Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Wilderness Confession

4-5Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

6-7Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

8-9Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. Philippians 4:4-9 The Messsage

The Lord has been dealing with me concerning my obedience and lack of dependence on Him in all things for a long time. Unfortunately, I am much like the Israelites, hard-headed, blind, too self-focused which lead to more rebellion and self-delusion that I am alright. Like the Israelites, God has taken me from my Egypt where I was quite comfortable although a slave to the activities and expectations (put there by me mostly) that kept me from enjoying being God's precious treasure. (Exodus 19:5) Now that I am in the wilderness, away from the things that gave me seemingly purpose and value, away from the comfortable climate, attitudes, values, accent, food... everything Southern! I am not comfortable. It is just stinkin' hard at times. The wilderness is hard and uncomfortable because it is exposing all those weaknesses, self-sufficiency, lack of trust, etc. that I always pushed aside to deal with later. God started me on this wilderness journey while I was back in the South, so this is not a totally Northern journey. He has just moved my physical location and I believe, has moved me away from some of the activities I was so passionate about so I could refocus on Him, His will for me and His provision alone. Like the Israelites, I can do really well for a while, reading, praying, memorizing, keeping my mind parked on things that are right, true, praiseworthy, etc. I feel at bit more at peace. But then something is said or done that brings back worry, anxiety, whispers of failure, loneliness, inadequacy, and it spirals back to my grumbling and whining to myself. Just like the Israelites in Exodus 14 among other places, I rebel. I purposefully avoid going to scripture, trying to memorize, my prayers or thoughts are more on the order of "Poor pitiful me! I don't have any value or purpose other than to clean toliets, make food, wash and iron, referee squabbles, etc. I have no friends. No one calls me to check on me- People here are so different- How will I ever find friends?! I have failed and lost out as a mommy - Why can't I find motivation to follow thru with anything- I am so lazy!". On and on the laments go, whining and complaining. I know it is wrong, but I get stuck in the tirade against myself and my situation. I might as well say that God has brought me to the North, away from children's ministry and all that I hold dear and comfortable to just waste away in boredom and self-pity. Maybe I should pray for Dana to get another job back South? That is when I fall down like Aaron and Moses and speak some sense. Stop being so self-focused and become all God-focused, Girl!!! Focusing on me and my weaknesses, my abilities, my feelings, being self-focused, I begin to rebel. I am not focusing on Truth, on God, but on the lies and me.Here is the Truth: My family and I have been led through a land that is full of milk and honey- God has provided a good job for Dana- He answered prayers fervantly prayed. How can I throw that back at God? He is good and our Provider! He knows the very path we will travel and for travel for good reason. (Proverbs 3:5-9, Jeremiah 29:11-13) I realize that I am merely afraid. Again afraid indicates I am focusing on me and my abilties or rather inabilities. 29 Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. 30 The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, 31 and in the wilderness. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” Deuteronomy 1:29-31 NIV Being afraid is relying on myself, not on God to lead me and provide for me. Unlike the Israelites, I want to trust God in this journey. I want to be thankful for the manna that He provides daily. God is good! God is going to fight for me and with Me. He will fill in all my gaps as a mom and wife. He will give me strength to face each day anew and fresh. God is all I need for today, tomorrow, for all of my needs.

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.
Habukkuk 3:17-19 NIV

So my wilderness lesson right now is to be thankful in all things- Jesus is Near!! When worry comes into my mind, replace it with prayer and finding Eucharisteo! Record the manna moments. God is near. He is providing for me and my family. He will deliver us to a place that is best for us! Don't park my mind on me- so much of that is going to be used by Satan to discourage me- it is not true or praiseworthy to just name a few of the issues with those thought processes. Focusing on that God has it all in control and is working behind the scenes for the good of me and my family. It just may not be the easiest of journeys.
Satan will use the feelings loneliness, discouragement, disappointment and doubt to derail me. If I don't dwell on these feelings(the lies) but on the truth that God has something bigger and better in store for me and my family if I simply wait, trust and am obedient to Him then He will reveal a far greater mission for my life and for my famliy's. Our promiseland is at the end of this journey.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 NIV

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