Light of His Love

Ephesians 2:8-9
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, let anyone should boast."

Ephesians 3:16-19
"that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts though faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in LOVE, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height - to know the LOVE of Christ which passes knowledge; that you you may be filled with all the fullness of God."

Shift your focus from your performance to My radiant Presence. The Light of My Love shines on you continually, regardless of your feelings or behavior. (Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling")

I am so prone to look ahead to my day and try to "do" everything right.

I want to keep my voice tempered.
I want to accomplish my "list."
I want to have dinner ready.
I want to have a clean house.
I want to have well-behaved children.

I am so prone to look at all of these things as conditions by which God gives me His love.

Oh the lie! Oh the selfishness.

God's love is not conditional.  It is abounding - who can know the width, height, depth, and length!?

Am I lying to myself today? Telling myself that if I never raise my voice then God will be proud of me?
Am I being selfish by saying if I do everything I want to do, God will accept me better when I lay my head on the pillow?

God, forgive my selfish, weak heart.  Make me strong, not to "do" - but to realize that Your presence is the most precious thing.  Help me to see that I do nothing to earn your Presence, nor will I ever do anything to keep your Presence.  It is mine.  Your loving gift to me. Amen.

And the beauty - as I realize and dwell in the Presence of Him - my actions will naturally follow.


Letting Go of the Illusion

I love my children, but they are complete interrupters!  I have my day's To-Do list, but it never gets done! I have goals and aspirations for the day, but many days I lay my head on my pillow and sigh will all of those goals unmet.

Letting go of control is an on-going battle that I face.  I like to have things going my way (who doesn't?)  I think that my type-A, OCD, and perfectionist tendencies are all working against me.  I struggle with frustration mainly because I want things to go my way and they aren't!

I think that I am entitled to certain things.
Children disobey _ I want them to obey!
Children make messes _ I want a clean house!
Basement floods _ I want to do laundry.
Those are all wants, not needs.

They are flesh. Not, Spirit.

The truth is that no one has control - but letting go of that illusion that we do have control is so hard.

It IS an illusion! We hold so tight to that false sense of security!

We say "all things will work together for good."  We think WE have to do the work!
We don't. God does the work.  We hold on to Him.

As Sarah Young says, in her devotional "Jesus Calling:"

November 7
Your sense of security must not rest in your possessions or in things going your way. I am training you to depend on Me alone, finding fulfillment in my Presence.

It is in God's Presence that we find our peace - not in our circumstances. 
It is in God's Presence that we find our peace - not in our possessions.
It is in God's Presence that we find fulfillment.

Psalm 27:4 rightly says:
"One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple."

I pray that for my life, but specifically for today. 
I can only live one day at a time.

I pray that I seek God's Presence today.


Mercy in the Time of Need

November 1
Each time you plow your way through the massive distractions to communicate with Me, you achieve a victory. Rejoice in these tiny triumphs, and they will increasingly light up your days.
Hebrews 4:14-16
"Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

Striving to live in God's presence is no easy task.  It is not a feeling to obtain, but a state of mind.  There are so many distractions! I have laundry piled up. I have closets cluttered.  I have dishes dirty.  Floors sticky.  Messy counters. All the while a baby likes to be held and two toddlers who always want the same toy!

Spiritually speaking, I have struggled to stay nourished lately. I have found that I have duties at church that take me away from attending services. I have sick babies, so I must stay at home. 

When I was young, I had always thought that someday I would be on the mission field somewhere (Africa maybe) and instead of being fed from God's Word, I would have to feed myself. 
Today, while emptying the dishwasher, God whispered to me: "This is your mission field."  (And sometimes I feel like I am in Africa - with  naked little boys running around the house and peeing in the yard!)

Oh, of course I had told myself (and others) this many times.  I had read it in books, blogs, and Bible studies.  For four years it was a theory, and not a practicality. Motherhood is my mission field.

Today it hit me:  If this is my mission field, I am struggling spiritually partly because Satan is attacking (any good work, he attacks) - and partly because it is time I feed myself. 

I may not get to attend every Bible conference available, or sit in the service (without interruption).  I must open my Bible.  Force myself to ignore all of the "To-Do's" and tune out the screaming to read and pray.  I must do this. 

Thankfully, I have a High Priest that knows all my weaknesses and sits on God's throne, ready with mercy and grace to help in the time of need!