Thursday, May 9, 2013

Never Alone

Lay it down. 

Release it all to me. 

Step away and step into my presence.

A time of separation and a time of connection. 

A time of tearing down and a time of building.

These were some of the things God spoke to me years ago when He asked me to walk away from a large part of what had become my identity and comfortable place.

Sometimes He asks us to do hard things. And we don't always understand the purpose in His asking or how what He's asked us to do could be for our good. It doesn't always make sense in the moment.

But trusting Him requires surrendering our will for His. Trusting Him requires believing He is working for our good. Trusting Him requires sitting on the Potter's wheel as we take take shape in the palm of His hands. It sometimes means letting our plans and dreams die. And it takes faith.

"My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." Ex. 33:14

No matter where He asks us to go, He goes with us. 

On page 97 of our current study (Stressed-Less Living by Tracie Miles with MTOBS), Tracie unknowingly pens a part of my story:

"As we make our faith a priority and learn to trust in God's plans even if we do not understand them or like them, the doors will be flung wide open for God to enter our lives and begin His mighty work. During the wait we are called to fall on our knees just like Hannah and pour out our hearts to Him. We are each called to live life in a state of dependency on Him..."

In Exodus 33:14-18 Moses pleads with God for His accompanying presence and asks to be shown His glory. His dependency is on God and He knows that without Him, He might as well stay home.

At the end of His response to Moses's requests, the Lord agrees to send His presence and to show His glory. Then He says, "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock."

There is a place near Him for each of us. In our surrendering to His will and in the realization that we can't do what He's called us to do without His presence and His glory we assume our proper spiritual position. It is here, in this place, that we are more near God than anywhere else.

In verse 21, the word place in Hebrew is MAQOWN, which means: standing place, post, station, city, land, region, place of human abode, etc. MAQOWN originated from the Hebrew word QUWN, which means: to arise, become powerful, to be established, to be fixed, to be valid, to be proven, to be fulfilled, to persist, etc.

When we are in that place near Him, His plans and purposes for our lives begin to take shape. His plans are established. His purposes are fulfilled. And His power can be displayed through our lives.

Also in verse 21 is the word stand. The Hebrew word is NATSAB, which means: to stand, take one's stand, stand upright, be set (over), establish, be stationed, be appointed.

This word is a verb, which conveys an action or a state of being. In that place, we will stand (we must take action, DO something, and BE that which God has called us to be). It is a place of appointment with and by the King of Kings.

The Lord is calling us to Himself. As He does so, He will require things of us that are hard, scary, impossible, and beyond our human abilities. But when we wholly surrender and position ourselves in that place near Him, His presence and His glory will not only sustain us but go with us and enable us to do that which He has planned for us to do.

We are never alone in His presence. And when we don't understand why He's asking or requiring certain things of us, we can rest assured that His plans are so much greater than ours.

Today, He has called you, anointed you, equipped you, and appointed you. 

I believe that place has been created by God and is reserved for each of us. In it is found our destiny and our purpose. There, His grace is abundant to do that which He has ordained us to do. There, His goodness is undeniable. There, His glory is all consuming. It is there, in His presence, in that place that we are so near Him, that we are changed, made whole, healed, and set free! It is there, that we are able to give out what He has placed within us. 

If His presence does not go with me, I do not want to go. 

Joining with Melissa Taylor and a community of women as we seek God and His word in our current Online Bible Study: Stressed - Less Living by Tracie Miles

(Part of this post is taken from a previous post of mine, A Place Near Him)

7 friends had this to say:

Kelley Murphy said...

I love this! I especially love this:

Trusting Him requires sitting on the Potter's wheel as we take take shape in the palm of His hands.

My 2013 life verse is Isaiah 64:8. I'm learning to sit on that potter's wheel and pray for him to make me and mold me so I can do all things giving glory to Him.

Love and Big Hugs Shelly. Thanks for a beautiful blog today!

Shelly said...

Thanks, Kelley! Hugs to you!

Kim said...

Thank you for your moving post. The part that resonated with me is " sometimes you have to let your dreams and plans die." I have had to do just that, due to chronic illness, but I do know that through all of this I am growing in my relationship with God. Thanks for the reminder!

Lori said...

"It sometimes means letting our plans and dreams die." My husband and I experienced that exact thing about four years ago. It hasn't been easy to watch that dream die, but I now know that it is happening so God can give us what He has had planned for us all along. Thank you for the reminder, Shelly. Lori K (OBS Group Leader)

Jennifer said...

Absolutely beautiful. Shelly, you have such an amazing gift with words. Your post touched my heart in so many ways today. Love you girl!

Jennifer Newsom
OBS Teaching/Executive Team

Danielle Contreras said...

Very clear challenge, what was driven home in my heart is that we can't do what God has called us to do without His presence. How are we to get His presence or be in His presence? I must go to Him and stand with Him. Then we can do those extraordinary and great things He has planned for us

Shelly said...

Thank you, Kim, Lori, Jennifer,and Danielle! What a blessing to see your words here today! Love and hugs to each of you! :)