Out of the Depths.

Tonight I was reading some wonderful insights on how to cope with anxiety through a spiritual sense when I read within the article this verse:¬†With you [God] there is true forgiveness, so that you may be held in awe,‚ÄĚ says¬†Psalm 130:4. I was drawn into that verse deeply so I wanted to look more into it and the title of this beautiful song is called, “Out of the Depths.” I started to tear up a bit because that is exactly how I have felt the last through days. God has led into some deep waters, just watching me treading and freaking out basically. I have developed an irrational amount of anxiety and I have felt like there has been no escape.

I really would like to break this psalm down piece by piece so I can vividly express to you exactly how my life, and maybe even yours relates back to it.

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
2     O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
    to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

So I can imagine you must have read this with a stabbing feeling straight to the gut, right? This is kind of¬† what happens when we allow sin to overlap the presence of our Lord. Sin lures us deeper and deeper into dark waters; our eyes are not even paying attention to what our feet are cutting on as we shed our Saviors’ love he willingly poured out into our dying souls. Then once we realize we have ventured off too deep, we begin to panic. Our hearts become weak, our minds begin to wander off into millions of directions.

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
    O Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
    that you may be feared.

We lose sight of God, when in reality He never leaves our sides. EVER. I had this happen to me….I had to allow so much pain and fear fester into my heart, so I could completely surrender it over to God and allow the proper healing to start in my life. I needed His relentless mercy.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
    and in his word I hope;
6 my soul waits for the Lord
    more than watchmen for the morning,
    more than watchmen for the morning.

I love this imagery used by the psalmist about how our souls earnestly wait for the Lord as the watchmen wait for the morning. This is an example from the¬†Elliot Commentaries for English Readers about watchmen waiting for dawn:Watch for the morning.‚ÄĒComp.¬†Psalm 123:2¬†for another figure of the same earnest upward gaze. In the ‚Äúwatcher for the dawn‚ÄĚ there may be an allusion to the Levite-sentinel whose duty it was to signal the first ray of dawn, and the moment for commencing the sacred rites of the Temple (Psalm 134:1), but the figure if general, as marking the impatience of a deeply agitated soul‚ÄĒa sufferer waiting for relief, a contrite sinner for forgiveness‚ÄĒis as striking as graceful. (See¬†Deuteronomy 28:67.)”¬†¬†

We all go through the season of waiting. Our souls long for the things we think we desperately need in this EXACT moment, when in reality God’s timing is higher, better, and will last forever. Take heart my friend, God is carrying you out of the depths.

 

 

Pursuing Christ.

The dictionary defines pursue as (of a person or way) continue or proceed along (a path or route. That is the core statement in our daily lives of pursuing the call of Christ. I know we all go through our seasons. A time to thrive, and a time to wither. I have had that very thing happen to me. I deliberately wrapped my arms around temporary satisfaction and turned my back against God. The more my soul was being sucked by sin, the less I began to pursue call and I suddenly began to feel at lost of my purpose.

Months and months I awoke in a frantic on dark nights just entrapped by the heaviness of guilt and shame. When the sun finally rose in the morning, it still felt as if the night never left. I began to feel hollow on the inside, ashamed to even call myself a Christian for all the mistakes I have made. I almost was tempted to turn away from God because I felt like I had ran my course with Him and there was just no hope in Him still using me as a vessel of His own heart. The voices of the Liar began to overpower me. I believed I was not good enough. I believed there was no way I could even enter church or sit with a Christian friend because of the sin still encrusted beneath the surface of my skin. My vision, passion, and just soul felt dry and meaningless. I could not find a possible way to escape this endless cycle of despair.

Yet, my friend, Jesus was there all along. The nights where I felt like ice, His loving light burned brightly to satisfy my warmth. The days where I sat in quietness of my car or laying naked in my bathroom tub, God stroked my hair and whispered sweet melodies to try to entice my broken heart. Each day Jesus pursed me, because He will never abandon or give up on me. Jesus saw my agonizing weakness as biblical value to my personal relationship with God.

For it is through human weakness that God’s strength upholds us and is displayed for the world.”

God compares us to a jar of clay. Before we are made into His perfect mold, we need to understand that our clay is a brittle, easily broken substance. Through that, though, He makes our clay into jars–designed to hold the most valuable treasure: the Holy Spirit. God places His treasure¬†within our clay selves so that we can withstand the damaged, broken cracks life causes toward us.

God still uses us in the midst of our wandering. There is a requirement of focus: We need to seek things of Heavenly value, not Earthly value. This is to be a continuous act of never taking our eyes of the Cross. The word is our instructions to a heavenly life and to live righteously.

“God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.” Acts 17:27

“Let us not become weary in doing good,¬†for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

“Turn from evil and do good; seek peace¬†and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14

“Dying to Self.”

“Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies." 2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I am entering the wilderness, my friends. I just turned my back against the once known "civilization" my mind has created, and I'm stepping toe deep into loneliness again. I might seem odd or crazy to want to do this, believe me, my heart is scared. But, in order for me to completely grasp God. For me to fully express what my true identity is, how I feel of myself, I need to experience isolation. There are a few verses that have helped me with beginning this journey. I hope with the power of God they encourage you as well.

