The Word is My Life
Monday, December 11, 2017
My Words are life to those that find them . . . . Prov. 4:22

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April 2016 A Heart's Cry

From My Life’s Journey                                                                               April, 2016

Topic:  A Heart’s Cry

From the depths of my soul, I cried out to God.  The cry erupted from every dream unborn, every hope deferred, every expectation unfulfilled.  From the depths within, I cried, “Jesus, help me.” My heart opened to God fervently, and He heard me:  “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17).  

Several months ago, I was in a rut, a stagnant place.  Not only that, but God revealed parts of my attitude (my heart) that were not pleasing to Him.  I became frustrated with myself and also my lack of progress in certain areas.  Without anywhere else to turn, I turned to God and cried out from my soul – my mind, my will, and my emotions.  My mind locked onto my need for God’s truth; my emotions pled for His help and comfort; and my will yielded to the only hope I knew – Jesus Christ.  God heard me, delivered me, and ministered to me about this place of a heart’s cry.  Let me share.  

            When we come to Christ at salvation, we sense a real need for His presence in our lives, willingly renouncing the practice of sin and turning to pursue hope in Christ.  I’ve learned that after salvation, as we grow spiritually, we have a need for God’s presence in a deeper way.  When we come to ruts or stagnant places (or God shows us our hearts), we come to a place of discomfort and dissatisfaction with our current state.  As our hearts open to God, He gives us strength to press in further into our relationship with Him.  Here is what God revealed to me at that time about my relationship with Him:  I was actually afraid to move further in Him, not knowing what He might require of me.  When God exposed this to me, I pondered, repented, prayed, and then made a decision:  to trust Him all the way and rest.     

            When we cry out to God, He hears us and will speak to us about how to move forward.  We must listen and then obey.  Let me share this with you:  Before I conclude devotion times with God, I get quiet within and tune in more closely to God.  Guess what happens then?  God – in a still, small voice – begins to speak to me in my heart.  When I am quiet and my heart is open, God extends Himself to me.  What a Savior!   

Friend, saints in the Hall of Faith (in Hebrews 11) were mortal men and women like you and me, but somehow they were able to develop a faith that took them through personal storms, hardships, struggles, and persecution.  These men and women stood in faith, acting on their hope in God, and obtained a good report (Heb. 11:1-2).  They responded to God despite the pressures of the world (Heb. 11:7) and did not withhold their very lives (Heb. 11:35-37).  They yielded their hearts to God with such sincerity that they were able to “see Him who is invisible” (Heb. 11:27).  Do you see Him who is invisible?  They learned to live by faith in God (Heb. 10:38a) beyond their natural ability.  Paul declared that the world was not worthy of them (Heb. 11:38).  Lord God, may we be found faithful! 

In this season, God revealed more to me:  Occasionally my faith has been placed in Godly principles, next steps, and plans rather than in the person of Jesus Christ.  I think many in the body of Christ prefer a plan to follow rather than a Person to trust.  I have always searched the scriptures for God’s will and His purposes.  He has been gracious to reveal them to me many times, but this time … God wanted me to just be with Him and fellowship.  You see, I am a doer – a doer of good things.  It’s tough for me to just be.  In Genesis 3:9, for example, Adam and Eve walked with God in the garden and shared fellowship.  After they sinned, God came to the garden in the cool of the day looking for their fellowship: “Where are you?” He asked.  In the year 2016, God still seeks those who will just be with Him.  Where are you?            

This whole letter really comes down to this:  Whenever we’re stuck in life or have an unease about where we are in our spiritual growth, there is no answer but to press in further with an open heart to the person of Jesus Christ and humble ourselves to obey in faith when He speaks.  Each in the Hall of Faith (Heb. 11) walked in this truth.  Friend, the Christian faith can be lived in the Spirit with a made-up mind.  Believe me, I know from experience when I’m double-minded and when I have resolve.  When I resolve to obey God, I obey and experience rest as I move into a place of quiet, peaceful contentment.  God speaks of this rest in Hebrews 4:9-11a (Living Bible):  So there is a full complete rest still waiting for the people of God. Christ has already entered there. He is resting from his work, just as God did after the creation.  Let us do our best to go into that place of rest, too.  

            All that God teaches me and allows me to share with others leads to life transformation.  We are being changed from earth-bound women of the world (with its like passions) to eternal, Spirit-filled women of God.  2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (NLT) explains: But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.  So let’s just be with Him:  Jesus, the Good Shepherd of the sheep (Heb. 13:20), the Author and Finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2), the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls (1 Peter 2:25).  

The ultimate transformation is this: My cry of pain and desperation has been transformed into a shout of praise: “Shout unto God with the voice of triumph” (Ps. 47:1b)!  Hallelujah!  Think on these things. 

 

Ever onward, ever forward~ 

 

Iris Barrett, Ed.D.

“The Word is My Life” Training Ministry