Psalm 139:1

“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.” Psalm 139:1

Two phrases of this verse stand out to me: Searched me and Know me.

Searched me- from the word chaqar which means to search for, search out, examine, investigate…to be found out. God has thoroughly looked over me, at me, in me. He sees everything and He sees deeply…into my heart, into my soul.

Know me- the word Know was translated from the original word yada…to discern, to find out, to perceive, to know by experience. God knows everything about me. He knows my innermost thoughts, my habits and routines, every little piece that makes me who I am. This is an intimate knowing. No one else can know everything about me.

If I was honest with myself, I would admit that I have spent much of my life hiding those pieces of me that I don’t want exposed. I keep them nicely locked away into a deeper corner of my heart and I don’t like to visit them too often. When I do look at those places, I see parts that are broken and hopeless…not a very pleasant thing to see. But God knows all those places of my heart. He knows when my doubts surface. He knows when I feel insecure or not good enough. He knows me because He pursued me. He examined me. He searched me.

It is a reassuring thing to know that the One who created me didn’t just give me life and leave me alone. He planned my life, He knew everything I would do and say, and He is molding me into the person He wants me to be. He is refining me with lessons in obedience. He asks me to seek Him…to seek His will. I often read this verse thinking what a disappointment I must be to my Lord. My perspective has changed. I really feel that He isn’t searching me to condemn me. He searches me to conform me to Christ.

I haven’t been able to write in several weeks. Life took over, my mom was diagnosed with a rare cancer. This is not an excuse for lack of participation in the Online Bible Study. I am saying it because I have spent the last few weeks playing each possible scenario in my mind…preparing for the best…preparing for the worst…preparing for what I thought was everything in between. There is nothing ironic about the date for which her surgery was scheduled…November 22. The day my Grammy died on an operating table 17 years ago. My mom was hooked up to an IV, prepped for surgery in pre-op (on said date). She was moments away from having the cancer removed or that is what we were praying for. My dad and I were called back and it was explained to us that the surgery was cancelled due to an emergency of life and death sorts. The doctor was on call and he had to leave immediately. I processed this news, hardly believing it was true. Cancelled…rescheduled…this scenario was not one that went through my mind. We were disappointed because we expected this phase of treatment to be over and now it was postponed. It was to be an answer to some of our very deep questions and now we are back to waiting.

When you walk with Jesus, you start to recognize that everything has a purpose, a place, a reason, and there is nothing that can surprise Him. God’s hand was in it…we don’t know why. We trust that He knows what is best. Where I played out every possible scenario to avoid disappointment, God already was there and He knew what would happen. Nothing about those events could disappoint Him. This must be true for our thoughts, our sins, our hearts and souls, our brokenness, our shame, our insecurity, our doubts and fears. Nothing about us can disappoint God. He already knows everything there is to know. He knows because He searches us…every part of us.

Scripture chain:

Psalm 139:2-3 “You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.”

Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

Luke 12:6-8 “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

 

 

Less Than

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I am admitting that lately I have been feeling less than. November is a difficult month for me and this one is no exception. I think thoughts that I wish I wouldn’t. I dream dreams that I want to wake from. I listen and see reminders all around me of my failures. Confronted with past words…filled with regret…my heart aches. I question, Have I really changed? I know I have but my thoughts are not being held captive to Christ right now. I need to change this replaying emotion. I need to fill myself up with the truth. There is so much that is in God’s hands and yet here I am pondering my own control…I feel like a manipulator of the greatest proportion so I sit idle. I cannot do anything. The results of my obedience lie in God’s hands because I cannot control another person. The power is not mine. Perhaps, I should feel less than. I am less than God. He is supreme. I don’t know why I try to do His job. I beg myself to trust. To really trust. He has it all planned out. I just want to fast forward…to find out the answer…to see where it all goes. What if I never know? If you are reading this, please pray for me to be still and know.

Oceans by Hillsong

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

Turning From the Shadow/Turning Toward the Light

If someone would have told me that I would lead a high school girl’s Bible study on the topic of insecurity, I wouldn’t have believed them. Nor would I have bought into someone telling me I would start a young adult ministry or volunteer in an effort to help marriages. No. I wouldn’t be capable of those things. I am not capable of those things and yet I do them. God asked me to step in. I answered the call. I argued with God. The burden of obedience weighed heavy on my heart.

Renee Swope’s words in Chapter 4 and 5 of A Confident Heart are like reading my own experiences only it is giving me permission to accept my doubts and my insecurities as part of my spiritual journey rather than fight them. I analyze and try to figure it out but I am just on a journey. My journey. At times, it has been dark. It has been filled with shadows of doubts, fear, and insecurity. With God, I am seeing. I beg Him to continue to show me. No longer sheltered, putting myself out there… willing… fighting… forgiving. Renee said, “Turning is crucial for us as we learn to live beyond the shadows of our doubts. Turning toward God, so we can listen to what He says about who we are and what we can do. Turning toward truth, so we can know who He is and what He wants to do through our lives as we depend on Him. Turning toward the light of God’s promises for us in every area of our lives…” (p.93) This resonates with my soul. I feel it burning inside…the only thing I regret is letting it take so long to actually listen to what God was saying. I had no idea that I was following some sort of logical spiritual plan…I was in my own chaos, but God walked me through an amazing process. So, this is my story of “turning from/turning toward”:

Turning from going through the motions…turning toward seeking His face.

Turning from anger…turning toward accepting His Word spoken over my life. (trust in Him)

Turning from shame of my involvement in an emotional affair…turning toward Christ on the cross and His grace.

Turning from unforgiveness…turning toward forgiving others, myself, and seeking the forgiveness of those I wronged.

Turning from fear of where the path is going…turning toward surrender and obedience in pursuit of what He is doing.

Turning from bitterness…turning toward seeking joy. (focusing on the potential…good things)

Turning from blindness…turning toward light. (not listening to Satan’s lies…believing what God says about me)

Turning from my past haunting memories (reminding me of who I was)…turning toward being a new creation.

Turning from keeping what I learned to myself…turning toward sharing how my life was forever changed.

Turning from my doubt of who I am…turning toward knowing He has me right where I am supposed to be.

Turning from the cross…turning toward the empty grave.

That is what it is about. It isn’t what I went through or what I was. It is the fact that through God’s love, His sacrifice, Jesus’ blood poured out for me that I am SAVED. I am no longer held captive. I am FREE. It is because the grave couldn’t hold Him that I can OVERCOME. He is alive. ALIVE. Sin and death could not hold Him so why should I allow it to hold onto me? I cling to Jesus. Precious Jesus. There is nothing that can separate me from Him. NOTHING.

Turn from all those things holding you. Turn toward Jesus. It is the greatest thing you will ever do.