Chapter 2: Day 7 – Gates of Praise

Welcome to Day 7 of Chapter 2 from Arise and Shine. Today, Anna is sharing a poem filled with Scriptures and the Scriptures that inspired it.

Gates of Praise


I am your light and your salvation
I am your glory within
Call your walls: salvation
Your gates: praise.

I am your glory within
Swing wide you heavenly gates
Your gates: praise
Let the King of Glory come in.

Swing wide you heavenly gates
Return to your fortress, prisoners of hope
Let the King of Glory come in
Light shines in darkness.

Return to your fortress, prisoners of hope
I am a wall of fire around you
Light shines in darkness
I am the Lifter of your head.

I am a wall of fire around you
Call your walls: salvation
I am the lifter of your head
I am your light and your salvation.



Psalm 24: 9 (ESV)

Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.


1 Chronicles 16:28 (ESV)

Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!


Psalm 22:3 (ESV)

Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.


Isaiah 60:18 (ESV)

Violence shall no more be heard in your land, devastation or destruction within your borders; you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.


Zechariah 9:12 (ESV)

Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.


Isaiah 62:1 (ESV)

For Zion's sake I will not keep silent,

and for Jerusalem's sake I will not be quiet,

until her righteousness goes forth as brightness,

and her salvation as a burning torch.


John 1:14 (ESV)

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.


2 Corinthians 4:6-7 (MSG)

6 It started when God said, "Light up the darkness!" and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful. 7 If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us.

Chapter 2: Day 6 – Eternity Glowing

Welcome to Day 6 of Chapter 2 from Arise and Shine. Today, Anna is sharing a poem.

ETERNITY GLOWING

On Rock
He teaches
Me to build
With human hands
I go to work
Believing
My self-righteous works
The Rock
Must build.

And so
He sends me forth
In waters deep
Storms now come
My human rock
To shipwreck
Break
On foreign shores.

I sift the debris
Eyes laid low
Yearning now
My rock of old
To clasp
But on foreign shores
This rock of old
Now lies
Shattered, broke
Undone, I cry.


But in my weeping
My Father bows my knees
Each missing grain to see
Now bathed in Light
My tears are washing
Hidden treasures
In shifting sands
Laid bare
Eternity
Now glowing.

My Abba Father's Promises
As gifts in weakness
Now laid bare
Hidden treasures
An abundance
Out of the seas
My God
Is drawing out.


Let waters
Rise
Let storms now
Come
Let sand here
Shift
My God's Promises
Shall then
In Spirit rise to
Glow.


Rejected by humans
But chosen by my God
And precious to Him
Each missing grain
Sparkles bright
Each jewel
In shifting sands
I see unveiled.


His living stone
My Father builds
Into a Holy Temple
In the Father, Son
And Holy Spirit - One
A holy priest
I now come
Offering
Spiritual sacrifices
Acceptable to God
Through my LORD and Savior
Jesus Christ
Alone.


Deuteronomy 33:18-19
Of Zebulun he said, "Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going forth, And, Issachar, in your tents. "They will call peoples to the mountain; There they will offer righteous sacrifices; For they will draw out the abundance of the seas, And the hidden treasures of the sand."

Isaiah 61:11 (AMP)
For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
And as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
So the Lord God will [most certainly] cause righteousness and justice and praise
To spring up before all the nations [through the power of His word].

Chapter 2: Day 3 – I Will Not Leave You Orphaned

Welcome to Day 3 of Chapter 2 from Arise and Shine. Today, Anna Smit is sharing a poem and prayer.

Sometimes God’s fencing in comes through the experience of loss. Losing loved ones, losing the abilities and jobs we once had due to deteriorating health, losing friendships, losing our homes. Perhaps you too have tasted multiple loss and are feeling the pain of these losses deeply today.

May this poem the LORD gifted Anna, in the pain of multiple losses, bless you also. May the Holy Spirit move through it to bring His comfort to your heart also.

