I pray you had a very happy and blessed Christmas and New Year.
Our family was very blessed to spend Christmas in Canada this year where it was very cold and snowy. I want to encourage you at the start of this new year with a little story from our trip.
We were at a ski resort in Canada, where the temperatures, even by Canadian standards, were unusually cold. Day time temperatures were averaging around (minus) -20 degrees Celsius (-4F).
We found it very difficult to ski in temperatures so cold and would have to stop after 1-2 hours of skiing to come inside, have a hot chocolate, some food, warm up and then go again.
There was one day that we were skiing and we only had an hour or so left before we had to pick up our youngest son from ski school. My husband and older son had been skiing on the far side of the mountain where I had not been and suggested that we had enough time to have a quick ski over there before we had to be back.
The only problem was that as we headed off, as so quickly happens in the mountains, the weather started to turn. Dark, angry clouds came over, it became windy and the visibility became very poor.
This past month or so has been a very busy and emotional time for our family. Our eldest son recently sat his final high school exams, which as many will know, is a busy and emotional time for the whole family as you go through the ups and downs of their exam experiences, and as a parent come to terms with a child leaving school and becoming an independent adult.
During this time, my father-in-law became unwell and sadly passed away. We are thankful that he lived to the ripe old age of 95 and that he loved the Lord Jesus with all his heart.
After having a great first half of this year, I have found this latter half to have been much tougher. I have heard quite a few friends express a similar sentiment. Maybe your year has been a bit more difficult than expected too, or you have been, or are going through a difficult season, I just want to encourage you this Christmas season to “find yourself in the shadow of the almighty”.
Psalm 91 was my father-in-law’s favourite psalm and I have found much peace, comfort and strength in meditating on it these past few weeks.
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge
and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart”
During busy and tough seasons sometimes things are happening so fast that we don’t have time to properly process them and I find an accumulation of things begin to build up in your heart – not necessarily bad things but just the “stuff” of life.
One of the beautiful things about meditation is that it allows you the opportunity to process the things that are happening in your life on a daily basis. We can give our “stuff” to God and He helps us to understand, process, forgive, let go and heal. But when we are very busy, worn-out, or going through a particularly difficult time we may not be able to process these things as fast as they are happening and an accumulation begins to grow in our heart.
And we find that we are longing for a good, long, one-on-one time with God to clear it all out.
I sat down in my meditation room one morning recently to do just that – have a good, long, one-one-one time with God and I thought about how we often talk about the Holy Spirit coming like a flood or “flooding our soul”. That’s exactly what I wanted. I wanted the Holy Spirit to flood my soul and wash away all the harsh things of life that had been so painful for my soul.
But the thought occurred to me; in the natural a flood leaves disaster, devastation and mess – especially if you are not prepared for it.
I would definitely NOT say the Holy Spirit leaves devastation and disaster but I would say that having a powerful encounter with Him often results in our having to clean up and get rid of some mess from our life. This is a good thing – the clean-up; getting rid of mess.
I realised the Holy Spirit was speaking to me about cleaning out the clutter that had accumulated in my heart and life. Not necessarily sin (although when I sort through I might find some of it is sin and I need to deal with that too) but just the mess that accumulates in busy-ness. I’m talking about heart issues – things that we haven’t had time to deal with or process; things like hurt, pain from things not working out the way we had hoped, sadness, disappointment, stress, anger etc.
When you’re busy and tired and don’t have time to deal with, and process heart issues they accumulate and at some point we all need to take time to sit with God and clear it all out.
There is nothing more soul restoring than just sitting and resting with God in His presence allowing Him to help you clear out the clutter and mess that has accumulated. And once you take the time to stop, be still, breathe and rest in the shadow of the almighty, He will go to work on your heart… healing and restoring your soul.
You will come out of your meditation time feeling much lighter, free, peaceful and calm. Our world becomes “right” again when we re-centre ourselves on Him.
I pray that this Christmas season, especially if you have had or are having a difficult year, that you would find yourself in the shadow of the almighty (Psalm 91); find a moment, maybe even today, just to sit, breathe and be still in His presence… because there is healing in His wings (Malachi 4:2).
God bless and praying a very happy and blessed Christmas for you and all your loved ones,
Today I wanted to share a quick reminder and a quick encouragement with you about what to do when we get in the situation where we are anxious about a problem because there doesn’t seem to be a solution and your mind gets stuck on trying to work it out. And no matter how long you think about it your mind just seems to keep going round and round in circles with the same ideas that don’t work.
