VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

REREADING THE JOURNAL

6/16/09

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 9.44.35 AMNote: This is an amazing entry as I reread it today and perceive how close I was to the LORD then and how now I’m not. How encouraging. How I yearn now to be that close again.

***

I awoke disdaining the thought of doing anything in the natural realm with my own strength. I have no more tolerance for human actions. My desire it to look for supernatural activity—like answered prayer.

GOD works in power—that would be in the supernatural realm where I have no affinity. I’m content to not do any more of my usual Christian activities. Instead, I want to sit back and see GOD work. How I’d enjoy just making much of Him.

Could I be a John-the-Baptist? “Go through, go through the gates; prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway; clear it of stones; lift up a signal over the peoples” (Isa 62:10 ESV).

Here in Isa 62 You have defined Your purpose, LORD, that I shall be called by You, “my delight” (Isa 62:4)—a holy one redeemed of the Lord. You shall call me “sought out—not forsaken” (Isa 62:12).

This is Your purpose and with it You have promised to fulfill it. May I, for Zion’s sake not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake not be quiet, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning torch (Isa 62:1).

Show me Your striving with me. Bring Your reward. You promised. I will wait for my righteousness so that I will go forth as brightness—as a burning torch.

My arms hang limp. I have no strength. My good deeds are as filthy rags. I admit I distance myself from You by my good works. Only You can make me as bright as a burning torch.

My work is not Your work but my work is preparing Your way. Let me go through, go through the gates; preparing the way for the people; building up, building up the highway; clearing it of stones; lifting up a signal, broadcasting to all the world: “Look! Your Savior comes, ready to do what he said he’d do” (Isa 62:10-11).

I will give the Lord no rest until he completes His work, until He makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth (Isa 62:7). I will give You no rest, I will not be silent. Day and night I’ll keep praying, and calling out and reminding You to remember Your promise.

I wait with no hope until You fulfill Your promise. Make my righteousness goes forth as brightness, and my salvation as a burning torch.

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SUPPLICATION

PROVISIONS

[We all know someone who is dealing with financial problems. Here is an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

WARNINGS AGAINST HOARDING

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 2.28.17 PM…FATHER, I lift up ____ as (he/she) has asked for prayer. Give (him/her) the ability to evaluate (his/her) resources correctly. (His/Her) possessions You give that they might be “consumed in use and…meet the legitimate requirements of the body” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ref#10, p174-175).  Remind ____ You give earthly goods to be used, not to be collected.

I beseech You, FATHER, to give ____ food suitable for (him/her)—food that will nourish and preserve (him/her), and that You would give it day by day. Assist (him/her) to not be over-zealous and careful for tomorrow but by daily prayer obtain daily supplies from You.

THANKSGIVING

THE BRIDE OF CHRIST

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 2.13.27 PM“My beloved is mine, and I am his;…” (Song 2:16 ESV).

FATHER, CHRIST is mine, “I possess him, I have interest in him, as my head and my husband; and I am his, possessed of him, owned by him, given up unto him: and that as to my Beloved in a conjugal relation” John Owen (ref#35, p153). CHRIST and I are far from equal—He never sins, I do—but I am part of His bride, the church, and will attend the “marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev 19:9).

FATHER, remind me that CHRIST and I always stand facing each other holding hands in mutual resignation like couples in a marriage service. He takes me to be His, to love and care for me; I take Him to be mine giving myself up to be His in obedience.

He says, “…I know by experience those that are mine, and those that are mine know me by experience, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father…”  Kenneth S. Wuest (ref#37, p238, [John 10:14-15]). And so, CHRIST, if I love You, then I am known by You (1 Cor 8:3). You make rich provision for my needs, You pay all my debts and I can share in Your wealth and You even allow me to assume Your name (ref#34, July 22nd AM). My sin is covered by my Bridegroom. His puts on me His very own comeliness that makes me beautiful—even perfect (ref#35, p156).

And, on my part it is to consent to accept all He gives—to “receive, embrace, and submit unto the Lord Jesus, as…husband, Lord, and Savior—to abide with him…and be ruled by him forever” John Owen (ref#35, p157).

FATHER, I thank You that You have made me prefer CHRIST counting everything else as rubbish compared to Him (Php 3:8). Thank You for my heart change so I am willing to give myself up to Him. I desire He see my face and hear my voice and count it as sweet and lovely (Song 2:14).

“He is…your Husband, never seeking a divorce; your Friend, sticking closer than a brother; your Shepherd, with you in death’s dark vale. He is your help and your deliverer; your castle and your high tower; the horn of your strength, your confidence, your joy, your all in all…” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, April 19th PM).

