Let me be clear, the Anointed One has set us free–not partially, but completely and wonderfully free! We must always cherish this truth and stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past.
In conversation with a friend, I could clearly hear the Holy Spirit say to me:
“Go ahead and share your blog with your friend!”
I couldn’t and I didn’t because I’m often told by the enemy, at least I think it’s him:
“You are prideful!”
“You are foolish!”
“They will think you are crazy!”
Sometimes I agree and sometimes I push forth in obedience. On this particular day, I agreed, ended our conversation and walked away in relief that my secret was still safe.
It isn’t often that God shows me who to share it with; I’d rather keep it hidden due to its sensitive nature which tells me that I’m still in that same old human mindset. I imagine that if God were truly my focus, I wouldn’t care who read it or what was said about it.
My heart’s desire is to share the work of God in my life, through my writing and in my Podcast which is a work in progress, in the hopes that it will draw people to Him. I pray that each one will see that God is real, that He is at work and He does speak!
I ran into this same friend, the next day, and the Holy Spirit spoke:
I immediately glanced around just to see who else was in the area, contemplated her Internet access, wondered if she’d really be interested, and questioned whether I was actually hearing my Heavenly Father correctly.
I did not follow through and it wasn’t until I got home, and heard several times “to share,” that I finally gave in. How disappointed I feel! Why should the Holy Spirit have to tell me, over and over, to move? And, the only reason I do is to be free of His request! How disrespectful and rebellious I am!
I called her! I stumbled over my words and felt foolish as I told her about my blog. The minute it spilled out, I felt regret:
“It’s called, “Our Heavenly Prize.”
As I sit here reflecting on that telephone exchange, I’m reminded that Jesus gave me the name. I didn’t hem and haw over the title, He brought it to me! I knew in that instant that it came from Him. Where is the “foolishness” in that? The God of Heaven and Earth looked upon me and graced me with a name. This is His gift to me and this is how I thank Him, with doubt in who He is. Can He not use anything and everything for His greater glory! Absolutely!!
Forgive me, Lord, for choosing my own comfort instead of your glory! Forgive me for putting limits on You! Supply me with the strength to cast all my cares onto You as I step out in obedience!!
John Piper’s sermon, “How To Seek The Holy Spirit,” features Scripture from 1 Peter 4. When I read it, verse 14 spoke to me in regards to my conversation with my friend!
“If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part, He is blasphemed, but on your part, He is glorified.
The Spirit of glory and God rests upon me and you! If we do nothing if we say nothing, then where is God and His glory? At a dead halt because of disobedience. We don’t know who He is trying to reach or what He’s trying to accomplish in our own lives. We can’t see as far ahead as He can! We do know that His plans are for good so obey and watch Him work!
If we trust and have faith in Him, if we keep our eyes on Him, not thinking only of ourselves and what we can see in front of us, then obedience is an easy task. He will supernaturally come into our circumstance, which we sometimes see as doubtful and scary, and intervene. This is when His glory will take shape and all will see Him! Hallelujah!!
He will not let us fail!
What is God telling you to do?
He’s telling me to throw all cares to Him, walk in the Spirit, and be obedient.
You are the light of the world–like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.
I’m feeling confident in you, Jesus, because of how you’ve shown yourself to me in the past couple of years. This blog has been your tool to uncovering and purging me of things that held me back from what you’ve planned for me; the work that you’ve designed me to. It’s so difficult to pursue you when darkness is a constant presence. I’ve since learned that the darkness has no strength at all. When we call on you in times of need, You are faithful to answer. You’ve done this in my life and I’ve become greater in faith because of your love for me! Thank you, Jesus!!
Philippians 4:13 (NLT)
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
How true this is! You carried me through a potentially great moment of fear this past Saturday. Fear did not touch me because you held me in your hand! What a feeling this was. I was actually in a state of shock!! Where is that old familiar fear? Wow…you amaze me, Jesus!! I walked in your miraculous strength!! How blessed I am by you, Abba Father!
Transformation comes from your mercy and grace! Thank you, Jesus! Let me always be thankful for YOU!! Don’t let me get ahead of you!! How disastrous this would be! Keep me in line, convict and correct so that I can experience more of YOU! I welcome more and more of YOU!!
Lamentations 3:22-24 (ESV)
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
I desire to share you, Jesus, but in the right way! Put my heart in alignment with yours! I pray to be unhindered by fear of man, just as you showed me on Saturday night (more details on this miracle at a later date). There is “something” within me that is itching to get out and I believe that some of this has already been unleashed; I know there is more to come. I know greater things are in the midst. I am your vessel to do with as you’d like!
