Dancing with Scripture

dance1“The words I have spoken to you – they are full of the Spirit and life.” (John 6:63)

In 2013, the power of God’s word became very real for me – life and scripture came together in a beautiful dance choreographed by God!

One of the keys was Jeremiah 29:10-14. This heart-stirring scripture carried me through a rough patch I experienced in 2013, and I think God wrote it on my heart so I could embrace every ounce of revelation and truth it contains, and experience its transforming, life-giving power: “…I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity…”

During 2013 I turned a corner and came face-to-face with God the Father as I’ve never experienced Him before. It was a year of many personal ups and downs, but in the end I was able to embrace a facet of God that had been elusive – a Father who is loving, conversational and trustworthy, who listens and encourages me as I walk through this adventure called life. I encountered a Father who wanted to be the God of Breakthrough for me (Micah 2:13).

How did this breakthrough occur? Did I co-labor with Him in a new way? Was it simply God’s timing?

I do know that scripture played a role. 2013 began with a prayer from my heart to see things through spiritual eyes. Seeing things through “spiritual eyes” meant I had to commit to being in scripture, which led me to Jeremiah 29. Now looking back I can see how the promises of Jeremiah 29 were threaded through the entire year, and even though I didn’t focus on this scripture until the last six months of 2013, it didn’t matter – I believe this scripture was waiting for me from the moment I was conceived, and as soon as I embraced it, God’s purposes were set in motion. (See Psalm 139:15 – Your eyes foresaw my actions; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be).

Last May I came to a place where I was desperate enough to give up control, to quit trying to do things my way, and I let God take over: I began working with a new spiritual director, and I ventured into uncharted emotional territory that has been enlightening, healing and freeing, allowing God access to areas of my heart that I had locked away. “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity…” (v. 13). Situations that used to hurt and victimize me began to lose their power – they no longer held me captive.

As God’s healing love filled my heart, I found I was reading His word with a new lens – scripture became an intentional, personal conversation in which God shared His love and purposes for me – in fact so personal that He gave me specific scriptures (like Jeremiah 29) to guide and inspire me – life-giving, healing, full of hope. “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you” (v. 11-12).

I read and re-read certain verses: “I will visit you and perform My good word toward you” (v. 10). In the past, I often felt as if I was at the bottom of a pit, and although I could see the light at the top and the promises of God hanging in the sky like rain-filled clouds, I couldn’t reach them. I would manage to pull myself up the side of the pit a little bit, and sometimes even grab hold of one of them, but then quickly slip back down. In 2013, God responded to my hunger and my pursuit of Him – scripture and life came together for me, a powerful dance that only God could have choreographed. Now, the prospect of falling into the pit doesn’t seem so scary, so disheartening – I know there are promises I can use to climb out of the pit – scriptural footholds.

So I look forward to how God will choreograph a new dance for me in 2014 – what scriptures will He write on my heart? As I stand on the threshold of this new year, I have a sense of my Father standing behind me with His hand on my shoulder – excitedly waiting to guide me into a year of more intimacy with Him, and helping me to embrace even more revelation and truth from His words full of Spirit and life. I look forward to how the Holy Spirit will inspire me, how Jesus will show up for me, and how my heavenly Father will encourage me and draw out the person He created me to be. I know it will be a powerful dance: my life with His scripture.

Heavenly Father, I pray that 2014 will be a year of revelation, a year in which we see your hand moving in our lives in new ways. You will write new scriptures on our hearts, life-giving words that we can embrace, and we will see the power of the Spirit pouring into our families and our situations for healing. Thank you, Father God, for your words full of Spirit and life!