Do you know Him?

My husband and I feel disconnected sometimes. Work gets full, and schedules don’t always align. Suddenly, we find ourselves running parallel lives. Roommate living moments pass by before we realize that it has been days since we talked and connected. 

Whoosh…a window opens wide for the devil to march right in.

You know the enemy is stealthy…and you may not always notice at first that he is sneaking around messing with your mind and mingling in between your relationships. Partly because…, they are, after all, your thoughts. the disgruntled, disappointed thoughts are yours. And they come from real places. Real moments of feeling overlooked or unheard. They come from real moments between real humans who have the full capacity to be both loving and hurtful.

The enemy is a liar

But in moments of weakness, when you have your guard lowered, the enemy will show up and begin to work. He will inflate those thoughts of disappointment about your spouse, “He never makes time for me. I am the last choice. I can’t believe he has done this again. This behavior will never change.” Or “She doesn’t find me attractive anymore and never initiates intimacy. She doesn’t love me as she should.”

The enemy will distort your perspective, “I can’t believe he doesn’t see how disrespectful his words and actions are!” “She doesn’t respect me or what I do and is never happy with what I provide. Nothing I do is going to make her happy.” The enemy prowls and waits for these openings to distort and divide. You are left feeling angry and hurt with little hope for change.

So here we were, my husband and I, living in parallel, feeling disconnected, a little bruised and alone. That’s when we partnered with the enemy using sharper than intended words, taking offense and boom…the division the devil intended to create is visible. The division is always the enemy’s agenda. To get between us…to move us further away from one another. To entice us to lash out at one another. And there in the space between us forms a hurting, prickly silence.

Jesus is in the middle of the mess

And even then, right there in the room smack dab in the middle of our mess, is Jesus. Waiting and watching His kids hurt one another. Make no mistake about the truth of who He is and where He stays. The enemy may lurk around waiting for open windows, but Jesus resides. Jesus remains.

He is Immanuel…our God with us. I have to open windows of my heart and my mind to give the enemy a foothold. But my God, my healer, my Jesus is an ever-present help in that kind of trouble because He never leaves.

In the moments, the Father watches His kids complain and say hurtful things to one another. He sees how we hurl daggers at one another’s hearts out of frustration and disappointment. And what does our Father do? How does he hope to respond? He waits for us to notice Him right there in the room. He waits.

Get real quiet and listen

I have learned some things in my relationship with the Father. When my heart feels bruised and that choking lump rises in my throat or the edges of my ears feel all hot. When tears threaten to pour out from the corners of my eyes, and ugly words float around inside my head, threatening to spill out from my mouth. I know in these moments, I need to pay attention…pay attention real quick.

I need to get quiet and listen to the Father’s heartbeat. I know He is in the room, but I have to get good and quiet and still to notice Him. My Father is soft with me, inviting me close to bear my hurt. He is the soft landing place that first consoles my heart and then with a sweet gentleness, his Holy Spirit opens my eyes to my wrong. His Holy Spirit asks me what I could do to make it right. And like that, my softening, comforting heart wants to make amends. Earthly amends with my love because I have received the touch of the Father’s love for me. On my worst days, with my ugliest attitudes, I don’t repulse Him. He stays near me. And His presence heals me.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness

1John 1: 9

He sees you…

He heals…

And it is true…sometimes, we walk through wilderness seasons where the Father seems silent, His voice eerily absent. But, even in those moments, this is true- God is for me and with me and will never leave me. So while I feel He is silent, the truth says, He is with me and has not abandoned me.

We have to remember that He sees us, remember that He is near and then respond to Him, and allow Him to heal.

A little more truth…

He has the things you need…steadfastness, endurance…and patience…the hidden qualities that you need in order to do all that you do. Run to Him. See Him there with you. Know him, right now, at this moment. He is with you…even through the mindless activities. He is with you. He sees you in your frustration of picking up after everybody. He sees you when you are feeling lonely and unappreciated. He notices how you look at yourself in the mirror and feel dissatisfied. He sees you when you step on the scale and feel discouraged. He is with you.
The Father chose you and created you for a purpose. The Father designed you with precision. Sometimes your wishes and waiting for changes in your circumstances are distractions from knowing His presence is with you through those circumstances. Where you go, He goes. Where you are, there He is also. He can move silently with you, or you can know him. Invite Him into your day, your tasks, your thoughts. He will refresh, equip, and refine you. He works to restore all things. 

This I Believe

Do we? Do we believe?

Do we believe the Father? Can we declare these words with faith burning in our hearts and cry from our hearts that we believe? Do we know Him…His character and His intentions toward us? Do we know He is good, faithful, holy…that His ways are higher than our ways…all the time, each and every moment of each and every day. Do we believe His plans are for our good…for our benefit…for our transformation? If we believe that God is creator, defender, deliverer, should it not change us? Calling on the name of Jesus should change us.

In His love for us…this limitless, unchangeable love for us, He invites us to see the world differently. His call is for the body of Christ to explore His fullness and from this secure place, walk in our identity as His sons and daughters. The Father’s nature towards us is to be known by us?

I want to know Christ- yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead (Phillipians 3:10)

In the Name of Jesus…we believe. He is our judge and our defender…He showed us suffering and we partner in His suffering to know Him more…being acquainted with suffering is to know the power of the cross. He rose from the cross…He suffered but the power in surrendering to the cross comes with the resurrection. That He rose…in victory over death, disease, betrayal…all the nastiness in the world, for those broken relationships, the grief, and the suffering. He took on this pain, this sin and died…for all of this, He died. And He died, that we might live. Hope comes with the resurrection. Jesus didn’t stay dead.

Thank you, Jesus for surrendering to your Father’s will. Our God defends, contends, and defeats the enemy yesterday, today and forever. Our circumstances may paint a picture of lack, of need, of despair in some areas, but our circumstances don’t change the truth of who God is and who He will remain. Our circumstances change…our emotions change…our God does not.

When our beliefs about the Father are distorted and we are walking in unbelief about His goodness, His grace, His incomparable great mercy for us who believe, we are missing the truth about the Father’s heart and the authority He gives to His sons and daughters. Surrender to His goodness, trust His faithfulness, be filled with His compassion and receive His love.

Then go out…and walk in it pouring the overflow of goodness, love, faithfulness and compassion into the community.