#5- God will guide the midwife (or medical staff). RD will support and encourage what is best for baby and I.
a. Ex. 14:14~ The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
b. Rom. 15:13~ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
*The Lord is my strength and my shield; He will protect me.
*You direct my thoughts, Lord. You show me the way to birth my child.*Lord, You designed me a woman and You direct the way this labor should go according to Your design.
*I rest in You in the days leading up to our baby’s delivery. I rest during and in between all contractions. I am still in Your presence because I know You fight for me.
*Your plans are holy and perfect. I surrender my hopes and plans and desires to follow Your plan for this birth. You make Your presence known and guide every person facilitating this birth. You are glorified and Your name is revered.
*You fill me with joy and peace as I trust in You and continue to do so during labor. What can man do to me? You sift everything through Your perfect fingers and I trust that You will lead the midwife (or medical team). You do not overlook any detail of this labor and have it all planned perfectly. I surrender to Your plan and am protected by Your Holy Spirit against all enemy attack and distraction.
… in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us… Rm. 8:37
4. I have the Lord’s strength and will labor how God designed me to.
a. Ps. 46:1-2~ God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, thought the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.
b. Is. 40:31~ Those who hope (wait) in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
c. Ps. 28:7~ The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.
d. John 10:3-4~ The watchman opens the gate for Him, and the sheep listen to His voice. He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out… and His sheep follow Him because they know His voice.
e. 1 Chron. 4:10~ Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let Your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.
*God designed women to give birth; God made me a woman. God designed women to give birth; God made me capable of this.
*I hope and wait in You Lord for the perfect timing our baby will enter the world. I do not look ahead to each contraction, but am thankful for each one and focus on the strength You give me.
*You give me strength and You renew my strength when I am weak. As I labor, I will not grow weary. As I labor, I will not grow faint. Together, we soar on wings like eagles; so prevalent is Your peace within me.*My heart leaps for joy at each contraction and I give thanks to You in song. Because I trust in You, You help me. Because I trust in You, You are my shield, protector, and strong tower. My place of rest and refuge.
*You are my Shepherd. You lead and guide me beside still waters and restore my soul. This baby is Your newest little lamb. Baby listens to You and knows Your voice. You open wide the gate of my birth canal. Baby knows Your voice. And as You call to baby, Your little lamb will easily pass through my gate to enter Your world and Your arms.
*Lord, as You blessed Jabez, You have blessed me. You enlarge the territory of my cervix so baby can pass through with ease. You keep me from unnecessary harm and pain as You draw baby out.
3. Contractions will not overwhelm me.
a. Phil. 4:6-8~ Do not be anxious about anything… And the peace of God… will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable– if anything is excellent or praiseworthy– think about such things.
b. Ps. 3:3~ But You are a shield around me, O Lord; You bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
c. Ps. 23:1-3~ The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
d. Ps. 29:11~ The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace.
e. Is. 66:9~ “Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?” says the Lord. “Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?” says your God.
f. Is. 26:3-4~ You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in… the Lord, is everlasting strength.
g. John 16:21~ A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born, she forgets that anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.
h. Heb.12:2~ Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross…
i. Gal. 5:22-23~ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.j. Is. 41:10~ So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
k. Neh. 8:10~ … the joy of the Lord is your strength.
*Contractions do not overwhelm me. Your strength and power in me allows my body to work according to Your design.
*When I’m restless, You are rest. When I’m helpless, You are help. When I’m nervous, Your settle me. When I’m empty, You fill me.
*You are my oxygen, I breathe You in, I breathe You out.
*God did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control. God did not give me a spirit of fear, but of peace and joy and hope.
*I thank You for each contraction, Lord, as they bring me closer to meeting this baby. I am not anxious as Your peace guards my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. I allow You to guide my thoughts, to think only what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.
*You are a shield around me. You protect me from all thoughts that have their origin from the enemy. You have placed a hedge of protection around my heart and this baby. Through Your glory, You lift my head and uphold me with Your righteous right hand. These contractions do not overwhelm me because You guide me in paths of righteousness for Your sake and You lead me beside still waters.
*I am Your daughter and You give me strength. You bless me with Your peace.
