His Nearness; Our Good

This past Sunday at church we sang a song called “Bones” by Hillsong United. I was given the privilege to lead it for our congregation. A year ago I would have never even told you that I led a song for our church, rather, I would have just left it at the fact that we sang and I enjoyed it. However, over the past two or so months the Lord has really been doing a transforming work in my mind and when you see fruit from the transformation and taste a little bit of victory, it’s deeply satisfying. That is, the grace the Lord has poured out on you.

I’ve been discovering that when the Lord calls you to an area in your gifting to serve the body of believers He’s placed you in, timidity in entering into that calling out of fear is simply false pride. The gifts He’s given you are just that, gifts. You did nothing to earn it or even ask for it, so step into it with grace, confidence and a humility asking the Lord to accomplish in the Spirit what only He can. How much do we all miss out on simply because fear is holding us back? I’ll be the first to raise my hand and admit I’m so guilty. Lord, help us. And He does! I’m convinced that when the Lord transforms your thinking, it in turn transforms your serving.

Can anyone say rabbit trail? That’s is absolutely not where I was planning on going when I started writing this post, but it’s certainly what I’ve been challenged with lately so I’ll leave it in there and move on. Grin. (I’m feeling a little all over the place today.)

Originally, what I wanted to share with you these simple lyrics we sang.

Oh Jesus, Alive in me.

Short and sweet, yet simply profound.

Isn’t that what we’re all after? That Jesus would be alive in us each and every day?

That we would be different, think different and act different because today He was alive in us? I don’t know how I can tangibly explain that Jesus makes a difference, but He absolutely does, without a doubt. If scripture tells us that it is “to our advantage” that when Christ went away He would send us our helper, the Holy Spirit (John 16:7), then I want to press into that advantage.

In my obsessive, anxious mind, uttering the words Jesus brings me almost instantaneous peace. Only Jesus can do something like that.

“You can calm the ocean, speak peace into my soul. Take me as I am, awaken my heart to beat again.”

When I feel like my world is spinning out of control, the fact that my name is engraved in the palm of God’s hands is indescribable. Translation: He really does care for me greatly and deeply.

“In his hand is the life of every living thing
 and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:10

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” Isaiah 49:15-16

When someone disappoints me, I’m all the more reminded that Jesus is the ONE person that won’t disappoint me. He’ll never leave me or forsake me. Does that mean things always go the way I wished they would? No. That would be a far cry from reality. But I do know that the things I’ve always hoped for that have eventually let me down, He’s not only come through but exceeded those hopes and dreams.

Yes, Jesus, be alive in me.

I recently told my coworkers that worshiping through singing sets my mind in a posture to receive from the Lord and be content in His love.

I sense His love and his pleasure when I’m singing and worshiping. You might not know it from the outside (much like you might not know when I feel like I’m going crazy from the outside), but the way it brings a calmness and peace to my mind, the joy I feel from worshiping, is almost unmatched. It’s simply where I can feel His presence. And it is good.

I know enough to know that feeling His presence isn’t the basis of our faith, but I can tell you it’s important. When we learn to seek God and find Him in our own intimate way, I know He is pleased as well. I’ve well learned that I don’t get any pleasure out of knowing Christ intimately through the faith of someone else.

There are few things I can do that allow me to surrender my frantic thinking and enjoy the Lord’s presence. Reading a good book allows me to do this as well. It doesn’t mean I never worry again, but it’s in these moments that I can breathe a sure breath and know God really in in control.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I want more of His presence. More of His Spirit. More of His peace. More of His mind.

I don’t know where and when you most sense God’s pleasure and presence.

For some it’s singing.
Reading.
Worshiping.
Running.
Memorizing scripture.
Dancing.
Gardening.
Bible Study.

Whatever it is, wherever it is you feel most at home in the presence of God, I’d encourage you to find it, cultivate and practice it often. Finding Him as our refuge and shelter is of utmost importance.

You can ask my coworkers, I don’t go a day without listening to music while working in the quietness of my own office. And rest assured, nearly the minute I walk away from my desk, I’m either humming or singing something. It’s true. And maybe annoying. But it is for my good.

We know this to be true; the nearness of God IS our GOOD.

Oh Jesus, Alive in me.

Yes and amen.

“But as for me, God’s presence is all I need. I have made the sovereign LORD my shelter, as I declare all the things you have done.” Psalm 73:28 (NET)

“Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” Psalm 95:2

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93 Responses to “His Nearness; Our Good”

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Comments:

  1. 51
    Debbie, Jacksonville FL says:

    When my daughter was about 10 years old, her Sunday School teacher invited the class to share the gifts and talents God had given them with the class. So I told her to take all her swimming ribbons and trophies and show them to her classmates. She said, no, Mama, they mean things like playing the piano or singing a hymn. I told her God made her to swim fast and when she swims, she brings glory to Him. He delights in watching her swim, because he created her specially to do that.

