Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Other Side

It has been 6 months since I took the plunge and  sacrificed my "Isaac". It has been a crazy sometimes desperate, sometimes exhilarating ride.There were times when I didn't know up from down and there were times where everything seemed to melt into place....only to be shaken up again.

Today is day 740. At times, I could barely discern God's presence while other times, He overwhelmed me. But through it all, He reminded me of His promise: "I will never leave you nor forsake you". There were times when I wondered if  I did the right thing and cried out to him in desperation for some reassurance. He always met me. When I reached out for him, He was always there.

Over two years of praying and waiting and praying and waiting and waiting some more. Now at last, God is moving all around me, and its not just evident to only me anymore. Now others see it too. They are coming to realize that what they deemed crazy and what they thought was not from the Lord because it was so outrageous, really is actually from Him.

He is an outrageous God. He is my God. Mine.

Now as I look around me, I can finally see the evidence of what I have always known. God is God and  I am his creation. He knows exactly what I need and where I need to be. He knows how to get me to where I need to go.

Now all I can do is praise Him. Yes, He told me to sacrifice my Isaac. He told me to do the one thing I never wanted to do. But he honored my obedience,even though it was delayed, even though I wasn't eager to do it. Even when every part of me wanted to pull back. He, in His mercy, honored it. My world imploded and everything that was important to me was ripped apart. But God. But God kept me through it all.

He centered me on Him. When everything was spinning out of control, I ran to that secret place in the shadow of his wings. There he reminded me that He is my Father. More than that, He is my God.

Why should I worry? Why should I be anxious? I was not and I am still not. Because I knew - I know - one thing more than anything else. My God is my God. He will never let me go. He will never leave me alone. He will always provide.

My God is my God. When nothing is working out and when everything is going well, my God is my God.

My God is my God. No matter what storms are raging around me, no matter if its sunshine and roses all around, My God is my God,

Its Day 740 and everything is still scattered, but for now and always, My God is My God.


Praising Him Who Saved Me

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Obedience is Better than Sacrifice...but often, Obedience IS the Sacrifice

Whats your "Issac"? The one thing that you do not, ever, want to do? The one thing you hope that the Lord will never ask you to do or sacrifice?

For me, I never wanted to break my parents heart. Thats a good thing, right? That a child would strive to honor their parents with their decisions and life so that the parent can be proud of them? Surely, the God who says "Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right" will never command me to do something that I know will hurt them?

I have been waiting 569 days for an answer to a prayer. Yes I have been counting. That's:
> more than 49 million seconds
>more than 800 thousand minutes
> more than 13 thousand hours
> about 81 weeks
.....and still the most I've heard from God is wait. Wait. WAIT!

So I wait. Along the way, God decimated me. But he also put me back together.

This whole time, I have been waiting for him to act on my behalf. I have been waiting for him to show his hand and come in miraculously.for 530+ days, I waited for him to step in. So when he told me to stop praying and start acting, I was floored. I was resentful. Didn't he know that I was waiting for him? If I had to do it myself all along, why have I been praying for all this time? Whats the point? Why did I waste my time, my tears, all those hours on my knees, just for him to tell me to act? What?!

Just like that, God exposed to me my own selfish nature, my own agenda. He showed me that while I really loved him and loved spending time with him, I was deceiving myself into believing I wasn't treating him like my magical holy vending machine. My personal servant. "God do this - I command you".

God told me to act and how to act and what to do and guided me in what to say. Still I avoided him because I was resentful. I didn't spend time with him, I chose to ignore him. After all, if He wasn't going to help me, why I should I spend time with him? For a whole month I avoided him. I tried to justify it: "Oh I don't know if this is really God or I am just acting because I am tired of waiting." and "God, give me a sign if this is really from you". In my heart of hearts though, I knew, I was just trying to drag my feet. God told me what needed to be done and I was just trying to find any excuse to not be obedient. I was also trying to manipulate Him to do it for me.

