Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Secret of Inviting His Gaze

My next installment of quotes from and thoughts on the book Secrets of the Secret Place are from the chapter The Secret of Inviting His Gaze. Words in red bold italics are from the scriptures, and words in italics only are from the book. Words printed this way, in regular font, are my own words and thoughts. The song above was contributed by Anna to go along with this. If you'd like, listen to and enjoy the song while reading this post.

"The LORD is in His holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. The LORD tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain coals; fire and brimstone and a burning wind shall be the portion of their cup. For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright. (Psalm 11:4-7)

"God scrutinizes mankind with focused intensity. He cares intensely for us and about us. He studies our responses and weighs our attitudes. He is vitally concerned over our welfare and is committed to judging us justly for every word and deed."

Personally, I am very concerned about my own words. My hearts desire is that of David when he expressed "Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer." (Psalm 19:14) I have been "accused" of being to sensitive, stuffy, or too concerned about the use of certain words. The truth is I am very concerned, very sensitive, call me stuffy - I really don't care. When I read scriptures like "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 'But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.'" (Matthew 12:35-37) I find myself especially concerned. So, yea, I'm very defensive when it comes to my own words, and the words of those the Lord has entrusted to my care (my children). And I wonder why others do not take it as seriously. The Word would seem to indicate that it IS serious to God!

Before I was born again, there was no word off limits of crossing my lips. I used them all then, prior to my spiritual rebirth, and I used them frequently. I remember when I was first converted that I immediately could not use those words. I did not even want to refer to them, and when someone else used them the Holy Spirit within me would cringe, I would be embarrassed. I couldn't stand it then, and I can not stand it now almost 20 years later. Does this make me odd? Strange? Too sensitive? Holy? Do those who would speak this way, and condemn me for being "judgemental" of their speech actually stand in judgment of me?

"The Lord has said to us, 'But on this one will I look; on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word!' (Isaiah 66:2) When I read those words my heart moves within me. 'That's me, Lord, I'm poor and contrite, and I tremble at Your word. Oh that You would look upon me in this way!'

"God is on a holy search, 'for the eyes of the LORD run to and from throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.' (2 Chronicles 16:9)"

... He is testing you to see if your heart will remain loyal to Him through the scrutiny. If you persevere, He designs to show Himself strong on your behalf.

....The Lord is patient with us, however, and He gives us time to process and adjust. Over time, the saint slowly begins to realize that the alternative is far worse.

Oh the horror of God turning His eyes away from us! It was an awful declaration of judgment when God said, "I will hide My face from them" (Deuteronomy 32:20)...

... When my mind wanders from a conscious focus upon the Lord, and I am distracted by the affairs of everyday life, upon returning to Christ in my thoughts comes this awesome realization: He was there all along, waiting for my thoughts to return to Him! He is never disconnected or distracted away from me, not even for a split second. ... THANK YOU LORD!!

What can I say to such kindness, Lord? Here is my simple prayer: "Look upon me and be merciful to me, as Your custom is toward those who love Your name." (Psalm 119:132)." I pray that as I use words that are hurtful, unholy, angry or impatient that the Lord will indeed show mercy and grace towards me. And, I pray that I too will be merciful to others when they do the same.

Abiding in that amazing grace,


Friday, June 4, 2010

"The Secret of Buying Gold"

These days nearly every television and radio channel is running some sort of commercial about how you can either sell the gold you have to make money, or buy gold to put up and save for a financial crisis. Neither of these is what this post is about. Today is our next "installment" from the book I'm reading Secrets of the Secret Place.

Today's post is from the chapter, The Secret of Buying Gold.

"I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich." Revelation 3:18

"What is this gold that enriches us? It's the gold of authentically-produced godly character, it's Christlikeness. ...

To de-mistify this thing, let me describe very clearly the process whereby we buy 'gold refined by fire.' First comes the fire. By fire, I am talking about tribulation or affliction or distress or calamity or persecution. ... You don't have to wonder or imagine whether you're in the fire. When the fire hits your life, you will know it! You will lose control, your pain levels will skyrocket, and your desperation for God will intensify. Your flesh will want to collapse and give up, but since your spirit is alive to the beauties of Christ, the fire will be used of God to drive you into the face of Christ like never before. Instead of giving up, you'll run even harder! Your primary source of sanity in the midst of the fire will be your secret place, where the Spirit will soothe your tortured soul and the word will sustain your hope and faith.

... you will begin to see areas of your heart and soul that have been out of alignment with God's ways and will. As you see those things, you are so desperate for God you gladly and diligently do business with Him, repenting and considering deeply how to change and adopt new patterns of thought, behavior, and motive. As you embrace the changes that God's Spirit inspires within you, you are actually becoming more like Jesus. Or to put it another way, you're buying gold in the fire.

It says we "buy" this gold because the pricetag is steep. ...

The fire has a way of making you a doer of the word and not just a hearer only. You become desperate for a word from God, and then when it comes, you cling to it like it's your very life source. ... then something amazing happens. When you share with others how the word mirrored your own shortcomings and how you became a doer of the word in the midst of the fire, your witness will have a profound effect upon your hearers. They will be fed by your witness of what has fed you.

