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God’s Chastening: Be a Martha, Not a Mary

Martha was upset when Mary wouldn't help her serve Jesus and His followers.

Most Christians are familiar with the scene in Luke 10:38-42 in which two sisters welcome Jesus into their home. Ever the hostess, Martha is busy cooking and cleaning for Jesus and His followers. She is working for her Master. Her sister Mary, on the other hand, chooses to spend her time sitting at Jesus’ feet. She is worshipping her Master. Most people read this as a story about priorities, and it is. But the events that happen next are often overlooked. It is there that we learn an even deeper lesson about God’s chastening and uncover which sister is really the better role model for believers today.

The Original Lesson

In that first scene in Luke 10, Martha is upset. She is working hard to accomplish the earthly tasks set before her. For years, I could relate a lot more to Martha than to Mary here. After all, day to day things have to be done; there is no getting around them. When more people help, it lessens the burden on the rest. But then as my own relationship with Jesus was strengthened, I realized that Mary was the smart one after all.

She had Jesus right there in her very own house. What other thing could possibly be more important than sitting at His feet and soaking up everything she possibly could? So, when Martha complains to Jesus that Mary isn’t helping her, Jesus chides her for her stress and lets her know that Mary is actually the one who is doing the right thing. She has “chosen the better part,” and He will not take that away from her.

The Next Scene

Fast forward to the next scene in John 11. Martha and Mary’s brother Lazarus has died.  As friends of the Messiah, they had sent for Him when their brother was ill, hoping that He could come to heal him. But Jesus had purposefully stayed away an extra two days in order to show the great miracle of resurrecting Lazarus from the dead. When He gets to their town of Bethany, Mary and Martha have a house full of people who were there to comfort them. It is the next verse that speaks volumes about the kind of servants the two sisters really were and gives a great lesson for us to learn.

Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.”

John 11:20

The Sisters’ Reactions

God corrects His children. That’s how we know that we are His and He loves us. When Jesus chided Martha in that first scene, she probably felt embarrassed and remorseful. (I know that feeling all too well, don’t you?) After all, she was doing her best to serve her Master. She had missed the mark, and Jesus corrected her. The Bible doesn’t say what happened next, but I imagine her taking off her apron at that very moment and using it to dab a tear trickling out of one eye as she sat down on His other side. He had chastened her, and she had to repent. But, after her brother died, and she heard Jesus was coming to town, she ran to meet Him.

Mary, on the other hand, “sat still in the house.” When she heard Jesus was coming to town after her brother was already dead, she didn’t make a move to greet Him. Was she upset? Was she wondering how Jesus could have possibly let her down after she had been so devoted to Him? She had sat for hours listening, and she had even been the one who anointed His feet with ointment and wiped her tears with her hair. She was a great and devoted follower who prioritized time with Him over all other things, but when something happened in her life that she didn’t understand, she refused to run to Him. Maybe she even took offense. 

It’s The End That Matters

In the Bible, it is never the beginning of thing that matters; it is always the end. Someone who starts as a great servant can fall away. Someone who gets it wrong but repents at God’s chastening can be restored. Now, despite her momentary hurt, Mary still belonged to Jesus. She came when Martha told her that He was calling for her. And, I’m sure when realized that Jesus was there to resurrect her brother, she probably repented of her earlier actions and apologized for doubting Him. I have been there too.

In fact, I don’t know about you, but I feel like at different times in my life, I have been both sisters at all points in this story. There are times when I’m the devoted one, forsaking everything just to sit at His feet. And there are times when I’m too busy serving Him to spend time with Him. Sometimes, I’m the one who runs to Him. And there have been times, to my shame, that I’m the one who has to repent for wondering how He could “let me down” in a time of need.

The Takeaway

In John 11:5, the Bible says that Jesus loved both of the sisters, but it mentions Martha by name. She listened to His correction and ran to Him in love. As Christians, we will all endure God’s chastening. It is in those times that, like Martha, we must repent and run to Him with our whole hearts, never taking offense when we don’t understand His ways. After all, He has our best interest at heart.

