Reflective Hour with Tammy Toney-Butler

The Hour is Coming. Are you Ready?

October 15, 2023 Tammy Toney-Butler Season 1 Episode 4
Reflective Hour with Tammy Toney-Butler
The Hour is Coming. Are you Ready?
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Show Notes Transcript

Have you surrendered those past hurts, lies, and broken promises to Christ? Do you have a relationship with Him, or does He even know you? What's that? You're on the service team at church, the board of a non-profit, a sponsor for needy children, and a volunteer at a homeless shelter. But does Jesus know you? Are you surrendering and obeying His will for your life, or are you dictating what you believe is His will? 

Have you given up on trying to control everything? Are you lost and in need of a Shepherd? I was, and I surrendered to Him and have never been the same. I was freed from addiction, shame, anger, and a cascade of trauma responses. I was dead, and He gave me life; He can give you life, too. Take a listen, and be set free.

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Hello, welcome to Reflective Hour with Tammy Toney-Butler. I'm your host today. We all already know who's the host of this show and what this show is all about. It's about Jesus. It's about faith. It's about Him walking us through the darkness so that we can find the light. It's about reflecting even on my journey and how He's brought me through so many trials. So many tribulation periods, so many dark periods in my life. He's my everything. He's my friend. And that's what I want to talk to you about today. So many people have religion, but they don't have a relationship. I have a relationship with Abba Father, Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit, that threefold cord. I seek Him for everything.
I trust him. He is the father who has never left me, never forsake me. He's never put on me more than I could bear and was always with me, even in the dark. I couldn't always see Him. I couldn't reach out, but He was waiting.

He's waiting for you. He wants you to call out to Him, seek Him, and help you break the chains of addiction, self-sabotage, the chains of imposter syndrome, addictions, suicidality, depression, and all those things. Broken marriages, broken homes, broken promises. He wants you to rest on the living, breathing Word of God. The truth that will never, ever abandon you. You will never be lost.  You will never be lonely again.

You're fearfully, beautifully, and wonderfully made. Daughters and sons of the King. When you realize that and realize your place, that you do matter. That you are worthy. You are worth bountiful blessings. You are worth peace and joy. It can all be yours. You can sleep through the night. You can sleep in the middle of the storm. I do. I sleep like a baby now. I don't need Ambien or a bottle of wine to wash it down to get to sleep. I  sleep.

I live in the same world that you do. In A fallen world where darkness is all around, trials and tribulations come as adverse circumstances.  I reflect on His goodness and kindness and on how He keeps his promises to me, sees me through even the darkest of times, and can see you through, too.

He had me reflecting on Romans 9, and it's even sometimes titled Paul 9. And I will read Romans 9:31- 33 in the Amplified Bible.

Whereas Israel, [though always]pursuing the law of righteousness, did not succeed in fulfilling the law. And why not? Because it was not by faith [that they pursued it], but as though it were by works, [relying on the merit of their works instead of their faith]. They stumbled over the stumbling stone[Jesus Christ].  As it is written, and forever remains written, "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling and a Rock of offense; and he who believes in Him,  [Whoever adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] will not be disappointed [in His expectations]."

When we look at Romans 9:31-33 in the King James Version,

But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offense: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Then there's a Tree of Life Version, and I'm not sure why He wanted me to read all three versions, but I just obeyed: Romans 9:31-33

But Israel, who pursued a Torah of righteousness, did not reach the Torah. Why? Because they pursued it not by faith, but as if it were from works. They stumbled over the stone of stumbling, just as it is written,

"Behold, I lay in Zion

a stone of stumbling

and a rock of offense,

and whoever believes in Him

shall not be put to shame."

The hardest part of my life was learning to sit still, to be idle. Father kept calling me to trust, to surrender, to obey. But I often rebelled and would get lost in a task. I believed that I was serving him by working on things he loved. I finally realized that it's about relationship with Christ and serving him with our entire heart and being, putting His will first in our lives instead of our own. These passages teach us that we cannot earn our way to heaven. Volunteering at church is not enough. A changed heart, which Christ seeks, a surrendered, obedient heart follows Christ, longs for Christ, seeks Christ.

We are placed on earth to fulfill a kingdom purpose, God's plan, God's way, not ours. We have no control over anything, yet we try to control everything. Instead, we must put Christ first in our lives, build a relationship with Him, surrender to His will in steadfast obedience, and let Him lead us.

