The Waiting Room of God

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by: carole l. haines

Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. (Psalm 37 NASB)

The Waiting Room of God is one of the hardest lessons to embrace in our walks with Christ.  I know that for much of my younger life, I was like a puppy straining at the leash; choking, wheezing, pulling. But as I have grown up in the Lord, I have slowed my pace, and am learning better how to walk beside Him, to keep pace with Him, to not run ahead so much.  He will get me there, in His time.  I know it probably seems silly to some, to compare my walk with the Lord to walking a dog, but I am an avid pet owner and have learned lots from them.  I look at the breakdown of the passage above and see that in God’s Waiting Room, there are things I am to do, and things only God can do.  Let’s break it down together:

Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. I am to focus on trusting in the Lord, doing good wherever I can do good.  I am to dwell where He has placed me, minister there, and cultivate faithfulness.  When I looked up the Hebrew for “cultivate,” I found that it means to shepherd, pastor, keep company with.  I am to faithfully shepherd those whom God has placed in my life, faithfully minister to them, and love them in Him.

Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. I have discovered a wonderful truth in this particular verse.  I used to think it meant that if I delighted in the Lord, he’d give me what my heart desires.  But I have come to find that what it really means is that if I delight in the Lord, He will manifest His purpose into my heart, and enable me to walk out that purpose.  You see, when I delight in the Lord, I find who I truly am and my desire becomes what He desires. My purpose comes into focus, and I realize who I am, and why I am here on earth.  Then I simply walk out, day to day, what He places in front of me.

Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. Commit means to roll away, to roll together, to flow down.  We are to roll everything toward the Lord, to cast our cares upon Him because He cares for us.  We are to bring ourselves in sync with Him, to roll together with Him, to flow down.  Jesus tells us: “Whoever believes in Me, from his innermost being shall flow Rivers of Living Water.” O, I want to be a refreshing River in the Body of Christ, we all do, I’m sure.  But in the process of seeking this, there are things we do, and things only God can do.  We must learn the difference and yield to Him.

Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. Rest means to be silent, be still, to die.  That is interesting in the light of Jesus’ words to us:

“Whoever wishes to follow Me, Must Deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 6:24NASB) We must die to ourselves, and let Him live through us.

Wait patiently means to dance, whirl, OR to be anxious and fear.  Wow, two choices in how we wait patiently for the Lord.  Both are active, not passive.  We can wait in worship and delighting in Him in so that our life is a dance, or we can wait worrying, fearing or being anxious.  Let’s choose to worship in the Waiting Room of God. Let’s choose to delight in Him, trust Him, Rest in Him and Wait patiently for Him.  He is faithful, He is good.

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The Lord takes pleasure in His people

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by: carole l. haines

Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, And His praise in the congregation of the godly ones. Let Israel be glad in his Maker; let the sons of Zion rejoice in their King. Let them praise His name with dancing; let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre. For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation. Let the godly ones exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth…(Psalm 149:1-6a NASB)

I was led to pray for my loved ones who are not walking with Jesus at this time, by reading this Psalm of praise.  I pictured them being glad in their Maker, rejoicing in the King they don’t acknowledge yet.  I pictured them dancing and singing praises to Him with instruments and music.  It gave me such a sense of peace to see this as I prayed for them this morning. I love that this Psalm reveals to us the Heart of God toward His people as well. The Lord takes pleasure in His people. The original Hebrew reveals that this means God accepts us favorably, He is pleased with us and is moved to be favorable to us.  He delights in us, takes pleasure in us, approves of us.  How wonderful to know that we bring pleasure to God.  I sure don’t feel like I bring pleasure to God often, but the Word of God says I do, and The Word of God is always true.  Soak that in a minute, all of you who are too hard on yourself.  God delights in you, He is moved to be favorable towards you.  Remember the promise from Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. As Paul encourages us here, be confident is this very thing; God has begun a good work in you and in me, and in our loved ones who are far from Him, and He will be faithful to perfect it. Are you feeling overwhelmed by a particular weakness in your life today? I know I was this morning, and I opened up the Word of God.  My eyes fell on the words, “The Lord takes pleasure in His people.”  He does, He always will.  Bring that weakness, that signature sin, that failure, that place of woundedness, to Him this day.  Bring those people you love who are not walking with Him yet, or have slipped away.  Bring those things you cannot change, those burdens you cannot carry.  He will give you His favor, and carry them for you.  He will perfect His work in you. Note that Philippians says until the day of Christ Jesus, so give God time to work.  Yield to Him, sink into Him deeply.  Listen to Him as He whispers hope to you and I.  Trust Him to whisper to your loved ones, He will find a way. Be silent, pray, wait, and trust.

