Friday, February 22, 2013

Some Things Are Personal

"But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life."
Jude 1:20,21
(KJV)

I am so thankful for God's interruptions.
Grateful beyond words for the way He intercepted my life
to bring me here...
to the Potter's house.
And though it has been tough...
facing reality...
facing the truth....
seeing myself for who I really am...
it has meant everything to me.
It isn't easy admitting our own weaknesses.
It hurts to have our eyes peeled back,
with no choice but to stare into the illuminating light of God's truth.
The more He reveals to me,
the deeper my realization of why He brought me here.
The lessons I am learning are rich.
They are profoundly deep.
Worth more to me than I could ever put into mere words.

The other night, I was sitting with Zach,
listening to "Unshackled" on the Bible Broadcasting Network,
absorbed in a story about a woman whose life reeled out of control
until she came in contact with Jesus.

Right there,
in the midst of her compelling story,
God began to speak.
Straight to my heart.


I felt that familiar nudge...
that gentle urge...
to take time to be holy...
to go get my Bible...
right then and there.
God nudged me to make sure to pick up my notebook, too.
And to not forget a pen.

I love when God does that.
I cherish the moments His Spirit comes to me like that...
compelling me to drop everything...
and follow Him...
to a place of uninterrupted communion.

Anxious beyond words to know what God wanted to share,
I eagerly grabbed my Bible, notebook, and pen,
and headed to Mom's praying chair near Zach's school desk in the back room.
I've learned it is worth it....
to drop it all...
and follow Him.
I sat...
waiting...expectantly...
hopefully.
I was hungry.
What was God going to do?
Inspire for a devotional?
A message?
I knew it would be special.
Worth laying everything else aside for.
It always is.
I continued to wait....
but not for long.

God came....
gently leading me from one Scripture to the next....
a spiritual smorgasbord of goodness...
filling my soul with brand-new information,
fresh insight,
and original inspiration.

He is the Creator.
He causes creative juices to flow...
through and in us...
if we care enough to follow close to Him....
and listen.

As I sat soaking it all in,
caught up in worship,
I realized the reality of what was going on.
The precious thoughts He shared...
weren't for anyone else at all.
They were for me...
personally.

They fit my situation.
My current state of mind.
Exactly what I was going through.

My talk with God was not meant to be shared...
not this one.
Not in a devotional.
Not preached.
Or blogged about.
Or repeated.

Some things are just personal.
Individualized messages that come straight from the throne
and take a direct route to the inmost soul and spirit of the hungry.

I felt so small...
and inadequate.
To think that God loves me enough
to come and share His mind with me.
Not to pass it on to someone else.
Not for anyone else's benefit....
just a one-on-one visit and special time...
between Him...and me.
Insignificant.
Flawed.
A complete mess, at times.
Yet, He loves me.
His love has no contingency clauses.


He laid aside Heaven...for us...
to come down to this sinful world,
to be our Savior,
and to prove His love.
He loves us enough to call us away...
from the busyness of life...
to a place of solitude...
to share His mind and heart.
If He could leave Heaven for us,
can we not leave all else to come aside for Him?

Do you know that there are things God wants to share with you?
Just you?
Nuggets of wisdom and spiritual gold that have your name on them?
No other name....just yours?
God wants a relationship with you.
He created you with an innate longing for a relationship with Him, too.

We spend our lives trying to fill that void
with so many other things.
I don't think there has ever been an age of time
that has been busier than the one in which you and I live.
It nearly makes me dizzy sometimes.
Social media has taken over the majority of our lives.
The saddest part is that in the process of taking over our lives,
oftentimes, it is taking over and replacing our time with God.
He has so much to share!
Personalized things.
Solutions to our problems.
Encouragement for our distresses.
Wisdom for our situations.
But, sadly, we are too consumed to meet with Him.

In Romans 8:38-39, we read that there is nothing in this world
or the world to come that will ever be able to separate us from God's love.
Nothing will ever cause God to stop loving us,
nor will anything ever cause God to stop wanting to spend time with us.
Maybe we should turn those two verses in Romans around,
and make a personal commitment.
Maybe we should tell God and prove it with our actions
that nothing will ever separate us from loving Him...
with all our hearts.
If we expect God to retain His love for us,
no matter what we do,
doesn't He deserve the same from us in return?
Won't we clear our schedules and do what it takes
to spend time with Him and put Him first?

