Monday, September 28, 2009

Turn it Up!

This morning as I listened to a favorite worship song ("I am in Love with You" by Darrell Evans from "Freedom"), I reached over and turned up the volume. There's a portion of the song I have to hear louder. I love it! Can't get enough of it. Turn it up!

I wondered if God feels like that.

There you are singing to him, worshiping, offering your heart and God calls out--"Hey! Turn that up." He's asking the angels to quiet down. He's asking all of heaven to come to a hush because you are singing to Him, and He doesn't want to miss a moment of it.

And when you come with a concern, a problem, a worry, I wonder if He hushes everything to listen. "Hey everyone, quiet down. I need to hear this child's plea."

Music takes me places as I listen. The louder the better. The more I feel it (emotionally and sometimes physically), the more deeply I experience it.

You don’t have to shout at God for Him to hear you, of course. He can hear at any volume. But this season of change has driven a lot of us to our knees before Him. Can you feel it?

Prayer is more sincere. Worship is intensifying. We cry out to Him from deeper places in our hearts. No more pretense. No more futile attempts at hiding. It’s out there, a stark display of honesty.

Worship leads to breakthroughs because 1) God changes us as we worship; 2) worship creates an atmosphere where God dwells and the enemy of our souls flees; 3) worship changes our perspective and magnifies our great God.

Waiting on a breakthrough? Worship. Need encouragement? Play the worship music, sing along, get lost in His presence.

Turn it up!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

While We Wait

I can be really impatient. Can I get a witness?

Months ago, my husband and I watched Fireproof for the first time. Being a musician, my ears and heart immediately picked up on a fantastic song about 3/4 through the movie--While I'm Waiting by John Waller. Fantastic intro on this song and that's only the beginning--truly. The words go on to talk about waiting on God to move when it's painful, difficult, challenging to wait for Him to fulfill what He's spoken.

There are many promises God has placed in my heart. I know He'll fulfill them. I'm can look around and see how he's already fulfilled previous promises.

Still, I wait for Him to bring these others to pass.

It's hard to wait.

But, then I catch a glimpse of the fruit He's bringing into my life. Like maybe a smidgen more patience. Purer motives--it's less about me and more about Him. Humility. It's not up to me. That's freeing. Dependence upon Him. A very good byproduct of a long wait.

What kinds of fruits has waiting brought into your life?

The other thing He's teaching me is it's not all about the destination. I keep my eyes pinned there because it carries me forward, boosts my energy and generally motivates me through the tough times. But God is here in the journey. He's truly the one carrying me forward while I wait.

When you are tempted to go for an Ishmael answer--remember:

Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
(Psalm 37:4, NKJV)

He puts the desires in our hearts for His will as we delight ourselves in Him. Then, he fulfills those desires.

What a good God!!

One more encouraging Scripture:

Who is this coming up from the wilderness,

leaning on her Beloved?

(Song of Solomon 8:5a, MKJV)

Waiting or celebrating, I wanna be leaning. And if waiting teaches me to lean, if it means I can press my face to Jesus' chest, hear His heart beating with love for me, I'm there. I'll press in.

And I'll wait.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Daddy's Arms

The other day, I was chasing my preschooler through our living room and she ran straight to Daddy on the sofa. (Smart girl!) She scrambled up into his arms and squealed, looking behind her to see if the "threat" (me) was still coming. I was. She squirmed and finally broke loose from Dad's arms, scampering farther away on the sofa. I giggled and stopped playing the chase game, saying "Why did you climb out of Daddy's arms. He's the safest place you could be."

Why do I climb out of Daddy's arms?

Sometimes I think I can handle things better on my own. I certainly prefer my own timing. But God's timing is perfect for everyone involved. Be at rest, oh my soul. Climb up into Daddy's arms and rest.

A windstorm chases me toward God in prayer. I find a moment's peace, but then the huge trees in our yard rock in a powerful gust and I scamper away, embrace fear and stew. Then, I realize what I've done and scurry back toward God in prayer.

I want to stay in His arms, where I'm safe and can experience His peace. There's nothing for me anywhere else.

I'm secure in my Daddy's arms.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Fragrance Remains

I walked into my home office today, and a delightful fragrance lingered.

A couple of nights ago, I holed up in here and spent some time with the Lord, worshiping, praying. As He led me, I lit candles, one by one. The fragrance and the heat were soothing and a pleasure. That was two nights ago. But the fragrance remains.

Is that what Jesus experienced before and during His crucifixion? Mary anointed Him with spikenard days before He died. The fragrance filled the room, covered her hair and her Savior. Rich oil like this doesn’t wash away (not that Jesus would have wanted to). He told the other people in the room she had anointed Him for His burial. She had covered Him with her sacrifice of love. When He went to the cross, the oil’s scent remained. The memory of her sacrifice, of her devotion probably encouraged Jesus through His most painful hours.

I liked the reminder today of our time together the other evening. Is that what it’s like for our King? Do our prayers linger with Him over time and bless Him whenever He’s reminded? I believe they do. Such a beautiful truth.

Let your prayers rise to Him like fragrance and know that He cherishes your words, your attention, your affection. And when tough times come, remember God recalls your prayers like a potent and pleasurable fragrance.