This morning right before Cheryl and I went LIVE on Facebook for Friend Friday in our Peace Be Still group, the LORD put on my heart "sober your minds". We were praying as we always do, before we go LIVE in the group. It really struck me, because there was a tone of real authority and seriousness that came with it.
We talked about fasting in the session this morning. Fasting in observance and remembrance of Pentecost which falls on June 5th this year.
Also to fast as an act of faith that God still has more to pour into His people.
Also to fast in obedience to Jesus' instruction of "when you fast...". He says this 2 times in succession in Matthew 6, verses 16 and 17. Not "if you fast", but "when you fast".
16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
NOTICE the promise of REWARD.
He says the same thing about giving and praying. Doing these things in secret and promising to openly reward "when" we do these things.
The word "fast" here has a Greek concordance reference, and means to abstain from food as a religious exercise (pursuit of God) from food and drink.
We do not enter in a time of denying our flesh in our own power or strength, but humbly. We are dependent on His Spirit to sustain us and feed us with manna from Heaven, Matthew 4:4. Jesus' response to Satan in Matthew 4:4 was His same Word to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 8:3. He was making it clear that we are not sustained by food alone... but we are sustained; we live; we prosper and are renewed and saved by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Jesus modeled fasting in the wilderness. The Matthew 4 account tells us that He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. In Deuteronomy 8:2-3, we are told that the wilderness is a place to be humbled, a place of testing in order to know what is in our hearts about God, to see if we keep to His ways. There is purpose in causing His people to hunger and then feeding us with manna. He intends to teach us that the sustaining nourishment we truly need is His Word and dependence upon Him as our supernatural supply. He (the Word of God) is the life to our bones and health to our flesh, Proverbs 4:20-22.
Life to your bones, health to your flesh. Do you believe?
On human terms, saying "no" to the flesh in a period of denying yourself food is counterintuitive. But indeed fasting renews the flesh. We mere humans have discovered that denying yourself of food and drinking only water does indeed allow cells in your body to regenerate and be made new! It does allow your body to renew itself. Science right there in Proverbs 4:20-22.
But that is a benefit only and not to be the main reason we fast. Denying ourselves food and drinking only water is to be combined with a pressing in for more of God. We pray and seek Him and praise Him and read His word and ask for more in the time we would normally be filling our bellies. Our heart's position to fast should always be to draw nearer to the heart of God. The outcomes will be supernatural, including renewal of our flesh!
When is the last time that you fasted? When is the last time that you pressed in for more of Him, less of you?
Some of us started a fast today in remembrance of Pentecost. We are pressing in to more of what God has for us. To ask God to humble us. To ask God to heal and renew. For revival in the nation and world. To persevere in prayer and ask for more of the good gifts of the Holy Spirit as Jesus told us to do, Luke 11:9-13. He still pours out from on high to those who position with childlike faith and believe! Some are doing one day of water only, and 2 days of fruit and vegetables. Some are doing no leaven.
Ask God to lead you to what it might look like for you! BELIEVE! Sober your mind with fasting!
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." Matthew 6:16-18
Notice the instruction to put oil on your head. In the KJV and Geneva version, this is translated as "anoint your head"... So while in part Jesus was referencing to wash your face and enter in to the fast with your face shining and joyful, not making it obvious to others that you are fasting, there is also reference to the anointing of the Spirit upon believers.
On Facebook this morning and on TikTok, I encouraged people to start a fast by anointing their head while proclaiming the promise of 2 Corinthians 1:21-22:
Now it is God who establishes both us and you in Christ. He anointed us, placed His seal on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a pledge of what is to come.
If you want to follow along with that anointing, you can watch the Facebook Live. The anointing and time of prayer are at the end, starting at the 25:30minute mark, with the time of prayer going to the end at 35 minutes. So that portion lasts 10 minutes. You can also listen to today's podcast. Click the image at the top of the email to listen there. And for the Live from FB today, click on the image below to be directed to a link from our host!
