Friday, December 5, 2008

Things above... Advent of Joy #5

Lately, I have found myself really wanting to just see Jesus. I mean, wouldn’t it be so much easier to see Him, face to face? It would be so much easier to trust Him; it would be so much easier to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He has His best at heart for me.

If I could only see Him.

I know that He really does care for me. I know that He has preserved me through so much.
After I became a Christian, I fell in love with this psalm.

“One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.”
Psalm 27:4-6

I find myself going back there. I want to dwell in His house, gaze upon His beauty and seek Him in His temple.


I want to sit in His presence with no distractions. I want to soak in His Word. I want to soak in His presence, so that when I get up and walk away, I have a sure sense that He is with me. I want feel free to seek Him fully, and know that He will answer me, even in small ways.
Over the years, I have had opportunities to get away from everything distracting. Most of the time it was times where I took off into nature by myself. It has had to be very intentional on my part.

Not to say that there haven’t been times when God has just shown up, where ever I am at, met me, spoken with me, to me, through other people, through music, through something I have been reading. He has. There are more times than I can count where Jesus has reached down and touched my heart in a profound way.

One of the things that I have learned this past year is that He is keeping me safe. He always has. I just never realized it, because in the midst of pain and trouble, it didn’t feel like He was keeping me safe.

My spirit, my soul, has been safe within His dwelling ever since I gave my life over to Him. He has hidden me within Himself. For Christ has given me entrance into the Holiest of Holies through His blood. I have been taken into the tabernacle and set high on a rock, a fortified position, safe and secure.

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. “
Colossians 3:1-3

Setting my heart, setting my mind, on things above is my biggest struggle recently. What really is more significant? The things of this world that pass away, or the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God?!

My sinful self has died and my life is hidden with Christ… in God. He has hidden me in the shelter of His tabernacle.

The enemies that have surrounded me have not triumphed over me. For a season it seemed like it. I mean, the last few years have seemed like my enemies were winning. I felt like I was going under, and there was no way up.

But God.

He has exalted me, and shown Himself so much more powerful than my enemies.

The enemy of my soul has tried so hard to attack me at all my vulnerabilities. At times, very successfully. Other times I have caught him at it.

Lately, I have been under attack. Even right now, as I am writing this, I can feel my anxiety rising. Writing out my thoughts usually helps, but I find my mind wandering, and worries increasing.

Christ is the victor! No matter what I feel, He is victorious over all His foes. Because I am hidden with Him in God, I am victorious over all my foes, whether I feel it or not.

I have victory over all that is coming at me, over all that has happened to me.

I choose to resist the enemy who would rob me of the will of God. I refuse to believe my feelings that tell me I am not secure, or that Jesus will not keep me safe and provide for me all my needs. I choose to hold up the shield of faith against all the accusations and against all the insinuations that Satan would put in my mind. I claim the fullness of the will of God for my life.

I can do that through Christ who strengthens me, through Christ’s power at work in me.

Therefore, I can choose joy.

He has exalted me over my enemies who tried to keep me down this year, who tried to destroy my life. He has given me victory!!! I have this amazing joy in my heart when I see what He has done for me.

I can lay my whole life on the alter as a sacrifice to Him. Joyfully… with shouts of joy.
All I am, all I have, all I do, all I want to be…. it is all Yours, Jesus. Again, yet again, I surrender my whole self to You… have the Lordship in my life. Fill every nook and cranny with Your Spirit, with Your presence. I want to come before the whole assembly of Your people and offer sacrifices of praise. I want to share, Lord, all that You have done in my life. You have given me such joy! Help me to focus my mind and my heart on the things above; on Your incredible plan for me, and for Your whole creation. Help me to keep my gaze fixed on you, on Your beauty, so that the things of this world will grow dim, in the light of Your glory and grace.

For Lord, I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord, Your goodness to me and others, In the land of the living, here on this earth Oh my soul, Wait for the Lord; Be strong and take heart Do not faint, fail or despair! WAIT FOR THE LORD! Psalm 27:13-14 (my paraphrase) You are my strength and my song. I love you. I rejoice in all you have done for me. Help me, Jesus to cling to the hope You have given me. Help me to follow after You with my whole heart; to trust You with my whole mind and heart, despite my circumstances. I am Yours, Lord, I am Yours. Amen.

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