Letter of Resignation

Worry/Fear, Guilt/Shame:

It is with great joy that I submit unto you my letter of resignation.  This letter shall be effective immediately.  I have accepted my position as a Child of God and in doing so have become a joint heir with Jesus Christ.  Romans 8:17.

This position was offered many years ago.  It was made available through the awesome sacrifice that God gave through His Son, Jesus Christ.  The blood He shed on Calvary made provision for my future.  There was nothing that I did to deserve this position.  I couldn’t earn such a beautiful place of service, but Isaiah 1:18 reads, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow: though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”  This sacrifice makes me worthy.  This gift is too precious to refuse.  By not accepting this position I feel it would be disrespectful.  After all that Jesus willingly offered to me, the least I can do is operate in the fullest capacity available.  In saying this I would like to address certain positions that held me directly.

Worry/Fear.  You and I have been long acquainted.  You introduced yourself while I was still a young girl.  I had grown so accustomed to having you as a part of my life that it took a few extreme circumstances to help me realize that I am not destined to be controlled by you.  Therefore, worry, I am informing you that on this day I resign to give you further place in my life. As stated above, God Himself made provision for all circumstances that should worry me many years ago.  My children, my work, my finances, my relationships…they are all not out of the scope of my Savior’s ability to intervene.  He knew my needs before I ever was brought into existence…and because He knows my needs, He has already provided for my needs.  I understand that there may be times that I can’t see how He will work certain situations out.  But He would like me to remind you that my needs aren’t met by this worlds standards of plenty.  My needs will be supplied for according to HIS riches.  “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory.” Phillipians 4:19.

Guilt/Shame.  You have plagued my mind on many more occasions than I would like to give you credit.  You have spoken to me in the darkest hours of my life and caused me to remain in the past when God was working toward moving me to a brighter future.  This is not to say that I am unaware of the bad decisions that I have made in my past.  But this does lead me to say that, “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, Behold all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17.  I refuse to be bound by your sense of regret any longer.  I resign my guilt and shame this day and choose to live my life with an expectancy of the good things that my Father has promised me.  It encourages me to know that God is so in control that He can take even my poor decisions and work them out for my good.  Romans 8:28

As part of my new position I have inherited certain gifts that are mine.  Though laying down this fear and worry…guilt and shame will indeed leave a void in my life, I intend to replace this void with it’s rightful residence.  Peace and victory are mine.  Joy and contentment are mine.  Love and forgiveness are mine.  These things will replace all the negativity that I am so gladly giving up.
I leave you with no thanks and hopes of a better future.  I have already been informed of your impending doom and have decided that I wish to take no part in your final demise.  Do not feel free to contact me in the future.  My life has been filled with such a grace that I boldly proclaim, “Greater is He that is within me, than He that is within the world.” l John 4:4
Sincerely,
Resigned to Live
Author: Britney Wilkes
Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved
Published in: on August 29, 2011 at 2:00 pm  Comments (2)  

I Know the Peace Speaker

“And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!”  – Matthew 8: 23-27

When I was 13 years old I experienced God in such a real way.  I remember falling on an altar of repentance and standing up a glorious new creation.  Life appeared sweeter and love felt more rich.  Even 15 years later I can still recall the overwhelming abundance of His presence.  I couldn’t grasp why anyone wouldn’t want to experience this Savior called Jesus.  My friends thought that something had to be wrong with me.  They didn’t understand the change that had taken place in my life.  I didn’t want to listen to the same music.  I didn’t want to watch the same things on television.  I was called a “fanatic” a time or two.  Several people would label me as being “holier than thou” a few times.  But at the core of the matter there wasn’t any substance that could alter my stand.  I knew that I had fallen in love with Jesus.  I knew that I couldn’t offer Him “lip service”.  I had experienced Jesus Christ and my life could never be the same.

A few years ago I had the opportunity of working with a youth group.  I wanted them to know Jesus in the ways that I knew Him.  I would teach lesson after lesson and pour my heart into service after service but it didn’t seem as if they were grasping what I felt.  In prayer about this, God helped me to understand something.  These young people had heard of God’s presence and they had seen people in God’s presence.  They knew about Him because they had been taught about Him.  They sang songs about him because they had learned the words to the songs…but they had yet to have a personal experience with Him.  They hadn’t sought after Him.  God truly began to deal with my heart about those who knew of Jesus and those that knew Him.   There is such a difference.

