Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord.
I had a dream last night. My husband was only my fiancé at the time and tomorrow was to be our wedding day. But in my dream, I had recollection of our life as it is today. As the day approached, I was a young bride never married before with no children. But the more I remembered my life now, the more anxious I became in my dream. I didn’t want a do-over. I wanted the life that I have now just like it is. I woke up thankful to be almost fifty with my husband of almost a decade by my side. What a relief! Only to realize that maybe, just maybe, there is some wisdom that comes with age and perhaps, the Lord is actually producing sound satisfaction in me. I love my life.
I used to think I wanted a second chance. To know my husband before making so many mistakes. To bring myself to him fully without the past stuffed in bags hidden in my heart. He is a good man. He loves me. He is faithful. You know…all those what if’s that circulate in our mind. To wake up content in my own skin and in the present was a refreshing feeling that could only be produced by Jesus. How do we find contentment in a world that cries more? What leads to satisfaction with the daily demands for our time and attention? How do we wake up okay with exactly where we are and no matter what is coming next? Jesus. I know it sounds so cliché but He really is the secret to a satisfied life when we wake up with a made up mind.
Wisdom offers us this sage advice that has the ability to produce such steadfastness in our heart. Life is a constant learning curve. If we ever stop learning, growth ends and death begins. Truly life comes from our connection to Christ and one’s ability to pursuing Him all the days of our life. It is not an easy task all the time. It is a commitment that begins each morning and sleeps with us at night. For those who choose life, His Name is Jesus, it does not solve every problem in an instant. In most cases, it adds to the fight. He didn’t say it would be easy, but that it would be worth it. Blessed are those who listen to me. Are you listening today? He is speaking. It is a soft and quiet whisper directly to our heart. Are we watching? Jesus is coming back. Prophecy is fulfilled each day as Revelation rapidly unfolds before our eyes. Are we waiting? Waiting as though we believe that our bridegroom is coming. Those who do find life in the midst of chaos receiving favor from the Lord.
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NIV)
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Joshua 24:14-15 (NIV)
“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
To find contentment in life, this life requires a choice. At some point, we must decide what we are after and who we will serve. The Lord grants mankind freedom of choice. It is completely up to you. The tugging and pulling in our heart is the Holy Spirit desperately trying to give us new life. The Lord sets before us in each day – life, death, blessings and curses. What will we choose? The Lord instructs us that life is the best option. Loving God is a life choice. To hold fast to the Lord is the only option that will grant God’s Favor. Serving Him faithfully. Throwing out the other “gods” in our life. Other gods is anything or anyone that influences our decisions more than God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. The thing that produces fear, worry and doubt holds greater power and authority than the Lord does in our existence. I am not sure when I made the choice to serve the Lord, but I did. There have been days when it was an easy choice, some when it was a tough one and others when it was the only thought that allowed me to survive.
John 1:1-5 (NIV)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Jesus was in the Beginning. He is the Word of God that came wrapped in flesh to spread the message of God’s Love, setting us free from sin, breaking the chains of bondage so we could one day step into eternity with Him. Jesus is the Light that shines in the darkness. He shows us how to life and which way to go. The Light indicates the way of change, release and even escape. Each day I can choose to turn on the Light of His Love and go where He leads me or I can choose to continue to live bound by sin, worry, fear, doubt, and the like. Living and loving the Lord is a daily choice. Some days we nail it and other days, we barely make it through. When we choose to live in the Light, it illuminates God’s Grace and Goodness even in the darkest times. We need the Light. Light always overpowers darkness. When I wake up in the morning, stumbling through the darkness until I can find the light switch. It is still early and the world is covered in darkness but now I am surrounded by light. This is Jesus. This is our life. When we choose to daily live in the Light of His Love, darkness will never prevail around us.
John 6:35-36 (NIV)
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.”
Jesus is the bread of life. He is the substance of our faith locked in on hope. If we do not take in the Word each day and concentrate on living life as He instructed, why should we expect full satisfaction? I can pick a diet. I can go to the store and buy healthy food. I can say this is what I am going to do. But if I don’t do it, I am never going to lose weight. I have a gym membership. The gym is open seven days a week. We have a contract. I am in covenant with the company that as long as I pay my bill each month that they will grant me access to all of the equipment they own. But if I don’t go… We want the Lord to make us healthy in our soul and strong in our spirit. He has given us everything we need to live this life. When we decide to do something else, we can hardly blame the Lord for not keeping His Promises any more than I can blame the gym for my wiggly arms and dimpled thighs. It is up to me to live the life I have been given.
