Good morning ladies! It's good to be back home and settling into my routine again. We had a great time with Nate and Natalie and the baby shower was beautiful. They are certainly blessed by their church family and so many other friends and family who sent cards and gifts. And their nursery is filling up with everything they're going to need. It was fun to watch my son admiring a tiny pair of baby booties. We can't wait to meet our sweet, little guy...only about five more weeks now! Natalie is doing very well and looking beautiful. On Monday morning, we headed to Sioux Falls for the District Conference. I was able to make it to a couple events, the main thing was the Great Commission Women's luncheon. Always a great time! I even got a seat at the head table this year! I really don't know how that happened but I was happy with it. I sat next to the speaker, who is an International Worker in Paris, France. She gave a memorable, encouraging message about 'seasons' in our lives. As we chatted at the table, I figured out that she knows Casey (who doesn't?!) They are the IWR's (International Workers in Residence) at Crown College this year, and Casey talked with them about going to France after he graduates and working alongside them for a season. Not sure about his plans yet, but we know God will guide him.
I appreciate the practical and powerful ideas in today's devotion about how to experience God more intimately and to discern His will and His Word in our daily lives. She includes a 5-day tool that we can use and I've already decided that I'm going to try it. How about you? Let me know what you think. Have a Thankful Thursday ladies!
“God, I Want to See You”
Proverbs 31 Ministries
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8 (NIV)
Before I went to Israel for the first time a few years ago, my Bible reading felt a bit thin. I was going through the motions of meeting with God but felt disconnected. What was once so invigorating felt more like another thing on my endlessly long to-do list.
You know, when a person lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule, they’ll ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.
That ache of sadness was draining the life out of me and my desire to do ministry.
And then a friend called to invite me to study in Israel. My friend knew this trip would change me. There isn’t anything else that’s invigorated my passion for ministry like studying in the Holy Land and really experiencing God’s Word up close.
Now, I know you’re thinking … That’s great for you, Lysa. But what if I never make it to the Holy Land? Can I still have that invigorating encounter with Scripture?
I believe you can by inviting the presence of God into your everyday. To help us with this, I’ve broken down one of my favorite prayers into a five-day prayer guide. It’s a tool we can use to help us start experiencing Him in very real ways each and every day.
Prayer: Dear God, I want to see You.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
Thought: Remember a pure heart doesn’t mean a perfect person. If your pure intention is to see God, you will. While I can’t see the Lord’s physical form, I can see evidence of His activity all around me.
Activity: Ask God to open your eyes to the many things in your life that speak to His presence. Look for and record evidence of God around you. It’s amazing: The more we recognize even the smallest things as gifts from God, the more we start to realize how present He is in our lives.
Day 2 Prayer: Dear God, I want to hear You.
“He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed. The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious.” (Isaiah 50:4b-5a, NIV)
Thought: While I’ve never heard God’s audible voice, I do feel Him speaking to me. The best way I’ve found to start hearing the Lord’s whispers in my heart is by getting into His Word and letting His Word get into me. The more Scripture I memorize, the more clearly I hear Him.
Activity: Ask God to help you wake in the morning so you can read the Bible first thing. Before checking texts, social media, and email … tune into God’s life-giving truths.
Day 3 Prayer: Dear God, I want to know You.
“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” (Ephesians 1:17, NIV)
Thought: I love the words, “I keep asking.” Persistence and consistency are key in our walk with the Lord. Ask the Lord to give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so you may know Him better. Make knowing Him the focal point of every prayer today … more than anything else you are asking for right now.
Activity: Write this verse on a card and carry it with you. Make a point to pray this verse out loud often throughout the day. When you pray the Word of God, you pray the Will of God.
Day 4 Prayer: Dear God, I want to follow hard after You.
“Teach me your way, LORD; that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” (Psalm 86:11, NIV)
Thought: Is there something dividing your heart and distracting you from seeing, hearing and knowing God more? Ask God to reveal one distraction you could distance yourself from today to more fully embrace an awareness of Him.
Activity: Spend a day fasting from your distraction. Each time you think of what you’ve given up, use that as a trigger to pray Psalm 86:11.
Day 5 Prayer: Dear Jesus, I say yes before I even know what Your request will be today.
“Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” (Philippians 2:4-5, NLT)
Thought: The more we know God, the more we want to say yes to Him. The more we say yes to Him, the more we realize there are divine opportunities to participate in His activity all around us.
Activity: Today let’s be others-focused. Let’s ask God for opportunities to honor Him by looking to the interest of others. Let other people in line ahead of us. Let the conversations be about the other person. Make our focus giving rather than receiving.
I love you, friends. And I believe with all my heart God isn’t trying to hide from us. He’s waiting to be seen by us.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Mark 4:9, “Then Jesus said, ‘Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.’” (NIV)