Seek Devotional Day 7
“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.” Psalm 139:1
I’m sure that you have had this experience… you meet someone and know their face but can’t remember where from or what their name is. Probably, they are having the same experience too.
We all like being remembered, to be known. When we feel forgotten by God it can be a devastating experience that leaves us deflated, exhausted and feeling abandoned. When this happens to me, I read again my own Book of Remembrance : all the times God has demonstrated His love for me that are specifically for me. One of my favourites was when I was reading a Robin Hobb trilogy. As soon as I finished the first book, the second was immediately there, in an Op shop that I don’t always go to, but did that day. And again, the third book was in another Op shop, tucked around a corner, waiting for me, just when I needed it. Small things when compared to the avalanche of human need all around us, but just as little foxes damage our hope and nibble at our faith, so too can the little things that our Father does for us every day build us up and bolster our courage, secure in the knowledge that He knows us.
‘Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.‘ Isaiah 43:1
SEEK Devotional Day 6
“Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know him… He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.” Hosea 6:3
I have been a follower of Jesus for 36 years and in that betrothal there has been better and worse, sickness and health, richer and poorer, life and death, joy, sorrow. Eternity has dug deep in my heart because there is an eldest son, my only sibling, my only nephew and my dad waiting for me in His presence. Jesus is my anchor in heaven, yet sometimes, it is my loved ones already there that keep me pressing into Him . Day after day, heart-ache after heart-ache, because I know His love.. And in the meantime there is still “joy unspeakable and full of glory” in our ever increasing family and the richness of the Body of Christ.
How can we know the Lord…ask Him.
How do we press into Him…seek Him, fervently.
“Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know him”…and
“He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn…”
“…or the coming of rains in early spring.” Hosea 6:3
Be blessed as you pursue Him with your whole heart…better or worse, sickness and health, life and death, joy and sorrow…and He will lift you up..higher and higher.
This is a response to “Seek: a 21 day devotional on prayer and fasting”…a collection of writings from the heart of Pursuit Community. Have a look at their blog www.pursuitcommunity.com/blog/
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
Love, passed down from Father to Son to me.
A free gift if I choose to keep it.
And remain in it.
Just as Jesus chose to remain with His face to the cross and the joy He looked for.
Will I hide from my day when Jesus did not hide from His?
The earth went dark and broke
But God ripped apart the man-made shroud and freed me to be free.
My husband, John (who pastors the Dorrigo LifeSprings Church), and I enjoy, really enjoy, travelling in the car together. Our favourite get-a-ways consist of a car, a country road and somewhere nice. Living on the New England Plateau we often see that trees in isolation do not survive so long as those left as groves, along fence lines or planted as wind breaks. Safety is in numbers. Recently, we came across the peculiar growing habits of the giant Californian Redwood trees, hundreds of feet tall with a tiny tap root. Survival in the often severe storms that come in from the Pacific Ocean is because of the interdependent root system just below the surface.
Our own Eucalypti have a similar structure, shallow rooted to take advantage of the often infrequent rainfall; but in the cleared farmlands , are at risk of weather and the pest attacks that intensify when the natural habitats of the creatures that keep the balances disappear.
It is no wonder that the Holy Spirit tells us to “not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.“(Hebrews 10:25)
“grown together, life entangles us,
the strength of my sister makes me stronger,
the strength of my brother helps me grow taller,
safe in the storm”
In the Old Testament, Fire and Presence are often connected in the Scriptures: the flaming torch that passed between the sacrifice while Abram slept, the burning bush, the pillar of fire by night, the fire on Mt Sinai when God was present. For us of the New Covenant, the dedication of Solomon’s temple is particularly relevant.
“When Solomon finished praying, fire flashed down from heaven and burned up the burnt offerings and sacrifices, and the glorious presence of the LORD filled the Temple.” (2 Chronicles 7:1)
When the 120 of the upper room waited by the command of Jesus “until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49), they experienced the sound of a mighty rushing wind with “tongues of fire” that appeared over each one present. Their lives radically changed from that moment as they experienced ‘the glorious presence of the Lord’
“… do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19
Our lives, too, are radically changed, the fundamental nature of our experience as people is altered, to one of living in the power of God when we are clothed with the fire of Heaven.
Living in Dorrigo has proved to be even more delightful than I had anticipated . The sky seems closer, the trees more alive, the soil more generous. The air is consistently keener and sharpens me nicely. Winter has just begun, but like elsewhere, day to day predictions are untrustworthy. Most days are a gloriously crispy blue and the waterlogged ones have the comforts of work, fires and friendships to compensate.
The landscape is broad, with lane-ways and country roads that take you into hidden valleys and surprising finds.
Like this gate; obviously loved, apparently leading no-where, but nevertheless being there, joyous.
The skies are miracles
and the bush
and the beach
are not too far away
and even three day old nasturtium culls look good.
The path that brought us here, unexpected and difficult at first, has become a path of peace.
Reflections from Dorrigo LifeSprings church service this week.
“As we spent much time in the presence of God, He caused our hearts to be opened to all that is written.” Agnes Ozman, who asked for and received the baptism of the Spirit on January 1st 1901.
When we open our hearts to Him, He will open our hearts to receive revelation and understanding of “all that is written”. “Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” Luke 24:45
There is also, now, “a door standing open in heaven.” Revelation 4:1, “an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name” Revelation 3:8
Jesus says “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in” Revelation 3:20. When we open the door and Jesus comes in, He come in trailing the Glory of an open access to the presence of God, an access that He will never deny us.
“You are calling us ever onward, through the open door. The door You opened, the door You will never close. You are calling us ever onward , through that always opening door” A praise prayer from my mum, Beverley, 89 years old, a crazy lover of God and one of the delights of my life.
We often say that Papa God is the best thing thing that happened to us and we tell everyone who will listen that we love Him to bits. We put the cart before the horse so often… we love Him because He first loved us, we love our families because He first loved us, we love His presence because He loves ours. Speak to yourself and surround yourself with this truth. Papa God loves your presence. And don’t worry about all the things you don’t want anyone else to know.They are the very things that qualify you to receive the grace of God. You have been forgiven.
Read this scripture until it is engraved in your mind like a carving into a rock, not words written with your finger at ocean’s edge.