An Open Letter from God

Do not fear! I am with you. I love you and walk with you. I will never leave you. Situations and circumstances may change, but I will never change. Lean on me for strength... I will strengthen you for every task. For I go before you. I will not leave you. I know every desire of your heart. I want to be the  JOY of your life. I will satisfy your every need and desire in my perfect timing. I will anoint you. I will show you when to speak and when not to say a word. I love you. You are mine. The plans I have for you are great! Trust me. Every step you take I have already gone before you. Let my shoulder be the one you rest your head upon. Lean on me completely... Do not worry- just trust and pray. Tell me everything. I will guide you and give you wisdom. The things that frustrate you... Tell me and no one else. I will give you insight you need to find resolution. Know that I see you and haven't forgotten you... You are not alone. I am here, closer than you think... As close as your next breath. Do you really need me? Why do you wait so long to find me? Why do you run to others? Am I not faithful? I will be faithful to you... You must first look and want my faithfulness. I've placed you here for this time, this season, at this location. I know it's too much for you to do on your own... But I never intended you to do it on your own. Depend on me. I am here. Lean on me. I will do the work if you'll just be willing to let me. I want you to hear my voice as clearly as you hear me right now. I want to tell you things, but I need you to listen. I need you to find more time to be still before me. When you draw near to me- I will draw near to you... That's when you will hear and find me. You want to hear me... Are you listening? You want to see me... Where are you looking? You want to touch me... Are you reaching? You want to please me? Why do you look for others approval? Transition is coming and I have great plans for you. Yield to me and I will do great things through you and in each area you touch. Do not grow weary, but depend and lean on me. I love you and I am closest than you'll ever know. I know the burdens and worries in your heart. I'm taking care of them one at a time. I'm preparing you for what I've planned and my timing is perfect. You can trust me and put your guard down with me. I know what you really carry, let me carry it for you. Don't forget to dream. Continue to seek new visions, more creativity and ideas for what's ahead. I'm going to move and I am going to use you! I will give you favor and I will do mighty things. I've already started using you in ways you do not see! Trust me. Depend on me. Rest your head on my shoulders and I will carry you. I love you so deeply and I want you to remember that I am closer than you realize. I'm in your heart. I know your insides and outs... I know you deeply, but I want you to know me in the same ways. I love you,

Abba

 

(given to me with permission to share by anonymous)

For When You're Stuck

We returned recently from full-time, front-line mission work at Camp Barnabas and though it was an incredible summer I’ve been feeling stuck. Actually run over and then left to dry... in the rain... might be a better description. I’m just spent. Spent and stuck. Stuck and spent. Feeling like there’s nothing else to give and yet too much left over. Spiritually God knocked this summer out of the ballpark- and I got front row seats to His show. He even called me on stage a few times to participate. It was spectacular. People found Christ, dozens upon dozens were baptized, demons were exorcised, and people’s faith grew stronger and mightier. I couldn’t have asked for more. I felt as if I should be walking- no swaggering- out of camp with my head held high, my Bible worn through, my voice singing praises, and my cup overflowing. After all, it was all GodStuff right? And yet I’ve been stuck in this weird, post-victory void; one that both leaves me exhausted and yet feeling guilty that I’m not handling the celebratory victory very well. In fact I’m pretty much sucking at it.

Ugh.

I’ve been in need of some encouragement of late. I desperately needed to hear God tell me it was okay to feel this way, that He understood- even if my feelings are counter-intuitive to the situation- maybe especially because they don’t match the season.

And then I happened upon Elijah. After his epic spiritual victory over Jezebel’s priests in 1 Kings 19, we find him running, alone, hungry, tired, and afraid... spiritually Stuck. So much so he asks God to die right then and there (fortunately I’m not personally <there> but man I can relate!)

God met him right where he was- alone, discouraged, restless and yet exhausted...

“And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, "Arise and eat." And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, "Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you." And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.” 1 Kings‬ ‭19:5-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This struggling and depressed prophet, one of the mightiest in the Bible- rested. When Stuck, God sent sustenance. He gave him rest, He let him lie down, He fed him and gave him shade. His angel actually came a second time to revitalize him again.

