Devotion: Honest, But Desperate

Can I be honest?

If walking out of a doctor’s appointment after 30 seconds wasn’t social Siberia, I would have today. There was just something about this appointment, that made it worse than the rest.

I say all that to say:

I understand having a bad day or the urge to walk out of a difficult situation.

I want to ask you something that my Uber driver asked me on my way home. “What’s next?” Maybe, you aren’t too sure what your next step ought to be in the physical and emotional realm of things.

I want to be that friend who sits and prays with you – as you wait for God’s directive toward what is next.

What’s Next?

” Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).”

After we have grieved our situations with our Amazing God, we need to ask ourselves (or be asked by a loving friend) what is next for us. For myself, the next step(s) are clear. While I would love to run away from my life and ignore all responsibilities, I can’t do that. And, the odds are you cannot either. So instead of living in a fantasy world where I neglect all responsibility, I want to share what is next – for myself.

Your list may be completely different, depending on your circumstances, your relationship, and surrender to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

  1. Make the next appointment with someone new, and keep searching until I find someone who both listens and is compassionate.
  2. Spend the time praying.
  3. Dive into God’s Word – the Bible.
  4. Fellowship with other Christ followers.

Your answer to this question might look differently, I imagine, but this is my written response to such a question. But, I hope you include steps 2-4 in your plan of what’s next.

Choosing God’s Plan Over My Own

We desperately need to hear God’s Plan for what’s next!

Spending time in prayer, His Word, and fellowshipping with like-minded Christians are each important activities, which will help us discern God’s will for our lives!

And I am desperate for God’s direction.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).”

I have learned enough to stand on God’s promises, because He never leaves my side. He always is acting on my behalf and even working in ways I cannot see or understand. So, I want to remember the essential need to cling to His Word and Will.

Disclaimer: You can now support Gracefully Overcoming through your Amazon purchases. At no cost to you, Amazon will allow you to shop and Gracefully Overcoming get a bit of a benefit from your shopping. It can be any purchase you make. But, I am still quite fond of this title by Charles Swindoll.

In Him,
Stace

Prayerfully Reliant on God Alone [Book Review]

For the past week, I have been able to spend time with our Savior Jesus in prayer. Quality prayer. As I am learning, the fellowship we can experience with our Mighty God is beyond comprehension. This is the relationship I have hoped for. I am beyond thankful for this time.

Fellowship with God

How often are we placing ourselves in fellowship with God? Often we consider fellowship, as something between a fellow believer and ourselves. However, we can experience fellowship with our sovereign God Himself!

The difference is craving this time of sweet intimacy with an even sweeter King Jesus Christ who is our Savior. God desires to spend time with us. Let’s grow in enjoying God!

If you are like most, setting aside and carrying out a daily prayer time is a struggle. Unless you have seen firsthand the outcome of such devotion. Even then, you likely still might wrestle with some aspects of prayer.

I can testify this has been my experience – the struggle it has been to give my worship offering through prayer. However, something has occurred in the last few weeks to change this. Suddenly, I adapted to the act of beginning a prayer session with the Holy One. It isn’t about praying perfectly or for a strict hour. It is about realizing how our Mighty God has saved us through His Son Jesus Christ and meeting regularly with Him.

But, there is one book which has left an impact concerning prayer.

Mr. George Müller

Have you heard of George Müller?

He can be described as a man of persistent faith who truly knew how to operate from a place of prayer. This man crazily enough brought his needs only to God and allowed Him to speak that need to others. God impressed it upon others’ hearts to give, and it was always at the appointed time before the orphanage ran out of food, money, etc.

I say “crazily enough,” because how many of us could be that bold? Far too quickly, we share our needs with whoever will listen even if it is not God’s will for the need to be met. I say this because not every need is within the boundaries of God’s will. To pray more like this, is radical, forces us to follow only Jesus Christ, and develops within us an absolute dependence upon our Creator.

The George Muller book I recommend can be found on Amazon. Best part? It is free! While there, you could even pick up a digital copy of Grace Leads – which is on sale for $0.99 (until Wednesday, 8/7/19).

Image: Aaron Burden

Be blessed, my friends.

Stacey

Desperate Cry

While I may not remember what it is that I am reading, I am trusting the Lord God that His Word still is getting into my spirit – and changing me from the inside-out.

Even though I couldn’t tell you word for word Psalm 142:1-2 is about, I do know this chapter is about desperately crying out to the Lord God for mercy when it seems like no one cares. Such a Psalm is home hitting for so many of us. So, I just wanted to share this Psalm today. As I am broken and withdrawing from everyone, I just want to share this Psalm.

Psalm 142

I cry aloud to the Lord; I plead aloud to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before Him; I reveal my trouble to Him. Although my spirit is weak within me, You know my way. Along this path I travel they have hidden a trap for me. Look to the right and seeL no one stands up for me; there is no refuge for me; no one cares about me.

I cry You, Lord; I say, “You are my shelter, my portion in the land of the living.” Listen to my cry, for I am very weak. Rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Free me from prison so that I can praise Your name. The righteous will gather around me because You deal generously with me.

This Psalm meets me where I am. I wish, I could explain where I am as far as my mental health. I can’t keep running from everything. And that’s what I have been doing. The Scripture I can hear most right now is: “Do not have other gods besides me (see Deuteronomy 6:14, Jeremiah 35:15).”

