- Karen Michaelle
- Thanks for stopping by. I am a simple, sensitive, conservative girl. My faith in God is the most important thing in my life - everything I am flows from there. I consider it a sincere privilege that anyone would consider spending time reading what I write, which I do when I feel inspired by something I have seen or learned. I share what I write with the sincere hope that it will be used by God to inspire others. I welcome your comments.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
This morning, I was pouring my heart out to God, pleading...begging...Lord, why won't you break me free?! What are you waiting for? What am I not doing that you wan't to see? I am SO tired of fighting this battle that has been plaguing me for years...Years....YEARS! Nearly all of mine. So I approach Him yet again with my plea...Lord, help me! Fight for me, with one touch, one word of your authority, I know it will be done. Forever. And yet, it isn't.
This is when, as He often does, He speaks to me in that still small voice, and what He says immediately rings true in my heart and brings a flood of tears to my eyes. "I want you to fight for yourself." I immediately know this does not mean God is leaving me alone in the battle. No. What He means is that the battle is already won. I am just not fighting for myself to pick up the prize that Christ already paid for on the cross...Victory!
Why is this, I wonder? If I was under the threat of physical attack, you can bet your life I would fight to the death, do all I could to protect myself, and leave some marks. Why then when it comes to a spiritual battle do I not take the same pugilistic approach? I would do it for others, I often do. I know what it means to fight a battle in the spiritual realms. I do not shy away from stepping into the ring for others. And while I have claimed Christ's victory over my enemy in some significant areas...one still remains. And I feel pinned down...flat on the mat, out of breath, unable to get up.
So I realize my prayers need to change about this, instead of asking God to give me something He already has, I need to ask Him why I won't accept it as finished (John 19:30). Why I won't stand my ground with my enemy, who I am allowing to keep me pinned in this way? Is it feeling unworthy? (Psalm 139:14). Is it fear? (Isaiah 41:10). Why am I not fighting for myself in the same way I would for my child or someone else I love so dearly...or even a stranger who comes to me at church and asks me to pray?
One thing I do know is that to not fight is sinful because this area of my life where I feel pinned down dominates my thoughts and keeps me from living fully in the freedom Christ has already paid for...what a heartbreaking thought!
So today, I will start new. With a new prayer, hoping for fresh answers (or to actually hear them) and to finally learn the lesson I am sure God has been waiting for me to learn to get 'er done, stop spending a ridulous amount of time focusing on / thinking about/ obsessing over this so I can drop my enemy to the mat and pin him there once and for all. So here is my prayer. Please join me in it and throw in one for yourself too, for the enemy has mats for us all.
Forgive me. Forgive me my dear Lord for not accepting your wonderful Gift...Victory. While I know you personally, deeply, and you have already done incredible works in me, through me, and for me, I am so sorry for allowing my enemy to keep me pinned to the mat and not fighting with the same tenacious spirit you have given me for other things and other people. Help me Father to see why I am not fighting my enemy in this area. Give me a fierce new resolve to face this nearly life-long challenge head-on, listening only to what You have to say, which I know is truth, and standing firm against the lies of my enemy who prowls around me, day and night, night and day, to try to keep me from living my life fully (1 Peter 5:8). I am sorry that I allow this to happen, and in so doing, limit serving you fully, focusing fully on others and being about the things you have laid on my heart to do while on this earth for such a short time. Remind me of the scriptures I need to do the battle I need to do. Help me to not retreat...to stay with my feet firmly planted in your truth, with my weapons of warfare defiantly wielded, so that I can silence this enemy once and for all, by refusing to listen to the wicked lies he loves to whisper in my ears and accept the freedom you have already paid for. I love you so dearly Lord. You are wonderful, glorious, merciful, loving, my stronghold, my ever present help in time of need. I know how dark my life was without you in it, and I resolve anew to listen, to learn, and to live the victorious life my loving Jesus paid for on the cross. Forever and ever...your daughter, Karen. Amen and amen.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
1 Thessalonians 1:6
…for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
Just this week, a friend of mine suffered a totally unexpected blow...it pulled the rug out from under his feet as it would have anyone...this was no small thing. In listening to him tell about this, he shared a sweetly meaningful story about how God spoke to him when he needed it the most - in what might be considered a most unusual way...through candy Valentine hearts.
This may sound odd...would God really use candy to speak to someone? Certainly He does not need to do such things, but I am one who truly believes that God uses many ways to speak to His children, if we only tune in to listen.
