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Posts Tagged ‘promise’

 

“The people walking in darkness 
   have seen a great light; 
on those living in the land of deep darkness 
   a light has dawned.” Isa 9:2

“He reveals the deep things of darkness 
   and brings utter darkness into the light.” Job 12:22

“I have come into the world as a light,so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:46

I took this picture while walking through an old ravine in Amman, Jordan. I have never forgotten this moment.

You see, prior to this shot, I was walking in darkness. The only light shining was in the sky above the ravine. I could not see more than fifteen feet in front of me for a mile.

Local travelers would rush past me. My guide would would just turn and smile, and all the while I was wondering how he knows where to go.

I know now that his smile was filled with the knowledge of what I was about to see. 

Just at the point where I adjusted to the darkness, we rounded the corner to see a great light shining through an incredibly sculpted opening.

All this time we were walking towards light. 

The sight of this light was more amazing than anything I had ever seen. This light was filled with the promise of beauty and the illumination of a whole other world.

This light showed a glimpse of something amazing to come.

God’s light reveals.

God’s light shows through our deepest darkness to illuminate something amazing to come.

Even as much as I had adjusted to darkness, I could not help but be drawn towards the light.

I am so grateful that his light reaches into my deepest darkness. His light smiles with the knowledge of what is to come.

I am believing for the hope of his light to reach into the ravine of me and smile. 

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There have been some pointed times in my life where I can hear God. Those words are usually in bite size sentences. Whatever the words, they stick. Sometimes he just asks a question. Sometimes he speaks tenderly to me. Lately, I have been hearing his soft tender voice with simple words that get into my core.

As I have been thinking through this season of life I am in, I keep hearing the repeated question of, “Tracee, am I enough?

My knee jerk reaction is to say, “of course you are Lord.” Almost like Peter saying to Jesus, “you know I love you”on the beach that day. But is he?

Maybe I need to be asked three or more times like Peter. A repeated response can start to make you think.

I have talked before about my struggles with knowing that I am enough, but what about God? Is he enough for me?

There are conversations in the bible where God says, “I am with you.” The same is true for someone who follows after him. This is a promise.

So why do I dismiss the promise? What keeps me from believing?

For me, my lack of belief stems from different things. I have old patterns of life that keep me on the path of self-sufficiency. Out of that place, I choose the way of control more than trusting in him. I can depend on my logic verses faith that believes in what is unseen.

I also struggle with beliefs about my self-worth. If I am being honest, I question being someone who is worth staying with. Therefore, it seems easier to dismiss the promise for me.

Another subtle way I can dismiss the promise is by asking others to pray for me. I also realized that I can depend on the prayers of others to talk to God for me rather than believing in his words for me. As if saying that someone else is more worthy of the promise than me. God says to me, “Tracee, I am with you.” Those words are for me.

To really grasp the understanding of God being WITH me would change my life and perspective. I know my life would look so different if those words took on weight. Those words matter. Those words should be everything to me.

I want God, and just God, to be enough for me. I think about how much pressure, and even sometimes demand, would be removed from other people if I believed God was enough. There is freedom, even for myself, when I surrender to the promise that He is enough.

He is working on me. The more I understand that he is enough, I will know that I am as well.

Is God enough for you?

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Have you ever needed a reminder of something good? Sometimes I can get caught up in the everyday-ness of my life’s routine. Honestly, I don’t like routines. I know they are beneficial, but I am not one who likes sameness. If I find myself coasting along in the routine of everyday life, I know that translates into my relationship with God as well. When the coasting starts I need a reminder.

Psalm 103 is a great bookmark of reminders for me. David states right out of the gate, “praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” How refreshing is that! A whole Psalm dedicated as a reminder of who God is. The list is amazing. I encourage you to spend some time in there, but here are some of the goodness that are his benefits.

  • Forgives all of our sins
  • Heals all of our diseases
  • Redeems your life from the pit
  • Crowns you with love and compassion
  • Satisfies your desires with good things
  • Renews your strength
  • Works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed
  • Makes his ways known
  • God is compassionate and gracious
  • He is slow to anger
  • Abounding in love
  • Does not treat us as our sins deserve
  • Removes our transgressions as far as the East is from the West
  • From everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him

Such a refreshing reminder of his faithfulness and love. God is steadfast in keeping his promises to us. He is loving and kind. He forgives and removes my sin. God is strengthening.

David wrote this Psalm as if speaking to his own soul. I want to pray the same prayer to mine.

Remember, my soul, the benefits of the God you are living your life after. Life is more than coasting.

Do you need a reminder?

Where is your heart in this list?

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I have been thinking about the qualities of Paul. Paul is brilliant man when it comes to knowledge of the scriptures. He experienced great success in his life. Paul also experienced a miraculous encounter with God. This encounter changed the course of his life forever. Paul’s conversation with God didn’t just change his career path, but it changed a driven man from the path of destruction to a path of grace. Paul was a man who knew grace intimately.

I read a glimpse of this understanding of grace in Acts. In this chapter, Paul is describing the evidence of Jesus as savior by talking about his lineage. At the point in the lineage where David is introduced, Paul refers back to God’s description of David, “a man after God’s own heart, who will do all my will.

If you remember David’s story, it includes adultery and murder. Yet David is known to be a man after God’s own heart, who did God’s will.

Author Mike Bickle comments about this description in Acts this way, “what about all the failures and set backs (of David)? They were edited out by the grace of God.”

Paul understood the promise made to David, “my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him.” Paul was a man who knew the weight of being a sinner. He also knew the weight of a faithful and grace filled God. Both David and Paul were transformed by the wonder’s of God’s heart.

I am understanding more and more how faithful and gracious our God is. I so crave being transformed by the wonder’s of God’s heart.

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The bible states that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted. He saves those who are crushed in spirit. Another place in scritpure states that God heals the brokenhearted. He binds up their wonds and curing their pains and their sorrows.

These are huge promises made by the only one who can actually fulfill them. I know I have made promises in my life. I can honestly say that I have renigged on some of them. Some promises I have made may have been way to lofty for me to even attempt, but there is one who never reniggs and never falls short of his promises.

I sit here and really try and wrap my head around God being close to me. He has been close to me in the worst times of my life; the brokenhearted times. There is some serious pain in be broken.

A couple years ago I prayed a hard prayer. I prayed and asked God for brokenness. Now in my life I have experienced a time of utter brokenness do to hurt and trials, but this time I asked for brokenness. There is weight that comes with those words, “God break me for you.” I can honestly say that in both natural brokenness and praying for God’s breaking….he has never been closer to me. In those times of being broken I have never known my God to be closer.

Brokenness puts my heart and being into his hands. Because the opposite is true about our heart. If we choose to be hard. If we choose to take care of ourselves, use our own strength, handle our own business so to speak…God has no place, no room in us. That choice is tiring. From experience, hardness of heart takes me a couple more laps around the desert before entering the promise land. God is the only one who can enter the holy of holies in me. He is the only one who can get deep in me. That is close.

God is the only one who never fails.

How’s your brokenness?

Are you letting God be close to you, entering your holy of holies?

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