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Dayle's Blog

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July 2016

22 July -What would happen if we lived like that?

What would happen if we lived expecting miracles to happen every day?

What would happen if each morning before we even got out of bed we asked God, “What do you want me to do today?” “I’m up for an adventure!I’m giving you my time to do exactly what you tell me to do, whether I am at work, school, Uni, at home or the shops; wherever.”

What would happen if we were willing, and looking out for people in our day who we could bless and pray for?

What would happen if we understood that being available like that doesn’t mean we are God’s “work-horse”, but instead we are a conduit for His love, power and presence?

That we simply let ourselves flow along with whatever Holy Spirit is doing; not forcing anything, not getting into toil and striving, but allowing the goodness and love of God to flow out of our lives to bless others wherever we are.

What would happen if we understood fully who we were, and what we have when we have invited Jesus into our lives? That we could live knowing that our hearts don’t condemn us any longer because we are walking each day seeking to please Jesus and not ourselves. And that when we pray we believe and are confident that He is going to answer and act because of who we are to Him.

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before Godand receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.” (1John 3:21-22)

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)

How different would our lives be? How different would our relationships be? What impact would and could we make, and how many more miracles, God encounters, and absolute blessings would we see unfold right before our eyes? How exciting each day would be!!

I think that’s how Jesus wants us to live. In fact I believe He longs for us to live that way. And today, tomorrow and the next, I’m seeking to do just that. How about you?

Here are just a few of God’s words to encourage you in your adventures today. Have fun.

But the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” (Daniel 11:32)

You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. “(Psalm 77:14)

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27)

I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27)

Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel (the good news) to all creation. (Mark 16:17)

21 July – Pay back???

I’m often challenged  by some of the thoughts and teaching points raised in the devotional we read to our children at night. It’s a nightly reminder that we all “need to be as little children” and keep the foundations of our character and beliefs simple.

Perhaps too often as adults we can get too clever for our own good, and “getting back to the basics” is both wise and liberating.

This week we’ve been talking together about Mercy and how to fight the temptation to get back at someone. How anything we do and say can be a boomerang and come straight back at us, and that we all can have a second chance.

Mercy is a pretty profound concept. When we extend mercy it means we choose to be kind to that person even when we want to get back at them, or when the person deserves to be punished.

There is a saying “what goes around comes around” Meaning that if we are good, we can be sure that good things will come back to us, like a boomerang. We all like that! But what if we do things that are not so good, or even plain evil and wrong? Does that mean bad will come back at us too.

The thing is in our own strength and ability we can’t be good all the time. We end up messing up and doing the things we don’t want to do, thinking and saying things that hurt others, and for which we often regret later.

That’s a problem, and it’s where mercy comes to the fore.

The bible says, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved”.

 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

 On our own we have a problem, and it’s a serious one. If we believe in justice, and fair play; and most of us do; then we all deserve to be punished. Where we have done wrong, hurt others, lived selfishly or for ourselves, lied, cheated, etc; shouldn’t we expect those bad things will come back at us somewhere, somehow? We certainly expect good things to come around when we estimate that we have lived a “good” life. That what goes around will come around to us. So, why not the bad?

It’s because inherently we are hoping and looking for mercy. For a reprieve,  “a break” from “copping” what we deserve. We hope our “sins will not find us out.” And that is where Jesus comes in, and has made a way. He offers each and every one of us a reprieve, no matter what we have done. Jesus came to get “paid back” for the wrong we have done.

That sounds great, but in actual fact a lot of us have trouble receiving that gift of mercy. We spend our lives “working” at being good enough. We are still stuck in the “religious” thinking that if I am good, then good things will happen. But if bad things happen, then that must be punishment for something I have done.

But Jesus did away with that thinking. That’s under the law, it’s religion; and it sadly still keeps many people wondering if they have done enough or are “good enough” to be forgiven. It fosters uncertainty of who we are,  and our standing before God.

Below is just a few things that Mercy has done for us when we receive it. Jesus says these things about us:

I am a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17).

I am more than a conqueror through Him Who loves me (Romans 8:37).

I am delivered from the power of darkness and translated into God’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13).

I am redeemed from the curse of sin, sickness, and poverty (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Galatians 3:13).

I am raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12).

