Morning Prayer Summary for  Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Morning Chapel Prayer Playlist

Pastor Heather…

 Well, good morning, everybody. Happy Tuesday. Hope everyone’s having a good week so far.

Transitioning into a season of awakening…

Well, before we go into prayer, I did have something on my heart to share. The thing that I keep hearing in my heart is “Awake, awake, my soul.” And recently, I’ve been in a season of rest and that was the thing that the Lord was speaking, rest, and I needed it so bad. We all need it. And I think that there are seasons for that, but there’s seasons for everything. And I think that that season of rest was needed. Before you run a marathon, you don’t want to be up all night being busy, right? You want to get some good rest. And I think that that was needed for that season.

We need to speak to our souls…

And I think now in my heart, I feel that we’re transitioning into a season of awakening. We’ve had that time to rest. And the Lord is calling us to awaken to those things that are inside of us. He is telling us to awaken our souls. And our souls are something we need to speak to. And we look through all the Psalms and David said that so many times: “Awake my soul,” or “Why are you downcast, my soul?” He spoke to his soul.

We have to speak to our soul, especially in this world that we’re in. And there’s so much happening around us that’s just trying to weigh down our soul. Our soul is our mind, our will, our emotions. We are a spirit. We live in a body. We have a soul. And that soul is the seat of our emotions, our mind, our will, our thinking, our thoughts, all that is our soul. We have to speak to our soul. And I think we live in a world right now where sometimes… I’m going to tread carefully on this. People are maybe too in tune with their soul and the fact that their soul is making those decisions for them. Like today, “Eh, I’m just not feeling it today.” Or, you know, “I’m this so you all just have to deal with this… this is who I am. This is how I do things.” But there is a time and a place that you have to speak to your soul, and you have to remind it who’s in charge.

We need to get out of our comfort zone…

And so the thing that I had in my heart was “Awake, my soul.” Just awakening our souls. I think we’ve all been in that season of rest, like I said, and that season of rest is good. But also there’s a time that we have to wake up and we have to go to the things that God’s calling us to do. And I just want to make sure you hear my heart. I don’t mean like a striving and a pushing in your own strength. There’s a difference. I mean an awakening in your soul. And so I’m thinking as I’m driving in and I’m praying and I’m like, “Okay, if I didn’t want to wake up in the natural, what are some things that I would do? Right?” Well, first of all, I would throw off my comforter… the comfort. I don’t mean the comforter, the Holy Spirit. I mean our comfort zone. We have to get out of our comfort zone, right?

I just got a new comforter on Amazon. But if I’m wrapped up in that comforter, don’t come ask me for anything, right? Don’t come ask me for a glass of water or a snack, or “Can you get up and fix this?” No. I’m in the comforter. I’m down for the count. So there’s some places that we are too comfortable. Throw off the covers! Some of us have some covers over us, covers over our hearts, covers over some past situations. We’re all covering some things in the natural. We have to throw those covers off and let the Holy Spirit get to those places in our hearts. He’s our comforter. He’s our cover. And so awakening to those things and being vulnerable and letting Him into those areas, getting up out of bed and getting about the Lord’s work.

We need to be nudged, maybe shaken a little…

What else? I need to be nudged. I need to be maybe shaken a little. If you have teenagers, you might have to squirt them with some water. And you think of water, the Holy Spirit, just letting that water flow over us. And so I just think there’s a lot of us, our souls are in that sleeping state. And it’s easy to sleep when the world is burning like it is, right? It’s easier to sleep. It’s more comfortable to sleep. I don’t want to be out in the world hearing and seeing the things that are happening. I would rather just take a nap and not have to deal with it.

But there’s a time where now that we’ve rested in His presence, I believe that He has been pouring out refreshing. And He’ll continue to do so. But I think now is a time that we have to awake our souls, and only we can do that. Nobody else can wake up your soul. Only you can do that! God can do that in you, but you have to be cooperative.

Song of Solomon is a story of how much Jesus loves us…

And I just wanted to read one of my favorite books of the Bible: Song of Solomon. I want to start in Song of Songs and I’m going to read quite a bit. There is a purpose and we are going to go to a place. But I think it helps us to set that foundation. And Song of Songs is one of my favorites because in a very dark time in my life, I read this for the first time in the Passion translation, which is a little different. It’s a little more. He presses into the symbols of it and it really unveils how much Jesus loves us. We’re His bride! And how much He loves us. So if you read it from that point of view, that this is Jesus speaking to you as His bride, as His love, it takes on so much of a different meaning. And it doesn’t become the bedroom book anymore. It becomes the book between you and the Lord. And I literally wept the first time I read this all the way through because I was like, “Wow, God, you love me that much. I can’t even understand that or begin to fathom why you love me that much. But you do. And I just have to receive it.” But there’s one of my favorite parts, and I’ve read it before and I’m going to read it again because I think we all need to be reminded.

Song of Songs 2:10–15 in the Passion translation.

“The one I love calls to me, arise my dearest. Hurry my darling, come away with me. I’ve come as you’ve asked, to draw you into my heart and lead you out.”

We’ve been asking Him to draw us closer.

“…For now is the time, my beautiful one. The season has changed. The bondage of your barren winter has ended. And the season of hiding is over and gone. The rains have soaked the earth and left it bright with blossoming flowers. The season for singing and pruning the vines has arrived. I hear the cooing of the doves in our land, filling the air with songs to awaken you and to guide you forth.

