June 28, 2017

The More I Seek You

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

The more I seek You
The more I find You
The more I find You
The more I love You

I wanna sit at Your feet
Drink from the cup in Your hand
Lay back against You and breathe, feel your heart beat
This love is so deep, it’s more than I can stand
I melt in Your peace, it’s overwhelming

Christ For The Nations Worship
written by Zac Neese

 *   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   * 

Seeking God can be done in any number of ways; such as,

  • reading the Scriptures (Psalm 119:2)
  • singing praises (Psalms 104:33-34)
  • praying (Jeremiah 29:11)
  • times of worship (corporate and personal) (Psalm 63:1)
  • calling upon Him (Isaiah 55:6)

But, no matter how you seek God, it is ‘all your heart’ that is required.

But if…you seek the LORD your God, you will find Him
if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deuteronomy 4:29

Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God….
1 Chronicles 22:19

And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord,
the God of their fathers,
with all their heart….
2 Chronicles 15:12

So, as we seek Him—whether through our prayers, our praises, our thanksgiving, our study of His Word—our whole heart must be engaged.

And another thing that I do believe is required as we seek Him is quiet—actual physical-absence-of-distracting-noise quiet.

Our Lord recognized His need for quiet.  If He, in His perfect sinless life, needed quiet time alone to seek His Father…we do too and even more so!  His example speaks clearly to us.

And in the morning, long before daylight,
He got up and went out to a deserted place,
and there He prayed.
Mark 1:35

…and great crowds gathered to hear Him and to be healed of their infirmities.
But He would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
Luke 5:15, 16

Along with quietness in our surroundings, perhaps even more important is quietness in our hearts.  This is something that I believe each of us yearns for and, truly, can only be found as we seek Him.  There is an incomparable quietness that we are promised as we trust in our Lord.

Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him;
Psalm 37:7

Be still, and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10

Come to Me,
all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened,
and I will cause you to rest.
Matthew 11:28

I love those that love Me; and those that seek Me diligently shall find Me.
Proverbs 8:17

As you seek Him, my friends, He will be found…He promises!

Then you will call upon Me,
and you will come and pray to Me,
and I will hear and heed you.
Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity]
and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:12 and 13 AMP

{before you go any further, may i suggest that you take a
few moments to simply seek Your God and be found in His Presence}

In The Stillness

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Here in the stillness my heart is at rest
Alone in the silence, that’s where I hear You best
In the rush of the river, like a song in the breeze
It’s here in the stillness You speak to me

When I’m lost in Your Presence the world disappears
Taking all of my troubles…my burdens, my fears
Oh how gently You hold me, You are all that I see
It’s here in the stillness You speak to me

I will be still
I will stand in awe

Oh, just to know that You are my God
You are my God

Yes, it’s here in the stillness You speak to me
You speak to me
Oh, speak to me

Singer/Songwriter – Ali Matthews

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

One of the absolute joys of being in a relationship with our heavenly Father is our ‘quiet time’ with Him.  Not only is it a joy but it is a need, too. It is necessary to dwell in His Presence…to choose to have a dedicated, purposeful, intentional, devoted quiet time.  Of course there are many other components that make up this time with God, such as:

  • reading the Scriptures
  • meditating and considering those words
  • singing our praises
  • thankfulness
  • intercession
  • prayer for ourselves

But I do believe that there is one essential aspect—stillness—which presents itself in two very needful ways:

1) actual physical-absence-of-distracting-noise quiet
(and, perhaps even more necessary,)
2) a quiet, still, peaceful heart

Our Lord recognized His need for quiet and time alone to pray to His Father.  If He, in His perfect sinless life, needed quiet time to be still and alone seeking the Father then we surely do also…and even more so! His example speaks clearly to us.

And in the morning, long before daylight,
He got up and went out to a deserted place,
and there He prayed.
Mark 1:35

…and great crowds gathered to hear Him and to be healed of their infirmities.
But He would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
Luke 5:15, 16

(Perhaps, when our Lord was alone, He sang words similar to those in that beautiful song we just listened to….)

And there is the second type of stillness—a quiet, still, peaceful heart.  Isn’t this something that each of us yearns for?  Truly I believe it can only be found as we seek Him.  There is a quietness that we are promised as we trust in our Lord.