*I do not fear because You bring the moment of our baby’s birth and sustain me through the delivery. I surrender my body to function as You created it to. Each contraction is productive as You do not close up the womb during delivery.
*My mind and thoughts are on You and You give me perfect peace. Because I trust in You, You give me an everlasting strength and I delight, am thankful for, and even enjoy each blessed contraction.*As You suffered on the cross by looking towards the joy set before You, so do I willingly surrender my body and the method You desire to bring this “joy” (this baby) into the world. When our baby is born, I will forget the pain or discomfort as I hold our little “joy” in our arms.
… in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us… ~Rm 8:37
2. God will call to mind techniques and such to try. He will guide and lead this childbirth.
a. Ps. 16:11~ You have made known to me the path of life. You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
b. James 1:5~ If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
c. Ps. 32:8~ I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.
d. Ps. 37:23-24~ Yet I am always with you; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel…
*Every detail of this labor and birth You care for and You don’t overlook. You are helping me.
*You speak Your thoughts and direct my steps.*God is in control, not me; God is in control, not the midwife OR doctor; God is in control.
*Only with Your help do I remember Your truth, Your lessons and Your design and plan for labor. My hope is in You all these days leading to this labor, during this labor, and my whole life long.
*You make known to me the path of this baby’s life. You have filled me with Your joy; the joy of Your Spirit and the joy of this baby. Together we are working to bring this eternal soul into this world You created.
*You generously give me Your wisdom and counsel. You lead me and guide me in Your wisdom and truth. I do not fear or worry. You are in control, not me! I surrender all to You.
*You are with me always. You guide and counsel me, Lord, and You do so when this baby begins the entrance to Your world. You instruct me, counsel me, and watch over me. You have never left my side and stand by me as I labor. Lord, You open my ears and my heart to hear from You.
… in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us… ~ Rm 8:37
Colossians 1:3-12, esp v. 3-4 NASB
v3– We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
v4– since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints;
v 5- because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel,
v 6- which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth;
v 7- just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf,
v 8- and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit.
v 9- For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
v 10- so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
v 11- strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously
v 12- giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.
Observation(s) & Applications:
-we should give thanks to God our Father for fellow Christians
-we should pray always for our brothers & sisters in Christ
-Christians should be filled with faith in Christ & love for all the saints
-we should show our thankfulness for the spiritual attainments of others
-this is a portion of a letter written by Paul to the Colossian church
-Paul focuses on (3) key aspects of Christianity: 1) faith in Christ, 2) love for the saints, and 3) hope
-“the hope laid up for you in heaven”–> as believers, we have security/assurance of salvation–> we *know* our future destination (heaven)–> knowing & recognizing this brings us FREEDOM–> we are now free to live for Christ and love others!
-Epaphras–> founder of the church at Colossae
-Paul gave us a beautiful picture of how to pray for other Christians: 1) that they would understand God’s will, 2) gain spiritual wisdom, 3) please and honor God, 4) bear good fruit, 5) grow in the knowledge of God, 6) be filled with God’s strength, 7) have great endurance and patience, 8) stay full of Christ’s joy, and 9) give thanks always.
-Paul also gives us (5) benefits God gives all believers through Christ: 1) He made us qualified to share His inheritance, 2) He rescued us from Satan’s dominion of darkness and made us His children, 3) He brought us into His eternal kingdom, 4) He redeemed us, that is, He bought our freedom from sin and judgement, and 5) He forgave all our sins–> we have SO much to be thankful for!!!
