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When I was in year 11 the big excitement for the year was that we got to go to the ball.  It was a big deal, well for a girl.  On the Friday before the ball my dreams came true.  The boy I liked asked me to go to the ball with him.  Swoon!  I had my dress and shoes and everything ready and was just waiting for this one magical moment to happen.

That afternoon as I was biking home I was knocked off my bike.  I knew my leg was broken.  But I walked the 2km home, with my bike, because pre cell phone, what do you do right?  I got home and my mum was like, I think you’re okay, your stockings aren’t even ripped….  But I knew, and the dr confirmed, that my leg and ankle was broken in 4 places.

And for those that want to know, yes I went to the ball, with the boy, on crutches, in a cast that my cute knee high cocktail dress did not cover….

Sometimes things might look all okay on the outside.  We put our public faces on and face the world with a Im fine when the reality is that on the inside things might be falling apart, or we’re drifting away from God or walking through a difficult season.

The stockings might not be ripped but on the inside we are broken.

 

Firstly, our brokenness is never an excuse to not drawing near to God.  He is close to the brokenhearted, has compassion on the weak, and is the good shepherd.  Often we feel our weakness disqualifies us from drawing near to God and we forget that He calls Himself our Father.   He is intensly personal and intesnly loving.  He is gracious and merciful.  No pain or struggle is too great.   No problem is an obstacle to God’s love.   In fact God’s love is the remedy and antedote for the pain and weakness in our lives.

Hebrews 4:16 says Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

It is in our time of need, when we need mercy and grace, when we feel our most unconfident that God invites us to approach Him.   He’s not the kind of God that says just put on your big boy pants and get your act together – unless you need that in His most loving wisdom – but He is the God who wraps Himself around us and carries us, who heals us.

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Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, a good distance from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the LORD would go out to the tent of meeting which was outside the camp. And it came about, whenever Moses went out to the tent, that all the people would arise and stand, each at the entrance of his tent, and gaze after Moses until he entered the tent. Whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent; and the LORD would speak with Moses. When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would arise and worship, each at the entrance of his tent. Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.  Exodus 33:7-11

 

i want to be a face to face friend of God. 

 

As i read about Moses and Joshua meeting with God in the tent of meeting, my heart is stirred and moved that Moses SAW the form of God and spoke face to face with Him.  God says (in Numbers 12, see below) that Moses was faithful in all His house – and the reward of his faithfulness was intimacy.

 

In Whom, because of our faith in Him, we dare to have the boldness (courage and confidence) of free access (an unreserved approach to God with freedom and without fear).  Ephesians 3:12

Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].  Hebrews 4:16

i want my life to lean always towards knowing God.  i press in for this purpose, to be His child, to be His friend.

any sacrifice, any bowing of my knee and will, any refinement, any transformation, is worth it to feel His embrace and pleasure.

to walk with Him on this earth as friend is a great reward!

and i love love love that joshua stayed after Moses left… i wonder if that heart was one of the things that were credited to him as a qualification for leading the people into the promised land, a man after God’s heart, a man of God’s presence, a man of prayer and faith….

 

ps: its interesting to note, that in Exodus 3 Moses freaks out in his first encounter with God and hides his face, yet here 30 chapters later he has face to face encounters and regular relational connection.  don’t stay in the place of first encounter but develop a relationship with God!

 

“Listen to my words:
“When a prophet of the LORD is among you,
I reveal myself to him in visions,
I speak to him in dreams.

But this is not true of my servant Moses;
he is faithful in all my house.

With him I speak face to face,
clearly and not in riddles;
he sees the form of the LORD.  Numbers 12:6-8

read more HERE

The Word of God renews our minds – which changes our lives.

One of the two methods of transformation is to have our minds renewed by the Word of God. The way to become changed into the person God is calling you to be is to challenge the lies in your mind with the truth of God’s Word. Studying and meditating on God’s word writes it on our minds and hearts. When we chew on the Word of God, we enter a process by which that Word is written on our minds and hearts. This acts like a guard on our heart and mind and keeps us from sinning against God.

