Blemishes

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Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him. –Luke 8:39

I had this coffee table.  It was old and beat up, but nothing a new coat of paint couldn’t fix.  Three coats later the table looked new.  Perfectly placed in our newly constructed sunroom the table sat unblemished.  After adding accents and such I couldn’t help but notice the table with its perfect finish was a bit conspicuous. Something’s not right about that table I thought… considering perhaps we made a poor color choice.  Deciding to ignore my decorative instincts I moved on to more important issues; after all it was just a table.  But each time I walked into the room I’d stop and stare at that table. Eventually I decided all it really needed was a little “distressing”, a technique used to add character.  And so I proceeded to sand the edges and corners allowing a bit of the old paint to show through, adding to the overall character of the table.  While sanding, I considered the significance…Through sufferings the Lord produces perseverance, and perseverance produces character.  Scouring the table watching the paint dust accumulate over my hands, I reflected back to the sermon from that morning–go and make disciples. Sitting on the cool floor basking in late afternoon sunbeams I was captured in a moment of clarity…

There are times for passionately preaching God’s word and there are times when within our inner circles we must simply share our stories, displaying our scars in light of the God we’ve come to know.  In all things we are to be witnesses for Christ, telling how He sustains us, how He provides for us, how He strengthens us. We must tell of His grace and the way He carries us during our heartache.  Tell them how even though you’re suffering you know that the God who gave everything to save you is working everything out for your good and His glory, even now.  There are few things more powerful than the faithful words of a persevering believer.  Such words stand in stark contrast against the ugly backdrop of a withering world. Go tell the world something it doesn’t know. Share your story– share your God!

~Kimberly Murray

Purpose

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“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.” (Romans 8:28)

God is forever working in the lives of His children.  Sometimes we need the perspective of time to see the manifestations of God’s work–the progress of His plans.  The purpose of events happening today may not be obvious to us.  The key is to trust the word of God even when you can’t recognize His hand— God promises to prosper and not harm us. God will accomplish His purpose in us. He will bend and break us, lift us and fill us to make us like Christ. When we are sitting in ruins, battling our demons, mourning our losses and crumbling under the weight of brokenness God may seem distant… He’s not. He will not forsake us. He will not leave us. He will not forget us…

God knit you together, thread by thread, in your mother’s womb.  Your scars, your losses, your pain can all be used for the Glory of God.  If you are a survivor of abuse seek to help others who have suffered that same anguish.  No one understands better than someone who has walked a mile in those same shoes.  If you’ve been freed from addiction, come along side another who struggles and offer them an anchor for their soul.

We all have a testimony, use yours for the glory of God!  Reign defeat down upon the enemy who seeks to destroy you by praising the Lord in spite of your sufferings. Allow the light of Christ to shine through your cracks… be a light on the hilltop.

The call of God.  We all have one. The engraving upon your soul, that which you were created for. You were fearfully and wonderfully made with a purpose. Get quiet and seek the Lord…step out in faith. Preparation can be painful, God can’t use a people filled to the top with themselves. In weakness there is strength.

Kimberly Murray

 

Comfort Zones

12119005_1150508501645751_2484786612517097614_nFor God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

–2 Timothy1:7

Comfort zones, we all have them and we hate leaving them.

We get accustomed to our day to day routine, our inner circle, our safety nets. I was presented with an opportunity and I brought it before the Lord.  I recognized the possibilities but didn’t want to take the chance… I didn’t want to leave my comfort zone. After wrestling in prayer I realized that the only factor holding me back, was fear. But, God said He did not give us a spirit of fear. My fear did not come from God.  Fear comes from the enemy.

Fear is so powerful. It keeps us locked up, bound, and paralyzed. We fear what people think of us, we fear the unknown, we fear failure, we fear rejection, we fear life and we fear death… Fear is at the root of the majority of our struggles and it is fear that so effectively hinders God’s work in us. We can’t be effective for God if we are ruled by intimidation and fear.

Walk by faith not by sight… trust God, take the next step, the one He’s been urging you to take, even though you can’t see where your foot will fall. Surrender your life into the hands of the God who knit you together and put a beat in your heart, the same God who collects your tears and knows the hairs on your head. He has you. He will protect you. He will deliver you. He will defend you. He loves you.

Seek the Lord completely, and with abandon. Follow Him wherever He leads you, without reservation; fearless in His sight.

~Kimberly Murray

A Hedge of Protection

10900170_980991348597468_1575433305603663023_o.jpg“Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.” Job 1:10

Sometimes it’s hard for me to let go, to trust. I have certain things I hold dear; family and pets. As a mother and a pet owner I have responsibilities to care for, to nurture, to love and protect. But I can’t always be there… and even when I am, I cannot control every circumstance.

While I was away, something threatened what I hold dear–a predator, whose goal was to harm. I worried, I considered cutting my trip short. I wanted to be home…I felt helpless. I did what I could, providing instructions over the phone, but then I had to let go and trust God.

