Monday, October 24, 2011

God's Perspective & Soli Deo Gloria Party

Welcome to Soli Deo Gloria.  This is a place to share what is on your mind.  It is a place where vulnerability is accepted, where heart cries are honored, where struggles are heard.  It is a place where we are unconcerned with the quality of your words, but about the state of your heart.  We are a community of women that seek to encourage, support, love each other with our words.  There is laughter.  There are tears.  There is everything in between.  No matter where you are, who you are, where you have been, I want you to know that you are in the fold and that as you leave your link, you are prayed for.  Desire more information?  Please click here for the full scoop.

Last week, I told you that I had been thinking about some things.  I had a crazy dream and felt like God had asked me to lay down trying to go to all of your blogs and leave an encouraging, thoughtful comment.  It was hard to not visit all of you.  I sincerely want to know what is happening in your lives.  I desire to pray for you.  My heart longs to encourage you.  I also know, though, that in the process of sacrifice and surrender, there always comes new growth.  I think this is already happening, as I read in your incredibly loving comments how y'all desire to carry this community, picking up my slack, so to say.  Do you know how much that blessed me?  But in truth, a community has to be more than one person.  I am so blessed by the ways in which you interact with me and each other.  Each week, I am overcome with all the ways that God uses us to support each other.

The past few weeks in my class, we have been talking about hearing God's voice, and in turn, answering His call.  In preparation for the class, I've been digesting the first six chapters of Nehemiah, looking at God's call on his life (to rebuild the walls and community of Jerusalem), and trying to discern how he was able to do the amazing job that he did.  I boiled it down to this:  he listened and prayed with God's perspective, not his own.

How was he able to keep God's perspective?
  1. He remembered who God is.
  2. He remembered who he was.
  3. He remembered the Word.
In the very first prayer that we are privy to, we see evidence of all three of these keys to keeping God's perspective.  He opens his prayer with this:
"O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, listen to my prayer!  Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel."  Nehemiah 1: 5-6a
Nehemiah remembers that God is great, awesome, and faithful.  His love is unfailing.

He continues on:
"I confess that we have sinned against you.  Yes, even my own family and I have sinned!  We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations you gave us through your servant Moses...The people you rescued by your great power and strong hands are your servants."  Nehemiah 1: 6b-7, 10) 
Nehemiah remembers that he is a sinner, imperfect.  And he also recognizes his place -- a servant of God. 

Finally, Nehemiah remembers the oral tradition that has been passed down, generation to generation:

"Please remember what you told your servant Moses.  'If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations.  But if you return to be and obey my commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored.'"  Nehemiah 1: 8-9
Nehemiah remembers the promises of God, the same promises we find in the Bible. 

Here is my question for you:  Do you lose God's perspective sometimes?  If so, what is that you forget?  Who God is?  Who you are?  What His Word says?

For me, as noted in my strange warehouse dream, I often forget who I am.  I forget that my worth is not found in my giftings, but rather, I am worthy and loved because I am simply made by His hands.  I find myself always striving, always trying to prove myself because I don't see myself as God sees me.  Instead, I look at myself through the world's eyes.  And there is a place in which I will never fully measure up.

Okay, enough of my words.  I pray that you would be encouraged and be an encourager as you go out among the Soli Deo Gloria community.  

Community builder:  As you look among the many faces, find one that you don't recognize.  Go hang out at her place for a bit and leave a note of welcome and encouragement.


  1. "I forget that my worth is not found in my giftings, but rather, I am worthy and loved because I am simply made by His hands." We're singing the same tune this week, friend.

  2. this is so rich, jen. i love your beautiful surrender, your admitting that things aren't always easy in letting go. but this is creating more beauty, love.

    keep strong. you are held up. we will tow this line for you. His voice is the most important.

    listen in the silence.

  3. Proud of you for listening and trusting, even though it wasn't what you expected. Love today's post.

  4. I, too, forget who I am from time to time. I believe that my worth is found is what I do, not in who I am. Thanks for these encouraging words today, Jen. Many blessings!

  5. Wonderful post, Jen. It reminds me of what Beth Moore always says, "God is Who He says He is. God can do what He says He can do. I am who God says I am. I can do all things through Christ. His Word is alive and active in me."

  6. I love your heart....I forget who He is...He is love...He loves me...and in that Love...He meets me right where I am...
    keep being free...

  7. oh..i know both but the most recent is how big God is...which I think that is where I come in and try to be god and do things myself. does that make sense? He is showing me in SO many ways just how big He is and how much more peace I can have when I just trust. your week going well?

