Category Archives: Seeking God

Seeking God Day 30

haldenWe took the kids to Cedar Point this summer for a quick family get away. The first day we were there the humidity was a solid 80% and the temp was an oppressive 98 degrees. Even though we wanted to be having a great time, it was nearly impossible. There is just no way to love what you are doing when you are so uncomfortable.

When the sun finally went down so did the heat and humidity. It was such a welcome relief. Instead of focusing on how miserable I was, I could start enjoying the rides. I’m disappointed at how distracted I am when I’m uncomfortable.  It doesn’t take much change my focus or deter my progress.

The last ride of the night was a roller coaster. It was close to midnight and incredibly dark as we stood in line waiting for our turn. When we finally made it to the front of the line and loaded into the cars my heart was pounding. I made sure that the harness was securely locked; pulling on it two and three times. My feet dangled off the ground and I waited for the ride to begin. The attendant signaled, the coaster hissed and my stomach suddenly was stuck to the back of my seat…away we went. The darkness added to my excitement and my terror. There was no way to know when we would go right or left. I couldn’t see when the dips were coming and had no idea when we were headed upside down until we were already in a full blown twist.

Sometimes following God’s plan for my life feels much the same. Terrifying and exciting all at the same time. Not knowing where the next twist or turn is. Continuing to check the harness to make sure it’s secure.

We sang this song in church today, the lyrics of the chorus go like this:

Where you go I’ll go

Where you stay I’ll stay

When you move I’ll move

I will follow You.

Complete surrender, that is what this song is talking about. Riding a God’s roller coaster in the dark, checking the harness but surrendering to His will.

Do I trust Him? Can I lift my open hands to Him and say, “Your will Lord.”

Or,

Will I continue to hold back? Will I continue to try to wrestle for power?

The sentence, “Yes, Lord” can feel like we are abandoning control. It is really. But instead of being terrified, if we trust God, it can be freeing. Allowing us to close our eyes and enjoy the wild coaster ride He has planned.

Being surprised by God is breathtaking!

Do you dare?

And here is the most amazing thing…

Luke 12:7 says:

But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

As risky as trusting God seems, he values you. Every hair on your head is numbered, you may want to be afraid but you don’t have to be.

Do you dare believe that God loves you as much as he says he does?

It’s going to be a wild and holy ride.

 

 

 

Seeking God Day 29

haldenJesus, Jesus precious Jesus how I proved him more and more. Jesus, Jesus precious Jesus, O for grace to trust him more.

We live in a country that is just a few days away from a national election; I don’t have to tell you that. The candidates? Less than desirable from any angle. How does loving and trusting Jesus influence who you vote for?

My Facebook feed is filled with stories about one group of Christians judging another group of fellow Christians. They disagree. Each side believes they are right, each side believes the other is deplorable. How do you love and trust Jesus in this environment? How do you know when you are on the “right” side? Is there a “right” side? If you question it, does that make you less spiritual? Does that make you a heretic?

What happens when we disagree? Are we as the body of Christ allowed to disagree and still be followers of Christ? I ask this with all sincerity because when I read one side’s or the others literature and rhetoric I’m led to believe that there is no room for middle ground. There is no tolerance for confusion or questioning or dialog. There is simply right and wrong.

I don’t want this post to be about any issue in particular but rather I want all of us to wrestle with what it means to seek God in this world full of differing opinions, worldview and choices. Seeking God conveys that we don’t know God fully, that there is still more to discover, that we may only know or understand a small piece of what is happening around us. Seeking God means that we don’t know it all. It’s a belief that we fully expect that He can and will reveal more to us about Himself, His love, His mercy and His grace.

We must be people of conviction but I also think there is danger in being too convinced of our convictions. The danger with unwavering conviction is that it is a fertile soil for pride to grow. Unwavering conviction does not leave much room for humility or learning but it does pave a wide road for self-importance.

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”

This may certainly expose a flaw in my character but the above statement is one of the only things that I believe with unwavering conviction. God loves me. God loves you. He gave his life for both of us. We only need to believe.

This world is extremely confusing to me. I am positive that I don’t understand all of what God wants or demands or expects of me and my neighbors. There are days that everything seems black and white but honestly, the older I get the more I question if a black and white world is just too simple. As soon as I type that, I wonder if a world full of gray answers is also too easy.