Focus on Heaven: “Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth." Colossians‬ ‭3:2‬ ‭NLT‬‬
The first thing I am having to teach myself in this first week of isolation is, "what is my mind focusing on?" One things comes to my mind is, social media. I tend to waste so many minutes scrolling, posting, liking, etc. How is that vital to my personal time with God? I know 10 minutes a week is not acceptable. I just had to make a very difficult decision of giving it up. I am fasting my addiction over to God. I know some may think that's silly, but it's dangerous what I have been doing. I have created an idol of myself. I have been caring more of how the world sees rather than the One who created me in the first place. It's time that I focus on heaven. A Heavenly life is a righteous life.

Focusing on Faith, not fear: "Cast all your anxiety unto Him, for He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7
So, following my downfall with living in a fearful life rather than faithful life, I have started to see the world in a negative light. I have woken up every morning these past few weeks just dreading the day. Apathetic of going to work, being angry on the long car trip there with the constant traffic. Feeling annoyed while at work because of the endless to-do lists just waiting for me as soon as I sit at my desk. I have completely shifted my focus to my earthly values, therefore causing me to be full of fear. A God driven person sees every day with hope. Goes through each path that lies ahead knowing God is their protector and guide. I want to be that! A faithful servant is one who will gain everlasting life, not everlasting fear.

Being a Doer for God: "Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only. Deceiving yourselves!"
It is so easy for me to post this biblical post, lay my bible on my night stand, and delve into something that completely contradicts God's teaching. Shame on me if I use the word of God for my personal gain! The Bible is to guide us! To instruct us! To heal, protect, and grow us! The Bible isn't a tool to make our reputations seem greater. It's not just another book to read to pass time. It's to show and teach us how to be like Jesus! What we learn in our alone time, will help someone who is going through a rough time. What we pray by ourselves, will lead us to pray with someone else. It's important to be alone with God, grow with God, become who you are supposed to be with God, and go out into the world to help some other lost soul going through a spiritual drought! It's time we start taking God seriously and start dying to ourselves!

“Living as A Modern Day Ruth: Day Three.” By: Melodie Rose Jordan.¬†

If you have been following along in this study, then you probably are anxiously waiting at the edge of your seat, bible at upright position as to what will lie next for Boaz and Ruth. I got some good news for you my dear friend, there are wonderful things in store for these two noble people! 

Ruth Chapter three begins with Naomi advising Ruth to find a permanent home, or in our terms, a new husband. Naomi has noticed how kind Boaz has been to Ruth for letting her work in his field along with other workers. Naomi tells Ruth to take a bath, wear expensive perfume, and nice clothing. Now, don’t overlook at her strange commands. Naomi is not instructing Ruth to commit an impure act, but to show Boaz that he can become her “family redeemer”. (Boaz could find someone to marry Ruth, or he could marry her himself). It may seem like apathetic business, but it leads to so much more. Later that evening, Ruth approaches Boaz’s bed, and uncovers his feet. (This showed respect to a master, Ruth being one of his workers in the field he owned, also an Israel custom). Around midnight, Boaz awoke in a fright to see a woman at his feet! “Who are you?” He demanded. “I am your servant Ruth,” she replied. “Spread the corner of your covering over me, for you are my family redeemer.” The Lord bless you, my daughter!” Boaz exclaimed. “You are showing more family loyalty now than ever by not running after a younger man, whether rich or poor. Ruth 3:8-10

Wow! What a reaction! I am blown away how they both honor each other and show such kindness. Later in this chapter, Boaz tells Ruth that he will spread word around the town of Judah of what an honorable woman Ruth was. He also stated that if he could not find anyone who would be willingly to marry her, he would marry her himself. (Awe!) Ruth laid at his feet until dawn, and before she returned back to Naomi, he gave her six scoops of barley, for he didn’t want Ruth to return empty handed. Ruth then awaited patiently with her mother-in-law for Boaz’s desicion. 

What a beautiful chapter, right?! So, how can we apply this to our own lives. 

Before seeking out a man, seek spiritual council: We all have someone(s) in our lives that we tell everything to. Someone we can be completely open and vulnerable. It’s so important to discuss with a trustworthy, God led individual about a dating situation. They will help you in prayer, in guidance, or just emotional support (I have to recommend my dear friend Jinny! Thanks for being my “butterfly friend” ūü¶č‚̧)

If you have found someone, are they honoring you: did you notice how Boaz reacted when he saw Ruth laying at his feet? He didn’t get angry with her. He didn’t make a scene with other men and outcast her, since she was a foreigner. He addressed her in such a Godly way. He even went far as to tell his whole towns people just how much of an honorable woman she was. Make sure you have a signifanct other in your life who only brings your reputation up and makes sure you are spoken positively. 

If you’re still single and waiting, God has forgotten you: I am sure Ruth was so anxious and anticipating the decision that Boaz had to make. I’m sure she was having dozen of thoughts. Naomi gave her such encouraging advice, as it helped me: “Just be patient, my daughter, until we hear what happens. The man won’t rest until he has followed through on this.” Ruth: 3:18

God has someone out there for us. All we can do is be obedient to His word, surround ourselves with Godly influences, and trust in Him. ‚̧