Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God (Philippians 4:6 Amplified)
I was spending some time in worship with my son Daniel who was eight at the time. He is now eleven; but, I have begun to feel his revelation is very pertinent to the day and time we live in.
Daniel became very excited during our soaking session and started describing a picture he saw in his heart of someone carrying a suitcase. I asked him what he thought it meant.
He replied, â€śGod wants us to take a vacation into His heart.â€ť
His words struck a chord deep in my spirit prompting this short conversation with my son.
â€śHow do you take a vacation into Godâ€™s heart, Daniel? Is the Holy Spirit telling you something?â€ť
â€śYes, Mommy, you do it just like this: Love God with all your heart, mind and strengthâ€¦ spend time with Him in worship and the Word. Donâ€™t even watch bad stuff. Love other people, and honor your mom and dad.â€ť
I was astounded by such a simple truth. The Lord most assuredly wants us to have the faith of a child. Each statement Daniel made is a basic building block of faith starting out with; love God. The last statement about honoring parents threw me a bit until I contemplated it a little deeper. How can you honor your heavenly Father if you canâ€™t honor your earthly ones? Love God, love others and love His Word. What was I missing? I was missing my sonâ€™s child like faith and was prompted to pray this prayer which the Lord, in all His goodness responded to.
Lord, Danielâ€™s picture is so simplistic and sweet. Sometimes I just walk right on by the simpler aspects of Your truth in search of some deeper, more intellectual or physical way into your heart. I allow other things to fill me, leaving very little room for You, becoming like a computer needing to be defragged. There is no room for you and I move slowly, without joy, or a sense of purpose. I become content with a lukewarm life. I allow apathy and complacency to invade me and I put forth little effort. I become lazy, finding myself involved in or running to things which take very little effort. Forgive me.
Have mercy, Lord, and speak to this heart of mine and release it from any bondage or misperception, which keeps me from a deep and intimate relationship with You. Let Your tender mercies fall like rain softening my own hard heart. Open the gateways of my everyday life, transforming them into a place of knowing and newness. I am ready for the vacation of a lifetime. I am ready to cease from my striving and enter Your rest. Let my life be a continual vacation, moment by moment dwelling in the depths of intimate relationship with You.
Come and go with Me, my child, into the very depths of glory beyond the veil into My beautyâ€¦into My Presence where you will be transformed. You are anxious about much that canâ€™t be changed by worrying; it can only be changed by prayer and abiding in My habitation of worship and the Word (Philippians 4:6).
Come and take a vacation into My heart. Come find out what a restful place I am. Come and be immersed in My all sufficient grace and see the bondage of the law break awayâ€¦fade away. Come in to an experience with Meâ€¦one that belongs according to your new birthright in Christ. Many vacation placesâ€¦time shares and so on give you limited access for X amounts of money. I give you unlimited, unfettered access in every seasonâ€¦in every wilderness experienceâ€¦in every dark, cold night of the soulâ€¦and most of all, in every spring time when you need Me the most but donâ€™t always recognize it as being so.
Sometimes you tend to forget to come and rejoice like a child when all is wellâ€¦when life is bursting forth like in garden like arrays or when the harvest is abundant. And sometimes you stay away because you feel unworthy in the dark timesâ€¦in the hard times or when you feel you have somehow missed the mark. Maybe you have missed the mark. All do at some time or another. If given to religion and the law you stay at bay. If given to grace, you run into My arms where mercy triumphs over judgment.
Beloved, you have at times thought time with Me an obligation, and have seen it on occasions as drudgery. Sometimes you come because of guilt and feel you will miss out or be penalized if you donâ€™t. There are times you come and right when I am ready to open the windows and doors of Heaven to pour out My goodness, you turn away because of unworthiness or busyness. This must not be. I have so very much to giveâ€¦so much love to provoke in your heart towards Me, others and yourself.
It is here beyond the veil, in communion with Me, where you will discover how to love Me with all your heart. Love is not done at a distance. Love is accomplished best face to face in both the good and the bad times. Know this, I am not a fair-weather friend nor will I ever be. I am immovable and unshakable for you and in you. Come close and see.
