Passionate Prideful Heart

“Here, let me help you with that.”

I recently had the privilege to hear Susie Larson speak.  I must confess I hadn’t heard of her before this, but by no means is she in anyway forgettable. She poured on the wisdom, just kept coming with truths, miracles and wonderful stories how God worked in her life.  And God spoke to me, in a sanctuary filled with hundreds!

At one point she shared a video with us. The clip was about how she was scared of being in the ministry, for fear of being uncovered.  She confessed how God had shown her a situation where she had spoken what she felt to be true about someone and had uncovered them.  During that, I felt God move on me. He revealed a situation I had just encountered that morning!

My morning consisted of a passionate argument with a friend. They had shared a fear and I argued and attempted to refute their fear. Claiming I was “tired of the devil’s lies being believed”, I pressed on stirring this person to anger and in return myself also.  I still felt very strongly about what I had said, but did not want this person to think I didn’t stand by what I said.  I wasn’t ready to apologize.  Susie stated that God dealt with her for days on this particular situation and she felt like He took her behind the wood-shed! Not much later, this same feeling crossed my path.

That night, after the conference, I went home eager to share the experience with my husband. How God had opened my eyes to what I had done, but I was troubled on how to correct my fault. While doing so, he interrupted to tell me how it was wrong of me to get involved in the argument.  I was hurt, and didn’t share the beautiful God-given gem with him that night. I was frustrated that my heart was ready to bare all, and in my vulnerability, my husband cut me down further.

I went to bed hurt and you guessed it, no sleep was had! I stewed about how he wouldn’t listen and ruined the experience I wanted to share with him. The next morning, I carefully laid my hurt out to my husband. And told him I didn’t need him tell me I was wrong, because God had already done that. I asked him to listen while I shared and when I wanted his advice I would ask. He did so carefully and was very helpful when I asked for his advice.

God had been preparing me for this situation. Prior to this happening I ran across this verse but just shuffled by it because I have heard it so many times.

Luke 6:42

Amplified Bible (AMP)

42 Or how can you say to your brother, Brother, allow me to take out the speck that is in your eye, when you yourself do not see the beam that is in your own eye? You actor (pretender, hypocrite)! First take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.

This verse is so common that it didn’t impact me until God revealed my sin.  I always find this a funny passage. Picture two guys. One grimacing because a speck blew into his eye. He is groping around, seeking for help. Enter guy number two. Surprisingly he has an 8 ft 2 x 4 lodged in his eye.  He doesn’t seem to be bothered by it, no pain is represented in his body. Its like he’s used to it, that he doesn’t see it or know it’s there anymore. Now watch as he reaches out to help guy #1 with the speck in his eye. There is no way he can see to help #1, if you are viewing this as I see it, he can’t even get close enough to help this guy because the length of his beam.

That’s how my passionate attempt to help a friend with their speck went. My sin, was my passionate pride. My effort to help came across prideful and ended up blocking the aid I was so passionately offering. It held me off, out of “arms reach”, so I couldn’t see the speck.  As I reached out to inspect her eye, I harmfully struck my friend with my “pride-beam”.

The problem in the my situation was not with what was said, but HOW it was said.  I was not fueled by prayer when speaking to my friend.  I was instantly up in arms about the situation and felt it was my Godly duty to tell my friend what they needed to do.  I didn’t take one minute to utter a prayer, but pushed forth. The speck wasn’t removed and more pain was added to their situation.

LESSON LEARNED

Even if you have the best intentions, PRAY before speaking.  Make sure your attempts to help will build them up and not tear them down.  Jesus was the son of a carpenter. I am sure He spent enough time around Joseph to pick up a few of his skills. So remember that! When you want to pull a “speck” out of someone else’s eye ask God to remove any beams that are in your eye first.

Humbly,
Jenn

1,000 Nagging Prayers

…seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Luke 11:9

I have heard it said “You should have faith. Pray for something once and than thank God that He has given it to you.”  I have prayed like that, and in NO WAY am I negating this statement. I feel that God wants me to focus on continual prayer. Recently He showed me two passages that speak of this.

Solomon Requests Wisdom 2 Chronicles 1:6-12

 And Solomon went up there to the bronze altar before the Lord, which was at the tabernacle of meeting, and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it. On that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask! What shall I give you?” And Solomon said to God: “You have shown great mercy to David my father, and have made me king in his place. Now, O Lord God, let Your promise to David my father be established, for You have made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. 10 Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?” 11 Then God said to Solomon: “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life—but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king— 12 wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.”

He got God’s attention!  God visited Solomon that night and asked “What do you want?” Solomon had one thing in mind and in his heart. God heard his request and was impressed that Solomon didn’t ask for “riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life”. God saw fit to bless him with his request, for wisdom and knowledge, and to give him more! “I will give you riches and wealth and honor” Everything Solomon didn’t ask for, God gave him! This is the God we serve.

