19 May

Like a father delighting in his child, God delights in us.  He longs to show us His love; a love that can never be extinguished, a love given freely without merit of any kind.  

I’ve spent a lot of time, over the years, studying God’s Word and pouring through Christian books.  My motives have varied, but mostly, I’ve tried to get it right, so I could please God; or more honestly, to appease Him.  But, like the writer of Ecclesiastes concluded, no matter how much I read, no matter how much I know and no matter how hard I try to apply this knowledge, without my heart surrendered to my heavenly Father, my best efforts are like chasing after the wind.

Today, I just want to know Him.  I want to walk with Him, commune with Him and delight in Him!  For THIS is what truly matters.  In Hosea 6:6, God shares His heart:

“I’m after love that lasts, not more religion.  I want you to know Me, not go to more prayer meetings.”  (The Message)

But, can we be honest here?  It’s so much easier to busy myself with learning.  I can avoid the risk of relationship, if I occupy myself with “just one more Bible study.”  Even the conventional “quiet time” can be easily manipulated into something I do, instead of an authentic intimate fellowship with the Father. 

Despite spending years trying to figure out why I still do the things I do, God continues to faithfully draw me back to TRUTH.  It’s HIS power and strength that transforms my life, not my own.  It’s HIS righteousness, not my own.  It’s HIS faithfulness, not my own.  I can never muster up enough determination to overcome the enemy.  I cannot recite enough Scripture to force my body into submission.  It may work for a while, and it has.  But it will never bring lasting change.

It’s only when I lift my eyes to the LORD, trusting HIM and HIM alone, that I experience HIS presence, HIS peace, HIS joy and HIS victory.  HE IS GOOD!

I lift my eyes to the mountains—

    where does my help come from?

My help comes from the LORD,

    the Maker of heaven and earth.  

   Psalms 121:1-2

Since college in the early 1980s, I’ve enjoyed the craft of writing.  I’ve played with stories, journaled intermittently, and even started to write my own story about how God saved me from hopelessness.  I enjoy sharing my heart through words.  I especially want to share God’s heart and His goodness with others.  He has rescued me from sin and self-destruction, and I am eternally grateful.  Thus, my reason for starting this blog last fall. 

But it’s so easy to get sidetracked, striving to make everything flow to perfection.  The old me seeks approval from others.  The old Valerie fears that she will offend.  Thus, when I take my focus off a simple honest relationship with the Father, I quickly find myself battling fear, again.  For that reason, when I came home from vacation last month, I put off returning to my blog.  I wondered if I was truly making a difference and decided that I would not continue until God made it clear that this is His will. 

But, after being approached twice by one of my adult children, encouraging me to continue, I have concluded that even if it is only his life that I encourage, it is totally worth it.  So, my sweet son, I dedicate today’s thoughts to you.  Thank you for always speaking up, when you felt led.  God has spoken to me through you on more than a few occasions, and I believe He has used you to spur me on, once again.  Thank you for being His vessel. 

Foremost, I pray that God will be exalted through me and that my words will bring glory and honor to Him.

Your Word, O Lord is right and true;

You are faithful in ALL that You do.

Consistently proven to be righteous and just;

In You alone, I put my trust.

Every gift is from above;

Filling the earth with Your unfailing love.

Thank you, Father!

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