Naturally, entering into this new year felt like stepping over the thresh hold of an entirely new realm of possibility. I love new beginnings. Fresh Start is my middle name. I have come into this new year positioned for the impossible to be made manifest in my life. I’m carrying a word from the Lord like I’ve got gold in my pocket, a promise that’s sacred and priceless and…I don’t know what to do with it! Anybody been there? Anybody carrying a promise from the Father? I stepped into this new year believing it was delivery time, only to find that I’ve merely entered a new trimester. Anybody waiting? I’m in the promised land but there are giants here and the land is uncultivated.
When you’ve waited, what does waiting some more look like?
I’ve been decluttering my house today. There are tied up bags and boxes everywhere. Every surface of my house is occupied with odds and ends I can’t remember ever having had a purpose for owning. What’s funny is I just did this about a month ago believing I had finally gotten rid of all the excess only to find hidden junk in just about every nook and cranny of our tiny house.
The site of it all, piling up around me, made me feel anxious. Why is this stuff still here? I thought I’d already taken care of it.
Our hearts are a lot like that. One day we make room for Jesus only to find that a week later He’s become cramped by the junk that we should’t have been carrying. Junk like doubt that leads to hopelessness. Junk like frustration in His process. Junk like disinterest in His presence unless I get something for abiding in it.
All the junk has led me to return again to the place of laying down. When I thought I had already laid down everything there was to lay down, I lay me down again. Instead of having a heart that demands the promise, I desire to have a heart that is continuously laid low. To have a heart that seeks to relinquish every space to the Father, so that He may have full authority over what fills each space of my heart.
The Lord is saying, when the promise has come, will you? Will you still come to abide in my presence?
It’s easy to begin to fall in love with the wonderful things Jesus reveals to you, losing site of His face. It’s easy for a person with a heart for giving, to use times of worship for receiving songs, prophetic words, a message to preach, a post to share, or a blog topic to write, rather than for heart-to-heart connection with the Father. Often, relinquishing control of such moments means our reputation is sacrificed on the altar, but this is the price we must pay to live captured.
As I scooted around the boxes on my bed tonight to find a place to sit and type, I heard the Father whisper, “permeate.” He wants to permeate every space. So the answer to the question, “now what?” is, now you soak. Now you soak in the presence and forget the promise for a little while. Go again to that low place at His feet and love it there again. Love that lowly place like you did when the promise of high places was light years away.
Seeking direction for this new year, I prayed for a fresh vision concerning worship. The Lord showed me an operating room and a person laying on a gurney. I heard Him say, I want to perform open heart surgery. I believe the Lord deeply desires to address those needs within our hearts that have gone long ignored. He knows that in order for our hearts to have space to receive His promises, they must be free from the clutter, cleansed of the corrosion that sin and pain have wrought.
I used to feel condemned that I could not spend more time in the Father’s presence daily. I have since been made free of condemnation, and if you’ve beaten yourself up for not spending more time with the Lord, know that you’ve been made free too. I have also discovered that I cannot live life to the full if my heart is empty of time spent soaking in His presence.
I know that you are eager for the promises of God to be made manifest, as I am. And I believe that what is being made manifest in the lives of God’s people is big, loud, and powerful, but let us not miss this quiet invitation to surrender. Allow the Lord to permeate every space as you give Him access to the hidden places of your heart. Allow yourself the freedom of being captured once again by the face of Jesus.