My Routine

I have allowed myself to get too comfortable for things within my control. I could spend time with our Lord Jesus Christ in other ways. Ways that do not “cost” a lot of energy –

  1. Worship music
  2. Enjoy His Presence
  3. Listen to the Bible
  4. Listen to a sermon

    Morning Routine is what comes to mind, so that’s where I want to start – as I confess my sins and repent. I want to start over, and make this a week of honestly seeking His beautiful face. I would like my morning routine to begin something like this:

  • Listen to chapter in Bible
  • Journal for few minutes
  • Pray. Really pray and spend time with the Lord asking for His help
  • Memorize Scripture
  • Take a short walk, as you give this day to the Lord
  • Participate as you listen to worship music

    Psalm 142 isn’t where we are in the Reading Plan today, but it’s where my heart is drawing me and I am going to allow the Word of our Lord to wash over my achy, depressed, anxious, PTSD heart.

Trust Habits #8

Last week, I spoke about growing in consistently spending time with the Lord. This is such an important aspect in developing trust and intimacy in my relationship with Jesus Christ. If I want to see my relationship with our sweet Savior Jesus to experience growth, then, quality time with Him is a must.

I don’t know about you, but in my earthly relationships I can’t expect to have a relationship with others if I don’t speak to them (as well as listen when they speak to me). It is very much a two way street. We are urged to speak to our Lord as though we were speaking to a friend. Have you read Exodus 33:11?


Inside the Tent of Meeting, the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Afterward Moses would return to the camp, but the young man who assisted him, Joshua son of Nun, would remain behind in the Tent of Meeting.

Exodus 33:11, New Living Translation

God isn’t fearful of speaking to us. While He isn’t, we often might be fearful of speaking to the Lord. While we are invited, and urged even, to have a holy fear of the Lord, our fear might not be out of reverence for His holiness. It can often come from someplace else. This begs a question:

What do we need to do, in order to develop this kind of beautiful relationship with our Lord Jesus?

As we consider our relationship with the Almighty God, may we think about the quality of our conversations with the Most High God. May we think about the quality of our conversations with God, and give them to Him. God is good. God is holy. God is all powerful. God wants to be our Best Friend. God wants to have the kind of conversations with us, as we would have with our closest friends – but with even greater intimacy than we could ever hope to develop with close loved ones.

  • God spoke fearlessly to Moses.
  • Moses listened and responded, willingly.
  • Moses conducted business with the Lord.
  • Joshua stayed put, because Moses had a specific plan in place. First to meet with the Lord, and secondly to serve while Moses was gone.

How are you growing in talking with the Lord as one speaks to a friend? How could you grow deeper in this area?

My prayer life is an area where I desperately need to seek an abundance of grace and growth. As I seek our Lord Jesus Christ, I want to learn how to speak to the Lord as one speaks to a friend. My prayer life can grow much in this area. With each circumstance I face, it is a new opportunity to hear from God and develop the communication abilities to experience my Lord as the Best Friend I could ever have. Just as we do with each name for God, we can experience Him as our Best Friend. He is our Good Shepherd who wants to show us His amazing love and grace in our lives. He is our amazing heavenly Father who wants to intimately watch and communicate with us, as we enjoy the good gifts He gives to us.

Unsplash Photo: Emanuela Picone

In Him,
Stacey

Trust Habit #6

Welcome, my friends, to our sixth installment for our “Trust Habits” series!

A trust habit is anything that will build up my trust and intimacy in my relationship with my heavenly Father.


Be still, and know that I am God!

Psalm 46:10a, New Living Translation

Lately, I have been finding myself positioning toward a “meditation pose”. I have been enjoying it for a few weeks now. It is becoming a more habitual practice in my life, as I walk through difficult things in my family life.

Envision this: legs crossed. palms open and stretched out. Focusing on God and His Biblical truth.


Admittedly

I realize meditation doesn’t have a great reputation in the Christian community. While this is true, it reminds me to pause my life, breathe in and out, and direct my attention to the Lord.

Meditation for me means focusing on my relationship with God and His Biblical truths.

Isn’t that what truth habits are all about?

Gaining intimacy with our sweet Savior Jesus Christ and learning to trust Him right where we are.


Process, Over Product

In Child Development classes, we quickly learned that the process of learning and growing was far more important than a replica of a teacher’s painting. Likewise, our time and relationship with our Savior Jesus is what this time is about.

As long as our time is focused on God and His Biblical truth, that’s all that matters. It isn’t about a perfect twenty minutes of focused meditation, regardless of how much of an achievement that might be.

This idea into meditation helps me to meet with the Lord one-on-one, in the middle of my messy circumstances. It is about bringing my mess into His light – as I choose to focus on Him quietly and remember who the Bible teaches me that God is.

Biblical truths like:

  • God is holy.
  • God is full of love, justice, and power.
  • God is faithful, even when we are not.
  • God invites us into His presence.
  • Sin separates us from God.
  • God sent His Son Jesus Christ to bring salvation to all mankind.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 19:14

During my time, I am learning to put on worship music.

I have too many things going on in my brain. So the worship music does help me to give my mountain of circumstances to the Lord.

Life is hard. And the Lord God is the only Way that I will make it through this really-really-hard-stuff.

If I can just give my soul a moment to pause, to breathe, and to remember to “Be still and know [He] is God” – then I will be far better off.

Unsplash Photo by Lua Valentia.

In Christ,
Stacey