PURSUADED TO PURSUE – THE DANCE! What Shall We Pursue (Part 3)

PERSUADED TO PURSUE –   THE DANCE

What Shall We Pursue (Part 3)

We see actual things, and we say that we see them, but we never really see them until we see God; when we see God, everything becomes different. It is not the external things that are different, but a different disposition looks through the same eyes as the result of the internal surgery that has taken place. Oswald Chambers (1874–1917)

I once again move into motion . . . quiet motion. Motion that once was driven by what I had to do to avoid hell is now motivated by something altogether different. Instead I find I am gently drawn to intimacy. Intimacy, I can find only there, with Him. I find I am being drawn toward the very heart of the King. I move now with the motion of synchronized swimmers, of a husband and wife, in love – dancing slowly together in a deep and beautiful rhythm. Now a heart-felt longing for Him quickens my spirit and I desire to fulfill the two greatest commandments – To love the lord my God with all my heart, all my soul and all my mind and to love others as I love myself.  As I seek Him, I move now to concur harmoniously with what it is He wants me to do . . . in and with this life.  I draw near to Him so I can hear Him clearly and there I find answers . . . enveloped in love that protects and gives life.

How shall we move closer to this God of ours? How shall we be able to hear what God is calling us to “do.”  How can we hear who He is telling us He is . . . this one to whom we are to become like? This one to whom we are to love more than life?

As we devote precious time with Him in His word, prayerfully, inviting the Holy Spirit to join us . . . asking for wisdom and understanding as we read, a depth of relationship ensues. For there we drink in who HE IS. There we discover who He calls us to be. And as we begin to become who it is that He wants us to be – We grow more in love with Him. We see first hand that the things He says in His word have been carefully and lovingly written to us and are for us. As we begin to live more closely the life he has outlined – we are drawn imminently closer to Him and find He helps us walk that walk. We find that He helps us leave behind the pain and the consequences of sin. That He holds us up until we are strong again. That . . . He will in fact carry us, if need be to a place of refuge. Spending time in His word teaches us what true love looks like. It teaches us how to pray, how to praise and how to live. It teaches us where to turn, where to go for answers and where to rest. Our automatic reactions become the ones He would have . . . our first responses, ones that honor Him and cherish others. Our life becomes more peaceful, more filled with love and grace . . . better. Better because of Him . . . and with that we grow to love Him more. We love Him because He first loved us.

Studying, meditating, committing; spending daily time . . . reading letters from the Lord, God Almighty.  Concentrating, contemplating, learning, memorizing, reflecting . . . soaking it in

. . . getting to know Him . . . getting to know ourselves. Learning who to become, how to be and what to do.

As I walk with Him and I talk with Him and I tell Him that He is my own . . .  I thank Him, I praise Him, I worship Him . . . I confess my sin to the lover of my soul . . . and . . . I listen. I listen for Him. I become still and quiet and meditate. Yet shall we meditate on His laws day and night! Gently I quote His own words . . . pausing . . . waiting . . . simply dwelling in His presence. Listening for the still, small voice who will share with me who He is and what He sees in me. Listening for what He would have me change and what He would have me do. Asking Him to create a new heart in me . . . to open the eyes of my heart and let me see . . . .

. . . and then, being even more still . . . ever so still. Drawing closer. I’m waiting now and listening again for the whisper. Simply, quietly listening and waiting. Waiting for His heart to touch mine. Listening for His will, not mine. Listening for my own personal, individual, special and unique guidance and direction.

In desire to move closer, to go, even deeper. I begin to learn to fast – Becoming dependant on Him even for my physical nourishment – as I literally hunger and thirst for Him and His righteousness.  Following this command, I realize . . . again – It is for me. That as I deny the comfort and pleasures of the flesh . . . my spirit is drawn into a new and different realm of relationship with Him. There I sense and feel His holy presence more intensely.  There His comfort and directions become more easily recognizable, there deepest connection is made . . . and there I, ultimately, find I long to spend time. How surprising to discover that fasting . . . once so difficult and uncomfortable and seemingly impossible . . . became the door to a world of intimacy with my maker!

What it is that I am doing now becomes about Him . . . and yet . . . about me – Why . . .  It is now we! And . . . we now begin to move in unison as my heart becomes one with His . . . His will becomes mine and the actions that demonstrate my faith are coming from a different place. We are dancing! He and I. As He spins me around and out onto the floor – I am now beginning to be able to discern what it is that He would have me to “do.” I hear His specific call on my life. God and I now “dance,” lightly – I feel as if I’m floating on air . . . into the place of “works” where my faith in Him is demonstrated. That faith that saved me . . . the works that show Him . . . This is God and me!

