Monday, January 5, 2015

The story of Lazarus gave me hope.  I hope it does the same for you.

In "reading the red" in John 11, I found this hope and a stirring in me.  In verse 4, Jesus says, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it."  I remembered all the promises that my lost loved one, who is spiritually dead, is really just sleeping, and that God will work all of what is going on now for his good, and God will receive the glory. 

In verse 11, Jesus said, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up."  I believe this is in response to the many prayers I have prayed for Jehovah Shammah, The Lord is There, to be with my lost loved one, and the prayers asking Jehovah Sabaoth to send His holy angels, the ministering spirits, with swords drawn, to fight satan on behalf of him.  I believe God Himself is at work in the life of my prodigal to draw him back to Himself.

Verse 23 reveals a very pointed promise:  "Your brother will rise again."  My lost loved one will live in Christ again, and I believe this promise will soon be realized.  Jesus says it another way in verses 25-26:  "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"  The answer to His question is, "Yes, I do!!!"

Then Jesus said, "Where have you laid him?" (Verse 34).  My answer is, "I have lain him in the arms of the Savior, the Redeemer, the One Who keeps His promises," and I continue to lay him there daily, praying prayers as the Spirit leads and as I see needs arise.  In the everlasting arms of the Almighty is the best place for my prodigal to be.

When I read, "Take away the stone," in verse 39, I searched my heart to see if there was anything I needed to remove in our relationship, anything that would hinder my loved one's salvation, any offense, or any prayer I may not have prayed.  (Remember, James 4:2 says, "Yet you do not have because you do not ask.")

Then Jesus said, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?" (Verse 40).  My heart cries, "I believe!  I believe!!  I know I will see the glory of God in this person's life!!" 

Then verses 41-42 records Jesus' prayer for Lazarus and those around Him.  "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.  And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me."

Then He tells Lazarus to come forth! (Verse 43)  Lazarus obeys!  Hallelujah!!  I can hardly wait!

Then there is a directive to the witnesses, to those around the tomb.  Jesus tells them, "Loose him, and let him go" (Verse 44).  This pricked my heart.  I hope that when the time comes, I will not be a hindrance in any way my loved one's walk with the Lord.  I hope that I can accept the "all things new" in his life, that I will not say anything that will cause him pain or offense, that I will let God be God in his life and allow God to do the work that needs to be done without my interference or trying to hurry the process along.  I hope I can let him be free to worship God, serve God, and to fulfill God's purposes in his life. 

This passage, although it is talking about a physical death, gave me hope for the resurrection of my lost loved one's soul and spirit.  I believe God's promises!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

This scripture touched me this morning.  I thought you might like to read it, too.

"and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.   All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."  (2 Timothy 3:15-17)

Monday, October 27, 2014

A very poignant promise:     

"Thus says the Lord:   'A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more.'      Thus says the Lord:   'Refrain your voice from weeping, And your eyes from tears; For your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord, And they shall come back from the land of the enemy.   There is hope in your future, says the Lord, That your children shall come back to their own border.'"   (Jeremiah 31:15-17)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Glass-Bottomed Bridge

My birthday was last Friday!  Our daughter came to meet me in Chattanooga to spend the afternoon with me, and one of the things we did was to walk across a glass-bottomed bridge.  The bridge had three apparent parts. The middle of the bridge was supported by a steel beam, which was obviously opaque.  To the right of the beam, the glass was less transparent, and to the right, it was almost completely transparent.  At first I could only walk on the beam, the solid, opaque (“not transparent or translucent; impenetrable to light; not allowing light to pass through.”— part.  Before we got to the end, I could walk on the slightly transparent (“having the property of transmitting rays of light through its substance so that bodies situated beyond or behind can be distinctly seen.”— part.  On the way back, I forced myself to walk on the clear part. 

The feelings I had just walking above the steel beam were incredible, because it felt like I was walking a high beam.  The adrenaline rush made my stomach knot up, and I was breathing very shallowly.  I was even talking out loud and most likely was groaning, something like, “Oh, my.  Oh, my.  Mmmm.”  I was definitely quibbing out, definitely freaked.  I was walking very slowly.  Everything in me was screaming, “DON’T DO THIS!!!  IT IS UNSAFE!!”  In my head, I KNEW that it was safe because of evidence.  1) Evin was ahead of me and was crossing safely.  2) Others were walking back and forth on it.  3) The city apparently deemed it safe enough to allow the public to use it, but my survival instincts had kicked in big time!!!  It made no sense that I could see through what was under me, as if there was nothing under me. 

When I forced myself to walk on the slightly transparent part, the feelings were just as intense!!  I had a pain in my stomach, a tightening.  I was still moaning and groaning and talking out loud.  I am sure those around me thought it was funny, although some of them may have been feeling the same things I was.  I just happen to be very vocal!  =)

On the way back, I was determined not to let this opportunity pass me by!  I had every intention of walking on the clear part.  Experience had taught me that the bridge would hold me.  Being a person who likes to really experience her experiences, I didn’t want to walk on it and look straight ahead.  I wanted to know what it was like to walk on the “air” and see myself “floating.”  It was very intense to me, but I was so proud that I had accomplished this small feat. 

Now you may be laughing at me.  You might not have had a problem with this!  Some of you may have jumped out of airplanes.  (Have you?)  Some of you may have bungee-jumped!  (Have you?)  Some of you may have gone cliff-diving.  (Have you?)  Some of you may have done really dangerous things. 

