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Connecting The Dots

31 Comments

Gwen Smith

April 12, 2013

Blog, Devotions, Holy Spirit, Prayer


orange couch prayer

Ever since I was young, I’ve loved connecting dots. In my childhood it was dots with numbers on paper that stranded together to form an object. As I threw my attention to the page and followed the numbered steps, a picture developed. A new creation appeared that brought joy to my little-girl heart.

My grown-up dot-connecting challenges are far from a kid’s fun sheet. There are daily life dots, like: family dots, faith dots, emotion dots, relationship dots, job dots, parenting dots and decision dots. I continually struggle to make sense of situations and circumstances and I long for a simply numbered life sheet to give me guidance and direction.

Do you ever feel that way? Do you ever wonder how to connect the practical instruction of God’s Word to your daily choices, challenges and behaviors? Do you struggle to understand how to connect the dots between your questions and God’s answers? Between the decisions you need to make and God’s wisdom?

If you have a pulse, I’m guessing you deal with this dot-connecting life stuff regularly like I do. The Lord knew we would struggle with this, and He gives each of us the power to connect our life dots. How? Through His Holy Spirit.

In Scripture, we see a beautiful promise. Before His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus told His disciples that He must die in order to connect the sinful hearts of man to the holy heart of God. He explained that though He was leaving this world, His followers would not be left alone or without power.

If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. (John 14:15-17a)

Jesus went on to say, All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (John 14:25-26)

The Holy Spirit works in and through us to connect the life dots between our heart and God’s. He’s the connector between our problems and God’s solutions. When we humbly go to God in prayer and ask Him to help us take the next step, or make the next decision, or choose the next response, He will faithfully lead us to the next dot with wisdom through the power of His Holy Spirit.

Invite the Holy Spirit to lead your decisions and emotions today. Open your heart to His counsel. Call on His wisdom and listen for the whispers of His truth. When you do, He will connect your life dots in order to bring glory to God the Father. Imagine what our lives, families, churches, and communities would look like if we allowed the Spirit of God within us to connect our life dots each day. The world would see a beautiful faith picture.

Heavenly Father, You are all-knowing and all-powerful. You know every decision I need to make and every challenge I face. Please forgive me for the times that I try to figure this life out on my own. I need You. I need Your Holy Spirit to give me strength, wisdom, and direction, specifically concerning ______________. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION: After telling His disciples about the Holy Spirit in John 14, Jesus blessed them with a peace promise: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

FOR YOUR RESPONSE: Where does this promise find you today? Leave a comment or prayer need below. I love, love, love hearing from you.

Thanks for doing life with me!

Gwen

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About Gwen Smith


Gwen Smith

I am an unashamed, imperfect worshiper of Jesus Christ. I cling to His goodness to cover my mess and purpose my days to live out the hope of the Gospel. It is my joy and passion to inspire women to live fully in grace and truth. I write books, devotions and songs. I speak. I sing. I worship. I post, pin and tweet. I am intensely in love with the Word of God and believe, wholeheartedly, that the Bible is divinely inspired truth.

  • http://forthisisthetime.blogspot.com/ Esther Aspling

    I need peace all over the place. I could sprinkle it on everything! I’m anxiety prone (might just be the female in me) and I need daily (minutely?) reassurance.

    Great Post!

    http://forthisisthetime.blogspot.com/

    • Kate

      you’re not alone (in feeling this or in general)

      • Shell

        Amen, sisters!

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Aren’t you so glad that we have an all-sufficient God? ;) He’s a minute by minute Provider… of peace, strength, grace, power, forgiveness… whatever we need. He’s faithful. We simply need to fix our hearts, minds and souls on Him. :)

  • Kate

    I want to know God more and be closer to Him.

    • Lynn

      You can begin right now. ” Dear Lord, come into Kate’s life. Heal her heart and open her mind to the endless possibilities of your love. Be with her today. Allow her to see your beautiful gifts all around her. We all need to breathe you in everyday. In Jesus name…….Amen”
      So now begin. Kate Is it possible for you to journal? I began almost 6 Yrs ago with what started as a gratitude journal.” Thank you Lord for my health, Thank you for my husband, for time w/ my sisters…”.anything that is good in my life and, anyway, it has evolved. Anyway, maybe start there. i think you will find it gives you alot of joy and satisfaction……and maybe find a church if you don’t have one already. You will know you are at the right place when you find it. :) Happy God Trails!

  • cristy

    How do I get to past devotions ? Yesterday’s was from psalm 23:4 I didn’t get a chance to share it yesterday. Thanks! BTW I was at the Cove last weekend and I signed up with crosswalk to receive streams in the desert and somehow I clicked on your devo and was so drawn in. Decided to check it out today and it clicked, duh, this is Gwen whom I just experienced her worship last weekend.

