21 No wonder we are happy in the Lord! For we are trusting him. We trust his holy name. 22 Yes, Lord, let your constant love surround us, for our hopes are in you alone. Psalm 33:21-22 Living Bible
I have an old Living Bible that belonged to my mother who went on to be with Jesus some 25 years ago. Every time I touch the pages I can’t help but think of her. I think of sitting in church together on Sunday mornings. I think of her attentiveness to the message. I think of her care in preparing a fabulous Sunday dinner every week. I think of the richness and depth of her love. Unconditional acceptance.
I still miss her. As I read these verses, I truly believe that she was happy in the Lord! I know that she had the contentment and peace of His constant love. She shared that contentment and constant love with me. I am so thankful to have had a praying Godly mother! I know I am here in my walk with God as a direct result of those prayers.
As I sit and meditate on these words in Psalms, I find myself asking God what He and Enoch talked about. That was such an intimate, loving relationship that God scooped him right up! First, I got this picture of a pillow. It’s the difference between a stiff decorative pillow that sits somewhere for people to look at but never touch versus a pillow that gets all smushed just right to comfortably lay your head on at night. It seems like we are supposed to mold into God like that and He molds into us at the same time.
Then I had the picture of holding hands with God and walking and talking. Delighting in each other’s company. True companionship. We tell each other what is on each other’s heart. Listening intently. Honoring each other’s desires.
Lord, forgive me when I don’t listen to the desires of Your heart. Thank you for always listening to mine! I adore You Almighty God. Thank you for giving me my mom to show me how to love well and unconditionally. Thank you for my daughter. Help me to always love her with Your heart. Show me how to love others with Your heart as well.
3 “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay. 4 “Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.“ Habakkuk 2:3-4 NASB
Father, thank you for Your promises, Your deliverance and Your Word. Thank you for Your love, Your power and Your might that You wield on my behalf. Thank you for going before me and coming behind me. Thank you for Your favor.
Father, please search my heart to make it right and suitable for You. Take my heart and purge it of any prideful or soulish desires. I yearn to be in full communion with You, believing Your promises and waiting patiently and hopefully for Your timing.
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,“ 1 Peter 1:8 NIV
I recently read an article entitled “Confessions of an Instrument Pilot.”* As I read through his points of discomfort, they really resonated with me in my faith walk. Here are some excerpts, see what you think:
“A year ago I raced through my…training, learning just what I needed to know…according to…minimum standards.”
“I met the requirements…But that doesn’t mean I’m comfortable with exercising that privilege.”
“Now I find myself anxious…without another…pilot beside me.”
“I lost faith in my abilities to interpret and visualize an approach. The idea of…deviating from what I had planned puts me on edge.”
“If I had trained harder, I wouldn’t feel so uncomfortable….”
I find that when everything is rosy and I feel God’s favor in my life, I am relaxed and calm. However, when things get bumpy and I don’t see or understand why, I get edgy.
I can see the similarity between instrument flying and walking in faith. Both have to trust what is unseen. The pilot has to trust the instruments and their readings regardless of their sensations. As a Christian, I have to trust God’s Word and my relationship with Him regardless of my desires. Just like the pilot, I can’t always see where I am heading. I have to trust the instruments that God has given me (His Word and the Holy Spirit) to guide me.
Thank you Lord for Your tools and Your flight plan! Help me trust You more every day and not deviate from Your headings. I believe in You. I love You. You fill me with inexpressible joy.
*Confessions of an Instrument Pilot: 10 Steps to IFR Absolution http://flighttraining.aopa.org/magazine/2010/December/ifrtraining.html
“Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Matthew 26:38 NIV
I have the sense that prayer creates forward motion…on many planes: physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. Active prayer engages with hope and anticipation. It means we lean INTO it. We lean FORWARD in prayer. I liken it to a suspenseful movie or conversation that makes you lean so far forward that you are on the edge of your seat. It feels like if you move one millimeter closer, you are going to fall right out of your chair. Plop! Right onto the floor.
I believe that it is that supernatural tension that keeps us suspended in mid-air. It keeps us from falling out of our spiritual chair, so to speak.
I have never prayed so hard that I sweat drops of blood like Jesus. However as I have prayed during particularly hard times, I have felt the sensation that God was carrying me. That I was staying afloat by supernatural means. I believe the only way that occurred is through a prayer full of surrender and total reliance on God. I still struggle. I still mess up. I start picking up old patterns of self-reliance. Ugh. I know it will get better! I am so thankful that God never gives up on me. Sometimes I have to walk through painful reminders to get back to that place of full surrender all over again.
I remain thankful. I know God never leaves me or forsakes me. Even when my hard head gets in the way!
Father, thank you for Your love and Your grace and Your mercy. Teach me to pray. Teach me to pray like Jesus. Teach me to rely on You. Teach me Your ways.
“Giving grows out of the heart—otherwise, you’ve reluctantly grumbled “yes” because you felt you had to or because you couldn’t say “no,” but this isn’t the way God wants it. For we know that “God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7 The Voice
It all starts at the heart. Everything grows and springs forth out of our heart. Our words. Our motives. Our plans. Our intentions.
How can we learn to be content with what we have?
- View material goods as given by God to be used wisely
- Work hard to earn and save money
- Give to the Lord’s work and those in need
- Remember to be thankful and to enjoy what God gives
Lord, tend to my heart. Teach me how to be a good steward with every blessing that You give. Help me to use all things with a kingdom mindset.
”Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 1 Peter 2:1NIV
Malice: settled overgrown anger, retained until it inflames a man to design mischief; to do mischief or delight in any mischief that befalls another.
Deceit: flattery, falsehood and delusion which is a craftiness imposing upon another’s ignorance or weakness to his damage.
Hypocrisy: counterfeit piety; counterfeit friendship – those who give high complements that they do not believe, make promises which they never intend to perform or pretend friendship when mischief lies in their hearts.
Envy: grieving at the good and welfare of another, at their abilities, prosperity, fame, or successful labors.
Slander: detraction; speaking against another or defaming him.
2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 1 Peter 2:2NIV
Salvation: the word of God, rightly used, does not leave a man as it finds him, but improves and makes him better.
3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 1 Peter 2:3 NIV
Taste the Lord: grace is discovered by an experimental taste; there must be an immediate consumption of it. We cannot taste at a distance.
In order to taste grace we have to be united in Christ by faith. Through faith we taste God’s goodness in all our provision, our circumstances, our spiritual concerns, our fears and temptations. We do this by being in His Word and worshiping Him daily. When we “feed” on God’s Word we taste and experience His grace to the fullest.
Lord, help me to feed upon Your Word daily and put aside foolish things – malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander. Help me to grow up in Your salvation.