Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Be still, and know that I am God..."

"Be still, and know that I am God..." The comforter. Creator. Giver of Peace. Source of Hope. All knowing. All powerful. All Loving. Commander of angels. Selfless. Forgiving. Guiding. Understanding. Life planner. Life Saver. Compassionate. Passionate. Patient. Giving. Trustworthy. Wise. A Light in Darkness. Protector. Provider. Kind. Honorable. Worthy of praise. Truth. Shepherd. Nurturing. Empathetic.Almighty. Holy. Savior. Lord. Master. Mentor. Counselor. Healer. Father. GOD.

"He says, 'Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.'" Psalm 46:10

"Be still..."

Monday, July 11, 2011

"God is my Co-Pilot"

God is My Co-Pilot
There was a time when I felt slightly irritated when I would see the bumper stickers and other products with the phrase, “God is my Co-Pilot.”  I understood what it meant, but my mind argued, “Why isn’t He your Pilot??” This morning, the phrase came to mind but I started to think about it differently. There are times in our lives that God most definitely needs to be allowed to sit in the Pilot seat and we just need to let Him do the flying. There are also times where I believe He wants US to fly, relying on Him to guide us.
                When God created us, He gave us free will. As Love, God is incapable of forcing us to follow His will. If He became selfish and decided to MAKE us follow Him, He would cease to be Love (as Scripture clearly says He is in 1 John 4:16 “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”). Love is not self-seeking (1 Corinthians 13). God created us to love Him, but cannot make us love Him. He just loves us regardless of what we choose, while we are free to make our choices and go where we want to go. We are our own pilots.
                There have been many times lately that, even though I’m my own pilot, I’ve had to crawl into the co-pilot seat and allow Him the controls because I didn’t have the energy or the stability to do it on my own. That’s what happens when the storms get rough and the turbulence threatens to ground us (in a less-than graceful manner, might I add).
                Now that I’m on the other side of the turbulence (for now), I believe God expects me to get back into the pilot seat and trust Him to be my wiser, experienced, mentoring Co-Pilot to get me where He wants me to be. There comes a point where He expects us to use what He’s given us through the turbulence to fulfill our part of His plan and fly the plane.
                Whether we are piloting the plane or allowing God to when we can’t, the bigger picture is that He’s in the cockpit with us. He’s not going to leave us there alone, to face in solitude whatever is out there. The choice we have is to be stubborn and ignore His all-knowing guidance, or embrace the fact that we have such an amazing, loving God in the cockpit with us and fly when and where he says to fly.

Friday, July 1, 2011



Holiness, holiness is what I long for. 
Holiness is what I need. 
Holiness, holiness is what You 
want from me. 

Holiness, holiness is what I long for. 
Holiness is what I need. 
Holiness, holiness is what You 
want from me. 

So, take my heart and form it. 
Take my mind and transform it. 
Take my will and conform it. 
To Yours, to Yours, oh, Lord. 

Faithfulness, faithfulness is what I 
long for. 
Faithfulness is what I need. 
Faithfulness, faithfulness is what. 
You want from me. 

Brokenness, brokenness is what I 
long for. 
Brokenness is what I need. 
Brokenness, brokenness is what 
You want from me. 


     It may sound strange to say God wants us to be broken. In fact, it sounds like the type of statement that might make a person want to say, “If God wants me to be broken, why would I want anything to do with him?” However, as with a great many areas of life, the rest of the story goes much deeper.
     I can think of no one who was more broken than Job. Scripture tells us that satan was looking for someone to test and God asked, “have you considered my servant Job?” Talk about some confidence! No pressure, Job. Satan was allowed to test Job within the boundaries that God set. He lost his children (plural!!), his wealth, and his health, while he received well-intentioned poor advice from his friends and wife.
     There are so many lessons that could be discussed from the book of Job, but in an attempt to make this a more readable length, I’ll abbreviate. A few of the lesson concepts that come to my mind when I think of Job’s story are:

1. Satan can’t do anything to us that God doesn’t allow.
2. God only allows what He knows we are capable of enduring.
3. When we’re facing serious trials, other people can say some pretty hurtful, discouraging things when trying to be helpful (so be sure to pray for wisdom and guidance before opening your mouth to speak to a hurting friend or loved one… or stranger for that matter!).
4. Even when we are at our lowest points physically, spiritually, and emotionally, God does not abandon us.
5. God ultimately wants good things for His children and HAS A PLAN, even for the brokenness.
     I would like to focus on one of those points. In the midst of Job’s brokenness, God had a plan. He knew Job’s heart and what Job was capable of withstanding. Job’s struggle was unreal. My story is so mild in comparison. As familiar as I now am with pain and sorrow, I’m sure I only have a glimpse of what Job was experiencing. Even still, Job was willing to listen to God. The dialogue in the book of Job is incredible. When going back to read the dialogue, one verse specifically stood out to me. In Job 42:5 Job says, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.”
     There is such a difference between hearing of God and seeing God; between knowing OF God, and knowing God. Here in the “Bible Belt,” most of us have heard about God. We know the typical Bible stories we heard as children. We know “God is good” and “God loves us,” but until we actually SEE God, we can’t fully understand what it all means. Self gets in the way of seeing. We get so distracted by all the insignificant desires of this life that all we see is what is directly in front of us- we can’t see the forest for the trees, in other words. It is not until we are broken that we can see clearly.
     Imagine trying to get a child’s full attention in an amusement park with a candy store and an arcade. It’s not going to happen. But, if you take away the candy, take away the rides, take away the games… and stand face to face, you’ll get somewhere. There may be a lot of screaming and crying, but eventually, you’ll get somewhere. There are times when God may use brokenness (that state of being where we are at rock bottom and have nowhere to look but up) to help us see what really is important. Otherwise, we may miss out on the best part. Maybe God wants you to turn around and see the newest, best ride at the park, but you have to stop and listen to Him so He can show you.

One final lesson for today from the book of Job… you can’t have a rainbow without a little Rainn!

Psalm 34:18

New International Version (NIV)
18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted 
   and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 147:3

New International Version (NIV)
3 He heals the brokenhearted 
   and binds up their wounds.