The Angry Man

He was angry. The man who sat in front of me poured out the details of his painful past. He wasn’t proud of the decisions that had led him to where he was…he didn’t claim to have lived a perfect life…but there was one point he thought that he had done everything right.  There was a time he thought he had made all the right decisions in the eyes of God and man.  He went to church.  He provided well for his family.  He gladly went home every day and spend his time investing in things that mattered.  So, when his circumstances changed and life began to rain on the “just” as it did the “unjust”, he was certain that God would deliver him.  Certainly, God wouldn’t allow him to go through such pain because he had done everything right! God would keep him from this hurt, he thought.  But things didn’t change.  In his eyes, what was a bad situation only became worse.  He walked away from his right decisions and began to live a life deserving of the circumstances he had faced.  He lost all he knew.  He became a person that he despised.  He openly shared, “I laugh when I feel like crying.  I smile when I feel like screaming in pain.  I am not me anymore.  This is not who I am”.  Tears ran down his face and anger poured from heart.  He cried, “This God I served…this Savior I once called mine…He needs to stand up from His throne and show Himself real to me!”

Hurt, shame, frustration…so much emotion called from within this broken man.  He had come from two different worlds.  I couldn’t relate to his world and he couldn’t relate to mine.  But, I could relate to his pain.  Hopelessness feels the same…no matter how we arrived in that state.  I heard myself in his voice when he questioned, “How did I even get here?  Life was not supposed to turn out this way for me”.  I even heard myself in his anger and bitterness when he said that God needed to stand up off His throne…but I also felt the Spirit gently whisper into my heart…”Not only will I stand up for Him…I will run to him”.

The Prodigal Son is a beautiful parable of redemption.  As a Mama I feel I can relate to the Fathers overwhelming desire to see his son.  I cry when I think of this father running to embrace him.  But the beauty of this parable truly rests in the comparison to the way that God loves us.  When we return home…no matter our present condition…God will run to meet us where we are at.

So, I looked into the eyes of this man and shared the love of Jesus.  I asked him if he had asked God to make Himself real to him. After several long conversations he realized that he had just expected God to answer his desire because He is God…and He should just meet the desires of His children.  I reminded him that we have not because we ask not.  I saw the change in his eyes as I felt Gods Spirit ministering. I cried when I told him that God was waiting on him…watching for him…that he would run to him and embrace him as His own.  “But I’m still so angry!” I asked him, “Do you think that your being angry changes the fact of Gods love for you?” He thought about this and then shook his head.  I went on to tell him that God would love him through his anger and continue to love him after. Our circumstances doesn’t change who God is.

The angry man who sat earlier was different when he left.  God had done a work.  So, I wanted to share with you the same thing.  We don’t serve a God who isn’t touched by the feelings of our  infirmities.  We don’t serve a God that sits on His throne observing His children and delighting in their confusion and anger.  No, we serve a God who watches and waits on His children.  And when we realize that our home can only be where our Father is…when we begin to walk that road to return to Him…our Father will see us from afar and run to us.  He will wrap us in arms of love and He will welcome you home…if for no other reason than we are His…and the children belong with their Father.

 

Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

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Published in: on July 23, 2011 at 8:17 am  Leave a Comment  

He Knows Best

My oldest little girl is reaching the age where she asks, “Why?”  Everything I ask her to do is almost always followed by her sincere question, “Why Mama?”  I relate to this desire that she has for the logic behind her actions.  I’ve been guilty of asking the same question… and just as she does at times, I have difficulty accepting the answer, “Because I said.”

I remember my Memaw giving me this answer one time when I was a young girl.  In my 6-year-old mind, I truly believed that if I tried hard enough, I would be able to fly out of the tree in the front yard.  I was just about to test my belief when Memaw ran out of the door and yelled for me to get down from the tree.  I explained to her as best I could that I was going to fly out of the tree.  Memaw, not wanting to break my “spirit” (as she called it), reasoned with me that though there was a possibility I could fly out of the tree, she didn’t want me to test it that day.  That wasn’t a good answer in my mind.  I was 6 and there was no better time than the present…and besides, I was already up the tree and ready to fly.  I explained that I was going to flap my arms just like the birds….so surely, everything was going to be fine.  Finally, when all her reasons didn’t work, Memaw said, “Britney, get out of the tree because I SAID SO.”  I couldn’t reason with that answer!  What Memaw said…went!  I was frustrated as I climbed out the tree but I did what she said for me to do.  Later that day we had a long talk about why I couldn’t fly on my own.  I learned two lessons that day.  One, even though we may mimic what something or someone does, we may not get the same results.  Just because I flapped my wings like a bird…that didn’t mean I would fly.  And two, Memaw could see the danger.  She knew what I was able to do…and flying wasn’t one of my abilities.  I learned to trust her word because she said I could.