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.
Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
fret not yourself—it tends only to evildoing.
For evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait and hope and look for the Lord
shall inherit the earth.
Psalms 37:7-9

Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah.
Psalms 46:10 and 11

And. as Jesus Himself said to us,

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden
and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest.
[I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]
Matthew 11:28

In closing, consider these verses in which the psalmist speaks about his quiet time with his God.  As we intentionally pursue having quiet time alone with our God may we ‘pour out our heart before Him; God is a Refuge for us!’

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.
He alone is my Rock and my Salvation, my Fortress;
I shall not be greatly shaken.
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him..
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
My mighty Rock, my Refuge is God.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a Refuge for us. Selah
excerpts from Psalm 62

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

May I suggest, before you and I run along and jump into your ‘to-do’ list, that we each stop for a few minutes and be still and quiet before the throne of God…worshipping and giving Him our praise for the joy and privilege of these times of stillness and quiet alone with Him!  Oh, how He loves us so!

In The Stillness

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Here in the stillness my heart is at rest
Alone in the silence, that’s where I hear You best
In the rush of the river, like a song in the breeze
It’s here in the stillness You speak to me

When I’m lost in Your Presence the world disappears
Taking all of my troubles…my burdens, my fears
Oh how gently You hold me, You are all that I see
It’s here in the stillness You speak to me

I will be still, I will stand in awe
Oh, just to know You are my God
You are my God

Yes it’s here in the stillness You speak to me
You speak to me
Oh speak to me

Singer/Songwriter – Ali Matthews

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

One of the absolute joys of the privilege we have to be in a relationship with our heavenly Father is our ‘quiet time’ with Him.  Not only is it such a joy but it is necessary to dwell in His presence…to choose to have a dedicated, purposeful, intentional, devoted quiet time.  Of course there are many different components that make up this time with God, such as:

  • reading the Scriptures
  • meditating and considering those words
  • singing our praises
  • thankfulness
  • intercession
  • personal prayer

But I do believe that there is one essential aspect—stillness—which presents itself in two very needful ways:

actual physical-absence-of-distracting-noise quiet
(and, perhaps even more necessary,)
a quiet, still, peaceful heart

Our Lord recognized His need for quiet and time alone to pray to His Father.  If He, in His perfect sinless life, needed quiet time to be still and alone seeking the Father then we surely do also…and even more so! His example speaks clearly to us.

And in the morning, long before daylight,
He got up and went out to a deserted place,
and there He prayed.
Mark 1:35

…and great crowds gathered to hear Him and to be healed of their infirmities.
But He would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
Luke 5:15, 16

(Perhaps, when our Lord was alone, he sang words similar to those in that beautiful song we just listened to….)

There is also another type of stillness—a quiet, still, peaceful heart.  Isn’t this something that each of us yearns for?  Truly I believe it can only be found as we seek Him.  There is a incomparable quietness that we are promised as we trust in our Lord.

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.
Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
fret not yourself—it tends only to evildoing.
For evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait and hope and look for the Lord
shall inherit the earth.
Psalms 37:7-9

Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah.
Psalms 46:10 and 11

And. as Jesus Himself said to us,

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden
and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest.
[I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]
Matthew 11:28

In closing, consider these verses in which the psalmist speaks about his quiet time with his God.  As we intentionally pursue having quiet time alone with our God may we ‘pour out our heart before Him; God is a Refuge for us!’

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.
He alone is my Rock and my Salvation, my Fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him..
On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty Rock, my Refuge is God.
Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him;
God is a Refuge for us. Selah
excerpts from Psalm 62

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

May I suggest, before you run along and jump into your ‘to-do’ list, that we each stop for a few minutes and be still and quiet before the throne of God…worshipping and giving Him our praise for the joy and privilege of these times of stillness and quiet alone with Him!  Oh, how He loves us so!

CHRISTLife — A Quiet Time (part four)

IMG_1391

This week we continue to look at one of the absolute joys of our relationship with our heavenly Father—our ‘quiet time’ with Him.  Each Saturday we have been looking in-depth at a few of the more important aspects of a dedicated, purposeful, intentional, devoted quiet time.

