CONFESSION

DISCIPLESHIP

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 12.23.55 PMALL-WISE FATHER, I do not need to know how to disciple others. I only need to know how to be a disciple myself. My life lived out teaches others of what it is to be a disciple.

“Our Lord makes a disciple His own possession, He becomes responsible for him….The spirit that comes in is not that of doing anything for Jesus, but of being a perfect delight to Him” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Sept 4th).

“…the only men and women He will use…are those who love Him personally, passionately and devotedly beyond any of the closest ties on earth” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, May 7th).

FATHER, forgive me for not taking seriously enough Your constraint on me as CHRIST’s disciple. Let me put my energies toward exclusively becoming personally, passionately and devotedly yielded to CHRIST. May I desire not to rejoice in successful service, but rejoice that I’m rightly related to CHRIST (ref#7, Oct 27th).

JESUS said, “…’All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go…and make disciples…” (Matt 28:18-19 ESV). Do I believe that when I “go” JESUS does the work of making disciples? This is my challenge. If I believe “that people are difficult to get saved, that backsliders are difficult to reclaim,…” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Oct 27th) it is because I have commissioned myself with my natural talents to make disciples.

Making a relationship with You, LORD, is my work. And, relationship-making is difficult work. Because I desire such a relationship, satan may no longer tempt me to simply do wrong things.

Instead, his temptations will be along the same line that he tempted JESUS. His temptations will be crafted toward separating You from me. He hopes to discourage me so I give up on all the grace You have put into me (ref#7, Sept 18th). Satan attempts to keep me from being obedient to You. He wants me to cease being Your disciple (ref#7, Sept 18th). Therefore, FATHER, enlarge my desire to muse on CHRIST and enjoy His presence above all.

Advertisements

ADORATION

“I rejoice to think that all things are at Thy disposal, and I love to leave them there. Then prayer turns wholly into praise, and all I can do is to adore and love thee” The Valley of Vision (ref#76, p49).

SALVATION

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 12.12.38 PMYou, GREAT FATHER, have given me faith

to know of Your existence (Heb 11:6).

You have formed me from the dust

and breathed living life into me (Gen 2:7).

 

Your standards are most glorious

but I fall short of them (Rom 3:23).

Therefore, You destine me to die;

And I face Your certain wrath (Heb 9:27).

 

But, by Your free gift of grace

I am delivered from Your judgment.

You make me a partaker of CHRIST’s salvation

through my faith and not through my striving (Eph 2:8).

 

You make my death temporal

not letting me continue under its power.

You give me a resurrection

to life eternal (John 11:26).

 

CHRIST is the way, the truth, and the life.

I come to You, GOD, through CHRIST (John 14:6).

He bore my sins so I might die to them.

Through CHRIST I can live rightly (1 Pet 2:24).

 

Through CHRIST, through CHIRST,

I turn to praise.

I adore and love Thee—

through CHRIST, through CHRIST.

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

BEFORE I CALL HE ANSWERS

…9/20/2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 12.02.44 PM…I went to bed Saturday night (see 9/26/post) with the happy anticipation of what the LORD would lead me to Sunday. At 1:30AM I woke with piano playing on my heart. The fullness of the thought made me go to this computer.

Piano—the very thing I thought of quitting eight hours before—the very thing that started my slide into the valley for I love piano but, there cutting up water chestnuts for dinner, I decided it was the logical thing to eliminate from my busy schedule.

So it happened, in the early morning hours GOD took away my weariness and gave me the strength for another week with just the forward thought of playing piano after church today. How does He do that?

GOD’s timing. Usually my excited soul must wait for His move but now He answers before I call (Isa 65:24). As I sit here thinking of piano I decide it is His revealed love for me personally that flies me to the mountaintop.

SABBATH

THE GIFT OF THE SABBATH

…In creation GOD rested from His work not because He was tired but because He was establishing a cycle of life—six days work, one day rest (ref#164, Series: The Sabbath, Sermon#2096, “Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath” July 11, 1999).

“This day is a gift from God to be experienced as a delight and a joy—a day that shapes and frames your life, creates purpose, and structure and order and cohesion and a day that goes a long way to relieving panic and stress” Alistair Begg (ref#164, Series: The Sabbath, Sermon#2097, “The Delight of the Sabbath” July 18, 1999).

Do you feel like the energizer bunny? If you identify with the following words, then the Sabbath rest is crucial:

Fatigue

Nervous excitability

Disease

Impatience

Rashness

(ref#164, Series: The Sabbath, Sermon#2097, “The Delight of the Sabbath” July 18, 1999).

