When stillness makes me uneasy,
Remind me that rest is given as a gift.
Not to be squandered by the illusion
of busyness’ false promises that
I’m doing so I must be doing something right.
Remind me that rest isn’t for the lazy soul.
It’s for the soul that has disciplined itself
To not move apart from Your grace.
To remain hidden under Your shadow until
You have called me out.
Rest isn’t to fall asleep.
It’s to remain awakened to Your Presence.
Rest isn’t to feel weak.
It’s to fortify my Strength.
Father, remind me that when You
Call us to a season of rest,
It’s because You love us.
You seek our good.
May we enter that rest with full confidence
That You are still God.
You are still speaking.
You are still leading.
You are still working for us.
You are still living WITHIN us.
In Your Name,
***Don't forget to join us for prayer at 7:30am ET, starting this Monday Oct. 3rd for our #ComeAway Prayer Journey. Check out more information here ***
By WENDY POPE
“But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” Psalm 33:11 (NIV)
Growing up, I had a set plan for my life. Get good grades. Become an elementary school teacher. Marry the cute guy with the cool car. Have babies.
My dreams came to pass, except one — a house full of children.
No matter how many tests I took, needles I got stuck with or remedies I tried, I could not get pregnant.
The desire to be a mother consumed my thoughts. Why can’t I get pregnant? What is wrong with me? What have I done to warrant such punishment from God? My girlfriends were getting pregnant. That just didn’t seem fair, so I determined that God wasn’t fair.
I began to decline invitations to the multitude of blue-and-pink parties. My husband and I purposely socialized with friends who were not expecting or didn’t have children. However, avoiding pregnant friends did not ease my pain or subdue my longing.
Trying harder didn’t help either. For two years, we endured infertility testing, but noone could explain why I was unable to conceive.
Medically, I was doing everything right; spiritually, I was not. The wait exhausted my faith. Resolving that God was mad at me, I was furious with Him. Maybe you can relate?
We have our plans and want our way. When things don’t happen accordingly, we retaliate by ignoring God. I felt this way for more than two years as the object of my desire became greater than the Person of my faith.
Struggling with infertility can take you down some winding roads full of dark thoughts and bumpy emotions. Without constant awareness of my need to allow truth to steer me, I could easily get lost wondering why God didn’t love me, assume He was punishing me or even question His ability to help.
Many of us face long delays in seeing the desires of our heart come to fruition. You may be waiting for a new job, a second chance at a relationship or a cure to poor health. Days, months, even years have passed without a glimmer of change. Questions of “when” and “why” fill your mind and heart.
Years went by before I eventually conceived my daughter. To be honest, I don’t have an exact answer now for why God asked me to wait to have children. But I do know what Psalm 33:11 shares with us, "But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations" (NIV).
The word “purposes” jumps out at me. In the dark moments of hurt, frustration, doubt and mistrust, I had to remind myself of who God is and what His purposes are.
God is wise, good and caring.
God’s purposes are right, loving and on time.
When you’re in the middle of a long wait, these truths feel difficult to believe. Even after having my two children, it’s taken me years to trust in God’s perfect timing and ways. In fact, I’m currently waiting on Him to heal my husband from a sickness he’s battled for the better part of 10 years. I don’t know if healing Scott is part of the Lord’s purposes, but I do trust that whatever happens, God is wise, good, caring, right, loving and right-on-time.
Sometimes the wait is more about experiencing God than enduring the delay. We can rest assured that in due time, He will bring to fruition all His designs and they will be good. As we continue on our journey, let’s remain open to lining up our plans with God’s and allowing His truth to steer our wishes.
Lord, waiting is hard. Forgive me for being impatient and trying to “help” work out things on my own. I truly want to focus on You rather than the object of my wait. I ask Your Spirit to calm my anxious heart as l learn to patiently wait on Your best for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
By Boyd Bailey
They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. Revelation 9:4
Sealed by our Savior Jesus is a picture of the Lord’s possession of believers and our relationship with Him. We are possessed by God and we have access to God. What a deal: we surrender ourselves and in exchange we know God and He holds title to us. What the Holy Spirit has, He preserves. He is our guarantee. Our inheritance is a secure life with Jesus now and forever. God’s rich grace gives us the commerce to build His kingdom. We are possessed by the Lord for His purposes.
John makes clear those who are sealed by God are kept and protected by God. The final days of judgment will pass over the people who have placed their faith in Christ, but those who have trusted in their own version of truth—will be found out—and will miss out on the rewards of a grace-based life. Unable to overcome the harm of hurtful forces—unbelievers will wish they had trusted and followed the promise of Jesus to possess His power that overcomes (Luke 10:18-20).
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you” (1 Peter 2:9).
What does it mean to be in relationship with the Lord? We have intimate access to Abba God. We seek our heavenly Father in faith and quiet confidence. He is a gracious dad who gives us grace and strength for life’s journey. We walk with our Savior Jesus. Like a compassionate big brother He forgives us, He cares for us and calls us friend. We follow the Holy Spirit’s lead away from temptation and into the Lord’s will. As a blessed child of God—we have all we need!
What does it mean to be possessed by the Lord? What God possesses He keeps. He keeps us as His own. He is jealous of other attractive suitors. He keeps us as His special people. He loves the world, but He loves with everlasting love those who trust His son Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. He keeps us for His praise and glory. When we sing to our great and majestic Almighty God, it is a holy and acceptable sacrifice to heaven. He protects and prizes His sealed possession.
“When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit…of those who are God’s possession” (Ephesians 1:13-14).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your rich inheritance and for possessing my life.
Noise doesn’t ask permission to enter. Noise forces its way into our world. It floods our hearts and minds, clouding our ability to hear God.
And we wonder why we can’t hear Him.
He’s always speaking.
We must know that we don’t have to ask noise permission to come away and be still so we can hear the voice of our Father.
We must learn the habit of coming away and retreating with our Father without bringing along residue of noise.
We need not be fearful of coming away with God because of the doubt that He won’t speak or the feeling of inadequacy in our words.
Silence before Him is as powerful as words declaring Him.
Prayer is as much listening as it is talking.
It’s the posture of our heart that gets God’s attention.
Let’s practice the art of listening. Let’s quiet the noise around us and within us and be still long enough until we feel Him. Until His Spirit resounds in ours. Until His thoughts become ours. Until His Word becomes our heartbeat.
Will you come away to hear Him?
This is why I’m excited to share WITHIN’S #ComeAway Prayer Journey starting Monday October 3rd and continuing throughout the month of October.
Find out more here.
Let's mature on this journey together.
Be still and know that I AM God.
Be still and know that I AM.
Be still and know.
Father, may we daily utter these words.
Because the truth is we are hurting.
We are grieving.
We are angry.
Yet, we don't want to sin.
So Father let our minds be stayed on You.
So that Your Peace is the filter through which we act.
Give us the path to take in these tumultuous days.
Give us the words to say.
Give us the strength to pray.
We are tired.
We are mourning.
So we remind ourselves to...
Be still and know that YOU are God.
Be still and know that YOU are.
Be still and know.
In Your Name,