The shadow of the past,
The shadow of wrong decisions,
Shadows that hunt
In a spring day appear.
Is there a way to hide from them?
A greater Shadow
As bright as the Sun?
A burning Shadow
Consuming all shame?
A Shadow that cures
All fears and tears?
Oh, that I may abide
Under the Shadow of the Almighty,
I will make my refuge,
I will set my tent there
And not be moved.
The Lord hides His own
In the Shadow of His wings,
Until all storms of destruction
By the sound of His
are silenced to death.
No shadow can make me tremble
For under the Shadow of the Mighty God
No Devil will dare to seek me
When under the Shadow of God The Father
I pray assured.
|Photo Print by Laura Evans on Etsy|
Some encouraging -and convicting- words from the pen of Elisabeth Elliot on the Discipline of Time:
"My times are in thy hand..." has become a part of my life. When the Lord has left me in agony of waiting over some decision, these words have put me a rest. His timing is always perfect, though it seldom seems to me, for my temperament longs for previews of coming attractions."
"There is always enough time to do the will of God. For that we can never say, "I don't have time." When we find ourselves frantic and frustrated, harried and harassed and "hassled," it is a sign that we are running on our own schedule, not on God's"
On our way too long to-do lists:
"But the lists must be reviewed daily with the Lord, asking Him to delete whatever is not on His list for us, so that before we go to bed it will be possible to say, "I have finished the work You gave me to do.""
Are you feeling frustrated and worried about your endless lists of things to accomplish and places to go? Maybe it will be a good idea to be reminded of these simple truths:
"Frustration is not the will of God. Of that we can be quite certain. There is time to do anything and everything that God wants us to do. Obedience fits smoothly into His given framework. One thing that most certainly will not fit into it is worry."
"Direct your time and energy into worry, and you will be deficient in things like singing with grace in your heart, praying with thanksgiving, listening to a child's account of his school day, inviting a lonely person to supper, sitting down to talk unhurriedly with wife or husband, writing a note to someone who needs it."
"People wish they had more leisure time. The problem is not too little of it, but too much of it poorly spent."
On our time spent with the Lord:
"Time management...begins for the Christian with time set aside for God. Other things cannot fall into a peaceful order if this is omitted."
All these quotes come from the book, Discipline: The Glad Surrender.
“Every time you place a meal on the table with quiet satisfaction, you are sharing the joy of the Creator at the creation of the world when he declared everything good.” Tim Chester
We all want to teach our children–and their friends–what the Christian life is and how we live it, but we may find ourselves asking, “How can we do this effectively?”
I say without a doubt: Let’s show them at the Family Table. Theology and Worldview are best taught around the Family Table when presented along with warm blueberry bread and bacon on the side. Yes. I am serious. It works.
Today is my turn to share about the importance of the Family Table over at Desiring Virtue. Please, come and read.
Father, I praise your name, your goodness, your mercy which lead us to repentance. Thank you, because you draw us to you and in drawing us to you You change us. Thank you for your Word, a double-edge sword, that pierces into our soul dividing darkness from light. I praise your steadfast love, my Lord, the one that pursues us until we are transformed!
My God, help me not to walk in the futility of my mind only let your light, your Truth shine in me, into my mind and heart delivering me from a darkened understanding. Oh, Father, how I pray that you will give me a humble heart willing at all times to admit and repent from all sin and error in me so that I may not grow a hardened and callous heart. Deliver me from all sensuality, from a greedy desire to to practice sinful habits that I have welcomed many times as "part of my natural way of being." Oh, that I may not forget, not for a moment, the way I have learned Christ! Father, I ask you today to help me put off daily my old self which is full of deceitful desires that draw me away from your Kingdom of Light. Give me discernment and a heart willing to obey what I know that the Holy Spirit is calling me to do; help me to be diligent in the habit of practicing discernment, first and foremost, within my own heart which is deceitful above all things. Create in me, day after day, a heart that is willing to put on the new self created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Yes, in true righteousness and holiness, not in the one that is deceitful, fake, and raises from a puffed-up heart filled with nothing but filthy self-righteousness.
Help me, today, Father of Truth, to put away all kinds of falsehood: lies, slander, deception, flattery, gossip, and to be diligent in pursuing truth. Lord, that I may be true to the Word, true to myself, true to my convictions. That I may be willing at all times to speak the truth with my brothers and sisters remembering that we are indeed members one of another. Help me remember that spoken truth should always be spoken with the goal in mind to help each other grow in every way into the likeness of Christ.
Oh God, give me a quiet and gentle spirit, one that has learned to overcome the kind of anger that makes me sin. Father, that I may always have a heart whose natural response is to forgive and forgive, and forgive. Transform me daily in the light of your Word, that I may be in all areas of my life, different than the one I used to be when I did not know you nor the Gospel who transforms and gives life.
Deliver me, Lord, from all corrupt talking which only brings death and kindles enormous fires. Help me day after day, situation after situation, to speak -and write- only those words that are good to build up others, words that give grace to those who hear them. Help me to fill my heart with your Word even more, so that out of the abundance of my heart I may always speak.
