Monday, October 31, 2011

Oh Lord.......Draw Me Ever Nearer To Thee!


One beautiful, star- lit night as I tried to rest my weary self, I could do nothing but toss and turn..... And feel a deep pain, a dark icy coldness in my heart. The feeling that only comes from a distance I have put between my Lord and I.

Oh the struggle between surrendering my will to HIM, and living out what self-desires, is sometimes more than I think I can really bear!.........The thing is, at the moment of temptation that I don’t tend to realize, is that the power of the enemy really IS more than I can bear!!

As I gazed out my bedroom window, into the beautiful starry sky (one of my most favorite things to do) I always talk to the Lord when I am alone beholding the beauty of the heavens, I always feel a sweet closeness with Him as I look up into the vast twinkling night sky. But this time was different. I felt so far away from Him! It felt awfully terrible! HOW! WHY! I asked myself do I fail my Lord so often and let self-take possession of my words, actions, thoughts and deeds! I felt so far away from Him, that I could not feel the warmness of His love in my heart. I was so lost in self-pity that I felt as if He had deserted me, and I could not then notice any evidence of his love for me! My thoughts were turned in such a miserable “poor me” direction, that the thought that ruled me was, “maybe I should just give up the fight.” All I could do was whisper a prayer heaven ward, “Lord, in some way soon, please show me evidences of your love for me! “ And I then drifted off into a shallow, troubled sleep.

The next day, I was on the look-out for those evidences of His love……….. However small they might appear.

If I were to share with you all that I saw, it would take up MANY pages! :D I would like to share a few of them though!

For my private morning devotions, I had just finished the book of Esther, and was now starting the book of Job. Just the story the Lord knew I needed to hear that day! If Job could endure all the trails that he went through, why couldn’t I?........Because Job had a closeness with the source of all strength that I tend to push aside, and try to fight on in my own strength, which is as worthless as a fly caught in a spider web, struggling to get out in its own strength, as the spider sits back and mocks.

There were so many things that day that pointed me to the lover of my soul, who ever seeks to draw my attention to His love and concern for my life! To the “little things” that draw my heart in tune with His.

I heard it through His Holy Spirit speaking ever so softly to my despairing heart, the solemn words of a messenger for the Lord, I saw it through the self-sacrifice of a friend on my behalf, the beauty of autumn, the sweet smiles and laughter of children, drops of water on a pine needle, the beauty of a lake and the peaceful lapping of the waves, the sun shining through the storm clouds, the love of my family, I saw it through the trying of my faith, and the list could go on and on!!!!

I have learned a valuable lesson in the past few months about how Salvation becomes a reality in our lives, a lesson that I pray I will understand more fully as time goes on, a lesson I pray that that I will never forget or lose sight of! And this instance that I have been sharing with you has just magnified the realness of it tenfold! “We dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name!” He is our only hope, the only way to eternal life! And praise His name He loves us with an incomprehensible love that no mind can truly comprehend!

1 Chr. 16:11 "Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually."  That is the ONLY WAY!!!
                            
 "He who serves under the bloodstained banner of Immanuel will have that to do which will call for heroic effort and patient endurance. But the soldier of the cross stands unshrinkingly in the forefront of the battle. As the enemy presses the attack against him, he turns to the stronghold for aid, and as he brings to the Lord the promises of the word, he is strengthened for the duties of the hour. He realizes his need of strength from above. The victories that he gains do not lead to self exaltation, but cause him to lean more and more heavily on the Mighty One. Relying upon that Power, he is enabled to present the message of salvation so forcibly that it vibrates in other minds.{AA 362.2}……….How powerful is that?!

