October 23, 2017

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)

God is (He IS!) our Rock

SeekingHimLogo

Throughout this week, I have been drawn to a similar theme written about by my fellow devotional writers—God is my Rock.  Actually, He is (or, as Cheris reminded us on Wednesday) HE IS!  These ladies have been writing from the perspective of Psalm 62.

Ann wrote about our Lord Jesus—our solid Rock—and how we have been given salvation and how we are covered through His sacrifice for us.  Laura shared about how our God is in control; and, as The Rock, He is our Shield, our Provider, our Defender.  Cheris reminded us that we don’t have to worry and think ‘what if?’ because we know that HE IS!  He is faithful and always will be.  Ahmee told us a story about a little one in her life who needed to trust.  Just like herself (and us, too!), she needs to trust in, have faith in, and believe God’s Word.

Listen to a few selected verses from Psalm 62.

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.
He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
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.
Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this:
That power belongs to God, and that to You, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.

The psalmist pours out his heart uttering these words of praise!  He uses definitive words that communicate the concepts of strength, steadiness, reliability and permanence. He writes that his Rock is his refuge, his fortress, and his salvation, his glory, his hope. And that, because He is (HE IS!) then the psalmist trusts in Him, rests on Him, waits for Him, and is not shaken.  When you read these terms, what thoughts come up in Your mind and heart?  I think of comfort, of love, of peace, of hope, of strength.  I think of my God…Who is (He IS!) strong, steady, reliable, faithful!  Who is my Rock, my Refuge, my Fortress, my Hope, my Glory, my salvation.  He IS…He really, really, really IS!

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.  Selah.
Psalm 62:8

* * * * *

Thank You, Lord!  Thank You for being my Rock!  Thank You for being able to place my total trust, my hope, my faith…my entire self…in Your arms.  Thank You for Your grace, Your mercy, Your peace, Your love!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Trusting God’s Word

SeekingHimLogoOne afternoon my mom, nephew Tae, and I went swimming.  My mother spent most of the time carrying Tae.  I dunked him, and needless to say…he didn’t want me holding him.

My mom wasn’t able to enjoy swimming or floating while carrying around Tae, so she finally gave him to me—with much protest from him.  I couldn’t take it anymore!  He would sit on the steps holding the metal bar.  He did venture to stick his foot down and touch the ground, which wasn’t as far as he thought, but the water was distorting the actual distance between his feet and the ground of the pool and he kept getting scared he’d fall.

I do the same thing Tae did, but with the Word of God.  I hold on to God’s Word…the metal bar that is unmoveable…and then I get adventurous and build up the courage to actually put the Word into action, like with tithing.

Sad thing is I often can’t see the floor and, when I don’t see results fast enough, I pull back, clinging to the word of God, but afraid to put it to action because “I tried and it didn’t work.”

Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
Psalm 62:8

Ah…trust. Trust can be hard when what our eyes see and our minds reason poinst to the impossible.  When the gap between our feet and the floor appears to be too far and we worry if we can actually reach.  This is known as doubt.  Our tangible factual conclusion can poke holes in our faith; after all, we are tangible beings.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

We live by faith not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7

We as Christians are called to live by the Word of God, not with our eyes or own understandings.  We are to operate with THE TRUTH—”… the Word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all he does” (Psalm 33:4).

And I am always honest with God about my doubts. He alone can provide the assurance I need to truly replace my doubts.

As for Tae…I took him to the other side of the pool, grabbed hold of his foot and pushed it down, with resistance and a little screaming, all the way to the floor of the pool. Once he realized his foot was on the ground he let go of me and started walking around in the shallow end.

* * * * *

Thank You, Lord, for Your Living Word.  Thank You for those people who You place in my life to encourage me.  Thank You for those timely words that push me forward!  And help me to trust You more than the tangible world around me.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

He Is

SeekingHimLogo

If there is the possibility that something could shatter my world, I refuse to dwell on “What if?” when I know God wants me to focus on “He is!” instead.  I always need to find rest and peace in Him because He IS my lasting Hope.  He IS fully able to meet my every need.

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.
He alone is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Fortress, I will not be shaken.
Psalms 62:5-6

Can you join me in coming to these verses when things in your world seem uncertain?

Perhaps there’s  someone you love and you’ve kissed him good-bye.  He walks toward the plane wearing camouflage, and you don’t know when you will see him again.  He will serve in a battle zone half away across the world.  You are home, and he is not.  In a weak moment your mind wants to wonder, “What will I do? What if…?”  You know his boots pound the dusty ground to carry out the mission before him every single day, and you never know how each day will end. You have a choice.  Do not be consumed with “What if?” each day, but cling to “He IS!”

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my Hope comes from Him.
He alone is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Fortress, I will not be shaken.
Psalm 62:5-6

Maybe you have been very sick lately; you are exhausted.  Pain overwhelms you at times, and the doctor has ordered tests.  It’s the day when you’re to get the results.  The day seems longer than usual.  Waiting…waiting…then, finally the phone rings…

You have a choice. It’s not about “What if?” rather cling to, “He IS!”

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.
He alone is my Rock, and my Salvation; He is my Fortress, I will not be shaken.
Psalm 62:5-6

Are you wondering if you or your spouse will be let go at work?  Your boss calls you into his office. As you sit down, your boss looks at you to speak.  Where will your heart and mind carry you? You have a choice.  It’s not about “What if?” but “He IS!”   Have faith in God because “He IS!” able to help you through each day.

