Devotions 61-70

61.  WALKING
I need revelation, Lord, of who You are in me.
There is so much that I know is mine by right and inheritance,
but I cannot seem to walk in it.
I am desperate to finally have peace,
to finally know Your ways in my life,
to walk by Your Spirit,
to stop wrestling with the same things over and over.
Please show me in my experience what I know to be true in reality.
I don’t want to distract myself with activity;
I want to wait on You until You reveal to me the truth I need.
 
 
There is indeed a walk.  Walking does not get you anywhere very quickly.  It can be slow or fast, but it is still just a walk.  Right now your walk is moving pretty slowly.  There is no sense of progress, no accomplishment, no gaining ground or strength, not much to look at along the way.  But I am with you.
As your resources are all used up and your hopes are proving to be unfulfilled, you are seeing your weakness exposed.  You are disappointed with yourself in many ways, but most of all, you feel your faith has fallen short and you are not becoming who you thought you would be by now.  You know what lies under the layers that others see, and you don’t like it.  It is okay to be weak, to give up, to come to Me undone and unable to put on the face anymore.   You are being honest, open, feeling helpless to please Me in the most basic ways.  None of this comes as a surprise to Me.  Even you are not too surprised, for there lingers in your heart a sense that you fall short every single day.
What you may not know is that I am not disappointed by what you bring to Me.  I value your honest, open neediness.  It is only when you reach the end of all that you can offer that you can receive what only I can do.  I have waited for you to come to the point of despair; now you wait on Me.  Wait for Me to reveal Who I am.  Lay down all your agendas and expectations for your own life and be prepared to receive.  Wait expectantly and with hope, for I am faithful  I will teach you what it is to walk by My Spirit and know My peace.
Psalm 62:1-2; Psalm 27:14

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62.  NO GREATER JOY

It’s the little daily things that trip me up the most, Lord.
In the big issues I see Your hand,
or at least think I can understand some of what is going on,
but in some of the little daily things that occupy my time and my life,
I seem to be in a fog.
I sway one way,
then another.
I don’t know what it is You really want or how I’m supposed to look at or handle it.


Some of your confusion, My child, is by My design.  I do not want you to have every answer as soon as you want it.  I want you to come to Me, not just day by day, but moment by moment to know My heart and respond to My voice.  Even though it seems that some things should be simple and should not need to be wrestled over, let that struggle bring you close to My heart.  Let your longing become more a desire to know and obey Me than just to get it right and move on.
I am ALWAYS drawing you into relationship with Me.  Obedience and the fruit of My life will result from surrender and trust.  Surrender not just the world’s ideas and standards, but your own as well.  Let go of the image and life that you imagine to be the “ideal” I would want and trust Me to decide what your place is in My kingdom.  It may be that the very thing you see as weakness and struggle will be the avenue of your greatest blessing and usefulness when you leave it in My hands.
As to the daily things you face, remember that you are not your own; you have been bought with a price.  Because you belong to Me, I will instruct you moment by moment if you will seek Me.  Fill your life and your thoughts with Me and let me give you direction and purpose in the smallest details.  Do not be afraid of letting Me rule your very thoughts, for I will always lead you in paths of life—maybe not always paths of comfort, but always paths of life.  In living this way you will learn contentment that reaches deep within instead of having momentary satisfaction that can only scratch the surface and leaves you empty inside.
Trust Me.  Do not hesitate to launch ahead into whatever a day may bring, for I am the potter, and you are the clay.  I am at work, even in times of waiting or struggle, to form your heart and life into the vessel that I desire for the purpose I have in mind.  In the end there will be no greater joy than My plan.
Proverbs 8:34; Romans 8:26; 2 Corinthians 11:30; 2 Corinthians 12:9; 2 Corinthians 13:4;
Hebrews 2:18; Hebrews 4:15; Hebrews 5:8; 1 Corinthians 6:20; Colossians 3:2;
Philippians 3:8-10; Philippians 2:5-8, 12-13; Philippians 4:11-13; Isaiah 64:8;
Romans 9:21; 3 John 1:4

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63.  FILL YOUR HEART WITH ME

