April 28, 2016
May the Lord grant us great wisdom and self-control, dear Heartdwellers.
Today, I got really excited about beginning the painting He's asked me to do, and I'm studying some techniques before I get started. But I needed pastels and I know I went a little overboard on them, I could feel it in my conscience. And for the last two days, I've been feeling convicted about having spent too much on pastels and paper. My flesh likes to jump in head-over-heels and be prepared for anything, and always have the best materials available. This attitude has led me in to avarice before.
My spirit would like to honor the Lord by using the absolute minimum to do a good job. But this attitude can lead to pride.
So, someplace in between - to have enough to cover possibilities, but not an obvious excess would be just perfect. Anyway, I also justified this by saying to myself, 'Well, I'll do a painting of the Father and Holy Spirit too.' And I haven't gotten permission from the Lord to do that, so I certainly don't want to go off the deep end.
Anyway... This is a funny little story. If you've heard it before, please just bare with me. One day, second graders were drawing and the teacher went around the room looking at each student's work. She stopped at one little boy who was clenching his jaw with his tongue sticking out and very engaged in his drawing. The teacher asked him, "Brian, what are you drawing?" The little boy answered, "God." She replied to him, "But honey, nobody knows what God looks like." He retorted, "They will when I'm done with this picture!"
Well, here I am Lord, unable to escape standing before Your mirror. Did you have something to say?
Am I way off track? Never mind, I know. I'm way off track. Well, I'm off track anyway...
Now, just to give you a little background on my father. I never knew him, they got divorced when I was very young, when I was just a baby, just been born. My father was a designer and a very extravagant man. Some of his work is hanging in the Art Institute of Chicago. When he proposed to my mother, he rented an extravagant coach to take her to NYC, where he wined and dined her and took her to the theatre and ballet. So, when He said that, I knew where He was coming from.
I answered Jesus, "Reel me in, Lord."
"I'm trying to, My whole-hog Bride."
Ewwuuuu...don't think I like that title.
"If the shoe fits, wear it." He said...
Lord, what is on Your heart for the channel this morning?
"Freedom without license."
I had to look up the word license just to be sure. It says. License: freedom to behave as one wishes, especially in a way that results in excessive or unacceptable behavior.
Lord, I stand guilty as charged. I think I overdid...Nah, I know I overdid it. I can feel it in my conscience.
"THERE IS A REASON I GIVE YOU A CONSCIENCE, YOU KNOW. IT PROTECTS YOU FROM THE ENEMY. SOMETIMES YOU THINK THAT RESTRAINT IS PAINFUL, BUT ACTUALLY PAIN FROM NO RESTRAINT IS MUCH MORE PAINFUL, WHEN IT CATCHES UP TO YOU. BETTER TO BE CAREFUL AT THE ONSET AND NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO GO OVERBOARD.
"For now, I forgive you. But today is a new day and I want you to prove to Me you have learned your lesson. Show restraint, My dear one. Show restraint. That is, show more restraint.
"To all of you, My Brides, I do not limit you and keep you inside boundaries for no reason at all. I know the road ahead of you and how your excesses will be brought to bear against your souls. I know how Satan will turn what was good into something bad, in fact very bad and misleading. That's why I warn you in your conscience to stop. Because if you don't, the enemy will use you against yourself to bring you down.
"The journey of this life can be forty years wandering in circles in the desert, or safe passage in only a day.
"When I am working with you about excessive or obsessive behavior, I am wanting to deliver you into the Land of Milk and Honey overnight, without the painful wilderness track of 40 years. Listening very carefully can spare you much sorrow later. When you feel something is wrong, something probably IS wrong. And that's the time to pay heed and stop.
"Remember, I am not depriving you - I am protecting you. You cannot see what your actions will result in now, but I can. Things like credit card debt you can never get caught up on, making you work weekends and weakening your body through stress and burnout. Things like projects started and never finished because it wasn't My will in the first place. Then you look at those boxes in the garage knowing you haven't even paid them off yet and you feel guilty. The enemy sees that as an occasion to bring you down, so he comes in to pound on you and make you feel guilty, loading you with condemnation. When in fact, you confessed that sin and I already forgave you.
"Things like a car that's way beyond your budget, that you have to sacrifice on daily necessities in order to pay on every month. Spending excessive time on a garden and lifting something beyond your strength, resulting in a back injury.
"My yoke is easy. My burden is light. But getting you into that yoke, Whew! That's a real challenge, for even Me!
"You see, holiness is hard work. It entails much self-denial and refocusing on the needs of others. When you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for trials. Yes, many in this world believe it is their right to indulge themselves. After all, they worked for it. But all this indulgence leads to blind alleys, wrong turns and bondage. And some of this indulgence is spurred on by the enemy, knowing your weakness. And knowing that you won't check with Me. He pushes you into things that feed your fancy and meets some need that you're not aware of.
"I would have you free, fluid, mobile and peaceful. Many irons in the fire, many projects, many materials leads to stress, which leads to tension in the home with your spouse and children. Which leads to poor health.
"Whereas sufficient resource or just a bit under, keeps your life uncluttered and simple."
Better is a little with the fear of the LORD, than great treasure and turmoil with it. Proverbs 15:16
Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This, too, is meaningless. Ecclesiastes 5:10
The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether they eat little or much, but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep. Ecclesiastes 5:12
Wow, can I attest to that! When my mom passed on and left us an inheritance, we were sorely lacking in equipment to be able to work with music. I can't tell you how many sleepless nights I had, going onto the Internet and researching equipment, trying to figure out what was the best investment for what the Lord wanted us to do. So, it's a trap! It's a real, real trap.
And as an aside here, there've been several times when I went overboard and the Lord gave me readings from the Bible Promises about sickness. So, I see what He's saying. It is a disease, a disease of insecurity.
It's my black panther, Lord. I thought I was getting done with that??
"My People, the more you have in this world, the more stress and responsibility in your life. Very few people can touch these things lightly and move on past them. Most get caught in the net of bigger and better. And with that they pierce themselves through with many sorrows."
I don't know the address of those Scriptures, but I know they're in the Bible. (1 Timothy 6:10)
"I bless you now with the graces to help you with foresight, obedience and temperance in all things. Those I love I correct.
"Truly, I love you, My Bride."