  8. This post is very encouraging. I have to say that I could easily read blogs all day long. It is such a blessing to read the heart of others, learn and be encouraged. I have had to limit myself because I need to be a good steward of my time. I check out as many blogs as I can in the time I have. I totally understand when others do not have time to read my blog. I know that God will lead the right person there that day. Your obedience is admired. Blessings my friend.

  9. love you, chick! wish i could be in your class!

  10. What do I forget? Well, I have to start at Number 1 and remember who God is. That always reminds me of the other stuff. Sounds like a GREAT class, Jen.

  11. Really love this reminder about Nehemiah and how he prayed. I studied him ages ago when I was just starting to understand my role as an intercessor. This is taking me back in a good, deep, rich way. Thank you.

    I find it interesting that you're dwelling on one who was a community restorer and rebuilder, given your heart for communities of women. You and he seem to be cut from the same cloth. Cool that God led you there.

    Love ya.

  12. Great post, Jen. I'm about to read Nehemiah for a Bible Study so this post is fitting. Thanks!


  13. There are days I have to remind myself that I am His daughter, that I am defined by Him not the world - and that when life roller coasters to someplace I'm not comfortable - sometimes it takes me awhile to remind myself that He is there! Wonderful, gentle shepherding post!

  14. LOVE what you do here! AND thanks a MILLION for stopping by and for your encouraging words!

  15. Hello Jen!
    I've tried to leave a comment on your blog a few times now, and had some difficulties - hope this time it works! I absolutely love your blog, and I featured one of your quotes in a post from a few days back on my blog with a link to your blog of course...Your writing, and your beautiful spirit blesses me! I hope you can stop by my blog ( sometime, though no worries if you cant - your thoughts on cutting back were the first ones I read, and I understand! I am so thankful to have found your blog! Blessings to you, and thanks again for all you do! Loved your thoughts on perspective :)

  16. I love Nehemiah's heart and look forward to meeting him in Heaven.

    Community is so beautiful for reminding each other of Who GOD is, who we are (and are not) and what His Word says.

  17. If I remember correctly, Nehemiah delegated that work and the wall was rebuilt because God had the right people standing by to get the job done. . . :) It is ALL HIM! and all is grace-

  18. "Here is my question for you: Do you lose God's perspective sometimes? If so, what is that you forget? Who God is? Who you are? What His Word says?"

    I'm losing sight of who I am. The past few days have been HARD. And I had someone speak untruth over me, if that makes any sense. And I was abandoned by a friend. She told me a lie about myself and then told me we couldn't be friends anymore. Just like we were still in junior high or something.

    You know, the lies we hear about ourselves are so much louder than God's still, small voice. It takes discipline and effort to hear Him in the midst of all that noise.

    So I trying to find the Truth again... get the lies out of my head and hear who He thinks I am.

  19. I often forget who I am, Jen. That He loves me. This hits home for me this week. Thank you. I think I need to read Nehemiah.

  20. This was such a word in due season since I am studying the life of Abraham right now. He also had to follow God's perspective, even when his own body said no.

  21. Thanks for sharing this truth, Jen. It so very much blessed me this morning. Jared and I had a wonderful discussion last night...short but sweet about this HUGE life change and knowing we're not enough but it is right and He is with us and just remembering all that He is, we are and His Word, like you share about with Nehemiah:} xoxo

  22. Mostly, I just forget who I am in Him. I know he is big and never changes, but sometimes I forget what I can do through Him.

  23. This was right in line with my prayer at my study group this week: As I launch further into my new life and vocation, I must remember what He has asked me to do: to help and serve others, that He has blessed me, and I am to bless others. Not for accolades, fame or fortune, but because it is what I am built to do.

    I catch myself looking at others, to see if I measure up, and then realize I have forgotten Him and my task, and ask forgiveness-again.

  24. My friend, Kendal, sent me to your blog and I love it! What a blessing :)

  25. Such a great reminder of the basics of prayer and walking humbly with God! Thank you.

  26. Hi Jen,

    I just wanted to continue you to encourage you on your journey, I was at Joan's site today (Grace cafe) and read her post on the parable of the sower. Yes the harvest is rich and plentiful but we also have to keep in mind that each and every worker is precious in God's eyes and that as we are so few, we need to take the extra effort and time to listen to God and obey His will so that we are effective.

    Even though I am a few weeks old here, I really appreciate your work and the encouraging comments you leave on my site.

    Thinking of you


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