I don’t have the answers. I only have a lot of questions. I would love to tell you how to live but honestly, I don’t know if you should listen to me, actually I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t. Together we are better off as explorers. Seekers doing our best to help each other understand God, His word and His love more.

I’m so glad I learned to trust thee, 
precious Jesus, Savior, friend; 
and I know that thou art with me, 
wilt be with me to the end. 

Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus by Trinity Worship

Seeking God Day 27

haldenI sat talking with a young mom today and even though I was a complete stranger she left no detail out as she shared her story. She and her husband had 3 kids under 4. He was in school. She was working part time at a job where she started at 3am so that she could spend the rest of the day taking care of the kids. He was gone, a lot. This was their plan but it was so hard. When he finally came home she wasn’t sure if she should run to the bathroom to spend some time alone, flee with her girlfriends for some adult time or say yes to her husband’s request to spend some time together. Nothing was easy. Marriage, parenting, budgeting, surviving, it all seemed impossible.

As I listened, I realized that I had forgotten. I forgot how it was when we were newly married and the kids were small. I like to call those days the “pressure cooker” days. Doug and I were both physically exhausted. We were trying hard to fill the roles of mom and dad, husband and wife. It was all new.

I can’t believe I forgot. I look around now at our family and everyone has grown so much. There aren’t any primary colored toys on the ground. There are no sippy cups growing mold in my van. No one sleeps in a crib and I’m the first one up now days. Life is still hard but it’s different. Way more busy and yet a lot less harried at the same time. I have the luxury of sitting here at my computer, to think and write and contemplate life. 10 years ago that never happened.

As I saw the exhaustion and longing in her eyes, I realized a truth that I don’t want to forget. Nothing stays the same. Whatever you are dealing with right now it will pass. Now, I realize this isn’t new or ground breaking Solomon wrote about this in Ecclesiastes.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

 

For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
    A time to plant and a time to harvest. 

Everything that we go through, the pain, the struggle, the joy, the confusion it’s all a season. Being single, being married, raising young children, caring for aging parents, tight budgets, cold weather…you name it. Wherever you are, you will not stay there. You are not stuck there forever. Things will change, seasons always do. God promises that they will.

Being knee deep in today often blinds our ability to see the bigger picture. God always has a bigger picture. Sometimes we are allowed to see it, other times He asks us to just trust Him.

It’s not easy.

Today will pass, tomorrow will come.

In the end God is always in control and He promises to give us what we need to move forward. He will never leave, no matter what season you are in. He is there.

 

Seeking God Day 26

haldenI sit in the front row of the balcony, the lights in the house go down and the lights on the stage come up. My son, walks out on stage with his saxophone and the world around me fades away. I only have eyes for him and nothing else matters. I can’t decide if I want to close my eyes and listen to the music he is playing or keep them open so I can watch. I’m in love.

Each one of my children can command my undivided attention like that. It doesn’t matter if they are on the ball field, in a pool, on a stage or simply playing with their friends. I love to watch them. I love to see them being them. It is a joy to see how they grow and become more of who they were created to be. They have no idea how I feel. How could they?

There is a verse in the book of Zephaniah that speaks of God’s love for us this way:

Zephaniah 3:17

 

The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.

The song that is playing in my head on repeat is call Amazed. The lyrics are taken from this verse in Zephaniah,

You dance over me
While I am unaware
You sing all around
But I never hear the sound

Have you ever imagined God dancing over you? Could you ever believe that He takes great delight in you? In You!

Even when we don’t know, don’t see, don’t hear Him, He is still there watching. I’m sure that he watches you the way I watch my own children, except more. God is more. His love is more for you and for me than mine could ever be for my own children.

He has gifted you. He has plans for you. He has a purpose for your life.

Philippians 1:6

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. 

He is faithful.

Today as you seek God, examine how big you believe His love for you to be. And when you think you understand, think again. Ask God to awe you with the depth of His love for you.

Be amazed.

And then smile because You are His!

 

Seeking God Day 24

haldenRaising teenagers is like playing a continual game of red light/green light. You know the game right? The person who is the “caller” gets to stand a ways away from the other runners and intermittently turn around and face them and yell out “Red light” or “Green light.” The other players get to move or have to stay still based on the command of the caller. Eventually the person who advances the furthest and reaches the caller first is crowned the winner.

