Keep Moving Forward!

Perhaps you’ve heard this little quote by Grace Murray Hopper, an admiral in the United States Navy:

And I love this quote because so often we are fearful of the unknown and tempted to stay where we are comfortable and safe. We want to leave the harbor, but we don’t know where we should be going! Should we steer to starboard or to port? One thing is for sure, you can not steer to either if your boat is no in motion.

It is totally okay if are not sure about where God is leading you right now! But that doesn’t mean you can just idly sit in the harbor; you need to move forward. Because often times He does what He did with the Israelites after they escaped from Egypt. He could have parted the Red Sea DAYS before they got to it. They could have seen in the distance, “Look guys! The sea is parted! That is how God is going to deliver us from Pharaoh’s army! He’s done it! Hooray! Woopie! Ye-Haw!” (they, of course,  do a little dance of merriment) But no.

But that is not what He did.

He waited until they got right the edge of the water. He waited until they could taste the salt in the air and hear the sound of the beating hooves of the chariots, waited so they had no other option but to completely rely on God and trust Him wholeheartedly, and then, THEN he parted the Red Sea and they walked across on dry ground.

This might be that time for you. You might be waiting, walking, knowing that God has told you to take a next step, but you are not sure where to! You know what He is saying? He’s saying “Trust me, daughter. Keep moving forward. I will shut doors no one can open and open doors that no one can shut (Rev. 3:8)! I want you to glorify me with your life, and I WILL direct you to the best place for you to do that. Just seek me.”

As you move forward, the Holy Spirit will be sure to grant you peace if that is where our amazing Triune God wants you to be. He is the giver of peace! I love Proverbs 3:5-7 -“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your path.” The Lord’s timing is perfect, and though the path may not be EASY, He will make it straight. And because He is good and trustworthy and beautiful, you will grow to love and trust Him more because of this experience, of this I am sure!

Needing Reminders of Truth

(Myrtle Tree)

This week especially I needed to be reminded of a few things.  I needed to be reminded of the greatness and the goodness of the God that I serve.  I needed to be reminded of His glorious attributes and the magnificent gift of Salvation, and of His love for His children. I needed to be reminded of Truth.

So here is some truth found in Isaiah:

“Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;
And you who have no money come, buy and eat.
Come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without cost.
“Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And delight yourself in abundance.
“Incline your ear and come to Me.
Listen, that you may live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
According to the faithful mercies shown to David.
“Behold, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
A leader and commander for the peoples.
“Behold, you will call a nation you do not know,
And a nation which knows you not will run to you,
Because of the Lord your God, even the Holy One of Israel;
For He has glorified you.”

Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,
declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

12 “For you will go out with joy
And be led forth with peace;
The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,
And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

13 “Instead of the thorn bush (that which is temporary and is burned with fire in other parts of Scripture) the cypress  (an evergreen) will come up, And instead of the nettle (that awful stuff that makes your skin burn) the myrtle (it has beautiful pink flowers!) will come up,
And [e]it will be a [f]memorial to the Lord,
For an everlasting sign which will not be cut off.”

Then, Charles Spurgeon reminded me of a few more things I needed to hear:

This morning let us hear the Lord Jesus speak to each one of us: “I will help thee.” “It is but a small thing for me, thy God, to help thee. Consider what I have done already. What! not help thee? Why, I bought thee with my blood. What! not help thee? I have died for thee; and if I have done the greater, will I not do the less? Help thee! It is the least thing I will ever do for thee; I have done more, and will do more. Before the world began I chose thee. I made the covenant for thee. I laid aside my glory and became a man for thee; I gave up my life for thee; and if I did all this, I will surely help thee now. In helping thee, I am giving thee what I have bought for thee already. If thou hadst need of a thousand times as much help, I would give it thee; thou requirest little compared with what I am ready to give. ‘Tis much for thee to need, but it is nothing for me to bestow. Help thee?’ Fear not! If there were an ant at the door of thy granary asking for help, it would not ruin thee to give him a handful of thy wheat; and thou art nothing but a tiny insect at the door of my all-sufficiency. I will help thee.'”

O my soul, is not this enough? Dost thou need more strength than the omnipotence of the United Trinity? Dost thou want more wisdom than exists in the Father, more love than displays itself in the Son, or more power than is manifest in the influences of the Spirit? Bring hither thine empty pitcher! Surely this well will fill it. Haste, gather up thy wants, and bring them here–thine emptiness, thy woes, thy needs. Behold, this river of God is full for thy supply; what canst thou desire beside? Go forth, my soul, in this thy might. The Eternal God is thine helper!

And lastly, Job 42 reminded me of a proper response to God’s matchless majesty:

Then Job answered the Lord and said,

“I know that You can do all things,
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
‘Hear, now, and I will speak;
I will ask You, and You instruct me.’
“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
But now my eye sees You;
Therefore I retract,
And I repent in dust and ashes.”

