Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Altar

God has been speaking to me.  I'm kinda frustrated with Him right now.  He's taking me through some pretty painful stuff.  I feel like I'm being sanded, not polished like silver but sanded like wood.  I know the end result of sanded wood, it's smooth and beautiful, but getting it to that state is hard work.  Takes a lot of sweat and pain and tears.  It's not easy, the wood doesn't just one day wake up smooth and beautiful, it takes a carpenter to work it, sand it, treat it.  I feel like that rough piece of wood in the hands of my Carpenter. 

In the past 4 days my daily devotional has spoken right to ME.  I ask you.  How does God do that?  It happens all the time to other people too.  How does God know exactly what you need to hear through a devotional written in 2007 put in no particular order?  Oh yeah, He's God, He can do anything He wants!

I'm reminded today that I need to put a few things on the altar.  I need to make a list, so here it goes:
1) My love life
2) Rayne
3) Autumn
4) My body
5) My depression
6) My finances
7) My job
8) My child support fight for Autumn

I probably could go on an on.

  • March 2nd my devotional asked me "What if I don't get what I want? Can I still love God and be happy?"  We will all go through tests.  Tests that test our priorities.  Are we willing to give up the things that become IMPORTANT to us?  Are we willing to give up these things to God in faith and obedience?  These tests are designed to try, prove, and develop our faith.  If I don't get what ever it is I want will I still serve God all the days of my life?
  • March 4th my devotional reminded me Satan is a thief and one of the things he wants to steal is my JOY.  If he steals my JOY from me I will be weak and when I am weak he can take advantage of me.  I must truly believe that it is God's will for us to experience continual JOY.  Did you catch that CONTINUAL JOY.  It's a choice, JOY is available but so is misery.  Life is available, so is death.  Deuteronomy 30:19 tells us which one to choose.  "I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you LIFE and DEATH, the blessings and the curses; therefor choose LIFE, that you and your descendants may live."
  • March 5th was about fishing.  In John 21 Simon Peter, after Jesus rose from the dead, didn't know what to do so he went BACK to what he always did before he met Christ, he went fishing.  He didn't catch anything until Jesus appeared and asked him, "Are you doing any good at what you are trying to do?"  We must ask ourselves this when we so no fruit to show for what we are trying to accomplish.  Hmmmm?  Just hit me . . . my love life . . . no fruit . . . . is God asking me "are you doing any good?".  Jesus then told Simon Peter he was fishing on the wrong side of the boat, he told him to cast his nets on the other side of the boat.  Simon Peter listen to Jesus and caught so many fish he couldn't pull in the nets! 
    • Have I caught anything?  Have I accomplished anything besides getting worn out?  If I listen for God's voice, He will tell me where to throw my net.
  • March 6th, today.  What do I need to put on the altar?  Just like Abraham laid Isaac on the altar before the Lord.  We must not let anything- even our work for God- become more important to us than God Himself.  To keep that from happening, from time to time God calls upon us to lay it all on the altar as proof of our love and commitment.  He tests us by asking us to lay down our most treasured blessing as proof of our love for Him.
(all devotions taken from "New Day, New You: 366 Devotions for Enjoying Everyday Life" by: Joyce Meyer)

My heart was broken this week.  The man I was falling in love with, who I thought I would spend the rest of my life with, who I was actually considering leaving Jersey for called it quits.  He is lost, broken, a mess.  God is protecting me, this I know is true.  It felt so right.  We were such good friends, connected in ways I never thought possible, and loved each other defects and all.  But he has healing to do.  God has to do much work in his life.  God is protecting me.

So here I am. 
  • I must believe that God wants CONTINUAL JOY for me, even if I feel like crap?
  • I must believe that God knows what He is doing, even if I feel uterly confused?
  • Am I willing to give up what is important to me based on faith and obedience?  Is faith and obedience enough?
  • And what if I don't get what I want?  Will I have the courage, strength, and selflessness to continue to serve and love God?
  • Will I choose JOY and not let Satan steal it from me?
  • Will I listen for God's voice to tell me where to throw my net?  Will I look at my life, the choices I've made long enough to realize that what I've been doing, where I've been throwing my net isn't working for me?
  • And will I be strong enough to put EVERYTHING I need to on the altar?

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