The Tongue of Those Who Are Taught

Sunrise

This year, the Lord has given me a passage that has been a theme for me.

Isaiah 50: 4-5,7

“The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. The Lord God has opened my ear and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward…But the Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint,”

I stumbled into homeschooling four years ago.  It was not in the plan.  I had never considered it.  I had always assumed I would go back to work when my kids where school-age.

But as the time grew near for us to place our oldest child in school, I felt a disquiet in my heart.  I was not at peace with letting her go.  It took some time, and some prayer, and some searching- and at the end of it my husband and I found ourselves feeling peace about pursuing homeschooling.  I had no idea what I was getting into.

The story of how I stumbled into Classical Conversations is one I have repeated many times.  I was reading one of the blogs I followed written by a Mom, and she mentioned CC.  I had never heard of it, so I followed the link to their website.  “To know God and make Him known,” was their mission statement.  I wondered how this applied to education?  I decided to ask for someone to contact me.

Fast forward to lunch time a few weeks later.  I am sitting across the table from Kim.  She is sharing with me about CC, and I am on information overload.  But a few things stick with me.  God is at the center of education, not the student.  The purpose of education is to know God- for all things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made that was made (John 1:1-5).  And one final piece, community is essential.  We need the body of Christ, the support and love of like-minded families to encourage and strengthen us in this task.

I signed up with her group shortly after.  My first year I stumbled through CC, not fully understanding the program, but knowing that my child was memorizing amazing amounts of information, and so was I.  I was feeling stressed out and overwhelmed at times, not sure what I was doing, if I was doing enough, if I was doing it right.

Our family relocated to another state for the next school year.  We found another CC community easily and enrolled.  Some lights finally started coming on.  I was beginning to understand some aspects of CC, but the classical model was still a mystery to me.  It seemed too simple.  Could I really do this through high school?

Over Christmas 2015, our CC director mentioned the need for more directors in our local area.  Would I be interested?

And that’s when the transformation truly began in earnest.  I look back to that moment, and see now that God was giving me a gift.  I wanted to understand the classical model, to capture the vision of CC, in a way I never had up till now, because I knew I needed to cast that vision for others.  I wanted to understand what I was so excited about- to be able to answer questions.  Sometimes, I just couldn’t put into words what was happening to me, and to my children.  I just knew it my heart it was good, and holy, and beautiful.

We were being changed.  Up until this point, much of my spare time had been spent in idle entertainment.  I wasn’t really reading a whole lot that fed my mind, and I spent quite a bit of time watching shows on TV.  Not that these things are bad, but they were not feeding my mind.

I began to  see the rewards of curiosity, of mulling over hard questions, of reading things that stretched me and called forth greater effort- a conscious choice on my part to reconsider the purpose of my life and the way I spent my time.

It is important to share that I was also in the middle of a spiritual awakening.  The Lord was stirring up a desperate thirst for Him in my heart.  I was spending more time reading Scripture than I ever had, and it was coming alive to me!  It was exciting to meet the Lord in His Word-to feel that personal touch- knowing that He led me to a certain passage pertaining to a very specific circumstance I was facing.

With each year, I have learned from my mistakes.  I have sometimes emphasized the minutia and missed out on the larger picture.  Sometimes I forget that more than any other thing, I long for my children to walk with the Lord their whole life.  I want a personal, vibrant, loving relationship to exist between them and God, and I want to do all that I can to cooperate with God’s will and purposes for their lives.  This is not about me, and my hopes and dreams for them.

I started to realize that the end goal that I cared about revolved more around their character, not their grades.  I was more concerned about raising compassionate, diligent people of integrity than I was worried about whether they would get a good job.  I wanted to know that they were equipped with what they needed to get through hard times, for they will come.  I wanted to know that they were confident in their identity in Christ, and that there was work that He called them to do here (Eph. 2:10).

And this year, for the first time, I started to rest.  I believe that God has called me to be right here.  There is nothing extraordinary about homeschooling parents, except when you couple that with a heart bent low to the purposes of our God.  When we see this time with our children as His, to do in them and in us what He wills, to purposely form us for the years ahead- it becomes sacred work.

