Breadcrumbs and Table scraps

banqueting-table

Compared to what God wants to do, we’re digging for crumbs in the carpet when He has hot loaves baking in the ovens of Heaven! He is not the God of crumbs and lack. He is waiting just to dispense unending loaves of His life-giving presence, but our problem was described long ago by James the apostle, …’ye have not, because ye ask not” (Jas. 4:2).(The God Chasers, Tommy Tenney)

I suppose it is part of the human condition to be “satisfied” with spiritual breadcrumbs and table scraps. When I don’t ponder God’s immeasurable grace and kindness and when I fail to consider the height and width and depth of Christ’s love for me, it is easy to experience life from a wrong perspective. A wrong perspective that keeps me “satisfied” with the status quo and causes me to be vulnerable to believing the enemy’s lies about who God is, who I am and what I have been freely given as God’s child, a daughter of the Almighty.

I want to cast off “satisfaction” with breadcrumbs and table scraps. I want to stop being convinced that I am to pull myself up by my bootstraps and make the best of the breadcrumbs and table scraps because that is all there is for me here. No! That is a lie from the pit of hell, a distortion of who God is and a deception tactic of  the enemy to keep us from what is rightfully ours as sons and daughters of the Most High God! To keep us from living in dependence and trusting fully in our sovereign and good Father.

Satan knows he has lost the war for my life, but he is still battling for how I will live this side of heaven. He’s scheming for my loyalty to my personal comfort and satisfaction in this life. He’s keenly aware that I have been blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places and that I am sealed with the Holy Spirit  (Ephesians 1:3,13). So he plots and schemes to suck the life from me here in this world, to convince me that my circumstances are the breadcrumbs and table scraps that I’m worthy of. He lies to coerce me into believing that my circumstances determine my destiny and reflect my identity. He is determined to rob me of a little truth of who God is and all truth of who I am in Christ. He sets out to quench any thirst I have to seek God and trust Him implicitly. To be honest, most times my flesh is easy prey to these tactics and sadly, sometimes is doesn’t take much coercion.

The truth is:

He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. Ephesians 1:4

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy I Peter 2:9-10

It is impossible to remain unchanged after being in His Presence. I want to be in His Presence and I want to be changed. I want to walk as His chosen daughter, a royal heir to the inheritance of Jesus Christ.  I want my life to reflect His glory and to proclaim His goodness. I want those who encounter me to know what they hunger and thirst for is only satisfied by a person, Jesus Christ. I want to be so hungry for the “full loaf” of God’s Presence that He is what I pursue everyday, everywhere, and in everything!!!

Almighty One, maker of heaven and earth, Most High God,

You have established Your throne in heaven and Your kingdom rules over all (Psalm 103:19). Blessed be Your name forever and ever, for wisdom and might are Yours. You change the times and the seasons; You removes kings and raise up kings; You give wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. You reveal deep and secret things; You know what is in the darkness, and light dwells with You. (Daniel 2:21-22).

You tell us in Your Word that we have not because we ask not.  Most High God, I am asking you to manifest your Presence in your people! Fall heavy on us so that we are unable to run from Your Presence. Rise up in us the desire for You that nothing else will satisfy us.  Make us wise to the schemes of the enemy so we will no longer settle for bread crumbs and table scraps, but we will earnestly seek Your face. Nothing is impossible for You!

Father, Your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. I declare Jesus is the King of kings and the Lord of lords and it is in His name I ask this of you. Amen

Psalm 42

As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
While they continually say to me,
“Where is your God?”

When I remember these things,
I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go with the multitude;
I went with them to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and praise,
With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.[c]

O my God,my soul is cast down within me;
Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan,
And from the heights of Hermon,
From the Hill Mizar.
Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;
All Your waves and billows have gone over me.
The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me—
A prayer to the God of my life.

I will say to God my Rock,
“Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As with a breaking of my bones,
My enemies reproach me,
While they say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”

11 Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.

 

 

Only One Enemy

lion-of-judah

There is really only one enemy.

Jesus referred to this enemy as the thief and the father of lies. Satan is the accuser of the brethren and masquerades as an angel of light to woo us away from the truth and life, away from Jesus.

The thief has many cohorts. Some knowingly join forces with him. Others somewhat blindly and ignorantly fall prey to his schemes and become his accomplices. His schemes are many. Some are flagrantly evil and others are more subtle in nature. Human Trafficking, addictions, pornography, abuse, fraud, cheating, immorality, pride, lying, murder, bearing false witness, disunity among God’s people, impatience, unkindness, harshness, arrogance, bitterness, resentment, bitterness, idolatry … and the list could go on and on.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Jesus (John 10:10 ESV)

Father, search my heart and show me any way in me that does not align with You. You desire for truth to be deep within my being and You make me to know wisdom. I confess that I am easily distracted by things of this world and can quickly fall into the schemes and traps set for me to take my eyes off You and the path you set before me! Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus name, Amen!

