I’ve been going through some stuff lately. Some of it has been good and pleasant … some of it, well not so much. And throughout the mental and emotional processing of both the pleasant and unpleasant, I’ve been silent.
Listening to my heart, listening to my head. Trying to quiet those voices (heart and head) enough to hear the voice of Wisdom speak to me.
“Be Still, and know that I am God.”
But it’s hard to BE STILL when your emotions are on overdrive (pleasant or unpleasant), and your reasoning has your head feeling like there is a professional ping-pong match going on between your temples. (anyone else understand that analogy??)
Sometimes you just have to find a quiet spot, sit down on a tree stump, and breathe.
Sometimes you have to unclench your hands from the thing you have been trying to hold onto, and surrender it to God.
Sometimes you have to stop fussing … rest your head upon His chest … and know that He is big enough.
Big enough to take it and to know what to do with it.
Big enough to see farther down the road than you can see.
Big enough to do whatever needs doing, handling, correcting, etc.
“That’s enough! Now know that I am God! I am exalted among all nations; I am exalted throughout the world!” (Psalm 46:10 CEB)
I’m not a Bible scholar, and I’ve never had any formal theological teaching – so just take this for what it’s worth. The morning musings of a 58-year old Christ follower.
“Therefore, submit to God.”
You know those days when you’re reading your Bible, and one verse (or segment of verses) reminds you of another verse in some other chapter or Book of the Bible? I love those days!!! They bring to mind imagery of what it might be like if Jesus Christ were sitting across from me at the dining table, chatting about the impeccable congruencies of His word. Well, this morning I had one of those experiences and so off I ventured into James 4, and having satisfied my curiosity with verse 6, I continued to read a few other verses I’ve underlined and commented on during previous studies.
“Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”
James 4:7-8, 10 (NKJV)
And here’s what stands out to me (or what stands out to me this morning):
Submit to God >>>>
Draw near to God >>>>
Humble yourself before God
In todays society, submission is often seen as a ‘dirty word’. Is it???
Merriam-Webster defines submit as:
to yield to governance or authority
to subject to a condition, treatment, operation
to present or propose to another for review/consideration
to put forward as an opinion
And I wonder if perhaps submitting to God could be as simple as drawing near to God. I mean, if I draw near to God: as in spend time with Him, listen to Him, talk with Him, do things together with Him, perhaps even “affectionately scooch on over closer” just to be near Him …. well, wont I naturally find myself wanting to:
…. yield to His authority?
…. offer Him my concerns?
…. dialog and discuss with Him?
Maybe submitting is a lot easier than we think it is. Maybe submitting is just the result of drawing near to God, taking in allof who He is, and then responding to it.
And as a reward for doing that … the enemy of my soul will flee!!! Scram! Stay far out of range! Why? Because I’m nestled up under the covering of my God, and their ain’t no devil in hell that wants to get within range of God’s jealous wrath for His beloved!!!!
And who , pray tell, is His beloved???Well my friend, that’s you and me!! ❤
Hmm…. sounds like there are some excellent perks for practicing submitting to God today. I hope you join me in the practicing.
“The Nightmare that was “Mr T”. www puttinghopetowork.com
“Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world,
but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind.
Then you will be able to know the will of God – what is good
and is pleasing to him and is perfect.”
(Romans 12:2 GNB)
A dear friend shared an image with me that she found via Google (yay Google!!). I followed the link and was utterly delighted to read the associated post “Daily Affirmation: Take Every Thought Captive” by Jenny (a different Jenny), author of “The Littlest Way“. I highly recommend you read it through … lots of resources on her site too!
Every time I read this, I can’t help but smile! It’s not my artwork, but it does rather feel like she created it just for me. Don’t you think? 🙂
I’m so grateful that God did the work of “transforming me inwardly by a complete change of my mind.” (YAY GOD!!!)
Learning and Unlearning.
They are both required for true transformation.
Over the next few days I’ll be gathering some of the resources I’ve created over the years and share them with you in an upcoming post (or maybe on a new tab?). In the mean time, please feel free to comment below with a prayer request or to share of your own “transformation / change of mind.”
We have never met (true for about 99.9% of my readers), but we are the same in a lot of ways. You feel a stir in your spirit, or perhaps you receive a promise through the Word of God, and you set out on an adventure of faith with great hope and expectation for the “new and good thing” that you are expecting to happen as a result of this prompting or promise.
“Let us go across
to the other side of the lake.”
But time drags on.
Discouragement begins to weigh on your shoulders.
Weariness begin to eat away at hope….
and you begin to fear.