I see the fruit in me, in them.  I am filled with wonder and gratitude.  I can see clearly many things our family has given up- and all those things pale in comparison to the all-surpassing joy of knowing Christ my Lord and learning alongside my children.  We are tackling hard things together– rejoicing in our successes and learning from our failures.  I have become a more humble learner.  One of the only things I am certain of these days is that I don’t have all the answers.  Thank you, God.  That’s been true for a long time, and it is one of those truths that becomes clearer the longer I live.  I see how necessary- yes, the one and only thing necessary- is time at my Savior’s feet.  Someday, when this life is over, and I am in the presence of my Savior, I don’t want to meet a stranger.

I pray more.  I pray to remember what’s truly important. I pray to release my checklist and embrace God’s priorities for my day.  I pray for grace and strength when my kids are arguing, and the day seems derailed.  I pray for wisdom when I am not sure what to say, how to handle the challenges before me.  I pray to remember to call a friend, to write a card, to send an e-mail- and God has faithfully aided me as I have submitted to His priorities for my days and not my own.  I trust that He will help me remember what’s necessary, and allow me to let go of the rest.

There is greater freedom here, freedom from fear.  I know that God is with me.  And my heart longs to surrender deeper and more fully to His purposes, to slow my pace to match His.  To take the detours, to slow down and savor monotony, to see the sacred in everything- yes, God is everywhere.  He is calling us, inviting us on this adventure, and reassuring us with His promise- “surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

 

 

I am an Offering

" And he said ...  Let there Be Light "

I started doing dishes today, just now, and God whispered, “Look up, ” and I looked and saw these verses.

Several years ago, I wrote these on a card- they just captured me.

1 Chronicles 16:11  Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his presence continually.

16:29-30  Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come before him.  Worship the LORD in holy splendor, tremble before him all the earth.

And as I read them today, and came across the words, “bring an offering,” I thought to myself- I am an offering.

My life is offered up to Him, to use as He will.

What I want more than anything else is to be obedient to God, and to please Him.

To seek His presence and walk with Him.

And the tears of gratitude flowed for this is a work He has done in me.

He has brought me to this time and place through the work of His precious Holy Spirit and I am filled with gratitude.

O dear friends, there is nothing sweeter than inviting God into our lives and simply saying, “I am here, please come and be with me.”

His presence changes us.

His love strengthens.

His compassion and mercy gives us rest.

For we know that God works all things for good for those who love God and have been called according to His purposes.

We have a calling, we have a purpose, we matter to God.

Lord, I come today as an offering of praise and thanksgiving to you.  To be used as you will, a vessel for you to fill and pour out.  O precious Spirit, strengthen me for the work you have called me to.  Help me to wait on you and listen to your guidance.  Renew my mind as I meditate on the word of God.  Make my steps sure and strong.  Uphold me precious Christ, and may your Name be glorified.  Through the blood of Christ I pray, Amen.

 

Seek Him Alone

Arnold Arboretum, 18 May 2010: Steps up to Bussey Hill

It is so easy to be led off track…

Down the road of doing what’s right.

Following the rules.

Doing good works.

Volunteering at church.

Helping a neighbor.

Taking time to invest in our children.

And I am not claiming that these things are bad.

The problem comes when all these things become ends in themselves.

They are failing to be animated by the secure love of God flowing through me and pouring out into others.

I begin storing up a list of “good works” to show God to offset the offense of my sinfulness, and in the midst of my working I lose my connection to the one who strengthens and upholds me.

When I grow weary or fail- if I am disconnected from Him- I fall into despair.

I am seeking the approval of God in the way I seek the approval of man- through doing things that they will approve of so that I might gain their affection/acceptance.

This is a habit that I find so hard to break.

I am constantly falling back into this cycle and then emerging out only to get caught once again.

It is hard, in the midst of my daily work, the ups and downs of my life, to remember that God remains constant in his affection.

He longs to be near me, to walk with me, to guide me into truth and broad, peaceful places.

I start trying to get there on my own- and sometimes I don’t even realize what’s happening in the moment- but I see the evidence of it when my sin leads me to discouragement, shame, and feeling sorry for myself instead of driving me into the arms of my Savior.

