Monday, June 30, 2008

Whose Battle IS It?

I periodically go through the documents on the computer. I came across this entry under "Bible Studies" and felt compelled to share. I hope it's a blessing to someone.

Had the greatest Bible study Wednesday night. Exodus 14:10-14, the Israelites had the sea in front of them and Pharaoh's army behind them. After all that God had done, they lost their faith so quickly. Yet God did not forsake them even when they were lacking, when they said they were better off as slaves. He told Moses to tell the people, "Don't be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord Himself will fight for you." (NIV)

The KJV is pretty cool too, "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. The Lord shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."

So I was thinking about the fear I've been feeling and came home and did a little researching on my own. Came up with:

II Chronicles 20:15&17

"Be not afraid of dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but the Lords...Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you..."

Psalm 46:10

"Be still and know that I am God."

II Thessalonians
"The Lord has not given us a spirit of fear, but of peace, love and a sound mind."

Someone at Bible study had mentioned Hebrews 4 and the place of rest. There I found Hebrews 4:1-3a, "God's promise of entering His rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it. For this good news - that God has prepared this rest - has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn't share the faith of those who listened to God. For only we who believe can enter His rest."

So I started thinking...not my battle...stand my peace...He will fight for will provide all of these if I let Him (which is the difficult part because I have this mind set that it's MY mess and I am responsible for cleaning it up...but I'm working on that one). I should stop trying to find a way to fight and instead, just rest in stillness and faith. The battle is His. Stand my ground and claim Him promise when I need it. And then go on.

Much easier said than done for me in particular, but at least I know it. I've a promise to claim when I need it. Now it's a matter of just claiming it and standing my peace and letting Him take care of my mess.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Cast Iron Skillet of Redemption

So I was laying in bed yesterday morning thinking about this cast iron skillet I bought at a garage sale a month or so ago. Parts of it showed rust while other parts had this thick baked on goo. The entire thing had dirt and cob webs on it. I was pretty excited about my find because everything was going for $1 or $2 and cast iron skillets are expensive. The woman just gave it to me because it was headed out for the trash pile anyway. That was even more exciting. :)

I got it home and start off by rinsing it. The water was just disgusting! Then I used some dish soap to get some of the stickiness off before I started to scrub with steel wool. Layer by slow layer the goo came off. I scrubbed-rinsed repeatedly with a bit of dish soap for about 45 minutes concentrating on the inside of the pan. My nails broke, my knuckles were red, but the inside of my skillet was finally clean!

Now some of you who aren't familiar with cast iron skillets are probably thinking that I was done. I wasn't. Next came the seasoning part. Without proper seasoning the skillet would just get nasty and rusted all over again. I rubbed a thin coat of olive oil over the entire pan and then placed it in a hot oven for an hour. Then I had to take it out and wipe the inside. The heat and oil help to get off the grime that can't be seen. That process had to be repeated several times that day and a even into the next.

After a few days I was finally able to use my skillet. It was awesome! Of course after each use I have to re-season it, but now it just takes a thin coat of oil and the skillet just sat on the burner while it cools.

Why am I telling you about my skillet? It occurred to me that my cast iron skillet is a beautiful picture of what Redemption is! Christ didn't look down on the Earth, find some person with a clean heart and perfect life and call them. He looked down on the Earth and saw me. He saw me with all my my issues, with my thick baked on layers of "goo" and he saw someone worth saving...REDEEMING.

He saw me as a treasure.

Now Christ doesn't come in and scrub everything off in a day. It's an ongoing process. He's allowed some pretty tough situations to come into my life so He could use them as steel wool to scrub off some layers. Then He started in on the seasoning part. Funny, as the fine cleaning and seasoning of cast iron requires heat, so the Lord requires us to "walk through the fire" to purge us of the things we try to hide as well. Just as cast iron needs to be re-seasoned after each use, we also need to be re-seasoned by going to His word and spending time in prayer...and going through the fire.

The great thing about a cast iron skillets though is that it will last your entire lifetime and you can pass it on. In the same way, Redemption lasts for all eternity! Once He redeems us it's forever! And that Redemption also something something we can pass on to future generations.

Isn't God awesome!

I have said these things unto you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
~John 16:33