In being with Me you will have all you need in every time and seasonâ€¦in all the weariness of life. You will find out how much I love you and learn to receive when you least deserve anything. In being with Me, you will learn to love the unlovable, even as I have loved you in your most unlovable times. I will teach you about honor, using My kindness, My mercy and My goodness to captivate you. You will forever more be compelled to come back for more. Come near no matter what you are experiencing and be with Meâ€¦be face to face with Love.
Beloved, remember relationship isnâ€™t an obligation or drudgery. Oh what a wrong concept you have if you believe this. Obligation causes you to miss out on so much, forsaking true riches for temporal pleasures which intrude and contaminate your thoughts. The more time you spend with worldly thoughts and actions, the less time there will be for Me. Worldly things crowd the rooms of your heart with unprofitable distractions and blockages. Be careful what enters your eyes and ears.
I am not saying you shouldnâ€™t have fun. Quite the contraire. I am saying do not engage in activities based on the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes or the prideful things of life, all of which are at enmity with the Spirit of God. I am saying to not spend so much time on the good pleasures of life that you forsake being with Me. Being away from Me makes it easier to engage in evil seeing, hearing and speaking.
Beloved, sometimes obligation and drudgery rule the day because of your own unfulfilled self-expectations about what time with Me is all aboutâ€¦what loving Me is all about. Read an hour, pray an hour, meditate an hour and on and on the story goes. None of the afore-mentioned things are bad, but when done to fill a square they are robbed of life and relationship. I would rather you speak to Me about one Scripture for a month than be caught up in ritualistic or legalistic mindsets and ways.
Take a child for instance. When a child looks at something; say a flower, a butterfly or an ice-cream Sunday, they without thought automatically express their delight. When they see a scary bug or feel lost in a dark room at night they call out for their parents. When they are playing with others they experience the joy of the moment. They have a simple faith and a simple expression capable of moving mountains. They enjoy, they trust and they know when to ask for help. No drudgery there. Everything is seen through eyes always waiting to discover the next amazing adventure. That is how it should be perceived when you are with Me; a great adventure without condemnation. I would rather you enjoy one moment with Me than drudge out a thousand other days. We could accomplish a lot more.
The best and most sure way to watch what you see, watch what you hear, watch what you say and abandon drudgery is to receive the heart of a child and enjoy Me moment by moment. This simple faith will help you to love Me, others and yourself. Receive a new heart and be filled with joy.
Let go of all things from your past. Forgive your mother and fatherâ€¦forgive anyone who has been in a position to mother, father or mentor you in any way if they have hurt you or you have been offended. No matter if the person is living or notâ€¦forgiveness and honor must be given.
Honor is to reverence, show respect, admire, esteem, and appreciate, to prize, to praise, to be devoted to and to deeply care about. The time has come to reflect on where the enemy has used the past against you in relation to dishonor. Honoring does not mean doing as an adult what your parents say. However, it is listening with respect and then making your own decisions based on My direction.
Even as adults, though you may not live with your parents, they deserve the honor and respect I have commanded. Remember, you reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7-9). Sow good seeds into the lives of your parents and reap a bountiful harvest. I know some cannot have contact with parents for many reasons. However, this does not keep you from thinking and speaking in a lovely and upright way. Sometimes silence is golden.
Words, thoughts and deeds directed at your parents in past days can affect your life today. Just because you have forgotten doesnâ€™t mean they canâ€™t affect you. My principles never change. They are set in motion by what you sow or donâ€™t sow. Either you swim upstream or flow in the river of My life. Choose life (Deuteronomy 30:18-20, Proverbs 18:21). Take time to think on this. I am right beside you.
Remember this, I never commanded for you to honor them if they filled some kind of criteria. I simply said honor without qualification as long as it doesnâ€™t cause you to violate My word. To whatever degree of dishonoring you have done or continue to do, the time has come to confess and take the appropriate action. If necessary, go to your loved ones and confess, asking forgiveness. If they are no longer here, find a friend and confess your dishonor (James 5:16). This will build an altarâ€¦a memorial to use against the enemyâ€™s wiles in this area of your life. When he comes to accuse you can point this altar out. Now that you have had time to think, confess, and repent, it is time to receive the blessing My child. It is time to receive the blessing of one who has honored.
In the midst of this, remember to forgive as I have forgiven you. Do not nullify the work of the cross. My grace is sufficient and My love boundless. I have already given you everything necessary to accomplish this and to overcome, My loved one.