I was reading in Romans this morning, and I felt drawn to Psalm 16.  For many years I carried Psalms 16:11 in my car.

You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

My friends, this is something that I desperately need to remember.

I forget so easily that He loved me even before I realized I was a sinner in need of redemption.  He bridged that gap and made a way for me to know Him.

No, I don’t deserve it.  But through the blood of Jesus Christ the fire of the wrath of God has been quenched.  I am received as family.

Truly, what always brings me out of these times of melancholy is one simple truth- the Christian life should be marked by joy (and I see the absence of it in my own life).

We should be so filled with the love of God that we draw attention simply from the peace that lives in secure knowledge that we are infinitely loved and accepted and can do NOTHING to change it.

I want to live like that!

Every day!

(Aside: My Dad has repeatedly talked to me about the word “should.” And I noticed that I used it twice in the past several sentences.  Should is a word of bondage in many cases- God establishes us- this is a work that He delights to do if we only trust Him to do it.  So it is not I, but Christ living in me that accomplishes this work.)

It is not just a smile I paste on for church or saying the “right things” when I am with Christian friends- but it is an abiding peace and security in the arms of my Savior.

It is an anchor in my soul.

I can get caught up in saying the right things without feeling them deep down in my bones.

So my daily prayer is- O Lord, please help me to remember how much I am loved by you- and to share that love with others.

That is what makes our relationship with God so extraordinary.  Not only does God love us, He made a way for us to draw near to Him through the blood of His Son. He allowed His Son to suffer and die for us so that we might be redeemed and live eternally.

We hear it so often the words can become so meaningless.  I want it to soak in.  O Lord, make those words new to me!  Fill me with joy in the truth of all you have done for me.

And even as I wrapped up this post, my daughter asked to read her devotions for today from Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids.  The Title is “My Promise”, and the verse Matthew 28:20-

You can be sure I am with you always…

Oh dear friends, that these words would bring us comfort and peace, and not fear. 

Let us pray for each other that we may hold tightly to this truth in the daily battle with our own sinfulness.  God loves us through all the successes and failures, and compassionately and lovingly longs to draw alongside us, and whisper words of love and comfort into our deepest pain and sorrow.

He binds up the wounded and is close to the broken-hearted.

Oh Lord, precious Savior and God, forgive me for distancing myself from you in my sin.  For giving the lie purchase that your love depends on my obedience. Give me the courage to be vulnerable and honest when times are hard and my knees are wobbly.  Renew my mind and help me to guard against the schemes of the enemy.  May my sinfulness draw me nearer to you as it reminds me of how necessary you are to life- as essential as breath.  I love you, thank you for first loving me.  In Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.

 

 

Don’t Slip Away…

¿Cuanto dicen las manos de una persona?

Keep holding on.

I just think of the Israelites.  The older I get the more I feel like I can REALLY relate to them.

In the middle of Exodus, the Israelites are in the desert.  God has graciously given them a capable leader (Moses) and a visible sign of His presence with them day and night.

He just miraculously saved them from 400 years of slavery in Egypt.

He showed His superiority over all the Egyptian gods.

And less that 5 days later, the Israelites were grumbling.  They were doubting.  About two weeks after leaving Egypt, they even told Moses that they thought they were better off in Egypt than with God.

When they were thirsty and hungry, they actually claimed that God was going to let them die in the desert.

Wow.

And yet, as I look at my own life, I see faith in God’s provision still sadly lacking.

There are times, if I am honest, that I think I feel like the Israelites did.  Even though I know God is with me, I still feel alone sometimes.

Maybe he has forgotten my troubles.

Maybe he doesn’t realize how bad things really are.

Maybe he has forgotten me.

Maybe I am not being obedient in some way and this is punishment. 

I go back to this place a lot because I have a hard time accepting that God loves me regardless of my performance. And every time I sin I feel like I deserve to be punished by God, and I have to consciously stop myself from withdrawing from Him.

The voice I hear says,” You are always screwing things up, you can never get it right- why would God love you?”

I am ashamed of my moments of fear and worry- I want to live child-like faith, to walk through the storms of life filled with joy and confident in His provision.

