Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Partakers of Holiness"

Life is quite often a challenge.  Much of the time we don’t know what may be around the bend.  The things that have taken place over the past several months, along with just all of the every day daily stuff, at times have seemed nothing short of overwhelming.  My patience some days has been stretched beyond measure and my faith has been tried once again during difficult times in a battle that has seemed unending and where everything seems to be going wrong.

It’s in times like these that I find myself wanting to withdrawal.  But what I’m really sensing is God’s call to come aside to be alone with Him, to be transformed more into His image; to understand His perfect will and to be more fully equipped for the destiny that He has planned and that He is unfolding in and through my life.

He reminds me I’m not alone but that the same sufferings are experienced by others.  It may be a little different with each one of us, but don’t we all go through our own “stuff”?  

In the book of Hebrews, 12:1-13 it talks about the chastening of the Lord…OUCH!  It doesn’t feel good as we’re going through and honestly sometimes we feel confused, discouraged, depressed, maybe angry or lost and wonder where God has gone; it just doesn’t seem to make sense.  But He’s bringing us into the place of holiness as He strengthens our faith and teaches us to let go of the things that bog us down and to turn from the sin and compromise that traps us and causes us to take our eyes off of Him.   The Lord is teaching us to endure and move forward in Christ, no matter what.  

Though the poem is one I wrote several weeks ago it wasn't until recently as I continued to reflect on some additional Scripture, that the Lord helped me to hear and understand more clearly.  And so, I ask Him to forgive me in every place I have sinned against Him and have compromised, and to set my feet on solid ground.  I thank Him for His release to me in some areas and His continued work in each one of us to perfect and mature.  I'm grateful for the healing that He brings into our lives as we wait on Him, enabling us to walk the straight path He has placed before us and into the higher call of God in Christ Jesus.

  I have learned I’m not immune
From challenges I must face
That cause me to look upward
To gaze upon a face
That loves me beyond measure
That will not let me go
Who speaks to me so sweetly
All of me He knows.
Tenderly God holds me
I will not fall apart
For the Living Word, it echoes
Deep within my heart
A reassuring sound
Reminding me I’m safe
In the arms of Christ, my Savior
No one from me can take.
The promises He’s made me
I trust that they are sure
For His word will stand forever
I’ve walked through the Door.
He steadies me when all seems shaken
So I will not be moved
The temporal is as nothing
But the eternal God has proved
That even in desert places
He is my steady stream
Watering a soul that’s thirsty
In one He’s called redeemed.
His blood is all-sufficient
Coursing through my veins
My confidence is in Christ alone
Who gave me life and saved.
One day I will see Him
But until then I will serve
Willingly, my Master
And pray the lessons learned
Will glorify Christ Jesus
Lifting up the Name
That is above all others
And ushers in His change.
He takes a heart, imperfect
And makes holiness arise
Asking, Father, teach me,
To follow where You guide.
Help me to maintain my focus
Fill my mouth to sing Your praise
Give me grace and Your momentum
This life to You to raise.
Every day, surrendered
Father, fully Yours
To only make Your choices
Where weak, made strong, transformed.
Abiding in Your presence
Set this heart ablaze
Shed light where I've been darkened
Give faith where I’m afraid.
And I lift up my brothers and sisters
Who have troubles of their own
Draw each nearer to Your heart
Make Your presence known.
I remember those around me
Going through difficult times
Hold each one together
Help them, Your heart to find.
Give to each one clarity
Fill them with Your hope
The kind that is enduring
To do more than just to cope. 
But an overcoming spirit
Within them to arise
For the Living Word has spoken
Bringing new life to revive.
Come and touch the lame, Lord
One word from God to heal
All that has been stolen
I pray, restore and reveal
The will of God, most perfect
Stable upon Your path
In the destiny You've chosen
Your hand to firmly grasp.
Held by a grace You have given
The despondent, I ask fill with Your joy
Yielded, bowed before You
Spoiled, every enemy ploy.
I declare Your victory
To those in such great need
The truth of God perfecting
That establishes, strengthens and frees.
Here we are, alive but a sacrifice
Those whom You have proved
I pray You find acceptable
This worship You are due.
We cannot do it alone, Lord
We don't have what it takes
But truth to us You've spoken
And so I know a way You'll make.
Scripture Meditation:
1 Peter 5:8-11 - Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.   Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.  But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.  To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever.  Amen.
Hebrews 12:1-13 - Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.  You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.   And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:  “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.”   If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.  Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect.  Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?  For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.   Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.  Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.
Romans 12:1-2 - I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.   And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

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