Beloved, being with Me in such a way that you give all your heart, your strength and your mind to devotion with a childlike heart is truly like being on vacation. Our time should consist of more than seriousness and work. It is to be filled with fun-filled laughter, life-saving instruction, tender mercy, physical and emotional healing, mutual affection, and the endowment of gifts to share with a lost and dying world. Our time together holds depths of tender emotions able to heal any wound, cast away any doubt, infusing with faith, thereby lifting you up on the wings of a hope that does not disappoint (Romans 5:5).
There are so many things to discover. You could travel the world over in your lifetime and never consume its fullness and beauty. If this cannot be done with the finite things which display My grandeur, there is no way it can be accomplished with My infinite mysteries. So, come and catch a glimpse of what will take an eternity to relish and enjoy. Consider it a head start, a deposit on what is to come.
I want to relieve you of stress, stifling legalism, and manâ€™s traditions and invite you to come on an eternal vacation with Me starting right now. I am your oasis in the middle of every happening. You can slip away to the Caribbean of My heart in a split second of time. Yes, in a split second. Donâ€™t think you have to complete some set of spiritual exercises or worship for extended times to find Me. Since I already dwell in your heart, I am already as close as close can be. I am not afar off in some distant heaven. I am in your heart, only a breath away.
The moment you say My name â€śJesusâ€ť we are connected in communion. The phone lines are open at all times. . If anyone leaves, it is you. I always remain, waiting, Therefore, donâ€™t become apathetic or slothful and be deprived of experiencing in everyday life the unlimited abundance of all I am. Remember, there are pleasures at My right hand forever more just waiting for you to experience them (Psalm 16:11).
I have so much to share with you, so much to show you, if only you will believe. I have a garden and not a barren field prepared for your habitation. Are there troubles in this life?
Yes, and just like a flat tire on vacation, I have the answer. There are ways to experience this life like a vacation of mystery, fun and discovery. So, come take a much needed respite from your way of seeing things and enjoy Me in this life, for it is a time of preparation for the life to come. Live an abundant journey of discovery and preparation today. Doing so will enable you to experience each coming day as its beauty unfolds until your life ultimately culminates in eternity beyond the veil.
Come, I love and enjoy you right where you are, just as you are. After all, I made you and love you. I have a deep awareness of all your days. I am never surprised, so donâ€™t waste another moment worrying. Let the intense pleasure I have for you flow over your emotions with healing balms of grace. Let Me invade your very being with the sweet perfumed incense of My presence, creating a thirsty ravished heart for Me. I am waiting. Letâ€™s take a vacation together.
Lord, I choose this day to come with You into the very depths of Your heart. I choose to acknowledge the veil has been rent and the way is open into Your Presence where I am forever changed each time I come. I know You live in me, but I must choose to recognize this truth in no matter what I am experiencing or how anxious I might become. I am always welcomeâ€¦for I am hidden in Christ. I am always with You.
It is in my own thoughts, when I mediate on my own shortcomings, that the idea of being separated from You has the power to shape my reality with misconceptions and wrong perceptions. I am in You and that is that.
Therefore, I come this day to the restful place and lay my anxious burdens down. I rest in Your sufficient grace and bondages of religion and law fall away like wax in a flame. I have a new birthright in Christ and am no longer bound to this world or religion.
I declare this. I am a new creature and walk in covenant relationship with the Lord in a rejoicing, child-like manner. All thoughts of unworthiness are lies of the enemy for I am accepted in the Beloved. Today I submit to grace and run into the merciful arms of Jesus where mercy triumphs over judgment. I am a forgiven son of God who is filled with the Spirit. I am loved.
Lord, I choose to come with You into the very depths of Your heart. I leave behind all limitations and wrong self-assessment and accept who I am in You. As I come into Your Presence, I am changed. I lay all my worries and cares at Your feet, knowing all is safe in the shelter of Your care. I leave the drudgery and obligation of religion and law behind to embrace rest and freedom of heart.
Help me to release every dark place of the soulâ€¦every dark night I have experienced which have toe holds in my heart and emotionsâ€¦which keep me from living in a place of love and rest. All the times and seasons of my life are bound up in Your love and grace. I am enclosed around and about by love.