The thing about this game is that everyone is at the mercy of the caller. Your advancement depends on when and if the caller yells, “green light.” As a young mom I was the “caller” and my children were the runners. I’d tell them when to get up, when to eat, when to play and when to go to bed. I had absolute power. With teenagers, not so much. I can’t even figure out if I’m the caller or the runner some days! Say something or don’t say something. Offer help or be illusive. It’s a constant, ever changing landscape and one wrong move and your are “red lighted.”

The rules of the game seem to change as often as the weather and aren’t consistent among the 4 various teens living in my house. Just when one of them green lights me another is red lighting me for the same reason. I used to tell them when they were little, “It’s a good thing your cute!” I still think the same thing but now, I don’t say it outloud.

The game red light/green light has been on my mind a lot lately. I see similarities in my longing to understand how to live a Christian life with integrity and character. Do I say something or do I hold my tongue? Do I stay still or am I supposed to act? It’s frustrating. Unlike with my kids, I don’t think God keeps changing the rules but rather I just don’t understand the rules very well. Just like parenting, I’m still learning.

I love 1st and 2nd Timothy because these books are a “how to” manual for living a Christian life and how to be a good leader. My blog is entitled, “A trustworthy saying” in honor of these books. Paul says over and over again, “Here is a trustworthy saying.” When I read those words I pay special attention to what comes next because I know it will be important.

Here is what Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:22-26

2 Timothy 2:22-26

 

Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

It all seems pretty straight forward, right? And yet, if Paul, who is the author, felt the need to write these instructions out, that must mean that these lessons needed to be taught. I find it difficult to separate the foolish and stupid arguments from those that need to be argued. I have a hard time being kind to everyone and I’m certainly not teachable all the time. Earlier in the chapter he says:

2 Timothy 2: 14-17

 

Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. 

Much like red light/green light I hop, skip and jump through what sometimes seems like a land mine of conversations. Wondering where do I speak, when do I listen, when should I be walking away? Correctly handling the word of truth is a daunting and scary job at times.

Red Light

Green Light

Stop

Go

Lord, please teach me to be one “who does not need to be ashamed.” I long to live this way for your glory.

 

Seeking God Day 23

haldenHave you ever dreamed of something happening and when it did you can hardly believe it? It happened yesterday and then again today for me.

After 5 months of watching my two middle kids sacrifice their lives to learn and perfect what it means to be a member of the marching band, I watched them perform at their highest level. Every step, every note, every bend and flag toss was executed with the best they had to offer. It felt almost sacred to watch them because I knew what it had cost them to be out there.

It would have been enough for me to just have the opportunity to watch them. But that wasn’t the end, they were awarded the top honor in their class, first place and they also scored 3rd among the 45 bands that competed.

My heart is full.

At the same time band after band was taking the field to compete, the Chicago Cubs were taking loading the bases. A moment that up until last night had only been dreamt about and talked about in the terms of “some day,” became reality as the Cubs won the National League Conference and a chance to go to the World Series, the first time since 1945. Honestly, I’m not much of a baseball fan. It sort of bores me. But growing up I can’t recall a summer day when the baseball game wasn’t front and center in my grandparent’s house. I can still hear the crackle of their kitchen radio and Harry Carry’s voice announcing the play by play of the game. If it wasn’t the radio,  then my grandparents were seated in their tiny living room watching the game on their tiny TV. My grandma would watch intently as she wiped the sweat from her forehead in the heat of a summer afternoon and talk to the TV as if Ryan Sandberg or Don Zimmer could hear her.

Cubs baseball is more than a professional sport to me it is part of my heritage, part of who I am and the people who loved me. My grandparent’s never got to see their beloved team go to the World Series but I’m proud to say my kids and I will. My heart is full remembering my grandparents and knowing how happy they would be if they were still here.

After yesterday, I didn’t think my heart could hold any more but this morning I felt it over flow with happiness and thanksgiving as I watched Lucy Jean’s head sprinkled with baptism water.

lucys-baptism

It was a day that I’ve prayed for and one that I was afraid I’d never see. At 27 weeks this little girl breathed her first breath and cried her first cry even though she was only 1lb and 11oz. She entered this world small and frail but proved to everyone watching that she was fierce and brave and had more fight in her tiny body and spirit than would even seem possible. I’ve watched this precious child grow and accomplish feats that seemed out of her reach. She has defied all the odds so far and continues to blaze her own trail, challenging everyone around her to keep up.

My heart is full.

The lyrics to the song, 10,000 Reasons, keep going through my mind right now.

