Monday, June 24, 2013

Seek Him Every Morning

"There are no shortcuts to Christlikeness. Shortcuts only lead to masquerading. There is no substitute for spending consistent time alone in His presence. The cost is great. But the rewards are even greater. If we want to be transformed, we must be willing to:

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;

Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word...

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;

Much time spend in secret with Jesus alone;

By looking to Jesus, like Him though shalt be;

The friend in they condeuct His likeness shall see.

~ Willeam D. Longstaff (1822-94)"
A Place of Quiet Rest
~Nancy Leigh DeMoss


I know I have written several times about the urgent need in all of our lives for prayer, but recently in I was remind again of how important prayer is.

Sometimes in all my bustling around I slack in the one area of my life that should always remain consistent. Prayer. Again and again I have reaped the fruits of my lack of faithfulness in seeking my Maker. I have been overwhelmed, discouraged, and lacking direction.

When I finally sit down to ask myself why things have been going so badly, why I am so frustrated at every turn, I usually do not have to search my heart long to discover that I have been doing it again. I have been trying to do everything alone.

So often God has used circumstances, things that push me to my limits, to remind me that I need Him. That I cannot hope to cope with all life throws at me, alone. I need Him, and I need to seek Him out daily.

What are some things that encourage you to be consistent in your prayer life?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Love Is Not...


I was young and foolish and he was the first one to walk into my life that seemed to measure up to all of the "qualifications", and who had a heart for the Lord that was something more than I had ever hoped to see. Yes, my expectations were frightfully low, but then I did not realize that, or if I did, I was afraid to hope for more because one cannot have everything one wants, right?
He was of the "right" age, height, build (Hey, didn't I mention I was immature?), and like I said he loved the Lord. What was not to love? So foolishly I let my emotions become entangled in fantasies of how I could be the happiest girl in the world if only he would look at me twice.
All to often young girls allow their emotions run away with them. For me, I based my happiness on whether or not a man that I didn't even know that well would pay me just a little attention. If he did not I felt crushed, and if he so much as said, "Hello!" I was walking on clouds. Our joy in life is not to be wrapped up in man, but in the Lord. If our only joy in life is based on the love or attention of a man we will end up with broken hearts and an empty life, because the fact is, he wouldn't be enough. He would not be able to fulfill all of our needs. Only God can do that.
I've learned a bit since then (I hope!). My understanding of love doubtlessly still has room for growth, but I know that mere infatuation is not the same as true love. Infatuation is selfish and wishes to be satisfied, while love is selfless and seeks to give.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Letting Go of All Control

My heart beat quickly as I searched, hoping for just a whisper of what it was I was supposed to do. The sky spread vastly, with no seeming end above. The stars twinkled brightly back at me. "Lord", I whispered as I gazed up at the sky, awed by the beauty of one of His most amazing masterpieces. "I don't know what to do."
As I stood beneath the twinkling lights that have always spoken of me of His mighty love, tears slipped down my cheeks. Desperation and reeling thoughts filled my head and heart to the point where they felt ready to explode. Desires that I could not explain by mare words caused a tightness in my chest. I wanted answers, I had none. "Lord, why? Why can't I understand?"
The darkness around me was like a curtain, hiding my tears from the world, but not from the Father. I did not understand, and it was hard. Very hard. But on that still dark night as I walked under the stars, with a deep and most urgent question (or so it seemed at the time) pressing so near, after a while I did hear a whisper.
"Trust me. Trust that I know what plans I have for You. Trust that I will be your strength through whatever may come. Trust that I love you more than you will ever deserve or comprehend. Trust that, though you do not understand, this is for your good."
There were many tears, many questions of "why?" but as the night wore on I knew that I was fighting a loosing battle. I knew I had to surrender, to let go, and it wasn't easy. I held my hands open, palms towards the starry host, head back, eyes closed. "Here, Father. Please take it. It's broken. It's hurting. It's weak. But, take my heart, take my desires, take my questions, take my doubts. Help me rest in You, trusting that You will never let me go. If it hurts, let it, if only it will bring You glory. Make that my only desire, Lord."
Trusting is not always easy, and I am not sure it was meant to be. If it were easy, if there were no struggles, then would our hearts be drawn nearly as close to our Lord's? Would our love grow as we learned of the gentleness and care He gives to our broken and bleeding lives? I think not. Growing and trusting are hard, but in the difficulties, there is a glorious purpose. We say we will do anything or give anything to only know and love Him more. When it hurts...that is the time we are called to give it all, every single particle, to the One who will never let us go. When the one you trust loves you, then the fear can fade away, and the peace of not walking alone can fill your heart. But first, you have to be willing to let go...even if it hurts.