The Samuel Project Finale (Day 30 & 31): God Speaks to Me

Sometimes, I forget who I am. Maybe you do, too? I get caught up in the to-do lists and the checkbook balancing. Oh, who am I kidding? I haven’t balanced my checkbook in two years. Praise the Lord for online banking. Amen? But I get caught up in life. There are all of these things that need to be done and I am the one everyone is looking at to get them done. 

I am the wife. I am the mom. I am the caretaker. I am the cook. I am the laundry-doer. I am the one with the dusty Bible and the dry spirit. I forget who I am. And, in those moments, I am so grateful for a God who speaks. I made a commitment to listen for 31 days and I have listened. Granted, I have missed a few days of blogging. That, however, is a result of my crazy busy life.

He has spoken and I have listened. And He has reminded me who I am. My prayer is that you, too, would be reminded who you are…

I am His.

This is what the Lord says…you are mine. – Isaiah 43:1

I am loved.

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: I have loved you with an everlasting love – Jeremiah 31:3

I am safe.

He will cover you with His feathers and, under His wings, you will find refuge. – Psalm 91:4

I am never alone.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. – Psalm 46:1

I am provided for.

For the pagans run after all of these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. – Matthew 6:32

So, be reminded of who you are in Him.

~~~~~

This is going to be my final post for The Samuel Project. Technically, tomorrow is day 31. But I have 4 kids and a lot of festivities planned for Halloween like begging for sugar door to door. Except the one house that gives out oranges. Yeah, we will be skipping that one. Sorry. Thank you to everyone who followed along. I pray you heard Him speak to you this month.

Keep Listening!

Stacy

The Samuel Project (Day 29): God Speaks to the One Seeking Glory

Their arrogance is appalling.

And James and John,the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” – Mark 10:35 ESV

Can you even imagine taking such a tone with the son of God, holiness in flesh?  I can.  Oh, it’s always in the guise of prayer or followed by the token if it be Your will. But, let’s be real.  It’s no different. It’s the created saying to the Creator – This is what I want from you.

What they wanted was glory.

What I Read:

Mark 10:35-45

What He Said:

Allow us to sit at Your right and at Your left in Your glory. – Mark 10:37 HCBS

They wanted His glory.

I am reminded of a verse I just read a couple of days ago: The Lord gives grace and glory. (Psalm 84:11 HCSB)  What a gracious God.  So, if He gives glory, what is wrong with James and John requesting it?  The issue was that they just didn’t get it. They wanted to partake in His glory without sharing in His suffering.  The Lord does give glory, but it comes with a price.  Jesus tells them, You don’t know what you’re asking.

Are you able to drink the cup I drink?

A clear reference to the crucifixion.

How many times do we ask to share in His glory?  We ask to be rewarded or recognized.  We desire success and admiration.  We crave acceptance and honor.  In essence we are saying, Lord, how about sharing a little of the glory?

And He replies, you don’t know what you’re asking.

We need hearts that beat for His glory alone. It is all His and we should not desire any of it for ourselves.

What we need is not glory. What we need is grace. Grace for ourselves and grace for others. Because sometimes we forget. We forget that His grace is lavish. It’s excessive and abundant and more than enough. When we feel empty, He causes our cups to overflow.

 Grace is what we need. Grace, not glory.

~~~~~

This post is part of a 31 Day series. Read the first post here.

The Samuel Project (Day 22): God Speaks to Hagar

Have you ever felt invisible?  Have there been seasons when you thought God must have lost sight of you?

Maybe something devastating has happened and people, even those who were sympathetic at first, have moved on? You feel abandoned and misunderstood.

Feeling invisible or forgotten is, for sure, one of the worst feelings in the world.

Can I just tell you that He sees you? Wherever you are right this very moment. Whatever trial you are battling. He knows and He cares and He is fighting with you and for you.

He. Sees. You.

What I Read:

Genesis 21:8-21

What He Said:

Hagar had been used, mistreated and then abandoned. It’s safe to say that she was feeling a little forgotten. We find her in the wilderness weeping loudly over, what she believes to be, the sure death of her child.

…She left and wandered in the wilderness…So, as she sat nearby, she wept loudly. Genesis 21:14b, 16b HCSB

So, here is Hagar in the wilderness again.  It was not that long ago, when she found out that she was pregnant, that she had run away into the wilderness.  There she had an encounter with God where He confirmed that He did, indeed, see her (Genesis 16).  She was so moved by that encounter that she referred to Him as The God Who Sees. In fact, she named the spring of water A Well of the Living One Who Sees Me.

