Have you ever gone to bed with a certain emotion swirling around in your spirit and when you wake up it is still fresh in your heart? This could be a good emotion or a bad one, but I find whatever my last thought is when I lay my head down at night is almost always going to be my first thought when I wake up in the morning. If I go to bed with anxiety, feeling perplexed about something or someone, it doesn’t escape me through the night. I find it first thing when I open my eyes. At the same time, when I fall asleep giving thanks I wake up with a heart of thanksgiving. Every morning I find whatever I leave behind every evening. As the Psalmist said above, “When I awake, I am still with you”. The notes in my study bible say this about this verse in scripture:
“The sleep of exhaustion overcomes every attempt to count Gods thoughts/works, and waking only floods my soul once more with the sense of the presence of God.”
How awesome would it be to wake up every day and have your soul flood with the sense of the presence of God? Is this something I can just decide to make happen, like maybe 7 steps to soul flooding? No, it is more than that, it is a retraining of my soul to seek the presence of God in such a way that is becomes my natural spiritual habitat, the place I daily live in.
One of the areas of my life that I am growing in right now is the awesome “Give Back” program that God has invited us to be a part of. Literally, throughout my day I am active in giving back to God the things I am not intended to carry. As I begin to feel overwhelmed by certain situations, or feel a burden regarding someone, I will verbally offer it up to God, “Lord, this situation that I am seeing right now, I give it back to you and offer it to you as an act of obedience and faith.” I also practice what is known as a breath prayer, a short sentence that I say in moments where I feel overwhelmed. The one that I have developed a habit of saying is this, “Lord Jesus help us.” Truthfully I say that one at least 20 times a day, you can ask my family and they can tell you that often times it is said at the kitchen sink as that tends to be a main thinking place for me:)
The great thing about being a part of the give back program with God is that it does two things for me; first it reminds me that I am not the keeper of lost things. Secondly, that I am putting things back in their proper place, God’s hands. Friends, this is a liberating practice…..but every now and then….I find something in my hand and heart that I know I had given back to God previously. If you find yourself in the same place, here is the answer. Give it back again and don’t berate yourself for finding it in your hand. Let it be a reminder to come back to the one who holds all things and trust Him with it all over again, and again, and again.
As we continue to focus on being WITH God and being attentive to His presence, let’s also practice giving it all back to Him. Praying you sleep well and when you wake your soul floods with God’s presence!
Todays worksheet: handout 9_19_2013
In the Word with You,