God has been speaking to me so much lately.
He has been reinforcing His truths to me in the most amazing ways. I've been "hit between the eyes" with so much truth this week, that I'm quite honestly just trying to catch a breath in the midst of it all.
It's crazy what can happen when you just quiet your heart and start listening to Him.
I'll share it all some day soon when it's not quite so jumbled and my mind is not quite so full. So until I can share the whole story, I'll share bits and pieces of it that have struck me deeply.
God has been asking me the question,
"What aren't you doing right now because of fear?"
I shared this quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. on my Facebook today:
”You might be 38 years old, as I happen to be. And one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue. And you refuse, because you want to live longer. You’re afraid you will lose your job, be criticized or lose popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab you, shoot at you or bomb your house; so you refuse to take a stand. Well, you may live until you are 90 but you are just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
What are you not doing because of fear?
King David spoke these words, "I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings which cost me nothing." (2 Samuel 24:24)
So often as Christians we seem to buy into the lie that it's okay to act and talk like a Christian as long as it doesn't cost us anything. We will do many "good" things. But not those things that cost too much. Not the things we'll have to pay too dearly for. Apathy is easier. Apathy is popular. Giving is too expensive.
And I'm not talking about in terms of money. "To obey is better than sacrifice. I don't need your money. I want your life." God doesn't need us to throw money at Him. He owns it all, remember? He died on the cross and paid the price for our LIVES. Not for our money. Not for our talents. Not for our eloquence. For our LIVES. For our very breath. Every part of us. Not just some parts. Not just the easy parts. Not just the parts that others see. He wants the secret, hidden, deep parts of us. He bought us. He paid DEARLY for us. With HIS life. He hung on the cross to pay the price that was on our heads. He satisfied the wrath of God FOR US. Because He loves us. Because He desires our lives.
"When I saw you I was ashamed.
You were pure and I was stained.
But you ran to me, and You called my name.
There were tears of joy upon YOUR face."
(Phil Wickham, "Home")
Frank Buchman spoke these words in the 1930s, "I stopped trying to run things the way I wanted to many years ago. I started listening to God and letting Him have His way in everything. If men like you did that, you would find the answers instead of spending your lives beaten by the problems you yourselves create."
Why do I keep having to learn this lesson? When will I realize that this truth is never going to be a lie? God's way is always higher. When I feel Him speak softly to my heart, and when I hear Him speak so clearly as I have this past week. How can I think to do anything but listen? How can I even consider it?
So often when "seeking God's will for our lives", we come to God with a proposition and ask for His blessing on it. But how often do we hear out God's propositions and obey them readily? How often do I listen for His voice and what He is asking me to do and then act on that? Too often I tell God what I want and then I ask Him off hand, "Is that alright?" Shame on me.
I am so guilty of fighting God. I am guilty of saying no. I am guilty of saying, "Anywhere but there." or, "I'll follow you here IF you do [a, b, c] first"
Bryan took me out on a date the other night. He drove me an hour away to my favorite restaurant (part of a chain and I worked at the one in MN for 2 years when we were first married) On our way there we were talking about something that we feel God is asking us to do. We started talking about finances and how it would be a sacrifice in that area. Bryan said, "I know God always provides, you know?" but we were both still skeptical about how He could provide in this situation. We pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant still having this same conversation about whether or not we would be provided for if we obeyed what we felt God was telling us to do. We sat down to dinner, and halfway through the meal were tapped on the shoulder by a sweet elderly gentleman and his wife. They commented on our sweet Hunter and how cute he was. They told us we were blessed to have him and we told him we were blessed with two more wonderful children as well. They were shocked and the man squeezed our shoulders. Moments later after they'd left, our waiter came to our table to tell us that elderly man had paid for our dinner. The first thing I heard was a voice saying, "See? I always provide." Why, oh why do I doubt? Why do I question and fear? Is He ever anything less than faithful?
In the Bible, whenever God announced what He was about to do in someone's life He often began it with the words, "DO NOT FEAR." He knew we would fear. He knew we would worry and list the cons and freak out about the details. And He said "DON'T".
When will we truly learn how to trust? How to let go?
"You have never been more near and the view has never been more clear. Here we are now in this moment. You are my hope when I'm broken. I am at the end of myself. This is the start of a new life, breathing this air for the first time I am made new." -Abandon, "Here We Are Now"