Sharon Paavola is one of those trophies of God’s grace; I’ve seen the Lord work powerfully in her life and in the lives of those she loves. In this special Thanksgiving UPGRACE—which is also a spiritual UPLIFT—she encourages us to be joyful on “two counts.” “My husband accepted Christ later in life,” Sharon says. I…
Martin Luther King Jr.’s rules for his organization members:
- Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.
- Walk and talk in the manner of love.
- Observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.
What if we all lived these three simple rules out in our life? It could be life-changing.
Mother Teresa at age 83, at the National Day of Prayer Breakfast, with the Clintons, said;
“If we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill each other?….Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want.”
“America has become a selfish nation, in danger of losing the proper meaning of love. “Give until it hurts.” Proof of this is abortion.”
“Life or death-love or rejection. It is not a personal attack, it is just fact, plain and simple.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen in his book, In the Name of Jesus says;
“To live a life that is not dominated by the desire to be relevant but is instead safely anchored in the knowledge of God’s first love, we have to be mystics. A mystic is a person whose identity is deeply rooted in God’s first love.”
Words of wisdom I have collected over the years. Seems appropriate for today with all the new talking about a mans right to stand or sit at our National Anthem during a game. Seems like to me our priorities are turned upside down.
The important right I have is to believe or not believe in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Trusting He is still on His Throne and in charge.
Oh, I know man has place many other rights out there for us, some good for us some not, but the most important to me is to not offend my God and to follow Him as closely as I can.
I guess that makes me a mystic according to Nouwen. I think it makes me a smart human.
I am so glad I have read, journaled and blogged: Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore. This is our last chapter and it has been such a great reminder for me. See, I know what to do, it’s just doing it. I’m a card carrying member of several “Pit” Help groups: Alnon, AA, Psychotherapy. I have completed Celebrate Recovery twice, taught it twice and recommend it to all women. I AM a Former-Pit-dweller.
The problem is we forget sometimes just how painful that pit really is. Oh, yes, growing pains help to remind us along life’s path of past pain. Consequences reminds us of our yet to suffer pain.
We’ve conquered one or two pits, moved on from 23rd and 54th. Then one will sneak up and we’re on the edge again about to fall or be pushed in.
The biggest lesson I am hearing God say to me right now as I am standing on the edge of one of my last pits is that:
No one has the right to keep me in a pit or to shame me for asking God for His help out.
I can stand confident I am done with that pit! Made my mind up. I hope you also have learned some life changing habits to live by from now on.
I hope you also are confident now that we will know:
- If we feel stuck
- Can’t stand up
- Lost our vision
That it is a pit!
I know now and I hope you do also that we can be:
- Thrown in a pit.
- Slip in a pit.
- Jump in a pit.
Beth reminded us that we have a common enemy. The devil, Satan.
- Wait on God.
- Stand up and watch.
- Make our minds up.
We will be delivered!
We have learned to not hold back the God-song in us, to sing out for God has put a new song in our mouths even when we are still dealing with a pit.
Take life and our deliverance seriously and take it joyfully!
The God of our Universe seeks and surrounds us with Songs of Deliverance.
We have a future beyond the bit and beyond life on earth.
I hope you aren’t one of those Christians who thinks heaven will be like church only all day and all night. Remember the TV Character Mr. T? He would say: “I pity the fool”.
Despite our expectation, heaven is where the action is. Our hearts and minds still need considerable healing as long as somewhere deep inside we still associate fun with sin. No matter what somebody led you to believe, sin is not where all the fun is. As good as life on earth can be at times, this ride will end.
There will be consequences for the devil for messing with us. Poetic justice. Read Revelations 20:1-3. He will get his own pit. A bottomless pit!
“God writes perfect endings.” Beth Moore
- Satan in his Pit!
- Our feet will forever be firmly set up on a rock.
- The air will be clear.
- The view Crystal.
