You unfaithful wives! Don’t you know that loving the world is hating God; Whoever chooses to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy! Or do you suppose the Scripture speaks in vain when it says that there is a spirit in us which longs to envy?
The above quote in the picture has weighed heavy on my heart. You see, we are in the middle of buying a house. We were supposed to be closed and “over the threshold” by now. Delays that can only be understood by God, as He is the One who moved our chess pieces into the game in the first place, have abounded the last couple weeks. Then just before the holiday, ureeka the appraisal went thru! Yet closing on the 28th was not to be (that was supposed to be the closing date). I looked around my tiny one bedroom apartment, mostly packed, and wondered “What in the world?”
You see, I really could care less about a house, the things that go with it, I really don’t have my heart hinged on it! I learned a while ago, home by its definition has very little to do with earthly structure. So when the Lord points His finger and says “Go, there, now!” We went, and the doors flew open, then the Lord held up a stop sign, like a cross walk attendant at a school. We sat there and watched the flow of events roll thru our line of sight and scratched our heads. “Were we really hearing from God?” Next came the huge task of waiting. One minute I’m saying; “Hey slow down, Lord!” the next I’m taping my fingers in the “ark” full of boxes and ready to go. But no rain.
The tight rope I began to traverse was all about revealing the fine line between demand and devotion, true contentment and spiritual imagery, praise and popular pump ups. After all the there's a difference between waiting for God to move you, all moved in to a place and ready to stay or leave, but. ..unpacked – and ready to leave or stay – packed up. Everything feels competely inaccessible in the latter, but tolerable in the former. Comfort to this flesh I'm in was still handy in the former, not now. I'm not a neat freak, but this is unnerving. I'm tripping over boxes with stuff in it I need but can't undo because at a moments notice I just know, just KNOW the word is coming. .."it's time to go!" And I'll regret taking a step back in obedience to cater to a wavering faith. At one point I told those around me (with a laugh in my voice) "I’m not sure I’m packing out of denial or faith, at this point!” We all giggled, but I meant it. And this is hard. They say buying a house ranks up there in the top three most stressful things you can do. Not sure the order, but getting married is among them and losing a spouse. I’ve been married, not so much stress there. Even bought a house before, that was a cake walk compared to this time around. I haven’t lost my spouse, I don’t have to think long about that to know its definitely worthy of being among the top three.
Yet as a Follower of Yeshua, this whole house thing uurks me. It’s a thing, and temporary and distracting if you ask me. I praise God the house was located in another state, so my attachment to it was very small and grew dimmer by the day. Saying “easy come easy go” at this point especially – no problem! Yet deep inside, way down in there, I want the house, I want the heck out of this city, and I’m ready for a change. The house, I could leave or take but now my estimated time of departure hinges on the darned thing! Incompatible, oh yeah, I get that! The One I Follow never had a house. I require shelter, but I dont need to own a house. I can live in what most call pretty undesirable circumstances. The apartment I currently dwell in is far from nice, except that it’s what God has provided, it functions, and I can (barely) pay for it. The amount of money we throw at it would shock you, but it’s ‘the cheap’ here. You get what you pay for? Not in this case, I am staring at alot less dough for that house than this apartment. The house appeals! But the stress to get it so far? I’ll keep the apartment, thank you! Why would the Lord catch me between two winds of such opposing nature’s? My eyes are dry, hair is a mess, and skin is the kind of chapped that can only come from long periods of time exposed to ferocious winds.
Tonight, it hits me. The calm begins. ..He’s reminding me what satisfies. It’s not this apartment, a house, the stuff in those boxes, or out of those boxes, order, none of it. It is Him. My flesh argues on many levels while my soul takes its position and digs in.
It seemed competely ridiculous to me as so many around me that I love can’t see a time where they will ever “buy a house” much less rent one any time in the future. I was hard pressed to complain, but held back at the same time. This was/is a hard balancing act on so many levels. (The wind not withstanding)
Then Yeshua’s (Jesus) words in Matthew 6:24-25 came to softly shield me in the windswept terrain.
