Deuteronomy 31:1-8 AMP AND MOSES went on speaking these words to all Israel: And he said to them, I am 120 years old this day; I can no more go out and come in. And the Lord has said to me, You shall not go over this Jordan. The Lord your God will Himself go over before you, and He will destroy these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess them.
“It reminded me of this piece of scripture: “For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest…” (Hebrews 4:10-11, KJV)
I struggle with the ‘laboring to rest’ concept…
Definitely harder for me to do, but very gratifying when it happens!”
I started to comment back & realized that this should actually be a post in itself because it’s something that the LORD was trying to show me!!!
Thanks, Dreams….That is a great verse – that I’ve never “noticed” before! And thanks for commenting now because…the dense & sometimes “stiff-necked” person that I am…I just heard a sermon on Sunday that spoke of who? Well, Martha & Mary (as I referred to in my post) & how Martha needed to learn to BE IN HIS PRESENCE! Doing the work she was called to do (in her case, hospitality), yes, but IN His Presence. And I didn’t even remember or connect the fact that I had just posted this recently. Uh, DUH! It’s interesting because a couple of days ago, I did try to just sit in His Presence, doing NOTHING, but trying to listen. And lo & behold, He started telling me something…connecting some dots for me! Imagine that!
The Dots that’s He’s Connecting for me is something that I need more to time to meditate on, think about, talk to Him about, etc. but it’s about that darn wilderness again. That wilderness that I’ve written about so many times that it should be its own category! And how He’s called me OUT OF IT. And that I do NOT NEED TO FEAR what He’s calling me into. That’s He’s gone out ahead of me. You’ll probably see more about this….
I came across this great blog post and was reminded: “Stop looking from side to side. Bow your head. Come to me.” And this: “Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you; who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord.” Psalm 89:15
The blog writer said “I am stubborn and I resist, but God is persistent. When life happens, I am learning to bow my head first, instead of turning this way and that.”
And that’s where I am. Still learning. But the learning curve is getting less steep. I pray that I will cease my resistance, cease MY OWN WORKS.
- How Are we Now Stiff-Necked? (tbolto.wordpress.com)
A few months ago, I was driving home from work, sitting at a traffic light, and saw this “new structure” that “magically had appeared” DURING my work day. Obviously magic because the construction workers could not have built it this far in 8 hours, right?
I COULD. NOT. BELIEVE. IT. I drive this same route to and from work 5 days a week. And seriously…. had NOT noticed it. And felt like a fool! That I can get so caught up in the minutiae of life…of how living in this world can so blind me to what is right in front of me.
Someone told me years ago that I was like a sponge. That I soaked up whatever was around me. I sometimes just know things that are going on around me (hello Holy Spirit) & she told me that when I sensed & felt those things…emotions, turmoil, conflict, pain, issues, problems, burdens….I soaked them up into myself just like a sponge….even if I didn’t know WHAT was going on or WHY. And I just now remembered this part of what she said: that I had the tendency to take those emotions & make them my own.
Recently, someone else confirmed something in line with that. Not the sponge part but the part about knowing things. And he also said “Almost everyone who has a calling (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, or teacher…according to Ephesians 4:11) has an unfulfilled feeling inside them. And no matter what they attempt to do, they are never satisfied, unless they walk in their calling. This is the way the Lord prepares us.”
My devotional this morning reads in part:
It wasn’t until God called Moses that he really knew what to do with his life. He seems to have had all kinds of emotional frustration from his estranged childhood. Like many young adults, early on he did not seem very intentional about his life……Moses received a call from God, and he now knew what he needed to do. Through his experience, he could then lead God’s people. That is the heart of wisdom, knowing how to live life skillfully and successful with the resources we have. It is not going to be easy and we are going to need assistance. Once called, we can trust God is on our side in establishing the work of “our” hands.
