Desire Of My Soul

Flashes of Lightning: Utter-Quiet, Hear His Voice, I AM, Trust (Watchwords for 2024)


As 2024 stood in the ready, a restless spiritual longing that had been stirring within me for a while surfaced. The eventual calm came with four watchwords God impressed on me—the last one is a command. Here’s what He showed me.


“I will take my stand at my watch post and station myself on the tower and look out to see what He will say to me.” —Habakkuk 2:1


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WATCHWORD GIVEN: From New Year’s Eve Eve 2023 and the initial moments of January 1, 2024, 12:01 am through God’s appointed third watch (midnight to 3 am).


Days before 2024 rolled in, a restlessness brewed within me as I waited for the watchword God would give me during our decades-long New Year’s Eve prayer “date.”


Part of it was a desire—quickening, aching, rising—for something with God, from God, that could not yet be defined—something that existed far beyond what’s been. For you, for me, for all who seek His face.


I’ve broken this post into the four intrinsically linked watchwords impressed on me for 2024—the first (lion’s share of the post) sets the course for the other three. I’ve also shared scriptures, some reflections, and my experiences along the way.


That said … How God uses this post for your walk is between you and Him, confirmed by His Word.


These watchwords themselves aren’t new per se . . . but how He moves in them may well be.


And note: they’re not more things to squeeze onto an already crowded, guilt-ridden To-Do list. This is God calling us nearer, birthed from His love and holy desire in this critical prophesy-rich hour.


1. Utter-Quiet

2. Hear His Voice

3. I AM

4. Trust [a command]


Surrendering to Him more means change is afoot, possibly leading to . . .


a redirection

to the unexpected, to a more humbled, childlike re-beginning in Him, the God of beginnings within beginnings


a release

from anything veiled under the vast, comfortable umbrella of the common, rote, patterned, sound-bite driven, self-focusing provincial surrounding us and within us


a shedding

of whatever the Lord highlights that has to go—like those faltering intents and mental attitude sins that have gone stealth, secreted in the crevices of our minds and souls


of any hardness within . . . lethargy, a distracted spirit, compromise and spiritual waning, self-focus, shrouded pretenses, deceit, duplicity of heart, or guile, false motives hidden from others and ourselves


a disruption

of what’s been for something more honestly and better aligned with Him . . . a truly consecrated life . . . where daily living is worship in action . . . a breaking up of what was within for a breaking through to His heart . . . the new pouring out to burst the old





The spiritual restlessness mentioned earlier in this post had occurred at various times throughout my walk. And similar to the past, it signaled that a shift-and-release is unfolding.


But this time, the restlessness cut deeper, broader, begging for a rushing away from the “sound” pollution, the noise storm, crashing against my soul. The daily chatter, mumblings, rumblings. The spiritually intrusive along with the well-meaning busyness of life—even ministry-focused endeavors and beloved biblically-focused broadcasts and the group-immersive resonance of church services/worship, in person or online.


My soul sought major relief before the Lord. From other people’s voices. And especially, from my own.


We’re the sheep of God’s pasture. And sheep, as I recently learned, change their ear positions when they’re stressed, fearful, in pain, contented, etc.—and they don’t like loud noises. Well, I could relate. Because spiritually, my ears were twitching. The life “noise” around me—even the noise from the rest of the flock—needed quelling. God was calling.


I felt like a bruised sheep seeking its shepherd’s refuge, longing for His arms and assurance, His authoritative staff leading me to quieted waters, and His voice—recognizable, comforting, trustworthy—driving back the exhausting sway of the noise storm.


Soul desire: to find rest in the tenor of Heaven—the unalterable, unwavering calm riding on the wings of God’s Holy Spirit . . . to sit in my LORD’s utter-quiet.




The Lord called me to a special time of our year-end prayer, earlier than usual—the night before New Year’s Eve. Maybe as a kindness to relieve my soul and give it the deep exhale-inhale-exhale it panted for. Maybe to help my sheep-ears get repositioned to standing status again. Or maybe He did it for something else entirely. His lead. Mine to follow.