I love that. I desperately needed to have permission to rest and be a bit overwhelmed at the past battles. God knows me... as He knew Elijah... as He knows you.

What a relief! What a thought! What grace!

Sometimes I have a tendency to struggle against my Stuck. I look around and I think I’m doing it wrong- and that pulls me down even further. And yet, there is grace even within the quagmire of being spiritually Stuck- whether it be metaphorical or physical- God allows His servants rest, rejuvenation, and revitalization.

So, dear one, if you’re feeling Stuck, take heart and know you’re not alone. Jeremiah encourages us, even in the Stuck, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:28-31‬

Praying God's Names- Jehovah Mekoddishkem

Jehovah – MekoddishkemI Am the One Who Sanctifies

You are a Holy God. There is only goodness in You. Sin cannot be in your presence. So, you made a way for me, sinful as I am, to come before you. You set me apart from the world when you saved me. You made me different from the inside out. Now I come to you through grace; the grace of the cross.

Before the cross, the priests were continually offering sacrifices to atone for the people. So many laws, rules & regulations no one could live up to all of them. The Law shows me my failure, my sin. Jesus cleanses me & makes me holy. Jesus is the final sacrifice, the final atonement. Because He is at Your right hand, I am able to approach you freely. I can worship you. I can ask of you. You freely give.

You gave the Israelites the Sabbath as a reminder that they are your chosen possession & are to be set apart from the world. The Sabbath is the reminder that it is You who make us holy. You created the Sabbath for our good. You instructed the Israelites to keep it. Do no work; reflect on the greatness & goodness of God. It is a holy day to be used as rest for the body & refreshment for the soul.

How do I “keep Sabbath”? How do I make it a holy time & not just a day to do nothing? How do I make it a day spent focused on God? How do I focus on His love for me & for the world? I am not under the Law, but still need redemption. Is this law still valid for today? Didn’t Jesus fulfill the Law & do away with legalism? We worship in Spirit, but the Bible calls this an everlasting covenant. If we are “children of Abraham” are we required to keep our part of the covenant even though not physically a Jew?

How do I live a holy life? How do I live set apart? How do I remain a peculiar people? What do I do that shows who You are? I can do nothing on my own, in my own power or strength. All I can do is have faith in You, ask for forgiveness & plead the blood of Christ. You accept my plea & forgive. Through the blood I am sanctified for you are Jehovah – Mekoddishkem, the One Who Sanctifies.

Sabbath Rest for the body A day to remember God A day to worship

By Karen Guthrie December 4, 2008

Praying God's Names- JEHOVAH

JEHOVAH The Self-Existent One

You said to Moses, “I am that I am.” You have always been. You are now. You will always be. You are the Alpha & Omega. You are just in all things. You are righteous, compassionate & gracious. You are slow to anger & quick to forgive when asked. You punish evil. You abound in loving kindness. You are truth. You are love. You are life. All life is in You. You are Jehovah – the One who is. You are three in one: Father, Son & Holy Spirit. You are the keeper of your promises. You fulfill your covenant.

All I need is you, for you are Jehovah Who was & is & will be.

By Karen Guthrie November 1, 2008

Praying God's Names- ADONAI part 1

ADONAI Ruler – Master

Adonai, Ruler of the universe, King of all Kings, you rule & reign over all creation.

Lord of lords, your lovingkindness is everlasting.

You decide what I must do, & how to do it. You provide the tools I need. You, a good master, know my talents and give me work using my abilities. You take care of me, for I am yours. I have no life of my own, but only live to do your bidding. I belong to you; I give my heart to you because you bought me with your sacrifice.

I bow before you, Oh Lord. You are my master; I am your slave. In everything you ask of me, you provide all I need to complete the task. You enable me through your Spirit. Your yoke is easy and your burden is light.

You came as a servant to show me how to serve. You loved me first, so I would know how to love. The desire of my heart is to know you, to hear you, to worship you, to obey you, to serve you. I long to hear you welcome me to heaven saying, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.

