Have you ever had those moments of being spoken against, and when you found out about it, everything in you cried “foul! That’s not true! I can list a dozen things about me that are pathetic or wrong, but that one is not one of them! That one---that one is something I did RIGHT! Why in the world would I be maligned for doing something right?!”
Or perhaps you are facing one of the many “-isms—” racism, sexism, ageism, schoolism, family sizeism (it’s a thing!)—those things that are a-moral, which are simply just part of you and your identity. I’m sure you can come up with your own list. We as humans are exceptionally gifted at finding the “–isms” that we encounter against ourselves.
Our sense of justice bristles. Our mind fixates. Our sleep runs away from us. And we cry out to God, “bring justice to me! Judge between me and -------” and we insert our own enemy-of-the-day.
Perhaps you have found yourself following the Lord, doing your best, and it seemed like things were going well. You could project out your destiny, it would seem, and it looked great. But as we all are familiar, apparent success breeds resentment and envy in others.
God gives us a clear picture of just such a contrast in Daniel’s story:
It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom; and over them three high officials, of whom Daniel was one, to whom these satraps should give account, so that the king might suffer no loss. Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him. Then these men said, “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.” Daniel 6:1-5
We own a fixer-upper. You wouldn't believe the great deal we got for our mountain property on 2.5 acres, 3000+ square feet. You would probably believe the great deal of time we have spent planning and working to finish up a never ending list of both remodeling and maintenance.
One morning not too long after we had moved I had the bright idea of spending a week home as a "stay-cation."
Unfortunately, for those of you who know what owning a general contracting business is like, it won't surprise you that by midday on the first day of our "stay-cation" he had received upward of 100 phone calls, not to mention the texts and emails he had responded to. I was absolutely fried. I had a terrible attitude. I was so mad. I had waited so long for this day and for our project to make some headway...I blew up at him.
Man, did the conviction of the Holy Spirit get to me after what I said. It's not a fun moment when you realize you've put your own agenda before loving your family, your hard-working husband and, by transference, God Himself.
When I read the story of Abram and Lot, I see myself caught in this moment—the moment of choice between choosing to survive—or to thrive. My agenda, or God's.
In this opening scene, we find that Abram and Lot, who is Abram's nephew, have been traveling together for quite some time, each with their herds and families and servants. But because their great amount of cattle and sheep took so much pasture land, they found that there just wasn't enough food to go around, and their servants had started arguing about who could have the pasture:
So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.” Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord. Gen. 13:8-13
Lot had an agenda. So did Abram. They both wanted to be good businessmen and to take care of their families. There's nothing wrong with either of those goals. The difference was what each was willing to do to get their agenda.
I find that so often selfishness, or at least a self-focused way of thinking—what do I need, what does my family need, how can I get to my goals--trips me up in my desire to please God and love Him and others. It's not so much that I don't care about others, but I can get so focused on my own desires, goals, and needs that I place them above God's love and concern for other people who also have needs and desires.
Lot and Abram were both believers in God. They both tried to practice righteousness. They both tried to abstain from wickedness as far as they knew.
But Lot chose for himself what seemed to be the better plain. The one that promised riches. Promised popularity. Promised an easy life. But the promises were empty.
In fact, in 2 Peter the apostle Peter tells us that Lot was righteous, but that by living in Sodom in what he had thought would be a really fun lifestyle, he “was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)" 2 Peter 2:7-8.
Lot had built up a kingdom for himself that was made only of flammable materials: when the judgment day came it completely burnt up what he had built until only he himself was able to be saved. When the angels came, he was forced to choose to either save his own life or die staying with his empty wealth.
The Apostle Paul explains how this relates to our personal life as believers and how we serve the church Body together:
So if Lot chose to build with wood, hay or straw, with what did Abram build?
In chapter 14 we find that even before the angels come to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, the cities faced a war. The four kings of the tribes around them joined together to attack them in the Valley of Siddim. The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Zoar lost and their people were taken as captives, including Lot and his family, and their possessions were looted.
