Why I Couldn’t Hear From the Lord

I needed to know if I was in the Lord’s will before pursuing a course of action. I prayed. I asked for direction.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero communication; at least that is how it seemed from my end.

I texted a friend. She loved the original idea and saw no reason for me to change course. I wasn’t convinced. There was something inside me urging me to change, to move forward, to improve as the orginial idea now seemed sub-standard.

What was I missing? Why couldn’t I hear from the Lord? Why wasn’t he giving me the answer I desprately requested?

why I couldn't hear from God: What was the cause of the hindrance? We all have moments when we need an answer from God and all we seem to get is silence. #hearingGod #thehindrancethatblockedmyhearing

Taking Matters into Our Own Hands

The Philistine army had gathered against Israel. 1 Samuel 28:5 tells us, “When Saul saw the vast Philistine army, he became frantic with fear.” He needed answers and he wasn’t hearing from God, so Saul had his men search out a medium and they found one in Endor.

King Saul had given up waiting for an answer and took matters into his own hands. Not a wise choice, but let’s be real we have all probably given up waiting for God’s answer and found one we like through other venues.

Doing It the Right Way

When David was King he had the privilge of bringing the Ark of God from Judah to Jerusalem. On the way one of David’s men, Uzzah, tried to stop the Ark of God from falling off the cart when the oxen pulling it stumbled. Who of us have not on occassion tried to give God a helping hand? Uzzah was struck dead, David was angry and afraid to take the Ark of God into Jerusalem, so he put his dream on hold and he left the Ark of God at the home of Obed-edom.

2 Samuel 6:13 “Because you Levites did not carry the Ark the first time, the anger of the LORD our God burst out against us. We failed to ask God how to move it properly.”

Three months later, David suceeded in bring the Ark of God to Jerusalem when he did it according to God’s instructions.

Moving Out to Move In

For months my mind sought out an answer. I asked friends. I Googled. I read articles. I prayed asking the Lord to help me come to a decision soon. All this indecision was taxing my mind. I didn’t want to continue looking for answers in other places as if I was helping God out. I needed, wanted, to do it properly according to God’s instructions.

I discovered recently my urge to change and move forward, the thinking that the orginal idea was substandard all came out of pride. I had fallen into the comparison trap; not a good place to be. Coming before my Heavenly Father I asked for forgiveness and I moved out of pride and into His perfect plan.

Saul in his pride gave up on God. David in his pride failed to ask God for specific instructions. I in my pride compared myself to those further along them me, and I was not enough.

Let pride go and move into His perfect will.

Pride will look different to each of us. How has it presented itself to you? Share your thoughts in the comments, I look forward to hearing from you.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance.

If you have found this post helpful share it with a friend, they may be in need of your encouragement.

Photo Credit: Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When We Hurry Our Quiet Time

When We Hurry Our Quiet Time

Photo: Mitchell Orr, Unsplash

It was a quiet I had not experienced in all my years in church. It was different from the kind of quiet where you write the shopping list in your head or hope someone would say something; anything. Just break the awkwardness please kind of quiet.

When they said, “Let’s go to the house of God,” my heart leaped for joy. Psalm 122:1

The small Welsh chapel stood at the bottom end of town, it wasn’t fancy but it was a well known landmark. When asked where one went to church, it was suffice to say, “Jerusalem.” They knew you didn’t mean the city in Israel.

Singing in tune is not a requirement to worship

It was common practice during prayer meetings for whoever felt led to start up a worship song; singing in tune or music was not a requirement, yet somehow it was usually a beautiful sound that lifted from the people up past the rafters on its way to heaven.

Different members would stand unprompted one after another bringing their requests before the Lord, while those around voiced their Amen and Yes Lord. A moment of silence between prayers and singing was an opportunity for the next person to stand and join their voice with those who had prayed before them.

This particular prayer meeting the silence was different. It had a sweet rest about it, I could feel myself relax as if bathed in peace. No one uttered a sound, no-one dared break the silence. It was beautiful. Without anyone explaining I knew I was in the presence of the Lord. I for one was not in a hurry to leave and it seemed neither was anyone else.

I don’t know how long we sat in the sweetness of His presence, in the quietness of His spirit, maybe it was only a few minutes. Time had lost its importance, all that mattered was being with Him.

One Thing Remains

Many years have passed since that prayer meeting, a lot of life has happened bringing with it changes. Yet, one thing remains the same and that is the sweet presence of the Lord.

So often we come before Him in prayer, a quick thank you to show our gratitude for who He is and what He has done before we unload our next list of needs ending with a quick ” In Jesus name” and an even quicker “Amen.” Then we run off to our next task having checked off our Quiet Time.

