Part 7: Chapter 5 – Day 5: You are My Light and My Salvation

Welcome to Day 5 of Chapter 5 from Arise & Shine’s Part 7. Today, Anna is bringing forward our fifth free will offering of the Stone Tablets: Revealing the Covenant and Testimony of Jesus (the Word fulfilled).

Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

At my baptism, after a long Prodigal journey home, I promised God I would follow Him anywhere, whatever the cost. Little did I realize where He would lead me, mere weeks later. 

Strapped to the altar again
In this obedience
I dread
I'm tethered and taut.

Pouring confession
Of sin and fears
Of horrid pain
In seeping wounds.

Buried deep
In shame
I cringe at who I am
A mess, laid bare.

As I began to step out in faith, fear and the lies I had embraced through childhood trauma screamed loudly at me. The enemy hurled accusations at me. As I reached out for help amongst fellow believers at my church, the enemy merely affirmed the lies that were suffocating the beauty of Christ within me. 

I and my brothers and sisters in Christ saw my weakness and my need to mature in my faith. But God wanted to remind us all that He is the author and perfector of our faith and that this very maturing comes in following the Voice of Jesus to walk out onto the water. He wanted us all to see the faithfulness of a God who catches us in our weakness, to birth a deeper trust and faith, not in our own ability or maturity, but in His at work in us.

What I didn’t yet see was that Jesus was allowing every attack, every rejection and every silent back turned toward me, for my good. For, every attack uprooted my faith in the stony and weed-infested soil of my own old heart. Tenderly and patiently, Jesus replanted my longings and affections in the good and soft soil of His new heart in me. 

His is a beautiful heart that has always been beating inside of me. It had just been waiting for God’s perfect timing, to be uncovered that it might shine brightly in the flames of Christ’s jealous love for me.

But in my pouring out
You lift my eyes to truth
My striving dies
Your Face to see.

Eyes of love
My face in light cascade
My weak and feeble frame
In warmth You bathe.

The tears now flow
Released in streams
My heart unburdened,
Bare.

All along He was unbinding me from my past and tethering me unto Himself – my hope and future – through every wounding and every pruning. Even as I repeatedly stumbled, returning to bow before my idols and muddying my vision, God did not leave my side. He beautifully surrounded me on all sides with timely affirmations through His Body from around the world, inviting me to return and rest in Him.

Oh no
Not broken mess
But Christ in me
The Eagle freed.

Your Voice
Upon this altar cries
"Sin and shame
Are not your name.

"For not man
But I have chosen
And appointed you
To go and bear abiding fruit.

"Now go: depart under
A new authority
Beloved you are
My light to the world."

These women from America, South Africa, New Zealand and Finnland, prayed for me and sent me handmade gifts, cards, personal testimonies of their weakness and God’s power, worship songs and Bible verses. They and my ever faithful husband and family covered me and surrounded me in love at every turn. Through every trigger of trauma they spoke truth to me (even if it hurt) and they extended me grace upon grace upon grace, as I shed the old for the new. They helped me to stop minimizing what I had been through and to shed the spiritual abuse, which had me repeatedly wanting to take my own life. They embraced me in compassion, lifting the accusations of condemnation wielded by my accuser against me.

Many were women (like Bettie) I had befriended through my blogging, who became even more precious to me during this time of intense spiritual attack. I had actually “disappeared” from online fora in obedience to God’s call some time before, but my Savior showed me through these women, who reached out to me during my time away, and through my everpresent, devoted husband and family that when all else fades away, love (God) remains.

Christ continually moved in to avenge His elect. He separated me from all I idolized, repeatedly hemming me in on all sides and showering me in His kindness to lead me to repentance. He took the truth of my redemption, my “buying back”, from my head to my heart (Hebrews 10:16). Piece by piece. Through the many attacks, I stood in awe of my LORD, as He defended me and reminded me of His beautiful divine will for my life. A divine will reflected in the meaning of my name: grace. Now I know I was created to receive and to extend my Papa’s favor to all those Jesus sets before me that I might reflect His beautiful face into this yearning and aching world.

Where sacrifice 
Of pain
On altar strapped
To die, I see.

You lift my gaze
To see
Your face
In mine.

As I followed my Jesus to fellowship with Him in the hiddenness, His peace flooded my heart. He has revealed Himself so very present to me and to those so dear to my heart. When I thought God was punishing me by leading me out, as one door after another closed in my face in my obedience to His call to me, I now know that He was in fact taking me where my heart truly longed to go: back to my First Love. Back to being hidden in my Jesus, in the living and active trust of the Father, He is continually awakening in me.

He bestowed His reputation (Shem) upon me in my humbling, His Name of power and majesty (Yah) in my weakness and His light (nihe’ra) of truth, love and grace in the darkness of my sin and hiding. In the unveiling of Christ in me – the pleasing aroma ever present within me – all the fears, all the lies and all the accusations of condemnation that once held me captive were lifted away. Now, my Jesus is still daily proving His power in me. He is arising within me to guide me, train me and defend me with His living and active Word that He continually brings to my remembrance to bless me and those He places on my heart.

Shem yah nihe'ra 
Your renown, Your Name
Reflected silver pure
You're shining bright in me.

