The Surprising Sovereignty of God

BmciaU3IYAAV0bt

Sometimes I am shocked by God’s sovereignty. It shouldn’t surprise me, but it really does every time I experience Him as my sovereign Lord. It sets me back a little bit in humility thinking, “Wow, Jesus! You care that much to show up in my life in THOSE details and in THAT way.” It just really does amaze me.

Tonight I sat down to spend some time with the Lord and just began to pray. I am on steroids that have been dubbed as made by Satan himself, so I have been feeling so moody, grouchy, hungry all the time, and struggling with insomnia. [Sidenote: Prednisone, you’re horrible]. I sat down to pray about my emotions and really wanting to push through those to meet God in a sweet time of worship through the word. Over and over I kept hearing, “Feelings and experiences do not equal truth.” That’s odd. But thanks for that Jesus, I guess.

But you know what? I needed to hear that. I struggle, really, with projecting emotions and past experiences onto other people and God. And as a result, I have a hard time believing God’s word.

I started to look at a journal from STINT and was encouraged by the entry for April 29, 2013. It was on the miracles of Jesus in Matthew 11. It noted that we can know and trust that Jesus was the messiah because He fulfilled every prophecy concerning the promised savior. I was so excited to read that, “Matthew 11- evidence Jesus gives that he is the promised Messiah: blind receive sight, deaf hear, lame walk, dead are raised, poor in spirit have good news. Isaiah 61:1-3. In all these miracles, we see Jesus is reversing and undoing the impacts of Genesis 3.”

I began reading where my ESV yearly devotion left off, in Isaiah 30. I began reading about Judah not trusting the Lord’s promise to save them from the.. ugh.. history is so not my thing. Assyrians? Anyways, instead of trusting the Lord, they rebelled. They sought out protection from tangible allies (ie Egypt. Less we forget, God had to rescue them from the Egyptians via Moses). They ran back into the arms of oppression due to fear and lack of trust. They allowed their emotions to steer them away from trusting the Lord.

Depressing right? Well, it gets better.

I continued reading in verse 15, “In repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength…” The Lord had already promised protection and deliverance. He’s asking them to trust Him. Repent. Trust. Be still and know.

I continued reading and then all of the sudden something clicks. In the promises of God from verses 19 onward, we see something eerily (probably not the best word) similar to Matthew 11.

[19] “You will weep no longer. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry, when He hears it, He will answer you.” The deaf hear…

[20] “…He your teacher will no longer hide himself, but your eyes will behold your teacher.” The blind receive sight…

[21] “Your ears will hear a word behind you, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’….” The deaf hear, the lame walk…

[29] “You will have songs as in the night when you keep the festival. And gladness of heart when one marches to the sound of the flute, to go to the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel…” The poor in spirit will have good news…

Amazing.

The soverign God of the universe, who holds all things together, orchestrated this time together with me. I am just so amazed at how the Lord speaks to us and sees us. How funny is it that this was my reading for today and it aligned with something I read while living in Africa exactly one year ago today. Amazing.

Is He speaking to you today? If so, comment below with how! 🙂

Advertisements

Longing for Heaven [while being asked to carry a body].

(Roman Sakhno /Getty Images/iStockphoto)
“Then two wonders happened at the same moment. One was that the voice was suddenly joined by other voices; more voices than you could possibly count. They were in harmony with it, but far higher up the scale: cold, tingling, silvery voices. The second wonder was that the blackness overhead, all at once, was blazing with stars. They didn’t come out gently one by one, as they do on a summer evening. One moment there had been nothing but darkness; next moment a thousand, thousand points of light leaped out – single stars, constellations, and planets, brighter and bigger than any in our world. There were no clouds. The new stars and the new voices began at exactly the same time. If you had seen and heard it, as Digory did, you would have felt quite certain that it was the stars themselves which were singing, and that it was the First Voice, the deep one, which had made them appear and made them sing.”
― C.S. Lewis
(Roman Sakhno /Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The Lord is faithful.

I have learned so much about God’s uncompromising and constant character the past two weeks. Just to sum up what I’ve learned: God is good regardless of my sin, other people’s sins, and circumstances. God is with me. Bad days do not disprove God’s love for me. God loves to redeem, restore, and make things new.

Those are some pretty good truths to rely on considering the day Katie and I had. Today was really sweet and really sad at the same time. Last week my friend “JaJa’s” grandma passed away. I asked her if there was anything we could do for her. She asked if I would go to the funeral ceremony to “carry the body.” I was a little concerned, but for those of you who know me, you know the love I have for “JaJa”. So Katie and I went this morning to be a support for her and to love her. The Lord really helped me out because I tend to get really nervous/awkward at funerals. I don’t know what questions to ask or what I should say.  There was the ever-present language gap between me and most of the family, so I hope they still saw that I was wanting to be there for JaJa. Oh, and I wasn’t asked to carry the body. Phew! Close one.

