Lean in… is an idiom, which from a dictionary point of view means to incline, or press into something. I know the word is known to mean other things but many years ago, Papa decided that it was imperative that I understand exactly what……’ Lean in ‘ meant, so He sent me to an Aglow Ladies conference. Some may be wondering how I knew that God sent me. I reckon that when you are in relationship, you begin to understand different ways you communicate with each other. For me at the time, an elderly lady gave me a very cheap train ticket about four months before the conference. I still didn’t mean to go, but one or two people reminded me about the conference. I left it very late and felt I wouldn’t get accommodation. When I called up this hotel that was always so fully booked during these conferences, they said they had a lovely room available. Finally, my dear husband promised to take care of our children. I knew everything had lined up so easily for me to attend the conference so off I went.
When I got to the conference, I started asking Papa why He had brought me to the conference. At the first evening meeting , Papa told me to watch the main Speaker. The main Speaker had been a widow for about eight years and had just gotten married to another widower. They sat on stage and throughout she was leaning into him. It was such a beautiful picture, and Papa told me that was how He wanted me to always lean into Him. That was the lesson from the conference for me, because I don’t remember any of the Speakers or what they taught, but I understood how important it is to Papa that we learn to lean into Him.
You may be wondering, how on earth, leaning in can be so important to the King of Kings. To begin, you only lean into something or someone you consider strong and sturdy. Trust is a big thing with the Lord, and He is always trying to have us assess how much we trust Him. Notice, I said have us assess how much we trust Him, cos He knows how much we trust Him. However until we can assess it ourselves, and see our need in the area of trust, we can’t address it. Our ability to trust God allows us surrender to His leadership. That’s why the Psalm 23 v 1 says, the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. In other words, we first have to acknowledge Him as Lord before we allow Him to shepherd us. Sheep only follow the Shepherd whose voice they recognise and trust. When we don’t trust Him as we should, we are saying to Papa that we can’t believe what He says. This is really hurtful especially for the One who loves us unconditionally and extravagantly. There is always fear, control and unbelief tied up in our lack of trust in our hearts. We need to go to Him, and ask for His help to show us where and how distrust entered our lives, and repent of it. We then need to ask Him to replace it with trust and belief.
Sometimes, Papa takes us on journeys right out of our comfort zone, down uncharted waters, just to get us to learn to lean in to Him. I have had Him work with me this way. There are certain times that He needs to work on our ability to trust Him before He can allow us enter in to accomplish things that He had prepared for us to walk in. If we are used to relying on ourselves, then, what we achieve will at best be man-ordained, not God-ordained. There is always a big difference.
Lean in involves putting pressure onto something much stronger than yourself. This is a bit like sharing your wieght with someone stronger, so you feel lighter. Colossians 2 v 5 speaks of Paul encouraging the Colossians because though he was away from them he could sense they were standing together in steadfastness of their faith in Christ. The Amplified version describes this as leaning their entire human personality on Christ in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom and goodness. The next two verses of the same chapter ( 6 and 7), tell us that having this total dependence, or leaning in, or receiving Christ fully or trusting Christ fully, we can then walk in union and conformity to Him. We can also be firmly rooted or planted in Him, established in the faith and abound there with thanksgiving.
Lean in also serves as a restful position and exudes intimacy. Within this intimacy is sweet love, and adoration that you share with the King of Kings. You speak softly to Him, because your mouth is close to His Ear and both of you share conversation for your ears and His ears only..! It is so beautiful to behold. It’s very far from the picture we see of people screaming at God or Jesus in prayer. I don’t think we would normally scream at a loved or honoured one especially when we are asking or praising them.
Lean in, and keep leaning in implies that even though we have learnt to lean in, we should keep at it so you lean in further. It’s like ‘ask, and keep asking’, and ‘knock and keep knocking’. ( Mathew 7 v 7 and 8). The way I explain this is a bit like the marriage covenant we make on the wedding day, where we promise to ‘belong’ to each other, and we do on that day. However, after the wedding day, comes the marriage during which we work daily at belonging more to each other. We do indeed, with God’s help achieve this. With some married couples, they practically begin to look like each other, some share each other’s mannerisms etc. With Jesus command to us to ask and to knock, He is teaching us about ‘process’, as opposed to a ‘ one off’ action. So it’s not a lean in once, and we are done. It’s a maturing in the leaning into the King of Kings, such that we begin to look, speak, think and act like He does. Also because we are leaning in so much to Him, He sees desires deep in us that we haven’t muttered to anyone even Him, but He let’s us have it anyway. This lean in..and keep leaning in gives our Papa so much pleasure, because we are embracing all He is and wants to be to us. We are declaring He is our Rock, Shield, and Defence. May Papa help us as we journey further still into His Heart of love.
God bless you,