We already know God will not change.
We can absolutely count on Him..
and His Word.
He will always love us.
He will always want to spend time with us...
one-on-one...
intimate...
personal...
like we are the only person in the world.


Shouldn't we give Him the same level of dedication?
Shouldn't we tell Him....and mean it....
that nothing...
absolutely nothing....
will keep us from loving Him...
with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength?
That no matter what others are doing around us,
we will remain steadfast...
to our commitment to Him?
That we will give Him the time He deserves...
every, single day?

What tugs at your heart the hardest?
What do you love to do the most?
If I may be so bold, what are you addicted to?
What pulls you?
Compels you?
Causes you to lay aside everything else?
Isn't this proof of where your love is directed?
How do you spend the biggest portion of your "spare" time?

Is it with God?
Is it when you feel that gentle tug...
that tender reminder...
that "you haven't talked to Me today"
or "I miss you, child"
or "I have something to share with you...come aside with Me".
Do you yield to that...
to Him?

Or do you shove Him to the back burner...
so you can make time and room for something else?
All of these other things...
these thieves of precious, irreplaceable, quickly-passing time?

It seems to me that we are crowding God out of our everyday lives.
We are so committed to staying socially-connected to everyone else, that there is no time or energy left to stay connected to Him.

I have never seen so many time-robbers.
Honestly, have you?
Thieves...subtle...tempting....devious...guised as innocent.

God is a jealous God.
He deserves our love....our best.
He merits first-place in each one of our lives.
He wants our time.
He gave...
and gives....
His best to us every single day.
There is never a time that we turn to Him
that He is too absorbed....too disengaged....too distracted....
to give us His undivided attention.

We have become obsessed.
Completely overtaken.
Dangerously addicted.

Extremely self-glorifying,
self-exalting,
boastful,
proud,
and self-promoting.

It is frightening, really.
Our minds are never still.

We are entirely consumed...
with knowing everyone else's business....
and promoting our own.

We have turned everything into a popularity contest.
Who has the most friends?
Who is the most well-liked?
At the end of the day,
does it really matter?

All the while God waits...
silently...
in the background.

I wonder what it would do for our relationship with Him
if every day we implemented a one-hour-social-media-blackout
and went somewhere private...alone with Him instead?
What kinds of things would He tell us?
What are we missing out on when we are so otherwise absorbed?

Some things are personal.

There are things we will not hear in Sunday's sermon.
We can't rely on a one-hour-a-week church service encounter with God
to keep spiritually-charged, connected, and up to speed.
God doesn't relay all of our personal messages second-hand, anyway.
There are things He needs to say to us....directly....
not through other lips.
He wants to talk to you...
personally....alone...undistracted....unrushed....
not on your way out the door....
or 30 seconds before you fall asleep.

How much time do we really allow for Him...
on any given day?
How connected are we?
Are the other "plugged-in" time-thieves causing interference?
Is He slighted?
Due to us not wanting to slight anyone else?

What truths remain unrevealed?
All because we are too "busy" to nurture the most
important relationship of our lives.

How will we ever know what His dreams are for us,
if we never take the time to get quiet and still enough to hear Him out?

It is worth whatever it takes to remain close to God, my friend.
Is it really even a sacrifice?
Is being popular with the masses more important to us
 than being favored by the King of Kings?
It all boils down to what is most important....to you....and me.
We all make those choices every day.

Time is precious.
Watching my parents leave this world
drove home that truth to me more than anything else ever has.
It made me realize the stark reality of my own mortality.
We will all leave this world one day.
We only have a certain amount of minutes left...
only a specified number of hours remaining...
on the ticking clock of our lives.
What will it matter then?
At the last?
At the end?

I have stood by dying bedsides enough to know
that the single thing that matters most at the end of this life
has nothing at all to do with anything on this side.

One of Mom's favorite sayings was,
"Only one life, 'twill soon be past,
Only what's done for Christ will last."

Let's make the moments count.
Let's take time to be holy...
to listen to God....
to put Him first....
and everything else second.
To get personal with Him every, single day,
and hear what He has to say.

One day, it is the only thing that will matter....
at all.


2 comments:

  1. Just what I needed to hear, as I've been very distracted this past week. I am going to share this post with my daughters.
    I loved hearing you mention your "prayer chair". I've often dreamed of having a spot to go to be alone with the Lord. I ended up getting a bag I can carry around the house that contains my Bibles, devotional, paper and pens. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jennifer! Your comments brightened my day. You are a blessing to me. :)

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