So, my little girl was sitting on the commode watching me as I got ready for work.  We usually pick and play with other and she gets excited and moves around a lot.  She decided that she wanted to stand on the commode but I didn’t think it was a good idea.  I could see the possibility of her hurting herself.  I told her “no”, which was immediately followed by, “why?”  I tried to explain that she may fall but she couldn’t understand that.  Falling wasn’t her intention.  She just wanted to stand closer to her Mama.  Finally, I told her, “Sit down because I said to sit down.”  And for right then…she was satisfied.

There are many times that we desire to do things.  In our mind and reasoning we don’t see the danger of what our desire could bring.  All we know is that it feels right at the present time…so it must be ok.  This isn’t necessarily true.  Check your feelings against the Word of God.  What does He say regarding this situation?  He may say no.  He may say that you can’t continue doing what you want and desire to do.  And the only answer we may have as to why we can’t is…”Because I said so.”  We may not like it but we must be obedient to what the Word of God tells us. “To obey is better than sacrifice…” 1 Samuel 15:22.

Our Father knows our abilities.  He knows what we are able to withstand in our present and in our future.  There may be decisions that we feel we are able to handle in our present, but what about a little further down the road?  Circumstances may change.  It is better to obey His Word and trust that He knows what is best for us.  He see’s the bigger picture and potential dangers that we could face.

Jeff and Sheri Easter sing the song, “Over and Over”.  It ministers to me every time I listen to it.  I relate to the lyrics.  “Over and over, again and again He’s been faithful.  Over and over, again and again, through it all He’s made me able/ to stand and survive, to come through alive when it sure looked like I couldn’t win.  Jesus it with me, so I’ll claim the victory, over and over again.”  I know I can trust what God has told me to do.  Why?  Because over and over He has shown Himself faithful to me.  Over and over He has met my need.  My Savior has brought me through some of the darkest days that I pray I ever have to face.  Why would He bring me through to watch me suffer in a present trial?  He wouldn’t.

You may be facing a situation that you feel you have the answer to.  But if that answer isn’t in line with what the Word of God says it isn’t in His plan for your life.  He desires GOOD for you.  So much good that it is above and beyond what we are even able to imagine!  Wait on God.  You may not understand now, but trust that He is providing for a better future in your life.

 

Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

Published in: on July 20, 2011 at 11:07 pm  Comments (2)  

Are You Prepared to Climb?

Have you ever climbed a mountain, and in this sense, I’m thinking physically climbed a mountain? I haven’t, but I can only imagine how hard and tiresome the climb would be. Even though the climb would be something I wanted to do, a goal I wanted to accomplish; it would still be a difficult task and my body and mind would need rest and nourishment to continue to make the climb to the top. But oh what a feeling when I reached the top!

 

Thinking in the spiritual, I believe climbing these mountains are just as difficult and tiresome even though they are not physically being climbed. But to make these climbs, we must still keep our bodies and minds rested and nourished to reach the top. In doing so, we can keep the strength to move forward, to take the next step, to climb a little higher…….to make it to our goal!

 

But how do we nourish & rest ourselves spiritually? I know in the physical sense, I would need food, water and sleep. But what would do the trick for my spiritual man? The spirit man also needs food, water and sleep…..but they come in a different form.

 

Food……in the natural form is the meat of our nourishment. It’s where we receive our sustenance to continue the physically journey. What we consume gives us strength for our body and mind to be able to stand in the midst of the struggle as we climb. Food…….in the spiritual form is the meat of our soul. Jesus told us in Luke 4:4, “And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” We need God’s word to help us to live; we cannot live by only feeding our physical man, but we must feed our spiritual man through reading & studying God’s word. This is what will give us the strength we need to stand as we face our spiritual mountain and to continue to climb.

 

Water makes up approximately 60% of our physical body. We cannot survive without water in our lives. This is also true for our spiritual man…..we need the living water of our Father to keep us alive and refreshed. In John 7:38, we see that our living water comes from believing, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” If only we can believe, such a simple task, just believe, and we can have rivers of living water! What an awesome promise to know that such a necessary part of life can come through only a simple task as believing!

