Heartprints

Jesus to the Rescue

 

My heart is reeling this morning from all the thoughts I have swimming around like a massive school of fish along the shore of reality.  Some are good and simple thoughts of praise and worship. Others are bigger thoughts about who God is in my world and in me.

Suddenly there appear these huge shark like thoughts that have been inserted by the enemy of my soul, thoughts of shame and worthlessness, reminders of failures and past sins. They swim furiously around sending the good and tiny thoughts of praise and worship scurrying off to hide in the rocks of confusion. They block out the light that has been shining on the larger thoughts, those thoughts of amazement and clarity as to how God is working in me and around me. Hidden in the darkness of my doubts I can no longer see them. With nothing else in view I am left to focus on these predator thoughts. These thoughts produce fear and shame. Some remind me of my guilt in past deeds of disobedience. I am mesmerized and left helpless unable to move or think about anything else.  

Then suddenly when I am almost overcome with feelings of despair I hear the still small voice of the Fisher of men. He tells me to cast my net into the water. I turn my eyes from the sharks and see His loving eyes gazing intently into mine. I find courage and have faith to obey. I cast my net into the waters left empty of all but dangerous shark like thoughts. I expect to come up empty or at best with just the knowledge of my worthlessness and shame.  But to my amazement as I cast my net of prayer for help out into the waters of grace my net comes back to me full of all that had seemed lost. Safe and sound I find the good thoughts still there to feast upon. I gain strength and nourishment as I sit at His fire and eat the feast He has prepared in sweet fellowship with Him.

2 Corinthians 10 reminds me that when I focus on the One who is Sovereign over all, even my very thoughts, then it is that I am free to be and in that freedom do what He calls me to do.  And so I learn a little more today what Paul was dealing with when he asks the Corinthians to bring their thoughts to Jesus and let Him be sovereign over them.  For though we live as human beings, we do not wage war according to human standards, for the weapons of our warfare are not human weapons, but are made powerful by God for tearing down strongholds. We tear down arguments and every arrogant obstacle that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obey Christ.

And so I pray today for each of us that if we glory, let us glory in the Lord remembering that it is not he who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.

 

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Suzi Ciliberti

Suzi Ciliberti works for Christar, a Missions Agency that plants churches among least-reached Asians worldwide. She served in Japan for two years as a single missionary and another nine with her husband and two children, then the family returned to the states. She and her husband have been serving in the US Mobilization Center since 2000. As a part of the Member Care Department, Suzi is consultant to families with children. She has been working as a children’s teacher since she was 17 and began her training under Child Evangelism Fellowship. She has taught in the church, as a school teacher for two years in a Christian elementary school, and as a speaker for adults training to work with children. She has also trained children, who are a part of families that work overseas, in their identity in Christ. She brings 44 years of teaching experience to her work. She loves creative writing as well as teaching and has found great fulfillment in combining the two as she blogs for Heartprints. She finds it a great privilege and joy to serve the Lord and His people. One of her favorite verses is Deuteronomy 4:10b, "Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children."