Getting Honest with You, Just sayin'..
I am desperate to know that God is engaged in my life--
truly good enough in his heart toward me, as I teach that he is-
because when I'm honest with myself,
I oft believe he is that good toward everybody else,
but fear he is not toward me.
Maybe he never will answer or resolve my deepest aches. . .
I just read the little book of Habakkuk (Old Testament prophet-his book, just three chapters) again. Habakkuk's dilemma made me think of my own.
I want to know God, I want to hear from him, and at times, I wanna know he really is engaged in my life, not just everyone else's.
I am in a new season of life and that means I have different choices, new opportunities-I am going from full-time, in-place soccer mom, dinner fresh on the table most nights at 5.30 wife, rose gardener, bird caller, piano player and workout queen, on-call grandma, on-the-road-to-Flagstaff speedster when my son has snowboarded off a cliff-to a woman with more choices. Going to 'Q' in Nashville, becoming reacquainted with Habakkuk's heart, I am asking God, 'so, what?' I have come back once again to a decision of my heart and mind.
'How can I become the child who God envisions when he sees me as the 'apple of his eye'?1. One thing I know-God is not interested in mediocrity, so I must not be okay with it either.
Here's my starting point, my basis of belief-
God created me, God loves me, God's heart is good ~
God has a plan for my life, and it is a b o l d adventure ~
I don't want to just do it halfway ~
I want to live my life before God, fully engaged, living in the extreme, totally sold out.
What does that look like? Being that I know God created, loves, has a plan, etc.,
~>I know that God wants all of me, he is not interested in sloppy seconds; he wants a sold-out follower. God is calling me to surrender myself to him--starting with an acknowledgment of Jesus Christ as my Savior, the pathway to life with God ~ a relationship with him while I live, and Heaven when I die.
~>God calls me to wave the white flag of surrender, giving up my own agenda for his, which also means making a choice to let go of whatever entangles, entraps, or deters me in my relationship with him. If I need healing in some area of my emotional or spiritual life, get it! To be sure, it is a process.
~>Hey, let's talk about you too -God wants you to soar ... to live a victorious, abundant life. What would enable you to realize the victorious in your life?
One thing I know: THE ENEMY OF MORE IS SATISFACTION
Let's consider: ~What are our greatest dreams? DO YOU DREAM anymore? ~What are your biggest fears? And, what do you do with your fears? ~Friend, what do you want God to do for you... --heal your marriage? --heal your broken heart? --heal your body? --help you break through financially? --make you emotionally healthy?
Do we need God to bring our loved ones to know him?
--in some way, rescue our teen-aged or adult children?
Many of you know the life-changing premium I place on The Circle Maker2, an inspiring book about the power of our persistent prayers. Through it, I have been reminded about the miraculous power of a single prayer, and how that prayer can change the course of history. In my prayer journal, I write my prayers to God, day after day, and I continue to 'circle' my requests of him, knowing that God honors the persistent pray-er.
In fact, I have seen a miraculous answer to prayer in my family as a direct answer to a persistently 'circled' prayer. Thank you, God! Becoming an active pray - er will enable you and me to realize the victorious life!
~>in our prayers, we must train ourselves to Listen for the voice of our dear Lord. Surely by now, we know our prayers are not meant to be one-sided conversations! Friend, do you want to hear the voice of God, or not really? Is God telling you or leading you in some way in your life?
~>If so, it is time to Obey. 'Praying hard starts with listening to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. And if you are faithful in the small things and obey those little promptings, then God can use you to do big things.'3 Obedience is key to breakthrough living for the follower of Jesus-yes, you can quote me on that. I adhere to what the old Scottish preacher, George MacDonald said, 'all of life's truth could be discovered as part of an extremely simple, two-step process: realizing who God is,then obeying him.'4 Recently, I have been reminded of the truth of that maxim and also the difficulty in doing it.
When I am sold out to him, I have a natural inclination to ~>Praise God... daily. I remember when we used to sing a little chorus, 'Let the first song I sing today be praise to you... let the melody linger all day long. Let a smile and a kind deed show my faith in you, and encourage someone else to sing along...' I want to start my day in praise to God, and besides I know that God is near when I am praising him, when you are praising him.
Anyone who has any modicum of faith wants to know God's will. Paul wrote "Give thanks for this is God's will for you" ... When I am living sold-out life, it comes natural to be in a posture to Thank God. To praise God and to thank God is to be obedient to his word, as both are commanded of the Christian. But here is the value added-when we choose to praise God, when we deliberately stop and thank God, not just once but throughout our day, it transforms our attitudes. I would dare say that praising and thanking God lifts our countenances, and ushers joy into our days-in spite of whatever else is happening.
Finally, because I am sold out, when I am living in that mental and spiritual state, there is an overflow of my heart to Serve somewhere, to serve someone in such a way that the love of God is spread.
Having been challenged by Q to be a change maker in the world
around me, I can think of no greater convictions than these.
I want to strain toward the life God means for me to realize. It happens when I am sold out . . . just being honest.
1 apple of his eye - Psalm 17.8; Zechariah .8
2 The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson, Zondervan.
4 Knowing the Heart of God, George MacDonald, Bethany House.