The Treasure:: God Within
I woke up early. Again. For a person who loves sleep as much as I do, you’d never know it based on how many times I keep waking up at 4:30am lately.
But, yet again, I woke up and, try as I might, was unable to fall back asleep.
Eventually, I turned the light on and grabbed my journal and started writing out my prayer. It started out like this:
“Lord, I am feeling overwhelmed. I feel like I’ve got too much on my plate and my heart feels too full to handle it all right now. I need You.”
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
Reading this part of the ancient prayer, so apt for the current status of my heart, opened my eyes. Yes— I am downcast right now. I am feeling ridiculously disturbed by so much of the heartache I am seeing in the world and experiencing personally. There are hard, painful things happening in my life and relationships right now. Yet, as the Psalmist encourages himself, I, too, can “put my hope in God.” I, too, can “yet praise him.” Despite it all, God is still God. And He is with me and has given me full access to Him and to all He has to offer me.
Earlier this week, a friend of mine taught our Bible study group about “the radiant treasure” in us all. She used 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 as the home base from which she taught and, through it, she reminded us that all of us who have chosen to follow Jesus have God Himself dwelling within us. He has put His Holy Spirit inside each of us. And His intention is that we would turn to Him and learn how to tap into the power and the light and the beauty and hope He has to offer us.
I see this concept again in Psalm 46:5, 7, 10:
“GOD IS WITHIN HER, she will not fall; God will help her at break of the day… The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress… Be still and know that I am God.”
God Himself is within us!! He is within ME! That is our reality. That is our starting point! The Holy Spirit indwells us and is vividly alive inside of us! He is the treasure that dwells within me and lights me up from the inside out.
And as I took all of this to God that early morning, this is what I discovered: I have accidentally been operating in self-sufficient, self-powered thinking for the last several weeks! Although I have of course taken my burdens to God and repeatedly asked Him for help and guidance, I somehow keep taking responsibility for everything upon myself and not actually letting Him be my true comforter, encourager, guide, and rescuer. I have been taking control of my own problems, thinking and acting alone, and, thus, I have grown weary because I am operating in my own power.
So I’ve made a decision: I am turning back to Him, just like it says in 2 Corinthians 3:16–18. I am writing down all of my thoughts, all of my burdens, and all of the internal messages I am hearing about how I don’t have what it takes to get through this, about how things are hopeless, about how frustrated I am at uncooperative, close-minded people… blah blah blah. And I am bringing it all to Him and asking Him for insight and for Him to FREE me and TRANSFORM me into what He wants me to be and how He wants me to act and react to everything I’ve got going on right now.
I’m feeling hopeful, y’all! I am so thankful that He is with me even when I lose my way and slip back into my old, self-sufficient (and inefficient!) ways.
Thank You, Lord, for meeting me in the dark, early morning hours. Thank You for your patience as You continuously reach out to me and offer me Your light, Your power, and Your unending, unrelenting love. I’m so thankful to know You and to have access to You. I’m so thankful that You are living inside of me and that You want to shine through me – despite my own inadequacies and failures and blind spots. Thank You, Lord. I love You. Amen.
[This is Day 22 of the Write 31 Days Challenge. This year my focus is on the role of STORY in our lives. Click here to get to the landing page with links to each post for this series.]
P.S. In gratitude to all of you faithful readers who have been reading along during this challenge, DaySpring is offering one lucky reader a $100 Shopping Spree to Dayspring.com! Click here to enter yourself.
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What about you?
When have you moved from ineffective, self-sufficient thinking to God-centered, God-surrendered habits? How does it make you feel to know that God Himself lives within you and wants to lead you, love you, and light you up from the inside out?
Please share your comments or your own story in the comment section below.