You will come again, with a shout and the trumpet, to call us home to be with you. The whole earth will see you come and every knee will bow, every tongue will confess you are Lord -- Adonai. You, Oh Lord, triumph over evil and defeat wickedness. You will bind Satan, the evil one, and reign as King of Kings for a thousand years of peace on the earth. You will cast Satan into the bottomless pit and rule forever & ever in Heaven from beside the right hand of the Father.

Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus, my Adonai.

Praying God's Names- EL SHADDAI

EL SHADDAI – Almighty GodThe All Sufficient One

"Hallelujah! For Our Lord God Almighty Reigns” – Rev. 19:6

Your power comes not from violence, but from all bountifulness. You pour yourself out for me; you pour out blessings on me. You gave your son for me. You give yourself, your very nature, to me. You breathe life to me.

I abide (rest) in you, and you abide (dwell) in me. You mould me to your pleasure that I may be used to bless others. I give up all of me that I may be full of you. Your power is demonstrated in my weakness and I say with Paul, “When I am weak, then am I strong”.

You restore my soul. You are my delight. I stand in awe of you. You are holy & righteous; your judgments are pure & just. You do no wrong; there is no evil in you

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come!” – Rev. 4:8.

Before anything was, you are. You hear me when I seek you. You are my understanding. You are my wisdom. You answer my prayers according to the motives of my heart.

You discern & know my heart’s cry. You are the unconditional lover of my soul. Your name is above every name. You, El Shaddai, are all I need. You, El Shaddai, are my All Sufficient One.

Praying God's Names- EL ROI

El Roi watches over His word to see that it is fulfilled: His word that created the universe including mankind; including me.El Roi saw me in my mother’s womb. He saw me come to Jesus as a child. He saw me thru the teenage years when I didn’t follow Him. He watched me become a woman, a wife, a mother and a grandmother. El Roi watched over me as we moved away from family and friends and began life in a new place. El Roi sees my children and grandchildren. He watches over them, cares for them, and loves them as they grow. He knows their hearts. El Roi is with my husband as he drives across the nation. He is aware of all the dangers and troubles he faces. He also sees my dear one as he learns, praises and worships in the solitude of his big truck. El Roi watches me as I live my married life. He sees me as I come and go – wherever I go. He sees the desires of my heart. He sees behind the masks I wear in public. He sees the hurts, the wants and the needs of me, His child. He sees the large things and the small things. He sees me as I am. He sees me as I hope to become. He sees me as He knows I am capable of becoming. El Roi sees when I do wrong and when I do right. He sees me through the Blood of Jesus that covers me. He sees me when I please Him and when I fail Him. He sees how I show Him to others. He sees how I react to the ones around me. El Roi – the God who sees – sees what I can’t. He sees the hearts of others; their hurts, their needs, their motives.

As I come to know you, Father as El Roi, give me your eyes that I might see. Let me see what I am missing. Let me see me as you see me. Let me see others as you see them. Let me see You.

Karen Guthrie September 2008

Praying God's Names- EL ELYON

EL ELYON, God Most High The Sovereign God

Controller of the universe, all things exist by your will. You know my future. You have a plan for me. You know my adversary and do not allow him free reign. You hedge me in and offer protection. By your will the history of my life – indeed, the entire world – unfolds before you. You give me the choice to follow you. You will not force your will on me, But allow me to choose to seek you. When I do, I give you joy. You control all the circumstances of my life – both good & bad – and use them to fulfill your will and purpose in my life. Your purpose for my life is to love, honor and praise you. I look forward to eternity with you when I may perfectly worship you. I call you by name, God Most High; you fulfill your purpose for me. You accomplish all things for me. You are my El Elyon, my Sovereign God.