When you find yourself in this situation, don’t forget to let the Holy Spirit have His say. Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to solve the problem and so stressed about not being able to find the answer that we completely forget to stop and see what God has to say.We are all guilty of this, myself included. Our minds race from one thought to another about how we could fix this and nothing seems to work and the more we are unable to solve the problem the more stressed, anxious and focussed on the problem we become.Sometimes it helps to be reminded that God has an answer and it just takes for us to stop and be still and make some space to hear Him.
This happened to me recently. I got so caught up trying to solve a problem that I kept going over the same two possible options over and over but neither seemed to work and I was driving myself crazy going round and round in circles.
That’s when I realised that a “God-answer” won’t come to me when I’m anxious and distracted because when you’re anxious your mind is not open to creative ideas coming to you, or in other words, the Holy Spirit speaking to you.
And just a side note – one of the ways the devil tries to keep us from peace and from our meditation time with God is by distracting us with issues that we feel the need to think and worry about.
I have learned that when we get into a situation like this, the best thing to do is let go of all of our own ideas about how we could fix it, let go of anxiety, breathe… and wait on God. A creative idea will come to you when you are relaxed and open and you will hear the Holy Spirit when you are not striving to find a solution.
When you relax and let the problem go to God your mind becomes open to ideas you have not thought about before. It’s like my dentist said to me once when I was clenching my teeth – he can’t get in and do the work properly if I’m tense.
Ideas and thoughts from God can’t get into our heart and mind when we’re tense and anxious.
So here are three things that I have learnt help me to stay in peace and hear from God when I am feeling stressed and anxious about solving a problem.
Deal with fear
Usually when we are anxious about something it is because we are fearful about what is going to happen if we don’t find a solution. I had allowed fear to get into my heart when I became anxious about the problem and it is almost impossible to hear God’s answer when we have fear in our heart. We need to get rid of fear by giving the problem to God and trusting that He has an answer for us.In my case I realised I also needed to ask God to forgive me for not allowing Him to lead me in the first place. I had got myself in the predicament I was in because I had acted out of fear instead of waiting and listening quietly for His leading until I had peace in my heart. When we make decisions and act out of fear it always makes things worse.It was a great lesson for the future to not act of fear but to listen for God and wait until I had peace in my heart before acting on something.
And the second thing that we need to do in a situation like this is to “stay present”. If you’re so busy and distracted by the problem that you are not “present” then you’re not in a good place, especially for making decisions.Being present is powerful. I have a saying about meditation – and that is “Be still, be present, and be aware of God’s presence”. It is not just a quaint little saying – being present is a very powerful thing that protects us against distraction, which causes fear and anxiety.Don’t be tempted to become distracted by the problem. It will only lead to fear and anxiety.Being present keeps you in peace and stops you from wandering (or running) into distraction. When I was trying to find my own solutions I was not present. I was caught up trying to find the solution. I was researching all the ways I could try and solve this problem but it only made me more anxious. Being present brings you back from that. It is powerful to practice being present in all our everyday moments of life and not just in meditation.
Empty yourself of your own ideas, thoughts, plans and solutions
And lastly, we need to be completely empty of our own ideas, thoughts, plans and solutions and we need to be completely still to hear God’s voice. It’s not just about a solution, it’s about hearing Him.His solution might be the complete opposite of what I was expecting but I won’t hear it if I’m fixated on the only ideas that I can come up with.Come to God in your meditation time and present your cares to Him, having no preconceived ideas about the outcome and allow God to have His say. Just like Philippians 4:16 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God”.Then wait on Him for His answer. Come to Him and be still, not anxious and striving and wait patiently for Him. The answer will come.
Psalm 40:1 – “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry”
So if you have been striving to work out a solution to a problem this week, I encourage you to let it go, be at peace, spend some time just waiting on God in stillness and He will bring a fresh idea, the perfect plan or thought to you that you would not have otherwise thought about. Let the Holy Spirit have His say. His ideas, plans and solutions will always be so much better than ours.
And if the answer doesn’t come immediately don’t become anxious about it, His timing will be perfect if we stay in peace. Just keep waiting and trusting and He will bring the answer to you.
I’m praying that this helps you this week. I will leave you with a couple more scriptures to meditate on. I encourage you to use these in your meditation time to help settle your mind if you find yourself striving over a problem.