Abram's immediate response was to rally his 318 men and go to fight the winning king to take back the people and possessions. He split his men at night and attacked and pursued them, bringing back all the people and the goods.
The next thing that happens I think is key to understanding Abram's different perspective on true wealth. Both the king of Sodom and Melchizedek, King of Salem went to meet Abram. By the law of conquest, every person and all property would belong to Abram and would be at his disposal to deal with however he pleased:
He was the priest of God Most High. And He blessed him and said:
“Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
And blessed be God Most High,
Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”
And [Abram] gave him a tithe of all.
Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself.”
But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich’—except only what the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.” Gen. 14:18-24
Though it doesn't outline a distinct conversation, either Melchizedek told Abram God's instructions about not taking the riches of Sodom or Abram simply had a strong heart conviction from God. Either way, Abram was not only willing to give God back His own tithe, but also to depend solely on the Lord's provision for his future needs.
This simple action of trust and obedience is what made a distinction between Abram and Lot:
Abram went back to living a hard life in the desert, waiting for the promises of God to be fulfilled in God's own way and time.
Lot went back to Sodom.
I know that I believe in Christ to be my savior, and I know that He has forgiven me and gives me grace to walk in righteousness and to grow in grace. But I want more than that. I want to build for His kingdom in such a way that there is something left after it all goes through the fire of the Judgment Day. I want there to be something left worth going through the challenges of this life. In my day to day decisions, I want there to be gold.
When my child comes down to “talk” at 11:30pm, am I willing to listen and free myself for however God would want to use that conversation?
When my husband calls me and asks to stay out late helping another person with the broken tree limbs hanging over their home, can I give my plans of comfort time to God, and take on the extra responsibilities of putting the kids to bed by myself?
When God asks me to give my spending money to care for strangers in need, would I be willing to give that up?
I'll be honest, both the little things and the big things are a daily challenge for me. It is much easier for me to abstain from doing evil things than it is to give Jeff the better cup of coffee. True story.
If we are to build using gold, silver and costly stones, it is going to cost us.
I would encourage you and myself, however, to put our trust in our God Most High, the Possessor of Heaven and Earth: He is the One who will abundantly and richly satisfy both our needs now and will give us a reward that can't be even imagined:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared
for those who love Him.”
1 Cor. 2:9
Betrayal. It comes to all of us. In some way, we all encounter those deep and anguishing betrayals from people we have trusted.
We can all feel that it has become a very cold time in the last few years, and divisiveness in church and out of the church, has increased. We see rampant anger, bitterness, hatred, violence, slander, and deep pain, and in all of these things we find the symptoms of betrayal.
Betrayal comes from close family. Parents. Church family. Colleagues and associates at work. Best friends. Authority figures. Children. Spouses.
As King David lamented, “If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers.” Psalm 55:12-14
David was saying that "it wouldn't hurt so much, it wouldn't feel like a betrayal, if you had been my enemy." We expect that from our enemies. We have our guards up. We even plan on how to evade or avoid pain inflicted from people we distrust.
But when we have gone through those steps from acquaintance to friend to close or intimate relationship--when we have lived with our families through the joys and pains of birthdays, sicknesses, breakups, financial hardships and even the loss of shared loved ones, then the sting of betrayal bites deep, and hangs on.
So how do we get out of the grip of betrayal? How do we plan for and prevent the damage that can come from betrayal?
We all know what happens if we are exposed to freezing temperatures for too long—we can go into shock, lose parts of our extremities due to a lack of circulation, and become disoriented. We can find it very hard to make good decisions, and may generate risk-taking behaviors. We often aren't even aware that we are experiencing hypothermia. Our bodies tend to retreat into ourselves, and we just want to go to sleep. We want to be left alone. Left untreated, these conditions can lead to complete failure of our hearts.
Just as these are the physical symptoms of intense cold, I find these to be the spiritual symptoms we experience when we go into betrayal unprepared, without the right spiritual coats.