Over the past few weeks we have considered some of these aspects, such as:

  • reading the Scriptures
  • singing our praises
  • thankfulness

In addition to each of these, I do believe that quietness—actual ‘physical-absence-of-distracting-noise quiet’…and perhaps even more important…quietness in our hearts—is required as a component of a purposeful, intentional devotional time.

Before we go any further, let’s stop for just five minutes and worship our God giving our praise for these times of stillness and quiet alone with Him!

Here In The Stillness  {Singer/Songwriter – Ali Matthews}
Here in the stillness my heart is at rest
Alone in the silence, that’s where I hear You best
In the rush of the river, like a song in the breeze
It’s here in the stillness You speak to me

When I’m lost in Your Presence the world disappears
Taking all of my troubles…my burdens, my fears
Oh how gently You hold me, You are all that I see
It’s here in the stillness You speak to me

I will be still, I will stand in awe
Oh, just to know You are my God; You are my God

Yes it’s here in the stillness You speak to me
You speak to me

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Our Lord recognized His need for quiet and time alone to pray to His Father.  If He, in His perfect sinless life, needed quiet time alone with God then we surely do also…and even more so!  His example speaks clearly to us.

And in the morning, long before daylight, He got up
and went out to a deserted place, and there He prayed.
Mark 1:35

…and great crowds gathered to hear Him and to be healed of their infirmities.
But He would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
Luke 5:15, 16

(Perhaps, when our Lord was alone, He sang words similar to those in that beautiful song we just listened to….)

There is also another type of quietness—a quiet, peaceful heart.  Isn’t this something that each of us yearns for?  Truly I believe it can only be found as we seek Him. There is a incomparable quietness that we are promised as we trust in our Lord.

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.

Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
fret not yourself—it tends only to evildoing.
For evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait and hope and look for the Lord
shall inherit the earth.
Psalms 37:7-9

Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah.
Psalms 46:10 and 11

And as Jesus Himself said to us,
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened,
and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]
Matthew 11:28

In closing, think about how the psalmist viewed his quiet time with his God.  As we intentionally pursue having quiet time alone with our God may we ‘pour out our heart before Him; God is a Refuge for us!’

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.
He alone is my Rock and my Salvation, my Fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him..
On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty Rock, my Refuge is God.
Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him;
God is a Refuge for us. Selah
(excerpts from Psalm 62)

Girls with Swords: Chapter 12 – “Sword of Silence” (pgs 175-180)

Have you ever noticed those people who stay calm in the face of major trauma?  Some of us are “basket cases” and some of us are “cool cucumbers.”  God made us with a ‘Fight or Flight’ mechanism in our brains for protection.  We need them both to survive, but we can learn to control our reactions to the fearful stimuli.  It is not a sin to be afraid, but how we act and react to that fear can be sinful.

Over and over the Scriptures tell us, “Fear not” and “Do not be afraid.”  Our God knows we have fear when we face the unknown in our lives.  He knows our first reaction to hard times, both mentally and physically will be to have fear and He asks us to NOT be afraid.  If God asks us to NOT be afraid, then it must be possible to control the fear inside and perform anyway.  If you are one of those “basket cases” and need to work on being a cool cucumber,” then there is HOPE for you as you lean on the Holy Spirit.

In most cases, fear immobilizes us.  We freeze, stop thinking clearly, and look for the flight path.  When we give up rational control of our thoughts, we tend to make bad decisions for ourselves and those around us.  If fear is normal, then how do we function when bad things happen?  If fear is normal, why can a trauma nurse or surgeon treat critically injured patients and not freeze up or be physically ill?  How can a police officer remain calm at the scene of an accident?  How can a mom care for her child who is broken or bleeding or heartsick?  How would we be able to live without those people???

A very familiar quote by Gen. Douglas MacArthur says, “If bravery is a quality which knows not fear, then I have never seen a brave man. For the courageous man is the man who, in spite of his fear, forces himself to carry on.”  Courage is learned.  Courage is practiced.  Courage is controlled strength of character.  If it were not possible to control our fear, the Scriptures would not ask us over and over to Not be AFRAID.”

