Come and Sit Awhile
Be Nourished in the Lord
As mentioned before, I begin each year afresh in reading the Bible through with daily readings from the Old Testament and the New Testament. A former Pastor of mine used to get so excited each year-end as he anticipated starting the New Year with a new Bible translation. With his encouragement I began my own annual reading many years ago. I choose a different study Bible, sometimes a different translation for each year. As we are in the beginning of the year you might want to think about adding a new translation or adding a devotional reading to your daily Bible reading. The different perspective and depth you may gain are immeasurable.
This week I have been reading the Book of Matthew in the New Testament. In Chapter 14, Jesus, moved with compassion, tells the people to sit down on the grass to be fed. I could not help but think how fitting it is stop whatever you may be doing and sit down. It is in sitting that activity slows and you are more aware. Instead of being the activity you become more open to receiving. Just as natural digestion is enhanced when seated and quiet so is the consuming of spiritual nourishment.
To deeply connect with the Lord requires stillness on your part.
It requires a seated position in the spirit. I am not saying you cannot connect with God while kneeling or walking or throughout your day. I am just noting that when Jesus came to feed the people He ‘commanded’ them to sit to be fed. To nourish yourself in Him and receive His impartation, sit down.
How Full Are You?
After they ate and were filled there were twelve baskets of fragments that remained from the original five loaves and two fish that fed “about five thousand men, besides women and children.” Imagine the miracle of feeding such a vast number of people with only an initial five loaves and two fish. Imagine what miracle He has for you if you will only sit with Him.
When you allow your spirit to be filled to overflow that makes you a vessel that He can use to pour out and into others. When you are filled you lack nothing in the spirit. Your heart (and it is always a heart issue) rests in His peace beyond understanding. Your heart beats in rhythm with His heart of compassion for all you encounter.
Are You in Need of Refreshment?
If on the other hand you are empty of close relationship with Him, that vacuum within will be joy and life extracting to all you encounter. When you are overwhelmed, stressed, fatigued you have nothing left to sustain yourself and nothing left to give others. What comes out of your depletion can easily wound others.
In our fast paced and high stressed times you can easily be compassion fatigued. I know I have experienced this several times in my life. It can creep up quietly without you even realizing it until you simply have nothing left. Feeling deeply physically and emotionally drained it can be hard to move forward.
Sit ‘For Such a Time as This!’
Sit down. Take the time to sit with the Lord and in ministering to Him let Him minister to you. Just as He fed the multitude He will feed you to overflow if you will let Him. If you think you do not have the time, make the time while you are able. He is ever faithful and He is ever present. As the times we live in become more chaotic it is critical to ‘sit down’ and take nourishment to be filled to go forward. Never forget that you are here ‘for such a time as this.’
To be able to move and stay Kingdom in these times you must take time to ‘sit down.’
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Tomorrow we observe Martin Luther King, Jr. day in the United States of America. Dr. King profoundly contributed to the shaping of this Nation in the 1950’s and 1960’s. King was an American Baptist minister and civil rights leader. He received the Nobel Peace Prize for his tireless prayer and work for peace in the tumultuous times in which he lived. What is often forgotten is his belief in non-violence. He actually went to India in 1959 to meet with Prime Minister Nehru and to study the passive resistance practices of Mahatma Gandhi. King’s dream for America included equality in employment. It never was for a hand out society.
In his famous “I Have a Dream,” speech, he said, “We must ever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.
We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force…I have a dream that every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together
…when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every tenement and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.’” Go online and listen to the entire speech. It is as profound today as the day he spoke. May we all “conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.”
Quotes to Ponder This Week
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” ~Jesus, Revelation 3:20
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” ~Jesus, Matthew 7:7
“Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes…they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.” ~Matthew 14:19-21
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.” ~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“…at times I have felt that I could no longer bear such a heavy burden, and was tempted to retreat to a more quiet and serene life. But every time such a temptation appeared, something came to strengthen and sustain my determination…God has been profoundly real to me…In the midst of outer dangers I have felt an inner calm.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr., The Everything Martin Luther King Jr. Book, Jessica McElrath
A Prayer Request
Thank you for your continued faithfulness to pray. Please keep all who serve our country, our servicemen and women and their families in prayer for salvation and safety. They are our front-line on the battlefield, let us be their front-line in the spirit. Also, let us cover all who have come home wounded that they and their families will receive the kindness, help and support they need to go forward in their lives.
God bless all our diplomatic and military personnel and their families. May the Lord keep them safe. Pray for all throughout the world for hedges of protection against radical Muslim extremists and all forms of terrorism. We have long prayed for spiritual victory over radical Islam in Esther’s Warriors Ministry. We now see the reality of this threat come to the forefront in this time in world history.
Please pray for all in authority over us, for the full truth to come forth concerning Benghazi and for safety in Israel. May God richly bless the United States of America, bring to light every single crooked place and keep her safe. May we may arise united once again as One Nation Under God in this auspicious season in our country’s history.
We continue to pray for truth to prevail as we saturate this country in prayer and stand for all that is right in America and for all of us who call ourselves American. These are treacherous times and now more than ever we must maintain our walk. Fail not in this hour.
Please Join Me in Prayer
Father we thank You that Your Word is ever present in our hearts. Grace us to sit often at the feet of Jesus and partake of His banquet. Let us be ever faithful to be doers of Your Word and not just hearers. Strengthen and deepen our relationship with Jesus so we can be used to bring Your Kingdom to earth as it is in heaven. We pray this in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen and amen.