If you to look closely at scripture, try Three Simple Instructions From God to Us. In it, we look at Hebrews 3-4. Or, try Twinkly Trash: A Closer Look at Job 28. Like to read more from Evangelical Christian sisters who “tell it messy, true, and wonderful because we are His”? Check out Telling Hearts.

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The Cure For Depression: Jesus is My Medicine

There was a time not so long ago that doctors made house calls. Sick people never had to leave the comfort of their own bedrooms. Instead, medical professionals would travel the distance to treat patients and write prescriptions. Not many doctors make house calls today, but there is one who still does. Jesus has been called the Great Physician because of the many people he healed during His earthly ministry. He still heals today, not just illness and injuries but also the sickness that is sin. This is the story of how God came for me and healed me. He was the cure for my depression and anxiety.

Lost and Hurting

When God found me, I was a mess. Newly divorced from my husband of over 17 years, I was depressed and anxious. I had been rejected. A lot. For the last seven of those years, my ex-husband had refused to say “I love you.” No matter how many times I said it to him, he just wouldn’t say those words. In fact, he made it quite clear that he didn’t. For the last few years, he had been making frequent trips to the Philippines for business. It was there that he had plenty of time to think of all the ways that I wasn’t the perfect woman for him. He did, in fact, find her a few years later in the form of a Filapena about 16 years his junior.

After the separation, I met my next husband very quickly. I was starved for affection, and my new man was loving and attentive. Despite the fact that I had always believed very sincerely in Jesus, praying and going to church, I had not given my entire life to Him yet. We started living together pretty quickly, even with my teenaged son still at home. The two didn’t always get along, and my son was dealing with his own issues. He got into drugs and made some stupid choices that hurt the whole family. My daughter had chosen to live with her father, and that hurt me deeply as well.

Heavy Medication Was My Solution

At that time, I was taking some pretty heavy medication for anxiety and depression. The doses started small when I was sad and lonely in my first marriage. But, over time, my system would get used to the drugs. Then it would take more and more to give me that “normal” feeling that everything wasn’t out of control. By the time I was set to be married again, I was up to 300 milligrams of Effexor XR a day. Two “red pills” at night kept me on an even keel during the days so I could function. If I forgot just one dose, however, I would jerk in the night and wake up groggy and disoriented. It was at that time that Jesus came for me.

But God Had Another Plan

First, God woke me up to the times that we are living in. He pulled off the veil so that I could see the truth behind government and Hollywood agendas bent on preparing the world for the coming one-world leader. He led me to prophecy sites and showed me that God doesn’t just listen, but He speaks to those who will hear. And then He called me into a deeper relationship with Him. I surrendered my life and started reading the Bible every day. He gave me His Holy Spirit, but that was just the beginning. He had to sweep my house.

I needed a lot of deliverance. While I was in the world, my sins gave Satan permission to bind and oppress me. I had opened doors that demons had felt free to waltz through. They had created strongholds in my life I didn’t even realize were there. In 2 Corinthians 10:4, the Bible speaks about warfare against those strongholds. It’s an active thing. Matthew 18:18 is all about binding and loosing. Again, it’s something we must do. The power to do it is in the name of Jesus Christ, but we must speak the words that rescind our permissions and close and lock the doors that Satan uses to gain access to our lives.

Steps to Freedom

I started by watching several Derek Prince deliverance videos, praying the prayers with him at the end. In Jesus’ name, I cast out any and all spirits that had attached to me. I took notes on the video for deliverance from generational curses, and then sat in my prayer closet one night and methodically went through every sin I could think of from both sides of my family that might be causing problems.

For over an hour, I prayed for the breaking of curses over myself and my children and rebuked, bound, and cast out all spirits of sexual sin, witchcraft, divination, addiction, depression, anxiety, pride, and more. I prayed prayers specifically to break soul ties to sever spiritual connections I had made through fornication. I learned to put on the full armor of God, and I was nightly in the Word of God, washing my soul with the pure water of Truth.