Lord, I declare that I am one who demonstrates a thankful and grateful heart for all the things You have done in and through meâ€¦all You have done for me and most of all, I am thankful for all the love You have filled and covered my life with. May I never forget to rejoice in abundance. May I never run away from you out of fear. May I never forsake others who are in need of being loved. I choose this day to forget the past and embrace who I am in You. Yes, today I come face to face with love. Therefore, I am changed.
Lord, I know you must need to remind me of the difference between obligation and relationship. You love a cheerful giver and this applies to all areas of life, including my time with you. First and foremost, teach me to understand time with You is not only a â€śgo away and be with Godâ€ť kind of thing. It is not just a prayer closet kind of thing. Being with You is an all the time thing which takes many expressions all the way from serious prayer to enjoying the light touch of a butterfly drinking nectar from a beautiful flower.
Relationship is enjoying my life and sharing it with You. Relationship is about enduring the hard times with faith in Your enduring love and provision. Unfulfilled self-expectations are a great robber of my time with You. I keep list upon list of things I must do or should do so many times and do not ask You what You want. However, when I do ask You, the answer is so much simpler than my own.
Lord, teach me to walk in the grace of only following Your voice and not my own ideas of performing. Teach meâ€¦draw meâ€¦woo me to the place of a child-like heartâ€¦a heart that notices and rejoices in the simple things of lifeâ€¦a heart that runs to You when all inner self-perceptions and ideas say run, when I encounter the scary bugs of life or those of my own making.
Today I enter the rest of my life with a whole new perception and attitude. I forsake an over abundance of worldly pleasure both good and bad that I might not walk in a place of death or too much busyness. I declare my heart, my soul and my emotions to be child-like yet mature in faith. I am on a whole new journey of grace and faith. I am amazed.
Search my heart Lord. Show me the pathway to freedom. I put down my own search light and release all areas of my life to You. Forgive me for judging my parents and not walking according to Your words. I ask You to bring every wrong or negative word, thoughts and action to my remembrance. As You remind me, I will lay them down at your feet, Jesus. I will choose mercy and grace. I choose to forgive and honor. To do so, does not mean I should put myself in harmâ€™s way. It does mean I should not hate and let a root of bitterness grown in my heart. Even the most subtle things can make way for wrong roots to grow into an unwanted harvest.
Therefore, I choose to plow up the fallow ground of my heart in response to the conviction of Holy Spirit and not guilt. I will only respond as I am prompted and will not dig up things You are not working on. Reveal to me all I need to forgive line upon line until I am completely free of all resentment, bitterness, anger, guilt and shame.
Even if I experienced hurt or trauma from those who were supposed to love me, You were always aware of my suffering and longed to hold me close. You wanted those around me to demonstrate Your heart; but, some of them were wounded themselves and could not do so. It is not Your desire or heart for anyone to suffer; but, people have a free will which is often not submitted to You. When this happens, there is more death than life.
Lord, I give all my struggles physical, emotional and relational into Your hands. I trust in Your goodness and faithfulness. Surrendering my heart enables me to hear Your voice. I open up the well of my heart. Come, sweet Holy Spirit. I am here.
Lord, today and from this day forward I desire to live on permanent vacation in Your heart through a lifestyle of relationship and not obligation or drudgery. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy and I do not want to be dull. If I am dull, I am no help to myself, to those I love or to a dying world.
By faith, I enter into Your Presence in every way. I experience you on the inside and the outside. I have access to all of who You are at all times. My access is not limited to seasons of obedience and victory. Lord, You have made a way for Me even in the dark nights of my soulâ€¦in the times of sickness and leanness of provision and in times of great abundance when I have a tendency to forget because it seems I have all I need.
I declare this is the day I break away from all bondage in relation to religion and the law. I am one given to grace. I am a new creature with a whole new address, Graceland. I am connected to the vine through Jesus, the one I abide in. The beauty of my life is unfolding and, not only will I vacation in the Lordâ€™s heart; I will be a vacation of rest and refuge for others as well.
Lord, I am one who loves You with all my heart, soul and mind. I am one who loves my neighbor as myself. I am one who forsakes the abundance of worldly things and the busyness of life to abide in the vine. I am one who chooses to let go, forgive and honor. I am a ravished and thirsty heart on permanent vacation in the Lordâ€™s heart. Amen.