FEAR

When looking at persevering through fear, I found this quote by Dave Grossi:  “Do warriors experience fear? You bet they do. The only difference is a warrior is trained to overcome that fear and forge ahead. He fights through it, and gets the job done. The untrained fall victim to it.”   Warriors have fear, but they train to learn to control that fear and overcome it.  As we learn to control the fear that sometimes rules our lives, we need to look to Jesus’ example.

It took great strength, courage, and character for Jesus to control his anger, fear, and words when being confronted with the sinful people attempting to stop Him from accomplishing His mission.  The message of Jesus is about finding the balance of seeking God, growth, and maturity—and resulting actions.  When directly faced by Satan, Jesus did not ‘take the bait’ and engage in a verbal war.  He didn’t prove Satan wrong by showing him how powerful HE was.  When all was said and done, Satan was defeated by the Truth in the Scriptures.  Jesus said, “It is written… and the devil fled.

Many people think Jesus was “born” knowing all the Scripture He used when He ministered.  Jesus was taught just like all the other good Jewish boys…and just like us if we apply ourselves to study.  There is not one bit of Scripture Jesus knew that we are not able to also know.  The only difference is the amount of time and conviction we are willing to put into our relationship with God, the Father.

If we really look at Jesus’ example we will find He sought silence to be alone with the Father before His major battles.  Here are seven instances where Jesus sought silence and solitude:

1)       He was fasting and praying when He was confronted with Satan in the desert (Matthew 4:1-2),

2)      He sought silence and seclusion after the death of His best friend, John the Baptist (Matthew 14:10-13),

3)      After ministering to the crowds and pouring Himself out, Jesus sought solitude and quiet in the mountains (Matthew 14:23),

4)      Jesus dealt with His popularity and the crowds that accompanied it by taking times of silence to reconnect with the Father.  By seeking silence and solitude, Jesus was able to deal with the growing demands of His ministry. 

5)      Jesus was constantly being confronted with sick people needing His healing.  Even when He told the healed ones NOT to tell, the crowds found out and came to Jesus for more healing. (Luke 5:15-16).

6)      Jesus main purpose for being on this earth was to serve others and bring them to a relationship with God the Father through His sacrifice.  Jesus would have experienced fear and anxiety as the day approached for His crucifixion and resurrection.  He dealt with this fear and anxiety through quiet time with the Father  (Matthew 17:1-3).

7)      Before Jesus faced his death, He went alone to pray to His Father and ask for the coming events to be taken from Him.  If we follow Jesus’ example, we will seek the Father BEFORE we get into hard and traumatic situations (Matthew 26:36).

There are also examples where Jesus held His tongue and did not respond in anger to those around Him.  When questioned by the Pharisees, Jesus was controlled, reserved, and thought before He spoke.  They were trying to trip Him up, geting Him to say things that Jesus could have been jailed and killed for.  When Jesus appeared before Pilate, He was asked very direct questions which would cause Him to be put to death and Jesus remained silent  (Mark 14:61).  In holding His tongue, Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah (53:7), “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”

In our reading this week, Lisa gives us many examples from the Old Testament where God wants to be our Deliver, Provider, and Protector.  He has not changed.  God still wants to be our Deliverer from harm, our Provider for our needs and our Protector from evil. “Be still and KNOW that HE is God…” and He is able to provide everything you need.

This week we will begin to learn to be still, silent, and strong.  Our strength will rise when we wait upon the Lord.  He will fight our battles for us.  He will go before us and be our rear guard.  Trust God for His protection over your life.  Give Him control and see what a beautiful life He wants to give you.  You were meant to be courageous and brave.  Exercise the discipline it takes to develop the strength to stand in silence while the noise goes on around you.

Be silent before the LORD, all humanity, for he is springing into action from his holy dwelling.  (Zechariah 2:13)

The LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.  (Habakkuk 2:20)

Be silent before the Sovereign LORD, for the day of the LORD is near.  The LORD has prepared a sacrifice; he has consecrated those he has invited.  (Zephaniah 1:7)

I want to be SILENT and let GOD do His work in, and through, my life.  Thank You, God, for loving me enough to Protect and Provide for me.  I just have to be quiet. AMEN!