Blessings! And we hope you join! Wait on the LORD! Anticipate more! Ask for more! Seek Him in fasting! Knock and ask for more good gifts of the Holy Spirit!
👆 🎧 (Click image above to listen.). Today's podcast was a spontaneous prayer prayed over you.
When is the last time you asked someone to pray for you? When is the last time you were covered in a prayer?
This should be something you experience regularly.
Very often lately in social media prayer requests, requests are prefaced this way, "I don't ever ask for prayer but..." This is evidence of someone carrying something for too long and now the pressure of the situation is too much, and they are breaking and finally asking for prayer.
Asking for prayer should be a habit we develop. It revitalizes us. It comforts us. It encourages us. The Spirit is present to do what only God can do. It is a blessing to be prayed for.
And did you know that for relational issues, answered prayers are often obtained through prayers of agreement? Read Matthew 18:15-20.
We are to share our burdens with Christ and carry each other's burdens. The Apostle Paul shared one of his prayer requests this way:
Romans 15: 30 I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. 31 Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that the contribution I take to Jerusalem may be favorably received by the Lord’s people there, 32 so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed.
He says, "Join me in my struggle..."
Are you asking anyone to join you in your struggle? Do you believe in the power of prayer? Do you believe as Paul did that prayers of others and the Spirit of Christ is your way of deliverance?
Philippians 1:19- for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.
God has a way for you. He has victory. He has answers. He has supernatural assist. Ask for prayer.
These are days to be pressing in. These are days to be covered in prayer. Many Friend Fridays are episodes where I cover you in prayer.
Make it a habit to want to be prayed for, to want to be covered in prayer. Go to church on Sunday and ask someone to pray for you. Listen to the podcast and receive the prayers often prayed over you in the sessions. Click on the image above to be connected to today's Friend Friday prayer over you!
And read the review below for encouragement on the power of prayer! And if you didn't see Doug's letter from the last email I sent out, he has a very encouraging message on persevering and pressing in to the gift of prayer!
This ministry is part of fulfilling the Great Commission. Please consider a donation so that we can disciple more! Blessings!
A handful of months before C19 changed our lives, the LORD transitioned the ministry from being mostly in person group sessions to instead being online ministry. I started using Zoom in September of 2019 and started holding group prayer and meditation sessions that way. Then in the Spring of 2020, after we were instructed to lock down, I felt urgency to reach people on a more day-to-day basis. I felt very burdened about the emotional and mental state of believers and how to offer an easily accessible prayer resource people could do on their own time. The result was the Monday through Friday podcast that offers interactive prayer exercises in less than 10 minutes per day.
It's been about 2 years of online ministry. And it's easy to wonder what difference I really make. The whispers of God come to turn my thoughts away from needing to know and remind me of the simple call, "Feed my lambs. Tend my sheep."
I've always felt that I've needed to be fed and tended to by God before I can pour out something that ministers to others. So for each day, I'm first spending time with God in the Word and in prayer. Then based upon inspiration from that time with God, I'm writing up the podcast session, and then recording and editing it for daily upload. One of my least favorite activities is recording video messages for various social media sites. It still feels so awkward for me to talk a little camera hole on my laptop or cell phone 😆. I also type replies to prayer requests or posts, but am often limited to number of words for response. So basically there is limited knowledge and interaction I have of what God is doing for the person on the other side of the screen or phone. And as the days have turned into years, I have moments where ministry can get pretty lonely. I often wonder who is listening, watching, reading, engaging, and what the Spirit is doing. I really miss being face-to-face with people, hearing their voices, connecting before and after sessions, praying in person with people, getting in-person reaction. But God has called me to surrender to the change, so I have learned to release the outcomes to Him and just keep obeying to the call, "Feed my lambs. Tend to my sheep."
He knows just when to sustain me in weariness with a word, as Isaiah 50:4 prophesied that He would do! He's sent words to encourage me over the last couple of weeks!
Recently, a few people have taken extra effort to give me feedback, which has meant so much to me! I want to share it because it is for God's glory, and maybe their messages are meant to sustain you too!