Every time I falter, every time I cry or lose my temper, every time I find myself envying someone who has a yard, or their own home, or their husband works from home I feel so terrible.

In my heart I cry out to God and say, “What’s wrong with me?  Why can’t I be happy for others and the blessings they have received from you?  Take away this envy, remove coveting from my heart.  Help me be thankful for all that you have blessed us with in this season.  Even though it’s hard- open my eyes to all you have done for us.  Fill my heart with thanksgiving even now. I want to be joyful with others as I see your provision for them too.”

Comparisons destroy contentment in my heart.

Every time.

When my eyes stray from my Savior- if I look too long at my circumstances, or other people, or myself- I lose sight of the most important thing.  The thing that matters more than all others.

HIM.

Jesus.

My Savior.

I am His.

He promises to take care of His own.

He is my shepherd.  He is the lover of my soul.

He delights in me.  He promises to lead and guide me.

It is a one day at a time journey.  I want to stop trying to escape this truth and embrace it.

What lies in your life need the light of God’s truth?

The more time we spend with Him, the more discerning we will be to tell his truth from the enemies’ lies.  We will see clearly that our God does not operate on the world’s time table and He doesn’t follow their “rules.”

And you may be like me and immediately say- but I don’t expect Him to!  And yet…when I look at my life, I see that instant gratification coming into play.  I struggle with the waiting, practicing patience, enduring times of testing patiently…and in those moments I recognize my own need for pruning and sharpening.

I want to be useful to the Lord.

And I know that tools that are sharp work best, and that means filing the parts that are dulled, causing painful friction in those areas where I haven’t fully surrendered myself into his hands.

It hurts, knowing that I need him so much.

Does that make sense?

My sin should drive me to his presence, not cause me to draw away.  Praise God that He does not leave me in my sinfulness but continually shines light upon those areas of my life that need his touch.

I read Proverbs 20:24 this morning.

A man’s steps are from the LORD.  How then can a man understand his way?

I felt like God was saying to me, stop trying to see where this is going.

Just be with me.

Today.

As many minutes as you can- remember me.

Pray to me.

Be with me.

I am enough for you.

Surrender all other distractions and only look at me.

Listen to me.

Precious Lord, thank you for your Word.  Each day, no matter where I am- you meet me there and gently love me and correct me.  As I bask in your love I am refreshed and renewed.  I know that you will take care of me and provide all my needs.  I entrust my family to your care.  Help me let go of material concerns and place them at your feet- that my mind can focus on faithfully loving those around me and serving wholeheartedly.  Give me joy in you today, LORD.  Fill my heart with a hunger to linger with you, to tell you all my pleasures and fears.  I want to fall more in love with you today, and to more faithfully love your people.  Holy Spirit guide me into holiness and truth.  Help me discern the lies.  O thank you Jesus, my precious Savior, for blood that cleanses me.  For life and breath today.  In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

 

 

 

 

Leaving Rubbish for Riches

Nativity

This Christmas season, as I have pondered all the changes that this year of life has wrought, I am overwhelmed by one simple truth.

The more time I spend in God’s Word- memorizing it, meditating upon it, talking about it with my husband, family, and friends- the more I see the evidence that God is steering my life.

And I see the world’s influence.

I can identify the Enemy’s schemes and temptations and more often avoid them before I fall.

Only through God’s grace and influence.

His Word expands my understanding.

He keeps me watchful and disciplined in seeking His truth.

But it is a daily battle that I cannot slack from continually fighting.

The world has many allurements- the greatest battlefield for me is simply my time.

It is easy to waste it in frivolous pursuits, instead of remembering the short span of this life and the importance of abiding in God continually- allowing Him to transform my mind and be willing to be used for His pursuits and Him alone.

We live in a society that says…”I deserve”… and “I need”… and fills in those blanks with so many self-centered lies.

But when we compare all these trappings with God’s Word- we find that the only thing we truly need is the bread of life- Jesus Christ.  We live on the words that come from the mouth of God.

As we round out this year and begin 2013- I pray for a deeper faith.  For a greater hunger for the things of God.  That I would let all go and remember as Paul so aptly said- all is rubbish compared with the glorious riches of knowing Jesus Christ our Lord.

