But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
Back in the days before Jesus it was customary to do burnt offerings and sacrifices. This was a ritual of killing the “best” of what you had to show your love for God. And you didn’t do it just half way! You had to give your best. And then Jesus came and everything changed. Now we have a real person in the flesh to be in relationship with and to help us see the need to change our ways. So no more burnt offerings and sacrifices.
Today we vary in our ways and we justify our sacrifices (services) as being enough rather than getting real with Jesus. We make ourselves believe that is our best (our works) because if we got down and dirty with our Lord about who we are, being honest, it might look our “best”initially but in reality, it will be grimy and stained. It will be covered in sin. It will be riddled with shame and smothered in regrets.
But there is a way to give to the Lord BETTER than our best. We can obey and give HIM our whole being. Don’t put on a fake front and only give until it start hurting……give BETTER…. give until HE washes away the hurt, grime, sin , shame and regret. Obey is BETTER.
We are taught that we must be proactive. We must be willing to be courageous. We must create our own destiny. We must take whatever steps are necessary to succeed. And all these things are true. The thing is when I’m doing all those things with my own power the outcomes do not always have a happy ending. Whose teachings am I getting my mindset from? Whose strength am I building my courage? Whose promises am I depending on for my destiny? And whose steps am I following?
I have found and I am being reminded, “a door is never closed that a more beautiful one is not opened when I allow Jesus to open it”. I praise Him daily for always showing me His mercy and love.
Psalm 109:26 Help me, LORD my God; save me according to your unfailing love.
I am Thankful!I am thankful for those who treated me poorly (whatever the circumstance). I am thankful for each experience that brought heart ache and pain. I am thankful for the many bad decisions I made and the many crazy directions I took.
You want to know why?
For each of those times someone treated me badly it pushed me farther from them and closer to HIM. With each experience that brought heart ache and pain I felt the presence of Jesus. With each of the many bad decisions and wrong directions the Holy Spirit drew me back on the path and allowed me to see the light of HIS glory.
Ultimately I am being molded into the person that God would have me be because of this life I have lead. I am more intentional with my relationships. I have more empathy and compassion for those in pain. I have seen that relying on self is not the path I want to choose so I rely on HIM more.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Why must the mind race when the body wants to rest? Has this ever happened to you? I’ve gone through periods of times when I just couldn’t shut it off. And I wonder, why?
Sometimes I could tell you specifically what was troubling my mind. Was it an illness, a sin, a misfortune? Was it a trouble within or brought from a force from without?
Sometimes I have no idea. That is almost more troubling then knowing specifically. Why is my mind racing on these things?
I lay my head down, close my eyes and start counting…… 99… 98…97…96…95 and so on. Sometimes that works and I pray I stay at rest. But then others times…… I count down to 1 and have to start all over.
Is He trying to tell me something? Am I not trusting and depending on Him enough? Speak louder Lord, help me trust and show me the promises that will make my dependence strong.
One of the best known scriptures that I would turn to for rest and trust is….
Matthew 11:28-30 (MEV)
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me. For I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
I can read this and I totally believe each word but my mind still races. Even in times when my soul is a rest my mind wants to take over. Satan is running rampant on my mind. He is entangling all my thoughts and using them to control my body. “If I can make her body weary then she will be more susceptible to my control”, he says. How do I fight him? I turn to Jesus and I allow Jesus to do my fighting for me.
So what scripture does Jesus have to help me? What is He showing me through this night of awake?
Psalm 4:8 (MEV)
I will both lie down in peace and sleep; for You, Lord, make me dwell safely and securely.
Isaiah 26:3 (MEV)
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
Psalm 23 (MEV)
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Philippians 4:6-7 (MEV)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Exodus 14:14 (NIV)
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
So I read and I rest in Him. My mind finds a place of peace and my soul a place of refreshment. As long as I am in His word then my mind is full of His promises and His love and there is no room in there for anything else.
And know I lay down. I find my mind asleep at last.
My 2 words for 2019!
I know, nobody wants change but everyone wants joy. The reality is sometimes, most of the time,
to find that joy, change has to happen.
That change may be physical, geographical, spiritual and emotional but
it takes internal change to have joy.
And it may take one of the others to have that internal joy. Nobody wants Change but everyone wants Joy.
There has been much change for me in 2018 and great
anticipated change in 2019. I have found
that even though change may be painful, joy has always been a byproduct once I
allow the Holy Spirit to guide my change.
Over the last several years I have little by little gave up trying to
control every aspect of my life. Some
control has been easier to let go of than others. Some control has created more pain than
others but control does not equal joy.
I wait with great anticipation to see where the Holy Spirit
leads me in 2019. What change is in store
for me! What Joy will be in
abundance! What love, what forgiveness,
what grace and what mercy Jesus has coming my way. In 2019 I’m embracing change and will walk
through that change with great JOY!