 

VALLEYS TO MOUTAINTOPS

CHANGED AS I WRITE

…9/19/15

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 11.28.13 AM…I expect hard circumstances, but when they turn out to not be what I was expecting, or last longer than I expected, my faith erodes giving the enemy a chance to shoot accusations at me. Satan’s shooting now and I’m not moving out of the way.

When playing competitive basketball, we were instructed to gang up on an injured opponent. So swiftly the enemy has taken advantage of me. It doesn’t take long to get to the valley as I begin to believe what the enemy is saying is true.

I hate the valley. I’m in it so often. Defeat hurts. I maintain myself by entertaining thoughts of abandoning the situation that is discouraging me.

He’s on the subject of me failing again. Why can’t I accept that I fail? Why can’t I accept I will never be looked upon admirably?

As I type I see a lot of I’s on this computer screen. Ok, okay, I admit I’ve taken a tangent to feel sorry for myself. But, I’m just tired of struggling—tired of always having more work in front of me than I can do—just tired. I’m tired of listening to the enemy, tired of hurrying to get everything done, tired of struggling and getting no where—just tired.

Spent the entire day listening to sermons on the Sabbath. Last week somehow I fell into GOD’s will by deciding to write a blog for Sunday and so now I have to research and be responsible to get facts about the LORD’s Day correct. And then I have to be responsible to follow my own advice!

If you are thinking that this is my “hard circumstances” I’m complaining about, you are wrong. Actually, what has happened, as I’m writing, I have identified my problem and keeping the Sabbath is the answer. In the writing of this paragraph GOD usurped the enemy and challenged me to believe the Sabbath is to be my mountaintop.

And what is tomorrow? It’s the Sabbath! It’s the day GOD desires I set aside to commune with Him. Can He take away my tiredness? You betcha. He has done it before—by an act of supernatural power His SPIRIT has refreshed my spirit and I’ve had enough strength to work for six more days!

How many ways does GOD have to get me to the mountaintop?—as many as the sand on the seashore. How I will look forward to tomorrow!  And, as I wait for Him to refresh me I find even now I have the strength to dodge the enemy’s accusations. GOD has not even waited until Sunday to move me toward the mountaintop!

 

SUPPLICATION

HAVING A HUNGER FOR GOD AND HIS TRANSFORMING POWER

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 1.42.04 PM“Jesus says to Simon Peter…do you have a love for me called out of your heart by my preciousness to you, a devotional love that impels you to sacrifice yourself for me? Do you consider me more precious and thus love me more than these [fish]?…” (ref#37, p266, [John 21:15]).

 FATHER. “Jesus Christ calls service what we are to Him, not what we do for Him” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, June 19th). “What Christ died for is not that we might help him, but that we might see and savor him as infinitely valuable” John Piper (ref#92, p83).

FATHER, I pray for ____, that (he/she) rest in CHRIST’s love. Remind (him/her) that the moment (he/she) was regenerated (he/she) automatically became “a holy temple fit for habitation of the Holy Spirit” Watchman Nee (ref#101, p13). Hasten ____ to dwell on this truth as much as (his/her) new birth. “God has given a new life plus the indwelling of the very Person of the Holy Spirit” Watchman Nee (ref#101, p14). It is through the SPIRIT that ____ will find CHRIST waiting for a relationship with (him/her). I pray ____ develop a hunger for fellowship and for CHRIST’s transforming power so that (he/she) may experience a vigorous and joyful life (ref#78, p25,26).

THANKSGIVING

WHEN I AM UNFAITHFUL

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 1.24.24 PM…FATHER, You have convinced me that You have removed my hard, evil heart of stone and replaced it with a soft, yielding, submitting heart of flesh (Ezek 36:26). I testify my desires have changed—my spirit testifies to it. Presently I know that I am saved, but,… will I endure to the end (Heb 3:14)?

I have times where I forsake You—saying, “No more, I’m leaving; You’re just too demanding.” It scares me how little it takes for me to arrive in that place. I worry that I’ll be in such a state when the end comes.

But, all honor to You for You have put Your affections on me. If You loved me at first (Rom 5:8) You will always love me. You keep Your part of the covenant (Ps 105:8) even if I don’t keep mine (Ps 78:10). You are chaste and display continual contentment with loving me (Zeph 3:17) even when I am unfaithful to You (Hos 3:1).

 You also give others in return for me—people in exchange for my life (Isa 43:4). How can I ever think that any rebellion on my part would be able to separate the bond of Your covenant.

You, FATHER, who possess the power to create and uphold the world, keep me. You guard me through the faith You give me for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Pet 1:5). I may wander but the faith You provide will always draw me back to You. You delight in making me Your child (1 Sam 12:22). You make me know I’m Yours even when I am running from You.