I am greatly loved by God (Romans 1:7; Ephesians 2:4; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4).

Once we accept the mercy that has been extended to us, and say we’re sorry for the things we have done wrong, God forgives us. It’s that simple.

We couldn’t in a 100 life times earn by “good works” the mercy that has freely been bestowed on us. God blesses and bestows favor because He loves us, not because we are good enough, or have earnt it.

Today, stop trying to earn forgiveness and your freedom. Stop being afraid of bad things happening because of something you have done in the past or even today. Jesus did everything that ever needed to be done to grant you mercy, when He gave His life for you. He took the punishment in His own body, even unto death so that you could be spared any “pay back”.

He was paid back for every wrong word, thought and action we have, could or ever will do.

All He asks is that we receive His forgiveness and spend our lives extending that same mercy to others. That when we are tempted to get back at someone who has done something wrong to us, we will instead have mercy because He had mercy on us.

Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other” (1Thessalonians 5:15)

The LORD is good. His mercy endures forever. His faithfulness endures throughout every generation.” (Psalm 100:5)

Prayer: Jesus thank you for your mercy that you offer to me. Regardless of the good or bad that I do, you extend an invitation to me to receive your mercy. Then I don’t have to fear “pay back” for the wrong I do, or strive to be good enough so that only good things then happen to me.

It’s all about your mercy and knowing who I am in you. Forgive me for the wrong I have done; I receive your mercy today. Please help me to be merciful to others too. In Jesus Name, Amen

20 July -Be quick to listen!

Most of the time I think I am a good listener. Except for those times when I am tired or feeling impatient.

Then I need to put into practice the principles of being an effective listener. It is more than just avoiding interrupting others while they are speaking, or finishing someone else’s sentences.

Being a good listener is being content to listen to an entire thought of someone else’s, rather than listening faintly as we form another question or clever comment in our mind. Listening is more than waiting for the other person to breathe so we can get our point in.

Listening is vital to good communication, but effective listening is often hindered by the fast paced way we live, and the tendency to treat communication as if it was a race

Our children all talk. They could talk your ear off a lot of the time. They usually don’t have any trouble expressing themselves. One of the things they love to do is share their thoughts and concerns as they go to bed at night. It’s usually late, I’m tired and my bed is calling. But I learnt early on that when people and especially your children want to talk it is wisdom to make the time to listen, even if it is late at night.

It’s at these times when they and others just want to talk and share their hearts, that it is so important for me to put aside myself, and give them time and actively focus on listening.

Sometimes in our world you may sense that no one is listening to one another. Husbands and wives aren’t listening, parents and children, people you work with, family members.

Instead we get distracted with all the technology around us, phones, tv’s, laptops, gadgets, our own thoughts and agenda’s. There is the silence of people not even talking anymore. Instead living together in quiet desperation.

We all no doubt need to practice the art of being good listeners. Honestly listening and not just thinking about tomorrow’s to do list or yesterday’s meeting.

So here are some thoughts on being a good listener:

1.Be in the moment:

When we practice good listening we stay in the moment; practicing the power of being in the now. We look at the person, we listen, we watch their face, their expressions, and their body language. We listen not only to their words, but also to their heart. We stay in the moment, listening and learning.

 2.Clarify what you are hearing and sensing.

When we actively listen we ask questions to understand. We want to make sure that we are seeing it correctly through the other person’s eyes, sensing and feeling as they do. We pause, reflect, and ask clarifying questions.

“Friends are those rare people who ask how we are, and then wait to hear the answer.”

3. Slow down

Slowing down our responses aids us in hearing others. It takes a lot of energy to be on the edge of our seats ready to rush off to do the next thing, or waiting for our moment to interject with our response. Slow down.

4.Take the pressure off.

There are many times when I am listening to someone and I quite simply don’t have the answers, or have anything to say. And that’s okay. I listen, I pray and just relax. If I have some wisdom or revelation it will come to me as I’m quietly listening, or even later when I have time to talk to God about it.

If we don’t feel we always have to say something we won’t feel so much pressure, and will be more peaceful and ready to listen. It enhances the quality of our relationships. We don’t always have to have the answers. Usually people just want to be heard and feel someone has listened and cared.

Listening is an art we can all practice. We listen to others, we listen to God, and we listen to our own hearts.

