"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass." (Psalms 37:7)
Many people rush in life. They rush to get to the next event, the next exciting thing. However, in all their rushing, how much of their day is spent simply soaking in God's goodness? How much spare time does rushing leave you? And if you're negating God to "spare time" then what does that communicate to Him? God wants to be your delight, your safe refuge, and your everyday companion.
We are not meant to live alone, apart from Him, buzzing around place to place attempting to satisfy everyone's requests. We're not made to be people pleasing machines, we're created to be God's very own.
"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)
I've never seen a rose bud reject its bush, and try to bloom apart from its life source. Neither have I ever witnessed a mulberry fall off the tree and yet continue to ripen.
All these plants require a source of life and nourishment which can be found in only one place. The rose bud must abide in the rose bush in order for it to fully blossom, and the mulberry must remain on the mulberry tree in order for it to fully ripen.
In the same way, we must abide in Christ our Lord in order to reach our destinies. In order to produce the wonderfully sweet fruits of the spirit, we must become saturated by the Holy Spirit. How do we do that? We root ourselves in Him. We neither neglect our time with Him, nor shove it into a place of unenjoyable routine.
"Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God." (1 John 4:15)
When we deliberately plant ourselves in Him, He is faithful to live within our hearts. When God sends His Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts, an inner transformation occurs. Our once cold and hardened hearts turn into warm, tender, and merciful vessels filled with the gentle, forgiving love of God.
"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." (Ezekiel 36:26)
How? How can we free our hearts from the weeds that grow wildly? How can be liberated from the vicious cycle of sin and shame? How can our hearts be transformed to be more like His?
It's often said that you become more like the people with which you spend your time. Because this is the case, wouldn't it make sense to you that the more time we spend in the Presence of the Lord, the more like Him we become?
"that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:22-24)
It takes is stillness in His Presence to feel Him move in your spirit. Quietness, so that you might hear His loving whispers. Openness, to become filled with His goodness. Willingness, so that you may be used to deliver His love to others. God is searching for those patient, obedient, and eager souls.
"Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance." (1 Peter 1:13-14)
Stillness, readiness, and obedience. It all seems so difficult, because the flesh will revolt. Our flesh will attempt to utterly and deliberately reject the attributes that the Holy Spirit imparts in us. This is why it's imperative to come to the Lord in humble repentance with your heart wide open, because He will uproot any unrighteousness for you. Trust Him, it's for your good.
"Obey me. Do what I say and I will be your God and you will be my people. Live the way I tell you. Do what I command so that your lives will go well. (Jeremiah 7:21-23 MSG)
It's hard, I know, but all things are possible with God on our side. So, let's come into His Presence this morning, and let Him take care of our heart-gardens. Let's set aside any pride, and simply be still in the rejuvenating realm of His Presence.
He is good, and He works for our good. He won't leave us batter and betrayed. He won't forsake us, nor will He manipulate us in our weaknesses. Be still soul, for the Lord God is on your side. Be still soul, for in Him you shall abide.
-The Introverted Evangelist