Believing the Promises of God - in His Word

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed… Without weakening in his faith… Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised. ~ Romans 4 [selected 18-21]



Saturday, January 30, 2010

40 YEARS LATER


Today - January 30th, 2010 marks my 40th Year with the Lord Jesus Christ! As I have been reflecting upon my life with Him this day - and even over the past few weeks, I keep thinking that so much of that time was wasted - just wandering in the desert. Only in the last three to five years has there been any significant building of the Lord's House in my life. But these last three years - it is GOD who has built new walls and new floors. The foundation of Jesus Christ has always been there since the day I came to receive Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. That day back in 1970, when I was just fourteen years old, I remember how the scales were removed from my eyes and His light shone into the darkness of my heart and flooded me with spiritual understanding as God used this verse to bring me into the LIGHT:
Romans 8:1 [KJV]
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. [emphasis added]

Yes, this simple verse, yet so profound gave me HOPE and understanding that my sins, past and present, had been forgiven by what Jesus had paid with His blood on the Cross. I received that forgiveness that day and began my 'faith walk' in the spirit. I knew that I had received the free gift of Eternal Life....... and I told anyone and everyone that night [after youth group was over] what Christ had done to save me! Zeal poured out of my life for the next few years. God had performed a miracle and I had that desire to let Him rule and reign in my life forever.
But.... slowly over time I began to think that I could control my life. I was not content with things that seemed to be 'missing' in my life. Like most people I tried filling the void with 'things' - instead of turning to the Living, Loving God who had given me life in the first place.

In October of 2005, the Lord brought this passage into my life through a Simulcast of Beth Moore's teaching at a local church. About two hundred of us attended. She spoke on Psalm 126, and about God's Word being 'seed' - and what that meant. I tell you it took me 3X of hearing that same message to finally understand what it meant. I felt that somehow the Lord was using this passage to speak to my family. At the time, my husband was in his fourth year of cancer and his life was ebbing away physically. Not knowing 'why' - then... I committed to memorizing the entire Psalm - and to this day I am typing it in for you now from memory:

Psalm 126 [NIV]
1 When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion,
we were like men who dreamed [were restored to health].
2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of JOY.
Then it was said among the nations
"The LORD has done great things for them."
3 The LORD has done great things for us
and we are filled with JOY.
4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like streams in the Negev [desert]
5 Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of JOY.
6 He who goes out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of JOY,
carrying sheaves with him.

I now call this my psalm of JOY and PROMISE! It has come to mean so much to me and to my family in all that God has done.
Just yesterday I happened to hear a clip of Joyce Meyer in which she said these words:
"If you won't worship the
Lord in your days in the Desert,
what makes you think that you will worship Him
in your earthly Promised Land?"
When I reflected upon her words, I knew that I had made a choice in recent years to follow the Lord wholeheartedly with all of my being - fully surrendered to His ways - no matter where they might lead. My 'wandering' had ended a little over three years ago and now - as I step into my earthly Promised Land on this day - I know that the LORD has given me promises of HOPE and a future!

I spent the morning in God's Word reflecting on many passages that are significant but besides these already mentioned I have to say that Psalm 119 - the psalm all about God's Word, God's Commands, God's statutes, God's laws, God's ways, shows His fingerprints all over my Bible among those 176 verses. It may be the longest chapter in the Bible - and for good reason. There are not enough words to speak about God's Holy Word. Oh, how I love it so. Oh, how I love HIM so!

Lord Jesus -
This day as I reflect upon the house that You have built - in spite of my many wanderings, fears and failures, I am eager to move into my earthly Promised Land once and for all with You! Your Word is my delight. It lights my path so I know the way even if only for one step before me.
*Thank You for calling me Your "Beloved".
*Thank You for redeeming and restoring my life , even when the enemy lied to me and told me that could never happen.
*Thank You for replacing the enemy's lies with the TRUTH of Your Word. I am overwhelmed by Your Presence with me right now in this moment of time. There is no greater JOY than to be in Your Presence daily! I long for heaven - the place I was destined to live out eternity with You. But for now, earth is still my home.
*I thank You for building a house for me - that only You could build. As David so wonderfully stated:


2 Samuel 7:18
[As David sat before the LORD]
"Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family,
that You have brought me [us] this far?


Celebrating the GOODNESS of the LORD this day!
Receiving all of His undeserved GRACE and MERCY, JOY and PROMISE!

Choosing Great JOY,
Stephanie
JESUS ONLY in 2010
PS: My favorite color is still purple!

13 comments:

Farmgirl Cyn said...

Stephanie! What a precious testimony to the faithfulness of our great and might God! He is SO good!

