Written by Craig Denison
Lately I've been sensing God calling me to a greater depth of silence. Too often recently our time together is filled my questions, my needs and as a result...my voice. Not to say that God doesn't love for us to talk to him. He absolutely does. But I've been getting tired of filling these precious moments with my voice. And I've been yearning to go deeper than my issues that I might find some peace—some rest for my soul.
So in response to this yearning I spent a few glorious hours at White Rock Lake in what had to be one of the prettiest winter days in Dallas history. It was sunny, 73 degrees and beautiful.
I carried into my time at the lake burdens I wouldn’t have known to voice had I even tried. It’s amazing how quickly the small stresses in life add up to feel so heavy.
Something about being in nature just helps quiet my soul. Romans 1:20 is so true, "For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” When I’m in nature I am always reminded of how simply God can proclaim his glory. Water simply being water declares the wonders of its Maker. Leaves rustling in the wind speak to all who would hear by simply doing what they were made to do. What peace God has for us if we will simply rest in his purpose for our lives.
So as I sat there silently it seemed like my ears could finally be attuned to the abundance of God’s voice. And in those quiet moments the Holy Spirit illuminated some beliefs I’ve been carrying that have weighed me down for far too long—things I wouldn’t have even known to talk to him about.
“Your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8).
Here’s what I journaled: “I feel like I am driven by a fear of failure. I look for an unchanging will from God because I don’t want to fail. The truth is that this life is supposed to be about love, about relationship, not success or failure."
The world teaches us that our value is directly connected to our success or failure according to its standards. God teaches us that we’re already loved beyond measure—that he loved us enough to die for us before we had a single ounce of merit to ourselves. Christ’s life, death and resurrection prove that God is all about relationship.
Since these quiet moments the Holy Spirit has been continually highlighting different areas in my life that I’m living for results rather that relationship. It’s amazing how these little seeds of the world can produce such nasty fruit. But luckily we have in God a tremendous Gardener. The Bible and the Holy Spirit are powerful in weeding out the lies, the beliefs that aren’t aligned with God’s heart.
What’s causing you stress today? What’s weighing on you? What shame, guilt or pressure do you feel? Where are you striving for value or affirmation? Know today that you are already a success in God’s eyes. Know that before he wants you to do something he simply wants to have your heart. There’s no more valuable act you could do today than simply letting him in.
May God grant us all an understanding of our own hearts through the Holy Spirit that we might walk in restored relationship with him.