At the end of April, I got an email from a man named Doug. He's been listening to the podcasts for awhile. It was so kind and generous of him to encourage me! He has pressed in to know Jesus during his long and painful trial; and as a result, the LORD has strengthened him physically, mentally, and spiritually through regular listening of Peace Be Still! You can read his words for yourself in the screenshot capture below! ⬇
Isn't his testimony so encouraging?! I am so honored to be one small way God has reached in with His healing hands! I believe God to do deeper levels of healing in Doug and to continue to give life to his mortal body through the Spirit of God who lives in him, Romans 8:11!
In addition to Doug's email, recently a podcast listener by the name of Peggy took extra steps to leave a comment on the blog.
What a gift to know that people are experiencing God's joy because of the prayer times in the podcast!
And another podcast listener named Stacy searched me out recently on Instagram. She says she looks forward to the podcast every day and that she loves being prayed over in the sessions!
Despite our interactions becoming increasingly digital, our relational needs still must be met! We need to know we are not alone! We are healed and helped through the prayers of the saints! Hearing prayer, practicing prayer, receiving prayer, proclaiming God's Word as true, and agreeing in prayer are all part of experiencing spiritual breakthrough!
Are you practicing? Are you receiving the prayers being prayed over you in the podcasts? Are you agreeing? Are you meditating on the promises of God? Are you proclaiming His Word as true in your prayer language?
Listen to the podcast! Let me know how they are helping you!
And for those who take the time to come back around to thank God for the ministry, I believe they shall receive extra blessing! With the measure you use, it will be measured back to you! A good measure pressed down and running over shall be poured into your lap, Luke 6:38! So thank you again for any of you who would write a podcast review, send an email, leave a blog comment, or engage with me on social media!
And if any of you want to let us know you appreciate this ministry by making a donation, that would also be warmly received! The podcast has enough volume now that we could monetize, but the LORD has told me not to do so at this point. I don't know if that would every change. But for now, the podcast is a listening experience that is not interrupted or disturbed by commercials. Being commercial free protects your listening experience and your time with God.
Help us keep the podcast commercial free!
Your donations go towards ever increasing costs of ministry. We have monthly software costs for podcast, music use, website, images, equipment upgrades, advertising, etc. Last year one generous donor invested in our podcast technology so you could experience a more professional sound and pleasant listener experience. It is only through your donations that we can reach more and continue improving the prayer resources we offer! Thank you for considering it! Be blessed in His presence!
Based upon Easter just passing, have you thought about the fact that if you were one of his disciples at that time, He'd still be appearing to you, not yet ascended to the Father?
Acts 1:3- After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
He asked them to wait. To wait on the gift His Father had promised.
That was not just for then. We need fresh fillings and strength that comes from waiting with God. Jesus taught that we are to stay persistent, ask and keep on asking, seek and keep on seeking, knock and keep on knocking, In prayer, He told us to ask for good gifts from the Spirit of God, Luke 11:5-13.
We are called to wait. It is a critical lesson for a healthy prayer and faith walk.
But we hate to wait!!! It's one of the most difficult things we experience in the Christian faith. Sometime answers come very quickly, but other times, the "thing" we prayed for has yet to come to pass. It can be a long wait for some prayer requests. We have trouble filling time with God in the waiting. We must practice. We must develop a spiritual discipline.
How can we endure difficult times of waiting? It is a test of our relationship with God. What comes up in our feelings and thoughts in the waiting? Bitterness, impatience, demands, discouragement, giving up? Walking away from God and letting go of our time with Him?
We need to confess those things to God and to each other. We can't hide what He already sees. Relieve burden and admit upsetting feelings you have. Do it in a way that honors Him. "God I'm really having a hard time. Please help me wait on your perfect timing."
God knows we struggle waiting.
It's helpful to see how God defines waiting. See picture below of Strong's H6960. Notice in the Hebrew, it is binding together, by twisting. As rope strands are twisted together, we are to be woven into God.
