I wrote a long, really good post about my quiet time this morning, and when I went to post it, my program shut down. Bummer! This version won’t be nearly as good. The first one took me about an hour to write. Sigh.
Katy at Fallible had a cute post today about being afraid to ask God for a word. It really made me laugh. Katy is one funny gal.
My words for this new year are Intimacy and Devotion. When those words were given to me, I looked forward with anticipation to all this might mean. I’ve felt in a dry and parched place in recent months, and those words seemed to promise cool refreshment. But I never expected the Lord to start off the year with such a blessing.
I entered my office this morning, ready to begin my Bible reading and new Bible study. This is a year to read through the New Testament three times. I went to my bookshelf for an NLT version and my eyes fell on a New Testament volume I was given for Christmas in 2006. I packed it away soon after in my preparations to sell my house and move. To be honest, I’d forgotten all about it. But when I saw the words "friendship with God," my heart quickened. Friendship with God = Intimacy with God.
The Bible is called Friendship First New Testament: Living in Friendship with God and Others. It is a beautiful volume. Not the sort of Bible you carry to church or travel with because it is over-sized, like a coffee table book. But it is the perfect Bible for my reading in the New Testament as I seek to find a new intimacy with my Father. Plus I’m being accompanied in my Bible reading by two of my dearest friends, making the choice even more perfect.
When I finished reading my chapters, I then reached for Stepping Up: A Journey through the Psalms of Ascent. I first heard of this brand new study from Beth Moore in September or October. I ordered my copy of the workbook and the audio CDs in early December, excited to do a study in the Psalms. About 30 or 40 minutes into the audio introductory lesson, Beth read Joshua 5:14, And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?” And then she said (paraphrased), "God has something specific to say to you. You’ll hear it on your face before Him." Talk about my heart quickening! On my face before God (in prayer) = Devotion!
I love it when I catch a glimpse of the ways God has been moving behind the scenes. When He gave me the words Intimacy and Devotion, I didn’t know He had already placed the very Bible I should use onto my bookshelf. I didn’t know that the Bible study I learned about in the fall would be the very study that would relate to the word/words He gave me for 2008. Seeing His hand in these things made me even more excited for what I will learn in the days, weeks, and months to come.
In those moments this morning, I felt a breeze blowing away the desert sand. I felt myself taking sips of cool refreshment.
Jesus replied, “People soon become thirsty again after drinking this water. But the water I give them takes away thirst altogether. It becomes a perpetual spring within them, giving them eternal life.” John 4:13-14
In the grip of His grace,