After I published yesterday’s post, once I was still & quiet & not ”working” or “striving” (Shower Revelations & Middle-of-the-Night Moments as I call them because that’s sometimes when He can get my attention), I had the impression that, although my last couple of posts definitely pertain to me, that they also are meant for someone else. Someone that I know. My friend that needs the quiet in order to hear God. She is calling out “God, I need You now!“ She needs the Shepherd to guide her. She needs the green pastures, the still waters, the leading. The rest. The RESTORATION. I love what Barnes’ Notes on the Bible says:
He restoreth my soul – literally, “He causes my life to return.” DeWette, “He quickens me,” or causes me to live. The word soul” here means life, or spirit, and not the soul in the strict sense in which the term is now used. It refers to the spirit when exhausted, weary, or sad; and the meaning is, that God quickens or vivifies the spirit when thus exhausted. The reference is not to the soul as wandering or backsliding from God, but to the life or spirit as exhausted, wearied, troubled, anxious, worn down with care and toil. the heart, thus exhausted, He re-animates. He brings back its vigor. He encourages it; excites it to new effort; fills it with new joy.
I believe my sponge may have been filling up with her need, pain, turmoil lately…not mine. Although I have been there for my friend with support, encouragement, Scripture, etc., I am reaching out to her in a different way now. I want to be very intentional with my life. To do what God is calling me to do.
As the devotional said, I will need assistance not only in doing His work but in differentiating what my sponge is soaking up. Is it my stuff or someone else’s? I’ve dealt with my weaknesses – my fear, insecurity, anxiety, etc. all my life, as I’ve written about so many times here on this blog. Now I’m wondering if it’s all been MINE? Has some of it been from others? That I just couldn’t see because I was all caught up in ME? Like I didn’t see that building? Is any of this true, Lord? Is this what You’re telling me? Have You been giving me the burdens of others? And I’ve always thought they were mine?
We’ve got a lot to talk about…
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew11:28-30
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
This is as far I got this morning.
I woke up this morning with my mind spinning, as it has been lately. My last couple of posts have dealt (and the ones unwritten in my head and heart) with the clamor surrounding me & the unease & whatever it is that’s been making my mind spin. So this morning, as soon as I woke up….before I got out of bed….it started. I began quoting one of the passages that I’ve known since I was a kid (hence the KJV) that I love. That helps calm me in the darkness.
And I could only get through verse 3. Because that’s where I got stuck! My mind would shut off. I would doze off. Whatever. I either couldn’t remember past that verse or seriously, my mind just stopped working. On a Bible passage that I’ve known for more years than I’d like to admit!
After this happened about 5 times, I realized that the Shepherd was stopping me. THAT was what He wanted to tell me this morning. Just like yesterday’s GC, He wanted me to STOP and rest in His Presence. And like last week’s post, I NEED His Strength and He wants to give it to me.
HE WANTS TO RESTORE ME.
What an incredible thought. What a Loving thought.
A year or so ago, I read a book called Stress Busters: 40 Days with the Shepherd by Phil and Linda Sommerville - one of the most life-changing books for me.
Obviously, I need to review….how about you?
Update: A few minutes after I published this, I picked up the Stress Busters book & read: “Unfortunately, people have come to associate this Psalm with dying when it is in fact about living. This Psalm is about a way of life that decreases stress and increases joy, that decreases fear and increases confidence.” Isn’t that awesome?
- The Lord is my Shepherd (loopyloo305.com)
- The LORD Is My Shepherd. Psalms 23 (bummyla.wordpress.com)
- Psalm 23 (quotesandsuchbydra.wordpress.com)
- Psalm 23 (workoutwarriors.wordpress.com)
- Seeking God (Day 6 of 48) (christlikeministriesnwa.wordpress.com)
- The 23 Psalm (likewaterfromtherock.wordpress.com)
TWO bits of wisdom given to me today… yes, another GC……
BE QUIET AND DO NOTHING! My tendency is STILL – after all this time, after all God’s been teaching me – to WORK, to DO, to FIX, to FIGURE OUT, to PLAN, etc. I thought I was doing better, but I find myself slipping back into being a Martha, rather than a Mary and God is telling me to STOP! WAIT! LISTEN! Bask in His Presence. Drink of His Living Water. Eat of His Daily Bread. Feel His Love. Take of His Strength. Stop striving. Just BE!
