Delight in Christ

God has brought a delightful edit to the poem “Delight in Christ” tonight and I so longed to share it here afresh, in all its newness. I also want to thank God for the gift of Jennifer and her precious post on abiding that brought to remembrance so much God had spoken over me (and Bettie too), in the writing and praying through our book – that is in fact Christ’s testimony through us. A remembrance that became God’s call for these edits.

And I want to thank God for Linda’s convicting and cleansing post on Disappointments that broke open a flood in me – bringing the completion to my Prodigal testimony that needed to come before these fresh edits today.

And finally, I wanted to show you how beautifully God answered the Promise from His Word I had prayed through only yesterday. Just look at its deeper meaning:

Welcome to Day 1 of Part 3‘s Chapter 1 of Arise and Shine. Today, Anna is sharing a free will offering of incense in a poem inspired by God’s Word to her in the crushing.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Psalm 23:5 (ESV)

Delight

How can I rest
How can I open my palms
Let go
And rest?

How can I receive
The Word
That says You delight
In me?

When Your Word in me
Has closed doors on me
In my obedience 
To Your calling.

How can I receive
Delight in that
In loss and silence
In no fruit I see?

Am I not mistaken?
Does not each loss
Each door firmly closing
Only affirm I'm lost?

"Oh my child,"
I hear You cry into my pain
"Lift up your cares
Know I am near.

"Let My sword of life
Now circumcise your heart
That Your ears and eyes
May open unto Me.

"For, My Son died
And rose again
To call you righteous
In His blood shed for you.

"Receive My living water
My waterfall of grace
Splashing on your face
Receive My goodness

"And My mercy 
At the Cross richly flowing
Knowing all weight
Of sin and pain is lifted.

"Yes, there's life
In the womb
Feel the Son of God
Now awaking in you.

"Be not afraid, My child
This labor pain you're feeling
Is but a shedding of the old
To birth the new.

"For, Christ wore
A crown of thorns
To place a crown
Of victory upon your head.

"In the garden of Gethsemane
My Son drunk the cup
Upon the Cross
Your debt to pay in full.

"Now be Christ's friend
Let the counsel
Of My Holy Spirit
Set you apart.

"Let each loss 
Become sweet gain
A loosing of every
Earthly expectation.

"Receive the gift of
Heavenly expectations
Upon this holy ground
Of Christ's visitation.

"For, is it not your honor
To be overshadowed
To be hemmed in
By My love for you.

"Have I not proven
At the Cross
You are worth
Far more than rubies?

"Hidden in Christ
Your lamp glows bright
In the overshadowing
Of My blessed covering.

"Sow now
Into the good soil
Of My new heart
Growing in you.

"Let Christ's heart of flesh
Long hidden
In fear and pride's shadow
Now be seen.

"Bring not a sacrifice
Pleasing unto man
But a free will offering
In My affections abiding.

"Look up and see
My holy flame
Now falling upon you
My Spirit releasing.

"A fragrant incense
In My fire is rising
Repentance and revival
In fresh wind reaping.

"Now, delight
In Me, My child
For I delight
In you."

But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep. Acts 7:55-60 (ESV)

‘You will also be [considered] a crown of glory and splendor in the hand of the Lord, And a royal diadem [exceedingly beautiful] in the hand of your God.’ It will no longer be said of you [Judah], “Azubah (Abandoned),”Nor will it any longer be said of your land, “Shemamah (Desolate)”; But you will be called, “Hephzibah (My Delight is in Her),”And your land, “i.e. Beulah, pronounced Be-oo-lah.Married”; For the Lord delights in you, And to Him your land will be married [owned and protected by the Lord]. Isaiah 62: 3 – 4 (AMP)

Grafting into the Vine

How does a branch that is not a 
branch become one? By grafting. It must be severed from the plant on which it grew, and the severed surface is brought to a wounded place in the vine’s stem, and bound there, heart to heart, and from that wounded place in the stem the sap flows out, and seals the branch into union, and then it finds its way into the channels of the graft, and soon it needs no outward bonds to bind it there: it has become one with the vine, and the power and sweetness of the vine flow into the branch that has lost its own life to find it in the new life which flows on till leaves and flowers and fruit appear.

Lilias Trotter, The Way of the Seven-fold Secret, Chapter VII: The Secret of Abiding

17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.

Romans 11: 17-18 & 23-24, ESV

Thank You, Papa, for the wounding You allowed us to walk through, even as Your heart broke for us, knowing that we did not yet see the beauty that would come. Thank You for being a good Father to us, for not choosing what would cause us and You no pain, but for choosing that which was best for us. Thank You for severing us from all that we once clung to and trusted in that was stealing from us and destroying Your beauty in us. Thank You for becoming our trust, as You now daily teach us how to return and rest in Your never-forsaking and abiding love for us and Your Body.

Papa, thank You for binding us together to Your heart, giving us a new and undivided heart in You. Thank You for setting us apart unto Yourself in the severing, for leading us out to pasture, where Your lost sheep are now grazing with us. Thank You for binding us together with them, through the wounding and severing you have walked us through. Thank You for giving us eyes to see Your beauty hidden inside of them, as they have become Your seeing of us and Your comfort to us, just as we have become Your seeing of them and Your comfort to them.

Thank You that before they or we even called to You, You began to answer us, setting Your plan into motion to graft us together into the Vine. Thank You that even while they and we were yet speaking, You heard our cries and set a plan in motion to rescue us. Papa, continue to call to our remembrance prayers we once prayed (even as children), and even yearnings we couldn’t even express in words (even as children), so that we might see just how beautifully You have been answering our deepest heart’s cries all along in ways we couldn’t have even imagined as children.

Wow us with who You are and how much higher and greater Your thoughts and Your plans are for us and our loved ones too. Continue to break our boxes of who we think You are to show us who You truly are. Open the eyes of our hearts to see You and to know You more and more and more, that we might grow abiding fruit and healing leaves in great abundance, as You multiply our meager gifts to bless us and Your whole Body. In Jesus’ precious Name, Amen.

Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear.

Isaiah 64:24 (ESV)