January 11- Be still and know

Recently a dear sister in the Lord and friend invited me to something called Seek Week at her church.  It was intended to be a week set aside to seek God for the plans and direction for the year.  It was the coldest day on record, with a minus 11 degree temperature, with wind chills in the -40 to -50 range.  Here in Northern Ohio we don’t get that cold often, but here it was… schools closed, businesses encouraged to close, and it was just bone chilling cold.

I had made a commitment to my friend, and wanted to keep my word.  So she rolled into the driveway and I hopped into the car, filled with the stresses of the day, anxiety about the weather, and generally beaten down by the world attitude.

Have you ever noticed when you have such a fight to go somewhere that is exactly where satan doesnt want you to be?  The more the pushback about going, the more i knew this was necessary. Her church is a younger southern baptist church that was planted perhaps 25 years ago.  I can remember when they met in a local high school auditorium before they built their own building.  Always a solid body of believers led by a strong scriptural centered leadership.

The sanctuary was not very full when we arrived, but within minutes was filled to capacity- with people hungry to seek God for this year.  Their pastor had encouraged everyone to set aside time specific to the goal – lay aside time, fast from meals, fast from electronic media, social media… and seek God.

His passage was one simple verse i have known, cherished, memorized, and held close to my heart:   “Be still and know that I am God”  -Psalm 46:10

His challenge – allow the Lord to tell you what is holding yo uback from being still before him, and be still… yield and surrender to him, acknowledging he is God.

In the quiet alone time of the evening the music softly played as we each found a spot, bowed down, read, and prayed for God to clarify what we had put in the way of this plan.

I bowed my head and asked God what is keeping me from being still.  I waited.  I focused my heart and mind to quiet it and wait for an answer.  I believe the Lord gave me a picture.  I dont generally get pictures, but it was an image of several eyes, blurry, scattered, that were being brought together.  Singular focus.  It is the year to fine tune my focus on God to a singular one, not distracted by the tyranny of the urgent, or the uselessness of the world.  Honor God with  time spent, seeking Him first, and above all.  Yielding my will, and my dreams to his skillful hands, knowing that His ways and plans are better than anything I could invent.

Its funny that focus seemed to be the picture… As a midlifer my eyes have been reminding me that I am aging… instead of using the glasses to see details, i have found myself taking them off to read because the focus is sharper close up.   Being able to see drives everything in life – how i make a living requires eye sight.  How i pursue my art requires eyesight… and How i live my life requires vision.

I am writing this post to encourage you to ask God to show you what his plan is for your life this year…. and what his word is for your life.  Each of us may have a different word, but it will always point us back to God, to the bible, and to Jesus himself.

At the end of the time the pastor asked for people to come forward  and share what God impressed during that time.  A young woman, and then a young man each came up and indicated that the last 3 verses of Isaiah 40 were on their heart.  Then a middle aged man came up, explaining how God has ignited his life, shedding the sin and scars of a lot of years lived faking it.  This was the year to get real, and pursue God for everything in life.   Amen.

So Lord, take our lives, quiet and still us to wait on you, to set aside that time that is needed to know you, to know your calling, and to yield our lives to be obedient to you. Make your ways clear, and your plan visible.  Grant us single focus to follow you with everything in our soul.  Amen.



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