On this day of your life, Chrystal, we believe God wants you to know … that when you are at a loss of what to do, do nothing.Doing nothing can be very wise. When you pause doing things, you become more aware of God’s presence, and often an unexpected solution to your question will arise.
And from my email devotional…
The Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him.
Think about all the noise that is around you whether you want it or not. All day long you experience noise: commuting noise, human noise, media noise, advertising noise, disaster noise, advice noise, shopping noise, reality-TV noise—so much clatter that it even forces the noise level to rise in order to hear or be heard.
Yet, an essential ingredient of connecting with God and growing spiritually is pursuing quiet. It’s that simple…and in a world inherently noisy, it’s that complex too. Fortunately, pursuing quiet doesn’t mean you have to become a monk and stay mute for a year. You don’t have to enclose your house in insulating bubble wrap. You don’t even have to burn your rock ‘n’ roll CDs on your front lawn or destroy your TV. Instead, just allow yourself to be quiet. Consciously choose no noise. Clear out the noise of worry. Turn off the clamor of consumption. Silence the noise of procrastination. Quiet your life in small ways. Doable. Practical. Attainable. Even undersized times of quiet will add up and bring big rewards.
What happens when we’re quiet? We are more apt to hear the voice of God, for God often speaks through silence. Maybe in a time of silence, a name comes to mind, and we know we need to go to that person and reconcile a hurt. Or perhaps in the quiet, a specific situation—one that requires confession—suggests itself. When there is silence, we may even hear the voice of God saying, “I love you” through His creation.
God is not distant. He wants to connect with you. You just need to find quiet in order to hear Him in the whispers of life. You can do it, right now, this moment. I know you can! Take five minutes and stop the noise. Don’t go on to another task. Just turn off the noise and consciously be quiet. Deliberately focus your thoughts away from the distractions of the day and move them toward God.
When the noise is gone, be prepared to connect with God!
It seems there are just some days more than others…..some hours……some minutes….some SECONDS……but really, we should always be needy….”Give us this day our DAILY bread.”
I’ve watched the movie “The Book of Eli” a couple of times, and as I wrote in this post here, was completely captivated by the fact that……spoiler alert……..Eli had memorized the entire Bible. I haven’t been able to get that out of my mind.
I’ve been feeling SO STRONGLY that I’m supposed to be memorizing more scripture. Reading the Bible – The Living Word of the Living God – is a privilege and should be a joy. Should be a desire. Should be a passion. We should hunger and thirst for it. And that passion to read the Bible has been re-kindled in me, thank you, Spirit! But we, as Americans, have taken for granted our privilege of even HAVING Bibles…having MANY Bibles with different versions in our house, Bible apps, online Bibles..We CAN read the Bible whenever and wherever we want! And we shouldn’t be taking that for granted. So many Christians in places around the world either do not have access to a Bible or do not have the “legal” right to have possession of one. I’ve been reading a book about persecuted Christians that have been arrested, thrown in jail for their beliefs, and obviously, do not have access to a Bible. Cannot read scripture that would encourage & comfort or share with fellow prisoners…. And that scenario could be in America’s future……But at the very least, having His “Word hid in my heart” can only deepen my relationship with Him and provide comfort, exhortation, encouragement, etc. as well as the Good News when I don’t have a Bible in my hand. There have been a few nights when quoting Psalm 23 has quietened my racing, anxious heart.
I still know verses that I memorized when I was a child and I “kinda” know many more just from reading the Bible the last few years, but I haven’t been intentional about it. It took Eli 30 years. At least I can start…..
