Monday, July 27, 2015

The Project That Revealed My Sin

In the last few weeks, God has been taking me on a journey. Actually I should say that in the past few weeks I have finally realized that He has been taking me on that journey. Even in moments of failure and darkness, He is preparing me for another step, another challenge. No, He doesn't cause me to fail. Hardly possible. God is using what He has to work with to cultivate His ultimate purpose and I am very much involved. 

I had this idea come up into my imagination, that's soul purpose was to glorify God and bring others to the Light I am passionate about. While on this trek to bring it into a reality I have come across several simple challenges that have brought me into a deeper understanding of who God is and what He wants from me. Might I add that God is so tender with my short comings. He knows that I crumble when I find out that I failed. He knows that it becomes a great monster in my closet that I cannot seem to shake. So He works like the master orchestrator that He is. Let me explain.

I was feeling inept to the task at hand. There was an understanding I had that made me realize the enormity of responsibility resting on my shoulders. If I wanted to take on this new venture, I was going to have to really weigh into God's truth and invite the Holy Spirit into my life like I never did before. This realization made me petrified. What am I doing? I am NOT qualified! I am no scholar in religion. Only took 4 religion courses in college because it was part of the requirements. I studied Anatomy, Chemistry, Cognitive Psychology, Neurobiology, and all those other generals. What right did I have to take on something for God that meant I had to share His Light?

While trying to grasp this, I could do nothing else but spend time claiming His promises. I started adding sitting on a park bench to my routine, during my walks/runs. I would sit there and just wait for 10 minutes. I know it is not long, but it was a start. I waited, wondered, and felt slightly confused as to why God was not saying much. I was sitting there waiting for Him to speak wasn't I?

Then I started to get bombarded. It was like a magnifying glass on all the little itty bitty sins that I had been carrying around. I found pride. Ya, I started to wonder if this whole project was for my own gain. I also felt jealousy. My husband, Chris, started His own project and was able to get it running rather quickly. He was stealing my thunder! My emotions became quite intense and I could not seem to figure out why I was so insane. Why in the world did I feel so mad and crazed when I had this project to attend to? 

Then it hit me. After I confirmed that I really needed to bring it all to God, I felt this desperation to make sure that this whole project was not under my own terms. While I was asking God to take away the pride and jealousy and also reading a book called "Daring to Ask for More" I discovered that God was answering my prayers.

He was not trying to convey that I had it all together and could now take on this project. He was not saying that I had all the knowledge in the world to spread His Light. He was simply showing me my real place. My real condition. In so doing, He was being glorified. By asking Him for help in my condition, His purpose was able to come through and make a difference in my life. I was able to see His goodness, direction, and power. It made me realize that the whole point of sharing the good news is to let others know that despite our faults, God can make a difference. 

God does not call the angels in His court to come down and tell the world how amazing and compassionate He is. It would not be very convincing. They have no idea what it feels like to sin. But we do. We know our condition. We know our need. The more that I am in His presence, the more I realize there is a hope for my situation. Through Him I can do a lot. 

And to think that He called me to take on a new project. It was not merely to stay busy or show Him off. He found a way to get me closer to Him. He found a way for me to discover my sin, confess, and move on in His Light in a very constructive and growing way. He does not point out sin just to call you a fool and a failure. He says "Come I have a solution. Be My disciple and call all men to Myself."

So here I am working on my project and hoping that what He has in mind for it, is grander than what I could ever imagine. Stay tuned my friends. :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

That Journey Toward Rest

I have wanted to find rest for quite some time now. Each time that I try and connect with God, I feel the distractions coming in and making me fret. It is crazy how, the moment you desire to be with God, the stronger and more intentional you feel the devil gripping your thoughts with negativity and chaos. In the midst of trying to do a work for God I find myself still distracted. While immersing my whole body into nature, far from human creation, I still feel the pull.

While on this quest for rest, God has been giving me glimpses and strategies that I have been slowly implementing. Here are a few realizations that I came across while on my journey:

1. Distractions and LIFE will always be there. Despite how far I remove myself physically from the stressors of life, those thoughts of anxiety will still come. I have to be intentional, even in the midst of physical chaos, about spending time with God. Like an oasis in my mind, I will have to find peace. Only Heaven will provide me with the perfect serenity and utopia I am longing for.

2. Becoming as a little child is no joke. While sitting in the park the other day waiting for God to speak to me, it was my first try at this, I discovered that in order to really be in the presence of God I need to go back to the basics of my childhood. As I sat there taking in the scenery and wondering what God had to show me, I was reminded of how I used to think and feel as a child. I had no concerns, worries, or fears. Even the dark never overwhelmed me much. In that moment I realized that I had to be IN the MOMENT to feel God close. I needed to forget the past and let go of the future in order to gain what I DID have. The present.

3. Treasure those moments in the quiet. Yes, we may never get the opportunity on this earth to live out in the woods or forget what it is like to hear sirens and passing cars. What we can do is notice the moments of silence as we sit on a park bench in center city and see a bird flitting about. We can smell the beautiful flowers crawling over the graffitied walls as we walk through the crowds. Our hearts can feel glad when the sun warms our chest and wraps around our arms. In our souls we can find that oasis with God.

4. Making God our priority brings great peace. This is the hardest thing to implement for me. Strange, how the very thing that gives me life, is so hard to stay focused on. While I work, travel, and cultivate my skills God should be the center of my existence. When I claim His promises and rest on His word all those things that I want to do or places that I want to go will be done with effectiveness and purpose. The words that I say will have punch and meaning. My intentions will come into existence and my nights will bring sleep. I will eat better, exercise harder, and help others more.

What are some things that you have found to be helpful in gaining peace and rest while working for God? Where do you go to spend time with God? When do you experience rest? What are some things that you struggle with while trying to make time for Him? Where do you expect to find rest?

Here are some promises to claim:

- With God, all things are possible. (Mark 10:27)
- Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you will have them. (Mark 11:24)
- God gives power to the weak. He gives strength to those who have no might. (Isaiah 40)
- Those who wait on the Lord will have renewed strength. (Isaiah 40)
- God has done with the law, weakened by me, could not do. (Romans 8)