CONFESSION

 

SIN DOES NO PERMANENT DAMAGE

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 2.07.49 PM…FATHER, I know sin has consequences, but it does no permanent damage. Sin has put me in shambles; I am like the rubble of a building but through my acceptance of CHRIST’s work on the cross the HOLY SPIRIT will purify and refine me back into a building gloriously enough for You to dwell in. No matter how horrific my sin or how horrific someone has sinned again me, You provide the way for my whole soul to be restored (ref#15, [Acts 9:31]).

Sin is a past issue with You. And, it may be too, with me, once I roll the situation over to You. To nullify sin’s damage, LORD, You require, by faith, I prove CHRIST conquered sin by putting the incident behind me, as You have put it behind You. Yes, I may deal with a consequence of sin everyday but it does not need to trigger a flash back to the original sin. I need to purposefully break the circle of returning to negative thoughts.

Direct me, FATHER, to fixing my eyes on JESUS (Heb 12:2), recalling His love for me that is stronger than death (Song 8:6), praying He bestow such love on me so that I’m able to bestow it on myself and the ones I have sinned against or the ones that have sinned against me. This becomes the entrance into restoration.

LORD, hand out enough faith to me that I know Your forgiveness heals the damage of sin; You will restore (Isa 57:14-19); this is Your promise! Be with me as I prove Your healing by letting You tear away habits of old hurtful thoughts and permitting You to replace them with new habits of thinking.

I must willingly let You work even though I, quite possibly, will not have any recognizable changed feelings. (Proper feelings may never come, but freedom will and the joy of following truth will easily override any lack of feelings I long for.)

To help me anchor the renewed mind You give me, FATHER, I ask for faith to perform the below commands:

  1. Never bring up the subject of the sin and its situation to the one who has wronged me or to the one I have wronged.
  2. Never again bring it up in conversations with other people.
  3. Never dwell on it again in my own mind.

ADORATION

THE SPIRIT—MY INTERNAL SECURITY

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 1.57.40 PM“Give me the saving lamp of thy Spirit that I may see thee, the God of my salvation, the delight of my soul, rejoicing over me in love” The Valley of Vision (ref#76, p136).

It is the SPIRIT “…Who writes the law of God inwardly on the heart],…” (Isa 59:21 AMP). FATHER, the SPIRIT verifying Your Word reveals Your covenant, promises, faithfulness, and more.

By the SPIRIT I find joy, for when He brings the Gospel truths home to my soul with life, vigor and power, transforming me into the image and likeness of those truths, it is to my delight (ref#35, p388).

He understands my spiritual condition. When I stop to notice I find Him doing constantly what I need. What comfort to know He is always present with me continually (ref#35, p388-389).

He enables me to loose my desire to keep my agenda; there is an excitement and joy being led by the SPIRIT. I will exalt Him for making me able to stand empty—to stand waiting for Him.

FATHER, He prods me to recount Your graces—awakens me to comprehend how much You value me—makes me know the extent to which You cherish me (ref#130, p179). And all this is just a drop in a bucket compared to what He pours out for me.

“…the Father…will give to you…the Spirit… whom the world is not able to receive because it does not see Him with discernment and does not know Him experientially. But, as for you, you know Him experientially…” Kenneth S. Wuest (ref#37, p250, [John 14:16-17]).

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

PURPOSEFUL WORDS

5/1/2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 1.51.12 PMMay Day—so cold and windy—I drug out my ear muffs for the flower planting. It was another Sunday—another 24-hour LORD’s Day—another day I was not too pleased with what I recapped in my mind at the end of it.

5:45AM up, and early to church, then more than four hours working to do my part in the service, then in the afternoon not even time to fall asleep reading, instead napped directly. Afterward grandchildren came to weed and plant flowers and that about finished the day.

It didn’t seem very spiritual. I had so much to do in the morning I was available to talk very little. I prepared lunch and went shopping for flowers—things I could have avoided with better planning the day before. And I finished the day off with spending a lot of time enjoying my grandchildren.

I could get discouraged just thinking about the spiritual activities I didn’t have. And then there was my yesterday’s post…

Personally, I find reading yesterday’s list of subjects in which to engage my Christian friends in conversation on Sunday morning did nothing but discourage me. They were “law” to me—something I was supposed to do but had no interest in doing. However, I know others when they read that list will be very happy if they find a bullet point they can apply.