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Psalm 119 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD! Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart! They also do no iniquity; they walk in His ways. You have commanded us to keep your precepts diligently. Oh, that my ways were directed to keep your statutes! Then I would not be ashamed, when I look into all your commandments. I will praise you with uprightness of heart, when I learn your righteous judgments. I will keep your statutes; oh, do not forsake me utterly!  How can a young man cleanse his way?  By taking heed according to your word. With my whole heart I have sought you; oh, let me not wander from your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Blessed are You, O LORD! Teach me your statutes. With my lips I have declared all the judgments of your mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of your testimonies, As much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts, and contemplate your ways. I will delight myself in your statutes; I will not forget your word. Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word. Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from your law. I am a stranger in the earth; do not hide your commandments from me. My soul breaks with longing For Your judgments at all times. You rebuke the proud—the cursed, who stray from your commandments. Remove from me reproach and contempt, for I have kept your testimonies. Princes also sit and speak against me, but your servant meditates on your statutes. Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors. My soul clings to the dust; revive me according to your word. I have declared my ways, and you answered me; teach me your statutes. Make me understand the way of your precepts; so shall I meditate on your wonderful works. My soul melts from heaviness; strengthen me according to your word. Remove from me the way of lying, and grant me your law graciously. I have chosen the way of truth; your judgments I have laid before me. I cling to your testimonies; O LORD, do not put me to shame! I will run the course of your commandments, for you shall enlarge my heart. Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

Make me walk in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. Incline my heart to your testimonies, And not to covetousness. Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in your way, establish your word to your servant, who is devoted to fearing you. Turn away my reproach which I dread, for your judgments are good. Behold, I long for your precepts; Revive me in your righteousness. Let your mercies come also to me, O LORD—your salvation according to your word. So shall I have an answer for him who reproaches me, for I trust in your word. And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for I have hoped in your ordinances. So shall I keep your law continually, forever and ever. And I will walk at liberty, for I seek your precepts. I will speak of your testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed. And I will delight myself in your commandments, which I love.  My hands also I will lift up to your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes. Remember the word to your servant, Upon which You have caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, for your word has given me life. The proud have me in great derision, yet I do not turn aside from your law. I remembered your judgments of old, O LORD, and have comforted myself. Indignation has taken hold of me Because of the wicked, who forsake Your law. Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage. I remember your name in the night, O LORD, and I keep your law. This has become mine, because I kept your precepts. You are my portion, O LORD; I have said that I would keep your words. I entreated your favor with my whole heart; be merciful to me according to your word. I thought about my ways, and turned my feet to your testimonies. I made haste, and did not delay to keep your commandments. The cords of the wicked have bound me, but I have not forgotten your law. At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You, Because of Your righteous judgments. I am a companion of all who fear You, And of those who keep your precepts.

The earth, O LORD, is full of your mercy; teach me your statutes. You have dealt well with your servant, O LORD, according to your word. Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe your commandments. Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word.  You are good, and do good; teach me Your statutes. The proud have forged a lie against me, but I will keep your precepts with my whole heart. Their heart is as fat as grease, but I delight in your law. It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn your statutes. The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of coins of gold and silver. Your hands have made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding, that I may learn your commandments.  Those who fear you will be glad when they see me, because I have hoped in your word. I know, O LORD, that your judgments are right, And that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. Let, I pray, your merciful kindness be for my comfort, According to Your word to your servant. Let your tender mercies come to me, that I may live; For Your law is my delight. Let the proud be ashamed, for they treated me wrongfully with falsehood; but I will meditate on your precepts. Let those who fear you turn to me, those who know your testimonies.  Let my heart be blameless regarding your statutes, that I may not be ashamed. My soul faints for your salvation, but I hope in your word. My eyes fail from searching your word, Saying, “When will you comfort me?” For I have become like a wineskin in smoke, yet I do not forget your statutes. How many are the days of your servant? When will you execute judgment on those who persecute me? The proud have dug pits for me, which is not according to your law. All Your commandments are faithful; they persecute me wrongfully; Help me! They almost made an end of me on earth, but I did not forsake your precepts.  Revive me according to your loving kindness, So that I may keep the testimony of your mouth. Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness endures to all generations;

You established the earth, and it abides. They continue this day according to your ordinances, for all are your servants. Unless your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life. I am yours, save me; for I have sought your precepts. The wicked wait for me to destroy me, But I will consider your testimonies. I have seen the consummation of all perfection, but your commandment is exceedingly broad. Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me.  I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep your precepts. I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep your word. I have not departed from your judgments, For You Yourself have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn and confirmed that I will keep your righteous judgments. I am afflicted very much; revive me, O LORD, according to your word.

