Contemplating and Discerning God’s Will

On my daily walk this morning, I was struck by the stirring of the Spirit as I was meditating on God’s will. I guess I’ve always imagined my contribution to society would be grand. Whether that has been my inflated ego or God speaking all these years, I don’t know.

We can never know with absolute certainty what God’s will is; we can only do our best to keep an open place in our mind and heart for the Spirit to speak to us, constantly revising where we’re headed based upon His promptings.

But regardless, I often find myself irritated by the mundane aspects of life- changing diapers, cleaning the house, helping with homework, watching kids, etc. because it feels like it is keeping me from realizing greatness. How am I going to be able to create a grand piece of art that changes the world if I rarely ever have time to write?

But what if the grand is keeping me from realizing the great? What if God’s will is simply for me to be a great husband, a great father, a great teacher and preacher to my children? Maybe the grand artist is my will and not God’s.

We can never know with absolute certainty what God’s will is; we can only do our best to keep an open place in our mind and heart for the Spirit to speak to us, constantly revising where we’re headed based upon His promptings.

Better to live by the Word of God hidden from the world than to be elevated by the world without it.

My job is not to elevate myself. The world will one day forget that I existed regardless if I become “famous” or not. But hopefully the work that I do contributes to preserving the name of Jesus Christ so that thousands of years from now people will still know His name. There is no shame living a life that the world never notices if it is well lived, measured not by the world’s standards but by God’s. Better to live by the Word of God hidden from the world than to be elevated by the world without it. Teresa of Avila provides a lovely mantra to live by: “whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices.”

A life that brings even a single soul closer to God is a life of greatness.

This philosophy allows us to enjoy life and live fully, content in the present moment. It is folly to strive to make something out of YOUR life. Rather, live in a way that makes something out of His life. A life that brings even a single soul closer to God is a life of greatness. Don’t be blinded by the grand. Excel in the everyday, ordinary tasks, and the grand will occur if God wills it.

The more seriously you take yourself, the less seriously you take God. For when you become master, you bind yourself in chains of action, always striving harder and harder, less and less sure you’ve done enough to create a lasting legacy.

…the only time our souls are full and content is when we live in the Spirit and join in the centripetal, ever-revolving, relational love of God

But the more seriously you take God, the less pressure you have upon yourself. Laugh at yourself and the ridiculous, pompous thoughts of the human ego. God didn’t create you to glorify yourself; God created you to glorify Himself.

So love life and the people in it. Love the fact that God is going to help come to fruition His will whether you’re completely on board and do everything right or not. God doesn’t need us to glorify Him but knows the only time our souls are full and content is when we live in the Spirit and join in the centripetal, ever-revolving, relational love of God.

We are infinitely cherished and special beings while simultaneously being utterly unnecessary in the grand plan of God. This allows us to live with purpose yet pile all the weight of the world onto the Cross, onto the only one this world truly needs.

Justin Farley



My first chapbook of collected poems is available now! I hope you find encouragement in the poems but also a validation that the spiritual life is not all sunshine and rainbows. We all struggle. We all have periods of questions and/or doubt. But it is the yearning that keeps us coming back for more and allows us to experience joy.


You can purchase either on Amazon or on my own bookstore (it is cheaper and has free shipping on my store) and is available on the Kindle and in paperback.
Amazon: Kindle Paperback
Inkspiration Books (my bookstore): Paperback

Thank you for your support!

Happiness is Fleeting A Poem About Being Content with Life

Happiness is Fleeting

If happiness is your goal
you'll never be whole.
Always be rolling on a raging river
of emotion completely out of control.

For happiness is fleeting, receding like the waters
on a creek bank after a storm,
never even warned that the moment 
one desire is fulfilled a new one is born.

Seek to make contentment your aim.
For it's constant through the winds of change;
its heat still warms the soul
though the fire's flame waxes and wanes.

For contentment accepts life as it is.
Realizes there's as much to be grateful
for in pain as in bliss.
Discontentment always follows happiness.

Justin Farley

Conversion Poem About the Love and Grace of God

Conversion
A Poem About the Love and Grace of God

I began divided.
Quite selfish with a heart hungry for evil
yet filled with a deep longing brewing
below the surface that never seemed fulfilled
by anything other than you.
So what was I to do - 
in love with myself and my selfish desires
but realizing more each day my need for you?

I opened my ears to your voice
but kept my heart safely distant.
You told me to follow you.
And I obeyed...
at a snail's pace,
slowly inching my way towards your grace.

The closer I came the louder my name
reverberated from your lips.
Though the louder too were my selfish longings.
Lust ran high in the dry, dusty desert of restraint
and tried to pull me back
into the slavery of gratification.
 
I gave in time and time again
but refused to allow my sin
to convince me to hide in shame from you.
For at the core of my being,
I knew you held something true - 
an answer to a question about the essence of life itself
that couldn't be answered along any other path but yours.

