Welcome to Day 1 of Part 4‘s Chapter 2. Today, Anna is bringing forward our 1st free will offering of scarlet thread – the cleansing blood of Christ.
MIGHTIER THAN THESE
There are days Days the waves keep coming Every time in confidence I step Out on waters there so deep.
I hear Your voice So clearly So lovingly, beckon to me come And confident, I do.
But then The waves they hit Crashing, pouring "What have you done?"
My childlike courage Now undone Fear of man rises Above my fear of God.
Waters rise In accusing tongues Where my feet have tread "Who do you think you are?"
But then I hear Your voice So gently, so lovingly Beckon to me come So, in trembling awe I do.
Cleansed in Your blood I rise afresh, knowing The old has passed For, You have come.
Yes, there are days Days the waves keep coming Every time in confidence I step Out on waters there so deep.
But my Good Shepherd Knows His sheep So, I hear His Voice And follow Him.
Yes! Mightier than violent Raging of the seas Mightier than The breakers on the shore.
The LORD above And in my heart Is mightier Than these. (Psalm 14:1, Psalm 93:4).
At that time (A)his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, (B)“Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates (C)the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.
Welcome to Day 7 of Part 3‘s Chapter 3 of Arise and Shine. Today, Anna issharinga free will offeringin a testimony the LORD gifted her through her weakness and need. It testifies to the blossoming staff of Christ’s holiness that leads and comforts us through the valley of the shadow of death, shedding the old for the new, as He calls us into His rest and peace.
Through each trigger of trauma, God is compelling my body – the Temple of His Holy Spirit- to groan for what only Christ can give me: Himself. Slowly, by the grace of God, I am learning to let the living law – Christ – fulfill what, apart from Him, I just cannot do.
I am growing up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:15-16).
Recently, just before God commanded me to depart somewhere He had sent me, an older woman spoke of my sharing sometimes being like fire, meaning it as a rebuke. This came only a few hours before another woman had encouraged me to stop bowing before my idols and to continue to speak what God had been compelling me to speak. So, as the older woman spoke of that fire coming from my mouth as something to be corrected in me, I took it to God. He asked me to humbly thank her for her honesty and then to depart.
What I didn’t tell her, is that as I took her rebuke to the feet of Jesus, He returned it to me as a gift. He showed me that that fire was not evil in me, but His holiness burning in me. He showed me how He desired to burn the dross, not just in her, but the dross of pride and idolatry in me too. For, He knew of all those present, I most respected her word. So, He purposely allowed me to face her open rejection, for being His mouthpiece. He gave me the privilege of loving her as He loves us all: in truth and grace.
Fire departed from her and others’ mouths there also, and by the grace of God I was able to receive that fire as a precious gift from Him. Each child of His in that place changed my mind in one way or another. They filled me with such compassion and understanding for people in my past that I had failed to see and love as Jesus sees and loves us all in our weakness and need.
And it was because of God’s fire flaming in our midst that I was freed to confess a past sin of mine in public for the very first time, as the shackles of shame and condemnation fell off of me. God gave me the honor of glorying in His embrace in their midst and to thank Him for the gifts He poured out upon me in that place, as I departed.
Now, I see how that fire of His in that place was just like the fire in the burning bush before Moses: the holy fire of God’s Word, setting Moses apart unto Himself and burning away the dross of his sin and shame, turning the ground Moses stood upon, into holy ground.
No longer did Moses remain a fugitive after taking the law into his own hands to try and save his people. No, because of that burning bush, Moses heard the Voice of His God. He bowed his knees and walked into a new life, set apart unto His Maker. The Word of God, through whom His people would be freed from their slavery and, a generation later, led into the Promised Land.
As John 12:24-25 (ESV) puts it:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”
Thanks to the gift God gave me as a freshly returned Prodigal to intercede for my pastor in his weakness and need, and many others since, my own weakness and need has been repeatedly exposed. Through each trigger of trauma, in all the intercession and iron sharpening iron, my God has been lifting the enemy’s accusations and causing me to arise in His holiness. He has clothed me in His justice, that was wrought at the Cross, and led me out to become His cloak and crown of justice to others, in their weakness and need.
He has been leading me to throw off the old of pleasing and hiding behind a mask of self-righteousness. He has been rerooting me in His love: “so that [I] may no longer be [a] [child], tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Ephesians 4:14, ESV).
