You are a turn away from His presence.
"You are a turn away from His presence."
Those words filled my being a couple weeks ago in the midst of praying and seeking the Lord for our country, our churches, our world. A turn away from His presence, a change of direction and focus away from being in the presence of the One, true King. What a perspective, isn't it? The enemy can run us around the mill thinking we have to do this, and this, and this in order to be "good enough" to come to the Lord but is that true? And the question we always need to ask ourselves in the midst of those mind games is, "Does Jesus say that?"
We see in Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."
And in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10: "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamites. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
We can never be "clean enough" or "good enough", it is by grace we have been saved and through faith alone. Not by all of your flashy works and talents and gifts but through your heart for Jesus, first. Naturally all of those things will flow AFTER, but the moment they take priority of our relationship, it's no longer being fueled by the response of relationship but the reaction for attention.
My focus can get muddy and distracted-through daily motherhood, bright and shiny things when I feel like I'm living in a mundane bubble, and hardships of this world. It can be so easy to shift my direction towards quick comforts and easy numbing's to escape what is calling. Sometimes it would be easier to choose to sit down on my phone and peruse Pinterest for 30 minutes than it is to get on my hands and knees and scrub the floor. Sometimes it would be easier to choose to open my homeschool book than it is to read my daily Bible plan first. But what is BETTER? Is there anything wrong with Pinterest or reading my homeschool book? Of course not. Those are good and fun things BUT it becomes a problem when my focus and intention shift toward those things instead. What is my intention toward the life God has given me? What is my heart chasing after? How will I live it out purposefully? Is it quick fixes and distractions or is it the good, hard work that is a form of worship toward my King?
Corrie Ten Boom wrote a beautiful quote that will always stick with me, and it is:
"If the devil cannot make us bad, he will make us busy."
And then one from Elisabeth Elliot:
"The secret of joy is Christ in me- not me in a different set of circumstances."
I have a choice on how I live right now- regardless of what my outward circumstances look like. We don't need to escape from whatever it is we're walking through to experience Jesus- we can have it now. We can have His presence now. It may not look like what we're expecting or want but He good and knows what we need.
You are a turn away from His presence. Gosh, doesn't that make you excited?! All that needs to be done is a change of direction and a heart full of faith, even if it's only the size of a mustard seed. We don't have to jump through hoops and bounds to get our Father's attention. We don't have to look a certain way before we come to Him- we just have to come. Pursue Him with full abandon and don't stop.
Come to the Lord with your hands empty because an empty hand is an open hand, and an open hand is one ready to be lifted in surrender to our God. When our hands have nothing else to hold onto, we can lift them up in PRAISE to the One who will fill it with what matters most.
Lord, we come to You right now and we ask that You would invade the deepest recesses of our hearts and the doors that we want to keep closed. Lord, we surrender our days and moments to You and ask that You would reveal the good work before us and that we would live it out in full joy and obedience to Your name. We surrender our desires and wants. We surrender our dreams and plans. We want to know YOU more than anything in this world. And I just pray that we have the hearts to receive and that we have are the clay that is able to be molded by our Creator's hand. And Lord, for any clay out there that has gotten dry by the hardships of life, by hurts, by the world- may You pour Your fresh, living water upon them and revive their bones. Revive their hearts with Your presence and reveal Your fatherhood to them. Give them the strength to take that one step no matter how big and may Your peace and endurance be their sustaining force in every situation. Jesus, breathe within our souls and may we walk out our lives for You with zeal, expectation, and HOPE. Amen.
I'll leave you with this Scripture and hope that these words bring hope, light, and joy to run towards Jesus.
"We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saint's inheritance in the light. He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in Him." Colossians 1:9-14