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

Stephanie,

It is always a joy and a blessing to come to your place! I am so thankful that 40 years ago you gave your heart to Him.

SO thankful that He continues to draw you closer.

What a mighty God we serve!!


Beth

Debbie said...

Happy Birthday Stephanie! Thanks for your encouragement and your example of trusting totally in our Lord. I'm so glad you shared Beth Moore's teachings with me too.
Love, your sister,
Debbie

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

A stunning witness of grace, Stephanie. One of my favorites of yours because it speaks to the transforming power of God's Word. Like you, I've spent most of my life loving Jesus, but not taking his Word into my being. Seven years ago, I had a head-on collision with the power of God's Word via my first Beth Moore Bible study,"To Live is Christ." I remember weeping to the Lord one night (about 2 weeks in) saying, "I'm sorry I've wasted so much time, Lord." And I was, and I've allowed that sorrow to chart my compass since then.

Many peeks and valleys over the past 7 years. Many seasons in the desert, but not without God, rather fully with him, engaging with him every step of the way.

He's just everything to me.

I am humbled by your kind words at Joanne's blog this night; I wept while reading them. It wasn't my intent to seek any praise, but rather to put some light back onto my sister who is striving to do God's will in her life. She makes me laugh and cry; we're share a lot of common ground with our stories.

You didn't have to write those words, but I can't tell you how very much they mean to me to have them for always.

You strengthen me, and I love you.

peace~elaine

Debra@Common Ground said...

I think so many of us find God and then the Holy Spirit allows us into the wilderness for a while. That was my time to realize I couldn't do it on my own. Wonderful post, Stephanie!
blessings,
Debra

Yolanda said...

Stephanie,

What a beautiful day you spent with the Lord, as He caused JOY to bubble up from with-in you on you spiritual 40th Birthday.

I love His promises, from A-Z. You are HIS delight and He loves YOU.

Beth Moore taught last weekend from Psalm 119 and we said over and over that there were 176 verses, and it was amazing.

But, to me, YOU and your heart for God and His word is amazing and YOU cause me to dig deeper.

Lovingly,
Yolanda

TRUTH SHARER said...

Oh how GOOD our Great God is!!! Today I just received word that Becky and Rob's container sitting in the shipping yard in Port-au-Prince, Haiti - is safe and undamaged!! They will be leaving tomorrow morning - heading back to FL for a mission's conference at their home church - then on to NC for cultural training - then on to Haiti as planned around March 15th.
We are celebrating here this afternoon at a family dinner to say good-bye to all of them as this will be the last time we see them [here] for the next year and a half or so. Thank you for all your prayers concerning their container and all that is on it. Many of you provided the funds to ship their belongings there and only our great God could have kept it safe in the midst of an earthquake! All for His glory and purpose!

Thanks for praying for them - and thank you for all your good wishes for my 40 year - personal journey with the Lord! He continues to amaze me and bless me!

Humbled by His Faithfulness,
Stephanie
JESUS ONLY in 2010

simpsonmst said...

Lovely testimony, Stephanie. We've been missing you lately. It was great to hear from you. Thanks for letting us know about this post.
Your life in the Lord is an inspiration. Congratulations on your 40 yrs in Him and even more for the recent years of walking close by His side.
Dale and I both read this.

Wylie said...

Amen. Amen. Amen!!!!!
Hallelujah!!!
Wylie

LisaShaw said...

Beautiful sharing of your heart and praise the LORD for 40 years with HIM. In over a week it will be 44 years for me BUT like you there is a time of wandering and a time of going fully in...deeply in love with HIM. While our time was different, and our experiences, the fact is that by HIS GRACE HE drew us to HIMSELF fully aware that HE is GOD and that we've been given a privilege to belong to HIM.

God bless you Stephanie and your dear heart of LOVE and appreciation toward the LORD. He is being glorified in and through you in great ways.

I'm grateful to call you sister-friend in Jesus Name!

Wylie said...

Steph! Come on by to pick up an award!
Wylie

Crown of Beauty said...

Congratulations on your 40th year, Stephanie! It is a privilege for me to have met you at this point in your life. We have a similar passion to live the remaining years of our earthly life for Jesus.

Thank you for sharing your story.

I loved all the verses you shared, but the one I loved the most was also Psalm 126. Would you believe, it is one of my top favorite Scriptures!

Bless you, dear friend. You have a beautiful heart, and I long to meet you face to face someday.

Love
Lidj

B His Girl said...

Love David's words, 'who am I oh sovereign Lord that you have brought me thus far?' You are flowing in His spirit! B