Why? Because what he asked me to do was sacrifice my Isaac. Years ago, even in my teens, I told God that my life was His to do with as he pleased (and I meant it - still do), but please don't let me break my parents hearts. In the back of my mind, I knew that God was an all or nothing God and if I truly wanted to give him my life then he will not let me hold anything back.

The time came and God did indeed require that sacrifice.

I fought Him for a month until finally I decided that I had to do it. God was more important to me than my Isaac. Down to the very last minute I held back. I could literally feel a war between myself, the Enemy and the Holy Spirit. The Spirit urged me to step up and I would take the step and open my mouth. Then Fear would come in with Doubt and I would clamp my mouth shut and step back. For many hours over 3 days I had this tug of war within me. Everything within me wanted to pull back. Only a small piece of my heart said to jump. I prayed, gathered my courage and jumped.

My whole life has imploded. My father has not talked to me for a week. Mom told me he cries whenever he speaks of me. When I speak to mom, she cries too.

The day I jumped I wondered if I did the right thing. If I am really hearing from God, why am I the only one who thinks I am where he called me to be? Why is everyone telling me I am dead wrong?

I am reminded of Abraham. If he had told anyone about Gods command to kill Isaac, everyone would have told him the exact same thing. Truth is, sometimes, what God requires goes against every bit of common sense, logic and reason. Often, we can't make sense of it. No one can. It seems impractical, foolish, ridiculous. They say, "How can God fulfill His promise if you go and kill it?! For that matter, why in heaven or hell would God tell you to kill the very gift he gave you as a sign that he would fulfill it? You are crazy if you think God would ever tell you something like that. You are being deceived by the enemy."

But in the midst of all of that comes a quiet assurance and a voice in the recess of my heart, not really heard but felt. "Trust me"

Praising Him Who Saved Me

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Waiting and Waiting................and Waiting

I desperately need some encouragement today. I have been praying about a specific situation for almost everyday for over a few years now and have not yet seen my breakthrough. I have cried, I have fasted, I have praised, I have battled the Enemy, I have worshiped. I have pleaded and begged, yelled and screamed and cried some more.  And yet...nothing.

There are moments of doubt. "Am I really praying for something that is in God's will for me?" "Am I being stubborn?""Have I really surrendered to God?"

Its in those moments the Holy Spirit whispers in my heart "Lean not on your own understanding" or "Wait patiently" or "Be still and know I am God" or "Contend, pray with out ceasing". It's not so much an audible voice I hear more than a quiet reminder or sudden thought or a tugging of my heart. Yet I know that it is not me myself  imagining these things, It's God. Still even in that knowledge there's the creeping voice of the deceiver, "Are you sure that's God?"

So now here I am, staring at the end of 2013. Wondering if another year is going to pass by with God still telling me to wait.

The sad thing is, I am the only one who believes this is from the Lord. Everyone else says that it is not from God. A part of me wants to give in to them and say they are right. Another, much bigger  part of me sincerely believes that this is from God.

So I keep walking, reminding myself I am not called to follow everyone else. I am called to follow my king and my savior. While every one has given up and I myself feel like I am at my breaking point, I remind myself that if I keep trusting in Him, eagerly and expectantly, He  ill come suddenly and not allow me to be put to shame because of that trust. With one blast of breath, he laid bare the earth. With one word, He will stop all the people of the world Armageddon. At the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess, willingly and unwillingly, that He is Lord.

All I need is one word from Him and my situation will completely change. One word from Him and He deliver me. All who sees will only be able to say "Look what the Lord has done. How marvelous are the works of His hands."

So Father God, I will continue to wait on you. Forgive this heart of mine which so badly wants to give up and go my own way. Lord God, come in a powerful way. Who have I but you to turn to? Who else can I confide in? You are my refuge and my shelter. You are my God and I trust only in you.  Strengthen me O Lord so I can continue to wait. Help me to wait patiently. 