Free at Last

It was then that I got the idea to stop taking medicine. I asked the doctor for a lower dose, weaning slowly so as not to throw off my system. In about two months, I was down to just a quarter of my original dose every other day. And then I was free. I wasn’t taking any medicine for anxiety or depression, but I felt better than I ever had. I felt “normal” almost all the time. My relationship with Jesus was growing, and He was the one who filled my empty spaces. If I became sad or anxious, He calmed my fears with the promises He made in His Word to be with me and fight for me. He brought me peace and joy as I saw Him actively working in my life, changing me to be more like Him. 

There are a lot of reasons that people take medication for depression and anxiety, and I’m not saying that there is never a medical necessity for it. What I am saying, though, is that for me – and maybe others out there – the answer is not in a bottle. The answer is about allowing Jesus to come to you for treatment. He can heal your broken heart and clean and mend your fragmented soul.  He was my cure for depression. And to this day, He is my only medicine.

Interested in another article about healing? Check out A Testimony of Healing After a Prayer in Faith. Or, you might like this article about a new way to pray:  Make God’s Will My Will: A New Way to Pray. It’s a “God wink” story that teaches a new way to pray to get what you want.

Like to read more from Evangelical Christian sisters who “tell it messy, true, and wonderful because we are His”? Check out Telling Hearts.

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The Judgement of God is Like a Merry-Go-Round

Multi-colored merry-go-round on a playground that represents the judgement of God.

If you were a child before the 1990’s or 2000’s, you probably remember merry-go-rounds. They were fast, and they were fun. They were also, apparently, lawsuit magnets for the many injuries sustained when centrifugal force met gravity. There are very few merry-go-rounds left in modern parks, but as I was pondering the latest warning from God’s watchmen one day, it occurred to me how a merry-go-round is an excellent analogy for the judgement of God.

Merry-Go-Rounds Pick Up Speed

The first thing I thought of is the fact that merry-go-rounds start slowly but pick up speed. I remember taking turns doing the running and the rush of adrenaline as I pushed as hard as I could and then hopped on at the last second. If you could get an adult to do the pushing, that was all the better. That last arm swoop after the run was such a rush as the spin got exponentially faster. 

The judgement of God also starts slowly as He gives the opportunity for people to repent. When we don’t, the natural consequence of living outside of God’s way of doing things is trouble. God is a God of justice and mercy. His judgement rolls both into one. He punishes nations so that distressed people will turn to Him for help. Historically, God has punished nations for sin using famine (lack of food), pestilence (illness), wild beasts (demonic entities), and the sword (war).

Think about how much more in-your-face evil has become in just the past few years. We are also hearing about old-time diseases like measles and tuberculosis making a comeback. Crop losses in the heartland this past summer have left empty shelves, and “rumors of war” are a daily occurrence. I don’t think it’s our imagination that the judgement of God is building up into one big “push” that will leave America spinning.

Scaredy Cats Sat in the Center

Second, everybody knows that different parts of the merry go round make for a very different riding experience. Little ones and scaredy cats always sat in the center. There was still a little bit of a whirl, but the ride was pretty safe if you held on tightly. Older kids, mavericks, and thrill seekers sat on the edge – or even on top. There, the spin was significantly faster, and the pull was intense. Even holding on didn’t necessarily guarantee that you would stay on when things got going fast. There was a risk involved. It was dangerous. 

When the judgement of God hits a nation, where we are in Him will give us a very different judgement experience. Those who fear God stay close to Him. We will still see the turmoil, but the ride will be a lot safer with His protection. Those who choose to stay far from God will feel the full force of the world’s spin. The world has a powerful pull on a regular day. When times are tough, people might choose to do things they would never do in ordinary circumstances if they haven’t already made the decision to do things God’s way. Even holding on, there may be some who fall (away). 

How Can We Position Ourselves?