No longer I
But Christ in me I see
Your burning coals
My heart and lips have freed.

A JOY
My heart explodes
A waterfall of grace
Splashing on my face.

Christ has led me to die to my old life and to arise as a new creation in Him – the One true God and my good, good Father, who withholds no good thing from those who are upright. He has clothed me in His Name and His authority. He has lifted the weight of condemnation.

I cannot help but lift my voice in worship, again and again and again. Praise continually pours forth from my heart and lips. And I cannot help but weep, as I watch Him open the heavens to shower me and all those He has given me in love, family and friendship, in such mercy and compassion. He is restoring, redeeming and proving us all – His.

Our broken walls
You have rebuilt
Salvation and deliverance
In Jesus' Name.

Hemmed in
Your nail-pierced hands
Your palm
Upon our heads.

I know we are fearfully
And wonderfully made
Each day I wake
To find You by my side.

It is not me, but HE who is yielding up my fleshly desires for His life giving breath, moment by moment. Just like Paul, I can now say (2 Corinthians 1: 9-10 ESV): “Indeed, [I] felt that [I] had received the sentence of death. But that was to make [me] rely not on [myself] but on God who raises the dead. He delivered [me] from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver [me]. On him [I] have set [my] hope that he will deliver [me] again.” 

No! I will not die
But live to tell
What You: the LORD
Have done.

My life
You've set apart
From a new heart
Christ to bestow.

My lamp
Is shining brightly
For You are my light
And my salvation.

HELPS Word-studies

4442 pýr – fire. In Scripture, fire is often used figuratively – like with the “fire of God” which transforms all it touches into light and likeness with itself. God’s Spirit, like a holy fire, enlightens and purifies so that believers can share more and more in His likeness. Indeed the fire of God brings the uninterrupted privilege of being transformed which happens by experiencing faith from Him. Our lives can become true offerings to Him as we obey this imparted faith from God by His power.

[This is illustrated by God’s fire burning continuously at the entrance of the Tabernacle where the priests made sweet-savor offerings. Compare Lev 6:12,13 with 1 Pet 2:5,9.]

Source: https://biblehub.com/greek/4442.htm

Will you join me in my personal prayer today?

Father, thank You that You are for me and not against me. Thank You for the cleansing waters of Your living Word washing over me, for nailing my sin and my disease, past present and future, to the Cross. Thank You for sending the jealous flames of Your love to burn away the dross of my past to unveil the new healthy heart of flesh beating inside of me.

Thank You, precious Jesus, that You have defended Your dwelling place. I declare today that I am Yours. I have been bought with a price. You are my true heartbeat, my pure breath of life and the strong walls of salvation protecting me.

Thank You for lifting the burden of my past. Thank You that even though I did not deserve Your robe of righteousness and Your ring of authority, You chose to run toward me to clothe me in them to Your honor and glory that I might now arise to give You praise. Thank You for Your tender mercy, Your longsuffering and compassion toward me every step of the Way.

Thank You that even now, on days I feel so very weak, YOU continually show me that You are my true strength, as You arise to perfect Your power in my weakness. Help me to keep pouring out my heart to You and to keep listening for Your Word to me. Help me to resist the devil that he may flee from me. 

Father, thank You, that hidden in Christ, I can continue to count it all joy, when I meet trials of various kinds, for I know that the testing of my faith produces steadfastness. Help me to let steadfastness have its full effect, that I may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Cause me to continue to stand firm in You, with the light of Your face ever shining upon me, that You may draw many more out of darkness into Your glorious light, through the witness of Your Holy Son in me. In Jesus’ mighty and precious Name, Amen.

3 thoughts on “Part 7: Chapter 5 – Day 5: You are My Light and My Salvation

  1. Bettie G December 23, 2021 / 5:19 pm

    Today as I was reading your words and precious poem, the song “Head to the Heart” kept coming to me. What a gift! He truly brings His grace and favor to us! Love you so much dear sister!

    Like

    • Anna Smit December 23, 2021 / 6:51 pm

      Oh those lyrics are beautiful. This is speaking to me today:

      There’s no shame
      In looking like a fool
      When I give You what I can’t keep
      To take a hold of You

      Amen: He truly does. That book you gave me is such a gift. Will share more via email. But for now I wanted to say that I so loved this bit in the intro too:

      Healing of heart and soul bear the fruit of gentleness, hope, courage, joy, faith, truth. Cure in some cases may bypass healing; if the body is repaired and the heart and soul remain closed and stony, healing hasn’t transpired. If the body is cured but the heart remains caught up in itself, healing hasn’t happened. But if you can bear it, healing your heart’s wounds through the mercy of God, through the experience of living with illness, may open the path of compassion in ways you never expected.
      P.25 (Broken Body – Healing Spirit: Lectio Divina and Living With Illness by Mary C. Earle). So so true. So much heart healing has come through my mental and physical illness and I feel like it’s just the beginning of so much more.

      Like

      • Bettie G December 24, 2021 / 12:06 am

        Oh amen! I am also continuing to find that the heart healing that He is bringing through these days of walking thru illness is becoming such a gift. I’m so thankful we can share together in Him. Love & hugs!

        Liked by 1 person

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