Saturday, December 26, 2009

Well with my soul!

My path was confusing
so I looked up to you
My questions flowing
day and night from my heart
I wanted to know when
will my peace ever come?
I needed your help to restore my soul
Being alone in this scary world
taught me the secret of TRUSTING in God
When I made the world an idol
you shook my world to restore my vision
When Satan told me lies to keep me in bed
you turned my mourning into dancing again.
That gave me courage to believe
I found hope in you and started to search
So, I sought you, prayed to you & cried Abba
You heard me and were found Alpha & Omega
When my knees stopped kneeling,
And my heart failed trusting,
When I didn't stay in your word,
It crumbled my world.
But it was to teach me
the secret of your life that
as a Christian I have to be consistent
Thank you father for your unfailing love
for bringing me thus far
And for what's about to come.
I owe it all to you
and rejoyce in your Son.
It is well with my soul
Today I will say
because Christ lives in me
and I am walking by faith!

Monday, December 21, 2009

One man's Sin .... and another's Rightousness!

I was reading Joshua 6-8 this morning and was literally shocked by the 7th chapter which talks about Achan's Sin. After the Israelites had won the city of Jerico and burnt everything except the devoted things to God that God asked to be placed in his house, Achan had desired some of God's things and taken some for himself.

When Joshua sent out 3,000 men agains Ai, they came defeated and Joshua was bitter towards God. He questioned God's purpose in the Israelite's lives(why did you bring us to the other side of Jordan?) but God said you were defeated b/c you've sinned againest me and not obeyed what I've asked for. One of your men has taken what is mine....of course the story changes after Joshua identifies who did this wrong and puts the right punishment upon him, they move ahead and win their battle.

This hit me though, as I reflect upon my own heart I couldn't help but wonder...of course it's when I sin and try to hide my sin that God's will departs from me. He hates sin not the sinner and will never do his work where there is impurity. That's why God is focused on changing us into the likeness of his son Jesus Christ that we may be blameless before him and very convenient for him to use us whenever he needs to.

I also couldn't help but be reminded of because of one man's sin God's people were disrubted and defeated and b/c of one man's obedience to put sin to an end they finally were victorious. It's also the same with us b/c of our sins we were dead but b/c of what Christ has done on the cross we live victoriously and enternal life.

Romans 5:12Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come. 15But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. 18Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
20The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Amazing is the grace of God...and how humbled I am to be found in it.

Thank you Jesus for the sacrifies you made for me.

Mekdes

Not I but Christ!

I got saved when I was a little girl, but realized that I had to personally surrender my life to Christ and make the decision to follow him everyday when I was 16. And so I did, rededicated my life to Christ at 16 and started the wonderful journey of a Christian. The reason I found it necessary to rededicate my life to Christ was because I saw how I was not really living for him but was using him as a spare access to things I wanted. I would ask God, "can I have this...or that?" and I thought God was this "Santa Clause" who distributes things that I want and then it's up to me to do with them whatever I felt like doing.

I found out that was not true and saw my need for a savior at a critical time in my life. After that full surrender to Christ, I won't be lying if I say I remember mostly everything that he did in my life. I suddenly stopped asking him for material things and started desiring to know him more and to live for his glory, because life made sense with him. Although, that was good I still found myself wanting spiritual things. You might say, "Mekdes...isn't that what you're supposed to do?" well, yes and no. I wanted to have all the spiritual gifts so that I could "help" people, but after a hard look into my heart I realized that my desire was for people to want me because I would have all they needed. That in a way is very selfish because instead of directing people to Christ, I wanted to indirectly bring them to "ME".

Hmmmmm........it took a lot of ups and downs and a looooooooong trip in the "wilderness" to realize what I was doing wrong. I had not found my true identity in Christ and believed that I was who he says I was so I needed more attention from others. The truth is that I had mis understood who Christ is and what it means to follow him. It's all about him........IT IS NOT ABOUT ME AT ALL... whether people know I exist or not it doesn't matter. What matters is that he has purchased me with his blood once and for all and there was nothing I did to deserve his love nor is there anything I could ever do to not deserve it.

When it comes to ministry what God cares about is whether people are ministered to through the Holy Spirit that resides in me, to come into the knowledge of Jesus Christ and to allow him to take their hearts captive with his unconditional love. Not whether they think the songs were awesome or the pastor was incredibly annointed. Who was I kidding, I can't out do God, he's the creator of all the gifts I have so no matter how hard I try I can't impress him. He's not gonna go "ooooooooh when you used that verse...girl that was just so smart of you!" He knows it all. In fact, HE layed it on my heart to share with others and care for others.

