Thursday, August 28, 2014

This Hope

I just finished my She Reads Truth journal page, took a picture of it for Instagram, and told the Lord that it was all for Him.

And then I walked to the bathroom and changed out of my pajamas into my junky house cleaning clothes...that I wore yesterday. Anyway. It was at that moment the Lord told me to write.

"Write what, Lord?  You know that I am the best infrequent blogger out there." I say.

"Elaborate." He tells my heart.

So here I am. The blogger who only blogs when she has something to share. And I recently have come to terms with that. I want God more than I want this blog. But when I receive a prompting from Him to write, I write.

Because, disobeying God?

I want no part of that.

When I started to study this morning, I read Hosea 2.

And nothing jumped off the page to me. I wasn't sure what I was going to share. So I read the text again.

And this time I notice "For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more." (v.17)

I am a forever-student so I begin searching what this verse means. And I find this gem: "But usually the LORD drives us to despair of earthly joy, and help from ourselves that, being shut from every other door, we may knock at Mercy's gate." MacLaren

I quickly grabbed my personal study notebook and wrote down, "In my unfaithfulness (idolatry) You spoke tenderly to me and provided for me a door of hope. When I cried out to You when I had no mercy and was a foreigner to you, You answered my cry for help. And when You responded, I attached myself to You, forsaking all others; clinging only to You. When I walk in unfaithfulness I dishonor You; the One who declares that I will call You My Husband and no longer 'My Baal'." 

It was in the my wilderness of self, and discontent, envy, excess and sloth that He spoke to my barrenness. Because we all know that when The Lord is last on your list, life is...well...empty. I lived an empty life for a while. Hello, my roaring 20's. I made statements that proved I was living out of my own strength. I wasn't sure of my identity as one who had a saving faith of The Lord Jesus Christ. I wasn't fun to be with. I was living in a rut of my own idolatry. Yuck.

Alexander MacLaren writes "Sorrow helps us to see God."

I drank that right in. Sorrow helps us to see God. He goes on to say, "Swift, sharp, unrelenting justice must be done on the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, if our trials are ever to become doors of hope." 

Hope. It's the finished product of tribulation.


"Tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character; hope; and this hope will not lead to disappointment for we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love." Romans 5:3-5

This is where I stop trying to fill my heart with stuff; things that can't and won't be able to satisfy my relentless need. And this process started two years ago when He proved to me that He was to be my all in all. He wanted to fill my heart with His love so that I could stop stuffing myself with junk.

What is this hope? "Hope is but the brightness that goes before God's face, and if we would see it we must look at Him." writes MacLaren.

It's what I like to call saving knowledge. And by that I mean, I know that my Redeemer lives and I will spend eternity with Him. And I'm inspired to love God more and want God more than anything else.

It was two years ago that I experienced His goodness. And since that time He has opened my eyes wide to the revelation that He is all I need or want. He has sparked within me a love for Him like I've never experienced before.

And the best part of this whole thing?

"I will be faithful to you and make you mine, and you will finally know me as The Lord." (v. 20)

I just turned 36 last month but I asked Jesus into my heart at the precious age of eight. It wasn't until I turned 30 that I truly started pursuing The Lord in new ways. And I've heard that old ways won't open new doors.  So there's that. Then on the second to last day of July I turned 34 and He walked with me while I began the {daily} process of laying down my idols. And as I began living it out,  He made me His own

"When the people were weaned from idols, and loved the Lord, no creature should do them any harm." Matthew Henry

This hope? It's my Jesus.

PS: Four books that have helped along this road (other than the Bible): One Thousand Gifts{W}hole, Love Idol , and this baby isn't available until October 1, 2014 but go and pre-order it now I Want God (blog post forthcoming when God gives me the words to share-that is, after I'm done processing it.) Thank you to Lisa for the Advance Reader Copy. xo