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.
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.
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.
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;
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;
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