Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A New Heart....

This morning as I had some time alone before the Lord, I was praying.. worshipping... and I started to sing... Be glorified in me... Be glorified in me... Be glorified.. You set my feet to dancing, You set my heart on fire, In the presence of 1000 kings, You are my one desire...

WHOA! Is that true? Is God my one desire? Honestly -- no. But I want Him to be and it frustrates me that I am so easily swayed.

As I was discussing this with Him, God reminded me of a verse.. one I thought was from Jeremiah (I was wrong). I grabbed my Bible and started flipping those well worn and marked up pages... and as I search He lead me to some amazing verses...

Jer. 15:16 "When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight for I bear Your name, O Lord God Almighty."

Jer. 31:33b "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people."

Jer. 32:17 "Ah, Sovereign Lord, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is to hard for You."

Jer. 24:7 "I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart."

Aren't those amazing promises!?

I did finally find my verse... it is in Ezekiel..... 36:26-27... "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my law."

That is one of the most awesome promises of God! And it is my personal prayer today.... I hope it is yours also...

Father, You tell me that the heart is deceitful above all things and that out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. Oh Lord, I stand before you ashamed of my heart... my overflow is awful! It's judgmental... sarcastic... critical... uncaring... self-serving... my heart must truly be a disgusting sight. But oh how I praise You for the promise found in Ez. 36!

I pray Lord for that new heart and new Spirit - remove my heart of stone... replace it with the heart You have for me.. a heart filled with Your love. Help me follow Your decrees and laws and help me to love as You love. Make it a heart that desires to know You -- that overflows with love for You and for my neighbors.

It seems a daunting task, Lord. But NOTHING is too difficult for You... it is an Eph. 3:20 opportunity and I am excited to see where You take me in the process -- excited and scared.. but totally trusting You!

It is in the precious name of Jesus I praying... Believing! Amen.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Believe and Surrender.. they go hand in hand

I am working through 2 Bible Study / Books right now. One I started on my own a few weeks ago... Satisfy My Thirsty Soul by Linda Dillow. It is a book that focuses on personal worship and intimacy with God. Last week I started Giving God First Place with a group of online friends. I love how God weaves the things I am studying together.

In Giving God First Place this week we are focusing on prayer and on believing God.. taking Him at His Word. The chapter in Satisfy this week is entitled I Bow My Life and Romans 12:1 is the focus verse. How perfectly these go together.

I can never fully surrender my life to God unless I truly and completely BELIEVE Him. Matthew 21:22 says"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Once I grasp that.... once I am able to say "I believe!" and mean it... then and only then can I "present (my) body as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God." (Rom. 12:1)

So the question comes, how do you get to the place where you Believe. 2 things come to mind.. first you ask.. in Mark 9 a father is seeking healing for his son and Christ tells him he must believe. In verse 24 the father says "I believe, Lord help my unbelief!" Jesus knows we struggle with totally believing Him... with complete surrender... faith... and it is ok. The key is to strive for it and ASK Him to help you. Confess your doubts and unbelief and let the Holy Spirit strengthen you and guide you. And second, the old "practice makes perfect" mindset works here. The more you choose to Believe the easier it becomes.. the more "natural" a response or reaction.

Do not think about tomorrow.. next week... next year etc. Work on today.. just today.. one day at a time.... might seem like baby steps, but it is how we learn to walk the walk.

So for today... choose to BELIEVE God.. to take Him at His Word... to trust in all the things He has promised... surrender everything to Him.. you life, your marriage, your family, your hope, fear, dreams, your children, your financial needs, health, home, work, attitude, mouth... the list is endless.

Lord, today I surrender all to you... every little bit of me and my life. I ask that You help me fully believe... to trust you with my "all" knowing that Your ways are not my ways, they are higher... they are the best!