Friday, September 11, 2009

Beginning Again

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin…” Zechariah 4:10

Lord, I need a new beginning.

Just over eight months ago my heart was seeking You with great passion. I embraced Your Word each morning with fresh enthusiasm and expected You to speak to me. As time has passed, somewhere along the journey a subtle change began to occur.

God's Word was reduced to routine and became a textbook, replacing His story with history. Opening scripture daily, priding myself on not missing a day, yet missing the One who breathed the Words into being. I’ve been reading about life, but not receiving life. I am drenched in study, yet detached from the Savoir.

I have to confess that although I started this year writing my daily devotional blog posts with a heart to hear Him speak personally to me, somewhere along the line it became more of a daily project than a daily personal time. I went from reading His Word to see Him, know Him and abide with Him, to looking for a choice Word to share to create a great piece of literature. It has gone from the Lord impressing His truth on my heart for the purpose of changing me, to looking at ways to impress others with carefully crafted words. Don't misunderstand, I have still meant everything I've written, but it has somehow taken on a new agenda and as I reach for my Bible every morning, the desire to just see Him is clouded and overshadowed as I search for a phrase or verse that could be turned into a compelling devotional.

Father remove my desire for big. May I not despise small beginnings. Start a new work within me today. May I open Your Word with only one desire - to see You. Lord, help me come expectantly. Father, I long to hear You speak. Change me each morning. Lord, I want to follow hard after You.

post signature


Sande said...

Our motive, when we form habits, can really take a blow.

Really like you, I want to wallow in and express our relationship as I have in the past. The only different dynamic is that we are not hidden .... our light shines.

I know it is possible .... just keeping in a healthy balance of encouragement and out of the lure of 'admiration' and 'applause' has to be a good start

Zoe Elmore said...

Hey freind,
Thanks for the timely and precious verse! Your post today speaks loudly as I prepare to leave for an event. I will carry your words with me this weekend.

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

My dear friend I love your honest heart! I know from experience where you're coming from! I,too, many times get to that place of losing the joy of my time with God.

Many years ago I was in a season much like you describe and was talking to my husband about it. I told him that I felt I was doing things more from obligation rather than love for God. He reminded me of the story in the Bible about two men. The master asked the men to do something for him and one excitedly said, "SURE! I'll do that!" But he went on his way and never thought another thing about fulfilling his promise. The other man said, "NO, I don't want to do that!" But then after the master left the man reconsidered and went on and did the job after all. Then the question was asked...."Which one of these really served the master?" And of course the answer is the second one.

Even though your heart may not always be in it, the Scripture you read will not leave you. You may not even feel you are absorbing much but it's there! You have just been under so very much stress in the past several months and that has taken a toll on every part of your life. Just keep keeping on. You'll get past it before long.

Love you so much my friend! You're a blessing and an encouragement to me always! Mississippi

~Grace and Peace said...

I appreciate your honesty. However we serve a God who still uses you, no matter your heart motives, to encourage others.

I can relate with the bible reading being rote. Sometimes I find myself just reading for the sake of reading the entire Word for one year. Lately, God has been putting a desire in my heart to dig deeper. He led me to Anne Graham Lotz and also Kay Arthur. I'm thinking of getting the Inductive Study bible but it looks daunting. The perfectionist in me just shivers at the thought of making a mistake in marking or using the wrong color. Sigh... He has a lot of work to do in this daughter of His!

Bless you for you, Joy. Here's to new beginnings.

~Grace and Peace said...

Oh, I just want to add
To Marilyn in Mississippi: Amen!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Don't underestimate the discipline, Joy. I want for your time in God's Word to be a heart-changing experience for you; otherwise, what is the point?

That being said, there's nothing wrong with the discipline. In fact, if you keep with this (and I think you should, but that's me), when next year begins, you can use this past year's reflections of seeing just how far the Lord has brought you in this season of your life. You will laugh, remember the day your wrote that post, consider, ponder deeper, and have moments of pause when you say...

Now that was really something, God! You were speaking to me in ways I didn't even realize.

Trust God with the process; some of the best writing I've done has come from a place of obedience/obligation. God will find you in your daily contemplations. His Word NEVER returns void.

Praying God's breath all over your time with him tomorrow! It's working in your, friend. You will see it soon.


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

And to Marilyn and Grace & Peace, also my hearty AMEN's!!!

Melissa said...

May I open Your Word with only one desire - to see You.

Well said my favourite Canadian friend. I pray that for you. I pray that for me too.

May we open His Word with only one desire-to see Him. I love that!


Joan said...

Joy - this post blessed my heart. I needed to hear it, as lately I've been more concerned about who is reading my blog, how to get more visitors, etc. But I'm I writing for myself for for His glory? First, I must seek Him and He will take care of the rest.

Rich blessing to you.

Deb said...


I know.

Will pray for you.

I appreciate your honesty.

This verse has helped me.

"Evening, morning, and noon I cry out in distress, and He hears my voice. He ransoms me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me" (from Psalm 55).

Maybe you, too, will find encouragement.

Sweet dreams.