Thursday, July 25, 2013

To Drink Deeply

There are a number of reasons why spending time in scripture, prayer, and worship is necessary.  I won't get in to all of them, but in the season of life that I am in the idea that worship and prayer are necessary for ministry and daily victory is really hitting home.

I am currently unemployed for the summer, though not for lack of trying. But in this season of unemployment, instead of lamenting my joblessness I have tried (and not always succeeded) to remain positive, trust God, and just ask Him what it is I should be doing right now.

A few weeks ago, I began to settle into my unemployment and ask God what He wanted me to do in the meantime. Over and over again, I heard him say, "Seek me." And quite frankly, that annoyed me. 

Seek Him? Okay, I know that I am supposed to do that, and I do want to do that, but it just seemed so basic, so elementary. Couldn't He tell me anything more specific and/or exciting? Maybe something that would seem more productive?? I know that is not the greatest attitude, but hey, the "get-a-job-or-else" vultures were circling. And the truth is, I really wasn't seeking Him during that time.

After wrestling with  it, and praying through it with someone else who encouraged me to obey God's voice in my life, I decided to do so. The next week I made a point to wake up and spend time in prayer and in worship - turning my heart and mind to God and entering into His presence by faith. Some days it was awesome, some days it was difficult, but it was always worth it. 

It was worth it because being in God's presence is wondrous, healing, and powerful. Sometime's the healing part involves tears and painful confession, but it's always good. It's worth it because the truth of the Gospel, that God loves me despite my sins and sometimes blatant avoidance of Him (which is also a sin), and restores me in His sight to full righteousness because of Jesus, comes alive and ministers to my heart and soul. And this heightened awareness of the Gospel produces awe and thankfulness and more faith. And well, I am encountering the God of the universe. What can be more worth my time than that?!

And, I can began to notice that the days that I intentionally spent time worshiping and praying were days where my heart seemed to beat with more of God's love, where boldness and gentleness seemed more in-sync and available, and where I seemed most in tune with the Holy Spirit's leading in my life. 

During this summer I have continued to volunteer at Why Not Youth Missions, and with my church Freedom House, serving free burgs' and dogs' to the homeless and hungry. I can go to these events and not speak from a spirit-filled, Christ-centered heart but still enjoy myself. I can go and have fun, talk to people, listen politely, dodge some drunken romantic advances, goof around, and still have a good night. And I have done that many times. 

But, my heart desires more than having a good time while I serve, and I believe God calls me to more than that. I want to "shine like the stars in the universe as I hold out the word of life", to bring the light of Christ to someone's darkness, to overwhelm someone with God's healing love, to see strongholds broken and the lost and broken ushered into the arms of their loving Father and Shepherd. I want Christ in me to be all that people see.

And I am learning that it won't happen with some magical wave of the Holy Spirit wand. I truly need to be meeting with God in the 'secret place' of my relationship with Him, knowing Him, being known by Him, and letting my heart rest in His hands and in His truth. Daily. I truly need to come to the Fountain of Living Water daily and drink deeply if I am to be a fountain of this living water to others. 

But it's crazy how I can write all this, and know that this is how I am meant to live, and even desire to live from this place of intimacy with God, and still go through day after day where I simply don't do it. The business of life, or the lure of Facebook and friends, or cleaning even, whatever trivial thing it may be, can (with my permission of course) steal the time I could be spending with the God of the universe that loves me. It's so silly really. 

Thank you Jesus for your lavish grace and unfailing love. Please continue to teach and lead me.

This, written by Heidi Baker, is what I am trying to get at:

"The Spirit and the bride say, "Come." Let anyone who hears this say, "Come." Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life." -Revelation 22: 17 
May we choose to drink freely and deeply from the water of life every day.

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