One day Jesus got into a boat with his disciples and said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they started out. As they were sailing, Jesus fell asleep. Suddenly a strong wind blew down on the lake, and the boat began to fill with water, so that they were all in great danger. The disciples went to Jesus and woke him up, saying, “Master, Master! We are about to die!” Luke 8:22-24 (GNB)
I’ve set out on many such journeys of faith over the years, and am still on many of them.
I am still waiting for the long awaited and much anticipated answers to many prayers.
I bet you are too.
And sometimes you probably feel like I do … like you’re sitting out in the middle of a big lake, at dusk, being battered by waves of fear and doubt, with the shoreline so far away you can’t even see it.
But here is what the Holy Spirit speaks to me through these few verses of Luke 8.
If Jesus is in the boat with me (with you), we WILL get to the other side … just as He said!!
Friend, if Jesus says we are going to the other side, we are going to the other side! Maybe not as fast as I would like, and maybe we will encounter some turbulence along the way … but we are getting there! He will make sure of it, even if He has to pick me up and carry me on His shoulders while He walks across the water to bring me to shore!!
Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man that he should lie…”
I hope that brings comfort to your spirit as you meditate on this simple truth. He is in the boat with you. He will get you to shore, just as He promised.
As this blog series “2018: A Year For Hope” winds to a close, and thoughts turn towards the shiny new year of 2019 quickly approaching, I find myself chuckling at how quickly I forget things and have to be reminded and re-reminded periodically.
I’m a journal-er. Not every day, but often enough that I have a stack of journals going back at least 8 years or so. This morning, I came across one that covered late 2017 into early 2018 and by chance I opened to read the following entry:
“I am returning my focus to ‘attending to your Word’.”
I got a chuckle out of that. No doubt, if I pulled out my older journals, I’d see that same theme repeated over and over again.
“My (daughter), attend to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are LIFE to those who find them and HEALTH to all their body.”
Seems like there are recurring seasons when I am so hungry for God, so desperate to understand His heart, that unknowingly my time of coffee and morning devotions extends well beyond the allotted time (like those long conversations with a dear friend). I love those times ❤
But there are other seasons when my reading plan seems dry and burdensome. When my mind wanders and I tend to return to familiar Scriptures instead of allowing the Word to speak fresh to my heart. It is during these “other” seasons, especially if they go on for very long, that I find myself being un-attentive to the Word, which generally means that I’m not living up to God’s best plans for me.
why? Because when my mind and spirit are un-attentive to the Word of God, I find myself more inclined to listen to the lies of the enemy instead of silencing him with the Promises of God. I tend to worry more instead of casting my cares upon Him who cares for me. I tend to speak fear instead of faith. And that’s when I realize … I NEED TO GET BACK TO ATTENDING.
“Keep your heart (mind/will/emotion – inner man – spirit) with all diligence, for out of it are the issues (offspring, outcomes, aftermath, consequences) of life.”
I flipped my journal over a few more pages, and see meditations on Psalm 138:2 and Isaiah 55:11.
“You have exalted Your word over all Your name.” (NJK)
“You have made Your Word (even) greater than the whole of your reputation.” (CJB)
“You have exalted Your Name and Your Promise above everything else.” (CSB)
“So shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to me void….”
I distinctly remember the day (February 2018) when the Lord knocked my off my feet with this revelation … allowing me to ‘hear’ for the first time the full weight of the power and authority assigned to His Word, and even when it is spoken out of my mouth instead of His (or more accurately, my mouth on His behalf)!
And so shall my (Jenny’s) word be when it is spoken in accordance with the will of God (revealed in the Word of God) and spoken in faith (that the Promises of God as revealed in the Word of God are true and faithful and will come to pass just like He said) …
… they will not return to me (my ears) without having accomplished the purpose for which they were sent (the purpose for which He said them in the first place).
Doesn’t that just blow the socks off your feet!!!!!
Your word! My words! When they agree with (mirror/mimick) His Words, and are joined up with hope (confident expectation that the Promises of God are true and trustworthy) … our words have POWER!!
Power to bring a wayward child back to the Lord!
Power to bring provision where there was only lack!
Power to reverse a doctor’s diagnosis!
Power to over-write and over-rule the unchangeable!!!
Friends, we all have (or will) at various times face giants that seem so overwhelming and threatening that they cause our throats to constrict to the point that we loose our voices. Let us not be silent. No! Instead, let us be so filled with the Promises of God that when we are “squeezed” by the enemy or by the circumstances of life in a broken world, we open our mouths and say what God says about the situation. When we speak His Words, He is faithful to honor His Word and power is released by faith to overcome!!
So keep on praying!
Keep on speaking words of faith in His Promises!
Keep on trusting and keep your heart in a state of peace! His Word will not return void!