Clayheart

Outpourings from an imperfect but redeemed & treasured heart of clay.

Category: Dancing with Jesus (page 2 of 7)

Set your heart, mind & soul

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. – Colossians 3:1-4

My new year started off pretty rough.  I knew 2014 would hold some interesting things and lessons, I felt it deep and I could feel the Lord preparing my heart and mind for it… I just didn’t know how it would actually translate into the reality.  One thing hit right after another though and I got a little overwhelmed by how soon and quickly it all happened.

Two weeks later, I’m finally coming out of it for a brief period and some encouraging things are happening instead of some difficult challenging things.  But I am not foolish enough to believe it’s over, because I know what the Lord has been trying to tell me and I feel it for so many people.  So I refuse to arrogantly ignore the lessons the Lord was teaching me in the first rough two weeks of 2014.

Let’s face reality… we are sojourning on an unstable planet, with an “unstable environment” and unstable people.  At any given moment and within seconds, the life you currently lead could drastically change.  A hurricane can hit your home, a tornado, your water could get contaminated, your food resources could be gone, the power grid in your town shut down temporarily (or permanently)… those are just some of the more medium scale scenarios, but what about the seemingly smaller more personal things?

Your phone and communication abilities cease, your car dies and you can’t make it to work to get the paycheck to pay your bills (much less fix that car), you’re stranded, plus no internet for that beloved facebook today (sorry, maybe that sarcasm and disdain is uncalled for but man, I hate facebook), your boyfriend/girlfriend decides they want to end the relationship, you or a loved one loses their job, the power didn’t go out today but the pipes froze so no water to shower for a few days… or maybe you have to face some of the more serious ones like a death in the family or a loved one having health issues putting you in a place to figure out your role or responsibilities in caring for that individual and others.

All realistic things… and how do we handle them?

The Lord exposes a lot of your heart in those moments.  He exposes and brings to light what we’re truly dependent upon, what we put our hope and security in.  It’s highly uncomfortable – so our comfort zones get challenged.  And in that exposure and uncomfort, our character and heart is shown for what it really is.  I wasn’t a fan of what was exposed in my heart when I met some struggles the past couple of weeks, but I was so extremely grateful for the dark being brought into Christ’s light… because I want His character.  So even though the exposure was uncomfortable, I wanted and needed it to repent, surrender, and let the Lord have His way.  To teach me how to trust, depend, rely, and set my heart, mind & soul on and in Him.

I feel like the Lord is concerned with how we will respond to Him when we face the challenges of 2014, because how we respond will reveal our willingness and openness to His training and equipping for work in His Kingdom and for the time of His return… and He’s coming soon.

How will we each respond to His refining?  I observe a lot of things.  I see different people in the body of Christ going through difficult stuff and I’m seeing a variety of responses, mostly the responses are concerning and weigh heavily on my spirit.  But I also observe many encouraging things and various believer’s hearts that are truly set on Christ in the midst of it all.

So back to the verse I opened this with…

If you’re setting your heart, mind, and soul on earthly things, be it technology, jobs, knowledge/education, achievements, future plans on this planet, even people in your life, whatever… those things are gonna be shaken and you may not be able to handle it.

At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken–that is, created things–so that what cannot be shaken may remain. – Hebrews 12:26-27

But if your heart and mind are set on the things above… you are putting your hope in Him, so you are not hopeless when all those other things fail!  You can see those earthly things like technology, knowledge/wisdom (fearing God), relationships, etc. through the lens of God’s grace.  Thus, your security is there, in Him, so you won’t be shaken AND you’ll be able to worship and glorify the Lord still.  To continue the rest of that passage…

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” – Hebrews 12:28-29

You can’t help but be thankful in the most uncomfortable of times if your heart is set on Jesus and a kingdom that cannot be shaken!  It isn’t easy and you won’t be all positive hunky-dory, your flesh and heart will feel in total anguish sometimes, have stuff burned away inside isn’t a pleasant feeling… but God is still there, so it’s all good, even if it doesn’t “feel” like it.

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
  Psalm 62:5-8

He’s Beautiful

So yesterday… the Lord was up to something!

That sounds kinda silly because the Lord is always doing something and moving. I just mean He was doing something special in my heart. I can’t say exactly what it is yet, but He’s starting something and I can feel it… He is faithful and incredible!

Each one of us is invited to have a personal relationship with Jesus, so do not assume that just because I say these things about my time with the Lord that He’s overlooking you. If you believe that God is overlooking you, then stop… that is a direct lie from Satan. I say this because I had once believed that the Lord overlooked me. And it isn’t true.

Yet I did believe that for a while. It made me angry. I would hear people say ‘God told me (this) and (this)’ or ‘God showed me such and such vision’ whatnot, etc. etc. ‘Oh the Lord is good, He just gave me a million dollars!’ (that’s a sarcastic exaggeration, but it’s kinda how I perceived things). I was jealous and angry at God… I literally would cry and yell at Him like ‘gee God, thanks… you speak to them and show them whatever visions are, but I’ve never heard a peep out of You. I don’t “dream”. I can’t speak in tongues. What am I doing wrong? Why don’t You talk to me? I want to hear you too!’