So how can we be prepared, or if we didn't start out prepared, if a lot of damage has already been done to us, what can we do to heal and bring our hearts back up to a healthy temperature?
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."
My husband is a general contractor. One year, and this is actually pretty common, we were taken advantage of by a very large contractor. We were never paid for most of the job, so we lost around $100,000. We still had to pay our employees and the subs.
I had a number of severe health emergencies at the time, surrounding my pregnancy, and we were also looking at high medical bills. My husband pleaded with the contractor to pay us, but he was unwilling. This lasted for a year of work, during which time we went into a year's worth of debt. This one was particularly hard. We needed to feed our family. It would have been so very easy to sink into hatred for this man who was causing all of us so much suffering.
But two things enabled me to get through that time until God would, really miraculously, deliver us out of all of those things.
Whenever I would become overwhelmed, which was multiple times a day, I would retreat in my soul right into Christ, and just hide there in Him. I would only allow myself to focus on His goodness surrounding and protecting me. I would focus on His Lordship and His power. There wasn't anything He couldn't do to protect me in my painful circumstances or to rescue me out of them. And in His good timing, He would do both.
There have been times when betrayals are so deep that it is hard to pray for God's blessings for that person. In the case with the contractor, it really wasn't that hard. But at other times, it has been really difficult. It's hard for me when I feel that the betrayer doesn't deserve any blessing and it hurts to think that they would get good out of what they did to me. One thing that has made it easier for me is understanding the concept of blessing in the Bible.
You see, according to the Bible, when we give a blessing to someone who never does deserve it, in other words, they never repent, they never change, then the blessing can't “stick” to them. Instead, it comes back on our own heads to bless us even more. (Prov. 10:6; Proverbs 26:2, Matt 10:13). However, if they do change, we also are blessed because we are participating in Christ's work of salvation in their lives. Whatever they choose, we receive more blessing from God when we choose to bless.
immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.
You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.
But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these:
anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
When other people betray, sometimes it's truly unintentional. I can't tell you how often I have realized later the hurt I have caused other people without knowing or trying to. Life is full of misunderstandings and miscommunications. But it's also full of us messing up and giving into our own anger, rage, gossip, and even slander. Sometimes we have discovered ourselves to have been the betrayer and we have needed the mercy. I know that's certainly true in my life.
There was one time when someone I had very much trusted spoke some slanderous things about me to others and to me. It was a deeply painful experience.
After I drove away from this experience, I was telling the Lord how I felt about this. In front of me a vehicle was driving, and I noticed their bumper sticker: “The Armor of God,” it read. I laughed, and said, “Lord, which part?” He impressed on my heart that I needed the breastplate of His righteousness to guard my heart from the fiery arrows of accusation.
You see, the accusations that had been leveled at me included some things I had confessed to struggling against in a private prayer time with this person, as my trusted friend. It had even been leveled at me to prove their point: I had confessed that I struggled in this area, so what they were saying about me must be true.
This is how the devil likes to accuse us. He likes to take something that has some truth in it, expand it, and try to convince us that we are as far beyond redemption as he has made our case out to be.
I can't say that those accusations didn't continue to come back at me for some time, but I did find that as I placed the breastplate of the Lord's righteousness on my heart, that my value to and righteousness before God wasn't based on my own perfection and sinlessness, but rather on Jesus' own righteousness that He had given me.
Is it true that I struggle with temptations and sometimes give into them? Absolutely. In this particular case, whenever I neglected to apply the breastplate, I found myself back in pain and confusion. And when I was back in that pain, I would find that I would use my words to hurt my husband. I would accuse him of not protecting me. I would find ways that it was somehow his fault. I found that I would deeply hurt him, because I was hurting.
But while I don't practice sin on purpose, the reality is that my redemption and value is not based on those things that I've done that are under the blood of Christ. This took out a lot of the bite that the words had, and enabled me to deal with healing, as well as to see how I was perpetuating the hurt on to the next person in my life.
