Sunday, October 28, 2012

Psalms for Sunday, LXIII


I’m uneasy; the one who calls me friend is looking for ways to cause me to stumble. There is comparison and I want to shout, “Don’t consider me, but know the Lord – how great and how mighty is He and all His works.” He who is glorious makes us glorious too – it is not the most of His miraculous works?

Know His words, as in the intimacy of marriage and not let even one of His words fall on your deaf ears. Open our ears so we might hear and respond.

Put your words in my mouth so I may bring peace, the shalom of heaven. Where I have no wisdom, make me wise – confound the learned.

I am blessed because I have believed the word of the Lord. Increase my understanding, let me sit at your feet and drink in your goodness. You are life, apart from you I will perish.

Though I am criticized and mocked and none go with me, I will come to you. I will leave all to follow you.

You are my King and I willingly serve you – all the days of my life.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Leaving on a Jet Plane...

I'm leaving, but I do know when I'll be back again. Regular posts will cease for two weeks as I prepare for a trip out of the country. New posts will return on November 6. Psalms for Sundays will continue.

Be blessed, Andrea

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Psalms for Sunday, LXII


It’s time, It’s the season, Lord. Bind the oppose, silence those who spew offense. They will not counsel me but I will seek understanding in your house. In your dwelling, I will go.

Prepare me, Lord, give me strength. Let me run the race.

Let’s covenant together; let it be anew. My heart knit with yours. We move as one, swallowing the enemy as we advance. There is a path marked out, it blazes with holy fire. Direct my steps and give me wisdom where I place my feet.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Winner Takes All


I just spent a few days with my college roommate. We used to play a lot of card games. Sometimes we’d play one game and sometimes we play as many as eight games. She could never figure out why it was so random until she realized I like to play until I win (for the record, it wasn’t a conscious thing on my part). If it takes only once – great; but if it takes more, we keep playing until I come out the winner. She still loves to razz me about this little fact but I make no apologies. I’m a winner and I know it.

As Christians, it’s in our DNA to be victorious. It’s not our right to lose but it is our inheritance to win. From the first commission God gave to Adam in the garden – to multiply and subdue the earth – we’ve been destined to come out on top. The one who subdues is the one who claims victory.

We are victorious; gloriously victorious in Christ. Daniel 7:22 tells us the Ancient of Days was seated [on his throne] and pronounced judgement in favour of the saints of the Most High. Sometimes you need to read between the lines so let me unpack the verse for you. It means the Ancient of Days, the Judge of all points to his saints (that includes anyone who is a believer and follower of Jesus) and says, “You Win!” We win. Yippee ki yay! Let’s go out and celebrate with beer and a pizza.

If it’s not clear enough yet, it’s repeated again in the New Testament. 2 Corinthians 2:14 says he (God) always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ. Again, sometimes you need to read between the lines so once again let me unpack that one. God, the Father leads us in a victory lap because we are the victors in Christ.

As I’ve started to grasp this (I say started to grasp because I’m still learning to live in this truth) the world changed. Truly we have no fear but a spirit of love, power and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7) and we no longer have to shrink back and be destroyed (Hebrews 10:39). Rather since we know the place we have in history and we are jealous for the name of our God and for treasures of heaven and we push back the gates of hell, giving us greater and greater territory.

Jesus demonstrated what it looked like. He commanded the storm to be silent and walked on water demonstrating his authority over the elements – elements that were worshipped as gods by the nations around him. He healed all the sick and demented who came to him, proving even sickness, disease and mental illness was no match for him. He multiplied food to feed thousands, proving he had infinite resources the world could not know about, and he got money from a fish’s mouth showing us that even nature submitted to him.

We are equipped because Jesus is living in and through us to enable us to stand against the enemy and win. He already said it was finished. How long will you wait before you take your rightful place on the winner’s podium?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dead To Me


One of my all-time favourite suspense/thriller movies is Sleeping With the Enemy. I may be giving away my age but I saw the movie in the theatre with my high school boyfriend. (*spoiler alert) I still remember my heart pounding when Julia Roberts opened her cupboards to find everything in order and the audible gasp I let out when her ex-husband reappeared. She had made an elaborate plan to escape her controlling marriage by faking her death. Finally when she was starting to feel secure and remember who she was born to be, her husband returned.

The law has authority over a man only as long as he lives. For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage...So, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God...But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in a new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code. ~Romans 7:1-2,4,6 
Julia Robert’s character didn’t want to be in her controlling marriage and her only option was death. It’s the same for us. Without Christ, we are bound to the law but because Jesus died for us, and as us, we are free to have a relationship with another – Jesus. So now, I am dead to me but alive to Christ. I am not limited by the law and required to receive the just penalty for breaking the law, which we know is never satisfied. I am free to live beyond the law and receive grace and reward, something the law could not give or offer.

So many Christians have heard the sermons but so few actually live as though it is true. We are DEAD to sin. The old man (the sin nature) is dead and gone but we are new creation. No longer can we say, “The devil made me do it,” because he has no control over us unless we let him.

Years (and years and years) ago when I was a young adult, I partied a lot. One night I was in an apartment of a friend sitting around doing drugs (we were past “gateway” drugs) and I got a flash of what the future would hold and all I could see was death. I had a moment of clarity, and announced to the group, “I gotta go.” I got up, walked down the hall and right out of their lives. A few weeks later I saw one of the people again and he asked, “Where’d you go? We thought you went to the bathroom.” The truth was, I saw my future and I chose life.

I still choose life but the only life I can truly have is in Christ. The payoff is great. I turned away from punishment and having to justify myself before a relentless court where I was always found guilty and turned toward life in Christ which is truly limitless.

What do you choose?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Psalms for Sunday, LXI


You sit enthroned and abundance flows from your hand. I am swimming in an ocean of your love, and riding on the blessings of your mouth. I am welcome in your presence.

Nothing can overtake me because I am hidden in your shadow. I say, “My God is bigger than yours.” I am protected, even though I have an enemy that wants to crush me, and snuff out the generations to come.

I wait for you because salvation comes from your hand; with a word, worlds are created and kingdoms fall. You are my everlasting joy and I will not turn away from seeking your face. It is my quest - to know you more.

Out of your abundance, a river wells in me and it gushes forth. It touches others and fills their reservoirs to overflowing. The cycle continues so that the whole world is filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the seas. It is a life force that cannot be quenched.

You are my blessing, you alone are what I desire.
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