Monday, 19 January 2009

There is No Shadow.....

I had a moment of revelation this morning while I was listening to one of Griffsers songs! Sometimes you can sing away to a song and totally disconnect from the words - but I found myself this morning in my car having a light bulb switch on moment.
I've listened to this song 'Refuge' a lot recently and I totally love it. There are some songs that ring out great truths about God and this for me is one of them.

The refrain declares 'unchanging God, There is no shadow of turning with you' - another phrase from another hymn that I've sang a million times.

But I started to really meditate on that particular phrase this morning - and that simple truth that God is unchanging, to the point that he doesn't move or waiver on what he thinks - he remains the same. There literally is no movement in his shadow - he's the same.

I guess I've read a lot recently and it really has me concerned that there are some people who really believe that on one hand God is good, God is love, God is for us etc etc, yet on the other hand He's handing crap cards out to people in the form of sickness, poverty, and anything else negative in life.

I sometimes think that the majority of Christians/Churches have done a pretty poor job of teaching on suffering. There is no denying it - we do live in a fallen world, a world in which Satan is roaming about, where he is doing all he can to deceive and fool everyone. I think the biggest deception ever is this misconception that our good God can quite happily let bad things happen.

God's heart is 100% breaking when he looks at this suffering world. It's not what he planned at all!! Our God is not handing out sickness one day and healing the next, he's not providing for us one day and then taking it all back the next.
Bad things do happen, yet most Christians are quite happy to point the finger at God with not a second thought at accusing our real enemy.
Either God is good or He is not!!!
He does not put bad things into our lives to teach us a lesson or help us depend on him.
That is really bad parenting - and as a mum who isn't perfect in comparison to Him, I would never even dream of mistreating my kids to help them learn - that is sick.

God has the amazing ability to turn our struggles in this life around to His good purposes.

The Church needs to start answering those difficult questions that people have, instead of always turning horrible situations into a "well it was part of God's plan, He knows best, He is in control".
It breaks my heart when I talk to people who have walked through difficulties and they genuinely think God put that in their life to teach them something.

I totally believe that God is a good God, who doesn't change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever and His purpose has been the same since the beginning of time - to be in relationship with us and lavish us in His goodness and love.

It is Satan, the deceiver and Father of lies who is robbing us of this truth - God is For us!!

And this is the song that inspired this post!! A personal favourite these days, this guy is one to watch

REFUGE (Ryan Griffith - Griffsers lol)
God is our refuge and our strength
An ever present help
Therefore I shall not fear
Though the earth gives way
and mountains fall
though it's waters rise
and my world may shake

Our God is the shelter in the storm
Our God is the one who won't let go
Our God he remains the same
Yesterday Today Forever
He will never change

God of great wisdom and of love
My times are in your hands
You're the hope on which I stand
Though the earth gives way
and mountains fall
though it's waters rise
and my world may shake

Unchanging God
There is no shadow of turning with you

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Do resolutions work???

I've just revisited the blog I posted exactly a year ago. My goal for 2008 was to read through the entire bible cover to cover twice. 7 chapters a day!!! Did I do it??

Well before you laugh, and before I make up a terrible excuse as to why I failed miserably - I have to say that this little challenge without a doubt stirred up a new passion and hunger for more of the word of God.
After a few months into it I realised that I had actually turned this into a chore. It became more about me ticking the boxes to say I'd done it - than actually enjoy it. I'm not making that the excuse for stopping - because in fact I probably read more than that some days. 2008 has definitely been the year of the word. I don't even think my words could justify the journey I've been on this year.

Some of you who read my blog and know me will understand more about that journey. Gods word has the most incredible way of shaking you up, making you fell uncomfortable and it challenges your life in the most gentle, loving way. It really is great - and for the first time in years, I experienced a true excitement as I picked up that book.

I'm almost certain that it was Peter Jordan who said this when he preached one night in CFC - he said that the hardest bits in the bible where in fact the bits that where really easy to understand.
You know those bits - the parts that are totally black and white, there's no reading between lines or taking opinions or history into account - it's there, plain and simple!! Easy to understand - and it unsettles you to your very core because you know that your thinking is so far away from that.

I've learnt a lot this year from that book.
I've realised that for a long time I've let my life dictate that book. I've let my life mould IT - and made it fit my life. When my experiences in life contradict what God's word actually say, I've chosen to believe what's in front of my nose because that appears more real. What I see has been my reality.

But thats not what it's about at all.
Whenever you take God's word as fact - boy does it start messing with your cosy little world.
When you're walking through sickness and God's word clearly says that 'by his stripes you are healed'

When you walking through financial difficulty and God's word says that 'he's your provider - worry for nothing, like the lillies

When you feel ashamed, guilty and so far from God - yet his word says you are holy, righteous and have the very nature of Jesus on the inside of you.

This stuff totally messes things up - and this year I've been challenged as to what I actually believe. Do I believe in God in the middle of my mess - or do I focus on the mess so much that there's no room for God.

When you read the bible and read about the great men of faith (in that amazing chapter in Hebrews) you realise what it was that made them different from the people around them. They believed God's word in spite of the physical circumstance that was the opposite of what God said.

Abraham walked around childless for 40 years with a name that declared he was the father of many.
Noah trusted the word so much so that he built a boat, was mocked because it was a ridulous thing to do - yet he believed.

There's so many examples - but you get the point!

I think there is a great challenge in all of this. Because the truth is - God kept his promise to all these people. Because God is faithful, true to his word - and our part is to have faith in that word.

Whatever God has promised you (and that book lists them all - if you're a child of God) - keep holding on to it.
He is faithful, he is good - don't let life tell you otherwise. Keep standing on the word, renew your mind and let it change your world. What's my resolution this year ?? To keep on pressing on