Waiting in the shadows

Who out there fears GOD, actually listens to the voice of his servant? For anyone out there who doesn’t know where you’re going, anyone groping in the dark, Here’s what: Trust in GOD. Lean on your God! Isaiah 50:10-11

God gives a vision to a Christian, it is as if He puts him in “the shadow of His hand”. The saint’s duty is to be still and listen. When God gives you a vision and darkness follows, wait. God will bring the vision Never try to help God fulfill His word. Those years of silence were a time of discipline, not a period of God’s displeasure. – Oswald Chambers

IMG_4199Two voices – one truth. God has often revealed his will to me in stages. Little glimpses. Most of his will-revealing for me requires waiting in the shadows. And, though never easy, it is easiest when I remember I am waiting for him not for a certain thing to happen. My Lord’s timing is perfect – remember! Therefore, there is no fear of losing out as I wait in the shadows. His delay is his process of preserving me for his best and protecting me from that which is less than his best.

Lord, help me wait patiently and remember that you are perfect in all you do. What you do is rightly done.

Involvements vs. intimacy

“Thomas said, “My Master! My God!” John 20:28

Thomas, though doubting at first, was drawn to the resurrected Jesus. Perhaps it is a little too much of a refined thought but he was drawn to Jesus not the miraculous resurrection of Jesus. The person is who Thomas sees. I can easily be enamored with what Jesus does and not so much in love with him. This affects my loyalty big time!

Beware of anything that competes with your loyalty to Jesus Christ. The greatest competitor of true devotion to Jesus is the service we do for Him. It is easier to serve than to pour out our lives completely for Him. – Oswald Chambers

Is this not true? Involvements but not intimacy is another way to say it.

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Father, intimacy is to become my passion. Guard me against substituting intimacy with involvements. Help me become more focused on our relationship.

Safe and nourishing

“What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:11-13

Regardless how earnestly a child might ask for something, if it will harm or weaken him, a wise parent will not give what is requested. This parental love is certainly found in the prayer relationship between me and my Father. I often ask amiss, not knowing. But my Father knows what will keep me safe and nourish my soul. So, prayer becomes an entrusting of my need to the only one who will be trustworthy with it. He knows what will keep me safe and cared for.

Father, thank you for your answers to my prayers. Thank you for being so trustworthy with my life and needs.

God’s designs

“Even then God had designs on me…” Galatians 1:13-16

I wish I could say that I have always loved God’s designs for my life. In fact, there have been times I thought I had a much better plan. Even now, I look back and wonder if my plan had been better. What pride!

Many times, my Lord has spoken to my heart with, “Is it all right if I take care of this for you?” You are more than enough also impacts my submitting to his desires and plans. In fact, when I question him, I question whether or not he is more than enough for me. This has to stop.

IMG_4155God’s desires for me express His nature and what is suited to my nature. Only he knows how to blend the two.

Lord, reorder my life through simplicity. I surrender to you and acknowledge you are more than enough for today and every day to come.

True intimacy

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Master sitting on a throne—high, exalted!—and the train of his robes filled the Temple. Angel-seraphs hovered above him, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two their feet, and with two they flew. And they called back and forth one to the other, Holy, Holy, Holy is GOD -of-the-Angel-Armies. His bright glory fills the whole earth. The foundations trembled at the sound of the angel voices, and then the whole house filled with smoke. I said, “Doom! It’s Doomsday! I’m as good as dead! Every word I’ve ever spoken is tainted— blasphemous even! And the people I live with talk the same way, using words that corrupt and desecrate. And here I’ve looked God in the face! The King! GOD -of-the-Angel-Armies!” Then one of the angel-seraphs flew to me. He held a live coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth with the coal and said, “Look. This coal has touched your lips. Gone your guilt, your sins wiped out.” And then I heard the voice of the Master: “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” I spoke up, “I’ll go. Send me!” Isaiah 6:1-8

When I see the Lord as He is, I see myself as I am

He reveals the deepest part of me; he scopes through the secret places and shines his light on them. And, he deals with those things he sees. Nothing is hidden. And, that’s the way it should be. There should be no fear in his examination because with it comes healing and ministry. Before I can love others I must undergo his heart change surgery. Otherwise, my life is a shallow one.

I cannot really do until I am

Isaiah saw the Lord, saw his own heart, saw his people and culture. He was healed and then sent. That’s the pattern of intimacy and service. I have spent time mastering the mechanics without intimacy. I want to look like I have an intimate relationship. Gladly, that is not enough for the Lord. He passionately seeks me out.

There is no shortcut to intimacy

This journey is not quick, easy, natural or automatic. It requires decisions and disciplines. The sad thing is that most often I have refused to take the time to be still before my Lord and let him do his work.

