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Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Black and white

 I  was getting ready to go to church and as I reached for my coat I realised that several pieces of clothing I had on were made up of  various patterns of black and white.    I had a strong feeling that  the Holy Spirit was revealing something to me here.    Black and white signifies something that is clear, with no grey areas, and can also stand for something that is written.
Two scriptures came into my mind, one was 'every day in  my life was written in Your book before even one of them was formed.' 
Psalm 139 v. 16.   
The other was 'It is written 'Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'  
Matthew ch. 4 v.4.

When I got home I looked at what I was wearing that was black and white.   I had a black and white striped top on, a black and white floral scarf and a black mac with white doves on it.  Thoughts started to form in my mind as to what these symbolised to me.  The black and white stripes portrayed the trials and hard times in  my  life,  the black and white flowers conveyed to me the good times. The white doves on the black coat portrayed to me the Holy Spirit's presence in the dark times, and the fact that this pattern was on my outer garment declaring God's protective covering in all situations in my life.   

I thought about the fact that although I had gone through, and still do go through, days of trials and hard times since becoming a believer in Christ, those trials were predestined.  I have also gone through many  good and happy days too, receiving blessings from the Lord, including healings, and these too were predestined.    They were written in His book before even one of them was formed.  Whether it has been a fiery trial to correct me or a fiery trial to bring me to believe a word of blessing that the Lord has spoken to me, it has all been to mature me in Christ. 
Whatever word God has spoken to me I must accept it and try to act on it whatever it will lead me into, whether it be testing me in a trial that will refine me or believing on a promised healing regardless of what my eyes might be seeing.  The carnal mind will always try to justify it's way of reasoning, sometimes by saying it is right to retaliate to what may have been done to me, or by encouraging me to keep a record of wrongs done to me.   That is not what the Holy Spirit instructs me to do however. 
It has not always been easy and He understands that I am flesh and have weaknesses, but I believe absolutely that all things will work together for my good if I follow His instructions to me, and try to live my life according to His will.  
We are told in Romans ch.8 v.28 'And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose'. In John ch.14 v.15 Jesus says 'If you love Me keep My commands' 
From these scriptures I see that the essence of loving Jesus is in keeping His commands, the things that He instructs me to do during my walk with Him.   The renewing of my mind is done through the teaching of the Holy Spirit, not only my comforter but my counsellor.  The necessity to fully follow the instructions that the Lord gives me in His word to me personally, was emphasised to me when I got home from church. 

I had intended that morning to do some washing before I went to church.  My husband said 'Put the washing in the machine, I will see to it later.'  So I put the items to be washed in the machine before I went out.   When I returned I noticed that the washing was still in the machine.  I took it out to find that the clothes were quite wet.  I told my husband that they were very wet and said that there may be something wrong with the machine.  Then he told me that he had moved it on a couple of times because he thought it was taking a long time.  I realized that was probably why the clothes were wet, he had probably moved it on when it was in the process of draining the water out, also the machine spins the clothes twice.

I know that just as there is a cycle that my washing machine must go through to get the perfect end result, so too there is a cycle that I must go through to mature in Christ.  If I don't go through that cycle I will not end up as I should do.  Sometimes I have not been patient enough to wait for the Lord's help in my life when I have sought Him,  or sometimes the enemy has been a bit too strong to cause me not to act on God's instruction, and I have tried to sort things my own way.   All sorts of pictures would form in my mind about what might happen if I did or did not do something.  I am learning slowly not to lean on my own understanding, but to trust in the Lord with all my heart and to do things according to His way of thinking, not mine.  His thoughts are not our thoughts and neither are our ways His ways.   Isaiah ch.55 vs.8,9.   

I might not like the trials while I am waiting for the answer to my prayers and I might not always at first understand  the direction that my life appears to be taking when I try to do what the Holy Spirit is telling me, but at my weakest points the Lord has been strong.  After thirty years of being a believer in Christ I look back on my worldly life and compare it to my life in Jesus and there is no comparison and no doubt as to which one I would choose.  I choose life and blessing, regardless of the trials.

The following are three poems that I would like to include in this post.  The first one is a song that I wrote some years ago, and which still applies,  to ask the Lord to  help me in my battles. 

Change me Lord

Change me Lord according to Your image
bend me Lord according to Your will
You alone can make me what God wants me to be
take my fears and cause me to be still

Help me Lord I'm battle scarred and weary
Satan's hand is much too strong for me
but I know if You will be my friend by my side
my old foe will have to turn and flee

For You alone have conquered
You've won the victory
and I can share these blessings
if You're living inside of me

So change me Lord according to Your image
bend me Lord according to Your will
You alone can make me what God wants me to be
take my fears and cause me to be still

Yes You alone can make me what God wants me to be
take my fears and cause me to be still

Contained within the second one are some questions which I felt the Lord was putting  to me at a specific time, that I felt I had to examine myself over and make a decision about. 

How far will you follow Me

How far will you follow Me
along this narrow track
when the path becomes too lonely
will you think of turning back
will you yearn for the things you left behind
when I called you to be apart
are there things that belong to your world of sin
lying dormant within your heart

How far will you follow Me
along this lonely road
when you suffer man's rejection
will it prove too great a load
will you stand within my guiding light
no matter where it leads
and will you listen to my Father's voice
saying 'Child.... go plant the seeds'

Yes how far will you follow Me
along the path to life
will the trials be too much for you 
..... of sickness and of strife
Or will you hold on fast to faith
remembering what I have said
that faith in your Lord has a power
that can even raise the dead

The third one is a poem I wrote with which I would like to encourage everyone who might be finding these trials are making it hard to continue to trust in the One who has the ability to move mountains.

The Lord won't let you stumble

The Lord won't let you stumble
as He brings you through the fire
He'll keep your feet on the stepping stones
and guide you across the mire
Just keep your eyes looking forward
as you walk the narrow track
your problems will only engulf you
if you try to take them back
Remember the Lord has your burdens
He holds your life in His hand
If you trust Him you'll see the Father
and you'll enter the promised land

What I gain from being a 'doer' of God's word to me in Christ and not just a 'hearer' of that word far outweighs what my carnal mind tries to tell me I might lose in this world, and I have always been greatly encouraged by these words.

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.   What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ   and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.    I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,   and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.   Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead,   I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.
                                                   Philippians ch..3 vs.7-14