December Writing Prompt

Happy Friday Everyone!

As a writer, I am often searching for things to help get my creative juices flowing, and when I find the right something, it’s always such a blessing to me. In my efforts to be a place of encouragement and inspiration for all those who read my blog, I would like to offer you my own ‘something’. Below, I have attached a writing prompt for the month of December, with its link underneath it. I pray it will not only encourage you but that it will uplift you, motivate you and draw you closer into who God is. Enjoy and God Bless!

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December Writing Prompt

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The Lord Is In This Place Too

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“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”          Psalm 23:4 NKJV

Elevation Worship has a song called, “Here Again”. The first time I heard it, I honestly did not understand what it was fully saying. But as I listened to it over and over again in the stillness of my room, its lyrics began to pierce my heart.

Have you ever gone through a time in your life that made you feel like you were in the deepest pit you’ve ever been in? Have you ever had your heart broken? Lost a loved one? Got let go from a job? Felt like you were walking around aimlessly or directionless? Received an expected bill with no money to pay it? Gotten a terrible test score? Have you gotten some unexpected, painful news? It’s in times like these that life can seem hopeless. As if it was caving in and there is no way out; tears seem to sit tirelessly on the porch of your eyelids. I know this place all too well. Maybe you’re sitting in this place right now, and you don’t know where to turn to.

“In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me.” Psalm 120:1 ESV

“But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the Lifter of my head.” Psalm 3:3 ESV

My life has been a myriad of ups and downs, as has all of our lives. And it is in these times that we can easily forget God, and we feel forgotten; not only by those around but God Himself. The pain sets in, and we can begin to feel the pressures of life. And if you’re anything like me, you can shift into superhero mode really quick; grabbing a hold of the falsehood that we can handle it all by ourselves.

This is such an empty and burdensome mindset to have, yet as human beings, we dig our boots in and we let this mindset settle on our heads, like a hat wrapped around our chin in winter. Don’t get me wrong, enduring and pressing on in the face of adversity is a good thing. But without God, without His boost, without His direction, without His strength, it is all in vanity and can cause us to be like a hamster on its wheel. It is when we forget to seek God, or even just remember that He is with us in that place, that we begin to take wrong turns.

“Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV

In this passage in Deuteronomy 31, Joshua was getting ready to take Moses’ place, and lead the Israelite’s, God’s chosen people, into the land God had promised them. They had been wander in the wilderness for 40 years, and it wasn’t because God left them. It was fear that kept them from moving forward. It was their inability to remember that God was with them no matter what they came up against, that caused them to suffer for so long.

This is the same thing that happens to us; we forget God in the face of adversity and we carry a burden we were never meant to. A burden I tend to carry around is that when life happens, I have to keep it all together and just to figure it out myself. But this is not what God desires at all!

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”     1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV

And on the day I heard “Here Again”, playing it on repeat, I sat on my bed, in the late hours of the night, as tears streamed down my face, I heard these lyrics:

“Not for a minute, Was I forsaken, The Lord is in this place, The Lord is in this place, Come Holy Spirit, Dry bones awaken, The Lord is in this place, The Lord is in this place”

As I listened, I was reminded. As I listened, I was overwhelmed by the Lord’s presence. As I listened, my sorrow turned into joy. As I listened, I was reminded that Christ was with me in the past, right now and that He would still be with me all the days of my life. I was reminded that He is with us even in the times we’ve forgotten Him, that He has never forgotten us.

Below is the link to the song “Here Again” by Elevation Worship. I pray it revives your heart, and your sorrow is turned into joy.

Here Again

Here Again (Extended Version) | Live | Elevation Worship

And remember: YOU ARE LOVED. YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN. YOU ARE NOT FORSAKEN. YOU ARE THOUGHT OF. YOU HAVE NOT BEEN LEFT TO FEND FOR YOURSELF. YOU HAVE NOT BEEN LED TO THIS PLACE, ONLY TO BE LET DOWN BY GOD. HE IS ETERNALLY FAITHFUL EVEN IN THE MIDST OF OUR FAITHLESSNESS AND DOUBT. YOU ARE LOVED!

The video was retrieved from YouTube. Images were retrieved from google images. Bible scriptures were retrieved from http://www.biblegateway.com. Lyrics were retrieved from http://www.azlyrics.com.

 

Leaning on the Beloved

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A few weeks ago, I was searching the word for scriptures on love, and I stumbled onto Song of Solomon 8. Looking for more understanding of the text, I began looking up different commentaries.  As I searched online, I found a commentary written by enduringword.com, and as I scrolled down the page, my eyes landed on verse 5,

“Who is this coming up from the wilderness, Leaning upon her beloved?” Song of Solomon 8:5a NKJV

As I read further, there was a quote given from the preacher Charles Spurgeon who was known for his radical preaching and style. He beautifully paints an illustration of his understanding of this bible verse and how it compares to Christ and His church. 

