rise up!

Proverbs 24:16for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.

I’m in love with the scripture Proverbs 24:16 though the righteous falls seven times she’s going to get back up! I’m going to fall and I’m going to rise up today, tomorrow, and every time I fall because I am the daughter of the One True King! My Dad is teaching me to never take it laying down and when (not if) I mess up then I’m going to get past it.  It doesn’t need to define who I am.

I have been reading “Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl” by Lysa Terkeurst.  This really has me excited!   She writes, “Becoming more than a good Bible study girl means I separate my shortcomings from my identity and let Jesus be the only measure of my worth.

Rise up ladies!

lavished

The past few days have left me feeling very emotional. I read 1 John 3:1 “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”

That verse found its way into a dark corner of my heart.  A corner that I think God wants to make bright and no longer allowing it to be a Satan to torment me corner.

Growing up I didn’t feel love.  As an adult I came to learn and understand what kept my mother from being able to mother me,  love me.  I’ve come to not allow with things that have happened to me to dictate my responses but one of the hardest things for me to come to terms with, understand, is the lack of love I received as I grew up.  Over the years I have asked myself why.  I’ve asked God why.  Why?  Growing up I internalized it and felt I wasn’t lovable, a bad kid, I made things difficult for others.  The list goes on but basically, in my heart, I believed that there was something inside me that kept me from being lovable, keeping others from loving me.

Many times as an adult I still have those feelings and it leaves me feeling like I don’t measure up, that I’m not worth the effort to be loved.  That somewhere there is a standard and I have not met that standard.

But that’s not true.  This scripture doesn’t say “IF” anywhere.  I keep reading through 1 John 3:1-3 and soaking it in.  It’s beautiful to those who know Christ.  To me!  To me this scripture brings healing.

As I study through 1 John I find that I want to know Jesus as John knew Jesus.  I want to have that deep longing to constantly be looking and longing for Him.  Enjoying every moment to be intimate with Christ. To rest my head upon Him and soak in that love, that feeling of belonging.  To feel secure and rejoice in being included, “children of God”!

Anything that has been lacking, feelings, emotions I never received from others but longed for are all complete in Christ.  And not only complete but lavished upon me.  God’s great love is lavished upon me, upon you!

Thank you Jesus.

advice

I know that God wants us to seek advice.
Isaiah 55:6 Seek the Lord while He may be found
1 Chronicles 16:10 and Psalm 105:3 those who seek the Lord rejoice
Proverbs 28:5, 2 Chronicles 14:4, 2 Chronicles 15:12, Psalm 22:26
Proverbs 11:14 in abundance of counselors there is victory
Proverbs 12:15 a wise man listens to counsel
Proverbs 15:31-33 listing will allow us to live among the wise.
Proverbs 19:30 listen so you will be wise
Proverbs 24:6 abundance of counselors there is victory
Proverbs 27:9 a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend

There are so many scriptures that talk about seeking the counsel of God, seeking advice of the wise. But what if the answers aren’t coming quick enough or the answers aren’t what you want.

1 Samuel 28:4-7 The Philistines assembled and came and set up camp at Shunem, while Saul gathered all Israel and set up camp at Gilboa. When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart. He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets. Saul then said to his attendants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her.”

It brought back memories of when I wasn’t patient, when my husband and I didn’t call on the counsel of God.  All of those times brought feelings of regret.  Those were times of turmoil for our family.

I felt dread for Saul as I read that he went to find a woman who could tell the future.  He didn’t have the heart to wait and see what God might say.  I wonder if his story would of been much different if he would of been willing to wait for God to answer.  We’ll never know.

I pray that as my husband and I are making decisions now, for our family and his employment, that we are patient, praying over the advice that we have been given and wait until the Lord answers.

trust

1 Samuel 27: 7-11  So David and Abishai went to the army by night, and there was Saul, lying asleep inside the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying around him. Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t strike him twice.” But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless? As surely as the Lord lives,” he said, “the Lord Himself will strike him, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let’s go.”

