How do I capture the essence of our time together this morning, Lord? I have pages and pages of notes in my journal from our precious encounter. Perhaps a few exclamations would be in order… or, perhaps, just one.
I have had seasons during which my daily “Quiet Times” with You seemed to be more about going through the motions than truly “encountering” You. You have taught me so much, Lord, about how I have ended up there in the past and how I can avoid that in the future. And I will be forever grateful for Your unfailing patience and persistence with me!
There was nothing “rote” or “stale” about this morning’s ENCOUNTER, Lord!!! All I knew was what You had put on my heart today — that I was to meditate on Your Word. I had no idea what scripture You had in mind… or how rich our shared time would become as I followed Your lead. It began in such a simple way: “I’m here, Lord. I just want to be with You. How would You like to spend our time together?”
You have been teaching me a lot lately about the power of Declarations, Lord — those explicit statements or announcements we make about a particular state or condition. Declarations are powerful — especially when they come directly out of Your Word. Of course, it’s one thing to think a declaration in my mind. It’s another thing altogether to speak it out loud, with conviction, because I have embraced its Truth.
Like this morning, as we began our time together. You led me to a particular tool by Neil T. Anderson in his wonderful book, The Bondage Breaker. It’s a list of declarations about our acceptance in You, Jesus, with a scripture supporting each one. So I spoke them out loud to You, with conviction… also reading (out loud) the scriptures supporting each declaration.
“I renounce the lie that I am rejected, unloved, dirty, or shameful because in Christ, I am completely ACCEPTED. God says… I am God’s child (John 1:12). I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15). I have been justified (Romans 5:1). I am united with the Lord and I am one spirit with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17). I have been bought with a price: I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:19,20). I am a member of Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:27). I am a saint, a holy one (Ephesians 1:1).”
This was how You pointed me to the particular scripture You wanted me to meditate on today. As I spoke these various passages out loud, my heart was “stirred” by one in particular:
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6:19,20)
I got to the reference about my body being a temple of Your Holy Spirit. What is a temple but a building devoted to worship? I began to see — really see — my body as Your temple, Lord. And suddenly, I was filling my notepad with words from my heart to Yours… and vice versa!
By the choices I willfully make, I am the one who will DEVOTE myself (all or a large part of me) to the person / activity / or cause of my choosing. Whatever or whoever I devote my body to will be for or against You, Lord. There is no middle ground.
“Whoever is not with Me is against Me, and whoever does not gather with Me scatters.” (Matthew 12:30)
So I made Declarations like: “I choose to devote my eyes to You, Lord — to see the world and all that is in it (myself included) as You see it (me). To let my eyes dwell on beauty that will edify… also being watchful, keeping my eyes always on You.” AND “I choose to devote my nose to You, Lord — that I may discern the “stink” of sin long before it comes near me, so I can flee from it as I would a skunk!” AND “… that I may discern the aroma of Your Presence and be drawn to You and all the ways You make my mouth ‘water’ for the taste of You.”
Oh, Abba! Pages and pages of such declarations, referencing so many parts of me! It was “crazy” in a way — so out of the ordinary. Yet it was so different from merely saying, “I want to please You with all that I am” or even “I lay my body on the altar as a living sacrifice.” It was more personal, somehow… more real.
I could have gone on all day, Lord, but I reached a moment when I sensed in my spirit You wanted me to worship You through music. “How may I sing my heart to You, Lord?” You led me to three songs I have not heard in many months. It was as if their lyrics were quoting my journal notes — the very things I had written just moments before!!!
Like I said, Lord… WOW!!! I can hardly wait until tomorrow!!! 🙂