  • Chris

    I need the Holy Spirit to help me connect with my 20 year old daughter who is homosexual. I love her but not her life style and if has change our relationship.

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Thanks for sharing this challenge, Chris. Dear Lord, Please help Chris to love like You love… to stay tight to Your will and tight to Your grace. Pour your favor out on this relationship with her daughter and draw them both closer and closer to Your heart. In Jesus’s name, amen.

  • Shell

    I get so overwhelmed by the problems in life, and frustrated by the fact that my husband is unwilling to do anything other than work, watch TV, eat, and sleep. I need God to connect the dots in solving those problems AND loving my husband the way I used to. Before we married, he wanted to do stuff to help me and made a lot of promises, but then I guess he figured he didn’t have to help or keep his promises after he had the ring on my finger. I think about divorce so often, but I know that I shouldn’t even though it would make life so much easier for me. I know that God wants me to be happy, and I am so grateful for the verse yesterday: II Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound in you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” It gives me peace :).

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Sorry to hear about your frustrations, Shell. Got a verse for you: “Look to the LORD and His strength; seek His face always.” Psalm 105:4

      That helps keeps me focused.

      Lord, Please continue to give Shell Your perspective and peace. Empower her to remain focused on Your will, ways and wisdom. In Jesus’s name, amen.

  • Lynn

    Just wanted to tell you gals that I have discovered that anxiety is a very common thing, especially in women.the craziest things make us anxious. We feel the need to make everything alright for EVERYONE….and some of our men have a switch that they are able to shut off from the day/anxiety. Its how we are wired differently. We girls have to remember to BREATHE……… consciously take a deep breath and let it out . Make some noise when you do it. Seems like when I do that I am breathing in The Lord and letting out the anxiety. Helps me every day:)

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      :) Breathing is always good. Thanks, Lynn.

  • Shell

    I just wanted to let you all know that I meditated after
    writing that response, and I felt God speak to me. He let me know that worrying and getting
    upset over other people’s actions and my perception of their thoughts and
    feelings is about control. I cannot
    control other people—and I should not want to because how did I like being
    controlled by another? It was not fun,
    and I rebelled. Instead, all I have to
    do is consider my own actions and feelings, and let them be controlled by God’s
    wonderful Holy Spirit. Isn’t it funny
    how I want to control others and myself, yet I feel best when I give up all
    control? :)

  • Bekah

    I am a new mother to a beautiful 3 1/2 week old baby girl. The past few weeks have been HARD!!! Today, while reading this devotional, I had a thought. I need to parent my daughter the way God parents me. He guides me, loves me, and is patient with me regardless of how I respond. I cannot control my baby’s actions/responses, however, I can control how I love her. I want to be an example to her and I want her to grow up knowing she can ALWAYS come to me just as I know I can always go to Christ. So, that is me connecting the dots. As a new Mom, I am beginning to see the sacrifice God made with Jesus and the Love He expresses to us each day. I am learning that, that is the type of parent I want to strive to be.

  • Kirsty

    Never done this before but I read your devotional today and it was just what I needed. I can’t claim to have any massive problems in my life, in many ways I am incredibly blessed. However, I was getting so anxious and stressed about a job interview next week – something I have been working for for years. All day I have been offered help and encouragement by friends and colleagues – but your reminder that I should pray to God for strength and guidance, and leave it in his hands was the advice that I needed. Thank you

  • Heather

    Wow, that prayer is so me. My husband of 22 years decided in January that he wants a divorce and moved out a month ago. I daily struggle with trying to figure it out on my own, trying to find a way to restore our marriage. I pray daily giving it to God, but find myself constantly trying to do the right thing to fix it. It will be nothing short of a miracle if the marriage is restored, because I am sure that I am probably getting in God’s way. Please pray for restoration and for me to be mindful of doing what God has in mind, and ONLY what God has in mind.

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Yes, Lord. Amen.

  • Maryb

    Oh grace filled women of God, I urge you all to look back at your lives and you will see how God has orchestrated your every decision, walk, and breath so that you would be who you are and where you are, so that you could be doing exactly what you are doing for Him today.

    We can do NOTHING under our own power, yet we try to order our lives in many ways that are contrary to what God needs for us to be doing for Him. We bring hate, disease, war, crime, road rage, pollution, abuse, greed and all things that separate us from each other and God. Then the world wonders why God just doesn’t fix it all with His righteousness and power. Adam gave God’s world away at the tree and Jesus took it back again at another tree. The debt is paid, but the damage has still yet to be repaired. It won’t be until all God’s enemies are beneath the feet.of Jesus.

    To understand that God lives within the recesses of our heart, as a living entity that gives us spiritual life, is profound and true. While we cannot see this truth or feel it at times, we know by faith, that it is there. We know it because by reading God’s Word our faith becomes stronger as His Truth becomes less obscure and manifests itself in our lives.
    I pray that God shows Himself to you so that you can become the calm before the storm and help others find their way.

