My Soul Thirsts for God

As a deer thirsts for streams of water,
so I thirst for You, God.
I thirst for the living God.
Psalm 42:1-2

O God, You  are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.
Psalm 63:1-5

When you have tasted the intimacy that is possible with God, you realize that you are so empty without Him.  When that intimacy is not as strong as it once was, you can feel the longing that the psalmist is speaking about.  When the troubles of the world around you press down on you, you feel that longing for the intimacy again.  This prayer by A.W. Tozer has captured my heart's desire over the years, and still does:

God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God. I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul. "Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away." Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.
In Jesus' name. Amen



"We enter into solitude first of all to meet our Lord and to be with him and him alone.  Our primary task in solitude, therefore, is not to pay undue attention to the many faces which assail us, but to keep the eyes of our mind and heart on him who is our divine savior.  Only in the context of grace can we face our sin; only in the place of healing do we dare to show our wounds; only with single-minded attention to Christ can we give up our clinging fears and face our own true nature....Solitude shows us the way to let our behavior be shaped not by the compulsions of the world but by our new mind, the mind of Christ.  Silence prevents us from being suffocated by our wordy world and teaches us to speak the Word of God." -Henri Nouwen

Psalm 37:7a
Rest in the Lord, and wait patienly for Him

Psalm 62:1-2, 5
Truly 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.
My soul, wait silently for God alone,
For my expectation is from Him.


Only by Your Power

Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchmsn keeps awake in vain.
Psalm 127:1

Only by Your power can we push back our enemies;
only in Your name can we trample our foes.
I do not trust in my bow;
I do not count on my sword to save me.
You are the one who gives us victory.
Psalm 44:5-7

So many times I try to do t hings on my own strength and power.  I strive and strain and push and pull.  I try to take control of everything.  Yet, I cannot do anything without God.  Nothing.  I don't want to labor in the things that I do in vain.  I don't want my ministries at church to be in vain.  I must abide in Him and rely on His power to change people.  I don't want my family life to be in vain.  I want to let Christ change my heart, so that I may build a house that is solid on the foundation that is the Lord and His Word.


The Good Competes with the Best

I'm reading a devotional written by Cynthia Heald.  It is called "Becoming a Woman of Simplicity."  One of the best chapters so far has been "The Good Competes with the Best."  In it, she describes that sometimes we choose lots of good things, but neglect the one or two best things.  I really enjoy reading her studies because she not only has you look up a lot of scripture, but she provides lots of quotes from various people.

Here are a few quotes from this chapter that I thought worth sharing:

In seeking the Best we soon find that our enemy is our good things, not our bad.  The things that keep us back from God's best are not sin and imperfection, but the things that are right and good and noble from the natural standpoint.... Very few of us debate with the sordid and evil and wrong, but we do debate with the good.
-Oswald Chambers

So how do we choose the best?  How do we distinguish what is good and what is best?

At first, we want the awareness of being guided by God.  But then, as we grow spiritually, we live so fully aware of God that we do not even need to ask what His will is, because the thought of choosing another way will never occur to us.  If we are saved and sanctified, God guides us by our everyday choices.  And if we are about to choose what He does not want, He will give us a sense of doubt or restraint, which we must heed.  Whenever there is doubt, stop at once.  Never try to reason it out saying, "I wonder why I shouldn't do this?"  God instructs us in what we choose; that is, He actually guides our common sense.
-Oswald Chambers

And what really encouraged my heart was that she gave me "permission" to choose one thing, and do that well.  As the summer approaches (along with my due date), looking around my life I see a lot of good things I'm doing.  After the new baby comes, I'm going to really have to take a step back (as hard as it will be) and focus on being a mommy - and being really good at that.


His Love to Me Is Wonderful

How great is your goodness
that you have stored up for those who fear you,
that you have given to those who trust you.
You do this for all to see.
You protect them by your presence
from what people plan against them.
You shelter them from evil words.
Praise the Lord.
His love to me was wonderful
when my city was attacked.
In my distress, I said,
"God cannot see me!"
But you heard my prayer
when I cried out to you for help.
Psalm 31:19-22
Answer my prayers, O Lord,
for Your unfailing love is wonderful. 
Take care of me,
for Your mercy is so plentiful.
Psalm 69:16
God's love exceeds anything I could ever imagine.  Yet, to simply sit and bask in His love would be unjust.  When I see His love, what should my response be?  Obey.  To obey out of love is never a burden.  To see the cross and all the love the Father showed by allowing that to happen creates such a stir in my heart.  It makes me say, "Here am I, Lord."  It makes me want to fall at His feet and abandon myself in obedience to whatever He may ask me to do.  And I know what that is:  Read His Word and Obey it!
Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep my word; and My Father will love him and We will come to him and make Our home with him [ABIDE!].  He who does not love Me does not keepy my words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me.
John 14:23-24
As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you, abide in My love.  If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.
John 15:9-10
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.  He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him.  By this we know that we are in Him. [Abiding in Him.] He who says he abdies in Him ought to himself also walk just as He walked.
I John 2:3-6