Instead of speaking, I pay attention to all the “jot and tittles” that need to be implemented during the morning service. As far as words go, allowing my thoughts to spill out extemporaneously frightens me, however writing out my thoughts brings joy.

And, quite frankly, I don’t know how GOD is honored in my life. One thing I do know is that I love Him and that cancels out all the “oughts” that people suggest should be done on the LORD’s Day. It is enough that He ordained it and calls His chosen to Himself on that day.

I will not bemoan my May Day activities. If the SPIRIT confronts me with Sabbath Day sin then I will own it and thank CHRIST for removing it. But, FATHER, I find it detrimental to judge myself. You have put the joy of that precious day in my heart, and I know that joy will spill out and glorify You abundantly.

“Sometimes…the only thing to do is to maintain a vital connection with Jesus Christ…not obedience but the maintenance of…relationship” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, March 25th).

SABBATH

PURPOSEFUL WORDS

“We have all been guilty of this form of Sabbath desecration—‘speaking our own words.’ Not only may we break the Sabbath with our feet (‘If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath),’ and with our hands (‘doing thy pleasure on My holy day…doing thine own ways’) but also with our tongues (‘speaking thine own words).’…How easily we are drawn to talk about our everyday affairs on the Lord’s day” C. E. Hunter (ref#171)!

This post is a collection of activities that I might choose to help serve my brothers and sisters in CHRIST with my talk:

  •             Have in my pocket a spiritual quote or Scripture verse that I might give away if the conversation lends itself to the subject.
  •             Share a past week GOD-sighting or prayer request
  •             Share an answered prayer
  •             Exchange prayer requests
  •             Meditate on one Scripture thought then report how GOD magnified it in my life during the week.
  •             Confess my sins to others
  •             Memorize Scripture that is helpful for Christians in tribulation and for Christians with non-believing family and friends
  •             Have in mind at least one spiritual story each Sunday

However, with all these suggestions, FATHER, I will do my Christian friends no favor unless I display power in my living that can only be obtained by the actions of the SPIRIT. Help me do and say only what is the overflow or result of my relationship with You.

SUPPLICATION

GENERAL SICKNESS

[The majority of our prayers concern physical health.  We all know someone who is dealing with the pain of sickness.  Here is an opportunity to pray for them.  Fill his/her name in the blanks.]

WHEN WE ARE IN DARKNESS, YOU ARE LIGHT

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 6.22.25 AM“…there are burdens placed on us by God which He does not intend to lift off, He wants us to roll them back on Him….the burden is lightened by the sense of companionship.  Never disassociate yourself from the burden” (ref#7, April 13th).

FATHER, there is nothing too difficult for You (Jer 32:17). You do not despise nor abhor the affliction of the afflicted; neither do You hide Your face, but when the afflicted cry, You hear them (Ps 22:23,24). You do great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number (Job 5:9).

In ____’s sickness, You lift (him/her) up; when (he/she) is in darkness, You are (his/her) light. You are (his/her) very present help in trouble; (Ps 46:1) You are (his/her) refuge—(his/her) strength. You know when (he/she) sits down and when (he/she) rises up. You search out (his/her) path and (his/her) lying down and are acquainted with all (his/her) ways ( Ps 139:1-3). You daily bear (his/her) burdens. O LORD, give (him/her) the strong faith to believe these compassionate activities You do for (him/her).

I pray ____’s lips will greatly rejoice in the wonderful care You take with (him/her). Indeed, You are righteous in all Your ways and kind in all Your works.

With such great promises, I confidently bring ____ to You. Take (him/her) into Your lap and comfort (him/her).

THANKSGIVING

GOD HEALS MY FAITHLESSNESS

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 6.13.10 AM…FATHER, You know what I’m thinking (Ps 139:2). You know what I need before I ask You (Matt 6:8) and You generously provide.

My faith is small but You heal my faithlessness (Jer 3:22). When my mind cannot fathom a good outcome to a situation, You do not leave me at that dead end. When I walk by faith, it does not have to be a blind faith.

Your countenance always shines light on my path ahead if I’m in Your presence. You never allow me to see the end of the situation, but You provide a way so I can take a forward step. I walk by faith in the light You provide; it is a seeing faith not a blind faith. This seeing faith is real to me even though I have yet to come to the end of the situation and experience it with my senses (1 John 1:7).

The light You provide directly in front of me encourages me and provides endurance (Rom 15:5) so I might continue walking in faith—this seeing faith solidifies for me that You are in the situation and will bring it to a good end. I thank You for helping my unbelief (Mark 9:24). How full of gratitude I am for You always provide enough faith for me to take one step forward.