- The fellowship sweet.
The sufferings of his present time won’t even be worthy to compare to the glory revealed to us. Romans 8:18
This anointed book, journal and blog reminds me forever, right there while I was waist deep in a pit for what seemed the thousandth time, Christ stretched out His Mighty Arm reached into the depths, and said in a way I could finally hear, “need a hand?”.
God gave us a new song:
“He put a new song in my mouth…a hymn of praise to God”. Psalm 40:3
Something like Bach only not. It is not an emotional intoxication, Beth says:
“It’s the unleashed anthem of a freed soul.”
“Nothing on earth clogs the windpipe like the polluted air of pit.” Beth Moore
How often do you have a song on the tip of your tongue?
“I’m talking about a unstopped outlet of frequent compulsory praise? Of a raptured spirit? Of a Sabbathed Soul? Beth Moore
When trouble hits can you still sing like that? Even with tears coming down like rain?
A song like that full of praise freely sung and spontaneously offered?
That is a trademark of joy in tribulation. Beth Moore
In the pit completely you know you have lost your God-song. Your hope is gone.
“Likewise, you know you are out of that pit when not only have your songs returned, but something fresh has happened. God has put a new song in your mouth. A brand-new hymn of praise to your God.”
A new song doesn’t mean we are out of that pain that caused our pit or the pain the pit caused. Or if sin pit, the consequences are not behind us yet.
- It just means we are no longer stuck.
- Our vision is returning.
- Hints of creativity are reemerging.
- It’s a New Day.
- God doesn’t hate us, We Are Forgiven and we Know It.
- You want to praise Him.
- You become hopeful.
- You absolutely know you are not going back to that pit.
- YOU ARE FREE!
You could come out of a season of difficulty where a new Christian Contemporary Song or a Praise and Worship Chorus or an Old Hymn becomes the expression of a fresh wave of love and awareness of Christ. Which is meaningful and will be a reminder forever but:
What the Psalmist means is more like a whole new level of praise begins to erupt from a delivered soul.
“Sit up a little”, Beth asks of us, “Shake the numbness from your head and pay some extra mind as you read something else the Psalmist testified to God:”
You are my hiding Place;
You will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7
- If you’ve been in a pit, God wants to deliver you!
- Take it seriously!
- Take it joyfully, gloriously!
- Take it seriously!
Christ, the King, the Creator of the Universe, seeks and surrounds you with songs of deliverance!
He put a new song in your mouth, a hymn if Praise to God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:3
I hope you are enjoying this book as much as I am. Feel free to drop me a note of encouragement from you to me if you want. We only have one more chapter to go.
Next blogging/journaling I will do will be more random things I think about or run across or guest bloggers. I personally will be doing a Precept Class on the book of the bible, Hosea, starting September 15, 2016. I might blog tidbits from it.
So how do you know when the wait is over and you’re finally out of that pit? Two ways.
“Psalm 40:2 describes the first one: He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”
- You realize after all the slip-sliding and sky diving you’ve done, your feet are finally planted on a rock, and you’ve got a firm place to stand.
- Even if the mountains fall into the sea, you’re secure.
- Even if the seas overtake the shores, you’re not going anywhere.
- If earthly rulers fall and stock markets crash, your feet are steadfast.
As long as you rest all your weight on that rock, you’re not going to fall. Praise His steadfast name, God is not a divine rug someone can pull out from under your feet.
He is there for every urgent need and any sudden spell, but an emergency room relationship with God is NOT the psalmist’s idea of a firm place to stand.
- God is unreasonably patient and merciful. Thank you Lord!
- He is NOT a drive-thru drugstore.
- He is NOT just a temporary fix in an urgent situation.
- He is NOT a fast way to get everyone to forgive us.
- He is NOT for us a good side to get on when we need Him to save our scrawny necks.
God CAN hold our weight, the full emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical poundage of you.
