Okay, so lately, I've been getting a lot of grief about not blogging often enough and I'm sure everyone is sick of seeing the same blog on here so I'm making it a point to take the time to at least share what I'm thinking. I'll try to do it more. I may only post a paragraph or a scripture that has ministered to me and why but I'll try to post more.
I was telling a friend, and fellow blogger yesterday, that the thoughts that I want to put here seem to all run together and the whole point is missed, so I said that I think I'll just write what I'm thinking. She offered suggestions and her reasons for blogging and that helped. I don't think I could be as brave and share and reveal so much about myself as she is!
So I decided to just write down what I'm thinking or feeling.
So .... here's what I'm thinking.... (f0r those of you who really know me, no it doesn't hurt) LOL
I just finished a women's small group bible study about discerning the voice of God. It was more confirming to me than any "confirmations" I've had in a while. It brought together other things I have been reading, Peter Keller's book "A Shepherd Looks at Psalms 23" and compares sheep and shepherding to people and our relationship with God. I've read it before. The speaker for the "voice" study referred back to this author and this book, then there was a lot of Chapter John quoted, which I am studying also. Right now, it's John 13 with a small group that meets early Saturday mornings called Alpha Omega. And I've had discussions with folks about my need to understand "church" and "religion" and what God wants from me, then the speaker for the voice study points to the "relationship" part of God.
Bottom line for the me was what I had already known, "church" is not the building, it's God's people as a whole. Religion... well... to me that's just the study of God's Word. Interpreted by whomever. But I will always go back to the bible to confirm what's being interpreted. Because anyone who knows me, knows I have "issues" with "organized religion". I go to a great church and I have great fellowship. I don't always agree with everything that's said or practiced, but it's better than most "organized religions" that I've belonged to. And I've come to realize that it all comes back to me and what I believe to be God's truths from His own Word. No more, no less.
Back to the "voice" study....
The relationship part was what really drew me in. I knew that God wants a relationship with us, which is why He created us in the first place, but I didn't really know how to develop that "relationship". Then to find in His Word that He speaks to us!!! Through His Holy Spirit. And I know and have been taught again that He put the desire in the heart of man and woman to know Him and to have a relationship with Him.
WOW - how cool is that. I knew He spoke to me, but only when I was at my lowest points in my life... but daily?? Yes, He does. Daily. He doesn't always speak in an audible voice but there have been times when I've clearly heard Him.
We have learned to tune Him out. Just like we tune out our kids or they tune us out, or our chatty neighbors or co workers or just the background noise all around us.
Over time we've lost the art of "listening". Not only to God, but to everyone. I'm trying to relearn the "listening" part. I'm not very good at it, but at least I'm trying.
I remember how I felt and sometimes still feel when my kids aren't listening to me or they're only half listening and I remember the hurt I felt and sometimes still feel. I can only imagine how God feels.
Now that I want to know Him, really know Him, I look for Him. And I see Him.
I sense Him watching me. Not just watching over me but watching for me. He's expecting me.
He's anticipating our conversation.
I know to some people this seems really strange. And it did to me at first too, but now I wouldn't miss this for anything. I'm entering into something new and cool.
Here's the really frustrating part.... I'm learning this new and wonderful thing, and when I share it with the people around me, the ones I love the most, they don't "get it" like I do. And so I have to realize that they are having their own walk and talk with God and it's just not the same as my walk and talk with God. I hate to see them missing out on something so huge and it drives me crazy! And I know it shouldn't. I'm learning to just give that to God too. Instead of trying to push my new found "thing" on someone I just quickly and quietly lift them up in prayer to God.
I'm trying to talk about God and this relationship with Him to a really good old friend of mine that I haven't seen in a very long time, and I'm trying to show her the way to Jesus and it seems that she's not getting it either.
So I doubt.... Lord help me with my doubt. I don't doubt God, I just doubt my ability to accurately point the way or explain what's "really goin' on".
I think the part that bothers me is that all my life, seriously, all my life, before Jesus, I had this void. This sense that something was "missing" in my life. And I tried to fill it with all kinds of things not really even knowing what I was doing. I spent most of my life wasting time on things that were so unimportant. I worried constantly, I tried to control everything, and really controlled nothing. It seemed that my life was in constant upheaval, nothing was going right or how I wanted so I was a pretty unhappy person.
Until Jesus showed up.
That was 10 years ago this August. It took me a long time to really just settle into His arms and trust that He knows right where I'm at. I have more trust in Him today than I ever have and I'm learning to rely on Him more and more everyday. To listen to Him. To wait on Him. (now that's the hardest part)
Don't get me wrong, I still have moments of worry, and the last 10 years haven't been the easiest times of my life. There have been times of great stress, but I can look back now and see from where I've come and where I'm at and the attitude I have now is completely different. I still get stressed out sometimes, but it's not anywhere near as bad nor lasts as long as it used to. It's only as long as I hold onto it. And I believe it's because God says to my heart, "Give that one to me, I've got this one". So when I hear Him, I try to obey (well, most of the time I try to).
God has used people around me to encourage me, to lift me up and to point the way back to Him.
The part that troubles me is that I see my family or friends "wasting" time, when all they have to do is take it to God and listen to Him, I mean really listen. The fact that some people don't find comfort in this also troubles me. But again, I have to give that back to God too.
It's hard to shut out all the noise and spend some quiet time with God, but it has become the most refreshing time of my day. But, if we find the time to talk to God, we should at least give Him the same courtesy to find the time to listen to Him.
For me, sometimes it's only a few minutes in the morning shower, sometimes I turn off the radio on the way to work, and if I'm early enough I'll just sit in my car before I go in and "just be" in the presence of God.
Mostly I just try to remind myself that today, right now, this minute, I am in the presence of the Most Holy One and that He is there in my situation with me - what a comforting feeling! It's a great way of starting my day defensively with God leading the way AND being my rear guard.