I’m really struggling, Lord.
I’m sad, scared, angry.
I don’t know if it’s real or if I’m under attack or just feeling sorry for myself.
I think some of it is realizing that I have to stop 
trying to control things for my kids and let You take over.
Why does that scare me?
Don’t You love them more than I do?
Will You really take care of them?
They need other people in their lives
and I probably do, too, but I can’t seem to get there.
To even reach out and talk to them feels like
such a struggle and self-promotion.
I feel I should be quiet and let them have the floor while I just respond.
I end up being just an observer to others’ conversations.
It’s a lonely feeling, but in some way strangely comfortable.
Is that okay, or am I turning into
something not at all like You?


This is about you and Me.  Will you trust Me?  Will you surrender to Me what you delight in the most…again?  In letting go you feel lost and alone and you grieve without support.  You don’t want others to feel responsible for your pain, and you want to set an example of strength, faith, and optimism.  But it hurts.  I know.  As they move on and lean more on Me and even on others, with what will you fill your heart?
I created you for relationships, first of all with Me, then your family, then with others.  The balance of these will be unique to your life.  Do not expect it to look like anyone else’s.  Every time you make comparisons you fall into a deadly snare of discontent.  Listen to Me and to your heart.  Live where I have put you, not just physically, but relationally as well.  Your level of social interaction is not wrong just because it is different from those around you.  Some are talkative; some are quiet—some by My design, some by their own need.  Always let your closest communion be with Me where you are totally honest, totally weak, and totally transparent.  Be ready to be a listener, for a true listener is very rare.  Allowing people their own space is also rare.  These are things that you value and practice, not because you are not social, but because I have molded you into the person you are.  Do you think I messed up?  Where those qualities leave you lovely, let Me fill the space.  I have made this space in your heart for Myself (remember that you asked Me to) so that we would always have fellowship without being too crowded.
I know that you wonder whether you should share more of what we have and know with others, and you struggle with how that could happen because it feels like self-promotion.  Let Me decide that.  It may be that what we share is simply for you and I to enjoy together.  Your best should always be for Me and for our joy alone.  Do not let the enemy confuse and distract you with lies, comparisons, and a false sense of emptiness.  Of course there are times when you are sad; share them with Me.  Do not believe lies and comparisons that lead you to despair and a sense that you are headed down a path of no hope and ongoing loss.  That is the tactic of your enemy.  I stand ready to comfort and fill your heart.  It is My design that only I can do that well.  I may allow others all types of things that satisfy their needs and fill their time, but I want you for Myself.  You are the one who is blessed.
John 21:21-22; 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Colossians 3:8-17;
2 Thessalonians 3:5
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 64.  THE BATTLE IS ON
What do You want?
 
 
No, what do you want?
I want to not be sad anymore.
I want to be excited about and involved with something.
Sadly, I want to be important and I’m not.
Why isn’t it enough that You say I am?
Please change my heart!
 I am willing to be humbled, but I feel like I’ve been trampled.
I know I am loved by You and others,
but I can’t stay focused on the truth and it’s stealing my joy.
 
 
My child, come and be still.  Stop asking questions and let your mind and heart be filled with My presence.  You are in a battle and you are allowing the enemy to run your mind every direction except to its home and refuge.  Your sadness is a result of not taking your thoughts captive.  You are allowing defeat and hopelessness to invade and blind you to the blessings in your life.  I have equipped you with My word and My name to come against these lies by taking each thought and holding it up to My truth then choosing the thoughts on which you will dwell.  If you do not actively take that action you will be at the enemy’s mercy.  Rise up and take your place as My child.
You feel the passing of time eating away at your choices and opportunities.  It is a reality that the time is passing relentlessly.  The greater truth, however, is any time in this life is only a blip on the screen of eternity, and the summation of all this life holds will not be seen until the next.  The things that carry eternal weight you cannot know now, and they are My responsibility.
Your part, again, is to surrender to My sovereign choices in your life.  Surrender is the only path to a contentment that lasts.  However, I don’t want your surrender to be through clenched teeth, but filled with thanksgiving.  If you would trust Me, really trust Me, then you will need to live a life rich in gratitude to Me and to others.
Do not despise the struggle and process to arrive at this life of consistent joyful surrender. It is both a choice at a point in time and a moment by moment challenge.  It is evidence of My love and desire for you that I am taking you down this road and through these battles.  You will be refined, humble, and walking in My Spirit as I bring you through.  Keep coming to Me. Though you are painfully aware of your weakness, I am not disappointed in you.  I am doing My work and you need only to allow Me to form and teach you.  Do you really want to be anywhere except in My hand?
2 Corinthians 10:4-5; Ephesians 5:15-16; Galatians 6:9-10; 1 Corinthians 4:5;
1 Corinthians 15:57-58; Philippians 4:4-7; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10;
2 Corinthians 4:7