John 5:39-40 (NIV)
You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
The Word of God is only part of it. We must become comfortable at the Cross. Not comfortable or at ease with the demonstration, but trusting that the Lord finished His Work there and will take on our sin in surrender each day. Many people call themselves Christians but few are true believers. A believer lives at the foot of the Cross knowing that life begins and ends there. I am nothing without the Cross of Jesus. I need His Blood and all of His Power. I had another dream several years ago. In it, the enemy got close to my ear. I could smell his burning and singed flesh as he came in close hissing on my neck. He told me that without the Blood of Jesus, he would have taken out my entire family long ago. Religion will never take the place of a relationship with Jesus Christ. It begins at the Cross. We must meet Him there each morning and conclude our day the same to be filled with abundant life as He promised. We must live what we believe beginning with daily and full repentance. Forsaking all others and choosing Jesus.
John 6:63-64 (NIV)
The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe. For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.
The Holy Spirit is essential in living life with Jesus. We need the Holy Spirit to explain those thoughts and show us the ways that are higher and better than our own. The Word of God explains it but our human mind needs help along with our hands in executing what the Lord commands so we can live in fulfillment. Fulfillment is more of a mindset that a getting set. What do I mean? I have lived through enough seasons of life to have an empty pantry and full heart verses a full pantry and empty heart. I have learned that as long as I have Jesus it is all going to be okay. There are times when His Written Word just doesn’t get the job done when it comes to making up my mind so His Spirit steps in and helps. It is His Spirit that takes the Truth and writes it on my heart. Jesus told the woman at the well, that the time was coming when people would worship God in Spirit and in Truth. Pentecost made it possible. To live a life of contentment and full satisfaction as God promised means communing with His Spirit. We must acknowledge the God in us and let Him have His Way.
John 10:9-10 (NIV)
I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Recently, our family has made some changes. We were just not experiencing God in our life as we have in the past. Seeking the Lord and praying a lot, we decided to make a change. It was a hard change. It made us uncomfortable. It was not easy, but it was at the direction of the Holy Spirit. As we have pursued the Lord, it has felt like chains melting off my heart. It is a new day. Sometimes we must evaluate the fruit of our life to see if we are properly planted. If not, we must decide what we want. Man or Messiah?
I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved. No man comes to the Father but by Jesus. He is the only way. To live in the full satisfaction that Jesus died for us to have requires moving into His Presence and remaining in right standing with God the Father. It is a surrender of our will and way to have all that Jesus is and wants to do in our life. He is a Good Shepherd. He laid down His Life for His Sheep. We can trust Him. Do we? Do I? Do you? This is a personal question. In the same chapter of John, Jesus reveals that there are actually sheep in His Field that still do not believe. I do not want to be like those sheep who will be weeded out in judgment. I want my sin full satisfied and my hope secure. I must trust the Lord. I must depend on Him. I must decide that His Word is True, His Intentions Good and that He is able to complete the work that He started in my life.
Colossians 3:2-4 (NIV)
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
I hope when you woke up this morning, you were covered in contentment, surrounded in satisfaction and met with perfect peace. If not, I know the One who can produce it in your life. Before you move a muscle, through back a single cover or make your way through the darkness, call on the Good Shepherd. Give Him every barrier standing between you and perfect peace. Leave it with Him and go about your day worshipping the Lord by His Spirit living out the Truth. If you continually do this, you will wake up one day soon content no matter what your circumstances. It won’t be long until you are satisfied in the middle of every situation. God is good. He loves you. Jesus is waiting to make good out of every detail of your life. When you pray, a command is issued on your behalf in Heaven. Those who believe will wait it out – praising the Lord until it comes. Somehow this makes life better. Believing without seeing changes everything. Knowing is growing. Jesus Christ is my life. He makes everything we have been through worth it. His Love for us is undeniable. We must set our heart and mind on our relationship with the Lord. As we do, our expectation is transferred to Him. This kind of hope never leads to disappointment. Even our imperfect lives become satisfying in the absence of shame and regret. God is good! Life is good. Live the life today. Love your life. He is life. Jesus is life!
I John 5:11-12 (NIV)
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Psalm 16:11 (NIV)
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.