This part, seeing my own weakness, was crucial to seeing the pain of the person that had hurt me. It enabled me to hope for both compassion for myself as well as for them.
Admitting that we all have sinned and need God's forgiveness takes us to being able to forgive others for their shortcomings.
When we forgive, it is a canceling of the debt. They don't need to pay it back. God will still judge, He will still sort it out, but I don't need to go exact my debt from them. I can leave it in the hands of a loving God who knows it all and is the only one who can figure out what is best.
I find that when I have forgiven someone, even sincerely, it can be easy to put the burden of their debt back on them when I am being tempted to relive the bitterness of the past. This is a symptom that I need to forgive again. To forgive as the Lord forgave me...completely, once and for all, and keeping no record.
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love,
which binds them all together in perfect unity.
There was one time where someone accused me, very inaccurately, of something that was very wrong. It was to the entire church, but privately, and without my presence, so that I couldn't deny it or set the matter straight.
The situation got worse as people called my husband, rather than me, to express deep disappointment in him for allowing me to get involved in what they were assuming I had.
It came to the point when I was crying out to the Lord, just for safety. When some people decided to confront us personally, I felt afraid. I got to my knees and prayed, asking God to protect me. Immediately I received a text that the person had fallen gravely ill and could not longer meet.
I hadn't anticipated God answering my prayer in that way. But I could also see that He was doing something better and deeper than I could have imagined. He had given me an opportunity to love my enemy.
My husband and I prayed about the situation, and decided to contribute financial help to them in their need. We sent a loving email, expressing our desire to help and pray for them during this time. We also prayed for their health, truly and sincerely hoping for God to somehow resolve the situation and restore the relationship.
God did heal them. But more than that, he healed our relationship. Without my having to defend myself in any way, they offered sincere and heartfelt apologies for the way they had treated the situation and the hurt they had caused us.
At that point, by forgiving, praying, blessing and choosing actions of love to them, our hearts were already following where we were putting our treasure, as Jesus promised (Matt 6:21). We wanted good for them, and we wanted a restored relationship.
This is the love that binds our hearts in unity in Jesus.
I can't say that every relationship and every betrayal has been restored in my life. I have a few that are achingly unfinished works God as far as what I can see. But I can say that following God's plan for staying warm in the freezing season of betrayal keeps my heart loving people and loving God. It clears my heart of the bitterness and anger and resentment that wants to set up its home inside of me. And it enables me to keep receiving the abundant love and mercy of God.
It keeps my heart warm.
It doesn't seem to matter in our household whether they have just eaten a full meal, had multiple snacks, and are awaiting dinner coming out of the oven momentarily--they still want something to eat.
Yesterday, my husband came home with some protein and snack bars. Shortly after, my youngest son, who is five, came bouncing and dancing down the stairs to me, one of the snack bars in his hand. Still cavorting, he made his plea (moments before dinner time, I would add): could he have the bar? Knowing that he has especial difficulty with a “no” response when he is hungry, but further knowing that he would struggle to eat whatever was healthy of his dinner if I acquiesced to his pleas, I thought I came up with a great idea. I told him that he could hide the bar for snack time tomorrow.
You see, in a house of seven kids, you never know if the food item you want so badly will be there if you wait. Maybe someone else will take it, and by the time you have patiently waited for it comes, it may be gone, with no trace of evidence for who might have indulged.
My son was very pleased with this idea, and happily went running off to find the perfect hiding spot where no one could find his anticipated treat.
This morning my husband stopped on his way out of our closet, and noticed our empty metal laundry basket, sitting on the concrete floor against the wall. Behind it, and clearly showing through it, were the bright red and orange colors of the wrapped snack.
Hiding in plain sight.
In his little five year old brain, this was sufficient. As adults, we can clearly see that his hiding place and method were not sufficient to keep others from finding them, but sometimes we, if we're honest, find ourselves doing the same thing. Hiding in plain sight.
