PLEASE READ THIS ONE IT IS IMPORTANT TO ME.
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I went on a ladies retreat this weekend :). It was kinda amazing! Probably between me and the Lord, it was the best I have experienced thus far, and I think I have been to at least six.
The theme for this retreat was "It's Time". And the main verse was Isaiah 30:15 (and I LOVE Isaiah) "In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength."
God really did have this time set apart to show me something different; really show me it's time for change, or maybe even time to be "useful" again. In the past - at the past retreats I have been to - I have always gone knowing that God was going to "deal" with me there. Like I would go knowing I was going to get reprimanded and disciplined! Before this retreat I did not have that feeling at all and it was kinda weird. I actually didn't know what to expect other than the Lord meeting me there as He always does.
Considering one of the first things He showed me there was Mark 6:31 "Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while" I really felt like this was not going to be a time for "spankings" but a time for blessings.
He did show me some negative things about myself, but they were all things I already knew and was trying to work on. But He had a purpose. He was kind and quick with the negative stuff... He wanted to take me straight to the obstacles. He wanted to show me what would hinder me from what else He wanted me to see.
I saw my excuses like the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:11 and He told me John 11:9 "Are there not twelve hours in the day?".
He showed me my YEARS of rebellion that He is restoring... "the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust" - Joel 2:25. Then He showed me how He loved me and wanted to use me in Isaiah 42 : 6-7 "I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you. I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon and those who dwell in darkness from the prison."
He showed me I am not always consistent or faithful, but He is working some fruit into my branches!
He showed me that I have been willing and impressed on me that "it's time" to move along. He just wants me to "fix my eyes on Him" (Hebrews 12:2), and firmly grasp His will. He wants me to live wisely and see what He will for me is (Ephesians 5:17). He wants me to commit my life into His hands as Jesus did His Father's on the cross (Luke 23:46).
I really felt so sweet on Him all weekend and He told me "If you love Me, keep my commandments" John 14:15.
He wants me to be active and obedient. He wants me to to advance in the battle! He wanted to show me His plan and does not want me to have a plan to fail as I have in the past. The past when I said "No! I will not walk in it" (Jeremiah 6:16) - Isaiah 30:16 "you said, "No, for we will flee on horses," Therefore you shall flee! "And we will ride on swift horses," Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift."
* * * He showed me a vision of what it looks like to NOT be willing to lose your life to gain it (Luke 9:24). (I thought I would attach a picture of a corpse, but when I googled it I thought it would be too R rated for my blog. But this was a very R rated vision!) Our "life"/a dead, mauled, broken, bleeding corpse is chained to us - wrist to wrist. This is the "life" we choose not to lose or let go of. Jesus has already unchained us willingly many times over when we come to Him in surrender, but we always go back and lock ourselves in again. When we drag this corpse with us the chain damages our wrist, we get wounded to the point where our skin is broken, we are bleeding, and infected. Sometimes we are so stubborn in our delusion of letting ourself finally be free from this "life" that we are actually much worse off. Not only are be broken and infected from dragging this around so long, but now when we are trying to be unchained "willingly" we are chopping off limbs from this nasty, smelling, bloody corpse and we are CHOSING to carry them around with us!!!
THIS IS NOT WHAT GOD WANTS FOR US!! Any of us!
During one of my quite times with Him that I spent outside He had an eagle soaring past me, round and round, back and forth, effortlessly. He told me THAT IS WHAT HE HAS PLANNED FOR ME! "They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary" Isaiah 40:31.
He told me His Spirit is upon me. He wants to use me to preach good news. He has promised not to waste my broken heart, but wants to work through me to help others heal. To proclaim freedom for the captives through Him who set me free from my darkness, from my prison. To show His love, to comfort those who mourn, grieve and sit in despair.
He is my righteousness. He promises to rebuild the ruins and restore the devastated years in my life. I will minister to my God. He will provide for me a double portion, and instead of disgrace I will have an inheritance. Everlasting joy will be mine and my children will be blessed.
"I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness" Isaiah 61:10.
"In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus" Romans 6:11.