near…

near…

“A woman in the crowd called out, ‘Blessed is the mother who gave birth and nursed you.’ He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’” (Luke 11:27-28)
What “word” are your hearing from God this week? Is there a prompting from his Spirit within you, nudging you in a certain direction? A verse, perhaps, that keeps resurfacing through different venues? What sacred declaration? Gentle revelation?
 
What word?

God’s Word tells us that we are blessed to hear such a “word” and then further blessed when we obey its prompting. It may come to us in unexpected ways and through all manner of godly allowance; but for me those “words” normally first arrive at the doorstep of my heart via the pages of Scripture; God, then, backs up his Word with many moments of earthly punctuation as I continue to meditate and ponder the depths of his revealed Scripture.

It’s not enough to just hold Jesus as a baby at Bethlehem; it’s not enough to walk the road with him to Calvary and watch him die. It’s not even enough to see the resurrected Lord ascend into the clouds. What is enough is holding all of God’s truth within our hearts, believing it, and then obeying it. Have you read it this week? If so, then I imagine he’s been prodding your heart along in a certain direction and making sure that you “hear” him as you go about your daily business. And so I ask you again… what word from God has become your word of meditation in recent days?

Mine has been “the nearness of God.” In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been reminded to consider just how near and close to me is the presence of God:

“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” (James 4:8)
“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” {Psalm 145:18)

As I’ve paused to consider the richness of such a promise, I’ve been moved to action. To come near to God, to call upon his name in prayer, to invest some time in the study of his Word, and to trust that with every intentional act of my heart will come his response–the fruition of his promise to draw closer to me.

God is near. Just near. For whatever that may or may not mean to you today, it’s certainly meant a great deal to me this week. Just thinking on that one word—near—has brought a rich measure of peace to my heart. I’m blessed to know the God who is near.

Now, to live what I know? To live the nearness of God? Well, that will be the measuring standard of truth revealed to my heart. I’ll keep you posted on that one.

What word has been your portion in recent days? I’d love to hear about it. As always…

Peace for the journey,
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PS: The winners of Joanne Kraft’s book Just Too Busy are Phil, Cindy C., and Pamela. Send me your snail mail, friends, at my new e-mail address: elaineolsen@live.com and I’ll mail these out early next week!


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26 Responses to near…

  1. The word that the Lord has brought to me time and again over the past few weeks has been unity.

    There are a couple of situations at church in recent weeks that have could easily lead to disunity so the Lord has been helping me battle going down that road by bringing verses about unity to my attention. So thankful for His exhortations and encouragement. Yes, He is near!

  2. Mine has been "persevere." And it's been tough – but I'm hanging in there.

    Love ya, Elaine.

  3. Elaine, thank you for this post. I love when you encourage us to really THINK about what God has been speaking to us. I tend to do my daily reading and say "that was good" then just go on with my day instead of really reflecting on what specific thing God was speaking to me. Anyway, the word that has been presenting itself to me more and more (not necessarily in my devotions) but just while listening to radio sermons or Christians is abandon. I want so much to live my life with complete abandon for God!! Now as you say..living it…

    Debbie

  4. Please forgive all my mistakes with spelling, words, etc. It's just been one of those weeks. Have a great weekend, friends.

    peace~elaine

  5. My word from the Lord has been "withdraw". Actually, it's been impressed upon me as "back off, dear one. I haven't made you Holy Spirit Junior." lol! I've had several things come up with my family and friends that make me want to step in and give advice, fix it for them, point them in the right direction, but the Lord has prompted me to mind my own business and let Him complete what He has begun in each of their lives without my interference.

    When I read your post about "draw near" I thought of this verse which I have posted at my blog: "Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. … But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works." – Psalm 73:25-28

  6. I love all these words! I sense that all of them could be applied to my life as well. Cindy, that verse is so dear to me as well. I'm glad you included it here.

    Unity, persevere, abandon, withdraw, near…

    Take a few minutes and think about how each of those words might be applicable to your life. A worthy "think" in my opinion!

    Love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ~elaine

  7. Ya Hoo! I win! Thanks!

    Oh Elaine, my word has been peace. "You will guard me and keep me in perfect peace when my mind is stayed upon You. I comit to You and lean on You and confidently hope in You" ~ Isa 26:3

    A lady in our community asked if I would be willing to facilitate a summer Bible study for her teenage daughter and her friends. I said yes but then never heard anything. Last week she responded that her daughter had changed her mind but she wondered if I would facilitate a Bible study with her and a friend instead. Two Christian women who have a desire to get close to God again despite where they have been. I have also open this up to another friend. I am so excited God has again open the doors for me. Pray for me as a leader with this group. I just want to serve and help others to know Him like we do!!!

