Thursday, February 28, 2013

there is a thief who comes to steal ...

... he comes into thoughts and feelings with evil motives to rob you of your joy, peace, love, strength, clarity, light, and courage.  Replacing his strongholds of fear, doubt, condemnation, and indifference in place of what he's taken.  

And this happens so subtly you barely realize until it's already done within the recesses of your mind.  In the depths of your heart.  Of mine.

Been there?  Yes. We all have.  We are none of us immune to this thief.  We live in a place where he has been permitted temporary reign.

But we are not citizens here.  We are made for somewhere Higher.  Created for something more than endless days of this robbery. If you listen carefully, your heart will whisper back to you ... I long for more than I've known.  There must be Someone who can restore all that's been stolen.  Someone who can protect me from this daily con artist.

And your heart is right.  Jesus came to brace you, and embrace you.  There is indeed a Redeemer who can guard you.  Take control of this thief and make him give it back.  

photo credit: Hays Cummins

"Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." - Psalm 51:12

Restore - give back, make right, put back

Joy of Salvation - is there a greater joy than this hope for eternity with Him, when the enemy of my soul is removed and destroyed?  Is it any wonder this is our helmet, the guard of our mind and thoughts? (Ephesians 6:17)

A Willing Spirit

Breathe in me,
O Holy Spirit,
that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me,
O Holy Spirit,
that my work, too may be holy.
Draw my heart,
O Holy Spirit,
that I love only what is holy.
Strengthen me,
O Holy Spirit,
to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then,
O Holy Spirit,
that I may always be holy.
 -Augustine of Hippo (Algeria/354-430)

To sustain me - until He comes again. He is coming again.  I promise.  Even better - He promised.  (John 14:28)  And not like a thief to steal my joy, but like a Rescuer-Thief, come to steal me back from my captor. "the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night" (1 Thessalonians 5:2)

When I feel the snake slithering back into my brain with thoughts and whispers of condemnation, fear, and confusion, do you want to know one simple thing I've learned to do?

Helmet check.

I am forever saved by His blood, which was a free gift of grace and He is coming back for me someday. Thank You, Jesus.

And once again, gratitude has sealed me.  Saved me from being robbed.

It's Thursday, and I'm thankful again today.  Most of all for my Salvation.  Oh, God I'm saved!  And not only that - safe!

And, as if I needed anything more, He keeps giving ...

"He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?" -Romans 8:32

Here are a few of my all ...

- the privilege of soothing J's belly pain when cramps from that bug kept him groaning through the night ... and Your healing

- chicken curry, jasmine rice, and naan bread

- close snuggles with my Guy on the couch - a perfect Sabbath thing to do

- sunshine streaming in onto the couch and floor, and a few moments to bask in it

- forgiveness when I have good intentions, but a less-than-great delivery of them

- Your healing also for little A

- fifth-graders singing Battle Hymn of the Republic in music class - Your praises rising here, even in public school!

- Psalm 14:2 - and that You are looking for me as I search for You too.  We find each other in Your presence, wherever I am!

- grocery shipping with my Guy, and for his help

- K's independence to wake up early and finish her essay

- the gift of surrendering my burdens to You and Your strength when I don't have it

- funny videos of little L on fb

- millions of snowflakes all around the windows of C's sunroom, and shared coping through the winter - gratitude

- J walking with a book in the hall

- this quote in my devotion:

"We struggle to reach the bottom of our own well, trying to get water for ourselves.  Beware of sitting back, and saying, "It can't be done."  You will know it can be done if you will look to Jesus. The well of your incompleteness runs deep, but make the effort to look away from yourself and to look toward Him." -Oswald Chambers

-  this song -  there is really nothing like your love

Lord, You've given me all these things and I'm thankful.  This gratitude the seal on my Salvation, and my helmet.  You guard me and I would be nothing without Your love.

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