Tag : god
Tag : god
“Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21).
With a “Type A” personality, it’s difficult to go into an event like the National Religious Broadcasters Convention (NRB) and not push. Push to make contacts. Push to get shows done. Push to attend every event possible. However, while it’s taken a number of years to get to this place, I’ve learned to let the Holy Spirit lead.
Before NRB, I prayed for divine appointments and for God to place people in front of me. I asked the LORD for a couple of specific meetings, but did not fret if they didn’t happen. What I’ve found is there is less stress and disappointment if we release our schedules to God, and let Him move on our behalf.
One example. I saw First Baptist Church Dallas pastor, Dr. Robert Jeffers, walking around. I have always wanted to meet him so I could tell him that my great-great grandfather, Abram Weaver, was the second pastor at First Baptist Dallas. I also wanted to share with him that I admire him for being willing to mingle with the people, even though he is a well-known pastor and Fox News expert. I prayed that if I was supposed to speak to Jeffers that God would place him directly in front of me.
And that occurred. It’s as if the LORD said, “Here you go. Now what are you going to do?” So I did take a moment with Jeffers, and he was gracious.
While at NRB, I had a book signing at the Expo for my latest book, The Root that Never Died: A Christian Woman’s Journey Back to Her Hebraic Heritage. Because the book was written during the pandemic, it never gained much traction, so I prayed that God would open doors for this book at NRB. I am thankful for my POP Team members, Dr. Lynnette Simm and Rosemary Legrand, who helped tremendously with the book signing. Dr. Lynnette even placed the book in author, speaker and actress Priscilla Shirer’s hands saying, You really need to read this book!
On one of our POP Talk television shows, we interviewed best-selling author of political thrillers, Joel C. Rosenberg. Like me, Rosenberg had a Jewish father and a Gentile mother, but considers himself Jewish, as I do. I wanted to give him a book, but prayed that someone else would open the door, so I wouldn’t appear to be pushy. Amazingly, the LORD placed Rosenberg’s publicist, Larry Ross and his fascinating wife, Autumn, at our table for a Media Leadership Dinner two nights before the interview. So when it was time to speak to Rosenberg, Ross said, Lisa, tell Joel about what you are studying. I was able to share about my work on a Doctor of Ministry in Messianic Studies, plus that gave me an opening to hand him The Root that Never Died. Whether he read it or not, I don’t know. That’s another prayer…
When we let God guide us, I believe it’s more exciting. Instead of choosing how we want a scenario to play out, we see how creative our LORD is. He thinks of ways to connect us with people that we never would have fathomed.
Do you hand your schedule over to God? Do you trust Him with your connections? I’ve found it is more interesting and fulfilling to let Him lead.
This week at school, I added two new words to my vocabulary—“keva” and “kavanah.” They are terms that originated in Judaism and are used in connection to a worship service or prayer. “Keva” represents the routine and structure of the prayer or service. “Kavanah” refers to the heart connection or devotion that occurs within the structure—it’s breaking out of the repetition and regularity to a place of devotion to God. It’s when you feel the Holy Spirit overtake you in the midst of a service. Those chills that come over you while worshipping. The “aha” moment that happens during a sermon.
I will admit that I’ve gone through the motions more times than I want to admit, especially when I am in charge of an event. I am more concerned with the details and find it difficult to put the heart wires together. My husband calls it “sergeant mode.”
For example, we held our monthly POP Chat on Wednesday night and my thoughts were Who’s next to speak? Are they running on time? My intentions were more about making this a good experience for others and keeping things moving, than about basking in the presence of the LORD.
Maybe you’ve also had trouble connecting to God at times.
But what I’ve learned from Judaism is that you must be intentional about finding that heart tie, whether it’s at a service, in a holy place like the Western Wall, or in your morning quiet time. Jewish people pray: “Vetaher libaynu le’ovdekha be’emet, Purify our hearts to serve Thee in truth—with Kavanah.” According to Eveleyn Garfiel, who wrote the book Service of the Heart “Devotion, intention, spirit too, are essential to a religious act, if it is to be properly carried out and religiously acceptable.” I think we can learn from our Jewish brothers and sisters.
I am intentional about reaching kavanah when I begin my morning quiet time with worship, if I am distracted or don’t feel a heart connection, then I keep playing worship songs until I am centered and in the presence of God. During my Bible reading, I pray for God to speak to me. I am often like Jacob who wrestled all night with God, saying, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Genesis 32:27).
The LORD desires whole-hearted devotion from us.
In Isaiah 29:13, He expressed his disappointment with the Israelites who had fallen away when he said, “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (NIV). The Israelites apparently had keva but not kavanah.
So I am now on a mission to experience kavanah whether I am the one creating the routine or not. I will ask the Holy Spirit to help me stay focused on God and make the heart connection every time.
In his book Practicing His Presence, Brother Lawrence says, “If a Christian is to truly practice the presence of His Lord, and do so properly, then the heart of that Christian must be empty of all else. All. Why? Because God’s will is to possess that heart, and He wills to be the only possessor of that heart, and the only possession in that heart.”
I want to give God all my heart, what about you? Every time. 24/7. I desire to be intentional about finding kavanah in my life. It’s time to break out of the mindless routine.