I have been reading through the Genesis narrative, the Creation, and the garden of Eden. This morning, I had come to the story of the Fall. Adam and Eve had been placed in a perfect garden, full of beauty, joy, and full satisfaction. There was not a single need that was not filled. The couple enjoyed the very Presence of God every day. God had given them one commandment only: They were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or they would die.
The serpent came to Eve, and in this timeless story, beguiles her into eating the fruit. He tells her that God is holding out on her. He tells her that she needs this, and tries to convince her that she is not satisfied or complete without having both this beneficial fruit, as well as the special knowledge that comes with it.
Eve justified to herself that the fruit would satisfy her bodily appetite (good for food), regardless of the fact that all of her bodily appetites were already met. She told herself that it satisfied her desire for beauty (though she had been surrounded by beauty). She convinced herself that it would give her knowledge to control, as she assumed, her own destiny (rather than trust her Creator to provide), she took it and ate it, and gave it also too her husband, Adam, to eat.
When they ate it, the Scripture says that “the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made for themselves coverings.” Gen. 3:7.
They traded wholeness, satisfaction, and security in an all-powerful, all-good and all-knowing God for a lie. A lie that left an emptiness, exposure and an acute realization of their need and hunger for all things from that point forward. No longer were they satisfied. No longer were they warm and well fed. No longer could they delight in the beauty that they had. Now, they would be constantly craving their needs for food, shelter, clothing, sexual appetites, beauty, knowledge, and security.
Their eyes were opened.
Since that day, there is not a one of us who hasn't fallen for the same lie. We have all left the God-given gifts of provision, beauty and future that He created us to have in Him to pursue our own covetousness appetites.
We have all “exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things, rather than the Creator.”
And it's so easy to do!
King Solomon had everything. He spent his lifetime building up knowledge, wisdom, wealth, wives, food, armies, security, palaces, and a reputation that spanned the globe. In Ecclesiastes, though, we find that the only result was that he proved to himself and to the rest of us that none of this inner craving can ever be satisfied even with a lifetime of pursuit. “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity,” he said. It's all worthless. It doesn't fill the inner need. “...the eyes of man are never satisfied.” Prov. 27:20b
We find that pursuing our goals, ambitions, and even needs are an endless occupation. A constant striving within our contexts at which we never “arrive.”
And then, as we look around us and find our focus zeroing in on what we lack, we “sew for ourselves fig leaves,” temporary and grossly insufficient ways to protect and cover ourselves from what we have no control to change or prevent.
We try to save up our monies in our investments, to ward off poverty. We gather friends from our acquaintances, to ward off loneliness. We seek intimate relationships to fill an unsatisfiable craving for intimacy, sexuality, and companionship. We collect household items, makeup, and clothing to try to satisfy our craving for beauty. We collect toys or tv subscriptions to ward off boredom. We seek addictive substances to dull the emptiness and to help us forget our pain and dissatisfaction with life. We even try to do good things to cover our shame and substitute good for the wrong we have done. But none of these “fig leaves” cover us.
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”
So we hide. Our guilt at our own rejection of the goodness and provision of a loving God seeks a hiding spot. Using His own provisions with which He has surrounded us, we retreat from His presence, hoping to escape the disappointed eye and just condemnation that must surely follow our rejection of His good gifts. Hoping to blend in, camouflaged from the “eyes of Him to whom all must give an account.” Heb. 4:13
But just like my dear little son's idea of a hiding spot, so is our pathetic attempt to hide from His Presence!
declares the Lord,
“and not a God far away?
Who can hide in secret places
so that I cannot see them?”
declares the Lord.
“Do not I fill heaven and earth?”
declares the Lord.
No, this candy was found by me, and I was determined to hold on to my findings. He ran immediately to tell Grandma, who, at my denial and our subsequent fighting, most likely felt out of her element to unravel the justice of the story. So I remember that she sent us both to sit on the davenport. I thought she must mean the front porch, and after some confused looks and questions, she explained that “davenport” meant the sofa.
