Tag Archives: being still

Deuteronomy 23:15-27:10

In “miscellaneous laws,” I catch a glimpse of His heart.

For mercy and protection of others.  “If a slave has taken refuge with you, do not hand them over to their master. 16 Let them live among you wherever they like and in whatever town they choose. Do not oppress them.” (Deuteronomy 23:15-16, NIV)

Honor and glory. To honor your body and your life as a way of honoring God. “No Israelite man or woman is to become a shrine prostitute. 18 You must not bring the earnings of a female prostitute or of a male prostitute into the house of the Lord your God to pay any vow, because the Lord your God detests them both.” (Deuteronomy 23:17-18, NIV)

Kindness. Kindness within the family of believers. “Do not charge a fellow Israelite interest, whether on money or food or anything else that may earn interest. 20 You may charge a foreigner interest, but not a fellow Israelite, so that the Lord your God may bless you in everything you put your hand to in the land you are entering to possess.” (Deuteronomy 23:19-20, NIV)

Integrity, following through, trustworthiness. “If you make a vow to the Lord your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the Lord your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin. 22 But if you refrain from making a vow, you will not be guilty. 23 Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the Lord your God with your own mouth.” Deuteronomy 23:21-23, NIV)

I’m learning that when I listen to others, I learn so much about them. What fires them up. What they value. Where their heart is.

When I read through the Bible, do I rush to get through a passage? Do I skim for a key word? Am I looking for something for me? Something happens when I slow down; when I start a passage over because I know I was rushing; when I sit with the language and listen. Am I looking for a tidy checklist, or am I looking for His heart?

The Old Testament becomes so fresh when I sit and listen. I learn so much about God. What fires Him up. What He values. Where His heart is.

Father God, I don’t want to walk away from my time with you not learning more about you. I’m trying to be a better listener. I’m learning to shush my voice so I can hear you. What if I were to give you the silence and the space to tell me what you want me to know, instead of filling it with noise (people’s opinions, debates, commercials, music, or my own assumptions)? You are so patient with me. Thank you.

Courtney (66books365)

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Leviticus 24-25; Mark 1:23-45

I couldn’t hear God. I had gone to him, rushed and under pressure–sending out SOS prayer.

“God, I can’t hear you. What should I do?”

If I was lucky, I’d get the prayer out in one coherent sentence. Hardly waiting for the response. More often than not, it was a started prayer, interrupted by whatever demands straining for my attention.

“God, I have to give a reply soon. What should I say?”

I had a deadline approaching and an answer to give. I didn’t know what to choose, and my mind was overrun with my own thoughts of possibilities. I felt a little panicked. A little uncertain. A lot of desperate to hear from God. So I started setting up terms.

“Ok, God, how about this: if it’s yes, then how about I hear it loud and clear. Like from a separate source. Or if it’s no, you could do some highly unexpected miracle like (this).”

Still no response. I ended up moving forward in uncertainty. In fact, after my response, I felt a sickening second-guessing.

God, I didn’t hear from you. So I just moved forward because you didn’t tell me not to.

But as I think on it now, after reading about how Jesus spent time in prayer, I see that I was trying to get God to fit into my busy schedule.

35 Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. 36 Later Simon and the others went out to find him. 37 When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.”

38 But Jesus replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.” 39 So he traveled throughout the region of Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and casting out demons. Mark 1:35-39 NLT.

Everyone was looking for Jesus. He had things to do. But instead of grabbing prayer like a mid-meal snack, he sat down before his Father to be in relationship with him. No quick, abbreviated text-talk. He made his time in prayer a priority before his lengthy list of to do.

Lord, I didn’t hear your voice. And maybe it’s because I was too rushed with my day-to-day to stop and listen for it. Maybe it was because I was so busy listening to myself and my list of worries and what-ifs. Lesson learned. I think I might have heard you if I had taken the time to listen, instead of trying to have you fit yourself into my days and thoughts. I see now you wanted more for me–that time together, so I would be able to move on with peace and confidence–in you.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, ESV Through the Bible in a Year