Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spending Time Together Makes All The Difference

Today I sat with a friend for nearly three hours as we caught up with each other and talked about the joys and struggles of the past year. There was a sense of really hearing and being heard from the heart as we talked with each other. Though we no longer live close to each other, our years of friendship and of knowing each other paid rich dividends as we spent time openly sharing. I hope he went away as encouraged today as I did, not because any problems were solved or questions were answered, but because we knew we could trust each other and we that we share a common walk with our Lord both in times like today and in our times of prayer.

Sarah writes today about our being still in the presence of God as He prepares us for our days. I am mindful about how after leaving lunch today I was encouraged by spending time with my friend, and then thinking how we have a friend in Christ who is so much closer. In Him we have someone who knows our every thought, who knows what lies ahead, and even has a plan for it which is not self-serving but includes our growth and our spiritual good. In talking today with my friend I had some new insights on how to better pray for him, but also some thoughts on how I might better walk through the struggles that lie ahead for me. This was not because he shared any shatteringly new stuff with me, but because he reminded me of what I already (for the most part) knew to be true and encouraged me in the continuing in them.

So it is with our time with God. Our time with God is so critical to our walk with Him. It is in these times when we really find our preparation and our direction for life. Like my friend, I can know without any doubt that He has what is best in mind (and not just good), and God is actively engaged in directing me toward it. But more than that, it is a time when I can just enjoy knowing Him and being close. The knowing and the being is so much more meaningful than the how and the why. Knowing Him as my God  who is all-the-time-everywhere-present means I am never alone whether I know how I will get through something or why it is happening the way it is.  Being secure in Christ as a fully-forgiven and accepted child of the Living God means that there is now no condemnation and that absolutely nothing can shake me from His hands, and that I truly do have a meaningful relationship with Him.

Tonight I am finishing the teaching of Romans 8 beginning with verse 31 and ending with verses 38 and 39, which read, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? … For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This is so incredible and incredibly encouraging to know this about my God and His hand on me. It gives me courage to step out and trust Him for what He has in store, and when I am frustrated with the waiting to know that His plans and their timing are perfect.

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (4/24)

Rest in the stillness of My Presence while I prepare you for this day. Let the radiance of My Glory shine upon you, as you wait on Me in confident trust. Be still and know that I am God. There is both a passive and an active side to trusting Me. As you rest in My Presence, focusing on Me, I quietly build bonds of trust between us. When you respond to the circumstances of your life with affirmations of trust, you actively participate in this process.

I am always with you, so you have no reason to be afraid. Your fear often manifests itself in excessive planning. Your mind is so accustomed to this pattern of thinking that you are only now becoming aware of how pervasive it is and how much it hinders your intimacy with Me. Repent of this tendency and resist it, whenever you realize you are wandering down this well-worn path. Return to My Presence, which always awaits you in the present moment. I accept you back with no condemnation.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

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