The picture below was my journal entry on Sunday.
Abide in His presence and His peace and joy will abound.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the busy that is life and forgot that we need to take time to sit at His feet. That we need to make time to recharge and be refreshed and renewed. That we need time with our Creator to realign our hearts and minds when they get out of whack, which they so easily do.
I’m not one to sit still for too long. Sitting still for me is either sleeping, reading a book, or writing, which really isn’t sitting still because I’m still doing something. Sitting still and not doing anything doesn’t come easy to me because while my hands and body may be still, my mind is running at a hundred miles and hour. But over the last many months I have started to realise that while I don’t need to physically sit still, I need to make sure that I am getting time alone with my Creator.
The last few months have been very up and down (more will be shared at a later date) and I have found myself getting easily distracted. Worrying about this, that and the other. Being negative in my thoughts. The negative thoughts started increasing and became a regular thing until a friend of mine challenged me on it and asked me what I felt God saying to me about my circumstances. As I pondered that question I realised that I hadn’t even taken it to God. Don’t get me wrong, God knew about the situation (He is God after all) and He knew how I felt about the situation because I made sure to tell Him every chance I had, but it was a very one sided conversation because I didn’t stop long enough to hear His response.
I talked at Him but I didn’t spend enough time with Him to hear His heart.
This challenge made me realise that all my restlessness and tension and negativity was due to the lack of time spent with God. I had lost some of my joy and peace because instead of spending time with the One who wants me to have His peace and fullness of joy, I was too busy telling him how to be God and what I thought He needed to do.
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:11
Jesus himself tells us that He wants us to have His fullness of joy and it’s only found when we abide in Him. When we fix our hearts and minds and eyes on Him. In the days that followed this little revelation I started to abide in my own way; sitting at a cafe writing out all the things I felt God was saying. Reading a bible verse first thing in the morning and thinking and praying over that particular verse for the remainder of the day. Talking out my faith and talking about God and what He was doing in my heart.
I became a lot more intentional about God and a lot more intentional about shifting my negative thoughts. When negative thoughts crept up, I would acknowledge them them work hard at focusing my thoughts on something else; singing a song of worship or reciting a scripture I know. Nothing happened at first, but gradually, the thoughts started shifting.
Slowly but surely, the negative thoughts became less frequent the more I spent time not just talking to God but talking WITH God.
Listening to what He had to say. Paying attention to the still small voice that was speaking love and encouragement and joy. Did He answer my questions? No, He didn’t, but He reminded me of the promises He’s made: that He would never leave me or forsake me; that He has plans for my future that are good; that He sent Jesus to the Cross so that I could be in communion with Him and have a relationship with the One that created me.
The more we abide, the more we fix our ears and eyes and hearts on God, the more we experience Him and can enjoy His love and joy and peace. It won’t always change our circumstances, but it will change our perspective. It will change our attitude. It will change how we respond to our circumstances. That’s what being in the presence of God does for us. It doesn’t change Him, it changes us.
Today, make time to fix your eyes on Him and let Him change you and let Him pour out His peace over you, because the peace He gives is like nothing else.