As for the saints who are in the land, they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight. (Psalm 16:3)
God delights in saints – those who are committed to relating to Him and living out that relationship in their day-to-day lives. I do, too.
I have many saints who bring cheer, support, and joy into my life: My husband, my spiritual mentor (who is now with Jesus), my ministry mentor, my lifelong friend, my book-reading friend, my compassionate friend, my hospitality friend, my “I’ll do anything to help” friend, my psychologist friend, my praying friend, my friend who is a light in a dark place, my daughters.
Who are the “saints who are in the land” for you? I hope you have a long list. They are the ones who make our lives rich, full, interesting, challenging, and fun. Thank you, Lord, for putting some special saints on life’s path with me!
Looking beyond the here and now
What is the biggest thing you have asked God to do for you? Sometimes our focus is on the here and now, so we ask for things that we think will satisfy us. Maybe they do, for awhile at least.
The gospel writers tell the story of the Canaanite woman who came to Jesus (Matthew 15) asking Him to cast a demon out of her daughter. Remember that? He told her that He came for the Jews, not the Gentiles and it was not right to take the bread meant for the children and give it to dogs. Her answer is bold, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Her request was immediate and desperate but, in light of the power and magnitude of Jesus, it was just a crumb. He gave it to her because of her faith.
When it comes to situations with family, demons, finances, health, and so on, I will take crumbs, too. Those are important and often heart-wrenching requests. But internally, Jesus reminds me, “Don’t be satisfied with crumbs. Pursue Me until you have full revelation of who I am. Don’t be satisfied with anything less.” I need Jesus more than I need quick answers to my desperate prayers. I need Him, not just the gifts He gives. I don’t want to be satisfied with crumbs when Jesus gives me Himself in full as the living bread!
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” – C. S. Lewis in The Weight of Glory
“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
I have been experimenting with centering prayer – the kind of prayer where I simply sit in the presence of God and just be with Him and invite Him to be with me. If you have ever tried this, you know it is hard. Hard to let the mind be quiet. Hard to let the worry list go. Hard to not bring kids, husband, or responsibilities into the mental space. But when we learn to do it, we begin to discover who we are without all the entanglements and responsibilities of life.
What began to tug at me were these questions: Who am I without ties to children, parents, husband, work, friends, and the tug of the world around me? Who am I without responsibilities, schedules, titles, goals, and “to do” lists?
The answer to those questions is the person who will stand alone before God when there is nothing left on earth for me to do. My only responsibility then will be to be. Centering prayer is a way for me to prepare for that day. I don’t want to be in God’s presence and be surprised by how shriveled my soul is because I spent my entire earthly life in doing and not in being.
Thank You, Father in Heaven, for inviting me to be still and to know You by simply putting myself in Your presence with no distractions. The growing soul that comes from knowing You and inviting You to be with me is a blessing beyond my ability to measure or express. Thank you!
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe. (Hebrews 1:1-2)
God speaks. Sometimes we don’t hear very well, but we have to acknowledge that God tries to let us know who He is, what He wants, and how the world should work. I recently read Acts 11 and found five different means God used to communicate to two men in this one chapter
- A vision (v.4)
- A voice from heaven (v. 7)
- The Holy Spirit’s direction (v. 12)
- An angel’s instruction (v. 13)
- The teaching of Jesus (v. 16)
I haven’t had visions, seen angels, or heard an audible voice from heaven, but
- I have sensed the Holy Spirit’s direction, sometimes as a nudge, often as a thought He brings to my mind or a Scripture He highlights as I read.
- I have learned much about life, values, commitment, and obedience from the life and teaching of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit seems to bring the right teaching to my mind just when I need it.
- I believe the angels are ministering to me even though I can’t see them (Hebrews 1:14).
God is way beyond our ability to comprehend, but He continues to communicate with us to reveal His will and His love. I am so thankful for His desire to reach out to us and to help us learn to be aware, to listen carefully, to respond with faith, and to obey immediately. When we do, we find more and more communication flowing from the heart and mind of God to ours. There is nothing more precious in life than that. We were created to respond to our speaking God.