People have injured my children’s hearts, my husband has not been treated right at work, family have turned their backs on us because we are Christian, I have a friend who is a single mom and watching her sons try to grow up with out a loving father.  Another friend is having medical issues the doctors are trying to figure out what the cause is, a friend going through cancer, someone close to my heart is dealing with a husband who moved out to live with the new love of his life and wants to start over and leave them behind, a husband who is abusive, she is trying to feed her children and keep a roof over their heads.  So many women around me hurting.  So many women feeling like they are being attacked and they are.  Satan is trying to tear us apart, tear our families apart.

I am so like Abishai when it comes to my friends, my children, my family.  I want to right the wrongs and be the hero for them because I love them deeply.  I want to encourage them to take matters into their own hands and defend themselves or at least let me open my mouth and defend them!  Seeking miracles.   I have had dreams of not striking the enemy twice!

But David reminds us that not only for our loved ones but also for ourselves that the Lord Himself will strike the enemy down.  Not us but the Lord.

And we know this to be true if we know our Lord Jesus Christ and His promises.  John, who had an intimate relationship with Jesus, reminds us of that in 1 John 2:12-15

I am writing to you, dear children, 
because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name. 
I am writing to you, fathers, 
because you know him who is from the beginning. 
I am writing to you, young men, 
because you have overcome the evil one. 
I write to you, dear children, 
because you know the Father. 
I write to you, fathers, 
because you know him who is from the beginning. 
I write to you, young men, 
because you are strong, 
and the word of God lives in you, 
and you have overcome the evil one.
I know Him.  I am forgiven.  I do know Him who is from the beginning.  I have overcome because Christ overcame first.  We are strong!  The word of God does live in us!  I know that God has us in His hands.  God has a plan.  I just need to trust in that plan for my friends, my family and for me.  Just trust in God.

our examples

My oldest was with a large group of boys and the message was about who we chose to be our heroes.  The question “Who do you think is a good example in the Bible?”  My son raised his hand and said “Goliath”.  The man who asked the question paused for a moment then allowed another raised hand to answer the question.  My husband and I both felt embarrassed.  That’s is NOT who your hope your son will look to for an example.

When we got home I asked him why he chose to say Goliath and his answer was simple.  He said, “You don’t want to act like him, you don’t want to treat people like he did”.  The conversation was over as he walked away and I was still feeling embarrassed and I still wished that he had answered Jesus!

1 John 2:9-11 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them. (NIV)

Today I was reading through 1 John 2 and I had an aha moment.  It’s about fellowship.  It’s about loving your brothers and sisters.  I get it.  Goliath is a good example of how to not treat each other; to not mock each other, to not shame each other, to not fight with each other.  Oh from the mouth of babes we can learn.

John knew Jesus intimately and his message in 1 and 2 John was personal.  John watched Jesus be the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2).  If I had physically been standing at the foot of the cross, watching Jesus make the final sacrifice, would I treat my sin differently?    Having this knowledge today makes me want to change for Him.

David did a lot of things wrong.  David was a sinner but he loved God and he loved the people of Israel.   He loved them so much that (1John 2:10) there was nothing in him that made him stumble.  He walked right up to Goliath and did as we are to do, put the sin to death.  No regrets!

**This message has been oldest son approved**

almost disaster

I read through 1 Samuel 22 – 25 and felt so much hope and relief!

I’m reading through and I see that David has inquired of the Lord for every decision.  This man is rocking it!  He’s cool, calm, and collected and I’m starting to feel extremely unspiritual.

I can’t even begin to count how many decision I make during the day that I haven’t prayed over.  Oh and when I’m tired!  I think you can imagine how quick I am to raise my voice just a bit with each decision or just how bark-y my orders can get with my boys.  But not David.   Even when his men (23:3) are wanting David to put on the brakes tell him “Here in Judah we are afraid.  How much more, then, if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces!”.  See the exclamation point?  These men were not excited about going and saving another community when they are afraid for themselves.  That doesn’t deter David from going back to God and being willing to follow God’s directions.

During this whole time David even has Jonathan showing up (23:16) to help him find strength in God and remind him who he is!

