Forgotten Promises

8 11 2013

{I owe a special “Thank You” to Tanya who provided the inspiration for this post!}

I own several Bibles, each one used during a specific season of life. Some are in tatters, others so marked up they are hard to read. The one from my “exodus” from an abusive marriage reads like my diary, the one I was reading when my mom moved to heaven was shelved. There’s one from my early recovery days, and one from the season when God taught me that I am greatly beloved and highly favored.

Each one is dear to me in a different way. Each is full of underlined promises that I claimed as my own.

Tanya drew our attention to the little book of Haggai. If you haven’t read it lately, you should. Don’t know where it is? It’s on page 1315!

A couple of verses stood out to me. These were highlighted in my “recovery season” Bible…promises long forgotten because nothing visible happened at that time. I assumed I’d misunderstood or been presumptuous and moved on.

Chapter 1, Verse 14: “So the Lord stirred up the spirit (of the leaders) and all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God.”

The Lord no longer dwells in a house built by our hands, but we learn in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 that our bodies are His temple. The work is no longer specific to a building…but to our hearts! Note who did the work…the people.

Whenever we speak truth in love to one another, equip one another, encourage one another, or bring healing,

we are working on the house of the Lord of hosts. 

Do we see the wreckage in people around us? If we do, then we are meant to act. If He’s made us aware of a broken down life, there’s a reason. We must ask what He would have us do. Sometimes it’s as simple as lifting them up in prayer. At other times, we may need to roll our sleeves up and get to work.

There’s no pat answer. Different people call for a different type of involvement.

Then, in Haggai 2:9, God makes this promise: “The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,” says the Lord of hosts, “and in this place I shall give peace,” declares the Lord of hosts.

When God begins His work on our temple through His people,

improvements are inevitable.

For example, look at His temple in me. In the 70s…through the 90s, it was a “den of thieves”, “of iniquity of all sorts. I allowed drunkenness, debauchery, adultery, abuse, and a host of other things to take place in His temple…most of it while claiming to be His follower.

In the midst of my rubble, He sent people to come rebuild a little here, remove a little there. It’s been a slow, laborious process because, unlike a building made with stones, this one is made of tender flesh. That requires gentle handling of the building materials.

While I have not “arrived,” – much remains to be done – the glory of His temple in me is certainly greater than it was then! (That looks so arrogant typed out like that.) But it is true! 

(The thing this former “adrenaline junkie” appreciates most is the Presence of His peace!)

Remodeling is a messy business. First the furniture and decorations are removed. Then things are ripped up, cut out, and torn down. There’s dirt and debris. When a house is in this condition, it’s no time to take photos for House and Garden! Guests don’t hang out because the place is a shambles.

Do you know anyone who is like this? Does your life look like this?

Take heart!

After the removal process, comes the rebuilding. When the last of the debris is swept away, new fixtures are installed. A fresh coat of paint is applied, and even the floor coverings are cleaned or replaced. The room is beginning to take shape. People stick around a little longer. 😉

Then it’s time to decide what furniture and decorations are to be added. May you choose the Couch of Peace, Pictures of Joy, the soft Carpet of Gentleness. May the drapes surround windows through which shine the Goodness of God.

May vases filled with Flowers of Patience adorn the Tables of Kindness, along with golden Goblets of Love. Don’t forget to include the Remote of Self Control!

This little two-chapter book ends with this wonderful promise:

“I will make you like a signet ring (or seal),

for I have chosen you,” declares the Lord of hosts.

All that to say this:

Did God give you promises? Were they so long ago that you’ve given up and decided that you were mistaken when you thought they were meant for you? If so, find them and dust them off.

“Has God not said, and will He not do it?”

The renovation of a heart is a slow, tedious process. For me it has been a work of a couple of decades. Although there’s still work ahead, much of the messy stuff has been taken care of now.

He hasn’t forgotten, and you did not misunderstand –

A good Artist takes His time!

I leave you with this:

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you

will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6

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17 responses

13 11 2013
anonymousonetoo

Hi,
Do you like to read Christian How-To books? Have you ever heard of the book by Nancy Missler (wife of Chuck Missler)? The book is called “The Way of Agape”. I’m going through it one chapter at a time with my spiritual mentor and we’re answering the questions in the associated workbook.
Anyway,
One thing she talks about in the book that I absolutely love, is about when a person becomes a believer in Jesus Christ, they actually receive a brand-spanking-new-heart for ever and ever. They also receive a Spirit which acts as a sort of God-generator for keeping this brand new made-of-flesh (no longer stone) heart. This book opened up a whole new realm of possibilities about what I am capable of now that I have a Spirit to accompany my human soul (which was the only generator I had at my disposal before I accepted God into my heart). This book really has been a God-send to me. It’s made things very clear regarding the power and wisdom I now have, as a believer … if I will take advantage of it… if I will let it come out into the world. There are many other things she explains too about how to remain an ‘open-vessel’ for God to do His work through… me!

