Friday, October 18, 2013

His Praise

Yeah... i'm a Christ follower.
I love my Father - and I know that He's the One who holds me fast.
I'm learning to praise... and in this season, he's teaching me why I praise. I still have so much to learn, but this unhindered, effortless praise that has begun to flow from my notoriously stingy heart... i firmly believe that it's protecting me.
"Not like that daughter," He instructs me, correcting my praise that would tend to focus on my circumstances or my own position before Him. i see my praises coming weak and ineffective as i 'praise in my circumstance' or 'even though i'm broken, i'll praise You...'
Gently, He corrects... "Like this..."
And I see myself, arms thrown wide, heart fairly leaping from my chest, focussing my eyes solely on Him.
Friend, Father, Companion,
Reigning King,
Really... honestly... Reigning KING!
The One who calls me by name,
my provider,
my healer,
my shepherd,
my banner of LOVE and PROTECTION...

And I gotta praise. I have to sing, i have to break, i am changed.

And sometimes there might be a tiny baby clinging to my chest as my eyes meet His... There might be a teenager whose silence is both frightening and perplexing. There might be a busy husband, distracted and aloof...
And yet He calls.
"Praise me..."
And sometimes i want to wade shallow, i want to sing instead of moaning and weeping, i want to praise from the basement... not the rooftops.
Persistently He beckons,
"Praise me..."
And quite frequently i feel lost - both old irrelevant and at the same time inexperienced and immature... not yet arrived. Oh God, will i ever arrive? Am i even making any progress? What am i doing? Where are we going? Am i accomplishing even one tiny thing that will last?
He replies,
"I want you to praise me."

And so i do.
And it's almost violent - the breaking and tearing in my chest as i surrender to Him. No trying harder - just surrendering more. No gentle swaying bending - it's a horrifying splintering roar as all that i am is changed when i allow myself to encounter... to really encounter... God.
And praise is the vehicle that brings me to Him - and His Glory is the only thing that ever mattered at all.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

on Faith

I've always thought that I had plenty of faith. I believed in a God who parted the Red Sea, filled the bellies of his people wandering through the wilderness. This same God raised the dead, healed the blind and made the lame walk... I believed all that, right?
I did - & I do...
But this week, in a moment of prayer, I realized how very fragile and frail my faith really is... Do I believe Him when He speaks? Do I obey when He calls? Do I trust when the circumstances terrify me? Do I believe it enough to change my course of action when He directs? Enough that I would speak with confidence the prophetic word He gave? Enough that I wouldn't wince and wonder... "What if He doesn't do it? What if that wasn't God? What if what I think is the voice of God is just wishful thinking?
And then I wondered... where is my faith really? When my doubt causes me to shun a change in plans - when i allow my fear to choose my path - (even when I've been told differently) and when His words to me remain unuttered because i'm not certain He'll come through...
There's a story from 2 Kings that won't leave me alone this week.

15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.
16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

i want my Father to open my eyes... i'm so weak and so shamefully full of unbelief.

It's time for 40 Days for Life again. Continuing my journey in learning to pray - so grateful for a Father who wants me to grow - and gives me opportunities to listen and obey.


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