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:
“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.
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?
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.?
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?
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)
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.
The God who raised Jesus back to life
is the great I Am.
He lives in me.
I am hidden in Christ.
May this be the Year of Christ in Me.
Today I had the opportunity to share just one, tiny portion with our church body of what God began to do in Haiti two weeks ago in regards to the Discovery Bible Study. I also was able to share a short video of some of the things the team was able to do while we were there.
You can click here Haiti Mission Trip to watch it.
Since being state side once again, my heart has been heavy with the multitude of prayer opportunities we have Christians are given yet ignore. There are so many things and people to pray for that it can be overwhelming. As you enter into the 2014 year I encourage you to join me and many others in praying over the following requests as the Lord leads.
For the spiritual stronghold of Voodoo so prevalent in Haiti to be broken
For the altar of voodooism to be replaced with the altar of God
For God to begin to soften the hearts of the Haitian people to receive the Gospel of Christ in their lives and their families
For Pastor Nahum to recover from the severe stroke he had in March 2013
For Pastor Franz and the congregation in Haiti to embrace fully the work God has entrusted to their hands
For Clief to embrace the work God desires to do through him as a result of his Papa’s stroke
For Mama and the children to continue seeking God’s provision for their every need over anything else
For God to begin to direct the hearts of the members of Silver Springs Baptist Church as to where He wants them to spread the gospel in 2014
“Immediately Jesus spoke to them. ‘Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’
‘Lord, if it is You,’ Peter answered Him, ‘command me to come to You on the water.’
‘Come!‘ He said.
And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid. And beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’
Immediately Jesus reached out His hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those in the boat worshiped Him and said,
‘Truly You are the Son of God!'”