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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Being Intentional About Yielding

Like the clay in the potter’s hands, we need to be pliable and yielded in life as we respond to the Lord.

The month of February is coming to an end and as it does I am ending my exploration of yielding. I never realized how much there is to think about in terms of yielding in my life. And now putting it into practice with intentionality is the next step.

Yielding is a choice in life, so each one of us come to a crossroad and must decide which way to go. Will it be my way or the Lord’s?

Here is a quick summary. Six ways to be intentional about yielding to Him:

1. Remember Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding, In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.”  Seek Him in the decision-making process. When we take time to seek Him, acknowledge His sovereignty, and look for His direction, we can’t make impulsive decisions. Our decision-making process is slowed down. We learn to wait for Him and His wisdom.

2. Be aware of thoughts and self-talk. We need to evaluate the things that have a home in our minds and what we allow to come into our mind. Consider using Philippians 4:8 as a tool for thought inventory. Philippians 4:8 EXB says, “[Finally, In conclusion; or Now then] Brothers and sisters, think about [focus your thoughts on; fill your minds with] things that are true and honorable and right [just] and pure and beautiful [lovely] and respected [commendable]. If there is anything that is good [morally excellent] and worthy of praise, think about [focus your thoughts on, fill your minds with] these things.”

3. When our tongues are ready to burst forth with fiery words remember: Stop, Drop, and Roll.

  • Stop the words from leaving by putting a finger over your lips.
  • Drop that word. Think about what it would do, how it would affect the person receiving it.
  • Roll the intolerance or frustration over to the Lord. Ask Him to bring His peace to the situation.

4. As we go through our days, we can choose to

  • Abide in the Lord’s presence
  • Attend to His Spirit’s leading
  • Abandon our need for acknowledgement so He gets all of the glory  
  • Be Available to His call so His purposes can be fulfilled.

5. Take time to pray for the Lord’s transforming power to be at work in us.

6. Finally, remember to be the clay. That means developing a new willingness to be molded in Christ-likeness for His glory. Our goal is to be pliable to what He wants to do in and through us.

Take some time now to think and pray about which one you will start with to help you in yielding with intentionality.

Yield to His Will

“God is ready to assume full responsibility for this life wholly yielded to Him.” Andrew Murray

Isaiah 45:9 “Woe to the one who quarrels with his maker. An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth. Will the clay say to the Potter what are you doing?’ or the thing you are making say “He has no hands?'”

Quarreling with my Maker? I want to say I can’t imagine doing that, yet I am reminded of specific times I have done just that even now as I write this. There have been times I have questioned God, telling Him I didn’t like what He was doing, arguing that I had a better way. And there have been times when I gave just stubbornly dug my heels in  wanting my own way. I fussed and fought against Him, truly as if the clay could tell the Potter what to do. It is at those times that I needed to set aside my own will and yield fully to His hands. 

The Potter knows the purpose He has for His creations. The clay is nothing without the work of the Potter. But, how easily we forget.

Yielding our wills to Him, relinquishing our ways, surrendering our plans, and submitting fully to Him is tough. We need to trust in Him and His ways even when they seem to go against everything we think is best.

The Lord desires to show His power through us that He might be glorified in us and by others who see His work. Yet we, the earthen vessels, wonder ‘what are You doing?’, ‘why would You allow that?’, ‘How can that be good?’

Absurd as it may seem, we, the clay, do argue with the Potter. We argue and argue until He proves himself faithful in that thing, at least that is what I have found in myself.

How many times have you gone through the molding process painful and difficult, questioning all the way only to come out on the other side seeing the reality of God’s wisdom at work  and marveling at how He has been glorified because of what He accomplished in you or through your life? It always amazes me.

He knows His perfect plan, He knows what it will look like, and how it will be used. He works patiently and lovingly in our lives drawing us to respond to His touch, wanting us to welcome His work in and through us. He knows if we just would let Him work without us struggling or fighting the process could be so much different. But somehow it seem in fear in worry and in stubbornness, we fight.

I am always surprised in the end when I see how His work in my life transforms me, satisfies me, and brings Him glory.

Philippians 2:12 “It is God who is at work in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

He wants to bring about good, to fulfill His will through us. When we trust Him, yield to Him, letting Him have His way it pleases Him. Just as when the little children in our lives listen and behave as they have been taught, we too are pleased.

I am finding it necessary in my own life to come before Him in prayer with some soul-searching questions. I will share them here. You may find them helpful in your own prayer time with the Lord.

