It was Day 18 in my prayer journal. As I always do, I started writing, just as if I were talking to Him in person. We all pray differently. My prayers most often end up in a conversation, sometimes on paper and other times on the elliptical, when I’m feeling a little energized. This morning was one of those that started on paper and ended with a tearful workout session.
Let me explain.
At 5:52am, I received a text from a friend that was simply “Good morning” followed by this scripture:
“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of Your presence and the pleasures of living with You forever.”
Psalm 16:11 (NLT)
David wrote Psalm 16. The lead in to the chapter [in my Bible] basically said that David was doing exactly what I was doing when I received the text.
“A Poem of David: [probably] intended to record memorable thoughts.”
Next I read one of my morning devotions titled, Worshiping With Questions. Something that stood out in the reading was,
“Worship needs to not stop when we have questions. God of heaven welcomes us to bring our worry-filled questions to Him.”
Worshiping With Questions | Our Daily Bread
I couldn’t shake the feeling of His presence, unable to focus on my morning rituals, listening to worship music with words that just stopping me in my tracks. “Give me a heart like David, Lord be my defense so I can face my giants with CONFIDENCE.” Listen for yourself…
I continued to read the devotional and picked up on something else the writer said,
“Not everyone understands where to turn for genuine help. David shows us what it looks like to find hope where there seems to be none.”
Worshiping With Questions | Our Daily Bread
I knew God was speaking as everything continued to revolve around David.
The more I learn about David, the more I gravitate to learning about him. I want to build in myself some of the very strengths that got him through so much in his life. Even when he experienced setbacks and made poor choices, David’s heart was still for God — his trust in God is where he found his confidence. He worshiped the Lord, even if sometimes his worship was through worry.
Look at what God had to say about David in Acts:
“God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’”
Acts 13:22 NIV
Oh how I long to be someone who does everything God wants me to do!
David didn’t have to guess what he should do when He was in communication with God. He put his confidence in God, so he had nothing to fear when following God’s direction. When we look at it that way, it’s hard to understand why we become so fearful in situations that we can’t understand. We have to let go of control and let God take the reigns. We can learn to find JOY by simply worshiping Him through the struggles just as we do the triumphs.
The theme wasn’t just David, it was confidence and JOY. I have been thinking about joy for some time now. In this busy season of life, as we move into a brand new season, it will be difficult. However, I know we’ll experience so many wonderful things. All I want in the day-to-day busyness is to find JOY.
“I will bless the Lord, Who has given me counsel; yes, my heart instructs me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory [my inner self] rejoices; my body too shall rest and confidently dwell in safety.”
David is saying [here] how thankful he is that God has directed him — he’s finding JOY because of God’s direction. If I really think about it, I find the most JOY when I’m following God. So why do I only do it part of the time?
I’ll tell you why, but first there’s more…
That same friend who sent the text earlier came back with this song. These words in the song made my heart go pitter-patter:
“I have this confidence because I’ve seen the faithfulness of God.”
Soon after hearing the first words, even more lyrics started standing out:
When I am in the fire, I will not feel the flame. (I just read Daniel 3 this morning. Coincidence? Not with God!) I’ll stand before the giant, declaring victory. My God will make a way so I am not afraid.” Not Afraid | Jesus Culture
When God starts to use me, the enemy starts to pick at me. He knows where to start and even goes so far as to attack the areas that hurt the worst. My heart goes out to those who don’t know God because I don’t know how they’ll ever find their way out of the darkness they experience. God is my way out: Every. Single. Time. He is faithful and I should be too. My flesh will struggle but even then, He is faithful. I will doubt my own abilities but mustn’t ever doubt what God can do through me or what I can do with Him.
That song I mentioned earlier, Confidence, says this:
“‘Broken people are exactly who you use.”
Confidence | Sanctus Real
I identify with that sentence. God uses us all, but broken people have the opportunity to make such a big impact because they have come out of the storm, most often stronger and with more confidence. Us broken people need to be ready to help others who need someone who understands!
After the overwhelming sense of God’s presence subsided and I went on with my day, I hopped on the elliptical, put my headphones back in and flipped on a sermon that I needed to finish. Just minutes to finishing, I had to press pause to really grasp what he said:
“The reason you don’t feel anything is because I want to set you free from the need to feel it to do it. I don’t need you to feel, I need you to [insert your own word here]. I want you to depend on the power of my presence.”
Steven Furtick | The Power of Provision
Que the tears. I screamed THIS IS FOR ME! so loudly that my dog came downstairs to see if everything was okay. It was at that moment that I began to pray out loud, declaring victory over the enemy who is picking at me and thanking God for His faithfulness. I may not know what to do in every situation or have every answer I need but God does. In order to walk in confidence and find that JOY I so desperately want, all I have to do is seek Him first.
Following God doesn’t mean that the road will be easy [just look at David’s life] but it can be without fear. God has gone before. He knows what’s going to happen next regardless of whether or not you choose His way or your own. And He will be there, no matter what. There are consequences for choosing our way over His but we can rest in the fact that He will never leave us or forsake us. Whatever it is that you are having a hard time letting go of or trusting God with, now is the time to give it to Him fully. If it’s your life, then open your arms and tell Him,
Father, this life is Yours. Use me as you wish. Help me to follow You. May the desires of my heart mirror Your dreams for my life. Direct my steps. Help me to hear you more. Speak often and in a way that helps me know it’s You. I love you.
In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen
I’m praying for you today. May God overwhelm you with His presence.