Seeking His Face in Your Lonely Place

Today’s blog is a little bit different than my typical Saturday blogs.  I decided to take a week off from the Letters from God series to share with you something that the Lord showed me this week that truly changed not only my heart, but my perspective on some things too.  I am so excited to share with you what the Lord taught me.

Let’s pray together before I share: Heavenly Father, we come to You today asking You to join our hearts together with Yours.  Lord, help us to get rid of all the lies and yuckiness that tries to make its way into our hearts.  Please fill our hearts with Your never ending, never fading love and truth.  You truly are our heart’s Desire.  I pray that eyes are opened, hearts are changed and You are praised!  Only You are capable of such miracles.  Lord, I am giving all of the control over to You, guide my finger tips with Your words.  I pray You alone get all of the glory forever and ever, Amen.

It all started with the word “lonely.”  How many of you detest the feelings associated with that word?  Really think about it for a moment.  What are the first feelings that come to mind when you hear the word “lonely?”  Prior to four days ago, the first thing I feel when the word is brought to my attention is this sad, depressing, pathetic feeling of never having anyone and simply dreading the next time that word will become my reality.  The best way to describe loneliness in my life (prior to four days ago) is a black cloud right above my head darkening my heart every time I end up in a solitary place…alone.  This is not me being dramatic…this is me being honest with you.  I remember crying out to God with tears, big tears streaming down my face because the thought of being alone…again…was just too much for me to bear.  I quickly learned that I am never alone because God is always with me, and that truly brought so much comfort to my lonely places, but it did not cure my loneliness.  As much as I hate to admit it, sometimes even knowing the truth is not enough for me to feel it in my heart.  Is anyone with me on that?

I happen to know for a fact that I am not alone in this struggle, no pun intended.  It is a fact that every person struggles, at one point or another, with loneliness.  I am writing this today to show you hope in your lonely placesI am here to show you we all have the cure for loneliness already within us!  I believe God wants to share with you how to take your knowing His truth one step further—feeling His truth in your heart!

Four days ago I read Luke 5:15, 16 “Yet, the news about Him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses.  But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”  This verse has opened my eyes and changed my perspective on loneliness.

I believe with all of my heart that those two verses found in the Book of LIFE will open YOUR eyes and change YOUR perspective on loneliness TOO, if you let them!

When Jesus was walking around on the Earth in the flesh, being Jesus, He drew crowds of people to Him.  I imagine He did not have to worry about being alone; someone always desired to be near Him.  Jesus embraced those crowds and did amazing miracles and helped so many find healing and freedom through God’s perfect power.  We also see that Jesus chose lonely places to spend time with God in prayer!  WOW!!  Does this realization pull on your heartstrings???  It pulled on mine, big time.  Jesus DESIRED lonely places to spend time with God!!!  Here we see the pure form of the word lonely.  Lonely places are meant to be spent with God.  Loneliness is supposed to be a time for prayer with our Father in Heaven.  What is it that our hearts want when we are alone? Is it a crowd?  Surely God will be our crowd when we are alone!

LonlinessKnowing this, can you see so clearly now what we have let Satan do with this word.  We have given Him control over our loneliness.  It is so bad that sometimes you do not even have to be alone to feel this pain of loneliness through your soul.  Satan uses loneliness against us!  He will try so hard to keep us from spending time with God.  He will fill our hearts and thoughts with lies about the world loneliness and everything associated with it.  The last thing Satan wants us to be doing in our lonely places is to be spending that time with God.  Instead of praying in our lonely places we are simply sulking in our loneliness.  We become distracted in this time by lies.  Loneliness ends up pulling us further away from God when it was designed for just the opposite: to draw us closer.  How awesome would it be for God to look down on us from Heaven and see that in our loneliness we are no longer turned away from Him, but looking up at Him seeking His face!  How awesome would it be to give God control of our loneliness instead of Satan!

The way to feel God’s truth and not just know His truth in our hearts is to make the choice to feel.  If you know God’s truths and desire to feel the benefits, you must let those truths REIGN IN YOUR HEART WITH GOD! 

Thank You Jesus for opening our eyes.  Thank you for our lonely places!

Be Blessed, 

Diane

_______________________

If you would like to send Diane a private email in regards to this blog post, please email her at: Diane@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com