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65.  A NEW WIND BLOWING

There’s a change in the wind…I can feel it.
I have a sense of being ready to launch into a new something.
I want the something to be full of You.
My greatest desire is that every part of my life not only reflects You,
but is full of Your very life.
I want to be all that You want me to be…
great or small…
Your choice for Your glory.


I am leading you, My child, into a new and open space.  Do not grab too quickly onto the first thing that gets your attention, but hold it loosely while I show you the complete picture.  I am opening up new possibilities to you so give Me time to unfold the pattern I have prepared.  I will bring you to the right place in your circumstances at the right time, and I am in control.
Trust Me.  Lean hard on Me.  Don’t jerk the reins of control from My hands.  Pray about the things you seek.  Let Me speak to your heart these words of comfort and assurance to build your faith and give you the sight to see the door open when it is time.  As you fellowship with Me you will see with My eyes, and I will speak wisdom to your heart.  You will know not only your part to fill in a given circumstance, but when you have fulfilled your role and I am moving you on.
Above all else, seek Me.  I am the fulfiller of your heart and your dreams.  No earthly satisfaction can compare with the riches of life that you have in Me.  Do not walk in your own wisdom and strength; I have provided all that you will ever need, and you will find it in Me.
Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 4:6-7; Philippians 4:11-13; Philippians 3:12-15;
Philippians 3:7-12; 2 Peter 1:2-3

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66.  MOMENT BY MOMENT

There is  something inside me, Lord, that won’t die quietly.
I’m so thankful that You are teaching me what it means
to surrender to You.
I see Your grace and mercy as You deal patiently with my heart.
I know You will finish what You have started.


Trust Me, My child.  I hold your heart in My hand, and I will bring it safely through the path that lies ahead.  I am keeping My promise to both will and do My desire in your life as you submit to Me in all things.  I see in your heart that you no longer fear Me.  You never would have admitted it, but you did fear Me in some ways.  You feared that the sacrifice would be too great.  Now you are beginning to see that what you needed to fear most was yourself.  When you live in your own strength you are held captive by death and by the old life you intended to leave behind.  The tighter you hold on to what you are afraid to lose, the tighter death’s grip is on your heart.
True life is found only when you release that last little part of yourself that you still hold and protect.  It may be an aspect of your personality, a relationship you hold dear, or a self-protective layer over your heart.  It does not matter just what it is you are holding on to; the problem is that you are holding on to it.  If you want to be Mine, I must have first place, and you must humble yourself to My judgment and ways.  Can you run your life better than I can?  Will you trust Me to love you?  All My plans for you are for your good and My glory.  Surrender your heart and rest in My love.  Stop striving to live by your own strength.  Trying hard will not accomplish My work.  Only I can do My will.  Your part is to surrender to Me and let Me live through you moment by moment.
Philippians 2:12-13; Luke 9:23-25; Philippians 1:6; Philippians 2:3-8
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67.  THE PROMISER
It seems that You’ve been teaching me more what it means to trust You.
I’m learning that I need to trust Your character
and Your work whether the circumstances  and
surroundings are favorable or contrary.
It is amazing how easily I say that I trust You
and then immediately turn and disbelieve the care
and love that You have promised in Your word.
The promises that are given in My word are not coupons to be cashed in at your next shopping trip to the throne of My grace.  They are, however, glimpses into My heart and My great love for you.  The relationship I desire with you is full of life, vitality, and communication.  I want you to bring your needs to Me because you love and trust Me.  I want you to count on My promises because you have found Me trustworthy, not because you are looking for a way to manipulate Me.
Faith is not a matter of superstition or holding the upper hand; it is a relationship of trust between friends.  In this case only one friend has proven to be completely unfailing; that one would be Me.  The other friend, which would be you, is incapable of honoring the trust placed in him.  What I have provided is the substitution of My faithfulness for yours.  My payment at Calvary pays your debt and provides for the completion of our covenant.  My faithfulness replaces your unfaithfulness.
My love and care can be counted on because I cannot be anything less than faithful.  Nothing touches your life apart from Me.  Therefore, all that you encounter will work for your good and My glory as you trust Me.  Will you trust Me in spite of the seemingly difficult circumstances that may argue against My goodness?  This life is a shadow, and you can trust Me to carry you safely both through and beyond it.  I love you and will never let you go.
Jeremiah 31:3; 1 Peter 5:6-7; Proverbs 3:5; Hebrews 10:19-23; 1 Corinthians 1:9;
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2 Thessalonians 3:16; Jude 24-25