Woven into His very being. We cling. We abide. We believe in Him, we develop our love relationship with God during the waiting. It is the greatest commandment to love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. In the waiting, we value our relationship with Him more than the "answer". We root ourselves in the love of God. We're going to spend eternity with Him! It will be above and beyond all we ask or can imagine!
But waiting, it's so hard....... wahhhhhhhhh! I get it!
In the long seasons of waiting, too many of us think whether consciously or unconsciously, "He didn't give me what I wanted, so I'm not interested in lingering with God." Or, "He hasn't yet answered so I'm going to spend my time in other ways.. It's boring. I run out of words. I just keep repeating myself."
I've been there many times! And in reflection, too many times I realize I've behaved like a petulant child not getting what she wanted. If I can't drive my agenda in my time with God, it has left to neglecting time in His presence.
Waiting is a call to lift your eyes to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith! To accept His timing and in the waiting, practice His presence and linger with Him! Now is the best time to deepen and enjoy waiting in His presence!
Psalm 27:14 tells us that waiting produces a strengthening of heart. And to be strengthened, a courage is necessary! A courage to believe God is good. That He is in control! That His timing is perfect and His ways of answering are part of his promise to complete the good work He began in us! To continue to wait on the LORD!
Time with God doesn't have to be complicated. It definitely doesn't have to be boring and miserable. You don't have to have a ton of words. Use His words. His Word is living and active. Learn to enjoy Him! He rewards those who earnestly seek Him!
So press in for His presence and peace. Be open and let Him know you want to deepen in trust and in the waiting. His Spirit and Word does the work. And in the process you shall be strengthened, strengthened to linger and wait with hope!
Where are you today in the waiting? Practice His presence today! Episode 519 is a Mellow Monday exercise using breath prayer to meditate and repeat Psalm 27:14.
Wednesday's podcast exercise is worship of God from A-Z! Follow along as written below or be led in the exercise via link. We're closing in on 50K downloads! People are finding peace in His presence! (Click on image above for Apple podcast link.)
Follow along below, and worship in prayer on your own. Go slow, add your own words for the letters from A-Z! Leave any comments below!
Lord we are here to worship you in the splendor of your holiness.
You are our Abba, we cry out “Abba Father”.
You are our Best friend, we can tell you anything.
You are our Conqueror, if you are for us, who can be against us?
You are our Deliverer, you rescued us from death.
You are our Eternity, our time will have no end.
You are our Faithful One, you are faithful to all your promises.
You are our Good Shepherd, with you we lack nothing.
You are our Holy Help, our ever-present help in times of trouble.
You are our Invisible shield, surround us with your favor as a shield.
You are our Judge, merciful and compassionate forgiving us our sins.
You are our King, one day every knee in Heaven, on earth and under the earth will bow to you...
You are our Love, you complete us.
You are our Mighty God, nothing is impossible with you.
You are our New beginning, your mercies are new every morning.
You are our openhearted God, you poured yourself out like a drink offering on our behalf.
You are our Precious Cornerstone, because we build upon you, we will not be disappointed.
You are our Quickening, thank you for the Holy Spirit who warns and teaches us.
You are our Redeemer, you rescued us from the pit of despair.
You are our Savior, without you we’d be doomed.
You are our Trustworthy God, your Word is true and manna to our soul.
You are Unchanging, you do not change like shifting shadows.
You are our Victory, we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us.
You are our Wonderful Counselor, thank you for the Spirit who counsels and comforts us.
You are our X-factor, you multiply our meager offerings and feed the lost.
You are Yeshua, the promised One spoken of from the beginning of time.
You are our Zenith, the highest point above and beyond all we can ask or think, and you are coming back to take us where you are!
We wait Holy One. We wait. Come Lord Jesus, come soon. Amen.
Gina Williamson, Servant of God Most High and Founder of Into the Waters Ministry, Inc.
Script from today's podcast, episode 496- To listen 👂🏽, access here on Apple Podcasts.
