Thursday, April 24, 2008

Seeking Him

As I mowed my yard yesterday, I went before the Lord on several different topics. One of which is that I so desperately wanted to write another posting to my blog inspired by Him. I feel so close to God and fill so fulfilled when I am composing something He's said to me. That's why I say I desperately wanted to write. We are to be His Hands and Feet. I don't know if I'm making that much progress through this blog and the blogging world but I'm overjoyed that I can be His toes and fingers for now and grow into His Hands and Feet. I find it a privilege to be God's big toe (whoops a little sweatpea humor.)

So I've been pondering on the words to write since Tuesday and nothing has knocked me over the head. I have several topics in my draft folder but upon viewing those...again, I wasn't knocked over the head. So, when the Lord and I were mowing, I pondered on my last post (read it to better understand) and I caught myself asking and asking regarding many people and many things. Though, again, they were all good things for which I was asking. I just cried to the Lord "I don't want to ask You. I mean I know I am to go to You for everything but I feel so bad just asking and asking. I'm tired of asking." I think He understands the asking though, especially when we are so heartbroken and searching for Him and trying to please Him through obedience. I then focused on praising Him.

I then pondered on how if I ever wanted to be a please others (be a people pleaser, which can have very negative results), never as much as I do now. However, that "person" is Jesus, God Almighty, Lord and Savior. I cried to Him, between huffs and puffs, and said "I want to please You so bad. Just show me the way. Show me what to think and desire. I am at Your mercy, just show me." In the midst of that I praised Him: "thank You for this healthy body that can mow." I continued to praise Him but was distracted again. I thought about all my new friends in cyber space through blogging. I thanked the Lord for the encouragement they have brought and the blessings they are to me and a blessing to see so many women grow deeper with God. I reflected on all the prayer requests that have been shared through our Bible Study with Rachel Olsen. So many hurting women...good Christian women, loving and serving the Lord, seeking Him in all things but yet still having hurdles and heart ache.

I have seen through this online study the power of the Almighty working. I can tell that He is really reaching and touching His children. So many women are closer to God through this study. Hearts are being transformed. We are all desiring a deeper walk with the Lord and we are seeing it come to fruit by being in His Word daily and seeking Him and learning from other women's experience and knowlege! (That's very important.) Remember, we talk to the Lord in prayer but He talks to us through His Word. If we are not in His Word, we won't be able to hear Him. He desires fellowship with us and He wants us to really know Him better and that is through His Word. This study has been a very unique experience and I hope Rachel has the stamina to continue past the current study.

Okay. So you say that's great, women are coming together, studying the Word, growing deeper in their walk with Christ. Well, that's not the end. We all know who hates for us to become better children and servants of the Lord and his name is Satan. You may wonder why Christians serving and loving the Lord would feel such an attack from Satan. It is because he doesn't need to attack his children; he already has them doing his work. He knows we are servants of God but if he can distract us enough to at least stop us from doing God's work, he'll be pleased. You know Satan doesn't seek out to convert all people to him because he knows it’s a lost cause and many will never falter from God. He would be satisfied with just inactivating active Christians or deceiving them into a wrong way of thinking and living. Satan very well may not bother lukewarm Christians either as he knows they are not fully serving the Lord nor doing much work for Him. However, those who are seeking the Lord in His Word are naturally going to grow closer to God. (You can't NOT grow close to God while earnestly studying His Word consistently.) And what will happen then? We will begin to speak more confidently of the Lord, we will be convicted to share the Gospel, we will begin to be God's Hands and Feet serving others in need. We will do all the things that Satan stands against. Therefore, if you are feeling attacked, you may have that feeling like "What is wrong? Why won't these feelings go away? Where is my joy and peace?" You may feel you're seeking the Lord with all your heart, growing so strong in Christ, yet, you have this gnawing feeling or depression or bad turn or bad luck or fall after fall. It is Satan trying to defeat you. But do not let him!!! Rebuke him in Jesus' name. Seriously, say it out loud. I remember months ago, near the beginning of my trial that I did just that. I was walking down the stairs of my home, and I could feel all these worried and negative thoughts coming into my head. I knew it was him trying to discourage me and to detour my faith in what God would do. I said out loud "Depart from me Satan, I rebuke you in Jesus' name." It was liberating and it felt good. There IS power in that precious name of Jesus.

I believe this posting was prompted because I too have felt Satan on my doorstep the last couple days. He's trying to deceive me and make me waver in my thought life and I refuse to listen. I felt it so strong that I saught a dear friend in a very similar situation and she encouraged and reiterated all the positive and godly things that need to be running through my thoughts. Seek a Christian friend that can encourage you in the same way and bring you back to that right thinking that God wants you to have.