Psalm 37:7 – “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him”
Psalm 27:14 – “Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD”
Psalm 62:5-6 – “Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”
Remind yourself of this verse every time you feel fear start to rise – I will not be shaken!
Praying you have a peace-filled and God-blessed week.
In the last blog post called “Peace. Be Still” I talked about finding peace through coming to God and letting go of our worries and cares and focusing on Him.
I want to talk about that a little bit further today. I want to share something I have learned about letting go. It’s not necessarily easy but brings incredible peace, release and freedom to our hearts and minds.
I had a situation recently where I had become quite anxious about something. I knew I had to let it go and leave it with God.
I shared last week how in times like this we need to go into our meditation time and focus on God and stay there until peace comes and fear goes.
But what about when it’s something that we really want to work out a particular way. Something we have our hearts set on; something we really need or want to happen. But maybe it’s not in our control. Maybe it’s in the hands of another person. Maybe we are anxious about getting a new job, or something we really have our hopes set on. Maybe we just need someone to make a decision that will go in our favour.
And we have no peace about it. We’re anxious and we’re hoping and we’re praying. This week I want to talk about how do we let go of that and keep peace in our heart?
This was the situation I was in recently. I was finding it very difficult to concentrate in my meditation time because I was anxious about a decision that I very much wanted to go in my favour but was in the hands of another person.
Well God is so good. He teaches us hard lessons in the most soft and gentle way. And what He taught me through this trying time was about surrender.
Surrender is the pathway to freedom and peace.
Sometimes I get so worked up and anxious about trying to work things out and I realise the lack of peace is not because of the problem it is because of my inner striving to work things out.
That’s when the Holy Spirit taught me to come into my meditation time and pray “Lord, not my will but yours be done. I surrender to the process. I surrender to the growing and maturing that you are doing in me. I surrender to what you want to teach me through this journey. And most of all I surrender to the outcome”.
Jesus taught us this so beautifully when He prayed about the situation He was in “Father if you are willing remove this cup from me” (Luke 22:42) and then in perfect surrender followed it up with “yet not my will, yours be done”.
I call it sweet surrender because it’s hard at first but when I give up my will for His, sweet beautiful peace replaces the striving and anxiety in my soul.
This is what I learnt letting go really means – this is what will bring true and lasting peace. We have to let go until we reach a point that we are no longer fixed on having a particular outcome.
Trusting God is letting go of having your heart set on a particular outcome. It is being prepared to go wherever He leads even if it’s not the way we thought it should be.
If we are anxious about something working out a particular way then we will never have peace unless that things happens. But if we can reach a point in our meditation time of being able to say “God I leave it with you. I surrender to the outcome because I know you work things together for good for me, your plans for me are good, you never leave me or forsake me, I trust that no matter what happens, you are good”.
True trusting God is not trusting that He will work things out the way we want them. True trusting God is being prepared to go with the process and letting go of our desired outcomes.
Peace and freedom come when we surrender the outcome; when we reach a place where we can say the outcome does not matter. It does not matter if it goes this way or that way because I know that no matter the outcome, God is with me, God is for me and God works all things out for my good. He does not always work things out the way I want them but He always works things out for my good.
You might be thinking but it absolutely has to work out this particular way as any other way would be a disaster – there are no other options. That’s where faith and trust come in. That’s where we need to learn to say even if the worst happens God will still work it out for good. When we let go of the fear we hold in our heart, release the controls to Him (because let’s face it we can’t do as good a job as God anyway) and when we hand that thing over and say “yes God you can have it. I trust you” that’s when peace comes.
And when we can stay in that place of being able to say “you know what, the outcome doesn’t matter to me” that is when it no longer has a hold of you.
Are you inwardly striving and in turmoil about something? Do you need to surrender to His plan, His will or His timing? Surrender the outcome. It will bring you so much peace if you do.
Praying this helps you this week. God bless, and look forward to seeing you next time.
Sometimes people ask me what is the difference between prayer and meditation. I usually answer that prayer is about us talking to God and meditation is about stillness and about making space to be with God and God speaking to us.
This is true but there is also a difference in our mindset. There are many types of prayer but often prayer simply becomes about getting something from God, whereas meditation is simply about being with God.
This sounds like a minor difference but is actually massively different. In one we come to God anxious and with all our requests, desperately hoping God will do or change or fix something for us. In the other, we come to God (not necessarily peace-filled to begin with) but our focus is on Him until the point where we are no longer anxious and we are able to say “God, I let all other things go, because I know you will work it out and I simply want to enjoy being in your presence”.
