I have to admit to being distracted lately. I wanted to use this summer to go through the Bible study questions in Beckoned by the King and it is already the end of August and I am only on chapter two.
God is up to something in me though so I am just going with it!
This chapter includes Psalm 119: 1-16 ~ “Beth” which is all about keeping our temples pure and holy.
Psalm 119: 1 How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your Word.
Psalm 119: 14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches.
Even in my feelings of distraction I am considering and answering the question,
“How much importance do you place in keeping a regular time where you draw away just to spend time with the Lord? Have you created a special place to spend time with Him and do you frequently meet with Him there?”
I do have a special room at home that is mine. Set apart just for study and soaking, praises and prayer. But I haven’t been spending much time in there lately. My feelings of distraction have been unsettling. It has been hard to sit still, hard really to accomplish anything and it blesses my heart to understand that HOPE has been busy replacing fear and dread.
I realized the other day that HOPE has distracted me. HOPE. A word so nebulous and hard to describe, a word that is not a physical substance, yet something we can hold onto, and experience a soaring in our hearts because we will not let go of HOPE.
That “C” word can suck the life right out of you and I know many of you are all too familiar with that feeling. Something stronger than the sucking rises up though and in my spirit I hear,
“hope thou in God my soul, hope thou in God!”
And it makes me laugh because I don’t even read the King James Version, nor do I think that way. However, somewhere I read it in the KJV and that is how the Holy Spirit brings it back to my remembrance. I begin to remember and speak out the promises of God. The atmosphere in my heart undergoes a change.
I go to the backyard to pick my raspberries and He speaks to me there by the prickly bushes. Up close, my bushes don’t seem to be yielding much fruit. Up close, standing straight the berries are hard to see.
He whispers to my heart to remember what He spoke to me last year.
Those words thunder in my heart and I know…I know the comfort and strength of His presence. I know the reality of Emmanuel, God with me. He is pure love and grace all mixed into Holy holy holy is the Lord God Almighty. Love and grace covering us with mercy and loving-kindness, the oil of joy poured out to replace sadness and the garment of praise as He removes the cloak of heaviness.
His words ring loud in my ears,
“I have brooded over you as a mother hen broods over her chicks. I have busied Myself with your every need; I have delighted in fulfilling the desires of your heart. I have shown you my care and faithfulness.
I have brooded over you. I have protected you from harm. I have been your place of refuge, safety and rest. I have brooded over you and have watched over you as you grew. I know the measure of your stature, the growing love within your heart.
You are Mine forever, the commitment of My love for you is shown by My nail scarred hands and feet. Never doubt My love. My love for you held me upon the Cross – My blood ran down for you.
I have brooded over you; I love to satisfy your every need. You have brought your needs to Me and I have given you fresh water and manna as you come. You have fed on Me and found Me faithful.
I know your circumstances have been difficult. I have set you and your experiences apart, in order that My purposes for you and My character are formed in you. Choose to delight yourself in Me and I will give you the desires of your heart.
Lift your gaze – do you see Me?
I am the Vine; you are one of these branches. One branch connected to another, all connected to Me.
Bend low, bend lower still
Lift your gaze – do you see Me?”
Yes I do! I see You standing over, reaching down. The wind of Your breath rustles the branches.
Rustles me, rustles my heart
I bend low, Your wind blows the branches and they bend. The leaves blow back, the fruit that was hidden is now in clear sight.
I see fruit in places I couldn’t see before! These branches, my branch seemed so sparse at the start of the season. Leaves have grown. The ripened fruit has not dropped to the ground.
The wind, rain and storms have battered this bush; the fruit has remained, ripening in the heat of the sun.
Hidden from view as I stand and look long, I hear You say,
“Bend low, lift your gaze. Bend low, your fruit has ripened. Bend low, your fruit has matured throughout the storms.
My word has watered and strengthened your soul so the fruit you bear would withstand the force of the storms.
You have bent low, clung to Me, found the essence of your life in Me.
You are coming out of the wilderness, strong, leaning on your Beloved.
Lift your gaze; see the fullness of My love and goodness.”
Beloved, will you seek the face of God with me to discover if there is anything holding you back from experiencing and entering the fullness of His joy? I have been discovering fear, dread, hopelessness have been trying to take hold in my life. The Lord has been faithful to shine the light of His Word upon my path and in the discovery there is an uncovering. Freedom is coming in greater degrees as I allow myself to be covered by His grace and love.
Remembering with you that we have been,