“Can you not discern this new day of destiny breaking forth around you? The early signs of my purposes and plans are bursting forth. The budding vines of new life are now blooming everywhere. The fragrance of their flowers whispers there is change in the air. Arise my love, my beautiful companion, and run with me to the higher place. For now is the time to arise and come away with me. For you are my dove, hidden in the split open rock. It was I who took you and hid you up in the high secret stairway of the sky. Let me see your radiant face and hear your sweet voice. How beautiful your eyes of worship and lovely your voice in prayer. You must catch the troubling foxes, those sly little foxes that hinder our relationship for they raid our budding vineyard of love to ruin what I planted within you. Will you catch them and remove them for me? We will do it together.”

And so what’s her answer?

You think, oh my gosh, it’s so beautiful. Like, yes, let’s get up and run. But what does she say? She says in verse 16…

“I know my lover is mine and I have everything in you for we delight ourselves in each other. But until the day springs to life and the shifting of shadows of fear disappear. Turn around my love and ascend to the holy mountains of separation without me. Until the new day fully dawns, run on ahead like a graceful gazelle and skip like the young stag over the mountains of separation. Go on ahead to the mountain of spices. I’ll come away another time.”

It’s easier to rest in His presence. It’s comfortable to rest in His presence, and sometimes that’s where we want to stay. And He’s calling us onto this next thing. But we’re like, “Lord, I just want to sit at your feet. I’m not ready to go yet.” Fear. She says, “Until the shadows of fear disappear.”

So what does the Lord say? Does He like, “You rotten bride!” No.

Song of Songs 3:5. He says…

“Promise me, O Jerusalem, by the gentle gazelle and the delicate dear that you’ll not disturb my love until she is ready to arise.” He’s patient with us. And even though we might be slumbering, we might be at His feet. He’s like, “Don’t disturb her until she’s ready to arise.” He’s waiting for us. And then He says in Song of Psalms 4:1–9. So we know what happens next. Of course, she wakes up. And then He’s not there and she freaks out. And He did what she said. He went on without her. And all of a sudden she is remorseful, she’s regretful. She’s like, “What did I do?” And she’s looking everywhere for Him. And, of course, He’s there. He’s not far away. But she has this moment of, “What did I do?” Regret. And she’s looking everywhere for Him. And then in this moment of her denial, this is what He says…

“Listen, my dearest darling, you are so beautiful. You are beauty itself to me. Your eyes are like gentle doves behind your veil. What devotion I see each time I gaze upon you.” She didn’t go with Him! “You are like a sacrifice ready to be offered. When I look at you, I see how you’ve taken my fruit and tasted my word. Your life has become clean and pure, like a lamb washed and newly shorn. You now show grace and balance with truth on display. Your lips are as lovely as Rahab’s scarlet ribbon, speaking mercy, speaking grace. The words of your mouth are as refreshing as an oasis. What pleasure you bring to me.”

These are the words He’s speaking over her and she is not doing what He asked her to do. This is how much He loves us. And even in these moments, He still speaks love and beauty over us.

“I see your blushing cheeks open like the halves of a pomegranate showing through your veil of tender meekness. When I look at you, I see your inner strength. So stately and strong. You are secure as David’s fortress, your virtues and grace cause a thousand famous soldiers to surrender to your beauty. Your pure faith and love rest over your heart as you nurture those who are yet infants.”

And then finally, she makes a decision here. There’s something that happens when God continues to love us in our unlovely and dark moments. His love draws us. And then finally, the bride says…

“I’ve made up my mind. Until the darkness disappears and the dawn has fully come in spite of shadows and fears, I will go to the mountaintop with you, the mountain of suffering love, and the hill of burning incense. Yes, I will be your bride. Every part of you is so beautiful, my darling. Perfect is your beauty without flaw within. Now you are ready, My bride.”

Now, Jesus speaking over us… “to come with me as we climb the highest peaks together. Come with me through the archway of trust. We will look down from the crest of the glistening mountains and from the summit of our sublime sanctuary, from the lion’s den and from the leopard’s lair.”

Sounds scary, but we’re with Him.

“With one flash of your eyes, I’m undone by your love, My beloved, my equal, my bride.” He calls us His equal. “You leave me breathless. I’m overcome by merely a glance from your worshiping eyes. For you have stolen my heart and I am held hostage by your love and by the graces of righteousness shining upon you.”

And so many times, I have resonated with her in that moment. He comes and says, “Come, arise my love. Let’s go away.” And I’m like, “Come back. I’ll come another time. I just want to sit here and rest. I want to sit in my little comfort zone where I can control things and I can know exactly how things are going. You want to go to this mountaintop with lion’s dens and leopards lairs, and I’m just not so sure about that.

But I believe that there’s a call right now to speak to our souls to awaken until what He’s called us to do. And I think the church as a whole, we’re like the sleeping bride. We’re sleepy, we’re tired… we’re just maybe caught up with the details of the wedding and we’ve fallen asleep, gotten busy, gotten distracted, gotten lethargic, gotten apathetic. I’m speaking to myself. I just mean the body of Christ as a whole. And it’s time for us to stir that up.

And how do you stir that up?

You stir up your first love. You remember that time when He came and rescued you from the depths of whatever it was, maybe more than once. I’m sure a lot of us have handfuls of times He’s done that for us… dozens of times… hundreds of times maybe. But you remind yourself of those moments and that love and why we love Him is because He first loved us. And so how we awaken our soul is to stir that up. Stir up those flames inside of us.

And so I just want to do that this morning. Some of us are just waiting for a person to do that for us. You have to do it. We’re waiting for a revival to jump into. We’re waiting… We just keep waiting. You have to start it! You have to start that fire in your soul. Only you can start it with God. It’s you and Him. And in that relationship with Him, that intimacy with Him, getting into that secret place with Him, stirring that up and focusing on Him and getting rid of all those weights and distractions and covers and comforts that we have in this world, that’s where we dive into that place and we say, “Wake up, soul! Wake up.”

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