Our world needs more of Him.  Our cities need more of Him.

Our neighborhoods need more of Him.

We can be the light of Christ in this dark world.

Nothing else satisfies like our God.

My prayer- that we will let go and allow Him to steer our lives.  That all worldly pursuits would cease in favor of silently waiting upon the Lord to direct our steps.

Dear Lord, God and King- we come to you in adoration and praise.  When we ponder all that you have done- how you rescued us out of our sin and have made us sons and daughters- our hearts are filled with joy and thankfulness.  Forgive us Lord, for those things we still hold onto tighter than we hold onto you.  Those things that steer our lives and take us away from you- reveal them to us we pray- and may we in obedience choose to submit to your yoke and rest in the peace of your Presence.  For you are not like the other pursuits of this life- that promise big and never fulfill.  You always keep your promises.  You are faithful.  Your Love is perfect.  Oh Lord, may we fight this battle with endurance, remembering you promise to hold us if we stumble, so that we will not fall headlong.  You do not leave us nor forsake us, and when we trust in you, we will not be ashamed.  We can’t hope in your promises if they are not known to us.  We cannot be filled with joy when we are filled with the world’s lies.  We need your truth to fill us.  May we diligently seek you through your Word and prayer- so that we never forget the power that is ours to claim in your Name.  How precious are the feet that bring good news.  As we ready ourselves to celebrate your birth- I am reminded once again of those humble shepherds- outcasts in their day- that enjoyed a choir of angels one night as they announced the wondrous news of our Savior’s birth.  Fill our hearts with wonder- may joy overflow in our hearts as we ponder the great love you have shown to us in sending your Son.  Our Emmanuel, our Savior, our friend.  In Jesus precious name, Amen.

Nearer God, Still Nearer

Near the edge
Psalm 73:28  But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, to tell of all your works.

Abide in me.

Remain in me.

Come to me.

I hear Jesus call.  I hear him urge me to rest.

I have spent this week frustrated- wondering HOW?

How God?

And I felt as though He said to me today, be near me.

Acknowledge me.  Pray to me- in all things, at all times.

Say thank you- all day long.

When a friend is talking to you, asking for prayer- pray right then- lift your voice to me in prayer.

Depend on me– that means- seek me through prayer.

Pray with your kids, pray with your husband, pray, pray, pray.  Pray in your spirit.

Because prayer is conversation with me.  Acknowledging that I am Lord of your life.

It humbles you– reminds you of who you are and who I am.

I feel so aware of my sin these days.  I see how selfish I am- how I try to control and manage things- how I seek others advice after God has already given me an answer.

Why do I hesitate to simply pray?

I can only change by submitting myself to God.  Daily acknowledging my need.  Seeing the reality of my sin as well as the truth that I am washed clean.  I am reconciled- now I need to live in the light of His countenance.

I cannot receive help if I am not walking with Him.  If he is not near, how can he reach out with His hand to catch me- to uphold me and keep me from falling headlong?

So I pray, and I hope today- Nearer God, Come Still Nearer

Lord, I want to be near to you.  I am daily seeking you- hungry for you.  May I seek you in all things this day- pray with each person I see- acknowledge your Lordship over all. In humility, not caring what people think of me, nor seeking their approval- but seeking only your approval-to live a life of obedience.  May I simply love and claim Your Name everywhere I go.  May your Name be always on my lips.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

The Pursuit of Man

The Pursuit of Man

By:  A.W. Tozer

 

 

I have become a big fan of Tozer in the past year.  I read The Pursuit of God earlier this year, and just finished my second book which this current entry concerns.

If you want to go deeper in your relationship with the Lord, Tozer’s books can inspire and help ignite a passion for God in your heart.  He does say, and I agree, that his books simply point you to the source you need to seek- God.

He longs for us to throw off all that hinders us from living this life in complete surrender and devoted service to our God.  To worship Him and bring glory to His Name.

In this book he talks at length about the Holy Spirit, and how his presence transforms the believer.

