He Speaks - Part I
Amy Carroll

"She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. '…only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'" Luke 10:39, 42 (NIV)

I remember driving down the road with my verbose 3-year-old son riding in the back seat. He had been talking for quite some time, and this listener was getting tired. I broke into his monologue with a suggestion. "Anson, sweetheart, why don't you take a breath and rest a while?" With only a pause for my words, he blurted out, "But Mommy, I don't like to breathe. I like to talk…" and he continued his stream of speech. I sighed, chuckled and resumed listening.

Years later, that scene came back to my mind after a dinner with my friend Maggie. I had been listening to Maggie talk excitedly about the work God was doing in her life. She was a new believer, and she was experiencing the transformation of her life with wide-eyed wonder. Everything about her new relationship with God was fascinating and fresh. She emanated joy.

Although I was enjoying Maggie's passion, I started to wonder, "Where did my joy go?" I too could think of times when I had been consumed by watching and participating in the awesome work of God. I remembered mountain top experiences when I felt full of passion, fire and overwhelming joy. Yet here I was in the midst of one of the greatest times of kingdom building that I had ever experienced, and I felt empty, depleted and downright exhausted. "How did I get to this place?" I wondered to myself. I was teaching Sunday school, speaking and writing with regularity. God had opened doors wide for ministry, but my batteries were running low.

At the end of dinner, Maggie and I exchanged prayer requests. She gave me a few, and then it was my turn. I struggled internally with how real I could be. Maggie was a new Christian. Surely I would discourage her if I confessed a lack of joy and passion. God's still voice urged me to be transparent, though, and I found myself pouring out my heart in frustration. "I'm in God's Word every day as I prepare to teach," I explained to Maggie. "I'm always praying for the events and women where I'm going, but I feel wrung out and joyless. Please pray for me."

My sweet, wise friend looked compassionately at me for a minute before she asked an essential question, "When was the last time that you spent time reading the Bible and praying when you weren't preparing for something? How long has it been since you just spent time with God to enjoy Him?"

She had seen through all the spiritual rhetoric right to the source of the problem. Like my young son, I had been so busy talking to God—preparing, studying, delving, interceding, teaching, speaking—that I hadn't taken time to breathe in a deep breath of His Spirit. I hadn't taken time to worship God for who He is, to meditate on a juicy piece of His Word or to bask in His presence. In my drive to do all for an audience of One, I had forgotten to slow down and take time with the One I love.

Every day God reaches out to us with an incredible offer to spend time with our Creator and the Lover of our soul. Through prayer, Bible study and silence He faithfully fills us with His riches. We can walk away from time with Him full instead of empty; hopeful instead of despairing; peaceful instead of tumultuous.

After my discussion with Maggie, I chose to set time aside to just commune with God.

Preparation time was separate. God is faithful! Joy returned and my passion was stoked. Join me now…one…two…three…breathe deep!

Dear Lord, still my heart. Silence my voice. Open my ears and eyes. Help me to breathe in a deep breath of your Spirit. Only You are sufficient to fill me, and I long to find fullness in You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Come Along: The Journey into a More Intimate Faith by Jane Rubietta

10 Minutes a Day with Jesus: Growing in Your Love for the Savior by Jim Reapsome

Visit Amy’s blog

Application Steps:
Make a daily appointment with God. He will meet you there!

Reflections:
Do I see my time with God as one thing on my checklist or a pleasure?

How can I use time with God to know Him better?

Power Verses:
Psalm 84 1-2, 10, "How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty. My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked." (NIV)

© 2009 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.

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10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"To GOD be the glory for the things He has done!" I have been so touched and inspired by your message today.The last 2 weeks has been a emotionaly, fisically and mentally tiring for me and your devotional message has jut been a reassurance of what God has been trying to tell me:'Be still and know that I am God"

Anonymous reelani said...

Thank you so much for sharing your heart and feelings. I too have struggled with wondering "where is my passion and joy." It is such a comfort to know others share that same struggle from time to time. God Bless you for your testimony and faithfulness.

Anonymous Sally Ann said...

the verse has stricken me..."my heart and flesh cry out for the Living God" (1st)...it is then, after He cries out... that the Psalmist realizes that it is better to have 1 day in His courts than 1000's elsewhere...oh to breathe again...He is faithful and He is here...

Anonymous Andrea said...

You are so right, Amy! How we need to slow down and listen to the Lord speaking to us! Thank you for the beautiful reminder.

Love, Andrea

Anonymous Rani John said...

Better is one day in your courts than thousand elsewhere...Ps.84:10

What you said is absolutely true. We often forget the passion and joy we had when we first met God. Once we grow up in our christian life, satan makes us believe that we are doing a lot of things for the Lord and puts us in a routine and we miss the quality time that we spent with Him...Thank you so much for sharing your thought..God Bless

Anonymous melissa said...

Our church just started a movement of the body of Christ to "Draw Near: Never Be the Same". Our pastor has challenged us to seek God in a way we never have. Are we thankful for the gifts He gives, or for the heart of He who gives? I will be quiet and listen to HIM.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blessings to all Proverbs 31:10 women! Thank you for your diligence and patient to share with us the joy of serving Him.

Blogger Joan Davis said...

Ouch! This caught me right where I needed it.

Thanks!

Anonymous Jessica said...

Thanks so much! This was wonderful. I needed this. Why is it so hard for us all to be on fire for God? Pray for me and one another in this area.

Please pray for me in the morning, as my son will be starting kindergarten. I am feeling very emotional about this. Pray for Mason, please.

Blogger Marilyn said...

It seems much easier to focus on doing for God rather then just being with God and enjoying Him. Oh Heavenly Father help me to spend that time enjoying You.

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