When I first began praying for my pastor and my church as a freshly returned Prodigal child, God gave me this Word as a Promise, as trauma triggers began to shake me (Ezekiel 3:8, ESV):
I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.”
Now, looking back on the past four years, I can see that God has been fulfilling this Promise to me. He has placed the helmet of salvation upon my head, so that when the sparks fly as iron sharpens iron, I no longer take it as proof that God has rejected me.
I receive it as proof that God is in our midst, leading us all to repentance. I now know that He is giving us beauty for the ashes of our dross that He is consuming by the fire departing from His mouth. I am learning to embrace those flames as His desire to fashion me into His image, by His transforming power.
He is strengthening me to (Romans 12:2, ESV): “not be conformed to this world, but [to] be transformed by the renewal of [my] mind, that by testing I may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Praise God that His mercies are new every morning. Each time I have wanted to return to the old He has purposely cut off, or I have wanted to put myself on a pedestal of self-righteousness by slandering those I have left behind, God has opened my ears to receive His Word of truth and grace.
He has rebuked the sin in me and called me to walk in His holiness, to declare before Him: “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment…O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51:4, 15-17 ESV).
He has continually rescued me, softening my hardened heart and teaching me to draw upon His love and affections for me. He has led me to deny myself, to take up my Cross and to follow Him. And, through His living Word and the precious Spirit-led sharing of people like Bettie, who He wove into my life right before my first church breaking, He has repeatedly lifted my pain and exchanged my sackcloth of mourning for a headdress of praise. He has caused me to arise in His wholesome Word of truth and grace with fresh hope, filling me with all joy and peace in believing, through the power of His Holy breath.
Praise God, Christ’s fire of holiness is flaming us each alive. For, it is our Jesus, who compells us through His living Word to throw off all that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles us. It is He who empowers us to run with perseverance the race marked out for us, to fix our eyes on Him, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before him, our Jesus endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Oh let us ever consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that we might not grow weary and lose heart.
Through each physical departure, my God has been teaching me to depart my own fleshly thinking (that has told me to stay and fight in the flesh or to stay and bow to my idols to be loved and accepted) to instead die to myself and live unto Jesus. Interestingly, literally to “go” and bear fruit means “properly, to lead away under someone’s authority (mission, objective).” Isn’t that beautiful? Jesus is leading us out under His authority to fulfill His mission – the Great Commission.
Interestingly “unwholesome” talk literally means “overripe” and “rotten”. So, when Jesus calls us to leave somewhere, where His Word is not being received, it is so that we can leave behind His ripe anduncorrupted fruit that it may build up those we leave behind in Jesus, in His perfecting. Rather than clinging to the Word He is prompting us to share in fear of man’s rejection and letting our accuser divide our hearts and corrupt the pure and unadultered Word in us.
As we hide ourselves in Him, allowing His Word to hedge us in, we can wait upon God in trust, knowing the battle is not ours, but His.
Psalm 119:114 (KJV) Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.
Yes! All Promises are Yes and Amen in our Jesus! The perfect Jesus, who our Heavenly Father sent into our hearts, through His Holy Spirit that we might not dim our light, Jesus – the Word fulfilled – but shine Him brightly into the world that not we, but He may call many Sons unto glory.
Come (Isaiah 40:26):
Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of his might and because he is strong in power, not one is missing.
Welcome to Chapter 2‘s Day 3 of Arise and Shine. Today, Anna is bringing forward a free will offering forged in the fires of affliction, as Jesus arose to defend His dwelling place with His judgment in mercy.
My Prodigal wandering began, when I began to believe that my God could indeed not have chosen someone like me: someone too young, too sinful, too needy and too broken. I agreed with the enemy’s twisting of Scripture and began to read God’s precious Word, no longer as an invitation to know my Jesus and His mercy more and more, but as evidence that I was doomed for hell.
So one day, when I had committed a sin I abhorred and was deeply ashamed of, I was certain that this was it. That now all I could do was bide my time till God did away with me completely.
Outwardly not much changed. I still attended church. I still played the good girl. But inside my spirit was crushed and my heart aching to be known by God.
Years later, on the day we buried my Mum, I learnt that she had noticed the change in me all those years earlier. My Mum was heartbroken by how her once exuberant and confident girl had retreated into herself. All those years ago when I felt so abandoned in my sin, my Mum began praying with her best friend for God to give me my confidence back.
Now all these years later, her prayers are being answered. For, my Savior is stripping away my confidence in myself and man that stole, killed and destroyed so much in my life. He is now rebuilding my confidence in Him alone.
