Not much blogging this summer. But the Spirit of God has been editing my heart and mind, etching the truth of God’s Word deeply into my thinking and processing. My journal is full and my heart is even fuller than what my words can pen in my little daily notebook. As I come close the the end of an 11 week sabattical from church ministry, I realize that it really has been a radical experience. It started with a social media/computer/ unplug. And to my surprise the disconnection made me a little anxious. I never realized how connected I am and how that gives me a false sense of acceptance and peace. As I continued down the road of disconnection, the Lord kept leading me back into the deep recess of connection to Him. At first it didn’t seem like it was enough, but it has become everything.
I have had lots of fun along the way too, but admitedly am tired of traveling….and am starting to get a bit bored of no real commitments. But I never again want to be bored with the simple connection with the Father and awareness of the Holy Spirit. A simple connection that we overlook that has profound implications and benefits.
One of the benefits I have experienced during this time is the Lord drawing me into a fresh fellowship and union with Him. It hasn’t come easily. I fought, wrestled with my own ideas and thoughts, and resisted settling into his arms. I am comfortable with the dance of independence , the busy life of service and social connections,and not as familiar with the dance of totally abandoning myself to a life of surrender, solitude and seeking to follow and please Jesus. The days and weeks that have made up this time have been bittersweet but radical in shaping me and revealing some things that I needed to bring before the Lord. It also has been a time of refreshing and renewing my life of faith.
The journey into a life of more trust has been a progressive one. And, I don’t have it dialed in or figured out…believe me! The past few years have been a major training ground filled with uncomfortable situations.Each circumstance, though emotional at first, seems to push me further and further, deeper and deeper into the arms of a loving God. I don’t like the ugly circumstances and certainly am not a fan of my emotional reactions to “real life angst”, but I love the sweet embrace of experiencing a depth of love that words will not suffice to describe.
The one thing that has been making a radical difference is…time for meditation on the WORD of God. Not just reading books ( though I havc read many during these 11 weeks) but, simple, unfiltered, interaction with God through the mediatation, processing, proclaiming, and praying HIS WORD.
Yesterday as I reflected on our country and 911 I realized how scarey life can be in this fallen world. As I continued with my daily Bible reading ( I use the One Year Bible) I came across applicable verses on fear and trust. I typed them up, printed them out, and am carrying around with me this week. I am carrying God’s Word around, reading morning, noon and night, and even reciting it on my walks. The result….a peace that is blowing my mind. I once again realized that when I lose that upward, inward, biblical truth focus ( often innocently lost through busy schedules)…..I also start drifting from the clear directive to trust and not be afraid.
I thought the verses might help some of you too.
Here’s this week’s meditation. If you let your heart linger on these truths, you will experience something new. Because that is what God’s Word does, it is alive and active and it renews us!
Scripture Mediation for the week of September 11, 2011
“I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. With joy I will draw water from the wells of salvation. Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name.”
His name is: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace ( Isa 9:6)
Call upon Him…
Psalm 55:16-18 55:22 Psalm 56:2-3, 9-13
“I call to God, and the LORD saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in my distress and he hears my voice. He ransoms me unharmed from the battle waged against me. I will cast my cares on the Lord and he will sustain me, he will never let the righteous fall. As for me, I trust in YOU. Many attack me in their pride. When I am afraid I will trust in you. In God whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? My enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me. In God whose word I praise, the LORD, whose work I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. I will present my thank offerings to you, that I may walk before God in the light of life.
What can you thank God for today? Thank offerings lead us into the light of life, keeping our focus on the good and on the faithfulness of our God.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me, your rod and your staff they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
The LORD IS My SHEPHERD: I will fear NO EVIL for He is with me!
Psalm 23 displays personal relational connection with the Almighty…
here is a gimpse of my personalization, which is true for each one of us.
- He makes me lie down….( he is working in me, leading me to rest from the cares of life)
- He leads me ( he directs my steps, goes before me)
- He restores me ( redeeming the bad and using it for the good of growth)
- He guides me ( eternal GPS system, tracking me through life, recalculating my paths)
- He is with me ( never will he leave or forsake me)
- He comforts me ( the holy spirit is the comforter)
- He anoints me. ( the spirit of God fills and annoints me for God’s purposes of the day)
- His love and goodness follow me ( Steadfast love, fixed/firm/unchanging)
Drumroll…the outcome of understanding such care and love is…..
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him.” 2 Cor 5:14-15
What are your fears today? Who are you living for? Could you use a radical sabattical? Try a 10 minute sabattical three times a day using God’s word as your RESTING place. This resting place brings power into your life and light into your life. How has the Scriptures written here shaped your perspective?
My heart’s greatest desire to to fulfill God’s purpose for my life. I believe each life has significance and a God assigned purpose. I am seeing more and more that no longer living for myself, but for him…is the appropriate response to the love and grace of our Lord Jesus. Will you join me in seeking to live in God’s assignments?
Living up and Learning to Trust,