enjoying and living in God’s will now, we will never enjoy heaven, and will have no business there since it is a place ruled by God’s will without hindrance.

He debunks the idea that the way to heaven is found in pious desires, religious duties, trusting in Christ for mercy and seeking to be saved from gross sin. Instead he emphasizes and shows us using Matt. 7:21 that the way into heaven is through “he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Too many have never allowed this truth to take possession of their mind and heart he laments.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. – Matt. 7:21 NIV

True conversion is nothing but a surrender to live only to do the will of God.” He teaches. “It is the turning away from my own will, so as never to seek or do it again. It is the surrender of my will, with all its strength, and at all times to only seek and do that which God wills.” He calls us to use our self will with all our strength for the one great work which God created and prepared it to carry out: “to accept and to will what God wills.” This is the image and likeness of God for which we were created to bear. We are to use our self-will with all our strength to will and do what God wills and does.   He calls this, “the noblest work the will of a man can be engaged in.”

One of my favorite chapters and paragraphs from this book was in Chapter 10 “The Man After God’s Own Heart.” He starts this 10th day of devotion referencing Acts 13:22:

“I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, who shall fulfill all my will.”

In this chapter he states, “If you learn the first lesson well – the secret aversion of your nature against God’s will, and your complete inability to overcome or change it – you are ready to go on to the second which is this: Believe that you have a new and Divine nature, expressly designed and prepared to do all God’s will.” If as son of God, Jesus Christ could do nothing of himself, even though he was son, neither can we we hope to fulfill the will of God by our own self-effort, the strength of our own will alone.   We are too weak to bend our own will. We are unable to cast ourselves out. It is at this realization, when we come face to face with ourselves and our own will, blocking our way to God, that we cry out in utter despair:

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! – Romans 7:24-25 NIV

In Andrew’s third and final lesson to us in this chapter, he encourages us to, “humbly but confidently give yourself up to God to do all His will. Give yourself to Him, as a loving Father, so that you do not take His commands as mere law, but as loving will. The will of the Father will be made known to you in the loving fellowship shared between Himself and yourself. Look at God’s will as one great whole – the revelation of His loving purpose for man and for you. Set yourself resolutely, in the faith of the Holy Spirit’s working in you, to make it your business to do all God’s will every day. Then again, bow yourself in the deepest humility to wait on God to work in you.”

Absolute Surrender. There is no other way, to make the word of God, Jesus Christ manifest himself daily in our lives, through his word taking life and  becoming flesh again in us except through Absolute Surrender. It is a call to die to ourselves every moment of every day so that Christ might live through us. Offering our bodies as living sacrifices. ed find the life God designed for us to live.

I pray that God might make us women after his own heart, that we might be able to sing and cry out as David:

I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart. – Psa. 40:8 ESV

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