-v. 6– “constantly bearing fruit and increasing”–> this should be true of believers–> “fruit” meaning the fruit discusses in Galatians 5:22-23–> “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
-“grace” from v. 6–> Free Grace Theology is the view that 1) everlasting life is a free gift (which the Lord Jesus fully paid for by His death on the cross for our sins) which is received by faith alone in Christ alone, apart from works of any kind; 2) that assurance of one’s eternal destiny is based solely on believing Jesus’ promise to the believer and not at all on our works or on our feelings; and 3) that all people, believers and unbelievers, are accountable for their works, receive recompense for what they do in this life, and will be judged at the end of the age (in two separate judgments) to determine degrees of reward (believers) or degrees of torment (unbelievers) in the life to come, but not to determine their eternal destinies. An awesome article about grace: http://faithalone.org/magazine/y2014/What-Is-Free-Grace.pdf; awesome website: http://www.faithalone.org/
-being filled with “the knowledge of (God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding”–> results in: 1) us walking in a manner worthy of the Lord, 2) us pleasing Him in all respects, 3) us bearing fruit in every good work, 4) us increasing in the knowledge of God, 5) us being strengthened with all power, 6) us attaining steadfastness, 7) us attaining patience, and 8) us joyously giving thanks to the Father–> even *more* things in which to give thanks to God for!
Father God, we as believers have SO much in which to be thankful for. You have lavished on us SO many blessings and benefit as believers. I pray that we give You thanks for all of it! I also pray for my brothers and sisters across the globe, that they would grow in their knowledge of You and that they would be filled with faith, love, and hope. I pray that they would have assurance of their future destination: heaven, and so, that they would in turn live our their lives fearlessly for You, loving others deeply as well. Strengthen us and help us to walk in a manner worthy of You, full of good deeds and good fruit, steadfast. Amen.
The other night, my hubby and I snuggled down with the kids to watch the movie “Inside Out“, which we had received as a Christmas present. Only my hubby and Duckling #4 (aka Master Lieutenant) had seen it before at the theater. It was brand new to the rest of us.
Our entire family gave it a thumbs up. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it yet, you should take the time to. It will be well worth your time. Very interesting, artistic interpretation at the inner workings of the human mind.
Throughout the movie’s entirety, I found myself consistently drawn to the character of “Joy”. She captured my heart and attention. No matter what life events were thrown in her direction, she always seemed to take a positive spin to it. Yes, she’d get distraught and annoyed… but she didn’t stay there. She thought the best of everyone and everything.
She did have some faults, though. She lied at one point. She shoved other emotions away from the control panel, as she didn’t quite understand their necessity or importance. She outright left Sadness behind as she clamored to get into the tube that would return her to HQ. (I know much of this isn’t making a lick of sense to those of you who haven’t yet seen the movie. But hang with me.)
I like what wikia said about Joy in her character profile:
Joy’s goal has always been to make sure Riley stays happy. She is lighthearted, optimistic and determined to find the fun in every situation. Joy sees challenges in Riley’s life as opportunities, and the less happy moments as hiccups on the way back to something great. As long as Riley is happy, so is Joy.
After the movie, I got to thinking even more about “joy” in a more general sense. In my own personal life, I am totally naturally drawn to joyful, happy, exciting people. Now, I’m not saying I epitomize the character of Sadness (no thank you). But I guess my introverted tendencies lend themselves toward a more slightly melancholy demeanor. Happy people just make me happy. And I like that. I want to be with that. Alone… I really have to purposefully work at cultivating true joy. It doesn’t seem to come naturally.
But I’d like to change that about myself.
Now Biblically I understand that happiness/joy can come from several different sources:
1- being saved from sin
2- having a living, vibrant relationship with God
3- recognizing God’s sovereignty and power in every situation
4- seeing God as good
5- believing that God will work out ALL circumstances for good
6- having real community with fellow believers
7- BEING THANKFUL
It’s #7 that I believe I need to be working on…
Sometimes my circumstances loom big and scary over me and I feel like I’m drowning in them. My emotions will sometimes take the driver’s seat and get the best of me. Sometimes my focus can only see what’s dark and potentially bad. Eeek… and don’t even get me started on wandering in the land of “what if’s”.
It takes a real act of purpose for me to see the bright side of life.
All my life I have been drawn to the happy-go-lucky, positive, uplifting, adventurous types of personalities. That was the kind of best friends I had growing up. And although my husband may appear to be stoic to the untrained eye… he actually is terribly positive in his perspective of people and life as a whole.
One of my goals for 2016 is to be actively and purposefully focus of the goodness of life. To be intentionally filled with thanksgiving for all the many many blessings that God has richly chosen to give me.
To take Philippians 4:8 truly to heart and to fix my thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. To think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
What’s one of YOUR goals for 2016?