Today, being Halloween is a perfect day to be pondering our true identity. Tonight there will be literally thousands of children dressed up as various ghosts and goblins and trick or treating throughout. Not one of us is fooled by these costumes. Also, when an actor or actress plays a role, we know that is not really who they are. Shouldn’t we be alert to this when talking with our sisters and brothers? Even if there is arrogance, pride or hatefulness present; shouldn’t we see the Truth? That is not their true identity any more than the costumes on the children depicting their identity.
Acts 17:27-28 states “God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. ‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are His offspring.'” Some of us are not aware of who we are, but we still are made in His image and likeness and this does not change simply because we do not recognize the Truth!
Today, I had another fake call claiming to be from the IRS with intention of frightening me. Even after knowing it was false, there appeared a heaviness in my thought. Immediately, I turned to God and Hebrews 12:3 which reads “Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” If I do not address this kind of thinking, it becomes overwhelming and goes from the subtle serpent in Genesis to the raging dragon in Revelations.
Knowing this is not about me but the opportunity to know more about God and my relationship to Him. Only Spiritual growth is going on as I tend to these matters and I am grateful.
In this day and age, one can always feel he or she has too much to do. When we are not busy, there are times we are thinking about what all we have to do. During these times, it can be easy to forget about prayer time and communing with God. But in Luke 10:40-42, this is addressed as it states “But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.’ But the Lord answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.'”
When this happens to me, I just stop and remember priorities and begin by reaching out to God and when I do, everything just falls into place; often effortlessly.
There are times when a thought or deed from the past will seemingly jump into my thoughts either to cause guilt or embarrassment. If I am not alert, I will entertain these unwanted thoughts. The past can either be from years ago or yesterday. Today it was from earlier this morning when I became irritated at something my husband said. As I prayed about this I was led to Psalms 136:3-5 which states “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing or regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”
As I continued to pray with these verses, I realized I am perfect spiritually, but never humanly! Then I knew that I am a Spiritual being made in the image and likeness of God, not a worthless material being! Today I pray to know this better.
This morning as I was studying the Bible, the thought came to me about the popularity of all the self help books in production today. As I pondered this, I realized the Christ was not in any of them I had read and they seemed to promote “self-reliance” which I find offensive. The more I recognize my dependence on God, the more I depend upon Him. The more I turn to Him with any and all challenges without human will and human outlining, the more Good I experience in my life.
John 15:5 states “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Today I will be grateful for all lessons, which become blessings as I understand more.
This morning while studying and praying at my desk and glanced out the window to a dark, dreary rainy day, I felt the same way! My housecleaner couldn’t come due to daughter’s illness and my art teacher had cancelled class due to illness. As I was praying, I just felt spiritually flat and was drawn to Matthew 9 where it is talking about fasting. I then read verses 16 and 17 which state “But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results. Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.” This just screamed out to me that I certainly could not pray with old negative, inconvenienced thoughts. They needed refreshment and gratitude and as I did this, even outside became lighter. I know I should always be on hallowed ground when I study and pray.
This morning as I was reading about the money changers in Jesus’ day and how He threw them out of the temple; I wondered how this applied today. Mark 11:16-17 states “And would not suffer than any man should carry any vessel through the temple. And He taught, saying unto them, ‘Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.'” Suddenly, a light came on and I thought of going in to worship with a heart filled with anger and hatred or a head filled with worry! Couldn’t He have been talking of that as well because none of that has any place in a house of worship. Even as I pray at home, am I checking to see that none of that resides within my heart?
Last week packages of baked goodies were mailed to grandchildren and a great-niece in New York City. Paying for it to go second day, it was to be delivered on Friday, which it wasn’t and on Saturday, they left a notice at her door. On Monday, she went to the post office and was told it was on the truck and she would have to come back later. Here, at home, I began angry and called the local post office and was told it was out of her hands after it left here. Feeling very justified, I wanted to continue on until I knew I was trying to be right. The choice was mine. Did I want to turn to God or continue to be right and unhappy? I was led to Ephesians 3:20-21 which reads “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
There was a total feeling of helplessness when it dawned on me that I am helpless without God, which can never be. I can’t pick and choose when I turn to God, but I knew I just experienced “human will” and “pride” and “ego”. As I release this to God, I know He has this! Rather than have my day ruined, I am rejoicing that I am not in control but knowing God is!
While working at my desk this morning, I suddenly remembered how other people’s opinion was very important to my mother. There was always a “What will the neighbors think?) or how will something look or being dressed in our finery for Church. On some level, I knew that was not how I wanted to live my life. For years, I may have gone to the other extreme, but there came a time when I realized I just wanted to please God. Psalm 62:5-8 says it best for me “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.”
We just returned home from a 1500 plus mile trip where we were protected in many ways. The trip was to attend our granddaughter’s outdoor wedding and after arriving, rain was in the forecast. The wedding was about 17 miles away from the city where they live and it had become very cloudy. As I was praying about this weather, it occurred to me that nothing can dampen nor darken Good and God is Good and ever-present.
As we drove away from the city, it became lighter and lighter and I knew and felt God’s presence. The wedding was beautiful and dry. There was love expressed everywhere. I Chronicles 16:27 states “Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and joy in His dwelling place.” came to thought! What a wonderful event!