One of my favorite chapters is titled “Why the World Cannot Receive.”  Here is a quote from that chapter:

We may sing, “Crown Him Lord of All,” and rejoice in the tones of the loud-sounding organ and the deep melody of harmonious voices, but still we have done nothing until we have left the world and set our faces toward the city of God in hard practical reality. When faith becomes obedience then it is true faith indeed.

His books can be confrontational and bring conviction into your heart.  If you are eager to grow and conform no longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, Tozer can support you on that journey.

I highly recommend it, and will definitely be reading it again.

 

 

Prayer for Patience

Yellow Flowers

Lord, O my Savior and God.  Thankfulness fills my soul as I reach for you now.  As my soul seeks and humbly submits to its right place.  Clinging to your presence today I humbly ask, with passionate fervor, O Lord let me dwell in peace today.  When circumstances force the unexpected upon me- help me to handle it with grace.  May anger be far from me.  Holy Spirit, help me.  Convict me and move me toward calm and patience and away from anger and frustration.  Help me to let go of my desire to control, and to trust you with whatever comes my way.

My heart trembles when I think of my children always watching.  Even as I disciplined them yesterday, I was profoundly reminded that you discipline those you love, just as we seek to discipline our children.  I felt grieved in my spirit that my children might think that you discipline like I do.  Lord, you are so perfect in your patience and faithfulness to me.  How many times have I given you reason to throw up your hands in frustration or despair for me ever getting it right- and yet you always- always– graciously forgive me and tenderly lead me in the path of righteousness.

Please God cultivate in me love and patience like yours.  That loves with such passion and grace that anger is far from my lips.  Lord, let me not discipline my children in arrogance and superiority- but always with a humble spirit that recognizes that my children are also teaching me.  Let me be slow to speak; help me to listen and ask thoughtful questions.  To always be willing to stop and pay attention.

I know with a deep and penetrating certainty, like a shot through my soul, that my deepest regrets years from now will be my failure to seek You daily and petition your help as I guide these precious children you have entrusted into my care.  O Lord, I want them to love you and serve you all of their days.  Help me to model integrity and righteousness- for your glory- that they may serve You in joy and obedience all of their days.

Lord, thank you for always being with me.  For loving me even after days when I feel like I have failed.  Thank you for enfolding me in your arms and entreating me to leave yesterday behind and approach today in the confidence that you will never leave me nor forsake me and will guide me and place my feet on the right path.  My heart feels awash with love and gratefulness.  I know I can place my trust in You.

In the power of your Holy Spirit Lord, I submit this day to you.  By the blood of Jesus, Amen.

Linked up with the following:

Women in the Word

a-wise-woman-builds-her-home


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 Thriving Thursdays @ Serving Joyfully

Made with Purpose

Sure symbol of God's love.

You are no accident.

Whether our parents planned for us or not- God knew the time of our birth long before we were even a twinkle in our parents eye.

Every time I sit and just ponder God’s love, I find myself shaking my head in wonderment.  I can’t imagine it; I don’t understand it.

We don’t see love like that here.  We catch glimpses-snippets-flares- but it is fleeting- doesn’t last.

1 John 4:13-19

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us.

Imagine love that never gives up.  Even under the harshest conditions.

Love that ignores outright rejection.  I choose other things over God all the time- every day- and yet He perseveres in His love for me.

His patience waits years while we dabble in things He knows will make us unhappy.  He has to watch in agony and grief as we enter into situations that bring pain and anguish, suffering and despair.

And yet He waits.

He made us to be connected to Him.  To live in communion with Him always.

To never live a moment without being in His presence- feeling the security of our identity in His love and companionship.

But He isn’t demanding or forceful in His love.

He could be.

Yet He allows us to choose.

He gives us the freedom to cause Him terrible pain in our rejection.

And yet, I must admit, many times when I choose other things over Him- I don’t consider the pain I am causing Him.

My heart doesn’t break, many times I haven’t even felt guilty about “cheating” on Him with other loves, other idols.

Such Lovely White Flowers

Andrew Murray talks about our unique connection to God in his book, Waiting on God.  I will paraphrase.

We are made to bring God glory.  To live in constant communion and connection with God- lacking nothing because through God we would have everything we needed.