He sees all.

And He sees me.

Yet, here we are with Hagar again in the wilderness weeping loudly. And, again, God comes to her.

Don’t be afraid, for God has heard the voice of the boy from the place where he is. Genesis 21:17 HCSB

God knew exactly where Hagar and her son were. And then, God opens her eyes and allows her to see that there was a well of water nearby.

He sees us in our wilderness and He is not unaware of the pain that drove us there. He sees us in the place where we are and he provides what we need to survive our time in that desert place.

He knows where you are right this very moment. When you cry alone in the shower and think nobody knows, He knows. When life seems to be moving right along with no regard to your devastation, He is there with you. Ask Him to open your eyes to the well of water in your wilderness.

~~~~~

This post is part of a 31 Day series. Read the first post here.

The Samuel Project (Day 17): God Speaks to Martha

Mothering, homeschooling, housekeeping, writing – all good things. They are ways in which I serve. And, just when I’m expecting a pat on the back, I get a step on the toes. Not everything good is best and sometimes priorities get all out of whack. Sometimes, a person needs to be reminded.

Christ followers are called to more than acts of service. We are called to be servants. Yes, there is a difference. Being a servant has to do with attitude more than actions. In order to have the proper attitude, we must spend time with the master.

What I Read:

Luke 10:38-42

What He Said:

We have all done it. We have grumbled because someone did not adequately acknowledge our acts of service. We follow the letter, but not the spirit, of the command to serve others. During this conversation with Martha, we find that we cannot serve properly until we have spent time with the Lord. A true servant is, first and foremost, a worshiper.

If we do not put worship ahead of service, two things will happen:

  1. We will become distracted. 
  2. We will become bitter.

But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.” – Luke 10:40 HCSB

Do you see it? The ESV translation says that Martha was distracted with much serving. If we are not people of worship, our acts of service distract us from the savior. We become distracted and then we become bitter. I’ll admit to having a little Martha in me. I’m not proud of it. Lord, don’t you see all that I’m doing? Lord, why doesn’t so-and-so have to take care of these things? Blah, blah, blah. Trust me, it’s not pretty. So, without worship, servants become distracted and bitter.

Why worship?

  1. It is the only thing necessary.
  2. It will not be taken away.

The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:41-42

Worship is necessary. The Lord said that Mary, the worshiper, made the right choice. The NIV states that Mary made the better choice. Worship ensures that our hearts are right and that the motives behind our acts of service are pure.

Let’s make sure we are making the better choice. The goal is not to be servants, but to be worshipers who serve.

~~~~~

This post is part of a 31 Day series. Read the first post here.

The Samuel Project (Day 15): God Speaks to King Jehoshaphat

It hurts to be misunderstood. When someone presumes to know your heart and then proceeds to pass judgement. It is a wound that goes deep.

There are times when people attack. Oh, it may not be with physical force. Angry, unkind words pierce the heart and bury themselves deep. They make everything in a person want to stand up and declare his innocence. Often, I’m sure you have found, an attempt at defense makes matters worse. You just want to shake your fist at the unfairness of it all.

I know. I have been there. Truth be told, I am there. I want to set the record straight. I want to point my finger and tell the world that things are not always what they seem. I want a lot of things. My flesh, I should say, wants a lot of things.

No doubt, there are times we are called to fight for what is right. Sometimes, however, the soldier in us is called to stand down. We must let someone else have the last word for now. Pride must be swallowed. We must fall back and let God lead the charge.

What I Read:

2 Chronicles 20:15-17

What He Said:

Every battle is not our battle to fight. Sometimes, even that attack that seems so personal, is not about us at all. In fact, I dare say, it usually is not about us at all. We may be the object of a person’s wrath, but it is usually about something far bigger.

Does your enemy seem unbeatable? Listen to these words God gives to King Jehoshaphat. I think you will find a little freedom in them.

Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army… – 2 Chronicles 20:15

Is anyone up against something that is causing a little bit of fear? How about discouragement? They are unrelenting adversaries, aren’t they? Keep listening. This is where it gets good.

For the battle is not yours, but God’s.

Think about it. How much energy have you wasted? How much sleep have you lost? How much of yourself have you given to a battle that wasn’t even yours to fight?

Are you weary of fighting? Do your efforts seem to be in vain?

Maybe, just maybe, you are fighting a battle that is not yours.

~~~~~

This post is part of a 31 Day series. Read the first post here.