Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Am A Slave

God's been showing me some things these last few weeks. Mostly how I'm still stuck in the performance trap and addicted to others' expectations of me, actual or perceived, articulated or assumed.

Betsy gave me a devotional book in Tennessee this summer. It's called Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. The past few days' entries are for us, Melisa.

November 16
As you look at the day before you, you see a twisted, complicated path, with branches going off in all directions. You wonder how you can possibly find your way through that maze. Then you remember the One who is with you always, holding you by your right hand. You recall My promise to guide you with My counsel, and you begin to relax. As you look again at the path ahead, you notice that a peaceful fog has settled over it, obscuring your view. You can see only a few steps in front of you, so you turn your attention more fully to Me and begin to enjoy My Presence.

The fog is a protection for you, calling you back into the present moment. Although I inhabit all of space and time, you can communicate with Me only here and now. Someday the fog will no longer be necessary, for you will have learned to keep your focus on Me and on the path just ahead of you.
PSALM 73:23-24; 1 CORINTHIANS 13:12

November 17
There is no condemnation for those who are in Me. The law of the Spirit of Life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Not many Christians know how to live in this radical freedom, which is their birthright. I died to set you free; live freely in Me!

To walk along the path of freedom, you must keep your mind firmly fixed on Me. Many voices proclaim: "This is the way for you to go," but only My voice tells you the true way. If you follow the way of the world with all its glitter and glamour, you will descend deeper and deeper into an abyss. Christian voices also can lead you astray: "Do this!" "Don't do that!" "Pray this way!" "Don't pray that way!" If you listen to all those voices, you will become increasingly confused.

Be content to be a simple sheep, listening for My voice and following Me. I will lead you into restful green pastures and guide you along paths of righteousness.
ROMANS 8:1-2; ISAIAH 30:21; JOHN 10:27; PSALM 23:1-3

November 18
Come to Me, and rest in My Peace. My Face is shining upon you, in rays of Peace transcending understanding. Instead of trying to figure things out yourself, you can relax in the Presence of the One who knows everything. As you lean on Me in trusting dependence, you feel peaceful and complete. This is how I designed you to live: in close communion with Me.

When you are around other people, you tend to cater to their expectations--real or imagined. You feel enslaved to pleasing them, and your awareness of My Presence grows dim. Your efforts to win their approval eventually exhaust you. You offer these people dry crumbs rather than the living water of My Spirit flowing through you. This is not My way for you! Stay in touch with Me, even during your busiest moments. Let My Spirit give you words of grace as you live in the Light of My Peace.
PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7; JOHN 7:38; EPHESIANS 5:18-20

More tomorrow.

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