Monday, January 21, 2013

Our Dependence upon God

frost on an evergreen

Freezing fog is pretty. Ice coats the branches of the evergreen trees and the grass, frosting all the greens into grays. But there’s a downside. We’ve had fog here for several days, which means stagnant air. Makes outdoor exercise tough because the air is so polluted. Even my youngest child picked up on it, wrinkling her nose while we waited for the bus, “Eww, it stinks out here.” So, I’ve been praying for wind or rain to come and sweep away the “bad” air. 

Just reminds me how dependent we are upon Him. 

If God didn’t graciously provide water, we’d die of thirst. 

If God hadn’t put Earth this specific distance from the sun, life couldn’t exist here. 

If God didn’t give us oxygen, we couldn’t breathe. But God goes beyond that—He paints sunset and invented oceans. 

He created such a variety of animals—so imaginative and amazing. 

And He’s personal. He meets personal needs. He gently leads those with young. (see Isaiah 40:11) He cares. (see John 3:16, Jeremiah 31:3)

We are His creation, and we need Him. He is a benevolent God who graciously provides for our needs. Humbling thought, isn’t it? Makes me grateful. 

How has God shown you your dependence lately, and then how did He meet that need?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Newness Series: Hearing the Truth

God’s been speaking to me for several weeks about 2012 and 2013. He’s directed me to do a journal review. (Do you keep a journal?) Wow, what a year ’12 was. Trials. Changes. Pain. But victory too! Breakthroughs and freedom.

Aren’t you glad God speaks?

Every word out of God’s mouth is true. He speaks truth.

And though truth sets us free, it’s not always easy to hear. Or accept. Or believe. Or face.

I’ve heard some truths from God in the last twelve months that made putting one foot in front of the other rather difficult. Challenging. Painful.

Sometimes He tells us the truth, and we don’t receive it. We assume those words can’t be from God because the message is opposite what we’d like to hear. We'd rather keep doing things the way we've always done them, so we reject the truth (God’s words). But doing so keeps us in the dark. In fact, we might be in a situation where we’re begging God to tell us what we’re missing, why we’re stuck, what we need to change, and then we wonder why He won’t speak. In my life, those times have sometimes been when he has spoken, I just didn’t want to hear it. I rejected His words (truth) and went ahead thinking (and acting) the way I always have. If we do that, we are gearing up for another go around that mountain. (Of course, there are times when we ask and don’t hear. God’s grace covers us whether we hear or not, and whether God waits to speak. I’m talking about the times when He has spoken the truth, and we’ve rejected it.)

So, are there areas in your life where you might not be willing to hear the truth? If there’s any question, pray this with me: Lord, show me the truth. Even if I don’t want to see it. Even if I have heard You say it before and rejected it. And grace me to respond as You'd like me to.

To hear God, we have to humble ourselves. God’s words are always true. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (see John 14:6)

Then, when you hear the truth (or realize He’s already spoken it to you), face it. Deal with it. If it hurts, face the pain. Don’t avoid it. Don’t run from it. Don’t deny it. Don’t reject it.

It’s the truth that sets us free. It’s Jesus who sets us free.

So, what is God saying to you as you begin this year? Anything you need to face?

Remember, He shows us the truth for the sake of our freedom, and it’s for freedom that He sets us free. (see Galatians 5:1) There is no condemnation in His words to His people. Conviction, sure. Condemnation, never. (see Romans 8:1)

"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free... Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." (John 8:32, 36 NKJV)

Oh, what a good God! 

Here's to seeing and hearing the truth in 2013. And here's to freedom!

Photo credit: from Photo by "Dan"