Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Leaning In To Hear Him

I love my alone time with God. Time when I bask in His presence and let His love refresh and rejuvenate me as I discover the joy of yielding to Him. I especially love it when I receive some nuggets of insights that open my spiritual eyes and make my spirit soar. Like the time when He sat with me out on the deck and gave me His fresh manna.

As I've been trying to hear what God is speaking to my heart to write in my blog for this week, this well-known prayer known as The Serenity Prayer keeps coming back to me.

God grant me the serenity 
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

This prayer has been so close to my heart for the past few years that I have practically adopted it as my own! 

Trying to change the things that either cannot be changed or are not meant for me to change only brings about frustration and discouragement. The ability to accept things for what they are is key to peace being restored to my soul.

As for things I can change, oh how I need the courage to do so!

But what makes it tricky is the ability to tell if something can be changed or not. Or whether it is the time to push for things to happen or to wait. This is where I need God's wisdom. And I need His grace to help me do what I cannot do in my own strength.

For a season of time, I've been taking comfort from the following scriptures and letting God fight my battles for me:

"But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord's victory...." ~ 2 Chronicles 20:17 (NLT) ~

"'Be strong and courageous! Don't be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side! He may have a great army, but they are merely men. We have the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!' Hezekiah's words greatly encouraged the people." 
~ 2 Chronicles 32:7,8 (NLT) ~

"When you hear the blast of the trumpet, rush to wherever it is sounding. Then our God will fight for us!" ~ Nehemiah 4:20 (NLT) ~

Knowing that God fights for me takes a huge load off my shoulders. 

Recently though, God has brought me back to the story of Moses leading the people of Israel across the Red Sea not once, but a few times. When God speaks a few times, I really need to listen!

The story is picked up in Exodus 14 where the Israelites found themselves caught between a rock and a hard place. There was the Red Sea before them and Pharaoh's army chasing them from behind. It was an impossible situation! Trying to prevent the people from panicking as they cried out to the Lord to save them, Moses told them not to be afraid but to stand still and see the salvation of God as He fought for them. However, God had one more thing for Moses to do before He miraculously saved them. He told Moses to pick up his staff and raise his hand over the sea so as to divide the water for the Israelites to cross over to the other side (verse 16).

I think God is reminding me that often times, there are things that I need to do before He can do His part. Like Moses had to stretch out his staff over the sea in order for it to part. Or that the people of Judah and Jerusalem won the battle not by fighting but by singing and praising God. Something that has to be done on our part to win the battle, but which may be different each time.

Last week while writing about the chihuahua of fear, a sense of warfare came over me and I felt liberated by addressing my fear in the way that Holley asked us to. It felt so good!

In order to know what to do and when to do it, I need to lean in to God to hear what He's saying. Because often times, He speaks through scriptures, circumstances, other people, or He whispers softly to my heart. When I don't take the time to listen, I miss it.

If I may, this then is my humble rendition of the Serenity Prayer:

God grant us the wisdom and serenity
to know what to do and when to do it;
to not rush ahead of You and trip over ourselves;
or to get stuck in our comfort zone or sense of helplessness.

Give us the ears to hear what You're saying,
and the courage to obey what we're hearing.
Give us the faith to believe You for more,
and the grace to wait when You say so!

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