    She still wouldn’t take her ribbons, but whatever gift he gave you brings glory and delight to him when he sees you use it!

  2. 52
    Lori Alana says:

    Lindsee, Thank you for sharing that! I too have been throuh a transformation and I’ve never experienced this kind of joy separate from my outward circumstances. My cup runneth over!

  3. 53
    Mary Kelso says:

    Love this post! I agree wholeheartedly, and even your “rabbit trail” fits perfectly. He made us to worship, if He also made us to work and play, then when we are doing what we are best at, it is our spiritual act of service, our worship at it’s best.

    My gift is writing, so without shame or pride I will quote myself here, “…instead, we act on what He built within us to express, sing the notes He so carefully scored into our hearts, live as He created us to live, this is worship.”

  4. 54
    Denise B says:

    Lindsee,
    What you considered as a rabbit trail was the thing I needed to hear most right now. I have been struggling in my gift, wondering why I am doing the things I am doing and this was the answer I needed this morning! Thank you for chasing rabbits!!!

  5. 55
    CaringCatLady says:

    Dear Siestas, today marks the 10 month anniversary from when my nephew came to live with me to get a new start in life. Today marks 18 days of being him clean. God gives us tasks bigger than we can handle so that His strength will be made perfect in our weakness. The last 10 months have taught me how desperately I need Jesus and just how weak I am and how faithful God my Father is to me.

    We are not home free yet, but today we walk a different road. I feel like we have been in a boxing match for the fight or our lives and those white chunky things over there look a lot like my teeth with one figurative left hook and right hook after another. I feel tired and unsteady on my feet. As much as this is about transforming my nephew, it is also about what God has been doing in me. His work and His kingdom are rarely about the thing I fixate on. His work is so much bigger, so much more complete. I have a plan and a way that seems right in my own eyes and Jesus has something so much better. I know that is true, but it often does not look that way to me along the road of life.

    I know more hard days are to come, but today is a good day. A calm in the storm. A little rock in the raging stream to rest on and reflect upon just how much troubled water we have passed through these last 10 months. I hear the falls and rapids ahead, but they are for crossing another day. Jesus is good. Jesus is faithful. Jesus is my refuge. Today I am calm enough to notice what is real everyday in both good times and bad.

  6. 56

    I can’t remember a time when I’ve longed for nearness to Him, and for heaven more. I’m not sure I can describe it, but it’s like our world is begging now more than ever for His presence. Thank you for this post. And I really love the simplicity and truth of that song too. One of my favorites.

  7. 57
    Gwen says:

    Beautiful! I, too, feel most completely in God’s presence when I am activiely engaged in worship through song. It is a special time of closeness and complete focus on Him. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  8. 58
    Sandi says:

    That wasn’t a rabbit trail at all, Beth! Totally spot on.

    Thanks.

  9. 59
    Mimi of Six in Al. says:

    Lindsee Thank you that was spot on. I also love singing, praising and worship. I do it in car all the time. I hate to say you would not like to be in the car with me. I am tone deaf. Rhythm not so much either. I believe God thinks it is a joyful noise. Sorry I got carried away. Thanks for sharing and all the great scripture today.

  10. 60
    Shirlea says:

    Oh, sweet Lindsee, you have done it again. Or rather, God has worked again through you, His faithful servant. This was, again, such a well-timed post, and God knows how many of us needed to hear these words. I am reading your post today with tears running down my face. You said it all.

    Never forget that you are exactly in the right place, at the right time, for this time.

    Your heart for Jesus is contagious, precious girl.

    • 60.1
      Lindsee says:

      Shirlea, thank you for your really kind words. They encouraged my heart today more than you know! Blessings on you, Sister.

  11. 61
    Coral Noble says:

    Coral in Jacksonville, Florida

    Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.

    Galatians 6:5 Message

  12. 62
    Cindy says:

    all i can say is amen. singing in worship is one of the primary ways i feel gods presence.

  13. 63
    Pat says:

    Thank you, Lindsee! Several things you said really spoke to me. Recently I have been establishing a new daily prayer/study time. Sometimes it is hard for me to get “centered” and ready to receive what God has for me (aka-listening). I have found listening/singing with praise & worship songs really pull me into a spirit of worship. Mine is a joyful “noise” for the Lord! I know He welcomes it by the way my heart feels when I sing.

  14. 64
    Lynn says:

    As a child, my favorite part of church was singing hymns. I sang loudly and enthusiastically, even if I sometimes used the wrong word. (“Bringing in the sheaves” became “Bringing in the sheeps”.)

  15. 65
    Pam says:

    Thank you so much for this post. It was exactly what I needed today. Often times I get caught up in “doing life” and forget to do the very things that put me in His presence. Your post was a blessing.

