by Phyllis Ducey
pfdoriginalartworks




"and it will be said:
Build up, build up, prepare the road!
Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people."

"For this is what the high and lofty One says-
He who lives forever and whose name is holy:
I live in a high and holy place,
but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and to revive the heart of the contrite."
Isaiah 57:14,15

The past few weeks I have struggled with what to write. I am doubting whether what I do has value but I made the commitment and feel the Lord has honored it. Tonight I write, once again, blank as to what will enter the computer through my fingers. This verse, Isaiah 57:14,15 is underlined in every Bible I own. It has popped in my head each time I questioned what I would write. So I thought I better focus on it.

It is a verse that comforts and encourages me. And also has been a verse I have prayed for myself and for others when I knew they needed to get back on track or they were depressed (lowly in spirit).

Back in the days this was written (way before Christ) kings, queens, the wealthy and powerful would travel with an entourage. Roads were not nicely paved and often full of huge rocks, fallen trees and debris. The expectation of the elite was that the servants would go ahead of them to remove the obstacles so that they may have a smooth ride.

Build up, build up, prepare the road!
Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.

For me as I read these words, I am reminded that I need to remove the obstacles out of my life. My obstacles may be becoming engrossed in work, the internet, computer games (free cell and spider solitaire are great time killers) or anything that may take my focus from the Lord. (Are these things in themselves bad? No, just like food... everything in moderation.) There are times when relationships are obstacles. Maybe you are angry at someone and it is effecting your prayer life or you are not forgiving someone who has offended you. Others may find depression or anxiety are their obstacles.

My biggest obstacle lately that so saddens me is that I can't keep my focus while I am praying. I start out good then before I know it, I am at work, making a grocery list or wondering what I will wear tomorrow. Here I am having a conversation with the creator of the universe and I start thinking about clothes! (How pathetic is that?)

"For this is what the high and lofty One says-
He who lives forever and whose name is holy:
I live in a high and holy place,
but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and to revive the heart of the contrite."


So when I get into one of these lack of focus ruts... and periodically I do hit them... I return to this verse. Our God, the high and lofty One, the Creator of the universe, the Great I Am, the God whose name is holy and who lives in a high and holy place seeks to also live with me when I am contrite and/or lowly in spirit. He actually seeks to revive my spirit and my contrite heart! Wow!

This verse is directed to the lowly in spirit and the contrite. That is who God chooses to dwell with. But note He prefaces it with the command to remove the obstacles out of the way of His people. How do I do that?

There are times that I feel like the obstacles are more like huge boulders or giant fallen trees that I do not have the strength nor the ability to remove. Then I pray (even when I have trouble with focusing) whether it be a long intense prayer or a short call out for help type prayer. I don't think the length makes any difference, it is the sincerity of the heart that makes it effective. God honors that and He is the one who helps me clear the road.

Occasionally I just can't pray... I may be so discouraged I'm convinced it won't do any good. That is just plain bad thinking on my part. When I get like that I go to my family... my sisters and brothers in Christ. I ask for prayer. They hold me up. Though I may not feel it, I know in my heart that God promises to answer prayer.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Mathew 7:7-8

The problem for me sometimes is that He does not always answer them the way I want. So when I pray for something and I think He is not answering (because I stubornly want it my way)I wonder why He is not answering. And then I build another obstacle.

Clearing the path and removing the obstacles can take some real honest self awareness. To honestly ask yourself is what I want for the Lord or for me? Is that boulder from an outside force or is it my boulder of stubbornness? Am I doing all this wonderful ministry to make me feel good or am I doing it to honor my God? Can I trust God to help me through this depression/anxiety or am I letting fear block the trust?

The answers are just between you and the Lord. All I know is that when I take the time to clear the path, I can easily run into His arms! And there is no better place to be.
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Flute print by stormtrouper1












Singing bird in tree card by StorytreeCreations





















Pocket charm by bucket24










Necklace by dditta










God answers prayer
sign by cedarcreektreasures











Rom 12:12
by Angelasheart





















Comments (10)

On August 9, 2010 at 9:05 AM , Pam Lacey said...