I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU ORPHANED

I will not leave you orphaned
You know what it is to lose
To lose such precious life
But I tell you, I have come
To give you life
Abundant life.

On those days your heart begins to ache
On those days you feel forsaken
All alone
Lean into Me
Tell Me all your pain, be not ashamed
But share your yearning deep.

I will not leave you orphaned
Cry those tears and share those fears
Pour every doubt into My waiting bowl
And I'll reflect My Truth there back to you
I'll place My hand upon your shoulder
Not turn away, but turn toward.

Your friend for life
Not just for here, but into all eternity
I'm in you now and I'll never leave
Even when you tell Me
You can't take that one more step.

You see, I know you can't
And that's why I'm here
To lead You here on Me to rest
To lay your head between My shoulders
To sleep secure, knowing I won't leave.

I will not leave you orphaned
When your body, mind and soul here give away
I'll hold you tight
My water to your lips so parched I'll raise
My bread to famished body gift.

I've chosen you.
I've always wanted you.
This path I've set before you
Is the path I have entrusted you.
It's yours to walk, but not alone.

The God of glory, He'll secure your passage
My righteousness will pave your way.
When you pray, I'll answer you.
When you call for help, then I'll say
"Here I am." (Isaiah 58: 6 - 12 MSG)

I will not leave you orphaned
Even when all you see
Is no way through.
Don't grab the reigns or blame another,
But turn to Me.

And know that as you give
And as you share
Your empty, nothing
My full and plenty here becomes.
I'm all you'll ever need.

No, I will not leave you orphaned,
For I've adopted you for life
To live and move and have your being
In Me.
For My yoke of love is easy
And my burden, light.

Father God, thank You for Your tender heart of compassion toward us in our earthly losses. Thank You for carrying the pain of each of our losses on Your Cross, so that You can now draw near to us through Your Spirit and lift the weight of our burdens.

Thank You for showing us through the story of Lazarus that even though You too knew he would rise again, You wept with Mary in her loss. Thank you for mourning with us, as we grieve. Thank You for opening Your arms to us in every loss.

Father, help us to trust You with our pain. Help us to unburden our hearts and receive Your comfort in this place. Remind us, again and again, that You will never ever leave or forsake us. We know this truth in our minds, but we ask You to root this truth deeper and deeper into our hearts, through Your fencing in.

Show us the power of Your living and active Word. Set us free in You, for You are the Truth, the Way and the Life. Show us the freedom of Your light yoke of grace. Teach us to walk in the light of Your truth. Give us an undivided heart that we might fear Your Name above all else.

Thank You that You take what the enemy meant for evil and turn it good. Show us how You are doing that in this place of loss. Thank You for all the ways You are drawing us unto Yourself in this fencing in.

Open our eyes to see and embrace each gift of grace. Help us to bring forward Your free will offering of purity in this fencing in, that You may clothe us in Your fresh white linen that declares us overcomers in Your Name. Thank You for perfecting Your power in our every weakness.

We love You. We thank You and we honor You for who You are. Praise You! In Jesus’ precious Name, Amen.

Chapter 2: Day 2 – Will You Take My Hand?

Welcome to Day 2 of Chapter 2 from Arise & Shine. Today, Bettie Gilbert invites you to join her at the feet of Jesus, with a poem she penned, as she poured out her heart and listened for the LORD’s response to her. May God bless each one of us, as we draw near to Him today, as Bettie did in this poem. May He cause us to bring forward a free will offering of pure white linen ourselves, as we lay before Him all that is swirling inside of us. May He clothe us in His pure white garments of grace.

“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” Revelation 3:5 (NKJV)

Days looming
Horizon bleak
My heart aching
World amiss.

What have I missed?
I am only a sinner
But saved by grace?

Out of the fog
Mist swirling
Tears falling
Voice calls.

“Are you listening My child?
You are My Beloved
Will you take My hand?”

Impossible dream
Rescue waiting
Deliverance coming
Heart stirs.

“Can you hear My voice?
I have called your name
Are you holding to My promise?”