Gentle, low-key worship music—a new-to-me, refreshingly different CD that honored His Name—streamed softly in the background. No other sounds. No other voices. No daily life noise pollution. Only my Bible and journal at the ready next to me.


And then, in time, there it was. A stilling, a shushing of my soul.


His humbling utter-quiet.


All masks drop. His presence real, down-to-the-bone revealing. His holiness, a penetrating truth. The soul, naked before Him.




awed by His magnitude and might

fear-struck by His profound holiness



And yet, gratitude rises. His grace lifts it higher. His mercies and forgiveness gifted through our Messiah Jesus/Yeshua are overwhelming, unfathomable.


As I prayed-journaled, I felt like a sheep-reverted-to-a-lamb. Herded forward to a new beginning. To become like a child again before Him, humbled, leaning on Him, teachable, obedient, trusting, seeking, panting after Him, wide-eyed and filled with wonder.


From now and until we’re called home, may we seize our days, hours, moments. May we deep-dive, desiring Him, voyaging to unexplored depths in His utter-quiet.


The Lord of Hosts, Him shall you consecrate (sanctify),

He shall be your fear (trembling, holy fear),

He shall be your dread (awe).

He will be a holy place (a sacred place, a sanctuary, a mikdash)

Isaiah 8:13-14a







Experiencing His utter-quiet creates a radical change, freeing a believer’s soul from its worn-torn, desolated state.


In Genesis 1:1-2, the earth is a ghastly desolation and emptiness. God’s glory moves over the chaotic—the tehom (Hebrew for depths, subterranean waters, even a deep soul-to-soul murmuring). Torah scholar/author Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg suggests God cuts through that deep murmuring—the “primal noise”1 to form a “creative silence,” a clearing for His creation Word to come forth.


I sense God’s desire to do that with our desolated souls, our groaning. Cutting through our noise (internal and external) on the subterranean level to usher in His utter-quiet where relationship with Him, authentically knowing Him, honesty before Him, and deep change ignite and grow. A deeper move forward into a spiritual, consecrated lifestyle of regularly forsaking the noise to submerge in His utter-quiet.



A Hebrew word came to mind. It’s found toward the end of the blessing said before studying the words of Torah: la’asok.


It means to immerse ourselves in, soak up (as one of my rabbis used to say every Torah study), engage in, engross ourselves in, occupy ourselves with, toil in.


That’s what God’s utter-quiet is about. Simply “be” with Him. To sit with Him awhile. To soak up and bask in His loving, mighty presence.


In His quiet, our souls are quiet. As the noise within us and the noisy pressures of the world and others fade, He and His Word step forth.


And we’re ready to la’asok b’divrei Yeshuatenu—to soak up the words of the God of our Salvation (Psalm 68:19 [20]).


John 1:1, 14a

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God . . .

and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.





Right before I opened my eyes around 5 am on New Year’s Eve, I clearly heard this spoken to me:


“To hear his voice, go deeper into worship.”


This isn’t about singing louder, cranking up the volume, wildly dancing, or gathering 100 of your closest friends for a worship fest in the backyard—as wonderful as all of that would be.


Going deeper in worship (in this context) is birthed within His utter-quiet presence. Wooed and radically amazed by His character and might. Overtaken by Him. Consumed by Him. His being. His holiness. His gentleness.


Your soul bows down. It may weep at His beauty, majesty, grace. But it can no longer be silent. It must speak out, sing out, cry out His Name, praise Him . . . because we were created for His glory (honor), called by His Name, formed to declare His praise (Isaiah 43:7, 21).


Words adoring Him seep out from meek crevices in your soul and stream from your lips. They can be said, they can be sung, they can be whispered, they can be exuberantly shouted. Overcome by His weighty presence, even your body might not be still.


