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Posts from the ‘Treasures from the Sands’ Category

Running in the Path of His Commands

After a long break, Flaming Abundance is reopening today, but now with renewed focus (see About) and breathing space. I have retreated from other social media, cutting off that which was suffocating and hardening my heart.

Repeatedly, God has pruned away things, often painfully cutting off branches I have been clinging to in shame and fear. He has exposed and removed the rot, to reveal the green shoots waiting beneath: the beauty of true abundance in Him.

For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems sad and painful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness [right standing with God and a lifestyle and attitude that seeks conformity to God’s will and purpose].

The shadow of death I have walked through the last five years, with one trial and loss after another, has become the birthing ground of rejoicing. In my surrender to God’s merciful pruning (thank You, Jesus, for Your working in me), I have been discovering God’s ways are so much higher than our own and so much more beautiful. Praise Him!


Psalm 150:6 (NIV) 

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord.




In the valley of the shadow of death we shall indeed fear no evil, for His rod and His staff they comfort us.


The burden of suffering seems to be a tombstone hung around our necks. Yet in reality it is simply the weight necessary to hold the diver down while he is searching for pearls. Julius Richter (Streams of the Desert, July 9)






A poem by Anna Louise Smit 


Still my heart

To know the breath

Of Yah

Rise and fall

My heart to call.


Grow in me to know

All death

Is but a shadow

Where Your rod and staff

Before me go

My heart in You to grow.


Where Your mighty hand

Unfolds each step

For me to walk

Your everlasting arms

Beneath me stayed.


Let each breath

Your Word now hear

To still and know

You’re sovereign here

To know my steps

Are purposed, Yours.


The Cross before me laid

You, my joy to meet

In Kingdom Come

In tears I weep

My seed to sow

In sheaves I know

Rejoicing comes.


My sin, my pain, my shame

In nail-pierced hands

In outstretched arms

Your body slain in tomb was lain

My debt has paid in full

Disarmed and put to shame

All authorities above, below.


Your blood that poured

My cup becomes

For me to know

Your heart in mercy flows

In truth and grace

To rise and speak.


This yearning world

I walk

Your light to shine

In weakness boasting

My knees to bow

Your Name in length

And width and breadth

Of love to boast.


Thrusting out my enemy

Before me You call:


That I might know

My everlasting God defends

His dwelling place

Salvation’s song to sing

My night in day to blaze.


In the silence and rest, my eyes opened to one sin after another, as God moved my heart to so much repentance. I am receiving my Heavenly Father’s love for me and pride in me like never before.

No, He has NEVER been ashamed to call me His.

Safely clothed in His love and approval, I can be who He has created me to be. I can drop the heavy and ill-fitting weight of this world and exchange it for the light yoke of Jesus. I can stop looking to the left, to the right and behind me. I can run in the path of my Savior’s commands with great JOY because He is daily enlarging my heart.



Psalm 119:32 ESV

I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!


Hemming us in, behind and before, from the very moment we were conceived in our mother’s womb, our God placed His hand upon us to bless us. And He has never, ever taken that hand away. Praise Him!



Do you, like me, long to grow in your intimacy with God? To release more of the heavy yoke of the world for the light yoke of Jesus? Then, I invite you to join me in my prayer today.


Father God, thank YOU for all the branches You have cut off. Thank You for all the restoration and redemption You have already brought us and are still bringing us. Thank You that You see us, love us and know us like no other.

Forgive us for all the times we have embraced a cloak of shame, rather than Your robe of righteousness. Forgive us for the times we have served from our own strength and pride, to prove ourselves worthy, when Your sacrifice at the Cross has already made us worthy. Humble us beneath Your mighty hand today that we may heed Your call to surrender all and follow You. 

In Psalm 51:8 Your Word declares “let the bones that you have broken rejoice”. Oh LORD, break the bones in us that need breaking that we may rejoice in Your putting back together, in Your restoration, healing and redemption.

Father, thank You that it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends (2 Corinthians 10: 18). Give us an undivided heart that we may fear Your Name above all else. 

Thank You that Your winnowing fork is in Your hand, and that You will clear Your threshing floor and gather Your wheat into the barn, but thank You also that You will burn the chaff with unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:12). We invite You to burn away the dross in us, to remove all that is self-seeking and impure in us, oh LORD.

Uncover more of Your heart, the new wineskin, in us. Even if it is painful, cut off all the branches in our life that are not bearing fruit in You that we may live and move and have our being in You. Continue to enlarge our hearts that we may run in the path of Your commands (Psalm 119:32).

Thank You that we all, with unveiled face, beholding Your glory are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18). Give us glimpses of this transformation, of Your life at work in us, on our hard days, that we may remember Your goodness to us and endure with joy. Let the fruit of our lips declare Your praise.

We so long for more of You, to abide fully in the Vine and to lift up hands that are clean. Make us a holy people. Create in us a clean heart and restore a right spirit in us, oh LORD. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.