“No one can be a slave to two masters; for he will either hate the first and love the second, or scorn the second and be loyal to the first. You can’t be a slave to both God and money. Therefore, I tell you, don’t worry about your life -…”
He goes on to say the many ways we worry about our lives and the incompatibility of worry and worth in His eyes. The days of Christmas have just passed, full of money money money, things things things. Though we don’t celebrate this holiday, we watch most of our loved ones do so. Or try to. Broke in December always brings new meaning to the word Christmas. Tears flow due to the lack of ability to “give”. The illusion of love wrapped in a shiny package is strong this time of year. It makes one dread the up and coming “new year”. How completely futile! The Lord wasn’t even born in December! And He would certainly never have endorsed a material giving and wanting to get in children on His birthday! It’s completely against everything He ever did or said! Yet, here is the crave Wayne Stiles is speaking of. The best this world has to offer is its comforts and toys. The best His world has to offer is sacrifice and giving of things far more valuable – time! Time full of grace and mercy. Time full of hope for a future that doesn’t include anything you can fit under a tree. Or wrap in a bow. Time spending currency that can’t be earned on earth, only in heaven. Where the only One that can be praised is God!
What a strange turn of events these days have uncovered. What can sumerize them best. The quote above and the lens of God’s Word to understand them. We crave. We surrender. We serve. We Follow. We suffer. We obey. We learn. Or we crave, indulge, expect, invade, enjoy temporary comforts at the cost of eternal gain, disobey, and repeat the same mistakes over and over, never learning. Almost everyone does this every December. Almost everyone does this when the opportunity comes to buy a new car or house or anything. What do our opposing cravings teach us? What story will they tell on judgment day? Who’s birth do we celebrate in joining a world in a pagan holiday that originally celebrates the idols born from the beginning of time? No matter what, just like Yeshua said, these thing reveal who our Master will be. The one we love or the one we hate. Both dwelling inside our hearts and mind only create chaos. One must go.
It’s not wrong to buy a house. If God tells you to. It’s not wrong to buy anything, if God leads you to. If He does, we don’t have to put off bills or rack more up to do so. He pays for it too! Our jobs are His way of doing so. If He says full spreed ahead, we go. Yet then if He puts the brakes on, we wait. Or we lose Him in the midst of the travel. A far more costly endeavor. How to discern deep in the craving of two incompatible worlds? Wait on Him, then obey, follow, and trust Him. Our flesh will run us amuck. It is a master deciever, telling us we only want good things while those things scratch out the eyes of truth. We are warned, not to be ruled, but in love. His love is the only thing that puts things of this world in union with His. Compatibility.
Thank Abba for this lesson, on going as it is, and carve out in me, only what is solid in You! May You get the glory!
♡ Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah ♡
From one glory to the next, God is shaping me. The glow of His glory cast a shadow over my unruliness, but I must remember that I, myself, have been brought into His Light. In union with the Messiah, I stand upon the precipice with only Him as an anchor. But what an anchor! He who calls the Light to reveal what doesn’t belong in Him, and therefore in me. Sending forth a shadow to highlight where the Spirit given as a gift can put my spiritual hands to the task of taking out the garbage. It’s this gift that changes everything. I, alone, can change none of it. Of myself, should I reach for it with the intent to throw it away without Him, I shall find myself playing with it and desiring to keep it. What a bizarre nature I have apart from Him! Oh, how I praise Him for breaking into my comfort and lighting up the room I often sit in, thinking a light is on. I praise His invasion, intrusion, and intervention!
I, repent, O Holy Father, never let me be unbroken over my stubborn heart to call the shots in the life YOU have given me! Cut me off in my futile attempts to paint Your name with a false piety of repentance! Let no untrue motive be allowed to make a home in my heart! For to truly LIVE is to know You, to fellowship with You without interruption! Repentence is the pathway of peace that opens my ears, eyes, and heart to receive You and let You cover me with all that You are! Yeshua, You are the gate I walk through, I acknowledge there’s no other way. Take my hand O Holy Brother, Savior and Friend and show me the way to die that You may live inside me! Take over this vessel and make it straight and unrelenting as You are for the work of the Kingdom of heaven! I have nothing, nothing without You.