I used to think that anger I had was wrong… you’re not supposed to be angry at God, right? On one end it was wrong, when I was comparing my relationship to someone else’s. Yet on the other end, God later showed me that my heart that just desired and wanted to be with Him was what He loves and longs for. I was jealous for His time and attention because it’s what I longed for as well… and that kept me running after Him. I think maybe He is quiet (audibly/visually so) with me to cultivate a deeper desire for Him and more perseverance. I still don’t know yet, but I wouldn’t have my relationship with Him any other way. I want Him to lead the relationship and take me where He wants me to go and speak to me the way He wants to. :) And He does. He “speaks” to me not necessarily audibly, but through His Word, through His children, through worship/music, through visual moments of the day, etc. I just have to respond by being open and paying attention.

He’s personal… He created us each uniquely and He knows our hearts and what makes them beat. He holds each heart, each heart beat and each breath we take. He carries us through different things in life, be it trials or triumphs, because He’s after our personal heart and life. Since He created us each so uniquely, His relationship and pursuit with each of us won’t look the same. We just need to respond to Him.

Just remember and know that He knows your heart and knows you better than you know yourself. Always cry out to Him! There is no “right” way to cry out to Him, just coming to Him and crying out is the point. His response may not look like it does with the next person… He knows what you need and He has a specific dance set aside specially for you. You just have to quit thinking it’ll look like someone else’s.

So I was driving and crying yesterday…

The Holy Spirit sparked spontaneous worship and I was overwhelmed by the Lord’s goodness. The song, You’re Beautiful, by Phil Wickham was the backdrop and what I worshiped along with. When it got to the final verse of the song (and then the bridge) was when I was really overwhelmed.

“I see you there hanging on a tree, you bled and then you died and then you rose again for me. Now you are sitting on your heavenly throne, soon we will be coming home. You’re Beautiful!”

“When we arrive at eternity’s shore, where death is just a memory and tears are no more. We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring, Your bride will come together and we’ll sing – You’re Beautiful!”

Please consider supporting either of my two 2013 First Love Projects (for CURE International or Show Hope).

Moment on the Knoll…

My soul could finally breathe today…

The past few months I’ve been suffocating. Suffocating under the filth I keep trying so desperately to hold onto that I foolishly refer to as “life”. Have you ever had those days, weeks, months, or sadly sometimes years?

It’s like you’re floundering about, doing things or acting in ways that are contrary to who you really are or who God calls you to be… you know it isn’t healthy, you feel the toll it takes on your heart and spirit (even physically as well), but you don’t quite know how to dig yourself out of it and you feel too embarrassed to turn to the Lord because you know He’s the only solution but your heart has been ignoring Him all this time. Even though your head justifies ‘nu uh! I’ve spent time with Him here, here, AND here… see?’ going through the litany list and patting yourself on the back for all your “righteous” (self) acts.  In those moments though when the denial justification stops and you remember you’re not really breathing but are suffocating, it just doesn’t “feel” (pride) like His grace is sufficient for you, because you’ve been abusing it for a while and taking it for granted.

Then humility hits (sometimes HARD)… and you come. All Jesus wants – come. And you remember it isn’t about ME, how I “feel” – His grace IS sufficient, and that’s what makes it His; whole and complete, unfailing and relentless. That’s what makes HIM so awesome, and my ‘suffocation’ in “life” so unnecessary.

Yesterday, I climbed up to one of my favorite places. It was the first time I could do so in many many months. It’s a knoll surrounded on all sides by glorious mountains. The sky was an incredible blue. I just sat there with the Lord… and because I was reminded how small I am by these mountains that were created by my Father, I conceded my pride and “my life” once again. I don’t know how long I was up there… but I cried, prayed, and just spent much needed time with Him.

It’s so amazing when we just come to Him… He doesn’t make us feel shame or guilt for how we’ve acted or been. He doesn’t remind us of the sin we’ve dabbled in. When we’re humbled, we already know it, and repent. But He draws us into His arms and loves on us, no string attached. It’s overwhelming and beautiful. He doesn’t see us as small or miniscule, He sees us as precious and worth dying for. The wind that touched my face up on that knoll felt like kisses and He took away my suffocating, replacing it with His breath.

I just wanted to share about His goodness… all struggles and my own creepiness aside. He is an adoring, worthy Father! So just go to Jesus… come as He says come… just as you are, right where you are, right now.

Humbled, I listened to the reminders of why He made me and why He wants me to come to HIM and follow.

I was made for more than this world could offer me.

My heart to hold true mystery.

And my voice was made to fall on holy ears.

My life to collide with majesty.

Out from the ordinary. Into extraordinary.

This is a heart-cry, from my life.

To say I love You, God, I love You.

So take me deeper, oh.

I can hear You calling. Inviting me in.

Into the glorious.

 

I was made for rest, in a world that’s striving.

To lie down in the fields of green.

To set my feet upon this holy ground.

To build my life on the things unseen.

Out from the ordinary. Into extraordinary.

This is a heart-cry, from my life.

To say I love You, God, I love You.

So take me deeper, oh.

I can hear You calling. Inviting me in.

Into the glorious.

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