Sifted, Then Kneaded

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Jesus Calling – Sarah Young – October 20 – 22 (Emphasis mine.)

October 20

Lasting abundant life can be found in Me alone . . . . Let My Life shine through you, as you walk in the Light with Me.

Not in circumstances.  Not in people.  Not in money.  Not in anything this world has to offer.  Happiness, joy, abundant life – these things are found only in Him.

October 21

Ask my Spirit to increase your awareness of resentful feelings. Bring them boldly into the Light of My Presence, so that I can free you from them.

I’m so incredibly thankful that I can be real with Him.  He wants me to bring my junk to Him and stop carrying it around.  And, after years, I finally did.  It’s so sad to me now when I see people who refuse to let go of their junk.  He offers to take it from us, but we keep grasping onto it like with both hands like a hoarder afraid of losing a precious treasure.  And then we complain about who hard our lives are and how much we have suffered at the hands of others. Not letting go of junk leaves us full of anger, resentment, and self-pity.  Our junk doesn’t have to define us.   It doesn’t have to be who we are unless we LET it be who we are.  It’s JUNK.  Toss it and move on.

The ultimate solution to rebellious tendencies is submission to My authority over you. 

Jesus says, “Take MY yoke upon you.”  In order to do that, we have to take off whatever other yoke we are currently wearing.  And we all wear at least one.  Sometimes many, many more.  Past regrets.  Selfishness.  Anger.  Envy.  Bitterness.  Pride.  We can’t submit to Him if we are still letting something – or someone – else still lead us around by the nose.

The best response to losses or thwarted hope is praise: The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord. Remember that all good things – your possessions, your family and friends, your health and abilities, your time – are gifts from Me. Instead of feeling entitled to all these blessings, respond to them with gratitude. Be prepared to let go of anything I take from you, but never let go of My hand!

Amen.  But this is so much easier said than done.  I confess that, though I thought otherwise and deep down knew the day would eventually come, I was completely unprepared for what was taken away from me.  But I was prepared to hang on to Him.  He had been preparing me for “such a time as this” for years now.  I didn’t see it at the time.  But I can now as I look back.  And over the past few months, praising Him and worshiping Him and believing Him have brought healing in ways I never thought possible in the first initial moments of devastation.

October 22 – Entire entry.

No matter what your circumstances may be, you can find joy in My Presence.  On some days Joy is generously strewn along your life-path, glistening in the sunlight.  On days like that, being content is as simple as breathing the next breath or taking the next step.  Other days are overcast and gloomy; you feel the strain of the journey, which seems endless.  Dull gray rocks greet your gaze and cause your feet to ache.  Yet Joy is still attainable.  Search for it as for hidden treasure.

Begin by remembering that I have created this day; it is not a chance occurrence.  Recall that I am present with you whether you sense My Presence or not.  Then, start talking with Me about whatever is on your mind.  Rejoice in the fact that I understand you perfectly, and I know EXACTLY what you are experiencing.  As you continue communicating with Me, your mood will gradually lighten.  Awareness of My marvelous Companionship can infuse Joy into the grayest day.  (Psalm 21:6; Proverbs 2:4)

Praying God’s Word Day-By-Day – Beth Moore – (Emphasis mine.)

October 20

Lord, if You ever give Satan permission to sift me as wheat, I earnestly pray to be faithful to You and to emerge from the difficult season with a fresh ability to strengthen my brothers and sisters in Christ (Luke 22:31).

I have been sifted like wheat this year.  And not only sifted, but threshed, ground to a fine powder, and then sifted.  And I want for Him to be able to use this experience for His glory.  For that to happen, I have to be willing to put myself out there for people that need encouragement when going through similar trials.

October 21

Any kind of death is an invitation to resurrection life for a believer. Our Savior is the God of resurrection life.

We decide whether or not we accept the invitation.  We don’t have to.  We can choose to live in regret and defeat and focus on what has been lost – whether we are talking about a physical death, or the death of a relationship, dream, or hope.  God gives us free will.  We choose to either focus on Him and what He wants for our future, or we choose to focus on the past and what we can’t change.

Many people go through life wanting a chance for a fresh start.  A do-over.  The chance to be able to focus on what truly matters – to really live for God and work for His kingdom.  That is really all that truly matters.  That is our sole purpose for being here AT ALL.  I have been given that chance.  When faced with the choice to run toward God, deepen my relationship with Him, fully commit to His will, and receive all the blessing He has to offer me, how can I possibly long for the past when I was divided in my allegiance and had no depth in any relationship?

October 22 – Entire entry.

The deeper you and I are rooted in the unfailing love of God, the less we will sway when the winds of life blow harshly.

Father, You have warned me for my own good not to trust anything about my heart unless it is fully surrendered to You. My heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. I will never be able to understand it. You the Lord search the heart and examine the mind (Jeremiah 17:9-10).

Please help me to recognize that the primary target of deception is my heart. In other words, I must be careful not to trust feelings and emotions on their own. I must wear the breastplate of righteousness so that I will do the right thing even when I don’t feel the right thing.  In the meantime, I ask You, Lord, to knead the right kinds of feelings into my heart.

True!  TRUE!!  TRUE!!! TRUE!!!!  TRUE!!!!! 

If I could make this text blink in neon lights with sirens blaring in the background, I would.  Emotions lie.  I have seen it.  I have experienced it.  A heart not fully surrendered to God is a heart that will say “I’m just not happy. I think I need to be on my own.  I’m moving out.”  And then that heart will search for “happiness” in whatever the world dangles in front of it.

If you don’t love God, and know God, and guard your heart against deception, then you are like the man who built his house on the sand.  If you listen to your feelings and trust your emotions with no regard for the Word of God and His truths, then you will destroy your life, and possibly the lives of those around you.  And if you have claimed Christ and you still do this knowing better, then I would *really* not want to be you.

Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows he will also reap, because the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit (Galatians 6:7-8).

I want my heart to be surrendered fully to Him so that I can stand firm when my emotions overwhelm me.  I want to know His Word so well that when I am experiencing anger or resentment or bitterness or hatred, I can speak His Word over those emotions and His Spirit can take back control and calm me.  His Word is living and active, and will knead my heart until it looks like His.  But I have to LET HIM IN.

And one final word of caution (courtesy of TobyMac) to all the other single women out there:  If you are dating or thinking about dating a guy, make sure his heart is fully surrendered to God, too.  If it isn’t, either get out now, or don’t go there to start with.  

Truth:  If he doesn’t love Jesus more than he loves himself, he will never be able to love YOU more than he loves himself.  

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