We both dutifully sat down on either end of that davenport. I kept very quiet and studied to keep an innocent face while Grandma talked to us. But as soon as she left the room, I took the sofa pillow that was on my side, and buried my face behind it. My brother, sensing my guilt, and knowing my devious mind, immediately changed his voice pitch to a higher octave, and called incessantly to Grandma, hoping desperately to have her come and catch me in the act, justifying his claim. When she walked into the room, I once again pulled my face out of the pillow, to face his accusations with innocence. I didn't know that the chocolate spread out over my face betrayed my guilt to the eyes of my Grandma.
Our hiding from God is a hiding in plain sight. He sees all, and He knows all. “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Heb. 4:13
But just as with Adam and Eve, He comes to us in our sin. He draws near, because He still loves and cares for us. He knows that we have “all sinned and are fallen short of the glory of God.” In His love, He wants to freely justify us with His grace, with the blood covering of the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus.
As Paul told the Gentiles in Acts 17:27, “God intended that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” He comes close, and He calls you by name. “Adam, where are you?”
He knows where you are today. He knows what you've done. He sees you in your pathetic attempts to cover your shame, failures, and sin. He has watched you try to find satisfaction in everything He knows can never give you what you crave.
Jesus comes near to you, and He calls you.
“Where are you?”
Your Creator made you for one ultimate, satisfying, intimate and every-need-fulfilling relationship with Him. He draws near and calls you out of your sin, because He intends for you to seek him, reach out to Him, and find him.
God's love for us in our sin is to great that He chose to demonstrate it in the deepest way possible. “But God demonstrated His own love for us in this, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. Jesus, God in flesh, came down to dwell with us, to walk with us, and to draw near to us. Jesus said of His own sacrificial reaching, “But I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men to myself.”
God didn't leave Adam and Eve hiding, naked, in the bushes. They chose to walk out of their sin, out of their hiding, and to place themselves under God's judgment. The good God who could have justly condemned them forever, instead made a sacrifice to clothe them, and gave them a promise of His final redemption through Jesus' blood that they could look forward to in hope.
I used to think that their banishment from the garden, and from the Tree of Life, was only a further punishment. But now I know that it was the beautiful, loving mercy of God. It symbolized the promise that He would protect them from living for eternity with the shame and brokenness of the past. Instead, they would live out this life, and then shed their bodies for a new life in Him that could never be broken again.
Just as God made a blood sacrifice in the Garden to clothe them, He provided a blood sacrifice for us in Jesus. Jesus' blood is our covering, our clothing, that brings us back into a full and restored relationship with an intimate and loving God. Rather than “setting our minds on earthly things,” which can never really cover our shame or satisfy our craving, through His blood we are now “hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:2-3
Through Jesus' blood, we are no longer hiding in sin, we are now hidden in God.
But what about our earthly needs? Oh, He knows! Our “heavenly Father knows that we need all these things.” Matt. 6:28-34. As we seek His righteousness and His kingdom first, He provides all that we truly need in His perfect timing and perfect way, but without the emptiness and pain that comes from seeking our own way. “The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.” Prov. 10:22.
I have known too often the painful labor and sorrow that comes with trying to build my own kingdom apart from His. But the richness of life in His Presence, is something that cannot be taken away or marred, no matter what my circumstances or surroundings are.
So what will you do with the Presence of God?
When you sense His approach, when you hear His voice calling you out of your worthless shame, guilt and pursuits, will you come out of your hiding? Will you let Him replace your fig leaves with His righteousness?
Will you let Him restore you to a relationship that satisfies your every desire?
| || |
The Lord upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to You,
and You give them their food at the proper time.
You open Your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all His ways
and faithful in all He does.
The Lord is near to all who call on Him,
to all who call on Him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him;
He hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord watches over all who love Him,
but all the wicked He will destroy.
Halley Faville lives with her husband and children in their mountain home in Oregon.
As a homeschooling mother of 7 children, she enjoys spending her free time in language arts, music, art, and outdoor activities.
40 Days Of Goliath
Fruit Of The Spirit