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Inspirational Articles by Lygia Lovelace

 

Lessons Learned
by Brooklyn Lovelace

 

 

 

The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing Zephaniah 3:17.

 

Over the past year and a half or so, God has been teaching me so much about prayer, and about His love for me, and about what He wants to hear from me when I pray. This is one of my favorite verses because it gives such a tender picture of the way that God cares for us. It tells us first of all that God is with us, and He is mighty to save.

 

Before my dad became the pastor of First Baptist Church of St. John, he was unemployed for a year and a half. During that time, prayer and trust took on a whole new meaning for me. God taught me to trust Him for literally everything. He taught me that He is always there for me, and that all I had to do was tell Him my need and simply trust Him to provide without worrying or being afraid. It was not an easy lesson to learn, but He came through every single time we were in need, and I learned to depend on His faithfulness.

 

God is always there for us, and He is always able and ready to save us when we are in need or in trouble. He is mighty to save.

 

The second thing that verse says is that God will take great delight in us. Another one of my favorite verses is Isaiah 63:9, In all their distress He too was distressed, and the angel of His presence saved them. In His love and mercy He redeemed them; He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

 

God has taught me that what concerns me concerns Him. He cares about my feelings. He wants me to tell Him when I'm scared and ask for His help. He wants me to come to Him first when I don't know what to do. He wants me to tell Him when I am grieving and let Him cry with me and comfort me. He wants me to tell him when I'm hurt, and let Him hold me and remind me of His love for me. He wants me to share my passions, dreams, and plans with Him and let Him be an intimate part of them. He wants me to ask Him for the things I need and trust Him to provide them for me. He wants me to tell Him about my joy when something wonderful happens. He wants to be my best Friend.

 

Just as your father or closest friend shares in all of your feelings and all of the most important events in your lives, God wants to share in them, too. He takes great delight in you! You are His child. He wants to walk through each day with you.

 

One thing that I do in my quiet times is journal my prayers to God. I am very specific when I tell Him about a need or ask Him for guidance in a decision. A lot of times I will look back months later and see prayers that God has answered that I did not even realize! And He always works in a way in which I cannot possibly deny that it was Him who answered me.

 

When we first moved here, one of the very first things that I looked for was a voice teacher. I began praying for one the minute I heard that we were moving. I sat down in my quiet time one morning and wrote out a prayer to God telling Him what I wanted in a teacher. I was very specific in my prayers. I asked God to go before me and prepare for me a teacher who was a Christian woman. I asked for someone who had had good training and was very knowledgeable. I asked for someone who would push me hard and really stretch me both musically and vocally. I told God that I really wanted someone at Missouri Baptist University, because that is where I want to go to college, and I wanted to be able to try out the music program. And I also knew that voice lessons can get really expensive and I knew that money would be an issue. So I just told God that I did not know what to do and asked Him to work it out.

 

Well, I found a teacher online at the MBU website and contacted her. She said she would be willing to listen to me, but I got the impression that she was too busy to take me on as her own student. But she said she would at least listen to me.

 

Well, the day came, and I went and sang for her. She listened to me, and then looked at me and said, "So what exactly do you want?" I told her I really wanted a voice teacher for my senior year. And she said that she wanted to take me as her own student. She has turned out to be an amazing teacher. She is so knowledgeable and has taught me so much! She has pushed and stretched me and taken me out of my comfort zone. She is a Christian. She is a teacher at Missouri Baptist. She is everything I asked for in a teacher!

 

But God wasn't done yet. My new teacher looked at me and told me, "I want to teach you for free."

 

WOW! God answered each of my requests to the letter. When I looked back at what I had written, I was so amazed to see that He so lovingly gave me every one of my desires.

 

God really does listen to our prayers with His whole heart; He gives us His full attention when we pray. How amazing that we can talk to the God who created the entire universe, and how precious to know that He listens intently to our every word. God takes great delight in us.

 

So what should our response to God's great care and delight be? The answer is found in Psalm 37:4: Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.

 

God wants us to take great delight in Him!! He wants us to get to know Him through His word, to talk to Him, to seek His face and His heart! In our prayers, we must not only tell God about our needs and lives, but also let Him tell us about Himself. John 16:23-24 says this:

 

In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, My Father will give you whatever you ask in My name. Until now you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

God is not a magic genie. The purpose of our prayers is not to get Him to grant our every wish. There is so much more to knowing God than that! This passage from John says that God will give us anything we ask. Does that mean we can ask for anything we want, and He will just hand it to us? No! It says God will give us whatever we ask "in His name." He wants us to pray for more of His Spirit, to know Him more, to become more like Christ, to understand His Word. We delight in the LORD in the same way that He delights in us - we care about the things He cares about; we get to know how He feels about everything in our lives; we surrender our hearts to Him; we seek to become like Him. When we delight in Him, our desires become His desires. He will give us the desires of our hearts because they will be the desires of His heart. And the more we get to know Him, the more we want to know Him!

 

The verse in Zephaniah also says that God will quiet you with His love and rejoice over you with singing. God's love is unchanging. He will love us no matter what.

 

The everlasting love of God was displayed over and over in the Old Testament. One chapter of the Bible where it is evident is Jeremiah 32. Here, God is telling Jeremiah to proclaim His judgment upon the people of Israel and Judah. They have strayed from God and turned their backs on Him. Despite all He did for them, delivering them from the Egyptians and bringing them into the Promise Land, they still turned their backs on Him. He tried over and over to correct them, and they refused to listen. They went so far as to set up their abominable idols in God's most holy temple and defiling it. They even sacrificed their own sons and daughters to a false god. In this passage, God is furious with them, and He is pronouncing discipline on them.

 

You can hear the sorrow in God's voice. All He ever wanted for them was what was best for them. He wants to take them in His arms and love them, but they will not let Him.

 

But even in God's wrath and judgment, His love is still unmistakable. Listen to what He says at the end of this passage:

 

You are saying about this city, "By the sword, famine and plague it will be handed over to the king of Babylon; but this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety. They will be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul. Jeremiah 32:36-41

 

Even though they have done so much to hurt Him, God still loves them. And even while He is telling them that He must discipline them, He tells them that He will bring them back to their land and bless them once more.

 

What amazes me is that God does not say, "I will rejoice in doing them good once they have learned to be perfect. Once they stop making mistakes and sinning, then I will bless them."

 

God says that He will never stop doing good to us. He always rejoices to do good things for us. The Israelites do not deserve God's forgiveness, and neither do we. But He gives it freely.

 

Nothing you can ever do can make God love you any less. He longs to do good things for you, if you will but let Him.

 

God rejoices over us with singing and quiets us with His love; without condition. That is so much more than we deserve.

 

The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17


 

 

 

Copyright 2010 by Brooklyn Lovelace. All rights reserved. KenLovelaceMinistries.com




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