Title

From A Listening Heart: Sharing some of my thoughts and "God moments" as God grows me in my faith and speaks to my heart, while I seek His face and to know Him.

My friend, something I have learned is that: Your past does NOT define you... It is through the eyes of grace, and how GOD sees you, and what you let Him do IN YOU and THROUGH you (because of your past), that defines who you are, and shapes who you become!

God Is Faithful/God's Promise

God Is Faithful
This chapter is taken from
"The Very Heart of Worship"
Written By Cypress Ministries
Copyright Material, all rights reserved


“So know that the LORD your God is God,
the faithful God. He will keep his
agreement of love for a thousand
lifetimes for people who love him and
obey his commands”
~Deut. 7:9~
   

Someone once asked me, years ago, “What has God promised you?” At the time I had no idea. I was going through some major life difficulties. I knew there were general promises that God had made to all believers in Christ. But promised for me personally? I didn’t know.

“The LORD says, ‘You are my witnesses and the servant I chose. I chose you so you would know and believe me, so you would understand that I am the true God. There was no God before me, and there will be no God after me. I myself am the LORD; I am the only Savior. I myself have spoken to you, saved you, and told you these things. It was not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses, and I am God,’ says the LORD” (Isa. 43:10-12).

I do now. I know personal promises He has made in my life and for my life. If I were standing in court, I could very much put one hand on the Bible and raise the other and declare, “As heaven and earth is my witness, I am a witness and can testify openly and honestly that God, my God, is faithful; that what God says He will do, He does.” 


________________________________________


Shortly after I turned 37 was the first time I ever had a “word of God” really just light up in me and I could say God heard me, answered me from His own Word, and gave me a promise I could hold to, and this came from Revelations 21:5, “The One who was sitting on the throne said, ‘Look! I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this, because these words are true and can be trusted.’”

It was during a really turbulent time in my life. You see, I have always believed there was a God and even owned a Bible. But it wasn’t until my early 30’s that I started studying and reading the Bible for myself  instead of just reading a verse here and there and being satisfied with someone else’s thoughts and whatever lesson they wanted to share. My growing up years with God were simple. He was someone to be feared (not simply a respectful kind of fear) and if you did this, this, or this, or even if you DIDN”T do that, that, or that, you were going to hell. And since I had a whole lot of issues in my life, I had written myself off as a lost cause.


But then I started praying, and breathing without constantly feeling as if there was a hand around my throat choking me started becoming a big thing for me. One day while I was driving to work, I literally looked in the mirror to try to see the hand choking me that I felt was real. In the mirror, I didn’t see it, but I kept putting my hand up to where I was sure it was at. So that day I pulled over to sit on a bench under a tree and I started praying. That was the beginning of God “reclaiming” me. 

Fast forward to a few years later (to when I turned 37) after having been seriously studying the Bible and building a relationship with God, I experienced something I hadn’t had before. It was on a Saturday in July and my family was gone for the weekend so I spent the whole day in just an amazing daze. “It was really weird,” is the only way I could have described it back then. I didn’t turn on the radio or the television as I didn’t want anything to disrupt the incredible, peaceful silence I was experiencing. And it wasn’t because everyone was gone; the peace was inside of me. I kept walking around out back with my hands slightly in front of me just tiptoeing around almost because it was just so peaceful. And then in the softest of tones that I would have missed had there been any distractions was, “Life as you know it is going to change, nothing will be the same, I am going to change everything.” Over and over again this just kept going through me.

Over the next few days I found myself getting really excited. I couldn’t wait. If God was going to do something, I was totally okay with it. But nothing changed. Well, a few little things here and there, but nothing like I had expected based on my experience on that Saturday.

Then in September, on a Saturday, I was having a really bad day emotionally and spiritually. So I sat down and wrote God a letter. In it, I asked Him if He was really going to change EVERYTHING, and regarding what I had felt He had spoken to my heart those weeks ago: did He really mean EVERYTHING? I went on to write down the list from my mind of what constituted “everything” and then I repeated, “God, are You really going to change EVERYTHING?”  I underlined it so many times that I almost tore the paper, after which I put my letter away. About an hour later I was reading a book and the author had listed at the end of the chapter some verses to look up. One of them was Revelation 21:5. Now, the book I was reading had nothing to do with what I had been going through or anything I had written in my letter. It was just something that a friend of mine had given me and so I had been slowly reading it.

