Sunday, January 17, 2016

Critical Choices at the Crossroads of Life

I had never realized as a young Christian many years ago, that to truly know God and to grow in His grace, that life would take me and my family through some dark valleys, painful trials, personal hardship, and times of suffering and loss. That there would come times when I would face critical choices at the crossroads of life, and regretfully the right ones would not always be made.

I have not always stayed on the trail to the high places of the mountain, where the Good Shepherd calls us to feed, and rest in His presence. I wish I could retrace some of the pathways chosen, and make a few other choices, but I cannot. None of us can. However, by the grace of God, we can learn from all of them, that God has always been right there by our side, faithful and patient, to lead us onward, regardless of our failures.

At times I have lost my way, fallen into a few painful crevasses, and discovered that each time, the Gentle Shepherd is true to His promise...He will come looking for those who stray, and He will carry them back to a place where He can give tender nurturing and healing. Then with His tender compassion and mercy, we discover that He sees in us more than we can see in ourselves. He lifts us to our feet, and urges us to press on .... and believe that we can, for once again, hope is born anew.

As a testimony of thanksgiving to Jesus Christ, and His infinite grace, I continue to write this blog with the hope that it will perhaps help others who have also struggled, to never give in or give up when they have strayed from the pathway to deepening their relationship with God. If we can avoid that slow drifting that can so often happen to us in the course of our life, we will be more likely to traverse the narrow pathway that leads to the high places on the mountain. (Habakkuk 3:17-21)

Our lives are full of crammed schedules, filled with stress and the demands of work, family responsibilities, and financial hardships in a strained economy.  Many find it increasingly difficult to maintain a daily quiet time with God.

I hope that together with me, you might find this to be a peaceful and meaningful place to explore and experience the wonderful privilege of walking with God, and enjoy the creative interaction of a growing fellowship with one another. 

The Purpose of The Quiet Place

We all need significant times in our lives where we can experience the peacefulness of complete and total silence. Quiet moments where we can make a heartfelt exploration of our deepest questions and pose them before the Almighty God of the universe.

God is timeless, yet He pauses, draws near to our hearts, and listens to what we are truly saying when no one else is really listening. 

Throughout history there has been a void in the heart of man that resounds with a desperate urgency. It expresses itself as a deep yearning that is palpable, and reflects an intense desperation that is the heart cry of the human soul that is separated from God.

With the tragic event in the Garden of Eden, when man turned away from God, He lost his pure and unhindered communion with his Creator. Mankind has since been left with a spiritual vacuum and painful emptiness. The Quiet Place within the heart of man, where he walked in the cool of the garden with God, became instead, a lonely place. 

The Awareness of an Inner Thirst
Every person who has ever lived has experienced the awareness of a profound inner thirst, deep within the heart. It is the painful discovery of an intense spiritual need that can only truly be satisfied when he can commune with God in unhindered worship. The reality of this inner spiritual void exists within us regardless of our age, gender, race, or nationality.

We also discover in life that no amount of money, fame, possessions or power can satisfy the longing within or fill the inner emptiness. History has proven that whatever man attempts to use to fill that void never brings permanent fulfillment or genuine inner peace. Instead, there is an acute dissatisfaction with what was thought to be the solution to fill the emptiness within. This results in an awakening of a deeper craving, which can so often lead to a variety of addictions to things that people had hungrily sought to anesthetize their inner pain, and provide them with short term peace and fleeting pleasure. 

One of the cunning strategies that Satan employs to enslave a person, is to create counterfeit peace and purpose.  Satan's subtle lie is to get us to believe that pleasure will bring a physical and spiritual fulfillment that will mimic communion with God. 

It does not take long before that which brought pleasure and a semblance of happiness and fulfillment, becomes a dark pathway into bondage and despair. This has been true since the beginning of man's pilgrimage on earth.

In spite of all of the sentimental poetry, romantic novels, tender musical ballads, or passionate love stories depicted in movies, there is no earthly relational experience that can truly satisfy the innermost loneliness of the human heart.

The deepest loneliness that consumes us, is a result of our soul being homesick for the intimate relationship with God, that we were originally created to enjoy. Before the fall, the Quiet Place was the entire expanse of a created paradise for Adam and Eve known as the Garden of Eden. At that time, wherever Man was, God was with him.

God wants us to understand that there is nothing apart from Him that can truly fill the inner void within man. The capacity to commune with God was created by Him, and only He, through His Spirit, can dwell there. For Adam and Eve, the Quiet Place was experienced in the external beauty of the Garden of Eden, as they walked and lived in a daily moment by moment communion with God.

Discovering the Quiet Place within

Now we no longer need to go to a place like the Garden of Eden to commune with God. Jesus Christ has wondrously made possible for us to be born again (John 3:16; 1:12), to experience an internal Edenic Garden through the indwelling of His Spirit, that enables us to worship Him freely, and enjoy Spiritual communion with God moment by moment. (II Cor. 5:17-21; Col. 1:27)

It can happen little by little, but over time we can sacrifice our personal devotional time with God in order to keep up with our busy schedules in life. Spiritual drifting begins when such an unwise trade off takes place. Make it your quest to set aside precious moments to be alone with God, so that you might pour out your heart, share your deepest needs, and commune with Him.

My desire is that the articles shared here will encourage someone who has lost their way, or lift up one who has lost hope, or comfort another who is grieving the loss of a loved one, so that each might see a tiny glimmer of light that reflects the way to the pathway that leads to Jesus, the true Fountain, from which the only Living Water can be found. (John 7:37-38)

The Father Heart of God in The Quiet Place

The Quiet Place is so named so that we can meaningfully explore ways to more deeply cherish those intimate moments when all else in life is at a hush, while we spend time alone with God. What a privilege we do share, for we can spend time with our God, free of fear and shame, and know that Jesus, the Lamb of God, has made a way into the Holy Place, through His precious Blood, so that we might have access to the Father Heart of God, so that we might commune with Him in our own personal Quiet Place. (Romans 5:2; Eph. 2:18; Eph:3:12).

"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake" Psalm 23:1-3

Take a few moments and play this worshipful song, The Quiet Place. Close your eyes, fade away everything that is on your mind and renew once again your desire and commitment to take time each day to meet with God in your own Quiet Place.

“Come with me by yourselves to a Quiet Place and get some rest.”     Mark 6:31

New Release: 

It is difficult to understand why God allows suffering, hardship, and pain to remain in our lives when we have prayed for Him to take it from us. It becomes a thorn in the flesh. God allows the thorn to pierce our hidden heart to bring us to a place where we become open to reveal to him the real person hiding within. Times of hardship, unending trials, and painful suffering bring us to a place where we become weary of life, and call out to Him to provide grace for the thorns.  

About the Book 

To Order a copy:

No comments:

Post a Comment