So I continued hauling my heavy shell behind me
and sluggishly crawled onward,
but the way forward didn't get any easier.
I only found myself more divided,
fragmented into forces fighting within myself.

My head became a bed for commotion,
tossing me to and fro like the waves of the ocean.
The inner struggle only made me more aware
of the seriousness of my situation:
I had a head full of God
and a heart unwavering it its insistence
upon serving itself.

It was daunting,
haunting me in its clutches
and causing me to lose sleep
like a nightmare stuck on repeat,
waking me up in the night
to the harsh realities of life.

How was I to serve two masters
and attend to both of their matters?
My ego wasn't lulled to sleep
nor cowered to the call for its destruction.
But raged and rattled the cage
your spirit had created for it.

I trusted that your grace
was vaster than all the stars
shinning forth forgiveness in the dark
to the farthest corners of the universe;
surely my sin was no match for your goodness.

I resolved to stop worrying
so much about "do nots"
that I never seemed capable of obeying
and to focus on following through on the "dos"
I was perfectly capable of undertaking.

And there your spirit freed
a seemingly unsavable prisoner
from the bondage of self
and turned me towards the Divine.
For you kept me so busy doing your will
that I forgot about mine.

Justin Farley

Silence Speaks Poem About Listening in Nature

Silence Speaks
Poem About Listening in Nature

Silence comes swiftly
with the sudden breeze
quietly untangling the mind
and piercing the restless heart.
The rustles of the leaves in the trees
let light fall like raindrops
each time nature's canopy is shaken.

There's a presence here unnameable,
indescribable, ancient and older
than the tallest oak.
Found in the remote places
away from the clangs, bangs, rattlin' brain of the city,
lost but not forgotten.
Hidden like shoots of green
beneath the decaying debris
of crumbling leaves, fallen twigs, and toppled trees
crushed beneath the weight of a summer storm.

There's treasure buried here,
secrets desperately awaiting your discovery.
Your heart knows it.
Feels it.
Your mind contains the map
if it is hushed.
If it is clear.
Silence speaks.
But do you hear?

Justin Farley

Hello, everyone! I have recently published my first chapbook of Christian poems titled “A Voice in the Wilderness – A Chapbook of Poems about God”. This has been developed and polished over the past six months or so. I am happy with the final product and hope you find encouragement in the poems but also a validation that the spiritual life is not all sunshine and rainbows. We all struggle. We all have periods of questions and/or doubt. But it is the yearning that keeps us coming back for more and allows us to experience joy.
You can purchase either on Amazon or on my own bookstore (it is cheaper and has free shipping on my store) and is available on the Kindle and in paperback.
Amazon: Kindle Paperback
Inkspiration Books (my bookstore): Paperback

Thank you for your support!

Fasting in the Desert A Godly Poem About Contemplation and Selfishness

Fasting in the Desert

Strip yourself naked,
unclothed of selfish desire.
For it requires fuel to burn
just as a raging fire.

If all thoughts
revolve around me and mine,
how am I to hear the voice of God,
how am I to feel the presence of the Divine?

It's by starving addictions
that we discover the depth of their roots.
Sometimes we must endure pain and misery
to prepare our hearts for grander pursuits. 

Contentment begins 
when we step into Silence's abode.
Here we find all we need
and her blessings are bestowed.

For comfort comes
not from out there but from within
and fasting in the desert
is where the search for God begins.

Justin Farley

What Should I Do With My Life Poem About Life Purpose

A Life's Purpose - A Poem

Busyness is not success. 
Nor is achievement.
Nor accolades
of power, status, or wealth. 
Success is measured
by how closely we live out
our life's purpose -
the king who was called to live
as a pauper is poor.
What good is earning the riches of the world
if they cost the betrayal of our heart
each and every day?

You know the voice.
You've heard it speaking
in the depth of your soul,
trying to point you
back to your blueprint,
trying to realign you to your design.
We don't chose our calling;
it chooses us.
Fail to accept it
and you are thrust,

thrown down a path of emptiness
where the shrieks of the soul
become so loud
you must unceasingly engage in activity 
to distract yourself from the reality
of your failure.
Before do, you must answer who
you are
or all your doing
is nothing but steps
that lead you farther and farther
away from your true self.

Poem by Justin Farley

Planting – A Poem About Using Your Talents and Gifts For God

Planting

These seeds I sow, 
I know not whether they'll grow
or remain dormant
without ever seeing the light of day.

Whether they'll wither and die
or if they'll take root and thrive
matters little; I am a planter - 
I leave the harvesting to You.

I keep my heart open to the wind
on whose instructions I depend
to know which grounds You ordain 
for the work of my hands.

These seeds I sow - 
I know not whether they'll grow.
But the crop is Yours to use
whether large or small. 

Justin Farley

The Cloud of Unknowing A Poem on the Dark Night

The Cloud of Unknowing

To be free from the desires of the mind
step out into the night,
outside of space and time.

