I have a husband who was taught to act like a gentleman. That means he sweetly grabs anything from my hands or grasp that is heavier than an envelope! There have been times when I’ve seen that he’s already carrying something else and I’ve said,
“It’s okay, I’ve got it.” To which he replies,
“Denise, give it to me.”
It’s then that I open my hands and hand it over. My load is lighter and I have appropriated all he desires to be as my husband – loving, leader, gentleman, and helper.
On a recent trip to Kentucky to visit my parents I made the trip by myself as I’ve done many times, traveling through the Cumberland Gap on many four-lane roads and avoiding the busy interstate.
As I was tootling my way along one of the parts where it narrowed to a two-lane road, I saw police lights up ahead on the opposite side of the road. As I slowed down, I noticed the car in the lane coming towards me that had come to a stop. I assumed he was being held for speeding or something. When I saw a state trooper walking along the yellow lines of the road, I also assumed that he was just slowing cars down and making them aware of the one car that they had pulled over, so I didn’t stop – I just slowed way down and drove past the police officer. When I got just past him, I looked in my side mirror to see him give a bit of a wave as he turned my direction. I waved and kept going. (Okay, I know you’re laughing right now! Go ahead! I deserve it!).
As I got on a few hundred feet away, I saw that the car behind me had come to a complete stop as he approached the trooper. It was then that I realized that they were stopping every car probably to check for seat belts and license. Duh!!!
I watched in my rear view mirror, wondering if someone would come after me. No one did. I laughed at my stupidity, but then I also reassured myself that if I had looked suspicious he would have done more than just wave. He never even put up his hand in a gesture that would say, “Stop!”
As I called my husband and laughed my way through my story, I said,
“Well, I had my seat belt on, I have a current license and I hadn’t been speeding, so why would I think he wanted me to stop if he didn’t motion for me to do so? I kept going because I was innocent!”
I got to thinking about a criminal who might have driven through that same scene and become sweaty-palmed and nervous as he approached the police cars and the flashing lights. Maybe he would wonder if the road block was to find him! Perhaps he’d start figuring out an excuse or a way to escape. Because he was guilty he’d be fearful to approach the trooper in the road. He may have even wondered the whole time he was driving if he’d get stopped for speeding and then get found out. He would want to run – even though no one was chasing him! Guilt will do that to you.
It reminded me of Proverbs 28:1
The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.
The application of this in every day life is that when we obey the Lord’s commands and walk purely before Him, we don’t have to keep looking over our shoulder wondering when or if we’ll get caught. We won’t listen to a sermon and “sweat it out” wondering if that message Pastor preached was because he knows about the sin in which we’re involved. We can walk bold as a lion, unashamed and unafraid.
I haven’t always been as innocent as the day I drove past the State trooper, and I thank the Lord for the cleansing and forgiveness He brings when I confess the sin. I make it right with Him, and with those that were touched by my ungodly actions. The guilt is gone then. The relief washes over me and I can “drive on” not having to keep looking in my rear view mirror.
How about you, my friend? Are you involved in some kind of sin or behavior that has brought on fear and guilt? It makes you run at every turn, fearful you’ll get found out. Why not “turn yourself in” by going to the Lord and confessing it to Him. He will forgive if you humbly bow and ask. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9 Then He’ll also show you the next step you need to take. Don’t live looking over your shoulder; live purely and enjoy the journey instead!
Do you remember these “Love is…” cartoons? How many descriptions of love have been described in this cartoon since the 1960’s when it first began? It covers every aspect of love, both tender and funny. I’ve always enjoyed them and look for them, and often find them taped to the bathroom mirror from a certain someone. 🙂 The illustrator could recognize love in many forms.
Last weekend I had the blessing of attending The Ladies’ Prayer Advance in Roanoke, Virginia. This event is like a “ladies’ retreat” in that it is a weekend away. However, it’s called an Advance because the whole purpose is to encourage women to move forward in their walk with God.
Sometimes we need a couple of days to rest, move slowly as we talk to God and spend time alone with Him, but then there are other times when we need someone to put their hand in the middle of our back, so to speak, and help us move closer to God through:
Bible preaching in general sessions
Biblical teaching in Break-out sessions
Times of corporate prayer
Times of individual prayer
It is absolutely wonderful. It’s the best kind of tired you can feel! To have heard God’s Word taught or preached seven times in those two and half days is powerful. To spend time alone in prayer is convicting. To pray with your prayer group several times is better than I can even describe. The closeness that it brings is a special blessing that only the Spirit of God could do.
The break-out sessions allow each woman to choose topics that speak to her heart. Abuse, contentment, depression, marriage, unanswered prayer, and overwhelming situations were some of the subjects addressed.
This is an exhausting weekend. There are no shopping adventures. No hours of rest between sessions. No extra activities are planned. Does it sound boring? It’s anything but that! Does this mean we don’t have fun? Hardly. When you get right with God, you also are the happiest and you are also a blessing to those around you! Our group had wonderful, sweet fellowship, laughter, tears and unity. It was precious!
Every year we make it a point to go to a fun place called Elderberry’s for lunch. They have a TON of different wraps and a MILLION different smoothies to choose from.
This year we ended our time at the Ladies’ Prayer Advance by sharing lunch together here before we had one last time of prayer and headed home…completely physically exhausted, but absolutely, wonderfully refreshed spiritually!!
Attending conferences like this is a huge sacrifice of each ladies’ time, but we all need it if we truly desire to advance in our relationship with the Lord. Do you make sure to find a time or two each year to spend away at conferences like this so you can be challenged and renewed spiritually? It’s really helpful if you are longing to advance!
Next year’s Ladies’ Prayer Advance is being held March 21-23 in Roanoke, VA. Perhaps you would consider joining the more than 500 that were there this year? You can find information here.
I will also be attending a Ladies’ Retreat this month in North Carolina at The Wilds. I’m excited about this special weekend as well. You can find information here and can also register on-line. You can’t go to The Wilds and not receive a blessing!!
Take time out to refresh and advance! You’ll be so glad you did!
Years ago one of my girls sent me a text message from their college dorm room. It read –
“I’m so ready to be done with dorm life! Someone is singing at the top of their lungs in the shower!”
Not everyone is a morning person who can sing first thing in the morning. Though I’d consider myself a morning person, I need about an hour of quiet before I’m ready for sounds above a whisper. However, whoever the girl in the shower was, she had a song in her heart first thing in the morning!
Proverbs 29:6 says,
“In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare: but the righteous doth sing and rejoice.”
The implication of that verse is that if there is sin in our hearts we will lose our song. Because we’re caught in the snare of our transgression, there’s no reason to rejoice. Is there a song in your heart at this moment? Do people irritate you quickly? Is there a nagging restlessness within you? I’m not asking if you’re a morning person, I’m talking about the majority of the day – are you singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord?
Obviously if a person hasn’t asked Christ to be their Savior, there’s still a void in their life and there’s no song. But if you’re God’s child because you’ve received Christ, there should be singing and rejoicing. Even in the midst of trials the song is there. It’s quiet, but it’s there.
If you’re song is gone, look for the reason. Sin is probably at the door. Confess it. Call it what God calls it. Don’t smooth it over. God knows what it is, so name it.
Was it worry?
Repent of it and know the joy that comes from having it out of your heart, and then replaced by the sweet song of the redeemed!
Sing your song…but if it’s early, you might want to sing it softly. 🙂