    Love you friend~Pamela

  8. Obey would be my word. I have started blogging again…at His prompting. When I first started back (after much argument) I noticed that most of the people that were still coming to my blog (even though I had not written in 2 years) were being led there after searching the words "Jennifer Aniston's feet." Seriously, if you google image that…you will see my feet…with nail polish all over my toes.
    But I digress.
    I asked God, "Why on earth would You be wanting me to blog when all anybody even cares about is JA's feet?" He answered, "Do it anyway."
    So, I have been. Not a lot, mind you, but what He leads me to put down.
    Then only a few days after questioning Him, I received a comment on a blog post I did about Joanna in the Bible from a woman in India. She said, "Hi Amy! Your blog post on Joanna is still inspiring others in 2011! I found it searching about Joanna to teach a girls' Bible study in my home in India. The girls are all from Hindu or Sikh background. Later in the week I teach their moms the same lesson but with different applications.Thank you!"

    I was so humbled by that comment…especially after my argument with God. He's just interested in my obedience….the results are His to deal with…not me.

    So, I plow forward. I would love to tell you that I no longer question or argue, but that would not be true. I'm making progress though…and He's patient with me.

    Thank you for your encouraging words, Elaine.
    You and your words are a blessing.

    Much love,
    Amy

  9. Thank you Elaine. Your words usually line up with what God is saying to me! I love His timing!
    It reminds me to be still…that is what I am hearing…"be quiet and listen"…also, "ask me"…"ask me and listen for my reply – I will guide you".
    Bless you richly Elaine! In His Love!!!

  10. The word for me it 'Let~Go'. Let go of the past life that is no longer mine. I tell you Elaine, it is a formatable word that is caused such pain yet it is The Word of His Voice…….

  11. God gave me this word the other day,
    "But you are a shield around me, O Lord, you bestow glory on me and life up my head. To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill" Psalm 3:3

    I've had a rough few months and just knowing that God hears my cry is enough for me…

    Love to you!

  12. God's word to me is a sentence…I AM Here. During this seemingly neverending trial my family is going through, God is with us.

    That encourages me. We are not forgotten. He knows us, He remembers us, He takes note of us…as Jeremiah says.

    Sheryl

  13. I can't think of the word "near" and not have my mother & father come to mind. Their watchful gaze & loving devotion made for such a secure childhood. No doubt it's why I relish God's proximity; knowing how utterly He delights in us.

    "Focus" is a word I'm wrestling with right now. Many & varied are my ways & days – – and so unlike the routines and disciplines once so familiar to me as I mothered, or careered, or abided. Either I need new lenses, or some means of cleaning them of fog (synonymous with the PAC NW).

  14. Elaine,as always you encourage me and cause me to look within myself. No specific word has been jumping out at me lately. And perhaps that is not a good thing. I will be more aware as I read the Scriptures and study and maybe there will soon be a "theme" in my life also!

    Love you sister!

    Marilyn…in Missisippi

  15. Oh I love that you have written this. I have found myself day after day this week coming upon the word wisdom and how important this should be to me…truthfully, the Lord is still revealing Himself to me here and I am not sure what or where it will lead me. But I am open and waiting to hear and learn what He has in mind. This verse in Proverbs started my search…Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Nothing excites me more than to get a specific word or verse from Him. Hope you are having a wonderful week-end! HUGS

  16. my word this week has been that 'He is faithful'. With the tragedy in our little town that took the lives of 5 sweet Christians on their way home from church, His faithfulness has been my balm that has soothed my spirit. Keep us in your prayers as we have 4 funerals this next week and have a very busy schedule leading up to them.

  17. I cherish your encouragement to all of us to listen and to hear the word. I have had a lot of struggles the last few weeks, health issues and family issues and the word that keeps coming to my mind is my mantra…"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart." It's the best I can do for me and Him.

  18. Hi Elaine,

    I love how God gives us certain words at each season of our lives. Right now, He seems to be telling me that His grace is sufficient. As I step out into areas that make me uncomfortable, and as I face changes, I realize that I can do the things He is calling me to–through His grace.

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you at She Speaks! 🙂

  19. God has been whispering "rest" to me this weekend. But then…we just finished Vacation Bible School, so He knew I would need it! Desperately. Love to you, Elaine!

  20. Elaine,
    I have stepped away for a bit and don't hear what God's saying to me right now. Reading your post gives me reassurance, that He is near and I'm not as far away as I thought.
    It's good to stop by here for a refueling and refocusing.
    Blessings and prayers, my friend,
    Kelli

  21. Elaine,
    I needed this! Between reading your post and Jennifer's post, The Spirit of Truth, I know God wants me to draw near to Him.

    I've been wreastling with doubt and questioning God alot lately about 'who I am…really."

    I'm thankful that He brought me here TODAY!

    ~Tammy

  22. The word for me today is

    Matthew 11:28-30 NLT

    28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

  23. As I've been saying on my blog, the one thing that just keeps echoing in my heart is this: "Sharon, is it really JUST Me?" I suppose that would make my *word* – seek. I hear the Lord asking me to look for, to follow, to want only Him. To put aside my agenda, and just get to know Him.

    And in the process, He's coming near…

    GOD BLESS!