Monday, July 8, 2013

Did You Forget Something?

When did they first forget the word of the Lord in Nathum 1:7 - The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble.  Was it just sin and rebellion in their lives? Was the walk ever real?  What was it?  Perhaps they had just one too many broken dreams and one too many crushed hopes and they simply forgot.  They forgot how He had delivered them in the past and how He brought them through to the other side.  They forgot how He had saved them from what they thought they wanted but in reality would have been a disaster.  They forgot He kept His word to love them.  They forgot His promises are true and He has never forgotten them.  They forgot to run to the mighty Tower for refuge but instead exchanged the truth for a lie.  They forgot the world doesn't hold anything for them.  They forgot the Lord doesn't look at us the way the world does.  He sees beyond the outer to the inner, the heart.  They just forgot!  All the hurts, broken dreams, crushed hopes, hurtful words and actions of others, trial upon trial that we who stand in judgement could not imagine.  They just forgot! 

Praying today that if this is you - once running strong for the Lord but all the "hardness" of life has choked the voice your ears has heard for so long. Praying today you will choose to remember what he has done for you in the past.  He will do it again even greater in your future.  All the junk your soul has endured was just making you authentic for others who come after you.  Perfecting your faith and making you "FOR REAL"!  From one who has walked the road and seen His greatness I am cheering you on to finish this great race and lean on Him who gives you the strength to continue on. Now get up, run, run, run!!!!

Judgement for the hearing impaired

Interrupting the class to retreive something she leaned down and whispered in my ear with a sacrastic tone, "this is an interesting job you have".   She had made a judgement based on a few snippets of conversation she had overheard.  A short time and yet a big conclusion.  I thought of what had happened in that room all throughout the day.  First, I was concerned about the women's feelings and what  they would believe about themselves based on such an insensative remark.  Then I wondered if this would lead to a more guarded discussion time.   These girls had been judged their whole lives.  Conclusions drawn on their lives because of what they looked like, the neighborhood in which they lived and what their parents did (or did not).  Judgement a dirty little word that we have cleaned up with words like discernment or concern.  Here is the truth....we are to judge what is right or wrong according to God's word.  Not to be confused with good or better, worthy or unworthy. 

You see, what this lady didn't know could have filled the whole room.  Like for instance, she didn't know that some were new Christians.  Some were abused and damaged and this was the first placed they were learning to trust.  Some were scared and held no self esteem.  Some just excited to be in a place where they could talk to another.  Hearing something other than the sound of their own voice.  For a moment the lonliness would be forgotten. She didn't know them before and how far they had come.  And here is the clincher!  She didn't know that at one time the woman she was talking to....was just like the women she was talking about. 

She only saw a snippet of life.  She could not know the whole picture.  That place was reserved for the Lord alone.  He wasn't sharing that place with anyone else. 

So the next time you are tempted to make a judgement on what the outside says perhaps a better choice would be to bow the knee and talk to the one who knows the inside as well.  Because the truth is you don't know and He does.  If he chooses to show you then He will show you what your role is in His redeeming work.  So perhaps if you are not willing to role up the sleeves and get to work probably should not ask.  I can assure you the Lord will not just allow you to shout from the sidelines.  His work is done with rolled up sleeves working along side.  Now really would you want to miss seeing God work in another or MAYBE EVEN YOU!  Now put away the "I Would Never Do That" t shirt because darlin' YES YOU WOULD.    We are all a sinful lot waiting for our Redeemer to complete His good work in us. 

WANTED: Judge of Heart Motives

Judgment!  Wow!  That is a wild word, isn't it?  It implies the person behind the word is all wise, all knowing and the final say in the matter.  An interesting fact is that there is no one like that except Jesus.  He is the only one who really knows our "heart motive".  He is the only trustworthy one to know what to do with our "heart motive" and He and He alone has the final say in the matter about the "heart motive".  So what do we do with judgment? 

In unwise hands it turns into weapon to destroy.  In too merciful of a hand it turns into a license to sin.  In a prideful hand it turns into a clique.  However, in His hand it turns into a means of repentance, freedom and justice.  So many of us get judgment confused with discernment.  One proclaims a final verdict and the other just sees the problem.  One draws us to pride and the other draws us to our knees.  One makes us feel better than others and the other reminds us of our own sin and draws us closer to the One who set us free. 

JUDGMENT.....how's that working for you?