Oh, Lord, deliver me from grieving your Holy Spirit by whom I have been sealed for the day of redemption! Deliver me from having deaf ears and blind eyes that won't let me hear and see where your Spirit is leading me. Deliver me, oh Lord! That all my life, even the deepest meditations of my heart may be pleasant to you.
God, only you, through the power of the resurrection and the power of the Holy Spirit within me can help me put away all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander, along with all malice. Only in you can I overcome sin, and I give you thanks for the provision you have made for us to conquer and not live in bondage of any kind of sin anymore. Let my life, Father, be characterized by kindness, by forgiveness never forgetting that God in Christ forgave me.
In Christ, my Redeemer who lives and reigns forever more,
|Source -A Conversation with Josh Harris|
One of my most insistent prayers this past year has been in form of a question, "God, how can I possible embrace Truth and don't miss loving my neighbor -the one who believes things contrary to your Word-? How can I possible do that in a way that will honor you and the Truth you have entrusted to your Church and not sin against you by not loving others?"
Joshua Harris in his little book, Humble Orthodoxy, doesn't provide all the answers to this dilemma, but he does go to the heart of it. He boldly admonishes us with the Scripture against spiritual (orthodoxy) pride and reminds us that we have been called to embrace humility.
The message of this book cannot be ignored, nor the call to fall on our knees in prayer asking forgiveness for the times in which we have, "in the name of discernment," puffed ourselves up.
The moment I closed the book I made my mind to live by this resolution:
The more I disagree with someone,
the more I will pray that the Lord will bless him.
The more we disagree with each other,
the more I will ask the Holy Spirit to help me be like Job,
who prayed for his "friends" (who in reality only acted as his enemies),
and not be an accuser like the Devil himself,
but as Jesus who is always interceding for us.
All this is burning in my heart because I believe in a God that changes people -starting with me-. I believe in a merciful Father who hears our cries and brings us -each one of us- to repentance. I believe that even though we have been commanded to avoid those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that we have been taught in the Scriptures (1), we are also called to love them by interceding fervently for them -and for us too, so that we might be delivered from all spiritual pride and presumptuous attitudes which we all know are like the evil of idolatry (2)- I believe that if God has not "given-up" on me, I will never "give-up" on any person, but I will keep on praying with hope for them. God is good and God is able to save and open our eyes.
Some of the quotes that I underlined and circled, and pointed with arrows are these:
"Reading 2 Timothy reminds me of the sad reality of falsehood and lies. I wish I lived in a world where beliefs were like different flavors of ice-cream -no wrong answers, just different opinions. But that's not the world we live in. We live in a world in which God's true revelation and the smooth words of charlatans and false prophets compete for our attention..."
"Love for God and love for neighbor require us to oppose falsehood. There is nothing more unloving than to be silent in the face of lies that will ruin another person. Sometimes love demands that we say, "This philosophy, no matter how plausible or popular, is not true. This person, no matter how likable, gifted, or well intentioned, is teaching something that contradicts God's Word; therefore is untrue."
"When it comes to orthodoxy; it's not about you or me. The truth is not our truth; it comes from God. And the ability to uphold it with loving humility comes from him too."
"The message of Christian orthodoxy isn't that I'm right and someone else is wrong. It's that I'm wrong and yet God is filled me with grace. I am wrong, and yet God has made a way for me to be forgiven and accepted and loved for eternity. I am wrong, and yet God gave his Son, Jesus, to die in my place and receive my punishment. I am wrong, but through faith in Jesus, I can be made right before a holy God."
"Sound doctrine is vital. Godly example is essential. But they are not enough. Apart from humility of heart, we will be like Pharisees and will use the truth as a stick to beat other people over the head. And God will be dishonored in that. If we would honor God, we must represent truth humbly in our words, in our demeanor, and in our attitude."
"One test for whether we're pursuing humble orthodoxy is this question: Are we giving as much energy to obeying and being reformed by God's Word personally as we are to criticizing its detractors?"And beside that quote I wrote this, "The spread of egalitarianism in the church concerns me and grieves me terribly. BUT, I must ask myself, am I living my role as a submissive wife in a way that faithfully represents the model of the church and Christ? Am I daily pressing on to become a godly wife who seeks to bring glory to God and honor and respect to my husband in all I do? Am I living in such a way that by my attitude as a wife, people around me can see a picture of the gospel?"
"Truth that is divorced from personal practice is hypocrisy, and living truth becomes a living lie when we fail to obey it ourselves."Harris quotes Trevin Wax who said,
"There's a difference between having a critical mind that carefully evaluates and having a critical spirit that loves to tear down and belittle."
"We can demonstrate a humble orthodoxy, holding on to our identity in the gospel. We are not those who are right; we are those who have been redeemed."
I would like to keep this book at hand, in the "medicine cabinet," so that any time I feel the temptation to be arrogant and critical instead of prayerful and merciful, I will read it and be reminded of what God's Word clearly says.
Praying in hope,
(1) Romans 16:17
(2) I Samuel 15:23