Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Take Time Tuesdays

Chapter Five ~ This One Thing I Do

"There is only one relationship that matters, and that is your personal relationship to a personal Redeemer and Lord. Let everything else go, but maintain that at all costs, and God will fulfill His purpose through your life." Oswald Chambers

As soon as I began working on this chapter, I felt a great "YES" well up inside of me. This is my great desire. The author shared, "Paul's goal and passion was to know Christ not by gaining more information, but by personally experiencing His presence. " This is the desire of my heart. I do want to have a pure devotion to the Lord and make Him my one thing. I'm so thankful for His grace and patience as I continue to learn and my life is transformed to living this out daily!

Isaiah Chapter 43 is one of my favorites in the Bible! Reading it often brings tears to my eyes, as I realize how much He loves and values His children... So, when the author highlighted verses 10-13, I knew I had to share them with you too:

"You are My witnesses," declares the Lord, "and My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I Am He. Before Me no god was formed, nor will there be one after Me. I, even I, Am the Lord, and apart from Me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed - I, and not some foreign god among you. You are My witnesses," declares the Lord, "that I Am God." Yes, and from ancient days I Am He. No one can deliver out of My hand. When I act, who can reverse it?" NIV

Just typing these words makes me so emotional. To know I am CHOSEN by our amazing and wonderful Heavenly Father. Chosen! He wants me and you to be His witnesses; that we would know He is God. It is almost too wonderful to accept and embrace. Me, a sinner saved by grace, chosen by God! Can we ever really understand how great His love is for us? Yet, I can love Him throughout my whole life by being devoted to my Lord! What an honor...

"For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light." Colossians 1:9-12

While the study had us focus on verses 9 and 10, I couldn't stop there for the whole passage touched my spirit in a significant way and gave me a new way to pray for those I love ~ my husband, our children, our family, friends and even the neighbors around us. He wants our lives to bear fruit in all we do, to grow in our knowledge of Him and to have the strength, endurance and patience to fight the good fight and finish strong while giving thanks of great joy to Him always!
As I sat here writing, my "fortune" from last night suddenly entered my thoughts. To be honest, I've been waiting for some wonderful "thing" to happen today ~ an unexpected gift or visitor at my door, an e-mail to brighten my day or bring wonderful news, someone on facebook to say something to make my day - but it's already 4:20pm and just nothing until I typed the words from Colossians. PRAYER! I used to be a real prayer warrior, but it has slipped away from me in the busyness of my life since we moved to Seattle 3+ years ago. Yes, opportunity is knocking at my door. It's time to become a prayer warrior again! Not a high profile job like we humans like to have, but a job in the trenches filled with great honor and tremendous responsibility. I am humbled, Lord, and hear You clearly; including the "act soon". Thank you. This is a very wonderful thing to happen today!

"We cannot know God if we are rushing here and there, with countless calls pulling us in various directions... We must 'take time to be holy,' to get to know our Lord as a person with whom we delight to spend time." John Phillips

Okay, so the time has come to visit Mary and Martha. I so want to be Mary, but I struggle as Martha. So much to do, so little time - yet I know that without dedicated, focused time in His Word and sitting at His feet, I will never achieve the One Thing in my life: pure devotion to Him. This is one of my biggest battles. I so desire to be more like Mary and let go of Martha. May He help me overcome!

"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ - the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow to attain to the resurrection from the dead." Philippians 3:7-11

Is it my desire to live a life of wholehearted devotion to Christ and this passage in Philippians is well known to me. I have told the Lord that this is what I want - and I think I've "tasted" some of this in my years, but when you read it and meditate upon what it is saying... Wow! If you agree, you're telling the Lord that you are willing to give up much, willing to suffer to know Him more; with the goal of being completely devoted to Him. What a struggle for me humanly. My heart says yes, but my head says, "but what about this or what about that?" It is my desire, but I'm realizing that I struggle against myself and what I've told the Lord I desire. Sigh. I still have much to learn...

This quote by Warren Wiersbe blew me away this week:

"In David's case, his battles were won in his private times of worship with the Lord. David had many responsibilities, and there were many demands upon his time; but his number one priority was seeking God's face. He said, like Paul, "This one thing I do" (Phil 3:13). Without satisfying worship, there can be no successful warfare. How did David know that God was a light, a deliverer, and a fortress? He learned it while gazing on God's glory in his time of worship and meditation... How he longed to leave the battlefield and dwell in God's house! But, wherever he was, he took time to come into God's presence, meditate on God's gracious kindness and contemplate the person of God."

If you get nothing else out of this week's study, I hope the above quote touches your spirit in life changing ways! I get caught up in the busyness of life, but I am the one who has things messed up. I try to squeeze God in here or there or in between the other things. And, I wonder why my faith and spiritual armour isn't stronger... Well, now I know if I didn't before. In every area of my life, God needs to be my one thing! If I accomplish only one thing each day ~ coming into His presence, meditating on who He is, spending time sitting at His feet and learning from Him.

A time for reflection this week: Take a few moments and examine your life and determine what your main focus is...
  • Mine has been raising our children in the Lord; developing their gifts and talents and encouraging them to use them for the Lord's Kingdom purposes.
  • Encouraging others
  • Teaching and training children in their service to the Lord
BUT ~ has my #1 priority been to know God above all else? My answer is YES and NO. I want to know Him, but I have not devoted the time or energy to REALLY know Him. I still have much to learn.

What is your main focus?

This chapter contained so much this week. So much meat to chew on... I have much more to share, but it's more important for you to spend time seeking who God is and to decide what you want in your relationship with Him. I'm going to share a couple more quotes that really touched me this week.

"The Father, the Husbandman, watches over your union with and growth in the Vine. You need be nothing more than a branch. Only a branch! Let that be your watchword; it will lead in the path of continual surrender to Christ's working, of true obedience to His every command, of joyful expectancy of all his grace. Is there anyone who asks: "How can I learn to say this aright, 'Only a branch! and to live it out?" Dear soul, the character of a branch, its strength and the fruit it bears, depend entirely upon the Vine... Therefore worship and trust Him; let Him be your one desire and the one occupation of your heart" Andrew Murray

How often I've tried to be the vine instead of the branch...

And, from Tozer:

"Yet for all God's good will toward us, He is unable to grant us our heart's desire till all our desires have been reduced to one."

May your great desire be pure devotion to our amazing Lord! Abundant blessings...

1 comment:

  1. Joan, you're doing a great job - commenting on the book, keeping up with your end of things. Now to "live up to what we've already attained" (as I think the Apostle Paul said once....)


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! Abundant blessings on your day... Joanie