Looking Back, Moving Forward

Those of you who have followed my blog for any length of time know that I begin each new year with a verse and a word or theme for the year. My verse came to me in looking-back-moving_thumb.jpgNovember. In so many ways I was blown away by it. It fit. It was right. It was time. But first, last year God worked in my heart to destroy some idols that had deep roots. God showed me that “Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the Lord ’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior. Such people may seek you and worship in your presence” (Ps 24:6)

It was a hard year looking into the heart and seeing those things and people who had become more important that my relationship with God. But mostly I saw that my biggest idol was self and the need to control. So for the largest part of the year God had me study who He is. I mean what better way to destroy the idol of self then to see who God truly is. When we come face to face with the Holiness of His character we have no choice but to bow in humility and surrender all that we are.

So in November when God brought me to Is 61:7 my heart was deeply moved. Isaiah says “Instead of your shame you will have a double portion, And instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land, Everlasting joy will be theirs.

You see, my life verse is “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted ; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted , To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners ; To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn…” (Is 61:1-2) So this verse spoke loudly. Not only because I had spent a year looking into the character of God and seeing my utter sinfulness and my enemy often tried to have a field day with pouring shame and humiliation upon my head but God had also used the study of His character to apply deeper balms of healing to my soul.

When God binds up the brokenhearted, frees the prisoner and brings good news to the afflicted we should shout for joy! Somehow I have lost the importance of joy, His joy. God has healed me of my sin, of my abuse, of my afflictions and so much more so instead of shame and humiliation there should be joy.

This is my journey for 2014, to find joy in all life’s circumstances. I was so moved by the fact that Everlasting Joy can be mine that I began a new blog titled Everlasting Joy. I believe this is the beginning of a new season. A season of finding joy in Christ alone. A season of finding joy in all of life’s circumstance because my joy is found in Him alone.

Thank you for joining me. I look forward to this walk with you. Eventually I will move Quiet Reflections over to Everlasting Joy, I think. For I am not sure I can keep up two blogs!

You will make known to me the path of life ; In Your presence is fullness of joy ; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” Ps 16:11

 

Photo courtesy of  Stoonn at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

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Being a Godly Wife

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord ;seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:2-3

Through the last 29+ years of marriage I’ve participated in many Bible studies about being  a godly wife or having a godly marriage. I’ve also read many, many books on those same topics. Why? Because I was seeking for truth about “how to” be the best wife I could be.

godly wifeThrough the years I gleaned a lot of truth, but at times it was also very frustrating. There were books and studies that seemed to me to be a long, undo-able list of things I should do or how I should behave. I would often become overwhelmed and frustrated. Then came the lies. The lies that said, “you’ll never get it”, “just face it, your not going to be a godly wife like so and so.”  “After all there is just no way I will ever be the Proverbs Woman,” I often thought to myself.

What was a woman to do? What steps could I take to be a godly wife and have a godly marriage? Was there a formula I could follow? Maybe a book on “the 7 steps to a godly marriage” ?

At times, early in my marriage I would just sit and cry out to God in frustration. Where were the older women who could show me? Why couldn’t anyone see that I had NO CLUE what I was doing?!

God heard the frustration in my heart’s cry. Over time He answered. His answer was not what I expected, but it brought such freedom!

God set me free from trying to become the “perfect” wife and have the “perfect” marriage. Freedom came when I realized that I only need to follow Christ.

What my husband really needed is a wife who followed hard after God.

In order to be a godly wife, or even a godly mother I “only” needed to take care of my relationship with God. I needed to be the woman that God created me to be. A woman who hungers and thirst after God. A woman who obeys her God. A woman who knows that God must be her very first priority.

I needed to be in God’s word, studying, mediating, praying so that God could create in me a changed heart. He alone can change my wrong attitudes toward life and those in it. He alone can create in me a true obedience to His will for my life.

Through the years I’ve realized that it is not about me BECOMING a godly wife but it’s about me seeking the ONE who can create in me the desire to be a godly daughter of the King.

I’ve learned that to be a good wife and have a good marriage that I must be passionately pursuing Jesus and my relationship with Him. It is in the word of God and studying it for myself that I learn to be the woman God desires me to be.

You see what I have learned is that I can have any number of lists on how to be a good wife but I will never measure up to the list. I will never measure up to the expectations of others or myself. They only place I will find joy, and acceptance is in my relationship with Christ. He is more than enough.

Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, And I shall observe it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law And keep it with all my heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it. Incline my heart to Your testimonies…Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, Andrevive me in Your ways. Establish Your word to Your servant, As that which produces reverence for You…Behold, I long for Your precepts;Revive me through Your righteousness. (Psalms 119:33-40)

Photo courtesy of um_skyman at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net