“We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord.” — Colossians 1:9b-10a (NLT)
Last week’s Mid-Week Miracle, A Double Portion, included my promise to share the stunning revelation God gave me for my birthday about his presence in my life. As I sought divine direction on how to tell you about my miracle, God revealed the cherry on top of my birthday surprise.
God knows my heart. He knows I live to honor and please him, which inspired me to turn Colossians 1:9-12 into a prayer. Until recently, I didn’t realize that I had unwittingly made a to-do list out of my Scripture-based prayer. My list did not pinpoint tasks for God to accomplish. I prayed fervently to tackle each item myself—with God’s help of course.
For many years, I prayed to:
- Live a life worthy of the Lord,
- please him in every way,
- bear fruit in every good work,
- grow in the knowledge of God,
- be strengthened with all power according to his glorious might, and
- have great endurance and patience.
Sounds honorable and pleasing to God, right?
And yet, my heavenly Father saw the striving undercurrent in my desire to honor and please him. He began to expose it last summer when I recorded Episode 83 of the Believe & Speak podcast. I based that devotional on Colossians 1:9-14, and drew the declaration from the promise in verses 13-14.
Here’s the graphic I posted with that episode.
I began writing this Mid-Week Miracle by asking God how to tell you about my birthday surprise, and he led me to listen again to my own teaching from last summer. That’s when I realized the problem with leaving verses 13-14 out of my Scripture-based prayer.
I had missed the promise of God’s rescue.
With that bit of backstory, we’re on the same page for me to share the revelation God gave me about his presence in my life.
It happened during a girls’ getaway weekend that my friends Toby and Marla treated me to for my birthday.
During a morning walk on the beach, my beloved girlfriends invited me to sit between them on a long shaft of driftwood. They proceeded to tell me that they each had spent time in prayer, asking Father God what HE wanted to give me for my birthday.
Toby was led to give me a Bible passage and a list of words to describe how my heavenly Father sees me. Receiving the gift from God in Toby’s artistic handwriting made my heart swell with warmth.
We all sensed God’s presence with us on that beach.
Then Marla told me that while she was praying for me, God showed her a picture. She described what she saw in a letter that contains these words:
There was a large, green, lush meadow dotted with many wildflowers. At one end, on the top of a hill, stood a majestic oak tree and God the Father was seated underneath it. His eyes scanned the field and rested on a little dark-haired girl running in the meadow. The sun glinted against her dark hair as she bounced across the field picking flowers.
I could hear her inner dialog as she went about her chore. “Oh, this one is beautiful. I love this color. I know He will love it too! I need to find this color or that color. I’m missing this flower for my gift,” etc.
I could see the Father’s face. A grin crossed His lips. He knows your heart is to please Him. All you do is out of that heart—to bring pleasure and honor to Him.
Marla had underlined the words I underlined above. She actually underlined “knows your heart” twice!
Nearly every day I tell God, “You know my heart.” It’s how I begin my most fervent prayers. Tears pooled in my eyes and splashed onto my cheeks. Marla had heard from God! I am that little dark-haired girl.
The note continued:
Yet I could also feel His heart—His greatest desire, what brings Him the MOST pleasure—What He yearns for is for you, His little girl, to run to Him, jump into His lap, and snuggle your head into His chest to feel His heart beat—TO JUST BE His child.
I sense Him saying, “There’s much to be done, but don’t get caught up in the doing, thinking that’s what brings Me the greatest pleasure. I love you for you, not what you do! (Even what you do FOR Me.) Out of our intimacy the anointing flows. It’s going deeper this year.”
Marla’s note ended with a Bible verse. I wiped my eyes and pictured myself crawling into my heavenly Daddy’s lap. I laid my head on his chest and felt his embrace.
I’d always seen my good works as flowers that I gather up in a bouquet to present to God at the end of each day.
But in that moment, I understood… I am the flower.
You are the flower, too, my friend, and God loves you.
Whether you are a lily, daisy, orchid or snap dragon. A sunflower, rose, peony or baby’s breath. God loves you, and he created you for his glory.