2. When you realize you have got to make up your mind. God gives us a firm place to stand, but we have to decide we want to take it. The ground below our feet will be only as firm as our resolve. As long as we are wishy-washy, what’s under us will be wishy-washy too.
God’s complaint with the Israelite’s in Psalm 78 was their inability to make up their minds about Him.
- Were they with Him or Not?
- Did they want a firm place to stand or an emergency room to visit?
Like us, they wanted God when they were in trouble, but as soon as the pressure let up, they wanted to chart their own course and be their own boss. The momentary revelry of their rebellion turned into terrible bouts of captivity and consequences.
They experienced what we do: the slide into the pit is the only thrill ride. From that point on, a pit is just dirt.
Loyalty means a made-up mind. Loyal is like firm and in Psalm 78 means to be “sure…certain…ready…prepared…determined.” It means we have settled some things in advance of the inevitable temptation to revert or destructively scratch a temporary itch. It means we don’t wait until the heat of the moment to decide.
A loyal spouse doesn’t wait for temptation of a co-worker flirting, she knows before work she will be loyal. She has already made her decision.
God is firm, loyal. He made up His mind about you before the foundation of the world.
Without hesitation God offers you a firm place to stand, but your feet are not firmly set in place until you’ve made up your own mind that’s where you want to be. He will not force you to stand. He most assuredly will not force you to stay.
“The problem is, life on Planet Earth, Beth says, “consists of one crisis after another.”
Resist the enemy, he is a good shot. At some point you have to get yourself out there on that rock, trusting God is faithful and resist. Once, then twice. Ten times, then twenty-five. Thirty times, then fifty till your flesh submits and your enemy gives up on that front and quits.
You have God’s power. Use it.
Beth says about resisting the enemy, “she’s never gotten use to it, but I can be prepared or be a fool.”
I loved Beth bear in Wyoming story. Point is if your victory depends on the right circumstances, you may as well wave the white flag and surrender to defeat.
“You could make up your mind that you are in with God, standing upon that rock, for the rest of your days. When you know you are absolutely in, come what may…congratulations, Sweet Thing. You are out of the pit and your feet are on a rock.”
Eternal security is not the question. Earthly security is. It is time to make up your mind.
Family/closest friends can be one of the biggest challenges you will face from that rock. Especially if they are in their own pits. They say alcoholism is a family disease, bit it is not the only one. God is there for your family or close friends also, but He recuses only one person at a time.
Usually when you get out of the pit, somebody feels betrayed that you felt a change was necessary. Loyalty to God often is misinterpreted as disloyalty toward them.
Best quote of this chapter is: “Nobody gets the right to keep you in a pit or to shame you for bailing. Not even your mama.” My mom tried, but I broke the cycle of pain.
When God performs a dramatic deliverance in our lives, the nature of some of our closest relationships inevitably changes. The healthier we get, the more we realize how unhealthy we were.
Cooperating with God through painful relationship transitions may be the hardest work of all in our deliverance from the pit.
Persevere with Him and trust Him, not just with your life, but also with their lives. Just as you waited on God for your deliverance, wait for theirs.
Not all relationships needs to survive your deliverance. Our disfigured sympathies will keep us knee deep in the mire and our love will turn into resentment. Regardless of how we began, we can become as emotionally addicted to a relationship as to a substance.
Be brave, do the hard thing. If God is leading you to let that person go who is constantly “pushing” you away from Him and His deliverance back toward the pit. Goodbye is a necessary life skill for us former pit-dwellers.
Be strong and courageous. Do not e terrified,…for the Lord your God will be with you where ever you go” Joshua 1:9
Say goodbye to that pit once and for all. Living on that rock firmly planted is not for the fainthearted.
It’s for those who make up their mind.
Beth says, “God can deliver the most hardened criminal or the most hopeless addict in one second flat.”
Have you seen it or has it happened like that for you? One moment in the throes of habitual sin and the next moment you were free as birds?
