the magnetic pull of focus

One day spent in Your house, this beautiful place of worship, beats thousands spent on Greek island beaches. I’d rather scrub floors in the house of my God than be honored as a guest in the palace of sin. Psalm 84:10 MSG

I love to worship. It is the one thing I like best after spending time in His Presence, and diving into the Word.

When I get really busy, I tend to rush through my day beginning with a quick devotional instead an unrushed time at His feet, focusing solely on Him.

This quick fix mentality opens me up to selfishness, hurry, and distraction. Spend too long with that crew, and the enemy begins to make his play.

When sin comes knocking, sometimes what looks good in the moment can appear better than what we know to be true. For the enemy was an angel of light, and very beautiful in the eye of the beholder. (2 Corinthians 11:12-15)

However, beauty is only skin deep, and the truth about all things will be revealed the more time we invest in it. A handsome man or gorgeous woman isn’t always so lovely once you get to know them when their personality becomes revealed.

Sin is the same.

Just because it looks good, doesn’t mean it is good.

If it sounds too good to be true, it may just be a lie.

Only God IS good, and so are His ways.

Nothing can ever beats being His, and being with Him.

●How we live magnifies our priorities.

●What we love reveals the desires of our hearts.

●What we focus on attracts more of the same….

If we zoom in on our lack or selfish desires, our mood will become increasingly dissatisfied and depressed. If we seek Him first and His Kingdom, its standards will be reflected within us.

What most appeals to His Beloved should be the things which most appeal to Him: community, truth, holiness, being with the one you love.

Lord, may we choose to regularly worship You, and keep our gaze focused on what is good, true, wholesome and pure. (Philippians 4:8) Be the fixed point of our devotion, and ever clarify our focus so we can see you better. Let Your character magnify our vision, and replicate itself within us.

May the gift of Presence be the one we unwrap the most, and may our heart align up with Your passions the more we spend time with You, and focus on what will last a lifetime instead of a fleeting moment.

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love letter to the Beloved

Beloved,
yes, I mean you.
Please look at me.
I am inviting you
to come out of hiding
and enter My embrace
just as you are.

My love for you?
It’s not based on what you do,
for I am not interested in performance as a basis for My love.

My love for you?
Overflows out of me,
because I am Love.

And I felt desire for you
my Beloved,
my Bride,
back before I created
this world & all its wonders.

Do you grasp that I consider you
to be My crowning glory
of the wonders in this world?

I had a glimpse of you
as I laid out my plans for Creation
and although I knew
it would take time
and many many lifetimes
in earth’s time
for you to come to me,
I was excited
for our meeting.

I have been waiting for you
since before time began
to meet with you.

Love cannot help but long for the one it loves.

And You are she to me.

My Beloved.

I know life in its daily drudgery can be hard to cope with some days,
but I hope you know the Truth which accompanies you always.

I am with you, each & every moment of your life.

In the hard times, I bring comfort peace as the jewels of My love for you.

When you are rejoicing, I clap for joy.

When you are grieving, I hold you even closer to my heart.  For I too know the pain of deep loss.

When you finish the race before you, I am the Prize waiting for you at the end.

When you feel discarded or broken by this world, know that I long to reshape you into the masterpiece I saw you as & created you to be from the beginning.

Oh my Beloved,
that you would accept what you may not be able to fully understand on this side of Heaven….
you are loved.

Walk it out.
Be loved.
Allow yourself to be my Beloved,
no holds barred, without restraint.

As you walk as my Beloved,
the fragrance of My Presence you will carry will entrance those who do not yet know they are part of My Beloved.

My Bride awakens when she senses My desire for her.

Be loved, Beloved.

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God has been wooing me with quiet loving whispers to my heart, and reassuring Words to my spirit.  The harder my days seem, the lighter they become when I recognize that being His Beloved is not like work, where you can turn it off or on at will.  His Love is meant to cover us, soak into us, and become part of us, making us over as His Beloved from the inside out. 

Be loved today, Beloved.  Allow Him to speak the words & song the song over you He longs to bless you with.

infected with the disease to please

I somehow believed the lie that I was here only to please everybody else when I was young.

In school, you only get good marks when you do what the teachers ask.

At work, you only get more responsibility & raises when you do what your employers ask.

In relationships, you only get included when you do what your friends ask.

My dreams were squelched under the expectations placed upon my shoulders by everybody I came into contact with. Leaving me alive but not living the life God intended for me.

Then I walked squarely into the embrace of Grace, and my world was turned upside down and inside out.

Soon after finding Jesus, I remet the man who was to become my husband.

I didn’t yet realize that I hadn’t completely broken off the disease to please so I could relate in a healthier way to those I live and work alongside.

Fast forward several years, to an kind word spoken by one of my employers, which God timed to be spoken alongside His Words He was writing on my heart. I was not to put myself last on my list of priorities, all the time.

I am here to serve my fellow man, we all are.

But God doesn’t ask me to pour myself out in a way that He has not asked me to do. Nor deny caring for myself long term in a way that causes myself harm.

Before I encountered Jesus, I had been taken advantage of my men I dated. My ‘no’ wasn’t respected.

Jesus doesn’t ask me, or you, to be anyone’s punching bag, ongoing butt of their jokes, recipient of their rage, or their casual sex toy. He didn’t design us to be stepped on or destroyed by those who are supposed to love us.

We are to please Him first.

Living our lives as He guides pleases Him.

If your coworker or loved one asks you to do something to please them, and its against God’s standards? God isn’t pleased when we say yes.

Because we were made for so much more than to simply please one another’s whims or join them in their fall into sin.

Our desire to please God is to grow out of our love relationship. When I receive His love, I can share it with those around me. Ultimately pleasing God, which will likely meet the needs in those I care for.

But its His pleasure I want more than anyone else’s.

Learning this fundamental truth? I have been able to discern with His guidance when I am to meet a need and when i am to say no to a request. I am to work my best for His glory, which will likely please my bosses, but happens more as a side effect of working to build His kingdom first than to solely please my employers.

My best yes is to say yes where He wants me to be.

Occasionally, I want to jump and say yes before I make the request known to God. The fleshly me still likes to try and infect me with the disease to please again.

When I am in doubt, I wait.

And oh, I confess i do not like to wait, nor at times to let God make the decision for me, but I know it’s the best medicine to prevent this disease’s return.

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Left to my own devices, I slip away and become someone of everyone else’s making… like the main character in that classic movie, Runaway Bride.

God didn’t design me to not be myself, and to let everyone else make my decisions for me as I try to please them at my own expense.

Let me be clear, I love to serve. I love to be His hands and feet, share His words, encourage, love, help as He leads. Pouring ourselves out in service where He has placed us blesses Him.

But I am no longer doing it to please anybody but God.

Whether others are pleased or not is based on their perceptions & expectations, and is part of their story.

My story is moving ahead with freedom to please God first. For it is in Him that we live & breathe & find our meaning.

I am free from the unreasonable expectations of trying to live up to everyone else’s belief of who I should be.

Living to try to please a flawed person who doesn’t know all about me will only lead to the disease to please growing into heartbreak and pain.

Living to please the One who knows all about me, who knows the way I can live my best to serve Him & those around me is my priority now.

If like me, you struggle with the disease to please, do yourself a favor.

Seek the applause of heaven, for a ‘Well done’ from your Heavenly father will ring for all eternity.

God honors our desire to seek Him first. If you find that pleasing Him means those around you are less pleased with you, ask Him what is going on. He will answer you as you give Him the first place He is due.