Day 322: Soak (November 18)

This morning, I encourage you to spend time soaking in God’s Presence.  Have you ever soaked in Him before?  Do you know what that means?

Well, it is as simple as sitting in silence and just being still before the Lord, or playing light worship music and sitting and focusing your heart and mind on Him.

The Bible instructs us to meditate…which isn’t the scary new age thing that the world has perverted it into.  As with most things the enemy does, he took something sacred and slanted it toward the wrong focus.

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t learn how to spend time quietly focused on Him.

But whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law, day and night.  Psalm 1:2

Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.  Psalm 4:4

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to Your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.  Psalm 19:14

I believe one reason the enemy wanted to steal the idea of meditation is because he doesn’t desire us to be still because then we just might hear God speak to us.  When he realized he couldn’t fully steal it, then he perverted it into a time when a person thinks only of themselves, not God.

But we can take back this sacred time.  Bringing our hearts and minds into a firm focus on God Almighty.

Won’t you give Him this time today?

Find a quiet place and focus all your mind and heart on our Holy Creator.  He loves you so.

I would love to hear from you if He speaks to you during this quiet soaking time

On my bed I remember You; I think of You through the watches of the night.  Psalm 63:6

I meditate on Your precepts and consider Your ways.  Psalm 119:15

My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on Your promises.              Psalm 119:148

 

Day 321: Awakening the Numb Places (November 17)

Lately, I’ve had several encounters with affection that had previously hit a dead spot inside of my heart.  For years now, I have prayed God would awaken that spot inside of me.  I couldn’t fully identify the location of the numbness, but I knew it was there.

I noticed that even though I seem to crave positive affirmation, when it is delivered, it hits a blank space.  That is, it did, until a couple of weeks ago.

Recently, my father came to me and spoke some words I have longed to hear from a father for a long time.  Only this time when he spoke, I forced myself to continue to make eye contact with him and internally told God that I would receive this affection.

Something began to stir inside of me.

Soon after, when Chris took me away for the weekend, he lavished me with affection in words and actions, and instead of pushing away, I constantly reminded myself to receive.

Another piece stirred inside.

This week, I have continually reminded myself that God has a deep affection for me and I have worked to maintain eye contact with Him and to truly listen to Him.  He loves you too.

God, awaken me.  Move over any numb places I have inside and bring them to life.  I want to fully experience Your love and one way to do so is to be ALIVE.  Bring me back to life.  I am Yours.  In Jesus name, Amen.

I encourage you to take some time today, close your eyes and ask God to reveal any numb places you have inside.  Will you invite Him into those places?  What is it like to feel again?  Praise Him as you feel Him moving in previously dead places.

God, bring me back to You.  Lamentations 5:21

God, pick up the pieces.  Put me back together again.  You are my praise!  Jeremiah 17:14

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life for everyone born of God overcomes the world.  This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith 1 John 5:14

 

 

Day 320: Letting Love In (November 16)

I have noticed how hard it is to let love in sometimes.  Do you ever have a kind word spoken to you only to shrug it off?  Do you struggle to hear positive affirmation?  Do you think it’s humble to do so?

It’s not.

Over the years, I have wondered why I seemed to struggle with this very thing, but I’ve discovered it stems from fear.  The fear can probably take many forms, but for me it was fear of disappointment.  I never quite believed people when they spoke nice words to me.  Instead, I would process it through suspicion.  I would wonder if they had an angle or wanted something from me.  I was never fully convinced that they were in fact, telling the truth.

This came from some deep-seated disappointment in my heart.  But God didn’t create me to be unable to receive His affection or word of encouragement.  As His daughter, I am designed to receive His love in all forms.

So, even though I still didn’t feel different, I began to simply thank others when they praised or encouraged me.  I began to train my mind and heart to receive encouragement.  I began to see that God would speak His encouragement to me, through others words.  I now look beyond the person in front of me and to the One Who I know loves me without fail.

People who love to encourage, feel loved when others receive that love.  This is also true, so why would I sabotage their love language because I have a complex.  A simple thank you accompanied with a smile, can make the other persons day.

So I encourage, and challenge you today….if someone pays you a compliment, simply say, “Thank you” and smile.  Don’t talk your way out of the compliment or shrug it off.  Just receive it for what it’s worth.