Would you be skeptical? Or eagerly watching to see a divine spectacle?
Beth asks us to remember in Acts when Paul and Silas were in prison, severely beaten and bound. “Around Midnight the two men started praying and singing hymns. Suddenly an earthquake. Prison doors flew open and anyone’s chains came loose.” Acts 16:26
“Sometimes God can put you or I in a prison of sorts just to set us free.”
I’m not the one to be chosen to be instantaneously set free. Like Beth, God and I have to get some hard work done. Beth says she is high maintenance. I think I am too. My life is like a golf course where the gofers have taken over. Pits all over the place.
Beth says her tombstone will probably read “God got tired”. I feel that way too. Always work to be done, keeping me out of a pit. We are opposites, God and me. I am more prone to do bad than good.
God summons the most faithless of all to faith. He is a magnet to weakness, perhaps the ultimate proof that opposites really do attract.
History is told through the encounter and experiences of men and women God would call to know Him. To trust Him, often under nearly impossible circumstances. People prone to wander, prone to bruising, prone to doubting, prone to losing.
“So when it is not instantaneous, God can take His own sweet time because sweet time is God’s to take.”
Time, time was created for man. Relationship. God wants relationship with man. Us!
One of the things to come out of a crisis often is relationship. While waiting you build a relationship with God, with others, deeper, longer more meaningful talks with God. Usually crying out to God. Waiting on God is good for us.
“It takes two to tango, even out of a pit. His part is to lift you out. Your part is to hold on for dear life. That’s the Liberty tango!”
God does what ever works, whether instantaneous or a long process. Obviously, a process works best for me. I am a slow learner.
What do we do while waiting for God to work? Well the Psalms are full of examples, and commands even, of what God expects of us while working things out.
On page 148 read again, Psalm 40:1-2 it tells all we need to know. We may have to wait for deliverance while the vehicle of time jolts and lurches.
But we never have to wait on God Himself. Never have to wait to enjoy His presence or be reassured of His love.
The wait is on seeing His work manifest in the physical realm, seeing our petitions come to fruition.
Beth assures us, “that huge things happen as you wait upon the Lord to deliver you from that Pit.”
You can see them start to work as a process is well underway.
The moment you begin reversing the three characteristics of a Pit:
- When you are stuck
- You can’t stand up
- You lost your vision
- When you are convinced that you are no longer hopelessly stuck (you proved that when you cried out.)
- When you resume a standing position against the enemy (you did that when you began confessing truth and consenting to God.)
- When your are regaining glimpses of vision (you realize God doesn’t hate you nor is He, worse, oblivious to you.)
- You are no longer in the dark of the deep until you are all the way out, so you wait…
Never fear that God is not at work while you wait. He’s doing what no one else can. Get a load of Psalm 64:4 “…..who acts for the One who waits for Him”
Psalm 130 where eager expectation is beautifully clear from the context(be sure to look this one up).
According to the Complete Word Study Old Testament, the Hebrew word for wait: qwh means “to live in wait for someone…to expect , await, look for patiently, hope; to be confident, trust; to be enduring.
In God-terms that means to take a watchman’s posture. He is focused, centered, goal orientated. Watching and waiting. Expectantly.
After we cry out to the one true deliverer, scripture exhorts us to exercise unwavering, and have daily confidence that God is coming to our rescue. Wait. qwh!
That means stop being comfortable in that pit.
Stand up and watch! Anticipate your absolute, inevitable deliverance!
There you have it. Cry out, wait for God to work to manifest your sure deliverance by wrapping Him around you as tightly as possible.
Ask Him to make you more God-aware than you have ever been in your life.
Bind yourself to Him and His Word.
Be willing to go where ever He goes.
Let His Words live in you and you in Him.
God doesn’t make His home in a pit bound to his Holy robe and neither will you.
Pitching every other plan, you can opt for God. Oh, the wonder of the One who comes as Three!