“Bless the Lord oh my soul, oh my soul. Worship His holy name. Sing like never before, oh my soul, I’ll worship your holy name. The sun comes up its a new day dawning, it’s time to sing your songs again. Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing till the evening comes. Your rich in love and your slow to anger, your name is great and your heart is kind. For all your goodness I will keep on singing, 10,000 reasons for my hear to find!”

Seeking God sometimes mean soaking in God’s blessings. Looking around you and being amazed at how He has lavishly poured out his love on you and everyone you love. Lifting up your face like you do on an early summer day when the sun is shinning and feel the warmth on your skin.

Seeking God sometimes means that you raise your hands to the heavens and say, “Thank you!”

Oh what a beautiful day!

Psalm 100

A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Seeking God Day 20

haldenToday is the 9 year “friendaversary” on Facebook with my dear friend Carol. When I opened my computer this morning the Facebook elves had magically made a video that documented our friendship. As I watched the pictures scroll by, I was amazed at how many memories I had forgotten. I was also just as touched by the many memories that came flooding back to my mind even though they weren’t pictured. The video reminded me of how much I love her and how grateful I am for her friendship.

Whoever came up with the idea and program to bring old pictures into my current newsfeed was a genius. It’s the part of my morning that I love and sometimes hate the most. My heart melts seeing pictures of my children wearing diapers when today they need to be wearing deodorant. I instantly remember the clothes they were wearing, I can feel the weight of their little bodies in my arms and I remember the sweet sound of their little voices. For a brief moment, I can breathe in the memory like it was yesterday and it helps me remember who they and we used to be and who we are becoming. It’s bittersweet.

On a morning when child #2 was yelling at me because child #3 was late and child #4 was anxious because I hadn’t paid for his field trip and child #1 was still sleeping…it’s good to remember that at one time we were laughing at wearing giant Hulk hands or struggling with potty training or snuggling together on a small couch. It’s good to be transported to another time when things were either extremely good or impossibly hard. The ability to look back means that somehow time has passed and we have survived and we have become or grown or been transformed. We are no longer them, we are us. We are us because of them. Remembering is good.

I read today in the last book of the Old Testament Malachi. The verse that caught my eye is this:

Malachi 3:16

 

“Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.”

The phrase, “a scroll of remembrance” just shook me to my core. It made me wonder what they had written on that scroll. What events or understandings did those leaders decide needed to be recorded? Whose names were written down? What made those individuals stand out?

All we know of them is that they “feared the Lord” and “honored his name.” Read that again and let it sink in. They feared the Lord and honored his name.

I want my name to be written on the “scroll of remembrance.” I want my character to be such that it is said of me that I fear the Lord and honor his name. I am so grateful for these Old Testament leaders. Because of them we are us. Look what is written next in the chapter:

Malachi 3:17 

 

“”They will be mine,” says the Lord Almighty, “in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.”

God spared these people because of their faithfulness and eventually sent Jesus, the savior of the world, through their lineage. The Holy Spirit lives inside of us and reveals himself to us because God saved a remnant of his people who feared him and honored his name.

I am positive that it was not easy to be one of these few, to be a member of this group. I am positive that they questioned their ability to lead. That they questioned their strength in that time of adversity. I’m sure that they questioned whether or not they were the right people for the job. But I’m so grateful that in the end they stood, they stayed, they talked. I’m so grateful that they sought God. I’m so grateful that in the end they knew that the Lord had listened to them and had heard them.

A scroll of remembrance. A written account of their encounter with God so that all would remember who he was and is and will always be. An account of his faithfulness, his goodness, his love.

We all need that, don’t we?

A story of God’s faithfulness in our lives when we were able to know that he had heard us and listened to us. That story will serve to tell the next generations of what we have learned. It will also help us remember. When everything seems impossibly hard, we need to take out our scroll and remember who God is.

Here is a song to help you remember. Jesus by Chris Tomlin

 

Seeking God Day 18

haldenA few years ago we bought a new couch that was going to solve all of our seating problems. That sounds extreme I know but before the new couch we had seating for 5 and I have a family of 6 and that was a problem. If we all wanted to sit in the same room someone had to sit on the floor and no one wanted to. The term, “seat lock,” was screamed often and ignored even more frequently on a daily basis until Doug and I just couldn’t take it any longer.

The couch we bought now takes up two entire walls of the family room and seats 9 people shoulder to shoulder. There are two reclining seats, one on each end and the back of one cushion even folds down to make a tray. It’s really quite wonderful to be able to have the whole family sitting in the same room without touching each other. It is the SUV of couches.

