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How to not miss seeing God

The religious leaders who spent a lifetime studying God didn’t recognize Him when He stood right in front of their faces before Christ would die for our sins.

The people who worshiped Him as God, didn’t recognize Him as their eternal King and the Son of God when they shouted “Hosanna!”

It’s easy to view with a critical eye in hindsight. With a backward view, we see the full picture to the place we stand in the present. We see all the pieces fitting together that brought Jesus to where He stood the week of His crucifixion.

Jesus didn’t come the way man expected. Jesus wasn’t the picture the people envisioned of the Messiah. They missed God because He didn’t meet their personal expectations.

Father, let me not miss seeing You because You appear in a way I’ve not envisioned. Guard my heart and give sight to my eyes.

How often do I attempt to define God’s ways? How often do I place expectations on Him? How often do I question circumstances that seem to move in the opposite direction I want them to go?

Some of the ones crying out for a king wanted immediate relief from Roman rule. They couldn’t see eternally because they were so focused on the harsh brutality they walked in. While I can’t begin to imagine walking in the shoes of the people who lived when Jesus walked the earth, I can relate in how easily I place my focus on the here and now rather than eternity.

When I watch my children hurting, I want to fix it right away. I want to take away the pain and make their worlds right.

Jesus loves us with a love so pure, so holy, and so unconditional.  

The heart of God is love. A love so enormous it would go to an extreme no human mind could conjure up. A love so magnificent it would come in a way that seemed ridiculous. A baby in a manger. A man riding a donkey into the people who would nail Him to a cross within days.

In our personal walks with the Lord, we become disheartened when we don’t see faster results to our prayers. We begin to wonder if our prayers are being heard.

And if we are completely honest with ourselves, at times we convince ourselves we are trusting God, but our souls know better. Buried deeper in our hearts than we want to go, whispered lies from the enemy have found a secret hiding spot. They live in the dark places so they are hard to identify. They whisper in a low tone so as not to draw attention to themselves. When they surface, they retreat faster than they arose.

One of our pastors preached a sermon saying he has learned to change his question from “God, why are you allowing this?” to “God, what are you up to?”

I love that perspective. That question is full of trust and curiosity. It’s from a position of knowing the character of God and surrendering to His Lordship.

Today, may we choose a deeper level of surrender than we’ve yet offered.

May we surrender to the love of our King.

May we allow the truth of who He is cleanse the infections attacking the affections of our hearts.

May we humbly confess that we’ve attempted to define an undefinable God. We’ve expected Him to do a certain thing or appear in a certain way. Therefore, maybe we’ve at times missed Him while looking for the “Him” we created or imagined.

May we receive new sight today to see truth in order to worship in spirit and in truth.

May we quietly reflect this Holy Week on who God is by the light of His Word.

Because He is the great I Am, I can simply be who He created me to be, abiding in Him as a child of the King.

Lord, give us a holy hunger for You. Today, we choose to lay down our own agendas and reach for Your hand. Today we walk with You, open to seeing You afresh. We open Your Holy Word today and ask You to speak to us through Your Holy Spirit. Amen


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It’s 10 minutes a day for 14 days.

If you are hungry for deeper intimacy with God, Illuminate is for you.

If you are tired of fear, anxiety, frustration, and pressures of life having their way in your heart, Illuminate is for you.

When the plan makes zero sense

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I used to be so organized! Really I did. I used to make monthly menu plans, cleaning schedules, well-planned to-do lists. In the past, I would have packed for a trip a week ahead of time. I would have begun preparing mentally well in advance. I would have plotted out the trip before leaving so as to have no wasted time.

Now my kids are older, and I spend all of my free time writing, studying, or speaking. So I put a significant amount of planning and organizing there, which means something had to give. I think secretly my family is glad about this. It makes a not free-spirited girl a little bit free-er…is that a word?

For our recent trip to Orlando, I mentioned in a previous post that we surprised the boys with a day at Magic Kingdom. The old me would have spent an enormous amount of time planning, plotting, or organizing to maximize that day. But I simply had no time, so the night before we left, I hopped on The Unofficial Guide to Disney and for $12.95 purchased their very well thought out, super-organized touring plan suited for a family with only 1 day and children at various ages and stages.

This plan makes no logical sense at all. It has you zigging and zagging all over the park rather than visit each ride in each section while you are there. A few times Steve gave me that look. The one that said, “Seriously….we have to walk all the way to the other side when the ride right here has a very small wait? This makes no sense.”

The plan seemed to make no sense. But we made a choice to trust the plan even though it made no sense whatsoever. There were so many moments that temptation was great to break the plan, to follow our own ideas, which seemed right. Then we would remember we had chosen to trust the plan.

We followed the plan exactly. Never veering to the right or to the left. Never following our own ideas, even when they seemed to make more sense. We followed the course laid out for us.

And the most amazing thing happened. We finished every single attraction on that list in record time. A plan that estimated we would finish just prior to park closing, we finished before dinner. On a peak day, during spring break!

Every single day I question God’s plan. Not out loud, not in a way anyone would recognize as questioning God. It’s a little more silent inside me. The way I become exasperated over correcting the same behavior over and over again in my children. The way I question why I continue to have to walk through various difficult situations that appear hopeless. The way I become restless and discontent in a current situation, looking to what I want rather then grasping gratitude for what I have. The way I worry and cover it by saying I’m just “thinking”.

Oh, yes, I question God’s plan. When I look at the world around me, despair beckons me to crumble at its feet. When I hear words spoken from one of my children that I swore my children would never say, and in my heart I just want to throw in the towel and admit defeat. When a difficult person continues to present difficult situations and I quit praying because I’ve decided to take sides with hopelessness. These are the silent ways I question His plan every single day.

In my heart, I trust God. I trust His Word. I sit at His feet and pour out my heart, I am strengthened by His Word. Then I take 2 steps into reality and how quickly I forget. So today I visualize following that silly, illogical touring plan. Choosing to follow what felt unnatural. That’s what it often feels like to follow God.

I choose to follow God’s plan, even when – to my human mind – it makes no logical sense. Because I know He is faithful. I know He cares for me. I know He holds me in His right hand. I know He is compassionate towards me. I know He knows my fears and struggles better than I do. I know He sees ahead what I can’t see. I know He laid a plan for me before I was born. I know that nothing can thwart His plan. I know all of this. Today I choose to walk in the belief that His plan is perfect even when I can’t see the sense in it.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

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