By Karen Guthrie September 24, 2008

Praying God's Names Series

I'm super excited to offer you all a new series by a dear sister-in-Christ of ours, Karen Guthrie. She wrote these almost a decade ago while going through Kay Arthur's book, Lord I Want to Know You, which is a study in the names of God. Having recently completed the book  myself, I can attest this book is amazing and these prayers that Karen is allowing me to share with you are powerful. Please join me every Monday, starting in June, for the next few months as we approach the throne and beseech the Living God through the many facets of His might character. You won't want to miss this! If you really want to press in, I challenge you to buy the book and go through the names of God yourself as we go through this series. Write down your own prayers to Adonai, El Shaddai, Yahweh, El Elyon, and more.

Below is her introduction letter to you all, please enjoy!

 

Dear Study Partner,

This collection of prayers began from the second chapter of the book, “Lord, I Want to Know You” by Kay Arthur. On page 11, she suggested that we write a prayer of worship to our creator, that we sing praise to our God and Father as Elohim. Our dear sister, Kathy Maberry, saw my prayer and asked me to share with the class.

Each week the Lord gave me the words to express what I learned from the study during that week. Your encouraging words led me to share the feelings that I had written.

I thank you for your quiet listening, encouraging words and thanksgiving expressed each time I shared with you. I am humbled by your kindness toward me and I pass the praise on to my God who gave me the words and the opportunity.

I pray that I am within the Lord’s will in writing these and in sharing them with you. May they bless you as you read them. And, may you write your own prayers to our God. Prayers of praise and worship that come from your heart are, I know, dear to the Lord.

Thank you, again, for loving God by loving me. God bless you.

Karen Guthrie January, 2008

Filled to the Brim

Any cup-hoarders out there? If you are anything like me, I love me a cute cup. Mugs in particular. Being an avid coffee drinker and a nurse to boot, I have my fair share of cups to go around. We have more than my family needs, but I just can't seem to part with many of them. Whether given to my by a friend for a birthday, or purchased during a special trip, many of my cups hold significance to me and it is rare that I part with them. I especially love my mugs that have an encouraging word or scripture written on them. In addition to the caffeine inside, often the words on the outside are just as mood-boosting for me. More often than not, my morning cup of coffee energizes mind, body, and soul.

Walking around with a full cup is no small thing. Navigating small children, desks, carpet, animals, co-workers, traffic, with a cup filled to the brim is quite the undertaking. It takes patience and no small amount of concentration to keep all the liquid inside. Add in contents that are scalding hot or can permanently stain and the stakes are raised even more. We have to be so careful!

Now take our spiritual life- our 'insides' if you will. A cup (our physical, visible testimony) that has beautiful wording, or a fantastic saying, scripture, or lovely pictures on the outside, can still spill horrible liquid right? When bumped or pushed, knocked around or dropped... it doesn't matter one bit what the outside of that cup looks like... the fallout will involve the contents on the inside. Hot coffee will spatter and burn anything around it. Red Kool-aid will stain anything it touches, often permanently. It doesn't matter what the cup looks like- when things get dicey, the damage done is dictated by what is on the inside.

Dear ones, I hope you see the parallels here. Faking this Christian walk can only be so successful. The prettiest, most pious, 'Christ-like' exterior and actions are simply that.... exterior. Sooner or later when adversity strikes, be it getting cut off in traffic, being betrayed by a friend, or something much worse, those 'bumps' will always spill out what is truly on the inside. What your reaction to these bumps is will spill what is truly in your heart.

Do you spill grace, mercy, forgiveness? Or wrath, anger, frustration, curses, revenge?

Matthew 6:21 tells us, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.'

Contents of your character will always overshadow the exterior vessel. I challenge you today to take a good look at what you are filled with. What does the content of your heart look like? You're filled to the brim with it... is it Jesus or something a bit more destructive? The splatter will most definitely affect all those around you... will is scald and stain or edify them? Only you have control of this.

Jesus warns us that He doesn't care a wit about our exteriors... only what the condition of our hearts are. He will come for our hypocrisy, make no mistake.

Mark 12:38-40 And in His teaching He said, "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation."

My prayer for all of us today is that when tried and tested our inner contents will spill Jesus all over the place. We cannot be perfect every time, but we can change our reactions with help from our Great King!