Friday, April 27, 2012

My Fearful Trek Into Revelation

I want you to know that I realize it makes very little sense that I've been afraid of reading the book of Revelation.

Yet, it's true.

There are parts of it that I've studied over the years, as cross-references have led me to do so and I've always reaped much from those times of digging in.

However, if I have ever read it cover to cover I have since forgotten that I did so.

I've been dragging my feet, if you want to know the truth.

There. I've said it!

Here's a little background, and then I'm going to actually tell you what I learned from Revelation today.

What an idea, eh?

I grew up under a false teacher, in what I most definitely believe was a cult. This teacher pounded on and on about the future, and painted some pretty scary pictures in the mind of a 7 year old little girl, as to what my destiny was going to look like.

Then, in my 20s I landed in my first Precept class. I only went one time, as a guest of a guy I was dating at the time. Their class was in part 2 of Precept's Revelation study (I think each part takes 6 months, and there are 4). I was absolutely CLUELESS during the discussion time, and when they played the video of Kay Arthur teaching I was absolutely sure that her head was going to start spinning around any minute.

The most humorous part of this story is that Kay is the very person whom the Lord used in my life to teach me how to study His word, just weeks after I became a believer. She is now a beloved friend, and cherished mentor.

Yet, at the time that I first heard her teach, I was lost...and spiritual things are only discerned by those who have His Spirit.

No wonder I felt like I had landed in a room full of aliens when I went to that first study.

Fast forward many years to today...

I'm now in a role of teaching other women how to study God's Word inductively, and our group has been doing a study called "Marriage Without Regrets" since last September. It's a wonderful, marriage-changing study and it's been such a blessing to see all that God has used his Word to do in the lives of the precious women with whom I study.

Last November I found myself wanting more. I was so hungry for even more meat, and I couldn't comprehend doing another Precept study while leading the one on marriage. So I sought the Lord on what to do, and felt very clearly that He was calling me to read through the entire New Testament.

I started a reading plan on my YouVersion app on my phone called "New Through 30," meaning that it's set up for one to read through the NT in 30 days.

I began the plan with great intentions, yet quickly realized that eating that much MEAT in a single sitting was way too much for my mind to be able to digest.

Thus, I took it at my pace and enjoyed the journey. I reveled in learning more about Jesus through each of the Gospels, and found it quite interesting that Luke ended up being my favorite Gospel author.

I was captivated by every word of the book of Acts.

Romans....ah, Romans. My life chapter.

Paul's letters...what LOVE he had for the churches!

I could go on and on...and perhaps I will one day soon.

BUT then came Revelation.


Can you hear the sound of my brakes being slammed straight to the floor?

I'm not kidding when I tell you that I've been trying for days to start.


So I confessed this truth to my kiddos in passing - I forget if it was today or yesterday.

And tonight, when we all crawled up for night time snuggles and prayers, my young warrior man came armed with our Sword of the Spirit.

That kid astounds me!

He turned right to Revelation and started reading to us...although both he and I know that he did it for ME.

Bless his heart, he made it through just a few verses and was coughing so hard that he handed the Bible to Shane, who then continued on and led all of us through both the reading, and the revolving of the mind that goes into dialogue when we study the way we've been trained to.

So here's what I learned from Revelation tonight...just a few high points from chapter 1.

v.9 John mentions the Lord's Day - historians say this is Sunday, and explains why we worship on Sundays instead of Saturdays now that we're not under the Old Covenant - I just didn't know that John mentioned it.

v.17, John fell at the feet of Jesus, "like a dead man" and Jesus' first words to him were, "Do not be afraid..."
Jesus holds the keys of death and of Hades.


If John was told not to be afraid, and he was literally having the future laid out for him to see and record, and Jesus was so kind as to touch him and tell him "Do not be afraid...," then I truly have nothing to fear in reading this book.

I wonder if I'm the only one who has been afraid to dig into Revelation?

Sure was amazing having my son and husband read it over me tonight. Talk about a way to start!

Love to you tonight,

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I Asked to be Slayed by God

That's gotta sound a little odd, I'm guessing.

But it's true, I did. Just tonight.

I was driving home from a MEGA Costco trip that just about set me over the edge...but I digress.

I plugged up my iPhone to my car cassette deck (yeah...nothing beats a 1997 Chevrolet Van!) and the first song that came on was a David Crowder song. The lyrics talk about how we are HIS forever, and ever, and ever, and ever...

As I was singing along at the top of my lungs, really more like rocking out in my uber-cool 1997 mini van, I was stuck with how very true the words of that song are for me.


Nothing can separate me from the love of Christ. God has etched me on te palms of His hands.

I am His, and He is mine.

Wow...what humbling, AWESOME, PRAISE HIM AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS truth that is!

But then it struck many people that I love dearly, can't sing that song.

So many of them are on their way to eternal damnation once this life is over.

There is one family in particular whom I love with every fiber of my being, and I know without a doubt that they are watching everything I do....the way I'm handling MS; the decisions that we make for our family; the jokes that I choose to laugh at, and the times that I remain silent.

They are lost. At least some of them are. I think some of them are prodigals, and I have peace with that because Romans tells me that it's not up to the one who wills, nor the one who RUNS....BUT GOD. (The two sweetest words in the Word!)

Tonight I cried out to God, BEGGING Him for their salvation, and for the return of the prodigals.

I realized in that moment exactly what my life is worth compared to theirs...theirs which are not on the way to eternity when they die. In comparison to living in eternity without them, I count my life of no earthly value.

And I told the LORD..."WHATEVER You need to do to me Lord, if it will mean salvation for them as they watch me walk through it, PLEASE don't withhold it from me!"

I told Him that I trusted that if He needed to put yet one more great trial in my life for them to observe me walk through, I knew He would give me the strength to continue to praise His name.

I made myself a willing sacrifice with my words, because the eternal destiny of this family MATTERS THAT MUCH to me!

In praying, I also BEGGED the LORD to pursue them madly.

Is there someone in your life whose salvation means enough to you that you'll willingly offer yourself to God as a sacrifice to His glory?

Please don't tell me that God wants us all well, and that lack of wellness denotes a lack of faith.

That simply does NOT prove out Scripturally.

Why didn't God take away Timothy's frequent stomach problems? Did Timothy have a lack of faith?

Um, NO!

So I there someone in YOUR life for whom you'd willingly ask God to slay you, if by Him doing so and you walking through the challenge praising His name, they would surrender their life to Him?

Here's a YouTube video of the song.

Love you tonight,