Worship requires us to be fully present in His presence

We enter the courts of the throne room with praise, not lip service, not even our favorite song if it is not offered from the heart. Once in that’s where worship takes over, that is when we are lost in adoration for the One who sits at the right hand of the Father; Jesus.

Worship Requires Us to Be Fully Present

Photo: Word Swag

We cannot know the sweet rest of His presence, if we are not fully present in His presence. And we will never be fully present if we are in a hurry.

Slow down. Enter. Stay awhile.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance.

If this post has blessed and encouraged you feel free to share it with a friend.

 

 

 

Beyond Your Wildest Dreams

Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20

Sometimes I forget the greatness of the one I serve. I know He is my creator and that I am made in His imagine, as are you. My heart releases worship to Him because I’m thankful for Jesus. Thankful for His love and His mercy, thankful that I am part of the whosoever will. Daily I find joy in His presence, listen, there is nothing that can compare or compete with that….

…yet!

Somewhere. Somehow.

I have stopped expecting the exceeding, abundantly, beyond answers to prayer. I know they exist because I have been the recipient of this type of answered prayer many times.

It’s not that I have stopped believing. I do believe.

Rather, I stopped expecting this type of answer, and because of that my requests to God have become in some areas small minded. He can do beyond all that we can ask or think. So why am I thinking small?

I know He is able, capable of doing it. I know He is willing. But will He do it? As I talked this issue out with the Lord it dawned on me, I wasn’t sure if some of my requests are in His will. Are they God given desires? Or pure selfishness? Am I asking for the right reason? The only reason; His glory. So I asked for His help.

I was drawn to start re-reading my already well highlighted and underlined book by Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker. Some books are worth re-reading and The Circle Maker is one of them. While in a local Lifeway Store a Priscilla Shirer book caught my eye with its bright red cover, but it was the title that caused me to pick it up, God Is Able. Seriously folks! It was a given I would pick it up seeing that I was having issues in this area.

A friend gave me a book for my birthday, she had no idea what I was going through, The Daniel Prayer: Prayer That Moves Heaven and Changes Nations, author Anne Graham Lotz. I asked for help and I am getting it, though none of these books supersedes God’s written word, The Bible. They sure will be helpful.

Have your prayer requests become small minded? Have you stopped believing or expecting God to answer you in an above and beyond what you can think or ask way? Talk to Him, it’s not like He doesn’t already know. He loves it when we come to Him and ask for His help.

This weeks giveaway is Priscilla Shirer’s book God Is Able.

To enter simply follow my Grace Lace and Polkadots Facebook page, make sure you have your notification button turn on so you don’t miss a post. If you already signed up to follow my Facebook page you will automatically be entered. Entry closes on Saturday September 2nd at 10pm Central Time and the winner will be announced on Monday September the 4th.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

Little girl with roses: Photo Credit Pixabay

 

From Fear to Freedom

 

She couldn’t see him. He was there one moment and gone the next.

My daughter had signed her first born up to join swim team. The same team she swam for as a child. It was his first time to join a summer sports team and he was an excited four year old. She drilled him about listening to and obeying his coach but this particular swim practice he saw something that looked like fun and followed suit…he saw some older boys jump into the pool and thought he would do the same; they could swim, he couldn’t.

My daughter was sitting with the other moms, one eye on her one year old daughter and the other on her son. Various age groups with their coaches were in the water and several life guards were on duty.

Suddenly! She thrust her one year old on the lady next to her (insert shocked lady) and took off running down the side of the pool. Fully clothed she jumped into the water, her little boy was sitting at the bottom of the pool. He was new to swimming and for the most part held onto to his coach or the kick board when practicing. He didn’t possess the knowledge of how to push himself up to the surface. He needed to be rescued.

Physically he was fine. Mentally, he experienced nightmares, waking up crying in the middle of the night. Once I knew about the nightmares I did what any other born again, bible believing, praying grandmother would do. I took authority in the name of Jesus over the fear. As far as I was concerned it was not going to have a foothold in my young grandson.

The thief comes only in order to steal, and kill, and destroy: I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10 Amp

Fear is not of God and not how He wants us to live. I’m not talking about healthy parameters, such as, don’t play with fire or jump out of an airplane without a parachute. Our enemy has come to kill, steal and destroy and fear is just one of his tactics.

As born again believers in Christ we have the same spirit that lives in Jesus; that of peace, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Jesus came that we may live free in His truth, free from the lies of the enemy. It’s time for us to believe what the word of God says and not just read it like a story book.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 NIV

We don’t have to remain in a state of drowning at the bottom of the pool of fear. Our rescuer has come! The price has been paid for our freedom, through the sacrificial blood of Jesus.

We don’t have to live as a shackled Christian: We can live free.

Until next week

My apologies dear reader, I missed last week. I had a post written but it just didn’t sit right with me and, I am not about publishing posts for the sake of getting something out there. I want the posts to be source of encouragement to you in your walk with the Lord.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance.