You can opt for the Father who reigns as King over every intricate detail in the universe and can micromanage a complicated life like yours and mine.
You can opt for the Son who paid y0ur debt in full, not just to deliver you from earth to heaven when you die, but also for pit to pavement while you live. In Him, you have the full right of sonship or daughership, including the right to live wildly in victory.
You can opt for the Holy Spirit who first hovered over the Genesis waters and brought order out of chaos. The one who enables a people bereft of holiness to be holy by His very presence within them.
Beth feels, “if you are willing to engage God as your deliverer from the pit, the full-throttle relationship you develop with Him will be the most glorious thing that will ever happen to you. Far more glorious than the deliverance itself.”
We Christians hold in our hands the incomparable Manual for life, bulging with instructions, reasons, and countless real, human examples to illustrate them.
One preacher hits us with 80% conviction and leave us wanting more than 20% of the cure. We know something has to change, but we’ve got so many issues, we don’t know where to start. We don’t even know who we are with out them. We figure we deserve to get bruised or beat up at church. We keep coming back.
Beth agrees that we long to know how to make us right again. Everyone of us who authentically calls Jesus Lord has the right and power to be victorious.
We need lasting answers that don’t just target our behaviors. We need answers that tap the power of heaven and change the thought and feeling that drive those behaviors.
Beth hopes her strong scripture based lessons and books are giving hope and offering some practical page-to-the-pavement answers.
She believes the Bible proposes three steps out of the pit, and each involves our mouth:
- Crying out erupts from the deepest part of a person’s soul as if your life depends on it. It does. Scripture reveals over and over God’s intervention coming as a direct response to someone crying out. Psalm3:4, 9:9-12, 72:12, 106:44-45, 116:1-2.
- Scripture proves that God more often waits until the challenge comes and the hurting cry out, just as we see in Exodus 3:7-8.
- We must wait on the Lord. He usually waits for us to cry out so He can remove all doubt about who came to our rescue.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that God will forever be more interested in you knowing your Healer than experiencing His healing, and knowing your Deliverer than knowing your deliverance. The King of all creation wants to reveal Himself to you. Bring Heaven to a standstill with your cry. Get God’s attention, show Him you really mean it.
- Your sins, but think wider. Though it’s absolutely vital, confessing sin is not the only way we practice confession.
- Agree with what God says about Himself and about us.
- Don’t forget pride. Pride contributes to the length of our stay in the pit.
- Bitterness, anger, lack of forgiveness, coldness.
- Examine your heart and see if, somewhere amid your loss of control, you sought to regain it with manipulation.
- Ask yourself if you used your love as a weapon.
- Ask God if there is anything you are overlooking.
- Keep confessing every day, over and over until you accept God’s forgiveness over you confessions.
- Believe Him for His forgiveness. Live as if forgiven.
- Cry out for Him and keep confessing.
- The most beautiful part of the process of getting out of the pit.
- It is God’s will for you.
- God wants you out of the pit. He wants you in victory. Out of defeat. Period.
- So all you have to do is consent to what He already wants.
- Believe it and have faith in it.
- Speak out scripture, pray scripture out loud. Your own faith will be built by hearing your own voice speak the words of Christ.
- God’s Word carries its own supernatural power. It’s His very breath on the page that, when you voice it, you release into your own circumstances.
Don’t let up when you begin to feel better. The goal is freedom from the pit for the rest of your life.
Beth ends this chapter with great words to encourage us: You have the power of the entire Godhead behind you. You have the Fathers’ will, Son’s Word, and Holy Spirits way. What more could you need?
How are you feeling about now? I feel energized to once again believe that my God is bigger than my pits. I will reach down deep to my core and continue to cry out for His help, to keep on confessing as I pray everyday, and then I will consent to do His Will.
Are you ready to do these three steps? I can’t wait to see what is next.
See you then.