I declare: The Lord is my Lamp.
I don’t usually write a post like the one we have here, but today I thought to reflect upon my journey with the Lord this year and give you a peek into my personal journal. I am doing this so that you, my reader, can see how the Lord has guided me and HOW the Lord will light YOUR path.
You can see most of these posts in Word@Moment in the menu, but here I will show you a little more about how the conversations with the Lord are connected. I will also build all the links you may want to look at in the post below.
It all started at the beginning of the year with a clear instruction to STAND STILL (See Stand Firm). We were heading into a season of change like it was for many people with the advent of COVID and lockdown. Not only was our “normal” changing, but Adrian and I were looking at making some changes to our lives. Some of our challenges seemed insurmountable, and I had a general sense of the fear of the unknown. At times I could not see a way forward. My natural inclination is to do one of two things: jump into action, find a way to win OR find a hole to hide and hopefully, when I emerge, everything will have settled down.
God said: “Stand firm.” Exodus 13:14 (Living Bible)
“But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand where you are and watch, and you will see the wonderful way the Lord will rescue you today. The Egyptians you are looking at—you will never see them again.”
I learnt that standing is an active, not passive, activity.
The Lord wanted me to stand still until I received new instructions and guidance from Him. But not a passive standing, He wanted me to actively stand, like a warrior awaiting instruction. It did not mean that there was nothing for me to do in my heart and mind during this time, as I was spiritually standing. The year would hold much that would involve prayer, waiting, renewing the mind in scripture, keeping my eyes focused on Jesus, putting on my full armor, and building an expectation in my heart. The standing firm was going to be a season of being “strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” (Eph 6:10) Like He says: “when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
The Lord asked me first: Are my ears open to hear what God is saying to me? (See “God is Not Speaking to Me”). It was clear that I was not going to know how to navigate all these changes in my life if I was not going to make an effort to ensure that I was hearing God when He speaks and not just pretending to listen.
The next thing He wanted to know from me was: Where am I now? (See “Locating Questions.”) If God is leading me into a season of change, where am I now? Like finding the starting point on a GPS route, one needs to know where you are before going somewhere.
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. (Isaiah 42:16)”
Then came a very clear warning to watch out for “sinking sand, ” which is a decision made without much thought. (See: “All Other Ground is Sinking Sand.”) The message was clear, not to trust my own direction or the direction of other people, but to wholly trust in the Lord and take His guidance for my life.
When I trust ONLY in the Lord, I stand on solid ground. (See “I Will Not Move.”) We who cling to God in constant trust know that we stand on a solid foundation, and even though the ground may fall away around us, we stand and will not be moved.
But to do this change season in my life would require spiritual energy (given to us by the Holy Spirit), a determined purpose (to stand), a sure stance (in faith) and a personal habit of walking with God.
For this, I have to choose to plug into the Holy Spirit, and each day decide to believe in whatever way is necessary in our circumstances. Then we would have to abide in our relationship with the Lord in faith, every day, one day at a time and remain steadfast (switched on, not wavering). Only then does the Holy Spirit work in our lives to bring about the life bringing work that goes against the natural law of decay in our lives.
But to receive this refreshment from the Holy Spirit only requires that we remove ourselves from our daily activities of the day, become still and quiet and wait in the presence of the Lord. (See: “The Dew of His Presence”) There, where we are focused and attentive to the Lord, we receive the refreshment we need for our spirits.
Psalm 37:7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret …
But when God takes us through a season change, it is always with the purpose of greater productivity.
Even though God may have closed one door, He is always preparing another door and a new season of increased fruitfulness that we may never have dreamed of. All that is required is that we are 100% in the will of God. (See “Moving into a New Season”)
Relying on the Holy Spirit and being in the Will of God was going to be vitally crucial because change was wreaking havoc with my mind and emotions. (See: Getting My Head Around Change)
If you asked me how change felt, this was my answer: It feels like a wave has just broken over your head and you are still spinning upside down under the water, trying to figure which way is up, holding your breath and waiting.
I had to admit that:
- I had been pretty comfortable in my life, having not put myself in situations where I needed to grow and feel uncomfortable.
- I feltl ‘out of control.’ This made me wonder, how much of my life I was controlling and how much was I submitting to God?
- A lot of my identity was centered around the things that I was controlling in my life, not necessarily the Lord determining my identity.
- Change made me fearful, pushing all the fear buttons that I thought I was immune to, change was making me work through all these issues again.
But at the core of myself, I wanted to be found in a position where I am pleasing the Lord, 100% IN His will. That, I knew was the safest place to be.
To be 100% in His will, I needed to submit to what the Lord is doing in my life:
- To embrace a new purpose, the Lord may need to empty my hands.
- To direct me in a new direction, I may have to stand still to get His bearing.
- To prepare for a new purpose, the Lord may need to prepare a new heart in me, or train me in a new understanding or skill for the battles I will need to face.
- To position me for the future, the Lord may need to change the relationships around me, my friends, brothers and sisters in the church, partners in work etc.
- To strengthen me for the future, my faith may need to be renewed, or my closest relationships may need to be strengthened in their faith.
- To release me into the future, the Lord may need to release me from where He had me previously involved, including the responsibilities of that involvement.
The only requirement of a “vessel for the Lord” is to make themselves available to fulfill whatever purpose the Master calls them to. Every role in God’s Kingdom plan is important, no matter how small. When God changes our lives’ landscape, it is for His purpose and will to be fulfilled.
I need to be willing to allow change to take its course, to surrender control of my life to the Lord.
It was going to be a battle in my heart to get to this point.
But this reflection is already getting long, so I will stop here this week and share the rest with you next week. I hope that this is helping you, dear reader, navigate your own change and decisions regarding your life. Let me know if my treasures have proved of value to you?
Lord, I know I am not the only one facing huge changes in my life. So many people have had their lives turned upside down in the last year, there is loss, anger, fear and anxiety in the lives of many, and all of us have reason to cry out to the Lord in our confusion. Help us, Lord, to be still before You and rest from our fear and anxiety. Help us to take the time to remember that You hold our lives in the palm of Your hand and that nothing and no one can snatch us from You. Thank you, Lord, that You are always working in our lives.