 

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White Ginger by Rosa Say

 

Lord, if I really saw you today, who would I see? And, what about me would be revealed? Isaiah saw doom, good as dead. He replayed his words and found them tainted and even blasphemous. Heal my heart today. Set me on a path of true intimacy. Keep me from erecting only facades.

 

Grace and kindness

“Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:7

God’s work in my life has brought me to where I am today. Even through my mistakes and rebellions, his grace has brought me here. And, with unlimited time he gives me unending grace and kindness. Today, here, then and there…forever. What glory that is!

 

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Courtesy Jon Boyer

The past and the present are surrounded by his grace and kindness. The next bend in the road leads me to more of his grace and kindness. So, no uncertainty or need to fear. He is meeting me at the next stop.

 

Lord, mostly, what you do is love me – through it all. This captures my heart in a way I cannot express. My story is your story of grace and kindness. So, I entrust into your grace and kindness all that this day brings to me. I give you my future and submit to you my past. Thank you Lord.

Childlike 

“At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?” For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.”‭‭ Matthew‬ ‭18:1-5‬ ‭

What an amazing question! What type of person thinks that heaven has a ranking system? And, who is this who would assume preferential treatment? Jesus answered the question by focusing on becoming a child of God as a requirement for entrance. I will be in my Father’s home because of his grace…nothing more.

 

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Core dominance by Rosa Say

 

Lord, you are my Father and I love you today. Thank you for making me your own, adopting me into your family. Only your love for me compelled you to do that. So, as your child, with all I have, I trust you. Help me remain childlike before you and our world. At the same time, free me from childishness, which is so unattractive and opposite your desire that I mature.

Prayer

Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your little boy asks for a serving of fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? If your little girl asks for an egg, do you trick her with a spider? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing—you’re at least decent to your own children. And don’t you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him? ‭‭Luke‬ ‭11:10-13‬

I love this truth but love it even more because it was said by the only one who fully understands prayer. Jesus knew the vertical side, the intercessory and divine side; he also knew the human, emotional side. As it was in the Garden of Gethsemane, the bottom line to every prayer is entrustment.

He pulled away from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, “Father, remove this cup from me. But please, not what I want. What do you want?” At once an angel from heaven was at his side, strengthening him. He prayed on all the harder. Sweat, wrung from him like drops of blood, poured off his face.  Luke 22:41-44

The human Jesus prayed for rescue – natural! But, he also knew it was for this sacrificial reason he had come to the world. The finality of Jesus prayer was “What do you want?” That is entrusting.


Prayer is simply an act of faith whereby we entrust everything to the only One who is completely, faithfully trustworthy with it.


 

The vertical and horizontal

“So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body. So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out.

Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:19-25

Every vertical relationship has a horizontal expression. The first part of these verses is about my vertical relationship I have with my Intercessor. No hindrance, no earthly intermediary. No specific festival to wait for. Now, anytime, I can enter the very presence of God, into the Holy Place. It is there that I get to know my Lord’s heart and mind. It is there that the sweetness of true relationship is found. It is there that I am changed.

As a changed person, with the “piece of God” in me I express who our Lord is and what the Lord has done. I keep moving onward. With his promises in my heart I encourage and help others. That is the horizontal part. I become others’ cheerleaders, looking for ways to bless those I meet. Hopefully, my ministry leads them to the Holy Place as well.

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Morning quiet and calm by Rosa Say

My Lord invites me into his presence; I invite him into my life, whatever it is today. Come, Lord Jesus is a precious prayer. Perhaps even more precious is his invitation, “Come to me.”

Lord, my time with you is sweet. Thank you for making such a relationship possible. From this time with you, may I enter the world with truth and grace. Help me encourage others today. And, may they hear the invitation to come to you.

Still and silent

“Instead you thrill to GOD’s Word, you chew on Scripture day and night. You’re a tree replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every month, Never dropping a leaf, always in blossom. Instead you thrill to GOD’s Word, you chew on Scripture day and night. You’re a tree replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every month, Never dropping a leaf, always in blossom.” Psalm 1:2-3

IMG_4108Instead is a distinguishing word contrasting the rest of the psalm. Our journey with the Lord is to be radically distinctive. And, as our world continues to deteriorate, the distinction is more necessary and obvious. To know the Lord intimately apart from his truth is not possible. He is revealed in Scripture. The word that comes to mind is saturation. The Word is to saturate every pore of my life, his life pouring through mine. But, for that to happen, I must commit myself to it. And, for the commitment to live, I must discipline myself to be still and silent before my Lord.

Lord, how I have missed out because I refused to be still and silent before you. Help me today to take the time to hear your heart.