Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling" devotional and journal has been such a blessing and has really helped me to remember my theme for this year, "Seeking Him."
Here's a few nuggets I wanted to share:
Instead of striving for a predictable, safe lifestyle, seek to know Me in greater depth and breadth. I long ot makeyour life a glorious adventure, but you must stop clinging to old ways. I am always doing something new within my beloved ones. Be on the lookout for what I have prepared for you. I wrote: What are you doing in me that's new? Open my eyes to see it. In hindsight, I think He was preparing my heart to take the big step to try out Overeaters Anonymous which turned out not only to address the my overeating but several other root problems, including insecurity and escapism.
Seek My face and you will find all that you have longed for. The
deepest yearnings of your heart are for intimacy with Me. I know,
because I designed you to desire Me. Do not feel guilty about taking
time to be still in My presence. You are simply responding to the tugs
of divinity within you. I made you in My image, and I hid heaven in your heart. Your yearning for Me is a form of homesickness: longing for your true home in heaven. I wrote: make me more homesick for you.
Most of mankind's misery stems from feeling unloved. In the midst of adverse circumstances, people tend to feel that love has been withdrawn and they have been forsaken. This feeling of abandonment is often worse than the adversity itself. But I will never leave you nor forsake you... I have engraved you on the palms of My hands. Isaiah 49:15-16. I wrote: This is so true! And I haven't even been in truly adverse circumstances and yet I wallow in insecurity.
Understanding will never bring you peace. That's why I have instructed you to trust in Me, not in your understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). Human beings have a voracious appetite for trying to figure thing out, in order to gain a sense of mastery over their lives.... The wisest of all men, Solomon, could never think his way through to peace. His vast understanding result in feelings of futility, rather than fulfillment. I wrote: I am coming to learn that I can't "figure out" a solution to certain problems, especially relationship problems with my husband, or with my teenage stepdaughter, sometimes even my own little kids. Learning to entrust the problems to you, to let them go. Then, somehow a few days later I realize they've ceased to be problems!
Come to Me, come to Me, come to Me. This is My continual invitation to you, proclaimed in holy whispers. When your heart and mind are quiet, you can hear Me inviting you to draw near. Coming close to me requires no great effort on your part; it is more like ceasing to resist the magnetic pull of my love. I wrote: this is true. When I think God is far away or silent, it's my unquiet mind that is making it impossible for me to hear Him.
Living in dependence on Me is a glorious adventure. When you depend on Me continually, your whole perspective changes. You see miracles happening all around, while others see only natural occurrences and coincidences. You begin each day with joyful expectation, waching to see what I will do. You accept weakness as a gift from Me, knowing that My power plugs in most readily when we see our own weakness [and need for God's strength] (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). I wrote: wrote this verse today on my hand: Ezekiel 34:26 He will break the bars of your yoke. Starting to apply to the 12 steps, which means admitting I am powerless, and asking God to do what I cannot do on my own.Writing verses on my hand helps me remember them and seek God throughout the day.
Like the spinning wheels of a car trapped in the mud, the cogs of your brain spin impotently when you focus on problems. As soon as you start communicating with Me about the matter, your thoughts gain traction and you can move on to more important things. Below this I wrote: B. and I prayed this morning over many things - his mom's cancer, his desperation to know your will in regards to our finances and his desires to continue competitive roping even though it's so expensive. I hope he felt the same peace after praying that I did, the freedom of giving everything over to You.
Though I may lead you along paths that feel alien to you, trust that I know what I am doing. If you follow Me wholeheartedly, you will discover facets of yourself that were previously hidden. I know you intimately - far better than you know yourself. Didn't write anything here, but I put a star next to this, to come back to it later. Excited to discover parts of myself that are still hidden in God - realize that it will probably be trials that reveal them - but I'm willing. It's a promise that there is more to me than I can yet realize!
This last nugget is from a different source, The Hourglass of Life, by John Fischer
Picture life as an hour glass with the cross at the center. All my pre-conversion experiences narrowed me toward a personal encounter with Christ; but once through, He leads me back out into the world where the lines now instead of converging open up into an ever-widening reality... Jesus never closes a mind; He opens it. Jesus is never threatened by a question; He welcomes it. He knows all questions will lead back to Him. I love dwelling on this picture of life as an hour glass, except I see
the grains flowing upward instead of down, and the top of the hourglass
is not the same size as the bottom, but so much larger - expanding into
infinity as we reach the end of our earthly lives. The thought
thrills me - makes me look forward to the future - even growing old -