Make no mistake, the judgement of God has already started in America and is picking up intensity. Now is the time to get closer to God. Now, before the last big swoop when things spin faster and start to seem out of control. Make time every day to read the Bible and spend time in His presence. Search yourself for areas of your life that you have held back from Him, and give Him your all. Practice leaning on Him and listening for His voice to guide you in every decision you make now so that when trouble comes, you will be protected in His shelter.

Do you like analogies? Try reading It’s Not the Machine That Makes Us Clean. It’s an article that compares a dishwasher to aspects of the Christian life. Or, try Born Again: All About That Butterfly Life. An article about being born again using the analogy of metamorphosis of caterpillar to butterfly.

Like to read more from Evangelical Christian sisters who “tell it messy, true, and wonderful because we are His”? Check out Telling Hearts.

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A Different Interpretation of the Pearl of Great Price

A picture of a pearl of great price inside an oyster shell.
Image by Elias Sch. from Pixabay 

The parables of the treasure hidden in a field and the pearl of great price are back to back in the book of Matthew. Both stories are prefaced with “The kingdom of heaven is like,” and both stories seem to tell the same tale. Someone finds something of great value and gives up everything to possess it. Like many people, I have always interpreted both of them to mean the same thing: when people find Jesus, they will give up everything worldly to follow Him. But recently I came across another interpretation for the pearl story that is also worth examining.

The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price

Unlike the parable of the treasure hidden in a field, in which a man just happens upon some treasure, in the parable of the pearl of great price, a merchant is actively searching for something very specific. He is an expert in pearls and knows exactly what he is looking for. When he finds the most precious one, he must have it. He goes away and sells everything he has to buy that one pearl.

In the typical interpretation, the pearl is salvation in Jesus Christ, the same as the treasure. But why a pearl and not a ruby or a diamond? And why repeat the same exact idea twice in a row? What if, instead of the pearl being Jesus Christ, Jesus is the merchant? 

Jesus is the Merchant

Jesus is the one who does the seeking. In Luke 19:10, it says, “…for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” He is the expert. He knows what He is doing. In fact, people aren’t even able to accept Him without God’s intervention, much less seek Him for themselves. John 6:44 says, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Jesus actively pursues us. He chooses us. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 says, “ But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.”

He seeks us, He chooses us, and He buys us with the greatest possible payment: His own life. We are precious to Him, bought with a price. We are His beloved bride. That makes the pearl in this parable the church. Now, here’s where it gets interesting.

The Church is the Pearl

As most people know, pearls are the only jewels that come from a living organism. They come from oysters. A pearl is made when something foreign, called an irritant, gets into the oyster’s shell and injures the soft tissue there. Instead of ejecting the particle, the oyster begins to coat it with something called “nacre,” a shiny, iridescent substance that we know of as pearl. Layer upon layer is secreted onto the nucleus, that original piece of debris, until the beautiful pearl is fully formed.

Think about it. The center of the pearl is some sort of debris, like dust or dirt. When God created Adam, He formed him out of the dust of the earth. The dirt hurts the oyster, much like original sin hurt God. It damages its flesh, like the marring of the skin of Jesus Christ at His crucifixion. Instead of ejecting the debris, thrusting it out and away from itself, the oyster’s solution was to cover over the painful object with its own substance. Layer upon layer of pearl covers over the dirt until that irritant is slowly transformed into something beautiful and valuable. 

We are the dirt: the foolish, weak, and base. After we are saved, the process of sanctification begins. Over time, reading the Word of God and applying it to ourselves, learning to hear God’s voice and obey, and spending time in the presence of God, we start to mature in Christ. He transforms us. We start to be less and less like our dirt-y self and more and more like our priceless Savior.

Ephesians 25-27 says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as 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.”

The Parables

Jesus spoke in parables so that those who would seek to know the truth would be able to discern it, while those who were indifferent would not understand. Some, He explained to His disciples. Some, like the pearl of great price, He left for us to discern for ourselves. When we read with the help of the Holy Spirit, the Bible is like a treasure map, leading us to precious nuggets of wisdom from above. And that, like the pearl, is priceless.