Today slow down, take the pressure off, live in the moment, and listen with your ears, your eyes and your heart.

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19)

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3)

Prayer:Lord please help me to listen. To listen firstly to you, and then to give others my time and focus so that they feel heard. Help me to slow down, relax and hear those around me, that I might be a blessing. In Jesus Name Amen.

19 July – The power of your story

What is your story? We all have stories. Some are funny, some are painful, some we retell over and over, and some we perhaps never share with others. But our stories all contribute to who we are.

In the midst of our stories, what we often don’t always see is God weaving a bigger story that started at the very beginning of time and extends through the ages of history. What is so exciting is that God invites all of us to be part of His story, to be part of the unfolding of His plan. He is the master Storyteller, and He wants us to be part of His narrative.

Throughout the bible from Genesis to Revelation, God’s speaks to us about the beginning and the ending of His story through the stories of those who have gone before us. The story of Abraham is a journey of amazing faith; Joseph’s story is one of patience, and of how God always has a plan, working out all things for good. Hannah’s story is how God answers the cry of our hearts; Esther’s is a story of great courage, and of how we all have a part to play in the unfolding of God’s plan. The disciple’s stories are ones of choosing to follow Jesus, and how a group of seemingly uneducated men changed the world.

Every person’s story has to have some context; a moment where we learn the person’s past, and understand what motivates and inspires him or her. Our families, past experiences, successes, and failures, they all contribute to the way we feel about ourselves, and usually influence the way we see God.

This can affect how we relate to Him, and if we have had pain in our past it can be complicated. But God wants to bring new life and good out of every place of pain, and for us to work with him through the process. He wants us to trust Him with our story, to trust him with our past, and let him reweave it for good.

In the words of Joseph, when finally after many years he faced his brothers, who had sold him as a slave, “You meant evil against me”, but God worked it out for good.

 Joseph told his brothers, using a Hebrew verb that traces it’s meaning to “weave” or “plait”. “You wove evil,” he was saying, “but God rewove it together for good.”

God, the Master Weaver; The Master Storyteller, He stretches the yarn and intertwines the colours of our stories, the ragged twine with the velvet strings, the pain and the pleasure. Nothing escapes His reach. He passes the weaving shuttle back and forth across the generations, and as He does, a design; an amazing story emerges. Satan may weave and plot, but God weaves and reweaves our stories for good.

Just as the accounts of the men and women in the bible are worth telling, our stories are worth telling too. Sometimes in the telling we realise how much we have come through, where we have come from, and with God’s help we can see where we are going. Our stories have the potential to inspire and encourage others. They have the ability to impart faith and hope all those we meet in our journey, to our children and future generations. But more than that, God wants our stories to be part of His story, because in doing so He breaths purpose and design into them. And nothing is ever wasted when our story is interwoven with His story.

Think about your story thus far, and see what and who has shaped you to be the person you are. If your story has pain in it, I encourage you to take a look again at your story; to acknowledge the things you have done, and that have been left undone. To face any pain and regret you are carrying, and consider if you are willing to give God those strands of your story to reweave them with His story.

More importantly, today will you allow God to take your  present story and weave and write it to be what He has always planned for you?  Will you be the narrator, or will you trust and allow God to be?

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:16)

Prayer: Lord I want to thank you for my story so far. Help me to let you into all of my past, my present and my future. Reweave it where necessary, and help me to trust you to unfold and narrate the rest. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 July -Are you indifferent?

There is a saying “People do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care”.

 The dictionary defines compassion as “suffering with another, sympathy; sorrow for the distress of misfortune of another with a desire to help; pity; commiseration.”

Unfortunately many people don’t feel like anyone cares. They fail to experience or feel another’s compassion towards them.

But in a world where perhaps we have forgotten how to show compassion, we may need to practice it. In order to learn compassion, the best place I know to turn is to the source of it.

 

Jesus is the best example I know of one who demonstrates compassion. He is the Master Teacher. When He ministered to the people He was not afraid to get involved in their lives, to feel their pain and to do all He could to alleviate it.

Jesus taught compassion as He lived amongst humanity by his willingness to touch and bless others. The hands of Jesus touched those who were sick to heal them. (Mark 1:40-41). He wasn’t afraid to touch the lepers, the sick or the dying.

Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him “If you are willing, you can make me clean. ”Then Jesus moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, I am willing; be cleansed

Jesus was willing to touch the lives of all who came to him, regardless of age, race, gender, or social and economics standing. Essentially he was not “afraid to get his hands dirty”. He was not so distant and removed from others that he was not moved to tears because of others suffering.

And Jesus went forth and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion towards them, and he healed their sick.” (Matthew 14:14)

When He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary, and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd”

 The world desperately needs to see expressions of compassion. For us to go and love someone exactly as they are.

We can easily look out at the suffering and craziness happening in the world around us and wonder what it is all about, and feel helpless to change anything. But Jesus proved and continues to prove that, that is not true. In a world, which was cruel and harsh, he brought peace, love and healing to all he met, and he expects us to do the same.

 Compassion is the antidote to indifference. Compassion is the antidote to harshness evil and cruelty.

Compassion is something we can develop wit practice. With both intention and action. It means remembering to open our hearts as Jesus did; to expand what and who matters from ourselves to others. Then we act; we ask the question and following Gods leading of “what can I do about it?”It may mean giving of our finances and time, or offering a helping hand, a word of encouragement and a smile.

It will involve having the willingness to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, to take the focus off ourself and to imagine what its like to be in someone else’s predicament.

Compassion in action has the potential and ability to change the world, to overcome evil and to bring peace and unity.

Mother Teresa said, “if we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other”. I would rather make mistakes in kindness and compassion than work miracles in unkindness and hardness.

 Make room in your heart and life to feel and show compassion to someone today.

Prayer: Lord help me to see others through your eyes. To not be so self focused that I miss what others are going through around me. Teach and guide me to be like you Jesus, and have compassion. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

 

17 July -Shut down the party pooper!

It would be fair to say that as a family we love to celebrate. Every year we celebrate our six children’s and extended families birthdays. We celebrate anniversaries, milestones, graduations, holidays. If one of those events on the calendar isn’t happening, then we make up our own celebration. It’s how we approach life, our relationship with God and how we relate to Him and others.

Our second daughter turned 21 this week, and decided that instead of one day or even a week of celebrating, she is going to celebrate her birthday for the whole month. She has determined that not a day will go by during the month that she doesn’t do something special or treat herself.

She’s probably learnt it from the way my husband and I see life. We believe every day is special and a gift from God, so it’s worth celebrating. Unfortunately life can certainly try and knock that mentality out of you. To combat that and bring perspective and joy into our lives, we choose to celebrate and party on a regular basis. We choose to find things to rejoice and be thankful for.

Celebrations for generations have been used to unite people in honouring momentous events, rites of passage, religious observances and more. Celebrating as a group creates a sense of belonging, which is crucial to all of us.

In the western world, many of us have forgotten or overlooked the importance of our traditions, ceremonies and celebrations. We have forgotten the importance of coming together to celebrate life. In the name of progress we have lessened rejoicing over reaching our destinations and achieving our goals. Or perhaps for some, the thought of celebrating simply takes too much thought or energy when they are barely keeping “their heads above water”.

The thing is, I have discovered the power of celebrating and rejoicing. It’s a mighty spiritual weapon that God gives us to combat disappointment, despondency, heaviness and tiredness. It’s the power of rejoicing. Of rejoicing in life; in that we are loved and accepted by God, that He is in control, and has a plan. That everything is in fact going to be all right!

Philippians 4:4-9 instructs and encourages us to rejoice; to celebrate the good things in life. To think on those things that are true and pure and praiseworthy. And when we do, God’s peace will be with us.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Too often people think they have to have a “legitimate” reason to celebrate. A birthday, winning an award, an anniversary, the completion of a project, the accomplishment of a goal, taking a vacation, or some other “special occasion.” While all of these things can be fun to celebrate, we don’t have to wait for them to happen to feel justified in our celebration.

We need to shut down the “party pooper” within us, and the tendency to think it’s too much trouble. To shake off the thoughts of:

  • I don’t have the time or money to celebrate right now, there’s work that needs to get done
  • Things aren’t yet as good as they “should” be for me to stop and celebrate
  • People will think I’m weird, naive, or obnoxious if I celebrate too much
  • With so much suffering in the world and people having a tough time these days, it’s not appropriate for me to celebrate
  • I’ll celebrate, for sure, but not until everything turns out exactly as I want it to

Regardless of what’s going on in our lives right now, we have so much to celebrate and be grateful for. Sometimes the best thing for us to celebrate is the mere fact that we’ve made it to this point in life, especially if things have been challenging.