 

Sleep is a natural and important part of the physical life and as well for the spiritual life. We cannot function physically or mentally if we do not at some point give our flesh rest. We must sleep to renew and refresh our bodies, to allow the nourishment we have given it to restore strength. This is true as well for our spiritual bodies. If we do not give ourselves a chance to rest in the Lord, for Him to renew and refresh our souls, we can become dry and desolate…..unable to continue the journey. Psalm 37:7a states, “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him.” We must not get ahead of the Lord on our journey or we’ll be climbing in vain. We must take time to reach a plateau, lie down, rest in the arms of the Lord, and allow Him to restore our strength for the journey ahead. We cannot do anything without the help of the Lord……but Philippians 4:13 says,” I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

So as you see, even though I have not made a physical journey up a mountain, I do believe that the concepts for a spiritual mountain climb are the same as the ones needed for a physical climb. Before I make the journey, I must prepare myself. And even as I am on the journey, I must constantly keep myself in shape, eating, drinking and resting as needed to keep me strong. I don’t want to give out or give up half way up the mountain and face failure or repeat the same steps again. I want to keep myself strong for the climb keeping my goals in front of me……reaching for the top, strong and full of energy, ready to take on the next mountain! Help me Lord to keep my spiritual man ready at all times for the mountain you have for me to climb – make me a Mountain Climber! “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.” 2 Timothy 4:2

 

 

Author: Michelle Drummond

Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

 

Published in: on July 19, 2011 at 9:47 am  Comments (1)  

Peculiar

I’ve never watched the movie E.T.  I’ve never wanted to watch it.  The idea of an alien landing in your backyard and then taking it inside and feeding it is truly a strange concept for me to grasp.  It really is.  If an alien landed in my backyard, I promise, there would be no sharing of my candy or home…at all.  Not to mention…E.T. is an ugly little creature.  That thing is just not cute at all.  It looks like a dried up prune!  And seriously…it’s finger glows!  Strange!

I left to go pay a bill at lunch and listened as a guy on the radio talked about this movie.  God snapped His fingers at me and I realized…I had something in common with this ugly little alien.  “E.T. phone home”…the alien repeats…  He had an overwhelming desire to go home.  I laughed at myself when I realized that me and E.T. weren’t so different after all…because I don’t desire to stay here either…this isn’t my home.  I’m just passing though.  I desire to go and be with my Father.

“For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” -Hebrews 11:10.
People look at me a little differently than some.  I’ve been called peculiar a time or two.  But that is what I’m suppose to be.  1 Peter 2:9 tells me that I am called to be peculiar…so I feel I’m just living up to my expectation.  I would rather be labeled peculiar than to fit in with a world that will surely fade away.
So…call me an alien….peculiar…different….it doesn’t matter.  As long as I’m called a child of God…than I’ll gladly live in my peculiar world. 
Author: Britney Wilkes
Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved
Published in: on July 12, 2011 at 11:49 am  Comments (2)  

Before the Darkness Falls

“And when they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take.” – Mark 15:24

We were singing at a Fourth of July Celebration on Sunday night. The Drummond Family had taken the stage and their table became so busy with individuals buying CD’s, purses, t-shirts…The kids were having a good time playing. My two are still young enough that I can keep them in a relatively close area to me…but my best friends two…they can get away pretty quickly. We knew that her youngest should have been on the bus watching a movie because that is where we last left him, but in what couldn’t have been more than just a few minutes…he was gone. We couldn’t find him. My best friend searched the bus…nothing. We scanned the crowds that were closest to us…nothing. The announcer came over the PA system and gave us the five-minute warning that the lights on the ball field would be turned off for the fireworks. We began searching harder…nothing. My chest began hurting. A sick feeling settled in my stomach. I can’t begin to imagine what my best friend was feeling when she kept searching but couldn’t find her son. We called for him…nothing. I searched the play houses where the kids had been playing but most had already been taken down because the fireworks were about to begin. And then the panic rose as darkness settled over the field. I could barely see in front of me much less into the crowd of what was estimated to be around 10,000 people. I began making my way to my best friend because I knew she would be in an uproar now that the lights were out. I don’t imagine that I will ever forget her face. She is known for her joy and smile but instead fear now took their place. She continued searching and I knelt with my 3-year-old and began praying. Moments later I heard these amazing set of words, “We found him.” Instant relief flooded my heart and my best friend was able to breathe again.

Later, while we were watching the fireworks, our family in one place and together, my best friend told me that she was scared but ok when we could see to look for him…but when the lights went out and she began to panic….

