Seeking Rest

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Sin is deceitful and hardens our hearts toward God. It develops a pseudo exoskeleton, making it harder to penetrate with God’s love.

The Israelites were made to wander in the wilderness due to their pride of self and unbelief in God. They never entered into the Lord’s rest as a result.

Therefore, they were constantly seeking; seeking more, seeking a king, seeking a home, seeking love and purpose even though it was in their midst, they were still seeking. They were anxious. Instead of peace they had anxiety.

Unbelief was their sin.

They were tricked and hardened by it. 

Sin’s tentacles wrapped around their hearts so much that they could not make room for love to penetrate their heart’s walls. 

They were blind. But they chose blindness. They heard the things over and over from God through Moses, yet they chose to trust in what they could see and feel more so.

They chose to be unbelieving and it cost them peace. It cost them rest.

This promise of rest however did not stop with the Israelites. Let us be careful with our own individual lives that we do not become a Xerox copy of their behavior for we also have been given the Good News through our Bibles and hopefully through our friends and our churches as well. May we find value, purpose, and meaning in it so that we may enter into the Lord’s rest in the now and so much more in the future to come.

Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart. He is seeking to give you rest. True rest. Real rest. Rest from trying to earn your place in this world and the one to come. Rest from the chaos and heartache in this complex and amazing world. You see, the world has not been built to eliminate pain but Christ has come so that we may have the pain relief to make it through.

Today if you hear his voice do not harden your hearts as you did during your rebellion. (Hebrews 3:8)

May your rebelling cease and you come to find  hope and peace found solely in a Sabbath rest God is waiting for you to accept. The gift has already been given, all one must do is accept it.

I Need A Silent Night  <——–  These thoughts made me think of this song.

Our Biggest Contender

There is a song I love by Andy Mineo called Wild Things, I guess if you were to ask me what kind of people I am drawn to it would be this group. They are the misfits. People who haven’t been to church in awhile due to struggles and addictions that keep them afraid of the church doors. Depending on where you are in life, you could be contending with your biggest giant just inside this building where fellow believers meet.

We fear ridicule, we fear blame, we fear judgement just inside these doors and because we already struggle with all these things in our minds without the help of anyone else, we shy away from church as we feel it will be more of the same. But let’s face it. I mean honestly, guys. Our biggest contender is our flesh. We can make all the excuses in the world but we are accountable for self.

Some of us have been through some crazy stuff. Some of us are going through rough stuff right now. We feel so foreign. We don’t come from homes where stability is (was) a factor. We hardly know what it is like to feel safe. We are on guard; constantly watching our surroundings.  We (would) have to question who was going to be home when we got home from school. Would mom have a new partner? Would dad have another girlfriend? Would they be sober? We prayed like crazy with anxiety that at times felt crippling. Often there was concern that there would be anger and we could get hurt yet again. 

We didn’t reach out when we needed someone to turn to and we caved in on ourselves. We cried a million tears. We cut. We drink (drank). We take (took) pills. We engage (engaged) in porn. We experience (experienced) sex. Constantly we are (were) searching. And even when the help comes (came) we (would) refuse it as this was our new state of being. We have grown (grew) accustomed. We are (were) comfortable in our chaos. The enemy has cleverly baited this trap we can (could) barely part from. 

Until one day, in a rare moment, we look up and a glimpse of freedom is caught. We observe.

 It stands off in the distance. It is stable. It is genuine. It knows all our faults yet never once has it dismissed us. It actually beckons us to stay. It reads us like a book and yet loves us. Convincingly. It saw our disease and revealed the cure. Sin. Repentance. Follow Me. Four simple words. That easy. 

For some of us, we ran. Terrified. And in the moment we looked back, we saw the dark venom pulled from the cankerous souls of the ones who remained. They then became radiant. They were changed. Just like that. In what seemed to be the twinkling of an eye. The sight froze us in place. We could not continue running. No. Instead our bodies turned to face this enigma. 

These newly transformed bodies started walking our way. We were mesmerized. And slowly, one foot in front of the other, we started advancing towards them. They were alluring. We wanted whatever they had in them. We wanted healing. So we were drawn to their light, and one by one, we all were relieved of the dark venom we allowed to pulse in our veins for so long. For too long.

Soon this group became our fellowship. It was a place we could be real. We could be raw. We could be vulnerable and be safe. We could cry out, cry softly and (or) just vent. Once we were unified, we were overflowing. We were passionate. We were intentional. We were commissioned.  We proceeded in movement to set the world on fire with the same radiance that coursed through us. And one by one, we continue to succeed.

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Solar Light

Lately in our area it’s been gloomy. This is the part of winter where cabin fever is at its peak. I try not to complain but I want to see green. I want to feel sunshine. I want to dig in the dirt and plant flowers even manage a garden. And as crazy as it sounds, I want to mow the yard!

I probably should make a memo to visit this post again in June. You know, to remind myself where I was a few weeks back when I’m tired of mowing because the grass just won’t stop.

Back to where I was going with this.

I have always been drawn to sparkly, bright lights. On my bucket list I have down the opportunity to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and the outdoor nightlife of Vegas. Since my husband and I have been married, he has always tried to make arrangements to see the Silver Dollar City Christmas Lighting Ceremony of their tree which takes place the first weekend in November, around if not on, my birthday. We have made it tradition on this night to reflect on the past and what the year has held for us. I come with a humble heart and often leave with a few tears. It is a very special time for me and I am thankful my husband sees that.

Tonight on our way home from work, I noticed all the solar lights lit up everywhere, the kind you buy to line a walkway and/or add appeal to the landscaping. These little lights are quite popular it seems. With things being so overcast and gray lately, they haven’t had the energy to shine bright.  But tonight they glistened. I admired them.

Then, 1 Peter 2:9 came across the marquee bedded in my mind.

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. (KJV)

It made me think of our individual lights. We each are born with something so fragile yet so eternal, meant for Heaven but given a choice of the alternative. This thing sets us apart, makes us peculiar, often times makes us a spectacle. It’s a soul. I will henceforth liken the soul to the solar light.

Some of us choose to find the Source that will help the soul function in its purpose. To help it shine per se.  This Source provides joy, peace, strength, discipline, even patience. Once plugged into the Source it has the ability to be contagious. It draws attention. Some welcome it. as it brightens the path in life taken. Others are annoyed by it for it reveals truth and things meant to be kept in the dark. These, spend their whole lives ignoring it, suppressing it, quieting it, refusing to let it shine out and be noticed. Once at this point, the soul has learned to lurk in the dark recesses of the human cavity and refuses the light. Its more familiar there. It feels safe in the dark. Unexposed. Hidden.

The situation is these two types cannot exist in the same room without having an affect on each other. One will have more of an influence. One will dominate. The way in which the bolder of the souls leads is dependent on its human and its relationship with the Source. If the one is timid, afraid, insecure, unsure, it will more than likely absorb some if not all, under the influence of the bolder being. May the brightest light be bold here.

In the same way a solar light who has absorbed the sunshine all day cannot be silenced by the blanket of the night. Neither can a solar light left in the dreariness of a gloomy, damp day, have any power to shine in the darkness.

What light do others see in you? Would you be considered a bright light or one prone to darkness?

Lord God, forgive me for the times I have been more influenced by the darkness around me than by You. In my selfishness of self-seeking, if have influenced one to lurk where it is yet dark forgive me. Lord God, I come to You to be strengthened. To be filled with Your light so that I may help rid the world of the darkness growing in the human race. So many are searching for the Light. So many need to know where the Source is so they too, can shine. Help me, Father. Help me see them and bring them home. In Jesus Name, Amen.