On Tuesday night I went to the office to catch up on my writing. I still had blogging to do, a funeral service to write and I had to finish my Pentateuch class for Wednesday night. I took my glasses off to rub my weary eyes and the next thing I knew I was wiping drool off my chin.Iit was seven o:clock. I had power-napped for a half-hour.
I’m not in the habit of falling asleep while I am working; So I was a little stymied until I began to add up the hours from the previous two weeks. 137!… Eeek! Granted one shift was an overnight where I got to sleep on the hotel floor…still that’s a lot of hours!
I am so grateful to have a shepherd who “leads me beside the quiet waters.” The verse actually means “He leads me with care or guides me to a watering station beside waters especially set aside as a resting place.”
God knows what I need. As my Spirit-guide, it is His job to lead me to the resting place when it is necessary. He promised me a while back that when things got a little too hectic He would sovereignly cancel items off my schedule. I think He does this because He knows I have a weakness in the area of saying no. So He helps me when I get over-committed. True to His promise, on Wednesday I went in for a team meeting at the local VNA and the meeting had been cancelled giving me and extra two hours to rest and catch up. Then yesterday I got an e-mail from my senior pastor telling me I could take some vacation time to just rest if I needed it!
I have to say Jesus is my quiet water and my resting place.
How does Jesus bring you to rest when you need it?
Last night we continued our class in the book of Leviticus. With only twelve weeks to complete God’s First Five, we have to keep things going at a pretty good clip;But here in the chapter charts we can take some time to ruminate over what God is really saying; So as you read Exodus chapters 5 and 6, I hope you find some really deep revelation for your life.
Exodus chapter 5 sermon topics/titles:
1. Denial of God doesn’t make Him less God: Ex:5:2
We now come crashing into the Book of Exodus with our chapter charts. We leave behind the beginning of things and gaze deeply into a time of great trouble for the fledgling nation, Israel. Exodus is all about holding to faith (or not) in the midst of struggle. I can’t wait to see what you come up with for the next chapters!
In the years between high school and marriage, when I wasn’t attending college, I worked in my father’s restaurant as a short order and prep cook. Dad’s place was well-known for its home cooking. I was an abysmal baker but pretty good with meats; So one of my jobs was to make the sausage. Weekly I would grind, spice and bake-off about a hundred pounds of pork for our breakfast patrons.
About three weeks before my wedding I began experiencing nervous jitters that resulted in difficulty focusing. Still, I managed to keep things pretty well together, until one afternoon when I was experiencing a particularly potent round of pre-wedding jitters. I forgot the spicing stage in the sausage making. I didn’t realize my mistake until I had completely cooked off sixty pounds of pork loaf. I am assuming most of you have never done this. Let me just say there is absolutely no way you can redeem pork loaf in the restaurant business. I was quite sure I would never make it to the altar if my father found out (his anger was a thing to behold); So in fear I hid the pork loaf for four days under a fifty pound box of lettuce.
Emotions are powerful things. In their grip many have left the world of reason and have made choices that left the world gaping in disbelief. Meanwhile those caught in the grip of feeling wondered why no one else could understand what they did.
Our culture puts great stock in being led by feeling. We probably shouldn’t. God made feelings to be a part of our souls. He didn’t make them to be the “be all and end all”. He certainly did not intend for us to be led by our feelings. We are to be spirit led by the voice of God and His revelation to us.
So part of restoring my soul has been getting my emotions out of the driver’s seat and into the back seat where they can make helpful suggestions without calling the shots.
I should probably finish by telling you that eventually I had to confess to my father (you can’t hide pork loaf forever). I lived to see my wedding day. My fear reaction turned out to be unfounded. That wasn’t the last time I let fear rule the roost though. He has worked with me again and again in this area. I am to this day being restored in my emotions.
My soul is an “organ” with three parts: mind, will, and emotion. In order to be fully restored God must restore all three parts. It is not just my mind, my thinking, that is broken. My will, the decision-making part of me is also in disrepair.
I have to confess that when I converted to Christianity I didn’t suddenly turn into this total God-serving machine. Oh, there was a change. I began to serve God more than I ever did in my pre-Christian state. But I still struggled with my will… I still struggle with my will. There is still this piece of me that doesn’t want to do good. Label it however you want to, it’s a no-good piece of me that works hard to influence my decisions in life. Sometimes ,with my will, I listen to that piece of myself and…you know the end of that story. Yes, my will needs restoring to that place where my ears are tuned only to the commands of Christ. The tuning is a work He does through training and testing. Each time I listen to His voice, in the middle of a test, and choose for Him my will is restored and I am conformed more to His image. The more I am restored the more joyful obedience becomes.
Have you ever noticed that the more you obey, the more you want to obey?
That’s the sound of me flying in. No I didn’t fall off the face of the Earth. I fell into Jesus. Let me ‘splain. “Falling Into Jesus” was the name of our art community’s autumn show. It went up yesterday and so I have been “arting” since Friday morning at 8 A.M.
It took our team most of twelve hours on Friday to defrock the fellowship hall, hang the show, and shop for the opening reception. Yesterday, show day, my daughter and I were back at it by 9 A.M. I of course had to buy a new white shirt since mine was more of a greyish brown. Then we were back to the church for what my sister likes to call “dits and fratz”.
By 2 P.M. we were having our artist devotion and 3-8 P.M. was the show. We had about 250 people out I think! It was a great day of art, music and literature!
The work of Gramma Wendy
The work of Charlotte Dorais
I feel so guilty about missing yesterday’s post but man the last few days have been a class five cyclone. I am just taking a few minutes to write between services and then I am off to play piano for evening prayer.
Hopefully tomorrow I can get back on schedule with the writing. I have so much to tell you!… Well time to go!…WOOSH
God is about the business of saving us! How awesome is that! He has done…is doing…will do all that is required to save me and that is a work I could never accomplish myself.
Many of you may have read my friend Matt’s replies to the previous posts. While Matt’s comments focus on the work that is already accomplished in eternity, our verse here is focusing on the work that the Lord is currently doing within time.
“He restores my soul”, that is…my mind, my will and my emotions! Hallelujah! I am so grateful to a God who restores my mind. He is at work within me ridding me of all my “stinkin’ thinkin'” as Joyce Meyers calls it.
I have been a Christian for thirty some years and in that time God has transformed my thinking progressively on many matters. I present my thinking to Him daily and His Spirit transforms me by the renewing of my mind. Every time I pick up His Word I am challenged and my thinking is changed by increments. I have noticed that as my thinking changes so does the way I behave. As He restores my soul so He repairs my broken behavior!
So am I already changed or am I being changed? According to the Bible both are true. I guess understanding that is one of the restorations God has to make to my mind! 🙂