When you TRUST and OBEY…. you are PLEASING GOD!

I’m participating in this month’s devotional carnival over at http://rachelolsen.blogspot.com/2010/03/devotional-carnival-pleasing-god.html, be sure to check out some of the other links for more devotions on Pleasing God!

“Who among you fears the LORD and obeys his servant? If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the LORD and rely on your God.” Isaiah 50:10 (NLT)
 
So if I know what is pleasing to God, why is it so hard for me to trust and obey? I have turned some areas of my life over to Him completely, but why not all areas? I mean He has never let me down when I have actually trusted and obeyed Him, so why is it hard for me? SATAN is why!! I feel God allows him to put doubts and fears into my head to test my trust and obedience. In the beginning God allowed Satan to tempt Adam and Eve and they made the choice to not trust God and to be disobedient to the one command He gave them. Several times a day we are faced with trials and temptations to test our faith and obedience. Why? Well, in 1 Peter 1:6-7 it says “SO BE TRULY GLAD. THERE IS WONDERFUL JOY AHEAD, EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE TO ENDURE MANY TRIALS FOR A LITTLE WHILE.  THESE TRIALS WILL SHOW YOUR FAITH IS GENUINE.  IT IS BEING TESTED AS FIRE TESTS AND PURIFIES GOLD – THOUGH YOUR FAITH IS FAR MORE PRECIOUS THAN MERE GOLD.  SO WHEN YOUR FAITH REMAINS STRONG THROUGH MANY TRIALS, IT WILL BRING YOU MUCH MORE PRAISE AND GLORY AND HONOR ON THE DAY WHEN JESUS CHRIST IS REVEALED TO THE WORLD” In the study guide of my NLT Life Application Bible it gives a wonderful explanation of this ….We must accept trials as part of the refining process that burns away impurities and prepares us to meet Christ. As gold is heated, impurities float to the top and can be skimmed off. Likewise, our trials, struggles, and persecutions refine and strengthen our faith, making us useful to God. Instead of asking, “Why me?” we should respond to in tough times with “I TRUST you Lord, what are you wanting me to learn from this?” God wants us to push past those doubts and fears and TRUST Him, He created us; therefore, how could He NOT know what is best for us? 

When we TRUST Him, we will OBEY and follow where the Holy Spirit is leading us. I have found from my own experience when I OBEY Him I do things I never would have done on my own. My trust is growing and I’m learning to obey those nudges that I get. God has never let me down. When I have been nudged with a task and I’m not sure if I’m really hearing it correctly and the doubt starts kicking in (remember here Satan is tricky), if I take it to God in prayer and set it at His feet and ask Him if this is what He is wanting me to do and TRUST that He will show me the way if it is…. I better watch out if it is because it’s going to be coming at me from every direction. Like doing this post, I’m not a writer nor am I grammatically inclined but as soon as I read the topic last Monday, TRUST and OBEY immediately popped into my head and I knew he wanted me to write this.  Not only has the hymn “Trust and Obey” been going through my head nonstop but I’ve seen or heard those words fifty times since then… I never cease to be amazed at how He works. 
 
I didn’t truly grasp what it meant to be a Christian until I started searching for answers in His Word and He met me there, took my hand, and is leading me down roads I never thought I would go. 
 
I don’t know about ya’ll but when I don’t push past those doubts and fears and I try doing things my way, I end up falling flat on my face. How have you handled your testing today? What are those areas in your life that are still in the darkness that you need to trust in the Lord and rely on God to help you with? Are you ready to turn it over to Him or are you going to keep falling on your face? 
 
Writing this post for others to see was way outside my comfort zone BUT because I TRUST you Lord, I OBEYED.  I pray you heard the Holy Spirit through the words above, because I obviously wrote this for someone out there, or maybe it was for me. ….. BTW, sorry for going over the word count limit, but I was just following His lead.
 
TRUST AND OBEY (the hymn that has been going through my head 🙂
 
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
 
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

**Re-read the verse (Isaiah 50:10) at the top of this post then read this one that follows it…. 

“But watch out, you who live in your own light and warm yourselves by your own fires. This is the reward you will receive from me: You will soon fall down in great torment.” Isaiah 50:11 (NLT)
 
Hmmm, something to think about…..

E

Talk About Hitting Home!!

When I read this ( http://www.glynniswhitwer.blogspot.com/ ) blog this morning it REALLY hit home.  While attending a women’s retreat our speaker Shannon Perry ( http://www.shannonperry.com/ ) asked us to be real and to look for the holes in our souls.  When I did God convicted me BIG TIME!!  It hurt when it happened and I didn’t like it one bit!….. but now He is healing that hole.     Although I know I have other holes that He will address eventually, the biggest one that needed to be dealt with ASAP involved a gift He gave me 17 years ago. 

I was a baby having a baby 17 years ago.  I was 16 when God gave me a precious gift who Mark and I named Chance… I happened to turn 17, 17 days after he was born.  I’d love to say that I have always treated this gift as a treasured gift, but I’d be lying – BIG TIME!   This is what God convicted me of on that Saturday afternoon.  When I arrived home from the retreat the next day, Mark was the only one home and he could tell I had been crying when I walked in the door (which is a normal occurence for me…. it’s in my genes :).  I couldn’t tell him what I was crying about until I talked to Chance.  As if by “chance” about 30 minutes later Chance walks through the door with a friend.  I immediately said “I really need to talk to you alone” so he took his friend home and then we went and sat at Sonic and I proceeded to ask for his forgiveness for the way I have treated him over the years.  I apologized for saying things to him that a mom should never say to her child and for leaving scars on his heart and creating holes in his soul.  He told me “Mom you weren’t bad and I know you love me and besides I’m not the easiest to handle”……….. BUT he “knew” exactly what I was apologizing for because my words had left hidden scars.  

