Recently, I attended a retreat about renewal and revival. It was all about breaking the chains in our lives. It was very interesting to see the perspectives of others and things that they struggle with; many of them hit very close to home for me.
These are some of the verses that really inspired me.
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
This is such an interesting verse because at first glance, you’d think, the desires of my heart? Okay, I can handle that. I’ll delight myself in you Lord, suure. But, it’s important to see that this verse isn’t simply referring to the Lord as a genie, but it’s talking about how if you delight yourself with the Lord, He will be changing your heart little by little until you become more like Him. Your desires will become His desires. By the time you love Him with all your heart, your desires will no longer be the same ones you have right now.
In 2 Timothy 3, it talks about the “lovers of self and lovers of money.” It’s interesting how true this was.. and still is today. Lovers of self–Uffda, that hurts. How true is that if you think about it. When you wake up in the morning, what is your first thought? Can I sleep more? Did you notice it? I. Can I sleep more? Let me continue on through my day. I get up. Take a shower. Why? So that I’ll feel good. Then, I spend more than an hour working on getting myself to look good–drying my hair, curling or straightening it, adding make-up, picking out my outfit, making sure my jewelry matches, picking out the right shoes, adding bobbypins to my hair, splashing on a little bit of perfume.. all this to make sure I am acceptable looking when I walk out the door. I pack my lunch, make sure all of my work is done for the day, put on my jacket, and walk out the door. This is usually the time I plan on spending with my Lord, but there just wasn’t enough time today. Maybe tomorrow.
How do I expect myself to grow as a Christian if I can’t even find 15-20 minutes a day to spend with Him? When I actually find that time, how much of the time am I 100% there? How much of that time is spent thinking about other things? How much of that time is praying for things about my life? How much of that time is spent selfishly asking the Lord for things that will better myself? How much of that time is spent telling the Lord how great He is to me? How much of that time is spent in silence.. waiting for Him to talk to me?
In Isaiah 30:15, the Lord asked Solomon what he wanted. He could have asked for anything. He asked for wisdom. Wisdom, to be able to discern between right and wrong. What would you ask for?
I was really asking myself that question. What would I ask for? I want to say that I would ask for wisdom.. for a more compassionate heart.. for something that is very selfless. Unfortunately, I’m not totally sure that’s the case. But, how cool is that that he asked for wisdom. That is actually what I want.
Romans 12:1-2 is as follows:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–His good, pleasing, and perfect will.
People won’t do anything unless they trust that what they’re doing is a good cause. What aren’t you trusting Him with? A job? Money for rent? Mending a bad relationship? Passing a class? Your entire future? Trusting someone is something that is hard. It’s so hard to pass over that control to someone else. It’s so much easier to try to be in control ourselves. It’s so hard to surrender that over to someone else. But, has He been faithful in the past? What is keeping you from letting him have every part of your life?
The lives that we live are a result of the choices that we make.
Are the things that we are doing in life right now.. are they things that the Lord loves? Are they things that we are actually doing to serve and honor the Lord? Or are they empty rituals? Are we distracted by the busyness of life?
What stones has God asked you to carry? How are these things placed in your life? What are your priorities? Does everything fit? Is there anything that is distracting you from loving and serving Him?
“Be Still and Know I am God.”
Be Still. How hard is that? That’s what I think the world needs most. To stop all that they are doing and just be still. I think that we’d really think about things more.. and just maybe we’d be able to hear what He’s trying to say. I want to make it my goal that for 20 minutes a day, I will be quiet. I will sit, in uninterrupted silence with my Savior and Lord, just listening to what he wants to tell me.
One of the reasons we need to memorize scripture is so that you can always have the Word of the Lord with you. What if you found yourself in jail because of your faith? What if things were taken away from you? How much of the Bible would you be able to remember? How much of it have you “hidden in your heart?” So, along with “being still,” I also want to start to memorize more of the Bible.
On a closing note.. I’d like to leave you with a challenge, if I haven’t shared enough of those in this post already:
- Open your heart. He loves you as you are right now. But, He doesn’t want to leave you that way. His love comes to set you free.
- Perfect love casts out fear.
- These words he promises, I will love you outrageously, all the days of your life.
He’s the only one who will ever fulfill that promise to you. Remember that.