Sunday, January 10, 2021
On this cold, snowy, quiet Sunday afternoon sitting by a warm fire in my home in Bastrop, Texas, I find my heart basking in great peace. The day began with a light crowd at church due to the fact that we’re in the midst of a global pandemic and the meteorologists forecasted inclement weather coming our way. But even with just a few gathering together to worship Jesus, the presence of the Lord came like He always does. As we sang the songs, I grabbed my pen and notebook to write down thoughts that came to my heart. It seemed the Lord wanted me to be still and listen to Him as He had much to say. So, I quieted myself and said, “Here I am, Lord. Speak. Your servant is listening.”
I thought about the scripture in Hebrews 10:25 where the apostle Paul tells us that as we see “the day approaching” we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves as is the custom with some, but we are to encourage one another. I pondered how challenging it has been to continue to assemble together since March 2020 when SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) changed our world. When I gather with my brothers and sisters in Christ, I find strength, hope, encouragement and joy. This past year we don’t touch and hug like we used to, we don’t sit as close to one another as we used to and we can only see the love and care through one another’s eyes as we speak to one another behind partially veiled faces. But even with these limitations, when we gather together there is One who comes and sits upon our praises. As we lift our voices together, the atmosphere changes. We’re hidden safely in the cleft of the Rock in the midst of the storm raging all around.
Today, in church I thought about how there is only one thing that really matters. There is only One voice I must give attention to… His name is Jesus. I’m reminded of when the Lord spoke to my heart in January 2020 during a similar church service and showed me that there was a road before us that we had never traveled before. His instructions to us as a church were to take His hand and let Him lead us out (see below, The Road). The Lord assured us that He is the Road. All we must do is become as a little child, take His hand, and follow Him where He leads.
So, each day of 2020 and as the new year begins, this is my one ambition. I know I must stay close to Jesus and see where He is leading and what He is asking me to do. I am persuaded about a few things. I know He wants me to choose the high road… the road called love. I know that fear has been unleashed in this world, but God is love and His perfect love casts out all fear. I’m to continually yield to that love and let it change me and let it flow through me to others. I know I am to trust. Trust in the Lord even when I don’t understand. Trust when things didn’t go the way I planned. Trust in the midst of betrayal, loss and accusation. Trust in the Lord and lean not to my own understanding. Proverbs 3:4-5 tells me how to trust. I acknowledge Him in all my ways. The word acknowledge in Hebrew (יָדַע yâda) means, “to know”. It is a very intimate word. It speaks of relationship… intimate, honest, authentic relationship. Hiding nothing. Being totally exposed. As I continue to seek the Lord daily and live with Him, listening, obeying, following that still small voice, He promises to direct my path. It is one step at a time. I can’t see around every dark corner but I don’t have to. I’m with Jesus and that’s all that matters.
Today, while singing, these words came to me, “I want to help my people.” This is the heart of our Father. His arms of love are forever outstretched. We can’t hide from His great love. There is no sin that can separate us from this great love. Let me look upon each person I encounter each day with a heart that says, “How can I help?” “How can I be a part of relieving your pain? “ How can I help remove your burden?”
The world is hurting. Hearts are aching. People are lonely. They are searching for answers and meaning.
I am grateful for the snow I see falling gently upon the ground today. It reminds me that in just one moment, everything can change and be made beautiful. I have hope for tomorrow.
Date: January 26, 2020
Bastrop, Texas USA
by Maureen Stanek
Thank you, Lord Jesus. We worship you today. We worship you with all our hearts, all of our minds, all of our soul and all our strength, Oh God. Hallelujah to the Lamb. Thank you, Jesus.
I see in my heart a road and I hear the Spirit of the Lord saying that there are stones in the ground and He’s the One who goes before you and He picks up those stones. He digs them out; the rough places and He makes your path straight. I see like a little child that would take the hand of a parent.
I hear the Lord say, “Just take my hand because I’ve been that way before. You haven’t been down that road before. You haven’t been down this path before, but I’ve taken the road. I am the road and if you’ll just take my hand, I’ll get you all the way through. I’ll get you all the way out. I’ll get you all the way to the other side, but it is a road you have not traveled. It is a road you have not been down before, but I have.
All you must do is just become like that little child and look up to me and lift your hand to me and put your hand in my hand and let me take you.”
So, Father, today we become as little children and we take Your hand. We thank you that individually You are taking us down that road and You are removing the stones and obstacles and those things that would try to trip us up along the way. Those things that are hidden that we cannot even see, but you see them because you have traveled this road.
You see those things and You go before us and you are making the road straight and you are making the road clear and you are making the road plain and you are making the road smooth so we can travel with You into our destiny that you created before the foundations of the earth – to walk with You.
It’s a privilege to walk with you, Oh God. So, teach us your ways. Teach us your path. Teach us to see with your eyes, to hear with your ears, to feel the heartbeat of our God. Thank you, Father.
Scripture: Isaiah 61
I want to read this scripture to you, it’s in Isaiah 61 and it says this:
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek. He has sent me to bind up or heal the brokenhearted to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God to comfort all who morn, to appoint to them that mourn in Zion and give unto them beauty for ashes. The oil of joy for mourning. The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. That they would be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord. That He might be glorified.
Luke 4:18: Jesus said this day this scripture is fulfilled in your ears. Jesus is the one who came and fulfilled this scripture by the prophet Isaiah.
And so, this day we declare over you, if you need a broken heart to be healed, we declare over you that your heart is healed.
Say with me, “I receive freedom. Freedom in my mind. Freedom in my body. Freedom in my emotions. Freedom spirit, soul and body. Say I’m going to run. I’m going to take Your hand, Lord and I’m going after you like never before. In Jesus name. Amen.