That level of worship becomes a sweet offering carried by a fiery, unquenchable, indestructible passion for Him. A dance of your two souls binding together. Ascending higher in Him to new depths and breadths, climbing the rungs of Jacob’s ladder, that Heaven-and-Earth connection in Jesus/Yeshua, you join the voices of Heaven . . .


Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, who was, and who is, and who is to come.


In that stillness of soul, that deeper worship level, your spiritual being is sensitized, nurtured, corrected, encouraged, a repository where God can release new or greater insight and understanding.


Walking in it. Worshiping deeper flows from the utter-quiet out to your day-to-day life, into all that you do: laundry, your job, cleaning the house, caring for family members (human and furry ones), helping others, going the extra mile, waiting in line, etc.


Your soul carries the calm and understanding gleaned from the utter-quiet so your life becomes humble worship before Him, before others. Because with every breath, it’s about Him, it’s about Him, it’s about Him. Breathing Him in, exhaling Him out to the world.


I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.

Ani l’dodi v’dodi li’

אני לדודי ודודי לי


Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.

You are serving the Lord Messiah.

Colossians 3:23-24



#3: I AM

#4: TRUST [a command]


New Year’s eve with the Lord began with His addressing a recent, spiritually sorrowful upset in our family.


NOTE: What the Lord impressed on me is relevant to all of us, whatever situations we face or will be facing going forward.

About a month prior, an in-law went rogue. Prodigal. And that forced a heart-wrenching rift in their marriage. My soul reeled, aching first and foremost for my immediate family member experiencing it . . . but also for the one causing the pain, blinded by what they’ve done.


No matter how many times I’d asked the Lord if I could call, text, whatever, His answer was the same: a flat no.


But my soul was wrecked. I’d gone prodigal in my earlier adult years in the Lord—nearly 50 years ago—and the pain of that still stings.


So I kept petitioning Him: “Lord, someone has to speak to this person. They need help. They need to see spiritually what they’ve done and where they’re headed. Please, send someone. Who will go?”


And bam! Just like that, God had these words looming taller than me and BOLDLY LARGE before me, appearing like this:





This wasn’t God merely saying, “Hey, I’ve got it covered.”


He was conveying much more, wanting me—and all of us—to more fully, deeply embrace and more firmly stand expectantly on His Name which we know reveals His character:


I AM the Great One. I AM the Mighty One.


And I and I alone will be doing this.



Only I AM can move into the heart. Only I AM can send His Spirit to convict and counsel the soul.


In Isaiah 45, He declares: I AM the LORD and there is no other . . . I, the LORD, speak righteousness . . . There is no other God besides Me . . . A just God and a Savior.


Immediately, the Lord hung another word—a command—also tall and BOLDLY LARGE looming before me. It was so spiritual that it became somewhat physical . . . I had to lean back a bit to avoid nearly “bumping” into it as I tried to sit down on my sofa, grasping what He was doing. That’s how real and palatable it was.




His command meant: TRUST the GREAT I AM.

Trust in His character, His love, His long, long, long-suffering.

TRUST His timing. Don’t jump ahead.

Don’t lean away . . . doing a “little” something to help out.



There’s a difference between faith (אמונה, emunah) and trust (בִּטָּחוֹן, bitachon): Believing God exists is faith. But trust is having the certainty, the confidence, that God is “involved in events and that their outcome accords with His will,” as The Stone Edition of the Chumash (Torah) puts it.


For me, trust is walking on a high-wire with no visible net, putting my faith (emunah) in the GREAT I AM (who is my net).


May we grow closer to Him in this hour of biblical prophetic history . . . growing in His love and bearing His NAME to a lost world.


1. Run to Him in His utter-quiet.

2. Go deeper in worship to Hear His Voice.

3. Fix your eyes on the GREAT I AM.

4. Walk in His command . . . TRUST the GREAT I AM.



1. The Murmuring Deep, Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg. Schocken Books, New York, 2009

2. The Stone Edition of the Chumash (Parasha Vayeishev, Genesis 37-40:23, pg 221)



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