This is what meditating on God is about.
In Mark chapter 4 verse 39, the Bible tells the story of when Jesus was in the boat with His disciples in the middle of a storm. Jesus stood up and said “Peace! Be still!”
It is generally understood that Jesus was speaking to the storm, which is true, but I can’t help thinking that He was also speaking to those on board the boat.
Their hearts had become panicked and fearful. With authority Jesus commanded the storm to be still and with love, compassion and comfort He spoke to their fearful hearts.
The Pulpit commentary on this verse likens it to the storms of the soul.
If you are feeling panicked and fearful about something at the moment, I know Jesus is saying to you “Peace, Be still”.
But how do you really do that in the midst of the storms in your life and the storms in your soul?
That’s where meditating on God comes in.
If you have been following my blog for a while you will have heard me say that sometimes our prayers simply become a case of us blabbing all our fears to God. And this is not good because God is not activated by fear. God is activated by faith.
That is when it is better to come aside with God in peace and stillness and instead of focussing on the worries and troubles that you have, set them aside for a while to focus on God. My favourite scripture for doing this is Colossians 3:1-3.
I come into my meditation time and still myself internally and externally and remind myself of this scripture.
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God”
Instead of focussing on my worries and problems, I spend my time in meditation focussing on Jesus. I set my eyes, heart and mind on Him.
And I stay there until peace comes and fear goes.
Alicia Chole (a well-known Christian author) calls this “Periphery Prayer”. She says that if we hold our worries and fears behind us it is denial, if we hold them in front of us then we are hyper-focussed on them. But if we put them to the side and look up to Jesus, then we are not denying they are still there but our eyes are on the One who can give us peace and bring peace to the situation.
Before Jesus spoke those famous words “Peace, Be still!” His disciples were in a state of fear and panic. They said to Jesus “Teacher don’t you care that we are going to die?” because it seemed like Jesus was not doing anything about the storm but I have found that it is only when our hearts are in a state of peace that Jesus then speaks to the storm around us and says “Peace! Be Still!”
It is only when we come into His presence and set aside our fears and worries and focus on Him; it’s when we say “I’m going to set those things aside that are worrying me and I am going to focus on God” that not only does peace come into our heart but answers are released too. This is because it takes faith to set aside our worries and trust that God will take care of things for us – and faith is what activates God. That’s when Jesus can stand up in the midst of our situation and speak to the storm and say “Peace, Be Still”.
Praying this helps you this week. Look forward to seeing you again next time.
Welcome to the God Centred Meditation blog. I’m Leah Bulfin. Thank you so much for joining us this week.
This week I want to share with you from Matthew chapter 4 verses 1-11. It’s the story in the Bible after Jesus had been baptised and He went into the desert for 40 days to fast and pray. The Bible tells us that during this time the devil tempted Jesus in three particular ways. I was reading this recently and doing a study on it and I came across this fantastic message from one of the famous Bible commentators, Matthew Henry.
I thought I would share this with you today because I found this very helpful. Matthew Henry says –
“Directly after Jesus was declared to be the son of God and saviour of the world, He was tempted. The devil tempted Him to despair of His Fathers goodness and to distrust His Fathers care concerning Him”
When I read that it immediately put into perspective for me that when we’re worried and when we’re anxious about things, really it is just the devil’s way of tempting us to despair of the Fathers goodness toward us.
And as soon as I read that I felt like I could put aside my worries and my cares because I was reminded that my God is so much bigger and so faithful; He has never let me down and He will never let me down and I never need to despair of His goodness.
I find it really helpful to remind myself of this – that when I’m feeling stressed or worried or anxious, not to despair of God’s goodness toward me.
Matthew Henry finishes this passage off by saying –
“Let us learn not to take any wrong courses for our supply when our wants are ever so pressing in some way or other. The Lord will provide”
I pray this helps you too. If you’re feeling stressed or worried or anxious about something and you come to your meditation time with God and you have that sense in your spirit of not being at peace, I pray this word will remind you to not despair of God’s goodness. He IS with you. He WILL help you and He will provide for you.
God bless you! I’m praying that you have a wonderful week.
