I'm doing something new here. I'm actually in the middle of my devotion time but thought I'd just write here today instead of my journal. God continues to move me in the direction of simplicity. I am so grateful for every step closer to faith like a child.
We've prayed a better (can I say that?) kind of prayer in our search for a new church this move. Finding a church home is the hardest part of moving so much. Especially when we don't want to leave our previous one. I'm always glad for any perspective into another's life, especially a life that points towards the character of God, so as usual I've found a way to flip the leaving of churches around and now I read Paul's letters differently. How much he must have loved and missed the churches in Ephesus, Corinth and Thessalonica...I know the list goes on. Well this line of thought is meandering away from my original point. My point about simplicity is that even though it was painful and challenging to be away from NCC these past months, we praised God for His plan, thanked Him in advance, and trusted He would provide. Our prayer this time pointedly had nothing to do with our desires. This was a first. Really, our desire was to still be at NCC. Our prayer this time was to be planted exactly where God wanted us for this time and place in our life. He did just that. We actually knew within minutes we were home when we visited the KMC AG church. Crazy! We hadn't even heard the message or met the people. But the Holy Spirit spoke so clearly to both of us, and if we chose to be embarrassed this would have been the time to be, because we cried through the entire service. Tears of comfort, gratitude and confirmed faith. So simple.
I'm taking a hiatus from reading commentaries, devotional writings, and other sources as guides through my devotional time. I SIMPLY want God. I love what Pastor Mark from NCC said in his blog a few days ago. He asked that we memorize Psalm 84:11 "The Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless." I was challenged to balance this absolute truth with the original lie - the means to our fall. "God is holding out on you." Oh my goodness! What revelation to scrutinize my thoughts when I'm tempted to be afraid. When I'm tempted to try to take control again. Everything comes back to whether or not I believe God will favor me.
I spend my days reflecting on my mornings with God. I work hard to understand the things that God is revealing about himself and our relationship. Discipleship and growth requires this effort. I've been trying to understand lately why it is as I'm reflecting on God it's as though I'm "writing" in my head. I know I understand things better as I write, but I've been concerned that there's some kind of hidden motivation on my part - as though I'm maybe wanting to write for accolades or attention from others. Yesterday I wrote this in my journal. "I keep thinking I need to "get it" before writing, and also that somehow there's a need to be favored among men by always thinking of sharing your revelations. Reveal any lie in this process. I simply want to know You, then share you." God is so sweet. I think I could preference every statement with that. This morning the first two verses of my readings have clarified my writing.
"I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice." Ps. 34: 1,2
EXTOL - to praise highly, laud, glorify, exalt, celebrate
BOAST - to speak with pride, a cause for pride
I've found the reason behind my writing. Too often I live an afflicted life. I look to what others are boasting about the Lord and am reminded of my reason to rejoice. I have to tell you about His wonderful ways. I have to speak with pride about Jesus. This just happens to be one of my forums for praising Him always. Whew! I'm not looking for your favor! But I hope what pours out of my heart and mind will remind you always of His deliverance, protection, and redemption from affliction. And that somewhere along the way your soul will rejoice with mine! So here is another writing and I'm simply trusting God with it. Gotta say, after 42 years of striving, my soul is loving the simplicity of trusting God with everything.
Believe the truth, Favored One. God "always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. God never fails." (1 Cor 13:7) He never holds out on you and will pour out his favor upon you. Oh, the beauty of a simply life!
"I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
My soul will boast in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt his name together.
I sought the LORD, and he answered
he delivered me from all my
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with
This poor man called, and the LORD
he saved him out of all his
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the LORD is
blessed in the man who takes
refuge in him."