Friday, May 27, 2016


My teenage grandson Jeffrey programmed my smart-phone to allow me access to emails that arrive on my main computer in my writing studio. However, when I open the cell phone after a lapse of time, not all current email messages are visible at first. One of the convenient features is an option at the lower left of the screen displaying the large word REFRESH. I click that word and Voila! all the emails that have arrived since I last checked, immediately jump on to the little screen on my smart-phone. I can receive the messages wherever I am. But not without first clicking REFRESH.

In some other places on my main computer, a symbol alerts me that I can also click there to REFRESH and receive new data. It's the open circle pictured at the top of this post—an arrow tip on the end of the circle going clockwise. When I activate that, all recent data appears on the screen. I like technology, at least the small fraction that I'm familiar with and can manage for my writing and publishing. I'm happy to be a learner from younger generations—my sons and their children! As they say on TV, "Grandchildren are free tech support!"

It's my habit each morning a good while before I actually get out of bed, even while I'm barely awake, to initiate a REFRESH gesture toward God. I want to jump-start my relationship with the Lord for that particular day every morning so I can tap into His goodness and mercy that I will need for whatever comes up that day. I want to let Him know that I'm thankful for His generous gift of a fresh, new day of life, let Him know that I love Him, am committed to obey Him, and desire to do His will on earth as it is done in Heaven. I tell Him so every day. Doesn't He get tired of my repetition?

Why should I want to do that? God knows all things already. He knows that I love Him. We have a long track record together since I first got to know Him in my childhood.

By the seashore after His resurrection, Jesus asked the disciple Peter three times whether he loved Him. After the third time, Peter became somewhat exasperated that Jesus asked him the same question repeatedly. He replied “You know everything, Lord, you know that I love You.” Jesus obviously wanted Peter to articulate it—aloud. Because of Peter's previous three times denial of Jesus, He wanted Peter to REFRESH/RESTORE/RENEW his relationship solidly with Jesus and start afresh. There was serious Kingdom work ahead for him to do, and love for the Lord was the indispensable motivation. Love would accelerate and facilitate all that Peter was to do for Jesus.

So why would I want to REFRESH? Because Jesus needs to hear my voice too. By re-declaring my love for Him each morning I REAFFIRM our relationship for each new day. I may need RESTORING too, so I pray “Restore unto me the joy of my salvation.” I may have drifted; I may have fallen short of my commitment to Him in my yesterdays; I may have let the cares of this world divert my focus from His face; I may have “leaked” my filling of the Holy Spirit and need to be refilled with a fresh anointing. I myself need to hear my own voice declaring my love for Him and my need to nestle fully in His embrace for another day. It renews my mind. The devil is not omniscient. I also need to let him hear me say aloud that I belong to God, so hands off. My verbal declaration makes him run and gets him off my back.

During the height of the move of the Holy Spirit that swept through mainline Protestant churches and the Catholic Church a few decades ago, we often sang a little chorus that expressed our warm, personal devotion to the Lord: 

I love You Lord, and I lift my voice. I worship You; O my soul, rejoice! Take joy my King, in what You hear. Let it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear.”
And another: “Father, I adore You; I lay my life before You; How I love You!” And then it was repeated substituting “Jesus” and “Holy Spirit” for the word “Father.” It is still my devotional habit to sing to the Lord. “Let me hear your voice,” is God's invitation in Scripture. 

Here's the clincher: My REFRESH posture and action then brings with it like receiving my current emails, the new messages from God that He wants me to know which I might have missed because I haven't accessed them yet. I take the posture of Samuel who was told by Eli to open himself to hear God's voice by declaring aloud, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.” “My sheep hear My voice and they follow Me,” Jesus stated. My REFRESH action in my spirit opens my ears to enable me to hear His voice clearly without static and set my course of obedience to His specific instructions for me each new day. “Today, if you would hear His voice, harden not your hearts,” the Word of God invites. “Draw near unto Him, and He will draw near unto you.”

If I want to hear God's voice, and bring in His fresh messages uniquely for me, I need to first let Him hear my voice anew every morning. He doesn't get tired of my repetition as I REFRESH our relationship!

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