Five days after receiving Luke's file, that particular battle with the enemy and my flesh ended.
The peace that followed was incredibly sweet and virtually tangible.
I was slated to leave the next day for a Conference that I attend annually and I was looking forward to the time with the Lord. But a part of me was also a tad worried. You see, I've gone to this conference several years in a row and the Lord has always met with me...and dealt with me in the areas that were heaviest on my heart.
Obviously, Luke was heaviest on my heart. And, I just couldn't take anymore. I was worn out. I wanted a mental change of pace!
So imagine my dismay when it appeared that the Conference might have something to do with orphans or adoption! It didn't explicitly, but not knowing this, I immediately went to the Lord and laid my desire out before Him. I told Him that He knew that He and I had settled matters the day before. I'd committed to following Him...and I meant it! Lord, You couldn't possibly be bringing me here to talk about this...again! Could you? Please, Lord? No more...there can't possibly be anything left for You & I to discuss.
And, again, like He had faithfully done so many times in the days and weeks before...He answered me. He said, "Mandy, now that we've "settled" things, I've brought you here to teach you how to walk in these next days, weeks, months and years."
He was fulfilling a promise that has been so very dear to me these last years as I've found myself on unfamiliar territory:
Isaiah 30:21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."
The Conference was on Psalm 103 and the Lord made a list for me over those 3 days of how I am to walk. I was soooo excited! I eagerly wrote down everything He told me and was relieved to see He was giving me direction on the path that He had chosen for me.
When I got home, I rewrote the "list" so I would have it handy and available daily. As I started writing, I found myself laughing. These items that I found so profound....were actually nothing new! They wouldn't sound special for my circumstance to anyone who read them and they could easily make the Christian's Top Ten List of Walking with God (if that exists!). But I knew that these were my reminders, the principles my Lord had laid out for me for joyful, victorious walking with Him.
I'm sure I've stoked your curiosity. And because today, really every day, I need to hear them again...here they are:
1) Talk to myself...exhort myself (Ps 103:1) to choose to:
2) Remember what God has done (Ps 103:1)
3) Be thankful...recount all His benefits, tabulate them, heap them up! (Ps. 103:2)
4) Praise... instead of complain. Bless the Lord, O my soul! (all of Ps 103)
5) Tightly fix Your Word to myself (the belt of Truth, Eph. 6:14)
6) Have faith in God & His abilities...not my own (Ps. 103 is all praise of God & His abilities.)
5) Keeping praying & fasting. I am most protected when kneeling behind the shield of faith! (Eph 6)
7) Sing praises! (Ps 103...David was a musician and this was his song.)
8) Be confident in my Commander...be bold & stouthearted in Christ. (Ps 103:17-21, Eph. 6)
9) Remember Your purpose for me is that I would display Your victory and Your glory (Ps 103:17-21).
10) Do it again and again and again!
Aside from the How to Walk list, one other thing has stuck with me from that Conference...a quote from a workshop on Spiritual Warfare (of course!). The speaker said this:
I would rather live with the consequences of OBEDIENCE rather than the consequences of DISOBEDIENCE.
Wow! That is exactly what I got to in that Cry Room the Sunday before.
I leave you today with the a song the conference's worship leader wrote.
words and music by Gia Lucid
Take me to the place where my sins were forgiven - Show me the One who bore my shame - Take me to the place where blood and water flowed - The very blood that made my sinful heart white as snow
Remind me of Your sacrifice - When I won’t give my all to You - Remind me of the pain You bore - When I complain about all I’m going through - Remind me of Your nail pierced hands - When I won’t lift my hands in surrender - When I forget the reason I live - Remind me of the cross
It was my sin - That drove the nails - Into Your hands and feet - Still I manage to forget - But Lord, You’ve never forgotten me