Friday, July 27, 2012

Weekend Rest: Emptying

I firmly believe that the moment our hearts are emptied of selfishness and ambition and self-seeking and everything that is contrary to God's law, the Holy Spirit will come and fill every corner of our hearts; but if we are full of pride and conceit, ambition and self-seeking, pleasure and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God. I also believe that many a man is praying to God to fill him, when he is full already with something else. Before we pray that God would fill us, I believe we ought to pray that He would empty us. There must be an emptying before there can be a filling; and when the heart is turned upside down, and everything that is contrary to God is turned out, then the Spirit will come...”
D.L. Moody

A Prayer for Emptying

Dear Lord,

Please empty me... of me.
I surrender my desires, my will and my life at your throne.
Weed the garden of my heart.
Rake out the anger, jealousy, pride, fear, bitterness, hatred, unforgiveness,
all works of the flesh.
Empty my heart of any evil that would
keep You from abiding with me.
Let me approach your throne with a clean heart, and a right spirit.

Fill me with You.
Your goodness, mercy, compassion, love, humility,
joy and all the fullness of Your Spirit.

In Jesus Name I ask.

--j.l.jones 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Weekday Inspiration

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee... How great thou art! 
I clearly remember hearing God's voice one summer as I was on the riding mower, mowing the acre surrounding our home.  My husband was away for the day completing final construction projects.  We had several situations in our life that seemed hopeless.  The construction business that we owned was failing as a result of the downward spiral of the economy.  We were plagued with mounting worries of how we were going to survive.
"How were we going to make our house payment?" 
"How long were we going to be able to live in our house?"
"Would we be forced into a foreclosure?"
"What about all the other bills?"
"Will we be living in a motel?"(Worse case senario.)
"What will happen to us?"

We had a garden and chickens, which helped out a lot with food. We had three young daughters to care for, and we wondered how this would affect them?  We had been unable to make our house payment for months and dreaded the knock at the door with a foreclosure summons from the Sheriff's department. Our job search seemed to be in vain.  We were desperately needing an encouraging word, but many times felt like we had the same friends as Job, in the Bible. Thank God for supportive mothers and fathers who prayed for us and encouraged us.  Still, I felt like I was losing hope.  Everything was so uncertain. When fear was threatening to take over, that's when God spoke.  No it wasn't audible, but it spoke louder than the motor of the riding mower. Through all the muddled mess of doubt and fear in my mind, God spoke. 
The voice said assuredly, "I am God and you are not."
"What?" I thought to myself,  "I understand God. You are God, and I am not!"
The voice again, "I am God and you are not."
Then the tears came.  Through watery blurred vision, I realized I was trying to figure out a way I could fix our situation and solve our crisis.  God let me know right then, that as a human, there is only so much I can control in my life.  It was at the point when I opened my heart and totally surrendered all my fears to God that He took over.  I can't say I didn't cry more tears as I packed up boxes.  I felt the pang of loss of leaving the house we had designed, built and lived in for 8 years.  It didn't totally ease the ache of closing our construction business.  It wasn't easy to give up our chickens and garden.  However, knowing that God was in control and was going to work it out, made it easier. Knowing that I could trust God with my today's and tomorrows, made a difference.  Knowing that I couldn't work things out on my own, but God could, brought a peace to my soul.
The rest of the story... (To God be all Glory.)  Our house wasn't foreclosed on, we were able to sell it.  We took a huge loss, but since then, God has blessed us with another home.  God called my husband into the ministry. (He became an ordained minister this year.) God also blessed him a well paying job as a Building Official.  God has provided for every need. He has blessed us with His love, a loving family, clothing, a car, food, money to pay the bills. He supplies everything we need.  Are we rich? By the world's definition, no. However, through Christ Jesus and the grace He has imparted, we are infinitely wealthy!  Through this trial I learned that God is in charge, and the best way to cope with life is walking with Him.  God is God, and I am not. 

"Be Still and Know that I am God." Ps. 46:10
God is greater than any problem.
God is sovereign.
God is in control.
God is great and greatly to be praised!
God is large & He's in charge!
This week as you travel through the mundane, critical, stressful, or joyful, don't forget who God is.
How powerful is Jesus to you?          God is...

Psalm 46:1 KJV

"God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble."

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