Jesus came to heal, encourage, and empower. Satan is the one who came to steal, kill, and destroy! You are never out of Satan’s sight and temptation but you are always under Jesus' protection! Don't you forget that! God is our refuge and strength. The next time Satan comes to attack you and try to destroy your joy and peace from God, you tell him to depart from you. You are a child of God and NOTHING can separate you from His love and protection. Feel His love and His protection...embrace it!

Just be aware of Satan's presence. Acknowlege it so that you can rebuke him!
1 Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Eph. 4:27 and do not give the devil a foothold.

Then find your strength and protection in God.
Eph. 6:11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.

Remember, you are not exempt from Satan's attacks and temptations. If our King was tempted, so will we be.
Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.

Be Blessed in Him,


Paige said...

Great job on your posts. I can see God oozing out all over you. Keep Satan in his place with the rebuke in Christ's name. He can't stand up against that. You are growing and with times of growth, there is pruning to be done. Be patient with yourself and be patient with the process. The Lord is working and He is the Master Gardener working on your landscape.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was a great post. I get so much from your readings. you have such great insight. I can't wait for your posts each day!

I agree with you about the study with Rachel O. This came at just the right time for me. I was trying to start to read the Bible because I knew I needed to be in His Word but I seemed to always find excuses. Then God led me to her website a day or two before her study was to start and it was like God hit me over the head and said Ok Christi, what is your excuse now? I couldn't find one! Praise the Lord! I have noticed since the study has started and I have been in the Word and totally trying to fill myself with him, all the time, I feel like I am a better friend, daughter, sister, mother and wife. God has really opened my eyes to my husband. I am seeing him in a new light and I love it. I feel closer to God now than I have ever been in my life and I love it. I can't get enough!

I hope the study continues as I will hate for it to end. Thanks for all of your words here and for truely listening for His guidence in your blogging and thanks for the encouragement I get each time from reading you thoughts.

Blessings and prayers ~ Christi

SweetPea said...

Thanks, Paige, for your comment and for visiting. You know I'll be talking to you via email.

Christi, your encouraging words about my readings are such a sweet blessing and encouragement to continue...just that you look forward to me new!
May God continue to richly bless you as you earnestly seek Him with all your heart!!! Isn't it awesome how when we seek Him first (Matt. 6:33) all things just fall into place...just like a puzzle and it's pieces coming together perfectly!!

Robin Lambright said...

As I read your post, I felt your sense of frustration in not being able to stay focused in your prayer time. I felt your frustration at feeling under attack. It has been my experience that when we are on the threshold of something new that God is leading us too that is when the father of lies tries to creep in and detour us from whatever God is leading us to.
Over the years, as my prayer life has developed and evolved I have found a few different prayer techniques to be very helpful. You may be familiar with them, if you are then please accept my humble apologies for being redundant, but I still employ this first method almost every day. It is a simple acronym.
I begin with A, Adoration and praise. When we begin our prayer time with praising God the evil one can not enter. When we begin with surrounding ourselves with the Glory that is God then we are protected from outside forces. When I feel fully surrounded by God’ glory and praise then I can move into C, Confession. This may seem self explanatory, but when we fully utilize this opportunity to pour out all the burdens, all our sins that are clogging our connection with God we can more fully come to him with a more focused and listening heart. Once I feel fully emptied of whatever it is that I have to confess to God then I can move into T, Thanksgiving. This stage of prayer is used to give thanks to God for all the blessing that He brings into your life and the lives of the ones you love and well as other things going on that God needs recognition for. Finally and lastly I can move into S, Supplication or in normal everyday language requests. With this model we learn that our request need come last. It helps me to remember that there are far more important things that need to be accomplished first before I can fully come before God with my deepest needs and desires. I also find that once I have been thorough all the three previous steps that the act of placing my request before Him changes a bit. I feel less hindered in placing before God all my request no matter how great or insignificant they may feel to me.
The second one takes a bit of practice, but I find it very helpful when I am in situations where I am seeking direction or guidance. We all find ourselves in places when we simply do not know what we are supposed to do. I have founds myself in seasons of my life where I felt that God was very silent in what He desired for my life. When these periods of silence occur I turn to a very old form of meditation called Lectio Divina, this very simply is meditation on God’s word. You take a specific verse or even small passage and read it several times to yourself. Then you begin to dissect the passage and really take it into yourself. It is very difficult to verbalize, however there is a lot of very helpful information in the internet that can fully explains the ins and outs of Lectio Divina if you are interested. For me it has a very unique way of opening the door to the discipline I need to really quiet my mind. In that quiet is when God has the freedom to speak His true desired for our lives.
I have to share with you that my sense of purpose and my sense of closeness with God has become so much more in tune as I have explored my call to write. I can be very scary and very overwhelming. I will pray that you will continue to receive the nudging or even really hard shoves to pick up your pen or sit at your keyboard. I don’t like the shoves very much, especially the ones that show up at 2:00 A.M. and make me get out of bed to put something down on paper so I can go back to sleep, but who am I to question when God chooses to speak. I know that the more I listen to Him the more things I feel prompted to write about.
I can’t wait to read His next prompting of your heart.