Honest hearts and open hands to receive are the basics of a healthy and thriving prayer life. Let’s position that way before God today…
Hello and welcome to Peace Be Still! Our interactive prayer and meditation exercises help you linger longer with God for peace and power. Exercises are based upon God’s Word and promises! I’m your host Gina Williamson and today being Friend Friday, we press in for His presence and His person for peace.
Jesus gives us some clear and simple direction on how to have a good relationship with God. He tells the woman at the well in John 4, that true worshipers worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, that God seeks those type of worshipers. He said it was imperative to worship this way, repeating himself in verses 24. 'God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirt and truth."
The woman at the well didn’t realize who she was talking to and she approached her conversation with Jesus by taking on some areas of seemingly religious bitterness brewing in her heart. Please reference her replies in John 4:9,12.
Jesus turns the tables on her though and takes the conversation to one of personal revelation. He told her that she has had 5 husbands and the man she now had was not her husband. Jesus wanted honest heart dialogue about the real issues that brought her shame.
And after giving her living water of personal revelation, He is clear that if anyone would be a worshiper of God, they must worship in the Spirit and in truth. His Spirit at work in us to reveal heart issues. We must admit and confess so we can then be forgiven, sanctified, and transformed.
What might you be embarrassed to confess in front of Jesus? The woman at the well was hiding her deepest area of sin and shame from Jesus, but He called it out and then invited her to drink from him in a way that satisfied her deepest soul thirst. That invitation is also for you today.
"Lord you are sovereign over all things. There is nothing we can hide from you. You know our thoughts before they are on our lips. We cannot hide our choices, thoughts, or feelings. What do you want us to examine in your presence today? Holy Spirit, with the tender touch of God, will you reveal truth to this one? In agreement, say yes God, reveal truth.
What thoughts are coming to mind? Do you need to relieve your heart of burden in any area? Simply admit to God what needs to be confessed.
(Take time to do this.)
Lord your grace is sufficient for us. Your power is made perfect in our weakness. Thank you for cleansing and freeing this one of burden, shame, and trouble within. Thank you for your grace and relieving our soul of guilt. Let this one feel your presence, your favor, your love, your Spirit breathing new life into their soul.
Now spend time on your own, enjoying His presence. "Thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus..."
The video above is of today's Friend Friday LIVE prayer time in our Peace Be Still Daily Prayer Download private group. If you'd like to join the group, please visit FB, search for the group by name, and ask to join! Today's broadcast was about 5 minutes of context for set up in praying, and then I lead you in the prayer time that lasts about 10 minutes!
The world and its chaos just keeps coming. The visuals and accounts we hear of the Ukrainian's fleeing and fighting for their lives is overwhelming. Many of us can easily see ourselves in their faces, in their circumstances.
Why is it allowed? Why do the reports get worse? Why does evil prosper?
These are big questions and God knows we have them. But what do we do with them?
This week I was wrestling with how evil is prospering in many different nations, in many different ways. Wicked agendas are being executed with lightning speed. It seems like there is no justice in sight.
These thoughts woke me in the night this week, and I wasted time reading bad reports and fretting, feeling stunted in my prayer language. I finally got back to sleep, and the LORD's whisper met me upon waking. I felt the Spirit prompting me to read and pray Psalm 10. He was there with me through the night, seeing the upset in my heart and directing me to process the righteous anger, confusion, dismay, and burden through His word.
It brought great relief.
I found great comfort in expressing my grief and upset through the words of King David. It gave me words for feelings and thoughts I am having trouble transforming into prayer. Sometimes the lyrics (verses) penned by the psalmists are much more intense than what I would ever give myself permission to pray or think had I not read them first expressed in God's Word. It really helps me to see the hearts of ancient believers and connect with them through their feelings and thoughts... all inspired by the Holy Spirit, 2 Timothy 3:16.
