Monday, February 28, 2011

Week 14 - The Presence of God

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Psalm 16:8-11
I have set the Lord always before me;

because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

This was one of my favorite chapters, and it caused me to really do some self evaluation. How closely am I walking with God? At times why do I exchange this great gift from God for something of this world. For me, it is control. I want to be in control of all that is going on in my life, and when things are not going according to plan, like with Magdalena's sickness, I am forced to remember that God's power is greater than mine. His plan is better than mine, and I will not always see his reasoning in every situation. I have to completely let go of everything to fully gain Him. I like how Nancy says that we need to "clear out the clutter". There can be one be sweep, but it is also a daily giving to God those things to which we may cling, like my control. Some days I more easily let it go than others. But for me to be fully in His presence I must repent, "turn away from everything opposed to God and turn whole heartedly toward Him". She has us read in Luke 24 where Jesus was walking alongside some of His followers. They felt a burning in their heart, but they did not recognize Him. I super highlighted what Nancy says here "They were simply too lost in their sadness, too disappointed by his death, and too desperate to make sense of their lives to see Jesus. They were too busy talking about Jesus to enjoy his very presence." "He's right here with us, and we don't recognize him. We're disappointed he has not come through for us in the way we hoped he would that we can't appreciate his presence. We're sad that we simply can't see him." I tried to hold onto Magdalena, Magdalena's memory, and now, Walt. But I need to daily give my children to God. They are beautiful gifts from Him, but trying to hold onto the people that I love, instead of giving them to Him, keeps me out of His presence. To give it to Him daily each morning I try to have my time of quiet before Walt wakes up and the day begins.
I am thankful that God continues to pursue me despite my sinfulness.

Isaiah 35
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;

the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
2 it shall blossom abundantly
and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
the majesty of our God.

3 Strengthen the weak hands,

and make firm the feeble knees.
4 Say to those who have an anxious heart,
“Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you.”

5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
For waters break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;
7 the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water;
in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,
the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

8 And a highway shall be there,

and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.
9 No lion shall be there,
nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
but the redeemed shall walk there.
10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

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  1. Julie, this is a beautiful and honest post. I think control holds me back too. I constantly remind myself that any control I have is only perceived control, because even when I feel on top of things, that too is God allowing me to feel that way.

  2. ..."even if they are fools they shall not go astray."

    Totally identifying with you. It's the human condition. Control, pride and busyness can keep us from the presence of God and His great blessing.

  3. Anonymous8:57 AM

    Hi Julie! I have read your blog for some time now, and think you are a beautiful person.
    I like this post, but want feel compelled to add something...
    I think that God is so proud of you for being the kind of mother who is so totally in love with your children, that you have to actually set aside time to focus on Him alone. You would lay your life down over and over again with a smile to save your babies. You would die for them, just as Jesus did for us.
    So while I think it is wonderful that you worry that you need to put God first, I have to think that God is looking at your heart - the heart that is so full of love for the souls He gave to you - and He is bursting with pride.
    I like to think that I am walking through parenting with God, and it is not so much about feeling badly about myself for wanting to take control, it is more about reaching over to take His hand and concentrate on our partnership as He walks me through the glorious ministry of parenthood.
    I hope my thoughts don't offend you, they are only meant to compliment your beautiful spirit.


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