Draw Near to God, He is already Near to You

Screenshot 2015-07-08 12.34.26

Recently I thought I had too much on my plate. I exercised my ability to say “no”, and took my day off seriously. Looking to the future: I tossed the idea of cutting down my hours at work. I wanted to work on future details of our family, make our house a home, and visit my family back home more.

None of that was the plan, for now.

In a recent turn of events I was asked to take on more of a leadership role at the Church, with more responsibility, with pay cuts and budget cuts all across the board for our church.

So. I dropped my plans and fell on my face before Jesus. He has been my Rock. I have peace. I have joy. I am brave.

I know God will make it possible for me to plan our future as a family, cook, clean, plan visits, have people over, take care of our pets, enjoy life… all while taking on this important calling. I just need to listen to His voice.

I’m ashamed to say in these times of turmoil… they are the sweetest times of worship for me.

Why can’t I seem to be this close to my Lord during the good times?

I realized today that I find the most peace and joy in the trials– not because God has changed, but because I have. Tweet this.

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you {HE IS already close by}. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8

Advertisements

A Worship Leader’s Prayer

Take away the melodies
Take away the songs I sing
Take away all the lights
And all the songs you let me write
*Does who I’ve become today*
Say the words you need to say?

Let them see you, in me
Let them hear you, when I speak
Let them feel you, when I sing
Let them see you,
Let them see you, in me.

Who am I without your grace?
Another smile, another face
Another breath, a grain of sand
Passing quickly through your hand
I’d give my life, I’m not afraid
Take it all, take everything

Let them see you, in me
Let them hear you, when I speak
Let them feel you, when I sing
Let them see you,
Let them see you, In me
With every breath I breathe
I sing a simple melody

But I pray they’ll hear more than a song in me.

The birds still get up and sing every morning

Image

Sometimes I get down.

Down on myself, down on others, down on my sticky mess of situations I and/or others create.

To boot I’ve been in a phase of being really, really physically tired. I wonder why all the little birds around me seem to sing louder and fly longer than me. Even my husband doesn’t seem as tired after work as I do.

Sometimes I forget that the best thing to do instead of saying “I better just get used to being tired”, or “something’s wrong with me!!” — is to ask God for the new resolve and energy to run the race.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say we have to be these amazing super-humans who work and don’t get tired, who get up each morning and yell “another fantastic day ahead!!” Everywhere it says in His strength.

Instead of feeling the routine already dragging me down, last night and this morning I asked God for a new song, a new energy.

He gave it to me! It’s as simple as that. When God speaks, write it down everywhere. Put encouraging notes from God all around your room, classroom, car, home, or office {or all of the above}.

I heard the birds suddenly erupt in song around the windows in my office this morning, right as I was pondering where my encouragement and strength came from.

He is always there, sometimes we just need a reminder.

Isaiah 40:28-31, “Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

2 Corinthians 4:8-10, 13-18, “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.”We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

Image
Wrote down the things I am hearing and learning- I add to this periodically.

Image
I write post-it notes from God’s word on my computer screen at work.

John 15:7, “But if you remain {ABIDE} in me, and my words remain {ABIDE}  in you, {Brittany}- you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!”

46 things I’ve learned from 2013

Image

  1. Give things time.
  2. Even when you want to- don’t burn bridges. Take the higher road.
  3. Everyone must give account of their actions someday to God.
  4. Breathe.
  5. Just because things don’t go the way you’ve planned doesn’t mean you get to skip out on your calling. It hasn’t changed, and neither has God.
  6. Write everything down. Everything.
  7. You need soul-rest. Get alone, sit and have a hot drink with Jesus.
  8. God is always a step ahead of you. Because he transcends time he’s behind you, with you, and taking care of the future.
  9. Take a bath, hippie! {no seriously… it’s therapeutic.}
  10. Don’t write people off. Even though it’s hard. If you don’t make friends with messy sinners… you’ll never have any friends.
  11. Prayer is important- but it’s just one piece of the puzzle. It’s useless if you don’t read God’s love letter- the Bible.
  12. “They can’t drive you crazy if they don’t have a key.”
  13. Life’s not controllable. As soon as you realize this the easier it gets.
  14. God’s not silent, we just don’t listen.
  15. The only person you can “fix” is you.
  16. Don’t see yourself through anyone’s eyes but Your Savior’s. Any negative voices are not from Him. He corrects, but never puts down. His yoke is easy, his burden light.
  17. God promised in this life we’d have trials, and that does mean people will not treat you well. Pray before you react. Grace will flow out of you.
  18. Grace is a gift, not a cop-out.
  19. Even the people who’ve wronged you are more similar to you than you realize. Give them grace, because you mess up, too.
  20. Take it one step at a time.
  21. Being a good critic doesn’t mean you have to be critical.
  22. Sometime try looking at your behaviors through the eyes of who you live with. It’s eye-opening.
  23. In the midst of painful times don’t forget to laugh and have a good time with your loved ones, because this life is short. Even if it hurts, laugh.
  24. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not ready to work for God. He’s given you every tool in your toolbox and equipped you already. Just look, it’s there.
  25. We’re more selfish than we even realize.
  26. Stress kills. The word of God breathes new life.
  27. Dare to ask God not for prosperity but just your daily bread. If He blesses you with more- give it all away.
  28. Everything we have is just borrowed from God anyway.
  29. Wisdom is to be sought after- but don’t ever think your ‘lil train has arrived at Saint-Wise-Station. Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:8.
  30. Find the little things you enjoy, and make room for those things.
  31. Even if your job’s your calling… don’t let it become your everything because eventually it will disappoint and drain you. The only One who should be your life = Jesus.
  32. Sometimes being an adult means you just plain won’t get your way.
  33. Learn to take compliments. Just say “thank you”. It’s not prideful, it’s true!
  34. There is nothing new under the sun.
  35. You can’t take a clean house or empty sink into Heaven with you.
  36. You don’t have to prove yourself. God says you are worth dying for.
  37. Comparison is the thief of joy.
  38. You may be right, but are you righteous? {Tweet this!}
  39. In a culture that hates silence (Introverts are “diagnosed” and dead-air is avoided at all costs): dare to sit quietly. It’s prized by God.
  40. Opinions are everywhere, there is only one that matters. Don’t forget to ask Him what He thinks.
  41. Wear out your Bible. Cover to cover and over and over again. You’re going to meet the one who wrote it someday.
  42. Get a hobby. Seriously. You know who didn’t have a hobby? Kim Jong-il.
  43. Sometimes even after immense healing and progress…. tiny words still hurt your feelings, anxiety ravishes your mind, & depression can still seep through the cracks. Don’t give up. There is a war in the Spiritual realm- but we’ve read the last Chapter of the book and we know who wins.
  44. The best gift is your time. For God your Savior, but also for your loved ones.
  45. Speakers, leaders, pastors and worship pastors are just people. Don’t ever take their word for it. Read, read, read God’s word. Drink it in.
  46. For now we see through a glass dimly… but someday we will meet Him face-to-face.