If you to look closely at scripture, try Three Simple Instructions From God to Us. In it, we look at Hebrews 3-4. Or, try Twinkly Trash: A Closer Look at Job 28. Like to read more from Evangelical Christian sisters who “tell it messy, true, and wonderful because we are His”? Check out Telling Hearts.

Special thanks to a dear brother in Christ for suggesting I look into this topic. Please check out his YouTube channel at Michael Samuel Smith where he looks at the prophetic story of Israel.

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Staying Connected to God: Oxygen Mask Analogy

This is a picture of passengers in an airplane watching a flight attendant go over safety procedures for an airplane oxygen mask. This is an analogy for staying connected to God.

Focus during a crisis is imperative. If you have done any flying, you know that before the airplane even takes off, flight attendants spend several minutes discussing safety protocols. That way, in the event of a real emergency, passengers will know what to do. Recently while on a flight, it occurred to me that the instructions for oxygen mask usage held a very good lesson about staying connected to God. They also show us how to handle ourselves when real-life turbulence hits.

Keep Looking Up To the Source

As you probably know, oxygen masks drop down from overhead compartments when cabin pressure drops. Keeping our eyes focused on where the oxygen comes from would be helpful in the event of a crisis. As children of God, we experience trouble on a fairly regular basis. Sometimes it is just little things that seem to add up to big things as Satan seeks to wear out the saints. That’s why we should keep our eyes focused on Jesus instead of the situation around us. Nothing we face is a surprise to Him. Nothing is too hard or too much. We should always keep looking up.

Start the Flow of Oxygen

Oxygen masks are attached by a tube to the air flow system in overhead compartments. You must give a tug on the cord to start the flow of oxygen. As our source for life, we must keep connected to God through constant prayer. He is the source of our strength and our peace. A strong prayer life is not just speaking to God but listening to Him by prayerfully reading the Bible. The tugging of our fervent, effectual prayers will avail much.

Put on Your Own Mask First

If oxygen masks come down, that means that cabin pressure is off. People can lose consciousness very quickly without the proper amount of air. If you are traveling with someone who needs help with a mask (like a child or the elderly), you are instructed to put on your own mask first so you don’t pass out before you can help those around you. Children of God must have the life-giving connection to God before we can try to help others. Otherwise, we’re just trying to share limited, frazzled resources, and that’s the quickest way to burn out. Think about the acronym “HALT.” If you are hungry, angry/upset, lonely, or tired, you are less likely to be able to react to situations in a godly manner. That’s why it is imperative for us to stop (or halt), take care of ourselves, and reconnect to God. He can refresh our peace. He can give us the strength to continue on and to help others.

Affix the Mask and Tighten the Tabs

For the mask to work, you have to put the mask’s cup over both your mouth and nose. If you leave your nose out of the mask, you won’t be getting enough oxygen because the nose is actually the main pathway to the lungs.  We have to be “all in” for God. He must cover us completely as our only source for life-giving breath. We can’t withhold certain parts of our lives as “our own.” We have to surrender everything, or we will be leaving parts of ourselves vulnerable to attacks from the enemy.

Then Assist Other Passengers

After we have our own mask on, then we help others. This is a very important lesson that some Christians today seem to have forgotten. When we get wrapped up in our own troubles and drama, we forget that there are other people out there who need our help. By focusing our eyes on Christ and staying connected to God in prayer, we can take that peace and strength He gives and turn our focus outward instead of inward. We can look around us to find those who need our help.

The Bag May Not Inflate

The last thing the flight attendance mentions is the fact that the oxygen bag may not inflate. Even if it looks like there is no air in the bags, oxygen is still flowing through. This is the same thing with our faith. Just because we can’t physically SEE God working in our lives, doesn’t mean He isn’t there. We know by faith that He is. We have to trust that by staying connected to God through prayer, He will give us the peace that He promised us.