Praise the LORD for His patience with us as we foolishly forget and question His power and graciousness.  What a blessing to have Scipture in our own language that we can read and receive absolute truth and nourishment for our souls.

I hope this reminder was as encouraging to you as it was to me!

Blessed Assurance!

Do you ever read Scripture, and suddenly you are afraid you are not really ‘saved’’? It doesn’t happen to me often, but the other day I was reading in Romans (5 & 6) and started to get very nervous about being “Dead to Sin”. Sin has a real presence in my life. I hate it, but it does. How can I who died to sin, live in it? Why don’t I feel dead to sin?  If I have newness of life, and am a new creation, why do I struggle with the same sin I struggled with 10 years ago? And on and on my questions came.

Until I asked myself, what does a slave to sin look like? If SIN was my master what would my life look like? I answered myself with a short list of things, and you can answer that for yourself as well. What would your life look like if sin was the commander of your life? What would change?  Then I asked myself, what does a life that is a slave to RIGHTEOUSNESS look like? And I (like you should!) took a few minutes to list some things that are direct responses in my life to obeying righteousness. I was encouraged as I looked over both lists. Encouraged that there are many ways that my life is a slave to Christ Jesus, and though far, far, far from perfect-I do not live as though sin was my master and lord.

Then I also remember, that the assurance of my salvation is a ball not in my court! I need to remind myself that I needn’t have any fear about God revoking his choice to redeem me because of my struggle with my sin nature. I do not need to be concerned for my salvation. My salvation is NOT based on my actions, what I do or do not do. It has not been earned through my good deeds, and cannot be taken because of my bad deeds. My salvation has been giving to me through the free gift of Christ, based off of HIS decision to redeem this hell-bound child, and HIS choice to make me his daughter when I was a child of wrath. I am righteous in the eyes of my creator. Because of Christ’s death on the cross, his righteousness is accredited to my account, Christ looks at me and though he should say, “Guilty!” he now says, “Innocent! Child of mine-you are an heir to my kingdom!”  My offenses are repulsive to the Lord, absolutely! Do I hate sin? Do I spend time weeping and repenting over the pain I’ve caused my Heavenly Father-absolutely! But, fear for my salvation, is something as a daughter of the King, I need NEVER do. He will NEVER leave me, nor forsake me.

“As God did not at first choose you because you were high, so he will not forsake you because you are low.” –John Flavel

Trust Me

So, here comes a more personal blog post, that I almost don’t want to share. But, I know that God specializes in working through pain. So I share my heartache with you today because I know that 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 is true. “ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God”. So it looks like to me, if the Lord comforts me, and I do not use it to comfort others-I am being disobedient!

Here’s the short/fast story: I was dating someone for almost 2 years. He is the one my soul loves. We were struggling in some ways. Met with our pastor. He said, ‘break up or get married’. We weren’t ready to get married. So we broke up. Now, 3 months later, I am constantly asking the Lord, “what’s next”?  I am easily worried and anxious about what my future folds. I know the Lord is consistently reminding me, “Daughter, focus on me. I am the one who both holds your future, and IS your future. Trust me; yearn to understand my heart and mind.”

He brought to mind Peter’s story of walking on water found in Matthew 14. We all know it. Peter’s fears overwhelm him to the point where he takes his eyes off Christ and begins to sink. But, once he cries out to the Lord, Scripture tells us that IMMEDIATELY Christ reaches out to him.

Jesus doesn’t then tell Peter, that he had no reason to fear. He didn’t belittle the fact that there is a storm raging all around him and he is on uncharted waters. He does has reason to fear. So Christ’s response instead was, “Why do you doubt? “You can be scared; that makes sense. You don’t know what is going to happen, and many things could go wrong. Be scared, but trust me. Trust me because I’ve never let you down before. Trust me because I’ve proved to you time and time again that I’ve got your best in mind.”

After they get back on the boat, Matthew tells us that they worshiped Him declaring that Christ “truly is the Son of God”!  Saying that Christ is the Son of God means that all of his words and promises are true! He is  trustworthy; I have no reason to fear the future or doubt His plans since He is who He said He is! So when I am tempted to take my eyes off the person and work of Christ; when I am tempted to worry about all the varying unknowns and fears in my life-I need to strop. I must stop and WORSHIP; remembering WHO Christ is and why I can trust Him. He truly is he Son of God.

If you are on uncharted waters, in a state of limbo, and wondering what is next- remember that it’s okay to be scared. But what you must monitor is where your fears drive you. It can drive you to a doubting and cynical heart, or it can drive you to a faith-filled heart of worship. When you take the time to understand who Christ is, there is really only one possible outcome.

 

Spurgeon Quote