Your Son, keeps me. He is my shepherd; He makes me able to hear His voice and follow Him and none shall ever pluck me out of His hand (John 10:27-28).

O POWERFUL FATHER, You will keep me to the end. CHRIST will present me faultless before You—with exceeding joy, He will present me to You (Jude 24-25).

How can I be so prideful to think that I have the power to control my destiny after You choose me for Your bride. This life is about Your desires, not mine.

You are so stable and I so unstable. To eternity Your love will never wane for me. And for this I am just not capable of expressing enough thanksgiving to You.

CONFESSION

MISDIRECTED ZEAL

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 1.09.15 PM…FATHER, R.A. Torrey gives me reason to check myself to see if my good works come from my relationship with JESUS or my depraved nature. He says:

“The doctrine that man is totally depraved does not mean that he is totally corrupt….while seeking to please himself, a man may do things that are morally attractive and beautiful….He is as truly depraved as the man who chooses the immoral things, but his tastes are not as corrupt…” (ref#30, p62,63).

John Owen further identifies depravity:

“…persons who know not Christ…would spin a holiness out of their own bowels; they would work it out in their own strength. They begin by trying endeavors; and follow it with vows, duties, resolutions, engagements, sweating at it all the day long….” (ref#35, p333).

The Apostle Paul laments over his sisters and brothers of Israel who spin their own holiness. He says:

 “I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law” (Rom 10:2-3 NLT).

It can be easy to find pride in being moral—self-ordering activities toward righteousness. Take my eyes off CHRIST and I’ll fall into striving to be good. I know my righteousness is only through the SPIRIT by faith (Gal 5:5). FATHER, I want to stay with the SPIRIT.

Bring me to examine my own enthusiasm for You. Am I joyful and content being in fellowship with CHRIST and enthusiastic about His agenda? Or is it satisfying enough to just choose and accomplish good works. Help me search my heart, LORD, do I really love You or do I simply love to appear righteous?

ADORATION

A PRODIGAL

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.50.54 PMFATHER, in Your steadfast love,

You lead the people whom You have redeemed (Ex 15:13).

You are solicitous—

showing attention, concern and care (ref#110, p1276).

 

You guide Your people by Your strength (Ex 15:13).

You are ardent;

You are passionate and enthusiastic—

zealous and devoted (ref#110, p72).

 

Your behavior is affectionate;

You always express love (ref#110, p801),

for Your lovingkindness is everlasting—

for You are simply good (1 Chron 16:34).

 

Since You are prodigal,

extremely generous and profusely abundant (ref#110, p1073),

lead us to Your holy abode (Ex 15:13).

Woo us, entreat, coax, and urge us (ref#110, 1536).

 

We will give thanks to You (1 Chron 16:34),

for You are thoughtful and heedful,

attentive, kind and considerate (ref#110, p1393).

Yes, we will give thanks to You (1 Chron 16:34).

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

STOOL KICKING

2/22/14

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.39.24 PMGOD has made a point to show me Him and myself in a very pointed way. I don’t want to write about it because it reveals my black heart but, because it glorifies Him I will do it.

Yesterday was Friday—just one day before I had to have music down for Saturday worship team practice. My back was hurting so I determined to practice piano before doing anything else. I figured I could do devotions afterward with a sore back. (Actually I was planning to incorporate my book-writing work with devotions and final proofread the 30th week of my draft, which tells you a little about where my heart was in regards to getting into my FATHER’s presence.)

First thing that happened was I leaned wrong and my stool moved away from the piano. I stopped playing and kicked it. I should have realized my anger right them and dealt with it for that stupid stool moves a lot but this was the first time I purposely got up and kicked it.

I had practiced all week and still needed more practice possibly more practice than there was time to practice. Hence, my solution—go at practice with more determination.

But, the chair thing set the tone for the day. Nothing went right. I cemented bad piano playing into bad piano-playing habits.

Last night my husband even prayed that I have a better day today; that clued me I was disrupting him with my attitude. (Imagine that.)

Unfortunately this morning was a repeat of yesterday. I left the piano in a huff and stomped to my office. I would quit the worship team. It seemed the smart thing to do.

As I sat, a thought surfaced suggesting I go to my prayer closet. My answer to it was, “Why?” But, I went. I certainly knew enough not to go back and try to practice piano.

On the shelf was week 30 of my book ready to be proofed. So figured I might as well read through it.

The first three pages contained worthwhile information but they did nothing to influence my hostile heart. Then I picked up the “Confession” page. The title of the entry was “Anger.”

Funny how you never think of your heavenly FATHER being right beside you when you are making a fool of yourself being angry. Not only do I understand once more how my FATHER is involved in every detail of my life but how unholy I am. Suddenly making a favorable impression at worship practice is not top priority.