Communion

What does communion mean to you? How does communing with the Lord change you? 

Communion is the final word that I want to respond to from the book The Broken Way. The Lord has used this word to impact my heart deeply, He has helped me to realize so much about my relationship with Him, where I am and where I want to be. I hope that you will find a part of my journey that you can relate to and that it will touch your heart in special way, leading you to desire the Lord more. 

To commune is defined as to “share one’s intimate thoughts or feelings with (someone) especially on a spiritual level.” It goes on to say that”the purpose of praying is to commune with God” (Oxford Dictionary).

Dictionary.com defines commune as “to converse or talk together with profound intensity, intimacy etc.”

I like using the word commune as a verb in connection to prayer and relationship with the Lord. We receive communion in church as part of the service, and we are told to do this “in remembrance of Him”.

Ann Voskamp shares in her book that the act of a Jewish man asking a woman to marry him, and the act of receiving communion mirror each other. She explains that in communion the Lord is asking for our union with Him and in marriage a man asks to be united with a woman.

As I was praying and reading the Scriptures today, the Lord has shown me how I am “prone to wander.”  In Jeremiah 2:34b, the Lord says “…my people have forgotten me days without number.” Reading this made do a personal inventory of my time with the Lord. I thought, no, I haven’t forgotten Him, but the Lord made it clear to me how all too often I just go through the motions but don’t open my heart to really commune with Him.

My word for the year 2017 is “yield” , but I struggle to yield. I instead find myself distracted, or busy and not surrendered as I want to be. I spoke to the Lord telling Him that I need to find balance, and the words were barely out of my mouth, when Matthew 6:33 came to my mind. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” “All these things”, all the things I am preoccupied with, worrying about, busy with or tending to, He will take care of. All that I need. He will supply. I only need to seek Him.

I wanted to argue and say, “but it’s not that easy.” And then I was reminded that it was only this morning that I learned the word “delight”  in Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” comes from a Hebrew word with the root word meaning soft, pliable, or moldable. And there I was, back at yielding. Communing with Him, seeking Him, delighting in Him is all about yielding to Him and when I do He will change the desires of my heart so that they are aligned with His will. He will add all the things I need or desire accordingly.

No, He is not going to give me whatever I wish like a magic genie. He is going to take my heart and work in it to find the reality of my deepest need in that desire and as He meets me in that I will find that I am always satisfied in Him.

The emptiness within is not calling out for more to do, or more busyness, or more stuff. It is a yearning for HIm that is often filled temporarily in an unsatisfying way with the things of this world.

Our Heavenly Father knows what we need, and because of His love for us He wants us to seek Him so the need can be met according to His perfect will.  He doesn’t want us trying to find what we need in things that will never satisfy.

Isaiah 55 2 “Why spend money on what is not bread and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me and eat what is good and you will delight in the richest of fare.

He knows our hearts yearn for deep communion with Him. He has what is good. He knows what satisfies. He can delight us with “the richest of fare.” The road to communion, truly as Ann says, is the broken way.

As we come into the presence of His holiness we weep in knowing more of our brokenness, but then, as we are led into communion with Him, we find the abundance that satisfies the desires of our hearts.

Our brokenness can lead us on many rabbit trails, but only in the Lord will we find our hearts healed, our needs met, our desires satisfied, all according to His perfect wisdom and will. Life is not perfect, but the Lord and His will are, and that makes life here on this earth worth it all.

I came away from my time with the Lord feeling a deeper yearning for more, for more of Him, for greater intimacy with Him, for Him to lead me deeper and deeper in understanding of His Word and in knowing Him.

He wants us to commune with Him, to be in union, and yield to, and find delight in Him. He longs for and waits for us to bring our brokenness to Him everyday, moment-by-moment. He wants to meet with us and intimately hold our broken pieces as we share them with Him.

I came away wondering why do I so often resist Him and end up choosing something less satisfying?

What is He calling you to?

Will you go and commune with Him?

Will you bring your brokenness and look at it with Him?

You will find abundance in Him as you walk the path of the broken way to communion with Him.

Oh Gracious Father, make my heart pliable and soft, meet me in my brokenness. Lord, I long to know more of You in communion with You. Lead my heart to say with the Psalmist, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”(Psalm 73:25-26) Let it be so, Amen.

 

 

 

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Abundance out of Brokenness

Is there abundance out of brokenness? Can you wrap your mind around that?

It is a bit mind-boggling to say the least. This concept is not typically what we think of when we think of being broken. Brokenness is usually equated with emptiness, despair, helplessness, hopelessness, feelings of overwhelm, grieving, and on and on. There doesn’t seem to be any light for a path to abundance.

Yet, Ann Voskamp says that brokenness is a “daring path to abundant life.” It is all about risk, Ann describes it as “vulnerable communion.” Sharing our brokenness, embracing our brokenness, giving away our broken pieces is the road to finding true abundance.

The abundant life is promised to the believer in John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.Jesus came so that we as believers may have abundant life. Satan, the devil comes to take it away, to bring death, and for the purpose of destruction. We are dead to God’s gift of abundant life before we come to know Christ. When we are “dead in our sins”, we are not even aware of that fact of our deadness.

But we have been called to hope in Christ. Praise God for His amazing grace. Jesus came and took our brokenness, He took away our sins, He took it all to the cross, He died for us. Jesus came to bind up and to heal (Psalm 147:3). He takes us in all of our brokenness, in our sin-sickness, in our hopelessness and fear, and leads us to abundance.

Oftentimes, people hear the words “abundant life” and think of riches, and money, wealth. When Jesus promises abundant life, He is promising satisfaction in Himself. We are satisfied in knowing Him, in His love, in the peace He brings, and in the comfort He gives.

We can take our own personal brokenness and share it with others, and in the humility of recognizing our need for Christ, and in the knowledge of our pain, we can point others to Christ. Instead of turning inward, instead of hiding, we can share how we know pain within, we can find a commonality of brokenness in our lives, and find hope in the one Who came to heal us, the one Who robes us in His righteousness. We are covered in Jesus righteousness, and in that there is hope, the hope is because of His unfailing mercy and grace for us.

We can give out of what we find in Jesus. We can live broken open and poured out as we live our lives in Christlikeness because of what Jesus has done for us. And as we pour out our lives into the lives of others, we again and again go back to the Lord to be filled and refilled. It is in our emptiness that we realize our need and desperation for the hope we can only find in Him.

We all are broken, broken by sin, broken by pain, broken by grief, and it is when we stop covering it up, hiding it away and let our woundedness be the opening where we let others in to love us and let our wounded places be pressed into the woundedness of Christ that we find abundance. We find abundance, meaning we find full satisfaction in Jesus and the richness that comes in knowing the love, acceptance, and belonging we can only have in true communion.

Are you on that path to abundance?

Are you finding satisfaction in Jesus in the midst of your personal brokenness?

Are you sharing your brokenness with others and sharing what you have found in the Lord with them as well?

We can find true abundance as we know our brokenness, share our brokenness, and know the Lord in all of it.