God spoke to my spirit. I began to relate this scare to those who are playing games in their walk with Jesus. How often will we take for granted the mercy and forgiveness of our Savior while we still continue in the sin that we are in? How often do we justify our present sin by comparing it to our past sin or the struggles that others are facing? Are we not grateful of the sacrifice that Jesus gave?

Mark 15:24 displays an awesome parallel. Our Savior…Jesus Christ…He who knew no sin…was crucified. The most significant act that mankind will ever know just played out right before these soldiers eyes. They could see the blood and the incomparable horror that Jesus suffered….but instead of attempting to grasp the depth of this love…they were casting lots…gambling. They were playing games at the foot of the cross.

We do this. When we choose to live in sin…when we choose to give in to our fleshly desires…we are playing games. We are gambling our future against the reality that Jesus could come in those very moments. “No man knows the day or the hour..” Matthew 24:36a We don’t know the exact time that Jesus will return, but my spirit has been so stirred these last few months over the return of our Savior. Now isn’t the time to play games. Now isn’t the time to gamble your eternity over a temporary pleasure. I love the parable beginning in Matthew 24:43 and can relate to it so easily. If I knew that someone was coming to my house to attempt to steal my possessions or harm my children, I wouldn’t just sit there and see what happened. I would guard my house. I would call someone. I would do something to make sure that what was mine, remained mine!

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” – Matthew 24:44. Be ready! Guard your heart and your home and be ready. The Word says that at an hour you think not, the Son of man will return. Don’t be caught playing games…looking for something to satisfy a longing that serves no eternal purpose…because like last night….the darkness could fall…and if you couldn’t see to make your way home in the light, how do you think that you would be able to make it home in the dark?

My heart is so burdened as I write this post. I am urging you…quit playing games and taking the sacrifice that Jesus Christ so willingly offered for granted. Are you playing games at the foot of His cross? If so, stop. Don’t take Jesus for granted. He will return…darkness will fall. Please, find your way home while there is still light.

 

Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

Published in: on July 5, 2011 at 11:40 pm  Comments (3)  

Vengeance is Mine

Have you ever made this statement when you are angry or having a battle with someone: “I don’t get even, I get ahead” or “revenge is sweet”? All too often, we think of how we can get back at someone who has done us wrong instead of thinking how we can forgive this person and pray for them. It is human nature to want to fight back or make them pay for what they have done to us – make them feel worse than how they have made us feel.

 

But wait, what does God’s word tell us? Romans 12:19 says, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Ouch! This verse really steps on my toes. I am terrible about wanting to get ‘one up’ on the person who has done me wrong. But I am having to learn to bite my tongue, swallow my pride, cover my mouth, walk away.…..whatever it takes to keep myself in check and let the Lord handle the situation. Some days it’s not an easy task, but with perseverance I am learning this lesson.

 

As I read further in Romans 12, we’re not only told to leave vengeance to the Lord, but we are to feed our enemies if they are hungry, give them drink if they are thirsty, bless those who persecute us, do not give evil for evil, and live peaceably with all. You mean I have to be nice to those who hurt me, accuse me, disrespect me and in all ways try to bring evil upon my life? That is a tough job!

 

Since I rededicated my life to the Lord in 1996, there have been many struggles and trials thrown at me by the world. So many “friends” remember me from my previous life, and many do not want to accept the change in me. And although I want to remind them of past faults or say things to hurt them, I have to show them I have really changed. Can I say that I have always been able to walk away or keep my mouth shut, uh…..unfortunately, NO. But when I have been able to control myself, I have felt much better about myself and the situation always seems to work out…..…because my Father is taking care of business just like He said He would. I am His child, His daughter, His princess, why do I think He wouldn’t do this for me when His word states it so plainly?

 

As a mother, this begins to get even harder. When it comes to protecting my children, I can be a little hot-headed (and that’s putting it mildly). My Momma used to call me a little banty rooster when I would get in this mode. You mess with my babies, and I can come unglued pretty quickly. But even in this situation, the Lord wants us to let him handle the payback…….this is a very hard task for me. Now I’m not saying to let people walk all over your children, but I am saying, don’t turn it into revenge. Protect and watch over your children, but don’t get carried away. Our Father loves them more than we do (I know that’s hard to imagine) and He has it all under control!

 

Through all of these years, Romans 12 has become one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. It reminds me that I am not to conform to this world, I am not to be a part of this world; but I am to live as peaceably as possible with this world showing love, abhorring evil and reaching out to others.

 

Author: Michelle Drummond

Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

 

Published in: on July 5, 2011 at 2:49 pm  Comments (3)