Welcome to the God Centred Meditation blog. I’m Leah Bulfin, it’s wonderful to have you join us today.I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has responded to our email about the weekend retreat we are running in August. We still have the possibility of squeezing in one or two more people if you are still thinking about it. Just get in touch with us and let us know.
We have a lot of readers all around the world, so for those who are not able to join us this time I just wanted to let you know that we have plans in the near future to do some online meditation and hopefully you will be able to join us that way.
So today I wanted to share with you something that I hope will help you. Something that maybe you’ve experienced when you’ve come into your meditation time. This has happened to me on a number of occasions and even just recently.
I came into my meditation time one morning feeling very, very tired. I was extremely tired.
So one of the things I sometimes do when I meditate and I feel like I’m not really focussed and I want to find a way to help focus myself to come into that still, quiet place of God’s presence, I’ll sometimes start my meditation by meditating on a scripture – just to help focus my mind and still my spirit. It’s one of the tips that I shared in the “Finding Stillness” series, which I recommend that you go back and look at from time-to-time if you’re finding it hard to get into that still, quiet place.
So this particular morning I thought “I know what I need to do. I’m feeling really tired – I need to find a scripture about God’s strength”.
I found Habakkuk 3:19 and it says “the sovereign Lord is my strength” so I thought “yes that’s what I need to meditate on. I need to meditate on this scripture. I’m feeling so tired and that will really help me”.
So as soon as I started to meditate on that scripture, I felt the Holy Spirit say to me “you’re focussed on your tiredness, not on me”.
I was amazed. I thought – yes – that’s so true! I was really focussed at that point on trying to overcome my tiredness. The key to successful meditation and to being able to enter into the beautiful stillness of God’s presence where you just find peace for your soul and strength for your soul, is actually focussing on God – not focussing on our problem and not focussing on our need but focussing on God.
We need to be 100% solely and soul-ly focussed on God.
When we are completely focussed on God, faith is attached to that scripture and we’re able to say “He IS my strength” instead of having that desperate plea in my heart “oh God please help me through today”.
It makes such a difference to the strength that can come into our soul when we just let everything else go – even the things that we seemingly feel like we can’t control like tiredness. We let that go and we put our complete focus and attention on God and not on our problem and not on our need. And we’ll find that peace comes into our soul, strength comes into our being and it makes such a big difference to our whole day and our whole life.
So I just want to encourage you. I hope that helps you today in your meditation. I hope if you’ve come in but are feeling like “oh God I’m tired. I don’t know if I can get through this day” to not focus on that but to focus on Him. And He will give you all the strength you need.
God bless you. I really pray that helps you this week. If you find these blogs and videos are helping you, I’d encourage you to like and share with others, with your friends to share the good news with them as well.
Hi Everyone,Welcome to the God Centred Meditation blog. I’m Leah Bulfin and it’s wonderful to have you join us.
Today I want to share something that I hope will help you in your meditation time. It’s something I’m sure that we all experience from time to time, I know I do. And it’s that sense of when we feel like we can’t get into the presence of God. We can’t get past our mind.
I wrote in my journal one day that I come to God in meditation every day but some days my mind just doesn’t want to let me in.
That’s what I want to share about today. Sometimes in our meditation we can have such a wonderful time and we’re totally engaged and consumed by God body, mind and spirit. We can feel Him, we can hear Him, we’re experiencing Him and it’s the most wonderful thing when we’re fully engaged and consumed by God.
But some days it doesn’t feel like that. Some days I come in and it’s like my mind doesn’t want to let me into the meditation time. And I’m trying to figure what do I need to do – “I need start by letting go, I need to forgive, I need to ask God…” and it’s like I’m scrambling for all these ways to get past my mind and into my spirit space to be able to feel and encounter God.
What I’ve realised when that’s happening is that I’m trying to get into God’s presence in my own strength. And it never happens like that. It never works that way.
We are made up of body, mind and spirit and for the most part of our life we live in our headspace and sometimes it’s very hard to come back through the headspace and get into the heart-space, or the spirit-space, where God lives.
And sometimes we are so caught up in the head-space part of our life, it’s very hard to perceive what’s going on in our spirit-space. But what I have found is that when it’s hard to get through the head-space and I don’t feel like I’m connecting with God that actually, when we make space for God He always turns up. He always connects heart-to-heart and spirit-to-spirit with us when we make space for Him.
So what I’ve learnt in those times when I’ve felt like I’m struggling and I’m scrambling as I ask what can I do next to clear my head and get into the God-space is actually to do nothing; to stop, be still, take a breath and just rest.