Last year our youth pastor preached on the Word of God… she said we need to believe it, chew it, pray it and live it. We need to first when we read the word of God believe that what it says is absolute truth and real and the way it really is… and we need to chew it, we need to think about it and ponder it and talk about it and dig into it and we need to pray about it to God and pray it about our lives and we need to walk it out.

Hebrews 4:12 For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing apart of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

2Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work.

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ,

“How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.
With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”
Psalm 119:9-11

“…Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27

this is my word for the moment – lavish!

God’s love towards us is so lavish!

He lavishes his love and grace upon us.

Matthew 7:7- 11

Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. Everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And the door will be opened for everyone who knocks. Would any of you give your hungry child a stone, if the child asked for some bread? Would you give your child a snake if the child asked for a fish? As bad as you are, you still know how to give good gifts to your children. But your heavenly Father is even more ready to give good things to people who ask.

Hebrews 4:14-16

We have a great high priest, who has gone into heaven, and he is Jesus the Son of God. That is why we must hold on to what we have said about him. Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin! So whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God. There we will be treated with undeserved kindness, and we will find help.

Psalm 103:8-12

The LORD is merciful! He is kind and patient, and his love never fails. The LORD won’t always be angry and point out our sins; he doesn’t punish us as our sins deserve. How great is God’s love for all who worship him? Greater than the distance between heaven and earth! How far has the LORD taken our sins from us? Farther than the distance from east to west!

God’s love is so lavish. We can bravely and boldly approach his presence and throne of grace and throne of holiness and find all we need because God is lavish and abundant in his love. Do we see God as a crusty old judge with a stick ready to beat us at every move??? that is not a correct persception of God. get into your heart how lavish the love of God is towards you.

it was lavishly expressed in the life of Jesus.

it was lavishly exprsesed in the sacrifice of Jesus.

it is lavishly expressed in God alive in me, making me new, transforming me, accepting me.

Lavish.

great word.

“Come To God often just to sit in His presence and renew yourself. Nothing is as important as lowliness of heart and detachment from our own opinion and will.” Fenelon in 100 days in the secret place

I lay in bed last night thinking about this segment of my devotional book. Often when we are going through a hard time sitting down to pray and read the bible and talk to God is soooo the last thing we want to do or do full stop. We can get angry with God – when will this stop? Why wont you intervine? Pleeeese God come? You know… all of those things are valid. David was a big stomp ya feet say how he really felt kind of guy. His psalms are filled with WOE IS ME and emotions that I read as angry and depressed (its all in the tone of voice…) but then he also gets it in perspective and remembers God and His ways and that gives him peace and strength to carry on.

Psalm 73:16-17 When I thought deeply in order to understand this, it was painful for me, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end.

In this Psalm David is going through a really hard time on all fronts. His understanding came when he went and spent time with God. Likewise for us – we may look at our circumstances and go “da wah?” and throw our hands up in despair. We need to remember to come and sit and pray and read the Bible. Sometimes just even putting on a good worship CD can bring us into the presence of God.

Hebrews 4:16 Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Psalm 23:1-6 A Psalm of David. Jehovah is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of Jehovah forever.

We may not get any answers from God. We may come away from a prayer time with no firm understanding. But we need to UNDERSTAND that God is God and God is good and loves us and is at work in our lives, to work ALL things for good for His glory and purposes. Your hard times may give you the experience that is able to help others.

2 Corinthians 1:4 He comforting us in all our trouble, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in every trouble, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

The value of spending time with God is that we hear His voice, we can feel His presence –we can remind ourselves of WHO he is and draw closer, knowing that as we draw near to Him he draws near to us. Even if God is silent the time is not a waste. It is relationship building. It can bring comfort when we drop the walls. It changes us…

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