Friday, June 19, 2009

When I think of the Wisdom & Scope of God's plan...

The following passage (sorry it is down further on the page in Ephesians 3:14-21) is one that I have stored in my heart and it rose up in me tonight as the LORD reminded me of it. I am at the beach and this is a very long awaited trip that we really needed as a family. Rod has been so busy with work (Praise You Lord!) and this is Morgan's first trip to the beach. As I set on the shore last night I just thanked God for allowing me to be here. I always meet with God in a refreshing way when I come here. As I stare out into the ocean I am struck with holy fear and awe at our Creator. The one who spoke this world into existence and tells the very waves where their boundaries will stop. Don't you know those big waves are just jumping up to give Him some praise! All of creation is just groaning until the day when He comes to make all wrongs right. What an indescribable day.

I try to use tangible things to teach Morgan about God. So, I took some sand and showed her the grains and told her that God knew every single number of the grains of sand that were in my hand and in the entire world. We would die trying to count even a stretch of sand...impossible.
He knows every creature in the sea and bird in the air. God is so unfathomable. We can not comprehend His greatness or His glory. The other night I took Morgan outside with me to roll the trash to the street for the purpose of looking at the night sky. I told her how God marshals the starry hosts and knows each one of those stars by name. The sheer power and awesomeness of God. I asked her if she could count the stars and of course she would try and then lose her place in the sky. The fact that He knows every strand of hair we have ever had or will have, or have now to me is incredible. Luke 12:7 (New International Version)7Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Whether the chicken or the egg came first God knows. I personally say it is the chicken. But anyway, not a sparrow falls to the ground that He doesn't notice. And yet this God, this Holy righteous God...cares about you and me. He sees everything. He is already in our tomorrow. I was so mad at something on the news and I told Rod how I know more than anything that I know that God is real, and that Jesus is The Way, The Truth, and The Life...more than anything that is real to me this I know. And how can so many be so blind to the fact that there is a Creator. What a tragedy to think that we just had a big stinking bang or just evolved. Whatever, that doesn't even make sense. **He just came in and told me to go to bed...I don't think that is an area of submission, so I will keep typing.**
When I get away and can have time to think and bring all of my junk to Him I feel as if I am on Holy ground. We should approach our God with reverence, yet there is something about nature and getting out of your usual routine that causes me at least to want to fall on my face. Especially when I look out and for as far as my eyes can see, I see nothing but a vast ocean that only God knows the depth of.

I know how sinful I am...believe me this I know. My heart so wants to please God. I want to be obedient to Him. I want to love Him more and not sin in what I say or do. Truth be told though there are a lot of days lived in victory for me, yet I have never gone a day without sinning in thought, word, or deed in someway even if it was unintentional. I HATE my flesh, in me no good thing dwells apart from Christ.

So, here are the verses. The chapter is Paul talking about the mystery of the gospel revealed especially to the gentiles. His people, a people that were supposed to be set apart to Him were the Jews. You all know that Paul heavily persecuted the church so what better person to write about this under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit than him. If anyone was a recipient of God's unabashed grace, it was Paul. He was the one that was called to go and spread the gospel to the gentiles. "The pagan people" if you will. God grafted us in and we are made right because of Christ. It really is a mystery. I can't even grasp the fact that ALL OF OUR iniquities...past, present, future were laid upon Christ and He bore the punishment for what we deserved. So as he speaks He has this prayer in at the end. I will never forget how this took hold of my heart about 8 or 9 years ago. PLEASE let it speak to you.

Ephesians 3:14-21
Prayer for Spiritual Strength
14For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

So Paul is like praying since the gospel is beyond this mans comprehension and dude is brought to his knees. He is praying that believers would be strengthened with power, through His Spirit in their inner being. Does anyone need to be strengthened? Does anyone need some victory or power that comes from only a work that God can do through the Holy Spirit which dwells in ever believer? I know I do. There have been so many opportunities for me to want to just throw in the towel. I saw a shirt in a window down here that said "Life is Crap" instead of the "Life is Good" logo. It just cracked me up because to a lot of people life is crap. So how on earth do we get some joy, or peace in the midst of it. We have got to let God tend to us. Giving Him access to all of us and just go to Him as broken as you are, as naked in shame that you feel. He is power, He is joy and peace. And here is what I love. This is Gods will for us. Pray it for yourself and others. I have personally prayed that this will be a word for whoever reads this, a word for the weary.

that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

We have got to be rooted and grounded in love. Loving God with all of our heart and receiving His love and being rooted and grounded in it is so important for us who are born into sin and are inclined toward sin. It is for our good. God doesn't need our love. He doesn't need us. He is complete. He is GOD! There is a house in my neighborhood that has a willow tree in their front yard. Y'all the wind can barely blow and that tree falls down, roots out of the ground. They still put the tree back and try to stake it down. It never fails the tree is down again and again. I get so irritated that they don't just get rid of the thing for crying out loud. I am like DUDE please get a tree that can grow some deep roots and be able to stand in a storm. We are like that willow tree if we are not rooted and grounded in Gods love. We are full of all manner of insecurity.