  • caren carter

    Hi Gwen. my name is Caren.
    First i want to say thanks for girlfriend, i try to read it everyday.
    So inspirational, and up lifting. God is connecting the dots each day in my life. he is putting so many positive Christian people in my life i am feeling so blessed. I’m connecting the dots one day at time. reading his words, and knowing that he loves me unconditionally. I’m a work improgressive, but i am being spiritually feed with his words.he is giving me a renew mind so that i can move forward with confidence. I maybe still learning but with God love and him leading the way how can i go wrong. watch out fear you will no longer have any hold on me.

  • Val

    I have been unemployed since December. I know that there those out there that have the same problem and I do pray for them. I just have a problem stepping before God and trying to work out the details of getting a job or trying to come up the money to pay the bills. I keep thinking in my mind if I do this and that maybe that will help. I need to step out of the way and let Him do what he knows is the right way. Please pray that I will get out of the way and let Him work. Please pray that the right job will come.

    • bjoruett

      I know how.you feel. You had the courage to express your concerns here, it’s much easier to ask God , the Father to help you. Don’t you think it’s easier to ask your Father for help than to ask strangers. God loves and wants to help. He wants us to come to Him. Tell Him what yoy’ve shared here. Not only does He listen, He will help you in ways you would never expect. Believe me He’s done it for me many many times, He will do it for you or anyone who believes that He will.

  • Julie

    This spring season is especially tough for me because of severe allergies to all types of pollen. I’m always wondering when and if I’m going to have a serious reactions, and have to get my doctor on speed dial. But God is showing me that I don’t have to let fear rule my life. He understands my worry and what my body is capable of. He is in control, he can help me find peace.

  • http://profiles.google.com/christalena.vanaken christalena vanaken

    Currently I am also struggling with anxiety, faithfulness and disappointment. Not disappointment with others but myself. I have been given a gift of creativity yet I don’t exercise it because of daily responsibilities, marriage, mother hood and a job I am thankful for and good at but bored with. Please pray for me to be more greatful and trust in the Lords voice not my own.

  • Shore Mum

    Struggling with anxiety caring for my mom who has cancer. God seems so far away or not listening to my prayers. It seems His will is not my will.

  • http://www.facebook.com/SPC.Bosley Spc Bosley

    Just thought i would share my thoughts today because i am struggling. I am a American soldier. I am about to make the next step in rank but first i must attend warriors leader course and boards. Well this requires me to stand in front if people which i have never been good at doing. I guess biggest fear is failure or looking like a failure. I pray for the strength to overcome my fears quiet a bit. Any ideas?

    Spc Bosley
    302D BSB HHC
    S. KOREA

    • bjpruett

      Thank you Spc Bosley for your service to our country.Your willingness to serve to protect our country is very unselfish and very brave. I understand your feelings of anxiety about standing before a group. Most people feel that way. I’ve heard it said that if you imagine the people you are speaking to are in their underwear. It works believe me, I’ve done it . The more you do it the easier gets. It’s like riding a bike, the more you practice the better you get at it. The famous country singer, Barbara Mandrell, admits she gets butterflies in her stomach everytime she is about to go onstage, but once she starts it goes away. I’ve spoken and sung infront of audiences myself(I’m an amatuer who loves singing.) The very best way to calm yourself before you speak in front of a group is to ask Jesus to be with you and help you to say the right things and not be afraid.

      Again, thank you for your service.

  • Liza

    Hi. Thanks for blessing my heart. Pray with me to connect the dots in my marriage. My husband is always angry, even for small things and both of us are saved. God bless. Liza

  • Aletta Coetsee

    Proverbs 1:23 If you will turn (repent) and give heed to my reproof, behold, I [Wisdom] will POUR out my spirit upon you, Wisdom will make my words known to you. 33 But whoso hearkens to me [Wisdom] shall dwell securely and in confident trust and shall be quiet, without fear or dread of evil. Thank you, confirmation of our 30 day proverb reading to follow your 30 Day Summer Psalm Adventure!

  • Pam

    This spoke to me today and just reminds me of how personal our God is. I am currently separated and looking to purchase a home for the first time ever and on my own. I am seeking The Lord for direction and wisdom and trying to discern his will is where the struggle comes in. I’m reminded and encouraged today that I need to be looking to His Word for the answers I am seeking and trust Him with every “next step”. Thank you Qwen for allowing God to use you and encouraging me to press in and trust God with every decision and direction.

  • Lon

    Really needed this prayer as I try for new beginnings in my life, seek clarity and purpose. I pray for restoration, clarity and open doors and hearts for me. In Jesus name I pray.