Here’s the problem though, Doug sits on one side of the couch, in one of the recliners and I sit on the other side of the couch, in the other recliner. This doesn’t sound like a problem, I mean we are both really comfortable with our feet up in the air however, we are 7 seats away from each other. We are literally sitting on opposite ends of the room.

I remember when we were dating and first married and the thought of sitting that far apart wouldn’t even have crossed our minds. We always sat close enough to hold hands or share a blanket. I don’t remember when we started sitting further apart?

I’m preparing a speech for a MOPS group next week on the book, The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It’s a fantastic book that encourages the reader to examine themselves and their spouses to discover what their primary love language is. It also challenges them to speak to their spouse in the language their spouse understands. My language is Quality Time: giving someone your undivided attention. Doug’s is Physical Touch: using your physical presence and touch to communicate love.

It occurred to me yesterday that because of our couch, neither of us are in a position to give or receive love in the language we understand best simply because of our seating arrangements. I can almost hear Dr. Phil, “How’s that working for you?”

Last night, much to Doug’s surprise, I left my wing and headed over to sit on his side right next to him. It was nice. He could put his arms around me and I could lay my head in his lap and we were close enough that we felt connected in a way that I haven’t in a long time. He watched TV, I read and I just enjoyed being close to him. Sitting silently together and knowing he was right beside me.

Position, posture and silence are three things that can bring us closer to the people we love and to God or they can unintentionally keep us apart. Where I position myself, what type of posture I take and how much or how little I say builds a wall or breaks a barrier.

What is your position to God right now? 

What is your posture with God right now?

Do you know what it means to just sit and breathe in His presence?

There are plenty of times that the Bible tells us to pour out our hearts to God and to bring our requests to Him, there is nothing wrong with that. But the Word also instructs us to be silent, to wait patiently, to listen for the “still small voice.” What type of environment do you need in order to do those things?

Today, set a timer for 5 minutes and sit before God in silence and listen. Quiet your inner voice, demand that it stop speaking so that you can hear.

The Bible says:

James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

There is an element of confession in here. When we come near to God, I believe we can’t help but feel His holiness. When we enter His throne room, we can’t help but to notice that we come to him broken and tattered in need of forgiveness, in need of love.

The Bible also says:

Psalm 145:8-9 

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. 

Don’t be afraid to come to Him, to sit close and to be silent. God is good to all!

Here is a song to help you slow down and breathe in His Holiness, the song before the silence that you need to hear Him. Holy God by Brian Doerksen

 

Seeking God Day 17

haldenEye sight is something I have taken for granted my entire life. I have never known what it was like to look at anything far away or close up and have it appear “blurry.” I use quotations because up until about 4 months ago, blurry was just a concept to me, one I didn’t understand.

I remember going to the eye Dr when I turned 40 and having him tell me that although my vision was perfect on that day, that didn’t mean it would stay that way. He went into a long speech about aging eyes and focus and how everyone eventually succumbs to needing help with their vision.

I listened to him politely all the while thinking to myself that I didn’t need to worry. I remember him saying that some women find that they go to bed one night with perfect vision and seem to wake up the next morning with problems. He even told me about a few patients who swear that after a strong sneeze or coughing attack there eye sight worsened. These were all interesting stories but honestly, I didn’t feel the need to worry.

Then one morning I noticed that the light in my kitchen just didn’t seem bright enough. The next morning I had to keep rubbing my eyes because they seemed so tired. The following morning, I had to keep blinking slowly in order to see the suddenly tiny print in the Bible I was trying to read.

My brain had to process what I was struggling with because it had never encountered this problem before…was I struggling with focus? Was this what it was like to see something as blurry? Honestly, I thought, if I just rub these eyes hard enough I think it will fix everything, but it didn’t. I finally relented and broke out a pair of readers my girlfriend had given me to see if it would help.

Whelp! It did help!

I have no words.

Blurred vision is distracting, it is uncomfortable and it is discouraging. The experience can be unrecognizable at first which seems strange doesn’t it? Once it is recognized however, it has to be fixed. Who wants to live knowing that they aren’t seeing clearly? Suddenly something that was just a nuisance becomes something that can’t go unnoticed any longer, even if you have to humble yourself and wear a pair of awful readers.