Psalm 37:4 (ESV)
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
I delight in you, Lord! I can prayerfully sit with you all day long but I know there is work that I must do. You know the desires of my heart and how grateful I am for this because there are some days that I don’t act as I should. Yesterday, a prime example, but you assured me this morning that each day is a day to experience YOU! My eyes are set on You because I know what you’ve done thus far in my life. Hallelujah!!
Lord, as of right now, there is an area of my life that I am diligently seeking you in! I have a vision and I’m not quite sure where it’s coming from; is it me, the enemy or You. I’m wavering because I’m unsure! Lord, I rely on you for direction in this. I pray on my reluctance, to no avail, but I wait patiently on You because I want to be sure. I know that you will answer in your own time which is how I want it.
It’s the same sort of fear I felt on the prayer team. The clamp has returned but it will not remain. I just want to be sure of YOU before moving further along. I look expectantly for your Will, dear Jesus!!
My prayer is to give this experience a try! If I don’t try, I stay where I am, wondering what would have become of it if I did take a leap of faith. If I were to step out, trusting You in all things, this would give you opportunities to use me in new ways. If I stay safe, I become stagnant in my use.
Clear the way for me and let me represent you as you guide and support me in this new thing!
Matthew 7:7 (NLT)
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
Hear my prayer as I seek your answer! I wait patiently until you open the door! Thank you, Abba Father, for your tender loving care!!
What are these formless creatures belching and groaning at me, as I slept soundly in my bed on Saturday night? I was surrounded by faceless demons lurking in shadows of red. There was a distance between us so they were unable to reach me. It didn’t matter because terror still overtook me. My body moved in strange ways due to their attacks. My mind filled with visions of death. I desperately looked for an escape. Nothing! Realizing I could not fend them off, I screamed, “I plead the BLOOD of JESUS!
I woke with fear! My heart racing and my breathing difficult to gain control over. I jumped out of bed, reliving the terror as I walked to the bathroom.
“Where in the world did THEY come from?”
I swallowed my last sip of water and headed back to my bedroom, wondering if the dream would continue once I settled into my comfy spot on the right-hand side of the bed. My eyes closed and for one mere second, there was fear. From within, prayers flowed out. There was no fight from the enemy. He was GONE!!
Peacefully, I fell asleep in the arms of my Protector!
As I sat in quiet that morning, Jesus reminded me of the Power that lives within me.
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!”
Drinking coffee, I pick up the study book, “The Believer’s Battle Strategy,” by Christie Punch Michaud. I am using this in her class at Seacoast Church which is called, “Battles to Breakthroughs.” At the end of each chapter, there is an opportunity to go deeper into the Battle Tools. The Holy Spirit spoke to me through some of the featured Scriptures.
I know it is difficult to experience the same joy that I do when reading the following Scriptures and I believe it’s because it’s my Holy Spirit encounter. I share them with you, in the hopes that you will seek your own relationship with Almighty God. He is alive and well and ready to show up! He will do the same for you! We are equal in His eyes. There aren’t any favorites! We are loved unconditionally, without discrimination! All we are required to do is give Him the time.
I pray that as you read each Scripture, you will feel the Power that lives within you, In Jesus’ Name! Amen
1 Thessalonians 5:19
Do not stifle the Holy Spirit
1 Corinthians 13:11
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned like a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.
Zechariah 4:6, 7
Then he said to me, This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel [Racinda]: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Nothing, not even a mighty mountain, will stand in Zerubbabel’s [Racinda’s] way; it will become a level plain before him [her]; and when Zerubbabel [Racinda] sets the final stone of the temple in place, the people will shout: “May God bless it! May God bless it.”
Then we [I] will no longer be immature like children [a child]. We [I] won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We [I] will not be influenced when people try to trick us [me] with lies so clever they sound like the truth.
Instead, we [I] will SPEAK the TRUTH in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of His body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
This is a direct message of the Power that lives in each believer. We face mountains, trials of all sorts! We will conquer because Jesus is our Lord!! I encourage you to take five minutes to thank Him for His saving Grace and expectantly wait for His presence!
How grateful we are that you hold each one of us in your Heavenly Hands. You know right where we are and You know just what we need. Lord, this morning, I pray for all of those that don’t know You. I pray that you would open their eyes and show them how lovely and kind you truly are. This life is not meant to be lived without You. You have so much for each of us if only we’d give you our hearts and our time. Lord Jesus, do a miraculous work in those that live life in their own strength.
For the ones that know you, draw us so tight to You that all we can do is drop to our knees and praise you. How we desperately need Your presence in our life. We rely on You to keep us in Your Will so that we can serve you to Your Maximum potential. Remove those giants that stand before us…fear, anxiety, confusion, disorganization, time, people, loss…whatever the case may be, bring your peace into each of our lives so that we can focus on You and Your goodness, so that we can hear you and move forward in what You have placed within us. There is nothing greater on this earth than to sit before you and pray, to serve You and your Kingdom! Help us do this!!
