03 December 2015

to be hungry this Christmas.

I know this sounds like I'm doing an informercial for the Bible, but...I can't help it.

Disclosure: I am receiving no financial compensation, gifts or discounts of any kind from the Lord in exchange for my endorsement of spending time in His Word.  All opinions are my own.


I told you about a week ago that I was going to go crazy reading His Word.  Spend every spare moment, replace a few of my daily activities with the Truth, miss sleep if I had to, etc.  I haven't been doing that to "see what will happen", but because I was/am feeling strongly convicted (and that conviction confirmed over and over) to be in His Word far more.

However...I have to tell you what has happened because it's been exciting.

What has happened as I've been disciplined to obey that Spirit-led conviction is that it is making me hungry for His Word.

Isn't that funny?  I started diving deeper into His Word because of conviction, but what has naturally grown through that is a far increased appetite for His Word.  I can honestly say that I am finding myself wanting more and more time to be in my Bible every day.  The first few days, I was spending an hour each evening or afternoon...but by now, I find myself wanting to be in the Word when I wake up...wanting to spend time with Him in the afternoon while the girls are building legos...wanting to end my day in the Word.  Naturally.  

That obedience has turned supernaturally into desire.  In a week!  Praise the Lord.

My circumstances?  Haven't changed at all since last week.  But something else that has happened through increased time in the Bible is that I am finding my attitude and emotions about my circumstances have greatly changed.

If I had to describe what I mean by that simply, I'd say that I feel far more SECURE this week.  Things that shook me up last week...things that made me feel hurt or alone or angry or frustrated...  This week, they have truly met me with a peaceful heart.  And I believe it is because I am continually reading, continually meditating on the idea that I AM HIS.  I am His.  And the Word is proving to me continually that He. Has. Got. This.

Battles I felt I needed to fight, hurts I felt I needed to dwell on, frustrations I felt I needed to satisfy...this week, they are His.  Again, supernaturally grounded.  Praise the Rock.

Finally, I have found that I can feel my trust, my faith growing.    I've been reading in Isaiah, I've been reading in Acts, and I've been reading all over the place with my daily advent readings (this is the one I've been following this year), and ALL of it speaks of or displays His power.  ALL of it speaks of or displays that He is the first and the last, above all and in all and through all, more than able, far greater.  

And as I meditate on that each day, every day, seeing Him proven over and over, wondering at His glory...man...the way I have always "believed" it is turning into true TRUST.  I don't just believe and know He is powerful.  As I'm internalizing that reality each day powerfully, it is shaping how I think and respond and pray.  I'm finding trust to be my first response instead of my last reminder.  He is above all and in all and I TRUST Him!

I've been working on George Muller's Scripture praying, which has been taking me a bit to get used to.  Sometimes I'm looking at a chapter in Isaiah and thinking, yeah, but how do I put my prayers for this student outreach or Lily's French exam in here?

What I'm finding is that trying to use God's Words to form my prayers is changing them.  My repetitive rather meaningless prayers of "God, be with my girls today" and "please give me what I need for today" are changing.  

What His Word says is that He IS with my girls today.  DONE.  His hand is mighty, He will provide, He will go before us.  He IS what I need.  Done.  

Instead, as I read, "Drip down, o heavens, from above.  Let the clouds pour down righteousness, let the earth open and salvation bear fruit, and righteousness spring up with it" (Isaiah 44:8)...I am filled with abundant prayers for our students, that as they minister, they might be righteous...that as they disciple, they may see fruit.  

As I read in Romans 5, vs.18 about how through Adam's trespass there is now condemnation for everyone, but through Christ's one righteous act there is life-giving justification for everyone, the everyone's in my life who have not embraced that life-giving justification fill my conversation with Him. 

As God glowers over the sheer stupidity and bold offense that idol-making and worship are before Him in Isaiah 44, I ask Him anxiously to SHOW me...to show me where the high places I have not completely destroyed are...to show me what things tempt me towards idolatry.

It is coming...He is gracious...I'm pretty sure Muller is onto something.

Listen, can I quickly say something as a non-North American North American to you North Americans?

Please be careful.

This season we are in is supposed to be a deliberate and powerful practice of anticipating the coming of Christ the King.  Light of the Word.  Hope in the Darkness.  Jesus, the truest and BEST.  We, His children, are supposed to be preparing our hearts, filling them with His presence, pursing Joy and contentment in Christ, asking Him to be born again today and today and today in our hearts and lives.

Do I miss snow and lights and all things Christmasy?  Sure.  But I am blessed, because Christmas in Haiti is WHATEVER we make it.  There are NO stores...there are no malls, there are no commercials, no millions of Christmas parties and programs and cantatas and gift exchanges.  As Matt and I choose that Christmas for our family will be about His coming, anticipated light in the darkness, it will be.  There is very little competition.

As we choose to give each girl, as always, just four gifts (one they want, one they need, one to wear and one to read), it is with their strong knowledge that that is four gifts more than ALL of their friends will be receiving...and with the deliberate intention of keeping their true focus on the True Gift.

I KNOW IT IS NOT THAT SIMPLE where you are.  I know it is not that "easy".  I know that there are a million distractions and messages trying to steal you and your family away from what today and EVERY day is about...away from the message the mighty GOD has for you and your family this Christmas.

I know you will have to fight, and hard, to dwell in a place of His peace, His promise, His coming this Christmas.  And I don't have some 10 point plan to make that happen.

But I DO know that if you can commit to this with His help...spending a crazy amount of time in His Word this season...it's going to make a HUGE difference.  A life-changing difference. A deliberate difference.

And I'm not sure how many other gifts and programs can promise you that this Christmas.

I love you, I am praying for you, I'm thankful for you, and I'm so blessed to be privileged to offer you the most cherished, valuable and transforming thing that I have : the Joy of every longing heart.













2 comments:

  1. so good to remember, Stacey. You challenge me all the time. I'm loving the She Reads Truth advent study, too. You would also like ifequip.com

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    1. I'll check that out now, thank you! Fill me in honestly about that ESV Study Bible...are you liking it? Helpful?

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