I mentioned in an earlier post some of the changes God has been making in my circumstances and situations (released from a job, still have a second home to sell, etc.) and I have been very confident that these were all God working a change in my life and while there have been a few anxieties, for the most part I’ve felt very good about the changes. So time goes by and we start to wonder, “Ok God, we know where we were isn’t where You wanted us to stay but where are we going?” Like we talked about with Abram, God told him to get out but all He said was He’d take him to a place He would show Him. No specific destination provided. At the first stage of the journey that’s not so worrisome but as time goes by and you still don’t know where you are headed, it starts to become a more persistent question, “Where, Lord, are You taking us? Where are we supposed to be?” So we’re working to be patient, because we know that patience only comes through the testing and trying of our faith (James 1:2-4) but waiting without knowing what you are waiting for is almost impossible, at least for us, that is certainly the case!
While we’re waiting my sister, Sam, and my daughter, Ashley, and I start a new study on a short book called Crafted Prayer by Graham Cooke. I’ve been praying and journaling for a really long time. Praying probably for over 40 years and journaling for at least 20 and we’re reading and studying this book on prayer and learning how to really get into the presence of God and I realize how many areas of my prayer life have been out of sync. Life has been so busy and the world around me so loud, I really can’t keep my mind quiet or still, which are significant areas in order to be in God’s presence. The three of us laughed because we each saw this, that to be still and quiet in our minds seemed a monumental task because our minds were so busy. Busy with thoughts of our day, busy with trying to solve the most current problem, busy thinking about other people, busy trying to figure out what God was doing in our lives…you get the idea. I began to realize that I needed to get into a place where I could hear God, because how was I going to know what He was doing and get in agreement with it? What if I couldn’t hear Him speaking because my mind was crammed packed with all this stuff?! So, excitedly I began studying Graham’s teachings and day after day and week after week I began making progress in being able to get my thoughts off of everything else and quiet my mind to be in a place to hear God. I was so thrilled because now I could be in a place to get direction and clarity and not only know that we’d been called out but where we were being called to!!!
The big day arrived, I’d set aside a week to take as much time as I needed to get in God’s presence, utilize the tools provided in teaching and even wrote out what I was hoping to get out of this week, the desire for direction and clarity and expectation of seeing what God was bringing us to. First day, I’ve started with praise and thanksgiving, I’ve stilled my mind and I begin listening to the voice of God and what I hear is not at all what I expected. He tells me He’s pleased with us and has great love for us. He tells me to have peace, rest, stillness and enjoyment. He tells me He wants us to enjoy His presence and have confidence in what He can do. This is all very beautiful but it doesn’t feel like clarity or direction. In fact, it feels like more waiting. But it’s so clear, I know that to do or say anything else would be contrary to what He is speaking. So, I receive those words and commit to being obedient and to take joy in the fact that He wants us to just be in Him right now. It goes against our human nature big time, where it’s all about doing, but as we continue to walk this journey of discovering our Heavenly Father, we continue to see that He isn’t as enamored with our doing as He is our relationship with Him. Accomplishing things pleases us, but when done outside of relationship with Him, it doesn’t please Him. We’re at a place that we really want to move forward in God’s plan for us and that means laying down our desire to do something and surrendering to Him.
A couple more days go by and through a teaching I was watching, God brings the scripture that this is all about, the why He is having us wait in His presence.
Psalm 37:4-7 (AMP)
4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.
6 And He will make your uprightness and right standing with God go forth as the light, and your justice and right as [the shining sun of] the noonday.
7 Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him; fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.
It was so amazing to hear through His word why He was asking us to wait and enjoy His presence. As we delight in Him He’s bringing about our desires and the things we are longing for but don’t really even know. He’s inviting us to trust Him and He is promising to bring to pass these things and then we get to go in the righteousness He’s given us as be as bright as the noonday sun without worrying about what we see around us. How awesome and totally amazing is that??
I didn’t get what I thought I wanted, basically a map to lead me to my next “thing” but I got something so much greater. I received a revelation on how much my Father thinks about me, and that His greatest desire is that I enjoy Him and take confidence that He is taking care of me and my loved ones. It’s not by my striving and efforts, but my dependence on Him and knowing that He is faithful. He is constantly working and blessing and because of Jesus I have everything that I need to be led to the place He will be showing us.
My sister shared something I think is a big shift, she said she is learning to pray less for her circumstances and more for her heart to be aligned with Him and trusting His plans. To be a trusting and faithful servant. How does that speak to you today? In whatever your situation is, He is there, He is working on your behalf and He has so many amazing thoughts toward you to bless you and your circumstances. Believe it or not, you can relax in Him and delight in Him with the confidence that He is working all of these things out in His grand design. I smile because we may not get what we’re asking for, but in His loving kindness He is giving us something so much more incredible, His presence, in addition to taking care of the circumstances. So…It’s not what I thought but truly greater than I was able to imagine.
Crafted Prayer by Graham Cooke https://www.brilliantbookhouse.com/crafted-prayer-1.html I highly recommend this book and on my resource page I will be posting the weekly study and questions we did to really dig into this study. Will try and have them up by next week.
In Over My Head by Bethel Music https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=915507638479694 Ashley passed along this song and the song itself is incredible and so is the video. It has blessed me tremendously as I’ve spent time in prayer and worship.
A Daughter’s Prayer – Abba, I am so thankful that Your thoughts towards me are thoughts of peace, thoughts to give me a hope and a future. You have told us that we can come and pray to You and You will hear us, hear me. You are gathering me and bringing me to Your place. I am so thankful of every situation and circumstance that has brought me to this place where I am seeking You and being found of You. Abba, I am searching for You with all of my heart because You love me. I love You because You first loved me. In Jesus’ holy name, amen.