Try it right now. See if it helps you connect with suppressed feeling and thoughts that make it hard to pray and express yourself. Talk to God through His word using Psalm 10:
“Why do You stand afar off, O Lord? Why do You hide in times of trouble? The wicked in his pride persecutes the poor; Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised. For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire; He blesses the greedy and renounces the Lord. The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts. His ways are always prospering; Your judgments are far above, out of his sight; As for all his enemies, he sneers at them. He has said in his heart, “I shall not be moved; I shall never be in adversity.” His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression; Under his tongue is trouble and iniquity. He sits in the lurking places of the villages; In the secret places he murders the innocent; His eyes are secretly fixed on the helpless. He lies in wait secretly, as a lion in his den; He lies in wait to catch the poor; He catches the poor when he draws him into his net. So he crouches, he lies low, That the helpless may fall by his strength. He has said in his heart, “God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see.” Arise, O Lord! O God, lift up Your hand! Do not forget the humble. Why do the wicked renounce God? He has said in his heart, “You will not require an account.” But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief, To repay it by Your hand. The helpless commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless. Break the arm of the wicked and the evil man; Seek out his wickedness until You find none. The Lord is King forever and ever; The nations have perished out of His land. Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear, To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, That the man of the earth may oppress no more.”
Psalms 10:1-18 NKJV
How did it feel to pour your upset through the sentiment of King David? Did it help you?
HIs Word is manna to our soul in so many ways! His word is great inspiration for our prayer closets!
Here are some other Psalms you could use to pray regarding upset against evil agenda and wicked schemes-
Use those psalms to unburden with God. He will transform your upsetting feelings and thoughts in His presence. Ask Him to still and calm you. Release outcomes to Him.
"Vengeance is mine", says the LORD. We can rest assured that He WILL have the final word on evil. Believing this, we are to rest in Him, waiting patiently (expectantly, with hope).
Believe that God is taking what the enemy means for evil and turning to good even as we speak. Revival in the hearts of men and women persecuted in Ukraine, revival in my heart and yours. Believe. Press in and rest. He is in control!
And finally, if you'd like try some interactive podcast exercises to process with God and press in for His comforts, check us out on Apple podcasts here. Or you can find Peace Be Still Daily Prayer Download on your app provider! Blessings!
Our Savior felt strong feelings at the tomb of Lazarus. Let’s enter the scene and meditate upon the what and why of those feelings.
In the beginning of Jesus’ ministry he tells some curious disciples, “Come and see", John 1:39. This in response to their inquiry of where he was staying. Really, they wanted to spend more time with Him believing He could be the promised Messiah. He invites them nearer, “Come and see”. This begins a 3 year journey for them to follow and see Jesus reveal His true nature as the Son of God.
In those 3 years, Jesus teaches with great authority and performs awesome signs and wonders. For just a few examples, we know he exorcises demons, restores limbs, cures leprosy, opens the eyes of the blind, heals the deaf and mute, stills the seas to a whisper, walks on water, multiplies loaves and fishes twice for the multitudes, raises the dead. He did these things as proof for His claim as the Messiah and to lead His people to believe in Him. Jesus labored intently for people to believe that He was the Resurrection and the life.
Fast forward to the end of His walk. Let's look at Lazarus’ death, it’s near the end Christ's time on earth. We learn in John 11:4-15 Jesus purposely delays going to Lazarus, telling his disciples 3 different ways that Lazarus would not sleep in death. He would go and wake him up that they may believe.
As he draws near to Bethany, Jesus is met by Martha who tells him, “if you had just been here, my brother wouldn’t have died”. He challenges her that whoever believes in Him will never die, asking her “do you believe this?” Then He goes no further, instead telling Martha to fetch Mary. She comes to him and says the same thing, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Jesus looks around and sees Jews who came along with her. They are all weeping. Here scripture records that Jesus is deeply moved and troubled.
If you look deeper, you see these words mean that he groaned with indignation within, a deep sigh against them, a charge of admonition against their unbelief. He didn't voice it, He contained it.
He’s about to go to the cross. His time is almost up. He loves them deeply, yet here they are still trapped in unbelief and this distresses him greatly.
