Discovering what love is one day at a time
Have you ever felt in your spirit like a horse in a gate waiting for it to be opened…like your spirit is just pressing up to the gate….ready for that split second when it can burst through when the latch is released?....part of that for me…is that do not always know what is next, but I can feel the excitement in my spirit…and I can’t wait to see when it is revealed…weird thing is… it has always been something that I normally wouldn’t choose to do on my own…not something that comes natural, or is easy, but it is a desire that has been birthed in my heart by the Holy Spirit.
I get to minister on a daily basis to my family…I have a husband of almost 20 years and two boys ages 11 and 16…they are mission field number ONE:…I love to help people organize and clean, I am at home cooking and cleaning in the kitchen and I really enjoy making the decorations for our church’s week long VBS. I am most comfortable and lean most toward the behind the scenes type of serving… however, one of the other areas that I get to serve that I never thought I would ever do, but love doing is facilitating bible study groups or growth groups for women.
About 9 or so years ago I had that heart pounding horse in the gate moment when praying with some friends we were closing up our time together when one of them asked if we knew anyone that would be interested in serving in jail ministry for women… it was like the latch released and my hand shot up in the air and I bolted out of my chair and said when can I start? And yet I wondered what in the world did I just agree to…that was way out of my comfort zone….Who am I kidding?
Since then it has morphed several times but now looks like a once a week 2 hour Holy Spirit led group time in our county jail, with mentoring and continued contact with those that desire continued change when they are released.
What I love most about facilitating women’s groups…, Is that I get to meet beautiful women, see them discover and rediscover God’s love for them, and watch their hearts turn even more toward Him… see His love transform, hearts heal… and even addictions fall away, as women discover and rediscover His voice and gain a greater hunger for His Word and His Spirit.. I get to learn more about Him too. I love the simplicity of community and His family…we need each other. God knew I needed women to grow me…and I am still growing….
Lately my thoughts have brought me to the Scripture in Romans where it says “and we know that all things work together for good to those who love God to those who are the called according to His purpose...for whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His son…. And this makes me think about his promise that says for I know the plans that I have for you…
He has plans…BIG PLANS…His thoughts are Higher than out thoughts and His ways are Higher than our ways…
We all know that word conform is NOT referencing an outer conforming…but an inner change of character…a change of heart…one that starts with the supernatural transformation that happens when we put our faith in Christ…but then is a continual day to day transformation where we grow and mature in His grace. Where we work out our Salvation with fear and trembling… where we put to death our own will, our own comfort, our own ideas of what we will and will not do…and walk according to His purposes…knowing that …
In view of our participation in the gospel from the first day until now we are confident in this very thing that He who began a good work in us will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus…
MY way would never included the jail…NOPE…nor facilitating bible studies or growth groups, but He has been changing that, because He is conforming me into the image of His Son…who loves us all so much that He died for us….. He has shown me that I must voluntarily submit to His Word and truly… consider myself dead to my sin, and dead to my comfort for His comfort…
For I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave His life for me.
We must not set aside the grace of God.
We are all called….we were all made in His image to bring Him glory… We all have unique and beautiful personalities, gifts and talents that God has divinely created in us…We get to serve Him in everything we do. We get to submit our lives to Him and allow Him to show us His great and beautiful plans He has for our lives…Will your yes be a yes to God no matter what it is?
We all have seasons in our lives where our availability to serve the body outside of our home is limited…and where it seems like we have more time than anyone… Where are you now? … Are you a teenager….are you a single lady, single mom…married.., employed or unemployed? Do you home school? Are you a grandma, retired? …..
Great grandma? Remember that our life is a mission field…wherever we go, we carry the Holy Spirit…Everything we do we do unto the Lord and not unto men….I think that is beautiful ! That our families, our jobs, our trips to Wal-Mart, and sharing His love are all get to's
I recently took a trip to the Grand Canyon, and hiked to the bottom and back up again…this got me to be thinking about Miriam and her desert hike…
And so…. I get to share with you Miriam…..
Miriam was the elder sister to Moses and Aaron... I am not sure how much older but at least 6-7 years older… so She was at least 86- 87 years of age…in the Exodus out of Egypt.
…(, and after they crossed the Red Sea on dry land, Miriam took her timbrel in her hand and all the women went out after her with timbrels and dances and Miriam answered them”
Sing to the LORD for He has triumphed gloriously The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!)
Just pondering these verses…How many of you can think ahead to what you will be doing when you are 86- 87? 87 and hiking through the desert …I know a woman who will be 85 this month who has made 8 trips to the bottom of the Grand Canyon 8 miles down, 8 miles around to the waterfalls and 8 miles return trip up on foot….. Once a year, and has already scheduled her trip for next year. In fact, she was our group’s fearless leader on my recent trip.
Do you want to be like Miriam serving the Lord with expectation of His goodness as a great grandmother? We can read earlier on in Exodus 12 That the Israelites left the land in haste…That the Lord granted them favor with the Egyptians and were given articles of gold and silver and clothing and gave them what they requested… They had timbrels! Who thinks to bring their tambourine? Can you hear her? "Bro…don’t forget…we need tambourines and lots of them!"
Miriam left Egypt ready to Praise GOD… She left Ready to celebrate Him…
Do you think she had any clue that God would part the Red Sea for them?...Or did her heart know based on past His faithfulness to her that she would have more opportunity to give Him praise…that He would have surprises for her on this new adventure. That He would continue to amaze her with His goodness and faithfulness!
We can infer that she was a leader; the Scripture says that the women went out after her. The Bible calls her a prophetess…she was gifted in song/poetry. And we see that by her song in Exodus 15.
Do you think traversing through the desert was comfortable or easy for this 86 + year old woman? I don’t know…. But she was a yes to God. No matter what it looked like…
Miriam’s life also provides us with a warning. In Numbers 12, we see hidden contention and covetousness in her heart to Moses’ God-given authority… and from looking at the Scripture where God speaks to them…It seems like perhaps Miriam…may have been comparing her and Aarons walk/experience with Moses…which really was questioning God. Prior to that she took her complaint/grumbling to another… Not good…we are not to set ourselves in that place…God can show Himself however He desires to His people.
God’s anger was aroused against them and His glory cloud departed from above the tabernacle. As that happened Miriam was stricken with leprosy…
…God will step back and allow us to turn our own way and reap the consequences of the things we devote ourselves to. He doesn’t force us to choose Him in all things…
God did restore her, but we do not know if He restored the influence she once had. She died in the desert never reaching the Promised Land.
God alone gives and takes away, we must be diligent to keep our eyes on Christ, and not allow any rotten thing have place in our hearts.
We are responsible before God to live a holy life without compromise and glorify Him in every arena of our lives.
So…Whatever you do do it with all your might unto the Lord and not unto men…What an encouragement that is…to serve Him…To say God I am a yes to you…I am a yes to you transforming me…conforming me into the image of your Son…change me from the inside out…whatever that looks like..I give you permission.
Will you let Him plant desires and dreams in your heart that He will surprise you with? Will you let Him birth great big plans that are a secret until you hear your agreement to do it? Are you a yes to Him in the every day AND a yes to Him in mysteries that have yet to be revealed to you?
I have been married to my wonderful husband for 22 years. We have two young men ages 19 and 13.. This blog is somewhat of a journal and attempt for me to keep a purposeful perspective on life as a whole.