This got me to thinking about how many times God has sent my heart a message when I so needed to hear it. For me, God so often uses nature to minister to my soul. When I was a new Christian and trying to learn how to "tune into" God, I was not sure what I was listening for. Truth be told, I felt kind of weird even trying. When I heard others proclaim they had "heard" from Him, that sounded odd too. I was not sure what this really meant...nor what I should expect. But it eventually did happen and the first time it did, that is, the first time I actually heard Him, it was very profound.
I remember the exact setting I was in, which was at a women's retreat, during our "quiet time." I often find myself longing to be where I can hear the sound of water. So I walked until I found what felt like the right place, turning out to be a large boulder near a creek, and I sat down. I did my assignment and then, with nothing else to occupy me, I waited. And waited. Surprisingly enough, when I had finally stilled myself from distraction, I heard God speak. He spoke as He often does, through what I saw in my surroundings, telling me truths in wonderful ways that are with me to this day.
Over the years I've learned to better tune into God's whispered messages to me. Where many would write such occurrences off as mere coincidences, I know, as my friend in the beginning of my story does, that God longs for us to hear Him when He whispers to our souls. And whisper He does.
Sometimes God's messages to me come in solitude, when I am intentionally stilling myself, hoping I will hear Him. God's whisper to me can come as the lovely smell of flowers, birds singing, beautiful sunrises or sunsets. Other times when I am distracted by the busyness of life, I can hear His voice through an unexpected breeze caressing my face. Many times, He has truly taken my breath away, brought tears to my eyes and quieted and comforted my heart in a way nothing else can, nothing else. Oh yes, God speaks.
So back to my friend. The week before he experienced the unexpected blow, he had been given this cup of candy hearts which he had left in his car, relatively ignored. Who knew that a week later, those simple hearts would be used by God to bring him words of affirmation and comfort he so desperately needed to hear. Guess what? God knew...and God did.
The intimate details of my friend's story are amazing, but they are deeply personal and really his alone to tell. But God used my friend opening up his heart to me to whisper a reminder that He truly does speak to His children; He always has and He always will.
God is not limited in how He speaks. He created us each uniquely and wonderfully; how we hear him may be unique too. But it is definitely worth asking yourself - or better yet asking Him - what might He be trying to say to you?
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Compromise. As a noun, compromise means a concession to something that detracts from the character. As a verb it means to settle; to expose to an enemy.To God I believe it means to live below what He intended for our lives; to allow an enemy, truthfully THE enemy, to enter in and have his way with us. In this allowance, we always have a choice...sadly, we often times make a really bad one.
If we are honest with ourselves, we all compromise to some degree...I know I do. As humans, we judge or assess the compromise of others, especially the highly public ones, with varying degrees of fascination, disdain, disbelief or sadness that someone could have done that, gone there and their life ended in that way. We judge…and in that judgment, we determine our compromises are somehow not as bad because we did not go as far as that.
In this, we lose sight that God sees compromise all the same...the way He sees all sin as the same. Back before our society started trying to cut God out of so many things, I wonder if the simple yet powerful definition of compromise would have been to sin?
If you read the Bible, you’ll read many times about God’s hate of sin. He hates sin because He is Holy and sin and holiness cannot be present together. If we are sinning, we are not suitable to be in His presence and this grieves God because He created us to be in fellowship with Him. More than the fact that compromise causes us to live a life well below what God intended, God hates the eternal consequences of sin, which is permanent separation from Him in heaven when our earthly bodies die, as they all will.
This is why He made a way to atone for our sin, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, to allow us to be reconciled to Him and able to be in His presence...no matter what we have done, oh yes...even that. The Bible says "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit." 1 Peter 3:18
The Bible also talks about the true enemy of humankind. "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8. That someone he is prowling around is me…it's you...it's everyone we know.
We can be lulled into believing that some sin can be "safely" hidden in the dark. I think this is one of the greatest ploys of the enemy to get us isolated from the truth, out of the light and into the dark (hiding our shame of what we do from others) where we are oh-so-vulnerable.
This is often our first step onto the slippery slope. It seems so safe from the top, after all it’s just one small step and we’re certain we can carefully navigate the tight rope, we can remain in control. But then, we suddenly we lose our footing and end up somewhere we never imagined we would be...in some behavior we never thought we would stoop to...living our life in a way we never imagined we would settle for.
Just this week, a situation has come to me that will require me to stand for what I truly believe. In so doing, it may mean something, and this is no small thing, not unfolding in the way I originally envisioned. In this I have a choice to make. Will I truly trust God for the outcome if I stand for righteousness? Is it possible that He has something even greater for me, for the others involved, if I yield my own thoughts and desires and instead choose to honor Him?
Or will I compromise, decide I know best and that I can safely walk the tightrope? I’ve decided to yield to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, stay with my feet firmly planted on solid ground and wait for God to move…and I hope you do too.