How do you see religion? Burden or blessing! From this morning quiet time with the Lord. Written by Hannah Whitall Smith from her book “The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life”.
I am surprised at the lowliness though happiness of religion. I can see now that my ideas of it were too gloomy as if the Redeemer were a hard taskmaster and His servants became unwilling slaves, working only for the sake of the reward or because of the fear of the punishment. And now when I find such love, such joy, such beauty it astonishes me. I trust I am grateful for it but the remains of the old fears still cause me to be expecting the crosses and the unhappiness. Perhaps it is the way with many young Friends (Quaker) to look upon Christ’s religion as one of austerity and gloom, but how different the truth is. His service is a service of love. His yoke is easy. His burden is indeed light—lightened and made easy, even if hard and heavy, by the help of love.
I have read that the Shepherd first carries His sheep in His arms while they are weak and trembling—but afterward, when their strength increases, He sets them down to walk amid the thorns and rocks of the way. Surely He is carrying me in His arms now, weak, unworthy to be called one of His lambs, yet trusting in Him. I am deeply and peacefully happy, believing that “he is my Shepherd, and I shall not want.”
Hannah Whitall Smith and Melvin Easterday Dieter, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life: The Unpublished Personal Writings of Hannah Whitall Smith (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).
Too often we think that prayer is telling God our “shopping list” of needs. I like what Stephen D. Eyre had to say “Turn your “to do” list over to the Lord.” Write down how you feel after you have done it. The prophet Habakkuk experience is very useful to understand that concept. In Habakkuk 2:1-3 we see that as a watchman the prophet stand at his guard post and waited to see what the LORD would say. In Psalm 32:8 we read a great promise God gave to David and us “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” Do you expect Him to instruct you and guide you in life?
What should we do? (From Stephen D. Eyre book Drawing Close to God).
1.To help you listen, make a list of questions and concerns you would like God to address.
2.Ask God what He thinks about your problem with ______.
3.Ask God what he wants you to do about ______.
4.Sit back and wait quietly to see what God will say.
Does it seem strange to actually listen for God to talk back? One more time,’ Do you expect Him to instruct you?’
John Powell writes:
The Lord … puts his ideas into my mind and especially his perspectives. He widens my vision, helps me to see what is really important in life, and to distinguish the really important from the unimportant …. He comes to me in the listening, receptive moments of prayer, and he transfuses his power into me.
A.W. Tozer said:
“What comes into your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you.”
This goes back to Jesus’ invitation to enjoy a time (coffee) together (Rev.3:20).
 Stephen D. Eyre, Drawing Close to God: The Essentials of a Dynamic Quiet Time: a Lifeguide resource (DowersGrove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995).