“She leaned because she was weak and needed strength. She leaned because the way was long. She leaned because the way was perilous. She leaned because the path was ascending, going higher and higher. She leaned because her progress took her more and more away from others and more and more to her beloved’s side. She leaned because she was sure her beloved was strong enough to bear her weight. She leaned because she loved him.”

“Beloved, there is no part of the pilgrimage of a saint in which he can afford to walk in any other way but in the way of leaning. He cometh up at the first, and he cometh up at the last, still leaning, still leaning upon Christ Jesus; ay, and leaning more and more heavily upon Christ the older he grows.” (Spurgeon)

The picture Spurgeon painted set a fire in my soul and has helped me understand more and more of what our life with Christ should look like. When I read the scripture for myself, I see the trust and reliance the women placed in her beloved. She knew she needed him to make it to her destination and she loved the closeness her dependency brought. She knew that he could hold her weight (her baggage) and she willingly rested on him without fear. She was not frustrated with his help, but instead, she welcomed every ounce of it. She even trusted his navigation skills, without question, to get her to the place she needed to be. She did not fight against his hold, but instead, she sunk into it allowing his body to be what kept her standing and going. She was okay with the help of her beloved and she did not refuse it. What a beautiful picture that has been set before us.

But I now wonder, what my walk with Christ looks like. Does it mirror this depiction or does it clash with what God truly desires? How about yours? Does it exude the beauty portrayed above, or does it pale in comparison? Be honest with yourself.

In a world that tells us we must be independent at all times and stand on our own two feet, and if we want something then we have to make it happen on our own, this picture causes a conflict to arise against the lifestyle we have become so accustomed to. Though the world tells us one thing, God desires something entirely different.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21 NIV

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” Exodus 14:14 NIV

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 NIV

 “Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” Psalm 127:1 NIV

In all of these scriptures, the common thread is that apart from dependency on God, we can do nothing and can go nowhere meaningful. I don’t know about you, but being successful according to man’s standards, yet missing the plan and purpose of God for my life, is something I don’t want to be a part of. No matter how rich or seemingly influential I could become, if it’s at the expense of my purpose in God’s will, then the world can have it all…no matter how big or how small it may be. Truly meaningful success and influence in the world can only come from being in the will and purpose of God. God told the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

Leaning on Christ, as we walk through this life, will bring us to the expected end that God Himself has ordained for us. Think about it, it’s nothing like following a set of directions only to get to the end and the final result is not at all what you expected. But many of us live our lives like this, and Jesus, our Bridegroom, just wants us, His Bride, to look like the Shulamite woman in Song of Solomon 8:5. He wants His love (that’s us) to lean on Him as we journey through the ups and the downs, the mountain tops, and the valley lows, in this thing called life. Our lives here on earth is only temporary, and then we’re gone. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t want to get to the end of many days and realize I leaned more on myself and the ways of man and not on the One who gave me life. And because of this, many people were left untouched by Christ through my life, my purpose left no mark in the earth for the Kingdom of God, and ultimately my life meant nothing because it was not lived out the way God desired. 

“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days FASHIONED for me, When as yet there were none of them.” Psalm 139:16 NKJV

In this scripture, the word fashioned means, “to mold into a form, to plan and to frame. Did you know that God has already written the days of your life? That He has already shaped the path that He wants each of us to live out? We are not always mindful of the activities we choose to take part in and if they are what God wants us to do, and because of this, we are not always walking on the path He designed for us. But know that He has created a path specifically for you with your purpose in mind. Every manufacturer knows the purpose of their product. They know what they created it for, what it can do, the limits it can go without breaking down, and the work it is able to do at its maximum capacity. In the same way, God knows what we are capable of, but it takes a leaning and dependency on Him to bring it forth in the earth.

He knows the journey is not always the easiest or the most enjoyable at times, and He even knows the loneliness that comes with life, and that is one of the reasons why Christ walks beside us. He wants to be there to support us, to walk with us, and be the strength for us when we are weak. He desires to be our resting place and our guiding light. We can get nowhere fast without Him, but it’s only with Him, leaning against Him, can we make it to the expected end He has fashioned for us; journeying together and leading us to all those He desires for us to influence and share the Gospel to. Directing us, in His strength, to make to impact He designed our lives to make. 

So will you lean on Him, and journey with Him? Will you trust Him with your life and destiny, no matter the cost? 

 

All scripture passage were retrieved from, https://www.biblestudytools.com/.