When travel gets bumpy and pressure is intense, it is imperative that we keep focused on and connected to our source for life. We must stay in constant contact and allow Him to refresh us so that we can help others and have faith even when we don’t see or understand what He is doing at the moment. It is in this way that we can make it safely to our heavenly destination.

If you like analogies, try It’s Not the Machine That Makes Us Clean. It compares aspects of the Christian life to a dishwasher. Or, try Three Reasons We Can’t Stop Trying to Save the Lost. It’s an analogy of the Parable of the Starfish.

Like to read more from Evangelical Christian sisters who “tell it messy, true, and wonderful because we are His”? Check out Telling Hearts.

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3 Reasons We Can’t Stop Trying to Save The Lost

A picture of starfish washed up on the beach just like the lost, separated from the life giving Water of Jesus.
Image by succo from Pixabay 

Evangelizing the lost can be discouraging. The sheer number of people who are walking around without Jesus is immense. It reminds me of the parable of the starfish in which thousands of starfish wash up onto the shore after a storm and lay dying in the hot sun. But saving the lost isn’t about picking them up one by one and hurling them into the Water. It’s about being an ambassador and witness for Christ. It’s about planting seeds that God can water and praying, hard, for the harvest. And no matter how frustrating it can be when it feels like our efforts are in vain, the Bible gives us three very good reasons why we can never stop trying to get the starfish into the water. We can never stop trying to save the lost.

We Have to Keep Trying Because We Love Them

For some starfish, their lives on the beach are hard. Some of them are genuinely hurting, struggling, and gasping for air to breathe. They don’t understand their condition. They don’t know that there is a better Way. The connection between their pain and the lack of Living Water escapes them. Here is where we must be a witness. We must live our lives by constantly immersing ourselves in Christ. We must continuously refresh ourselves in the Word of God. Our lights will then shine brightly, and when they ask us, we will be prepared to give the reason why we have hope.

But what do you do when many of the starfish don’t want to go into the water? Their little suckers are attached to the sand with an iron grip. They don’t understand that they will die without the breath of life in just a short time. They are happy sunning on the shore in their sin. The good news of Jesus is little more than an annoying memo to them. But even if they don’t understand their condition, we do. Love says we must pray for them to have eyes to see. We must plant seeds that Jesus can water in His time to save the lost.

We Have to Keep Trying Because We Love God

For starfish, the ocean gives them the oxygen they need. Time spent outside of the water means a countdown to death, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The sea is vast and teeming with life. There is enough room and provision for all starfish to live. God gives breath to all creatures, and Jesus died so that all may live eternally. When we tell other people about what Jesus has done for us, it honors God. When we give witness about the things God is doing in our lives, we give Him glory. Not every person we talk to about Christ will accept Him. In fact, for some, our love for Jesus will be the very thing that makes them hate us. We can’t give up, though. Our motivation should be to please and honor God, and that must sustain us. 

We Have to Keep Trying Because It Is a Command

The storm in the parable explains why the starfish were washed to shore, but what explains the little boy’s desire to restore life? A different child might have been more interested in poking the little creatures with sticks or pulling off their legs. Kids learn what they are taught at home. This boy’s family taught him that life is valuable. Maybe his father even suggested that he go down to the beach to see what he could do to help. As for Christians, we are commanded by God, our Father, in Mark 16:15 to do our part to save the lost. “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” It’s not an option. It’s not just for a few. The commands in the Bible are for everyone just as much as the promises are. We must be obedient to God even when we are busy or tired, and even when it takes us outside our comfort zone.

That’s Why We Can Never Give Up

Jesus Christ has the Water that gives life. He offers hope and comfort for today and eternal life for tomorrow. As His children, we know Him and how amazing it is to be a part of His kingdom. It’s not for us to keep our great God, Comforter, and Friend a secret. We can’t sit around in lawn chairs building sandcastles while people are hurting and dying all around us. We must be His hands and feet to bring others to Him. 2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Until that day, and as much as is within us, we must love people, love God, and be obedient to His call to “go.” We must never give up on the starfish. We must continue to try to save the lost.