The secret place is the only way you'll survive the fire. And the secret of the thing is, God's word flowing into you will not only enable you to survive, it will empower you to overcome and buy eternal treasure. ... God has great understanding into this powerful little secret, which is why He is merciful enough to send the fire in answer to your prayers. If you will cry to Him from the depths of your being, He will send exactly the right kind of fire you need at this moment in your journey. This fire will press you into the mirror of His word that you might begin to buy the gold of "refined character."

There are days when I feel as if surely I must have a stockpile of gold simply because of the troubles I've seen in my own life. Then I think of those who live in persecuted nations of the world, those who were burned alive or otherwise martyred for their allegiance and faith in Christ. I think of those who this very moment are starving to death while I just finished eating plenty for dinner and will later on enjoy some cake I made today. I think of those who've lost multiple children, not just one - though even the one is a horrifying event in one's life.

Most of all I pray that, as I go through the fire, I will throw myself into the arms of my God, cling to His word, press myself into Him, that I may be changed. I desire to be transformed into something that brings glory to my God. I pray that I will not become embittered because of the trials, but that as I share with others how the word mirrored my own shortcomings and how I became a doer of the word in the midst of the fire, that my witness will have a profound effect upon my hearers. That they will be fed by my witness of what has fed me.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ." 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

I hope that you all are enjoying these segments from this book. I'm surely enjoying reading it. Please leave your thoughts and comments. Next up, The Secret of Inviting His Gaze, and Anna has another song to go along with that one.

Abiding in His grace,

Hola, everybody! Here's a song to go along with THIS post (sorry I couldn't find a video, you'll just have to read the lyrics)...

"Consume Me" by Tenth Avenue North:

Walking down the dusty road
Though weak I thought I was so strong
Trying to make it one my own
I keep tripping on my clumsy feet
Look here at the mess I made of me
When you pulled me from the mud and clay
Yeah so you fill me anyway
But you hold me anyways
And I said...

Consume me with your fire
Cleanse me with your rain
Bring and purify me let me glorify your name
Until only your love remains

Consume me with your fire
Cleanse me with your rain
Yeah wash away my empty past
Until only your love remains
Love remains ... 'til only your love remains

22 years passed me by
22 years I sat and cried
Living by sight and not by faith
Oh Lord you wont despise
Forgiving me so many times
When I turned and I walked away
Yeah but you turned me around when I humbled myself to pray
And I say...

Consume me with your fire
Cleanse me with your rain
Bring and purify me let me glorify your name
Until only your love remains

Consume me with your fire
Cleanse me with your rain
Yeah wash away my empty past
Until only your love remains
Love remains... Only your love remains

Amazing grace just rain on me today
Yeah forgive me as I'm giving my heart
To you to you to you

Consume me with your fire
Cleanse me with your rain
Bring and purify me let me glorify your name
Until only your love remains

Consume me with your fire
Cleanse me with your rain
Yeah wash away my empty past
Until only your love remains
Love remains... Only your love remains

I hope y'all like it!
Anna McGuire/marryanna

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Chris Tomlin - Holy Is the Lord

This song goes with my mom's latest post. Enjoy!
~Anna McGuire

Secrets of the Secret Place by Bob Sorge

Hello Dear Readers,

Before I start tonight, I'd like to bring your attention to some things that are going on in Guatemala currently. Over the last week or so, they have experienced the eruption of one of their many volcanoes. Homes, business are closed if not totally lost. This is also the rainy season in Guatemala. So, they are also experiencing mudslides, flooding and other horrific circumstances.

The Lord alone knows their needs and will prick the hearts of His people to care for the people of Guatemala as we are able. Part of my family is planning to return to Guatemala on a mission trip in late July, so we are praying that much clean up effort has been done so that they can get into the towns and villages to minister to these hurting people.


I shared earlier some thoughts and quotes from the book Secrets of the Secret Place by Bob Sorge. I am continuing to read through the last half of this book, and every day I come across thoughts that make me think, "Oh, that's good. I've got to share this!"

So, here I am, to share some more thoughts. I decided that I would post them as I read through the book and come across things that really give me pause to think, or that I wanted to return to and read again sometime. I highly recommend this to any of you who have enjoyed the quotes I've shared from this series. This is a devotional type reading book, and it is not gender specific so you guys our there should like it just as well too.


From the chapter, "The Secret of Holiness" -

"'The Lord has said, "He who walks in a perfect way, he shall serve me' (Psalm 101:6) This is not referring to sinless perfection, but rather to a blameless lifestyle that is not subject to reproach or criticism by those who live closest to you.

... Holiness is not an inherent quality we carry; it is a derived quality that we take on. Holiness has but one source, the Holy One. Holiness has to do with proximity to the throne. The seraphim are called "holy ones," not because of who they are but because of where they are. They are "holy ones" because they live in the immediate presence of the Holy One! I am holy only to the extent that I abide in His holy presence."

Anna selected the above video from Chris Tomlin singing Holy is The Lord. I hope that you will enjoy it.

Will share more again soon,