As a little girl I listened to my Mama sing, “Peace Speaker.”  I can still hear her voice as she sang these words, “I know the Peace Speaker.  I know Him by name.  I’m glad I know the Peace Speaker.  He controls the wind and waves.  When He says, peace be still, they have to obey.  I know the Peace Speaker, yes, I know Him by name.”  I thought it was a beautiful song then because I loved the words.  It seemed awesome to be able to say, “I know the Peace Speaker.”  But then, I walked through one of the greatest storms of my life.  I fought Satan over the stability of my mind until I was weak.  I stood in my living room and almost decided to give up and let my life turn out as it would.  I felt that I had tried and failed over and over again.  The winds were too strong for me to maintain a good grasp on my understanding.  The waves were threatening to overtake the solid foundations I thought I had created…and then I decided to let go and allow my Savior the opportunity to calm the troubled waters.  Once I became still enough to hear His voice…once all of my attempts at creating calm had failed…I began listening for the Peace Speaker.  I walked to the Savior and explained what I was going through.  I explained all my fears about the storm…and then my Savior stood up.  Jesus Christ walked to the bow of my vessel and took control of the situations that caused my heart to fear.  He commanded, “Peace, be still!”…and peace became still.  Jesus only had one question.  “Why are you fearful?”  My Spirit feels as if Jesus was saying, “I’m on board this ship with you.  I am yours and you are Mine and because of this reason, I am not going to let anything happen to you.”  But instead of leaving them by their self to prove that He would see them through the storm, He arose and spoke to peace.

Sunday night I stood next to my best friend and with my hands and heart raised in surrender to my Savior, I praised this Peace Speaker.  I sang this song with a greater understanding because now my soul had experienced Jesus speaking to the storms in my life.  It was no longer a pretty song.  It was a testimony…an experience.

Once you experience Jesus Christ…life will become so much sweeter.  He wont force Himself on you but He will answer if you call out of a sincere heart.  Have you experienced Him or do you only know of His power?  Have you experienced the peace that passes all our earthly understanding or do you only sing the lines in the song?  Have you experienced the freedom of the Man that breaks the chains that bind you or have you only read about Paul and Silas and thought it was a nice story?  I’m here to testify that He is better felt than told.  “O taste and see that the Lord is good…” -Psalm 34:8.

If there are storms in your life simply call on the Lord.  Allow the Peace Speaker to take command of your ship.  And then witness as peace lays to rest…watch the winds settle over your sea of life.  The waves wont over take you.  They can’t.  They have to obey when Jesus calls for peace to be still.

 

 

Author: Britney Wilkes

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

Published in: on August 23, 2011 at 11:11 am  Leave a Comment  

Mama’s Last Look

I was cleaning house this morning when 33Miles song, “One Life To Love”, came on. The Spirit began dealing with my heart about the message in this song. The lyrics of the chorus are, “You only get just one time around/You only get one shot at this/One chance to find out the one thing that you don’t want to miss/One day when it’s all said and done/I hope you see that it was enough/This one ride, one try, one life to love”.

 

I’m reminded of my Mama. On the night she died my family was with her in her bedroom. She was struggling to breathe. In the moments before she lost consciousness she looked at my Dad, my sister, and myself for a long time a piece. I wonder what she was thinking. I wonder if she knew that those looks were the last that she would see of her family on this side of life. I wonder if given another opportunity if she would have done things differently. We don’t know…because that night would be her last. Her one shot had been taken. Her last ride was over.

 

“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow: For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away”. James 4:14.

 

Mama died 11 years ago. In ways it doesn’t feel that I’ve turned around good…but 11 years are gone. Our family has moved on. “Circumstances change”…as she often said. Today, I’m grateful for that last look. I like to think she was telling us to live. Live today while we have the opportunity. James was right…we don’t know what tomorrows circumstances will hold. Tomorrow could very well be our last. Would you be able to look back and say that your life was enough?…Or are you so consumed with worries and fear that you can’t enjoy your present?

 

I counsel in a prison. I can’t tell you the number of men that have told me they never knew how to enjoy their life, so they would search for other means to create their happiness. Some men left their wives and children because they felt they had missed something in life. They now cry in my office because they missed their children growing up and their wife belongs to another man. Other men tell me they chased a dream of living a big life of riches only to be consumed by greed. And now they cry in my office because they don’t even own the blue uniform they are wearing. There have even been a few that cry because they had been hurt in the past someway…and because of that hurt they were afraid to love again. So they remained alone until alone turned into being lonely. Then lonely turned to a bottle of alcohol. Then the alcohol clouded all rational judgements and they lost their freedom to look for happiness in a free world.