Thank you, Jesus, that you have reconciled us to our Father in Heaven. Thank you for Your blood, Jesus. We are saved and sealed because of what you did at the cross. We rest in Salvation! As your children, we rest because we are guaranteed eternal life with You.
Praise be to God for His unconditional love! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
People moving in next door.
Movers chatting loudly in the hallway.
A constant up and down thud of footsteps and dolly wheels on the stairs.
The weekly lawn crew circling about with powerfully loud leaf blowers and mowers.
A deafening machine parked at the end of the street.
The construction site next door.
GET ME OUT OF HERE!!
I left the apartment with my bike in hand for some peace and quiet!!
The elementary school had just let out and there were kids EVERYWHERE!!
Loud voices screaming to one another.
Cell phones to their ear or in hand, slowing their pace and blocking my way.
Erratic after-school drivers in a hurry to get where?
Dogs with owners gazing off into the distance.
Even the Christian music that I enjoy as I ride has suddenly turned sour!
What is happening?
Finally, my apartment is up ahead but first I have to get through the cloud of dust that has been kicked up by a man and his riding lawn mower. Not sure what his mission is?
I held my breath for fear of some sort of lung infestation!
Walking into a hot and humid living room, the dog welcomes me with giant jumps to my chest and back! He needs to go out…of course, you do!!
The noise pollution has NOT stopped. I have no choice! So back out I go!!
While on my walk, I get a photo from my husband. He’s spilled milk all over the kitchen floor.
All I could do was laugh!
A quick walk with the dog and home to my desk! The place where I meet God each day!
I look down and there sits the “feeling wheel” from my class, “Battles to Breakthroughs” which I attend on Tuesday nights (I will share more on that at a later date).
Let’s see where I am?
End result…I’m ANGRY!!
I open my Bible in search of Scripture to combat anger!!
After reading a few, I came across Psalm 46:10
Be still and know that I am God.
How faithful and loving He is! I immediately feel the peace of God settle upon me. I close my eyes and sink into His heavenly Presence! Thank you, Jesus!
Heavenly Father…thank you that we can come to you at any moment in the day and you hear our pleas. How faithful and loving you are! Where all this “noise” comes from is not our concern because you are GREATER! In the midst of great difficulty, YOU are greater. You will keep us in perfect peace when our mind is focused on you. We trust you, therefore, what comes against us has no strength. Lord, I pray today that we would turn our thoughts to you in all circumstances…that we would thank you for Who you are and for what You’ve done for us! There are some of us that feel lost, some that are depressed, some that don’t even know you and some that want more of you. I pray that you would gather all of us up and speak life into our hearts. Remind us where our peace comes from. I pray that we would seek you through prayer and Scripture as soon as we feel ourselves losing divine peace! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Philippians 4:6, 7
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
I wasn’t sure where I was headed in my time of quiet this morning so I simply asked Him, “LORD, where would you have me go?” He faithfully pointed me to Exodus which comes from the reading assignment at the back of my Bible (NLT). He’s made it quite clear that sermons, devotions, and other religious books are terrific and most helpful but His Word is far more critical, so I’ve been trying to follow His wise advice. To be honest, it’s been quite a few weeks since I referred to the reading plan because I’ve been in the midst of conversations with Him and He had His own Scriptures to share with me. I haven’t felt the need to utilize a structured reading plan. This morning, I obviously needed it!
My Scripture for the day was from Exodus 16:1-36 and I could get no further than the fourth verse. I like to read the Mind of God out loud so that distractions cannot wiggle themselves into my thoughts which does happen. I can be merrily reading along and the next thing I know, I’m thinking about work, food, or family. All good things for sure, but when sitting with God, I want to hear from Him. I need to hear from Him.
Exodus 16:4 says:
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day.
Awesome, the Lord is going to rain down food and these people can collect as much as they need for the day. God is good, but I didn’t read it like this and this is the second time (that I can recall) that God has supernaturally altered Scripture to fit my current circumstances. Not that He hasn’t used it in the past, supernaturally, but the last couple of times that I’ve read, I felt as if I’m seeing it on a deeper level, below the surface of what is written. When reading, I certainly see the divine words as they are but I’m understanding differently, spiritually? I sat stunned and urgently prayed to God for more of this!
Verse four filled me with great hope, love, and reward. He assured me that His supply does not come in dribs and drabs but in RAIN!! All we have to do is go out and collect and our needs will be met for THAT day.
