I am back after being AWOL for the past several months during preparation for a day-long workshop called “Reposturing Mind, Spirit, Body”. I have shared that word… reposturing, with you several times over the past couple of years and felt I needed to create an event that would address the three parts of our beings and how this word relates to those parts. The culmination was a three-session workshop that was unique, relaxing and uplifting. I was able to present the workshop on April 28th and the feedback has been quite a blessing. I have always said that if the Lord uses my words to speak to one person, then it was a success. It has been so exciting to hear how some of the stories I told reached out so personally to women in ways I could not imagine.
Although I am not a stranger to feeling less than prepared when I speak, this time I was ten-fold more unprepared than I wanted to be. It wasn’t for lack of wanting to be prepared. I began this study in January of 2016 and actively began writing the sessions this past January. It also wasn’t for lack of tenacity when I was writing. LIFE simply stole my time over and over in ways that were unavoidable. I won’t go into that in this post because I want to get to part of one of the sessions… suffice to say that some major roadblocks did their best to completely run me off the road. That is why I KNOW that what the women have been sharing with me about how they were touched has nothing to do with my speaking skills, but rather with my desire and willingness to share what God places on my heart. Several of the personal stories I shared that day were things I had not planned to share. However, each of those stories have been the very thing that spoke directly to someone. God used me as an unprepared, but willing, storyteller. What a thrill!
The next several posts are going to be some parts of what I shared that day… I know that God will continue to use my words to speak loudly where they are needed most.
In mid-March our pastor, Shawn Peterson, preached on our church’s prayer for this year, Exodus 33:18 “Please God, show us your glory”. It was such a powerful message! At the beginning he mentioned the Five Solas, something I had never heard of before. I looked them up and want to share them with you. Although each builds on the other so that none is more important than the whole, we are going to look at the last one, the one Pastor Shawn taught on, in depth.
History: The five solas came out of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. The Reformers were guided by the conviction that the church of their day had drifted away from the essential, original teachings of Christianity. The Reformation sought to re-orient Christianity on the original message of Jesus and the early church. The Five Solas are five Latin phrases that emerged during the Reformation to summarize the Reformers’ theological convictions about the essentials of Christianity. Here we are five centuries later and these essentials of Christianity are still as needed (no…needed more) AND are just a true.
Sola Scriptura: (“Scripture alone”): The Bible alone is our highest authority.
Sola Fide” (“faith alone”): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
Sola Gratia: (“grace alone”): We are saved by the grace of God alone.
Sola DChristus: (“Christ alone”): Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Savior, and King.
Sola Deo Gloria: (“to the glory of God alone”): We live for the glory of God alone.
In 1994 I was diagnosed with 5 primary cancerous tumors all in just one quarter of my right breast. I have often said that following that diagnosis I had a real love affair with the Lord. By that I mean that, although my faith was already very strong, I gained a new prospective regarding God being omnipotent and fell so much more in love with Him. This was a time in my life that there was NO denying that God was completely in control of my life because I was totally out of control. I can remember one day shortly after my cancer journey began thinking, “AND, why would I want to be in control during the fight for my life. Do I want it to all be up to me to make the right decisions at exactly the right time? No! God is in control, has always been in control – and I am SO GLAD!”
This was a fresh prospective for me regarding Sola Deo Gloria. In the midst of a potentially deadly disease it was all about His glory!
Four months after that diagnosis, following my first mastectomy and beginning chemotherapy, I nearly died from an allergic response to the chemo drugs. My spinal cord was shutting down from the very drugs that were to save my life. I would have been dead in 24 hours had my temperature not spiked to 105 degrees alerting us that something was very wrong. That fever was the result of a staph infection in the incision where they had taken the lymph node sampling… in other words, God saved my life with a staph infection!
I can remember lying in ICU with tubes going every which direction thinking “wow, once again I am reminded of how out of control I am and that God is in control”. I was living for God’s glory. Not through anything I was doing or not doing but simply by His power showing through my life circumstances.
Every moment of every day we, men and women of faith, live for the glory of God alone!
What does “glory” really mean? It is a hard word for us to fathom because we tend to think it is tied to what we do for God. Maybe a good way to think of “living for the glory of God alone” is in terms of spiritual posturing. What does this posture look like? It is a posture of bowing in awe and reverence because He is eminent; He is of the highest renown and He IS GOD!
When we are bowing, we are quiet spiritually, meditating – waiting – trusting. We cannot be meditating on our problems when we are bowed before our gracious Lord meditating on Him and His Word.
This gives us a word picture for first part of Joshua 1:8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night…” We are meditating on God and His Word day and night when we are in a bowed posture.
I will end this post with a challenge, like I often do. Spend some time thinking about how bowing before the Lord looks for you personally. For me it is generally during early morning hours when the house is quiet when I too can be quiet praying, reading scripture and meditating on that. Often that time is spent focusing on the attributes of God using phrases from songs or parts of Bible verses. Let me give you an example: “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty!” OR “I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” – Psalm 139:14
Will you accept my challenge? Ask God to show you His glory in fresh, new ways…and prepare to be blessed!