Hidden in Plain Sight

You know those “Hidden Pictures” puzzles that Highlight magazine is famous for?  Those pictures where common objects are “hidden” in plain sight, but you can’t see them and you have to search the picture for them?

Well, I’ve noticed lately that life can be a lot like that.  I’ve noticed that my life is filled with these seemingly obvious sins that I am absolutely oblivious to.  Sins that I am totally unaware of, but to someone standing next to me, they appear glaringly obvious.

It reminds me of the other day when I was recording a couple little videos of my oldest daughter singing in church.  (Yes, I know. Videotaping during church.  I know.  Sorry.  That’s not the point here.  I don’t need anyone to point that one out now.  Hang with me here.)  Anyway when I played the videos back, in 3 of the 4 recordings can you guess what really stands out?  Me.  My voice.  And it’s not pretty, friends.  Not pretty.

And there it was.  There are dozens of things that I am doing every single day that I am unable to see.  Why? Because they have not yet been revealed to me.  That tone of voice.  That bitterness.  That pride.

Friends, do you know how much I have GROWN in the last 21 years I have been a follower of Jesus Christ?  How MUCH I have changed?  How MANY blind spots have been revealed to me in the past two decades?

And yet, I suddenly realized how many blind spots are still there.  And, once again, I was humbled.  I heard my Savior’s loving voice, gently urging me, “Kim, you have so far yet to go.”

And I was encouraged to give more grace, to have more patience and to be that much quicker to forgive a wrong, because the Lord daily has grace for me and patience with me.  He has forgiven me soo much.

Thank you, Father, for not revealing the depth of my wickedness all at once, but rather moment by moment opening my eyes to the next thing, day by day conforming me more and more to the image of Your Son.

How is God opening your eyes to those unseen sins today?  Pray for Him to show them to you.

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalm 139:23-24 ESV)

 

Of More and Less

more and lessAt the start of 2016, I began thinking about what I’d like this new year to hold.  My mind immediately turned to all the things that I needed to do, the self-improvement projects I needed to start.

Then, the Spirit grabbed hold of my heart.

Too often, friends, I am captivated by the things I need to do MORE, rather than the things I need to do LESS.

So, this year I’d like to see:

  • More praying, Less fretting
  • More time used, Less time wasted
  • More face time, Less Facebook
  • More Jesus, Less me

“And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness–look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.”” (John 3:26-30 ESV)

It has seemed good to me

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I love the idea of being a witness for Christ. It is one topic that I can get super hyped up talking about. What a privilege it is to be able to publicly testify of God’s mighty works!

So, here I am just studying Daniel 4 once again and here it is: Nebuchadnezzar, after being humbled and then restored, is compelled to DECLARE the awesome works of the Lord.

“It has seemed good to me to declare the signs and wonders which the Most High God has done for me.” Daniel 4:2

What has the Lord done for you? Today or 7 years ago?

Magnify the Lord with me

This semester at Renewed Moms (a women’s Bible study I’m a part of) we are inductively studying the book of Daniel. Today, while observing chapter 4, marking up the words for Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar and God, I had another Aha moment confirming what I saw earlier this week.

Look with me at the very last verse of the chapter, verse 37.

Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble. (NIV)

This is the very same Nebuchadnezzer, who in verse 30 was bragging about great Babylon, which he had built by his own mighty power and for the glory of his own majesty!  The Lord intervened and humbles him. The Most High took away from him all these things that he had worked so hard for and which gave him such pride, until after seven long years, Nebuchadnezzar “raised [his] eyes toward heaven, and [his] sanity was restored. Then [he] praised the Most High; [he] honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation.” (v. 34 NIV)

God indeed opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. He exalts those who humble themselves before him. I fear that in my never ending desire to glorify God, I too often end up glorifying myself, and in trying to be “all that I can be,” I forget that I can do no good thing apart from Him.

As Psalm 34:3 says, “Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.”

Let us pray together for meek and gentle spirits, for hearts that seek to praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven who does everything right and who is always just and who is faithful to humble the proud.

And, our nation needs prayer.  We need to be praying for the leadership of our country to recognize that God’s dominion is indeed eternal and that His kingdom is the only one that endures forever, from generation to generation.

Please, stop whatever you’re doing right now, and pray.