Friday, January 20, 2012

What's your Perspective?

This is nothing new and revolutionary. 
Well, nothing new. It can be revolutionary if we let it.

The idea starts with a question.

How much time have you spent on your knees lately?

The Lord has been speaking to me about the topics of honor and integrity lately. The importance of honoring Him - and what that really looks like in a life - and the importance of honoring others.

(Just a little fun fact - according to, the word 'honor' is found in the Bible 211 times, at least in the NIV translation. That's a lot. Compare that to other significant topics, such as love appearing 686 times, 'forgive' 121 times, and 'pray' 367 times. Just wanted to validate that it's something God made a point to mention a few times.)

I don't know if you've ever met a person that really seemed to have the honoring God thing down, but it's pretty incredible. It's actually pretty apparent that there is something different about that person, too. It's like they walk with an understanding of the gravity of what is means to esteem others better than themselves. (Philippians 2:3, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.")

Their lives are characterized by a stillness, a patience that is required to truly offer people your time and attention, acknowledging that they are worth it. It illustrates the truth that God has called us to be in relationship, and that relationships are important.

They place value on the people around them.

I've been contemplating this in terms of my relationship with God.

Do I understand the gravity of what it means to live my life in a way that honors Him?

Do I consider how my actions and attitudes fall in line with what is pleasing to Him?
Do I think of what He places value on, and therefore accredit value to it as well?

And where does integrity come into all of this? states that integrity is defined as
1.) adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
2.) the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.

To live with integrity means that we're honest - authentic - IE., no shady stuff going on in our lives that we're not really wanting other folks to know about.

No false pretenses. What you see is what you get.

I believe in order to live lives of honor, we have to get to a place of integrity first. You can't fake honor. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's called manipulation. (More on this in a later post.)

Integrity is grounded in Truth.
Integrity requires having a proper perspective.

And in order to have a proper perspective, we have to be in the right position to see correctly.
I was reminded of this today as I knelt in front of my desk at work. I don't normally spend a lot of time looking at things down there. (Just in case you are interested, there is quite a bit of dust on my computer case, paper scraps that have compiled over time, scattered randomly. I could go on, but I'll spare you.)

The point I'm getting at is that this isn't something I'm aware of on a daily basis, when I scoot my chair up to my desk to start work. I don't normally see what is under there because I am not normally positioned to see it.

But today I was led to take a minute, get on my knees, and worship. To posture myself in a way that represents honor.

And when I chose to do that, I saw something I don't normally see.

The point I'm getting at is not that the desk and random paper scraps were not important, or even what God wanted to show me.

What I mean is that when we humble ourselves, slow down and choose to position ourselves in a way that acknowledges that He is worthy of our honor, we start to see things we were meant to see.

Start to see things as they were meant to be seen.

He starts to show us stuff that He's been wanting to share with us, but our view has been too lofty, too distorted.
Maybe because we've been haven't been rightly related to Him.
Maybe we've been too busy to slow down, to take in the scenery.
Whatever the case, we weren't in position.

So, back to my original question.

How much time have you spent on your knees lately?

What have you and I been missing, what are we not seeing, because we haven't been on my knees, positioned to receive from God?

I've heard the definition before in a teaching that humility is just being properly related or "positioned" to God. He is placed in higher esteem because in truth, He is worthy of that position. It's just the facts.

God > me.

But humility isn't about degrading ourselves or thinking less of ourselves, either. We were made in the image of God and we were created by Him for Him for a purpose - fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139).

Humility is about being rightly related to God - making nothing more or less of ourselves than who He created us to be.

And once God is in His right position in our life, and we fall into our proper place, we're able to honor Him and others from a place of truth. Integrity.

Let me streamline this a little bit.

I believe in order to live lives of honor, we need integrity. And in order to have integrity, we have to be able to see things as they really are, from a proper perspective.

Humble. On our knees.
So, I believe, if I am to truly live a life of humility, as I'm called to and which is necessary in order to honor others, I need to spend a lot more time noticing the dust and random scraps of paper that I've been missing before.

It's only when I take a posture of humility and honor that I can catch a vision of
who God really is,
who I really am in Him,
and what it is He wants me focused on.

So is your life busy? Are you distracted? Do you know what the dust looks like under your desk? Your bed at home? What scraps have been finding their home in your carpet at home?

There really is something about carving some time out of your day to get away to a secret place, where you can get on your knees.

And stay there past the urge to jump back into your schedule and routine. Stay there long enough to experience His stillness and peace, to meet with Him, and to catch a glimpse of

His Perspective.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Is What You Want What You Need?

Sometimes I think I'm pretty smart.

Maybe not consciously, but my actions seem to show otherwise. I somehow convince myself that I don't need to get into the Word often, that it's not that important, or that I've been in it enough in the past to 'cover me' for a couple of days or weeks.


"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" -Jeremiah 17:9

What is true?

In me, there is no good thing. (Romans 7:18). Apart from God, I can do no good thing. (John 15:5)

When I choose to not get into the Word, to consciously and intentionally connect with God, I'm not just staying in some neutral zone. I cannot continue to move forward with His work without Him.

Because you know what happens? It becomes my work. And you know what that is? Lifeless. Dull. Striving. Distraction. (refer to Romans 7:18 & John 15:5 above)

There is no neutral zone. The enemy wants me to think there is. That all I'm doing is just choosing to rest. I deserve rest, right? It's just too hard to seek after the Lord all the time, right?