Accept, I pray, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me your judgments. My life is continually in my hand, yet I do not forget your law. The wicked have laid a snare for me, yet I have not strayed from your precepts. Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever, for they are the rejoicing of my heart. I have inclined my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the very end. I hate the double-minded, but I love your law. You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word. Depart from me, you evildoers, for I will keep the commandments of my God! Uphold me according to your word, that I may live; and do not let me be ashamed of my hope. Hold me up, and I shall be safe, and I shall observe your statutes continually. You reject all those who stray from your statutes, for their deceit is falsehood. You put away all the wicked of the earth like dross; Therefore I love your testimonies. My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments. I have done justice and righteousness; do not leave me to my oppressors. Be surety for your servant for good; do not let the proud oppress me. My eyes fail from seeking your salvation and your righteous word. Deal with Your servant according to your mercy, and teach me your statutes. I am your servant; Give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies. It is time for you to act, O LORD, for they have regarded your law as void.

Therefore I love your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold! Therefore all your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way.  Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them. The entrance of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. I opened my mouth and panted, for I longed for your commandments. Look upon me and be merciful to me, as your custom is toward those who love your name. Direct my steps by your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me. Redeem me from the oppression of man, that I may keep your precepts.  Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes. Rivers of water run down from my eyes, because men do not keep your law. Righteous are You, O LORD, and upright are your judgments. Your testimonies, which you have commanded, are righteous and very faithful. My zeal has consumed me, because my enemies have forgotten your words. Your word is very pure; therefore your servant loves it. I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts. Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your law is truth. Trouble and anguish have overtaken me, yet your commandments are my delights.

The righteousness of your testimonies is everlasting; Give me understanding, and I shall live. I cry out with my whole heart; hear me, O LORD!  I will keep your statutes.  I cry out to you; save me, and I will keep your testimonies. I rise before the dawning of the morning, and cry for help; I hope in your word. My eyes are awake through the night watches that I may meditate on your word. Hear my voice according to your loving kindness; O LORD, revive me according to your justice.  They draw near who follow after wickedness; they are far from your law. You are near, O LORD, and all your commandments are truth. Concerning your testimonies, I have known of old that you have founded them forever. Consider my affliction and deliver me, for I do not forget your law. Plead my cause and redeem me; revive me according to your word. Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek your statutes. Great are your tender mercies, O LORD; revive me according to your judgments. Many are my persecutors and my enemies, yet I do not turn from your testimonies. I see the treacherous, and am disgusted, because they do not keep your word. Consider how I love your precepts; revive me, O LORD, according to your loving kindness. The entirety of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous judgments endures forever. Princes persecute me without a cause, but my heart stands in awe of your word. I rejoice at your word as one who finds great treasure.  I hate and abhor lying, but I love your law.

Seven times a day I praise You, Because of Your righteous judgments. Great peace have those who love your law, And nothing causes them to stumble. LORD, I hope for your salvation, and I do your commandments. My soul keeps your testimonies, and I love them exceedingly. I keep your precepts and your testimonies, for all my ways are before you. Let my cry come before You, O LORD; Give me understanding according to your word. Let my supplication come before you; Deliver me according to your word.  My lips shall utter praise, for you teach me your statutes. My tongue shall speak of your word, for all your commandments are righteousness. Let your hand become my help, for I have chosen your precepts. I long for your salvation, O LORD, and your law is my delight. Let my soul live, and it shall praise you; And let your judgments help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.

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I felt God leading me to put the entire chapter, though long,

in this study . . . and it is our PRAYER this week.                               __________________________________________

Practical Application:

1.  How much time do you spend devoted to time in the word and time spent listening to your Lord?

2. Do you need to make changes? ________ If so, what are they? ___________________________________________________

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3.  How much time do you want to commit to spending with you God     each day? ______________________

4.  What will you give up in order to do that?  TV ___”Me Time”___ Sporting Activity ___ Working Out ___Other (You Name It)____

5.  What, by the time you spend every day, are your priorities?_______________________________________

6.  Is your main priority – Almighty God, His kingdom and Glory, your  righteousness and saving others (NO justification allowed)?

Yes _____ NO_____

Ideas:

1. Pray for His help to make your heart long for that time withHim. Ask Him to never let up on calling you to that.

2. Make the commitment.  If you don’t follow through, make it again. Stay with it until your speech about it sounds like that of David’s in Psalm 119.   David . . . The man, the sinner, the man after God’s own heart. Though a sinner. . . I long, one day, to be called a woman after God’s own heart!

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