  • Am I resisting Your touch in my life? Am I pliable to your molding me?
  • Am I resting in Your hands as You form me for Your purposes?
  • Where am I in the yielding process right now, Lord?
  • Am I willing to allow you to assume full responsibility for my life.

Lord, show me, tell me, help me be honest with myself, and help me yield to Your will in all things. Change my heart and will to match Yours, Lord. I pray this in Jesus Holy matchless name.

Yielding Begins in Your Heart

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Our intent in living life by faith as a Christian should lead us to yielding to Christ living through us.

When we yield, we surrender our rights to God and also submit in seeking Him and His ways. Jeremiah 29:13 tells us that when we seek Him wholeheartedly we will find Him. So it seems that if we really want Him in our lives we need to look at our hearts. Yielding starts with the heart and the intent of our hearts.

I believe that yielding begins with trust. For example, when you are in need of surgery, you probably won’t randomly pick a name out of the phone book in order to find a surgeon. Most likely, you will want to find the best surgeon to perform your surgery.

You will probably try to find out about a few surgeons before making a decision. you may find out about the surgeons reputation, read reviews, get information about how often he has completed the surgery, and may even discuss previous surgeries with patients who are acquainted with him.

Each of these factors builds your trust in the surgeon and in his abiity. After you meet with him, learn his bedside manner, and feel comfortable with him, you probably will decide to move forward in having the surgery because he seems trustworthy and capable.

Our yielding to God is similar.

I see Proverbs 3:5-6 as a path to yielding.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding, In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.”

We need to first learn to trust, specifically to trust Him as Lord.

  • We read His Word and see His faithfulness to His people throughout the Bible.
  • We pray and see His faithfulness in answering us and meeting our needs.
  • We talk with other believers, learning about their experiences with a loving, personal God.

All of these result in building our faith and growing our trust.

We seek Him for His views, perceptions and judgments of each situation and need in our lives. Little by little we let go of relying on our thoughts and understanding alone as a basis for our decision making.

We acknowledge Him in every part of life.

  • We recognize His Sovereignty (authority and control) and His omniscience (knowing all).
  • We begin letting go (yielding) our need for personal independence, (self-sufficiency) and our grip on being in control.

At last, we look for His leading and direction in life and learn to respond to Him with obedient submission (yielding).

It is a lifetime process, a continual process that we grow in, as we grow in Christ-likeness. None of us have arrived. All of us need the Lord more than we know and often more than we admit. It is in recognizing our dependence on Him that little-by-little we see the importance of yielding to Him in heart and throughout life.

Lord, help us to grow more and more in trusting You, that we may yield with our whole hearts.

Yielding

We often have to yield on our roads as drivers on highways where there are roundabouts or traffic circles. We serve the other driver by allowing them to have the rightaway.

This month I want to dig deep into the concept of yielding to God in our lives.

When it comes to yielding to God we must release our grip on our own will and choose to embrace the Lord’s will. We choose to live as His servants- serving Him, obedient to His will. We let go of our desire to control things, to be in charge, and allow His Lordship to take over our lives.

Romans 12:1 AMP tells us “Therefore I urge you brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is you rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship.”

Yielding is sacrificing your will for another’s will or desire.

Yielding is a choice, and it is usually a moment-by-moment decision. So many options bombard us on any given day and it is very easy to just go with what we want, what seems best for us. Al too soon, we become a slave to our own desires. As humans we tend to choose selfish ways to feed our needs and wants.

Romans 6:16 AMP says “Do you not know that when you continually offer yourself to someone to do His will, you are the slaves of the one whom you obey, either [slaves] of sin which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness (rightstanding with God)?”

Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest reminds us that we are the ones responsible for yielding ourselves to whatever controls or dominates us.

Our personal desire for control is in direct opposition to yielding to God.

Job 22:21 states, “Yield now and be at peace with Him, Thereby good will come to you.”

Yielding is only possible when we humble ourselves before God.

“Yield” is my Word for the year 2017. I am doing some personal soul-searching as I write these posts. I hope that you will join me in considering to whom and to what you are giving control, and to what you are yielded to in your life.

It is all too easy to compartmentalize our lives, releasing certain parts to God’s control and holding tightly to others.

Consider these questions:

  • What are you holding tightly to?
  • Who/What are you serving?

2 Chronicles 16:9 AMP says, “For the eyes of he Lord move to and from throughout the earth so that He may support those whose heart is completely His.”

Completely His– that is who we are when we yield all to Him.