How has knowing God’s truth set you free? Would love to hear your story, please feel free to share in the comments.

P.S. My grandson is back on swim team this year and now swimming without a kick board.

 

 

 

 

The Day the Wall Fell

I’m not one to run to people with my issues. Ask me how I’m doing and I will probably give you my default answer, “Good, yeah I’m good.” It’s not that I want to be false, I’m just not one to lightly bare my soul.

Maybe you can relate?

I remember several years ago hearing Joyce Meyer on the television telling us to “Run to the throne not the phone.” I know she wasn’t suggesting we never talk with a trusted friend or counsellor. It was just that some people either run to the phone only, or they run to the phone first, putting Christ as a last resort.

Are you a phone first or throne first kind of girl?

A few years back I was having some issues. I had gone to the throne and talked about them with my heavenly Father almost on a daily basis. He told me to go talk with one particular lady at church. I thought it odd that the creator of mankind would pass me off to one of His creations. What in the world was a mere mortal going to do that the great I AM couldn’t do?

I didn’t want to take my concerns to that particular lady, so I shelved the idea.

Have you been down that road?

The Lord instructed you to do something and it wasn’t what you had in mind so you either put it off or conveniently forgot about it?

The issue continued and I continued to bring it to the Lord. He reminded me to talk with that particular lady. “Not her Lord. Please not her.” Now let me make something clear, It wasn’t that she was mean, oh no quite the opposite. She was a sweet southern soul, kind and considerate. Gentleness and love poured out of her every word and action. She loved everyone and everyone loved her. But I did not want to talk with her, at least not in a counselling situation.

I brought up several other names before the Lord, each time He brought me back to the sweet southern soul. It was way past time to obey.

Picking up the phone I dialed her number, half hoping she would not answer. At least I could tell the Lord I tried and perhaps then He would say I could talk with someone else.

Have you ever given the Lord alternatives to His plan for you?

When she answered I felt embarrassed and stumbled over my words. I apologized over and over again for bothering her. It was a difficult conversation for me but, she was gracious and we arranged a date to meet.

I didn’t want to bare my issues to anyone, not even the other names I had mentioned to the Lord. Pride kept them locked inside, walled up in their own prison. I didn’t know it was pride that shackled me. I told myself, my issues were just that, My Issues and nobody’s business other than the Lord’s.

My sweet, southern soul lady listened and only spoke to prompt questions. She didn’t give me a five step plan, or pretend to have all the answers. Instead she gave her ear, her heart and her time.

It was a humbling experience for me to ask for help, but one that I will always cherish.

A wall called Pride, cracked and crashed the day I obeyed the Lord and asked for help.

No matter the name of your wall it can come crashing down too. Seek the Lord and follow His instructions and watch your wall or walls fall.

“God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

Until next week

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance.

Free feel to share and comment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Give From the Inside Out

Generosity comes in all sizes from a large financial gift to an unexpected smile from a stranger. Throughout scripture we read account after account of people giving both out of their abundance and their need.

Red tartan had made a comeback once again and I was glad I had kept my jacket. There was a slight chill in the air making it a perfect day to wear it. Updated jeans and top and who would know the jacket was from the eighties…no shoulder pads for this girl!

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38NIV

I stopped at the Welcome Center in the church foyer to say hi to a dear friend, she too was sporting red tartan only hers was on her purse. I told you it was fashionable.

We talked for awhile, red tartan being part of the conversation, she asked me if I liked her purse?

I did.

As we talked she emptied the contents onto the Welcome Center table. I thought it a little strange but kept on with our conversation thinking she must be looking for something hidden deep in the recesses of her purse.

All of the contents lay on the table and I mean ALL. my friend picked up her purse looked me straight in the eye and told me she would like me to have her red tartan bag. There wasn’t any hesitation on her part, no waiting to get home and change purses before offering. It was straight up lets do it now.

I hesitated to accept.

What was she going to do with the contents from her purse? How was she going to get them home? Here they lay spread out on the table. She on the other hand did not see it as an issue. I wasn’t looking for a purse, though, you know we can always use another one. I accepted because she wanted to bless me and I was not going to deny her the privilege of being a blessing.

This lady, my friend Joelda ,has blessed many people over the years. Sometimes it has been with a particular gift, other times a word of encouragement or a scripture verse. She is the lady you go to if needing to be covered in prayer. The wisdom the Lord has given her is beyond her years, she would be first to say that she is not that wise but really she is. She is humble, she always gives God the glory for what He has done in and through her life.

Giving Joelda Style

Being generous has nothing to do with our bank account or our possessions, it is an attitude of the heart. I think we all could learn from Joelda:

Give without hesitation

Give from the inside out.

