Step into the Water

Water feet

Tomorrow I will officially accept the challenge to write everyday for the next 31 days. It is intimidating even thinking about it. My first 31 day challenge happened just a year ago and while it seemed impossible at the time, the Lord led me through an amazing journey as He reminded me of Christ’s desire to not only show me how to live in this world, but how to die. It was such a rich, unforgettable time. Earlier this month it was brought to my attention that this year’s 31-day challenge was fast approaching.   I began to ponder if I would participate as well as what in the world I would write about since I have barely taken pen to paper or fingers to keyboard hardly at all this year (partially due to time constraints and partially due to some difficult challenges in my life).

The more I began to pray about participating in the 31 day challenge and what to write about there seemed to be a theme forming in my daily bible reading. The Holy Spirit kept opening (and is continuing to open) my eyes to passages relating to things like “the spring of life”, “water”, “gift.”  So with just one day left before the challenge begins, I sat down with my children at lunch today and shared with them about what I was about to do and what topic I was considering writing. My youngest immediately stated in such an emphatic tone, “You feel the Lord leading you in that.” To my surprise I questioned him as to what he meant. He simple stated, “you have been talking about the spring a lot and everywhere you look there is something about the spring of life.” If that is not confirmation I do not know what is. :)

“Now the Jordan overflows its banks throughout the harvest season. But as soon as the priests carrying the ark reached the Jordan, their feet touched the water at its edge and the water flowing downstream stood still, rising up in a mass that extended as far as Adam, a city next to Zarethan. The water flowing downstream into the Sea of the Arabah (the Dead Sea) was completely cut off, and the people crossed opposite Jericho. The priests carrying the ark of the LORD’s covenant stood firmly on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel crossed on dry ground until the entire nation had finished crossing the Jordan.” Joshua 3:15-17

While the banks here in the Zbylot household are always overflowing no matter what season we are in, I believe it is time for me, for us, to step out in faith and get our feet wet. I’m not quite sure where this path is going to take us, but as the Israelites and priests experienced first hand, sometimes the waters do not part until you take the first step.

So step with me the next 31 days into the

Spring of Life

31 Days in the Spring of Life Square

 

 

 

Be our Glory

 

 

 

 

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It is a quite morning.  I sit on the porch of Granny’s house with a cup of coffee, my Bible and my Lord.  It suddenly occurs to me that my soul has been yearning for this time with my Lord for the last couple of weeks and I have not even noticed.  My flesh has been pushing aside the most treasured and valuable thing I love and my soul cannot wait any longer.  With the cool breeze, the birds singing His praises, God challenges me with this thought:

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“Listen to Your servant’s prayer and his petition, LORD my God, so that You may hear the cry and the prayer that Your servant prays before You today.” 1 Kings 8:28

What cry and prayer of my heart do I want the LORD my God to hear today?  Today is a day of friends, family, and fireworks.  A day of thanksgiving for our freedom.

Or is it?

God turns my eyes and heart to see the kind of day He sees today…

“There is a generation that curses its father and does not bless its mother.  There is a generation that is pure in it’s own eyes, yet is not washed from its filth.  There is a generation—how haughty its eyes and pretentious it looks.  There is a generation whose teeth are swords, whose fangs are knives, devouring the oppressed from the land and the needy from among mankind.” Proverbs 30:11-15

Oh God forgive us.  Forgive me.  We have cursed our fathers and have not blessed our mothers.  We believe our eyes our pure and yet they are filled with mud.  We think our eyes sparkle like the fireworks in the sky and yet they are haughty and pretentious looking to the nations around us.   Our mouths have devoured the oppressed and needy in America and around the world.  This is the day God sees as we plan our picnics, our cookouts, and our parties with our friends and families.  This is the prayer and petition God places on my heart to cry out to Him.  Lord forgive us.  Forgive me.

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It would be easy for me to read these verses in the flesh and remain content to criticize and grumble about the state of our nation today.  Yet, God has placed a burden on my heart to cry out on behalf of this generation, on behalf of my family, on behalf of my children, on behalf of my husband, on behalf of myself not to forget the cost He made in sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for my sin and the sin of the world.  It is Christ’s example of emptying Himself and being obedient to the point of death on the cross that the generations who went before us walked in so that we could be free (Philippians 2:7-8).  It is the example of those who fought for our independence so long ago who are fighting today while we eat hot dogs, hamburgers, and watermelon so that I can sit freely on the front porch with a bible in my lap and cry out to God.

Today is Independence Day for America.  Do I think God wanted to put a damper on the celebrations our family has planned today?

No.

Do I think God wants me to remember the reality of the cost that was paid for me to able to have eternal life with Him.?

Yes.

Do I think God wants to foster fervor in me to pray for my family, myself, and loved ones to increase in the wisdom and knowledge of Christ?

Yes.

So as I join with thousands of others today in singing out “Let Freedom Ring”, my soul will also be singing out with cries and prayers to God as He has reminded me of the greatest sacrifice that was paid for our sins and the joy that comes from the greatest freedom we have in Christ Jesus.  As I celebrate our freedom in America, I also pray for our nation, for my children, for my husband, and for myself as we are part of the generation who has turned their backs on God.  Lord, help me; help us to face towards you and not away.  Be our glory and the one who lifts our heads.  (Psalms 3:3)

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The Year of Christ

Happy New Year!

Yes, I know it is February 1st but the truth is as 2013 was coming to a close and 2014 was quickly approaching, something deep inside of me began to rebel.  I did not want to be among the gazillion other New Years posts making resolutions, setting goals, etc.  So why would I be sharing mine now?  Because each new year for me truly is a time of prayer and reflecting on what area of my life God wants me to focus on through His word.  

In 2012, the Lord brought me through a personal in-depth bible study in Philippians.  I read and re-read the book as God poured and revealed His desire for me to know Him.  The result was To Know Him More.  I spent the first part of 2013 reading and studying 1 Peter and 2 Peter landing in the gospels for the later part of the year.  Reading and rereading the gospels along with the 31-day writing challenge resulted in Dying to Live.  It is hard to put into words what those two years have meant to me as I have experienced God in ways I would never imagine.  So when during the last few weeks of December as I began praying about where the Lord wanted to take me in 2014 and His still small voice began to whisper in my ear, I was uncertain as to whether or not I really wanted to obey.  The words were simple:

The Year of Christ

Knowing God would not be telling me when He is returning, despite my prayers of Lord come quickly, I began to really consider what does the Year of Christ mean?  As we spent time with some friends during New Years, God led me to Colossians 3.  After reading and praying I believe God is telling me He wants me to live my daily life in such a manner that when I come to the end of my day I can reflect back on it and ask,

 “How did my life show Christ today?” 

Not only that, but I believe when I come to the end of the year, God wants to be able to say:

This was the year of Christ in Alicia’s life. 

Whoa!!  It is almost too much to even type.

How in the world is Christ going to be seen in my life? 

The Lord allowed me the special privilege of sharing what I believe is part of how God wants to see Christ in my life with the ladies at Silver Springs Baptist Church.  If you would like a copy of the study guide we went through together please click here: Is Christ My Life January Study Guide

Scripture very clearly tells me that Christ is my life.  If He is going to be visible to those around me then

I must spend time in His word.

I must spend time in prayer. 

I must hid His word in my heart.

I must be thankful.

Because…

The God who raised Jesus back to life

is the great I Am.

He lives in me.

I am hidden in Christ.

So…

May this be the Year of Christ in Me.

 

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