Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Patriarchs (Again)

I have started doing The Patriarchs again. I love the Old Testament. I am so thankful that God put a bunch of cracked pot people in His words to us. I don't think I can make it a day without sinning and I am so thankful that I can be led to the Rock that is Higher than I. I am thankful for the account of imperfect people that God chose to reveal Himself to in spite of their weaknesses. I am so thankful that I can study the lives of Abraham (Abe), Isaac, Jacob (Jake), David, and all of the others and see that God called them...yet they didn't get all cleaned up and become perfect the second they received the call. I am thankful to see to that true lovers of God sometimes lost their way, fell in and out of certain cycles of defeat, yet God had mercy on them.
It is so easy for us to get off track, put confidence in the flesh, get bored, and fall into sin. I was just reading in Genesis 12:8-9 and Genesis 13:3-4 how Abram set out to the hills east of Bethel only to backtrack later then he builds an altar (as he did before) and calls on the name of the LORD. First off, let me say I am thankful for the modern methods of travel instead of the caravan of camels and etc...moreover, I am thankful that I don't have to build an altar to talk to the God of the Universe. I just have to call on His name. Growing up I had to move endless. piles of firewood with a broken, piece of junk wheel barrow (is that a word? wheel barrow?). Building an altar back then probably gave them some BIG TIME splinters. When my sister turned 16 and got her first car (a lumina) we got smart and started loading that baby up with some wood and hauling it down to the house. To this day I despise firewood...gas logs only please! Of course ADHD Jenny just got off on a tangent. Back to my point backtracking has totally been me lately...God calls me to leave a place of familiarity only for me to default and return to the place He clearly told me to leave. Sometimes, I look and think of all the progress I have made with the LORD and then how easy I can return and go back to my own personal Egypt. Lord help me! I pray that I will never get on my high horse and think I am incapable of returning to the pits from which I have been delivered from. I can return in a minute if I take my focus off of Jesus. Anyway, I read this quote concerning Abram's own backtracking: "He got off track, turned around and retraced his steps back to the place of worship and fellowship with God. You might be blessed to know that the word restores in the familiar, well-loved Psalm 23 ("He restores my soul") means "to turn back, turn around, return...Essentially denotes movement back to the point of departure." When we've moved far from God, often we'll say, "I don't know how to get back." Beloved, sometimes we need to go back just the way we came-to the last place where we met God." (from The Patriarchs, Beth Moore)

As I was doing my homework the verse in Romans 12:1 was brought up...
if you know me, you know that I am one stubborn girl. If you have set under my teaching you know that God speaks to me in this is the 2nd time I have gotten this verse today.
NIV Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-- this is your spiritual act of worship.
2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-- his good, pleasing and perfect will.

When we cease worshiping and calling on the name of the is easy for us to loose our vision and get stuck in the muck and mire (or it is for me anyway). I remember growing up we lived in Clay/Trussville. Well, we lived on 20 acres of land. When you went out in the woods or what I would call "going outback" you were highly likely to run into some deep red clay mud. Oneday, I went "outback" where they were building the new schools (Clay-Chalkville) and I was dressed so cute in a skirt and some sandals (not quite woodsy)...anyway, my feet slipped and I began to sink into the mud (mud that you can't get out of by yourself). I screamed and screamed for some help...I finally had to forget about those cute sandals I was wearing because they were so far gone...they weren't coming back. I was so worried about losing my sandals that I didn't care how far I was sinking. I was knee-deep in mud and my dad came along to get me out. Sometimes, I get so worried about what I may have to get rid of to be free that I choose to sink in the mud and mire just so I can stay with what is familiar. Just because we have messed up pasts, or messed up thinking...doesn't mean we have to stay that way. In a way I am thankful for the glimpse of the "old Jenny" this week...
It has been a HUGE reminder to me of just how bad "my Egypt" was...and how liberating walking in truth really is. His commands really are for our good...I regret when I don't take Him up on His word. I am so thankful for His mercy over me.

Here are some verses that I have thought about a lot in the last couple of days:
2 Samuel 24:14
14 David said to Gad, "I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men."

Hosea 6:1
NIV Hosea 6:1 "Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.

Matthew 9:12-13
12 On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.
13 But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

James 2:13
13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

NIV Psalm 40:1 For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.

One more thing:
When we are sifted like wheat (like Peter was) we can turn back and strengthen the brethren...just like Peter.
Luke 22:31-32
31 "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.
32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

I am so thankful that God is not like man...He does not withhold His mercy to the repentant one.

Good night.

1 comment:

Suzanne B said...

Girl, no one knows about repition better than me! I thank him that he is willing to keep telling us over and over again, because I obviously just don't get it the first time!!!