Wear the darkness, clothed like a dress.
In your unknowing,
you're truly blessed.

What you seek lies farther than eyes can see - 
step after step
faith must lead.

Like a flower, like a seed,
in the darkness
is where roots feed.

We need not act but only be open to receive
gifts that are imparted
but which the mind is unable to perceive.

Justin Farley




Hello, everyone! I have recently published my first chapbook of Christian poems titled “A Voice in the Wilderness – A Chapbook of Poems about God”. This has been developed and polished over the past six months or so. I am happy with the final product and hope you find encouragement in the poems but also a validation that the spiritual life is not all sunshine and rainbows. We all struggle. We all have periods of questions and/or doubt. But it is the yearning that keeps us coming back for more and allows us to experience joy.
You can purchase either on Amazon or on my own bookstore (it is cheaper and has free shipping on my store) and is available on the Kindle and in paperback.
Amazon: Kindle Paperback
Inkspiration Books (my bookstore): Paperback

Thank you for your support!

A Guided Meditation for Panic and Anxiety Disorders with Hypochondria

Meditation is often touted as a great solution for alleviating anxiety and stress. And it can be, but for those of us who have anxiety disorders, meditation and stillness runs counter-intuitive to our body’s natural desire to run and distract ourselves whenever we’re alone with our thoughts. I wanted to share something that has really helped me be able to use meditation and mindfulness as a tool for relaxation rather than a stimulus for panic.

One of the common threads throughout most meditative practices is the breath. We are to slow down our breathing and concentrate deeply on the in and out cycle. I don’t know about any of you, but as someone who struggles with some hypochondria and health anxiety in general, the last thing I want to do is pay attention to my breathing or heart beat. The hyper focusing on particular sensations in the body can immediately send me into panic mode.

My solution? To imagine breathing not as “breathing” but as air filling up an external object that has nothing to do with keeping you alive. I have found that a balloon is a great object that is easy to visualize. It can be relaxing in itself by evoking a playful memory of childhood. Everyone can remember the fun and wonder of seeing a balloon being filled up by helium. Probably best to think of it as air so you don’t visualize yourself breathing in helium and start imagining you’ve been poisoned, are light-headed, dizzy, and talking in a squeaky voice…Yep, our anxious thoughts can be that messed up. Here are the steps I take:

  1. Start in a comfortable position.
  2. Place your hand or hands on your belly close to your diaphragm.
  3. Begin visualizing your belly as a balloon…flat and void of air at the end of your breath out and being filled up with air and rounded as your stomach expands with each breath.
  4. It helps me to actually picture a helium tank in front of me and sliding an empty balloon on the nozzle and seeing the balloon get bigger as my lungs fill with air.
  5. Once I’ve filled my “balloon”, I pull it off the nozzle and see myself pinch the end of the balloon to make sure no air escapes and hold it there for a second or two (pausing my breath at the same time).
  6. Then, I start to slowly let air out of the balloon (and lungs) with my fingers still pinching slightly so all the air doesn’t come out at once. I even try to hear the sound of a deflating balloon as I’m breathing out to be completely in the moment.
  7. Once my balloon becomes completely empty I spend a second putting the balloon back on the nozzle of the tank (pausing my breath) and repeat the process.

Hopefully, this helps some people that struggle with the breathing portion of meditation or have been avoiding it because it feels like confronting fear rather than a relaxing activity. Your breath is important, but this exercise allows you to breathe correctly but still think about an external object to keep health anxiety at bay.

-Justin Farley

Hello, everyone! I have recently published my first chapbook of Christian poems titled “A Voice in the Wilderness – A Chapbook of Poems about God”. This has been developed and polished over the past six months or so. I am happy with the final product and hope you find encouragement in the poems but also a validation that the spiritual life is not all sunshine and rainbows. We all struggle. We all have periods of questions and/or doubt. But it is the yearning that keeps us coming back for more and allows us to experience joy.
You can purchase either on Amazon or on my own bookstore (it is cheaper and has free shipping on my store) and is available on the Kindle and in paperback.
Amazon: Kindle Paperback
Inkspiration Books (my bookstore): Paperback

Thank you for your support!

My Chapbook Collection of Christian Poetry and Poems about God is Now Available for Sale

Hello, everyone! I have recently published my first chapbook of Christian poems titled “A Voice in the Wilderness – A Chapbook of Poems about God”. This has been developed and polished over the past six months or so. I am happy with the final product and hope you find encouragement in the poems but also a validation that the spiritual life is not all sunshine and rainbows. We all struggle. We all have periods of questions and/or doubt. But it is the yearning that keeps us coming back for more and allows us to experience joy.

You can purchase either on Amazon or on my own bookstore (it is cheaper and has free shipping on my store) and is available on the Kindle and in paperback.

Amazon: Kindle Paperback

Inkspiration Books (my bookstore): Paperback

Thank you for your support!