And if I can’t feel it in my head-space it doesn’t matter. It takes faith – and faith is what pleases God too by the way – it takes faith to trust and believe that He will always meet with us. He says that “when you seek me, you will find me”.
So even though in my head I can’t perceive what’s going on, I know that something is taking place in my spirit. God is meeting with me, God is doing the work in my spirit and in my heart that I need. And do you know, my experience is that I always see the evidence of that in days to come.
I realise, yes He was with me, yes He was doing something in my heart. So I pray that helps you. I pray that if you’re coming in to your meditation time and you’re feeling like you can’t get out of your head-space. Your mind’s just not letting you through into the spirit-space, don’t be stressed about it just stop and rest and wait.
And just wait and if you don’t feel anything in the entire time that you’re meditating on God it doesn’t mean that nothing happened. In fact, probably something very powerful and very transforming took place in your spirit as you made space and waited on God.
So I pray that helps you. I pray that this week you have a really peace filled time just resting and waiting on God and not being worried about whether you feel anything or not or whether you’re experiencing anything. I know without a shadow of a doubt that every time we make space for God, He will turn up.
God bless you – look forward to seeing you again next week.
Welcome to the God Centred Meditation Blog. I’m Leah Bulfin and this week I’m writing to you from a retreat centre just out of Sydney where I’ve come away for the weekend to spend some time with God.
It’s something I highly recommend that everyone does from time-to-time whether it’s for a few hours or a day or a weekend – getting away and spending some time with God does wonders for your soul.
This week I want to share with anyone who is feeling particularly stressed at the moment. You feel like you’re striving and you’re tired but you’re just not getting anywhere. You’re working really hard; you’re putting in a lot of effort but you’re just not seeing the results in what you’re doing.
You probably wish that you were more like the person that Jesus talks about in Mark chapter 4 verse 20 where He says “the farmer sowed some seed that fell on good soil and it grew and produced a crop some multiplying 30, some 60 and some 100 times more than what was sown”.
This would be wonderful if our lives looked like this – if we found that instead of striving and working so hard and being stressed and tired we were able to sow and see the results of our efforts return 30, 60 and 100 times more that we sow.
Whenever I’ve read this scripture in the past, I have very quickly skipped over the parts where Jesus talks about all the other types of soil; He talks about the rocky soil and the shallow soil and He talks about the soil filled with weeds so that when the seed grows the weeds choke out the healthy plants.
I always quickly read over that bit and automatically put myself in the category of the “good soil”. I figure “I must be good soil because after-all I’m a Christian so I couldn’t possibly be any of the other types of soil”.
But what I realised is that the type of soil in this scripture is not a reflection of who we are as a person; whether we’re a good person or a bad person.
This scripture is a description of the condition of our heart. And all of us go through times and seasons where the weeds and the rubbish of life gets in and the soil has become worn down and unhealthy.
We might become like the soil that’s trampled down – you know, nothing can grow in compacted soil. Or maybe the depth of what we have to give has become shallow because we have given out so much of ourselves.
And this is what I’ve realised – in the past I have spent so much of my efforts on striving to produce a crop but what this scripture shows us is that instead working hard to produce the crop we need to work hard at keeping the soil of our heart healthy. Healthy soil produces the crop.
When the seed falls on good soil – healthy soil, it will produce a crop without our striving to make it happen. It will produce a crop 30, 60 and even 100 times more than what we’ve sown.
The most important thing is the condition of the soil.
I looked at the description of what is considered to be good soil – good soil is soft, it’s deep and it’s clean.
This really spoke to me about making sure my focus is on keeping the soil of my heart soft, deep and clean from all the weeds, rocks, toxins and rubbish of life, rather than focussing on trying to produce a crop in my own efforts.
In our efforts and our striving to do the things in life we have to do – the work we do, our relationships, the things we’re called to do, our ministry – whatever it is – it could be any area of our life, often times our focus is on producing the crop and we strive and we work so hard.
But what I’ve learnt from this verse is that our focus and our energies need to be on keeping the soil of our heart healthy. It takes a lot of weeding out the weeds and the rubbish; keeping it healthy; keeping the nutrients in so that we stay healthy and rested.
And of course we can do that through meditating on God; getting away and spending time with God where we make space for Him to do the work in our heart. Where He can refill us with the nutrients and the health that we need. He replenishes the soil that’s been washed away by the demands of life. Where He rests our spirit and heals us. Where we’ve been trampled down, He restores and re-strengthens us.