John 11:35- Jesus wept.
They incorrectly think his weeping is a sign of how much he loved Lazarus. Yes He loved Lazarus deeply, but what's really going on in this account is that He was distressed by their unbelief.
And even as He wept, the blame kept coming. "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
Think about Jesus having to hear their snide remarks at the point. He is about to suffer an inhumane death, to be abandoned by everyone. And still they do not believe, despite all they've witnessed of His inexplicable power.
Think on that. Consider the feelings and distress of Jesus here.
John 11:38 records that once again Jesus is deeply moved, i.e. with indignation, as he came to the tomb of Lazarus.
Consider his feelings again as He is deeply moved a 2nd time. Do you wonder if he was perhaps having flashes of his own impending death coming into his thoughts as He sees Lazarus' tomb?
He tells them to roll the stone away. Martha argues against it, reminding Jesus it has been 4 days since Lazarus died and there will now be a bad odor.
He challenges Martha again, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
As they take away the stone Jesus prays, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
He calls Lazarus out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”
The dead man comes out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
Can you see this scene in your mind's eye? Can you see Mary and Martha, the unbelieving crowd, the mourners watching Lazarus walk out of the tomb wrapped in grave clothes? Can you imagine their amazement as they unwrap him? As he takes his first breath of fresh air? The amazement? The rejoicing? The wonder? The laughter?
How many of them do you think felt deep conviction that their unbelief had limited their ability to see Jesus for who He was? It limited them, but it didn’t limit Jesus.
This is the mercy in this passage. Their unbelief didn’t limit what Jesus was willing to do and had planned to do all along. At this point with him, they were being tested by their Savior.
He will do the same with us. He will bring us to the brink of our belief. Consider:
He will be merciful to help you!
I pray that by faith, you pray bigger prayers for His glory to be revealed in inexplicable ways! He does not change! He is still a God of signs, miracles, and wonders!
If you want to listen to the audio version of this devotional, listen to today's Peace Be Still Daily Prayer Download episode-https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/470-tranquil-tues-meditate-on-the-feelings-of-jesus/id1506101286?i=1000550460960
💥Here is the best planning advice anyone could give you. You aren’t meant to lead. Some will take that with offense, but others will feel the relief it is meant to bring! ...YOU AREN'T MEANT TO LEAD.
You are meant to be led, by someone, partnered with Someone who carries the burden. There is an easy yoke involved...
Today being Tranquil Tues in Peace Be Still's podcast, we use an image from scripture to spend time in His presence.
Our image today comes from Matthew 11:28-30. Many of you may know these verses by heart. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
These are words of Jesus. A yoke was a common reference to people in the 1st century. Their economy was largely based upon agricultural trade. The land had to be worked and prepared for the seed. Heavy cargo also needed to be carried into the marketplace. So oxen and other burden bearing animals were paired together with a wooden beam to labor together. The wooden beam joining the animals is the yoke.
This is the visual Jesus wants us to reflect on when he says, “take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
This makes sense when you consider how the animals were paired up. Seasoned and strong burden bearers were paired with less experienced, weaker laborers. The weight of the yoke was mostly carried by the stronger among the two, therefore easing the burden of the weaker, coaching and leading the way.
Jesus is obviously revealing Himself as the strong One who bears the burden for you. He is sooooooooooooo much stronger than you. He will faithfully lead and guide you!
This is revelation for soul rest. You aren't to go it alone. Jesus is telling us we are to pair up, to partner with Him. This is inspiration for today's visual. Jesus is telling us He will bear the burden of our souls. He is telling us to come to Him and learn from Him. He’ll shift the weight on to himself and carry it for you. He is gentle and humble in heart, leading you to rest.
"Father, thank you for Jesus, our burden bearer. Thank you for sending us a gentle Shepherd to lead and guide us to rest. Jesus, we look to you to teach us your ways. Lord help us let go of striving. Holy Spirit help this one see any area of their life where they are laboring and burdened, going it alone. Shift the weight Holy One, carrying it for us so that our soul may rest. Amen."
