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How to Spend a Day With Jesus

One of the spiritual disciplines we need most in this fast-paced world is the practice of silence and solitude. This practice centres us back to God and reorients us to see things from the Lord’s heart and will. We suggest finding a place where you can focus for half a day or a full day. The suggested guide below is based on Isaiah 55.

Listening Prayers: A Spring of Life for the Thirsty

“Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink… Come to Me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life” (Isa 55:1-3a).  God knows your weariness and burdens. Isaiah 55 supplies a guiding rhythm in four movements of prayer for you to grow in intimacy with God and find life.

Although some may be seeking guidance for a decision, you need not have a specific agenda.  Centering down, come away from your normal routines to listen to God. God knows your need and bids you to pray. Set aside your bible-study preparation or reading books for information for another time.

Start each movement with a prayer for God’s grace, biblical verses (from Isaiah 55, Psalms etc.), a spiritual exercise (e.g. thanksgiving), followed by an extended silence. Make space to hear God speak. Journal your thoughts. Silence forms a significant part of a prayer retreat.

First Movement: From emptiness to being filled with God’s love (Isa 55:3b-5).

God loves you immeasurably. You are hidden in Christ. You share in Christ’s Kingdom. You are co-heir as His beloved, which means “bestowed with His inheritance”.  Emptiness comes when you cannot see His inheritance for you.  Enter now into His Presence (His courts, His gates) through thanksgiving and praise. Recount His blessings. Spend time acknowledging God’s love revealed in the Scriptures, allowing that reality to strengthen you. Move from emptiness to beloved-ness.

Second Movement: From guilt to forgiveness and freedom (Isa 55:6-7).

Encountering God requires awareness of your unworthiness and God’s generous forgiveness. Acknowledge your failures in thought, word and deed, by what you have done, or failed to do. Confess sincerely, and confidently receive His mercy. The Spirit convicts but does not condemn. He liberates you from your burdens and draws you into life-giving freedom. Do not hold on to self-imposed false guilt, for God has already forgiven you.

Third Movement: From lies to redemptive truth (Isa 55:8-11).

True freedom is found in truth. The Spirit renews and transforms you as you engage and wrestle with His truth.  The deceptions from the world, the devil and the flesh cannot be managed, but must be removed and replaced with God’s truth. Meditating on Scripture, you grow to know Jesus as the Author of truth. Dwell on the truths that God impresses on you in your reading and meditation of your chosen text.

Fourth Movement: From aimlessness to joyful purpose (Isa 55:12-13).

This movement re-engages you in God’s world, recognising that God has ordained you for a specific purpose to play in His Kingdom. Discern to answer a specific call from God. Sense His guidance to go forward. Let the Spirit speak to you deeply, along with the peace of His presence. Guard your heart against self-glorifying plans and fears. Be prepared that where Jesus calls you, there is a shadow of the cross (Luke 9:23).

Finally, review what you have heard from God during the retreat. End in worship. Share your thoughts with a spiritual director, your spouse or a close friend.

Go with joy and be led by His perfect peace! To God be all the Glory!

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Daily Devo

Daily Devotional Journal

Scripture:
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Exodus 19:10-18
Thu, 19 May 2022

Meeting the Lord at Present

Observation:

What significant observations can you make about believers meeting the Lord in these two passages?

Deeper Reflection
AT “THE COMING OF THE LORD”, BOTH THE RESURRECTED and raptured believers will “meet the Lord in the air” (vv.16-17). It is our face-to-face meeting with the Lord. But we can meet the Lord at present while waiting for that future ultimate meeting.God came down on Mount Sinai so that His people may “meet God” (Exo 19:17). This God is an awesome holy God (Exo 19:16, 18). So God commanded Moses to “set bounds all around” for Israel to meet Him (Exo 19:12). There is now no more this setting of bounds, for we can meet God freely, quickly and easily. But be careful of the danger of familiarity breeds contempt. Who God is has never changed – He is still “a consuming fire” (Heb 12:29). What has changed – radically – is our access to God. Now, “we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus” (Heb 10:19). But still, “Guard your steps as you go to the house of God” (Ecc 5:1).God commanded Israel to “be ready” to meet Him (Exo 19:11, 15). “Be ready” is an act of the heart. Be ready with a cleansed heart: “let them wash their garments” (Exo 19:10, 14). Be ready with a consecrated heart: “consecrate them” (Exo 19: 10, 14). God required Israel to take three days to be ready (Exo 19:10, 11, 15). Our heart and who God is require the “three days”.The Coming Lord knocks on the door of our hearts that we may open it and let Him come in to eat with us and we with Him (Rev 3:20).
Application:

What changes do I need to make in my life regarding meeting the Lord?

Prayer:
Write a prayer to God as your response from your meditation on and application of the Scriptures.
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise
  • Pray for Outreach/Missions/New Life leaders: To have the hunger for meeting the Lord
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for those in need
  • Pray for self

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