What I didn’t know, as I sung this beautiful song as a teenager, with tears streaming:
and with such a deep longing for Jesus to rescue me, is that He was in fact already kneeling down to take me into His arms and carry me home, so close to His heart. He had heard my cry.
And now, I can hear and feel that new heart of His beating inside of me.
All these years later, as I sat singing that same song again, now with tears streaming in deep thankfulness to my God, I noticed something about the lyrics I hadn’t before:
I sing for joy at the work of Your hands … Nothing compares to the Promise I have in you.
I realized that I am the work of my God’s hands and that the very Promise of salvation was beating inside of me even then, all those years ago. For, though my sins of reading pornographic literature and masturbation were grave, my God’s mercy was so much more. While Satan convinced me that my God had now turned away from me for good, I now know my God’s heart was not hardened toward me, as mine was toward Him. No! His heart broke in compassion for His hurting child.
Jesus saw deep into my heart. Just as He did for King David in his sin, He caught my every tear in His bottle – even though those very tears were caused by my sin – and He turned what the enemy meant for evil into good. For, through my Prodigal journey, Jesus answered the deepest longings of my heart that I never realized He had heard me whisper as a little eleven year old.
And what were those longings? Those longings of His heart in me were to truly know His grace, the very meaning of my name Anna, the name my mother was led to give me from the womb:
Yes! In our prodigal wandering our God bottles our every tear. I now know that long before I began to run, He began praying for me. Just as He did for Peter, He interceded for me before His Father that my faith would not fail, and so that when I returned to Him after denying His Name, I could strengthen my brethren with my testimony to His glory and grace.
Just look at the life of Saul turned Paul and you will be reminded of what our God’s mercy is capable of. Oh may that mercy flow richly through us to anoint others to be saved, just as it did through Stephen as he was stoned to death at the direction of the very one whom he poured out God’s mercy upon.
May the persecution and affliction we walk through at the hands of our enemy only testify to the judgment our Savior bore for us that we might now declare not a judgment of condemnation against ourselves or others but a judgment of mercy.
For, God’s judgment toward us is not one of wrath because His wrath has already been satisfied at the Cross:
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.Colossians 2:13-15 (ESV)
Our God’s judgment toward us is one of mercy because He is a God who keeps His covenant to a thousand generations for those who love Him. Because when we are faithless, He remains faithful because He cannot disown Himself in us. Because our God always finishes what He has begun. And because our God has set eternity in the heart of man to make all things beautiful in His time.
Many years later, I again walked through vicious attacks from the enemy, just as I had as a little girl. But this time, as I stepped out in faith and obedience to my Savior’s call and my own heart failed me, I cried out to Jesus for His heart. And He answered me:
A New Heart
Who you are Is not all that You couldn't ever be It never was And never ever once Will be.
Who you are is written On the palm of My own True hand The hand that shaped And formed you.
Fearfully and wonderfully Have I made your frame To hold the very Heart That bled and died and rose again To beat within your very own.
I ask not that you hold so tight I ask not that you strive I ask not that you try so very hard To be what beats within you even now.
All I ask is that you Come Sit at My feet Pour all out That hides behind That wall of shame.
Cast it out, that it may die Death to all that holds you Captive, even now Not to who you are But to who those lying tongues Would have you be.
Rise and shine instead In all My Light of Grace That beckons from behind That wall No more.
Into My loving arms that wait To each beat of flowing truth That girds you now in who You truly are in Me Forgiven, held and pure That’s who You are in Me And evermore will be.
As I laid each accusation of condemnation before Him, He declared His judgment against me as annulled at the Cross. He asked me to hear and heed the new heart beating inside of me. And that heart declared me:
Forgiven, held and pure That’s who You are in Me And evermore will be.
And so, I clasped His hand to depart the old I once believed to be true to enter the new with Him. Now, my faith is no longer in myself or others. It’s in Christ and Christ alone. I now come boldly before the throne of grace in my time of need. I confess my sins freely before God and man. I now lift up my soul to Jesus because I trust Him to save me, moment by moment.