What are you attempting to carry in your own power? See yourself setting it down, walking away from it.
In your mind’s eye, come near to Jesus.
See that He is welcoming you, His gentle ways encouraging you closer.
What does it look like to collapse near him, completely letting go? Feel the relief of letting everything go...
(to complete this visualization, listen to today's exercise found here.
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The Dawn will visit us from on high... Luke 1:78 Berean Study Bible
Today visualize the light of Christ piercing your darkness. It’s why He has come.
Zechariah called him the Dawn who would visit us from on high.
That language is part of his prophetic praise found in Luke 1:68-80.
To review the account of Zechariah in full, and his part in the birth story of Jesus, read Luke 1:5-25 and verses 57-80.
Part of this account is that Zechariah was muted for 9 months during the miraculous pregnancy of Elizabeth. This happened because he didn’t believe in the angel Gabriel’s message of a promised son as answer to his prayers.
Consider... How many of us are muted in some way because we refuse to believe in promises of God, in the miracle working power of God?
Is your faith bigger than your limitations? Are you believing in the whispers of His holy Word?
We know that Zechariah didn’t stay muted. After John the Baptist was born, Zechariah’s tongue was set free, and he began to speak praising God.
Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied about the One coming who would redeem his people in order to forgive, set free, rescue, remember His holy covenant, enable God’s people to serve him without fear. He prophesied how Zechariah's son John, would prepare the way for the Most High.
And here is how his prophesy ends…
Luke 1:78-79 ...Because of our God’s deep compassion,
the dawn from heaven will break upon us,
to give light to those who are sitting in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide us on the path of peace.”
In the Berean translation, Jesus is the Dawn with a capital D. Other translations say “day spring”, the Sunrise with a capital “S”, the morning light. Christ confirmed these truths by boldly proclaiming that yes, He was the light of the world, John 8:12.
John 1:4-5 says that "in him was life and that life was the light of ALL of mankind. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:9 says Christ is the true light that gives light to all men and he was coming into the world.
To give light to those sitting in darkness... Where are you sitting in darkness?
Darkness in both verses from John 1 and Luke 1 is shadiness, obscurity, blindness, ignorance of divine things, ungodliness, immorality, a spiritual state where darkness becomes visible and holds sway.
Are you blinded by unbelief? Is your faith muted because of unbelief? What is the last step of faith you took beyond your own ability and resources? Is your vision shrouded by confusion, despair, hopelessness? What is the darkness you are dwelling in, sitting in today?
Because of his deep compassion, the Dawn from Heaven breaks upon you, to give you light, to guide you in a path of peace.
Let’s pray. Christ our true light, the Dawn who came to visit us from on high, pierce this one’s darkness with your marvelous light. Lord, because of your tender mercy, flood their heart with light from on high.
(Pause- By faith, see His light flooding your heart and mind.)
Pray, "grant me vision Jesus."
"Give light to my eyes. I admit ignorance about divine things. Pierce my darkness. Give light to my darkness. Rescue me from the shadow of death, thoughts that are hopeless, choices that are dead ends, feelings that snuff out life and faith. Forgive my unbelief. Cleanse me of ungodly thoughts and ways. Purify me with your light. Guide my feet into your path of peace."
Now take a few minutes and still yourself in His presence. See the Dawn from on high coming from on high, His light surrounding you like a shield, lighting a pathway of peace before you. Rest in his holy light.
This season give thanks for the Dawn who descended from on high. Do not be silent. Speak about Him. Take steps of faith believing His life is your guiding light in the darkness.
And pray for someone you love or know that needs Christ's light to pierce their darkness. Ask Jesus to surround them with His holy light. Take the time to envision His light descending and giving light to their darkness, guiding them into the way of peace.
Did you enjoy this reflection? If so, take a listen to more Advent reflections on our podcast that began on December 1st. Visit the podcast tab to listen or find PEACE BE STILL DAILY PRAYER DOWNLOAD on your podcast provider!
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Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!