Always be thankful for what we have no matter how much or little it is.

Own our possessions but don’t let them own us.

Be generous and bless someone today whether it is with a material or financial gift, a word of encouragement or scripture verse. Be available to cover someone in prayer and always give God all the praise.

My dear friend is leaving Arkansas to live in New Mexico, she will be greatly missed not only by me but by all her have known her. Albuquerque is getting a gem, she has certainly been a treasure to us in Central Arkansas.

To the saints in New Mexico concerning Joelda; “I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me.” Romans 16:2NIV

Do you know someone like Joelda, someone who gives from the inside out? Would love to hear about your friend, leave a comment on this site or on my Facebook page Grace Lace and Polkadots.

Until Next Week

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

More Than a Diaper Changer

Getting along with people can be a challenge, whether it is in the workplace or in a social setting. It causes unspoken tension which can lead to verbal explosion. The good news is, you get to walk away from the person and go home, shut your door and leave the world outside.

But what if….

…the tension is in the home?

I have been reading about Leah, Rachel and Jacob. Talk about family dynamics! This family had issues to put it mildly.

Leah according to Genesis 29:17A NIV had weak eyes, or as the NLT version puts it “There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes.” I wonder if she not only had poor physical vision but also a poor self imagine?. Jacob however was not attracted to her, he had eyes for her younger sister Rachel who had a beautiful figure and a lovely face (Genesis 29:17B NLT).

Long story short Jacob worked for their father, Laban, for seven years as payment to marry Rachel. On the wedding night he was tricked and ended up marrying Leah. When he realized what had happened he and Laban exchanged a few words. Laban explained the custom was for the older daughter to marry first. I can’t help but wonder why no one in the seven years Jacob was there didn’t mention this custom to him.

At the end of Leah’s bridal week, Laban gave Rachel to Jacob in exchange for another seven years work. Think about that; Leah gets married to a man who had no intention of marrying her, then one week later she has to share him with the woman he does love, who just happens to be her sister.

Leah give birth to two sons and each time she hoped her husband would now love her (Genesis 29:30 & 31). On the third son she hoped he would feel affection for her (Genesis 29:34), sounds like a downgrade to me. After the fourth child, Judah, she stopped having children, at least for awhile.

In the mean time Rachel was not getting pregnant and became jealous of her sister, so she gave her maid Bilhah to her husband for the sole purpose of producing children. Bilhah and Jacob had two children together and Rachel was delighted. After the second son Rachel declares, “I have struggled hard with my sister, and I am winning!” Talk about sibling rivalry!

Leah then gives her maid Zilpah to Jacob, they have two children together. The sibling rivalry continues, in Genesis 30:15 we read, But Leah angrily replied, “Wasn’t it enough that you stole mu husband? Now will you steal my son’s mandrakes, too?”

Don’t know about you, but I kind of think it was Leah who stole Rachel’s husband. I’m telling you TV soap operas have nothing on this family.

Leah gives birth to another two sons, Genesis 30:20b “God has given me a good reward. Now my husband will treat me with respect, for I have given him six sons.” She has gone from wanting to be loved, to a show of affection, to settling for respect. After six sons Leah gives birth to the only girl in the family; Dinah. Who by the way was raped by a prince who then fell in love with her, but Dinah’s two full brothers, Simeon and Levi revenge slaughtered every male in the town, read for yourself in Genesis 34.

Rachel gives birth to two sons, Joseph and Benjamin but she had a hard delivery with Benjamin and dies just after she named him. Joseph goes on to save Egypt during a seven year famine but that’s another story.

I find the old testament fascinating it is filled with flawed people, yet the Lord chose to use them. Matthew 1 records the genealogy of Jesus and guess who is there? Jacob and his son Judah (vs 2), the same Jacob who married two sisters Leah and Rachel.

Leah and Rachel’s lives revolved around having babies. They did not perform heroic exploits or ruled as judge over a nation but without Leah, Judah would not have been born, remember he is mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus. Without Rachel, Joseph would not have been born and so would not have been able to save not only Egypt but his whole family from starvation, so persevering the family line.

We may long to do great exploits, to be remembered for a special accomplishment and for some that may happen. But the greatest accomplishment as mothers/grandmothers whether we are the biological parent or not is to teach our children about Jesus and to cover them in prayer. Our children are the workers and leaders of tomorrow, only the Lord knows their future and how that will affect generations to come. You are more than a diaper changer!

Family life can be rough on times and raising children is not for the faint of heart, but you can do it. The Lord does not require us to be perfect parents, rather parents who ask Him for wisdom.

To all my friends in the UK, Happy Mother’s Day for March 26th.

Until next week

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

Do you have a piece of advice to share on parenting or something the Lord has shown you from studying Leah and Rachel? Feel free to share in the comment box.