Seeing God clearly is much the same way I believe. We try to see God and know Him by filtering Him through our experiences and understandings, our vision of this world. Each of us brings our own unique self to the relationship and because of that there are things about Him, His character, His love, His provision that we either see clearly or we see blurry or maybe we can’t see at all.

I recently got a text from a good friend that read like this:

I honestly never believed I’d be able to see God this way.  I was blown away at the comfort and warmth and love- it was what I imagined it would be like leaning into a dad that truly loved me, and feeling safe and warm and strong and loved and like I was held…

When we seek God, we are humbling ourselves and trying on different pairs of “God readers” to see which ones help us see Him more clearly. Seeking God means that we lay down what we believe and ask Him to help us understand who He is and who we are because of Him. Seeking God opens up a whole new world of possibilities that weren’t even imaginable before we saw Him clearly.

I take my readers off and put the on all day long. Sometimes I need them, other times I don’t. When I look up, everything is blurry when I look down the world in front of me is in focus. This on/off dance is frustrating. Part of me can’t wait for my eyes to get bad enough that I can just wear glasses all day long. I wait for the day that I can be relieved of these readers.

I also wait for the day when my vision and understanding of myself is so broken that I can clearly see God. I desire to know God so fully that I don’t have to wonder any longer if I’m seeing him in focus or if I’m “blurring” some part of His love that I still don’t understand.

Ephesians 3:17-19

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have the power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

The More I Seek You by Kari Jobe

Choreography: Edouard Lock
– Ballet: La La La Human Steps
– This video made by: Birdiej89

Seeking God Day 16

I’m out of my routinehalden today. I slept in, ate donuts for breakfast and now everyone is awake and moving, the TV is on and it’s way past 8am. I still haven’t found any space or quiet to listen to God yet today.

I’m out of routine this month. This is the second Sunday we’ve skipped going to church, 2 weeks in a row. I know that next week it will be even easier not to go, to find something interesting to read or watch on TV and to stay in my PJ’s and sip hot coffee. It will be even easier to convince myself that it’s ok and that we are busy people and we deserve a break once in awhile. I know that we will have been out late the night before and we have a football game in the afternoon and I know that I will rationalize the need to stay in bed, for everyone’s sake.

Being out of routine is dangerous territory…at least for me.

Routine is where I’ve learned how to seek God and find him. If left up to my own devices I will find all kinds of things to distract me and divert my attention from my relationship with Jesus. I don’t come by regular quiet time easily or naturally, it’s always a struggle. Years ago I started setting an alarm to wake me up early before the kids would wake up so that I could start the day in the Word. I hated it, hated it! I liked to sleep, I needed to sleep, I was sleep deprived! Someone told me to ask God to wake me up and if it was truly important to Him that He would not allow me to sleep past my alarm, so I did. Guess what? He woke me up! No joke! I really woke up and couldn’t fall back asleep, even if I tried. I’m not sure if that’s amazing or annoying?

The apostle Paul talks about this in the book of Hebrews. The title given to this passage in the NIV Bible is “A Call to Preserve In Faith.”

Hebrews 10:22-25

 

“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

I’m not sure how I can offer any advice or wisdom without sounding like or being a hypocrite in light of the truth I spelled out for you at the beginning of this post.

This, routine, it isn’t easy.

Just because it isn’t easy, just because I don’t always live up to the standard and just because I have and will and do fall, doesn’t make this passage any less True. If we are to “preserve”(protect, maintain, care for, look after) our faith, then we have to establish and hold to routine, even when it’s difficult. When we find that we have fallen out of routine, we need to lay down our pride and give up our comfort and be willing to fix it.

We just do.

I do.

This post is a mirror for me to look into, if you want to look into it too, you may.

God will still be God whether I’m in bed, I’m in church, I’m at a football game or sitting in front of my TV, my position doesn’t change Him at all. What my position does change is my ability to…draw near, be assured, confess, be encouraged and spur on others. My position, my routine changes me, whether I like it or not.

Here is a song by Francesca Battistelli, that helps me open my hands, close my eyes and breathe in the Holy Spirit. It reminds me that a Christian walk isn’t lived in solitude but in the presence of the Holy Spirit and surrounded by the church.

“Let us become more aware of your presence,

let us experience the glory of your goodness Lord.

Holy Spirit you are welcome here,

come flood this place and fill the atmosphere,

your glory God is what our hearts long for,

to be overcome by your presence Lord.” 

 

 

 

 

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