 

I hear so many stories of people who are waiting to begin living one day when they have this or that. They will be happy one day when their dreams become reality. But what if one days dream never comes? Will you never have been happy?

 

God has given us such a beautiful gift. Today. He created this day for you and I to live and praise Him. He commanded the sun to rise this morning and shine its light so that we could enjoy the beauty of living. “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it”. Psalm 118:24. I WILL rejoice! Sometimes we have to decide to be happy despite our circumstances. Today all the dreams you have dreamed may not have come to pass…but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be happy with what you do have today.

 

So, Mom’s…don’t get so angry when the kids spill their drink and cheerio’s in the back seat. Clean it up later but take the opportunity to sing loud with them now. Dad’s…there may be fishing trips and nights out with the boys that would prove to be a wonderful time…but the kids are only little once…and one day it won’t be as important to them that you are watching their game.

 

Live your life and learn to love your life. We really do only get one shot. We have got to make it count.

 

Author: Britney Wilkes

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

Published in: on August 13, 2011 at 10:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

He Restoreth My Soul

“When I’m low in Spirit

I cry Lord lift me up

I want to go higher with thee

But the Lord know I can’t live on a mountain

So He picked out a valley for me.

And He leads me beside still waters

Somewhere in the valley below

He draws me aside

To be tested and tried

But in the valley He restoreth my soul

It’s dark as a dungeon

And the sun seldom shines

I question Lord why must this be

But He tells me there’s strength in my sorrow

And there’s victory in trials for me”

              – Dottie Rambo

There are certain songs that call to you.  They minister to your heart on a completely different level and almost seem to become apart of your spirit.  This song, “In the Valley”, spoke to me in just this way.  When I first heard this song I felt that I could relate to its message…but now, I feel this even more strongly.

The process of restoration is slow.  For even the process to begin it means that there has to have been a “wearing down” so to speak.  Structures…homes that require restoration have been lived in, at times not taken care of…maybe the proper maintenance wasn’t performed…and typically, this restoration requires the home to be completed “gutted”.  All that is old is taken out, tore up, and stripped.  This process isn’t easy and it takes time but it’s required if the restoration is to be completed.  Restoration doesn’t mean that the home is simply redecorated with a different shade of paint.  Restoration is a complete change with a noted difference.

The process of restoration was the same in my life.  It has been a slow process.  When God began to take out some things in my life that I had grown accustomed to…it hurt.  Like a home that needs restoration, we learn to live with certain inadequacies and faults.  We live with thebrokenness and make up for its lack by other means.  But when you are being restored, God requires that you let go of the old self so that He can restore the new self.  “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; Behold, all things are new.”  2 Corinthians 5:17.  Letting go hurts.  When I began to become accustomed to the new gifts that God has blessed me with, I felt a certain guilt.  I felt that I didn’t deserve such love or acceptance.  But God began to speak into my spirit that this is what He sent His Son to die for…to offer this unmerited grace to a people who were less than deserving.

I love the line in the song that reads, “He picked out a valley for me.”  “There hath no temptation overtaken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which ye are able,but will with the temptation also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13.  The trials that you and I face are not outside of the knowledge of God.  In fact, the valleys that we sometimes walk through were chosen so that they could mold us into an image that more resembles Christ.  The trials that burden us today will only work out for our good tomorrow.  Romans 8:28.

“He leads me beside still waters.” Psalms 23:2.  The comparison of our Savior to that of a shepherd is comforting to me.  To know that He is watching over me and making sure that my needs are met is a precious thought.  As a child I memorized Psalm 23.  I’m sorry to tell you that it became just that in my life…something I memorized.  But as this song began to minister to my heart, the Spirit began to deal with me about the “still waters” the Psalmist refers to.  In studying I found that a shepherd had to be careful where he allowed his sheep to drink.  If the water was too rough so that it splashed onto the sheep’s wool, it would become heavy…the water would burden them down so that they couldn’t continue to move.  So, even in the small details of Psalm 23, we see that God is caring for His children.  “He leads me beside the still waters”…I can become renewed by the waters with no fear of picking up extra burdens.  That is the valley He chose for me to walk through.  The process of restoration.

I’m letting go of the past….allowing God to move in a new way of thinking…a new way of living.  I’m accepting His grace and love and moving on to what He has called me to do in Him…  I’m thankful for this valley I have traveled in.  It has hurt me at times.  Letting go of things has caused me to question my own securities….but in letting go I’ve found it’s easier to look up.  And in looking up I see the most majestic mountains that are ahead of me.  In looking around I see the still waters that God is allowing me to become renewed at….and I’m thankful.  I’m thankful for these valleys.  He, indeed, is restoring my soul.

