An interesting revelation occurred yesterday.
The pastor was going to mention my late husband in an honorable way during his message. I was working in the nursery and was called out when it was time for that portion of the message. Normally I sit near the back, but there were no places to sit at the back this time; so I was led to a chair in the second row middle section.
It sounds weird, but there actually is a different atmosphere toward the front than at the back. I don’t know if it’s because there are fewer distractions or the Presence really is more powerful near the altar, but whatever the case this is something I’ve noticed at every church I’ve attended. Yesterday every word the Pastor spoke seemed to sear itself onto my brain and is hopefully making its way into my soul even now.
At the Methodist church I attend, the congregation is very small, average of 9 on a Sunday morning; and the pastor is ESL. Of those 9 people in the congregation, at 56 I am the youngest. The pastor is 61. Everyone else is at least 70 and many are over 80; so we all sit toward the front to be able to better hear and understand the Word that is being taught. It’s been many years since I’ve sat in the back of that church. So, we are all fully entered into the Presence.
I believe we should all make more of an effort to sit closer to the front, even at the crowded OACF. Because, whatever the case, it feels like the Presence of God is stronger there. Since, as a human being, I do still tend to follow my feelings (and my Abba knows this), it just makes sense.
Today I was about to step on the scale when I heard God tell me “Don’t do it.” I was obedient. Since the first thing I usually write in my journal is my weight, today I wrote “No weight today”. Then God started talking to me some more.
Those words “NO WEIGHT TODAY” primarily were written due to the fact that I didn’t step on the scale. But what jumped out at me was the other type of weight.
- a : burden, pressure
- the weight of their responsibilities
NO BURDEN TODAY. Jeannette (my coach at Finding Balance) has told me more than once to “lean into God”, and my best friend and spiritual mentor has told me over the past 2 days more than once that God has told her I’m under tremendous stress and to simply relax in Him. They kinda’ mean the same thing, and it sounds like God really wants me to get this. I will not bear any of that heavy weight of stress today.
But He wasn’t done yet. A Bible study I’m doing referred to Romans 8:6, and I happened to read the Amplified which said: “6 Now the mind of the flesh is death [both now and forever—because it pursues sin]; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace [the spiritual well-being that comes from walking with God—both now and forever];” Notice God says the mind of the Spirit is life and peace. Sounds like relaxing in God to me.
Next, the same study instructed me to read 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 which read “3 and all [of them] ate the same spiritual food; 4 and all [of them] drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not well-pleased with most of them, for they were scattered along the ground in the wilderness [because their lack of self-control led to disobedience which led to death].” In the wilderness the supernatural food (manna) and supernatural water (from the Rock) came day by day, and what came on one day was not good for the next day. Application: God was feeding and watering me today, but that won’t be good enough for tomorrow.
And finally, I realized the above verse wasn’t actually 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 at all; it was 1 Corinthians 10:3-5. So I looked up the verses in 2 Corinthians, and they said “3 For though we walk in the flesh [as mortal men], we are not carrying on our [spiritual] warfare according to the flesh and using the weapons of man. 4 The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]. Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ,” Taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ for me at this point in my life means especially all those thoughts that bring about stress. Right now, those are most of my waking thoughts. The only thoughts I can think that are beneficial are those from God, to be found in His Word and through other ways He communicates with me.
Can I do it? Most assuredly not! But when I lean into God and relax in His arms, He is more than capable of doing what I cannot.