There is something about taking a step when there is seemingly nothing under you that causes an intense reaction.  A friend in Pennsylvania told us once in Sunday School that if God tells you to step off a cliff, you better do it, knowing that one of two things will happen:  either God will put a bridge under you, or you will learn to fly.  That has stuck with me.  Sometimes when I am stepping into the unknown, it feels a little like stepping onto that glass bridge, but if God has led me there, I must step out, trusting Him that I will not fall. 

We all know the story of Peter’s walking on the water to Jesus, and we are quick to criticize Peter for sinking, but I will tell you that the fear is real.  I believe in our spiritual walk we are a lot like Peter when he walked on the water and me when I walked on that glass bridge.  What God is telling us to do, where He is telling us to go, doesn’t make sense.  In fact, it goes against every survival instinct that He placed in us.  We are not sure we will survive it.  We may know we will survive, but it doesn’t feel like it.

Let’s talk about that just a minute.  God doesn’t always tell us to jump off a cliff the first time.  Usually there is an opaque walk way, a baby step of faith, but when we get through that, we are ready to walk on the slightly transparent part, because God showed Himself faithful in a little thing.  When God called David to slay Goliath, he said, “Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.”  (1 Samuel 17:36)  The giant was just another step of faith, based on what God had already done.  God proved that when He asks us to do something, He is right there with us, guiding us, protecting us, working all things out for our good.  (Romans 8:28)

After the slightly transparent step, once again we have proven God to be just Who He says He is, and that He will do just what He says He will do.  We are more ready to jump off the cliff, knowing He will take care of the path.  The Word says, “Order my steps in thy word:  and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. “  (Psalm 119:133)  The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD:  and he delighteth in his way.”  (Psalm 37:23)

The more we walk in faith, the bigger our faith becomes. 

Sunday morning, when we were singing “Oceans,” I thought about that glass-bottomed bridge. 

"Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)"

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior


Sincerely, why would I fear, because I KNOW God is with me, and I KNOW Him!!!  I know He will never do anything to harm me.  NEVER!!!  I know He will not let me fall if I trust in Him, if I lean on Him.  Deuteronomy 33:27 says, "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms:  and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them."  

Last month was my daddy’s birthday, and we wanted to surprise him with a ride on a pontoon boat.  He loves motor boats; he loves pontoon boats, and we knew he would love this birthday surprise.  However, he was so worried about what we had planned, and he began to rationalize out loud about possibilities, and one of the things he said was that he knew we loved him and would never do anything to hurt him.  It brought him comfort during the unknown. 

That is the way it is with God.  We may be stepping into the unknown, but we know Him, that He loves us unconditionally and will never do anything to hurt us.  He will never lead us anywhere that will cause us to lose out with Him.  He works all things for our good. 

I believe God is calling us to step out in faith in places and actions we have never approached.  I want to walk deeper with Him.  I want to listen closely, as my pastor preached a few weeks ago, and then take the next step to obey.    

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It is time to give thanks!!

“Father, thank You for lifting the veil from  _________ ‘s eyes (2 Corinthians 4:4-6) (2 Corinthians 3:16), so that (s)he can know the truth and be set free.  Thank You, Holy Spirit, for hovering over ________ and protecting his/her mind, body, soul and spirit.  Thank You for placing godly people in his/her pathway each day (2 Timothy 2:25-26, Matthew 9:38).  Thank You for casting down anything that would exalt itself against the knowledge of You, specifically pride and rebellion (2 Corinthians 10:5).  Thank You for taking down all known strongholds—thought patterns, opinions on religion, materialism, fear (2 Corinthians 10:5).  Thank You for binding Satan from taking _______ captive and binding all wicked thoughts and lies satan would try to place in _______’s mind (2 Corinthians 10:5, Isaiah 61:1).  Thank You for causing the armor of God to be placed on him/her (Ephesians 6:6-16).  Thank You for covering him/her.  Thank You for sending Your angels with swords drawn to fight for him/her.  Thank You for bringing the counsel of the heathen to naught in __________’s life (Psalm 33:10).”   (Thank the Father for answering any other prayer you have prayed over your lost loved one.)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

With tears streaming down his face and his lip quivering, a young man came up to me in church, saying he had a word from the Lord for me.  I know the life of this young man, and I know that he would not do such a thing on his own, that God moved him strongly.  He said, "The Lord wants you to know that He will restore the years the locusts have devoured."

I started weapin!!  These years that my loved one has been away from God have seemed such a waste to me, but now I have a promise that those years will be restored, and I believe what God promises, He will do!

This morning I came across Joel 2:25.  It says, ""So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you."

A friend who prays for her prodigal and mine, wrote the following:  "When things look so bad or impossible, Lord, help me to realize that it may be You're gonna use those very things that look so grim, for Your glory!  Give me faith that the 'ugly' is going (sic) be turned into spiritual beauty for the furtherance of the Gospel!!  Those dark, almost unbearable moments, can be used for life changing testimonies!  What satan meant for evil, hurt & pain; what he meant for defeat:  YOU can take those very things & transform them into soul winning tools for Your glory!  I pray, be glorified through every evil plot & scheme satan has devised, and put him to an OPEN shame, that YOU may be glorified -- In Jesus' Name!  'The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:  I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.' John 10:10"

God will use these experiences to reach the lost.  My prodigal will be able to reach people you or I might not be able to reach because of experiences. 

God will indeed restore the years the locust devoured!!

Praise the Holy Name of the LORD!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

This promise stands on its own!

"Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.  Lord, hear my voice:  let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.  If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?  But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be fearedI wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.   My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning:  I say, more than they that watch for the morning.  Let Israel hope in the LORD:  for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.  And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities."  (Psalm 130)