I asked God what I should start memorizing first this go-round. There are so many great passages that will be beneficial to have in my heart, but I have chosen Ephesians 1. It has special meaning to me, as I wrote about here. And yes, the entire chapter. I read this great blog post by Jean Williams entitled Why You Shouldn’t Memorize Bible Verses. Yes, got your attention, too, didn’t it? Just like she wanted. She talks about why Bible PASSAGES are better to memorize than just Bible VERSES. Love her comment: “ Why passages, not just verses? Because they are more useful to remember. Instead of a single nail, they give you a shelf to rest your thoughts on.” She wrote a series (I’ll say again…great) about memorization that has given me much to think about:
- http://matthiasmedia.com/briefing/2012/07/the-delightful-results-of-remembering-the-bible/ This is a really good post. I love that she talks about how the very act of reading & re-reading & memorization of Bible passages “forces me deeper into the Bible and the Bible deeper into me.” And “Memorizing God’s word lays a new set of thought patterns over those that come naturally to us. It transforms our hopes, desires and choices as God’s truth cajoles and pummels them into a more Christ-centred form. Most amazingly for me, it even shapes my emotions, slowly but surely changing despair into hope, fear into trust, and self-pity into joy.” And….oh, just go READ it! It’s all good.
There are many ways to memorize, but here are a couple of sites that I’m using to help me in my effort.
http://thegoodbookblog.com/2012/jan/28/the-easiest-way-to-memorize-the-bible-what-i-learn/ teaches us to memorize passages by READING many times before “rote-memorizing.” I realized that actually this was how I’d “unintentionally” memorized several verses.
There are sites that have word-for-word Psalms set to music to help in memorization. Being on the worship team for years has already given me a vast number of songs that I know by heart so I understand how music can help you memorize better than just words alone. Here’s one site.
Here are a handful of other sites I’ve found.
With another great quote from Jean Williams: “Why passages, not just verses? Because God has invited us to a feast. Let’s not stop at the hors d’oeuvres.” YUMMY.
Lately, I’ve been really convicted of my words and my thoughts (and He’s giving me GC’s…some through some of you fellow-bloggers) so I’ve resolved to focus my thoughts toward Jesus and to be positive in my actions. Two verses come to mind:
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
Of course, some little sneaky devil doesn’t want that so he keeps throwing things at me, knocking me off my path. And yesterday, I pretty much lost it, allowing him to win. The week ahead is going to continue to be so crazy-busy that there will be many more opportunities to lose it. But I’m stopping him in his tracks today. It’s Gonna Be a Lovely Day.
I’ve been crazy-busy lately so I haven’t had a lot of time to WRITE about what I’ve been hearing & learning - some really good stuff! BUT I’ve been getting a lot of GC’s about God’s Promises lately. And you know what that means…..PAY ATTENTION!
The latest…just read this snippet by Pastor Tony Evans. I don’t really know much about him but know that this is true.
The first blessing that comes with the ladder (Me here: this is continuing a previous discussion from Tony Evans about Jacob’s Ladder) is God’s Promises. God restated His covenant promise to Jacob that He would bless his descendants and give them the land of Israel.
One of the greatest tragedies in the church today is that many believers don’t know the promises God has given us in His Word, and thus they don’t know enough to claim those promises and to move heaven to act on earth. There’s nothing worse than having a ladder to heaven and not even knowing it.
Satan has effectively kept many Christians ignorant of God’s Promises. And because of that ignorance, we’re discouraged when we ought not be discouraged. We’re complaining when we ought not be complaining. And we’re defeated when we ought to be victorious.
You can’t claim what you don’t know, and that’s why a thorough knowledge of the Word of God is critical for you to experience this blessing of the ladder – that is, access here on earth to truths known in heaven.
Reminds me of my 2012 “theme” verse:
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3
I am on the quest. That’s why I’m studying, re-reading the entire Bible and why I want to memorize more Scripture….