Pulling away to the quiet into His presence

 I love my brood!

"How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it." Luke 13:34

I get giddy just thinking about the last week in August. Family Day is a time each year that we gather with all of our children to celebrate the "Clarksons". My mother heart longs to have all of us together, close, touching each other, enjoying each other. They are my beloved ones, the ones in whom I am related--they came from my body, I have nursed them and loved them. They are my brood.We eat our favorite foods and have feasts together. We spend all of our time, just us, talking, giggling, celebrating life, sharing our dreams, thoughts, cuddling together on the couches watching our favorite movies, go hiking together, remember together all the ways we have seen God answer prayer and provide for us as a family.

It is a time I am blessed to gather my brood under my wings. As a mother, I delight in sharing the company of my precious children and loving and ministering to them and sharing hearts one more time, before they all go back into the world.

And so Jesus shared with us the same mothering example--he longed to gather his brood under his wings, so to speak. Jesus wants a relationship with us.

Loving Him, Cherishing Him

When asked what the most important commandment was, he said to love Him.

Jeremiah further tells us, "Let Him who boasts, boast in this, that He understands and knows me, that I am the God who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness." Jeremiah 9:24

God was walking in the garden he had created for the delight of His children, Adam and Eve, in the middle of the day to share their companionship. Imagine the creator of the world seeking the friendship of human beings. It is His heart, to love and to be loved.

He tells us in Revelation, "But I have this against you, you have left your first love, so repent." Revelation 2:4

Coming to the quiet, is coming to Jesus, being with Him, loving Him, worshipping Him and appreciating Him, listening to Him, serving Him.

Mary, as I mentioned in the last post, showed us this posture--listening to His every word. 

I used to ask myself, what qualified Mary to be the mother of Jesus? I think that she was a woman who loved her God. She pondered His word, she engaged her heart in His majesty. 

Luke 1:46 shows us her heart: "My soul glorifies my Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior.

Her heart, deep down, where her dreams and values and love was--was where she treasured her Lord.

So, if we are to become spiritual beings, spiritually wise, it will be in drawing near to God, seeking to ponder His being, listening to His voice, loving Him and believing in Him and in His goodness.

To be truly spiritual means to be more like Him. You become like whoever you hang around with--if you are hanging around with Jesus and loving Him, He will rub off on you. What you sow you will reap.

The World's voice

Often, I have said, "In the absence of Biblical convictions, people will go the way of culture." I want to also say, "In the absence of investing your time and heart and love in God, your heart will be invested in the world, the culture and all the voices clamoring for your heart's attention. The world clamors for our attention all the time.

The world says:

status, the pride of life is important--God says the humble please Him

what you own, your riches  defines you--the possessions, idols of life--Jesus came without home or riches and told us to lay up our treasure in heaven

what you have accomplished, your works justify your life--Jesus says, it is by grace through faith that we are justified and made beautiful--Christ's work in us, He makes us adequate

your busyness means you are accomplishing something, scripture says, "make it your ambition to lead a quiet life." Faith is what pleases God--not works

pleasing people and having lots of friends and admirers proves your worth. Proverbs tells us that the fear of man brings a snare.

Establishing your kingdom on earth is a worthy goal. Jesus says, "Seek first the kingdom of God. Thy kingdom come." He wants to build us for eternity, not for this earth.

Pleasure and self-gratification is what will satisfy. Jesus says, "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose His soul."

If I get my way and convince God that He needs to do my will, I will be satisfied and fulfilled. Jesus says, He who loses His life, gains it. Jesus said, "I came to do His will, not my own will."

His Solutions

I found that the more time I spent in His word, praying, seeking to trust Him with all of my problems and issues and fears and sought to have His values, they almost always led me away from culture--even from the Christian culture I was surrounded by. 

I also wish I had not fretted so much about my life, as He used all situations to strengthen, to build, to deepen my compassion for others who were struggling. He had a will for my life--to prepare me for eternity--to make me more like Jesus--and that has taken Him some bit of work. But I wish I had trusted Him more along the way, and not fought what He was doing.

But without the investment of time with Him, it is impossible to be spiritual. The Holy Spirit resides in us, He speaks to us the things of Jesus, He teaches us the wisdom and reality of His word, but we can quench the Spirit and close off His voice, by engaging so much in our own ways and spending too much time in the company of the world and listening to their voice.

Practical suggestions

1. Read through the psalms--one per day--either in your Bible on in a journal, circle or write down anything, any truth, any attribute it teaches you about God. You will have a wealth of knowledge about God when you do this and you will know much more about His heart.

2. Do the same for Hebrews. Hebrews tells us the Jesus is the exact representation of God. Look at Hebrews to learn the lessons of what pleases God, the attributes of Jesus, the truth about His will for us to hold fast.

3. Read a proverb a day and make a column in your notebook or journal and write world on one side and wisdom on the other side.

4. Figure out your own puzzle--when is a time or times you can be sure to have time to be with the Lord--to read scripture, to pray about your life and issues. Even 5 minutes is better than nothing--but try to have at least one time a week for an extended period. There is no holy time--you can learn just as much at midnight as you can at early dawn--whenever suits you and your situation the best is the right time.

Lord, I pray that you will raise up amongst these women, ones who will love you, seek you, trust you, serve you with their whole hearts. Speak to them in their needs and issues of life, help them to learn from you. Comfort them and guide them in wisdom. Bless these precious ones I pray and thank you so much for your generous, unfailing love and that you would want to be with us. We love and worship you. In Jesus precious and wonderful name we come. Amen