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;  and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Ephesians 6:10-20 (ESV)

Only One Enemy

There is really only one enemy. Jesus once referred to this enemy as the thief, the father of lies. Satan is the accuser of the brethren and masquerades as an angel of light to woo us away from the truth and life, away from Jesus.

The thief has many cohorts. Some knowingly join forces with him. Others somewhat blindly and ignorantly fall prey to his schemes and become his accomplices. His schemes are many. Some are flagrantly evil and others are more subtle in nature. Human Trafficking, addictions, pornography, abuse, fraud, cheating, immorality, pride, lying, murder, bearing false witness, disunity among God’s people, impatience, unkindness, harshness, arrogance, bitterness, resentment, bitterness, idolatry … and the list could go on and on.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Jesus (John 10:10 ESV)

Father, search my heart and show me any way in me that does not align with You. You desire for truth to be deep within my being and You make me to know wisdom. I confess that I am easily distracted by things of this world and can quickly fall into the schemes and traps set for me to take my eyes off You and the path you set before me! Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus name, Amen!

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;  and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Ephesians 6:10-20 (ESV)

in prison

Thanks for being on the team and sharing your thoughts and heart about the experience Whitney!!!

but we see Jesus

I went to church this morning. I did a quick sound check on a small, portable system and watched as women began to trickle into the gym, deciding whether they wanted to sit at the top of the bleachers, leaning their backs against the wall, or towards the bottom for easier access. They wore the same thing: a #2 pencil yellow tee under a forest green shirt with orange or green pants (orange if they had restricted privilege). I went to church this morning at the LaVista Correctional Facility.

They came in, many of them with their Bibles—some worn and well used, others with shiny, new paperback, freshly highlighted. Some came in eager to worship, others simply to have something to do for a couple hours.

I didn’t know what to expect when I went to church this morning. I was asked to lead worship, being told that they usually…

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Good Friday

Today, let my heart and spirit be grieved  for the depravity of what You created with Your very word and that which You gave life to with Your very breath.

Today, may I mourn and weep for my own heart that so easily turns from Your ways and my own flesh that so quickly seeks to be satisfied in that which is not You.

Today, may I not look away as You bring to mind the atrocities committed against Your pure, innocent, holy Son sent as the final sacrifice and payment for my sins which brought Your wrath.

Today, let me sit in the reality of the pain and suffering that sin has brought to Your creation and to not run from my part in the hopeless of it all if Jesus had not been crucified all those years ago.

Today I will mourn and weep and in three days I will rejoice!

Disappointed vs. Brokenhearted

DISAPPOINTED

I’ve had several conversations recently in which friends have expressed grief that they have disappointed God.  These conversations have led me to ponder as to whether or not it is even possible for us to disappoint God. Doesn’t disappointment imply that there has been an unmet expectation on the part of the one disappointed?  If the answer to the question is yes, then I don’t think we can ever disappoint God. I’ve heard it said, “no expectations, no disappointments.

” For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:14 (ESV)

Disappointment seems to be self focused. I don’t mean that in the selfish sense of the word, but more in the way of something that affects my emotional state, my well-being and my outlook. Said another way, when I experience disappointment it is usually because my wants, needs (perceived or real), desires and expectations have not been met. The object of disappointment is me. God does not look to us to meet His wants, needs, desires, etc.! Our Father knows exactly what he can expect of us and how we will respond in every circumstance.

O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. Psalm 139:1-4 (ESV)

In fact rather than disappoint Him, we delight Him!!! For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.Psalms 149:4 (ESV)

My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.Proverbs 3:12 (ESV)

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV)

BROKENHEARTED

Is God’s heart broken for us? Absolutely! Brokenhearted is another condition altogether. The object of His broken heart is us, not Him. He knows the fullness of His goodness and the life He created us to have. He knows the depth of love, joy, peace, comfort and beauty we miss because of the fallen, broken world and our own sin that keep us from fully experiencing Him. His heart was so broken that He sent His son to redeem us.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. John 3:16-18

He continues to pursue and refine us even after we believe so that we will grow more and more into the likeness of the One whose image we were created to bear!

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Genesis 1:26 (ESV)

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Romans 8:28-29 (ESV)

His heart breaks for us when we do not live in complete dependence on Him, complete trust in Him and when we are not fully abiding in Him. He knows what we miss out on and that breaks His heart for us!

Father, the earth is Yours and everything in it! The heavens declare Your glory and the rocks will cry out if Your people do not praise You! I confess that I live in less dependence on You than complete dependence to meet all my needs. I confess that I grasp to control my life circumstances rather than trust fully and completely in You and Your way for my life. I confess that I frequently strive rather than abide. Thank you for loving me in the midst of my sin, failures and shortcomings and for always being ready to lift me up and lead me in the way of righteousness. You are good and great is Your faithfulness. My sin, failures and shortcomings cannot exhaust your goodness or love for me. Father Your kingdom come and Your will be done!!! In the name of the One by whom, through whom and for whom everything was created … JESUS!