Here is a lint to Lectio Divina

Yolanda said...

This was well written and very encouraging. I too have been in a funk that comes with not feeling well (allergies) and the day to day stuff that LIFE throws at us. But I too praise God that He chose me, that He is my all, that He loves you and I...warts and all. Oh Praise His Name!

I was talking to my Mentor earlier this week and she said, "Yolanda,Inform the enemy that his tricks will NOT work. Speak to him as "Xerox" (only a copy of the original!)"

Wow, I thought that was great advice and held truth, as we know that he was kicked out of heaven for imitating...wanting to be God.

Your post happend to cause me to reflect on what I was encouraged with this week.


desert_rose said...

Thank you again for your words Paula. God has blessed you with some great insight that is an encouragement to us, sisters in Christ. I too have been discouraged, and have allowed Satan to get into my thought life.. Finally when I had enough, walking in darkness. I did rebuke him; in Jesus name and turn to our Lord.. The God's peace than filled me, and he began to answer a prayer...(told me to cease wanting this man....the relationship is over but I still want him...(I know it is a desire to be loved again, earthly love, be married....) But God's words were the timing is not right...But the desire is. So I am putting my faith and hope in Christ. and HE is ALL THAT I NEED... I am sure glad he is so merciful and loves us, even when we mess up..

Thank you Robin for your words too. I am going to try the meditation you talked about.. I too want God to speak his true desire for my life..Blessing my friends..

tiggerdaisy said...

Really, really good stuff! Thanks so much for your encouraging post on my blog. It was much appreciated! :)

I look forward to reading more from you!

Prayers and Blessings!


tiggerdaisy said...

Hey Paula! Just click on my name in my blog post and it will link you to the site where you can create your "fancy" signature! :) BTW, I copied it from Lelia! SHHHH! hehehehe


SweetPea said...

Thanks to all of you sweet gals for commenting. Yes, Robin, I am very familiar with the ACTS approach of prayer but please don't find it redundant as it is a good reminder to redirect my prayers back to that approach. It's not hard to do: praise, confess, thank, but in times of deep heart ache and just overrought with pain, it's hard to not always be asking for something for myself in this journey/walk or with other people I know are hurting. Again, I am motivated, to redirect my approach to prayer.

I totally agree with you, Robin, that I too have found a greater sense of purpose and closeness with God since I've begun to write on this blog. It's scarey because my logical, analytical mind wants to have an idea of what I'll write next but that's not how it's been. When it comes, it comes and flows right out of me. I'm a work in progress for sure but it's wonderful to do it for God.

Yolanda...exactly Satan is a very POOR Xerox copy.

desert_rose...thank you for your encouragement and for sharing your discouraged moments also.

tigerdaisy... thank you for showering me with encouragement and motivation to carry on. Thanks for the tip on the signature.

Come back gals! I think I'm just as anxious and excited to see what God inspires me to write as you all are.

MrsJoeB said...

Paula-thanks for stopping by! I looked up th 4 o'clock flower and that's not it. Bummer. I'll have to keep looking. I uaually never throw those names tags away. I love being in nature and seeing God in it.
Have a blessed weekend!
In His Graces~Pamela

desert_rose said...

Paula, I totally believe in the power of prayer and I am going to keep you and Chris, constantly lifted up before the Lord... I am going to pray that the Lord will restore your marriage, his way, his time.. That he will start working on Chris's heart, tenderize it, engulf him with Jesus love, and finally make he the strong man in Christ, he was meant to be.....My heart goes out to you.. Through all this heartache, I am willing to bet, that you have become a stronger follower of Christ. So please be encouraged.. You have sisters out here in cyberspace that are praying.
And believe me it is a privilege and honor to pray for you and the restoration of your marriage.

(wanted to tell you too, my husband was named Chris, so I feel almost closer to you because of that) God bless you, Paula

Lelia Chealey said...

There IS power in that precious name of Jesus

AMEN!!! There has been many times that I've just whispered His name over and over again & you are right...there is no other feeling like it.

Great post! Lots to take in.

JnL4God said...

Hey I know what you mean. I was having trouble trying to post this week too. So I just told myself start and God will give you the words. Funny it just started flowing, as I see it did with you. Then it was like I had a ton of stories to tell. You're doing great stay in the word and don't give up you can't loose.