God doesn’t want us to constantly wait to celebrate or find a reason not to. With Him celebrating can instead become a state of being, and way of life if we choose to live that way.

Stop for a moment right now and think of all the things (big and small) that you can celebrate about your life now. Write it down.

Then why not decide to just treat yourself, or invite someone over for dinner. Invent or revisit some family traditions and celebrations. Light the candles, string the fairy lights, crank up the music, bring out the dinnerware you save for “special occasions” and celebrate. You are never too old to celebrate your birthday, a significant date, event, or simply the day you have been given.

Think about scheduling in where you can throw a celebration with others, so that you can rejoice and give thanks together. The more you make it a part of your life the easier and more creative  your celebrating will become.

Christmas, Easter, birthdays, Christmas in July, a goal reached, a new week, family or date nights, the beautiful sunrise or sunset. It may take a little effort, but the joy and victory it brings into our lives is so worth it.

Prayer: Lord thankyou for the gift of my life. Help me to see the amazing opportunities in every new day, and to celebrate wherever and whenever I can. In Jesus Name Amen.

16 July – Hygge!

It’s fascinating what makes people happy. I read an article this week that talked about a particular country being rated as having the happiest people in the world.

Everyone I think can learn something from the happiest country in the world. It’s a place where the sun shines fewer than seven hours during the height of the winter solstice, which no doubt can stir depressive feelings. In the midst of this, the concept of a cozy scene, full of love and enjoyment, seems to be the antidote to help people dispel feelings of sadness and dreariness.

Here’s how this country, rated with the happiest people turn lemons into spiced mulled wine: Ever heard of the concept of hygge? Hygge is often considered the major weapon in combatting the dreary darkness that befalls countries over the winter. Hygge (pronounced ‘hooga’) translates into English as ‘cosiness’. The term comes from a Norwegian word meaning “wellbeing” In essence it means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with friends and family. The warm glow of candlelight or my personal favourite – fairy lights is hygge.

“Hygge could be families and friends getting together for a meal, with the lighting dimmed. There’s nothing more hygge than sitting round a table, discussing the big and small things in life.

Or it could be time spent on your own reading a good book. “It works best when there’s not too large an empty space (or as my oldest daughter would say – “it’s when you snuggle”) around the person or people.” The idea is to relax and feel as at-home as possible, forgetting life’s worries.

 Eating home-made cinnamon pastries. Yum! Watching TV under a doona. Tea served in your best china. Family get-togethers at Christmas. They’re all hygge (cosiness) too.

 We can still enjoy this cosy, warm atmosphere during the warmer months too. Picnics in the park, barbeques with friends, out door concerts, street festivals and bike rides can all be hygge,

 It’s all about generating and being purposeful about enjoying and making special our social connections and occasions. It’s also about being kind to yourself and others. It is essentially expressing Love; and so I think Jesus himself loves the idea of Hygge. – cosiness.

All through the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) we see Jesus sharing meals together with others. We see Him feeding everyone at a picnic, of telling stories and doing life with others. He embraced and loved every single person He who came to Him, and desired them to know Him and be part of His “family”. Sounds pretty Hygge to me.

Jesus said it this way, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Today why not embrace the concept of “Hygge”. Get cosy, and adopt  Jesus’ way of love and doing life. Give yourself a hug, eat something yummy, spoil and be kind to yourself, and then be kind to someone else too.

15 July -“Pickled” -(Soaking pt 2)

To soak something is more than a five minute quick dip. It means allowing it to become saturated and full of what it is soaking in. If you take a cucumber and place it in vinegar and spices for a few minutes, then eat it, it still tastes like cucumber. But if you take that cucumber and soak it in that solution for a couple of weeks it no longer tastes like cucumber – it has become a pickle! It has taken on the flavor of that solution.

Soaking in God’s presence involves becoming saturated with God, much like that cucumber soaks and becomes a flavoursome pickle. We “soak” and take on God’s flavor or nature which is of love, kindness, patience, self control, goodness, faithfulness, joy, gentleness, perseverance and peace.

