Blank Space

“When God brings the blank space, see that you do not fill it in, but wait.”~~Oswald Chambers

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“If you wish to be loved, love.”~~Lucius Annaeus Seneca
(BrainyQuote)

Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is uxorial, “of, relating to, or characteristic of a wife.”

Today is Pop Music Chart Day. So, to celebrate, I will give you this, the top 10, according to Billboard:

1. Hello, by Adele
2. Sorry, by Justin Bieber
3. Love Yourself, by Justin Bieber
4. Hotline Bling, by Drake
5. What Do You Mean?, by Justin Bieber
6. Same Old Love, by Selena Gomez
7. Here, by Alessia Cara
8. Stitches, by Shawn Mendes
9. The Hills, by The Weeknd
10. Like I’m Gonna Lose You, by Meghan Trainor featuring John Legend

There you have it.

The worship and prayer gathering, yesterday morning, seems to have gone very well. I don’t think I had much to do with that, other than simply being an available vessel. It might have gone a little too well, in fact, as we had to rush through the last prayer session to get finished on time. One downside of using the YMCA facility is that we are required to be completely out of there by a certain time. People were praying so intensely that we had to rush through the final session. But everyone seemed to be affected in some way by the gathering.

The rest of the day was mostly okay. We had a little bit of intra-family drama as we tried to decide where to have lunch. We wound up taking Stephanie home, going to Hoffbrau for steaks, and taking something home to Stephanie. That seemed to have worked out for the best, as Christi and I had a nice lunch with some rather deep conversation.

Today is Monday, and it’s back to the old routine. Except that we are doing the traditional new year’s starting-to-eat-sensibly thing again. Hopefully, it will stick, this time. We have plans to go to Fitness 2000 three times a week, and stop with the eating out and junk food. Personally, I have a goal to lose 100 pounds this year, which is totally doable.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah.
But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.
Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah.
Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD.
There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!”
You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 4

“The scattered experiences of the day–distress, indignation, trust, devotion, threat–are assembled in prayer and laid before God, after which the psalmist simply turns over and goes to sleep, joyfully and peacefully.”

How pleasant it would be to be able to do that every evening! This is how we should end every day.

“God of all beginnings and all endings, I bring all my unfinished business to you–everything that I started and couldn’t finish, all that I began but lost interest in, all that I began in hope and quit in despair. Make finished work of all of it, by your grace. Amen.

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “Why Cannot I Follow Thee Now?”

Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
John 13:37

“When God brings the blank space, see that you do not fill it in, but wait.” This is one of the most difficult things for Christians to do. Time and time again, I have worked with pastors and leaders who cannot do this. If God is not leading, we feel like we have to be doing something, so we make something up! But God has a purpose for those blank spaces. They may come to teach us about sanctification. Or they may come after a time of sanctification to teach us about service. “Never run before God’s guidance. If there is the slightest doubt, then He is not guiding. Whenever there is doubt–don’t.”

We should never act on the impulse of a feeling, even if that feeling seems to be lining up with what we believe God’s will to be for our lives. We should “wait for God’s time to bring it round. . . . When it is a question of the providential will of God, wait for God to move.”

Peter did not want to wait on God (see above quoted Scripture). “I will lay down my life for you,” he proclaimed. But Jesus knew Peter better than Peter knew Peter. “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times,” Jesus said to him.

“Natural devotion may be all very well to attract us to Jesus , to make us feel His fascination, but it will never make us disciples. Natural devotion will always deny Jesus somewhere or other.”

Father, bring me into something more than natural devotion. As I wait for you at the beginning of this new year, I pray that you give me the faith to wait. If there be any blank spaces, give me the courage and faith to wait for you to fill them.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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