“Demonstrate your trust in Me by sitting quietly in My Presence. Put aside all that is waiting to be done, and refuse to worry about anything. This sacred time together strengthens you and prepares you to face whatever the day will bring. By waiting with Me before you begin the day’s activities, you proclaim the reality of My living Presence. This act of faith- waiting before working- is noted in the spirit world, where your demonstration of trust weakens principalities and powers of darkness.
“The most effective way to resist evil is to draw near Me. When you need to take action, I will guide you clearly through My Spirit and My Word. The world is so complex and overstimulating that you can easily lose your sense of direction. Doing countless unnecessary activities will dissipate your energy. When you spend time with Me, I restore your sense of direction. As you look to Me for guidance, I enable you to do less but accomplish more.”
~Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young
“Do not be afraid to be different from other people. The path I have called you to travel is exquisitely right for you. The more closely you follow My leading, the more fully I can develop your gifts. To follow Me wholeheartedly, you must relinquish your desire to please other people. However, your closeness to Me will bless others by enabling you to shine brightly in this dark world.” ~Sarah Young, Jesus Calling
In any random gathering of missionaries there will always be a large handful of them whose families back home are (or were) unhappy with their decision to be missionaries. This lifestyle upsets the whole clan. It tears the heart out of Grandmas and Grandpas. It brings conviction on lukewarm, comfort loving Christians in the family. It strains and pulls at relationships.
Jesus knew this would happen. He said, “Unless your love for me is so much greater than your love for family and home, you can’t follow me.” A missionary’s love for God often hurts the ones we love the most. That is the nature of the Upside Down Kingdom of God where first is last, love is pain, and we go against our nature to do what God has commanded. Relinquish your desire to please others and yet still be a blessing to others.
Walking to the beat of God’s drum is admirable, but it will cost you something eventually. You can’t be listening for the approval and applause of mankind and still hear that beat in your heart. When God’s opinion of you matters more than the opinion of friends and family, then you will be free to move, free to march, free to GO where God commands you to go.
God calls NONE of us to comfort, ease and luxury. If you have been saying to yourself, “I’m glad that God never called ME to go overseas. I’m called to be right here in my own home town.” Then I suggest you haven’t been listening for that drum beat. NEVER ONCE does God tell us to settle down and get cozy in our Christian life. If you are tucked safely into your comfort zone, you can not step out and move to the beat of God’s drum.
William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, famously said, “‘Not called!’ did you say? ‘Not heard the call,’ I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters, and servants and masters not to come there. And then look Christ in the face, whose mercy you have professed to obey, and tell him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish his mercy to the world.”
This is the devotional I read for July 9 and 10. Yes, I bunch up the readings and then let them sink in for a while before I bite off another bunch. I read the book “Jesus Calling” as my morning devos. and then I do longer readings from other books and a portion of scripture for my evening devos. This blessed me, and I just want to share it with you.
“Stop worrying long enough to hear My voice. I speak softly to you in the depths of your being. Your mind shuttles back and forth, hither and yon, weaving webs of anxious confusion. As My thoughts rise up within you, they become entangled in those sticky webs of worry. Thus, my voice is muffled, and you hear only ‘white noise.’
“Ask My Spirit to quiet your mind so that you can think My thoughts. This ability is an awesome benefit of being my child, patterned after My own image. Do not be deafened by the noise of the world or that of your own thinking. Instead, be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Sit quietly in My Presence, letting My thoughts reprogram your thinking.
“Relax in my peaceful Presence. Do not bring performance pressures into our sacred space of communion. When you are with someone you trust completely, you are free to be yourself… I know the worst about you, but I also see the best in you. I long for you to trust me enough to be fully yourself with Me. When you are real with Me, I am able to bring out the best in you: the very gifts I have planted in your soul. Relax and enjoy our friendship.”
~Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
Having a rough day? Be encouraged… THE LORD IS WITH YOU!
“Learn to appreciate difficult days. Be stimulated by the challenges you encounter along your way. As you journey through rough terrain with Me, gain confidence from your knowledge that together we can handle anything. This knowledge is comprised of three parts: your relationship with Me, promises in the Bible, and past experiences of coping successfully during hard times.
“Look back on your life, and see how I have helped you through difficult days. If you are tempted to think, ‘ Yes, but that was then, and this is now,’ remember who I am! Although you and your circumstances may change dramatically, I remain the same throughout time and eternity. This is the basis of your confidence. In My Presence you live and move and have your being.”
~Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, November 8.
“Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. I am holding you by your right hand- I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Do not be afraid. I am here to help you.’” Isaiah 41:10, 13
I read this last week… because I’m a little behind in my devotional book that I’m reading… and I mulled it over for the whole week long. I chewed on it until I had digested it. It’s not too slobbery though… I’d like to share it with you. Hope this blesses and encourages someone today. Have a happy Monday.
“Anxiety is a result of envisioning the future without Me. So the best defense against worry is staying in communication with Me. When you turn your thoughts toward Me, you can think much more positively. Remember to listen, as well as to speak, making your thoughts a dialogue with Me.
“If you must consider upcoming events, follow these rules: 1) do not linger in the future, because anxieties sprout up like mushrooms when you wander there. 2) Remember the promise of My continual Presence; include Me in any imagery that comes to mind. This mental discipline does not come easily, because you are accustomed to being god of your fantasies. However, the reality of My Presence with you, now and forevermore, outshines any fantasy you could ever imagine.
“[Keep] your eyes on Me. I will open up the way before you, as you take steps of trust along your path. Sometimes the way before you appears to be blocked. If you focus on the obstacle or search for a way around it, you will probably go off course. Instead, focus on me, the Shepherd who is leading you along your life-journey. Before you know it, the ‘obstacle’ will be behind you and you will hardly know how you passed through it.
“That is the secret of success in My kingdom. Although you remain aware of the visible world around you, your primary awareness is of Me. When the road before you looks rocky, you can trust Me to get you through that rough patch. My presence enables you to face each day with confidence.”
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, devotionals for October 17 and 18