How many times have you sat down in quiet with God and felt disconnected? There were no words to pray, Scripture ran together and made no sense, distractions were constant, and your focus was on the day before you!
I cannot begin to tell you how much this has happened to me! This morning would be one of those moments. Instead of grappling with what it was that I’ve done to cause God’s silence, I just sat. I didn’t look for things to confess, I didn’t stress that there was possibly something I was missing; I just sat! There is nothing wrong with simply sitting with God. This is a great posture to be in! We may feel speechless, tired, helpless, bored, and condemned but I can assure you that sitting is active. God knows our hearts and it is in the silence that we cry out the loudest. There is spiritual movement even when we feel as if nothing has changed.
His Presence does not depend on what we do or say! His will, plan, and purpose in this world cannot be manipulated nor altered. We are not that big and it is fruitless to even begin down this line of thinking. God doesn’t move in our lives because we’ve been good. It’s His love for us that keeps Him present and not because He needs us, only because He loves us. His love cannot be compared to the “love” we receive from others. His is pure and unconditional. It never changes, it is constant!
What great peace this brings to my heart. I pray it is doing the same to yours! Let’s stop searching the catalog of our minds for the things we’ve done and instead just sit, fully knowing, that God is with us and that He loves us! No matter what, He loves us! There is no magic button to gain His love! It’s been there, it will stay there, and nothing can steal it away. He won’t allow this!
I read a simple sentence from the Megathemes in Ezra this morning. It said, “It is not enough to say we believe; we must make the changes God requires (Ezra, New Living Translation).”
I found this to be a loaded statement! This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve read something like this in the Bible and immediately felt like I had to take corrective action, now.
We don’t do anything! We cannot change on our own. We cannot make those required changes in our own strength. God doesn’t expect us to do this. He knows we are powerless to His word. Why do we expect this of ourselves? Change of mind is hard but a change of heart is impossible without divine intervention.
I believe the change He requires is simply looking in His direction. It’s admitting to the fact that we are weak and in need of Him. He is our Father! That is what a father does; he sees his child’s need and he steps forth to help. Our Heavenly Father does the very same thing! Most people do not enjoy watching another struggle. We want to help because the struggle pulls at our heart. Imagine the pull on God’s heart! He sees where we are headed, He knows the outcome, and He comes alongside to prevent disaster. Even when we are in the midst of a challenge, He is there, and He is working in our favor because that is what our Father does. We don’t deserve it but He gives it and for this, we give Him praise and thanks.
There is a difference between a change of mind and a change of heart. We can exert willpower and stop habits, behaviors, and hang-ups. The length of time is unknown. This type of work is a battle with some days harder than others. There are those who hold out until the bitter end but something is missing in those trials to maintain freedom and it is God!
We are alone in our fight because we choose to do it ourselves!
A change of heart comes with peace! There is guidance and grace in a heart change. It is full of promises.
Yes, work is required on our part but it doesn’t involve guilt, shame, depression, anxiety, or condemnation; this is what the change in mind brings forth.
Our work is simply our faith in God. He puts perseverance, hope, love, and a deeper knowledge of Him in our hearts as He diligently works in removing those things that don’t belong to Him.
Next time you read your Bible, insert the word “God” in place of “I” or “you.” I guarantee, if you read with your heart and not your mind, you will feel His peace.
God works in the heart, the enemy works in the mind.
Let’s take a look at the statement from Ezra again from God’s perspective!
Instead of saying, “…we must make the changes God requires,” let’s say instead, “…God must make the changes God requires!”
Did you feel His peace? I sure did!
The Bible I use is the Application Study Bible (New Living Translation) and you can find the statement that I quoted from Ezra under Megathemes in the Faith and Action section, last paragraph and last sentence.