Now, I know that it is precisely my broken heart and crushed spirit that compells my precious Jesus to draw near to me to save me. And so, I cry out to Him, who hears my every cry and bottles my every tear:
Can the prey be taken from the mighty, or the captives of a tyrant be rescued? For thus says the Lord: “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken, and the prey of the tyrant be rescued, for I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children. Isaiah 49:24-25 (ESV)
He heard my mother’s pleas. He saved her child and He’s still doing so daily, as this child of His heart is now learning to lean all her weight upon Him. Praise Him for HIS gracious Words to us. For, they are indeed like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and healing to the body.
Worthy is HE alone of all honor, glory and praise:
Welcome to Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Arise and Shine. Today, Anna is sharing an introductory post on the free will offering of bronze, including a prayer she penned together with Bettie and a link to a Michael W. Smith song.
Take a sacred offering for the Lord. Let those with generous hearts present the following gifts to the Lord: gold, silver, and bronze; Exodus 35:5
The bronze from the wave offering was 70 talents and 2,400 shekels. Exodus 38:29 NIV
The site Bible History tells us:
Interestingly, it was also used for the large brazen reservoir or molten sea, where the water was stored, in which the priests washed their hands and feet. This took over the role of the laver of the tabernacle. “It rested on 12 brazen (bronze) oxen, facing in four groups the four quarters of heaven.” (SEA, THE MOLTEN; SEA, THE BRAZEN, W. Shaw Caldecott).
Bronze is also used in Scripture to refer to what is strong, lasting and enduring:
The heaven which is over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you, iron. Deuteronomy 28:23
His body also was like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a tumult. Daniel 10:6
His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. Revelation 1:15
“Then I will make you to this people
A fortified wall of bronze;
And though they fight against you,
They will not prevail over you;
For I am with you to save you
And deliver you,” declares the Lord.
But it is also used to describe man’s stubbornness, pride, idolatry and corruption:
All of them are stubbornly rebellious,
Going about as a talebearer.
They are bronze and iron;
They, all of them, are corrupt.
“I will go before you and level the exalted places, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, Isaiah 45:2
Interestingly the old temple, with its strong, brazen sea, bronze furniture and bronze-covered altar, was of course destroyed. Through the power of the Cross our human offerings, that have been corrupted by rebelliousness, stubbornness and idolatry are now also being destroyed. For Christ is now purifying us through the trials we face, that we might bring forward new free will offerings of bronze in Him, offerings unpolluted by the world’s judgment.
In Christ bearing the judgment for our sins, we can now endure the refining fires on this earth. Empowered by the Living Word, rather than turning to idolatry, stubbornness and pride, we now learn, through Christ’s loving discipline, to lay down the judgment of the world for Christ’s. We learn to see ourselves and others through His eyes.
Christ then exchanges our false judgment of situations, self and man, with His pure and unadulterated judgment. As Scripture puts it:
how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Hebrews 9:14 (KJV)
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5: 21 (ESV)
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55: 8 – 9 (ESV)
And so, contained in the free will offering brought forward by the Israelites was the Promise of the Cross. Now, we can rest in the Promise: “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” (Romans 5:9, ESV). Praise God!
As you gather here with us for the 7 days of chapter 2 of Part 2, Bettie and I invite you to join us in bringing forward your own free will offerings of bronze through Christ Jesus. But before we begin let’s pray:
Dear Abba Father,
We confess that we have allowed our hearts to be crushed beneath the weight of this world’s judgment. We confess that there have been times we have gotten so weary, because our sins are ever before us. Forgive us.
Father, we invite you now, and moment by moment, to wash our conscience clean with the water of Your Holy Word that we might see as You see. Renew us with the Life that only Your Holy Spirit can bring to us.
Father, we praise and thank You that through Your Son You are even now yielding us to the transforming work of Your living Word, so that our minds might be renewed to test and approve what Your will is– Your good, pleasing and perfect will. Thank You that You are empowering us to shed the judgment of this world to receive the pure and unadulterated judgment of Your holy and righteous Son, Jesus. Thank You that You came into this world, not to condemn it, but to seek and save the lost.
We are so hungry for the freedom that only the blood of Your Son Jesus can bring. Thank You that Your Son has borne the judgment that should have been ours, so that we can now live in the overflow of Your cleansing mercy. As we walk through the fiery trials You have sent to purify us, thank You that You are shedding our pride, striving and idolatry, that we might rest ever more in Your pure judgment.
As our hearts ache and we become weary, help us to bring forward the free will offerings of bronze in Christ Jesus. Help us to lay before You the Promises that declare that Your Son has borne the judgment for all our sins in the past, present and future.
