15 Nov
This Joyful Heart - Week 9

If all I wrote this week were WOW, it would perfectly sum up the time I’ve been having. Not much else seems to describe these past seven days. Though I was away from home for Thanksgiving, I couldn’t be more thankful for the life that God has so richly blessed me with. I’ve met some amazing people, experienced some amazing adventures, and had some amazing food.

Spending this last week on the lands that Jesus himself walked, I am all the more sure that He is the reason for life itself. He has graciously given us what no other person could/can and He did so in the humblest way. He has given me life and life abundantly through the offering of His own. He has set me free from the subjects of the law and personally filled my heart with His love. Being able to see first hand what I’ve been reading about for the past 11 years has made me appreciate the validity of the Scriptures even more. I am in awe of how long they’ve remained and how closely they match up to the original autographs.

Being uncertain of this time before I left my home, my heart was swollen with fears. Fears that I wouldn’t feel connected to Christ, fears that I wouldn’t find what I was looking for, and fears that made my eyes heavy with tears. I am excited to report that none of that was true. I felt extremely connected to Christ, the Father, and His Spirit. I found more than I thought I was looking for and while there were still tears, they were tears of gratitude. God gifted me with a group of people that welcomed me, challenged me, and made me feel as if I were right at home.

There were only 14 of us on this amazing escapade and each one of them brought something unique to the travel. The special intimacy of a group like this (ordinarily triple plus what we had) allowed us to get to know each other, develop relationships, and witness a composition that came directly from God. Even if there were some in the group that didn’t share in the belief of Christ as God incarnate, there was no doubt something miraculous about what we shared. There was, from my point of view, no doubt that our Lord was at work in every single heart of each person on this journey. For that I am thankful and for that I give praise. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of strangers to grow into friendship and this is how I found more than I was looking for.

Before I left I was hopeful that God would give me clarity about direction in my life, that He would define my purpose, and give me revelations of new. I don’t know if I got exactly that, but I do know that He gave me things I didn’t think to ask for. He gave me a better understanding of what it means to live in the moment, He gave me a better comprehension of what it means to be alive in Him, and a bigger respect for what He actually did for us. Each day I am learning what it means to be a follower of Christ, and each day (for the most part) I ask to love Him more. I can say assuredly that I fell deeper in love with our Savior this past week. Not only because of what He has done for us, but also for what He is continually doing for us.

Christ is constantly pursuing our hearts. He is patiently calling us to come closer to Him, and if we begin understand what He actually wants from us, it makes the sacrificial life a willing one. Because of what God sacrificed for us, we in turn learn to sacrifice ourselves in a way that exposes the truth of what and who He is… A good good Father that cares about each one of us individually. A loving comforter who showers us with an unconditional grace. God has blessed me with this wisdom and I pray the same for you as He continues to call you deeper still.

On to the matter of praying this week, there was no shortage. I engaged with Him in the mornings, I engaged with Him in the evenings, and pretty regularly, all throughout the day. I didn’t feel the need to write to the Lord this week because my heart was already concentrated on Him, but I have to admit I did miss the lines of prayers I’ve regularly been lifting up to Him. Not that God doesn’t know these prayers are in my heart, but I do believe there to be power in voicing them (or in this case writing them). So much so that I have to thank everyone who prayed for me this past week. I believe the good Lord has answered those prayers in filling me with a peaceful joy, a leading Spirit, and a grateful heart. You all have blessed me in the ways of our Savior and I am so appreciative of the time you gave.

In the coming weeks I am going to try and concentrate on listening to God (something I think I’ve mentioned before). Though I feel like He speaks to me in situational ways, I would love to hear Him more internally. I also want to start asking the Lord for things of the future. The Scriptures tell us that we do not have because we do not ask. (James 4) By no means am I saying that I lack anything I need, for Christ has fulfilled all for me, but there are still certain things that I would like to see come to fruition. There are still things that I need clarity in. So God, grant me your wisdom of things unknown and reveal to me the ways in which we can impact the world together. In Your name I pray Lord. Amen!

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