Living in Bend, Oregon there literally thousands of places to walk. The one secret place you may not have heard much about is so incredible it can truly be called - life changing.
“And so I walk in the Lord’s presence as I live here on earth!” Psalms 116:9
The psalmist pours himself out in this psalm. Every season of the soul is depicted as you go through the verses of psalms 116. Is there a repeating theme?
Phrases such as:
I will pray,
then I called,
I can rest,
I believed in you so I prayed, and
I cried out to you
make up a repeating score to this psalm.
What else is noted? How about:
He bends down and listens,
He saved me,
He has saved me, and
all He has done for me.
The writer doesn’t just hang out with God in the good times and he doesn’t just hang out with God in the bad times. The writer understands that in all the seasons of the soul-good, excellent, bad, ugly, etc… God wants to converse and be our Friend, our Confidante, our Helper, our Protector, and the list is endless. God wants to be who we need Him to be. We just need to come to Him and express our need.
God doesn’t want a mental ascent from us with only a logical belief in His “God-ness.”
God doesn’t want an emotional explosion from us and then for us to walk away when we don’t feel as emotionally needy.
The Best Place to Walk in Bend, Oregon is… Walking with God.
God longs to be God in and for every season of our soul. He longs for an honesty in our relationship with Him. He longs to “walk” with us. To be the air we breathe. He longs to cause our earthly walk to be “unearthly” because we know what it means to bring “heaven to earth” as we call on and come to Him in prayer.
Let it be said of me, “Oh Shanda? Yes, she truly walked with God!” Let that be said of us-because we know what it means to live honestly before the Lord with every different issue, concern and emotion of our hearts.
Let’s accept His invitation today to walk closely with Him.
Let our hearts cry, “God, yes!! YES!! Cause us to walk closely with you this very day!”
What would it be like to not only have been greeted in this incredible fashion -
“GREETINGS, FAVORED WOMAN!! THE LORD IS WITH YOU!” Luke 1:28 and have the words come from an angel?
As I look out my window in Bend, Oregon and ponder the birth of Christ this Christmas season, I’m struck by the favor that Mary walked in. She initially was caught off guard by these words and by this kind of grace. As the story unfolds, she becomes more comfortable with the truth of these words. She starts to see how she is indeed set apart for this particularly unique purpose of carrying the Savior of the world in her body.
Don't Fear Blessing is Coming Your Way
The angel continues his conversation, “Don’t be frightened, Mary…for God HAS DECIDED to BLESS YOU!” Luke 1:30
How on earth?
What positioned her to receive in such an incredible way?
Is this kind of favor and blessing available to me, today? If so, is there something I need to do to position myself for it?
Experience the Gift of God's Favor & Blessing This Christmas
There are a couple of simple things we can find right in this portion of scripture that speak to this.
Am I listening?
Am I yielded?
Do I welcome truth?
I am sure like me, you want to live in favor and blessing like Mary! Let’s allow these questions to penetrate our hearts and change our actions so that we can be those who walk in the great space of favor and grace! That as people look at our lives, they say like Elizabeth said to Mary, “You are blessed by God above all other women and your child is blessed!”
Shanda Harris is a lover of Jesus, dedicated wife, mother of 6 and the Women's Pastor at Epikos Church in Bend, Oregon.