And now here is the part that I’m like oh!  oh! oh!!  David hit his breaking point.  I can so relate to this!  I’ve hit a sweet spot in the day, had my victory and then someone comes along and disrespects me!  Don’t they know that Satan has been on my back all week long?  Don’t they know that last night I only had a few hours of sleep because my oldest became fearful in the night, woke me up for comfort and then the baby crawled in bed with me a few hours before I was to get up and get everyone off to a learning opportunity?!  But I did it, everyone was fed, teeth brushed and out the door. I wasn’t even worried that I forgot deodorant.  I’m feeling safe and in a good spot.  I even got a morning scripture in from email!

Then someone just comes along and even though I let them cut in front of me in traffic they still flipped me off!  That woman who obviously was in a hurry to get into the check out line walked right in front of me to get ahead of me and didn’t even look back at me!  My middle child is giving me a hard time because he thinks he knows it all!  My husband came through the door all happy about something he thinks he just discovered but I told him about it months ago!  The kids are fighting over a toy gun and I lost it.  I took the gun, broke it in half, and then handed it back to them.

Oh yeah, I know exactly how David wanted to just kill something!  I’m not even shocked when I read that David said (25:22) “if by morning I leave alive one make of all who belong to him!”  David is so mad that he invokes a curse upon himself!  Yea, I’ve been that mad before.

I’m grateful for these scriptures.  As David is huffing and puffing about what he’s going to do along comes Abigail.  She saves him and he sees that.  In 1 Samuel 25:32-34  David blesses her for her good judgement and acknowledges that it was God who sent her in the first place.

Ok, I’m not mad anymore.  David doesn’t avenge himself and neither will I.  David lets God  make things right and so will I.   We all know that evil man dies from a heart attack and David gets the girl.  I’m not hoping that everyone who crosses my path wrong dies and I only need one husband so I guess I’m good.  Thank you God.

tantrums

Why is Saul so angry?  Why is Saul so jealous?  God made him great, God made him a king (1 Samuel 9) but he wasn’t content with God’s will.  He was full of jealousy, rage, and pride.

1 Samuel 22:7-8  He said to them, “Listen, men of Benjamin! Will the son of Jesse give all of you fields and vineyards? Will he make all of you commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds? Is that why you have all conspired against me? No one tells me when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse. None of you is concerned about me or tells me that my son has incited my servant to lie in wait for me, as he does today.”

Saul was throwing a fit and throwing his authority around as well.  What he wanted, a dead David, and his men honoring him, wasn’t going well for him.  He felt like no one was faithful to him, obeying him.  He had resorted to bribes and threats.  During his tantrum he even resorted to demanding the guards to kill the priests of the Lord (verse 17).  I’m stunned!  These are the priests who serve God!

Just as my children are gifts from God.  Just as I’m yelling at my boys because they just aren’t listening and I am so tired.   Just being kids.  I have had to talk myself out of throwing a tantrum because I’m not getting my way in my own house.  Not being honored in my own house!!  Many times I’ve ended the day knowing that my behavior was bad.  My children saw me focused on myself and what I wanted.  They weren’t trying to dishonor me.  They weren’t devising plans against me.  I just felt like their were because “I felt”.

I’ve ended days knowing that I didn’t go to God first in prayer before making decisions. I should be looking to David’s example in 1 Samuel 22:5 But the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold. Go into the land of Judah.” So David left and went to the forest of Hereth.

In the midst of his storm he took the time to see what God wanted him to do.  I was so surprised!  I wasn’t surprised because David was asking God what he should do.  I was surprised because  God asked David to leave the safety he had found in the stronghold and to go to Judah.  It would be easier for Saul to find him in Judah!  But David trusted God.  David trusted God so much that he even told Abithar to stay with him, don’t be afraid.  1 Samuel 22:23  You will be safe with me.

With the group of misfits following David, I’m sure they had their own way of doing things.  I don’t this this group was experienced in taking or following orders but because David remained close to God they remained close to David.  Even some whose lives were in danger remained close because they knew being in the shadow of David meant they were in the shadow of God.

After thinking about this chapter I’ve concluded in prayer “may I draw closer to God, become humble so that my crazy, wild sons feel safe, so that my house feels safe because we are in the shadow of God”.  Safe even though we are imperfect.  Even when our behavior is good or bad.

Psalm 36:7 How priceless is your unfailing love!  Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.