Tuesday, April 19, 2011

warning: may contain vulnerable content

It feels so good to be writing again. I've been saddened by my lacking desire to blog/write/share about what's been going on in my life and what I'm learning from my God. Mostly because I didn't want to be real, but I couldn't bring myself to be fake. 
So, I became a Jonah in a sense and ran away from anything that would possibly bring me out of the funk (whether it was reading the Word consistently and intentionally, asking God to reveal new and glorious things about Himself to me, or just blogging about what's going on in my life, forcing me to see where I am spiritually) ....because let's be honest, rarely (never) can I pursue God wholeheartedly and not have a heart change, which leads in to behavior change. Instead, for a reason I'm still trying to figure out, being heavy-hearted, bummed, lazy, etc. was more appealing than devoting the time and energy to beg for God's help in giving me peace and restoring my joy. So dumb.
I was more content sitting in the belly of the whale, wallowing in my inadequacies and throwing myself a pity party for one, than begging God to demand the big fish to spit me out onto the cleaner, way more pleasant ground.
Unlike Jonah, God wasn't asking me to go to a broken land with wicked people and tell them about God's wrath, but He was very clearly telling me to get the focus off of myself and where I fall short and keep moving forward, not letting my fears, circumstances, insecurities, etc., determine what I feel, and how I interact with God that day. And unlike Jonah, I did not ask anyone to throw me overboard to calm a storm, I was using more the fish more of a hiding place. Since I can hide from the One who sees everything, you know.
That is where I have been the last week or so.
Burdened, lazy, self-centered, and too ashamed to admit that I didn't know what to do about it. I knew the church answers like pray, receive God's grace and repent, etc. but I needed specific steps on how to accept God's promises as truth and live accordingly. I was in a constant battle between greatly desiring full trust in the Lord and just shutting down from being so overwhelmed with how much I struggle with that. A battle of wanting to be used so badly for His glory and letting feelings of inadequacies keep me from seizing opportunities. 
So I sat. In the pit of the whale. If at all pleasant, it was only for a moment.
It wasn't until this morning, when reflecting on Sunday's sermon on Jonah (see how I did that?! sermon application, baby!), that I let God bring me out of the fish and accepted His everlasting love. 
This is just another instance where I'm learning to let Him love me, so He can continue to mold my heart to one on fire for Him.

"I have loved you with an everlasting love;
   therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you."-Jer. 31:3

Jonah gave a one-line sermon when he followed God's command and went to Nineveh. ONE SENTENCE, and they repented of their wicked ways. God was so good giving me ear to hear His message to me on Sunday. Jonah didn't give an eloquent, beautiful sermon. He said one sentence and God used that to bring His children to Him. Yet, I was fearful of leaving the fish because I'm not confident in my ability to effectively share the love of Christ. I didn't feel "ready" yet...I still had so much to learn about the God and His word. 
No matter what I believe about my walk with the Lord, if I just follow Him one step at a time, who am I to doubt what God can and will do through me and in me if I receive His love?
"Therefore, your accomplishment as a Christian has no bearing on My love for you."
I will always fall short, how grateful I am that it is He who works in me and equips me. 

My heart longs to give Him glory in everything I do, but I need to stop trying to figure out what that looks like in the big picture and look to Him moment by moment, trusting He will guide me if I let Him.

It's so funny how even He teaches me even when I'm not wanting to be taught. Just more evidence of His glorious, mighty love. 
"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."-Ezekiel 36:26

Friday, April 8, 2011

outrageous love

these reflect a little of how God has been getting my attention lately and reshaping my heart.

watch this.

and this.

outrageously and unceasingly.
It literally hurts my brain to try and comprehend His love for me, much less live my life as someone who is unconditionally, magnificently loved by the creator of the universe.
I'm speechless.