Crying out to God in your desert place

All of us as Christians go through desert places. Where our journey feels dry and barren and it is like we are walking through a hot, dry and windy desert alone.

David went through a number of times like this. We read a number of times in Psalms where he cried out to God and told God how he was really truly feeling!

I really like David’s honesty in his prayers. He laid out all his hurts, his pain, his fears and his frustrations. He did not try to hide anything from God.

The reality is that God knew how David was feeling and He knows how we are feeling today too. He sees into our hearts and sees our pain, our frustration and our deep longings.

When I go through a desert place my first reaction to push on and tough it out. Slowly (read as extremely slowly) I realise what it happening and I go easy on myself and go to God honestly in prayer.

David’s prayer from Psalm 63 has been a great help in these times. It is worth a slow and reflective read…

Psalm 63:1-8 NLT
[1] O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. [2] I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. [3] Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! [4] I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. [5] You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy. [6] I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. [7] Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. [8] I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.

If you are going through a dry place at the moment, I would encourage you to reflectively read Psalm 63 and see how David cried out to God in the midst of his sufferings.

David said he thirsted for God. He told God he longed for Him. And how he would praise Him and pray to Him as long as he lived. David even said he laid awake at night thinking of God. David also declared in the midst of it, that God held him securely.

David knew what it was to be honest with God. This is something we can learn from him. The desert place can be hard. But it becomes easier if we follow David’s example and cry out to God in the midst of it.

Blessings,
Dave

The mind of Christ

I have been thinking a lot lately about how the Bible says we have the mind of Christ. It is something I have been praying about and starting to research. Here are some early reflections.

The Dictionary of Biblical Themes describes the mind of Christ as, “The centre of Jesus Christ’s thought, understanding and motivation, characterised by a total dedication to God. Christians are called upon to have the same mind as Christ.”

What a great simple definition. Having Christ’s thoughts, understanding, motivation and dedication to God. This is something we should all aim for as disciples of Christ.

In 1 Corinthians 2:15-16 NLT the Apostle Paul tells us why this is so important. He says, “Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. [16] For, “Who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.”

Paul tells us that having the mind of Christ is important for us as Christians so we can understand the things of God and evaluate all things.

In verse 14 Paul gives us context, “But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.”

So for us as Christians it is vitally important to have the mind of Christ. It enables us to both understand the things of God and helps us to be totally dedicated to God with our lives.

Prayer

Dear God, help us to understand what it is to have the mind of Christ. Help us to have the same attitude of Christ. Please renew our minds so we can understand the things of God and evaluate all things. I pray we can be totally dedicated to You and Your Kingdom. I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.

A pray for calling

I am doing a daily devotional at the moment. It included this prayer today. I thought I would share it…

God, You know my heart better than anyone. You know the dreams I have for the future, and the silent prayers I’ve prayed for years. You know what I am longing for, searching for, and waiting for.

You know my dreams, but You have a plan. You make all things beautiful in their proper timing. You are faithful to keep Your promises. But so often, I forget this and grow discouraged when my situations don’t seem to change. In those moments, it’s easy to forget that You are not done working.

As I prepare for a new season, remind me of the promises You have for me, the gifts You’ve given me, and the hope that I have in You. Search me, and know my heart. Try me and test my anxious thoughts. See if there is anything within me that grieves You.

You are the one who establishes my steps. So in this new season, I am choosing to trust You with the unknown. I am choosing to be faith-filled because You are faithful.

Through Your Holy Spirit, please change the way I think and behave. Transform my mind so that I can discover Your perfect will. Allow me to become the person You created me to be so that I can fulfill the calling You’ve placed on my life.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Devotional Classic book

Over Summer I am doing a unit at Tabor titled the, “Story of the Church”. As the name suggests it looks at church history in a broad overview of the last 2000 years.

One of our Text books is Devotional Classics. It has 52 sections that look at some of the great Christians from church history. The 52 sections are divided in to six streams to help us have a more balanced faith. The streams are: the prayer filled life, the virtuous life, the Spirit empowered life, the compassionate life, the Word centred life and the Sacramental life.

For part of our assessments we are required to read a chapter a week, summarise the persons writings and then reflect on how that impacts us. It is meant to be 100 words summary and 100 words reflection. Only 200 words is harder than you think, it forces you to be very concise!

I have really enjoyed the book and the assessments so far. It has allowed me to look at some of the inspirational people through church history. So far I have looked at Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine of Hippo, Bernard of Clairvaux, Francis of Assisi, Martin Luther and Teresa Avila. I have five to go!

Once I have finished the unit and the 12 people we have to look at, I am actually considering doing the 200 word reflections on all the people in the book. It has been such a useful exercise. It has added so much to my faith and life.

If you are interested you can check out the book at Koorong.com. It costs about $45 but it is well worth it.

Blessings,
Dave

Make room for Jesus

Last Sunday my wife preached her first ever sermon. In her sermon she also touched on the idea of making room for Jesus.

Mary made room for Jesus in her body.

Joseph made room for Jesus in his family.

The disciples made room for Jesus their lives.

Then she asked if we will make room for Jesus this Christmas?

Christmas can easily become about presents, a big family meal together, having a break from work, or even going to church.

These are all good things, but most importantly we need to make room for Jesus. Let us purpose in our hearts to make room for Jesus this Christmas.

After all, God made room for us in His eternal family.