Going for a walk this last Saturday with my sister, I managed to walk off a beach with an arm and several pockets full of rocks, after a walk on a beach in a place that was significant for us during our childhood. It was deliberate, it was deliberate!
I attended a womens’ retreat this last weekend, which was an amazing time of being able to examine with God where we were at, where things in the way, what did He want us to do with those things, how did He want us to view them, what did we need to pray, change, approach differently, be mindful of etc, as we went about our daily lives.
As I was walking through my journey of the weekend, Father prompted me to look at Psalm 61.
Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.
From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.
I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. For you, God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
Increase the days of the king’s life, his years for many generations. May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever; appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him.
Then I will ever sing in praise of your name and fulfill my vows day after day. Psalm 61 (NIV)
There was a specific part of that Psalm that He wanted to use to help me to understand how He felt about our relationship.
It’s in the second half of verse four, and it’s from the Youngs Literal Translation:
I trust in the secret place of Thy wings. Selah. Psalm 61:4b (YLT)
It was a very special moment, to understand that God Himself was telling me that from His point of view, our relationship is strong in the area of my trust in Him. That it was a Hallmark if you like, of our relationship.
I think that it would have been amazing to hear at any time, but specifically during the journey of this last weekend it was lovely. We had been looking at the life of Daniel and examining the things that defile us, the things that we do, the things that are around us, or the things that are done to us – as were done to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. (Daniel 1 NIV)
So even though He had just the night before pointed out that there was something that He needed me to be aware of that had a significant impact on our relationship for the negative – it was like a breaking in our relationship, a defilement (which is what we were looking at over the weekend). Almost immediately He showed me this amazing hallmark of our relationship, from His perspective.
I don’t know about you, does it make it easier to stop doing a not helpful thing, when there is an even greater positive reinforcement to back it up?
I’m really interested to find out more. Not just about my relationship with God, but also what does He say about other people? If this one little sentence from the Psalms made such a significant difference for me, in making it so easy to change a thought pattern and a behaviour, then what might I be able to hear from Him for others that might make that kind of difference for them?
This is the way that He wants us to be able to live our lives. This is part of living in a naturally supernatural way. Knowing the power of our amazing God to heal our hearts, our brains (thoughts), to help us change our behaviours in a second, and to be able to bring that power to other people around us.
Sometimes it looks like what we are conditioned to think is a big demonstration of power, like a crippled limb growing straight, but this kind of encounter is just as powerful, because it changes the fabric of who we are on the inside. He made a crooked thought straight, and those can be just as impossible for us as a physical crookedness.
Mind you, I want to see as much physical crookedness healed AND emotional and mental crookedness healed AND environmental crookedness healed and economic crookedness healed as possible! All! The! Healing!
So, I have this great armful of rocks from a beach from my childhood. All through the Old Testament, there are times when people made piles of stones as markers to remember things, so that as they moved forward, they could look into history and remember what God had done for them in that place. I don’t think that all the stones I gathered are about marking the shape of my relationship with God, but maybe one or two are.
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. 1 John 3:1 (RSV)
What is it that He says is the Hallmark of your relationship with Him? There may be more than one, you never know…
God Bless You Very Much.