Five Important Lessons

Five important lessons that I’ve learned from my walk with the Lord:

  • Impatience will slow your progress. It demonstrates a lack of wisdom and faith.
  • Trying to take shortcuts will hinder your journey. It demonstrates independence from the Lord.
  • Allowing worldliness to remain in your life will subtract from a meaningful relationship with Jesus.
  • Inconsistent intimacy with Jesus equals little to no anointing for ministry.
  • Salvation is two part: He already did His part and we are instructed to do ours, to live as though we are saved. Philippians 2:12; 2 Cor. 7:1

Hidden to Meet with the Lord

I’m hidden for a short while…again.

Something I’ve learned over the years about my walk with the Lord is that His special offer to meet with Him never expires, and the very purpose for which He has created me is fulfilled only through seasons of living Hidden in Him.

There’s a favorite room in the rambling old farm house that my husband and I call home. I study and write in that room, but what I especially enjoy in that quiet space is being with the One who loves with the purest and deepest of loves.

After five weeks of traveling and ministry, I’m glad for the Lord’s invitation to come aside to be with Him. My soul and tired body need a hidden life; being with Him will rejuvenate both.

Coming aside from daily routines to meet with the Lord is the way to a closer relationship with Him.

Do you understand what I’m talking about here? I haven’t traveled to a remote location to be cloistered away with the Lord. I’m not wearing a nun habit. It’s not that I spend day after day hidden in my room away from earthly activities, and hour after hour deep in prayer. Please, don’t misunderstand.

There are people who are called to a life like that, but that’s not what I’m talking to you about. What I’m sharing with you here is that there is a way to a deeper Christian walk and union with the Lord. In more than two decades of following Jesus, I’ve found that what’s needed for this is time alone with Jesus. Daily. It’s that simple.

This isn’t a religious requirement.

For many people, being alone with the Lord to pray, worship, or to sit quietly in His Presence is the best part of each day. This is what I’ve found. Prayer is not a religious requirement. It’s an invitation to walk through the door that God has opened to you. That door leads to Him.

If you have decided to step aside for a little while, to be in a hidden place with the Lord, distractions will nip at your heels.

This nearly always happens to me. Just as I’m headed to my favorite place, I remember that I promised to return a phone call, or that I didn’t finish the last article, and I think that doing so will take just a few minutes of my time.

What do you imagine happens? When I submit to these distractions, more time is consumed than I had anticipated and the block of time that I had is gone.

Prayer is the one thing that will reveal to you the things in your life that have a hold on you.

You can hide away in a cabin in the middle of a forest, at the top of a hill, where your cell phone and computer won’t work and still be restless and distracted. That restlessness is not from the Lord. He’s the God of peace, not of constant mental and physical activity.

Jesus said, when you pray, go into your room and shut the door. Pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly”–Matt. 6:6

In Matthew 6:6, we find Jesus’ instructions concerning prayer. When you pray, go into your room and shut the door. We shut the door to close out distractions, then we Pray to our Father who is in the secret place; and our Father who sees in secret will reward us openly.

There may be a battle to get to the “Secret Place,” that place where you’re mentally and emotionally present with the Lord. Whatever needs to be overcome to get there, He’s worth it. Push through. Turn off your phone. Tell your family that you’re taking a little rest. Close your door. You need to be with Him.

When you’re in your room behind your closed door, that hidden place will reveal to you the things in your life that have a hold of you. You can be in the middle of worship and suddenly a thought crosses your mind of something you’d like to do, need to do, must do. Those things that pop up in your thoughts are trying to dominate your life. My friends, what you don’t rule will rule over you. Be in dominion.

Not everyone will understand and not everyone walking on the journey with you today will continue on the journey with you tomorrow.

The “Secret Place” is a prayer closet built for two–you and the Lord. It’s not my intention to shock you, but some of you will be surprised to learn that there aren’t crowds of people knocking down the door to get in.

Following Christ and particularly coming aside from a busy life to be with Him in prayer is counter-cultural, which means that it’s not appealing to the masses, but it’s greatly valued by the Lord.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith…

The people you know may not be interested in following Christ to the extent that you are. Not everyone will understand your journey, and those walking on your journey with you today might take a different course tomorrow, but you are not alone.

We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. Throughout the ages, men and women have found the way to the Secret Place to meet with the Lord, these include: Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Caleb, Isaiah, Elijah, Daniel, Deborah, Samuel, David, Esther, Zechariah and Elizabeth, Anna, Mary (the sister of Martha), John the Baptist, Priscilla, John the Apostle and Paul.

I’m in a hidden place for a little while. This means that I’ve stepped aside in the midst of a very full and busy life to be with the One who loves with perfection. Not everyone understands this journey and that’s okay.

Pamela

I Don’t Care for Religion, but I Love God

DSCN1970I really don’t care for religion, but I love God and Jesus my Savior.

Does this sound like a contradiction?

By reading the Gospels one can easily see that Jesus wasn’t too thrilled with the way in which the teachers and enforcers of God’s Word performed their duties—They had become very religious.

Those religious leaders were the caregivers over Jesus’ Fathers’ house. They were in His house as sons, but they didn’t know the homeowner. They could recite large amounts of Scripture, but they didn’t know the writer of the Book. Because of this disconnect with God, they misrepresented Him and used His Word as an iron fist over the people.

Jesus said, woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone, Luke 11:42.

Like the Pharisees, religious people tend to follow the Word without showing justice or the love of God, and they tend to over emphasize the avoidance of sin versus walking with God in mutual relationship.

Another reason I dislike religion is because worldly principles of acceptance exist in its cryptic background. You give to get. You work to earn. Promotion is based upon performance. Those who do not perform well are rejected. The really messed up people are ostracized. The beautiful people are those with money and great achievements.

It would seem like we should work really hard to be good so that God will accept us. But His economy doesn’t function the way we often think it should. He invites us to Himself through the sacrificial gift of His Son. We are forgiven based on what His Son did and our acceptance of that gift. The same grace that’s available to someone devout, such as Mother Teresa, He also offers to those who break every one of His commandments. He didn’t come to condemn, but to save.

Our behavior matters and keeping His commandments is important, in fact it’s one of the demonstrations of our faith, but He loves us because that is Who He is.

On occasion, people have replied to something that I’ve said by telling me that they aren’t very religious. I’ve given a hearty hallelujah to their confession before explaining that God doesn’t invite them to a religion, but into a relationship with Himself through Jesus who is the bridge between us and God.

The way has been made for anyone to know God. The gift is being offered–accepting His gift is up to each of us.

I’ll close with my opening statements. I really don’t like religion, but I love God and my Savior Jesus.

Growing in relationship with them is the foundation of my life.