Life Verses – Acknowledge Me

Searching His Word
 Seeking His Heart

The setting is the late 1970’s. My husband, Jim, had been the Minister of Music at our church for several years, the children were young and all was right with my world. As I mentioned last week, my growing-up family had moved about every two years, so I relished being in this one place for a good while.

Added to that, my parents had decided to move to our city of Somerset, Kentucky. How wonderful that our children would have the joy of seeing their grandparents often.

My world fell apart when Jim said a search committee from another state had called and wanted us to go there to meet with them. We were happy in our present church and had received other calls like this, but Jim reasoned that if we never followed up, we might be missing a new direction God had for us.

Nothing in me wanted to submit to this idea. I struggled for days over this. Then the Lord kept saying in my mind, “Joyce, do you love me?”

Jesus’ conversation with Peter came to mind. Remember, Peter had denied knowing Jesus three times. After the resurrection, Jesus pulled him aside one day and asked, 

“Simon, do you truly love me more than these?” John 21:15

Three times Jesus asked that question and Peter was to able to affirm his love and acknowledgment of Jesus—three times

Every time I prayed, that question came to my mind, “Joyce, do you love me more than these?” Do you love the stability, the routine, your parents move more than me?

As I walked down our hall at home, I saw anew the plaque we had on the wall. It simply said, “Acknowledge me.” Of course, I thought of the whole verse.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

God reminded me that He needed to be included in this process. It took a while, but I finally realized I must not lean on my own understanding and my own desires, but acknowledge him.

So, we made arrangements to go and talk to the committee. We were both torn with how to respond. I felt like we were in an empty room with one door opened this way and another door opened that way, not knowing which door to go through. 

A few days later, the committee chairman called and said their pastor had resigned and they would have to put their energies into looking for a new pastor, so they would have to set the music position aside. 

As you can see, God himself closed one of those two doors, and lessons of submission were taught in the process.

This verse is likely a favorite verse for many of you. I would love to hear how it has impacted your life.

~ Joyce ~

 

Life Verses – Trust in the Lord

 Searching His Word
  Seeking His Heart

Continuing the the thought of “life verses” from last week (Life Verses – Off to College), perhaps you have read, or memorized, or claimed this as a life verse:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3: 5-6

Oh, how many times have I leaned on my own understanding? Thinking something over and over, chewing around on it, worrying about it.

Instead of taking it to the Lord right away and trusting him with it, I leaned on my own understanding.

After my husband served as a Minister of Music for several years in our town, he received a call to consider another church. We were very happy at our church, our children were well established in school and with their friends. To top it off, my parents had just moved to our town. All was right with my world.

Jim suggested that we may not know if the Lord was leading in a new direction unless we at least visited the other church. The date was set for the visit, but everything within me cried out, “No, no, I don’t want to go!”

I spent hours worrying and stewing over the possibilities. One day, I walked down the hall to our bedroom and noticed, as if for the first time, the little wooden plaque that hung at the end of the hall. It read, “In all your ways acknowledge him.” 

The word ACKNOWLEDGE stood out like a neon sign to me. I fell to my knees, acknowledging God, realizing that He knew best. I confessed that I had done everything but acknowledge Him.

 

When we recognize and acknowledge God, we put ourselves in a place to see the shallowness of our own understanding. We realize our need to trust Him.

Then comes the beautiful promise—”He will direct your paths.”

So, back to my story. By the time the visit came around, I had reached a place of surrender. I fully expected that we would be moving.

We made the visit, but when got back in the car, Jim said he was disturbed by a comment the pastor had made and declared, “Well, we’re not going to this church.”

Why then did I have to go through all that? The Lord knew I needed to learn the lesson of trust, the lesson of being willing to surrender to His will.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.

~ Joyce ~ 

 

 

Do You Love Me More Than These?

Searching His Word   Seeking His Heart

Searching His Word
Seeking His Heart

 

My husband Jim had been serving for several years as Minister of Music at our church. The chairman of a search committee called from another state and wanted us to come for an interview/visit. Seems like a simple thing. Go. Check it out. Decide. But here’s the back story. Growing up, I had moved every two years of my life (my dad’s job.) I was well settled for a few years now in our comfy home and active church. Our two small children were happy. The work was going well at church. Relationships were warm and friendly and to top it off, my parents had just moved to our town—the first time I had had them close in our married life. My little nest was just fine and dandy, thank you very much!

This inquiry to uproot did not set well. I hardly wanted to pray about it. Jim felt like we needed to at least check it out. How could we know it was not of the Lord if we didn’t follow through?

One day as I walked down the hall to our bedroom, I looked at the little plaque I had hanging on the wall.

6 In all thy ways acknowledge him. Proverbs 3:6 (KJV)

“Acknowledge ” seemed to stand out like a flashing neon sign. “Okay, okay, I’ll talk to you, Lord.” I prayed obediently, asking for His will to be done, but begrudging the possible “consequences.” I thought about leaving our friends. I thought about our responsibilities at church. Who would do this? Who would do that? After all, weren’t we indispensable? The idea of Mom and Dad moving to town and then telling them, “Well, sorry, we’re moving away.” was more than I could even think about.

I knew the rest of the two verses from Proverbs and mulled over the words.

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3;5-6

I agonized many days in prayer, trying desperately to “trust” and “lean” and “acknowledge” Him. Then one afternoon, as I sat on the sofa, He clearly spoke the words in my mind, “Joyce, do you love me?” Like Peter, my response was, “Why of course, Lord, you know I love you.” He didn’t tell me to feed his sheep; He just kept asking, “Do you love me more than these things?”

It was a process, but I finally realized that he wanted my full commitment to acknowledge Him more than anything or anybody else and to seek His will rather than my own. I asked Him to help me with the desires of my heart until I was finally willing, truly willing.

We traveled to the new church to visit. It was a pleasant enough experience and we weighed the possibilities. A couple of weeks later, the chairman of the committee called and said that the pastor had resigned to go to another church. The search for a Minister of Music would have to stop while they began the process of searching for a pastor. As quick as the door had opened, it now was shut.

You can see the obvious life lesson for me in this incident. He had tested me and taught me. It was not time for us to move on yet, but He wanted me to see that I needed to be willing and to learn the hard lesson of trust. In all of life’s decisions, He wanted to teach me that the first thing I need to do is to acknowledge Him. In so doing, I say to Him, “Yes, Lord, I love you.”

Perhaps you have had such a life lesson. I would love to hear about it.

~ Joyce ~