Wednesday, October 21, 2009

El Roi

From Elohim, we learn the reason for our existence and the motivation for obedience. From El Elyon, we learn to abandon our analytical nature and fall on our faces in worship.
Oh, but from El Roi, we learn the protection of being seen/known.

The story God chooses to reveal Himself as El Roi is one of the most difficult stories in the Word. It is a confusing story. It is a name revealed to woman - a woman in intense pain, embarrassment, suffering abuse and abandonment.

Reminder: Isaiah 45: 3 "I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places so that you may KNOW that I am the God of Israel who summons you by name."

In Genesis 12, God promises Abram and Sarai a child. They wait ten years. Sarai gets frustrated in the waiting and decides God must have called her to help Him out. She tells Abram to take Hagar, her Egyptian servant, and sleep with her. Sarai's plan appears to be that Hagar would be the first surrogate mother - and we have no reason to believe that Hagar was ever asked to apply for that role.
Verse 4 tells us that when Hagar's eyes fell to the positive pregnancy test, hatred arose in her heart for Sarai. Sarai got the nod from Abram to do 'whatever she thought best' to Hagar.
The NIV said Sarai 'mistreated' Hagar - enough so that she ran out of town.

Along the way, by the spring in the desert, she met an angel of the Lord who began to ask her questions - questions he already knew the answers to: "where have you come from, and where are you going?"
At that place is where Hagar called the Lord - El Roi, the God Who sees me.

(Doesn't that remind you of another woman by a well?)

*We can know that He "gets us". He knows more about what has happened to us than we have a clue. He knows more about what we have done than we have a clue.
*We know that He can fill the crevices of our heart with Himself.
*We can tattle to Him about our pain and know He sees it all!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

El Elyon

God as our Elohim, our Strong Creator, the Source of everything! His instructions for life matter!

I received an electric frying pan as a wedding gift - oh my, 33 years ago. If you were around in the 70's, you remember that harvest gold color every kitchen boasted. That skillet has long been gone - but only after frying up approximately 1,969,234 chicken strips. My family loves chicken strips! After a few years of once-a-week chicken-frying, that skillet had this film on the outside I could not scrub off - no matter how much elbow grease I invested. I desperately wanted to soak that baby in Comet (remember that stuff?) - but there were 3 words on the bottom that prohibited me from that move - boy, did that take self-control. The words: Do Not Immerse were embossed on the underside of my favorite appliance. What?!?! It would look so much better - at least, I know it would make me feel so much better. I had a choice to make. I could soak it, feel a wonderful sense of accomplishment, and never use it to fry those slim strips again. Or I could follow the instructions and continue to use it to delight my family; I could continue to use to do what it was made to do.

That's how it is with God! His instructions for us empower us to do what we were made to do. His instructions for the way to do life free us to worship Him! El Elyon, the Most High God -- the King of kings, the Lord of Lords. The most superlative! He reveals Himself as the Owner, the Possessor of heaven and earth.

El Elyon is the name Satan lusts after.

El Elyon will do whatever it takes in the lives of His creation to humble us and bend our knee to His throne. (read Daniel 4: 34-37)

It is totally impossible to comprehend El Elyon and not worship Him!
I am at a season of life when my best times of worship are when I am totally alone because I have to focus on not distracting other people through my freedom and celebration. It hit me in the 90's while watching my sons play football. I could act like a total maniac because a ball crossed a line in the grass but not on Sundays because my Savior died while hanging on wood - that the tomb they buried Him in is empty! What??? Desire to celebrate - oh my! We have to celebrate!

Wednesday night in class we brainstormed some of the worship language used in the Word: dancing, lifting hands, clapping, bowing, standing, falling on your face, shouting.

I know our hearts can fully worship in total silence, but I sure desire to celebrate everyday in reckless abandonment, to proclaim that I serve El Elyon, the Most High!

May the stones never cry out! (Luke 19: 37-40)
May we bring to Him a "sacrifice of praise"! (Hebrews 13:15)

Someday, when I see Him face to face and know Him as I am known, I will worship in community with other 'crazy mamas'! Can't wait!

Monday, October 05, 2009


I love our Wednesday night community of women - we gather to share in relationship with one another, to lift each other in prayer, and to open God's Word and find some passages to marinate through our souls. I have spent three weeks introducing the study I began in 1994 to "find out what pleases the Lord". I desperately want to know Him. I want to "seek Him with all my heart." God set out through the beginning of time to invite us into His heart by introducing Himself.

Genesis 1:1 -- "In the beginning God..." Elohim, the Strong Creator, the source of everything!
In creation, when God spoke, things happened! The key words in the creation story are: God spoke, 'Let...' and 'it was good.'
In Genesis 1, Elohim is used 32 times in reference to the King of my life. Elohim is a plural noun used with a singular verb - oh so interesting!

In Genesis 1: 26 -- "Then God said, Let us make man in our image..."
What are the implications when He says He made us in His image?

A few weeks ago, I had the blessing of going to Memphis where my son and his precious family live. Memphis is one of my favorite places on earth because it is home to Truitt and Noah. Noah is our brand new addition! He is our first grandchild that is a twinkie to one of our own. He looks exactly like Josh, his daddy. Looking into his eyes one night as I was babysitting and feeding him a bottle took me back in time and filled my heart with sweet remembrances. I felt this swell of love for him - he looked like 'us'. Don't you know that is how God feels when He sees us reflect His family well - when we reveal His heart to the hurting, when we love another well. I wonder if He gets that fatherly smile on His precious face and brags to the Son and Spirit: "Look what we made in our image!"

We look most like Him when we have the heart to do what He made us to be:

*He wired us for community. God was the originator of the 'team' concept.

*He made us to react quickly when stressed, but He never planned on us living in stress.
Serotonin (the 'peace' hormone) and cortisol (the stress hormone) rival for the same receptors in the brain. When both are elevated, cortisol wins every time because your body responds quickly to protect your life. Today, way too many of us are oozing cortisol - not a healthy way to do life, not the way we are made!

*Elohim wired us for monogamy - one woman, one man forever! I LOVE my job! Current research, not Christian research, validates that this principle leads to much better health in every arena of life!

*God made you to love well! Oxytocin, the 'cuddle' hormone, is what encourages healthy attachment with others. While, oxytocin floods our systems at childbirth, breastfeeding, orgasms, it is also surging through sweet encounters with your partners, children, and friends.

*Our Strong Creator made us to worship Him!

Psalm 46: 10 "Be still and know that I am God (the Strong Creator)."

Isaiah 43: 7 tells us why we were created: "everyone who is called by My name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."

We were created to bring our Elohim glory - to make Him look really, really good! We were created to spotlight Him well!