Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Down the Mountain

Have you ever tried to do something without the help of the Lord? By "something" I mean literally anything. Was talking to a dear friend yesterday about marriage, raising kids, and how to know if you have enough kids or if you're supposed to have more. Super good talk. She has much wisdom and love...actually we call her Love because, well she just is. We talked a lot about trust versus fear when it comes to how we see God and His ability to take care of us, especially when we are living His heart in these areas. I felt really good about all we had discussed. I felt like I was trusting Him with my marriage and children and the possibility of future children. Yes, I said it. Future. Children. I felt like I was trusting His timing too.

But then later, as I was having my "quiet time" with Him, He gave me a picture of what I was really doing. Ever had that happen? It's totally cool. So as I was praying about what Love and I had talked about all of a sudden I see myself flying down a hill, like the one pictured, on a bicycle. Not a mountain bike. Oh no, this was like my 3rd grade bike. It had streamers on the handle bars and a little basket in the front. I had my pink princess helmet on too. I thought I was doing pretty good. I was still on the thing after all. But you know that feeling you get when you're riding a bike or even running down a steep hill? That feeling like you can't keep up? Like you're going to face plant any second? Yeah that one. That's the feeling I got. I was breathless with anxiety. There was no way I could keep from falling. This is what raising kids with out the help of the Lord is like. Like falling down a large mountain. Ha! So true!

Then He gave me another picture. He reminded me what it was like to go trail riding on my horse (I used to have a horse). I would go with a friend, who happened to be way more experienced then I was, and we would try to find these little cliffs to climb and go down. Sometimes it was scary. Sometimes my friend wanted to go down terrain that I was nervous about. But I did trust my horse. We both had sure footed, experienced horses that knew what they were doing. The times that I was scared all I had to do was close my eyes. A horse riding expert may not recommend this but it worked for me. That's what the Lord reminded me of. I would hold on tight, lean back, close my eyes, and trust my horse. It was fun. This is how you do things, not in your own strength, but by His.

Sometimes life with God is like going down a mountain...about 30 mph...on a horse. Remember the cowboy movies where you see the cowboy gallop his horse down a steep hill? All you can do is close your eyes, hold on tight, and trust that the horse knows what it's doing. He doesn't always want to take us around the mountain. Sometimes He wants to take us straight up, down narrow paths, through rushing rivers, and down steep ravines. When we do things His way, trusting Him, and letting Him carry us it's easy...and actually kind of fun!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Titus 3:5

Wanted to share this. This reminded me that He is All the Time. A good day to remember that.

Titus 3:5 NASB:
 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.

So many things that I love about this scripture. It's hard to get past that first bit. He. Saved. Us. Can't help but linger there in thankfulness. But it get's better, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness. I love that it says, in righteousness there. It's like he's specifically talking to those that are saved who have tried to save themselves. Ya know what I mean? There are many who have never tried to save themselves. Some of us were running in the complete opposite direction when He swooped in and pulled us up out of the pit. But for those of us who have worked hard all their lives to be good. To do good. To be righteous. He saved you, not because of those deeds but according to His mercy because nothing we could ever do would be good enough.

I recently learned that, that word regeneration, "refers to the spiritual rebirth of the individual soul." It's where we get that term "born again" from. When I think of regeneration I think of all the horrible things that could happen to a body, mind, or soul and then seeing that play backwards to become a perfect, pure, whole person. The person He created us to be. Ever seen a car commercial where they show a crash and then in slow motion move backwards to where it never happened? It goes back to the brand new car but for us we start over. We literally, "begin again."

The added word, washing paints a beautiful picture. This is not like a car wash. The Holy Spirit doesn't get out His bucket of soap and scrub brush and go to work scrubbing away our filth. Think instead of what it's like to be baptized. What a picture baptism is of what happens to our soul. I remember being baptized. I completely surrendered and went down into the water. It was like slow motion. I felt the water begin to cover me. I held my breath and gave myself to Him in a new way. I came out washed, cleaned, restored, and yes, regenerated. You can't scrub away dents and broken places or even memories of how they happened. When He washes you He restores you. He heals the broken places, seals the wounds, and replaces the memories.

Which brings me to that last bit, AND renewing by the Holy Spirit. It doesn't stop with just being saved. He saved us, regenerated us, and saves us some more. Over and over. We are saved once according to His mercy by the regenerative work on the cross. We're in. Part of the family. Going to heaven. However you want to say it. But it doesn't stop there. We can let Him save us every day by the renewing of the Holy Spirit. This is really good news. I'm so thankful to Him for caring enough about me that He'd want me to be free, regenerated, if you will, to Him. Every. Day. Or should I say every moment? Had days like that? He invades your moment, brings peace and joy but before you know it you're drowning again. The best part? We don't have to do anything but yield. Just yield. Say, "I can't do it on my own." I think that is why he added that part at the beginning about our deeds having nothing to do with salvation. They have nothing to do with it in the beginning and nothing to do with it in the renewing. It's His work, this whole saving thing. Let Him save you.