Welcome to Day 5 of Part 3‘s Chapter 1 of Arise and Shine. Today, Anna is sharing a free will offering of incense in Scriptures and a testimonial poem of praise to the power of Christ’s intercession at work in her. Yes! His incense arises in power in our weakness, compelling us to loose His Promises in faith, and to see them bear fruit in our lives and others’.
Loosing the Promises of God
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19 (ESV)
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. Revelation 1:17-19 (ESV)
Grief waits upon No one It swells And breaks My placid perfect Life awake.
Now spit And foam The Promises Long hid Come rushing Crashing Back to Life.
The longing From my heart His Promises To know Long hid away In drawers Fastened Shut.
But as the waves Swell And break The drawers Loose His Promises To life.
My body, mind And soul In Spirit breath Awake.
From deep within The Living Word Each Promise Brings In Holy Spirit breath To sing.
For in the Word's Waking My heart Draws near Christ's heart To hear.
This childlike heart In steadfast love is Rootèd secure:
That I might Taste and see The width And breadth And depth Of Christ.
Living water rushes Strong, crashing My heart to search And know In waves of mercy The blood of Christ Still flows.
Each day anew My burdened heart Christ draws near In Spirit song To wake And sing with Him Each Word To life.
Before, behind Beneath, above My Savior sings And calls to me: "Draw near And I'll draw near To you."
But now I know It is not me But Christ Who fulfills The law in me.
He draws me That I may Draw near To Him.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (ESV)
And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” Matthew 13:52 (ESV)
Welcome to Day 3 of Part 2‘s Chapter 3. Today, Anna is sharing a free will offering of gold – a poem, testimony and prayer – praising Jesus for the joy and peace He births in us through His perfect living Word.
I had a dream several months ago of this large ruler and I was petrified of him, until I got smaller and smaller and entered underneath him. It was almost like I disappeared into him and that then I was no longer afraid of him.
At the time, God was asking me to humble myself and go lower and lower. I did so, following His call, but not understanding what He was up. At every turn the writing education project I had felt His call to begin kept getting smaller and smaller, until what I still had sitting there He asked me to delete.
Now, I realize it was never about the actual project. Jesus was after my obedience and had designed every step along the way to grow me in my trust of Him and to refine me to look more like Him. Through it all He was teaching me to delight in His Voice, to look to the unseen and to rejoice in His fatherly desire to see me learn and grow in His perfecting Word.
It was about allowing Him to shape my character. He taught me so much about laying down my own expectations for His. He shut the doors I thought He would open, only to open doors that required me to stoop lower and lower to serve others in their need, but also to allow Him to refresh and replenish me.
For, as I listened for His Word to me, He taught me so much about setting and keeping boundaries that preserved His rest in my life. He enabled me to come away with Him between all the tasks and to continue loving my children and husband well. And where I disobeyed His gentle call to rest, He was quick to rebuke me and lead me to repentance, showing me why His safe boundaries are always best. Through it all, He showed me parts of my character He desires to continue refining to make me more like Him. I learnt so much.
At the time, I saw the ruler as those I had to set my project before to find financial support. Now, I realize that ruler is Jesus and that He worked through everyone on my path, continually inviting me to become smaller and smaller. As I humbled myself, again and again beneath God’s mighty hand, I became less and less fearful. I grew in my confidence of His Word to me.
Suddenly, the opinions of those around me mattered little. Not just because I was bathing myself in God’s Word to me, but because God was opening my eyes to the beauty of His freeing truth. The path He set for me lifted off burdens at every turn that I could never have lifted off myself.
I began to obey my Jesus, no longer to do the “right” thing, but because I loved and trusted Him above all else. I witnessed and rejoiced in His loving protection, direction and refining of me and others, every step I took.
It was such an amazing experience. So sheltered in His love, after all His recent pruning, I found the lies I once clung to, gliding off me. The truth of God’s Word surrounded me at every turn, uplifting me and carrying me forward.
Now, I can also look back at my past with new eyes. For the past seven years, since God brought this little lost sheep home, He continually asked me to surrender one thing and one person after another into His hands: some physically and some spiritually and some both. It has been an incredibly painful and gruelling process, but one that I now see is reaping such fruit. Our God’s Word is truly gold – true and trustworthy:
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Hebrews 12:11 KJV
A few weeks ago, I penned a poem to express this journey God has taken me on. As you read it, I pray you too recognize the fruit of peace the LORD is reaping in your own life and heart through all the painful surrenders He has walked you through also:
Caught Between two w/Words The religion I know
And the Son Of God I hear Beckoning.
I wrestle With the Alpha And Omega Who asks me To surrender
The letter of the Law I know For the Living Word's Searching And knowing.
But what can I do But open the door To my Lord's knocking To sup with Him?
Where can I go But to the only One Who has the Word Of life?
So I surrender My known To be known Fully and wholly
By the only True God Who stills My heart To know
The world And all who dwell Therein are His.
I yield The cup of suffering To my lips now take And drink
In communion The Living Word To my Father In thanksgiving lifting
I break The bread And take Eat.
I fill my heart With the Law fulfilled Who calls for me
To join Him In each and every Death that's Dying.
To take the hand Of the sovereign God Who walks me To the tomb To show me what He already sees:
"Unwrap him now And let him loose" I hear my Savior Calling.
His work Of surrender Just invites me Into
More JOY Before me laid Than I could ever Think of, ask for Or imagine.
For, Christ's blood Was shed For this:
To reconcile All things to Him Whether on earth Or heaven
Now, rather than seeing these surrenders as my shame to carry and as proof that I failed, I see them as God’s gift to me and proof of His Word – His gold – growing and flourishing in me. For, all along, God was lifting one burden after another off of my shoulders to shower me in His life-giving grace.
What He has gifted me through it all reminds me so much of John the Baptist’s Words in John 3:29-30, ESV:
The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom stands and listens for him, and is overjoyed to hear the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Now, I see that all that decreasing Christ brings through each surrender is in fact what brings us such peace. For through each dying to self, we come to know how deeply our Abba Father knows us and loves us.
Every trauma trigger shaking my body has only invited me into a deeper and deeper resting in my God’s golden Word to me. I now see how my precious Jesus has been ever increasing in me, through my every decreasing. And oh the joy that brings me now, as I look back with cleansed eyes. Praise Him!
Will you join me as I end today’s free will offering of gold in prayer?
Precious Father, oh how we thank and praise You for the gold of Your Word. We thank You for choosing imperfect and weak vessels like us to display Your glory and grace to this yearning world.
We thank You that You are laboring in such love and devotion through Your Son to refine us to make us look more and more like You. Thank You that even when the path You set for us doesn’t make any sense, we can trust Your perfect will and Your desire to grow us and bless us.
Forgive us, where we have looked to the seen and bemoaned our lack or the closing doors. Forgive us, where we have based our identity on anything other than You. Father, thank You for loving us enough to withhold things, people and communities from us that You know will destroy the beauty of Your Son in us.
Thank You that You withhold no good thing from those who are upright, who walk in You. Father, open our eyes to see what You see: the beauty and perfection of YourWordto us and the healing it is bringing to our hearts. Oh LORD how we long to decrease that YOU may increase in and through us. Have Your Way in us!
Thank You for inviting us to commune with You through each setting apart. Thank You for silencing the enemy’s accusations through each closing door, so that we can hear Your Voice more clearly than ever before. Thank You for changing both our minds and our direction, for blotting out all our sins that we may now bathe in the refreshing and healing waters of Yourliving Word and Presence with us.