We are merely soldiers in a spiritual war and must follow our Commander Christ. Would you rebel against your chain of command? Of course not. Or you could put many in harm's way who are entrusted in your care on your watch. The same is true with faith. You must walk by faith and not by sight. Trust God. Lean not on your own understanding. And walk in total surrender and submission.

And that's what I  relate to in my own life in my own journey.  I often tried to control everything again, as I said earlier. And I couldn't ever sit still. I thought I would somehow be saved if I threw myself into being a wounded healer in the emergency room and just worked myself to death. So many people even said, well, you're a nurse, and you got a ticket to heaven. You don't even have to worry, but I would go to work as a nurse and come home and live a life of sin, separated from Christ from the Holy Spirit. I didn't have a relationship with Him. I felt too dirty to even call out to Him. I didn't even know the words. And He set me free of all that, the shame, the guilt, the fear, the self-loathing, the self-sabotage, after,  you know, my childhood,  sexual assaults, my rapes, and later learning that was human trafficking. He set me free of all that. I lost my father to suicide when I was a teenager. I lost him before that to Vietnam.

It's not service. It's not work. It's not volunteering for that nonprofit. It's not volunteering on the security team. It's what God asked you to do. Do you wake up every morning and put Him first? Do you ask Him? Do you get alone with Him in a closet or a personal private space and say, I'm here, Abba Father, Holy Spirit, Lord Jesus, how do I serve you today?

Not my will, but Yours. He wants an obedient heart. He wants a relationship. He grieves because his children don't even see Him. They rebel against Him. That spirit of rebellion is all over this world. It's everywhere. That's not what He wants. He wants His children to see Him, to long for Him. And I tell you when you do, and the Holy Spirit fills you up, and he takes away the weight of it all, the "icky," the trauma, the heaviness. What you can't describe, but it just consumes you the negative when He takes it and lifts it off of you. And you have a moment of peace, hope, and joy like I had, and I'm still living in it daily. I am so grateful when He lifts all of that off of you; I gave him my life, and I walk in blind obedience to Him, whatever He asks me to do, wherever He sends me, and the greatest tool I have in my tool chest to carry me through these dark times that we are facing as a nation, as a world.

It's to tether so tightly into that Vine, into Christ. And that's what you have to do. And He is the only thing that set me free of it all, the weight of it all. And He's ready and willing to set you free. Evidence of that is a changed life, truly living in surrender. And when you put Him first, everything else comes, but you must put Him first. And realize it's not about you. It's not about our egos,  pride, self-promotion, none of those things. It's about the kingdom of God and what is going on now, how we serve Him, how we get through these troubling times, how we draw from His well of mercy, His living water of mercy.

I sinned, and I hurt people. I'm not worthy of even having this podcast. This YouTube channel, things He's doing, and giving me these platforms. He places me on. His mercy saw me through, and I'm so grateful. We must rely on His mercy and understand that judgment will come if we do not repent, turn back to Him, and rebuke the spirit of rebellion. Follow our Father in faithful obedience;  faith without works is dead, and you cannot serve your way to heaven. You have to have a relationship with Him. You have to say, Abba Father, what do you want me to do?

Help me, Jesus, so You never turn and say, I never knew you. I didn't know who you were. You served in the church, but did I ever know you? Did I ever truly have your heart? Did you ever seek Me just once and ask Me what I wanted you to do for the kingdom of God that day? Did you surrender your control, or did you make yourself a God of your life, in charge of everything? Because if you control everything, no one can ever hurt you, but what you realize is we never have control. We can't control anything. It's much better to live a surrendered life, waiting on the Whisper of direction, of love, of peace, of His protection, His mighty wing of protection, than to live without it. Seek Christ. Seek His love. Reach out to Him. I did, and I've never been the same. He's waiting. 

Holy Spirit, go with them. Give them Your peace that surpasses all understanding. Please help them to sleep through their storms, to get through this day. When they look at the storms of their finances, relationships, and everything going on in life, let them see You and let that peace Overtake them. Wrap them like a warm blanket so they can rest in it, and it'll carry them through.

Don't worry about tomorrow. Today has enough trouble of its own. Just get through it. God Bless you with His loving peace.