God gives and God takes away, I know that, firsthand. I know there are times when God takes that which we love. But I also know God has placed a hedge around my household, I know nothing can infiltrate that hedge without God’s permission and so when there is a breach, that breach is purposeful in the hand of God.

I prayed unto the Lord, in the quiet I asked for His protection, then I rested my head for the night… and with the morning sun came the news that all was well, and safe– to the glory of God.

I Will Trust in You

When I’m afraid, I will trust in you. (Psalm 56:3)

Worry. Sometimes I struggle to trust God for the simplest of things.  It’s crazy. I trust Him to save my soul, but I struggle to trust Him with my work, family and finances.   I waste so much time dwelling on or anticipating things that don’t  even come to pass.  After everything I’ve been through, even after God has rescued me time and time again, I still worry.  It’s ridiculous, really, and I know it.

But worry and fear are powerful forces.  The enemy uses them against us and they can be crippling.  We are commanded to be anxious for nothing but to bring everything to the Lord in prayer. When we are afraid we must trust in HIM.

We must take every thought captive. We must meditate on the truth of God’s word.  We must fill our hearts and minds with the truth of who God is.  We must bring our anxieties to the Lord and LEAVE them there.  When we begin to dwell, we must pack up our junk and carry it straight to the throne room and lay it down before the Creator of the universe, the Author of our faith, the One who spared nothing to save us.  We must then leave it there knowing and trusting that He will not allow our foot to slip; He who keeps us will not slumber. He will strengthen us, He will help us, and He will uphold us with His righteous hand.

What then shall we fear?

 

 

Moment by Moment

I’ve traveled so far.  I want to be holy, to be set apart for God.  I want my life to be transparent. I want Christ to manifest Himself through me. I’m a work in progress, I am learning and God is teaching; subtly, consistently,  impressing His truth upon my heart and mind through His word and the testimony of others.  I am only now beginning to grasp the understanding that many times I’ve had it all wrong.  I’ve searched for manifestations… for God to manifest himself to me, but the truth is God manifests Himself in us and through us.  I must be willing to step aside, to allow Christ to have His way in me so that wherever I go, whomever I speak with, there and to them Christ might be manifested.  I’ve awaited events or times or ways, while my life passes by.  Each day I am provided with an endless supply of opportunities to reveal Christ. Time is short, and we waste so much of it.  We wait for God to reveal himself to us when really He’s waiting to reveal himself in us.  Is our life a mirror for Christ? Are we reflecting pools or mud puddles?  I get frustrated when my expectations aren’t met, then God reminds me that in those moments I disregarded as meaningless, he was working through me, if I let him. That’s the answer, it’s moment by moment–the life of Christ demonstrated in what we say,  how we act, the words we use, the grace we show, the patience we exhibit, the humility we demonstrate, the self control we use, the love we give.

We often waste the treasure of our time while waiting for the big reveal.  Every single day we are provided a countless number of eternal opportunities.  We must seek to submit ourselves unto Christ, we must seek to allow Christ to bleed through us and we must seek to be transparent to the Spirit of God.  Every day people are dying without Christ; seek to be a vessel, a soul set apart unto the Lord, through whom He is able to reveal Himself to a lost and dying world.   The flood waters are rising; the time is now.

 

Take Every Thought

“…and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)

We are so reactive.  Our egos so easily bruised. Our defenses so readily engaged. It’s the way of the world, our pride runs deep.  But WE are to be set apart—WE should be different—lights.

I’ve felt convicted of late, about the words I use and the freedom I use them with.  I can’t just say whatever I want; even if I feel justified, even if I am furious, or hurt, even when I’ve been wronged.  I can’t let words pass from my brain to my mouth freely and without the filter of Christ.  I can’t seek revenge, give someone what they deserve, even when they hurt me or slander me.  I can’t point out the speck in someone else’s eye while ignoring the plank in my own.  I can’t throw stones, even when I want to, even when everything within me is screaming to do so.  I can’t trust my flesh, or my thoughts, or my motives.  I can’t compare myself to another person.  I can’t consider myself better than another. Christ is our example, He is the standard.

We are commanded to take EVERY thought captive.  It’s hard; a direct assault on our sin nature and it’s only by the power of the Holy Spirit living within us that we can accomplish this.

The fruit’s of the Spirit…Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control.  Is that what flows from us? In our words? Even with those closest to us?  God is looking for men and women who seeking holiness are willing to be set apart for His purposes.  When the eyes of God search the earth will He see us, or will we be camouflaged in the self righteous, self seeking, pride of the world. Will we be like lights set atop a hill or dim intermittent flickers?  We must stand firm, we must seek to be set apart, like white on black, lights in the dark, reflecting the character of Christ to a lost and dying world. Time is short.