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My Freshly Brewed Life: October 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Joy In The Letting Go

I heard a song recently while listening to the Kansas City House of Prayer stream. It was a song by Laura Hackett called “Lowest Place”. The first verse and chorus go like this:
“You said there would be joy in the laying down.
You said there would be joy in the letting go.
You said there would be joy in the giving up my rights.”
I began thinking about these three actions: laying down, letting go and giving up my rights.
Laying Down. God sometimes calls me to lay down specific things -- attitudes, ministries, worry – things that maybe I once laid down at the foot of the cross, only to pick them up again. Or maybe they are new things that I have yet to bring to the cross. During those times, God reminds me that I was not meant to carry them, but that He was.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30)
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1Peter 5:7)
So I picture myself saying, “Yes Lord, here you go”, all the while holding on to that dreaded "thing" for dear life. My spirit is saying, "Yes Lord, please take this from me", but my grip is so tight. In order for me to be able to lay it down, I have to loosen my grip on it.
Letting Go. There is a phrase I have said many times: “Let go and let God”. Letting go, much like laying down, takes a willingness to open my hand and give back to God everything that He's given to me. It means to give up control. It's often hard to do. I want to stay in control. Do I trust God enough to let go?
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

(Proverbs 3:5-6)
God not only asks me to let go of the things that cause me frustration and pain, but He will often ask me to let go of the good stuff too -- ministry, my unsaved family, my hopes and dreams. His desire is not to take the good things from me, but to do an even greater work. The only thing I am supposed to hold tightly to in this life is my hope in the promises of God through His word and what He's spoken to my heart.
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. (Hebrews 10:23)
I like to picture myself letting go in this way: I am standing on a large green hill underneath a bright blue sky, holding a large bouquet of colorful balloons. As the wind begins to blow, I throw my hands up in the air and let go of the balloons, allowing the wind to take them where it wills. That's how I must be in my relationship with God. I must be willing to throw up my hands and let go, and allow the wind of the Holy Spirit to change my situation, or change my heart in the matter. Ahh….FREEDOM!
Giving up my rights. To me, giving up my rights means letting go of any "claim" to anything I do, have possession of or desire. When I bring my stuff to the foot of the cross, and when I willingly let go of pain, disappointments, relationships, ministries and dreams, I am telling God, "here I am. I give up my right to these things. I trust you with these situations." My heart, and my hands, is then open to receive the fullness of all He desires to give to me.
So what does all of this laying down, letting go and relinguishing of rights get me? JOY unspeakable! When I surrender everything back to God then He can work ALL things for good in my life. When I yield my rights back to God, He then can accomplish a greater work through me because I am not standing in the way by holding onto things
You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
(Psalm 16:11)
Are you having a hard time laying down and letting go today? God has promised to give you joy when you surrender these things back to Him. In His presence is fullness of Joy and peace beyond all understanding. Come to the Lord today with an open hand and an open heart and experience JOY in His presence and eternal pleasures at His right hand! He's waiting for you!


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Quotes to Ponder

I have been reading "My Utmost For His Highest" by Oswald Chambers and recently came across these quotes.
"We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties."
This has been the most powerful tool that I have learned over the last year or two. For so long when I would come to God in prayer, I would always come out of a place of desperation. I was desperate to see the hand of God move in my situation. But what I didn't realize was that I was focusing on His hand and not His face.
Psalm 27:4-5
4One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.
I was so focused on my problem that I couldn't see that God was working in the midsts of it. My heart's desire is to seek the face of the Lord, to behold Him in His beauty. When I do this, God promises to keep my safe in the day of trouble.
When we are facing desperate situations in our lives, we must turn our focus upward and look into the very face of God. We must remember to come into His presence with thanksgiving, even in the difficult times, thanking God for who He is. I remind God of what He has done in the past and strive to focus on what He IS doing, rather than the perceived mountain of difficulty that lies ahead. I can honestly say that this is not always easy and there are times when I miss it. But God, in His gentleness, has a way of reminding me that He is bigger! When I pray through times of difficulty, I ask myself these questions:
  1. What Does God say about the situation in His Word?
  2. What are the promises He's spoken to my heart that I can cling too?
As I lean in, and trust Him through the difficult times and pray from a place of victory, I begin to behold Him. When I behold Him, my difficulties fade in the very light of His presence. No problem I face can stay in the forefront as long as I choose to fix my eyes on God.
"Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time."
"The whole point of getting things done is knowing what to leave undone."
"You will never cease to be the most amazed person on earth at what God has done for you on the inside."
"It is impossible to get exhausted in work for God. We get exhausted because we try to do God' work in our own way."
Do any of these quotes cause you to stop and ponder? if so, which one and why?