This essentially is what “soaking” is. When we soak in God’s presence, we enter into a place of rest where we wait upon Him. In the past people may have referred to this as tarrying. This is where they would spend long hours waiting on God. Many times however their waiting was more a form of pleading and begging. But we don’t need to do that. He invites us to come, without toil or pleading. We can be focused on rest and receiving by faith, as opposed to striving and crying out to God.

Here are some thoughts on how to soak:

A point to remember though,  soaking is not about how much we can accomplish by our own efforts. It’s about God’s working and accomplishing things for us and in us.

1. Wait on God.

Take as much time as you can. (Try to give yourself at least 20 minutes to begin to relax and receive.)

Something happens when we wait on God. Who He is, starts to get on us and in us. There is an exchange that takes place when we soak. His strength for our weakness, and His ability instead of our inadequacy, occurs because we spend time waiting on Him.

The bible says it this way: “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

2. Just relax

One of the main barriers to encountering God is that we are simply trying too hard. A top tip is “just relax”. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Literally translated this means, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” The way to know God is through peace and stillness.

3. Sit or lie down. When we lie down in God’s presence it is a statement of surrender and a position of rest. Too often we think we can’t stop and rest because we have to be doing something.

But when we stop and finally relax we get to the point of realising “what can we do anyway to add to what God has already done?”

Psalm 23 is a great description of how God wants us to lie down, to rest and soak in His presence. “He makes me lie down in green pastures”

4. Restoration and Revelation: This is the fruit of soaking in God’s presence. He loves revealing the secret counsel of His heart; dealing with issues that need to be addressed and bringing wisdom to our situation and needs.

In this we may even find ourselves responding physically or emotionally. We might laugh, cry, or shake as God’s presence and power touches us. The Holy-Spirit might give us a vision or bring a memory to our mind that He wants to heal and restore us from. Often we enter into a deep rest or may fall asleep. But even if we don’t feel anything happening, God will still be at work in us if our hearts are open to Him.

In soaking we find confidence and strength, and an increased desire to spend time in God’s presence. We receive the victory over problems.

 

“Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14)

“For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15-17)

Prayer: Lord help me to learn how to rest and soak in your presence. You never meant for it to be difficult, but actually invite me to come.

14 July -Soaking!

There are some things in life that won’t budge unless we soak them. What do I mean by that?

In the busyness of life we may not get the opportunity to just “soak”. But how great it feels when we do. The phrase, “I’m going to just soak this up” is defined in the dictionary as meaning: “to enjoy, absorb and take in something, or to learn and remember something easily and quickly.”

We soak up the atmosphere at a concert or sporting match, we soak up the sunshine, we soak in the shower or bubble bath, and we soak up attention and praise when it is paid to us.

There is something to be said for “soaking”. Some things need to be absorbed, savoured, and enjoyed, and you just can’t do that in a hurry.

God, I think is quite happy for us to be “soakers”. There is great benefit in soaking in His presence and just enjoying being with Him. When we “soak” in Him, some pretty amazing things can happen. Issues we have been struggling with, or hurts or damage suffered to our bodies, minds and emotions can be cleansed, restored and healed when we take the time to “soak”.

It’s a bit like washing a garment or pan, which has a patch of stubborn dirt on it. You can take the tact of scrubbing and scrubbing at that spot, running the risk of permanent damage, or you can choose to let it soak. I know which I prefer.

God works much the same way with us. He encourages us to come sit with Him, much like soaking in the sunshine or in a long hot shower, hot tub or bath. He encourages us to meditate and ponder upon His word, letting it “soak in”. When we allow ourselves to “soak,” we absorb His goodness, His peace and His love for us.

The other benefit of soaking is that when we have things that need to shift in our lives, allowing ourselves the opportunity to soak in God’s presence, in His word, and with those who know Him can cause those things to simply fall or fade away. No scrubbing or toil is needed, simply “soaking”. As we soak those issues that we have  felt stuck about; any stubborn habits, hurts or hang-ups, fall away and we are left cleansed, refreshed and renewed.

Make some time to “Soak” today. You’ll be glad you did.

Prayer: Lord thank you that you are gentle with me, and don’t seek to stress or hassle me out, but want me to live free. Thanks for allowing me to “soak” up your word, and enjoy your presence. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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