God loves you.  He goes to great lengths to demonstrate that love.  Just receive it.

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.  1 John 4:16

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.  1 John 4:18

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  1 Peter 4:8

Day 319: Time Away To Stay Stronger (November 15)

I mentioned before that Chris and I took a weekend without the kids.  I know to some people, the idea of leaving kids behind and stealing away together is selfish or unnecessary.  But one of my passions is to affirm to people the true importance of the marriage over the family.  As with most people, Chris and I have a high value for family.  We have and continue to make many sacrifices and deliberate steps to ensure our home is loving and steady.  One of the ways we do this is for them to see that Chris and I continue to place each other first.  My kids grow in confidence as they see Chris and I walk out a loving relationship.

When Chris and I were young in marriage, I realized just how easy it was to let life run away with my time.  It’s easier to simply devote myself wholly to my kids and forsake my “first love”.  The one I started the family with in the first place.  Without him, there would be no “us”.

I also observed other marriages, I would notice when it seemed hard for a married couple to remain happily wed once the distraction of children had left the home.  Sometimes, a married couple uses the children as a buffer of sorts.  That buffer can be used to cover years and years of bitterness and disappointment.  They can be used to avoid change in our own hearts.  But it was never meant to be this way.  God didn’t give us family so we could avoid His hand working in the beautiful soil of our hearts.  No, He wanted the whole process of relationship and walking through the unfolding of life to refine us.  He wants to use it to reflect His love onto the earth.  Marriage is about a man and wife, first and foremost.

Can you see how this parallels with our walk with Jesus?

So often we can become far more distracted and concerned with everyone else’s needs and forsake our own growth.  We were never meant to stop evolving in His Presence.  His mercies are new every morning.  The fact that He said this, convinces me that I will need new mercy every day.

Time away with God makes me stronger.

In the same way I steal away with Chris, I should steal away with God.  With the same intentionality that I sow into my marriage, I should sow into my First Love.  Without Him there would be nothing else.

God, continually draw my heart to Yours.  Like a magnet, draw me always toward Your Presence.  I surrender to Your hand in my life, once again.  Mold me.  I am Yours, in Jesus name, amen.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:22-23

From the ends of the earth I call to You, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.  Psalm 61:2

Day 318: 3:33 (November 14)

Last weekend, I had arranged for my mom to take my kids for the weekend.  I knew Chris and I needed the time to relax and reconnect.  Life gets so busy and a marriage relationship takes intentionality.  I was really looking forward to spending time with him at our home resting.  I had no big plans, just being together.  During the night before my mom was to take the kids, I woke up and felt a nudge to check what time it was.  When I looked at my phone the time read, 3:33.  Immediately, I felt God saying, “I am about to really bless you.”  I began praising Him in my mind and singing of His goodness as I fell back to sleep.

That morning, as I was preparing breakfast Chris announced that he wanted to take my off for an overnight trip to Dallas, TX.  I had no idea he was even thinking in this direction.  It felt like such a blessing.  The thrifty side of me immediately began crunching numbers and thinking, “It would be far cheaper to stay at home.”  But because of my 3:33 wake-up call with God, I knew my answer should be yes.  I knew He was trying to bless me, I only needed to let Him.

I spent the days after that 3:33 wake-up call actively looking for ways He wanted to bless me.  It was a delightful exercise.  I have carried that into today.  Even though I had to have an unexpected procedure done yesterday, I have found His blessing in every part of it.  He has blessed me with a husband who truly cares for me and has gone above and beyond to keep family life going like normal during my down-time.  My body is healing and that is also a blessing.  I have a job that I can work from home.  Praise Jesus for that!  Every day and in many different ways, I can see His blessings unfolding over my life.

I used to spend my time worrying about the bad things that could happen, now I am intentionally looking for good.

Won’t you take time today to look for the good in your life?  Take an inventory of large and small blessings that surround your life.  The evidences of His Presence caring for you.  He loves you.  He cares for you.

