Have I forgotten, the horse goes before the cart?

The horse precedes the cart. Does it not? If it’s to move forward it must.

Am I guilty of putting the cart before the horse? Am I am guilty of lifting my hands in praise to my God, yet often forgetting to remember He is Holy. He is Just.

Have I forgotten? He knows every thought in my heart.

Do I come through God’s doors seeking blessing and peace? And yet expect perfection from others, not trusting, making lists of their wrongs, and then come to praise God, lift my hands. What is it I seek?

Our Father who is in Heaven, Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Do I even come close to understand the words I’m saying?

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors.

We all have debts, we all have debtors. God knows this world is hard and painful, but He breathed out His letters.

“As we have forgiven our debtors.” This is the method Jesus instructed we pray.  How sharp, and at the same time grace-full; instruction and warning yet, “always believing.” This the Lord’s, (not man’s) way. “Help my perceiving.”

I have forgiven. I have spent time in prayer. God knows I have, but then, am I being tempted that I haven’t?

The battle is great, my constitution weak: And do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from evil.” (1)

I won’t for a minute longer try to celebrate the joy of the Lord, until I have first come, asking mercy, with a heart ready for surgery from His Word.

I come to the cross. Drawing near to God. He laid down His life. He took all my sin—my ugliness, my strife.

I must not worry about what others think,  I must first come to Jesus, and be willing to hear Him speak.

Tempted to run, but right here I’ll stay. Today must be a day of atonement for me.  To be at-one-with-God. To know Him and His love and His compassionate, gracious way.

So I look up atonement, and let God’s Word (and Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible on Leviticus 23), speak.

The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves,  and present an offering made to the LORD . . .
A time to be sorry for sin. For looking . . . in.
But then on the same page, in the same chapter and all, is a feast, a celebration, a joyous time. I continue to read in Spurgeon’s Devotional,
So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the LORD for seven days; . . . On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches . . . and rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days.

 

Sorrow for sin is the “horse” so to speak. The horse must precede the cart, or nothing gets moving.

Sorrow for sin is the hallway I must go through, before I enter the room of atonement. “If sin is sweet to my tastebuds and life, I will miss completely at-one-ment with Christ.”

The horse precedes the cart. This is the only way to move forward. This day of mourning and sadness for sin, leads on to gladsome feast and in the Lord, great rejoicing.

No work of mine. Not one thing I can do. Jesus did the work for me. And He paid it in full . . . for you.

We’ve all been broken. We’ve all fallen. We so often miss the mark. But He’s risen and alive! The day of atonement must come first. But then the joy of the Lord will move the cart.

Daily let us come to the cross and seek His grace. Receiving and believing, this moment, then . . . we wash the tears from our face.

Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible brought insight for this blog. Feb. 24—Evening, Leviticus XXIII.

(1) Matthew 6:9-13

 

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Can you, will you, brush away the tears?

This morning, you have a choice. Does your heart yearn for God, do you pray, “Speak LORD, Your servant hears.” (1) or do you think you already know the words He has to say?

The thorns and thistles of life have brought temptation – to doubt and believe the LORD has left you alone on your way.

I write for myself, these words are for me. But if by chance they are speaking to you, read on as we wrestle with God together. Are we God’s ‘fair weather friends’ or are we still His – when the floods come or it’s typhoon weather?

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want . . .” Psalm 23:1. Do you hear Him call you to trust Him deeper still? Do you hear Him, are you willing to obey His will?

But, “I’m wanting Lord.” You say in your heart. “I’m needy and helpless. I don’t know how to trust.”

But, there is a willingness inside. There is, though weak, you cry out beside:

“Speak Lord, Your servant is listening,”

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs, the Book of wisdom. Chapter 3 verse 5 and 6. Do we dare submit and really believe this?

Believing God, is an Olympic feat, at best, “Make me to lie down and open my eyes that I might take notice that the pastures are green. Oh, God, I need rest.”

 Is this your prayer to the Lord in the morning? Will you be humble and yielded and give Him praise in the evening? What if nothing is going your way? Does that change God? Does that change your trust in Him?

We must remember, if ‘Jesus wept,'(2) then surely in this life, we will weep as well. “Dear Lord, don’t let my affliction grow greater than You. May I not seek sufficiency from wells, dry and broken, but may I go to You and listen to the words You have spoken.”

“Can you, will you, brush away the tears?” (I hear the Lord whisper this in my ears.)

 So will you reply, (as I ask myself this question), ‘Speak to me LORD, your servant hears.’ 

“But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”(3) I have spoken. Do not be tempted to doubt. I will fill you with My Spirit that your faith will abound. Will you choose to make me Lord and submit? This is the power of God to you. I offer it . . .”

“For no one is cast off
    by the Lord forever.
 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
    so great is his unfailing love.
 For he does not willingly bring affliction
    or grief to anyone.” “This is My word from Lamentations. (4) Walk in this. Give fear no reservations.”

We can, we will, you and I together will cast all our cares upon our Shepherd today, and feed on His faithfulness and all He has to say:

in Psalm 23: The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul . . .  and Joshua 1:9: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” 

We can, we will remember God is able – for now and for all time.

 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.  Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.”(5)

(1) 1 Samuel 3:9.

(2) John 11:35.

(3) Isaiah 43:1-3.

(4) Lamentations 3:31,32.

(5) Hebrews 5:7-9.