happy sunday everyone. the sun is shining brightly, slightly warming the temps to 2 degrees.
inside, i am warm today. i am feeling the results of an awesome morning, full of God and worship. it started out kind of peculiarly, as sometimes God moments do.
for the last month, i've been journaling to/with God in the morning as i do my morning devotions. at first, i was unsure of how to start. i did not want a bunch of chatter on the pages. so, i began to pray about it. sometimes, when i prayed, a single word or a small phrase would pop into my mind. i began to write these words down as a 'heading' whenever it happened. more than once, God used the word as a topic to minister to me about. to give you an idea, some of the words so far have been:
now, this has not happened every day. and every day has not been a painful word. but as i thought about it, how on earth does one get up and live their day when FAILURE is the first word that pops into their head? the experience has strengthened me to put my day before God, because my own mind is not to be trusted.
today's word was SURRENDER.
i was kind of excited to get that word. i want to be surrendering my life and will to God completely. so, i dug in and buzzed through my bible reading and 3 devotions. which were wonderful, but spoke nothing NOTHING about surrender. at least not that i could discern.
i rolled over, and considered going back to sleep for awhile. it's sunday, after all :)
as i lay there, i felt a nudge to get up and retrieve a book i bought a few weeks ago called 'the me i want to be' by john ortberg. i immediately decided not to read it, because i am sort of in this mindset not to be about me all the time. anyway, i had read the first few pages, but not much else.
i got up, opened the book, and found the chapter i was on called 'discover the flow.' as i reviewed the first few pages which spoke mainly about the holy spirit, i started to react. since i've been a christian, i believe i have had an awareness of the holy spirit, which i sometimes listen to and sometimes don't...the times when i've most wanted to tap into the spirit, i've had some trouble. so this teaching seemed both valuable and timely.
as i finished up the chapter (which among other things, compared the holy spirit's operating to a GPS, not really sure about that one) i did start to see why God brought me there...
" To live in the flow of the Spirit means doing what Jesus says. I will mess up alot. I am going to need his power. I know that, but I form the intention by saying to him, "God, with your help, as best I can, I will do what you say. I will give you my life, my time, my obedience."
Jesus is the only one with authoritative wisdom about how to live. He is the only one to bring about the possibility of forgiveness for your sin and mine. He is the only one to give any kind of realistic hope of conquering death. To all who approach him, he is a thirst-quencher, the life-giver, the Spirit-bringer. No matter how wrongly you have erred in the past (this is big for me) if you are sincerely ready to listen to and obey God, you do not have to worry about God being mad at you. He is not that kind of God."
oh boy. did i cry about that one. because i have been of a mindset lately that i have gotten so off course, so miserably off the path, that He must be mad. very mad, and ready to bring very serious consequences for which i am unprepared. what a wonderful gift He gives to let us know our crazy thinking is incorrect, and misjudges His character.
so, off to a good day. it was of no surprise whatsoever to find our church worship band playing the very best 'surrender' song out there! it's called 'the stand' from hillsong united, and is being done by michael w. smith in this rendition.