Thank you, Lord, that my life and times are in your hands. You are never late. You are Sovereign and you are in control. I cannot see my tomorrow but you are already there. I can't see the next hour or second of my life but you are waiting for me there to lead the way for me. 

Thank you, Lord, that you are faithful. Thank you that your promises are true and not one mark can be taken away from your word. Heaven and earth will one day disappear but your words will stand forever. Thank you for the promise you have given to me. It is to you that I cling. Hold me up, Lord, because  I cannot stand on my own. 

Tear the veil Lord that hides your truth from unseeing eyes. Soften hardened hearts. Reveal your will and your way and your direction to them. 

I will not give up on you Father. I know you will come through. I know that you will not forsake me. I know that you will not let me down. 

Lord, I thank you that my answer is already on the way. Thank you Jesus that you have promised that as long as I remain in you and you are in me then I can ask whatever I wish of the Father in your name and it will be granted so that He may be glorified in you. 

Father God, take the Glory. Let your name be magnified. Let all who see what you will do, stand in amazement at the work of your hands. Let them see and be helpless to say or do anything but praise you. 

Let all the glory and honor belong to you only. 
In Jesus name, I pray

Praising Him Who Saved Me

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Fresh Look (Is. 58)

A Fresh Look at Isaiah 58

*I used the Names of God Bible in quoting the scriptures here simply because it is interesting to see what names of the Lord are used and in what context.

I wanted to write about this chapter after reading it again today because somethings caught my attention as never before.

The chapter starts off with a command and a judgement.

Tell my people about their rebellion
            and the descendants of Jacob about their sins.
They look for me every day and want to know my ways.
    They act as if they were a nation that has done what is right
        and as if they haven’t disregarded Elohim’s judgment on them.
    They ask me for just decrees.
    They want Elohim to be near them.
Why have we fasted if you are not aware of it?
    Why have we inflicted pain on ourselves if you don’t pay attention?

I have read this portion of scripture many times and skipped by it onto the next few verses, thinking that verses 1-5 did not apply to me. Today, though, they convicted me. I do try to look to Him every day and live by His word. I seek to know Him more and yearn to sit at his feet and talk to Him. I ask Him to answer my prayers and to lead me according to His will for my life. I want to be near Him. It's not like I am just paying Him lip service, I genuinely want to know Him and be like Him. I genuinely want to glorify His name.

I have also asked him the very question that these people are asking. "Why have I fasted but then not seen an answer to my prayers? Why have I gone hungry and devoted myself to spending time with you only to still find myself undelivered? Why have I not received even though I ask? Why is the door closed even though I knock? Didn't you say that if I abide in you and you remain in me, I can ask you anything? That if I pray effectively and fervently, without ceasing, my prayers will be answered? That if I delight in you, you will give me the desires of my heart? All your promises are good and true and you are faithful to fulfill every word that you speak. So, when God, When? And How?" 

His response? 

"Don’t you see that on the days you fast,
    you do what you want to do?
        You mistreat all your workers.
Don’t you see that when you fast,
    you quarrel and fight and beat your workers?
        The way you fast today keeps you from being heard in heaven.
Is this the kind of fasting I have chosen?
    Should people humble themselves for only a day?
    Is fasting just bowing your head like a cattail
    and making your bed from sackcloth and ashes?
    Is this what you call fasting?
    Is this an acceptable day to Yahweh?"

Wow. How many times, have I, on the days I set aside to fast, done what I wanted to do? Oh I fasted. I spent the time with God. I sat before him with my Bible and my journal, with my water bottle and prayed. But when I got up, did I show any fruit of time spent in prayer? Not always, unfortunately. I would sit in the morning for an hour or two (because I woke up late), half asleep, not really motivated. But hey, I didn't eat breakfast. I really did sit for prayer. Then I would go to work, come home and study, maybe read a book. Yell at my brother, argue with my parents. Watch Netflix. Pray a little more and go to bed. Hey, I fasted, right? Nope. I abstained from food. That's really all I did. 

