Not Unredeemed

… living the beautiful tension between what is, and what will be …


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Used – 31 Days of Truth {Day 14}

Hmmph! Used. I’m so sick of feeling used. Used and abused. Are there no grateful people left? When someone invests in you, you should at least have the decency to show some gratitude.

Swirling and bubbling through my mind these thoughts chased themselves in  a cadence  to the frustrated scrubbing of my dishpan.

Splash. 

Hmmph.

Scrub.

I know loving people is worth it, but why when they are better and are going on their merry ways do they never look back? I spent hours investing in these relationships, counseling, tears, prayers and faithfulness as much like my Fathers as I could give them. I didn’t just share the Gospel with them, but my life as well. That is why it must hurt this much!  I gave them me. As soon as there was no need for me, they were gone. Better, whole. But gone.

I argued with myself as I wore a hole by scrubbing through my favorite cooking pot.

But Jesus loved this way right? Did He ever feel used? He must have! I will keep pressing on. No one else might care, but it’s the right thing to do. Jesus did it. So I’ll keep srubbing – er plugging away!

Self-righteous pride began to creep in slowly turning the dishwater a murky grey.

Have you ever done this to Jesus?

Huh!

Scrub, splash, ignore.

Hasn’t the Lord bandaged and healed you? Shared with you the gospel AND Himself? How many times have you grown and then ran on your merry way onto the next thing?

Ouch. The dishwater slowly begins to drain out of the sink.

We are to be like Jesus in how we give to and love people. Even if that means feeling “used”, but we are to be righteous over being right. The bubbles of my frustration, pride and justification of my hurt, and self-righteousness popped in the cleansing stream of the Holy Spirit’s voice.

Pop

The sink drained and cleaned as the fresh running water swept my frustration and anger down the drain.

Lord, forgive me for my ungratefulness for all you have done for me. For the ways you have loved me when I wasn’t grateful, for when you came after me when I refused to come to you. For your faithfulness of always being there for me when I need you even if I haven’t come to you for you are….

Tidbit of Truth for Today: The antidote of gratitude will wash the frustration away.


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If We Heard Wrong – What Then?

Q.Katie, your words “prayer is the safest thing you can do with your emotions” leapt out at me. What if intimate prayer, seeking & hearing from God led to the most painful experience in your life because you misheard? How do you regain intimacy with Him when that intimacy almost cost your faith?” –T

A. T, Thank you for voicing a question many of us won’t even let ourselves think. And you aren’t just thinking it – you are living and facing it. I commend you for your courage.

You see, this question hits close to home for me. The Lord recently asked me to face my biggest fear – what if I’d heard Him wrong? I didn’t think I could go on – the thought of everything I put my trust in being wrong would completely destroy me. The thought alone would crush me – leaving me gasping. Then the fear became a very real reality I had to face.

So T, I’m not at all sure I have the answers for you, because I’m here too. But as a sister in Christ I can share with you part of my wrestling’s and journey towards peace.

It’s not wasted. One of the biggest lies Satan can speak to us through this is that all of our effort, our trust, our choices, everything we’ve built on and hoped for is wasted. But it’s not! Listen to what Paul says:

 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained. (Phil 3:12-16)

When I read this passage two things struck me. 1). That God is faithful to make it clear to us when we are wrong. This doesn’t sound like a blessing at first – but it is a comfort that He loves us enough to make it clear when we are wrong. And He doesn’t let us remain in our mistakes. 2). Immediately following the promise that the Lord will not leave us when we make a mistake – is that we are commanded to live up to what we have attained (meaning – to gain). The things we learned along the journey are not mistakes even if the perceived destination is. What are the concepts – the truth we can glean from the journey? They are not wasted! Dear sister, do not loose the things you attained – but live up to them as you press forward towards the goal of Jesus Christ.

Promise or Promiser? What is our goal? According to this passage our ‘goal’ is Jesus Christ. SO much deeper than the promise is the Promiser.  In our pursuit, what we hear often takes the place and the focus of the one who speaks. When we don’t know what we’ve heard, go back to what we know – the things in His very character that aside from a lie from the devil we cannot misinterpret – His Faithfulness, and His love towards us. When we are at the place of knowing nothing – go back to the basics sureing up our foundation.

Time heals and reveals the purposes of God. I think our biggest mistake isn’t hearing the Lord wrong, but misinterpreting the purpose of what we’ve heard. <— Tweet this! (At least in my experience!) Even when we’ve heard right and others free will and sin (or our own!) gets in the way – the purposes of God still remain. Psalm 33:11 says “But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” Ask the Lord to reveal the purpose of it all to you.

Only time will reveal what was from the Lord and what was our mistake (or not). Several years ago I thought I followed the Lord’s leading into a relationship that caused me so much pain. My interpretation of it was marriage. God was after my heart (read more here ) and the birth of a ministry.

God will show us His heart and purposes. Don’t under estimate the Holy Spirit and a humble heart.

When our intimacy is lost with the Lord – remember it is two sided. Intimacy  (in –to-me-see) takes two people, and even when we are wrong the Lord is working on His side of it. He sees into our hearts and invites us to see back into His – to gaze on the Love that won’t let us go.

Just last week it hit me that “faith” is a gift of the Spirit (1 Cor 12:9). I can’t have faith on my own – but He can restore, redeem, build and strengthen my faith because He gives it to me (and you!).

So dear sister – don’t trust yourself or your emotions – but entrust them to Him. Even when the mistakes are on our end (He never makes mistakes – how comforting and how annoying!), it can still feel like in a way that the Lord wounded us.  Tozer says “ I highly doubt the Lord can use anyone He does not wound”. He is going to use this not only in your life, but in the life of others! Keep on keeping on!

Rebuild your relationship with the Lord like you would with anyone else – start with honesty. Share with Him the fear, the anger, the pain. (Journaling helps me a lot!) Look at David – the Psalms are filled with David pouring his grief out before the Lord. But the Lord never left David in that spot of despair and broken honesty – He won’t leave you there either! He is the same yesterday today and forever – He’ll do it for you too!


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A Prayer to {Dare}

Up until last week if you had asked me what the purpose of prayer was, I would have enthusiastically told you that it was to cultivate and build our relationship with the Lord. Prayer is communication, fellowship and intimacy with the Lord  = relationship. While I still think relationship is a key element, the Lord is opening my eyes to a new understanding and dimension of the purpose of prayer.

 A dear friend and I were digging into first John this week and we came across a verse that challenged both of us.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15

BAMM. A simple little verse, but with profound implications. God hears us, and acts on it when it is in His will to do what we are praying for. I’ve thought about praying ‘in the will’ of God before. Praying scriptures over situations – things that I know are God’s will. But I RARELY approach prayer with confidence and especially not praying in a way that I know what God’s will is. Doubts flood my mind “who am I to know what God’s will is?” – Then why would God tell us to pray in His will if we were not supposed to know what His will is?  Continue reading