Hands rise
Lips speaking
Praises raising
Glorious Savior.

What am I holding onto?
A Kingdom that cannot be shaken
Is it true that I belong?

Newness waiting
HE overcomes
Sinner saving
Now set free. 

Am I dancing?
With feet not broken
Will I hold on a little longer?

Thanks to Igordoon Primus @igordoon for making the profile photo for this post available freely available on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/CdyHqfrbGIs

Chapter 2- Day 1: Turn Toward

Welcome to Day 1 of Chapter 2 of Arise & Shine.


Silence 
More than anything
It cuts and maims
And holds me bound

In pouring out
This one little heart
Giving my all
In love and grace and trust

To then be met
By slicing silence
Is too much for
This yearning heart to bear

Do you, like me, know this slicing pain? Is there a relationship, a community, a work situation, maybe job applications where you have been (repeatedly) met by closed doors or silence? Do you feel a fence being put up to keep you out?

What if this is God inviting us to come inside of His fence? What if this is His hemming in to draw us deeper into His heart for us? A heart that never, ever shuts us out, but only ever invites us to come in to break bread with Him.

Father God, we come before You today, bringing all the situations before You, where we have been met by closed doors and silence. We confess that these silences have hurt our hearts, deeply.

Forgive us, where we have hid this hurt from You and tried to keep going in our own strength and understanding. Oh LORD thank You that You even understand that.

Jesus, thank You that You, like no other, know trauma and pain. Thank You for carrying our trauma and pain on that Cross, to lift its heavy weight off of our shoulders. Oh how we need You to do so.

Father, You know that we struggle to be still. We struggle to trust, because our trust has been broken by man so deeply, even though we know You are not like man.

We know that in our minds, but not in our hearts and our bodies. Father, we invite You to unite our minds, our bodies and our hearts in You and Your wholeness.

Help us to release our tight grip on anything that is harming us. Open our palms to receive Your Word, not of rejection but of welcome here. We are so hungry for Your fresh warm bread. Make us like that little weaned child who trusts You. Teach us to quiet and calm ourself before You.

Uncover and help us to bring forward the free will offering and longings of Your heart here. Clothe us in Your pure white linen of holiness. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

LORD, take this emptied heart
And pour in Your fullness
Return me to my first Love
To You.

When accusing tongues
Speak shame and press me far away
Where I begin to question
Who I am

Help me to know
Not just in my head
But fully & wholly, who I am
In you.


Hold me, each and every broken piece
Safe, in Your whole hands
And place me where You
Would have me be

Be my strength, when I have none
My courage, where lies speak loud
My thoughts, my words and deeds.

That I may

Turn toward
And not away
From Your heart
Beating here.

Chapter 2: Clothed in Fine White Linen

Welcome to Chapter 2 of Arise and Shine: Beloved, You are Mine. This week we invite you to join us, daily, in bringing forward the free will offering of pure white linen: the white garments Jesus has promised to clothe us in, as we overcome in His Name. 

Today, Bettie Gilbert introduces us to chapter 2 and the free will offering of white linen, as she looks at its function in the Old Temple. Through a personal story, she shares how Jesus showed her that this now mirrors Christ’s hemming in, as He lovingly invites us to be set apart unto Him to be clothed in His purity in our surrender to His beautiful purposes.

Exodus 35:5-6 Take a sacred offering for the Lord. Let those with generous hearts present the following gifts to the Lord:blue, purple, and scarlet thread; fine linen  

Rev 15:6  And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands. 

Rev 3:5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 

Rev 19:14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 

I woke with a start, my heart pounding wildly. The dream had been so vivid, that I felt I was still there, traveling along the roadway. Or rather next to the highway, as I had found myself stumbling along in a ditch while the cars whizzed past above me on the super highway.  From within the whirring, I heard a voice beckoning me to come, to follow Him along the way.  But my heart cried out: “How can I God?  I can’t keep up with all of the traffic! You know how slowly I have been forced to stumble through this ditch!”  

