Followers

Friday, June 22, 2012

A HOUSE IN PROGRESS

Across the street from us sits a house that is someone’s remodeling project. Our neighbor bought it a few years ago 
with the intention of fixing it up while living in it.  
I imagine that someday it will be his “Dream House.” 
For now though, it is anything but a dream! The whole neighborhood gasped when he gutted the interior completely.
He’s done this because he wants to re-make the house 
exactly the way he envisions his dream home.

The original house was only a simple brick ranch, 
but I imagine what he has in mind for the new house 
must be amazing. The only thing is, he is the only person in the neighborhood who can see this glorious vision. 
For now, all we can see is a gutted old house. 
A house that he is working on ever so slowly, I might add. 
We are all wondering when he will ever get finished.

The things he has added to the house are lovely though. 
A designer window here, a beautiful French door there. Lately 
he has enclosed the carport to create an entire new room. 
I must admit, it is finally beginning to take shape.


I am beginning to see a parallel between that house, myself and the God who lives inside me working on making me the dream he envisions for me. I am God’s temple. Sometimes I feel a bit gutted like that house across the street, yet the Lord is living inside me like my neighbor lives inside the house he’s remodeling.

 My Savior is remodeling me from the inside out as He sanctifies me by washing me in the water of His holy word. Christ helps me to read and obey His word, to understand and apply it as His Holy Spirit teaches me through prayer and meditation, life experiences, nature, and through other people.

 Every day is a new opportunity to walk with the One who is  molding me to become a cathedral of praise to the Almighty Savior who died for my sins and rose again from the dead, who ever lives to pray and intercede on behalf of all who love and worship Him.

Only Christ can see the wonderful cathedral He envisions that I will become someday. I just see the raw material He is working with; the person who is not perfect, who loves God very much but who fails Him so often. The person who must come running back to her Savior time and again to ask for mercy and forgiveness.


But I know God is working on me, building me up, bit by bit, frame by frame, from the inside out.  
It only seems like He is taking forever to make the necessary changes in my life that need to take place for me to become like Christ.
God’s word promises that “He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ.” Philippians 1:9
God never tires of working on me for He envisions a masterpiece. (Ephesians 2:10)  His measureless love never quits:
“The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me. Lord, Your love is eternal; do not abandon the work of Your hands.” Psalm 138:8

It may seem like the job will never get finished and I will always remain in a state of disrepair. “…keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!-will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, He does.” (1 Peter 5:9-11 The Message Bible)

 Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for being our Master Builder. 
Help us not grow weary and impatient while you transform us into the amazing cathedrals of praise for your glory and honor that you created us to be. Thank You for the awesome wonder of Your Holy Spirit living within us! May we know You will never leave or forsake us. In Jesus’ name.

A House In Progress © 2012 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved. Unto The Least Of These

Monday, June 11, 2012

With God All Things Are Possible


With God All Things Are Possible

In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.’”
 Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the LORD, saying,  
“Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
 And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying,  “Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you…and I will add to your life fifteen years.” ~2 Kings 20: 1-6

King Hezekiah of Judah was very ill. God told him through the prophet Isaiah that he must prepare to die. But Hezekiah wanted to live.
Scripture tells us that Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed with all his heart that he might live and wept bitterly.

What does it mean to turn our face to the wall in prayer?

We turn toward God and away from all earthly distractions. We cry out to the only One who can save us when there are no options left.
Gospel writer Luke records: “ Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” (Luke 18:1)  

When Hezekiah prayed in absolute faith and trust in God, the Lord changed the outcome of his life. He healed his sickness and promised him fifteen more years!

What might happen if we turned our face to the wall and abandoned ourselves in total trust to the only One who can save us? To the only One who can heal us when medical science has given up on us? To the only only One who can help when teachers have said they can’t do a thing with our child because he’s a hopeless cause? Or when someone says to us, we will never amount to anything because of our past, or because we just don’t have what it takes to succeed?

No matter our need or problem, whether it is a physical or emotional issue, an addiction, financial, or family crisis--whatever storm we face, hell’s river is never so deep that our God’s mighty arm cannot plumb its depths and bring us out of it.

There is a God in Heaven who created us, who knows us perfectly and He will never abandon or give up on us.
All He asks is that we turn our hearts toward Him and trust Him.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says: “ Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track.

His word also says this about prayer:

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  
And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15)

It was not God’s will that Hezekiah should die yet and so He healed him.
It is not God’s will that we feel our lives to be hopeless. 
It is not God’s will that we feel our lives to be worthless. 
It is not God’s will for us to be sitting in darkness with a death sentence hanging over our heads, feeling as if every day our lives are a burden to ourselves and others.

Our lives are a GIFT from God! We are very precious to Him!
For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You
In a time when You may be found;
Surely in a flood of great waters
They shall not come near him. (Psalm 32:6)

God chooses many ways to heal us and He will always work all things together for good to those who love Him and trust Him. (Romans 8:28)

God is in control of our lives. “He has established His throne in the Heavens and His Kingdom rules over all.” Psalm 103:19
God responded to Hezekiah’s absolute faith and trust in Him and added fifteen years to his lifespan. God is no respecter of persons.
When we approach Him with childlike faith, Jesus said that mountains will move! 

Prayer can change things even when everything looks hopeless.
When everyone else has given up on us, God has not.
Trust Him. Turn your face to the wall as Hezekiah did and dare to believe that He is the God of the impossible. And then be willing to wait.

God asks us to be patient when He gives us a promise, whether of physical or emotional healing, deliverance, divine intervention, abundance, or any other promise. He asks us to just believe.
“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
  And in His word I do hope.
  My soul waits for the Lord
  More than those who watch for the morning—
  Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.” 
~Psalms 130:5-6

We must allow God to heal us or to fulfill any other promise He makes to us on His terms. We must never dictate to God the way He heals or delivers us.
For the Good Shepherd of our soul always knows what is best for us at all times.

God will never leave or forsake us and He loves us more than we can comprehend.
Nothing can ever separate us from His love. Not death, not life, no sickness, nor crisis we can ever face. Romans 8:35-39 assures of this.

Believe, hope, trust. Hezekiah’s miracle is a reminder to us all that prayer can indeed change God’s mind about our lives and that nothing is set in stone if we will only dare to believe.
         
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, when all seems lost, and all my options have been exhausted, help me to turn my face to the wall and to seek Your face with all my heart, knowing that with You, all things are possible. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

*Readers: If there has been a time in your life where you have had to turn your face to the wall in prayer and seek God with all your heart, then please feel free to share in the comment section about how God came through for you! 
Your testimonies of God's faithfulness in your time of need will encourage all of us in our faith walk. 
Thank you! :)

© 2012 Suzanne Davis Harden  Unto The Least Of These  All Rights Reserved.
Scripture Quotations:
The New King James Bible © 1982 
The Holman Christian Standard Bible  © 2003
The Message (MSG) Copyright © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson