Oft times when I am driving, I choose to drive in silence; opting instead to spend time in prayer. Yesterday was one of those times.
As I headed up the interstate for an appointment in a neighboring city, I continued a prayer that started pretty much after I got laid off in November; a request for holy guidance to whatever most meets God’s purposes for me as well as my financial needs. And, though I feel confident that God is leading me and that the right opportunities are being revealed and validated, the truth is I still have moments of doubt. I’m human.
A glimpse of that humanness presented itself yesterday and I was convicted before I could even finish my opening sentence. These are the words that came from my heart, “Lord, I need You to…”
I came to a screeching halt mid-sentence as the Holy Spirit kindly flipped on the light switch for me. Was I actually about to tell God what to do? Was I really going to tell Him what is best for me? I mean He’s not a genie in a bottle. He’s not my slave. He’s not my employee. He’s the Almighty. The Maker of Heaven and Earth. The Maker of me. He’s the Alpha. The Omega. And he’s the Beginning and the End.
Thank goodness the Holy Spirit waved me down and, instead of me finishing a sentence drenched in complete obstinance, I began to profusely apologize to the Father.
What He reminded me of in that moment was this: I may want God to do a certain thing for me, and I can always ask, but what I really NEED is Him. Plain and simple. I NEED God and His plan and His will for me. Period.
If what I desire falls within that will, then nothing can stop Him from giving it to me. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. There is no chance in Heaven or on earth, that something I really need is not in God’s will for me. My job is to stay in His Presence; to follow Him and His lead and love Him with all of my heart, mind, and soul. He really does know best and He is always there for us, even when we are being stubborn.
Indeed, though my prayer session started out a little rocky, it ended with me feeling more loved, more cared for and more secure than ever. Thank You, God, for always, always being there and never giving up on my stubborn self.
Amen and Ehmen.
And the Word of God says:
“You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” John 14:14
“If we ask for anything according to his will, He hears us.” John 5:14
I couldn’t sleep last night and decided to Continue reading
Sometimes it feels like I’m standing heart-deep in the ocean. I see the horizon, the keeper of hope and dreams, in all of its glory. Below it is sparkling waters beckoning me to come in. Above it is a vast expanse of clear blue sky, Heaven’s doorway, it seems.
But just underneath the surface, there is an undertow so strong that it sometimes feels like I can barely stand, much less move forward. I know it is the work of the enemy, life’s antagonist, and yet I still sometimes let it take me under.
What I have to remember is that it doesn’t have to. All I really have to do is breathe in purposefully and deep, take the hand of my Father and face that fear head on, sometimes standing firm, sometimes powering through and sometimes dipping just below the surface and re-emerging in that sweet, glassy calmness that lies just beyond the waves. For our Father knows that once He gets us far enough out, to the point that we can longer touch bottom, to that that place where we are no longer fastened to the world, the undertow has no more power over us.
The horizon, the keeper of hope and dreams, awaits our arrival as the doors of Heaven fling open wide and the glory of God shines for all to see.
Writer’s Note: As I have mentioned on this blog before, I often “record” my personal God and prayer time by opening a blank page and typing the two-way conversation that ensues. It amazes me how much I get from it as it happens as well as later when I re-read it. How do I know His part of the conversation is definitely His part?Well, simply put, I am just not that smart. If anyone finds it helpful, I will continue to post some of these “blank page” conversations on Amen and Ehmen! Feel free to comment and let me know if any of my posts ever help you. And, remember, prayer is just talking and listening to our sweet, sweet Father in Heaven. Talk to Him. He’s always ready and waiting. Amen and Ehmen.
January 23, 2015 7:32 AM
It’s me. I really am going to try and do better about spending uninterrupted time with you in the mornings; time when I can record on paper my observations and thoughts as well as your answers and teaching. It still amazes me, when I only give you a few minutes of my day, just as I did earlier this week, you still spoke and shared with me such wisdom and love. As you know, I shared what you told me on Facebook, and it obviously helped others. I love this about our “blank screen” conversations and I love you, wanting nothing more than to do your will. Why, then, oh my Lord, do I not sit in front of this page more often? Why am I not going bed earlier so that I wake up earlier and have this time with you? It’s always fruitful. Always. Lord, I pray that you help me overcome any satanic attacks or even just plain fleshly laziness, so that I spend more time learning from you, taking instruction and then sharing that wisdom and love with others. I know that this is your will for me and I want nothing more than to please you and bring your lost children to you so that we can all one day live in the heavenly realms with you as one big, happy family. Amen and Ehmen.
Dear Child of Mine,
You are learning. Just keep your eyes trained on me. Keep your heart and your ears tuned to me. Together, we will overcome the temptations that threaten to steal the mission that I have assigned you. You can do this, if you just stick we me. That is the key, however; sticking with me. Apart from me you are nothing. And, in sticking with me, you must fully and completely trust me. This is where most of my children, including you, go wrong throughout life on earth. You say you trust me, but then you don’t listen to my instruction; you don’t obey my word. Do you not see how hypocritical this is? Now, don’t be deceived. You are not the only one who lives like this. It began with Adam and Eve and has continued throughout history. Even those after my own heart fell and still fall prey to this. I say this not to offer you an excuse, but to make you understand that this is not unique to you. And why is this important to understand? It is important to understand, because Satan will unceasingly and unfailingly try to convince you otherwise. Satan will tell you that you are a failure; that your disobedience is a sure sign that you must not love Me or believe in Me like you should. Or, even worse, that I, your Creator, could not possibly love someone like you. This is a lie from the deceiver; from the enemy. I love you unconditionally. No matter what.
This, however, does not mean you won’t be tested.
Everyone, my child, is tempted and tested, because everyone who has and will ever live has a purpose and a part to play in fulfilling my plans. Absolutely everyone. Satan, on the other hand, seeks to kill and destroy; not because he hates you, but because he hates Me and will do anything to try and thwart my plan. You are just a toy to him, a tool to be used and discarded. He even tried it with my own Son. Why, on earth, do you think you’d be immune?
Note what I just said, he “TRIED” it with my son. To try is to attempt and his attempt failed miserably. My son is pure and my son died for you, giving you the promise of eternal life and the ability to also fight back and come back. You can’t lose with Me on your side. Together, we turn temptations into failed attempts. And, I do one better than even that; for, if Satan is successful at tripping you, I will be there, not only to help you back up and to dust you off, but to use the dirt, the muck and the mire into which you fell to build something more; to teach you and those who witness or hear your story how to move even closer to me. I will never turn my back on you. Ever.
But, know this, too, My child, Satan is the quintessential deceiver and once he gets you down, he will use every trick in the book to keep you there. He is a master of smoke and mirrors and will turn every human weakness into a tool to keep you in bondage; to keep you wandering in the desert and as far away from your mission and path as possible.
Do you remember when my people wandered in the desert for 40 years on their way to the Promise Land? It took 40 years, a whole generation, to traverse a section of land that should have only taken a few days, had they followed my lead and direction. And, because of that, the majority of the generation that left Egypt for the Promise Land, died before they were able to enjoy the promise. This is to be a warning to you. Your life is a journey to your final destination, the promised land of heaven where you will live in peace and joy with me for all of eternity. But, you must follow my lead and fulfill your purpose of leading others into this glorious kingdom. If you don’t, you, too, may very well spend a lot of unnecessary years wandering in the desert where you are easily swayed by Satan, perhaps convinced that you are lost forever when, in reality, you are on the fringe of where your heart longs to be, with me!
You are close enough to touch me; to grab my hand. Don’t let the deceiver use your weakness, your hunger, your own personal pride to convince you otherwise. The desert, you see, can be simply a place you pass through on your way to Me, a place of training and learning. Or, counter-productively, you can allow it to simply become Satan’s sandbox.
May we all reach for His Hand today and stay far away from satan’s sandbox. Amen and Ehmen!
My prayer today:
Good morning, God. Once again, slow to rise and then distracted. Satan loves to try and keep me from spending time with you, but I need not fear him. I only need to clothe myself in your full armor and turn and tune my heart to you.
So, in my routine distraction, I looked at the bible app on my phone and read the following daily verse:
Romans 15:4: “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”
The NIV version says:
“Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.”
What an encouraging scripture, oh Lord! It’s exactly what has been happening to me as I study the life and times of Moses. One of the most encouraging and affirming things is realizing how human Moses was and how human I am.
Moses was born to do great work for you and he saw miracle after miracle and yet he still doubted his ability to do his part. It took him 80 years to figure out that it was not in HIS power, but yours that all those things would be done! Hmmmm, I wonder if that is where the word “mosey” comes from? Eighty years to a destination/realization would definitely indicate a bit of moseying along the way.
God, I pray that it doesn’t take me 80 years to get to that point. I no longer want to mosey. I WANT to be ready now. But, I also know that it is in YOUR time. Just know, Lord, that my heart and desire is on go. My desire is ready when you are ready. I love you dear Lord, with all my heart, all my strength and all my soul. Be with me as I go through this day and let me be aware of your presence each passing moment. Help me to walk and talk and react like you would on this day. I need you. Without you, I am nothing. Amen and Ehmen.
When you learn to have complete faith in God and the plan that He has for your life, then and only then will you poise yourself for true success and fulfillment. Will it always be easy? Absolutely not. Will it always be worth it? Absolutely and positively yes.
The trick is in learning that nothing in your life is a surprise to God. He knows what happens to you before it happens and is constantly shaping and melding those experiences so that through them you can fulfill His purposes. What an honor.
It is true. Just as His word says, God uses everything for good. Those painful times become valuable, one-of-a-kind, critical ingredients for the end result that God has planned. Truth is, if you never had such experiences, there would be no ingredients for God to work with. Yes, you may miss your husband, your wife, your job, your child, your youth, but remember and take solace in the fact that those things and even the loss of those things are the very ingredients that are propelling you straight ahead into God’s purpose for your life and, ultimately, His Kingdom.
Instead of dwelling on your hurt, focus on being thankful for the gift and for the fact that God still finds you worthy of fulfilling His purposes here on earth. Take the attention off of yourself and realize—as hard as it is to do—that this life is not about you, but Him, His Purpose and His Will. Fortunately, it is also in Him, His Purpose and His Will that we are promised to find complete joy and fulfillment which could never be rivaled by anything or anyone on earth, no matter how great. Now, that’s an awesome promise.
Count me in! Amen and Ehmen!
And the Word of our Almighty God says…These things I have spoken to you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. –John 16:33And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. –Romans 8:28I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not to abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. –Jeremiah 29:11
For we are God’s own handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us…that we should walk in them living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live. –Ephesians 2:10
Now to Him Who…is able to carry out His purpose and do superabundantly, far over and above all that we dare ask or think, infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams. —Ephesians 3:20
It is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.–Philippians 2:13.
As I looked to God for some peace during these crazy days, he sent me back in time to a journal entry I made quite awhile ago and, while my part of the conversation is too personal to share at this juncture and the situation far different, this excerpt from His part is applicable and timely for me today. Perhaps it will be for you as well. Amen and Ehmen.
“Breath in, inhale my Word, My child. You are far from alone and your story does not depend upon another human. I am so proud of you for being so intent on fulfilling my will and purpose for you. Please stay the course as I promise you that it will be well worth it. You, my child, are on the fast-track to joy and joy trumps happiness any day of eternity. Many people that you know, including yourself, still get caught up in seeking happiness, but happiness is fleeting. One rain fall can wash it away. One gust of wind can grab it from your grasp. Joy, on the other hand, like me, will never leave you. You may not recognize it, but it is there for the taking. Believe in me and I will give you peace and joy. Talk to me and ask me and I will give you the ability to see. I love you and, in the end, that really is all that matters. Stick with me. The best days are still ahead!
It’s all about perspective and perseverance…
Proper perspective solves many problems. Before I chose the will of God over my own, life was so much harder. I cried a lot. I felt unsettled. I lamented about my conditions and worried about my future. I struggled to control things that were never mine to control. I had no true purpose and my passion was misplaced. Don’t get me wrong, I still hurt sometimes. I still have problems. I grow impatient. I cry. But I can also quickly turn it around and crawl right back into the lap of Jesus. I no longer wander thirsty, because Jesus makes hope spring forth even in the deserts. When you know Jesus, your past becomes a building block instead of a stumbling block and your present becomes an opportunity to soar high as if on the wings of eagles. Thank you, Jesus! Amen and Ehmen.
Note: It has admittedly been awhile since I woke up and spent time with the Father via the blank page. However, He’s been waking me up a lot lately and this morning I decided it was time. I have been struggling and, for whatever reason, when struggling, I sometimes allow myself to become distanced from God. I blame it on needing sleep and wind up tossing and turning. This morning I turned myself back to His Voice. And, as per usual, He did not disappoint! Look at the scripture He gave me! I do not know the Bible that well; at least from a standpoint of where scriptures are specifically. But, when I earnestly ask, He always answers and it is always just what I need at that moment. I sure love Him. Praise you, Jesus! Amen and Ehmen!
September 30, 2015, 6:45 a.m.
Hi, God. I’m sorry it has been so long since I met you here on the blank page. I have definitely let life get in the way of our time together; which, I know makes no sense at all. It’s when life gets hard that I need this time with You even more. And, yet, I struggle to get here. I let the enemy use my health, fatigue, worry, frustration and despair to keep me from truly focusing on the only One that can give me peace. I know better and yet I let it happen. But, not today! Even though I only have about 10 more minutes before I have to get ready for my earthly responsibilities, I know that I know that You will use them in an incredible way, teaching me and directing me as I continue along my journey to You. Lord, I need You more than ever. I feel scared. Alone. Hurt. Unsettled. And I feel disappointed in myself for feeling those things for I know that with You that I am safe, never alone, cared for and that my future is secure. Remind me, Lord. Draw me so close to You that I can see and feel only You. I love you, with all my heart and soul. Amen and Ehmen.
Oh my dear, dear child:
Pick up My Word and read Romans 8:6.
“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”
Child, you must get out of your feelings and into My Truth. Your feelings are a product of your flesh and they can lead you far away from me. The enemy loves to trap you in them; to weld them together into a chain with which he can keep you in bondage. But, my child, never fear for I Am strong in your weakness. I can break any chain that holds you. You must let this seep in deep, deep into your spirit. You must let it take root in your mind. Yes, your flesh is weak, but I AM strong. Your flesh is weak, but it is in your weakness that My strength is made PERFECT. Just hold tight to Me, child. Trust in Me. It is human to feel this way some times, but don’t stay there. Allow Me to use it to draw you closer to Me. Breathe in My Spirit and exhale utter peace and joy knowing that I AM with you always. You are My daughter and I love you with all My heart. You are a part of My plan and My purpose and have been since before you were born. Before the foundation of the earth was formed, I knew your name. And like the earth and all that has ever inhabited it, I spoke you into being. You were a Word, a breath from My own mouth. Because I knew you before you were born, I know every, single detail about you. I know your beginning, your present and your end and it is PERFECT; not always easy, but PERFECT. Just wait until you see the big picture, child. It will blow you away and all of this; every single detail of your life will make glorious sense. But, for now, you just have to trust Me. Walk the path in front of you, keeping your eyes always locked on Me. And, if you do get distracted, never fear. Just reach out and I will be there to grab your hand. You will never sink; not on My watch. I promise you that. I love you, child. Go, go about your day and see Me in the little things. Feel Me. Feel My presence all around you. For in Me, you will have peace and fullness of life. Memorize Romans 8:6 and hold it close to your heart. Repeat it when you begin to feel anything but Me.