Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hunger and Thirst

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

I have been trying to loose weight recently. One thing I am working on is trying to recognize true hunger. So many times people confuse thirst for hunger, therefore overeating trying to meet a need that is not there.

I thought about how this coorelates with a thirst and hunger for righteousness. So many times as people search to fulfill the emptiness in thier life that is a God size hole, they attempt to fill it with the wrong things. Drugs, alcohol, sex, food, relationships, are just a few of the things people try to fill thier lives with that leave them feeling overindulged, but empty.

Even as we find that God can feel that hole, we try to add other things into the mix instead of allowing Him to fill us and be out sole source. It seems to easy that God could meet every need. It also goes against our independent nature to think that One can fill it all.

But the Word promises those who thirst and hunger after righteousness will be filler.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I missed the boat, I guess I will have to walk on water

Lately I have been feeling like I have made some decisions and missed God completely in the process. I realize maybe what "I wanted" got in the way of what God called me to do.

It takes a lot of God to get my attention. I try to do the right thing, but I realize that the right thing in my eyes is not always God's plan at all. Yet, I keep getting little messages from unexpected places that all lead me back to this one spot where I like missed the boat.

Sometimes as the lesson I hear sticks, it is not as I hear it that I feel like it applies to me. Like reading the John Bevere book, The Bait of Satan, he talks about how sometimes God gives us what we want because we are persistent, not because it is His will for us. He gave the example of the prophet who ran from the queen and God told Him to go, but when the prophet got there and started talking to God, He asked "why are you here?"

Skip ahead a few weeks, I read another message, different author with the same story about the prophet. It makes me start thinking about the other message.

Then I get a call from an old friend directing me back to where I feel I missed the boat. "Talk to God about it" she says, "see what He says."

Then I am in the hotel last week and this commercial comes on for Fidelity. There is a green arrow on the path of his office. He is trying to leave, but the arrow keeps leading him back. He said something that caught my attention, "It keeps leading me back." The girl says "Maybe it is trying to tell you something."

So I am left thinking maybe I missed the boat. Maybe I need to go back. I guess I'll have to walk on water to get there. This time God can decide - if the opportunity presents itself, if the opportunity is offered to me, God will have to lay the path and this time I will look to Him instead of keeping my sight on what I want. This time, I only want what He wants.

Missed Doors

As I drove home from Olathe the other day, I crossed the Kansas line into Missouri and started seeing the signs that pointed to familiar locations for me. I thought about the things that led me away from the place that I once called home; and honestly the last place I truly felt at home.

I realize that life often throws us unexpected turns. I love the friends I have met since leaving KC, and I love the three jobs that I have had since that time, but I miss having a place I called home (even if I own one now, and the one I lived in there was just a townhouse). I really felt homesick.

That made me start thinking about how I ended up where I am now. I started thinking about the things that had changed, and the things that stayed the same. I can see the lessons that I have learned from the path I have chosen. My walk with God is closer, I have a greater dependency on him. But I also wonder about the missed doors, the missed opportunities.

I know that playing "what if..." can be dangerous, but as I drove I allowed myself to wonder how things might have been different, if I had placed my life in God's hands completely back in 2001. If I had stood in faith knowing that God would meet my needs instead of turning to my extended family when my husband took a sabbatical from real life. I wondered about the children and families that I worked with at the time, and how I might have impacted their life. I questioned if I had submitted to devil's plans because of the lives I might have impacted for Christ had I stood on the Solid Rock.

This thought process was very sobering. I stopped to think of something I heard that supposedly was written by Billy Graham. I heard that God had showed him, that he was not His first choice for the role that Mr. Graham played in the modern church. Mr. Graham was just the first one who was obedient to the call.

I realized that I do not want to miss any more doors. Standing in faith is not always easy. Sometimes God has to take us down to nothing before we are willing to turn to Him. Sometimes, like in my case He has to do that more than once to get it through the thick head.

I ended my thought about missed doors with the song from 33 Miles - One Life To Love
From the album One Life:

You only get just one time around, you only get one shot at this
One chance to find out the one thing that you don’t wanna miss
One day when it’s all said and done I hope you see that it was enough
This one ride, one try, one life to love

I just know that with one chance, I want to make the right decision more often then not. I want to be led by the Spirit, not ignore Him. I want to be obedient and submissive to Him. I don't want to miss any opportunities to reach others for Christ.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dissipate the darkness

I was driving home from work last week as the sun was beginning to set. In front of me the sky was dark as a storm moved through. Behind me, the sun was shining brightly. For a brief time, clouds moved between the sun and my car. Then suddenly the sun peaked through and lit up a path through the darkness with a single ray of bright light directing my path. Everything else surrounding was dark an gray.

Seeing that bright light in the darkness made me praise God out loud in my car, as it reminded me that our Christian walk should also be illuminating a path in the darkness. Christians are called to be the light of the world. While sometimes this world can seem really dark, when Christians allow their lights to shine, the darkness will flee.

I was reminded that you can not add more darkness to dissipate light. However, a single light, no matter how tiny will dissipate the darkness. As Christian's we have the power to overcome the darkness (Greater is He that is within me, than he that is in the world. I John 4:4)

It is not the great preachers and teachers of this world that are going to stop the growing darkness. It is the light of Christ that shines through His followers collectively, standing together in unity that will stamp out the darkness that is overtaking this world.

John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Control Top

I have started reading Forgotten God by Frances Chan. As I read it, I was convicted by my need for control. He pointed out that when we feel the need to be in control, we quench the Holy Spirit.

As I was driving home, this was on my mind. I do not want to quench the Holy Spirit, I know that it is directly against the word of God. I was thinking about how I could learn to give up control and honestly, if I really wanted to give up control. I realize I like to be in control, unless it is something that is not important to me - at which time I can relinquish it (sorta). I know there is no point in hiding that from God, so I am just honest about it - I like to be in control, and when I submit to Him, although I will find freedom, I have to give Him control.

As I thought about control, I got this vision of control top pantyhose. First off I hate pantyhose, and I am certain that a man must have created the control top. If you look at the part that is "controlled", it looks okay. Maybe it is just me, but when you wear them - you end up with this muffin top kind of experience where the control top ends and things just explode out.

I realized this happens in life also as I try to take control of things that really should be submitted by me to the control of Holy Spirit. On the surface, it may look like I have control, like things are managed and working out okay. However feelings of frustration, anger, and sadness start to push out over as I realize that I don't really have control at all. And while I don't want to admit that these feelings are a result of the fact my way isn't the best or that I really don;t have control. The reality is that often times, actually most times my way doesn't work out best. In fact, when what I "controlled" does work out, it is usually in spite of me, not because of me.

I wish I had the answer to how to want to give up control and how to really do it. I know I don't want my life to resemble a bad pair of control top pantyhose, so I will start with asking God to help me set my mind on what the Spirit desires, to help me to want to surrender that control and then to actually follow through with it. I realize that it will be a struggle, like trying to put on a pair of pantyhose that are two sizes to small. I have a feeling though that when I really give up control once and for all - that it will be a perfect fit!

Romans 8:5-7 (New International Version) Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.