  16. 66
    Pam says:

    Thank you Lindsee, I too love music and even as I was reading your post today I had music playing on my laptop. It is playing in my car when I drive as well. I listen to it everyday. It is a source of great comfort and brings me near to God and I love it. I agree with you that God has given me this gift to use for His glory and I LOVE to sing and have been singing for most of my life. I am blessed when I can sing and I know that God delights in the praises of his people so I sing loud and proud and I am not ashamed to do so!!!

  17. 67
    lynda rickey says:

    Lindsee, Thanks for the words of encouragement. I feel such peace when I am singing praise and worship too. For me there is no other place that stills my mind and opens my heart to such a degree as praise and worship time. I truly believe God and His thoughts toward me and find relief. Love ya, Lynda

  18. 68
    Tanya says:

    I think that life is a lot about what we don’t feel. We had to have felt it or known it at some point. And this is why a knowledge of God is so needed. A biblical base. And a personal base. What has God done. Then when you can’t see what is going on you have the testimony. And the testimony is where his presence is. And this is also where victory is. Exodus 16:32-34. Revelation 12:11

    God’s word to me last night. Thought I’d share. Its in line with what you’re saying.

    As to enjoying God–nature. I know its almost hokey…everyone says it. But seriously a vast mountain range, an ocean, a thunderstorm in your own back yard. God.

    • 68.1
      Lindsee says:

      I so agree, Tanya. A knowledge of God and His word is essential. The feeling won’t always be there, as we said. But He knows how to delight in each and every one of us! Blessings!

  19. 69
    Phyllis says:

    This is one of my all time favorite songs. It came out after my mom passed away and got me through the grief.

  20. 70
    Carrie Harpell says:

    Carrie, Burnsville, MN

    “The Lord your God is with you,
    he is mighty to save.
    He will take great delight in you,
    he will quiet you with his love,
    he will rejoice over you with singing.”
    Zephaniah 3:17 NIV

  21. 71
    Alison says:

    Lindsee you are a kindred spirit. Thanks for sharing your heart with us! And keep singing!

  22. 72
    Michelle W. says:

    Hi
    I want to thank you for this post. I have been a single parent for 5 years. I have learned to lean on God for everything. It’s been a journey as my husband passed away from cancer. I am trying to get back to living with my heart as it was easier at first when I was grieving. But life becomes “normal” again.
    Thanks for the encouragement to keep praising HIM through the storms!

  23. 73
    Kathy says:

    It is a blessing to hear you and others as they comment on how they experience God’s fullness and nearness through their gifts and talents and other ways in our day to day routines. I remember in the movie Chariots of Fire when Eric Liddell, the missionary to China who was also an Olympic Champion in track, told his sister, “When I run I feel God’s pleasure.” I feel His pleasure when I write, and other times too but that one is very special to me.

  24. 74
    Janel says:

    Thank you for this, Lindsee. I so needed this today. It’s been a busy, dry season and this post was so refreshing.

  25. 75
    mary g. says:

    Dear Lindsee,
    I already responded to this post when it first came out. But as I read it again this morning it nourished my soul. I have struggled with knowing God’s purpose for my life. I thought I knew, marrying the man who had been my best friend almost all of my life. Today on what would have been his 51st birthday..Do you think they have birthday parties in heaven? Grin. I pray that that I will honor the Lord in all that I do and that I will fulfill His good purpose as a handmaiden of the Lord for the rest of my days. I do so hope I one day get to hear your beautiful voice one day lifted in song glorifying God. That would be a privilege. Lord Bless You.

    • 75.1
      Lindsee says:

      Oh Mary, I pray the Lord delights your heart today in a way that you know can only be from Him. Much love, Sister.

  26. 76
    Meschelle says:

    Thanks for this post. I so enjoyed your rabbit trail as I am on a similar journey, conquering my fear and using the gifts that God has given me for His glory alone. Thanks for sharing your vulnerability with us!

  27. 77
    SteveSeelig says:

    Wow! Bless you today! Your words were so well-stated. You blessed me in so many ways….I needed this today. In fact, you rained on my desert. We KNOW God is Big and He does Big, Big Things. Keep it up. I am the beneficiary of you and your ministry partners love, prayers, devotion, and energy. I am a miracle today and you are on my healing team.
    Blessings! Blessings! Blessings!!
    Papa Steve

    See you soon hopefully.

  28. 78
    katiegfromtennessee says:

    Lindsee, so what I needed to hear today, perfect, right on Sister.

  29. 79
    Cindy says:

    Lindsee,

    thanks for this good word.

  30. 80
    Dusti Pugh says:

    Dusti Pugh, Carthage, TX

    (06/15/2013)

    Psalm 73:26 NIV

    My flesh and heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

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