If you like analogies, try It’s Not the Machine That Makes Us Clean. It compares aspects of the Christian life to a dishwasher. Or, try Christian Deception & Monopoly House Rules. It’s an article that categorizes all the ways churches are finding to change the “game.”

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God in the Sanctuary, God in the Sea

As children of God, we know that He is always with us. Sometimes we definitely see His hand, and sometimes we have to trust by faith that He is there. I heard a sermon once based on two verses in the Book of Psalms. It was about God in the sanctuary versus God in the sea, and it made a lot of sense. Those times that we clearly see God working on our behalf, it can be said we see Him in the sanctuary. Other times, when our view is darkened by the mist and our ears hear nothing but the pounding waves of our lives, we may say that He is in the sea. Recently, I have had two such experiences that have taught me that whether or not I see Him in the moment, God is there.

God in the Sanctuary

Psalm 63:2 says, “I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and glory.” Sometimes things happen in our lives that we just know could only have been orchestrated by God. My blogging journey started with a “coincidence” that could be nothing less His hand. For the past couple of years, a blogger friend of mine from social media named Rachel has been encouraging me to start a blog. I always told her “no” and repeated what I now believe to be the enemy’s lies. “I won’t keep up with a blog, and anyway who would read it if I wrote one?”

One day, though, it was if my internal resistance was bypassed. I had put down a payment on a WordPress site and was flipping through themes before I even really knew what was happening. When I got into the actual website, it was harder than I thought, so I asked Rachel to help. She referred me to the person who had helped her get set up a few years ago in in Michigan. We set up a time for a phone conversation for tech help, and she gave me Renee’s phone number. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the number. It was local. Since the time Renee had helped Rachel, she had moved 1,500 miles away – right to within 10 minutes of my house in Texas! We got together the next weekend, and she helped me set up my site.

Since then, I have seen God move in my blogging ministry. He is in the way I get my stories and in the people He has put into my path to support me in all areas. All those doubts and fears that the devil made me believe have dissolved away as I see that God is in this. I see Him in the sanctuary, and I know that He has a plan. But God has a plan even when we don’t see it.

God in the Sea

Psalm 77:19 says, “Your way was in the sea, Your path in the great waters, and Your footsteps were not known.” Recently, I had something upsetting happen at work. I’m a teacher, and the end of the year can be a stressful time for everyone. I was helping with an after school project for an administrator to make a few extra dollars. This particular lady and I have, let’s just say, different religious and political beliefs. She has always treated me fairly in the past, but this day, whether it was my mistake or her general tension level, she snapped and rudely sent me home in front of colleagues. I was mortified and, of course, went right to the truck and cried to my Father.

When I am upset, that’s my general strategy. I cry to God and ask Him to give me a verse from the Bible. That always puts things into perspective and helps me move past any issues. No matter how upset I am, spitting and fussing and spinning around, usually one verse is all it takes to make me stop in my tracks. This time, it was Romans 8:28.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Romans 8:28

The verse came with something else: “Do you really believe ‘ALL things’?” I do. I don’t see right now how this situation could turn into a good thing. All I see is the hurt and embarrassment that surfaces hotly when I think about the next week of summer school under this lady’s direction. I don’t know how God will use this for my good and His glory, but I believe it. I will trust no matter what happens, He will be there for me.

God was with me when I could see Him clearly moving in my blog start up. He was also with me when something hurtful happened and I didn’t understand His plan. Either way, whether in the sanctuary or the sea, God is with us in the good works He has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them, and I praise Him for it.

Interested in more articles about Bible verses? Check out Three Simple Instructions From God to Us, an encouraging article about Hebrews 3-4. Or, try Twinkly Trash: A Closer Look at Job 28 where we discover the true treasure of God.

Like to read more from Evangelical Christian sisters who “tell it messy, true, and wonderful because we are His”? Check out Telling Hearts.