That way of fasting "keeps [me] from being heard in heaven." It's not the kind of fasting that is acceptable to my Holy God. It's offensive, really. Suppose a friend said "Hey, let’s hang out today, I have to go to work, but I'm free at this time". I would go to meet with them, expecting to have a great time for at least a few hours. But when I get there, suppose they are texting half the time, not making an effort really to talk or when they do talk, they don't let me get a word in edgewise. Then a couple hours later, they look at their watch, say they have to go to work and we should get together more often and walk out the door. How would I feel? How does God feel when I do the same to Him? And how does he feel when I come back a few hours or a few days later and say "Look, God. I fasted, I prayed, I spent time with you, why haven't you done this for me?" What if it's not just a one-time thing? What if I keep doing that? Looking back, I realize now that I have done that many times. At the time, it didn't feel like such a big deal, (“I was busy after all and God understands”) but now in the light of this, I have to confess that I really wasn't sincere or genuine. I just wanted God to work for me without my having to sacrifice to much of "me time"

It's OK, if all I can do is spend an hour or two with God. Or even just half an hour. But that time should be quality time. Not measured in quantity. When I truly spend quality time with God, there is a noticeable change. Nothing huge usually. It's more that I am joyful and content and satisfied, more so than normal. I am normally a very optimistic, glass-half-full kinda girl but on those days when I really am with God, there's just a little something more there. I don't really know how to explain it. 

This is the kind of fasting I have chosen:
    Loosen the chains of wickedness,
        untie the straps of the yoke,
            let the oppressed go free,
                and break every yoke.
Share your food with the hungry,
    take the poor and homeless into your house,
        and cover them with clothes when you see them naked.
            Don’t refuse to help your relatives.

Honestly speaking, I don't go out of my way to "loosen chains and untie straps". I do try to help people whenever I can, however I can. But I think this verse is speaking of more than just that. I think it's about giving of myself to show Jesus to the world every day. It's talking to that person at work everyone else looks down on. Its making an effort to be available to someone when I would much rather be by myself. It's making myself open to letting the Holy Spirit interrupt my day to do what He wants to do. It’s about seeking first His kingdom so all else can be added to me. 

Then your light will break through like the dawn,
    and you will heal quickly.
    Your righteousness will go ahead of you,
    and the glory of Yahweh will guard you from behind.
Then you will call, and Yahweh will answer.
    You will cry for help, and he will say, “Here I am!”

If I make an effort to seek Him first. If I make the conscious choice to not just sit with God for a time but to LIVE Him out in my normal day to day life at work and school and home, in the car, at the mall or even waiting in line at the ATM, "Then [I] will call, and Yahweh will answer.
    [I] will cry for help, and he will say, “Here I am!” The he will "make [my] righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of [my] cause like the noonday sun (Ps 37). He promises that:

10 [my] light will rise in the dark,
    and [my] darkness will become as bright as the noonday sun.
11 Yahweh will continually guide [me]
    and satisfy [me] even in sun-baked places.
    He will strengthen [my] bones.
    [I] will become like a watered garden
        and like a spring whose water does not stop flowing.
12 [my] people will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and restore the foundations of past generations.
    [I] will be called the Rebuilder of Broken Walls
    and the Restorer of Streets Where People Live.

In other words, living Him out means not just that He will answer my prayers, but that His power will flow, enabling me to break generational curses, set free the captives being held in bondage by the Enemy, rebuild broken lives and lead people to the saving grace of God so that they too can live Him out. 