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.
He alone is my Rock, and my Salvation; He is my Fortress, I will not be shaken.
Psalm 62:5-6

The temporary outcomes have no contest against the ultimate outcome that is to come! God is faithful!  It’s not about the “What if?” that wants to strike fear in us, but it is all about the One Who is there to sustain us because He is the ultimate answer to all of our problems…to carry us…to give us an everlasting Hope! He is God at all times for He has always been, HE IS, and He will always be! In Him, there is a final victory! Let us cast our eyes on Him alone for HE IS our wonderful and great God always! And oh, how wonderful that glorious day will be when He comes again!!!

I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God,
who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.
Revelation 1:8

* * * * *

Thank You, dear Lord, for being our Hope, our Rock, our Salvation, our Fortress! Because of You, we will not be shaken! We trust You, praise You, and thank You for sustaining us in ALL times-but especially in uncertain and difficult times!  You love us, and  we love You.  You are our Alpha and our Omega.  Our everything rests in You…that is enough.  We will not be shaken! Everything is in Your hands.  Let us come to You often, pouring out our hearts in prayers and leaving everything at Your Feet!  In Jesus’ precious Name, we pray.

Amen.

God Is Our Rock

SeekingHimLogoTruly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation.  He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.
Psalm 62:1-2

We are going through a trying time right now.  It is so trying that I have made myself physically incapacitated to the point where there are some days (the days I worry too much) that I can barely function.  I know that I need to leave this trying time in God’s hands, but being human, that is hard to do.  I have always tried to control anything that I do…including flying on an airplane.  My dear husband got me on a plane in April.  I loved the thrill of flying, but I was still scared that something could happen.  I often feel as if I can prevent something from happening if I am the one in the driver’s seat.

Yet, I know in my heart and in my brain that God is in control.  He is my Rock. He is my Shield. There have been times that I have not prayed about the situation, and then it seems like it gets worse. I pray about it, and it seems like the situation is getting better. I need to constantly put this problem in God’s hands, but being human that is hard.

When we accept God’s salvation, we put on the Shield of God. God becomes our Defender, our Provider, and our Rock.  He moves with us.  He is in the passenger seat when you are driving down the highway at 85 mph or when you are enjoying a nice sunset on the beach.  God is with you no matter where you are.

As we move on in our trying time, I need to silently listen for God’s word.  I know that eventually He will answer my prayer about getting to the end of this.  (It may take a few years to do it, but the end will come.)  I am going to have to be patient and let God lead.  God’s leadership and love is what should get us through anything—no matter how big or small.

* * * * *

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for Your salvation and being our Rock. Without You, we would not be able to stand strong in any trying time. Without You, we would fall and not be able to get back up. Thank You for being our Rock and Salvation. Thank You for defending us against evil.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Divine Protection

SeekingHimLogo

Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from Him cometh my salvation.
He only is my Rock and my Salvation;
He is my Defense; I shall not be greatly moved…
Psalm 62: 1-2

Let me take you back to Exodus 33….

It came to pass when Moses entered went out into the tabernacle
the cloudy pillar descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle
and the Lord talked with Moses.
Verse 9 KJV

(I strongly urge you to read through the conversation between God and Moses). My concentration is on THE ROCK and SALVATION.  What is the type of Rock and Salvation being talked here?  If we combine Psalm 62 and Exodus 33, it equals Isaiah 53.

In Exodus 33 God was telling Moses that He would put Moses under a cleft (the back and the sides of the hands but the front God will cover with the arm). Let us imagine—how big is the arm of God?  Who is this Arm?  Isaiah 53 explains the Arm of God…it is JESUS.

So as long as we are in Christ Jesus we will be covered.  He is the solid Rock—nothing can harm us.  We are protected. He is our salvation.  He died for our sins only to be served when He rose again for it was for our righteousness.  Death alone was for our salvation; if He had not risen, then there would have been no righteousness being imputed for us.  He rose for our righteousness.  We should count ourselves blessed for the Blood that was shed was for our good.  We should be thanking God for His love for us. Today we walk freely for Someone paid the price and saved us; and we are defended at all angles.

Look back and think how many times we can say the Rock covered us. I see many prayer requests (and praises thereafter) in the GCH Fellowship group.  Who takes us through those times?  It is this Arm and Rock!  Let us embrace this Arm with all our hearts.  Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father but only through Him.  That is why in Exodus 33 when Moses was insisting that he wanted to see God face to face, God told him that he could not see God; that He would put Moses in a Rock (Jesus) and cover him with His Arm (same Jesus) and that He would pass by Moses and he would only see God’s back. God was protecting Moses since once Moses had seen His face he could have died for no one has ever seen the face of God.  That is why God said to Moses “you will be covered by the rock at your back and in front there will be my arm.”  We are at liberty to interact with Jesus for Him to cover and protect us completely and all around — 360 degrees.

* * * * *

Father God, we thank You for Your goodness and mercy that follows us all the days of our lives. We appreciate Your presence in our lives—the Rock and the Arm that saved us from all un-righteousness.  In Jesus name, I pray. Amen