In Heavenly Places

"Commit everything you do to the Lord. 
Trust Him, and He will help you." 
Psalm 37:5

There it is again - Trust Him - just like the words I read yesterday. I've been asking and He is answering. I feel like I'm in school again!

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, 
do not depend on your own understanding." 
Proverbs 3:5

My faults are ever before me yet the Lord picks me up and sets me in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. He tells me to trust Him. His knowledge of me is at a level of intimacy I cannot fathom. He sees my failings yet promises to help. I cannot fully grasp this kind of attention, love, and commitment.

I've been noticing a pattern of seeking God for direction, answers, and wisdom, after which I proceed in the way that seems right and clear and proper, only to come up with negatives and wrong turns and imperfect choices.

Now what? "Do not depend on your own Him."

It seems to be the current lesson plan in this school of learning Christ. Everyday matters as well as important decisions that could have long-term effects fall into this educational process.

I fasten my hopes on His Word, His Promise, and His Love. He is my Father, not based on perfect outcomes but on faith in His very Godhood. It may not be quite so important that I've done all the research or end up the winner in every decision, but it is absolutely imperative that I trust the Lord of all lords, the King of Heaven's Kingdom, and the Father of my heart.

I would like to think that if I have all my facts properly categorized, all my senses engaged, and all the options weighed, then I'm prepared to make the most perfect decisions which will, of course, all come out right. Are heavenly places not, after all, orderly and smooth and peaceful? Or is it possible that my views have been faulty?

Heavenly places are found in Christ Jesus but, while we live on earth, not necessarily free from the winds of strife, the storms of life, and the heat of the noonday sun. Rather, Jesus guides us in and through all of the troublesome times. The thought of Jesus taking me head-on into trouble to test my endurance and to glorify Him is a deeply reassuring and highly encouraging concept.

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, 
(by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, 
and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace 
in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 
For by grace are ye saved through faith; 
and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 
Not of works, lest any man should boast. 
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, 
which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
Ephesians 2:4-10

To think as God thinks, to walk as Jesus walked in this world, to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, that is what I hope to learn through this process. Even if heavenly places are not only pleasant but sometimes tumultuous I can...

"Be still in the Presence of the Lord,
and wait patiently for Him to act." 
Psalm 37:7

I believe (I hope) I am learning to live in peace even when the results of a decision do not seem positive. There is a different kind of grace for plans gone wrong, difficulty in relationships, or resources seemingly wasted, but still choosing to believe God will use it for good. Because there is a larger picture and I can only see a tiny spot of it at the moment.

In this moment I choose joy in Christ, my heavenly place.