Now I can sit here and say I was young and immature and that Chance can be difficult to handle, which that is all true BUT…. but “Who WAS Leading E??”…. and the answer WAS… E.  That was and sometimes still is the problem.  When I start trying to take control, I mess up EVERYTIME! 

Well I’d love to say that Chance and I get along perfect now, but that would be a BIG lie!  I have to choose everyday (every minute) to listen to my Counselor and let Him take control and use His wisdom and words in the Bible to teach me to love EVERYONE as HE loves THEM, not as I would love them because “my” love is a roller coaster of emotions not of true unconditional love like HIS is.  

My circumstance didn’t change when I asked for forgiveness, Chance and I still argue (frequently :), BUT… when I set my guilt at my Savior’s feet that day and He began healing that hole in my soul, He gives me peace in those otherwise emotional situations…….when “I” stop trying to take control and turn it over to Him and obey His instructions.

When I choose to look at people the way God looks at them, through His JESUS GLASSES,  I can’t help but have His love and compassion for them.  It’s making the choice to do that instead of choosing to follow my emotions that can be hard…. good thing He keeps reminding me (like with that blog post from Glynnis that I read today 🙂
My handsome 17 year old on his 17th birthday.
E

Treasures On Earth

These are three of my treasures here on earth.  Chance has one of the best hearts and once he allows God to work in him watch out world BIG, and I mean BIG, changes are in store.  Seth is my sweet, patient listener who has a curious mind… he will listen to me not just with his ears but with his heart.  Mark is my rough around the edges but gooey on the inside husband… he is my puzzle piece… we just fit.  We are opposite in so many areas, where he excels I stumble and where I excel he stumbles – so it makes for a bumpy, wild, EXCITING ride.  It would be soooo boring if we were just alike.  Mark and Chance are so much alike it’s not even funny and what I said about Chance allowing God to work in him applies to Mark as well – they have a lot to offer but don’t realize it …………………… YET!
These three are in my prayers and thoughts several times a day and I can’t wait until they realize their NEED for Jesus – but I KNOW He longs for that even more than I do and He will continue to work in their lives.

My First Blog Post…

Last night I dreamed that I was really thirsty so I filled a glass with water, drank it, and was satisfied.  BUT then I’d get thirsty again so I’d fill my glass again, drink it, and be satisfied again and this kept repeating over and over again.  When I woke up this morning, guess what?… I was thirsty!  As I was filling a glass with water a thought “popped” into my head… Jesus is the Living Water.  Coincidence?? NO! 

I have been feeling down and just flat out negative on Monday and Tuesday of this week for no apparent reason.  Well at least it wasn’t apparent to me until today.  I haven’t been down in awhile and I thought maybe it was because “Aunt Flow” had come for a visit or maybe it was Satan pulling at me because God was about to use me in a big way or maybe it was because I didn’t take the time to rest and relax on the Sabbath as I had been doing.  I didn’t set aside this past Sunday to “listen”.  I’m pretty sure it was a little bit of all of the above. 

Today I found the beauty of having the Holy Spirit, our Counselor, living in my heart is that He never gives up.  God’s will, WILL BE DONE!  When He needs to get our attention, He will, one way or another!  I realized from my dream that I must continually fill my glass with Living Water and I’m thirsty (a.k.a. feeling down) I need to ask myself if I have made time to “listen” to my Counselor because He is always with me – I just have to choose to make the time and take the ear plugs out. 

I think getting “the blues” on Monday and Tuesday was God’s way of showing me I can’t do it without listening to Him and letting Him lead me!!  Satan is always lurking, watching, and waiting to seep in… and God allowed him to on Monday and Tuesday to show me and remind me how dark my life can be when I don’t choose to let His light shine through me.  That is why God sent His one and only Son to die for our sins and be ressurected… so that the Holy Spirit could be sent to live in me and you… counsel me and you…  convict me and you… comfort me and you… show me and you His Way, His Truth, and His Light.

Lord, I am so thankful for the way you have used the people in my life to draw me to You.  Thankful that You will take my mistakes and use them for Your good!  Thankful that You continually remind me that I must choose to follow You and what my life is like when I choose not to.

Since 7 p.m. last night this is how constant His reminders have been….

– We discussed what we read in the book of Acts over the past week in my Disciple bible study class about the power of the Holy Spirit…. Ironic? NO!  Coincidence? NO!
– A woman in my Bible study class gave me a hug as we were leaving and said “You just glow”…. but I know it’s not “me” glowing but Christ through me.  He was using me for her and then used her to help comfort me when I had been feeling down 🙂  God is too cool!
– My new role of leader for our Girlfriends Mission Group was heavy on my mind all day yesterday.   This morning when I checked my e-mail two women had e-mailed me regarding this… Ironic?  NO!  Coincidence? NO!  He used them as breadcrumbs so I will stay on the path.
– Proverbs 31 Ministry devotion for today “Retreat with Jesus” discussed setting time aside to be alone with Jesus.  Which then prompted me to read Lisa TerKeurst blog that I had not read in awhile discussed being content and allowing God to interrupt your day and being content with those interruptions.

It’s not that He wasn’t using people to get my attention on Monday and Tuesday but today I chose to take my ear plugs out and “listen” and to “seek” Him…. I realized I was thirsting for Him.

“And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”  Jeremiah 29:13

Please ignore any typo’s I had to publish this right away before I “chickened out” 🙂