Another lie.
"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

What I am really choosing when I don't choose to spend time in God's word is not to rest, but to slowly allow my mind to revert to it's old way of thinking.

And you know who that looks like? Not Jesus, that's for sure.

But as it states in the beginning of John 15:5, if I choose to abide in God, I can bear good fruit. It's conditional on my connection and close relationship with Him.

And you know one awesome truth that still astonishes me today as much as it did the first time I heard it?

God, the Creator of the Universe -who is totally capable of just telling me to do something & asking for my obedience, period -chooses to allow me to not only partake in His Work, but He'll even give me a joy and a passion for it!

Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight yourselves in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."

He has the ability to change my heart, to give me a desire for Him, His Kingdom, and what is good for me. He can make me passionate and excited about what He has called me to do so that it's a joy and a delight for me to do it!


That's Grace.

Which brings me to what inspired this post in the first place.

I had an old Passion song in my head this morning, and I believe God was bringing it to mind to remind me of what to ask Him for.

"Give me one pure and holy passion. Give me one magnificent obsession. Give me one glorious ambition for my life, to know and follow hard after you." - One Pure and Holy Passion, Passion

When I feel less than enthused, when I feel dry and uninspired, distracted by many things, God says we can ask for the desire to seek Him.

We can ask for a hunger for His Word.
For eyes to see His truth.
For a heart that is undivided, so that we not only believe the truth, but we truly embrace it wholeheartedly.

And He will give it to us because He knows that it is what we need. More of Him.

And it's what He wants!

More of us!

I don't have to pretend to be excited about getting into the Word. (Sometimes I am...often I'm not, if I'll be honest). I don't have to come to God with any pretense. I can just come to Him as I am.

Lazy. Fallen.In need.

And He wants to respond. And He will respond, when we seek Him with all our hearts. (Jeremiah 29:13) And He will continue to amaze us. Thrill us. Excite us. And give us a love for Him.

He is the Source, and we just have to stay connected.

"There is none like you. No one else can touch my heart like You do. And I could search for all eternity long and find, there is none like You."

Friday, January 6, 2012


"With great power comes great responsibility." - Uncle Ben, Spiderman

Okay - so living with a geek for the past 6 years has kind of rubbed off on me a little bit. But regardless of the source of the statement, I still think it holds a lot of truth.

We have all been given the ability to influence, whether for the good or detriment of those around us. I think this is particularly true for women. I think that women have been given the ability to influence, lead, and on the converse side, manipulate, in ways that men cannot. (I'm not insinuating women are greater than men - I also think the statement is true for men - they can lead and influence in ways that women were never meant to.)

Before I go any further, let me put out this little disclaimer: The following is not meant as a bash of women or men, but rather I'm trying to just put the facts out there to explain how the choices that we make as women do have a great effect on those that God has placed in our lives (specifically if you are married, the man that God has placed as the head of your household), and that we need to consider the circle of influence that God has given us when making choices that will either sew peace and righteousness, or chaos and confusion.

Examples of how women have chosen to use their power for harm:
There are so many Biblical examples portraying how women can influence men to second-guess what God has spoken or promised. One well-known example is Eve in the garden, choosing to personally question not only God's command, but to question his intent as well. ("For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God." -2 Corinthians 2:11) And we know how it played out - Adam chose to follow Eve's example, instead of standing firm in the leadership role He was placed in, and the rest is history. (Genesis 3)

Another example is Sarai, Abram's wife. Not believing God's promise that He would grant Abram a son, she chose to take matters into her own hands by offering up her slave instead, rationalizing that she could at least have a surrogate child this way (since God was obviously not following through with His end of the deal). (Genesis 16) And once again, you see man following a women's suggestion - choosing also to disbelieve and question whether God meant what He said.

(On a side note - I find it rather funny that after Sarai's slave, Hagar, gets pregnant, Sarai becomes upset because it's not turning out the way she thought it would, and so she comes back to blame Abram about it! (Genesis 16:5) I have to be honest and say I can relate to the temptation to blame when something doesn't turn out the way I planned. Anyone else want to admit to that one?)

I go into these examples because I believe it's one way God has chosen to reveal the power a woman has been given in order to offer advice, wisdom, and discernment to others. Wives have the awesome ability to offer insight to their husbands, an incredible gift when that is given prayerfully and in humility, not trying to manipulate and control, but as God intended. And single women - you have the ability to encourage & offer that same gift to the people that God has placed in your life as well.

Examples of how women have chosen to use their power for good:
Look at Esther! Here is a woman that was placed in the role as queen in order to plead for the lives of the Israelites. She chose to accept the place of honor God had granted her, and with humility, advised her husband, the King, to show mercy. (Esther 7) Because of this, the people of God were saved.

And I'm sure the list could continue, but for the sake of this note becoming a novella, I will get to the conclusion.

The other day the Lord brought to mind Proverbs 14:1,
"A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands."

Whew -does that hit anyone else in the gut like it does me? It's so true. I don't know how many times I've set out to be encouraging and uplifting to my husband, and then end up tearing down those efforts with my nagging and nit-picking tendencies. And what about the times I don't even recognize I'm doing this?

What if we recognized the power of our suggestions - that they will either bring light, clarity, and freedom, or deception, confusion, and bondage?

I pray that the Lord would reveal to us what we have been given the ability to do - to build His Kingdom by using our power for good - for choosing encouragement over criticism, humility over our need to be right, submission and trust over control - love over fear.

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

"Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you." - 2 Timothy 1:14

"for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." 2 Timothy 1:7

because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction." 1 Thessalonians 1:5a