When we work on keeping the soil of our heart healthy rather than producing the crop and then the seed falls on that good soil of the heart it supernaturally – it’s how God works – will produce 30, 60 and 100 times more than what we’ve sown, more than the effort we put in when our focus is on keeping our heart – the soil of our heart – healthy.
But if we find ourselves in that place where we are struggling and striving and producing nothing that’s when we especially need to stop and take time and concentrate on getting the soil of our heart healthy; when we need to spend time with God to rest and restore the soil of our heart.
I pray this helps, inspires and encourages you. I pray that you are able to find some time to get away with God this week. I know it’s really helped me a lot this weekend as I’ve got away with God and spent time with Him to re-focus, re-centre and remember that’s it’s really all about the work of the heart.
God bless, have a wonderful week! Looking forward to seeing you again next week.
I’m Leah Bulfin. Welcome to the God Centred Meditation blog. I hope you’ve had an amazing week.
I just wanted to follow up on a video I shared a couple of weeks ago called “What to do when you’re feeling anxious”.
I want to share a little story that happened to my husband and I think many of you can related to this.
I shared the video and the message on “What to do when you’re feeling anxious” and I encouraged everyone to get away and spend some time with God. So that’s what my husband did. He had been under an enormous amount of pressure at work and was feeling that sense of anxiety in his spirit. That feeling when you don’t really know what it is specifically that you’re anxious about but there’s a feeling and a weight in your heart and in your stomach and you just can’t shake it. It’s an awful feeling.
So he was quite encouraged by the message that I shared that day and so after dinner that night he went away and got aside by himself in a spare room and spent a good … probably about an hour or so with God just letting go of the stress and the anxiety and the worry.
And he came out and he was really feeling great; really felt like he had got rid of that anxiety. His heart was filled with peace. The next day he went to work and was really feeling great about everything and feeling on top of it and really not feeling under stress… well he was under stress but not feeling the anxiety of that.
But then next day came and he said to me “I’ve woken up and I’ve got that feeling again”.
It was amazing because I had just been meditating on a scripture that day and so I want to share that for anyone else who has experienced the same thing – you’ve got away with God, you’ve got peace in your heart and then after a few days or so that sense of anxiety comes back.
I found this incredible scripture so I hope this encourages and helps you today too.
It comes from 2 Corinthians chapter 1 verses 8-10 and it says –
“We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure so that we despaired of life itself”
I’m sure that most of us can relate to that feeling “under great pressure” and we feel like it’s beyond our ability to endure.
Paul goes on and he says “in fact we expected to die. But as a result we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead” That’s how powerful He (God) is.
And then verse 10 – and this is the bit that I think is so fantastic and really helps us so much. Paul said –
“He has delivered us from such a deadly peril AND HE WILL DELIVER US AGAIN. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us”.
That word is just incredible. He has delivered us before. We’ve had times where we know that He’s been there and He’s got us through the times we didn’t think we could endure. We didn’t think we could get through. And here’s this scripture encouraging us to say that “He WILL deliver us again”.
So when that word goes from being a desperate hope and a prayer “God please help me” and we attach faith to it, it goes from being “God please help deliver me” it goes to being a word of “He WILL. He WILL deliver us again”.
Do you know I’ve found that often times our prayers can become a case of just blabbing all of our fears to God – and I say that with the utmost respect because I know that people are going through the most difficult of times.
Prayer is powerful and we should pray but sometimes we are just telling God all our fears and do you know, fear does not activate God. Faith does.
So when we get away with God and spend time with Him and we’re able to say “you know what God, I believe you. You’ve delivered me before and I know that you will deliver me again. Your Word says you will deliver us again”.
So I pray that helps you. If you went away and you were encouraged last time and it gave you a sense of strength and peace but yet that feeling has come back. That feeling – it might be stress, anxiety, whatever it is and you’re feeling overwhelmed I want you to be encouraged by this word “He WILL deliver you again”.
So get away, spend some time with God. Let that get into your heart. Let go of all your worries and cares and in your meditation time, meditate on that word “He will deliver me again”.
I’m really praying that helps and blesses you this week. God bless and I will see you again next week.
*My husband Jeff is my greatest supporter and encourager. I could not do what I do without his wisdom, encouragement and support. He has graciously allowed me to share his story today.