Monday, January 21, 2008
We just got back from a retreat weekend with 32 of the most precious women. It was such a fun trip. I am so blessed to be a part of the family of Christ with you! How much love I have in my heart for each of you astounds me. How deeply the others who were not able to attend were equally missed. God had a plan with it all.
I just have to share two things from it. One is the most powerful thing I have ever experienced. It may be a good tip for any of you women's ministry or girl's ministry leaders out there. At the very end of the retreat the topic was identity and who we are in Christ. Our speaker (Sandy-you rock girl-God has SO called you to this) and our Women's ministry leader (Amy-You are just the bomb and the greatest leader ever)
Looked each lady in the eyes and spoke this blessing over each one,Listen oh daughter, consider and give ear. The King is enthralled with your beauty-Psalm 45:10a-11a. Then each lady was crowned as the royalty they are. There was not a dry eye in the place.
Then here is the quiet time I wrote for it. So I hope it blesses you today.
“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. The law of the spirit of life sets me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2).
“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).
“Oh God, you are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld You power and Your glory. Because Your love is better than life, my lips with glorify You” (Psalm 63:1-3).
There once was a girl in a not so far away place who was searching. She had most everything she needed yet there was still an empty space in her life. The emptiness plagued her so much that she made it her mission to search and find what it would take to relieve it. She looked and looked for what seemed way to long. The search was hard, or that is what she thought. Sometimes things are really closer than they seem.
She looked into things that never brought her true happiness. She tried many things to fill this empty space but was still unfulfilled. She looked around at everyone else. They all seemed happy. So she did what she knew best to do, she put on a mask to cover her pain. What started as an ache started to grow deeper and deeper. She appeared to have it all together on the outside, but inside the pain drew deep. Until one day her world was rocked. She could not hold in the pain any longer. It was not humanly possible. Then it happened.
She found it. It was Christ, the man of her dreams who would fulfill her every dream and every need but there was a catch. As enthralled by her as He was she had to chose Him back. Even though He was strangely gentle and fearfully powerful she felt peace with Him. Yet, could she trust Him? She had to decide to give her life to Him as He did for her. This was a hard choice for her to make. What would this giving of her life mean? What would it require? She was after all an independent woman. Who had that right to ask this of her?
So a battle within her started. The very thing she always wanted she was afraid of. She was stuck. Stuck in a place where she didn’t know how to move forward. It was a pit of sorts. The answer was right in her face but the gentle kindness of Christ would not demand she leave her pit. He just waited with opened arms. Quietly and patiently. She had never experienced this before in this hard cold world. What would she do?
Isn’t that like life sometimes? We dream of being fulfilled and happy yet the pain of the reality of life seeps into our very existence. We are besides ourselves about it. We do not know where to turn. It is uncomfortable. In our flesh we try to take matters into our own hands to make things better. Yet the only thing that can truly and completely soothe is our Savior. Many things can temporarily make us feel better. Oh yes, that big piece of cake. Or perhaps escaping through the life of that soap opera actress. Oh, and gossip-don‘t forget that (even that polite church kind-you know that takes the form of prayer requests). Maybe it is a secret drink or even medications. So many temporary reliefs to life’s pains. Yet the only true healer is Christ Jesus. He is the One and Only who can take us and mold us into what He purposed us for. He is the only One who can make us whole.
As women we have such an important role. We influence so many things with our very presence. We need to be godly women so we can influence the world around us to want Jesus. We need to live it, walk it, and breathe it. If that girl from our story could see the real thing lived out then she would have found it more easily wouldn’t she? Sweet sisters, let us be women who are real in our walks. After all Jesus said in this world we will have trouble. We all walk through some sort of pain at some time in our life. The thing that makes us different from the world is the hope we hold fast to in our Savior who never takes His hands off of us. Let us live our lives as Christ intended to be a great influence on the world around us for His glory.
What can you relate to your life today from today’s reading? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
What are some things that have been said this weekend that have stuck with you? And how will you apply them? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Take a moment and ask God to show you how He sees you today. How does He see your life through His eyes? Ask Him to show you the people you influence in your life. Ask Him if you are walking in your calling today? Are you walking in obedience? Ask Him what steps you need to take in your life with Him right now to grow from all of this. Remember there is no condemnation in Him. Walk with Him.
God makes no mistakes. From the beginning of the creation of this world He has ordained this retreat. He has ordained for you to be here at this very moment. He knew you would need this for whatever reason He chose. He chose you. He blessed You and He is working in you today and everyday of your life. Rest and be still in Him. What a privilege it is to be chosen by God for salvation.
To wrap up your quiet time Read Ephesians 1. Read it slowly and let it soak into your very being. Read what God has called you. Read who He says you are in Him. Write it down. Write down the things that speak to you deeply where you are at in your walk. Now believe them and walk them out.
Thank God and praise Him for your salvation. Thank Him for the great work He has done in your life. Ask Him to search your heart and create in you a pure one and to renew a steadfast spirit in you like David. He will do it. Sweet sister-just rest in His presence. Imagine what that song of rejoicing may sound like He is singing over you this very minute. Speak to Him and listen. He has so much to show you. Record your thoughts.