Set us free, in Your prompting and empowering, to abide in Your pure and unadulterated Word that we may flourish, and bless others to flourish also, in the abundant life that is ours in Christ Jesus.
In the Precious Name of Jesus we come before you now.
May this song overwhelm you in the love and tender mercy of our God. Come let us arise to declare Him LORD of all.
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! Romans 11:33 (ESV)
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip each one of us with everything good that we may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 12:20-21, ESV
Welcome to Day 7 of Part 2‘s Chapter 1 from Arise and Shine. Today, Anna is sharing a poem as a final free will offering of silver, together with a link to a Scriptural song she sung as a little girl that God continues to bring back to her to encourage her. We, Bettie and Anna, pray that these daily offerings of praise, declaring God’s redemptive power, have been an encouragement to your heart this past week. Even as we have been editing these offerings ourselves, to publish here, God has brought us deeper repentance, freedom and joy also.
The Great I AM
Turn not back in pain But toward the I AM He's watching over every step Before, above, around His everlasting arms beneath.
Turn not back in despair But toward the I AM He's redeeming every piece Broken to whole at the Cross His Word a lamp unto our feet.
Turn not back in fear But toward the I AM He's lifting every accusation In the light of His truth Leading us all to repentance.
Turn not back in shame But toward the I AM He's righting every wrong In thought and deed and word Wrapping His cloak around us.
For the Son of God came Not to condemn but save He's a well of living water Springing up to eternal life Come let us drink from -
Romans 11:32 (ESV) For God has shut up all in disobedience, so that He may show mercy to all.
Haggai 2:7 (ESV) And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts.
The Living Word
Strapped to the altar again
Shut up in disobedience
Denying this body's shaking
I'm tethered and taut.
In shame and fear
Of horrid pain
From seeping wounds.
Captive to the mask again
I cringe at who
I've become once more
The hypocrite, laid bare.
But in my weakness
Your power rises
Cutting pride's vicious ropes
You beautifully humble me.
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 past I begin to see
Through mercy's eyes.
This time my heart
Your heartbeat knows
And Christ in me
The Eagle frees.
Upon this altar cries
"Sin and shame
Are not your name.
"For not you, but I
Have chosen 'n appointed you
To go and bear abundant fruit
That now in Me abides.
"Depart under a new authority
Seeing yourself as clean
Because of the Word
I have already spoken to you.
I have delivered you
Now in Christ alone
Your free will offerings bring."
Your renown, Your Name
Now reflected silver pure
You're shining so bright in me.
No longer I
But Christ in me I see
Your burning coals
My lips in praise now open.
My heart explodes
A waterfall of grace
Splashing on my face.
My broken walls
You have rebuilt
Salvation and deliverance
In Jesus' Name.
Your nail-pierced hands
Upon my head.
In returning and rest
A harvest of peace -
Christ - in my every shaking
No, I will not die
But live to tell
What You: my LORD
My life You've set apart
Drawing a line in the sand
Every accusation lifting
I hear You call me: daughter.
Resting on the mercy seat
Now, I can obey
My Savior's call
To truly sin no more.
Freed from all condemnation
I lift my lamp up high
Upon salvation's hill
Replanted in the Living Word.
Romans 9:29 (AMPC) It is as Isaiah predicted, If the Lord of hosts had not left us a seed [from which to propagate descendants], we [Israel] would have fared like Sodom and have been made like Gomorrah.
Isaiah 11 (Complete Jewish Bible) 1 But a branch will emerge from the trunk of Yishai, a shoot will grow from his roots. 2 The Spirit of Adonai will rest on him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and power, the Spirit of knowledge and fearing Adonai — 3 he will be inspired by fearing Adonai. He will not judge by what his eyes see or decide by what his ears hear, 4 but he will judge the impoverished justly; he will decide fairly for the humble of the land. He will strike the land with a rod from his mouth and slay the wicked with a breath from his lips. 5 Justice will be the belt around his waist, faithfulness the sash around his hips.
Malachi 3:10 – 12 (ESV) Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts.Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.
The earth beneath you Trembling. All you've ever known Shaken. The ground beneath you Quaking. All you've ever known Taken.
You're groping. Choking. Falling. You reach, But no hand to hold.
You hear those voices: “Too little. Too much. Not enough. Your punishment alone to carry.”
And so you fall, Deeper still, Till deep dark mirey cave You feel beneath. And though its darkness weighs as lead, It numbs the pain so deep, The shame too cruel. "Safe here" you breathe at last.
