Sunday, March 28, 2010

that I might be His own


I just finished reading this in The Signature of Jesus by Brennan Manning:

I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preach up for the cause of Christ.  I am a disciple of Jesus.  I must go until he comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me.  And, when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me…my banner will be clear! (emphasis mine)

According to Mr. Manning, this was written by a young Zimbabwe Pastor and was found after his martyrdom.  In light of this knowledge the reading of this changes…I realize that he did indeed work until He stopped him.   And I believe that his banner was clear.   Then I wonder.   How does this translate to middle class America?  To me?

I am in no danger of martyrdom (yet?) but I am called to die.   But more than that…this isn’t about working as much and as hard as you can until you drop from exhaustion hoping that you have finally done enough.   It is only true devotion and love for a Savior that causes one to lay down everything, even their life.  It is about a heart so obsessed, so in love, so enamored with God and who He is that nothing He calls us to is too much.  Rather we cry out ” What more can I do?”  Not of fear but out of a deep desperate desire to please the One who calls.  It is a coming to end of ourselves and offering all that we have, all that we are, without fear or resignation know that the Best has already been given, the need has already been met.

Oh Lord, may my banner be clear.   May my devotion to You be so pervasive that You are written on every part of my life.   Let me be so intimate with You that You will recognize me on sight and even say “Well done, Rachel”

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Of buttons and strings and other useless things…


Do you happen to remember Janis Joplin’s song “Mercedes Benz”?

Oh Lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz

My friends all drive porsches I must make amends…..

This walk that God and I are on is pretty amazing.   It seems He works in themes.   While at Near on Monday God brought to mind James 4:1-3.

1-2Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don't have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn't yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it.

2-3You wouldn't think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you'd be asking for what you have no right to. You're spoiled children, each wanting your own way. (James 4:1-3 The Message)

My spirit groaned within me.  I understood.  completely.  The New King James says it this way :

You ask and you do not receive because you ask amiss that you may spend it on your pleasures. (VS 3)

I have been crying out to God.   “Teach me to love You.”

He has been answering.

Learn to love what I love.  Cry out for that.   Cry out for justice, for hope, for freedom for the captives.   Stop crying out for your own selfish desires, to satisfy your own pleasure.

While in the book store on Monday God spoke again and reminded me of a song from my childhood, Mercedes Benz.  A song I can’t remember not knowing by heart.

Oh Lord won’t you buy me a night on the town?

Prove that you love me and buy the next round…

If you have been reading along since the beginning you remember my reflection from the post tripping:

The strongholds remained, the anger persisted and the peace evaded me.  God doesn’t love me…I decided. He doesn’t answer my prayers….He doesn’t care…I don’t even know if He is really there…

Rachel. Do you see now?   The unanswered prayer is not a reflection of my love for you.   I don’t answer prayer to prove my love.  I already did that.  The question of My love is settled.  I will not give you those things that will destroy you or cause you to be more focused on yourself and less focused on Me.  I love you way too much for that.


I came home from the bookstore with one book in hand…a  departure from my typical “buy everything in sight until the credit card screams”.  In my seeking after God He has convicted me of the need to live simply and with contentment.   After arriving home I took a brief inventory of my massive book collection.  I won’t bore you with the details but I was shocked to see how I had wasted the resources God has given me on useless things I was convinced for a short time that I needed.  Interestingly many of the needed books have never been read.   I am learning to want less trinkets and instead to want God.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What an amazing love….

Jesus loves me this I know…

Jesus loves me this I know…

Jesus loves me this I know…

Jesus loves me this I know…

Jesus loves me this I know…

Jesus loves me this I know


Six words that mean so much.