"The work of gaining salvation is one of copartnership, a joint operation. There is to be co-operation between God and the repentant sinner. This is necessary for the formation of right principles in the character. Man is to make earnest efforts to overcome that which hinders him from attaining to perfection. But he is wholly dependent upon God for success. Human effort of itself is not sufficient. Without the aid of divine power it avails nothing. God works and man works. Resistance of temptation must come from man, who must draw his power from God. On the one side there is infinite wisdom, compassion, and power; on the other, weakness, sinfulness, absolute helplessness. God wishes us to have the mastery over ourselves. But He cannot help us without our consent and co-operation. The divine Spirit works through the powers and faculties given to man. Of ourselves, we are not able to bring the purposes and desires and inclinations into harmony with the will of God; but if we are "willing to be made willing," the Saviour will accomplish this for us, "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5.{AA 482.3}

"The work of transformation from unholiness to holiness is a continuous one. Day by day God labors for man's sanctification, and man is to co-operate with Him, putting forth persevering efforts in the cultivation of right habits. He is to add grace to grace; and as he thus works on the plan of addition, God works for him on the plan of multiplication. Our Saviour is always ready to hear and answer the prayer of the contrite heart, and grace and peace are multiplied to His faithful ones. Gladly He grants them the blessings they need in their struggle against the evils that beset them."  {AA 532.2} 
     
   
These next words, to me, say it all!
"Human strength is weakness, human wisdom is folly. Our success depends on a living connection with God." {SW, June 12, 1906 par. 5}

Sorry this post has become a bit long! But these things are so important for us to understand! I hope you have been blessed as you have read. I encourage each one of us to understand this, and to put it to practice in every moment of our lives! I have been sooo very blessed as I have been studying this subject! And trying to KNOW what it means in my daily walk with HIM. This subject, I believe, is something that we must understand, and put into practice if we will gain the immortal crown of eternal Life!
Ever seeking to draw nearer to HIM,
You’re Sister in Christ,
Cortney     

Sunday, October 16, 2011

To keep our hearts in tune

The more I seek to draw nearer to my Savior, the more I have been realizing how important time spent in prayer is, with the one who waits to bestow upon us measureless blessings,……If we would but just call upon Him to receive them! We should study more closely the life of Christ, communion with His Father was so very important to Him.......... And so should it be for us!

“In the word of God we are encouraged to study the character of the world's Redeemer. He is the pattern of every man in his work of character-building. The Son of God was tempted in all points like as we are, but He resisted every temptation. Through prayer He obtained the power to become victor in the struggle with the powers of Satan. In the groves and mountains the Savior spent whole nights in prayer for Himself and His disciples, and for those for whom His disciples would labor. Christ's followers are to find strength where their Master found it.”  {PC 71.3} 



   
“He spent whole nights in prayer upon the lonely mountains, not because of His weakness and His necessities, but because He saw, He felt, the weakness of your natures to resist the temptations of the enemy upon the very points where you are now overcome. He knew that you would be indifferent in regard to your dangers and would not feel your need of prayer. It was on our account that He poured out His prayers to His Father with strong cries and tears.”—(Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, 379.) {Pr 175.3}

This next quote has some very solemn thoughts  for us to ponder.

“The darkness of the evil one encloses those who neglect to pray. The whispered temptations of the enemy entice them to sin; and it is all because they do not make use of the privileges that God has given them in the divine appointment of prayer. Why should the sons and daughters of God be reluctant to pray, when prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven’s storehouse, where are treasured the boundless resources of Omnipotence? Without unceasing prayer and diligent watching we are in danger of growing careless and of deviating from the right path. . . .” {CSA 27.1}

I love this simple little song!

                                                    Whisper a Prayer
1. Whisper a prayer in the morning, Whisper a prayer at noon; Whisper a prayer in the evening, to keep your heart in tune.
2. God answers prayer in the morning, God answers prayer at noon; God answers prayer in the evening, to keep your heart in tune.
3. Jesus may come in the morning, Jesus may come at noon; Jesus may come in the evening, so keep your heart in tune.

Let us not neglect that sweet time with our dearest friend, that we may keep our hearts in tune with Him!....... He waits for us to call upon Him that He may bestow on us measureless blessings…… Let’s not make any excuses why we can’t spend a “Sweet Hour of Prayer” with the lover of our souls! As it did our savior, it will provide a lasting peace and strength that just can’t compare with anything!

Let’s not wait any longer!

Seeking Him,
Cortney