Bethel…oh Bethel…it has stretched me, made me groan and has seriously opened my eyes to the Truth of God’s Word. We are 3/4 of the way through our 2 year commitment. That’s hard to believe! Bethel is not just a bible study and it is not for the faint of heart. Through the instruction of a teacher and Spirit written material the Word of God will invade every cell in your being-if you let it. That’s your choice. I’ve learned that I will only get out of it what I put into it. I’ve also learned how much like the Israelites I am! I am forever going around and around that mountain instead of up and over it. Ugh. God has been teaching me the same lesson over and over all year long. It has finally sunk in! Phew. Now I can move forward and quit whining and crying like the Israelites. ( For now anyway-LOL) I can’t tell you how freeing it is to get through that one life lesson! Wow!
I imagine the Israelites might have felt that way too. Finally! We are in new territory! We really DO have to trust in the Lord and now we know that He really will take care of us! There is no deceit with God. That comes from satan.
In class ( as well as Pastor Ty teaching us in sermons) we have been talking about the temple, the steps, getting to heaven, the veil, the River of Life, and the great commandment. We have looked at videos of Roman architecture and ruins. I love all of that stuff. One day I would love to journey to Israel. Bucket list!
The more I study and add my life experiences to the mix the more I fall in love with our Creator. Faith in God is something that we should not take lightly. It is no laughing matter-however it CAN be fun! It should be at the very core of our being and when people see us they will know who we belong to. We need to enter into the sanctuary of God’s heart and stay there in everything that we do. No easy task, but scripture says that with God ALL things are possible.
In the past several weeks I have seen, heard and experienced a new level of the pain that the people of God are experiencing. Some don’t even know they are in pain and others speak their pain in angry words and cutting actions. These things do not come from God. God has used these situations to show my heart the depth of trouble that our congregations are in.
It is warfare.
The bible speaks of it often. It is real and satan works in his creepy little ways to catch us all off track. I’ve been in the mix plenty of times. The only way to stay out of it is to guard your heart and mind with the Word of God. The Word of God is your weapon. Your best armor. The only way we can carry this armor is to eat every word that is printed on the pages of the bible. Our help comes from God. We are to enter into a relationship with God Almighty. How do we do that? We study, we pray and we fellowship with other Christians. In doing that God begins to lift the veil more and more until we can clearly see what awaits us. He doesn’t make us do it, but He will give us the desires of His heart if we ask.
We also need accountability people in our lives. we need that person who says to us, “ now wait a minute, slow down, let’s look at this through God’s Word and not with our own eyes. Let’s see how it feels to be in the other persons shoes. Let’s really listen to what is being said, or even not said. Let’s look at actions and body language-they speak louder than words.” Every thing we ask God to show us will take us to the root of the problem. Most of that stuff is ugly and heartbreaking but the only way to get past them is to deal with them. To have a face to face confrontation with conflict and ourselves with God as the Leader. The more we push stuff back the bigger and uglier it gets. Eventually it will implode and cause a big mess that could have been avoided with a little prayer, a little honesty and admission to needing help. We have to get out of our own way.
How do we do that?
By entering into God’s sanctuary-the Most Holy Place. We separate ourselves from the things of the world and we become one with God. Sometimes that means people, situations, circumstances and maybe even your job. Not easy you say? No, nothing worth doing is ever easy and God never said it would be. But what he did say was “ You can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens you! “ He didn’t say your brother, your sister, your neighbor, he said through CHRIST. The ONE. He IS the MOST HOLY.
I promise you if you place God at the head of your life, the top of your heart and in your hands and feet He will lead you to a life of peace, truth and grace. God’s grace is more than abundant-it was poured out, over us, on us, in us and around us. We are swimming in it and we don’t even know it. Christ died so that we might have LIFE, not death. Our fears and trepidations lead to death. God desires for us to live with Him forever. This drawing is all about how we do that. We begin to take the steps to the Most Holy Place. We may linger awhile on a certain step until we learn what is needed. But when we learn it, we can then bound up the steps that lead to the heart of God. We may have to stop and rest awhile with Him, and that’s okay. Some steps are wider than others just for this purpose. We can catch our breath, focus, listen and then move in unison with God.
The cross is the path that leads to a Life of reward. That reward is Life Eternal. We will be able to spend our time in our forever home- with our Creator-the Lover of our souls.
Are you ready to take that first step?
We are called to love the Lord our God with all of heart-and then we are called to love one another. You can’t have one without the other. When you love God with all of your soul- you WILL love others. God will show you how if you let Him….
All it takes is that first step of willingness to be led toward the Most Holy Place…..
Your Savior loves you and so do I.