Thank you for including my piece in with this wonderful post!

So much of what you wrote is so timely in my own life. I have found obstacles sometimes don't move out of my way because I haven't fully looked around at where I am... and why. Sometimes there is something God has asked me to do and I haven't followed His instruction. But, if I claim to trust Him, if I've accepted His invitation for salvation and eternal life and BELIEVE that I have been granted those, then how can I not believe and trust that He always has the best for me in mind in whatever He asks me to do? How is it that I can even choose not to do it? But, often that is the choice I make, not to follow what He asks. So most times, it's me that is actually the obstacle more than the obstacle in front of me. And when I finally DO follow His instruction, I am blessed in ways I couldn't have imagined, even if there was a little "pain" experienced in the effort of being obedient. It's times like those that I humbly thank God for the goodness of His Grace, and oh my, the depth of His patience with me.

Blessings to you!

Pam
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On August 9, 2010 at 11:00 AM , Sue Runyon said...

Phyllis, you may have started out not knowing what to write, but the Lord led you. Thank you so much. You always start my week off right and I look forward to your posts. I'm so glad I have my internet back so I can read them!

 
On August 9, 2010 at 11:19 AM , ZudaGay said...

Wonderful post, Phyllis! Thank you so much for allowing the Lord to speak through your fingers. I need to do some road clearing...

 
On August 9, 2010 at 12:15 PM , Linda said...

Phyllis

Thank you for including my sign in your post! It really does tie in to your writing.

Your writing is truly inspired by the Holy spirit! I think many of us are finding prayer hard at times.

When I struggle with prayer, I offer our Lord, every beat of my heart, every breath that I take and every move that I make as a prayer. St Paul tells us, "pray without ceasing" By offering all of our being to the Father we make it continuous prayer. I am in constant conversation with our Lord throughout my day. Unfortunately, sometimes complaining about his will for me when the road is hard. Thank God he loves us soooo!!

You are beautiful Phyllis, and your love for our Lord is evident! Keep up the good work! Your writing is truly inspiring!

God's abundant blessings to you
In Christ
Linda, cedarcreektreasures

 
On August 9, 2010 at 12:19 PM , MYSAVIOR said...

One thing that I always have to remember is "The Lord's Time".

♥♥♥
Sue

 
On August 9, 2010 at 12:28 PM , P.K. said...

God is faithful even when we are not. This scripture and your words have touched my heart today.
Don't ever forget that Satan is alive, well and running rampart doing whatever he can to destory the work of the Lord and His people. It is human that our minds weave from one thing to another especially when we are praying and drawing strength. What would be the sadness would be if when we realize we are drifting we don't pull ourself back - it sounds like you do. Draw strength from Him who provides.
Thank you for your time and energy - it is appreciated!

 
On August 9, 2010 at 2:17 PM , JoyfulHandKnits said...

Thanks, Phyllis, for this great reminder to keep the road between us and the Lord CLEAR OF OBSTACLES! I have enjoyed the book of Isaiah in recent weeks, and just keep hearing lessons from it.

Thank you so much for allowing the Lord to speak though you and for being transparent before your brothers and sisters. God Bless You.

Joy from JoyfulHandKnits.etsy.com

 
On August 9, 2010 at 3:39 PM , Lois said...

What a wonderful post. God bless you.

 
On August 9, 2010 at 9:54 PM , cksilver said...

Beautifully written, Phyllis. Love your blog post, and also the first picture with the verse (Jer 33:3) is my life verse. The LORD immediately caught my attention & kept me ready through your post. Thanks for letting the LORD speak through you each and every week!

 
On August 9, 2010 at 10:46 PM , KippysSoMature said...

:O)