Then, he took me to Glatians 2:20 "I've been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives within me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" a verse that seems so short but has soooooooooooooooo much truth tucked into it. It took me two years to understand and start living out this verse.

The past 2 years I've been munching on this verse trying to understand what it means to live by faith through Jesus Christ who gave up EVERYTHING that I may live life abundantly! You know....it was hard! It is a hard thing to try and understand how simple it is. I know a bit confusing too :) Being a Christian is to live through him and let your sinful nature die...completely be taken over by the Holy Spirit. It is a work in progress, and it's not something you and I can achieve by doing, doing and doing. No, his grace is sufficient...so you may ask "am I supposed to be a passive Christian and even flirt with sin at times?" No, again! Because the Holy Spirit resides in your heart, you are drawn to him immediately. That doesn't mean you're not tempted to sin, believe me you are and you will at times fail, but when you fall instead of beating yourself up about how wrong you've done, let the unconditional love of your savior shower you and affirm that your sin has been cleansed by his blood. That's understanding his Grace.

I'm so glad the one whom I rely on to help me accomplish this goal has promised never to leave me nor forsake me.
If it was up to me, I would have given up a long time ago; when it became clear to me that he was not "santa". Isn't God so gracious and so loving? Who would ever put up with someone like me, knowing my heart, & my immediate response to be persuaded by the world and it's agendas? but he who cares for me has found a way for me to fall in love with him over and over again, whether it's a time of trial or peace, wilderness or answers, confusion or clarity. He is always there and whispers in my ears " I AM". He is the Lord Jesus Christ, He is the author and perfector of my faith, He is the only one I can trust and need to finish this race, He is the Alpha and Omega, He is my father, He is my teacher and my life coach ;), Not I but Christ!

Love you Lord!

Mekdes

Pray

I, I, I, me, me, me, I like, I want, I need, I would rather... that's what my world is like when I lift my eyes off the one who gave his life for my sake. Okay, so He's done the ultimate sacrifice for "ME" and because there is nothing more that could be done for "ME" when he died on the cross he said "It is finished"....you know what's finished, the story of my flesh, my sins, my selfishness... now the next chapter is opened and it's about HIM, no more I because "I no longer live but Christ lives in me"Gal 2:20.... but ...umm... question? If, I'm dead for sin and alive for Christ why do I still worry about me, what makes me happy, or makes me look good, or what comforts me, what my plan is... maybe, because I'm so quick to forget the beauty of God's majesty? Because I reward myself before the job is done and stop praying before I get the answer? what do you think?

You know, If I spend a good amount of time praying today, I'm so fired up that I feel like I've prayed enough for the rest of the week. So, tomorrow I lay on my bed and say to God "thanks for a beautiful day, you know I love you..Good night" and I cut him short because I get satisfied too easily. Isn't that the biggest problem we have as humans? we give ourselves too much credit. Who said God has finished the work he's started in you and I because you and I feel good? It's not about the good feelings, it's about the perseverance and building a constant and unshakable time of prayer with the Lord, so that we see what He sees and if we could only do that....how we would never...never stop praying because what He sees is eternity.........soooooooooooooooooooo BIG. We would truly "pray without ceasing" 1 Thes 5:17.

To be completely honest, how in the world do we expect to allow Christ to live His life through us if we don't continually talk to him? How can I trust Him if I don't know Him and how can I know Him unless I pray. How can I be found faithful when Jesus comes back to take me home unless I'm constantly reporting to him the progress of His work here in this world through me and unless I get feed back from him on how to get better or how to continue doing what I'm letting him do through me. Col 4:2-6 "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."

Paul understood that the reason he was in chains was for the sake of the Gospel. And I'm sure he knew because he was continuously in prayer and had a beautiful fellowship with the Father through Christ Jesus. He didn't say "it hurts to be in chains and I'm tired of sitting here surrounded with selfish and ungrateful sinners, oh my life is meaningless, what's left of me, my reputation has been ruined" nope, he kept his positive attitude because he's not concerned about himself but the work of the one who called him, JESUS! Isn't that such a beautiful perspective to have and to keep in mind when we go through hardships, when we're confused? Instead of rushing to blame others or God, "...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Phil 1:6 How hard would it be to gain that perspective unless the Holy Spirit re-affirms it in our hearts again and again but He can't do it unless we let him, through Prayer.

When negative thoughts come to make me feel like, I'm tired, I don't know what to do, I can't go on, I devote myself to prayer then it becomes about Him, He is strong, I am weak, He is love, I tend to resent, He is patient, I am.....you don't want to know :), He is absolutely focused and purposeful, I loose track all the time, His purpose is eternity oh how I need to be reminded of that every single moment.