So that afternoon I picked it up and finished reading where I had left off. I was familiar with the other three or four verses that the author had mentioned, but I will be honest with you, I wasn’t too familiar with the book of Revelation at all. So out of curiosity I got my Bible out and looked it up, and as you might be guessing by now, I about fell over! There it was: what I had just been asking God about earlier. Rev. 21:5 says, “The One who was sitting on the throne said, ‘Look! I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this, because these words are true and can be trusted.’”

As I write this chapter today, it has been over three years since that afternoon’s revelation and I can say, “Yes, all of the things I wrote and prayed about that Saturday afternoon, I can see are finally coming to pass.” However, I have to tell you, it has taken every bit of these past three years. I will also admit that sometimes I fell down in hoping I would ever see fruit from what I had believed God to promise me that Saturday. But looking back I can now see I had to be prepared for what God had planned for me.

Now I can understand how I was slowly but surely being forged. I have developed a very strong appreciation for how a small amount of water over a long period of time can create a huge canyon. What I have come to learn is that sometimes God wants to do a lot of prep work in us before He will bring His promises to pass. I noticed that every time I started to get discouraged, the verses from Joshua 1 would come to me: “Be strong and brave. Haven’t I commanded you to not be discouraged?” And, every time I fell down in my hopes of change, God lifted me back up with: “It is not yet time for the message to come true, but that time is coming soon; the message will come true. It may seem like a long time, but be patient and wait for it, because it will surely come; it will not be delayed” (Hab. 2:3).

However, I can also testify that during the time I now refer to as my “plowing time,” God was faithful in SO MANY unexpected ways. He faithfully took care of me and my family. He provided for and protected us in so many different ways. God healed us, taught us, developed us, and changed all of us personally from the inside out. And over and over again, God has shown each of us how He loves us.

Isaiah 46:9-10 is a verse that God has repeated to me many times in the past three years: “Remember what happened long ago. Remember that I am God, and there is no other God. I am God, and there is no one like me. From the beginning I told you what would happen in the end. A long time ago I told you things that have not yet happened. When I plan something, it happens. What I want to do, I will do.” And, true to His Word, I am learning first hand that God is faithful.

Here are the words from Hebrews 10:35-36: “So do not lose the courage you had in the past which has a great reward. You must hold on, so you can do what God wants and receive what he has promised.” This verse is also what helped to prompt me to finish this book. You see, two years before even thinking about starting this book again, I kept feeling a tug at my heart to, “Write down what I tell you.” So I did. I began jotting down Scriptures in a notebook that kept being repeated and seemed to really be speaking to me. I simply wrote verses down so often it began to become habit. Plus, it was easier to meditate on them and remember what I was learning.

Then one afternoon, a friend of mine texted me that she had bought a new journal over the weekend, and it reminded her of me. So I texted her back asking why and she replied that on the cover it quoted: “Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you” (Jer. 30:2).

What my friend had no way of knowing was how profound her message to me would be. You see, what she didn’t know was that earlier that morning I had been trying to get over a really bad headache. I hadn’t been feeling well and so I decided to soak in the tub. While I was doing that I was also silently praying and trying to be still and listen when this exact verse came to mind (very quietly), and then a short time later (to my heart) a little more firmly. It was so softly spoken in me that had I been doing anything else other than lying there quietly, I would have missed it. I mentally checked it in my mind to go look up the words and read it because I couldn’t remember the exact address of the verse. I knew it was in Jeremiah, just not specifically where at. What was totally awesome for me was I didn’t have to. I didn’t have to go do a word search to find the verse being played in my heart that morning because God delivered it right to me! I guess by now you have figured out I have started doing a lot more than just writing down Scriptures in a notebook! I want to remind you that even babies start out just living on milk. Amazingly, now I thank God for my headache that morning.