It was hard because I love “JaJa” and I hate to see her and her family hurting. There, of course, was sadness that came from seeing the distress, devastation, and lack of hope that was there for the family. Family members were sobbing uncontrollably, shaking, and singing songs to Allah begging to let the grandmother into Paradise. The pain that they were feeling-of losing someone they loved so much-was so thick you could touch it. I couldn’t help but feel a little of what they were feeling; I wanted to take that pain from them. For this family that is predominately Muslim, there is no assurance of salvation. There is no promise that after they die, they won’t be in Hell. There is no escaping their sins. All I could think about was this is the way every funeral is going to be like for this family, for their village, and for this country if no one reaches them with the message of salvation through Christ.

And all of that is really challenging for me. I have to battle against my mind and my heart because I want to doubt God and His plans. I think, “Is this what it’s going to be like for “JaJa’s” children? Are they going to be pleading with Allah to let her into Paradise too?” I act as if I have more love for her then the God who formed her has. But then I remember the truths that I’ve been learning. God is good. God cares for “JaJa” and her family. He is with them. He is the only redeemer and the only One who can restore us to Himself. Seeing the devastation of sin, and the eternal effects of it, didn’t cause my heart to become angry at the Lord today. It caused my heart to press into Him and to desire to go out to the people who need Him with the hope that they are all longing for. God desires to bring His lost home.

And so today I was encouraged to be thinking about this eternal home. I am excited to die and be in Heaven. I know that sounds weird and depressing, but we’re promised an eternity with a loving God and no more sin-heartache, tears, anger. We get to worship and sing praises to the God who loves us more than anyone we’ve ever met could. We are in total bliss with brothers and sisters from every tribe, tongue, and nation worshipping the same God. I’ll be speaking Wolof fluently with Jesus. I’ll have the best French accent while singing praise songs to my King! I’ll get to eat Yassa Poulet out of the same plate as Jesus. I’ll get to worship God on the tops of mountains that I couldn’t climb in this body! I’ll get to sing songs with old friends and one’s that I don’t yet know. I’ll rest in His presence, goodness, love and beauty for an eternity.

I was gently reminded that this is not the end. Until I get to the end, I will continue to long for something greater than what the World has to offer. For those who believe in Christ, we’re promised an eternity with Him not based off of anything we could ever do but because He died in our place. I fully believe I am bound for the kingdom, and I would love Senegalese, Americans, Saudi Arabians, Indians, Brazilians and for you to come with me.

Please pray with me for “JaJa’s” family and for the gospel of eternal hope to go forth in this nation.

Isaiah 43:1-7

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel; “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east and from the west I will gather you. I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

 

Your Vindication by Chris Tiegreen

I just read my daily devotional and the scripture for today was from Isaiah 54:17. It says, “No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me, declares the LORD.”

First off, I don’t know why I’m not just sitting here studying the book of Isaiah because it has some pretty solid truths in there!  Anyways, I’m going to post most of what Tiegreen had to say about this verse. I hope it blesses you the way it blessed me!

“A cold, hard truth in this fallen world is that those who side with God will share His enemies. They are numerous, and they can be vicious. They often have little regard for truth and a great capacity for scheming. David found it to be with Saul, the prophets with their prophetic rivals, Jesus experienced it with Roman and Jewish leaders, and Paul heard it from other preachers and churches. Whenever God does a great work, either in your heart or in your world, it will be greatly opposed. Those who are His servants will face the opposition firsthand…

We who claim God as our defender must not take up our own defense…. God has a way of vindicating His servants that is beautiful in the end. The aggressors fade into oblivion; the righteous remain in His glory.”

🙂 There was more but those were the main points. It’s beautiful to see this passage while I’m coming out of a dark time of questioning and doubts. I’m super thankful for God’s timing. He really does know when I need to hear these things and when I’ll be open to receiving them. 

Although I still think this past, well… I don’t know what to call it. We can call it my “Walk in the Dark.” I think this past “Walk in the Dark” was one of the worst things I’ve ever experienced. I’ve had to battle constant lies and depression. There came a time where I couldn’t put the armor on anymore. But I’m glad that I got to that point where I couldn’t fight anymore and I had to fully rely on God to be my defender. I am thankful He’s restored me to a sound mind, a beating heart, and a soul that is revived. 

Readers, if you don’t have a real, genuine, life altering relationship with the creator of the universe and you’d like to know how, please message me. I’d love to tell you about Him and how He loves you. He wants to vindicate you. He wants to be your defender.

This is a song that wrenches my heart. It’s beautiful. I think it’s fitting 🙂