In Day 15’s devotion Priscilla writes of the Ego Monster. “In a dark, hidden room deep inside us where it lurks … The ego monster pokes through a tiny crevice…” Pg 59 This phrase reminded me of the cleft of the rock where Moses was hidden from the glory coming from God’s face. “Now show me Your glory …” Moses had cried to God. The Lord had agreed, but on one condition. We
read in Exodus 33:18, 22-23:
“...There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft
in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”
Do you remember the story of Christ’s transfiguration?
“There he [Jesus] was transfigured before them [Peter, James and John]. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.” [Matthew 17.2-3]
Who also appeared? Moses. Do you think Moses understood the power of God’s glory then? Do we understand it? Can you imagine what it means to be an heir to that glory?
Did you know that we are made to reflect the very glory from which Moses was sheltered? Paul writes, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” NASB 2 Corinthians 3.18
I loved many passages from this weeks collection of devotions. But my biggest takeaway is this: Do you remember the old song, ‘Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so…’? This week’s devotions bring that truth back for me. I taught it to my little ones because it’s one of those assurances that’s simple, yet, even as an adult it’s impact transcends my childhood still bringing this divine truth back to life:
Jesus loves me this I know …
On page 31 Priscilla writes about our forgiveness of others. I love this devotional because we know that God’s forgiveness is intended to remove guilt and restore open, loving relationship with Him. Our forgiveness of others brings Him glory and us healing. I mention this devotional because an element of that truth which I wondered about is forgiveness of oneself.
Have you struggled with forgiving yourself for wrongdoing? I have. Especially when I consider my motivations behind a sin. Sometimes it’s easier to just ignore those ugly inner thoughts and instead pour guilt all over ourselves. Somehow the suffering from that guilt feels like payment for sinning, right?
But that heaping on of guilt doesn’t equal God's forgiveness because a huge part of God's forgiveness is based in His desire for us to grow. Spiritual growth in our heart is what He desires to see in us. That growth produces repentance which compels us to seek His face. Which results in enormous joy. All reminding us once again of the song we learned so long ago … Jesus loves me this is I know …
Priscilla describes Awaken as her 'personal whispers' from God. Those revelations will apply to her differently than they will to each one of us. However, there are standards in her words that we all can take to heart. Here are a few strung together so we can more easily see a bigger picture.
She writes, "... I don't think I could have penned a devotional in my early twenties. I was too busy." [pg 1] A dedicated devotional practice gave Priscilla direction: "... shifting my perspective, compelling me to action ... But not without [putting] time and quiet into the process." [pg 2] Regarding devotional time she writes the first portion of our day is when, "... your heart is most open and refreshed..." [pg 4] Regarding taking time to stop and look when seeking God's help she adds, "Maybe the [solution] you've been praying for is already there--" [pg 8] which reinforces the truth on pg 12, "Quiet time is not an excuse for the lazy but a wise [foundation] for the diligent." Comparing our relationship to God with a successful athlete she writes, "... preparation must be methodical and systematic... Scheduled sacrifice. ... Any dreams of taking home a title are unlikely, if not impossible, without honing her craft to near perfection through painstaking commitment and [persistence]." [pg 15] Wouldn't you agree?
We admire athletes because they are examples of discipline and their selfless dedication to a goal. Relationship with God is much easier to perfect, but it still requires 'time.'
In the Introductory Blog I wrote: "I could talk about the practicality of regular time with God and it’s huge benefits, but I’m guessing you already know because at some point in your life He has found you quiet and receptive. It was then that He gently and completely swept your heart away into understandings that still encourage you today. It’s those moments of wonder that we can live in when we begin a daily devotional reading."
Over the years many women have told me they talk to God, or pray while they drive because they are just too busy to do it otherwise. I get that. I do it too. But we need to recognize something more. On my birthday, many, many years ago, my young daughter gave me a sweatshirt. I laughed and thought it was cute; but later in a quiet moment I realized it wasn't funny. As hard as she tried to communicate with me, I often was NOT listening. So, flip that situation around. We know God always listens, but when we multi-task during our conversations with Him, can we really hear His reply? Are we listening?
Prayer, relationship with God, is based on a two-way conversation. Yeah, two-ways. We talk, He listens. We listen, He talks. It's always to our benefit to do more of the latter and less of the former.
We are eager to hear your takeaways. Share with us (:
Awaken is beginning January 4. Our format for this book will be slightly different since it is a daily reading, not a single, weekly chapter. We will read each day and comment on Thursday morning as usual about those thoughts. The awesome thing about a shared reading is learning from others. Your take-aways are important because they can impact another person's understanding. That's how we grow. So share! (:
From your host:
The Lord has given me a desire to encourage you, to see your understanding
of His love grow. He is the Knower of Our Everything, and yet he died for us.
There is no greater, empowering love. As we read and share we will gain new insight into His love and how it works in our life.
Let's join together
as we read Awaken.
~ Andi Hines
Writer, Teacher, MASF