I will always thank the Lord; I will never stop praising Him.  I will praise Him for what He has done; may all who are oppressed listen and be glad!  Proclaim with me the Lord’s greatness; let us praise His name together!  I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me; He freed me from all my fears.  The oppressed look to Him and are glad; they will never be disappointed.  The helpless call to Him, and He answers; He saves them from all their troubles.  His angel guards those who honor the Lord and rescues them from danger.  Find out for yourself how good the Lord is.  Happy are those who find safety with Him.  Honor the Lord, all His people; those who obey Him have all they need.  Even lions go hungry for lack of food, but those who obey the Lord lack nothing good.  Come, my young friends, and listen to me, and I will teach you to honor the Lord.  Would you like to enjoy life?  Do you want long life and happiness?  Then keep from speaking evil and from telling lies.  Turn away from evil and do good; strive for peace with all your heart.  The Lord watches over the righteous and listens to their cries; but He opposes who do evil, so that when they die, they are soon forgotten.  The righteous call to the Lord, and He listens; He rescues them from all their troubles.  Psalm 34:1-17

Day 317: Isaiah 30:15a (November 13)

So, given what we read yesterday, how should we conduct ourselves?

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength”   Isaiah 30:15a

This is a far cry from what we see most people doing.  But God is not concerned with popular or “normal”.  He stays the same, from everlasting to everlasting.  He is steady.  He is that still small Voice.

Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord,” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquakes; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.  1 Kings 19:11-12

There are moments when we hear His voice and it leads us out into the world to declare, but there are other moments when He draws us back and upon hearing Him our response is to be one of humility and quiet trust.

In a world that is telling us to constantly “do” and “be” more, our salvation is found in repentance and rest.  In a world that screams and demands “rights”, we are to find strength in quietness and trust.

One thing that always remains the same though, we should always be looking for His heart.   Where is He showing you His heart today?  When you see His heart somewhere or moving over something, that’s where you should be focused.  Don’t ever discount that.  Don’t ever fall into the belief that He only moves in certain places, on the contrary, He can move in ALL places.  We must be willing to go anywhere.  To do anything, including being still.  We’ve grown so accustomed to “doing”, that I believe many of us have forgotten how to be still.  Myself included.

In fact, God recently convicted me of this and I have been practicing stillness.  It’s an inside job.  And when things happen that make me want to dash into the flurry, I remind myself Who is on the throne and where salvation comes from.

In Christ alone, my Hope is found.

God, You alone are my hope.  Forgive me for any time I have let media or others rob me of my peace.  I know it’s up to me to avoid those pitfalls.  I am Yours and I know You are for me, so I will not fear.  I know that my success in life is not based on who is in political office or what I see with my eyes.  I know that the unseen is more real than anything else.  This world is not my home, Your heart is.  Help me to continue to rest within Your heart.  Hope is never lost when You are present.

Day 316: Isaiah 30:21 (November 12)

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.  Isaiah 30:21

There are so many voices vying for our attention every day.  But as I read this verse recently, I was so deeply stirred.

I have seen several disturbing stories lately about people saying that women of my demographic are uninformed and must be taught how to vote and act in line with an extremely liberal viewpoint.  So much of it reminds me of what was described during the times of Hitler.

Now, more than ever, we must know the Voice and listen to it alone.

I cannot allow public opinion to sway my walk with Jesus.  I cannot allow the loudest voice to be the one I follow simply because it’s the loudest.  I am responsible for listening and truly hearing His voice.  So are you.  Likewise, I cannot allow my emotions to be the flagship for my decisions.  I must lay aside emotions and focus on what’s true.

The lines in life seem to be more clear than ever.  Both sides seem to be showing exactly where they stand.  This is, honestly, a blessing.  I remember being so frustrated and confused when nobody was telling the truth, so I didn’t know who to believe.  Now, it seems the Lord is lifting the veil of lies and has allowed people to become stirred to a point where they are showing their true colors.  This really is a blessing!

Many are pandering based on loose interpretations of the Bible, undoubtedly skewed to represent their viewpoint.  Beware of reading the Bible just to validate your feelings.  Instead, it should be read in partnership with Holy Spirit and if we do that, then we allow God to guide and convict and encourage us as He chooses.

Don’t ever forget, the enemy knows the Bible and uses it to deceive and lead astray, but only Holy Spirit can give us true understanding and wisdom.

We shouldn’t fear, even though the days look dark, because it just makes it easier to find the Light.  This is our time, and I am watching and waiting for a strong move of the Lord to wash over the earth.

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!  Isaiah 5:20