"It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him." -Daniel 2:22
"Do not fear, for I am with you..." -Isaiah 43:5
"...we are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion." -Daniel 9:18
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Friday, August 28, 2009

Galatians 3:23

"Before this faith came, we were held prisoners...locked up until faith should be revealed." This was one of my devotions this past week.
It is one of 900+ over the past few years that speaks directly to me from God. He uses the devotions that people write (inspired by him-some from centuries ago) to speak truth to us, if we would just be faithful to read them. Just like scripture. And He doesn't just give it to you once, but over and over again, so that you will begin to understand what He is trying to say to you.
Sometimes it is direction, sometimes encouragement and other times attaboys for a job well done.
This devotion and scripture spoke to me about things I have blogged about before. My past and the struggles I had in my younger years. How God was preparing me for the trials of today. That I would learn "God's holy standard through the law and thereby realize my own utter helplessness" in making decisions about my life. That I would gladly learn to live by faith alone. I had to experience, like Paul, being held prisoner. He a physical prisoner, me a mental and spiritual prisoner to the ways of the world. If Paul had never been in prison, he would not have seen God's visions. He was able to inspire others through his writings while there.
Now, I do not consider myself in a league with the apostle Paul, but I hope that my writings would inspire others to deeper faith in Jesus Christ. To encourage others to seek God's personal messages to them through the Word and through daily devotional reading and prayer.
Today's devotion is about strength through testing. Exodus 15:25: "There he tested them." How "God does not want us to be like fragile vases of glass or like greenhouse plants." He wants us to be tested, like steel, to see what we are able to withstand. He wants us to be like storm-beaten oaks, like mountains of granite.... but to accomplish this He must put us through some very rigorous tests.
"Faith cannot be picked from trees like apples....."
I know that my testing days are not over, but as the quote of the day says:
"It is better to weather the storm with Christ than to sail smooth waters without Him." -J.R. Macduff
I thank you all for your prayers and encouragment. Al is doing well.
I am getting used to working full time. Another example of how God answers prayer while using it to strenghten you. He provided this job for me, but He never said that His answer to our prayers would be easy. It has been a struggle some days to learn new things, and keep pace with my responsibillities. I know that I have this job because of the provision of the Lord, therefore, I know it is where He wants me. Because I know this, I can get through the difficult days. It was difficult to wait upon His answer to the job situation. I could have gone out and taken another job that would not have met all our needs, but by waiting upon the Lord to provide, I have the assurance that this is where I need to be, no matter what the difficulties may be.
I ask you to pray with Al and I about our future. Since selling the farm, we want to build a new house. We want to build new so that we know what we are getting. We want things to be as low maintenance as they can get. We are not totally ruling out buying an existing home, but have not found anything that would not require a lot of updating and work.
We have a lot of decisions to make. A lot of prayer time. We want to be where the Lord wants us. The right neighborhood, the right lot, the right builder, the right pool contractor, according to His plans. My desire is for Al to have a place where he is comfortable, has just the right size yard that he feels he can take care of, a garage where he can do projects (as his health allows), a nice, long driveway and a pool in the backyard for therapy and entertainment.
I can't tell you that this is what God wants for us with 100% certainity, but I have prayed about this for many years, knowing we would someday sell the farm. I feel that God is guiding us to this very thing, but I continue to pray for God's direction and confirmation.
Please pray with us, as we pray for you in your struggles. We would very much like to hear from any and all who read this blog. Let us know how we can pray specifically for you. Let us know how God is working in your life. Let us know what struggles you are going through that God has designed to strengthen your faith in Him.
May God richly bless each one of you with a storm to test your faith!

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