13 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

I am a huge fan of Nancy and Chuck Missler. Her study, “Be Ye Transformed” was – well – transformational and key to my recovery and walk with the Lord.

Yes, our old heart WAS deceitful and desperately wicked; but it’s been removed and replaced with a heart of flesh…and God only ever gives good gifts – never faulty ones!

It’s sad that preachers teach that we are vile creatures when, in fact, we are NEW creations in Christ! Whenever they teach that our heart is desperately wicked, I mentally remind myself that this is no longer true. When given the chance, I’ll take up the matter with the teacher, too. It makes a HUGE difference in how I live my life. (I wrote about this in God Don’t Give Junk.)

Want some “God-shivers”? Check this out. Jesus was called the “first born over many brethren.” The Greek word for “first born” is “prototokis” and it means…yep, you guessed it…prototype.

When He stepped out of His God abilities and came to earth as a man, it was to demonstrate what our “new model,” fully surrendered to God, was capable of! That’s why He said that we would be able to do what He had done…and more!

We haven’t yet fully realized what He is capable of doing through us…if we’d only let Him!

Whooee! I want to see what that would look like in my life – and the lives of all the believers. We would rock this world if we only understood the power that He has placed within us through His Spirit.

I’m glad you found Nan’s book!

Have a God day!

\o/

9 11 2013
Kathleen

reblogged on coming2him.wordpress.com — Thanks Tami perfectly put! I have those same Bibles, shelved after seasons of life, I’m going to open them up this week and relook at the promises I had claimed at those times.

10 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

That’s fantastic! It’s the promises I claimed in the 1980s that are finally becoming reality. It’s so exciting that I feel like I barely dare breath for fear of blowing them away again! 🙂

\o/

9 11 2013
Kathleen

Reblogged this on Coming2Him and commented:
Tami at Lessons by Heart shared these wonderful truths- hope you are as blessed by the words as I was!

9 11 2013
shirleymcp

Hi Tami,
I’m new to blogging, but not new to the wonderful truths you write about! A great reminder that we who love Jesus Christ are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Even though I’m now 80 years old, I still get a messy house. Your story especially encouraged me to pray for my children and grandchildren who are building on the wrong foundation at this present time. I know that God is working in their lives….and your blog was yet another evidence of His love.
Shirley Cook

9 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

I have the same thing in my own family, so I know what you mean. I keep reminding Jesus of Acts 16:31: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved…AND YOUR HOUSE! Then I point out those of my house that are not yet His! I know He will do all He can to win them over. He is faithful. 🙂

\o/

8 11 2013
YRB

So real & practical. Fine work. Thanks for the reminders!

9 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

This one spoke to me on many levels. God is faithful to complete the work He’s begun in us. For that I am truly thankful.

Thanks for your comment! 🙂

\o/

8 11 2013
Tanya M.

And now I’d like to petition for a “love it” button! This is so encouraging, so inspiring and so very well said! Your life story is exactly what it means to rebuild His house. And your description of the remodeling process and of selecting décor is brilliant. May every house be adorned the way you’ve described here. Beautifully said, my friend. Just beautiful.

9 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

\o/

8 11 2013
Susan Irene Fox

It seems as though we are all renovating different rooms at different times in our lives. Our perfection and completion will only be the day we see Jesus face to face. It is a long journey…surrender to the ride.

9 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

It took me a long time to figure out that in surrendering I was gaining far more than the control I thought I had when I was in charge. God is so good to us, isn’t He?

\o/

10 11 2013
Susan Irene Fox

Yes! My pastor just said today that God is often being silent as part of HIs plan. We must be comfortable in the Waiting Room – it’s part of the journey. I liked that.

10 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

I wouldn’t mind the waiting room…if it didn’t involve waiting! 😉

\o/

8 11 2013
Chrystal

Thank you, Tami. Very encouraging….cause I feel like my house is in the middle of a very messy renovation….

8 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

Don’t we all, in one way or another? 😉

\o/

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