Sunday, July 18, 2010

On what do you rest this trust of yours?

(Isaiah 36:4b)

(You better freshen up your coffee & get comfy...*smile*)

That was one of the verses preached this morning @ The Fellowship @ Cinco Ranch in Katy. (For info about the church we'd belong to if we lived anywhere near the area, click here:

Our friend Donna invited us to join her there at her church. An awesome time on multiple levels, and most demonstrative of God's gracious providence as we get ready for round 3 of surgery tomorrow morning.

So, we drove over to meet Donna for church. VERY inviting facilities & spirit there! We walked into the Life Center (where they worship), and the band fires up "Let It Rise". Gently for the first chorus, and then *rocking*...I *loved* it! Like good worship leaders do, they transported me to the throne of glory right away.

Let the glory of the Lord, rise among us
Let the glory of the Lord, rise among us
Let the praises of the King rise among us
Let it rise

Let the songs of the Lord, rise among us
Let the songs of the Lord, rise among us
Let the joy of the King, rise among us
Let it rise

Oh - oh - oh, let it rise

And let me tell...the glory & the praises & the songs & the joy of the King rose among us this morning! Well, I don't suppose I can speak for all, but they rose among me...*smile*

The senior pastor wasn't there this morning. He's out of town. WAY out of town. In Indonesia, being a blessing to missionaries who are required to work deeply undercover in an area with hundreds of thousands of Muslims, and virtually no Christians.

So, for the first time in my 50+ years of church attendance, I heard a message by a guy wearing an Indy 500 pit crew shirt. You see, this guy missed church on the week of the 500. He & some other guys from the church were @ the Indy 500. Doing evangelism & ministry among the pit crews and race fans. They distributed several thousand pieces of literature about Christianity & did some very cool ministry things.

Anyway, the Fellowship is working through Isaiah this year. The whole book. For the whole year (series title: "Ancient Future...A Year in the Book of Isaiah"). Today, he spoke on "Who You Gonna Trust" from Isaiah 36. His message points were on "Sowing the Seeds of Doubt" introduced by "as surely as I'm preaching to you about faith in a crisis of belief, there's another who will also preach a different message to you in the crisis. Here's what he'll say..."

"God doesn't really care what you do"
"You are weak" (exposition: yes we are...that's why we need a strong Jesus! We're weak, Jesus isn't!)
"God is against you" (cross reference: Romans 8:38-39)
"Godly counsel is not all that it's cracked up to be"
"Ignore God's direction! Trust what feels right! Follow your heart!" (great quote: I'm convinced that every serial killer is following his heart...")
"God can't or God won't" (one of Satan's most preached messages)

Summary point: "God will take care of all of my needs in the best possible way, keeping in mind that He's preparing me for eternity"

Another summary point: "I give my children everything they need...which is very different from giving them everything they *want*...Sometimes I withhold what they want, and other times I make them have things they don't want. If I, an imperfect earthly father do that because I love them & am preparing them for life, how much more our perfect, omniscient, omnipotent heavenly Father?" (Matthew 7:9-11)

A perfect message for me today, as I look at surgery & recovery one more time. His last summary point came from a guy they heard @ the Indy 500 chapel service. The guy was describing being @ the Super Bowl a couple of years ago when the Colts were there. "It struck me...everybody in this stadium knows that Tony Dungy stands for Christ. I wonder how many people know this of me?"

We sang this song too:

The precious blood of Jesus Christ redeems; Forgiven I’m alive, restored set free.
Your majesty resides inside of me. Forever I believe; forever I believe.
Arrested by your truth and righteousness,

your grace has overwhelmed my brokenness
convicted by your spirit, led by your word
your love will never fail
your love will never fail
‘Cause I know you gave the world your only Son for us to
know your name, to live within the savior's love

And He took my place, knowing he’d be crucified and you loved.. you loved, a people undeserving!

I wasn't all that uptight about tomorrow's surgery, but I am *much* less so after this morning's worship service & message @ the Fellowship. This is FAR different from saying I know how it will turn out, mind you! John Piper said it well in a message we listened to on the way out here: "1. God does remarkable, amazing things on behalf of those who love Him...2. But He doesn't always..."

(Hebrews 11: 33-39; Piper's text for that message) "...who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection.

(that's the cool part of this keep reading, and remember there is NO break between the part above and the part below.)

Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

Note that those in the latter part of this passage are mentioned as "commended through their faith". And yet, they did NOT get the earthly answers they hoped for to their prayers. So, again, I haven't a clue as to how & how long this cancer course will run for me.

But I'm QUITE confident that Jehovah Shammah, the Lord Who is Present (one of my very favorite names of God in Scripture!) will show Himself to be just that tomorrow in the operating room, and more, in the waiting room as my bride sits yet again waiting for her name to be called to meet with my surgeon.

And I am--and she is!--quite "sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

That is my answer to Sennacherib's emmisary Rabshakeh's question for Judah in Isaiah 36 (see title of this entry above). The quantity of my faith? That only matters a little. The object of my faith? That matters GREATLY. Ultimately. Eternally. And He is present now and will be present tomorrow, and the day after, and next year, and a thousand years from now.

I'll wind you up w/ some lyrics I heard on the way to this Starbucks in which I sit:

"I Will Rise" - Chris Tomlin
There's a peace I've come to know, though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul; I can say "It is well"

Jesus has overcome, and the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won; He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise...I will rise

There's a day that's drawing near, when this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear and my faith shall be my eyes

Jesus has overcome, and the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won; He is risen from the dead

(repeat chorus)]

And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"

(repeat chorus)

THANK YOU so much for your prayers, my friends. We are so VERY humbled that so many are remembering us in prayer before the throne of our Lord. (I'm just glad none of the others sitting near me rt now know who the odd buy wiping tears is...*sheepish grin*) If you can keep praying just a bit more, we hope to soon be able to join you all as intercessory prayERS & not just as intercessory prayEES.

With a full, grateful heart that is trusting in a real God Who loves me & has redeemed me despite myself,

p.s. - Please remember Lisa in the waiting room. Mine is by FAR the easier of our roles tomorrow. I basically show up & get knocked out. She, on the other hand, has to wait for the door to open & to hear "Mrs. Madaris?"

p.p.s. - We also have TOTAL confidence in Dr. Mehran my surgeon, and in his team there @ MDA. I cannot imagine a better guy to entrust with my my rib cage!

1 comment:

219amylane said...

Praying sweet Lisa... I have this book on Indian Herbalogy that I've been using for some research lately-Hyssop is one of those listed as 'spoken of in the Bible in connection with cleansing and purifying the body'.

We see it used to place the blood on the doorposts in Egypt;spoken of in Ps51;and its stalks used to lift the sponge to Jesus' lips on the cross. Ps51:7Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Praying for a deep cleansing and healing over Mike... Love you both, g