There has been something that I have been battling in my mind regarding self-image and I began to obsess over it. I know that I have been so down on myself that it has taken away from me viewing myself as God sees me. I am just not happy about my weight right now and even today Morgan called me "fat mommy". I do not call myself fat or anything in front of her...but I cracked up and so did Rod once she said it. The enemy is not working through Morgan but the enemy will use anything to fuel the fire of our obsession with whatever. He wants us to have misplaced thoughts and affections so we will not be secure and established in Gods love for us. Why? Because if we are secure in the Lord, there won't be much that deters us from reaching out with the gospel to a lost and dying world. I know so many women struggle with their image and in our culture we can get really obsessed with it. What happened to the days when if you were big it meant you were rich and etc?

Again Paul is talking about us knowing the breadth of God's love. The height, the depth. Yet we will never fully comprehend it because Gods love for us and the gospel reaching out to sinners surpasses our ability to comprehend with our minds. In other words there is a big difference in having head knowledge, for knowledge puffs up. Paul was not lacking in zeal or knowledge before he had a head on collision with the Lord. The man was brilliant and zealous in his religious sect, yet for all the wrong reasons. So, instead of just knowing God's love we must accept it, internalize it, combat lies with the truth of His love for us, and bask in His grace. There is so much more I could say. Because of His love we will be filled with the fullness of God. When we are filled with the fullness of God we become secure in His love that surpasses comprehension. I need that. I need that. The church needs that. We can not put limits on God's love or grace. Where would we be without it? He is so other.

Most people don't read my posts that are long or comment on them, but whoever you are...I pray that you will truly have time to think on the Greatness of God and that it will move you to your knees, or better yet your face. We live in a world where rejection is high and we hear "He's just not that into you", or thinner is better, to have love you must give of yourself and you only feel cheap and used. The bar is just too high, and when it is the Lord wants us to get low. Low on our faces crying out to Him. That we would find our worth in Him. Our satisfaction in Him. Crying out for others who are so desperately begging for others to fill their souls needs that only Christ can fill. He is WORTHY yet He esteems us. He opens His hand and satisfies the desires of all things. Lord, please help our unbelief. Please fill our wounded hearts with Your love and peace that transcends all understanding. Guard our hearts and minds and help us to cast down thoughts that are lies with the knowledge of the truth. Tear down our strong holds. Lord, anything that is not worthy of our affection. Rid us of lies that we have believed that have a grip on us. Open our eyes and our hearts to Your Grandeur. You are our faithful, covenant keeping God; slow to anger and abounding in love. You do not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. I praise You Lord. Help us to believe.

Let us not give up for He is able. Take your mustard seed of faith if that is how small it is and place your prayer before Him. He can do something far more abundant than what you and I can even ask or think because of the dynamite power that comes from the Holy Spirit within us.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen


Still Learning said...

Jenny, that was awesome!! You need to be speaking somewhere about that! Truly, so many of need to hear that. I'm in a battle myself right now and you know, we just can't give up and we need to always look at ourselves like God does. Not always easy.

Someone left me in a comment yesteray that they felt like God was pressing them to tell me that He was pleased with me. It brought me such joy. I should know that, shame on me. But I was like, God, could you really be pleased with me.
There were so many wonderful truths in your post. Sounds like a great sermon to me. Preach it girl!!

I hope you have a wonderful trip and don't forget that sunscreen. BTW, if it makes you feel any better my son grabbed my arm yesterday in the pool and said "mom, you have jello arms.". Oy vey.

Love ya,


April said...

Thank you for speaking truth... It is so where I am and what I needed to hear... You are beautiful friend (inside & out) - a beautiful reflection of Christ and His love. I wish I could be there to see you raising Morgan... Keep perservering my friend!
We are so incredibly be children of God Most High - to call Him "Abba"... to be cleansed, made new, filled with His strength... covered in grace & love. Praise Him!
Hugs to you...

Anonymous said...

A great post! I am officially delurking. I love your heart for God! Thanks for sharing your heart with us.

PinkLadyRN said...

That was a post! That is truly the cry of my heart right now. Thank you so much for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

Move over Beth Moore, here comes Jenny!! That was an awesome post and boy did I need that. You really amaze me of how you get can just "get it out there". We serve an awesome God. Have fun at the beach.
Nancy in NC

Allison Burleson said...

OH I UNDERSTAND!!!! We were going up the escalator in church on Sunday and there was a very beautiful woman in front of us who was either genetically gifted or who spent a ton of time in the gym. As I started my usual, "I am so worthless because I don't look like that. I don't deserve to breathe air because nothing on my body can be considered 'chiseled'" spiel, my sweet husband reminded me that I shouldn't compare myself to others -- they're not the standard...

ahhh, my biggest struggle. I always think that if I were as thin as she is or if my house were as clean as hers, then my life would be perfect....I know logically that it is SO not true, but I just can't help but believe it sometimes. In fact, as evidence that it is indeed the enemy hard at work, I could barely focus on the praise songs at the start of church because I was so rife with self pity. Then Buddy brings the sermon on humility -- God is so real. I left the service realizing that it's so not about me -- if my legs aren't chiseled, so be it...having His Word on my heart is enough chisling (new word, haha) for me.

Traci said...

I love this post! We are leaving for the beach on Saturday and I was just telling my neighbor last night how strange it is that I feel closer to God when I am there. I love how you can so easily put feelings into words. A great gift indeed!