The Parable of the Persistent Woman Luke 18:1-8

Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’” Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

I shared my thoughts with my husband on this passage and he pointed out something I hadn’t considered.  The Amplified Bible refers to him as a “judge who neither reverenced and feared God nor respected or considered man”. Stating it simply, he wasn’t a nice man, plain and simple! But to stop her constant nagging, he thought it wise to bring her justice. I like to call her the Nagging Woman.

I had read these passages within a couple of days of each other. I found it profound that Solomon offered 1000 burnt offerings before he got God’s attention. One thousand!!! How many of us can say that we have prayed 1,000 times for something? Surely not I! Maybe a couple hundred, but not even near to 1,000.  Who knows how many times the Nagging Woman pestered the unjust judge before he threw up his hands in despair and said “Fine! I’ll do it.”

Our God is far more loving than that judge. He desires to have a relationship with us. He’s anxious to talk with us, to hear us pour our hearts out, and to grant us the desires of our hearts.  I am not saying everything you pray for God will give you. I am saying, PRAY until you get an answer.  Silence is not a NO!

I just read this verse in the Amplified Bible and I am AMAZED! “The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].” James 5:16b.

I told God I would seek Him continually, daily for a few things that are very IMPORTANT in my life. I am going to share them with you in hopes this stirs you to have heartfelt continual prayer in your life.

  • My Daughters – that they would come to believe in Christ, desire to follow Jesus all their days. (And it’s never too early to pray about their spouses, that they would be passionate about the Lord.)
  • My Husband – Favor, favor, FAVOR! I ask for favor amongst his co-workers and boss. That God would bless him with Wisdom to lead our household and knowledge at work.
  • My Church – I ask for God’s presence to fill our church. That our “saints” would grow in their walks with God and that they would desire more from Him.

May God richly bless you with a desire to seek him continually!

Desperately Seeking my Savior,

Jenn

 

Showers of Mercy and Grace

Showers of Mercy and Grace…Gifts of God

I haven’t always been diligent in offering up time for God.  When I first came to know Christ, I was very passionate about His word, prayer, and worship. Devouring it daily, multiple times even, praying, living in worship. (sigh) But trials came, the winds blew, my heart was broken, and I stopped sitting at the feet of Jesus. I stopped hungering for my savior.  I can’t say I walked away, but I didn’t meet Him like I used to.

Recently, I started reading my bible, journaling about it, and praying it into my heart.  It has begun a good work in me (Phil. 1:6). I have been attending a Mom’s bible study, called Sammy’s which has encouraged and blessed me beyond belief.  God has a plan for us, we just need to be desperate enough to listen to Him and willing to seek Him fervently.  I know He put me in this place, for preparation for what was to come. And what was to come, is NOW upon me.

I found out in the beginning of December 2012 that I was expecting my 3rd child, and boy, was I overjoyed!  My husband and I were at a crossroads with the decision to have more children, me wanting more and him not sure right now.  Things were going very well, no weight gain (YES!), no morning sickness, all in all feeling pretty great, not feeling pregnant at all. I wasn’t worried by this, because with my first pregnancy I felt the same way.

It’s always in the mind of a pregnant woman that miscarriage could happen, but it doesn’t prepare you for the grief that overwhelms you when it does.  I started spotting on January 18th and by January 21st I had lost the baby.  I was nearly 11 weeks along, but baby stopped developing by 8 wks.  The Doctors told me that it could take a week to pass.  I can say that by God’s Mercy, the baby passed quickly and didn’t drag on for the expected time.

I have a wonderful group of Christian friends and family who have covered me with prayers, peace, strength and love.  I know it’s the only reason for my state today. I am able to get up each day, smile, laugh, cry, and carry on taking care of my 2 little beauties.  I have been blessed with meals, treats, cards and messages full of words that speak to my heart. Touching my ache and helping me heal.

I read the following passage the other day and was struck by the repetition of the word Joy. It’s looked at from 3 different perspectives, yet Joy is the result.  My prayer, heart focus, is to aim for a Season of Joy.

” 11 But let all those who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice; let them ever sing and shout for joy, because You make a covering over them and defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You and be in high spirits. 12 For You, Lord, will bless the [uncompromisingly] righteous [him who is upright and in right standing with You]; as with a shield You will surround him with goodwill (pleasure and favor).” Psalms 5:11-12 Amp

My thoughts; JOY! I am to rejoice because I have refuge, because I can trust You. I can know and rely on that truth. I know He cares for me and He will bless me with JOY. It’s hard to be joyful when life happens, when death happens, when pain takes over. But there is comfort in knowing God fights for me. I know there are seasons of sorrow, but Lord, right now I am seeking a Season of Joy!

And you know what?  God has brought joy to me! I find Joy in silly things and many things that used to annoy me, like my children’s tantrums. He is still working on me, I still get frustrated and lose my cool, but now God speaks to me, whispers to my heart.  Tells me “Rejoice Jenn! I’ve got this, let me fight this battle.”

My prayer, for you, after reading this is:

  • that you are challenged to give God time in your life.
  • that you are encouraged to seek the Joy He has for you.
  • that you are blessed by the words God gave me.
Be  JOYful!
Jenn Larrabee