Tag Archives: Time with God

Twenty Minutes Late for God

Bible Journaling Art by The Jesus Chick – Shari Johnson

It’s not my nature to be late for anything. I struggle with it. It’s as if to say if I arrive on time for everything in my life, all is obviously right in my world. Right? Wrong. Very wrong. But I can at least pretend for that day of punctuality that I’m okay.

So for this entire week, I’ve awoken at 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. multiple days. I hear the Holy Spirit speak, “Get up, I have something to say to you.” And rather than get up, I would lie in bed awake, in frustration with my body that loved the feeling of the covers against my skin and drift in and out of sleep; only to wake up a few hours later feeling as if I’d been beaten, with every joint in my body aching. So this morning at 3 a.m. when I heard to Holy Spirit speak again, I snuggled back beneath the covers, had a nutty dream and heard Him speak again at 5. Just like the past week every day. So at 5 a.m. I determined to get up and listen. But by the time I rallied myself up and made it to the kitchen it was 5:20.

Twenty minutes late for God…

That too is my nature. I’m not late for the world, but I’m late for divine appointments on a consistent basis and for multiple reasons and excuses.

Twice this week, two different very close friends ask me how I “really was.” They ask me hard questions that examined me like a spiritual physician and I knew they were warnings from God that I once again needed to slow myself down and take some pressure off. Doggone those people who love you.

Did I listen? I tried. But life has a way of getting you to the point that you’re 20 minutes late for an appointment with God. And that’s not good. Nobody makes God wait without consequences.

My mind went to Jonah, and his very own book. A look into the life of a man who tried to make God wait. But God didn’t lead me to that scripture, He lead me to Luke, chapter 12.

12:35-36

Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning. And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding: that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.”

IN HIS PRESENCE

The scripture refers to the return of Jesus Christ, when He comes to call His church home. But it could just as easily refer to any time the Lord knocks and requests us in His presence. Like 3 a.m. wake up calls.

BY HIS PETITION    

12:37

Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: very I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

My mind is humbled at the very thought that the Lord would serve me. And yet He does when He speaks to my soul and ministers to my broken spirit. He’d had sent angels of mercy in the form of friends who gently warned… “Rest.”

He Himself had not tried to wake me to steal my rest, but rather give me rest through His word. And yet I refused to listen but rather drift back into a restless sleep. Until today. And though I was twenty minutes late, He was still right on time to give me the message that I needed to hear to calm my troubled heart.

FOR MY PORTION

12:42-43

And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

I weep in the wisdom that the Lord provides my portion in due season. Which often time comes later because I didn’t answer the door when He was prepared to make the delivery.

It came late this week because I kept failing to answer the door. I studied this week out of necessity of teaching opportunities. Not for personal portions. It’s like savoring the goodness of someone else’s plate as you deliver it to their table. Never experiencing the food for yourself. I wonder how many Pastor’s experience that.

This morning the Lord and I dined over frosted mini wheats and coffee and the word of God. It tasted so good! And the mini wheats were pretty tasty too.

A lesson in life from the Jesus Chick… when God knocks, open yourself to opportunity.

Re-wrapped and Ready

chick gift

Wait… I said wait.

At first I wrote the second wait with an exclamation point, but then I reconsidered, because when God spoke those words to my heart, He didn’t yell. He wasn’t excited, He was in the same manner He always is…Rock steady. Unwavering. Unlike me. Lately there’s a scripture rolling inside my head from James 1:8 ~ A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. It’s like a pinball machine pinging from one corner of my mind to another failing to settle into a slot. Reminding me of the indecisions of my life, the ones that I thought I’d settled and yet I have not. They cause fear and anxiety to creep into my thoughts and unrest in my soul. That unstableness leads to feelings of unworthiness and it’s a downhill slope from there. But because my God is ever faithful and knows my every need He provided a place for my soul  to find rest in Psalm 27:1-3

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

I am confident I have no confidence.

It was a conversation I had with my teens on Sunday morning. They have no clue that I use them as mini psychiatrists; I pour my soul out to them in the guise of “opening myself up to them.” I’m kidding… kind of. It’s somewhat therapeutic to teach teens. They are nonjudgmental of my mayhem life. So when I tell them that my confidence level is nil when I take the platform to sing or speak, some are shocked, but most get it because they too struggle with confidence. Obviously I’m not alone in the adult category either. Even David, favored of God, and warrior extraordinaire had moments of doubt.

Doubt creeps into my life and then hovers over my shoulder like the evil it is. Sometimes the enemy is within and sometimes the enemy is without… It usually starts with someone or something, and then I take over adding fuel to the fire until it burns out of control. Possibly too metaphoric a statement but if you struggle with self-doubt you get it. It doesn’t take much to get you on a long journey down the road to the pity party waiting at the end and a box of Krispy Kreme Donuts, my reward of choice for having a bad day. Until God enters the scene and uses His man David to smack me back to reality.

God’s strength

But in “this” will I be confident. Then why do I not feel confident and strong? Because I have forgotten that within me is the strength of Jesus Christ.    

Hebrews 10:35Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.

I had thrown away (cast away) my confidence. God is not an Indian giver; He has a no return policy.  If I lack confidence it is because I chose to throw it away not because God took it back. Again and again God has shown me favor in the gifts that He has given me, if I lack confidence it is because I am not trusting in His ability.

God’s Sanctuary

David said in verse 4- One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

That one thing. The one thing worth desiring is to be in the presence of the Lord all the days of our lives. This morning it was not enough for me to hang out with God for a few minutes of pep talk. I wanted to really hang out and dwell with God in the Sanctuary of the Lord and hear what He desired my soul to hear. I am enquiring in His temple. Because He said when I’m in trouble He would hide me from the enemy, even if I’m the enemy.

While I’m here He has promised that He will

  • Lift me up above my enemies so that I can sing. (vs. 6)  That fear on the platform is not here.
  • He will hear what I have to say and answer me with mercy. (vs. 7) His answers bring stability.
  • I have an invitation for a face to face with God. (vs. 8) How can I not accept!
  • When the world walks out, God has never left my side. (vss. 9-10)
  • If I seek Him and listen to His teaching, the path will be plain. (vs. 11) I need plain…
  • I have enemies who seek to destroy the works that God has put into play, I’m aware of them. So is God. They should worry. (vss. 12-13)
  • I believe there is goodness waiting. (vs. 13)
  • So I am waiting. (vs. 14)

God’s Steering

14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Twice He says wait.  “But I’ve waited so long,” I complain. And then I can almost hear Him sigh… “You’ve made Me wait. You have done everything humanly possible to ignore me.” Strong’s concordance says that this “wait” is defined as “to bind together perhaps by twisting, collect gather together, look patiently tarry and wait.”

That definition made me think about the bow that is tied about the gift. The gift is bound and sits waiting until the Receiver opens it. I’ve made God wait.  Now it’s my turn.  So the gifts that God has given me will sit wrapped up until He’s ready to open them and present them for use. For a “doer” that’s hard…

To be continued while I wait…