As of late, I’ve been wrestling with questions about direction in life and letting go of my conceptions of what God’s blessing on my life should look like, and it’s only now that I’m realizing that I have such little experience of God’s power or His glory or His love. I’m only now realizing that I struggle to trust Him with every part of me because I haven’t come into the knowledge of His love for every part of me. I find myself right back where I started when I began questioning in the first place: “Fill me with the knowledge of You, God, with the knowledge of the holy!”
To kick off this series on prayer, I want to focus on the experience of prayer. To express this sentiment, I have asked my dear friend Rachel Jackson to pen a creative piece on her experience of prayer. So without further ado:
Oh, I know this place so well;
The place we come to meet.
Oh, I know the way He looks at me
When I dance before Him, free.
Oh I know the path so well;
The path we walk upon.
Oh, I know it won’t be very long
Till He sings to me His song.
Oh I know His song so well;
The voice that kissed my heart.
Oh, I know the work of art
That hooks me from the start.
Yes, I know this place so well.
The place where Savior speaks.
Oh, I know the Words He says to me
When I stand as one redeemed.
Oh, I know this place so well;
The place where hands are laced.
Oh, how His hands touch my face
In this Romantic Race.
Rachel Elizabeth is one of the most genuine, passionate-for-God, and listening people I know. She blogs her own thoughts and experiences here.
I’ve been hearing a lot of messages lately about God’s love. God’s love. God’s affection. As one speaker put it, the word love is used so much that it fails to impact us the way it should when used in regard to the way God feels about us. God is affectionate toward us. Affectionate. Yet even this word seems dead to me, or I to it. Should that move me to cry to God for a heart that can respond to Him? In some small way, it does. Maybe if I start asking, that desire will grow.
I want, as Mike Bickle said in a message at IHOP, a heart that is fascinated by God. The most important thing in life has got to be the knowledge of God. The knowledge of God is the experience of Him in all of the ways that He expresses His identity. He is Jehovah-Rapha, Jehovah-Nissi, Jehovah-Jireh, Adonai, Elohim, El-Shaddai, El-Elyon. He is Healer, Provider, Father, Redeemer, Lover, Friend, and King. He is wonderful, majestic, awesome, active, compassionate, holy, and beautiful. I want the knowledge of this God and knowledge to the full.
Right now, I am learning to experience God as “the God who is for me.” Somehow in all my time walking with God, I have failed to truly consider Him as “for me,” but somehow saw Him as “indifferent to me.” But the Bible says that God is for us, and very passionately so! As Ben Woodward says in a prayer from His Proclamation and Confession workbook, “But today I stare into the truth of Your word and declare that You loved me with such a great love that You ransacked heaven on my behalf and sent Your Son to save me!” (Proclamation and Confession workbook, page 55) I am aware that there is great power in this truth, but my heart can’t seem to connect with it. But I want to. I have no choice but to keep pressing in and proclaiming the truth until God releases to me the understanding of it. Father, reveal to me the knowledge of God!
Lately, I’ve been consumed with looking up. Literally. Here’s a picture for you.
I think my obsession with looking up has some meaning to it. I’ll get to that in a little bit. I’ve also been enjoying gazing at vast expanses such as this one.
There’s something inspiring about wide-open spaces—something freeing that beckons you to run wild and take ownership of and responsibility for all that you see. Maybe that’s just me, maybe it’s not.
I’ve found that when I am depressed, the still small voice of God tells me to look up. He never tells me why, but I think I understand. You see, when I look up, I see the heavens and realize that life is comprised of so much more than I am experiencing right now. I begin to reflect on the tapestry of my past and all of the places I’ve been as I pursue relationship with God. I realize that things are currently not as they used to be and things will not always be as they currently are. Did you hear that? Change is a foundational ingredient in life. You cannot have life as we experience it without change. Praise God!
I think the sight of wide-open spaces reminds me to look at the big picture of my life and not become utterly consumed by all of the details of why my life is or is not working right now. This is where hope springs up. This is where the future inspires goals and dreams. This is where the tragedy of the past loses its power to control today. Thank You, Jesus!
I was feeling defeated today. What do I do when I feel defeated? I talk to Jesus. So, J and I were talking today and He showed me something that I hadn’t fully realized. I’ve been comparing myself with my brothers and sisters in Christ, trying to measure up to an imaginary standard of excellence that would not bring fulfillment.
I was questioning God. Why do there seem to be so many people much more talented than I? Why do I feel unneeded? Why do some people have their lives handed to them on a silver platter and I never find an open door of opportunity?
Each person has a unique path set before them, regardless of how similar some paths may or may not seem. The end results may be drastically different or the paths themselves may take different routes to reach the same destination. No one really knows what the future holds. The only thing that is fairly certain is that each person will experience life differently. When you compare your path with that of another person, you are trying to live into their identity instead of your own. Stop it. Discover your own identity and live into it.
Perhaps you don’t have a grasp on your identity. That’s okay. Put yourself out to experience life. Every time you find something that doesn’t work, assimilate that “not me” experience into your perspective on what to do next. For me, I’ve had my fair share of “that’s not me” experiences and sometimes it is disheartening because I feel I’m no closer to truly knowing what IS me. That’s when I cling to God’s Word.
According to the Scriptures, I am safe and secure in Christ (John 10:29). I am loved by God (John 3:16). I am royalty, a co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17). I am a friend of God (John 15:15). I have a future full of hope (Jeremiah 29:11). I stand in grace (Romans 5:2). I have access to the throne of grace in Heaven; I can boldly approach my Father (Hebrews 4:16). This is the perspective I want.