13 If you stop trampling on the day of worship
    and doing as you please on my holy day,
    if you call the day of worship a delight
    and Yahweh’s holy day honorable,
    if you honor it by not going your own way,
    by not going out when you want, and by not talking idly,

But first, before I can be the "Rebuilder" and "Restorer"  I need to  look at spending time with God as more than just a "Christian duty" on the list of thou shalts and thou shalt nots. I need to stop looking to satisfy me on the days or hours I devote to God. I need to realize, it’s not about me and what I want. It’s about Him and what He wants. It’s about being satisfied in Him. To be content in Him. To really know that even if my house burns down tomorrow, even if I get into a terrible accident and become paralyzed, even if I lose everyone I love, I will be OK, because I have Him and He is more than enough. He holds my life in His hands, he is in control and he will never abandon me. It is so easy to say that. It’s so easy to say I believe that. But can I live that? Can I stop living for myself and start living for him? Can I stop focusing on me and start focusing on Him? Not just Can I, but Will I. If I will honor God in my every day, starting with my time of worship and prayer, if I will honor that time by not going m own way, by not going out when I want, by not spending my hours and days idly,14 then [I] will find joy in Yahweh.
    [He] will make [me] ride on the heights of the earth.
    [He] will feed [me] with the inheritance of [my] ancestor Jacob.

    Yahweh has spoken.

Praising Him Who Saved Me

Friday, December 6, 2013

Just Thinking........

This is a song that has been playing on my mind all morning. Its called Life That is Worthy  by John Thurlow (I dont know if he wrote the song though).

I've felt the pain of compromise deep inside
I've known the tension of a heart that's divided
But I've tasted and I've seen You're good
And now I am ruined for less than all You have for me

The more I see of all this world, the more I am
Convinced I'm called to be a stranger to all its ways
So do not hide Your laws from me, for I know that
They are my doorway to eternity

I want to live a life that's worthy of Your calling
Remove the things that hinder me from loving You because
I don't want regret upon the day I stand before You
May I be found a pure and spotless bride that's ready for her King

Come up higher child, I'm ready for you


To live a life that is worthy of his calling. To not have to stand before my King and realize that I did not live up to my potential. I can't imagine what it would be like to stand before my God who created me and hear him say, "Daughter, you could have done so much more if you had just trusted me". 


Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries,
And daub their natural faces unaware       
More and more from the first similitude.
~Elizabeth Browning

I was thinking about this quote this morning. How many times do I pass by the burning bush? The bible says that God is omnipresent. I can't escape His presence. If that is true, then how often have I brushed him off? Or even worse, heard his invitation to spend time with him, felt his prompting but decided, "I'll do it later" or "Let me just finish one more episode on Netflix" or "One more chapter, God, then I'll pray". I have done that more times than I can count. God would be perfectly right to hold me to that and be mad at me. After all, He is Holy. He is my Creator. I am just the created. Who am I to say to His face, "later God, I want to do this right now"? He won't be set aside forever, He is a jealous God and a consuming fire.

Praise God, though, He has never condemned me for not coming to Him. Never told me "I told you so" when I go do my own thing, discover it doesn't work and come back to Him for help. He really is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love (Ps. 145:8). 


Praising Him Who Saved Me

About Me

I called this blog "bridewithoutblemish"  according to the verse in Ephesians 5 where it says Jesus will present the Church to himself as a bride without spot or blemish. Let me start this by saying I am not perfect. I am a work in progress and I definitely don't see myself as a "Bride without blemish". That being said, I stand today only as a result of His mercy and as a testament of His never ending patience with me.

My testimony is nothing dramatic.Jesus Christ saved me when I was young and it is because of his grace that I am still standing here.  I grew up in a Christian home surrounded by a loving family who raised me up to fear the Lord. I was saved and baptized and filed with the Holy Spirit at a young age.

My calling, I know, is to go into missions. I grew up in the US but I do not want to stay here. I want to go to third world countries and serve him there among the lost and forgotten children of the world.

I am almost 24 and not yet married but I grew up in the Indian Community where arranged marriages are the norm (we will see how that goes lol)

I am not really sure why exactly I started this blog. I do not even know if I will keep it up to date. It was just an idea I had yesterday and I figured I might as well. Who knows what He could do through this, right?

The goal of my life is to glorify Him who called me.

More on this section later as I think of it :)

Praising Him Who Saved Me