Psalm 51: Responding to God

I sit here today, listening to the breeze in the cottonwood outside the kitchen door, loving the sound of the leaves gently rustling against each other; and I am in awe of my Lord. He has once again shown me in unmistakable ways His love and mercy and grace. He has once again lovingly guided me to a lesson I need to learn. To Him alone goes the Glory!

I began writing a post Saturday, after having spent many hours searching out verses on prayer and reading those books on prayer. After having been ‘schooled’ by my Savior on recognizing the sin in my life that was hindering my prayers, I sat down and began putting my thoughts down on ‘paper’ (or this blank white screen as the case may be). I wrote about praying Psalm 139:23&24; but then wondering why my prayers were not being answered.

And then yesterday morning at church the guest speaker talked on Psalm 51. He pointed out that a right relationship with God begins with our realization of God’s righteousness, His love and justice, and our rebellion against Him. He noted that our relationship with God depends on how we respond to what we know about Him and about the sin in our lives. Our response will lead to repentance, that repentance will lead to renewal, restoration and revival.

These thoughts brought about a bit of questioning to my heart as I listened, because all that he was saying was what I had been reading.

How do we respond when God wants us to do something? Are we cheerfully obedient or do we argue back — “Do I have to do that? I don’t want to do that.”

And this is the point where I was struck, because that is what I do, often. That is one of the things that I struggle with, holding back a part of myself from complete surrender because there are things I do not want to do, and I am afraid that the Lord will require it of me.

I am at heart a quiet, reserved person that does not do well in crowded noisy places. If I find myself in a situation that has many people and a good deal of talking and chaos, I find myself turning inward, mentally and emotionally closing myself down and off from what is going on around me.

I have never been outgoing, never willing to talk to people as others do. I have always felt inadequate to a task, always second guessing myself afterwards. Maybe it comes from the way I have been treated off and on during my life – as if I did not matter, as if what I had to say was inconsequential. Maybe it comes from being made fun of for something I said or did that to me did not seem to be something worthy of that treatment; but that, for whatever reason, I was made to feel humiliated afterward. And when the mockery comes from one that is closer to you than most, the hurt is doubly painful.

My family would probably be shocked to find that a good deal of my reserve comes from growing up with four older brothers that, as big brothers often do, make the younger sibling feel less than acceptable. I know they would feel terrible if they realized this, but growing up in a situation like that, even when it was done as childish teasing, it is easy to become withdrawn and reserved.

And, I guess when you repeatedly have others begin to talk right over the top of what you are trying to say, or make a face and out right change the subject while you are trying to talk makes one less and less likely to even open their mouths. You begin to feel as if you are not worth a whole bunch and you just need to stay away from other people and not talk to anyone.

At any rate, I have trouble stepping out into new areas, trying new things, and this keeps me from wanting to get myself into situations where I have to deal with others on a regular basis. I do not like to be boxed in and committed to doing something. I then either don’t want to do it when the time comes, or if it is an ongoing obligation I get half-way through, and want to quit.

I am getting better, but it is still a struggle.

So, I have a tendency to hold myself back, to not give my all completely to the Lord because of my own feelings of inadequacy and fear of shame. I oftentimes argue about not wanting to do something precisely for those reasons.

And He has been showing me that this is a sin that would surely block my prayers, and that He yearns for my complete surrender so that He can work with me and through me.

But now I must tell you …

I have never really thought through all of this, never really put it all clearly into words, never realized that all of this was hiding in my soul until I began writing this. It may have been in the back of my mind all this time, but as I sat here, hitting the keys to create this post, my thoughts veered off of my original plan and took me down this painful path. And as the words came, I could feel a gentle guidance bringing the words out and onto the screen, as if by sharing them I could get passed this.

And, even now, as I am writing this, I can feel His reassuring presence and there is a Loving Voice speaking to my heart saying,

“You are my child. You are beautifully and wonderfully made. I love you with a love everlasting. I chose you from the beginning of the world. Just because others made you feel inadequate, does not mean you are. You can do all things through Me because I will strengthen you. I will be with you. I will never leave you nor forsake you. But apart from Me you can do nothing.”

Praise the Lord!

© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com   2019

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He Is The Vine, We Are The Branches

We were not meant to go through this life on our own, struggling day to day under our own strength and power. Our Creator, the Almighty God, placed in each one of us an instinctive knowledge of His existence and a sense of our own inadequacies apart from Him. He created us for His express purpose and will, having a desire to love us and fellowship with us both now and through eternity.

But as we grow up, our prideful, sinful, human nature comes to the forefront of our thoughts and drowns out our ingrained knowledge of His Love and Grace. We think we must go through our lives on our own, only half living and never truly understanding our reason for being.

If we have not accepted Jesus as our Savior, we will go through life in a hopeless litany of days and years that have no redeeming value; only to end up with an eternity spent in hell.

But, Oh! The Blessed Hope of those that have given their life to Christ! Not only do we have the promise of eternity in His Presence, we also have His strength and power to draw on while here on this earth!

He has placed His Holy Spirit into the hearts of those that have been born again, to lead us and teach us and empower us to do His will.

But, we will not, not one of us, ever realize our true potential unless we yield ourselves heart, mind, body and soul to the God that Created us.

Yes, we can muddle through on our own; but nothing that we can accomplish on our own will ever be equal to what we can accomplish through the power of His Spirit.

And, inevitably, we will come to a day when we are helpless and lost, broken down by circumstances, unable to do what is expected of us, apart from the power and strength of the Holy Spirit.

“I am the vine, ye are the branches;

He that abideth in me, and I in him,

the same bringeth forth much fruit:

for without me ye can do nothing.”

John 15:5

 

Abiding in the Savior that died for us is the key to successfully accomplishing God’s will and purpose for our lives. To abide in Him is to rest in His Mercy and Grace. To abide in Him is to place Him first in our lives. To abide in Him is to place our every thought, motive, word, and deed under the Supreme Guidance and control of the Holy spirit.

Only then can we live the way God wants us to live, and accomplish all that He wants us to accomplish.

 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge Him,

and He shall direct your paths.”

Psalm 3:5&6

 

© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2018