Woman on Fire!

This is what happens when you are obedient to God even when you don't want to be. If I had disobeyed I would have still been blessed, but not transformed. He is renewing me everyday...enjoy...

Most of you who have known me any amount of time might have possibly heard me gush over my church a time or two. I am so blessed to have this body of believers to worship with. They are my second family. It is my privilege to call Northside Baptist Church home. It was a very long and difficult journey to get to this space. I was out of church for nearly two years before I found them – I was extremely jaded. While, we still have our issues I have grown and thrived with this little body of believers. I have experienced the most growth in this little church than the whole span of my Christian life. I know the nuggets of truth planted within my heart with these guys will be an indelible mark on my future journey.

I had the wonderful opportunity this morning to go hear an amazing woman of God speak at Christ Church. Their Pastor is the Father of the children I keep. I REALLY wanted to go. I mean, I had resolved myself that I was going. At first, I didn’t even really seek God about it. I figured, hey, I’m going to church – right? Wrong!

I kept feeling a nagging pull to attend my church. Finally, I felt like God was saying, “I haven’t given you permission to attend anywhere else on Sunday, Melissa.” Oh brother, you know I what I did next right…I argued, “But God, listen, it would be really awesome to attend this church and be able to worship in a different way.” I thought maybe I was just crazy and really He did want me to go to Christ Church. In the end He basically said, “Go to your church, Melissa.”

Alright, fine! Very begrudgingly I sent an email telling the appropriate parties that I would be attending my church.

Sunday morning I got up got dressed and set out for church. When I got there however, things felt slightly different. First, I was completely sluggish physically, overwhelmingly so. I felt ill and frustrated for no particular reason. I will be completely honest with you. I have not been in the Word consistently in a very long while. I go through this ‘chasing after the wind’ crap more than I would like to admit.

I took my dumplin’ boy, my best friend’s baby, Luke, into my arms, he was tired and fussy. I fed him and quickly got him to sleep. I love how comfortable he is around me and that he feels safe enough to fall asleep in my arms. I passed him off to his Dad once he arrived and headed for choir. I was very excited to be at church, yet, I still felt overwhelmingly tired. We sang “Heart of Worship”. I love this song, frankly I just love singing. The choir is the place I feel most joy.

Then, my beloved and endearing pastor was honored. He will be with us for 15 years tomorrow. My Daddy, in his later years, has really taught me what it means to be a loving husband and a selfless man. I’m honored to have such a Father in my life. My Pastor, Bro. Jesse Kline, is likewise a very wise and respected man in my eyes. He is very much a spiritual mentor for me. I’ve always said that I would want my future husband to get the permission of both men before asking for my hand. I value Bro. Jesse that much.

My friend Jamie sang “My Redeemer Lives” by Nicole C. Mullens. It is Bro. Jesse’s favorite song. He was a wreck, in a good way, when he got up to preach.

Here comes the part of the story when you have to say, “Alright God, I get it, you were right, I’m right where I need to be.” The sermon was taken from Luke 10: 38-42

38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’[a] feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” 41 And Jesus[b] answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

This is one of my favorite passages of scripture. I have learned so much from this one passage about my own journey as a woman serving the Lord. One of the most recent discoveries for me was that Jesus was not angry or frustrated with Martha for being busy and worrying, something I had thought for most of my journey, but He was broken hearted for her. He loved Martha just as much as Mary. He desired to spent time with her, loving her, nourishing her soul. I can imagine Him cupping Martha’s face in His hands, as one does when gaining the attention of a child, and saying, “Martha (ever so softly), Martha (with tender tears of compassion behind his eyes), you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

The focus of the sermon was the one phrase “But one thing is needed…”

Bro. Jesse shared how emotional and distraught he was about preparing a lesson before God gave this to him. He even decided to take a walk to talk more clearly to God. In the process he saw some buzzards flying overhead. As he reached his point of turning around and heading back to the house he saw a dead cow. As he was returning home he began to count the buzzards and ended up counting over 70. He asked God, “God where did all these buzzards come from.” God said, “Jesse these buzzards prey on the weak, sick, and the dead. They are just flying overhead to look for something to devour.”

So it is with Satan.

Bro. Jesse gave us a list of priorities for a Believer: 1. Jesus 2. Others 3. Me

How often I want to put myself first, and as a woman, put Christ last. Then, Bro. Jesse made a statement that sort of floored me…”It is more important what you do with Christ than what you do for Christ.”

Let me explain what he meant before people start getting their undies in a bunch. God has given us the business of being about others. We are light and salt. We are meant to serve self-sacrificingly for Him, but sometimes we “do for Christ” and Christ ain’t in that picture. I can’t tell you how many times Christ asked me to come sit at His feet, spend time with Him, and I’ve said, “Okay God, yeah, sure, I know, but see I have these things I need to get done for you first.” Very counter intuitive since the only way anything is to get accomplished is through Him first.

Here are the points of the lesson…
1. Martha invited Jesus into her house and then ignored Him (how many times have we done that.)
2. It wasn’t that Martha had too much to do; it was that she allowed the things of this world to distract her from God.
3. We can do nothing in the Power of Christ until we spend time with Him.
4. He desires nothing more for us to come and sit at His feet.

11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.- Hebrews 4:11-13

Here is the juggernaut of the entire lesson: Partial obedience IS disobedience!

Man oh man I needed my steel toed boots on this morning, he was stompin’ all over my feet.

I honestly have been thinking I’ve been doing pretty well. I’ve been living obedient enough. I’m a good girl. I always have been. But, “partial obedience is disobedience.”

The Word of God places us against a mirror as James says in James 1. We can say what amazing Christians we are, what we are doing, we can even have a feeling of self-worth, but Jesus says, “I know you, I know your heart, your being, who you really are.”

The Word of God is a Mirror (James 1), a discerner (Jeremiah), a pounding hammer (Jeremiah), Nourishment for our souls, a guiding light, has a cleansing effect (John 15), and a measuring tool. If we are never in this Word how can we gain the tools and wisdom needed to defeat the enemy?

I better quit ignoring Him and His presence. I better stay at His feet. I better be aware of the buzzards circling.

HE WILL MAKE ME A BOLD WARRIOR!!! Glory be to God!!!!!!!!!

8 Whenever I speak, I cry out
proclaiming violence and destruction.
So the word of the LORD has brought me
insult and reproach all day long.
9 But if I say, "I will not mention him

or speak any more in his name,"
his word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot.
Jeremiah 20: 8-9

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