- How do you practice going beyond the veil on a daily basis, or in other words, how can you practice being intimate with the Lord in the midst of your daily life?
- Do you find yourself erecting veils of your own making based on your own behavior or the circumstance in which you find yourself?
- In what areas and according to what behavior do you let shame and guilt keep you from Him if only for a moment?
- Describe grace in your own words. Describe being religious in your own words. In light of your answer, where do you live most of the time?
- Meditate on having unfettered access to Godâ€¦to His Presence in every season of life including dark nights of the soul?
- What might you do on a more practical level to express and build a more child-like relationship with the Lord?
- How often do you find time with the lover of your soul to be an obligationâ€¦drudgery or something you do to somehow garner favor or avoid some perceived judgment? If so, this can come from being influenced by someone with an abusive personality, a performance or perfectionist based mentality, from being ridiculed, from being trained up according to religion and not relationship and so on. If any of these have happened to you take time to forgive the person, persons or institution. The Lord has already forgiven and Scripture says that even if your father and mother forsake you the Lord will take you up. What a blessingâ€¦what a place of freedom.
- It is in daring to come into His presence with boldness based on the redemptive work of the Cross that you will receive the grace and mercy to love God, love yourself and love others. Sometimes we do not do this because we see the Lord like we see people, as fair-weather friends. How have you seen God as a fair-weather friend and what wrong perceptions about self and God are you willing to lie down so that you will take Him at His Word?
- Take some time while listening to some soft instrumental music and imagine mercy overtaking youâ€¦imagine goodness being poured out on you. It has already happened in Jesus. The time has come for it to be a reality in your life in the big and little moments. You donâ€™t have to be in big trouble or need something extraordinary to do this. If you do this on a regular basis, mole hills will not turn to mountains in your own thinking and overwhelm you.
- Contemplate coming face to face with Love. What is love saying to you today?
- What activities, though good and profitable, are you engaging in to the point you do not have time to rest in and be with the Lord?
- How have you seen being with the Lord only as time in the prayer closet, reading so much of the Word, or spending the appropriate time at church? Take some time to experience Him in the beauty of nature, in the smile of a child or in the melody of a song. Experiencing Him in these things makes the heart more open to the other. Gratitude, appreciation and thanksgiving go a long way to open the inner chambers and go beyond the veil.
- Describe the difference between the words obligation and relationship? Look up obligation and you might be surprised. Obligation is not always bad; but, when it comes to God, relationship rules.
- Describe a child-like heart in your own words.
- In what areas do you need to ask for forgiveness in relation to your parents, those who have been like parents toward you, those who have shepherded you, or functioned as your employer when you consider some of the definitions of honor?
- If you have made any judgments against them, release them from them and any words you may have spoken. It helps to write the words down so you can have a visual representation of what you are confessing. Confess, repent and tear up the paper, flush the paper or burn it.
- Consider My mercy and grace. Contemplate My faithfulness and goodness toward you this day. Record My instructions to you, that you might not forget and be found lacking.
- Now, take the time to forgive yourself for we are told to love others as we love ourselves. How can you love yourself if you havenâ€™t forgiven yourself? How can you love God if you have blamed Him and not forgiven Him as well? Forgive God? Yes! Remember, it is about your perception and blame, not Godâ€™s character and person.
- In what areas are you apathetic or so serious minded you have become dull to the beauty around youâ€¦dull to experiencing the Lord in simple ways without condemnation for not fulfilling self-perceived requirements?
- What rituals do you go throughâ€¦what obligations are you engaging in that have lost the invigorating presence of the Lord? What do you think has robbed you of the sheer pleasure of doing these things with a heart of relationship, anticipation and joy?
- Define in our own words what it means for the Lord to dwell in you and not just in some far off place hard to reach? He is the very breath of your life. Selah (meditate).
- What do the words â€śA Vacation in His Heartâ€ť mean to you?
- What flat tire needs to be changed in your heart or circumstances? Ask Him for the answer. He does not withhold from the righteous nor does He leave their seed begging for bread.
- End this devotion by writing a Ravished Heat love letter or note in response to His call to vacation in His heart.