Seeking First His Kingdom: The Secret Place of the Most High

I wiped my sweaty palms on my jeans.

The girl presenting before me, twirling her floral skirt as she spoke, was finishing her English Capstone presentation.

And I was next.

I stared back at my notes in front of me, praying silently. Lord, help me to speak loud enough to be heard and clear enough to be understood. My patented prayer before any time I find myself speaking before a crowd, the last place I ever like to be.

I pushed my wavy brown hair behind my ears and walked to the front of the class. I turned to face the crowd and spoke, “I don’t know what English looks like for me after graduation.” My professor smiled from the back row.  “But this is where I’ve been,” a picture of Detroit displayed on the screen behind me, “and this is where I’m going again.”

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Sometimes what’s next ends up being right under my nose the whole time.

As I stood in front of my English Capstone class sharing for ten minutes my research on teaching English in American-Muslim communities, the answer to what was next was right in front of me. Right under my nose, already rooted in my heart.

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Scripture says, after reiterating the uselessness of worry and the faithfulness of the Lord, to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33).

As I press into Him, He is faithful to lead, faithful to provide, and faithful to establish His path before me. Even when it requires miraculous provision. Even when I feel like I’m in over my head.  Even when fear churns my stomach and I need His faithful provision of faith to step forward in obedience.

And even when I find myself wiping my sweaty palms once again, stepping forward onto a stage, and speaking into a microphone before a crowd, saying “This is where I’ve been, and this is where I’m going.”

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I’ve heard it said that the only safe place in the world is found in the shelter of the Most High. Safety isn’t found in the city I live but in the arms of the only One I can rest secure in.  For he who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand] (Psalm 91:1).

And it’s in those arms, in that secret place, that I’m being challenged to trust more fully, rest more deeply, and step out with more boldness than ever before.

When I feel anxious, heavy, or afraid, to rest in this truth: The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1).

For He Who is in me is greater than he who is in the world.

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