Monday, September 8, 2014

Being Still

Music up loud when I'm driving. Check.
TV on so I can go to sleep. Check.
Most of the time I'm a noise liking person. Don't get me wrong, there are days when I long for a minute of quietness.

I'm currently sitting in a parking lot waiting on a friend to have dinner. I drove home from Nashville last night with the speakers in my car not working. Just all of a sudden didn't work any longer. And they still dont.

Pete Wilson talked about the difference in being busy and being hurried yesterday. His main topic was being self aware. He spoke of Ps 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God."

As I have thought about my speakers getting fixed throughout the day, I have become aware of the stillness He is offering.

May I be still enough to become aware of Him in every aspect of my life.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Chasing God

 
 
 
I actually received this book in January. Read about 4 pages and immediately put it on my book shelf. Behind other books. Out of sight, out of mind. At that time in my life I was running as fast as I could get away from God. I wanted to be able to read the book. However, I knew that I wasn't even willing to stop running long enough to fake my way through reading and comprehending any part of this book.


Fast forward 6 months. I had stopping running from God but wasn't running to Him either. I had a lot of doubt, lot of fear, lot of hurt built up in my heart. I was also tired. I knew my relationship with Jesus was the number one thing I missed and longed for. It's where I felt the most shaken. I knew something had to give, and that something was me. I joined an online Bible study, and began to let go of some things. I was learning new things and seeing old things in a new light. For the past month or so, I have been drawn to read Chasing God. I kept saying no. I would read another book. I would do another day in the study booklet. Basically, anything except read this book. It became a matter of not wanting to read it, but absolutely NEEDING to read it. In prayer one day, I heard God whisper in my spirit that some answers were waiting for me in those pages. So, I opened the book and began to read.

I am crying as I type this because I am in complete awe of the love and patience of a God that knew my heart needed some healing before I would ever be able to hear His voice otherwise. Had I read this book back in January, I would not have been receptive to its truth.

The truth is I have been chasing God my entire life.
Angie put a voice to some of the deep doubts in my life. She brought to surface many questions that I have no answers to. She's opened a door for me to step through in order to see for myself the life that God has for me.

Many, many times while reading this book, I have had to put it down for a while. I couldn't read for the tears. I couldn't continue because I had to bring pieces of my broken heart to God. I had to let go of some things. I returned with a readiness that I haven't had in a long time.
I've highlighted about 80% of the book. I've gained such insight that my relationship with Him is mine alone. That I will never have all the answers. He doesn't intend for me to.

Lately, the struggle of being able to handle everything and be everything to everyone has overwhelmed me. I felt as though it was all too much. How in the world could I get it all done? A friend and I were talking and she began to share her heart about things going on with her. As I listened, tears began to roll down my cheeks. The very same concerns and thoughts that I have been struggling with came out of her mouth. About 45 min before we were talking about this, I had read a paragraph in Chasing God. I shared it with her. We both sat in the quietness as we allowed God to penetrate that truth into our hearts. She then prayed for us. I know without a single doubt that God allowed for that moment to come in my life at the right moment. I will never forget that moment of feeling God speak to me in her living room.

"The notion that our Abba Father would dispense injury based on our ability to "carry it" is injurious to our relationship with Him and casts light wrongly on our human capacity instead of His generous dispensation of grace."

Instead of chasing God, I cling to the truth of His unwavering love for me.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Interrupted


I feel as though this post needs a warning. Reading the book Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker will undoubtedly change your way of thinking. Or at least it did mine.

By having the words When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity on the cover of the book, I knew deep down that it would affect me. I chose to read it anyway.

I have struggled so much with living out my faith. Especially if it means out of my comfort zone. I like my circle of friends. I like knowing fairly well how my day to day life will be lived out. I like all the materialistic things that I greatly have taken for granted.

In Interrupted, Jen talks about how God moved in her and her husband Brandon's hearts. He gave them a new vision for their lives. He called them to begin a church that loved and reached people beyond the four walls of the building. To go into the not so nice areas and love on people. To love the neighbor next door. To love by serving.

My heart began to beat a little faster only a few pages into the book. I felt a yearning in my spirit to ask God for a heart to love His people like He does. And not just the ones that would openly love me back. But for the ones that no one else may take time to serve and love on them. For those outside of my comfort zone.

Matthew 25:40 "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me." (NIV)
By becoming servants and in love with those around us, we become more like Jesus. It's about truly caring for other people. Not necessarily giving them stuff and being on my way. It's get down in the mess with them and living life.

One sentence that I kept coming back to was:

It's difficult to dismiss the idea of a redeeming Christ when His followers are pouring their lives out.

So often in my life, it is because of someone else obedience to God that has drawn me closer to Him. By the way they live out their faith. By extending a hug to a very broken girl. By holding my hand while waiting for a doctor to give me some results. By loving me in ways that I had never received love. It was and is hard for me not to see the redemption of Christ being offered to me. Yet, I have to be willing to receive it.
Why wouldn't I want others to have the opportunity to have a relationship with their Creator? Why do I hold back when at times I know that I am to step forward?

As I search my heart, I'm asking God to lead me where my trust is without borders. May my heart be broken for others. To truly love unconditionally.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Names of God: Week 6

I am sad that this study is ending. I have enjoyed it so much. I feel as though it has stretched me and brought me closer to God. It came into my life at a very critical time, and I know it is what I needed. 


Jehovah- shalom the Lord is peace
When the hour is dark and the situation desperate, we finally long for God's peace. 
So often I don't even consider God's peace to be necessary when things are going well in my life. Yet, when things begin to unravel, I beg God for peace. Just a little. Just a glimpse of hope. God desires to be my peace through it all. In the tough times and also in the good times. His peace should cover my day to day life. 
True peace cannot be found except in a right relationship with God. 
My relationship with God is far from right. Am I seeking His will? Am I obeying what He is telling me to do? I know that I must come before Him with a heart of repentance. Except His forgiveness and walk in a right relationship with Him. 
He gives us a peace that does not alter, regardless of circumstances. 
Jehovah- sabaoth the Lord of hosts
From God's perspective, it is name that reminds His people of exactly who He is- not only the One who delivers, but also the One who judges. 
This name of God meets failure and offers deliverance. 
Jehovah- rahh the Lord my Shepherd
What makes the difference in sheep is the shepherd. 

God created sheep to be defenseless, "dumb" animals. He created them so that we might see our need for Him. To show us our total, absolute poverty of spirit, and to show us our need of a shepherd. 

We are the sheep and God is our Shepherd. Without His guidance, we will destroy ourselves. We are to know His voice and follow Him. How many times have I entered into situations without heeding to the voice of God? Many. And greatly due to the fact that I did not know His voice. 

Jehovah- tsidkenu the Lord our righteousness
Righteousness is more than goodness, it is a right standing with God. But righteousness is man requires a new heart. 
The only way for us to become righteous before God is through receiving Jesus. He is our Branch that makes us righteous before God.

Jehovah- shammah the Lord is there
The future seems so uncertain, so helpless to most people that they have lost their vision. 
God was and always will be there. He hasn't gone anywhere. It is us that have lost our faith in Him. 
Jehovah-qanna the Lord is jealous

God is a jealous God. He commands us to have no other gods before Him. He only is to be worshiped. From His jealously comes justice.

Sin does have its own harvest. 
We are to live in the expectancy of "His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come." 1 Thess. 1:10
Although God gave left Jerusalem, He had to come back. He is Jehovah, a covenant-keeping God. 
I'm so grateful that God keeps His covenant with us. 

The one thing that I have relied and the most from this study is that God is I AM and He alone is enough.