The gift of is repentance precious, I set my heart of the pathway to peace. Not for myself, or for my fellow man, though You certainly grace us with these by-products of turning and returning, but that the Glory of the Source, which is You alone, may become known. Truly known, real, alive and full!
Behold what manner of Love the Father has given into us! The power to run from sin and into His arms!
♡ Grace and Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah ♡
Today, I wake up with a list automatically ready, dropping down with things to do. Where did it come from? How do these “list” get downloaded without much effort or thought? Life, we say, life is doing doing doing. Responsibilities abound, so list fall into our consciousness – bills to pay, people to provide for, needs that must be met, promises to be kept, broken things that must be repaired…and on and on it goes.
A dear friend stopped by yesterday, her Dad is now on the “list” of his doctors “things that cannot be done” now. The last of things broken and in need of fixing is beyond their scope. Her tears still were full of hope, mine too. Why? Because God is still at work. He has no DNR lists, no lists of responsibilities, just lists of people to love.
This friend recently had her tracks switched and has been launched into a new daily work. The outside circumstances have changed but the “work” has not. Adonai tells her (and us all) the same thing today as He did a year ago. “Just go, and be who I made you.” The pay is different, the surroundings, the tasks, but the people…these are the same. People who just need someone to BE with them. Fully present and attentive to the One who made them. In the end, everyone really only gets paid to do this same thing. No matter the occupation, career, or job. Retired, just starting out in a first place of employment, those who consider themselves “stuck”, those who consider themselves “finally arrived”. Our true occupation is the Kingdom of heaven. My friend reminds me of this with her life, and her words. God brought her into my life to teach me, encourage me, and reveal to me how to BE.
“Just follow Me.” He says. “Follow Me into the store, follow Me into that building, follow Me, into that scene, follow Me into that heart, follow Me into that life, follow Me into that car, follow Me while you drive, follow Me while you sit at that desk, follow Me while you do this routine and that task, Follow Me” Do you hear Him? “You follow Me, I’ll do the work, you just BE”.
My friends Dad, a dear man, is what we call “old”. His years are many, his body is cashing in on its “right to retire”. He is following Him as much in this as He did when he was young and full of lists of things to do, with the capacity physically to do them without much thought or effort at all. Now it takes all he’s got to breathe, and try to remember his name, with a longing as he’s never known before to be needed and useful. His years and years of waking up with those lists, echo off the walls of his memories. The joints ache with the doing in life and submit now to the BEING. It is holy ground he rest on today.
We need not wait till our years force us to BE. We get glimpses of his lot when we get sick. “No use to anyone” supposedly is such a state. What a lie. Just as we are, doing nothing but Being and following Him in our heart with prayer and praise we are fully alive and useful to the Masters hand. Our youth, our strength, our comprehension of mind deceives us. Whether young or old we are in His hands and His work – never our own.
This is why His yoke is easy and burden feather light. God has never sweat a day in His life, His “muscles” flex with the strength that never atrophies or grows old. His mind, sharp and never slows down to the task of His heart, which beats for ours and always has. His hands can cover and multitask with speed and precision such as we could not see with these lenses given to us so temporary and easily deceived. His feet swift and bionic, charging after the Finished work! Let that sink in! His work is finished! We are all in His beloved care forever, never to struggle again. The end is His beginning and the Beginning is His end – of which there is none for Him. Why do our list consume us so – given this truth so profound? We need things to end, hard long days, struggle, tears, bleeding, heart ache, fatigue, illness, hurt, pain, even days full of laughter and awe, for us – these too need rest and endings, so a new day can begin. Praise God we can know new hope and laughter and goodness too. Praise God He does not stop with our “best day”! But opens the door to another and another, better than the one before. We so often would freeze time to hold on to a moment of blessing, but only because we lose sight of the next one that will be beyond what we feel at that moment. He, in His wisdom will never let us sell ourselves short by doing so.
The sun goes up and sets, to usher in the cycle of MORE! Let our list fade away in subjection to His call to just BE. There’s no place on earth like His will, where all things are tended to in His time and with precision. His list always get done! Follow Him, take His “list” upon you and you will find rest for your souls.
♡ Grace and Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah ♡