4.17.2015

once your soul knows....

I just came across this post I had started several weeks ago.  Honestly, I am SO very thankful I'm not finding myself in that dry place anymore.  I went to the Hope Spoken conference at the end of March, and God truly used it to awaken my heart and eyes to see just how much I had been walking away from Him lately....not believing Him and His promises like I know to, not finding my hope and joy in Him, letting bitterness settle in my heart as I was lacking His joy.  Since then, and after delving back deeper into His Word and presence, He has been so faithful to draw near and renew my spirit in Him....helping me to find my freedom in Him again.

from early March.... 

"Once your soul knows what its like to be alive in God, your life is not satisfied with any life less than that."

My heart is not satisfied right now. After weeks of either being sick or having sick kids and not getting my usual morning time alone with Christ, my heart is feeling the effects of it.  He was so incredibly gracious while the kids were sick though...knowing our opportunities, or lack thereof and so gently leading us....and I am so thankful.

Yet, it's been quite challenging getting back into the swing of things since then! My mind is in a million different places, I can't hardly focus while running on fumes of sleep, and I can't seem to really get good quality time alone with God consistently, for various reasons...some I can't help and some lack of discipline.

It's times like these that I realize my crutch of "quiet times in the morning."  I love that time, and YES it is important and needed.  Yet, I depend on it alone too often.  I don't have good habits of renewing my heart, mind and soul throughout the day...either by His Word, prayer, meditation, praise, worship, scripture memory or whatever.  This has been a growing process for me for years now.

Since reading "The Practice of the Presence of God" by Brother Lawrence, my eyes have been opened to my need for living in His presence throughout the day. {y'all this tiny little book is awesome and you could read it in one sitting!} This seems like common sense, but when I really sit down and think of my day, it's apparent that I am truly lacking continual renewal in Him!!  I typically just fill my cup up in the morning, and when it's emptied, it's like it's empty till the next time sometimes...but with some prayer thrown in throughout the day.  There's a lack of truly living in His presence.

It shouldn't be this way.  I've tasted and seen what my days are like when I have that good filling in the morning and then it continues to be filled throughout the day.  It's a closeness with God Himself, a peace that passes understanding, a walking in the Spirit, a life exhibiting His fruit....it's like no other.  Nothing is worthy to replace it. 

We are either walking with Him and growing closer to Him - captivating thoughts or temptations that aren't from Him and instead turning toward Him in prayer and renewal, or we are slowly falling away.  We are either feeding our flesh or our spirit.

and once we have really experienced that closeness with Christ, nothing less truly satisfies.

and.....

"No matter how profound and how deep and how real your experiences with God are, you are never exempt at finding yourself empty and desperate and alone."

I am prone to wander.

It's amazing how we can be so close with God and then find ourselves wallowing in our flesh before we know it.

Without renewing our minds and hearts continually, we are falling away without realizing it.

And without truly believing Him and taking up our crosses daily for Him, we find ourselves in our flesh.  Like Peter found himself....he was SO sure he would never deny Christ.  He couldn't fathom the thought of it.

I find myself in the same place far too often.

and I don't want to be there.  It's not enough.  When we have tasted and seen the joy and peace that comes from the closeness with God, the pleasure of walking in obedience to Him, the fruit of abiding in Him....nothing in this world compares to its glory.  its JOY.

Then why the heck are we so easily distracted with cheap things of this world that satisfy us for a mere moment?!?  Goodness, this is just irritating, isn't it!??!

I just came across C.S. Lewis' quote from "The Weight of Glory" again this morning...

"It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak.  We are half hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.  We are far too easily pleased."

If you are finding yourself frustrated, bitter, depressed, confused, or whatever....perhaps you are just missing that closeness with God you've tasted and known that satisfies your soul like no other.  Maybe you know you should expect more in Him.
Well, let's not wallow in our shame, frustration or guilt....but DO something about it.

Let's not be pleased with less than HIM.  Let's not expect too little.

God's grace is sufficient in our weakness.

"There’s times in our lives where the most important thing we can do is to stop everything and make sure there is care for our soul….slow life down and get yourself healthy."

Let's take care of our souls today and renew ourselves in Him....seeking Him wholeheartedly as He promises that when we seek Him, we find Him....and not only seek Him for our own good, but also for His pleasure...because He deserves no less than for us to seek to please Him.  And, while He desires to bless us with His good, the real blessing comes in the relationship and just being close with Him.

~except for the CS Lewis quote, quotes are from one of Erwin McManus' podcast...sorry, I'm not sure which one!

xoxoxo
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