We do this by not going outside and collecting but by taking time each day to sit before him, preferably first thing in the morning. He desires to be our provision and so much more but we have to take action. We cannot sit back and expect our Father to do it all. Life is not like this and neither is He.
How can we “collect?”
By reading Scripture (most important because this is the mind of God), praying silently or boldly out loud, listening to a Bible App, cranking up praise and worship music while lifting up our hands and singing or softening it and letting it wash all over us!
Philippians 4:8 says:
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
God will feed us!
Heavenly Father…thank you for your promise this morning. Thank you that when we seek you, with our heart in hand, we will find You. You never disappoint, never fail, nor never leave. You are the same today as You were yesterday. How we rely on You!! Thank you for your provision today. Thank you that you’ve already determined the day. Your plans are always for good. Lord, I pray that each of us has the desire, motivation, courage, boldness, and strength to walk in Your Will today. Feed us, Heavenly Father, throughout the day, keep our focus on You, and let us reflect your brilliant light on others, all in the power of the Holy Spirit. We love you Jesus and we give you all the honor and glory, In your Holy Name, Amen!!
Trusting in you LORD to
bring to the surface
whatever needs dealing with.
I am YOUR child.
I am in YOUR hands,
and I trust YOU.
No more rules and
No more punishment!
No more doubt!
I will follow!
YOUR love is PERFECT!
YOU are PERFECT!
There isn’t an ounce
of perfection in me,
but with YOU,
I’m exactly who and where
I’m supposed to be.
Genesis 49:23, 24
Archers attacked him savagely; They shot at him and harassed him. But his bow remained taut, and his arms were strengthened by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, by the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel.
Why do I find myself antsy with heaviness when home?
I recently had a conversation with Carl (husband) about battling with myself when not engaging with others: work, Bible Study, Outreach, church, volunteering. When alone, I am constantly reminded of who I am without Jesus. Why?
Jesus doesn’t randomly make an appearance in my times of quiet or when I’m out serving. Jesus lives within me which means that I’m never without Him! I am not alone, ever!
Why do I eliminate His presence when on my own? It’s almost as if I step out of who I am in Christ and into who I was before Him. One toe on this Earth and the other in His Kingdom. My split perspectives have got to join together in order to be fully used by God.
I’m reading about Frances Ridley Havergal from the book, “They Found the Secret.” In it, she states:
“There must be full surrender before there can be full blessedness. God admits you by the one into the other.”
What am I withholding from Him? I don’t want anything displeasing in my life but yet I continue to water those fruitless seeds which took root a long time ago! It’s like an old pair of sweats. You know they look terrible and are completely out of style but way too familiar and comfy to throw to the side. You just keep on lounging around in them, praying no one sees you!
I don’t know what these useless seeds are, why I feel compelled to harvest the darkness or how they even got there in the first place! It certainly isn’t pleasant, rewarding or beneficial!
Am I not always a vessel for Him to use? It shouldn’t matter whether I’m silent or in service? Am I not a child of God with a greater purpose? I am a saint, His ambassador whether I’m alone or out in the world. My status (if that’s the right word?) doesn’t change because of where I am or what I’m doing?
He is constant, therefore, I am too.
And, as I sit in my car writing this, I hear Jesus say:
“Your times in isolation is your classroom! I am your teacher, you are my student. In quiet, you learn. In the world, you share your divine knowledge!
What is it that you don’t like about yourself? Where do you dwell when you are alone? Past sins? Present sins? Inadequacies? Weakness? Sweet treats? Your appearance? Does any of this really matter? Don’t go out into the world sizing people up? Don’t look at others and feel inferior! You are part of the Body of Christ. Each person has a different role. I can’t have all my children looking and doing the same thing. My Kingdom, my Glory would go nowhere! This isn’t who I AM!!”
Ms. Havergal goes on to explain:
“…I was shown that ‘the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sins,’ and then it was made plain to me that He who had thus cleansed me had power to keep me clean; so I just utterly yielded myself to Him, and utterly trusted Him to keep me.”
What am I doing to His precious gift when I hold on to the things that aren’t from Him?
What am I showing Him when I listen to dark tales that aren’t even true?
No appreciation for what He did at the cross?
What did Ms. Havergal experience when she completely surrendered?
“There was a constant experiencing of the fruit of the Spirit. There was undiminished and unchanging love for her Savior and for others. There was the joy that “lifted her whole life into sunshine, of which all she had previously experienced was but as pale as passing April gleams, compared with the fullness of summer glory. There was the peace of God that passes understanding, flowing onward, ever deepening and widening under the teaching of God the Holy Spirit.”
To surrender is to let go of EVERYTHING!
To give God ALL inner battles!
I am not faulty, a failure, unworthy, dirty, ugly, fat, dumb, a good for nothing or weak!
