Thursday, August 28, 2008

Jehovah-Rophe, "The Lord Who Heals"

"As these men watch you, Jeremiah, smash the jar you brought, then say to them, 'This is what the Lord of Heaven's Armies says: As this jar lies shattered, so I will shatter the people of Judah and Jerusalem beyond all hope of repair." Jeremiah 19:10-11
This vision of a shattered jar is an important image to me. It represents to me, how our lives can be shattered. Oh yes, our lives can be pulled apart and broken into pieces. My own life was a shattered jar, and the God of Healing as put me back together again. One of the names of God is Jehovah-Rophe, "The Lord Who Heals". Rophe means to heal which implies spiritual, emotional as well as physical healing. God heals body, soul and spirit; all levels of man's being. Now think about about it, a jar that lays shattered on the ground can be restored. God can pick up all the broken pieces and can take one piece at a time, and glue each piece to make the jar whole again. Just as this picture shows, the jar has been restored, but not to the same condition as it was before it was broken. Notice, something has been added. God adds the glue and each piece can now be mended. The restored jar still has the small cracks that are still visable to the eye, but the cracks are now mended. This is just like us. We are mended by God and God has added something to us, for God has added character to us. We will never be the same again, but we are now new creations in Christ. We are whole again, but different, for God has added something very special to us. God has added His grace and mercy to our seams. Think about it, God can heal and restore us like the loving Father He is. He can pick up each and every piece, glue us back together, and through this process, God will add something to us! We will never be the same again, but we will be now seen as a new creation because of the great Jehovah-Rophe, "The Lord Who Heals".
Question: What stage are you in right now? Being broken? Being mended? Being a restored broken jar? Wherever you are in this process, know that our God is a God that heals.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lessons From the Eagle

"but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31
I have always been fascinated with the eagle. There are so many amazing facts about the eagles. Let me share a few with you.
1. The eagle nests in high places that are inaccessible . There, in a nest which the eagle makes larger each year.
2. An eagle has keen eyesight. He can spot his prey while soaring hundreds of feet in the air. 3. A mother eagle carries her eaglet on her back until it masters the art of flying. 
4. An eagle renews its strength and youthful appearance after shedding its feathers.
We have a God that, no matter what circumstances that may surround us, will renew our strength like an eagle. The interesting thing about the molting of the eagle, the bird needs to rid itself of the old to get ready for the new. As I remember this process with my pet lovebird, Millie. Molting season was a difficult time, for it is painful when the new "pin feathers" come up. It is like little needles on the skin of the bird, any kind of pressure is painful. But what occurs is the final process of new feathers and it does renew the bird.  We too go through the molting process in life. God will take us to heights that we have never been before, and they may be quite challenging. We may be asked to step out of our comfort zones to do things that we had never done before, and just like the little eaglet, God will hold us up on His back like the mother eagle. We are not in this growth process alone. He gives us vision, strength in the midst of our season of molting. Molting is the season of growth and we can look forward to where God is taking us. Let us take great comfort in His Word, that our God will renew us and allow us to soar. Did you know that eagles do not flap their wings, but they wait for the updraft from the heights and when the wind is just right, they set off into flight. We too can just lean into the wind that God provides and know that He will lift us up, just as the updraft for the eagle. We need not flap our wings, but we can soar with His Spirit under our wings.
Question: Are you in a season of molting? What lessons can you learn from the eagle? Are you ready to soar? Want to live like the eagle in nests that are inaccessible to the world and safe in the heights with God? Do you want to grow your nest larger every year? Are you willing to molt for God to take you to the heights with Him?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Self vs. Selflessness

"You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly Stay away from people like that!"  2 Timothy 3:1-4
In the last days, Paul describes what some people will be like. When I looked at the description of who they love, it is not about loving God but it is about loving SELF.
I have recently been in a profound journey in search of "selflessness" and have been trying to understand my selfish ways. Scripture defines it as our "flesh". I have realized that there are many areas that I focus on self and honestly, when I focus on self it is defined as sin. What can I do? I need to be broken daily, to realize that I am nothing and that the only thing that really matters is God. I read recently that we are to "be a worm and not a snake" and I need to look at the qualities of the quiet humbleness of the worm vs. the aggressive and venamous snake. Last night I reviewed a book by Cindy Jacobs, "Posessing the Gates of the Enemy". I was amazed, because it also hit upon the topic of self in terms of when you do spiritual warfare. She states that we need to get out of the way and allow the Spirit to work in us. This is what Cindy Jacobs writes:
Another stronghold on a personal level is that of SELF. Any right that we try to hold onto will be played upon by the enemy of our souls in time of battle. Some of the rights we have to give up in order to tear down strongholds are:
  • the right to be offended
  • the right to our time
  • the right to do what we want with our posessions
  • the right to self-pity
  • the right to self-justification
  • the right to be understood
  • the right to criticize
Dealing with these issues will "shut the door and keep out the devil." These strongholds are not all going to be overcome overnight, but just because you are in the process does not mean you cannot go to war. The Holy Spirit will convict you of any issues in your life He is not pleased with."
Wow, did that hit home! I want to slide the scale in my life from SELF to SELFLESSNESS. I am committed to prayer to ask the Holy Spirit to show me those areas that I am still holding onto as my rights! I now know, that sin=self and that I need to be working on this area in my life. How about you?
Question: How are you doing on the "self scale"? What rights are you holding onto? What goals can you set to achieve selflessness in your life today?