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68.  SSHHHH

Father, I miss You.
It’s so good to be here in the quiet with You.
In the war and tear of the day my heart longs
for the quiet time with You.
I know.
You’re always with me,
but I love the times when there are no distractions.


SSHHHH, My child.  Come,  Sit with Me.  Drink in My presence and My life.  My Holy Spirit lives in you to fill you.  Let your eyes feast on My creation.  Let your heart and mind lay aside each care and burden.  Disconnect from them and let them fall into My hands.  I call you to pray largely and specifically, but not to bear the concern over that for which you pray.
When you are quiet, you can receive and know My heart.  This allows you the privilege of asking Me to do My will.  I wait for you to ask.  In order to ask effectively, you must know My heart.  In order to know My heart, you must let the Holy Spirit fill you.  You must take time to come before Me and be still so I can speak to you.
So, again, come.  Sit.  Be still.  As your day becomes busy and filled, receive all with gratitude from My hand.  Rejoice that I love you.  Know I am with you and in you.  Whenever possible, take a moment to inwardly sit with Me.  Look at Me, see My eyes looking on you with love and receive My grace.  Then return to your duty in joy and peace.
I am ever and always present and fully accessible.  There is no part of your life that should be separated from My interest, My input, My influence, or My incoming.  Open it all wide and let Me invade.  Let Me move through like a mighty wind blowing away the dust and residue of old habits, fears, worries, and death.  Let Me settle, live, dwell, and abide in all those places replacing the old life with Myself.  You will find those areas clean, fresh, and full of light.  Do not allow the wisdom of man, pride, or the lies of the enemy to gain any foothold of darkness.  Live before Me simply, as a child, receiving My gifts and trusting My love.
Let your heart be richly blessed.  Come.  Sit.  SSHHHH.
Luke 3:25; Psalm 56:10; 1 Peter 5:7; Hebrews 12:1-2; Philippians 4:6-7;
John 14:1; John 15:7; Acts 2:2; Ephesians 3:16-19; John 8:12; Ephesians 5:7-10;
Colossians 3:15-17
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69.  GIFT OF JOY
Joy has seemed elusive, Lord.
This has been a season of hard things.
So many that we know are suffering and have experienced great loss.
It has affected me to the degree that I find it hard
to keep that deep abiding joy and optimism that feels so reassuring.
Even the weather has had an impact on my sense of well-being.
I normally enjoy all types of weather,
but the long stretch of rain and dark
has taken a toll even though the last week has been better.
I know that what I really miss is You.
I read and pray,
but rarely feel connected to You.
Help me find my way back.
 
