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Friday, January 23, 2009

Praise God for Grace, Humility and Prayer as an AF Wife!

Well, I have decided I am extremely bad at posting recent updates on blogs…. Even if I’m not that busy! It just seems so much goes on in my life that I can hardly record or remember it all. It’s a great problem, but I’m just horrible at good, quick solutions. Thus, I have FINALLY come up with a plan: rather than just record what has been happening in my life about my life, I feel it’s better if I recorded what God’s doing in my life and teaching my soul.

Like my friend Emmy, I have struggled in figuring out where to start reading the bible. However, my wonderful husband was there to guide me to a bible study plan that has helped me tremendously in how I should be governed by God’s word. And one of the biggest challenges my heart has been presented with is the way I’m trusting God with a desert time, learning how to fully enjoy a blessed time I could think is cursed, and learning to weight the time I give him as either spiritual ritual or spiritual health. So much God has been working out on my heart and so little time to share it all!!

First off, I can’t tell you how humble I have been made from the position I am in currently: a wife and a follower of Jesus. That’s all I can really claim. Yet, my calling is so significant to God, but to the rest of the world in whom my heart longs for their approval, it is nothing. I am nothing. And the more I walk out this journey, the more I depend on God for how I feel about myself in the world’s eyes. I have been very affected by Oswald Chamber’s advice about keeping your life concentrated only on Christ: “The golden rule for your life and mine is this concentrated keeping of the life open towards God. Let everything else-work, clothes, food, everything on earth-go by the board, saving that one thing. The rush of other things always tends to obscure this concentration on God…[let] other things come and go as they may, let others criticize as they will, but never allow anything to obscure the life that is hid with Christ in God.” Our concentration shouldn’t be on this what-the-world-thinks-of-me mindset, but on the will of the Lord, the only opinion that will EVER matter. Thus, the most encouraging model God has given me to gain strength from his humble ministry is Christ. Think about it: Christ, Lord and Creator over all, the WORD, the ALMIGHTY, the GREATEST of all that exists, came to earth in the most humble position of all: as a mortal. To top it off, he came as a lowly, average carpenter that made no outstanding trade that would distinguish him from all the other carpenters. That is all except the fact that he was lowly and just another man with a position that mattered nothing to the kings and rulers of this earth. However, even though we know who he really is, the rest of the world saw him as we saw would have seen a jobless wife in our day and time. And yet, not ONCE did he ever try to unnecessarily brag about who He was or complain about what He was sent here to accomplish. Yet he did it in LOVE and FULLY joy, knowing that greater joy lied ahead in future glory. This has encouraged me that when in the times of the shadow of the valley (the times I feel pressured to fill my empty slate with an activity or a task just to make me feel like I have a purpose or an accomplishment to brag about so that I may feel worthy) I should instead turn to the Lord and be still, throwing my day up to him, my worth up to him and saying “Here I am Lord… The Lord is my trust and I trust only in you” (Is.6:8 and Jer.17:7). God has given me this time to draw closer to Him and understand by His word and by prayer what He has in store for me, preparing me for the road ahead. I need to take this time to be still and listen to him, letting my heart enjoy the peace that surpasses all understanding (Phil 4:6-7) while I do the most important thing this life has to offer: knowing Him!!

I think Chambers says it best when he simply quotes, “Turn to me and be saved” (Is 45:22) We can almost lose sight of the Lord when we are too concentrated on our life as a Christian instead of our life hidden in Him. God wants us just to “cast all about in our minds as to what we shall do this summer, or tomorrow, and let them vanish as we come before Him. Your life will never go according to your plan if God has something greater than you would have expected, so it’s good to learn to have an open heart to look to him and celebrate in what he gives! And as a part of the military, you learn fast never to get stuck on your plans, for they never go as you would have planned anyways! Thus, my hope and prayer is to “build my hope on Him. No matter if there are a hundred and one things that press, resolutely exclude them all and look to Him.”—Chambers. He will align your life with His will and only then will you understand how giving your everything is really gaining the only things that ever mattered (Phil 3:7-10).

Another thing the Lord has made as a very important is the power of prayer. We went to a bible study on Wednesday before Andrew’s classes started led by a Lieutenant Colonel and the lesson was on prayer. It was funny how much God was teaching me about the significance of prayer, even in my unspoken concerns my spirit brought before Him. I was very nervous to come in to this study (being the only spouse and the only one not in uniform), but God made it clear to me by giving me a heart of peace that He would take care of me if I just had faith to go. And God always makes good on his word! I got there and the Lt. Col. started off by directing the group to get their attention off the fact he was in uniform or the ranking on his shoulders. Instead, he encouraged us to see him as a man, an ordinary man that has been saved by the Lord. It seemed everybody was more relaxed after he said that and my heart was definitely ministered to! God taught me so much about the power of prayer through the lesson as well… it was definitely His will that I was there and I’m so thankful He encouraged my heart to keep stepping out in faith so I may receive all of these wonderful blessings.

Just to encourage your heart, I’ll share with you what God taught me about the gift of prayer. First, God gave us the gift of prayer to talk WITH him. Sometimes, we can get so caught up with praying at God we can forget we were given the great gift of hearing what He wants to teach our hearts and listening to our cries, concerns and petitions so that we will know that “The Lord is at hand [and we are not to be]anxious about anything” (Phil 4:6-7). God also gives us wisdom to see what we might not have seen before without his revelation of such things (James 1:5) (Jeremiah 33:2-3). We can also be assured that God answers these prayers because He loves his son and sees His son in us—thus, he hears the Holy sprit, who cries out on our behalf, and blesses us with our requests, for they are from Christ (who we are now, with redeemed hearts, delighted with!) and not worldly passions—Psalms 37:4-5. He wants to help us when we come to him with willing hearts! It’s amazing to know that it is humility and admitting our need for the Lord that allows us see him working more fully in our lives! (2 Chron. 2:14). He has also led my heart to see that I need Him as early as the time I rise in the morning just as much as I need Him all throughout the day (Ps 5:3, 2 Thes. 5:16). It seems it is in the early mornings that my weakness of being tired and prone to acting off my feelings can led me to act oppositely of how I feel towards my husband and how I want to serve him (Ps 66:18, James 4:3, Ps 139: 23-24). Thus, we need God to change our attitudes so we can be still before him and come humbly in our weakness so He might make our motives and intents pure (James 4:10, Ps 46:10, 51:10). Thus, I encourage you to really think and pray that God reveals to you the essence of pray in our walk with Christ... because this is not a spiritual ritual to be taken lightly, but it is our key and our privilege that has been given to us by Christ so to grow our relationship with him more and more daily. What a gift to praise God and know God hears our every praise (Ps 19:3)!!!

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