To be any of this is to call God the very same things! I am made in His image!
I am marked for a greater purpose!
He took all of my sins upon His back and died a painful death for me.
And, not just me, but for you too!!
To believe the lies of Satan is to discredit Jesus…who He is and what He’s done!
Ms. Havergal says:
“I keep wondering every day what new lovingkindness is coming next! It is such a glorious life! And the really leaving EVERYTHING to Him is so inexpressibly sweet, and surely He does arrange so much better than we could for ourselves, when we leave it all up to Him.”
Is this even possible?
I found myself stuck on a message given by Pastor John Piper. It was called, “Are We Adopted for Us or for God?”
I was intrigued by a certain story that he told of his adopted daughter, Talitha. It’s a made up story but used to create an “Aha” moment in the lives of his listeners.
I listened over and over until I got what the Lord intended for me to have! I’m thankful I didn’t give up!
It’s Talitha’s twenty-third birthday. Pastor John goes out to a hole in the wall florist and buys twenty-three long stemmed roses for his daughter. He hides them in a closet and when the time arises, he gets them and hands them to Talitha (this is not something that he usually buys).
“Why did you do that, daddy?”
Because, as your adopted father, it is my duty. If I weren’t to do it, I would feel guilty. It’s what I’m supposed to do.
Pastor John then goes on to say:
That’s a bad answer!
Joyless duty doesn’t honor her. Joyless duty doesn’t make much of her. You have to stop acting out of that motive.
What’s got to be changed for her (Talitha) to be honored?
He presents the question again:
Why did you do that daddy? Why the roses?
What would be the right answer?
Because I just enjoy spending time with you. Showing you in this time, that it’s special. I love to be with you. You make me happy. I love to do stuff with you. You make me glad.
How would Talitha feel in the moment?
She would feel honored.
My daddy prizes me!
My daddy loves me!
My daddy is making much of me because he delights to be with me!
That’s the way it is with our Father in Heaven.
The story ends!
I have a hard time seeing honor, joy, gladness, enjoyment, satisfaction, significance and delight when I’m alone. I feel all of this when I’m assisting the elderly, sharing stories of God in the resident Bible Study, in church praising God with my husband and best friend, reaching out to New Salvations on the Welcome Team with Elevation Church, and in quiet when I’m being held by my Father in Heaven.
I don’t feel any of this when I’m alone!
I am a wounded child!
I feel sorrow and loss because it’s what I’ve always known.
I don’t want to go there anymore! I’m not there anymore! I surrender this little girl to you, Jesus. You know what to do with her. I, obviously do not! I want to be big and strong and fully accessible to You.
And as I sit here, I see you, Jesus, reaching out and grabbing onto that little girl’s hand. I see where you are going. I see her looking up at you, grateful, that she doesn’t have to be here anymore. She can rest, she can sleep, she can wait patiently until the rest of me meets up with her. My time isn’t finished here, but hers is. She fought long enough. She’s fought hard enough. She’s tired! She wants her Father. I want my Father. I want to be here with my Father. I let this little girl go. I’m not that child anymore. Praise be to God!!
I know the last paragraph of this post is not written as well as it could be if one were to look at it with an educated eye but to me, it’s written perfectly. So perfectly, that all I could do was cry!!
I thank all my readers for your support, encouragement, and love! Thank you for allowing me to share what’s on my heart and what God is doing in my life without any sort of judgment. You have truly blessed me by being part of this God-given project! I love you!!
What song is playing as I finish this post…”Who You Say I Am” by Hillsong Worship!!
How many times have you sat down for a quiet moment with God, only to feel like something was missing? You want to be there but yet you can’t get yourself still and the peace you associate with God, is nowhere to be found. This is what happened to me this morning; I wasn’t getting up from my chair until I heard from God!
I opened to my daily reading which came from Romans 12:1-21. I managed to make it through the Scripture but felt like one eye was on God and the other was on irrelevant junk! All of it unnecessary and fruitless! I diligently worked my way through half of the study notes for this assigned reading but ultimately gave up. I questioned God:
“What am I missing?”
I put on Dr. Charles Stanley and his message was called, “Life’s Number One Priority.” Interesting! My last post was on this very subject! As the message came to a close, a conversation started to form within me.
“Lord, I am not leaving this desk until I’ve heard from You. Help me understand where this disconnect is coming from. Show me what it is that I’ve done to cause this. Why am I feeling so distracted and far from You?
I went back to Romans 12 and began to read again; the Peace of God was beginning to fill me!
