CBS Devotion Fall 2016

Many are the plans in the mind of a man (woman), but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. Proverbs 19:23 
The past 3 years were NOT what I had planned. Nothing extreme happened in my life, like a death of a family member or tragic accident, no something as simple as obeying God with a relocation set off this tail spin. In the past 3 years I have found myself more weak, more helpless, more hopeless, more faithless and doubtful than I ever thought possible. And I have despised it. I have questioned God so many times. I have examined and examined myself to see where I went wrong that God would pull back from me and let me be in this place. I have despaired of ever walking in the calling God made me for. I even have begun to wonder if I have a clue what that calling is?? I have beat myself up and I have clenched up and attempted to pull myself up by my spiritual and physical bootstraps, through the power of my will and my powers of organization, rules, goals, check lists upon checklists and plan upon plan.  And those were followed with failure after failure. I was shocked at the spiritual circumstances I found myself in, But God wasn’t. I was flabbergasted and disappointed at the depths of the sinfulness spewing out of me, but God wasn’t. For years God has spoken to me with the scripture verse, Be still and know that I am God. PS 46:10, only recently I read that the words in  Hebrew rendered “ be still” or “cease striving” more accurately are translated “Fail” so “Fail and know that I am God.” He knew since the beginning of time the depth of sin in me. And He was totally in control working the circumstances of my life to purify me and bring me into a deeper understanding of His grace than I ever had before. He was also answering a prayer I had prayed years before in deep earnestness at a time when my walk with Him was sunshine and rainbows, a season when He was revealing calling in my life and growing me at leaps and bounds. I had begged Him to save me from pride. But I had no idea the depth of pride within me.
Through a series of failures on my part, attempts to fix myself, then surrender to Him in helplessness, I have arrived at the latest part of my journey with Him. This August I found myself in a familiar place where my plans and attempts at control had once again failed and I finally had to admit that I could not do what I wanted to do. I cannot control my body or health with all my planning. I can’t even make myself DO my plan anymore! This realization lead to a seriously dark fearful, hopeless place. Praise the Lord, HE didn’t leave me there. During a workout on my treadmill, the thought popped into my mind “You do not trust me with your body.” Upon examination I found it to be true. I trust many things to Him. But my body was not one of them. I thought, only I know what it needs and how to comfort, care for it, and help it. I can’t trust anyone to take care of me like I can care for me.  My pride and thinking I know what I need physically and emotionally had isolated me from God. It had prevented me from going to the one source that actually knows and can intimately meet my unique physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. My pride had also caused me to doubt that He would even care about my needs. So I got off the treadmill and we sat there with that conviction on the table between us. I was crying, saying He was right I didn’t trust Him with my body. And I heard Him gently ask, “Will you trust me?” There it was. Would I? Could I? I was scared. It felt like leaping off a cliff. What if He didn’t come through? What if I placed my hope in Him only to have it dashed again? What if I couldn’t hear Him? I had to hear Him if I was going to trust His leading.  Would I??? The question rolled around my spirit for a few days. In my head I knew that HE alone had the peace, the hope, the LIFE that I so desperately needed, but I was still scared. One day mowing the lawn, I heard Him whisper,” If it helps, I will not withhold any good thing from you.” In the end, that gentle loving, promise and my desperation to be free from my dark chains propelled me into His arms in faith. For days I walked around just saying these words over and over, “You are trustworthy.” “You will not withhold any good thing from me.” Ps 84:11
And He began to show me what He wanted me to do. He asked me to do some things. He asked me to stop others. All the while He poured out verse after verse, song after song, and even visions to encourage me and let me know that He was there.
In reality, my sin was outrageous!
 I, His creation, was flat out telling Him that He didn’t know how my body, mind, and spirit worked or how to heal it or how to nourish it or give it what it needs. I doubted His knowledge, I doubted His love, and I doubted His willingness to help me. In the deepest way imaginable I was offensive to Him in my pride and sin. And in my opinion, I am worse than the Israelites, trucking along thinking I was kicking it as a disciple of Christ when all along within me was this pit of sin and evil. I totally deserved my chains and darkness. I deserve lifelessness that is life without Him.
BUT HE being rich in mercy, while I was still totally clueless to how absolutely off base I was, had already covered my sin with His blood in forgiveness and He was working over years and years to bring my heart to this place where my eyes would finally be opened and He could convict me of this particular sin, so that we could move forward towards a place of REDEMPTION and freedom! His kindness does absolutely bring me to repentance! It also brings me to my knees in worship. Because just as promised His discipline come with a huge side of Hope!
 I wish I could tell you that it’s been a cake walk ever since I took the leap. But it hasn’t. I want to be able to say, this issue is wrapped up in a bow and checked off God’s spiritual list of “Things I needs to cleanse Michelle of before The Day”. Bahaha, even that shows my flawed thought process about God and His character and heart. So, yeah, no I haven’t been fixed to perfection in the last month, but I have experienced a blessed intimacy with Him that feeds my soul, calms my fears, and fills me with hope. I have found a deeper level of security than I’ve ever had with Him, as I’ve entrusted to Him my deepest fears, needs, hurts, insecurities, and mistakes. And obviously, He is faithful!!
His heart beats for this intimacy with us, to do life together.

Our neediness, our failure, our weakness, is nothing more than a reminder that He is the source for all that we need and He freely provides it when we walk with Him and trust Him. 

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