"This King, full of mercy and goodness.. Embraces me with love, makes me eat at His table, serves me with His own hands. He converses and delights Himself with me incessantly.. And treats me in all respects as His favorite."
-Brother Lawrence

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Biblical Call to Purity

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God."
-Matthew 5:8
About a month ago I was reading the book of Matthew, I got up to the sermon on the mount when a verse I'd read a million times before started to fascinate me.. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God" it's the 6th beatitude. And in my opinion the coolest.. Don't get me wrong, I love the other ones too (no offence other beatitudes, you're doing a great job) but the reason I love this one so much is because it really doesn't make sense. I mean, think about it.. Purity of heart=seeing God. If you never had a decent reason to pursue purity before, meet Matthew 5:8.
I spent hours meditating on this verse. Literally hours, and the more I read it, the more it blew my mind.
This is what Jesus is saying; to those who pursue purity, to those who delight in walking blameless before God, to those who guard their heart, to those who's motivations are God-centered, to those who hunger to know Him.. It is these ones whom God will reveal Himself to.
Need encounter? I do. Long to see His face, His eyes that burn like blazing fire? I do. Want to live in the fullness and abundance of knowing God? I do. Well here's the good news.. Jesus tells us the solution, plain and simple.. Walking in purity of heart!
So what does it look like to have a pure heart? Good question. We're living in the single most sin-saturated generation in human history. Everywhere we turn there's darkness and temptation to fall into sin and give our hearts over to impurity. I believe this is the exact reason why the spirit is emphasizing the call to purity in our generation.
I reckon the coolest thing about Matthew 5:8 is that it goes both ways. Meaning this.. Want to have a pure heart? Seek God. The key to purity, according to the God-man Himself, is seeking the revelation of God. The revelation that God is the superior pleasure, that He is better than sin, He is better than immorality, He is better than the fleeting pleasures of this world. The biblical method of walking in purity is to be satisfied in God's revelation of Himself to you! He just tastes better.
I realise there is so much more depth to this verse and this subject, and I have no doubt I'll delve into it again, but this is about all I have for now.
I'm praying for a people to rise up from this generation obsessed with seeing God, pursuing purity and finding satisfaction in Him.
The only way to conquer sin is to get this truth into your gut;
He tastes better.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Joy Comes in the Morning.

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5
I love the promise of a new day. I don't know about you but I find usually that if something's going wrong in my life, it usually seems the worst at night. Whether it be regret or pain or sorrow.. But the promise of the Lord is that there is JOY in a new day! That there is newness and gladness to be attained in a new day no matter what the situation might be. 90% of the time we do wake up to the same situation, but God is always there to pull us out of bed and become our strength. Take courage;
"For the joy of the Lord is your strength."
Nehemiah 8:10b

So Good, so, so Good to me.

Recently I've been spending time meditating on the goodness of God. It's a seriously uplifting activity.
Over the past few weeks I've been going through some things that have been really painful and hard on my heart and amongst it all, I seem to have found myself turning around, back to God and trusting that He holds every situation and every circumstance in His hands.
Often it's not easy to turn to Him with a broken heart. In the past I've found that when I'm hurting the first thing I do is hold God responsible for my pain and give Him no opportunity to do His good work.. But this time, in my going back to Him and offering Him my situation, He's had the chance to pour out His love onto me, to remind me that He is sovereign and good and abundantly faithful, even when people are weak.
I've heard over and over again, His whisper to my soul to "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10) and when I am still in His presence, He touches my heart and brings healing.
I think we can often forget about this attribute of God when we're going through trial. We get into a mindset that the Lord is an angry God who delights in punishing us and bringing us pain, when this is completely untrue! He is always waiting for us to turn back and give Him our hearts so He can pour out His goodness and set us free! He is faithful in our trail and He is faithful in our joy. He will never stop being faithful and He will never stop being abundantly good to His people; it's just who He is! What a refreshing thought!
I'll leave you with a couple of verses that have been stirring my heart in regards to the goodness and faithfulness of God.
"If we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself." 2 Timothy 2:13
"Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. For you O Lord have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears and my feet from stumbling." Psalm 116:7&8
Be blessed!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Best Rule of Holy Life

About a month ago I was given a book by a friend, called The Practice of the Presence of God. The book is a short, easy-read about a man who lived a few hundred years ago called Brother Lawrence. He was a monk who lived in the 17th century, he worked in the kitchen for most of his life and when he was getting on in years he fixed sandals.
Brother Lawrence, I believe, caught on to one of the most central, important and life-changing themes offered by faith in God.. continual pleasure, satisfaction and delight in the person of Jesus. His simple revelation that all was loss apart from knowing Jesus and the benefits and delight that could be experienced by the human soul, through a continual conversation with God.
"There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God.. Let us do it from a principle of love, and because God would have us"
His understanding of God and how God would have His people live is refreshing and challenging. We are beings created to experience our creator, to constantly be in the presence of God, and in the business of life, He often is the first thing to be pushed aside.
A continual conversation with God takes discipline at first, because especially in our day and age it's out of our ordinary lifestyle. But what if we resolve to make the time, to invite God into all spheres of our lives whether we be at work, school, home or elsewhere. How much more could God use us in our everyday settings if we were constantly aware and responsive to His presence?
I encourage you to read this book. It'll only take you a few hours but getting that kind of truth into your mind and heart is key to receiving from God on a daily basis, being constantly in His presence and becoming a burning and shining lamp to the people around us-awesome!

"This King, full of mercy and goodness.. embraces me with love, makes me eat at His table, serves me with His own hands.. He converses and delights Himself with me incessantly in a thousand and a thousand ways, and treats me in all respects as His favorite. It is thus I consider myself from time to time, in His holy presence." -Brother Lawrence

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hi. I thought it might be time for a new blog. One that's actually about the things on my heart.. namely; Jesus. And the word, and what I've been learning and what then Lord is doing in me throughout my days and months. Kapeesh? Cool.
So here's a formal introduction..
I'm Lauren, I live in the beautiful city of Tauranga in the beautiful country of New Zealand, right at the ends of the earth. We have a population of about 16 million.. sheep.
And 4 million people. How very tragic. Not really, this place is good. And God is eagerly waiting to pour out His spirit and bring revival to our land.
I left school at the end of 2009 to begin a year fully given over to what the Lord wanted for me. To walk guided by His spirit and learn to trust in His plans.
Psalm 119:109 "Though I constantly take my life in my own hands.." is my testimony, for real.
So starting in February of this year I began the 8th "AWAKEN" internship with the Tauranga House of Prayer.. believing that I would encounter God and figure out my calling.. I did encounter God.. and it ruined my life.
In a good way, of course. But I still don't know my calling.. ha.
Now I work full time as a Barista in a cafe located in a garden center in a hardware store called Mitre 10 Mega. It's actually really, really good. God is always there, hanging out with me, setting up conversations with people who need His love.. Plus I just really enjoy making coffee. One of my favourite quotes ever is from Stephen Christian in his book The Orphaned Anythings; "The day starts with coffee, ends with coffee, revolves around coffee, no joke... with coffee, I drink about as much as I sell. Here's one for you, one for me.. etc"
So that's kinda me.. well that's kinda where I'm at. I like coffee and I like Jesus. And often i feel inspired to write about the latter. So this is where i'll do that.