Monday, October 22, 2012

Living in His Shadow

This morning I read another section from 31 Days of Power: Learning to Live in Spiritual Victory by Ruth Myers that I wanted to share. This is definitely something I need to be working on - but God is faithful to point me toward Him!

"Glory and Shadow"

Father, help me not to give Satan any advantage or delight by seeking my own glory in people's eyes. Instead let me constantly give glory to You in new ways. May I keep You at center stage as I speak of Your perfections and let You manifest Your presence through me.

Cause me to dwell day by day in Your shadow. I long to live my whole life there, with You in the bright foreground in every situation, in every opportunity. When You work through me, may be praise be Yours. May You be in the limelight as I give all the glory to You and remain in Your shadow. (Psalm 91:1, 86:12; Matthew 5:16)

Enable me to glorify You as I pass through each situation in my lifeeach time of blessing or progress, as well as each river I must cross, each desert I must pass through, each season of flood or drought, of pain or pleasure. May my responses honor You, not me. Deliver me from drawing attention to myself either by moaning and complaining or by subtle boasting and trying to impress. Not ot me, O Lord, not to me, but to Your name give glory. This prayer is according to Your will, so I can count on You to answer it! (Psalm 115:1; 1 John 5:14-15)

O my awesome God, I worship You for Your gloryglory that excels all othersa radiant outshining that makes all other glories fade and ultimately flicker out in oblivion. Thank You that no one has ever been able to rob You of Your glory or share it with You. I shout for joy that Lucifer lost out when he rebelled against Your rule and aspired to steal Your glory and be like the Most High. How he and his legions cringe at the thought of Your glory! How they resent it when we ascribe to You the honor and glory due Your name and refuse to seek glory for ourselves. How the devil hates it when we enthrone You as Lord of our lives and situations, and when we learn to give You the recognition You rightfully deserve. (Isaiah 48:11; Daniel 4:37)

I worship You for Your Majesty as the Most High God, exalted far above all. I worship You for Your brilliance that causes people to fall on their faces before You. I praise Your mighty dignity and awesome beauty as King of all. yours is a splendor not limited to majestic parades but one that rides forth and wins battles. You're the awesome, glorious Champion, the all-powerful Warrior who prevails against Your enemies. (Psalm 86:9; Isaiah 42:15; Psalm 45:3-4)

To You be the glory, both now and forever, Amen! (Romans 11:36, Jude 24-25)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Weeping may endure for a night...

...but joy comes in the morning (Ps. 30:5).

"Anointed with Power" - from 31 Days of Power: Learning to Live in Spiritual Victory by Ruth Myers that I "just happened" to read this morning.

Father, I praise You that Christ, anointed with Your Holy Spirit and power, continues to conquer new territory within me, filling me afresh with Your fullness, Your love, Your power. (Acts 10:38)
Thank You that Christ is my risen and victorious Lord and that in Him I've been anointed with Your Spirit to reign in lifeto triumph over sin and over the evil one with his lies and deceptions. How wonderful to know Father, that right now Your Spirit intermingles with my spirit in a permanent oneness. I look to Him to continually fill me and to keep me under His influence so that His gracious and immeasurable power will be at work in me, overcoming my flesh and the world and the devil. (2 Cor. 1:21-22, 1 John 2:20)
I rejoice that Your Spirit is here to convict me of sin, to protect me from Satan, and to strengthen me with might. Thank you that this anointing I've received from You abides in me and continues to teach meand His  teaching is true, and not a lie. And through His truth I've been set freefree from the mastery of sin and the snares of Satan, free to reign in the realm of Real Life. I rejoice that the truth counters Satan's lies. It cancels out his subtle deceptions. (1 John 2:27, John 8:52)
I'm especially grateful to You for giving me power to be effective in serving You. I praise You that I can serve by Your Spirit's power mightily at work within me, rather than having to depend on my own strngth and abilities. (Acts 1:8, Col. 1:29)
I pray for myself and for the many Christians I know, both individually and in various groups, that we'll be enriched through a growing knowledge of You. And may it dawn on us afresh that You have been made rich because we belong to Youwe are Your inheritance! Encourage us through Your Word and the enlightening of Your Spirit. Make us more aware of the tremendous power available to us, to assure victory over all the evil powers we encounter. (Eph. 1:17-19)
And Father, I praise You that this close relationship with You can also knit me together with other believers by strong ties of love. I realize that loving, harmonious unity with other believers is always one of the great needs in our lives as Your children, and we can count on You to accomplish it. I praise You for the great protection this provides against the attacks and deceptions of our enemy. May Iand those I pray forincreasingly understand and experience the rich fullness and oneness that is ours in Christ. Col. 2:1-2

"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, to the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever" (Ps. 30:11-12).

God is Good - I'm still broken

God is good. I believe this with all of my mind. He is still teaching me to trust in that truth with all of my heart. My Savior is beautiful, and He loves me – regardless of anything. Because this was never about me. It’s about Him and His glorious, amazing character.

If you haven’t read my post about brokenness from this summer, you should go read it before you keep reading this…

I was in a dark place this evening…darker than any I’ve been in before. I’ve been in dark places before, but not for a while. This one caught me off guard and dragged me under deeper than I expected. And I felt stuck.

I was praying, I was begging God for His mercy and His grace. My head knew nothing had changed in Him – but my heart refused to accept it.

God knew I was getting a big head I guess. I felt as though I’d come a long way from high school, that I knew the truth and that the truth had freed me. But I was and am still holding on to that idea that I can make myself good, that I can make my life look like I expect it to. And when I fail, I still hesitate to accept His grace.

I can’t dig myself out. I can’t make my life “work.” He calls me to let go, to lose myself in Him.

Sarah pointed me toward this song, and it fit my situation perfectly. And since this post is still focusing way too much on me, we’re just going to end it here.

Lord God, You are grace. You are peace. Father, You see me. You know me more deeply than I will ever do. Break my selfishness, my self-sufficiency. God, You alone have the words – You alone are the way.

He gave me the rest of the post!

My Lord God is victorious. He has already overcome ALL THINGS. There is nothing I or anyone can do that has not already been dealt with and answered to by the sacrifice of Christ.

Tonight at the scholarship dinner, one of the speakers mentioned three things. I don’t remember quite the exact context…but she said that God looks at us and says three things about us:
1. I created you.
2. I love you.
3. I died for you, so that someday you shall live with Me.

And that someday isn’t now. It isn’t yet. “In this world you will have tribulation – but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world” (John 16:33)

We are not left here to earn our way. We’re not left until we deserve anything. We are left to learn trust, to learn grace.

Grace: I can’t even begin to define it. God is gracious. He has overwhelmed us with His grace, freeing us from our earthly guilt. He knows. He sees. And yet He loves just the same. Because of Grace. Because His sufferings wipe us clean. Because when He looks at us, He sees the beautiful end result of His plan – not the just-begun reconstruction.

Grace. Contentment. Trust. Giving up the control I think I have.

Love – undeserved, unearned, a free gift.