But through sin, that communion was broken.  Now we have no hope of recovering what we have lost without God’s mercy and grace.

God brings redemption and carries it out daily in our lives- moment by moment.  He works in us as we are consensual to the process.

Andrew Murray puts it this way: “…he has and can have nothing that he does not each moment receive; and waiting on God is just as indispensable, and must be just as continuous and unbroken, as the breathing that maintains his natural life.”

Until we return to what we were made for, we will never find peace. 

We will spend this whole life chasing mirages.

As soon as we feel it is within our grasp, it will evaporate like mist.

Perfect peace comes only when we enter into continual communion with our God.  He made us to be with Him always.

We are only separated from Him as we choose to be- when we allow other things to steal our affections and will.

I want to fall in love with God.  To enter into unbroken communion from this day forward.

Lord, make us malleable in your hands.  May we seek communion with you that is unbroken by distractions with the trappings of this world.  May all other loves fall away as we gaze upon you.  Oh Lord, we cannot grasp the heights nor depths of your love; you defy our human understanding.  As we ponder your love and mercy, may our reaction be one of joy and thanksgiving, of willing and affectionate seeking after you.  May gratitude for all you have done permeate our lives and be a testimony to those around us. We pray in the name of our intercessor and friend, Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

 

 

 

Continually Waiting

R is for Ready

How do we continually wait on God?

That’s what I have been wondering a lot lately.  In this world of technology and constant distractions- more information than I could ever read and more entertainment than I could ever watch…

How do we intentionally seek God throughout the day?

What does the posture of waiting look like?

Andrew Murray’s devotional- Waiting on God– provides 30 days of concise and insightful posts about waiting- all based on Scripture passages. Here’s some excerpts from Day 30.

Hosea 12:6So you, by the help of your God, return, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God (ESV).

This continual waiting is indeed a necessity. To those who are content with a feeble Christian life, it appears to be a luxury beyond what is essential to be a good Christian. But, all who are praying the prayer, “Lord, make me as holy as a pardoned sinner can be made! Fill me as full of your love as You are willing to do!” feel at once that it is something that must be had. They feel that there can be no unbroken fellowship with God, no full abiding in Christ, no maintaining victory over sin and readiness for service, without waiting continually on the Lord.

So it seems that Andrew Murray considered waiting continually the mark of a mature Christian- one who longs to be changed by God and bear fruit in service for Him.

But how do we begin this process?

When you first begin waiting on God, it is with frequent intermission and failure. But, do believe God is watching over you in love and secretly strengthening you in it. There are times when waiting appears like just losing time, but it is not so. Waiting, even in darkness, is unconscious advance, because it is God you have to do with, and He is working in you. God, who calls you to waiting on Him, sees your feeble efforts and works it in you. Your spiritual life is in no respect your own work; as little as you begin it, can you continue it. It is God’s Spirit who has begun the work in you of waiting upon God. He will enable you to wait continually.

Once again I am struck by a simple yet pervasive message of the Christian faith.

Surrender.

Humility.

We are at our strongest when we have completely emptied ourselves.  When we are wholeheartedly seeking God.

As we seek to love him with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength.

So simple and yet so hard to do.

When everything in our culture says it’s all about me.

And God keeps whispering- no, it’s all about me.  I created you, I redeemed you, you are mine.

To wait on God brings great rewards, those measured by eternity- not human standards.

The challenge for me lies in staying power.  For I know there will be days when I get discouraged, when I know I am not waiting like I should be.  The temptation is to give up when things get tough- esp. if we are not able to see any progress.

That’s where faith comes in.

Trust in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

If we believe in the power of His love and the sacrifices He has already made on our behalf- will He not also be faithful in this if we seek Him with our whole heart?

Oh Lord, you know how awkward and uncertain we are about waiting- and seeking silence.  These things are foreign and strange, and we tend to run from the uncomfortable. We use busyness as a shield to protect us from thinking too much, from doubting all the things we fill our lives with.  Merciful God, slow us down. May we seek You and learn to live in your presence day by day- to look for you everywhere and in everything.  Transform us through the power of your Holy Spirit working in us.  We are yours.  In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.