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.
“Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29 NIV
God loves love and faith. Everything operates out of those two things. Once we have accepted Christ as our Savior, those are two very important keys to the kingdom of God.
Love governs our relationships — most centrally, our relationship with God. If we love Him with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind and with all our strength, then we want to meditate on His Word in order to be more like Him and please Him. We will want to walk and talk each and every day with Him. We will want to be quick to be obedient when He has a request of us.
Faith is the manifestation our love of God in us and God’s love for everyone through us. Faith is the special sauce that creates power and momentum. It opens up the impossible and allows God’s Living Word to flow through us to touch others, do the miraculous and change lives.
Father, stretch me. Stretch my heart and faith muscles. Make me fit and strong and nimble to do whatever You ask of me. Thank you for Your Living Word and the life that flows from it. I pray it will flow through me.
“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.
“So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.” Hebrews 3:19 NASB
Unbelief. Skepticism. Doubt. Distrust. Suspicion. These words all have a harsh edge to them. They have an intellectual questioning, reasoning or arrogance that we know better.
Confidence. Full trust. Integrity. Strength. Honor.
These words are powerful. It’s like a special additive that super-charges your engine. In order to operate in this state of mind, it’s an “all in” kind of thing. There is no room for doubt and unbelief.
This is where God wants us. He wants us to reside in full trust. Full confidence. In integrity and strength and honor. We are the conduit, but He is the power. He is the fuel that powers it all. In order for Him to ignite the fuel, we have to be able to rest in Him. Not wrestle and fight Him with our intellect and reasoning. Not hanging onto things out of fear.
Fear is a weight that keeps us from being air born in our faith. Picture a hot air balloon. There are all kinds of weights to keep it on the ground prior to take off. The weights have to be jettisoned in order to get the lift required to fly. Similarly, we have to jettison fear in order to rise above the natural and the expected. We have to jettison fear in order to embrace flight. We have to let go in order to grab hold of something new and different.
Remember. God’s thoughts and ways are different than ours. Be open to new and different! Get ready to fly!
Lord, help me trust Your wings and Your destination.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 NIV
I had an experience recently that really tried my patience on this front. I won’t mention the company but after 8 hours of phone time in two days, I had to throw in the towel. The angst and disruption that it caused was just not worth it. In the middle of it all I had the realization that I had a choice. I could simply change direction. No one was holding me captive. All I had to do was walk away. So I did.
As I read this scripture, I did feel compelled to go back and read the feedback that I had provided. It made me feel good to see that it was not emotionally loaded. It was not defamatory. It was authentic feedback regarding a very poor service experience. I do hope that the feedback benefits the organization in some way.
The wonderful thing is that simply letting go felt wonderful! There was no lingering emotional hangover. No lingering bitterness or anger. It was simply a release.
Father, guard my mouth. Let my words be true and let no unwholesome talk come out of my mouth. Let me speak what is helpful for building others up according to their needs.
4 “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: 6He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.” Psalm 37:4-6 NIV
The first time I read this scripture I stopped at verse 4: He will give you the desires of your heart. That’s all I needed to hear. I got my list ready! I prayed diligently over that list. Fervently. It was full of all the “I wants” for my life. I got tired. I got angry. And eventually I got confused. After some time went by I went back to read the scripture to see if I missed something.
As I read verse 5, it said “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this.” I took a deep breath. There was a catch. My wants were not His wants. Had I truly committed my way to His way? Was I asking for His will to be done? Here? Now? In my life? That was the beginning of a big shift for me.
It was followed up by a time of testing. I had to learn to let go of things I held onto too tightly. I couldn’t have it both ways. It was either His way or my way.
It’s one day at a time. I genuinely want my heart to be a reflection of His. Every day I lay my heart before Him and ask Him to take it and make it His. Keep it straight for me.
Father, take my heart and make it Yours. Make the desires of my heart Yours.