From within the noise I heard His still, small voice and recognized His loving, caring heart. “My daughter, I have only asked that you follow ME. You are not hindered from coming along with me. I have not asked you to keep up with anyone else, only follow Me.”

More than a year later, the dream is still so vivid that I can feel the whirring of the cars above me. The feeling of being left behind is just as vivid also, perhaps even more so, as I have almost exhausted the possible course of treatments available for this chronic disease my body carries.  Night after night, the cries for mercy have been lifted to Heaven. 

Why are these side effects so unbearable? Why is my body unable to tolerate the medications that would bring me wholeness?

I felt my heart’s longing to be able to keep up with the rest of the world that I saw around me. I recognized that old longing from the dream being uncovered here in this season of waiting. But as I saw my true heart being uncovered, there was a deeper longing that Jesus now was meeting. A longing that could not have been met unless I was slowed down, called into the place of His holiness.

What if this fence before me now
The one that feels like a prison around my soul
And surrounds my day with a blinding of eyes
What if this fence before me now
Is not here to keep me in
But is meant to keep away the evil one?

What if this fence before me now
The one that seems to close up fellowship
And cuts me off from knowing where I fit in
What if this fence before me now
Is not here to cut me off
But is a gate to invite others in?

What if that fence before them there
The one God’s people carried on their journey
And set up tall with curtained rooms
What if that fence before them there
Was not a room to cut off God
But a sanctuary to see His face?

The CLOUD by day
The PILLAR by night
And the FACE of Moses
RADIANT before them.

What if the fence before you now
The one that stops your feet from running
And cordons off the highway zones
What if the fence before you now
Is not a sentence of death
But the doorway to life eternal?

Exodus 26:31-33 “You shall make a veil of blue and purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen; it shall be made with cherubim, the work of a skillful workman. “You shall hang it on four pillars of acacia overlaid with gold, their hooks also being of gold, on four sockets of silver. “You shall hang up the veil under the clasps, and shall bring in the ark of the testimony there within the veil; and the veil shall serve for you as a partition between the holy place and the holy of holies.”

Hebrews 10:19-20 “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh”

Revelation 3:20 “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

Is there a fence around you now? Can you allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the longings that are within that very fence? What is the word He is giving to you there, in that place of HIS holiness?

I pray that we might rest with this song, and let the praises of our Holy God fill our hearts as we wait on Him:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Oh, Lord our Lord how majestic is your Name, and how pure are your ways! Thank You for showing us Your purity through the gift of Your spotless Lamb, Your own dear Son.  How can we comprehend the gift that You bring to us, when You tell us that You will clothe us with that same purity?

We come before You today and lay our disappointments before You. We confess that we are tired of feeling cut off and left out. Thank You that You understand every feeling we lift before You. Thank You that there is no condemnation here, but only a calling to be drawn closer into Your heart. You alone carry every longing, and You alone are the One who knows how to fulfill our heart’s cry.

Jesus will You reveal to us the truth of where You have placed us? We want to be wrapped up in Your holiness. We want to realize that You have set us apart unto YOURSELF, and have made us spotless before You. We open our hearts in this very place. Flood us with the beauty of Your radiance. 

In Jesus Name we pray,

Amen.

Join us here daily this week for new posts centered on the free will offering of pure white linen.

Day 1: Turn Toward (a devotional, poem & prayer by Anna Smit)

Day 2: Will You Take My Hand? (a poem by Bettie Gilbert)

Day 3: I Will Not Leave You Orphaned (a poem & prayer by Anna Smit)

Day 4: In Returning and Rest (a devotional and poem by Anna Smit)

Day 5: Christ’s Inward Searching & Knowing (a prayer and poem by Anna Smit)

Day 6: Eternity Glowing (a poem by Anna Smit)

Day 7: Gates of Praise (a poem by Anna Smit)

Thanks to Kerri Shaver @kaerieann for making the profile photo for this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/xepikEyPgmI