Lord help us to devote ourselves to prayer and to remain focused on your eternal purpose, Jesus Chrsit, imitating Him, preaching Him to the world, mostly letting Him do whatever he wills with our lives every single minute and second. Help us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices, burnt offerings, everyday through Prayer.

Love you,
Mekdes

To Obey is better than Sacrifice!

God is such a clear direction giver but I am such a confused follower. Because I want both what my flesh sees and what God sees for my life, I often get confused and second guess God's clear request for me to obey him. I forget that "to obey is better than sacrifice" 1Samuel 15:22 you know why? because with obedience comes a deeper understanding of who Christ is, which gives me the knowledge to live in light of eternity.

My delimma is mostly between two really good choices. God gives me a choice that I know is perfect for my life but totally uncomfortable and a bit crazy seeming for the moment. My flesh directs me to a choice that is logically correct and absolutely right for the moment, or at least it seems but it's answer is just for the moment not for eternity. I get torn between the spiritual and the logical, my brain tells me "do it now, make your choice, you don't want to pass the deadline, because a chance like this might never be gained." My God tells me,"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you" psalm 32:8. His purpose is to help me grow and to make choices because I understand what it means to go from glory to glory by imitating Christ, not this world.

What amazes me is that God doesn't give me a deadline or pressure me to do it his way, even though he has every right to do so. He just loves me, and comforts me, he encourages me to trust him and let him be my God. What a gentle and loving father he is. His support helps me grow, it opens up my eyes to see the spiritual and not only the logical and I make my choice, to OBEY my God.

what get me are questions like, Why does he love me so much? Isn't it enough that he gave his sinless son for my wretchedness and blessed me with an eternal life? Doesn't he get tired of my insecurities and my unbelief? Why does he love me so much that he has dedicated his entire being to be my father? To shape me and mold me, so that I would look more like Christ as the day goes by.

When it's hard for me to trust him and to obey him, I hear his still small voice that says "do not be afraid, Mekdes, I am your shield and your very great reward" Genesis 15:1. So, I decide to obey him again, because I love Him, because Christ is my reward and I need that because that's the essense of my calling, to be just like Christ. He continues to purchase me with his Love and his patience, He died for me because he loved me and He asks of me nothing without love. God is Love and I cannot not obey Love.

Lord, help me to trust you in all I do, to obey you thoroughly, to wait upon you and to continue to be filled with your spirit daily. So that I continue to live not for the moment but in light of eternity. Thank you for the truth of your word. "Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness." Psalm 115:1

I love you Daddy,
Mekdes

Faith!!

Hebrew 11:1 "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" how crazy is that in this materialistic world? How can one be sure of what he/she hopes for and certain of what is not seen when everything around him/her says the polar opposite? For me being filled with the Holy Spirit continuously and reading the word daily is the only thing that gives me the strength to have faith. Faith is absolutely spiritual and cannot be done without the help of the Spirit.

As Christians we need to realize it is impossible for us to have faith without being filled with the word of God. "Faith comes by hearing and hearing from the word of God." Rom 10:17 Faith is not something we can only do sometimes when we are filled with that absolutely beautiful feeling in our hearts with the spirit and when everything is going smoothly, but also it is something we ought to do while in harship and when it seems like all hope is gone. If our faith is based on His word then we have nothing to be fearful of because we know for sure His word will not pass!

My favorite song about Faith summes up what I'm trying to say it's called "I still believe" by Jeremy Camp goes like this:
Scattered words and empty thoughts
Seem to pour from my heart
I've never felt so torn before
Seems I don't know where to start
But its now that I feel your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip washing away my pain

I still believe in your faithfulness
I still believe in your truth
I still believe in your holy word
Even when I don't see, I still believe

Though the questions still fog up my mind
With promises I still seem to bear
Even when answers slowly unwind
It's my heart I see you prepare
But its now, that I feel, your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip washing away my pain

I still believe in your faithfulness...

Well the only place I can go is into your arms
Where I throw to you my feeble prayers well in brokenness
I can see that this was your will for me
Help me to know that you are near

I still believe ....

Waiting on the Lord!!

"Waiting", is my least favorite word I think in the whole English Dictionary! It so happens that the Love of my life, my Lord and savior Jesus Christ absolutely believes in the waiting period in a believers life. Hmmmmm...how does that work? I want to follow him, live for him, glorify him in all I do, actully I have surrendered my entire being to him who says "be still and know that I am God". Oh what a frustrating thing it is to just wait, it tries my patience and brings me to a point where I realize I can do nothing without God, I can't even "wait" without him.