 

 

 

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A marvel to many

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by: carole l. haines

I have become a marvel to many, for You are my strong refuge. (Psalm 71:7 NASB)

I read a very interesting quote on Pinterest today. It said, “Every miracle in the Bible started out as a problem.”  How amazingly true is that.  We whine and complain when our problems hem us in, or exhaust us in our efforts to run out of them.  Some of us have tried to follow the silly advice of Dr. Leo Marvin, in the Movie, “What about Bob?,” when he writes a prescription for Bob containing six words. ‘Take a Vacation from your problems.'” Any of you, who have seen the comical movie, know that the more Bob took a vacation from his problems, the more he added to the frustrations, of Dr. Leo.

How much better is it to, “become a marvel to many,” as they watch God help us work through our problems?  How much better is it to serve as an example to others by learning to walk on top of our problems, and give all the glory to God?  I used to tease my kids and say, “Want a little cheese with that Whine?’ Well, I’m saying that to myself today.  Every miracle in the Bible did start out as a problem.  Think of it; the Red Sea Crossing, the Deliverance in Battle for Gideon; the wrongful imprisonment of Joseph.  God worked miracles out of all these problems; and He will do the same for us, if we let Him.  So, let’s not deny our problems, try to get out of them on our own, or even, ‘take a vacation from them.’  Let’s come to the Lord with our problems, as I did this morning, and watch Him work out miracles. All Glory to the Lord of our problems, the Victor of what vexes us, the King of all that brings us sorrow.  Our God is truly good, wise, and mighty.  May we all become a marvel to many, as they watch us lean on the Lord as our deliverer, our comfort and our refuge in the midst of our problems.

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Still Confined

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By: carole l. haines

Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the second time, while he was still confined in the court of the guard, saying, “Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it, the Lord is His name, ‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ (Jeremiah 33:1-3 NASB)

O, someone needs to hear this one today, including myself. While Jeremiah was still confined, look at the list below and see if you can relate to any of these circumstances or feelings?
shut up, stayed, retained, detained, withhold, keep (or kept), prevail, recover, refrained, reign, closed up, halt, stop

Have you ever felt shut up, closed up, halted, detained?  Have you ever felt trapped, kept from doing as you would like to do?  I’m sure you have, so have I. But God is not confined as we are, and God is not impeded from doing His will right here in the midst of our confinements. I believe God declares His Sovereign power to Jeremiah in this verse, to encourage him while he is confined.
Thus says the Lord who made the earthGod reveals Himself as the one who made the world and everything in it.  Look around you, there is nothing in creation that God did not make?
The
Lord who formed it to establish it- God reveals Himself as the one who not only made creation, but He established it. Established means, to be fixed, to be firm, to be stable, to be secure, to be enduring.  This Same God has broken in to Jeremiah’s confinement. And He breaks into ours as well, to encourage us in the midst of difficulties.  the Lord is His name-Jehovah, the self-existent, Eternal one.

O Dear Believer, whatever you are going through today, whatever confines you, or makes you feel trapped, God is bigger. He is stronger, He is mightier; and He breaks into our confinements, and speaks encouraging words of hope to us.  Listen to Him, don’t despair.

‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.

Call to Him today in the midst of what confines you, and listen for the great and mighty things that He will speak to You. Listen through His Word.  He will tell you things you do not know, things to give you hope and encouragement.  Call to Him, Dear Believer, and listen.

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All of me, all that I am

by: carole l. haines

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The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.  (Psalm 65: 8 NIV)

Someone recently said to me, as I confided my struggle with playing music anymore, that I should just play alone for God. I have been doing just that, and as I have, He has given me new songs in my heart.  He is calling forth songs of joy again. They’re not full songs, like they used to be, just bits here and there.  But it’s a start. I just love how the verse emphasizes what my friend said, Where morning dawns, where evening fades, You call for songs of joy.

Sometimes we stumble in our giftings, or we are deeply hurt.  Perhaps we lose our way and need encouragement back onto the path God had placed us on years ago. I have been reading a wonderful book while on vacation.  It is called, LIVING IN THE LIGHT OF ETERNITY, by K.P. Yohannan. Here is a quote I read yesterday.

Jesus did not train His disciples in a classroom; He taught them through example. He lived His life before them and then willingly laid it down. No wonder that, after the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, they remembered Jesus’ words to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. And every one of them laid down his life for preaching the Gospel.  (pg. 34)

These believers yielded their lives unselfishly to communicate this message. When they were misunderstood, mistreated, persecuted, stoned and beaten up, they did not go around mourning their losses and licking their wounds. They went right back out and preached the Gospel—and not just the apostles, but the believers, the everyday, “normal” people like you and me. (pg. 35)