"Object of dread, I am. Forgotten, broken vessel, Is who I am." Terror thickens air, Lying tongues to pour. Lead weighted more.
Strength does fail. Body waste. Tears no longer flow. A loss so deep, No words to find. And still no single hand to hold.
Your breath you feel Anxious grip. All that leaves your trembling lips "LORD, My God." Silence piercing. Weeping, tearing heart.
But then, You hear it. Tender, loving Voice. Still, sweet sound Arise.
"My beloved. My pearl. My precious daughter dear. The work of My own beating heart, Come now. Take this, My outstretched hand.
"The ground may tremble, Earth may shake And all you've ever known, Ripped from beneath your feet. But I, your loving Father, do rest beneath, Even here, even now.
"My hand upon you. My breath within you. My countless thoughts of you So very precious still. Even now, I hem you in Before, behind Even here, no lying tongue Does from My own True gentle mouth depart.
"Be still, and know YOUR one true God I AM. Never have I ever, Never will I ever, Leave you all forsaken lone. For each and every tremble, shake Does purposeth My crop Too bountiful For any human hand To seed, thresh, harvest true.
"Hold fast, My girl, To sword of truth, To promises birthing here, even now, To heaven's coming Here on earth. For, to each and every Prisoner of Hope eternal strong Who turns My way Restoration double I do declare.
"Hold fast, my child, Not to lying tongues But tender loving truth. Hemming in before, behind Grace so precious, pure. Roaring, rushing waters Pour and cover still. For I, Your God I AM. Even here, even now."
In Psalm 31: 18, King David cries: “Let their lying lips be silenced, for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous.” (NIV). Those lying tongues often go into overdrive, when our world is shaken by deep loss, grave illness or seemingly hopeless situations.
But what our enemy knows and wants us to forget is that the Great Overcomer resides in us still, even here, even now. For “if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13, NIV).
In fact, the losses and trials we are walking through have been permitted by God to strip away our reliance upon ourselves and upon all others, so that Christ’s resurrection power may be unveiled in us. Or as 2 Corinthians 4:11 (ESV) puts it:
For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
For, our Abba Father wants us to learn to receive from Him. He wants us to learn to rest upon the foundation of His love for us, so that our strivings might cease, as we learn to enter into His Sabbath rest. So that His labor of love may begin to flow out of us, fully and freely, as we drink deeply of His living water.
In that place of resting upon Him, He longs for us, like the Israelites, to discover His provision for us, that has nothing to do with our our own labor or perfecting work, but rather everything to do with Christ’s work of redemption: Him buying us back from sin and death that He might lavish His love out upon us:
Joshua 24:13 (ESV) I gave you a land on which you had not labored and cities that you had not built, and you dwell in them. You eat the fruit of vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant.’
1 John 3:1 (ESV) See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
No lie can ever separate us from Christ’s eternal love for us. No matter what emotion we feel and what accusations the enemy plagues us with, these do not define who we are: God alone does and always will. And He says we are fearfully and wonderfully made, precious sought-after pearls: His own true and beloved sons and daughters.
And because He has gifted us the pure and righteous heart of Jesus, we are worthy in His sight. All our sins, in thought, word or deed are covered in the cloak of grace. All He asks of us is: “Come now. Take this, My outstretched hand”. And He will guide us until we die (Psalm 48:14) and Christ is unveiled in us, fully and wholly.
Will you join me in prayer today?
Thank You, Lord, that You are the strength of my heart and promise to remain faithful to me to the very end, even when I turn away in fear, shame or despair. Thank You, Lord, that lying tongues can never define who I am.
Lord, just as your humble servant David, I beseech you to silence all lying lips that are plaguing me now. Help me cast down and pour out all the lies I have come to believe that are shackling me and pressing me away from You. Help me to turn toward You to receive Your loving arms and all-covering grace.
Lord, I claim your beautiful promises over my life today. As a prisoner of hope, whose stronghold is in You alone, I now receive double of all that has been torn from me, believing You have granted it to me and I will yet see it with my own eyes.
As a daughter/son of the Most High King, I now receive Your strong hand upon my head, Your protective wings, as You hem me in from before and behind, and Your countless precious thoughts of me.
Lord, I am yours alone. Lead Me on in Your way everlasting, into all the Truth there is that I may dwell in Your beautiful house all the days of my life, to gaze upon Your beauty and seek You in Your temple.