Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Sacrifice of Praise

I just heard this song on the radio, "because He lives, I can face tomorrow," and "all fear is gone".  (Matt Maher) Usually we think of that phrase in a figurative, vague sort of way regarding our future.  But this time, it is my literal tomorrow. 

Earlier this week, in the midst of a tumultuous storm, I poured out my heart before the Lord.  After days of wrestling, He finally gave me an overwhelming peace.  All was right between me and Him, and that made all the difference.  Furthermore, I realized I was worrying over what could be rather than what actually was.  I was allowing fear to control me.  Letting loose of those fears did not come easy, and yet it did at last come, and I was engulfed in His joy.  I know someone must have been praying for me.  Thank you.  

But still, at times doubt would roll over me, and yet, each time, God gave me songs to lift my spirit.  Songs like, if our God is for us, then what could stand against us.  Our God is greater, our God is higher than anything... I am not alone...I'm overwhelmed by one who waits on the Lord will ever be put to help comes from You, You're right here pulling me through...I don't have to see to believe...You plead my cause, You right my wrongs...and more.  These songs became my shield of faith to resist the fiery darts of the evil one. 

I'm reminded that Jesus set his purpose like flint, determined to go to Jerusalem, even though it meant false accusations, mockery, flogging, and a horrible death.  I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but I have set my heart to face whatever may come, whether it be more accusations, or whether it be grace.  I'm hoping for the latter.

With Easter bearing down, my senses have been tuned to its weight in a new way.  For this reason I am glad for these trials, even though every part of me wants to fight against them.  Never have I felt so alone or so personally attacked, but at the same time, never have I felt so desperate for the blood of Jesus to cover me, or been so utterly dependent on Him. 

Throughout this week, this has been my cry,  "If there's a road I should walk, help me find it, and if I need to be still, give me peace in the moment, whatever Your will, whatever Your way, would You help me find it."  (Sidewalk Prophets)  God has answered my prayer, showing that I need simply be still, to wait and trust.   But I'm not feeling very strong. 

Without knowing what the week held, I was appointed to play the flute for our worship service.  And though deep down I was broken, God met me in those songs as well, the offering of praise a display of His grace. Somehow, through all of this, I know He is calling me by name, calling me to take up my cross daily and follow Him. 

I've always wondered why, when Jesus climbed the hill of Golgotha, that one man named Simon was chosen to carry the cross.  Now I know.  We bear the cross with Jesus in our identification with Him.  He calls us to die as well.  Die to our own pride, selfishness, and discontent. 

Yet, I can face tomorrow, because three days later, Jesus rose from the dead.  And no matter what happens, I know that I will rise also to live as I was meant to live, with joy in His presence and at peace with others. 

Would you pray for me today?  

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."  Eph. 6:12

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