 
Where did you go, My child?  I am here.  I am there.  I am already in every place and situation you find yourself.  I have been with you when the phone calls and hard news have come.  I have held you as you cried for the pain of your friends and family.  I have given you comfort even while you attempted to be a comfort.  But where did you go?
Have you started trying to meet these days in your own strength with your own short resources?  Have you let the weariness of daily life erode the landscape of your life?  While trying to stay focused, have you lost sight of Me?  Have you reached for answers beyond your grasp instead of slipping your hand into Mine?
Life is fragile, far more fragile than you knew.  Sometimes My answer works out differently than you imagined.  You pray with an end in mind that seems right to you according to the leading and light you have.  There is nothing wrong with your praying, yet the outcome is sometimes the polar opposite of what you asked.  I work all things together for good, but there may be a long dark to walk through before you see it.  I will not leave you to walk through it alone.  I am with you.  Always.
My gift to you is joy.  But joy also requires your choice and participation.  Experiencing joy involves offering a sacrifice of praise, being thankful, and rejoicing in the face of difficulty because you are trusting My word and character.  Do you really have any realization how deeply and profoundly I love you and how committed I am to you?
The difficulties, hardships, even tragedies you encounter are not things that have spun out of My control.  I am still sovereign in the midst of the senseless.  I know this claim leaves you with many unanswered questions.  How can something that feels so wrong be a part of My plan?  You can trust that I see all parts of every situation and I have good intentions and purposes.  Lay aside the endless uncertainties and be content with knowing Me instead of learning the answers you seek.  Choose praise, gratitude, and rejoicing.  Put your hand in Mine and walk in joy.
Psalm 139:7-10; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; John 15:4-5; Romans 8:26-28;
Matthew 28:20; John 15:11; Romans 15:13; Philippians 4:4;
Philippians 3:10
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70.  TIMELY PURSUIT
Time is such a precious commodity in my daily life.
When I plan out what I need to accomplish in a day,
there never seems to be enough.
Yet I find myself frittering away what seems to be vast amounts of it anyway.
And it seems that the things I care about the most
get sacrificed in the face of either the urgent,
the routine, or the completely useless pursuits that I practice.
I must choose differently.
 
 
All your life is a choice.  There is not a detail, no matter how insignificant it may seem that is not affected by the choices you make.  Your investment of time, energy, or awareness regarding some facet of your life will determine your course, so you must choose well.
The time you spend with Me always bears fruit even when you don’t see the direct results yourself.  Your prayers for your family, friends, church, community, and world are investments that cannot be measured.  It is good to sit alone and quietly turn your heart to Me in fellowship and petition and to hear My voice speak to you through My word.  The advantage of quiet is there are fewer distractions.  In your daily life there is so much noise.  However, I am no less present in the busiest parts of your day.  You forget that I am with you, and a part of you can come to Me in the midst of all other activities.  While I would want you to continue in active pursuit of Me, I would not have you make an idol of your devotion or spiritual habits.
Because so much clamors for your attention, you have to be very deliberate to turn your mind and heart to Me.  Mastering this ability is less a feat accomplished by your power and more an active work of My Holy Spirit within you.  Instead of a battle it is a relinquishment.  You must surrender your ideas, plans, agendas, and focus.  You are not the center of your world.  Your family is not the center of your world.  Your work is no the center of your world.  Your health is not the center of your world.  Your leisure is not the center of your world.  That place is reserved for Me.  I purchased it with My blood, and you have already given up ownership.  So stop coming back and trying to force your way into a place that doesn’t belong to you anymore.  I know what I’m doing.  I will do all things well.
Abandon the trivial and mindless things that steal your time and energy.  Turn it off.  Walk away.  Flee if need be.  Let your mind be filled with living thoughts, thoughts that are worthy of My participation.  It is necessary for your mind to focus on your task, but still possible for you to be aware of My presence at any time.  I am the life force behind all that you undertake, and as I fill you with My Spirit that life flows over through all that you set your hand to do.
Pursue Me above all else, but don’t think only in terms of time spent and forms practiced.  Think in terms of dependence, humility, surrender, trust, obedience, virtue, hope, patience, kindness, honor, love, joy, and peace.  I will fill all the days and times of your life with value, purpose, strength, and vision.
Psalm 90:12; Psalm 46:10; Matthew 6:6-8; Matthew 6:25; Philippians 4:4-9;
Psalm 90:17; John 4:14
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