God wants us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices–daily laying aside our own desires to follow Him, putting all our energy and resources at His disposal and trusting Him to guide us (NLT Study Notes from Romans 12:1)
Next, the Lord showed me 1 Samuel 15:22 (Study Notes):
…was Samuel saying that sacrifice is unimportant? No, he was urging Saul to look at his reason for making the sacrifice rather than at the sacrifice itself. A sacrifice was a ritual transaction between a person and God that physically demonstrated a relationship between them. But if a person’s heart was not truly repentant or if he did not truly love God, the sacrifice was a hollow ritual. Religious ceremonies or rituals are empty unless they are performed with an attitude of love and obedience. “Being religious” (going to church, serving on a committee, giving to charity) is not enough if we do not act out of devotion and obedience to God.
When sitting down this morning, I did not lay all of my desires down as I should. I knew there were ulterior motives in my time with God. I had all sorts of things on my mind that I wanted to come to God with. I was in need of renovations on my blog as well as a blog post, a Bible Study Outline for Sunday’s gathering at the assisted living community, and on top of all of that, I was seeking a relationship with Him. Yes, I wanted to be with Him, but my reasons were not in the order that they should have been if He were truly my first priority.
“Why am I feeling so crowded this morning?”
The Lord said:
Let’s go back to the beginning of your morning. What did you do when you first opened your eyes?
I grabbed my phone and checked my email, text messages, Facebook notifications and then scrolled.
What did you see?
How to improve your blog, which platforms to switch to, friends and family posts and pictures, and worldly events.
How did all of this information make you feel?
Then what did you do?
I got up, walked the dog in the dark, came home, made a cup of coffee, and then sat down to spend time with You.
Where was your mind when you sat down with Me?
How to build a better blog, recognition, comparison, Bible Study, Facebook notifications…
Could you hear me at all?
Sit back and take all of this in and let’s see what you can come up with!
To which I did, and this is what I came up with…
Facebook on my phone has got to go!
I find myself mindlessly scrolling when I could be doing other things. I enjoy listening to my favorite Pastors, reading God’s Word or a spiritual book. Why not choose one of these activities instead of watching and reading Facebook?
When I first woke this morning, I should have thanked God for waking me up. There is so much that I’m grateful for. Why not share that with Him. Pray for spiritual wisdom so that I can walk in His Will as the day unfolds. Thank Him for His unconditional love, His faithfulness and what He did at the cross.
Starting the morning this way would be much more productive than reading chatter!
As soon as this realization hit me, I felt complete peace as only God can give. I knew that I was back on track and for this, I was pleased.
“Thank you, Jesus, for your patience. You just never give up!!”
It is a terrible feeling to sit down and feel all alone in the spot where God is normally met.
I encourage you, don’t give up in your time with Him. If you don’t feel Him right away. Tell Him:
I don’t feel close to you! I feel disconnected! Reveal to me what it is that is causing this lonely feeling?
Wait on Him! It is totally worth it! You will be rewarded for your faithfulness!! There is no better prize than sitting at the feet of Jesus!
He will answer and when He does, run with it! If He tells you Scripture, find it in the Bible and read it over and over until the meaning presents itself. And, if you feel lost, tell Him! He is your Helper!
If He reminds you of a time in the past, close your eyes and meditate on it. Quietly ask Him to show you His will in this!
He will guide you along and remind you where you strayed so that you can be wise to the detour when it comes up again because it will! If this underhanded tactic worked the first time, it will be thrown at you again!
Romans 12:1, 2 (Study Notes)
God has good, pleasing, and perfect plans for His children. He wants us to be transformed people with renewed minds, living to honor and obey Him. Because He wants only what is best for us, and because He gave His Son to make our new life possible, we should joyfully give ourselves as living sacrifices for His service.
When coming to God for prayer, meditation, conversation, and Scripture, come with an open heart! Be willing to let Him guide your time alone. I sat down this morning with my mind already full of outside distractions. I had my own agenda but God doesn’t work that way which is good. Imagine if we were the ones in charge!! Be willing to bend to what He has for you. He will nudge you in the direction that He needs you to go. Remember, we aren’t here for ourselves. This life that we have been blessed with is not ours. We are hand-picked! We are marked with a greater purpose. We won’t achieve anything if we don’t listen to God.
He knows where we are before we even make the intentional decision to spend time with Him. He hears our thoughts! He knows where our heart is. We have to give it all to Him and ask Him in faith!
“Lord, what is it that you want to show me today. I don’t want this time to be selfish. How can I make a difference today?”
The other morning, I was in visiting a resident at the assisted living community. This woman hardly ever comes out of her room. She is unhappy and extremely lonely. She believes in God and was quite frustrated that she didn’t feel close to Him. She calls out to Him but gets no response. She tells him her frustrations and challenges and only hears silence!
