Monday, October 12, 2009

Day 12

Back to the plan...

Today was a wonderful day. I got up and went to my local MOPS group before I left to go to Lubbock to see my therapist. The past two times I've seen him my sister or my oldest daughter has gone with me. As I have said before I am not a big fan of being alone. Yet today I relished it. On the way I listed to Erwin McManus and on the way home I listed to 2 hours of Matt Chandler. They are amazing preachers with different speaking dynamics - and their churches are in separate states - I am not even sure if they know each other. But God sure does use them to confirm things He's trying to tell me.

I recently listened to a sermon from Matt Chandler's Luke Series on the Lord's Prayer and today I listed to Erwin's version of the same thing. I realized that while I haven't been completely selfish in my prayers - asking for this and asking for that (I don't believe in a 'gimme faith), I do believe God answers prayers and I do believe my prayers lacked relationship. I petitioned God but I didn't come to Him intimately with "my stuff". Prayer is basically a conversation with God - not just a request for something.

I realized my prayer time has lacked reverence and praise, conversation, intimacy and affection. I do love God but it all comes back to me feeling unworthy of His love. I admitted this to a friend during dinner tonight and realized I needed to repent. And I did. Thank you Lord for your grace and mercy and for forgiving me for getting in the way and for stepping around You in life.

After a wonderful dinner with my friend I headed home. I very clearly felt the Lord's presence the entire way. It enveloped me. I have never felt so loved, valued and comforted.

The idea of what solitude truly is came to me. I seem to find that it goes hand in hand with peace, serenity, joy and true intimacy with God. It's all-inclusive. A package deal. What a heck of a package. :) A true value worth finding. And it's not even hidden. It's right there in clean sight waiting for us. The Holy Spirit is beckoning us - wooing us to our Father, our Creator.

I also realized tonight that I really never knew God. I thought I did. I served God. I worshiped God. But it all seems so superficial now. You know how you see someone on a regular basis and share pleasantries and move on? That's what I was doing with God. Keeping Him at arms length - never really getting to know Him, even though He always longed for me to reach out to Him.

To be honest, I never really understood how to develop that relationship with God when I asked Jesus into my heart. I never really realized that was part of it. I wonder how many others have felt that? It's as if I didn't know what was next, no one ever showed me, so I got lost in serving. And while serving is good - it's not the key to a relationship with God.

I lacked discipleship. Now I am discipling myself. Rather the Holy Spirit is discipling me.

I am excited at what's to come. In 12 days God has revealed Himself to me in a way I've never known. It makes me anticipate the wonders to come with an even greater expectation.

Today's Reflection: Lord I have no idea what's coming my way and for the first time in years I am not anxious or fearful of that. Lord I give you full control and ask that you give me strength and courage as You guide my steps. Thank you for Your peace that sustains me. Thank you for Your complete love that changes me from the inside out. It sanctifies me.

1 comments:

Tammy M. October 13, 2009 at 6:55 AM  

Couple of quotes from The Way Of The Heart by Henri Nouwen when he writes on solitude.

"Solitude is the furnace of transformation. Without solitude we remain victims of our society and continue to be entangled in the illusions of the false self."

And then this quote helped me see that the initial sabotage that solitude brings to me is something that I do not face alone.

"In solitude I get rid of my scaffolding: no friends to talk with, no telephone calls to make, no meetings to attend, no music to entertain, no books to distract, just me-naked, vulnerable, weak, sinful, deprived, broken-nothing. It is this nothingness that I have to face in my solitude, a nothingness so dreadful that everything in me wants to run to my friends, my work, and my distractions so that I can forget my nothingness and make myself believe that I am worth something. But that is not all. As soon as I decide to stay in my solitude, confusing ideas, disturbing images, wild fantasies, and weird associations jump about in my mind like monkeys in a banana tree. Anger and greed begin to show their ugly faces. I give long, hostile speeches to my enemies and dream lustful dreams in which I am wealthy, influential, and very attractive-or poor, ugly, and in need of immediate consolation. Thus I try again to run from the dark abyss of my nothingness and restore my false self in all its vainglory.
The task is to persevere in my solitude, to stay in my cell until all my seductive visitors get tired of pounding on my door and leave me alone......"

Leah, God will bring great abundance to your life on your journey of solitude. May you always seek it, may we all always seek that time with God. God bless you friend.

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