It's Ironic, hu? Well, I am learning to wait on him while I'm still fully living in Today! Mainly because I am not called to live for tomorrow but in today looking forward to Tomorrow because it's assured that more of God's attributes will be revealed to me through that.

I love the Lord with all my heart, my soul and my mind and I pray that as I wait on him, I would grow to look more like Christ and not like the world! I pray that I wouldn't settle for a mediocre life but for the eternal purpose of my calling, to be like Christ and to bring others to him through the beautiful aroma that captured my heart once and for all.

Lord, help me to wait upon you!

Love,
Mekdes

Sweet times with Jesus!

Sometimes I completely forget who I live for and start searching for truth in 'things' and 'people' around me. It's amazing how your insecurities can blind you and make you a prisoner that is craving for others attention and approval. I think sometimes we tie ourselves up with worries and burdens that we're not called to carry AT ALL.

Lately, I've been so satisfied with the Lord's presence in my life but something was missing, as if the light was not switched on all the way and I was feeling my way towards his presence and will for my life. I see Him working in my life, I see Him leading me, I have peace about where He's taking me but still I couldn't taste His sweetness. You know the quiet, still, sweet voice that speaks truth into your heart and calms your spirit completely...the spirit that affirms who you are in Christ is enough and nothing else you can gain or others 'assign' to you would make you any better or less...that spirit that fills you with complete FAITH because you know that you know that you know God spoke therefore, it's all good and that you're completely complete? That was missing and I was puzzled.

As I sought his face and as I paid attention to what I could be doing to push off the Holy Spirit from fully working in my life, he opened my eyes to things like taming my tongue which is usually stopping a sentence before even starting it b/c He is tuggin in me saying (you know that won't benfit either you or the listner) in my case. Sometimes I smile and say okay Lord, thank you for your intervention and sometimes I might roll my eyes but I still choose to obey...but if I don't I've learned that I'm missing out on taking a part in his devine spirit and the perfection of Christ likeness...I love a song an Ethiopian Christian Artis Tselot sang ...it goes..."Anten Memsel letikme new" translation..:) imitating You is for my own benefit. It's so true, I'm either blessed or disturbed by my own actions.

I'm so thankful for how the Lord switched the light on in my heart this week and He used a devotion I read here and there , most of you know Oswald Chambers' "My Utmost for his highest" and Dec.2nd's message truly touched me which I'm going to copy & past below since I can't pick and choose just a sentence. Okay I can pick just one part for now but make sure to read below, it goes "I am called to live in perfect relation to God so that my life produces a longing after God in other lives, not admiration for myself. Thoughts about myself hinder my usefulness to God." What a blessed man Chambers was?

I couldn't get the thought of God delighting in me b/c I'm in a perfect relation to Him and that's something only the Holy Spirit could measure, no man, no spiritual gift, no fame or wealth. Isn't that awesome. My friends, be encouraged that He who called you sees you and He that sees you has the Perfect eyes and is not judgemental but completely humble and compassionate. May He switch the dimmed light in your hearts as He's done for me.

Love,
Mekdes


CHRISTIAN PERFECTION



"Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect. . . ." Philippians 3:12

It is a snare to imagine that God wants to make us perfect specimens of what He can do; God's purpose is to make us one with Himself. The emphasis of holiness movements is apt to be that God is producing specimens of holiness to put in His museum. If you go off on this idea of personal holiness, the dead-set of your life will not be for God, but for what you call the manifestation of God in your life. "It can never be God's will that I should be sick." If it was God's will to bruise His own Son, why should He not bruise you? The thing that tells for God is not your relevant consistency to an idea of what a saint should be, but your real vital relation to Jesus Christ, and your abandonment to Him whether you are well or ill.

Christian perfection is not, and never can be, human perfection. Christian perfection is the perfection of a relationship to God which shows itself amid the irrelevancies of human life. When you obey the call of Jesus Christ, the first thing that strikes you is the irrelevancy of the things you have to do, and the next thing that strikes you is the fact that other people seem to be living perfectly consistent lives. Such lives are apt to leave you with the idea that God is unnecessary, by human effort and devotion we can reach the standard God wants. In a fallen world this can never be done. I am called to live in perfect relation to God so that my life produces a longing after God in other lives, not admiration for myself. Thoughts about myself hinder my usefulness to God. God is not after perfecting me to be a specimen in His show-room; He is getting me to the place where He can use me. Let Him do what He likes.