November 12, 2012

Leave the trifle.

"And you who have no money, come, buy and eat." (Isaiah 55) 

Let's put this into context. I don't like go to someone's house and not bring something. Dessert, bread, wine, something! I don't go to a formal party if I haven't had time to go home, get ready and change out of my jeans. I don't go to the store to buy dinner's ingredients without my wallet, and if I do, I angrily drive home and pick it up.

I think for most people, especially me, I feel like if I can't contribute or prepare in some way the invitation isn't as sweet. You get hung up on the details of how you're going to get, there, the dress you have to buy, the dessert you have to make. So what happens when you don't have money to buy the new dress, or time to make the fancy dessert? You obsess, worry, panic, and decide not to go. The invitation to the party isn't a joy anymore, it's a burden.

So often, this is how I feel about coming to the Lord. In my mind I feel like he's sending this invitation and expecting me to show up in a certain state. Cleaned up, patched up, and with a chocolate trifle in hand. This verse reminds me that I have nothing, and I'm supposed to come, buy and eat.

This invitation is greater and sweeter than any other invitation I've ever recieved. My loving father is saying, "I know you have nothing, I know you're bloody, broken, messy, poor, needy, and no matter how hard you try to cover that up I know who you are, and I want you to just come. There is spot reserved at the banquet hall, a place card with your name. Come boldly to my table and eat, don't waste yourself on things that leave you wanting. Come to me, humble yourself and experience rest."

November 2, 2012

You can't have me.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.] Cor 5:17

Father thank you that you have made a way, that I am a new creation. On days when everything else is grabbing for my attention, shoving itself into my affections and stirring up anxiety. Exhaustion from the week, the month, heck, the year. All of that fades away in this tiny little verse. It's rich in truth and offers a unique dose of satisfaction for this restless heart. The old has gone, the new has come. It's finished.  My greatest need has been met by my heavenly Father, so this effects the way I live each day. 

[So the battle against evil is not to constantly say "No, no, no. Bad, bad, bad." There's no power in that. One thing will give you the victory: Faith is the victory that overcomes the world. And faith is a being satisfied in all that God is for us in Jesus Christ. You've got to stoke that engine every morning so that the evils that are clawing at you lose its fangs. You can't have me, I've seen Jesus this morning. Lust, you can't have me. Greed, you can't have me. Fear of man, you can't have me. Bitterness and anger, you can't have me. I've seen Jesus this morning.] Piper

Jesus I need your help. This morning, this afternoon and for sleeping tonight. I need to be able to say, fear, anxiety, doubt, wandering and wondering, you don't have me. You hold no power over me. I'm safe and secure in Jesus. I am his and he is mine. You can't have me. I've seen Jesus, I'm loved by Jesus, and he's made me a new creation. This is all I need. Be still my soul and know this peace. 
You welcome me and give me truths like in James, [if any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all] James 1:5 or in Romans [what then shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things.] Romans 8:31-32.

Verses like that that remind me that I can't muster up anywhere near enough willpower to fight the temptations of my flesh, to battle the pangs of discouragement, or wrestle through confusion and doubt. I am weak and my it's evident in the past week alone, stress and fear slowly can take over your life. That's what happens when I try to just say, "No, no, no. I can, I got this, I'm good." I could keep going like this, but I'm not sure how long I would make it. Jesus is patiently saying, come here, get over here. Let me take it, I want to help, the old has gone.