Author: Britney Wilkes

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

Published in: on August 13, 2011 at 8:27 am  Leave a Comment  

God Is There

 Jesus! Name of wondrous love,
Human name of God above!
Pleading on this, we flee
Helpless, O our God, to thee.

    – William W. How, 1854

 

Bill and Gloria Gaither summed my thoughts up best when they penned the lyric, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…there’s just something about that name.” Isn’t there? Robert J. Morgan writes in his book, “He Shall Be Called,” Jesus is the New Testament version of the Old Testament name Joshua, and it comes from two shorter Hebrew words – the name Jehovah coupled with the verb “to save”. Literally, “Jehovah Saves” or “Jehovah Delivers”.

There have been times in my life when I didn’t have the ability to form the appropriate words to explain the cries of my heart.  Instead, I would kneel in prayer and call on the name of Jesus. In speaking the name of Jesus I have felt a calming peace in the midst of such uncertainty. That peace…the peace that can only call to that brokenness…truly passes all my understanding.  It’s this desire to attempt to grasp the depth of the meaning of His name that led me to study “Jehovah Shamma – The Lord is There.”

In first reading, “The Lord is There,” I wasn’t caught up with wonder. Certainly, the Lord is there…but where exactly?  Everywhere and anywhere…The Lord IS there.  My heart began to rejoice as my spirit began to realize that God IS there.  His name defines the very literal essence of the word “there”.  The Lord is THERE in my pain.  He is THERE in my joy.  He is THERE in the depth of my confusion.  He is THERE in my realization.  Jehovah Shamma – The Lord is there.  “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death”, God is there.  “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your Presence?  If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.  If I take wings of the morning, and dwell in the most utter parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall hold me.” Psalm 139: 7-10.  I can never escape God.  Anywhere I could fathom to go would not be out of the grasp of God because  He is there.

This comforts me.  To know that God is there in every phase and emotion of life…to know that even in my best attempts of escaping His presence…He would still be there…is so assuring.

Are you lonely?  Do you feel that you can’t be reached?  Are you lost?  Jehovah Shamma is there.  In every circumstance that seems hopeless…He’s there.  In every situation that seems outside of all possible intervention…He’s there.

God IS there.

 

Author: Britney Wilkes

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

Published in: on August 10, 2011 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment  

The Way of Holiness

“And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The Way of Holiness, the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein….but the redeemed shall walk there.”  Isaiah 35:8, 9b.The Way of Holiness.  This phrase has always struck me with an air of reverence.  I read this as a young girl and can still remember the way it stirred my soul.  The book of Isaiah taught me that there was to be a difference between those who called themselves Christians and those who didn’t.  The more I studied the Word of God, the more I realized that if I took up the name of Christ than I was taking up more than a title…I was taking up a lifestyle.  This lifestyle would define all the decisions that I made.  It would define what I spoke about and the places I would go.  This lifestyle would separate me from the popular trends of today’s society that is widely accepted as normal routine.  As a Christian, I couldn’t talk about some of the things that others talked about.  I couldn’t listen to some of the same music nor could I watch some of the same things that others watched on television.  I learned that I couldn’t visit some of the places that others visited.  Where this did separate me as part of the “crowd” at times, I also learned that I didn’t desire those things.  My hearts desire began to be one of holiness.

The dictionary defines holiness as the “state of being holy, separate.”  In other words, there is a definite boundary that separates you from this world.  The Word tells us that we are to be separate.  We, as Christians, are called to live a life that is separate from this world.  Individuals that felt ridiculed because of the decisions they were making in comparison to another coined the phrase, “Holier than though”.  Our decisions to separate ourself from the world should be because we feel we are “better” than they are…but because we desire a “better” way of life.  The book of Isaiah tells us that there will be a highway in Heaven and those that will walk on that highway will be the redeemed.  It also tell us that those “fools” will not have their place there.  Those who are silly, imprudent…those who act unwisely will not walk on this way of holiness.  There has to be a conscious effort on our part at times to walk this way of holiness.  At times we have to “crucify our flesh” over and over…but the reward will be great…
To be called “redeemed”…to hear my Father say, “Well done my good and faithful servant”…This is what truly will matter in this life…and to be able to do this we must be separate from this world.  There must be a difference in the way we walk, talk, and uphold ourself.
Author: Britney Wilkes
Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved
Published in: on August 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm  Leave a Comment