I said to her:
“How about praising Him for all the wonderful things that He’s done in your life. Think of all your past blessings and tell Him how awesome He is. Tell Him how much you love Him. Adore and praise Him for dying on the cross for you.”
In telling her this, I felt the Holy Spirit come alive within me, and I could see her facial expressions change from misery to joy. She was shouting “Hallelujah” as if she were looking directly into the face of God.
As I listened to her, the Lord spoke to me:
“This is one sure way to connect with Me! Thankfulness, Worship and Praise!”
If you feel disconnected, ask Him why?
Always thank Him for who He is and for what He’s done at the cross and in your life.
God isn’t our servant.
We don’t get to come to Him with our own time schedule and a list of our wants.
We come to Him because we love Him and we want to be with Him.
Psalm 37:4, 5
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.
Don’t give up on Him if He doesn’t answer when you feel enough time has passed.
He is worth fighting for.
He will show up!
Give Him control!
Clear out your heart and listen!
Whatever He brings to mind, don’t toss it to the side thinking that it is not important or that you didn’t hear right. Go with it and before you know it, you will be able to fit everything all together and see just what He intended you to see.
Isaiah 55: 8, 9
My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
LORD, I’m seeking YOU in all that I do.
Help me to step away from the things that are not of YOU!
Fill me with YOUR SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE so that I can embrace the things you have for me and discard the distractions that pull my eye from YOU!
All threats…big and little!
Teach me to take notice of the smallest interference between YOU and me.
Help me catch them before they grow into emotional distress.
It used to be habits, weakness, inadequacies but by your grace, I’m in great belief that I can give them all to YOU.
I’ve done it, and I’ve watched YOU work it all out in my favor.
I need to act fast in order to make wise choices because the smallest infliction is detrimental to my well-being in YOU!
Disconnected from my Source because of my own ignorance.
I don’t want to be burdened any more with things that bring me down.
I want freedom!
Matthew 6:33 (NLT Study Notes) says this:
To “seek the Kingdom of GOD above all else” means to put GOD first in your life, to fill your thoughts with HIS desires, to take HIS character for your pattern, and to serve and obey HIM in everything. What is really important to you? People, objects, goals and other desires all compete for priority. Any of these can quickly become most important to you if you don’t actively choose to give GOD first place in every area of your life.
Yesterday was a tough day.
The morning started out great!
A new exercise class!
A new friend!
Energy through the roof!
Big plans for the day!
Things to accomplish!
Then, a sudden halt–no fault of anyone but myself. I lost traction! I felt elation draining from my body, leaving me with, irritation and frustration.
Help me recognize a detour in YOUR WILL in my life!
How do I respond to this sort of circumstance?
What could I have done to keep the momentum going?
Praying this morning for YOUR HOLY PRESENCE and WISDOM. I feel I’m at a crossroad in my spiritual growth, in my time with YOU, in my service for YOUR KINGDOM!
Keep me from wrong decisions, only seeking things that fill me with YOUR ALMIGHTY LOVE and POWER! Not because I’m on the search for amazement and recognition but because how YOU make me feel inside.
I’m addicted and can easily become quite angry when I allow things in my life to take away from YOU! This is what happened last night. Something so trivial but yet devastating!
You showed me 2 Chronicles 7:14:
Then if MY people who are called by MY name will humble themselves and pray and seek MY face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from HEAVEN and will forgive their sins and restore their land.
Church last night was absolutely unbelievable! Well, it was believable but unbelievable if one were to take it all in with a mind of unbelief–if that makes any kind of sense?
YOU spoke right through that Pastor! His words were YOUR words. Words that YOU had already spoken to me. YOU faithfully fed me for two weeks for this November 15th speaking engagement. YOU carried me to YOUR final destination with the exact same wisdom as this Pastor spoke of last night.
All this spiritual education recapped in forty-five minutes!
YOUR plans for us are always right on time, perfect, and glorious!
How good YOU truly are to us!
I am in love!
I am thankful!
I left the church feeling taken over by YOU! I didn’t want to leave that moment. YOUR HEAVENLY PRESENCE so close. Complete ONENESS!
This is what I’m seeking, YOU and only YOU! Not to eliminate my current circumstances but to have YOU at the center and all around! I want no part of anything that doesn’t come with love, joy, compassion, patience, and kindness. Out with all the rubbish!!
I can feel a big difference between the challenges of YOUR HOLY CALLINGS and the challenges resulting in my own bad decisions.
Let me stop and take notice of where YOU are so that I can move in YOUR direction.
Let me be picky where my time is spent!
Let me place my zeal in worthwhile things!
In some areas of my life, I’m not feeling YOU!
What do I do?
Direct me, FATHER!
Do not let me step out of YOUR WILL!
