This word grew in weightiness as we talked and prayed through our Velvet Ashes Editors Planning Retreat this past weekend.
Each sensed a tugging in the direction of subtraction. One in the fullness of abundance, one heavy with expectancy, one in a season of shifting, one on the cusp of new openings, one in sweet obedience.
All in deepening dependency on the One who attends to our souls with sustaining care fitted to our needs and His desires for us.
As we considered passages of the children of Israel defecting in their worship to include other gods – ones requiring horrific sacrifices in unending demands – we were drawn to Yahweh. The One full of goodness who sustains and gives. All powerful yet rich in love. The glorious One full of mystery and wonder.
In quietness and rest we listened for the invitation to our hearts as we shut out distractions and lesser affections.
And the invitations were sweet and kind.
Subtract so I can multiply your influence.
Subtract and I will increase your joy in the ordinary.
Subtract to create room for the new.
Subtract in breadth so I can deepen and solidify.
Subtract in order to tune in and observe.
Subtract to allow Me space to inhabit.
This community we call Velvet Ashes is made up of women determined to follow Him into hard places and messy situations. To fight big battles and arm ourselves with courage in the struggle. We are bent on obedience.
But what if obedience in this season means sitting with Him, absorbing His goodness, marinating in His fragrance, delighting in the quiet rest of being with Him. Will we obey when His command is stillness?
Subtraction may not be your word right now. Perhaps you are in a season of wide expansion or rapid growth. We rejoice with you!
But if you are being pruned, stripped, weeded, may you follow the gentle deliberate movement toward purposeful less.
We invite you to consider what “subtract” might mean for you with these questions.
What would need to change about my pace to fit someone who longs to linger in the presence of God?
Where does my schedule allow space for listening and hearing from Him?
When do I notice my labor and rest being determined by attentiveness to His leading? When am I driven by needs and expectations not originating from our Father?
What about me resists subtraction?
What attracts me to the concept of subtraction?
How will I respond to His invitation to me today? This week?
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