Friday, January 28, 2011

Glorious Images

Last night was one of the most profound nights of corporate worship that I ever experienced. Being in an environment where everyone is on a similar page (Liberty University) for so long, I can tend to become numb to the amazing power of God and His Holy Spirit. The mysterious becomes mundane, and the Truth declared becomes "normal." The fear, the awe, the reverence, and the excitement so quickly wains when I rely on times with the church alone for a so-called "relationship" with Christ.

Church isn't enough. You need the personal touch of God in the every day things to experience the presence of Him. I have invited Him into my humanity. He has permeated everything I am. Every action is an act of adoration and worship to Him. Doing dishes, being a listening ear, making dinner for my husband, praying for my family and for those who He has laid heavily on my heart... it is all for His glory. This is the only way He showed up so powerfully in that emotional experience last night. He was not in that building alone, revealing his holy nature and surpassing worth. He is here now in my not-so-significant daily actions. He is just as beautiful and glorious when I am alone in my room on my knees as He is when literally 3,000 college students are shaking a room with their song of adoration.

I was standing in the midst of all that last night. I was in the middle of a sea of broken human beings who were reaching out to the Savior. We all cried "Hosanna" together in song, which means, "God, help us!" In the middle of this beautiful moment, the Word of God became alive to me in vivid images. It washed over me and I was paralyzed with sheer awe. I was trembling.

I saw the sky rip open and a legion of angels poured forth. They were led by the King of kings. I knew at once that this was the One my heart loves. This was the One I have been waiting for. He was riding on a white horse and was so bright that I could barely look at Him. His eyes were flaming with wrath, holiness, and perfection. A sword shot out from His mouth. A battle cry went up and a trumpet sounded in deafening power. He had come to defeat His enemy once and for all. He was coming in wrath and power and splendor. The fear of God swept over everything. The whole earth trembled and shook. A force I cannot describe with words came over the world and every speck of creation was knocked to its face. Even the trees bowed down. Angels were circling the King proclaiming Holy, Holy, Holy! They covered their faces and could not look at His glory.

In the same moment I saw the same King as a man standing in front of me. His eyes were gentle, but they pierced through every layer of my soul. They saw everything in me and I was fully exposed. Immediately I knew I had no right to even stand in His presence. He was so other than me... so much greater. I knew most of all that I should not be able to touch Him. Without hesitation he bent down below my level and scooped me into His arms. He broke through all separation. My righteousness was complete. I was perfect. I was healed. I belonged to Him.

"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure."
-Philippians 2:5-13

"Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,
"Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come, 
and his Bride has made herself ready; 
it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure"--
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
And the angel said to me, 'Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.' And he said to me, 'These are the true words of God.' Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, 'You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. orship God.' For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords."
-Revelation 19:6-16

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Saving One" by Starfield

What mercy was revealed
What selflessness and peace
My fate was surely sealed
Until He rescued me
His pardon for my sin
His bounty for my need
From slavery and shame
I am redeemed

And Heaven can't contain
The glory of the Son
Jesus is the Christ the saving One
His love has made a way
The grave is overcome
Jesus is the Christ the saving One

No fear could hold me down
Nor darkness steal my joy
For blood has been poured out
The enemy destroyed
Death could not hold Him down
The cross was not enough
To steal away His throne 
For He is God

And Heaven can't contain
The glory of the Son
Jesus is the Christ the saving One
His love has made a way
The grave is overcome
Jesus is the Christ the saving One

Anyone who calls upon His name
They will be saved
They will be saved

Saturday, January 15, 2011

On the Road Again

Right now I'm sitting in a hotel room in the quirky little town of Gatlinburg, TN, home of Dollywood and at least one million pancake houses.  I used to wonder what Tennessee was like when I was little, especially around Christmas time when we would listen to Amy Grant sing "Tender Tennessee Christmas" (shout out to the 90's!).

It's funny where God brings you in life.  I remember being young and thinking that "The South" was practically a foreign country where people eat grits and say things like "yes ma'am" and "y'all" and "bless her heart, she just can't help it..." Most of that is in fact true, but somehow it has become my home, and I feel as though I have always been here, even though it's really only been six short years.  Six of the most formative years they were however, and here I am, practically a southern bell (yeah right).

Honestly, though, who would have thought that the Lord would see fit to bless me with such a life? A friend and I were just talking about our lives and how blessed they really are. We both admitted to a nagging fear in the back of our minds that something bad will happen to us because things are just too good. God certainly couldn't have meant to bless us with this much, could He? In talking we realized that bad things very well may happen. That isn't the point of the matter, not really.

The Word that God gave us does not portray our Maker as a sick or sinister prankster who is out to get at us for a laugh. Neither does the Bible portray Him as some kind of a vending machine you can use for temporary satisfaction. There can never truly be a fair transaction with God because we have nothing to offer Him that He doesn't already have. The truth is, we are the needy and He is the rich. We are the helpless and He is the helper. Are you humble enough to accept this? I know I don't always want to.

Isaiah 64:6 says "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away."

Our sins sweep us away. We were born into sin, and as we grew we chose to continue in sin. We are guilty by heredity and we are also personally guilty. Adam and Eve chose to disobey God in the garden, and we all choose to disobey God every day in the big and the small ways. These days one rarely hears of anyone taking responsibility for their own bad choices. We all want to be a victim, but it seems like no one is willing to be the responsible one. We almost never see somebody who is willing to take the responsibility for someone else's bad choices.

The Lord in His sovereign plan did all of this and more. Psalm 103:4 says "for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust." The Lord God clothed himself in skin like the humans He created. He took on the form of a man, and that man was Jesus Christ. He knew that we were too weak to take responsibility for our sin. He knew that we could never pay the debt we had incurred.

"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:6-8

Like I said before, the point is not whether good or bad things happen to us. The point is that we are unworthy to receive anything good (yes all of us), and yet while we were insolent and hateful towards the very One who truly loves us He suffered and died for us so that we could be reconciled to Him. Some of my favorite words are "reconcile" and "redeem." To reconcile is to restore. To redeem is to compensate for the faults and the bad aspects of something. We were powerless to change ourselves even if we wanted to, but our great God made a way.

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."
Romans 5:1-5

Did you read that? We have gained access by faith into this grace! We glory in any sufferings because God works even the temporary sufferings of this life out for our good and for His glory! I am so overwhelmed and amazed at the goodness of the Lord! How I long for the day when we will all see Him face to face in glory. Every tear will be wiped away. Every tongue will confess that He is Lord over all.

There is so much more to all of this that I can't put in this one post. If you have any questions or clarifications, feel free to comment or e-mail me at

May our eyes be opened to the truth and our hearts changed by the Holy Spirit.