Sunday, August 28, 2011

Heart Matters

"I am He who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds." Revelation 2:23b

My God sees my heart and knows the motive behind every thought in my mind. What is in my heart and on my mind matters to Him. His Word says that "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7b). It also says that after He searches the heart and examines the mind, He will reward man "according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve" (Jeremiah 17:10). I am reminded as well that I am called to acknowledge the Lord, serve Him with wholehearted devotion, and a willing mind (1 Chronicles 28:9). Jeremiah said on more than one occasion, "for to You I have committed my cause".

If I surrender my will, my own fleshly dreams and desires, to God's will; if I make His cause, my cause...then prayerfully my hearts desire and my dreams will line up with His plans for me, and I will live a fruitful life for the kingdom.

Lord Jesus, Please forgive me for the times I have run ahead of You, making plans in vain without first consulting You, or waiting on Your will. I know full well that I may plan my way but it is You Lord, that orders my steps. Test my heart and know my thoughts. Reveal any offensive ways in me. Correct any motives that do not please or glorify You. Align my will with Yours O Lord. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Seasons of Drought

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8

It's been a season of drought. Self-inflicted famine, if you will. It wasn't just happened. One day out of the Word, led to two or three in a row at times. Then back to the Word, but for less time and getting seemingly less out of it. That led to fewer journal entries written, and even fewer I was willing to share. I have been feeling more and more depleted. My roots have not been getting nearly enough water, and any remaining moisture in them is drying up. It's time for a lengthy retreat with the Lord! I take full responsibility. I could use the excuses of unexpected circumstances, changes in life, and just being flat worn out...but they would be just that, excuses.

During a devotional time this week my pastor spoke on Matthew 5:6 which says,"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." He explained that the less we are in the Word, the easier it is to stop being in the Word. But the more we get into the Word, the less satisfied we will be, and the more we will want to be in the Word. That's what it means to "hunger and thirst" for righteousness. To hunger and thirst for more of God. To get a satisfying filling from His Word, and then get hunger pains that make you want to go back for more. I want to be a woman like that. I want to get back to that place...

Father God, I am in desperate need of a retreat alone with You. Time to dwell in Your Word and get filled up on You. To talk to You about the things in my heart, and wait for You to speak to them. I thank You for speaking to the drought in my life before the roots dried up, and for giving me a constant desire to be in Your presence - and for the grace shown when I am not. I want to be a tree whose roots linger by the stream. A well watered tree bearing much fruit for You. Will You help me to re-organize my schedule to include regular, daily time with You again, and have the obedience to be there? Thank You in advance for what You have been doing to make this happen, and for what You surely will do... In Jesus' name, amen.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Speak, Lord...

"He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God." John 8:47

God's children hear His voice. He speaks in accordance with His Word. The parable of the seed and the sower says in Luke 8:15 that seed (or words of the Lord) that fall on good soil, fall on those with a noble and good heart, who hear the Word, retain it and persevere by producing a crop. Those who hear God's voice and walk in obedience, bring the Father glory. Such believers approach the throne with the attitude of Samuel who said, "Speak, Lord, for your servant in listening."

Father God, As I walk and talk with You today, I pray Your Words fall on the fertile soil of my heart, and that my words and actions reflect a heart of obedience and bring You glory. Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening... I ask this in Jesus' name, amen.