Core Study Verse Nehemiah 9:8:
“You found him faithful to you, so you made an agreement with him
to give his descendants the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites,
Perizzites, Jebusites, and Girgashites. You have kept your promise,
because you do what is right.”

What this is referring to is that Abraham believed what God had told him and was faithful in believing God would keep His promise. So, God did just that. He kept the promise He made to Abraham. Not only that, but later when we reach the end of our core study verses, you will see the Israelite’s deliverance. God was faithful to them and took them into the very land He promised 400 years earlier; He pushed out the enemy and gave victory to His people.

Granted, it took several years, okay, many years! But God kept His promise. Abraham dared to believe something he felt sure God had told him. And that’s what I did, I finally dared to believe something I really and truly  felt in my heart God had promised me. I believed He had answered me that Saturday afternoon.

At one point, when something would happen I just couldn’t pass off as being coincidental and in my heart, I believed had to be a “God thing,” I started marking the Scriptures in my Bible with an orange tab. Over time when despair would hit me, I would start sinking into asking, “Did God really say…?” I would open my Bible, look at where I had placed those orange tabs, and remind myself that Jesus died on the cross. That in itself proves God is faithful. I love Luke 1:68-75: Let us praise the LORD, the God of Israel, because he has come to help his people and has given them freedom. He has given us a powerful Savior from the family of God’s servant David. He said that he would do this through his holy prophets who lived long ago; He promised he would save us from our enemies and from the power of all those who hate us. He said he would give mercy to our ancestors and that he would remember his holy promise. God promised Abraham, our father, that he would save us from the power of our enemies so we could serve him without fear, being holy and good before God as long as we live.

You will hear me say many times in this book that “God does not change.” So the same faithful God before will be the same faithful God today. The problem is: sometimes you have to BELIEVE what you believe! Otherwise, you can do a whole lot of “believing” but actually receive very little. It reminds me of Proverbs 14:23, “Those who work hard make a profit, but those who only talk will be poor.” You can do a whole lot of talking, but just talking isn’t going to get the work done. Sometimes you have to walk the walk and show God you really do believe what you believe He has told you. And from my own experiences, I can tell you, in the end, at the right time that God has set, He Himself will show that He is faithful. I am here to tell you, God has indeed changed EVERYTHING! My whole life as I knew it has changed. God has been faithful to His promise. But let me tell you something He changed that I didn’t expect- ME! He didn’t just change my life; He changed ME inside and out. He changed the way I thought about things, some things I thought were so important, now I realize are not. He has given me a new perspective-- in my thinking-- and my heart God has given me a new heart. In Ezekiel 36:24-27 it says,

“I will take you from the nations and gather you out of all the lands and bring you back into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness and your idols. Also, I will teach you to respect me completely, and I will put a new way of thinking inside you. I will take out the stubborn hearts of stone from your bodies, and I will give you obedient hearts of flesh. I will put my Spirit inside you and help live by my rules and carefully obey my laws”

I can tell you from my own experience, God really does do this. He has done this for me. In some versions, it says, “...I will give you a new heart and a new spirit in you…” And, I am so thankful for the changes He made in me. I have also learned that it is inside yourself where God will start before fulfilling His promise. But again, let me be a first hand witness to you-- GOD IS FAITHFUL and He has kept every promise I believe He gave to me that day when I wrote my letter to Him and He answered, “… Write it down, because these words are true and can be trusted…”  My friend, I simply decided to take God at His word and He did not let me down. He won’t you, either.

There is a time for everything,
and everything on earth has its special season.
(Ecc. 3:1)

________________________________________
In closing of God Is Faithful,

♥ PRAYING IN FAITH
 Father God, we praise You. Lord God, You truly are a good and faithful God. I pray that this reader will come to know and see that. God, thank You for the testimony that You have given me that I can share with this reader. Father God, I pray that You will do the same for them in their lives too. I pray that they will come to experience You and see Your faithfulness in their lives. I pray that they also will be able to stand up and claim as a witness for You to those around them that You are a faithful God.
 In Christ Jesus’ name I pray,
Amen.

>>> For more information on this book, please visit; The Very Heart of Worship

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting our blog! Have a wonderful day, and may God bless you and guide you in HIS peace.