Do not let me out of YOUR sight!
This makes me feel upset which is not of YOUR doing, HOLY GOD!
It’s all me!!
I choose you, LORD!
I fight for you, LORD!
YOU are my life!
Thank YOU for the Victory yesterday! YOU prepped and prepared me the ENTIRE two weeks, just as I asked! YOU taught me through the struggle and the crushing anxiety that YOU had already made a way. YOU filled me with spiritual knowledge just as I requested! I did not want to disappoint YOU, my Pastoral Team, the congregation nor myself. YOU explained what happens when we are called to action. I praise YOU because YOU never leave us hanging. YOU don’t expect us to carry out YOUR requests by ourselves. YOUR supernatural power comes in like a mighty wind, which is something I’ve never experienced before. I will be praying for this a hundred times over!!
Oh, the joy to be used by YOU–to delight in YOU each morning and to witness the beauty YOU create as I deliberately sit in quiet, expectantly waiting for YOUR HOLY PRESENCE! There is nothing I want more! How precious and lovely YOU are to me! How you surprise me with abundant inner joy each time YOU visit. YOUR intentions are never evil. Yes, there are many things that happen in this world that we do not understand but one thing stands true, YOU are always in the midst of them, fighting on our behalf. Flipping unfortunate circumstances in our favor!
Yesterday was a true testament of YOUR faithfulness and YOUR unconditional love for me. YOU do keep YOUR promises. My faith and trust in YOU has exploded to new heights. The things YOU could accomplish on this earth if we’d only take our eyes from ourselves and see YOU for who YOU truly are.
YOU are a FATHER who loves, saves, and forgives! A FATHER who sent HIS only SON to die on the cross for all of our sins in order to be reconciled to YOU. How I love YOU, adore YOU, need YOU and rejoice in YOU. My joy is YOU!!
Yesterday couldn’t have been more perfect!! YOUR WORDS to me, as I sat before YOU in prayer, was a lifeline. I felt YOUR distinct and unmistakable Presence; YOU were loud and clear:
“I’ve sent a brother to help you in your act of obedience. Why are you not grabbing onto this valuable gift? Why ignore?”
“Rebellion! I want to do it by myself!”
I praise and thank YOU, Jesus. YOU never give up. I relented and contacted my Christian Brother, my gift from YOU. I picked him up at ten o’clock and while driving, I explained our order of business.
Memory Care first!
Independent Living second!
We did not discuss what would take place. He’d been prepped in his own way just as I had been prepped in my own way. My brother sat peacefully in the passenger seat. He was excited and anticipating this moment; acting faithfully in YOUR requests of him.
I, on the other hand, was feeling slight apprehension and doubt in my own capabilities. I failed to recognize YOUR hand on the events that were about to take place. For this, I’m sorry!!
Upon arriving at the Memory Care, my brother grabbed his ukelele, asked me to pass out the songs and we all began to sing. This was going to be alright! I felt myself relax as I observed what was taking place before me. After the music, a message was said, prayers were given and we were finished. I hardly spoke at this service. I felt the need to step back and soak in the words that came smoothly from my brother’s mouth.
We were off to the Independent Living. We followed a similar pattern as in the Memory Care but when “fear” was mentioned in my brother’s message I heard YOU shout:
To which I did!
I launched into the WORDS that YOU had given me two weeks prior. Only, it wasn’t coming from me. Yes, it was my voice but what I said and the presentation were not of my own doing. I don’t speak with that much impact, urgency, strength and confidence.
Where did my timidity go?
Where were my shaky knees?
Where was the waver in my voice?
No, this takeover doesn’t just occur by human will!!
It was YOU!
It was PERFECT!
It was a MIRACLE!
How awesome it felt to see the conversation on the listener’s faces!
Some looked on intently!
How different this is from writing. I’m hooked and ready to do this again because I know that YOU have many things to say. I know that YOU have work to do.
I want to help!
In writing, there is much isolation. Sure you get comments and that is always a blessing but to see the face of another as YOUR WORD is shared is certainly a prize worth battling for!
Afterward, handshakes, hugs, and words of encouragement from the people in the congregation!
All of this, I took in appreciatively. I just knew it was YOU reaching out to me through the lives of others:
“Well done! I’m so proud of you!”
So, thank YOU, JESUS! I love YOU. Thank YOU for this Victory which is all YOURS!! Thank YOU for loving me through it all. Thank YOU for YOUR endless supply!! Even when I was doubtful and ready to quit, YOU stepped in and gave me gentle nudges. You spoke to my heart with the intention to motivate and to teach and for this, I’m truly grateful!
You often told me in times of weakness:
“Wait a minute! Not so fast! You can’t give up! I want to show you some things to help you out!”