I realized that I had been sitting around mourning my losses and licking my wounds, instead of getting right back out there and preaching the Gospel.  God blessed me as I strolled the California shoreline early this morning and marveled at His creation.  I spied a dolphin fin going up and down, and then there were two.  There was a man swimming right towards them, coming from the opposite direction.  I watched from the shore to see what would happen, just in case he needed help.  They swam right past each other. The man stopped swimming, looked around and then swam on, continuing his normal routine.  What an encounter. A Kiss from God, and an encouragement from Him to get back up and get in the thick of doing His work again.  I can do no good just sitting here licking my wounds.  Another quote from the book:
When I let Jesus live in and through me, my self is no longer the one that directs and dictates to me. Now it is Christ, His will and desires, living and acting through me. This is why the habit of compartmentalizing our lives must end. All of me, all that I am, belongs to Christ. (pg. 54)
Truly, The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders, and sometimes we swim right by, or walk right by them.  Father, help us to move on from past hurts and to see you in all the ordinary things of the day.  Open our eyes to behold your wonders.  Fill our hearts with songs of joy because of Your great love and care.  I want all of me, all that I am, to be fully yours.

Amen

 

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If you wish to be complete

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by: carole l. haines

What is a diary? I looked it up just out of curiosity, and here is what the dictionary said, “a book in which one keeps a daily record of events and experiences.” Well, I am not planning to write a book or anything, but I do believe God brought me to California for a purpose, even if I am not sure what that purpose is. I have a whirl of emotions about being here; excitement, fear, apprehension, feeling shy, out of my element, but right now, I feel a sigh of relief.  I have been trying to get alone with God for quite a while now, and with Bruce working during the day while we are here, I finally have it.  Just before I left, I downloaded a book by K. P. Yohannan, who is the Founder for The Gospel for Asia Missions. It is called, LIVING IN THE LIGHT OF ETERNITY.  I can tell it’s going to be convicting, but I need revival in my heart and soul about living for Jesus. I have made my life so “all about me,” most of the time.  As I thought about reading it, I thought of the Rich Young Ruler that Jesus spoke to in Matthew 19:20-22 20 The young man *said to Him, “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.

I was intrigued by the phrase Jesus used, “If you wish to be complete.” Here is what complete means in the original Greek:
brought to its end, finished, wanting nothing necessary to completeness, perfect that which is perfect. Consummate human integrity and virtue, full grown, adult, of full age, mature.
Well, Yeah! I want that, who wouldn’t, as a believer anyway?  But I can tell, from my apprehensive response, that I am a bit more like the Rich Young Ruler, than I care to admit, even to myself.  This is not going to be an easy journey, over the next two weeks, as God examines my soul, with His High-Powered Microscope, called the Word and The Spirit.  But I need it, and ultimately, I want it.
Please pray for me, as I yield to the scalpel of His Love.

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Tryin’ to leave somethin’ behind

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by: carole l. haines

Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—but my ears you have opened— burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.” (Psalm 40:5-8 NASB)

I wasn’t going to write this particular post, I felt it would be too personal, too vulnerable. But then I realized that this is exactly what God has called me to do, be vulnerable, get personal, so here goes.  There have been several adventures that I have taken in my life, stepping out in faith, trying to do God’s work.  Some of them have failed miserably.  The latest one broke my heart almost completely, and really let the wind out of my sails.  In the process of trying to grieve and move on from yet “another failure,” I happened to hear the lyrics of a song at the end of a movie, that really hit the core of what this whole struggle has been about, for me personally. The artist is Sean Rowe, the song is called, “Just trying to leave something behind.” As I listened to that chorus over and over, I realized that is exactly what my motivation has been in all these ventures.  I just want my life to matter somehow, to have meaning, to count. But I am discovering that even good intentions like, “Making my life count for something,” can be an idol.    God is the only one who can make my life count, who can give meaning to this madness, who can enable me to “leave something behind.”
My call is to relinquish my life, to let it go, and all that I thought I would be.  This has been a long, hard road for me. Perhaps it’s because I’m a middle child, overshadowed by more talented, more gifted siblings.  Only God knows, but I have been driven to make my life mean something, to make my voice heard,  since I was a child. But God hears me, and that is truly enough.  God once asked me, in His gentle, quiet way, “who’s kingdom are we building here, Carole? Yours or mine?  OUCH! But  how true; my call is to relinquish and surrender to a greater cause, a bigger purpose than my own meaning.
So, Yes, I am trying to leave something behind, but I am powerless to do so, apart from God.  His Word declares:

I will cry to God Most High, To God who accomplishes all things for me.
(Psalm 57:2 NASB)
The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands. (Psalm 138:8 NASB)

Sacrifice and offering God does not desire, according to the verses first quoted above, just a desire to do His Will, whatever that will is.  Only God can do His Great work in and through us.  He is the vine, we are mere branches, one of many (John 15).
I hear You, O God, and I surrender all my life, my dashed dreams, hopes, desires, and aspirations to You.  I lay them this morning on the Altar of Your Love, and trust You only, to give my life meaning.  All praise to the God who accomplishes all things for me.

 

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